Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kill Someone Already!!!

So I got feedback on my soon-due Cozy from Superbeta late last week. [should a superbeta who knits be a superknitbeta?] Leanne... whatever the case—she is FABULOUS and has not only read everything I've ever let ANYBODY read and provided great feedback, but reads cozies like a lunatic... [she also reads YA like a lunatic... making her not only superknitbeta but a double lunatic, perhaps with genius rising...] *cough*

The feedback...  
JUST KILL SOMEONE ALREADY!

Okay. So she said it nicely... pointed out that she looked in several cozies and on average, the murder happens at the end of chapter 3—late, as mysteries go—my OWN first cozy found the body at the beginning of chapter 3... this one... erm... chapter 7.

I knew it was late, but this was my SECOND, and there was not only the Reintroduction of characters and careful (tenuous) stepping on last book's plot [GADS—how do you dance on the wire between reviewing what needs to be known and not giving away for those who will read the first book AFTER the second?!--because cozies really don't NEED to be read in order—that is sort of the point... but at the same time, I want my characters to live lives and have real stuff happen...] and then of course the intro of THIS book's characters and plot... Yeah, I probably got carried away... not backstory exactly, but between setup, character and backstory... yeah... chapter 7... so sue me...

But Leanne gave me my reality check I needed...

So I am rewriting...

A party with all the characters (or most) critical to THIS book, has been moved from chapter 5 to 2 and the body find has been moved from 7 to 4.


But NOW... the careful work of rewriting the rest (through chapter 8 anyway) so that all the rest accounts for the order of the changes...

It's important... it needed to happen.

It's really why we need a beta reader who devours our genre...


In other news...

I am taking a class today—my first class in about four years. I know a few things about classes.

1)  the brain takes more energy than any organ, so if it's a good class (which I suspect it will be—calculating sample size, which may bore the lot of you, but as a stats geek, I will both have to pay careful attention and see lots of relevant applications to my day job) I will be exhausted, by the end of the day (it is 9-5, pretty much)
2)  Chances of me getting in HERE other than my lunch hour are slim, and possibly not then... certainly no blog visiting (sadly) (or facebook or any other fun stuff)



In HAPPIER Other News...

So this Couch to 5K thing... I've done 8 workouts in 2 weeks... and my neighbors are the world's best people... we aren't burning up the roads exactly, but we are really doing it. Oliver's person is FABULOUS. My neighbor of pool fame is FABULOUS. This is a thing that is working... the peer support is wonderful...

And as a bonus, Oliver's person, who used to work at Border's brought me an AMAZING gift bag this morning. It is mostly writing journals—two large, two smaller, but ALSO a dystopian novel (YA—she thought kids and I might all enjoy) and a workout video and a CD! She swears she got a lot of stuff free with Border's closing, but it is still FABULOUSLY generous!

So I apologize for my absence today!

18 comments:

Trisha said...

I love a great beta reader who will hit you with a reality check! Like how I wound up cutting 6k out of the front of my novel because it was pretty much all backstory (the unnecessary kind)... that was after some very brutal and not-kindly-worded feedback, but still, it was the kick in the butt I needed!

Caledonia Lass said...

That is good you have an awesome beta reader! Give you that kick you need.
You know, I posted recently (on facebook) that I write so I don't have to pay a therapist to get rid of the voices in my head and killing people on paper is legal.
I love killing characters. So yeah, get the murder in there quick, girlie!
My revisions are going well. I'm so close! We'll miss you while you're gone, but you know we all understand and wait patiently for our favorite Tart. :D

Manzanita said...

Isn't it fun to get presents, bags of writing material and workout tapes Good luck on your writing. I love to read cozies but it takes a special mind to write one.
Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

Enid Wilson said...

I hate rewrite, but sometimes there is no avoiding it. Beta or editor's suggestion is not to be ignored.

Every Savage Can Reproduce

Old Kitty said...

Awwww it's good to get the killing quickly and out of the way! LOL!!

Yay for most NAKED beta readers! And neighbours! Gawd bless naked neighbours!!

Good luck with your class! What's a pkj? And may I have some with a side order of chocolate?

Take care
x

Gina Blechman said...

Good luck with your couch to 5k goals and with your class. As far as killing someone off, I'm having a similar problem with my manuscript. Though no one dies, there is definitely quite a bit of "Okay, can you get to ____ already?!" and I know it's gonna take a lot of energy, so I can't imagine mixing that with a new class and trying to prepare yourself with a 5k. Keep us posted on your progress!

<3 Gina Blechman

Lisa said...

The value of the beta is immense. I'm confident you'll kill that rewrite.

Deb said...

Rewrites. Argghhh. But necessary, right? As for me, you can kill them off whenever you want. I always joke that I am the only person who watched Columbo who was surprised at the end to see who the killer was. And loot bags-good. We just got a major loot bag at the Toronto Film Fest. Made my day.

Carol Kilgore said...

Go forth and learn. I'm sitting here beginning my own rewrite, so I feel your pain with that. Redoing my first chapter, making a tiny premise change, and tweaking the protagonist's personality. I'm envious of your gift bag :)

Jan Morrison said...

Oh that is wonderful - I mean it is awful work-wise - don't I know it - but it is great. I don't read cozies so much so am not sure where the death goes. I know in my own mystery (the first one - the second - the body is on the first page) I mucked around for quite a bit about when to have the body found and I'm still not sure. argggh. such hard work.

Hart Johnson said...

Trisha-that's so tempting to include all that carefully thought out backstory, isn't it? I figure though, everything can be said nicely!

Mel-good luck with your revisions! Glad you are making progress! (and thank you!)

Manzanita-are you using special as a euphemism? teehee (and YAY for goodie bags!)

Enid-I'd love to write clean enough to not have to rewrite, but I think I end up with far better books if I write fast and rewrite extensively.

Jenny-erm... that would be me placeholding *shifty*

Gina-oh, I hear you! I think part of my problem is I love the dead Russians, as writers go. I like a nice long setup to orient me, but you sure can't publish one these days.

Lisa- *snarf* Nice wordplay there.

Deb-I enjoy the surprise, too--I was never a super-engaged solver, not because I couldn't, but because I enjoyed it more when I didn't.

Carol-learning is GOOD! In this case, relearning... I knew, but I was in denial about the bloody rules... me being me...

Jan-yeah--a LOT of mysteries want murder right up front. I think it depends on the story a lot. I've seen it done either way, but the stories need to be compelling regardless, or I get annoyed. Cozies are more character driven though, than... say PI or hardboiled.

ViolaNut said...

Actually, I'm a triple Pisces with a side of Ravenclaw. *snort* I totally hit up the closing Borders for goodies too, and though mine weren't free, I got a dozen books for $20, most of them hardcover and half were things I was actually looking for (rather than just being opportunistic). So yay. :-) Good luck with your class!

Johanna Garth said...

Such an interesting fact about the brain taking up all that energy. It might explain why I've been so exhausted by the end of a day of writing.

Proud of you for tackling the rewrite and sticking with your workout program. It sounds amazing...if you get to PDX and need a running partner just let me know.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds like a full day for you! Moving the body to chapter four - somehow, that line just made me chuckle.

Cold As Heaven said...

I hope you enjoy your class. I always enjoy numbers >:)

Cold As Heaven

Helena said...

What drives me nuts about rewrites is that I beat myself up for being so dumb during the original writing and not getting it right the first time. Sounds like you're doing great on your workout program, so good for you!

Lisa Potts said...

I think she would be a supaknittabeta (does that sound too Jersey Shore?). Congrats on sticking to your couch to 5k, and good luck with your rewrite.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Great feedback! Yeah, the editors like that body dropped really early, too. I've had to move the discovery of the body up several chapters before...