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Writing That Dreaded 2nd MS After THE ONE

Hi Everyone!!

I hope you are all doing fabulously ;o)


I’ve recently completed my 2nd MS since THE ONE. You know, the one that got me my amazing agent, the one that made me feel like *maybe* I’m not a total hack (jury’s still out on that one). Yeah. That one.

The one that makes you feel like this.


BUT. I was SO paranoid that my 2nd MS would not be as good as THE ONE. In fact, I completely switched sub-genres so I wouldn’t have to compare them. So there was THAT. Did I mention I also had a few half-finished drafts looming in the background? I felt guilty about leaving them behind, but I had this idea. It was emotional and wretchedly beautiful. And I was obsessed, just like I was with THE ONE.

My journey to MS #2 was fast.

I literally started it at 1:30am on a Thursday (a work night) and the words just FLOWED. I mean it was like I opened a vein and the blood was the words and they were dripping onto the computer without my brain getting involved at all.

Ew. That sounds weird. Moving on.

As I bled words onto the page, I wondered… will my agent like it? Will anyone like it? How did I write THE ONE the first time? Oh, man. It took me 2 years to get THE ONE into shape, how am I going to do this again? Someone put me out of my misery. Okay, that’s dramatic. But in my defense I was writing a depressing story, listening to The Fray and Florence + The Machine on repeat.

I wrote the first draft in 1 week. YES. 1 week. My first drafts are short, so don’t think it was like 80k or anything, more like 40k. I received a new job and had a week between the old one and the new one and it just worked out. The stars aligned, Saturn was in my house–yeah, you get the picture.

This is what I looked like at the end of my 1 week sprint o’ blood.

Kidding. I just wanted an excuse to show Ryan Gosling. Actually, it was more like this.

Bua ha ha ha. Okay. Seriously.

Do I love this new MS as much as THE ONE? That’s the real question. YES, I do. I know how crazy that sounds. But I really do. THE ONE will always be THE ONE. But you can have more than one THE ONE. Uh, what?

Don’t let the fear get to you. Just keep doing what you love. WRITING. I have no pearls of wisdom to get you to love that dreaded second MS. But one of them has to be the second. It’s inevitable. I think my best advice would be not to compare your second MS to THE ONE. We have it in our heads that that first MS is our baby. At least I did. But once I left her in the capable hands of my agent, I was free to write. Did I have some failed 2nd MS’s Yes. All those half drafts I was talking about? They took a backseat to my new idea. Will I go back to the half drafts? Maybe. That’s yet to be determined.

I have no regrets. I knew when I started writing this MS that it was going to be #2 officially.

Okay, how many times did I type THE ONE? LOL!

Have you written MS #2? How did YOU feel?

Have a great week, everyone!!


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How Do You Show Emotion in Writing?

Hi Everyone!!

I hope you are all having a great week! I’m currently editing my MS to go out on submission. Scary. I know. 

Hard to believe? 


My current quandary is how to get several emotions to show in a character at once. Easy, right? Often, this is the hardest thing for me,  but it’s the one thing that has the greatest pay-off for the reader. So I spend a lot of time on it.

So I thought I’d name some of the ways that help me get the emotion down on the screen. 

Let’s start with a guy who does something bad to someone he loves.

Pretty generic, right?

Well, what if this person doesn’t feel bad about what he did? What if what he did was for self preservation? What if he really doesn’t love that person, but he’s faking it? How do you show all that?

For me, the real emotion, the raw, burrow-down-into-your-soul emotion comes from a different place than setting, action, and plot.

I’ve used several things to portray emotion in my characters, some work, some don’t–depends on the day and my mood. There really is no right or wrong way, just what works for the story and for you.

These are a few of the things that work for me… usually ;o)

I’m sure I could think of more ways, but those are what stand out to me. What about you? What do YOU do to get that raw emotion from your characters? 

You’ll notice quite a few more posts in September than usual. I’m taking part in Pitch Madness with my friends, Brenda Drake, Shelley Watters and the YAtopia blog. For more information on Pitch Madness click here! Also, I have a special post about a fellow bloggy friend doing something really great for someone else. You don’t want to miss it. Check it out 9/18. Also, make sure to check back on 9/4 for an announcement about the new YAMisfits blog I’m a part of!

Lots of excitement in the mosh pit!!

Have a wonderful rest of the week and holiday weekend (for the Americans)

Rock on! 

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What I Learned About Writing Emotion: A Tale of One Detroit Lions Fan

Hi Everyone!

See. I’ve been a Detroit Lions fan since I was little girl. I started watching pro football in high school and loved it. However, it’s been an emotional ride to say the least… The following is a story about what I’ve learned by being a loyal Lions fan all these years. I’ll also explain how it helps me with my writing, too.

I’ll use this past Sunday as an example.

My hubs and I were sitting quietly (well except if there was a blown call, or holding) on our prospective couches, doggies at our feet. The hum of both our laptops could barely be heard over the Bears fans screaming in the stands on tv.

It’s toward the end of the game. The Lions are trailing 14 to 19 to the Bears. It’s the last minute and thirty seconds or so, we’ve lost our starting quaterback to a shoulder injury (thank you, Julius Peppers). My heart’s pounding as our star receiver, Calvin Johnson starts running, running… My chest feels like a ton of boulders rolling down a mountain, I rise out of my chair, fists toward the sky… Johnson jumps up, and catches the ball, two feet down, handles it all the way to the ground, then releases it….

Screaming commences by both of us. I’m jumping up and down like a deranged monkey. Doggies are freaking out ’cause of the screaming, so they jump up on me and scratch the crap outta my arms…

Wait. What? “They’re *bleepin* reviewing it– that ref says it’s not a catch,” I say to him as if he didn’t see the screen, or hear the inept announcers tell us for the fourth time.

“What! The process?” I add. Hubs is very aware. Yet I feel the need to say it outloud in between a few swear words.

Heart is still pounding, fists are now tighter, room is quiet, doggies have laid down.

The ref comes back. It’s not a catch. Heart gets ripped, swear words fly, stomping resumes, but not light and happy like before… breathing speeds up. Where is that ref? Goes through my head. I’m gonna find him and… Doggies snarling at each other thinking something is wrong. Hubs and I snarling at each other, because it’s such a familiar feeling to lose.

Lions lose, but they shouldn’t have, cause the call was crap. Wanna see it happen? Check it out Here

So. What did this teach me about writing?

1. Never give up. Lions fans (I believe) are the most loyal in America, well except for Raiders maybe. The 2008 Detroit Lions are the only team in NFL history to lose all 16 regular-season games. They have the 2nd longest losing streak in all NFL history. Yes, we are a loyal breed. I stick with them. I know they will be great someday. As writers, we will face challenges like the losing streaks (rejections) and blown calls (mis-steps) but we will keep writing. Why? Because that’s what we love to do ;o)

2. Emotion in its most natural state shows me the type of person I am. It helps me make my emotional scenes more real. Many emotional moments can do this. But when I’m invested in a team, like the Lions. I take the losses personally. I’m with them the whole game. When we lose, it affects me. I may not know what it’s like on the field, but I sure as hell know the feeling of loss after all these years.

3. I knew how Calvin Johnson would react to the call. He smiled. He laughed because he knew how rediculous it was. The coach? Schwartz, being the stand-up guy he is, backed up the call the ref’s made, because that’s what the stand-up guys do. I know what my characters’ reactions will be before they make them. This is what matters. It’s not fake.

What have you learned from emotional moments in your life? Any of you football fans?

Stay tuned for the 200 followers contest. I’ve bought some fun stuff for it!! Have a wonderful week ;o)


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Emotion. How Do You Write the Scene?

Hi Ya!
I hope you are all doing well ;o)
Yes, that’s me there… I took it a while ago, when I was all emotional ‘n junk…

So I was writing. Like ya do… and it was one of those scenes where you’re like on the verge of crying and you keep pushing repeat on the crazy song that brings out all of those feelings you keep bottled up in the places you don’t talk about at parties (A Few Good Men Anyone?)



I had a thought. What if I didn’t have this song blaring in my ear. What if I just wrote it when I was like really happy… would I be able to tap into that same area of my psyche again? Is it the way the notes blend together that brings it out, or is it what I feel that does the job?

So. Here’s what it takes for me… *ahem*

1. Has to be late at night, it’s hard for me to conjure emotional scenes during the day.

2. I must have a powerful song playing, usually Decode, by Paramore. I don’t know what it is about that song… Metric (acoustic) works too.

3. No one can be in the room, just in case I start bawling like the baby I am. Seriously, it’s a sad sight.

4. I need to write the whole scene in one sitting. No coming back to it, unless I’m writing the whole thing again. Strange. I know. That will change, I’m sure.


What about you? Do you have a certain song/place you have to go to write those emotional scenes? What is it you do to get into the emotional state? Or. Is it always on the surface for you.

On a personal note. I’ve begun the South Beach diet, er the oh-my-god-what-have-I-done-I-miss-cookies-so-much-I-could-eat-my-friggen-hand-with-ketchup-diet. And. it’s going well… LOL I’m actually really pumped about changing the way I eat, so you may see some wayward posts about cookies and cakes and how much I want to eat them… hey, I gave you fair warning.

Enjoy the rest of the week!! I’ll be stopping by more blogs this week, I’ve been pretty busy as of late ;o)


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Fear. It’s what’s for breakfast.

Hi Everyone!
I hope you are having a good week so far ;o) So, I’m having an issue – surprise right? Ha. What is it, Erica? Well, I’m going to tell you.


No not fear in the writing itself, but fear of writing. But, Erica, you’re afraid to write, that’s absurd.

It is. I agree. Here’s the thing. I don’t know what I’m afraid of… maybe I do. Here are my theories.

  • I’m actually afraid to complete a story because then I’ll have to entertain the idea of this being real
  • I’m afraid of finishing it because then I *may* be in a position to find an agent, publish etc. You know the normal paranoia ( by the way I had to spell that word like three times, then still had to look it up – pathetic.) LOL
  • I’m afraid it’s going to suck
  • I’m afraid I’ll find out this isn’t what I’m supposed to do
  • I’ll find out I’m a no talent hack
  • Yeah that about covers it. You know what the crazy thing is though? I love the story, I love writing it and I have no idea why I put it off sometimes, but I’m guessing it’s one of those reasons above.

    Now, I’m not going to ask you if you feel fear, I mean, come on… we all have those moments. I do know that. What I’d like to know, is how you deal with it. Do you put things off like ole Ms. procrastination over here? Or do you fight those thoughts off and plow through?

    So… I couldn’t have a post without mentioning the great news buzzing in the blogisphere! The awesome, sweet and talented Shannon Messenger over at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe has acquired an agent!! Not just any agent the fabulous Laura Rennert with Andrea Brown Lit. *Squeeeeeeee* If you haven’t already, go on over and congratulate her!!

    What fabulous news! *throws confetti*

    Well that’s my time!

    Have a great rest of the week – see you on Friday for the featured blog ;o)

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