No, I don’t mean the weather. In fact, I think I see (insert gasp of surprise here) a slash of blue coloring the sky, valiantly fighting its way through the dark grey cloud cover. I’d go outside for further inspection but I’m afraid one ray of sunlight may have me bursting into flames.
But I digress…what was I talking about?...Oh right, Christmas. I stopped by the mailbox on my way home yesterday and the books I had ordered from Chapters had come in. Yay! Picture me jumping up and down clapping my hands with glee in the middle of the sidewalk, attracting the attention of suppertime commuters on their way home for the day. A woman walking her dog gave me a wide berth. I assume Chapters has never sent her presents, and given the scowl she threw my way, I doubt she deserved any.
I ordered two books: Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop (more stories from the Black Jewels trilogy, yippee!!) and also First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner (heretofore referred to as FD30 because I’m lazy and can’t be bothered writing it out).
I first stumbled on FD30 from Lady Tess’s blog and thought I would check it out. With 2 hours each morning to write, I really wanted to streamline my process so it wasn’t taking me a year to finish one book. Or in the case of The Outlaw Bride – nearly 2 years. All of the rewrites, changes, going back and fixing things, then doing it all over again…oiy vey. Pain in the buttocks. So if there was a better, faster, more efficient way of doing it – let me at it. I am not known as the Queen of Time Management for nothing people.
The idea behind FD30 is basically creating such a detailed outline of your book within 30 days that the outline can basically act as a first draft. Outline, you say? Activity Sheets? Och, music to my ears. More gleeful jumping up and down ensues whilst Maxx roles her eyes heavenward and wonders how two strangely divergent personalities ever managed to remain friends for 30 years.
I am a planner, a consummate outliner. I am not one of these writers who “flies into the mist” or writes by the seat of my pants, with no idea where the story is going or where the characters will end up. No sirree. I would be the one stumbling into the mist, tripping over a fog-covered tree root and landing flat on my face. Probably in a puddle of muck. Filled with leeches. So something like FD30 is right up my alley.
There’s also the business side to it that speaks to my Capricorn brain. The more books I can produce in the run of a year, the more chances I have of selling something, the more money I’ll make, the faster I can make this a career and escape from the evil land of the pod people. I am one with efficiency. I’m also a money whore, but that’s a whole other post.
I am a few chapters away from finishing The Outlaw Bride. By mid-June I hope to be starting my new WIP and I plan on using FD30 to do my first draft. I would like to have a Regency/Victorian to shop around in Reno, since most publishers like to shake their heads and say, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t do westerns’. This will give me a little variety, something else I can whip out and say, ‘oh well then, how about this?' Then I'll throw my arms up and shout, 'Behold my versatility!’ Well okay, I won’t say that last part...but I’ll be thinking it.
So for the next week at least, my mornings will be spent finishing off The Outlaw Bride, and my evenings reading FD30, while visions of completed manuscripts dance through my head.