Category Archives: Dorlana’s Books

Writing Diary Entry #6

pen with heartI received my second round of edits for The Trouble with Snowmen a couple of weeks ago and everything else came to a screeching halt! I’ve been a good girl and haven’t focused on anything except for those edits. So there are no updates on the other projects.

I will say that editing/rewriting is my favorite part of writing a book. There is something about finding the right word, reworking sentences, and discovering plot connections that I didn’t even realize were there that make this part of process the most rewarding to me. I would much rather have something to work with than a blank page.

But now that I have finished the edits, I will turn my attention back to my other projects. The question is: Which one do I work on first …?

Love and Laughter

Dorlana

Writing Diary Entry #4

June 22 – June 28

This week went to book 3 of my series. And I didn’t actually have a chance to write on it at the end of the week. I didn’t work on the fairy tale at all, and it doesn’t look good for this week either. I received some edits back from my editor, and so that will also go on this list – (it will also be measured as time spent.) So since this isn’t just a rough draft diary entry any longer, I will have a new title for these posts.

Trouble with Men Series book #3 – words written: 4283

What I find interesting about this book (and book 2) is that it wouldn’t exist without The Trouble with Snowmen. The main female character was only mentioned in Snowmen (book 1)  and the main male character has a minor role in The Trouble with Scarecrows (book 2) When I created their characters in the other books I didn’t know they would be the hero and heroine in this book. But while brainstorming they ended up being perfect opposites (which is the Tropes for the series) I’m not a pre-book character profiler – that’s work – yuck, and I have to get them into situations before I know how they will react. I’m over 12k in the book and have learned a lot about them. It has still been somewhat frustrating but I have to remember that frustration is a writer’s BFF. The story also took an unexpected turn. And now I have a few chapters that I have ideas for, which is always good.

YA Fairy Tale Inspired – time spent – 0 hours

Sorry backburner story ….

The Trouble with Scarecrows (book 2 Trouble with Men series) Time spent – 2 hours

I read over the notes and started working on edits for chapter 1 – I have some of my own changes also that I have been comparing with what edits were sent to me.

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana

Don’t Ignore your Inner Editor

(Writing advice I disagree with #1)

I believe NANOWRIMO made the advice to never go back and edit during your rough draft stage very popular. And, over the years, it seems to be one of the top items on everyone’s writing suggestions. Keep your focus forward – Don’t look back – Ignore your inner editor – Just get that word count!

A couple of days ago, I wrote the first 2011 words of my book. According to my progress graph (on the right side bar), I had completed 4% of my goal. But then I thought about where I needed this story to go. I’m not an outliner, but I do have major turning points/scenes of the book in my head. And the beginning that I had just written was not going to get me there. I had to go back and fix it.

I didn’t have to start at a blank page again, but I did have to rewrite a lot of it. And I probably rewrote at least 1500 words. But my word count didn’t go up that much. My new word count is 2394, which – according to the progress bar – is still 4%. No progress. But I disagree. If I would have pushed on, ignored my inner critic, I would have wasted a lot of time because my entire concept would have failed.

(Side Note – I have had success with the NaNo method. I wrote my two YA fairy tale inspired books this way. However, I have two other 50,000-word drafts that I haven’t touched because they are horrible messes. So for me, it worked half the time.)

So although you do have to have words to complete a novel, you can’t only judge your progress by your word count. And sometimes doing what is best for your book might not always agree with the advice of the masses.

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana

(More post on – Writing Advice I Disagree With – coming soon.)

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Finding Myself … as a Writer

A few weeks ago, we were cleaning our storage room, and I found box after box of my writing stuff – some of it dated back twenty years, some of it was awful, and there were some beginnings without endings. But what I found more interesting was the variety of topics and genres I’d explored early on: poetry, short stories, cookbook ideas (I’ve always been somewhat of a foodie), children’s crosswords, nonfiction articles, and on and on it went – Clearly, I was trying to find myself as a writer.

My first novel was in there; I probably spent ten years on that thing, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever pursue it further. I was a huge V.C. Andrews fan at the time, and I infused family saga with my love of the 1920s. But over the years, when I tried to reopen it and edit, I realized the story just wasn’t me anymore. Maybe it never was – it was V.C. Andrews’.

About ten years ago, I started the rough draft of my second book, Jaclyn’s Ghost, and started out the same way I had with the first book. At the time, I was reading Anne Rice, and I’ve always loved paranormal. I was going to write a scary ghost story … but I did something different, I let my characters lead the way and it came out as a romantic comedy – and that was when I finally found the genre that inspired me – quirky paranormal romance.

My short stories started out kind of simple and pointless, and now I know exactly which story sparked a turning point:  “Phone Calls and Dwarfs.”  I had discovered fairy tales and how to purposely use something as inspiration to ignite my imagination. I started a website, Supernatural Fairy Tales, and, for a couple of years, I gave myself a challenge each month to write and post a short story with two criteria – fairy tales and paranormal. (Later, I wrote four YA novels inspired by some of these stories.)

A couple of years ago, I decided to go a different route and write a contemporary romance (The Trouble with Snowmen) without fairy tale inspirations or anything supernatural … wrong. Albeit they aren’t the main genre of the book, but they still snuck in there.

So, after many years of trial and error, I believe I have found myself as a writer – or it found me and won’t let go. And if you happen to pick up a copy of The Trouble with Snowmen  (Soul Mate Publishing Summer 2015) you’ll know the origin of all the elements (romantic comedy, fairy tales, and paranormal) that wiggled their way into my story.

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana

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