Humungus congratulations to the winners and runners-up in the 2014 Rainbow Awards which were announced earlier this week. This is an annual contest celebrating outstanding work in LGBT fiction and nonfiction, and is open to all authors of work containing LGBT fictional characters and work chronicling the true stories of LGBT persons.
From the moment Luke Savage, the seventeen-year-old hero and narrator of Caught Inside, took form in my mind, I knew several things about him. I knew he was an only child, came from a single-parent family, and lived on the rough side of Brookminster, the fictional English city where many of my stories will be set. I knew he possessed a lazy charm, presenting him with his pick of girls, but that he had yet to lose his heart to anyone. Most of all, I knew he cherished a burning passion for surfing.
Now that my muse has finally stopped picking fault with my plot, it’s time to get my hands dirty and dig down into the nitty-gritty. In some sadistic way, I’m kind of looking forward to it. Editing, it seems to me, is the literary equivalent of geeky, which can’t fail to appeal to a word nerd like me. Plus, there’s something almost therapeutic in polishing your prose, feeling your writing become smoother, more vibrant under your hands.
Whilst working on my debut novel Caught Inside, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to get up close and personal with my muse. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever spent so much one-to-one time with anyone before without them driving me completely insane. Then again, perhaps I’m already insane by now and so can’t tell the difference. Ah well. Here are five things I’ve learned about my muse: the good, the bad, and the downright irritating . . .
I know I’ve neglected the blog over the summer, and can only apologize for the long absence. My excuse? I’ve been submerged in the edits for Caught Inside. Focusing solely on the structure, I’ve read and reread, taking countless notes; spent hours online to double check facts; deleted scenes and added others, and generally tightened the overall plot. At last, the story is flowing the way I always hoped it would…except for one thing.
While editing the first chapter of Caught Inside and playing around with various options for the opening line, I got to thinking about some of my favorite novel beginnings. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the lines that have left a lasting impression on me, regardless of whether or not the book itself lived up to its promise. So, in no particular order, here are my top 10 favorite opening lines:
As I begin to sink up to my neck in editing what will be my debut novel, two things are becoming abundantly clear. Firstly, the process of whipping my manuscript into the sort of shape that won’t have me cringing in embarrassment at my ineptitude as a writer will be a painful one, and will doubtless see me committed to a psychiatric ward before I’m done. Secondly, no part of my story will test my patience or my sanity nearly so much as the opening chapter.
Well, I’ve done it. The first draft of Caught Inside, my very first attempt at a novel and Book 1 in my Boys on the Brink series, is complete at around 85,000 words. Hooray! The process of writing it hasn’t always been easy. When I started, I only had the vaguest outline of where the plot was headed, and one of the main storylines didn’t resolve itself until I was around two thirds of the way in. Still, I got there in the end, and I have to say it feels amazing!
All right, so it’s happened. I’ve hit that important milestone, and received the first ever rejection letter of my writing career, this one for a short work I put forward for an anthology a couple of months back. Moreover, in the hours since the publisher’s email arrived in my inbox, I’ve reached a better understanding as to the challenges associated with submitting to collections.
I just wanted to send a huge congratulatory hug to all the finalists in the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards!
Extra special hugs go to Madison Parker and J.H. Trumble, who’s books I adore, and also to TJ Klune, since I know he and his partner Eric Arvin are going through an incredibly difficult time right now.
Okay, as you may have gathered, I’m about to throw in my few pennies’ worth over the recent uproar concerning Goodreads and a certain self-published author in the m/m romance genre. I’m not, however, using this space to name names or cast stones. For one thing, the topic has already been debated widely across various social networks, and others have said it far better than I ever could. For another, authors who stoop so low as to create fake Goodreads profiles with the intention of shouting down any reviewer who dares give them less than a perfect rating, don’t need my help in sabotaging their careers. They’ll manage that all by themselves.