Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Greetings, Hobbies, and Plot Bunnies...Oh My! By Jamie Hill

Greetings everyone! I'm proud to begin my rotation on Dishin' It Out. Mondays and Thursdays will be my regularly scheduled days. I might pop in on the occasional Tuesday or Saturday if I have something fascinating to share. Today, in an effort to tell you a bit more about me, I thought I'd start talking about my hobbies.

A few years ago I told my tax preparer that writing was my hobby and he stopped me right there. "It's not  hobby if you're making money at it and spending money on it--that's a job." We went on to discuss what I could claim and deduct, man it's complicated. I've since realized (and not just for that reason) that no kidding, writing is not a hobby. It's a hard job, some days harder than others. 

Getting started is the only the first hurdle.



Starting a story is time consuming for me because I need to have all the little things figured out. What kind of a car does my main character drive? Does he drink coffee, lattes, or mocha something or others? Does he wear expensive suits or off-the-rack styles? 

Once I've gone through all this with the main dude, I have to do it all again for the heroine. I can waste spend a solid week of writing time mulling this stuff over in my mind, making notes, and allowing the plot bunnies to hatch. (Should they be called 'plot chicks' in this case?)

The first few pages flow. Catchy opening, witty dialogue, I got this. Then we get to the meat of the story and the gut-wrenching part begins. I'm not one of those people who writes non-stop then goes back to edit later. My writing is clean from the beginning. I reread each page several times and self-edit as I go. Of course I don't catch all my own typos but I do write pretty dang clean. <--Hence the 'dang', LOL

Then the pencil rearranging begins. Netflix on my computer? Sweet! Which episode of Blue Bloods do I want to rewatch? All 100? Cool. Let's go.

I make deadlines to pretend I have some semblance of discipline, but I let myself off the hook with the thought that I need to be kind to 'me'. Followed by a Yasso Mint Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Bar and another episode of Blue Bloods. (Research for the cop books.)

At some point I turn the corner. I'll be brushing my teeth one morning and realize, "Hey, what if everyone thinks this guy is the killer but it's really that guy?" From that point on, I can't wait to get to my computer. When I do sit down, my fingers fly over the keyboard. I hate to stop to eat or go to bed. When I type "The End" it's such a satisfying feeling. I strut around my office like I'm high-fiving people on some red carpet somewhere. 

Then the real work begins. More on that later. 

Next Monday, I'll tell you about one of my actual hobbies, another type of 'greeting'. Until then, these are the people causing me to push pencils around these days:

Book 3 in my Witness Security series will be available later this year. Unless season five of Blue Bloods hits Netflix, then it might be a few weeks later. ;)

Find the first two books in the series and my other titles at my publisher, Books We Love. Books 1 and 2 are also available in print by request at a bookstore near you.

See you next time!


Sydell Voeller said...

I'm happy to know you edit as you go. I thought I was just about the only writer who works that way! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jamie.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for visiting Sydell. It drives me crazy to write without proof reading as I go along!

Kathy Fischer-Brown said...

Not only does editing as you go help me sharpen what I've written, it provides impetus for going forward. I was happy to see I'm not only one who can't write a crappy first draft :-)

Unknown said...

Kathy, so true. I start each day by rereading what I wrote the day before, and sharpen it up, catch repeated words, etc. I just like to do it that way! Thanks for stopping by.

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