Category Archives: writing

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

Mailing list/Drawing for Signed Paperback

Email/Mailing List

I am starting an email/mailing list* for anyone who would like to be notified when books from my new series, Trouble with Men, are available in eBook and print. By joining my mailing list, you will automatically be included in a drawing for a signed copy of The Trouble with Snowmen whenever the paperback is available.

If you would like to be added to the list, email me at:  dorlana(dot) vann at gmail.com with the following information:

  • Your name and email address.
  • Your snail mail address if you would also like to be on my mailing list to receive a postcard and bookmark by mail. (You do not have to include your snail mail address to be eligible for the paperback drawing– winner will be notified by email, and I can get your info then.)

*The list will not be used for any other purpose other than emailing/mailing when the eBooks and print books are available and emailing the winner of the drawing.

About the Series: Trouble with Men

My upcoming contemporary romance series has fun, new dating terms and concepts, outrageous shenanigans, a touch of magical realism, twists and turns, broken hearts, chemistry, fashion, seduction, food, and – of course – romance.

Even though there will be returning characters who make minor appearances and minor characters who become our heroes and heroines, each book is a stand-alone read where new couples get their own stories. Characters move in and out of a downtown Houston multiplex – a 1920s house (some say it’s haunted) that has been renovated into four separate apartments. And my favorite trope “opposites attract” is the theme that also ties these books together.

Trouble with Men series will be published by Soul Mate Publishing starting as early as August of this year.  Right now (May 2015), book 1 (The Trouble with Snowmen) and book 2 (The Trouble with Scarecrows) are in the editing stages – see below for more info on each book. I had a lot of fun writing these two books and am very excited to share them. I hope you will find them fun, flirty, and entertaining. And, after a lot of refiguring characters and concepts, I have officially started book 3 (title TBA).

Book 1: The Trouble with Snowmen (August 2015 – Soul Mate Publishing )

Book 2: The Trouble with Scarecrows (Winter 2015 – Soul Mate Publishing)

Book 3: TBA

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana

My Poor Neglected Back-Burner Story

I started writing the rough draft for my Hansel and Gretel inspired young adult book back in February 2010. I’ve worked on it off and on throughout the years – although most of 2014 past without me even opening the file – but my progress keeps getting interrupted by different projects, like in 2012 when the idea for The Trouble with Snowmen (Trouble with Men series summer 2015) hit me, and it wouldn’t let me go until I finished writing it … and then, you know, I had to write book 2 (The Trouble with Scarecrows).

A few months ago, I dusted it off and read over it, and these were some of my thoughts:

  • I should have taken better notes.
  • My rough drafts are more like outlines. Unfinished, vague outlines …
  • It doesn’t matter where I intended this story to go before, it will either come back to me or new ideas (better ones hopefully) will emerge.
  • The concept is solid, I can work with this.

This has been my main project but now I have something else tapping me on the shoulder – book 3 of the Trouble with Men series – But I want to at least get finished with a solid rough draft … or at least take better notes. Well, hopefully one day this poor story will make it to second draft!

Love and Laughter,
Dorlana

Do’s and Don’ts From Dorlana’s Writing Desk

Over the years I’ve developed habits while writing, some good and some bad. Here are a few of my personal do’s and don’ts when writing/editing.

  • Do email myself a copy of the draft I’m working on everyday. Not only does this save a file in case my computer crashes (I’ve lost 50 pages before) it also gives me a writing record. Accountability.
  • Don’t stop writing (rough draft) when frustrated. I have to remember that writing a character into a corner can create fabulous, productive frustration. That is not the time to walk away. That is the time to dig in, think, and analyze. It’s the magic portal past that top layer of fluffy clichés and memories of already written stories, to the raw imagination. Here is more on my thoughts about frustration and writing. Frustration: a writer’s BFF 
  • Do sit up straight. I’m constantly having to tell myself this.
  • Don’t ignore story changes/suggestions/critiques. When I first read through a critique, sometimes I’ll disagree with a suggestion. But then I have to remind myself: if something took the reader out of my story, something is wrong. It might not be what the reader thinks it is, but there’s a problem that needs fixing. Here is more on my thoughts about critiques: Don’t Take Critiques at Face Value.
  • Do trust myself and my work. I had a dream the other night that an artist was frantically rearranging her pictures on display at an art show. She couldn’t get them perfect. I told her she knew colors and she knew balance and at some point she had to trust herself. I then told her to stop and walk away and come back later to take a fresh look. ( I’m trying to take my own advice.)
  • Don’t bring an entire box of snacks to my desk. I get hungry when I type ….
  • Do put cut scenes in a separate computer file. I’m not a pack-rat in normal life, but in my writing life I’m like, “I might need that someday.” And even though I don’t think I’ve ever retrieved anything, it takes away all the anxiety when I highlight a page (or sentence) and hit delete. I’m not deleting it … I’m just moving it.

What are your personal do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing?

Love and Laughter, Dorlana

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