Flirty Author Bitches

Edits and My Self-Esteem

Edits and My Self-Esteem
Written By: Lisa Fox – Dec• 16•13

I like getting edits. I really do. My work is always a million times better after it has gone through the editing process, the story is always stronger, the characters more sincere. My editors have made me better writer and I’ve learned important lessons from them all.

I know all this and yet when I receive revision suggestions, I always go through this period where I feel like I’ve failed my editor in some deep and significant way. The first time I open that Word document and see all that bold color within all I can think is: If only I was a better author, I wouldn’t need to make my poor editor work so hard! Why didn’t I see that? It’s so obvious? How could I have missed that plot hole? What was I thinking when I wrote that sentence? Terrible!

I look over all the comments once, wince and moan, and then I close the document down. For one day, maybe two if the deadline isn’t that tight, I let myself wallow in my failure. I take the time to curse the gods and bemoan my decision to ever think I could be a real and accomplished writer.

And then, the next day, I open the document again and get to work. Because I have to. Because my editor’s right. And because I love this job so, so, so, so much even editing is a treat.

Still, that first hit is KILLER.

How do you all deal with edits? Do they crush you at first or do you receive them happily?

An Excerpt from Bull’s Whip

Bull Raleigh doesn’t do twinks, so why can’t he stop thinking about Jamie even while he’s pushing him away.

Here is an excerpt from the fourth novel in the Indiscreet Series, Bull’s Whip:

So, he spent the next week working hard and trying to talk to make friends with Bull. He’d meet him in the kitchen getting coffee and he’d say, “Good morning, Master Bull,” All he’d get for his trouble was a grunt.

He went to Bull’s office and attempted conversation. “Reed and Bear want me to keep track of expenses; could you give me your expense report for the outside training? I’m going to need it for the monthly report?” Then he waited at Bull’s office door, leaning provocatively against the frame. Looking around he saw that Bull’s office was as austere as Bull himself. Nothing was out of place and it was all minimalist.

“Yeah, here.” Bull shoved the report at him and then closed his door.

He tried being helpful knocking on his door Jamie asked, “I’m going to the kitchen to get some coffee and a scone. Sir, would you like me to bring some coffee back for you?” He asked in a bright, cheery tone, smiling broadly at the thought of being able to do something for his man.

“No, if I want coffee I’ll get my own.” Bull said snappishly; then he walked out of his door and down to the kitchen pointedly ignoring Jamie.

He tried flirting. “I’m leaving to spend some time at the bar tonight. I’m looking to do a scene, are you interested; or we could have a drink and get to know each other?” He stood in front of Bull wearing little more than a loin cloth, his armband showing.

“I’m busy tonight. I have a scene set up with Masato.” Bull said. Jamie thought that Bull took great satisfaction in telling him he was busy.

“Maybe next time,” Jamie said, leaving the office.

As he walked down the hall he heard Bull say, “Not if I can help it.”

Damn, he was doing Masato. Masato was a Eurasian who was beautiful to look at. He eyes slanted slightly and his skin was golden. Masato was handsome in the masculine way Jamie knew he was not. Masato was also built. He looked like he could take anything Bull dished out, not like his own small frame which looked delicate but was wiry and very strong.

The next day in frustration, Jamie asked Bull, “Did I ever do or say something to offend you? Every time I speak to you, you barely answer me and you look at me like I’m shit on your shoe.”

Bull answered in a blunt and forceful manner, “I don’t like twinks.” He got up from behind his desk and loomed menacingly over Jamie.

Jamie answered in disgust, “I’m not a twink. If you took the time to get to know me, you’d know that the way I look has nothing to do with who I am inside.” He dared to step into Bull’s space….

Happy Holidays everyone and have a healthy and happy New Year.

New Release Dancing

Okay, so I’m dancing because I have a new release, but the new release also involves dancing.

In August 2012, Pink Petal Books (now Jupiter Gardens Ignite; same company, different name) published my M/M contemporary novella Dancing Away, about ballet dancer Merit Hartwick’s encounter with Cole Dellany, his high school crush–and bully. Cole has tracked Merit down to apologize for an incident ten years earlier, on their prom night, and to confess that he’s loved Merit since ninth grade.

Dancing Away was a sequel to an M/F contemporary novella about two West Coast Swing dance instructors, Erin and Stefan, who fall for each other as Erin is attempting to finally move on from the death of her former competition dance partner. You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This was released in early 2011.

Now I’ve continued Merit and Cole’s story in a new novella that’s a direct sequel to Dancing Away. Although the two men are in love, they’re having trouble adjusting to their new relationship, especially since Cole also has to adjust to moving from his small hometown to the city where Merit lives. Merit’s schedule with the ballet troupe in which he’s a principal dancer, along with his side job teaching dance, take more time away from Cole than Cole can handle. They have to redefine their relationship or decide whether it’s even worth the trouble.

With My Heart will release November 14 from Jupiter Gardens. (As of this writing, I don’t yet have cover art to share.)

How not to alienate the reader with too much overt history (Research part 4)

You’re an author. You’ve done all this fabulous research, you can see the era clearly in your mind and you’re writing like billy-oh. Here’s a big note of caution. Don’t show off to the readers. They’re here for the romance or adventure, the heart of the story, to be thrilled and saddened and get the satisfying ending they want. They don’t want to be bored or annoyed en route by you giving paragraphs of exposition about why people in the past did something or other. If they’re that interested they’ll go and find out for themselves. You wouldn’t explain why 21st century characters use an ipod, would you?

So, the sort of thing to avoid is:

Clarence had to hurry over the fields to get home to dress for dinner. Meal times were special occasions in a Victorian household and eating started with making sure that you were properly dressed for the event. While you could dress down slightly for meals at home, any outside dining event that took place after six o’clock was automatically a formal occasion. Ladies would have changed several times during the day and were expected to turn out for dinner wearing low-necked gowns, if such was the fashion, with short sleeves and gloves. Married woman opted for satin or silk while the unattached arrived in muslins or chiffon. Men always wore dark broadcloth and ‘fine linen.’

I’m bored with that already and I wrote the wretched thing. If you think your readers won’t get the whole ‘dressing for dinner tradition’, then you could include something about it, but make it light:

Clarence hurried home over the fields. There would barely be time for him to change, but he didn’t dare risk his mother’s wrath by turning up for dinner in his tweeds; he’d never be allowed to forget bringing such disgrace upon her table.

Another thing to avoid is introducing actual historical characters just for the sake of it, especially when their only function is for your hero to say “I met Oscar Wilde in the street yesterday. He didn’t look well.” And thereby establish himself as a Victorian man about town. There’s an award winning series of books, absolutely brilliant, where a couple of times just such a scene is included and it really creates a jarring, contrived note amongst a beautifully believable and realistic text. You can always get your characters to refer to well known people – all of us talk about celebrities or politicians around the dinner table or over the photocopier. Just make it natural and it’s got a chance of working.

“My wife says this country will never come to anything until we’ve got Winston Churchill out of office,” sounds much better than “I see they’ve elected Winston Churchill.”

The other reason you really don’t want too much historical information is that it would put you right off your historical leading man. He wouldn’t have used deodorant or shower gel, chances are he’d have had bad breath and dodgy teeth and what really went on below those lovely tight Edwardian breeches doesn’t perhaps bear thinking about. Can you imagine it?

Portsmouth 1804

Lieutenant Addison cradled his lover’s head, gently pulling the nit comb through his locks. “Look at this one, George. I’ve caught an absolute beauty, here…”

So what does the writer do? I’d say just don’t mention it. No gruesome details, but equally no flowery descriptions of how fragrant Lieutenant Addison smells as he steps off the Bellerophon after four months of blockading the French fleet. Maybe a subtle mention of how good he feels when he does get to take a bath ashore will imply the true state of affairs and not put off either his love interest or the reader.

Oh, and avoid making the language too realistically archaic. (Please avoid too many thees and thous and methinks as they’ll put the readers off and sound pretentious.) Subtle sprinklings all the way.