Notes from a Drama Queen

Reno has a day of rest, Day 6

Sunday, September 30, 2007

So I got up and did my little talk (giving far too much information) and then took off, heading back home in hopes of getting Reno and company out of the showdown in one piece. Unfortunately for them I was just burned out, so I lay down and watched hours of tivo'd tv (some ok, some brilliant ) and remembered how incredibly luscious Will Yun Lee is (on Bionic Woman -- quelle opening!)
That's what Reno would look like if he cut his hair and let it go back to his natural dark color. Nothing like a little inspiration to keep me going.
Back to work on Sunday morning. This book WILL be done by Day 12. If not sooner.
The good news is I got an extra 7 pages done by the shores of Lake Champlain yesterday, bringing me to 21 pages for the day, so I deserved a day of rest.
Go, Krissie, go!

Reno Meets God, Day 5

Friday, September 28, 2007

14 excellent pages this morning (to page 304) and then I took off and arrived at the Episcopal retreat center. My room is like a cell (nun-like, not prisoner-like) and it's got narrow beds and a cross on the wall. Not so sure I can get Reno's pants off in a situation like this. (I'm at the retreat for the League of Vermont Writers, where I'm giving a talk on romance writing). I have to hike a bit to get to the lake but then, I need the exercise. There's something about writing near water that's always good for me. I think, when we move, we're going to have to find a place on a lake (or at least a pond). It feeds my soul (oh, God, this place is brainwashing me).
Lake Champlain is gorgeous, and because I'm feeling nun-like I'll save you from a map of the place, which looks a bit like a piece of female anatomy. It's big and blue (the lake, not the piece of female anatomy) and surrounded by trees, and it even comes with its own lake monster, fondly referred to as Champ.

Jenny Crusie says this place serves me right -- tell people I'm a nun and of course I'll end up in a cell. If I'd known I would have brought my nun's habit. Except that wouldn't go over too well with the diocese, I expect.
Still, I think I need to write something really saucy when I retire to my cell tonight. Just in honor of the occasion.
I'm on the home stretch now. The last hundred pages always go really fast. I'm trying to do it without heading to a motel -- money's tight and I've better self-discipline.
And I think it really will be done in 12 days.

Reno days 2,3, and 4

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I had a good excuse. Tuesday I started out strong, wrote some, tore it out, wrote again. I had to write a love scene, and it wasn't coming together at all. Finally packed up my Clairefontaine notebook, my favorite pens, my iPod, and a folding chair and headed down to Dougie's beach. There are many places on the lake where I can write, but too may leafer peepers were lurking, and I needed serenity. Found it at Dougie's beach, and wrote long and luscious adventures, coming home to type it into the computer. Nine pages, and then I was writing more when the mother of all UTIs decided to hit. So bad I was weeping with pain. Called the health center -- no answer in an hour and finally I said fuck it and drove 28 miles to the emergency room. Nasty nasty nasty. And then I was allergic to the medicine, which made life even more difficult. So I woke up Wednesday morning feeling quite dead and only managed one page. But now it's Thursday and I'm in better shape, and Reno has just been an utter bastard again (he alternates between being noble and being a son of a bitch). We'll have the big showdown coming up (one of them) when all hell breaks loose. 14 pages so far, and more to go before I can rest.
But things are coming together quite nicely, brewing up a storm of titanic proportions. Tomorrow I'll write all morning, head off for a speaking gig in Burlington, write that night, and then head home, going into the final week of Reno.
Pray for me. Reno's been kicking my butt, delightful as he is.
Fuel: homemade donuts, fritos, bran chex and strawberries and Chinese food. I should learn not to stuff myself during a marathon but I need all the help I can get.

The Twelve (more or less) Days of Reno

Monday, September 24, 2007

I know, I'm impossibly evil, but I'm on a deadline, and I want you all to suffer along with me. So I'm bringing my initial post over from Storybroads ad then I'll continue on, blow by excruciating blow, until Reno finally triumphs.

I'm in the throes of deadline dementia -- that state of insanity that takes over your life when you're finishing a book, whether it's overdue or not. And this one is definitely overdue.
It's Reno's fault, not mine. He just didn't want to cooperate. I should have known when I made a Yakuza punk samurai as my hero that he'd give me nothing but trouble. It's his style, along with waist-length bright red hair and tattooed blood teardrops on his cheeks.
Yeah, I know what you're saying. Anne Stuart, are you out of your bloody mind?
But the problem is, I love him. Just freaking adore him -- he's naughty and mean and funny and honorable and gentle and rough and an absolute hoot. So sue me.
So here's my tally: Tuesday 13 pages, Wednesday 16 pages, Thursday 13 pages, Friday 15 pages, Saturday 25 pages, Sunday 15 pages. I'm a goddess of speed.
I'm on a private e-mail loop, and while I've been speeding through this book I surface every now and then to send a cry out into the wilderness. Here are some of my observations:

First day:
So, okay, I'm working non-stop, and you remember what I'm like when I
work non-stop. I have to chatter to my fellow typists as I zip along.
My thought for this hour -- my hero, Reno, is a yakuza samurai
punkster. And his language is atrocious. His favorite saying
(already established in earlier books) is "holy motherfucker." And
his language would be sprinkled with four letter words.
However, four letter words get really old, really fast. So my
challenge for today is to make his dialogue believable without od'ing
on the cursing. I imagine it's kind of like writing a character with
a dialect or a speech impediment. Less is definitely more.

next day:

This is unfolding in such an interesting way. The sex in particular. My hero is young and wicked -- and he's suddenly developed a conscience. Interesting. He's the most overt bad boy of all the ICE books, and yet he's turning out to be the sweetest.

next day:
16 pages so far. My hero has just become the nastiest a hero has ever been, after being one of the most honorable. The boy is messed up. I may have to tone it down -- he's just too cruel (verbally). I also used fuck three times in two sentence. I'm using it too much, but that's exactly what he'd say.

Ewwww! I just wrote something really gross. Well, it's the yakuza, after all. What do you call fingers and parts of fingers? Do you call them digits? Or is that just a slang term?

and finally:

Shit. I think I need one more twist in the plot, but right now I don't know what it would be. It just seems to come up a little short. Maybe stretch the third act. Yup, that's probably it. The hero just appears, attempting to be deus ex machina (the heroine has to rescue him) but it makes it less interesting. I'll have to rethink that.

Krissie, talking to herself but she doesn't care because she's gone stark, staring mad, mad I tell you

And I've got miles to go before I sleep.

You writers out there (and non-writers as well). Anybody have any tips for getting a huge amount of work done in a very short time?