A new version of an old scene

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday!  I hope you’re all happy and well. :)  I’m OK except my husband has given me a cold – isn’t that nice of him? – and I seem to have it worse than he did. :-S

Anyway I’m not exactly at death’s door and since I’m currently not working – in between jobs, but I am looking for another one, honest! – I’ve had plenty of time to be working on editing Reunion of the Heart.

And all I can say is ‘I get it!’  I finally get what other authors mean when they say they’re so into their stories, it’s all they can think about and the characters are so real to them!  I’m rewriting many of the scenes between my two main protagonists, making it more romantic.  I’m enjoying it so much! :-D

My characters are really coming alive; it’s a cliche but it’s true.  I’m thinking about them a lot, especially the two MCs and imagining exactly what they look like.

As I said I’m rewriting a lot of the scenes between my MC and the guy she ends up with – I’m also cutting scenes and adding them. So it’s not simply editing, it’s rewriting whole passages!!  But yes I’m really enjoying it and – because I’m quite slow at all this – I hope to publish Reunion of the Heart by the autumn at the latest.

It partly depends on work; if I get another job soon, if I have time to work on my writing without being too tired etc.  So we’ll see. But at the moment I’m making the most of the time I’ve got to spend on my writing.

So on to today’s scene.  I may have shared part of this scene in its old version before.  For today’s date, I’m giving you 14 lines .  To give you an idea of what’s going on: my MC Anna is at a party her two friends from her school days have thrown to celebrate the opening of a new shop of theirs.  Anna knows that the guy who bullied her at school, Will, is going to be there, but she’s decided to go anyway.  This is when they see each other there:

‘So we meet again,’ a voice said in her ear. 

Anna turned around.  It was Will.  As she looked up at him, she was struck again by how tall he was and his looks were certainly arresting.  He was dressed simply yet smartly in black trousers and a deep blue shirt.  His clothes accentuated his figure in all the right places.  Annoyed with herself for thinking like this, she saw that he was smiling at her. 

‘I’m here with Melissa,’ she found herself saying.  ‘She said you’d be coming with Cathy.’  She shut her mouth as if to stop it from saying anything else without her volition.

‘So you knew I was coming, but you came anyway?’ Will was looking directly at her, his expression serious but his lips curving upwards slightly in a half smile.  Anna didn’t reply for a moment, feeling her stomach fluttering incomprehensibly.

‘Um… well… yes,’ she said finally.

You too can take part in the wonderful weirdness that is WIPpet Wednesday by posting on your blog anything you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  Then put your details here.  Oh, I should add that your offering needs to relate in some way to the date.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel, Queen of the Flying Monkeys, for being our gracious hostess. ;)

Update on ‘Reunion of the Heart’

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather these past couple of days.  Nothing is majorly wrong, I’ve just got a bit of a virus and it’s making me feel low.

The upside of that is although I haven’t felt well enough to do strenuous things, I have felt up to doing some work on Reunion of the Heart, my WIP.  I told you here that I’ve had it back from my beta readers, who were all fabulous BTW.  My mum has offered to proof read it for me when I’m done, which is great as she’ll do it for FREE!! (And I know she’ll be amazing at it!)

At the moment I’m going through it, alternating between changing minor words or paragraphs that my betas have flagged up, and changing parts, even rewriting them.  It’s a lot of work but it’s going so well!  I mean there’s a lot to do, but I’m loving just getting back to writing after my false start with the job that didn’t work out for me.

There is something with regards to this story that I’m in two minds about.  It’s how much romance during the story I should have between the two main protagonists, and how much I should leave till the end, especially as there’s a third party involved – it’s a bit of a love triangle!

Now I must say that this is a bit of a rhetorical question.  At this stage, having had the novel back from the beta readers, I don’t really want too many more opinions saying ‘do this, don’t do that’.  In a way I’ve kind of gone past that stage.

But I’m still interested to hear, from those of you who write romances, how much romance you have between the hero and heroine in your love story before their tale is resolved at the end?

Thanks as always for your comments.  They’re much appreciated. :)

Another interview for WIPpet Wednesday

Hi one and all.  I hope you’ve had a good week.   I have, enjoying the long May Day weekend here in the sunny UK.  Seriously, the weather was pretty good for once!! (It nearly always decides to rain in this country every time we have a national holiday!)

Anyway, on with my WIPpet for this week.  Well I guess the title of this blog post is a giveaway – I’m treating you to another interview with a different character from my WIP Reunion of the Heart.

This time I’m interviewing Lizzie.  She is the close friend of Rachel who I interviewed here last week.  When Lizzie, Rachel, my MC Anna and her best friend Melissa were at secondary school, they fell out over a boy. Rachel sided with Lizzie insisted on going out with Matt who’d made Anna’s life a misery.  Anna and Melissa stuck together and so the friendship group was broken.  I won’t say any more as I don’t want to give away too much of the plot.

I should say this interview is quite long, so thank you in advance for taking the time to read it.  One more comment: it doesn’t relate to today’s date (shock horror!).  I’m sure K. L. Schwengel (she of the flying monkeys) is going to shoot me now! ;)  But before she does, here’s my WIPpet:

Me: Hi Lizzie, thanks for agreeing to meet me at such short notice.

Lizzie: Well it was a bit of a pain for me to get here in the rush hour, you could have picked a better time.  But I’m here now.  So what do you want to ask me?

Me: I wanted to get to know you a bit more and to talk to you about your relationship with my main character Anna.  How long have you known her?

L: Since secondary school.  We were in the same PE group in the first year.  (laughs) Anna always hated PE.  She wasn’t bad at running, but didn’t like it because she felt everything wobbled when she ran, you know her boobs and so on.  She had really bad self-esteem; she was a little bit podgy when we were at school but still gorgeous, you know?  Though she could never see it.

Me: Anna told me that you fell out with her over a boy.  Matt, wasn’t it?

L: (face reddens) Is she still going on about that? (angry) Because that was such a long time ago.  I thought we’d made up on that score. (folds arms and glares)

Me: No, no, Anna’s fine with that now.  She’s forgiven you.  But as she’s the main character in my book, I just wanted to make sure that I’ve portrayed her in the right way.   And you too; I’d hate to get my facts wrong. (I fan my hot face with café menu)

L: (leans back in chair and sighs) Well if we really have to talk about it… Yes, we fell out over Matt.  You know, of course, that he and Will made Anna’s life hell when we were at school.  And I’ll always regret that I chose him over Anna.  All those years of friendship wasted for some stupid bloke.  He is as thick as two short planks.  But when we were all at school, he was cute and fun.  All the girls wanted to be with him.  They were so jealous when he chose me. (pauses) It was a stupid mistake on my part.  By the time I realised that Matt and I were going nowhere, it was too late.  We’d just left school.  Anna and I had burned our bridges and there was no going back.  Till the reunion.

Me: Yes, tell me about that.

L: When I got the invite, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make up with Anna.  But in all honesty, I thought it unlikely that she’d go.  I mean, why would she want to revisit her past, to go back to a place where she’d been so unhappy?  Of course, I had no way of knowing if she’d be there until the evening itself.  Rachel was with me.  I suppose she talked to you about all this?

Me: We focused mainly on your schooldays and the falling out.

L: (nods) Right.  Well when Anna did turn up to the reunion, I knew that this was my chance to make up with her.  Most likely I’d never have another opportunity.  Rachel was keen to speak to Anna too.  (pause) She never forgave herself – or me – for what happened.  I think she must have told you that she sided with me when we were at school?

Me: She did mention it, yes.

L: At the time I appreciated Rachel sticking by me.  We’d been friends pretty much all our lives, so I was glad not to lose her friendship.  (sighs) I told myself that Anna and Melissa were overreacting to me dating Matt.  But deep down, I think I always knew that by choosing my casual relationship with Matt over my friendship with Anna, I was making a big mistake.

Me: Why did it take so long for you and Anna to make up?  Couldn’t you have contacted her before?

L: (irritated) What is this, the Spanish Inquisition? (has a long sip of coffee)  OK, if you really need to know, I wasn’t sure where she was living for one thing.  I had no idea she was still in Warston.  But also I didn’t know how she’d react if I tried to track her down and contact her.  Then there’s the fact that in a way I wanted to save face.  As the years went by I felt… embarrassed by the whole thing.  Matt was at the reunion.  I hadn’t seen him for years, but when I did I could barely believe I’d ever seen anything in him.  I mean, the man’s a joke.  It’s like he’s stuck in the late nineties. (pauses, tucking a strand of hair behind her ears) Anymore questions while you’re at it?

Me: Only one, what’s your relationship like with Anna and Melissa now?

L: (brightens) Oh it’s great.  The four of us went to a spa together not long after the reunion.  Did Anna tell you about that? (I nod)  It was fabulous.  It’s like no time had passed since we were friends at school.  All those years when we weren’t in touch – they’ve vanished.

Me: I’m really glad to hear that Lizzie.  Is there anything else you want to say?

L: Only this, that I think Anna deserves to be so happy.  She’s a wonderful friend and would make the right man the perfect partner.

Me: Thanks for talking to me Lizzie.

L: You’re welcome. (looks at watch) Oh crumbs, is that the time?  I must go.  See you.

If you’ve never taken part in WIPpet Wednesday and would like to, just post on your blog anything you’ve been working on writing-wise lately.  Ideally it should relate in some way to the date – my contribution today didn’t!  Then add your name to this.

Big shout out goes to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :)

More editing…

The new improved version of my novel Reunion of the Heart is starting to take shape.  I’ve been plugging away at it this evening.  I’m changing a lot, with the notes from the beta readers, but the story will basically stay the same.

I’m finding the editing challenging, in a good way.  There’s a lot to do and I just hope what I’m doing doesn’t take me too long as I’d ideally like to publish it by the autumn at the latest.  That may sound like ages away to you, but I tend to work fairly slowly so it may actually take me that long!

It is interesting going through the comments from the beta readers and seeing what they have to say, as well as making some of the changes they’ve suggested.  One thing I wondered when I finished the first draft, which they confirmed, is that it wasn’t romantic enough.

So I’m working on making it more romantic.  Because that’s what it is – a romance.  It may be my way of telling a romantic story, but clearly if I want to write a romance, it’s got to be just that – romantic!  It certainly is a lot of fun spicing things up a bit!!

I’m wondering if any of you have had that problem?  Have any of you found during your first draft (or even beyond), that your romance wasn’t romantic enough, or that there weren’t enough thrills in your thriller, or that your version of history wasn’t accurate enough for your historical novel?

I’d love to hear your experiences.

Return to WIPpet Wednesday

Hi all.  No, I’m not dead.  I’m back!  I started a job, then quit it.  You can read about that here.  But anyway, I’m here once again for WIPpet Wednesday which I’m really pleased about.

I’ve done something different for this week’s WIPpet.  Seeing as I haven’t done any proper writing for absolutely AGES, I thought I’d do what a couple of my beta readers of Reunion of the Heart suggested, and write an interview with one of my characters.

They felt if I did it would give me a greater insight into her personality and make her a bit more… 3D!

She’s a lesser character in the story, but still important.  When my MC Anna was at school with her, she felt betrayed by Rachel when Rachel decided to side with their mutual friend Lizzie in an issue concerning a boy.  I should say that this WIPpet doesn’t have anything to do with today’s date and it’s quite long.  I’m grateful to you all for taking a look. :)  Here it is:

Me:  Hi Rachel.  Thanks for agreeing to this interview.  It’s great to finally meet you.  I wasn’t even sure what you looked like, not having a photo of you.

Rachel:  Thank you.  I must say I was looking forward to meeting you too.  Anna has told me a great deal about you.  She says it’s thanks to you that she’s happy in her life.  The way you directed things… well she says you’re just the best author of her story she could have hoped for.

Me: Aw thank you, that’s sweet.  Anyway, I haven’t got long for this interview as I’ve got another appointment soon, so we’d better crack on.  I’m just gonna cut to the chase:  Why exactly did you side with Lizzie at school when Anna was having such a hard time?

R: (taken aback) That’s a bit below the belt don’t you think?  And didn’t you explain my motivations in the story? (folds her arms indignantly)

Me: Not entirely no.  I just wrote that you told Anna and Melissa you’d been friends with Lizzie for a lot longer than with them and so you wanted to be loyal to Lizzie.

R: (closes eyes and leans back in chair) Isn’t that enough information for you?

Me: Look, I just want to hear your side of the story properly.  I want to understand you better as a person.  You are an important character to me after all.

R: (opens eyes, leans forward, nods) OK.  But it’s complicated.  (sighs)  I didn’t join Mayfield Secondary until I was 13.

Me:  Really?  I didn’t know that.

R:  I’m not sure Anna and Melissa know.  I can’t remember if I told them.  It was a long time ago, so they may never have found out.  The reason I moved school is because I was being bullied at my old school.  I had a hellish time – I was so miserable I ended up being suicidal.  The one person who stopped me from topping myself was Lizzie.  I’d known her for years.  We’d been friends since primary.  But then when I went to secondary, I managed to get a scholarship to a school called Grove Grammar.  Lizzie went to Mayfield so we ended up seeing each other only at the weekends.

Me: That must have been a tough time for you.

R: Tell me about it.  Like I said, it made me want to end it all.  And I was only 13.  So anyway, when my parents sent me to Mayfield, things began to get better for me.  People were friendly, and of course I got to hang out with Lizzie again.  I began to feel like a normal person.  (pauses) It’s such a shame that Matt and Will were so cruel to Anna.  They really singled her out for harsh treatment; I’m not sure why.

Me: Maybe they were trying to get her attention?  Perhaps they liked her?

R: (smiles wryly) You’re the author, you should know.

Me: True, but I’d like to hear what you think.

R: I honestly don’t know.  If they did like her, they had a funny way of showing it.  Anyway, I thrived at Mayfield.  I got good grades in the exams; I got on well with everyone.  Getting to know Anna and Melissa was like the icing on the cake.  And then it went sour.  Lizzie fell for Matt, I’m not sure why, and it put the kibosh on our friendship with Anna and Melissa.

Me: So why exactly did you side with Lizzie?

R: (annoyed) You’re really pushing this, aren’t you?  Like I said, Lizzie had been very good to me.  She was my best friend and she’d stuck by me my whole life.  I wasn’t about to give up that friendship in a hurry. (pauses) Having said that, I do regret my decision.  Anna was my friend too and she was going through hell.  I should have been there for her. (clears throat) And there was another factor.

Me: What?

R: I didn’t have enough confidence in myself to do the right thing.  I was a coward, so I sided with Lizzie and let go of my friendship with Anna and Melissa.  I’ll always regret that.

Me: I think you’re being a bit hard on yourself.  School is a hard time for everyone.  You’re friends with Anna and Melissa again.  Anna’s forgiven you, hasn’t she?  So maybe it’s time to forgive yourself for what happened.

R: (stares at the table, twisting the ring on her finger and nods) You’re right.  (looks up) What else would you like to know about me?

Me: Just what your life is like now, if you’re happy?

R: (nods) Yes, I’m very happy.  I have a new boyfriend called Oz and he’s fantastic.  I see Lizzie, Anna and Melissa all the time.  We’re going to go to Rome together in the New Year.  I’m really looking forward to that.  Things are great.

Me: Oh, I’m so pleased to hear that.  That’s such good news.  Well I think we’d end it there.  I mustn’t be late for my dentist’s appointment.

R: Dentist’s appointment?  Poor you, sounds bad.

Me: (shrugs) Should be fine.  Anyway, hope to see you again soon.

R: Yes, I hope so too.

As always I’m grateful for your comments.  If you would like to take part in the Wonderful World of WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is post some of your writing on your blog.  Really it should relate in some way to today’s date –  I cheated in that respect!

Once you’ve done that, post your link here.  Thanks once again to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :D

 

 

Relaxing at the spa

Hi everyone.  Hope you’ve had a good week.  I certainly have.  Spring is in the air and to coin an American phrase I’m feeling mighty fine!

For today’s WIPpet Wednesday I thought I’d share with you 5 lines from chapter 3 of Reunion of the Heart for the 5th of March. We’re going backwards in the story from last week’s excerpt to the weekend away at the spa that my MC Anna goes on with her three friends, two of whom she’s been reunited with at the reunion.

Anna and her best friend Melissa are relaxing as they experience one of the many treatments on offer…

Oh this is bliss,’ Anna murmured as the masseuse kneaded her back.  She could feel the tension inside her unwind as if she’d been coiled tightly like a spring. For the first time in ages her thoughts were Elliot-free.  Letting go had never been this easy before.

‘Mmm you’re right,’ Melissa said. 

So it’s short but sweet.  Boy do I envy Anna and Melissa.  I really fancy a nice massage right now. Anyway that’s it for this week.  I may be kind and share with you something longer next week.

If you fancy taking part in WIPpet Wednesday all you have to do is share some of your writing, making sure that it relates in some way to the date.  Then add your details here.

Thank you very much K. L. Schwengel for hosting.  We love youuuu!!

Call for beta readers

Hi everyone.

I’ve finished the first round of editing of my novel Reunion of the Heart and I’m currently reading through it again, correcting and amending as I go.

I would like to send it out to beta readers soon, so if you would be interested in reading it and letting me know what you think, please get in touch.

I only need a few people to beta read, so really it’s on a first come, first served basis.  This novel is very much a romance, so won’t be to everyone’s taste.  But if you think you might like to be a beta reader for me, please let me know.

My email address is: elaine (dot) jeremiah (at) gmail (dot) com

Thank you! :)

A confrontation

Of sorts.  You might not agree that it’s a confrontation, but it sort of describes this week’s excerpt for WIPpet Wednesday quite well. I hope you’re all well BTW.

Last week I mentioned that I had an interview for a work placement.  Well… I GOT IT!!  So I’m really happy about that as you can imagine.  And thank you all for your kind words, it meant a lot to me.  It doesn’t start till the 2nd April though so I’ve got a while to get ready for it. :)

So back to today’s topic.  I’m sharing with you 26 sentences from chapter 14 of Reunion of the Heart.  (I’ll leave you to figure out how it relates to the date!!)  Anyway at this point Anna has just arrived home from dropping boyfriend Peter at the station.  I shared some lines immediately prior to this here.  Now she’s got an unwelcome surprise…

‘Anna?  Are you all right?’

The voice stunned her especially when she realised whose it was.  She felt herself flinch.  This was all she needed.  She stood up straight, turning to face him.

‘Yes thank you, Will,’ she replied stiffly.  ‘I’m just going inside, so if you’ll excuse me…’

He nodded and turned to walk on.  But she didn’t go inside.  In spite of her fear that he might be stalking her, curiosity got the better of her. 

‘Will, wait.’ He stopped in his tracks and turned to face her, his expression unreadable. ‘I… how long have you been living in Primrose Gardens?’  Her voice sounded hostile which was not her intent.  But he seemed unfazed.

‘A couple of years.’

‘A couple of years?’ Anna couldn’t keep the surprise or volume from her reply.

‘Yes.’ He looked as though he was suppressing a smile.  ‘I didn’t know you were living here though, or I would have popped over and said hello.’

‘But you hate me!’ she cried unable to stop herself.  ‘And I hate you.  You made my life a misery when we were at school.  How could I ever forgive you for that?’ 

If you’re not currently taking part in the wonder that is WIPpet Wednesday and you’d like to, all you have to do is post some of your current writing work on your blog which relates in some way to the date.  Then add your details to this.

Thanks goes to K. L. Schwengel as always for hosting. :)

When to send to beta readers?

Question

I’ve just finished my first round of editing my novel.  I’m wondering when would be the best time to send it out to beta readers (who I’ve yet to find!)?

Do I go over it myself as many times as possible before I get to that point?  Or is it better to send it out now and get the feedback I so desperately need as soon as possible?

There’s a certain element to my novel I’m not sure about.  Not going to say what it is but I definitely need some guidance.

So I’m asking all of you who’ve written a book (admittedly this is my second novel but I’m still unsure about this) what you’ve found to be the best time to send your novel out to be beta read and get those all important second opinions?

I must confess I’m not great at making decisions.  Also, if you all tell me a million different things, that’s going to be even more confusing!  But I’m willing to take the risk with this cos I really need to know.  And even if you don’t have a definitive answer, I’d be interested to hear your stories about editing and how it all went for you.

It’s definitely an exciting time for me having the publication of my second book on the horizon less than a year after the first one was published. :)

I’ll keep you all posted on my progress.  Book number three is in the planning stages… (BTW it’s not a series!!)

 

 

 

A short WIPpet for Wednesday

Hi all.  My contribution to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday is going to be short as I’m currently in the middle of preparing for an interview for a work placement tomorrow.

So I’m back to my old mean self and I’m only sharing with you 2 sentences from chapter 2 of my current WIP Reunion of the Heart. We’re going back and forth in the novel; here Anna has just arrived at her old school for the reunion:

Anna stumbled a little as she walked; she didn’t wear heels very often.  As they approached the school buildings, memories of being a pupil here flooded back to her.

So that’s it for me for this week.  Hopefully I’ll be able to share something longer next week.  And if you would like to take part in WIPpet Wednesday, just post on your blog a piece of your writing relating in some way to the date.  Then add your details here.

Thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting. :)