Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Medical Mystery

I wrote last week that I was starting to write two stories at once.  I am really excited about it. As mentioned, I am concentrating on writing the second book of my fantasy series while I am querying the first manuscript. I am just starting to get some feedback and I am excited.

I am also excited to start writing another genre.  I have a background in medical - I am a physician assistant and work at a prison. It is an exciting thing to do.  But this also gives me a chance to write something closer to what I know and love.  I am hoping to find something that can be done long term. I mean, the story with be finished with this book, but I want my character to have several stories. It would be something similar to Myron Bolitar from Harlan Coben. I think he does a fantastic job at that series.

My story is more of an amateur sleuth with a Medical student. He will have some help though from an outside source but the "detective" work for his patient will be mostly him. So far, my running title is IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. It is exciting and I have just finished chapter 2.

The real question so far will be which one will get my attention. I try not writing on both books in the same day. I guess I'll switch back and forth depending on the day.  It is exciting!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

This would be a bad day!

Some days I get run over and feel exactly like this. What in your day makes you feel this way? What do you do to get past this feeling? Hopefully you literally don't have a horn stabbed into your throat!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Writing Two Stories at Once.

I read a myth that you should stay writing in the same genre during your career. This is probably to stop anyone from writing on a topic that they don't understand or aren't familiar with. I understand it to some degree. But, since I haven't found a genre that I am proficient at, I guess that the myth doesn't yet apply to me. I finished writing my first manuscript a year ago or so. I spent several months on edits and rewrites. I am currently querying that manuscript.

Once I started the process of querying, I began writing again. And it has been fantastic. The problem is that I have two stories vying for a spot in my head. The first one is the second book of my first manuscript.  It's genre is fantasy - like the first.  Can I say that I love fantasy.  The other story in my head is more of an amateur sleuth medical story. I also have a huge passion in medical and I currently work in the medical field. Mysteries are always fun to why not try to write one.

The real difficulty is that some days, I feel like writing fantasy and other days, I can't wait to write about my medical mystery. And so rather than fighting the urge, I am embracing it.  The funny thing is that I am not bored with either story.  I am just excited about writing two stories at once.  I plan to continue this practice as long as possible. I do look forward to an agent calling and forcing me back on tract, but until then....write on!

Please comment if you've ever tried this.  Tell me if it worked for you or was too hard to keep the stories and POV separate.

Here's a great look at writing two stories at once by Katie Ganshert -

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Needing some Chocolate

I really loved my last visit to Boston. I had a blast. One of the best places that we went was the Lindt chocolate store. I really need some chocolate today.  My wife seems to need chocolate daily.  Who can blame her when it is Lindt chocolate. Chocolate always seems to make writing go a little bit better and a little smoother. Oh well...I will have to find a substitute chocolate bar today.   Too bad I can't make it back to Boston!  SO I will leave you a picture of the store.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

C-Section Study Recently Completed

In a recent stdy it was determined that 1/3 of all births are done through a C-Section. An interesting blog post by InterActive Health

Let's take a closer look at the data from the most recent study:
19 out of 50 states were studied
Florida (38.6%), New Jersey (38%) , and Texas (35.9%), had the highest rates.
Utah (22.4%), Wisconsin (25.1%), and Colorado (27.3%)  had the lowest rates.
Study was done by HealthGrades - this website allows a user to search and rate their physician.
From 2002 - 2009 C-section occurrence raised from 27% to 34%
A separate study from the Centers for Disease Control put the number at 32% in 2007

Take a closer look at the original blog post at: 
1/3 of all births are done through a C-Section.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oh writing how I missed thee.

After finishing my first manuscript I felt a sense of accomplishment. I knew I had an arduous task of editing. I never expected it would be so time consuming and all encompassing.  It took eight months to really get through the editing process. My manuscript isn't perfect but I needed to move to the next step of querying. This process has been so strange almost foreign in comparison to everything else that I have done. I sent out a dozen or more queries and I am unpatiently awaiting the responses.

I have considered sending out another round of queries but I am concerned about my overall effectiveness of my query letter. I am continuously reading and tweaking my query letter. It seems that because this is my first query letter, I am probably thinking that it is better than it really is. That could be a huge problem.

The only thing that I knew, was that I couldn't sit and do nothing. I considered my options and decided to begin book 2 of my series. I am querying the first book and now it is time to start working on the next book. I really struggled in finding the correct spot to restart my story. It took a surprisingly long time to come up with it. I am pretty satisfied with where I am starting. I began writing last week and really forgot how much I love the pure aspect of writing.  It's really blissful.

The area I love most is attempting to put this story that is in my head onto a blank piece of paper. That blank paper was empty and now...just days later, the first chapter of my second book is done. I am 4,000 words finished for the first chapter. I am wondering if I should do things quite differently than the first book.  I decided to edit the first chapter instead of writing and writing and writing. I initially thought that quality would arrive in the editing stage.  During my first draft, that might have hurt me more than I realized.

But I am back to writing and hoping that the first book snags me an agent, but regardless, I love writing!!  So far, book 2 is called SHATTERED.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Goodbye Prologue

After much deliberation and the help of my most recent conference - I am putting to rest my prologue.  As a reader, I love prologues - if done well.  They really can grab my attention and throw me into the story.  The problem as a writer - it has to be perfect.  Mine was far from perfect.

My real problem was that I have two stories wrapped around each other. I was trying to start my manuscript with my secondary story and my prologue introduce that second story.  Therefore, the prologue didn't have anything to do with the story itself.   The prologue often give a back story that helps the story move.  I've heard many editors say that if a prologue is done - they will skip it immediately - read the story and then read the prologue.  If the prologue teaches them something that they had missed in the story - then they would consider keeping it.

My change wasn't hard at all.  If you can imagine - my manuscript has 51 chapters. 41 chapters are devoted to my main story and 10 chapters are devoted to the secondary story.  Truth be told though - the secondary story is really just a single long chapter. My former prologue was the first chapter of 10 I just mentioned. My change consisted of taking the prologue and moving it to chapter 5 of my story.  From there - every 5-7 chapters I would add another piece of the puzzle. It was a fun way of doing it. In the end, I kept the chapter - because it is helpful in the overall story.

What are your feelings, as a reader, about prologues.  If you are a writer...does your idea of a prologue change?

This blog post was originally seen at Earth's Divide - my book blog