I’ve been head down all weekend, either getting the chores out of the way so I could go through the beta comments, or working on the beta. I’ve been through the first 11 chapters of Knight 3 times since 5 pm yesterday. Woo! Boy, I’m tired. I usually end up in tears at least once. This time was no exception. By this point in the process, I’m ready to be done and still miles to go before I sleep.
Never got a word written on the poppy boys this weekend. I’ve been playing around with a series of potential covers for the story. I found a perfect picture over on Shutterstock and now I’ve trying to figure out how to use it properly. Later on, before I submit the story to the MM Romance group, I think I’ll ask for some reader’s choice to help me choose the right cover version for it.
Here’s some hotness, just to keep you company. He’s a brazilian model and another potential candidate for the role of Ben.
I’m trying to get some more words done on my poppy boys. But people keep sending me pictures of pretty young men.
Ben Wishaw, who is a pretty good likeness of my Ross.
Some dude on Shutterstock, who is reasonably like Ben.
And then there was the conversation about whether zombies could swim. Which led to the conversation about whether a lobster had enough brains to be zombified.
Yep. We’re weird.
And I can say that honestly. I shipped the last half of Knight off to betas this morning. It’s not perfect and there are a few chapters that haven’t gotten the attention they deserve (mostly because they come at a part of the story where I’m already emotionally exhausted), but it’s pretty much in the shape it should be in going to the publisher. I have 23 days left to get it ready to send.
It’s a funny feeling, and those of you who write will probably recognize it. As you wind down to the submission date, a feeling of inevitability settles over you. You start recognizing the fact that this is what the story will be. That perfect image–the beautiful flow of words and emotions that existed before you first opened a file and named it–that’s been absorbed and reshaped within the reality that now faces you. And you have to accept that it will never be what it was in your head. Some of it will–there are some lovely stretches of emotion in Knight–but there are parts that I occasionally feel the urge to apologize to. Not because they’re bad, but because I feel like I failed them somehow and made them less than they could have been.
I hope to make it up to them, after a small break and with the invaluable help of my betas. In the meantime, I’ve gotten involved in the Goodreads MM Romance writing event: Love Has No Boundaries. If you’re a member of this group, here’s the link to my prompt: LINK . Aren’t they lovely? There’s a little except at the bottom of the thread. I can promise more hijinks as the month grows old, since a group of us has decided to have an informal ‘thread hop’ during the event. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know when it starts and who’s in on it.
So, this is what March looked like. I’m pretty happy–I almost got to three times my planned word goal! It makes a big difference when you’re rolling down the home stretch of a story. I have to update the progress bar for Knight–when I shut LSB down last night, it clocked in at 91, 527 words. It’ll be a few more already because I’ve added some this morning to fill out a section of the last chapter that wasn’t quite done. I think I’ll stick to shorter pieces for a while. Knight was a fantastic experience and I certainly want to write more about Ben and Ross, but I’m feeling a bit frazzled.
And…EDITING THE LAST CHAPTER!!!! Can we get a happy dance here? Woohoo! Then the only thing left is to go through beta comments and fix what they notice. This down time will give me a chance to get further along on the Goodreads story, finish the synopsis and get my query together.
The work never ends. But it’s not really work when you enjoy what you’re doing. 🙂
I’m on chapter 18 of 22 now–harder to get stuff done when you have to work all day. On the bright side, the first half has gone to betas and I’ll be sending the last half on the weekend. Knight has officially passed the 90,000 word mark, which scares me a little. It’s a lot of work to edit something that big and I know I have to be missing stuff.
Anyway, thought I’d share a little bit of how Ben feels about Ross.
“I like you. I like your friends. In a weird sort of way, I like your family too. I like the way you are with your students. I love your sense of humor. I like the way you look when you’re lost in a book and how baffled you are when you stop reading and you’ve forgotten which world is real. And, although I still don’t understand it, I even love your addiction to eating waffles straight out of the freezer.”
Things that make you go awww…
I’m nose to the grindstone, getting Knight ready to go out to betas at the end of this weekend, so I’m going to be pretty absent from everywhere until I can click send. I have to say, my critique group has been invaluable in both smoothing out and catching issues, but also in showing me that maybe I am capable of writing a good story. This chance to go back through the whole story all at once has been good for my temper and better for my sense of self-esteem, which always takes a beating at this point in the process.
Still, it’s a tiring process and I’ll be glad when it’s done and I can take a bit of a break. I have my story for the Goodreads MM Romance group to work on and I’m hoping to hear back about Nuts About You in the near future. There’s also the research for The Courtesy of Knives, and the planning for If/Then. Plus a few shorts I’m considering shoehorning into the schedule.
One thing that happened with Knight, that I’d like to avoid in the future, is that I ended up posting actual first drafts in the critique group. It wasn’t something I was happy about doing, but running out of time sometimes makes you choose avenues you wouldn’t have at other times. So, I think I’m going to avoid calls with due dates, excepts for shorts with a significant lead time. I want to make better use of the expertise to be found in my group and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s disrespectful of me to throw half-assed work up and expect someone else to take time out of their writing to fix errors I should be catching. So, I’ll be writing a long, eloquent apology letter to my group in the near future.
But not until I’ve sanded a few more rough edges off of Knight.
You know, that moment when you take the new squeeze out and all your friends come to inspect the goods? And there’s always that one friend that feels that they have to make sure of the new squeeze’s intentions, like it was the 1850’s and you’re some virginal young thing without a brain cell to call your own?
“So, Ben, what do you do for a living?” Hunter leaned out to flag down a waitress, then brought his eyes back to Ben.
“Hunter,” Ross said in a warning tone.
Ben patted the hand still on his arm to let Ross know it was okay. “I’m a cop.”
“A cop. That’s interesting. Bet it’s a pretty exciting job.” Hunter twitched, shot Ross a funny look, then grinned back at Ben, who shrugged.
“Oh, do tell,” Hunter crooned with a flirtatious wink. Ben hid behind his glass of coke to camoflage the grin trying to escape because the look on Ross’ face was priceless. Damn, he’s cute. And obviously mortified by Hunter’s behavior. The look he shot Hunter would have withered a five year veteran of the force.
Hunter, it appeared, was made of tougher stuff than that. “Do you ever have to wrestle anyone to the ground and, like, hold them there?”
Yep, totally appalled.