Monday, June 29, 2015
Monday, June 22, 2015
About every four hours I backup my WIP. I work in Scrivener on the Dropbox cloud, which saves every two seconds (literally), but I wanted more protection that that. My internet is not reliable in the country.
So, I compile my WIP and save it on the desktop and a thumb drive. Finally I email it from my Yahoo to my gmail accounts.
I had a small scare recently, which made me wonder if that was not frequent enough. So, tell me, how do you backup your work and how often? Does it depend on your word count or pages or time you've spent?
Friday, June 19, 2015
Most of what I know about writing I've learned through running every day. These are practical, physical lessons. How much can I push myself? How much rest is appropriate--and how much is too much? How far can I take something and still keep it decent and consistent? When does it become narrow-minded and inflexible? How much should I be aware of the world outside, and how much should I focus on my inner world? To what extent should I be confident in my abilities, and when should I start doubting myself? I know that if I hadn't become a long-distance runner when I became a novelist, my work would have been vastly different. How different? Hard to say. But something would definitely have been different. (Source: Haruki Murakami: Talent Is Nothing Without Focus and Endurance )
Monday, June 15, 2015
|Based on a drawing by |
Pierre Denys de Montfort
So this year has been stressful for me. But I just published my first novel. And I made PRO. I'm actually doing fine--a little frazzled around the edges but on the whole okay.
One habit I've cultivated to combat some of my anxiety is coloring. Adult coloring has taken the world by storm with complex drawings that are both beautiful and fun.
Coloring is an activity most of us remember from our childhood. It evokes memories of simpler times when major life decisions were often whether to stay inside and watch cartoons or go outside and play pirates.
|Art by SHRIJITNAIR|
So when deciding on what kind of marketing I wanted for my new novel, The Klockwerk Kraken, I thought about coloring pages. And I'm unveiling my new pages here.
Click the pictures to download their corresponding PDF. Print them off and then get out your colored pencils.
Spend a few moments doing something fun, something colorful, and something relaxing.
Come color with me.
AIDEE LADNIER is a writer who loves quirky characters. You can visit her website at http://www.aideeladnier.com or meet her at some of her favorite social media sites:
Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | Facebook
Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, fold origami, send ping pong balls into space, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee's to write both romance and erotica with a little science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Nothing makes me want to punch a book in the face more than a legal scene where one lawyer calls another "counselor." I don't care what you've seen on Law & Order, we don't talk like that . . . EVER!
As a lawyer, here are my top five pet peeves when it comes to reading fiction dealing with the courtroom:
1. The Rocket Docket
Cases take years to go to resolve. Years. YEARS. I stop reading any story where someone walks into a lawyer's office seeking representation and then is in trial a few weeks later. I'm not saying it is impossible, because there are certain types of cases where that can happen (so do your research), but as a general rule, the wheels of justice move at a glacial pace.
2. The Eleventh Hour Smoking Gun Document or Witness
As a general rule, witness and exhibit lists are filed well in advance of trial, and what is contained on them is often limited by information that has been previously exchanged and/or disclosed among the parties. It is rare that a judge will allow a witness or document not previously disclosed to be used at trial.
3. Hissy Fits in Court
If a lawyer grandstands or goes on a screaming tirade in a court room while examining a witness, he or she is going to get a knot yanked in his or her neck by the judge. Lawyers are expected to behave professionally in court. The judge will not let a lawyer get in a witness's face. A jury is supposed to base its decision on the facts, not passion or prejudice. A judge will do a lot more than pound a gavel if a lawyer starts peacocking around the courtroom. Someone is going to be paying sanctions/a fine and may find himself or herself in custody of a marshal or bailiff.
4. Lawyer in a Big Firm Handling a Small Case
Big firms have big overhead. While lawyers in those firms can do some pro bono work, they also have a certain number of billable hours they have to meet to generate the necessary revenue for the firm to pay its rent, make payroll, etc. Practicing law isn't cheap. Lawyers have high hourly rates, and those rates typically increase based on the size of the firm and the size of the city in which the lawyer practices. A lawyer is not going to be working on a case that will generate a fee that results in the firm taking a loss. Doing so will drag the firm under (on a side note, when I took a class on class action litigation in law school, our professor had us read A CIVIL ACTION to learn the real moral of the story - one case can bankrupt a law firm).
5. Procedural and Evidence Mistakes
If you are going to have a courtroom scene, research it. Audit a class on evidence, civil procedure and/or criminal procedure. There are rules about what can and can't happen in a courtroom. There are rules about what can and can't be presented to a jury. Random misplaced objections and cases being heard in the wrong type of court are common mistakes in fiction, and they alienate people familiar with the legal community.
If you want to avoid drawing objections to your legal writing, be sure to attend my workshop (Law and Order for the Writer: Avoiding Objections to Your Legal Writing) at the RWA National convention in New York. My workshop will be Thursday, July 23 at 12:45: https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=1051
Do you have a professional mistake that drives you nuts (don't get my mother-in-law started on medical dramas)? I would love to hear it. Do you have any questions about writing legal scenes? I'm happy to help.
Sunday, June 07, 2015
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
Anyway, I got a set of edits (not my first book with this publisher, by the way) not too long ago and I tell you what, that editor who was assigned to work on my manuscript was one of the unkindest people I have ever come across. For some reason, my story brought out the absolute worst in this lady. I don't know what struck her core but something sure did. She did not like one thing about what she was reading. She hated the heroine, the hero, the premise of the book, and even the villain was too villainous for her. Yep. She said that.
I'm not sure about how editors are assigned but I would hope if someone's story struck such a negative nerve in the editor that they could ask to be reassigned. This woman did not do any such thing; rather, she took her venom out on my poor psyche. Nasty comments abounded which made me hate my own work that I'd been so happy to submit and have accepted by the publisher. Now, that's pretty harsh treatment there.
A couple of examples: "You must not have worked very hard on this book as I've read one of your other books and it was better."; "You must not like your characters."; "I want to cold-cock your heroine." (AND this was not meant in a sexual way); "I want to tell her to go screw herself." and, after highlighting most of a chapter: "Rewrite this as it's nonsensical." No guidance, nothing - just rewrite it. And one comment was just, "You're kidding."
Somehow, I think editors are supposed to make the story shine, not tear down the manuscript or insult the author by basically calling her lazy and/or inept. I did the best I could with what the woman sent me but I looked over my contract to see if I could take my rights back since I was so unhappy. Before I did so, I emailed the editor in chief about the whole thing and asked her to look at the comments. I was then offered a fresh edit from scratch. The editor in chief also pointed out a contract provision I didn't notice in my haste to find the one about returning my rights to me.
Happily, the contract has what I am calling an "Author's right of last refusal" paragraph. This paragraph means I can refuse any and all of the edits. I have final approval of the manuscript. That makes me feel a whole lot better and I recommend making sure you have that kind of provision. A book going out with your name on the cover should reflect what you want it to, not what some woman who hates the book thinks it should.
The other thing that made me feel better was the editor in chief said she contracted the story as it was and she thought it was good. My poor lil ole ego that had been crushed to the core needed that. :) Yes, I admit, I let the vicious comments move into my head and make me think I was a terrible writer.
Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do bad comments tend to stick and the good get glossed over? Any ideas on how we, as writers, can learn to focus on the good? Let the negative go?
Monday, June 01, 2015
I'm in the throes stage of my new work-in-progress, WILD MAN'S BLUFF.
"The throes" is defined as the hair-pulling stage that occurs somewhere about the midpoint of a new manuscript at which point you're convinced:
a) it's all crap and will never work itself out,
b) it was a stupid idea for a book to begin with,
c) your plot has more holes than swiss cheese, and
d) you're not an author at all, but a sham, a fraud, and DESERVE to be exposed as such. Which is what will happen when this pile of crap is unleashed on an unsuspecting public.
So when one is wallowing in the throes, it is helpful to have eye candy upon which to gaze.
Confession time: I collect eye candy.
There's an innocent little folder on my Dropbox account called "Auditions," and inside it are "Heroes" and "Heroines" folders. People who've caught my attention or struck me as drool-worthy or had interesting features. (Funny how the interesting features are mostly in the "heroines" folder while the drooling happens while looking in the "heroes" folder.)
I knew Cele as soon as I saw her. She's curvy but petite, a spitfire, 28 years old, an artistic type who's trying to make it as a singer/songwriter. Like many of those deep in the wilds of southern Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, where the book is set, she and Gentry are both somewhat racially androgynous--Cajun and Creole and Native American have mingled greatly down in America's great swampland. Cele has many of the physical traits of her Chitimacha family members, though (the Chitimacha are the only tribe who are still in their aboriginal homeland in the Atchafalaya Basin). I knew she had black hair and olive skin, but striking blue eyes.
So you can see why actress Denise Vasi was perfect for her.
What a pity.
It was an arduous task, but I finally settled on Walter Savage to play Gentry. He has a kind of masculine ruggedness that I felt fit the character.
Did I mention he's even sexy with a bad case of bedhead?
Being an author is hard, hard work. Yes, indeed. But somebody's gotta do it.