uniquelyallie: (booya)
Golden Heart finalists were announced back on March 25. Since you didn't hear any screams from Cincinnati on that day, you can assume that I wasn't a finalist.

However, I got my scores today, and I gotta say... I think I did damn good. :)

I entered Grant and Lauren in the Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category.

This is a chick lit, so I have the flexibility not to focus *all* on the romance. It's written in first person present (which most romance writers hate--and they're the ones who are judges in this contest). It was never critiqued by anyone prior to me entering (other than myself). And it had a 35-page chapter 1 (which I thought I'd might get dinged on, but couldn't break it into two chapters since it was one continuous scene).

My scores... drum roll please...

Judge 1: 7
Judge 2: 8
Judge 3: 6.2
Judge 4: 7.6
Judge 5: 6

Final score: 34.8

Get this tidbit of info:

You may refer to the following information in order to determine the ranking of your score.

Top quarter; final scores equal to or greater than 36.2
Second quarter; final scores between 35.8 and 33.3
Lower half; final scores equal to or less than 32.6


Grant and Lauren were 1.4 points away from getting in the top quarter!

Awwwwwwwww, yeeeeeeeeah!

(I really need to get that T-shirt for moments like this.)
uniquelyallie: (grant)
I have officially decided on my next project!

It was a toss-up between Grant and Lauren (a.k.a. reunited lovers chick lit novella) or the faery story.

I really, really wanted to do the faery story. Even got my "high concept." But, I don't know, I couldn't get myself jazzed. Even though I knew I could've done it--the vampire proposal proved I can, and I had/have three months to actually write the manuscript. 20K limit, and I'm getting good at self-critiquing.

But I blame doing the chick lit on Maroon 5. I downloaded their recent CD this week... which is chocked full of songs that could be applicable for Grant and Lauren. And then it's summer. Originally, I was going to do this story for the Freya's Bower Summer Lovin' submission call, but didn't have the time to get the ideas in order. But I still like the summer setting, and there's not much of summer left. (Boo! Hiss!)

And--I think the big reason why I'm opting to do the chick lit is that I just came off of doing a paranormal. Sure, it was just a proposal, but I plotted the poo out of that thing, so I probably overdosed myself in paranormal. So I'm thinking... maybe... just maybe... by alternating between "weird" and "normal" might save me from burnout or fear or duplication of ideas (I *did* have death themes start cropping up in the faery story), and definitely wear and tear on my voice.

Since today is August 1... I'm going to try First Draft in 30 Days (again) for the novella, and actually do the days on the corresponding days. I've always started this book/plotting method, but would quit at... oh, I can't remember which day it is. I'm hoping since I'm doing a novella with a 30K limit... the method might be more doable.
uniquelyallie: (booya)
(I tried posting this yesterday, but Blogger kept crashing my browser. Thanks, Blogger!)

... To the second round!

Samhain Publishing is having a first line contest. The winners who make it through to July gets to have their first three chapters and synopsis read by an editor there.

So I entered the first line from the Grant and Lauren story. And I thought I didn't make it through, because I didn't get an email. But my first line was there on the blog as one of the 90 who made it through the second round!!!! There were close to 300 entries!!!! (I later found out that they weren't emailing those who made it; they were just posting the results on the blog.)

The editor posted in the blog how she has all sorts of statistics, but that the interesting one is: No one line was chosen by more than five of the seven editors.

I made it!!! One of 90 out of close to 300!!!!

Here's my line: "We're going to go shopping for men."

I have until Friday at noon EST to post my second line. I need to polish it up because it needs a little ooomph, and I need to clarify that it's Julie who says "We're going to go shopping for men" and not Lauren.

You can find all the first lines, with the second lines, here.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Chick Lit Novel:

I spent an hour working on the chick lit scene. Nothing specific to report. Just revised what I had so far, while working in some more tidbits from the working chat last week, which has now boosted my total page count to five pages.

Tomorrow, I hope to get in an hour on the chick lit scene, plus get back to working on Mollie's character profile for the chick lit novella.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Chick Lit Novel:

I spent about a half hour at work revising what I had written on Monday, then I spent about a half hour writing a new page, revising from what I wrote during one of the working chats last week. I typed up what I wrote at Work #1, when we got home from the airport, doing some editing/revising as I typed.

Chick Lit Novella:

I decided to work on Mollie's character sketch, thinking that might help me revise what I did on the Dramatica outline yesterday. I only did two questions, figured out her parents' names, and decided she should have a sister while at the airport. I didn't get to the airport until 9:15 or so, and by the time I got out of the bathroom there, Jeff's flight was showing as "in range" on the arrival board. I love Southwest for always arriving early, but I could've used an itty-bitty delay tonight.

God, why does that make me sound like a mean person?
uniquelyallie: (Default)
Chick Lit Novella:

I finished up the character section on the Dramatica outline for the chick lit novella on August 17.

Tonight, after dealing with sleeping, doing laundry, dealing with itchies and wooziness... I worked through another section of the Dramatica outline on the chick lit novella. Deleted Abby from the list of characters. I don't see why or how she could have a purpose in the story right now. And due to the small word count, I can't have a huge cast of characters. The section I worked on tonight dealt with plot lines between Mollie and Nick. My goal to finish this is next Tuesday, since I want to start writing this on September 1 a la NaNoWriMo style.

Chick Lit Novel:

Today, before leaving Work #1, I spent an hour revising a bit of what I wrote on the a scene during one of the working chats last week.

SF Novel:

On August 18, I sketched out more on a scene for the SF/rom elements novel. Intended to write on it over the weekend, but I didn't. I think I figured out a method to finally deal with the research that'll be involved with the worldbuilding, but now I need to figure out *when* to do that.

In my perfect world, I'd finish the chick lit novel scene this week, then revise the SF scene next week. It feels doable; I mean I *know* these characters better than the ones in the chick lit novel. I just have this fear of not doing the SF novel justice.

Also, I'd want to enter the SF scene in the villain contest over at Romance Divas just to counteract any negative comments I'd get from the chick lit scene. Because I can tell already that the chick lit scene will be a love it/hate it kinda of thing. Okay, so will the SF scene. But I'm accepting that's just how I write. I entered the SF novel in three well-known RWA contests in 2003. I *always* got pretty consistent scores--high average too, though not high enough to make me final in all three. Say there were four judges in a contest... three of them would be right on the mark; not too much of a difference between their scores, and even their comments were consistent. But, yet, I'd always get one judge who was just *so* far off the mark. I got sent to a discrepancy judge for the 2003 Daphne, and she was the one who got me to the finals there.

But yeah, I think I'm pretty much a love it or hate it kinda of writer. Which could be cool in a way. To know I can stir up that strong of a reaction in a reader? It's a perverse outlook, I know.

Tomorrow... it's spending another hour working on the chick lit scene during the day. Jeff will be here tomorrow for a week for his late summer vacation, so I have to drive up to Columbus tomorrow after work and pick him up. His flight doesn't get in until 10:05 p.m., so I'm hoping to get to the airport by 8 p.m. (it's a two hour drive to Columbus), and I'll be revise what I did on the Dramatica outline tonight. It'd be nice if the Max and Erma's would be open so I can have some dinner and a drink or two--I like the Columbus airport because most of their shops and restaurants aren't beyond Checkpoint Charlie--but I have a feeling I'll be hanging out at Cup O' Joe, since they're open 24 hours.
uniquelyallie: (Default)
I'm a member of the Gonna-Beez Yahoo Group, and supposedly they have working chats on Yahoo IM on Wednesdays 3 to 6 p.m. EST and Saturdays 1 to 4 p.m. EST.

I logged on to Yahoo IM today at 4:00 p.m., and a couple Gonna-Beez people were on there, but I was all shy and didn't want to send them a message asking if there's a working chat going on somewhere because I haven't exactly been active in that group, and I've meant to... simply because they do working chats. And I also felt awkward asking because there wasn't a reminder sent out to the group about the Wednesday working chat.

So, instead, I did a personal working chat while at Work #1.

I downloaded Tea Timer (get it here for Mac OS X or get it here for Winblows XP) for the work computer. Only I did 15 minutes of writing, instead of 30 minutes, then 15 minutes of working, and so on.

Slight tangent...

So Abby and Zoey are identical twins. I always knew who Abby looked like way back when I first came up with the idea for IY in 2000. Ariana Richards. (I saw her in some movie in the 90's. She played some popular girl who won Homecoming Queen or something. I don't remember the movie. She was in Jurassic Park though.)

Well, tonight, I couldn't find the picture I printed off of Ariana. So I had to do a new Google image search. There's some more recent pictures of Ariana Richards... and one that is PERFECT Abby:



And another that is PERFECT Zoey:



Now if only I can find that picture of Andrew. It was some guy named Ethan. I found him in an issue of Sassy magazine back in the early 90's. I cut it out... yes, way back then, because Andrew appeared in a completely different "novel" that I've way since shelved. He was the only salvageable thing from it. I taped the picture on a piece of notebook paper. It *is* in a binder *somewhere*. I'm thinking it might be in one of my tubs at Tom's.

I wrote nearly 6 1/2 handwritten pages tonight on the villain scene during another personal working chat... and I was actually having *fun* doing it. :) Lots of dialogue at the moment, which I'll need to beef up with some narrative, but the flow is definitely bantery and hopefully chick littish. :)

Tomorrow, it's probably back to chick lit novella plotting. I hope to edit/revise what I wrote tonight on Saturday... even though I swore weekends would be writing free.

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Allison Kelsey

December 2015

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