Saturday, November 27, 2010

So close!

Belated Happy Thanksgiving to my readers!  I hope that your holiday was as wonderful as mine was.  We were surrounded by family and shared a wonderful meal prepared by my Mom (with help from my sister and me).  I had a lot to be thankful for this year and I couldn’t have asked for a better 1st Thanksgiving for my son.

Okay, so I conquered my last dilemma and went with scene C.  Why?  Because it just made sense logistically.  I’ve made the character in question a bigger part of the story, but not by as much as previously thought.  And the best part is it doesn’t weigh the story down, and I’ve opened up opportunities for this character’s expansion in the sequels.  So I’m pretty pleased with myself. 

How’d I do it?  I stopped thinking so much and went to bed.  I barely sleep usually; with a 7 month old, a house, a husband, holidays, friends and family, on top of this manuscript and all the other fun curve balls life throws at you, my brain needed a break.  Once I shut it off, it processed and created the solution on its own.  If only everything in life were that easy.   

Now I’ve come to another wall in my final read through.  I have 8 pages worth of scene and summary that I love, but could be cut or condensed.  I have to figure out which to choose, and if I go with the latter, I have to decide what to cut.  I’m an indecisive person when it comes to creative decisions-it took me days to come to a compromise on the last issue and that only happened after some sleep.  I don’t think this time its going to be so easy.

As for the diet, I’ve trimmed another 2,000 words.  I’d be thrilled if I could cut another 13,000, but realistically I think I’ll be able to cut another 5,000.  And I’ll be happy with that.  In the end it’s not about how many words it is, but if those words convey the story I want to tell and keep the reader turning the pages.  I think I’m accomplishing that.

I’m off now to figure out how to climb this newest wall.  ;-)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Writer’s block couldn’t have picked a better time to rear its ugly head

So I’m a week behind on my self-imposed deadline.  Now, I know with writing it’s a creative process and it shouldn’t be rushed, but I’m an overachiever with a serious need for deadlines (for some reason, I perform much better up against one, hence why I imposed one) and I have to get it done.  Its one of the many anal, O.C.D. type traits I possess.

The reason for being behind?  Stress-partly because of said deadline and partly because I have so much going on in my life.  And what does stress lead to?  Writers block.  I battled the first case of it earlier this month with a night of wine, junk food and TV.  I’m now on the last re-write task before a final read through and submitting my manuscript to be critiqued and here it is again-writers block. 

This time it’s different.  I have to decide how to rewrite a scene and I’m torn between two scenarios.  I’ve played out both in my mind, and both would fit in like the last puzzle piece.  I can’t decide how to pick. 

If I choose scene A, I have to give a character a bigger part in the story, which won’t necessarily be hard, just tedious.  He’ll also add another dimension to the plot, possibly deepening it.  Question is do I need another dimension?  I don’t think I do. 

If I choose scene B, then the same character may not be relevant enough in the story, so I would most likely need to take him out all together, which means I’d have to re-edit areas he’s in and say goodbye to a character I’ve grown to like in my imagination.  I could leave him for a sequel, but I don’t know if he’d make sense anywhere else.  Taking him out also takes away from another character, posing another problem since I’d have to rewrite some of that person’s back story.

Some of you may think “then go with scene A, which sounds like what you want to do K.T.”, but it’s not that easy.  Weaving him in may add too much to the story and instead of helping drive it forward, it may weigh it down.  And after writing all this, I am leaning away from scene B because rewriting another character’s back story and how it’s relevant to my protagonist is going to be much more difficult than I care to attempt.

Maybe I need to come up with a scene C…          

On a related note, I’ve shed 8500 words on my manuscripts diet just on a quick glance.  I plan to fully read through it after I get over this wall.  With any luck, I’ll shed another 8500-11000 words.

I have the house to myself for once, so I'm now going to grapple with my decision.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I'm now up on twitter and facebook!
@ktcrowley on twitter

K.T. Crowley on facebook (its a page, so instead of a friend request, you simply click the 'like' button).

The official website should be up soon. but for now it will lead you here.

Back to writing!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Music as a muse

I love music.  I was in performing arts for twenty years, so music has always been at my side.  Not only do I love the sounds and rhythms, I also love the lyrics and the meanings behind them.  Music itself can be a story.  If you listen carefully, it can trigger emotions and memories, good or bad, and it can speak to your soul.  So sufficed to say, music inspires me.

A lot of the music I listened to while writing Unnatural came from the same six artists:  The Fray, Paramore, The Bravery, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Flyleaf.  I know, completely random collection here.  I did sprinkle in other artists like Muse, Justin Nozuka and Michael BublĂ©, but these six particular artists I listened to on loop, especially the first three.  When I listened to their music, I would type and type until the music stopped playing, then I would do it all over again, the words just pouring out on to the screen.

One song I listened to over a hundred times in two days was “Say When” by The Fray.  That song helped me write one of the pivotal scenes in my novel, and I don’t think it would have come out the way it did if I hadn’t had listened that song.  It set the tone for the state of mind I needed to be in while writing it, and it helped me evolve the scene in to more than what I had originally planned for.

I’m about to start writing the sequel to Unnatural and I need some new music ideas.  To give you an idea of the vibe I’m leaning toward, I’ve already got Linkin Park, The Killers, Muse, and Flypside lined up.  So what I’m asking for from my readers is what music inspires you?  What artists, songs and albums have helped you through a tough time, played during one of your greatest moments or felt like it should be the track to your life?  Email me at with your play lists/suggestions.  Keep in mind, the music does not have to fall in to the same genre as the bands/artists listed above; I’m open to every genre.  Who knows, one just may wind up on the book’s soundtrack (because it’s not just movies that need a soundtrack) that I’m compiling. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I hate you, but I love you too much to give up

Writing makes me vulnerable, and I hate being vulnerable.  I doubt myself and my craft, and because this story is mine, I’m the only one to blame if it’s horrible and a complete failure.  I’m already self-deprecating to begin with so knowing this from the beginning I had to learn to believe in myself somewhat to keep going.  Rewriting intensifies all of this, like, brings it from a 5 to a 10, then from a 10 to a 20.      

Now, I love my creation.  But I also hate it.  I’ve been told that this is normal, that writers almost always hate their own work.  I sit here, listening to Paramore’s albums on shuffle (I need music to write, it helps inspire me), reading comments and notes and I keep asking myself, ‘Why am I doing this?  This is terrible, it sucks, and I hate it’.  I walk away, only to be brought back to my laptop because my mind (and heart) won’t let me stop.  I’m dedicated and I’ve invested myself in this and I'm not a quitter. 

Writing is hard work, some of the hardest work out there.  As a fiction writer, it’s my job to create a world, characters and a plot worth reading.  You grow attached to your creation, nurturing it to the end.  But when that’s done, once I’ve written the last word and finished my creation, it’s not the end; enter the rewriting and revision process.

This week I started that painful process.  I’ve done it before, but I have to do it again.  I have to get down to the bare bones (or studs) of my story and rebuild the body (or house) around it, taking out or changing the parts that don’t belong, don’t fit or are just unnecessary, as well as recreate to get to the perfect end product.

I know what you may be thinking:  That doesn’t sound too hard; just cut the fat.  But cutting sentences, paragraphs or even whole chapters, changing/deleting characters that-to the writer-are real people in their imagination is kind of like building a city.  You fill it with businesses, landmarks and people and then have to take a chunk of it away to make it its best.  How do you choose when you’re the one who put it there to begin with?  It’s hard, especially because as the writer, I don’t see it from a reader’s point of view so I may not recognize what’s not working or is irrelevant.  But its work that needs to be done. 

I kind of relate some of the rewriting/revision process to dieting.  I love pizza and ice cream, but I can’t eat those all the time because if I did, I’d weigh twice as much as I do and be very unhealthy.  In order to stay healthy and feel good about myself, I have to exercise and sometimes eat things I’d rather were pizza or ice cream.  Exercise and eating right, for me, are work but they are things I need to do. 

So basically, my manuscript is on a diet.  And instead of it needing to lose 20 pounds, I need it to lose at least 20,000 words to get to where it’s healthy and feels good.  And as much as I hate making my manuscript do crunches and cardio and cut out junk food, I love how good it feels as I see the results of this hard work and how much more I will love my end product.  I may hate the work to get there, I may hate the way it looks now, but I kept telling myself it’ll all be worth it in the end because underneath the excess weight is an awesome creation ready to be told. 

I just have to keep believing. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So what’s this manuscript about, anyway?

Good question.  Here’s a teaser I’ve been working on:

Alexa Lawton has good friends, a great family and she's about to start college across the country with her boyfriend and lifelong friend Dell Connery.  She considers herself to be an average teenager - only Alexa’s not average; she has visions of the future.  When she falls in love after meeting the handsome Hayden DeLane by chance, she starts to question everything she knows and soon learns that she possesses more than just the ability to see the future.  Worse, the people around her know she’s something special, and they’re willing to do anything to take advantage of her for their own dangerous motives. 

Unnatural is a powerful and compelling story about a young woman who experiences secrets, lies, betrayal and deception on her journey to discover who and what she is.  All while involved in a supernatural war she didn’t know existed and a love triangle she can't escape.

Now remember, this teaser is a 'work in progress'.  My hope is that it gives you enough insight to peak your interest without giving it all away.

Feel free to comment below to let me know what you think (you can also e-mail me at the address listed to the right) and to pass the word along on my blog; the support is greatly appreciated!