Monday, November 09, 2009

It's a Wrap.

I met my goal, and as of Thursday night, Draft 1 of my mystery is complete. It came in at close to 96K, which is long. But it's done, and I am very pleased with the storyboard tracking method I used.

I ended up with 32 chapters, which just so happens to be the number of squares on my board. I didn't really plan it that way; that's just how I'd originally set up the board based on space available. Whether I'll consolidate chapters on edits, or simply tighten things remains to be seen.


My idea board isn't empty. I had a good number of thoughts stuck up there that weren't needed. If I'd been outlining, I fear I might have tried to hard to incorporate everything. This way, I can just toss the leftovers away.


And how does it feel to be finished? Strange not to have something to work on. Friday seemed to have many more hours than a typical day. I did spend time working on handouts and the like for Saturday's book signing, but there's this hole where my characters used to be. I'll be rejoining them soon enough for edits, but I intentionally didn't even open the document all weekend.

Keep Reading...

Saturday's book-signing went very well, although the day began with a bit of a jolt. Since the signing wasn't until early afternoon, I planned on a leisurely morning. When we got a phone call from a Realtor wanting to show the house in 2 hours, things moved into frenzy mode. There wouldn't be time to leave for the time window he wanted to bring his buyers by and come back before leaving for the signing. Hubby was off fishing, but didn't expect to be gone long. Still, one never really knows what "not long" means.

I hadn't even showered yet, done the breakfast dishes, or packed the car with my signing stuff. We'd had fish for dinner Friday night, so I popped some chocolate chip cookie dough (thank goodness for those pre-made little squares) into the oven (better it should smell like chocolate, not fish) and rushed to make myself presentable before starting on the house cleanup.

Hubby got home, showered and got dressed. Then the Realtor called. His buyers had decided they loved one of the other houses they'd seen first, so they wouldn't be coming by. (Mental question – if I hadn't requested we be last on his route, would they have fallen in love with our house? Not worth worrying about. My rationale: if our house was "close" in meeting their criteria, they'd probably have wanted to see it just to be sure they'd found the right one.) I think that's the only time I've been relieved at a no-show. And ever so thankful that Realtor was one of the courteous ones. I'd have thrown lightning bolts had we done all that work for a no-show.

So, we got to relax a bit and leave for the signing in a more organized fashion. Check my website for more pictures. The Adult Literacy League is the real winner, because they'll get a donation of 20% of the book sales. I met some folks who "know" me from my blog, and a couple of Facebook friends as well. I even ran into a couple of people from my original critique group.

Many people had no clue we were the authors of the books, and looked at us differently once they knew we weren't bookstore employees. One gentleman wanted to know why all these women writers wrote about romance. We pointed out that everyone there was a member of a romance writer's organization, which was why all the books were romances. We were "interviewed" by students whose teacher gave extra credit to anyone coming to the signing.

Have you gone to book signings? Have you wandered into a bookstore and an author sat there with a stack of books? Are you one of those people who avoids eye contact and looks for an alternate route to wherever you were going? Don't be. We love to chat. We know we're not going to sell everyone a book. But maybe you know someone who is looking for the kind of books we write. Take a bookmark, pass it along. It means a lot. So far, I've never been bold enough to request a solo book signing, and this event was massive as signings go, so we had a lot of people wandering around the circle of tables. And I did sell some books. At least a couple of copies of all my titles.

Tomorrow, mystery author Elizabeth Spann Craig is going to explain how she uses Twitter. I'm interested, because so far, I haven't grasped its value. The entire social networking thing confuses me, although I do participate to some degree. However, there are days when I agree with Garry Trudeau and Doonesbury in his Nov. 9th strip.



21 comments:

Wynter Daniels said...

I now use a similar board for plotting - very helpful. I love big signings, love meeting readers and sharing with other authors. But I must admit, I never attended a book signing before I joined a writers' group. I was one of those avoid eye contact and keep going people.
Sending you positive vibes for the house sale. It's stressful to keep your home on the market for a long period.

Terry Odell said...

Thanks, Wynter -- on all counts. Sitting on the other side of the table is a learning experience.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Congratulations on meeting your goal! Sounds like your storyboard method worked out well for you.

I really don't look forward to book signings, but I've gotten better at them. I love going in groups.

Looking forward to tomorrow! :)

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Elena said...

What a great teacher to give extra credit for going to a book signing. Love it!

And, I love being in on the final lap of your latest and greatest.

While I'm sorry the house didn't sell, I am glad that the next best possible thing in the circumstances happened.

I have no idea what that cartoon was talking about - very new circumstances capped by an old punch line. May need a 16ish year old guest blogger.

Terry Odell said...

Elena, I'm with you on that cartoon, which is why I do virtually nothing with social network sites! It's a foreign language.

Carol Kilgore said...

Congratulations on THE END. And sounds as if your signing was a lot of fun. Don't throw away your extra Post-Its. You may be able to use the basic idea in a different story.

On another note, I'm so thankful our house finally sold. I don't miss those moments at all.

Beth Caudill said...

Congrats on finishing the first draft.

I've been looking at a storyboard idea for 'plotting' (which I hate doing). I think it's my best bet for trying to write a novel length story but still be able to do the pantster thing.

Terry Odell said...

Elizabeth, I'm looking forward to your visit as well. Group signings have their advantages for meeting people.

Terry Odell said...

Carol - I was thinking of saving everything in case I get to do a workshop. Great visual aid.

Terry Odell said...

Beth, I hope my story board method gives you some ideas. I've got the 'how to get started' parts on my website.

CheekyGirl said...

Hi Terry,

Thanks for posting about how the storyboards helped you get to the end!

I introduced myself to you on Sat. at the signing and wanted to come out from lurking to say it was nice to meet you in person!

Sabrina

Terry Odell said...

Thanks for stopping by on Saturday, Sabrina - nice to have you. Don't be shy about saying hello.

Mary Ricksen said...

Good luck with your new release! Now the edits!

Sam said...

Congrats!

Katie Reus said...

Sorry I didn't get to chat at the signing. I bought a couple books, then had to run, but all you ladies looked wonderful!

Congrats on finishing your manuscript (minus edits, lol)! That's the best feeling :)

Sheila Deeth said...

Congratulations, on the mystery, the signing, and the chocolate chip cookies (!). Sounds like Saturday was quite a success in the end.

Terry Odell said...

Mary, Sam, Katie, Sheila -- thanks so much. The cookies are gone, but the story board is still around.

Karla Brandenburg said...

Congrats on wrapping up and on the book signing. While I'm not a terribly outgoing person normally, at book signings (as the author) I tend to track down customers in the store and chat with them. That way, those ones that are too shy to make eye contact generally perk right up - and you build more sales :-) (But I'm sure you know that)

Terry Odell said...

Karla, you're so right about face-to-face. Since my books aren't normally stocked, I don't get 'impulse buyers' in bookstores, so they have to know about my books. I gave away lots of bookmarks, chapter books, and cover blurb postcards.

Now it's on to 'unwriting.' My goal is to cut 10%.

Marie said...

Congrats on the book signing. I use a story board all the time, usually on the computer so I can drag it with me where ever I go, but the same concept.

I attended more book signings when I first started writing, now not as much. But whenever I see a writer in a bookstore, I do stop and talk to them.

Terry Odell said...

Marie - the whole reason I started using the physical story board was to get away from my computer! I still have computer notes and other sorts of reminders, but I found that the physical story board seemed to work via different pathways to the brain.