Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crafting Corner— “MICE”

I’m currently reading Life of Pi. Everyone raves about this book—but I’m struggling. I keep looking for the PLOT, but it refuses to be found. Maybe it is still floating on the ocean :)

When I read books that I find boring or slow it really helps me to remember—all books are not constructed with the same emphasis on plot. I came across this idea while reading Characters and Viewpoints by Orson Scott Card.

There are 4 types of story factors. Each of these factors are present in every story, but one will usually take prominence. Card has an acronym to help us remember these factors: MICE.


Milieu—In a Milieu story the setting or world takes prominence. The world becomes another character. The way the characters interact with the setting dramatically affects the story. If you take the characters away from the world the story falls apart.
Example: Lord of the Rings and Gullivers Travels.

Idea—A question is always posed at the beginning of an Idea story.  The entire point of the story is to answer this question. Mysteries and thrillers are Idea stories. These stories generally get a reputation having weak characterization, but the point of this kind of story is not the characters, it’s the idea.
Example: Agatha Christie and Dan Brown

Character—Literary fiction almost always falls into the category of a Character story. In this story character is KING! Character arch can replace the plot. The point of the story is the characters journey.
Example: To Kill a Mocking Bird and The Road

Event—In this type of story one event is usually the catalyst for the entire story. The world is out of balance somehow and the point of the story is to right this wrong. The Event stories drips with plot.
Example: Hunger Games and Harry Potter

Great stories will have a little of all these factors, but one is usually more prominent than the others. If you are struggling with a story maybe it is because you aren’t crazy about its main factor. I know I’m more drawn to event stories than any other kind.

What about you? Do you write: milieu, idea, character, or event stories? Which is your favorite to read?


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Won't You Be My Neighbor? - Cherie Reich

Hi everyone welcome to Won't You Be My Neighbor. Today I have author Cherie Reich with us. 

Angie: Okay Cherie, you have to dress up for this interview. You HAVE to wear either a Mr. Rogers sweater or Mr. Rogers sneakers--you can pick. I'm picking sneakers because I just got back from Zumba and I'm too tired to change :)

Cherie: Oh, I have to pick Mr. Rogers' sweater. It's iconic. Plus, I like sweaters when it's cool out.
Angie: Perfect. It's always good to be cozy during an interview :)

Lets start off with a probing question that will really let us see into your psyche and reveal your soul...If you had to cut out one of the 4 major food groups and never eat anything from it again, which would you pick? (Luckily chocolate isn't a food group :)

Cherie: That's an easy question. Meat. I'm a vegetarian, so I'll happily give it up again.

Angie: Oh my gosh! That was too easy. Hmmm... *rubs chin*... I need a harder question. What fiction character is the most like you in personality?

Cherie: I would say Hermione Granger. I've been a bit of a know-it-all in the past (and present). I'm loyal to my friends, and I would like to think I'm brave too.

Angie: Oh, Hermione’s great. The bravery and loyalty definitely balance out the know it all-ism :)

I want everyone to know a little more about you. So I know you are a freelance editor...What kind of stuff do you edit and what is the most common mistake you see people make?

Cherie: I've edited many different things: horror, romance (and its subgenres), memoirs, nonfiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery/thriller. I prefer to edit fiction over nonfiction, though, and even though I've edited poetry, I'm not very good at it. The most common mistake people make content-wise is info dumps/backstory; grammar-wise, it is a tie between repetition of words/phrases and homophones (such as it's vs its, your vs you're).

Angie: What do you like most about editing?

Cherie: The absolute power. Muahaha! Okay, no, really I like being able to help a writer take their manuscript and make it stronger and more magical.

Angie: I didn't know you were maniacal :) I think every published author just loves how editors make their books shine. 

Now lets talk about your new book Defying Gravity. I just finished it and it was so fun and well written. Can you give our audience a one or two sentence hook line so they know what it is about?

Cherie: Hehe! Well, I'm creating new worlds, so how can a writer not be a bit maniacal? *grins* And yes, that's what we editors try to do: make a book shine.

As for Defying Gravity, here is the hook: When the SS Perseid crashes on a post-apocalyptic Earth, Linia, a Persean linguist, is captured by cannibals. Her only chance to escape is to befriend Alezandros, a Medusan space cruiser pilot and her people’s mortal enemy, but when romantic feelings emerge between them, it will be easier to defy gravity than for a Medusan and Persean to fall in love.

Angie: Great hook! I loved the Romeo and Juliet-est conflict of Linia and Alezandros relationship. What was your inspiration for it?

Cherie: I originally wrote Defying Gravity for an anthology featuring romantic suspense that could contain other genres within it. I'd been wanting to write a science fiction romance for a while, so I thought "why not?" Although the story was short-listed, the anthology was cancelled in the end. I love the romances with that Romeo and Juliet-type conflict, so it's no surprise I wanted to go with two mortal enemies falling in love. Of course, in the end, I've come to realize it was more Pyramus and Thisbe-like (wall-divided lovers from Roman myth) than Romeo and Juliet, but I'll take it.

Angie: Yes, just in case people freak out your story has a much better ending than Romeo and Juliet.

Cherie: Ah, that's true. After all, Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story. Mine is a romance with a happily ever after. :)

Angie: I like happy as opposed to tragic! I worry about people who don't.

So for those who don't know Defying Gravity is a novella (only 39 pages). What was different about crafting a short story as opposed to a novel?

Cherie: Short stories, like novels, have similar elements: plot, characters, world-building, theme, etc., but unlike most novels, short stories focus on a small amount of time and less characters. Novellas are a happy medium between typical short stories and novels. You get more elements of a novel, but it's still short enough to read in one sitting. For shorter works, I focus on words that give the most impact to the story and try to keep the pace up without giving too much backstory and description. The reader is more in the moment. Of course, I do similar things with my novels too, although they're longer.

Angie: That is super cool. I do love the ramped up pace and tension of novellas. You have all sorts of cool aliens and races in your story, how did you come up with them all?

Cherie: I majored in Classics, so Greek mythology plays a lot in my creation of the worlds in the Gravity series.

The idea of Linia came from a Star Trek race called the B'Saari. They had these cool powers on bringing people back from the dead and being highly intelligent. Of course, I changed her to a Persean with blue skin and antennae. Then Persea...Perseus...who was Perseus against? Medusa! So we have the Medusans, so I wanted them to have some Gorgon-like powers. It snowballed from there.

Angie: I love that! If you know a little Greek mythology you can pick up on the underlying tensions. And Linia's antennae were very fun. I loved how they changed colors.

Cherie: Exactly! And I love Linia's antennae too. They were fun to figure out what types of colors they might change.

Angie: Awesome stuff. Now for a few more fun questions. If you could take writing lessons from any author, who would it be and why?

Cherie: Good question. There are so many awesome authors out there. I'd have to go with JK Rowling. She spends a lot of time visualizing and plotting her books, which I love because that is what I do too. I'd love to know more about how to do that for series and how to add those key details almost everyone overlooks until the "ah-ha" moment.

Angie: Great pick! She is the master of the "ah-ha" moment!

Okay, now for the last question...It has to be a pageant question, because that is just how I do things around here :) Hmm...let me see...If you could pick only one problem for the United State Senate and Congress to solve what would it be? (Let’s just pretend for a moment that they could miraculously come together long enough to solve it :)

Cherie: *snickers* It'd be amazing that they could get together and fix any problem, but if they could tackle one issue and truly fix it, then I would have to say education. Educate children properly, then we can solve all the other problems.

Angie: I so agree! I wish we could find a way to pay teachers what they are worth, and educate kids who need it most (but I guess all kids need it).

Cherie: All kids need it, at least to some extent, but no child should come out of high school and not know how to read, write, and do basic math, and yet they still do. And teachers definitely need pay raises.

Angie: Amen sister! Thanks for stopping by. You can keep on your sweater if it's cold in Virginia. And everybody can go check out Cherie's books on Amazon.

Cherie: Well, it's been fairly warm this month actually. Weird winter weather, but I'm not complaining. :) Thank you so much for interviewing me! It was a lot of fun!

Angie: You are so welcome! You can check out Cherie’s books on Amazon.

Now I’m going to take my Zumba self to the shower. I’m glad you all can’t smell me over the internet J


Want to know more...

Book Description: Homesick upon the SS Perseid, Linia, a young linguist, thinks she signed up for a mission of peace, but her crew members have another plan: attack the planet Medusa.

Bored with his dying planet, Alezandros, a space cruiser pilot, joins the Medusan Army in his quest for adventure.

When the SS Perseid clashes with the Medusans’ space cruisers, Alezandros and Linia’s lives intertwine. Sucked through a wormhole, they crash upon a post-apocalyptic Earth and are captured by cannibals. In adjacent cells, Alezandros and Linia cast their differences aside for a common bond: escape. But when romantic feelings emerge between them, they might do the unthinkable because for a Medusan and a Persean to fall in love, it would defy gravity.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lessons in Storytelling—I need you!

Last week I reread Kiss of a Stranger by Sarah Eden for book club. If you love regency romances this book is AWESOME. I mean curl your toes great!

As I read this book a principle I learned (from Sarah Eden in fact, at a conference last year) really hit home for me. And if you write romance or even romantic sub-plots, this is the post for you.

Okay, here is Sarah’s little gem—Your characters must fulfill a need in each other. The deeper the need the deeper the connection!

You’re so hot I need to make out with you is NOT what I am talking about. I need you to jump all over me is also NOT what I’m talking about. Not to be crude, but you could get that anywhere.

No, what I’m talking about is a very specific need that only this specific person can meet. Need some ideas? I’ve been thinking about this for a while so I’ve got a list :) This list is not gender specific, because as much as men and women are different I think we have very similar needs.

The need for:
  • Kindness
  • Strength
  • Protection
  • Stability
  • Unconditional love
  • Freedom
  • Security
  • Someone to push you out of your comfort zone
  • Lightheartedness
  • Optimism
  • Realism
  • Seriousness
  • Financial Security
  • To be someone’s first choice
  • Feeling wanted
  • Feeling useful
  • I could go on and on and on… 

One interesting thing I noticed in Sarah Eden’s book was that the two main characters fulfilled more than one need in each other. They both fulfilled a physical need and an emotional need.

Have you read stories where the romance felt flat? I’m convinced this is the problem (that and not knowing how the characters feel). Do you want to ratchet up the romance? I guarantee this will do it every time. I cannot think of a great love story where this is not the case.

But you have to make sure you your readers aware of these needs. Show it through situations. Show it through dialogue. Show it through internalization. But make sure we know what they need!

I promise it’s like magic! Heart speeding, hand trembling—MAGIC!


And if your interested I'm reviewing Night Sky by Jolene Perry on Afterglow Book Reviews today :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Funnies—Men Lacking Supervision

I LOVE to write male POVs! I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the challenge of thinking in a different way than I normally do.

I have a little male inspiration for you today. Do you have a funny man in your story—someone who does crazy things? Well this is the post for you. (And don’t think I believe all men are like this. I don’t. But it is funny :)

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Random Ramblings: The chocolate frog effect

My sister recently went to the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, and all she bought me was a chocolate frog. Actually it was pretty cool (and tasty).

As I’m devouring my frog I can’t help thinking how crazy it is that I’m eating something straight from a book. Something straight from J.K.’s imagination.

And it made me wonder if my stories are great enough to inspire food, or a movie franchise, or a theme park for heavens sake. Not yet :)

But my take away from this “chocolate frog effect” is—Make you story vibrant. Make your world tangible. Make your characters unforgettable. No problem, right?

What is the most vibrant unforgettable story you have ever read?


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I always sucked at that game.

Thanks to Laura Josephson for bonking me on the head. These are fun questions so I will play along. That means, no Crafting Corner today (which is good because I didn’t learn anything this past week :)

The Tag rules:
1. You must post the rules!
2. Answer the questions and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven seven (because it's a magical number) people and link to them.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

Laura’s Questions to me—
  1. If the planet was being evacuated and you could only bring three things with you, what would they be?  Do I have to pick my three kids? No? They all made it to safety. Okay then—photos of my family, oil paintings done by my friend, and chocolate (just in case they don’t have chocolate in space.)
  2. What's your favorite kind of cheese? I’m kind of boring when it comes to cheese—just plain cheddar for me.
  3. Do you fold or crumple your toilet paper? Fold of course. You get more coverage that way :)
  4. In what position do you sleep? On my side. I think it’s just habitual from being pregnant.
  5. How many times a week on average do you stub your toe? I never stub my toes. I can’t even remember the last time. But I do seem to get a lot of paper cuts :)
  6. Fire or ice and why did you choose that one? To die by? Fire—it seems faster.
  7. Have you ever milked a cow? Ugh, NO! But I have feed sheep.
  8. Are you a cat or dog or monkey person? Cats, because they need no interaction with me to be happy. (I’m not really an animal person)
  9. What would you do if you were on a planet made entirely of water? Swim, I guess. What else is there to do?
  10. If you were an animal what would you want to be and why? A bird. I think I would like to fly.
  11. What's one thing you do when no one's looking? Do you really think I’m going to answer that? Yes? I’m perfectly proper even when no one is around :) But I do tend to sing REALLY LOUDLY when I’m alone. 

There you have it. Now, I need to tag seven of you…

Now to the questions for all of you… 
  1. Do you write your books out long hand with paper and pen or typed on a computer?
  2. If you had to live your life without one of these which would you pick—Underwear or Shoes? Why?
  3. Where is the best place to vacation?
  4. What would the world be better without?
  5. If you could live in one fairy tale, which one would you pick?
  6. What is your strength as a writer?
  7. Night Owl or Early Bird?
  8. Favorite cosmetic product?
  9. If you could be friends with one published author who would you pick?
  10. Hollywood star you look most like?
  11. What is one thing you miss about your childhood? 

Okay everybody, have fun with this. And if you’ve already been tagged or don’t want to play along no problems.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Won't You Be My Neighbor? - Jolene Perry

You guys are really lucky because today we have the uber talented Jolene Perry! And uber talented is way more talented then very talented. 

Angie: Jo, do you have on your Mr. Rogers sweater? Are you ready for some questions?

Jolene: To be totally honest and probably somewhere WAY into TMI land - I'm still in bed and wearing a t-shirt I will probably slide a bra under and wear that today.

I DO, however, have a Mr. Rogers sweater (black and blue stripes today - a mens small) that I totally plan on sliding over my slept-in t-shirt. (Helps cover up the "sleep wrinkles")

I know, I know. I'm high class.

Angie: Oh, that is high class. I'm dressed in real clothes today, but they may or may not be exactly what I wore yesterday. The world will never know :)

Jolene: My jeans will def be the ones I wore yesterday. I have a thing with over-priced jeans, which means that I usually only have two or three pairs at a time . . .

Hatcher's Pass
Angie: Nice! Now, I don't know if everyone knows this but you live in Alaska! I'm a sucker for gorgeous settings. Does living someone so beautiful ever influence your writing?

Jolene: It totally does, and it provides a nice backdrop, too :D
(Kelley Vitollo and I are working on a collab that takes place up here right now)
I live near Hatcher's Pass (worth a google image search) and have a fab view of the mountains from all the windows on the back of our house. Also, yesterday I was in my chair against the window when a moose walked like 5 feet away. Very cool.

Angie: That is cool. I'm totally jealous!!!

Okay, here is something I've always wanted to know. You churn out stories faster than anyone I know (Jolene can do 50k a month in the blink of an eye :). So two questions--where do you get your ideas, and when do you find time to write?

Jolene: My ideas come from EVERYWHERE. I honestly have a harder time STOPPING them from coming. I reach pause points in books more because I'm not sure which idea to go with.

My idea for Night Sky came while I was sitting in the Taco Bell drive through. An idea for a current project came from the front page of a Time magazine. Another story came from a case my husband prosecuted. MOST of the time they hit me when I'm trying to sleep. So, yeah. Everywhere.

As for time . . . Three mornings a week when BOTH kids are in school. At night. MOST of what I do during the day with kids around is my online stuff and crits for other people. I'll get to a certain point and then I do something with my kids or a "chore" and then I'm back at my computer.

I'm pretty much obsessed. That, and I don't watch TV. OK. I watch a TINY bit of TV. But right now I can't remember the last show I picked out and watched - I'm just usually in the same room as my family and whatever THEY want to watch when they're in front of the TV (not often) - with my computer on my lap.

Angie: Well, now I have to read Night Sky and see what it has to do with Taco Bell :) I know your agent just sold it to a publisher. When does it come out?

Jolene: March 1st :D

Mike (husband) and I were talking about 80s movies in the Taco Bell drive through, and we brought up Pretty in Pink, and I still think Duckie should have gotten the girl. So I started the book with Jameson (my MC) losing the girl friend that he's loved (but never told her he loved) to another guy. And we jump off from there. I think Jameson is VERY close to being my favorite character I've ever written.

Angie: That is SOOO cool! I can't wait to read it (I'm a Duckie fan). I loved your first book, The Next Door Boys. I can't wait for this next one! 

So here is a question I want to know the answer to...You've gone in both directions, you've had your first book published by a small publisher without and agent, and you also have an agent that has sold some of your stories. What is the difference and do you prefer one over the other?

Jolene: MY OPINION (of course)
I don't care how big or small the publisher is, having an agent is SO nice, but it HAS to be the right agent for you, or you'd be better off going it alone.

Going alone is not a bad option - there are a lot of great publishers out there who take manuscripts from un-agented authors, and probably all agents sell books to publishers who take both agented and un-agented authors.

I'd shy away from publishers who prefer that you DON'T have an agent . . . that would seem shady to me.

Angie: Oh, that is good advice. I haven't heard that before. I think deciding to try and go on unagented is a hard decision for lots of writers.

How about a few fun questions? What is your best physical feature? And don't say eyes. Eyes are a cop out!

Jolene: Eyes are a TOTAL copout, lol.
I have nice, tiny feet. Maybe it's why I like shoes so much :D
(I hover between a 6.5 and a 7)

Angie: LOL! I have small feet too! 5 or 6, but I can NEVER find shoes because my feet are wide. My sister says they are square hobbit feet. She is so nice to me :)

Jolene: Yeah, sisters are a pain.
I remind mine all the time that she's SEVEN years older than me :D

Angie: Nice, playing the age card. That always works.  Next fun question :) What color do you think best describes your personality? And why?

Jolene: Orange for my enthusiasm (because you can't be sad around orange), and grey cause I just LOVE grey - it can be soft, it can be hard, it can be warm, cold. Grey can be anything and I love that.

Angie: Oooo! That is great! I'm kind of a color junkie, so I love this answer. You are spot on :)

Okay, I can't let you go without a pageant question (Hehehe, this is SO fun!) -- Since you write contemporary YA, this questions should be right up your alley. What do you think is the biggest problem facing young adults today, and what are some ways we can help them with it?

Jolene: Simply not thinking they're worth more than they are.

I think so many teens have no idea how incredible they are, how much potential they have, how temporary all the crap they're wading through is. Because at that age, everything is HUGE, and it needs to be! It prepares you for the things in life that ARE actually huge. But I wish more than anything that I could have given my high-school self some perspective.

How to help?

Wish for world peace, lol - that's my "pageant" answer.
I think just showing them how much bigger the world is than they are, how much there is out there to do and to experience and that if they want to, they can be a part of incredible things. Big or small, if you're doing good things, you're making the world a better place.
(Was that last bit pageant-y enough?)

Angie: *Clapping. Clapping* 9.5 and you look stunning in that soft gray evening gown! Thanks Jo! You were fantastic today. Fun answers.

 One thing I just love about you is how you can't help but infuse everything you write with your personality! It's so refreshing :) So YOU!

Jolene: Yeah, I really fall on my face when I try to be someone else, LOL.
If I'm gonna crash and burn, I might as well land in the mud as me... even in my stunning grey gown ;-O
THANKS Angie!! This was fun :D

Angie: LOL! Thanks Jolene :)

Jolene and I are kind of long winded when we get together (so sorry for the long post :)  If you want a great story you can buy Jolene’s first book The Next Door Boys right now. Night Sky comes out March 1, 2012 and Knee Deep comes out May 1, 2012.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lessons in Storytelling—THE END!

I was flipping through channels at 2:00 am the other day (I’m an insomniac :) and I came across a director talking about how he makes movies. He said something that just struck me, “People will forgive you a lot of mistakes IF you don’t screw up the ending!”

I think I messed up the quote a little (if you know it please correct me), but I got the main gist of it. I loved this idea because, for me, if the ending is bad it will ruin the whole book, even the whole series.

This is what ruins an ending for me:

No consequences for choices—I HATE this. If you’re going to make your character choose—STICK TO THE CONSEQUENCES! Don’t let them off the hook.

Rushed or incomplete endings—Don’t you hate reading and feeling like the author just gave up. As a writer I know this is probably not the case, but make sure your readers don’t feel like this.

Dragging out the story too long past the ending climax—This is so annoying. Please don’t do it :)

An obvious ending—It’s terrible to know for 100 pages how things will end.

Characters suddenly acting out of character—BOO! Don’t do this!

What do you all think? What ruins an ending for you?


Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Funnies—Valentines Prep

I remember in grade school when it was Valentine's Day. My anti-candy mom let me put one conversation heart in with my valentine (this is when they came with envelopes. Did I just date myself? Snap. Oh well).

I was VERY careful about who got which one. You didn't want to give the boy who wiped boogers under his desk the one that said "Kiss Me." He might get the wrong idea. It was much safer to give him the meaningless "Chill Out." I didn't know it at the time but this was my first dabblings into social politics.

So this week I was helping my son prep his valentines (which he still calls "Valentimes" even at 10 years old...cute!) and the conversation went something like this:

Kido: I love Valentimes.
Me: Why?
Kido: You get to give people stuff
Me: You like that.
Kido: Yes, you have to get them a valentime for their personality. Like Devin...he likes taco's.
Me: ?

So if you are wondering what to get a 10 year old who likes tacos...It’s an alien dressed like a caveman :)

If I had to pick out a conversation heart for Devin I would choose "Heat Wave"—because tacos are you can see...I still got it!

Have a great weekend :)


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Random Ramblings—Am I alone in this?

I will readily admit I’m not a big swearer. Maybe a “heck” or a “darn” if I chopped off my finger (or I’m in labor). But I must be alone in this because the amount of swearing I’m coming across in YA books is leaving me a little baffled.

And these aren’t babies these are monster swear words. Eff this and eff that and effing effity eff! I hate it! Reading a fantastic book and getting hit in the face with the F- word is like eating a luscious piece of chocolate cake and breaking my tooth on a rock five bites in.

One of the things I hate most about it, is that dropping the F-bomb IMMEDIATELY jolts me out of POV—Every. Single. Time.  I’m not saying that the people who write these books aren’t good authors. In fact most of the time they are fabulous authors, that's why the vulgarity is so ugly. It stands out in sharp contrast to the beautiful writing.

You can tell me “It’s realistic” or “It’s in character” or “It’s appropriate when you’re mad” or any of the other reasons I hear. But I’m sorry I just don’t care about those reasons. I read PLEANTY of stuff that is realistic, in character, where they have every reason to swear and DON’T.

I just need to throw in a tiny experience. I got a book from the library that people were RAVING about, and what do I find? Swearing. LOTS of swearing. But someone before me had inked out all the swear words. The pages looked like a dalmatian dog. And do you know what? I didn't miss one single thing. I got the plot. I got the characterization. I got the emotion. And I just kept thinking, "Why all the swearing?"

Have I read books with questionable language? Of course. Are some of them good—even great? Of course. But they will never be my favorites. Sorry.

Now, you can judge me. That’s okay. I don’t mind. I’m feeling feisty today :)


 (Before anyone starts swearing at me in the comments, notice this post is tagged as opinion)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Crafting Corner—I’m seeing RED

I’m an over-writer (is that a term? It is now). My MS is too long (91K) and on this editing pass I’m cutting words—a lot of words. My goal is to cut 10K from my story. So out comes the red pen and a plan.

If I cut 25 words per page, by the time I get to the end it will have cut 10K. Now 25 words per page seems easy to me and it won’t really change my story. It will just make it tighter.

Let me give you a real life example. I edited this just last night. So straight from my MS, this is section is 80 words…

Once inside, Breck slumped into one of the kitchen chairs. He started to bring his half empty bottle to his lips and Taggert snatched it away. Breck didn’t notice until his hand met his face.
“I think you’ve drunk enough,” Taggert said. “We’ll put this over here, for later.”
“You take such good care of me,” Breck said, smiling. “He…he…saved my life you know,” he said slurring toward Jocelyn. His head hit the table top and he was out—asleep.

Now the edit :)

            Once inside, Breck slumped into one of  the kitchen chairs. He started to bring  brought thehis half empty bottle to his lips and Taggert snatched it away. Breck didn’t notice until his hand met his face.
“I think you’ve drunk enough,” Taggert said. “We’ll save put this over here, for later.”
“You take such good care of me,” Breck slurredsaid, smiling. TagTag…saved my life you know.,he said slurring toward Jocelyn. His head hit the table top and he was out—asleep.

Right there I just cut 13 words and didn’t really change the intent of my paragraph, 12 more and I’ve hit my goal. I think it makes everything a little tighter.

I guess my advice for today is—If you need to cut a large amount of words take it slow and take it page by page.

Do you have any tips for cutting words?


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bloghop—More Kissing PLEASE!

I’m taking a break from “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” today to participate in Cassie and Hope’s “It’s Getting Hot in Here” blophop. But make sure you come back next week because the fabulous Jolene Perry will be here—and she really is fabulous :)

Here is a little kissing scene from my MS. I love a kissing scene from the male POV. Enjoy :)

            “I would’ve brought you along. You don’t need to charm me.” Taggert chuckled. 
            “Great!” Jocelyn’s face brightened as she moved away to get her cloak.
            He snatched her softly by the wrist. “Wait. I didn’t say I don’t want you to charm me.” He smiled as he pulled closer.
            Everything about Jocelyn was soft—from the spread of dark eyelashes on her cheeks to the sweep of her neck. Taggert ran his hands down her sides and stopped at the turn in her hips. He sat in the chair and drew her onto his lap.
            His lips grazed the perfect skin of her collarbone and her quiet breathing brushed through his hair as she kissed his forehead. He could think of nothing but how every curve of her fit next to him. I want to stay like this forever.
            Jocelyn ran her fingers through his hair and everywhere she touched him—his skin sang.
            “I love your hair,” she murmured. “The color reminds me of honey.”
            He kissed her chin and then slowly moved up her jaw to the delicate skin behind her ear. “You remind me of honey.”
            Jocelyn started to laugh, but he stopped her mouth with his. He kissed her slow and soft. He wanted to remember each movement—each second.
            She sighed and sunk deeper into him.
            She wants to be here. His heart flipped in his chest.
            Taggert reached his calloused hands to her face. Her skin was so hot he thought she might melt beneath his touch.
            Then her lips parted slightly and her tongue brushed his bottom lip. A jolt rocked his body. This is better than laughing—better than strategy—better than danger—better than life.
            Taggert kissed Jocelyn harder and faster now, and she returned each kiss. The world was a perfect tangle—the smell of her hair, the taste of her lips, the sound of her ragged breathing, the touch of her small hands on his back—every second better than the last.
            Jocelyn drew back from him—breathless. His wild heartbeat echoed the rise and fall of her shoulders.
Fun stuff! Happy Valentines Day! Now I’m off to find my hubby ;)

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