QueryTracker Blog

Helping Authors Find Literary Agents

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Writer’s Morning* (Ever Have One of These?)

*with apologies to Helen Fielding

Note: This post of Rosie's should have gone up yesterday, but Carolyn, who was responsible for getting the post up, was having one of those days yesterday...

Rosie G's Diary
Previous day’s word count: 3, 236

6:58 a.m. Awake before seven! V. good. Lots of time to get some writing done before breakfast. Head straight to desk and open manuscript. Minimize manuscript and check email. Check Facebook—two new notifications! Check Goodreads to see who has added me to “want to read” list.  Apparently, no one. Re-open manuscript.

7:23 a.m. Stare at page 9. Why is protag talking to this other person? In fact, who is this character? Take out Oxford comma in line of dialogue. Add “that” for parallel structure. Continue to stare at page 9 until lightheaded. In need of protein and caffeine.

Word count: 3,237

7:48 a.m./Eight hours until cocktails. Time for breakfast. Cook up two eggs and three slices of bacon. (No toast, as watching carbs.) Read Publishers Weekly and check lists. Good God—how did that book even make it? No accounting for the market. Does talent even matter these days???? Continue to make smug pronouncements until caffeine hits and hurry upstairs.

8:17 a.m. Back at desk. Squint at page 9. Put glasses on. Stare at page 9. Aha! I remember why second character is in room! (How will I get her out of room? Worry about that later!) Finally getting momentum. V. good. Second character looks at protag with “an expression of desolate despair.” Or perhaps “despairing desolation”?

8:20 a. m. Look down at lap and notice alarming thigh spread. Was bacon a bad choice for breakfast? Must get moving!   A brisk walk, followed by 75 lunges ought to do the trick. Will use the time to work out main character motivation.

Word count: 3, 243

8:25-9:51 a.m. Out on power walk—perfect for inspiration! So why does protag get involved in investigation? Curiosity? Pride, or perhaps—ooooh, new bakery just opened in town. Are those samples I spy in basket outside door? Yum. Brush croissant crumbs from shirt. On walk home, decide protag has dark secret to be revealed. (But what is dark secret? Worry about that later.)

10:00 a.m./Six hours until cocktails. Back at desk. Add two modifiers to dialogue tags. Protag speaks “confidentially.” Second character gasps “breathlessly.” Damn, I’m good. (Note to self: give second character a name)

Word count: 3,245

10:13 a.m. Thirsty from exertion. Go to kitchen to fill 64 oz. water bottle. Must stay properly hydrated to write.  Back at desk. No Google alerts today. Search self under real name. Search self under pen name. Search self plus title of book. Search self plus “reviews.” Search self plus “debut author.” Search self on all pages found, including those in foreign languages. Finish water bottle.

10:47 a.m. Potty break! Check out self in bathroom mirror while washing hands. Eyebrows in desperate need of grooming. While plucking, decide upon second character name: Penelope. Or Leticia. V. Good!

Word count: 3,245

11: 23 a.m./Approximately five hours until cocktails. Back at desk. Add Penelope/Leticia’s name to dialogue tags and mull over protag’s dark secret. Is Penelope/Leticia in possession of said secret? (Will worry about that later.) Provide Penelope/Leticia with “feral grace” and “hair as dark as midnight.” Oooh, I’m on page ten! Double digits at last!! Minimize document.

11:48 a.m. In celebration of page 10, check Amazon numbers on pre-orders. Can that be right? Open author page and go to graph. Still in the six digits. Crap. Check Novelrank in case of some mistake. Apparently not.  But UK numbers up by one! Huzzah! Make note to order more promo materials, stat!

12:14 p.m./3.5 hours until cocktails. One thousand bookmarks, 1 gross pens, and several hundred “signed by the author” stickers will be in my possession by tomorrow! V. Good. Open document. Time to establish main character’s dark secret.  Find and remove two more Oxford commas. Re-read pages 1-9 to better grasp main character motivation. Realize edits sorely needed—revise all flabby prose. Delve more deeply into main character motivation and mysterious connection to Penelope/Leticia. But what IS dark secret?

(Will worry about that later, as it is time for lunch.)

Final word count: 3,236    V.Good!

A Jersey girl born and bred, Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for much of her work. Her new series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, is informed by her deep appreciation for good food, her pride in her heritage, and her love of classic mysteries, from Nancy Drew to Miss Marple. Her debut novel, Murder and Marinara, will be released October 1. An English teacher by day and novelist by night, Rosie also writes women’s fiction as Rosemary DiBattista. She lives fifty miles from the nearest ocean  in central New Jersey, with her husband, two of her three sons, and an ill-behaved fox terrier.


womenswrites said...

Omg-snort-LOL! This is so funny and perfectly relevant. Thanks so much!! And Rosie, if you need some water fix, come see us in NC, we'll take you sailing! <3

Unknown said...

What's sad is that the first thing I thought while reading this is "Oh, I haven't checked how many people added me on Goodreads since last night." (Answer: 4) Increase in word count this morning: 0. So yes, I have mornings like this all the time--thanks for the laugh! :)

Rosie said...

Thanks, WW! (Sailing in NC sounds wonderful--if only I could unleash myself from desk.)

Kristi, I am also appalled by how close to the truth this "satire" really is!

Sarah P said...

Hee hee! You forgot the part where you put in "Penelope" in place of all the "second character" holders, and your word count goes DOWN.

Wait, that's just me.

jams3062 said...

Ha, this is so funny because so true! I love the IDEA of sitting down to write--accompanied by coffee, toast with jam, and a poetic muse flitting around my ears--but once I've drunk the coffee, eaten the toast and scared off the muse, that's when reality hits. (Note: only one quarter of toast left and still haven't opened my WIP).

Rosie said...

Ah, Trader Girl--I knew I should have had you check my math!

Jams, Isn't it amazing how many "inspiration" we need just to get going? In my case, it's caffeine and sugar. Sadly.

Anonymous said...

So funny...but weird because I have those mornings...All. The. Time! Also, am worried about thigh spread which I think of as Writer's Spread. Anxiety over this has mounted due to eye exam yesterday where the first thing they did was weigh me! Is this necessary? For my eyes?

Rosie said...

OMG, thigh and derriere spread are on my mind as well! (I do try to walk every day, but not past the bakery.)

Melody said...

I laughed out loud. "Why is protag talking to this other person? In fact, who is this character?" I have so been there. Ah, the morning of a writer...

Ash Krafton | @ashkrafton said...

Treading water: that's how I describe my writer mornings.

Keep your head above the word count/water line and try not to drown.


Rosie said...

Melody, Don't you hate when you forget your own creations? ;>

Ash, an apt comparison!