A different view of the same landscape

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A random page from my book.

The weather is so much better than yesterday, when it was well over 100 degrees. Today, I’m going to take my laptop and sit outside and enjoy the breeze and the relatively mild temperatures. I have five scenes to write and I’ll be finished with Trust Me. I jumped the gun a little and went ahead and compiled my manuscript in Scrivener, then transferred it to my Kindle so I could see how it looked.

Somehow, seeing the same words I’ve reread a thousand times in a different format is even more inspiring. Last night, I read through a few chapters just to see how it flowed and had several moments where I thought, “You know, this doesn’t suck.” Progress!1950 SF Chinatown edited  4324


Edited to add:  After I hit publish, I realized that the entry for this post on the main page shows an old photo of San Francisco that I had intended to use, but then scrapped. But the title still fits, so here is the full-sized version. It’s from the early 1950s, I believe, and is from the box of old photos I found in my attic recently. I’ve always thought that color photographs from the 1950s looked so optimistic. Enjoy!

Resolution Update — May 2013

As usual, there’s good news and bad news, plus a list of excuses to justify the latter. And charts because I do love spreadsheets. First, the bad news:  I did not write very much in May — only 6,462 words, far short of my goal of 15,288 words. This is only 42% of my goal. A pretty poor showing.  Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 9.13.42 PM

So far this year, I’ve written 65,270 words. That’s not bad, but I’m behind where I should be to be on track to meet my goal of 180,000 words this year.Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 9.51.43 PM

In May, I wrote 3,829 on Trust Me, and 2,115 words on the sequel to that story. The rest were pretty evenly divided between a shiny new idea and two old WIPs that will someday be completed. I wrote on 14 days in May. Work was busy because I was trying to wrap up things so I could take this week off. I did get a lot written this week, just not as much as I’d like.

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The good news is that Trust Me is now at just over 100,000 words, which was the goal I’d set. And yet, it’s not done yet. I thought it was, but hated the ending and decided that it was too abrupt. I scrapped that scene and am now reworking the last two chapters. Endings are hard.

Next month, I am finishing Trust Me. I am printing it out and mailing it off to my critique partner. I’ve got a list of a dozen or so other projects I want to write, in various stages from literally half-written, to completed outline, to a few scenes jotted down. So this one has to end. It must.

Naming these people

I keep notes on possible future story ideas, as I’m sure most writers do. It’s a good way to keep the story idea from haunting me and distracting me from the current WIP that I’m trying to complete. I recently reviewed that folder and found a troubling trend – names that all start with the letter A. Abby, Annie, Amanda. And then there’s Cara and Lara – two completely different characters in different books, but I just realized their names are way too similar.

Fortunately, I caught the A names early and am trying out different names for these characters. Here is where Scrivener’s name generator comes in handy. So does the project replace command (though it makes me nervous to hit that key).

I started with Annie, whose story I am only just starting to learn. I know that she’s about 30, that she is smart, and she worked hard to put herself through a state university to earn her degree in finance — the first in her family to go to college. Her parents had her young, then split up, and then they split – leaving her in the care of her paternal grandparents. Her only living relative now is her Aunt Marie, who owns a bakery.

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Or Reinhard Hoover. That sounds like a hero.

To find a new name, I started with her parents. They were teenagers, so they’re probably more likely to pick an untraditional name than more mature parents. I settled on Summer. I’d already picked out a last name — Vaughn. So, Summer Vaughn.

I turned next to the hero — a law enforcement officer who investigated Summer for a financial fraud and now has to work with her to unravel a conspiracy. I don’t know much about him yet, so it’s hard to pick a name. But I can’t keep calling him GUY in my outline and notes, so I have a few ideas for at least placeholder names. Here’s the list I pulled from the Scrivener name generator:

Ian Daly, Spencer Mill, John Winter, Drew Somner, Jeremy Race, Caleb Winter, Jack Barnes, Kyle Bailey, Max McCullough, Adam Kittredge, Paul Sloane, Adrian Stone, Eli Layton, Shane Holmes, Lucas Pierce, Finn Carter, Zane Lawrence.

We can rule out Zane. I never quite perfected my touch-typing techniques and having to repeatedly use a capital Z will cause me no end of typos and frustration. Caleb, well — there’s some history with that name. I would prefer a short name since I’ll be typing it a lot. I’m leaning toward Ian, Eli or Jack.

It’s not a decision I have to make right now, since I don’t know when I’ll get to turn this idea into an actual WIP. But the guy’s got to have a name, right? How else do you get to know someone?