Erin Lausten

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Posts Tagged ‘revision’

Lightning Round!

Posted by erinlausten on October 4, 2013

Ah the light! It burns! It burns!

Alright, I’m out from beneath the proverbial rock and ready to give the latest update. I promise I have not been sitting on my hands all this time.

First bit of Happy news: Unforeseen is in the final countdown. I have the last minute edits in hand and a book cover in production.  With luck we’ll have a launch very soon now. Yes, I know, “HOW LONG CAN YOU POSSIBLY TAKE???” Sorry. Life has been, shall we say–Interesting.

And just as exciting, Cibola’s Revenge– the full length novel that continues from where Cibola’s Promise left us, is through the first draft stage AND the required two week “don’t you touch it, no, not at all, leave that book alone, stop thinking about it, let it stew, let it sit, Dear GOD why are you still thinking about it” stage. Now I am in 1st revision which, with luck, means it heads off to my first readers in a week. With that same luck, we’ll have that one ready for the holidays. Happy day!

What did I do to distract myself from the book while it settled in my brain? I geeked out of course. Last  weekend was Keen Halloween here in Phoenix. A fabulous get together of Artists and an opportunity for me to spend my money on awesomeness you just can’t find on a daily basis. This fab production was put together by one of my favorite artists SteamCrow.  Honestly, I can’t effuse enough about the awesomeness.

My dear friend, (and partner in crime), fell in love with some steampunky pumpkins, and even got one to sit on her shoulder for the rest of the day. It certainly drew attention our way out of the mall, but hey, she likes conversation starters. So I took notes for future book characters.

My son had a blast learning to fold origami bats. Admit it you want to try. But one thing… bigger paper is better.

I met steampunk author, Michael Bradley, showing off his books and I just had to pick one up.  I can’t wait to read it. But I’m not allowed to read in genre during the revision phase. It makes me over-think my prose and it all goes downhill from there. Oh the pain, the torture. Well I will just have to move through my revision at all speed then!  

My husband has a brand new Batman picture to help him make it through the furlough. “Great Government debacle Batman!” “Don’t worry little buddy, we’ll make it through!”  I walked away with some fabulous prints, that make me happy every time I look at them, from Diana Levin.

And now I am set to finish up these two books and get started on the next. Mwhoohahahahaha!

(Note to self: Will ending with the evil laugh be too much? Eh, when have I ever worried about it being over the top?)


Posted in writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Monster at the End of the…

Posted by erinlausten on August 22, 2013

When I was in college, I thought when I got to that last semester I had it figured out. I knew how to write papers quickly and efficiently. I could research with the best of them. I knew what the professors expected and had established a time management plan that worked for me.

Boy was I wrong. That last semester was the hardest of all. Everything I said above was true, but that semester almost killed me. I still remember calling up my dad crying, wanting to quit, and just all around throw in the towel.

Why? Well the courses weren’t hard. The professors were great. Everything was fabulous. So why was I a wreck?

It came down to one, small, yet extremely relevant reason. It was the LAST semester. My brain decided I was done before the end. Finishing that degree was one of the hardest things I’d had to do. And ultimately, I discovered that finishing period was the culprit. Not the actual activity, but the grand condition called Completed.

I have discovered this as a trend in subsequent projects, and especially those that take extended periods of time. Graduate school was the same. Then I started writing books and ran into the same issue.

Finishing a book is rough.  But just like with anything else, you have to put your head down and just get it done.

I keep telling myself that. And yet, here I am again. I have five chapters left. I’m so close, I’m not even looking at word count anymore. I have a series of scenes that are laid out before me and just need to be written. It’s exciting. It’s invigorating. It’s driving me nuts.

Five chapters. I even have the outline in big bold letters on the Huge dry erase board my fabulous husband built for me.  And…. My brain decided I was done last week. Now it wants to think about what happens next. What are my plans when it is done? What revisions do I need to focus on first? Where do I go next? How long will I let it sit? When will I be able to send to my Beta Readers? How soon will I be able to have it released?


You can see the problem. So what’s the solution? Well, I have declared war on my brain and told it to shut the hell up. I am going to write a chapter tonight if it kills me. Then I will write another the next day and the next day. One day at a time. I am going to stop thinking and just write.

I don’t care if it sucks today. I can fix it in revision. I don’t care if I missed something. I can fix it in revision. I don’t care when it will be released. It never will if I Don’t FINISH, so that’s just a stupid thing to get in the way of writing.

It will be done, and with luck, my next post will have some fabulous news. Wish me luck!

Oh, and, yes, I did make it through that last semester. Thanks Dad.

Posted in writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Side effects

Posted by erinlausten on April 25, 2011

It has been a while since I have written about my writing. Trust me, I haven’t slowed down. Actually I have been going gang busters, but with my head down and plowing through the manuscripts I didn’t take the time to reflect on the process as much as I had in the past. But now, now I have something really interesting to report.

When I am in heavy revision/editing mode it is extremely difficult to read other people’s work. I have been working on two books. One a novella I expect to release as an e-book in May, the second a full length urban fantasy novel I expect to release sometime this summer. Revision is fun. For me at least. It is like picking apart a puzzle. I get to use the analytical side of my brain and really work sentences into something real and enticing. It’s hard work. And I find as I practice I am getting better. This doesn’t mean I don’t love the initial creative phase when I lay the story on paper. I love that part too. One deals with possibilities the other takes them and makes them a reality. Together they make the whole.

But what about reading? Well, since I am in full analytical mode I find myself rewriting everything. Other people’s work included. So I sat down to read a book to relax and found myself rewriting their sentences. I couldn’t get involved in the story. I got sucked into the words. And I had to stop.

Eventually I found the switch that allowed me to let it go and just read, but it was a real eye-opener. And it illustrated how interesting the brain can be. I mean I never knew I had to turn one side off to use the other. Learning how to do it on command is even more difficult. I don’t know that I will ever be able to do it instantaneously.

So tell me, have you ever experienced something like this? Has your brain ever refused to cooperate and how have you learned to flip the switch?

Posted in editing, reading, reflection, writing | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

And now for something completely different

Posted by erinlausten on January 25, 2011

Thank you William for the nod! There are so many in the blogging community that make me smile, but it is nice to know I can do the same.

I’ve been quiet lately, and that’s due to my preoccupation with my work in progress (in revision), preparation for family vacation (when you do medieval reenactment the prep takes more time than the actual vacation), and keeping up at work (its time I think to let you in on the secret. I’m a librarian. Yep. But now that it’s out you have to watch your back. There are people out there who if they knew that you knew… well, I just don’t want to think about it).

But seriously, thank you, thank you, thank you!

And now for something completely different:

Posted in editing, writing | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Mirror, Mirror

Posted by erinlausten on January 18, 2011

Photo by Bruno Monginoux

Reflection. What an interesting concept. In the mirrors we have today it is seen as the very thing it faces. No material distortion, no hidden agenda, just the perfect image of reality. Funny that I see something completely different in the mirror each time I look. I gain and lose weight at the slightest shift in mood. My eyes are bright green when I am happy, a soft olive when disenchanted. Of course, my body isn’t changing shape in a manner of hours and my eyes, though possibly changing colors, don’t reach the levels I swear I see.

And this is the true reality of reflection.  It is subjective and interpretive. It uses reality as a backdrop, but is not dependent on it. Reflection’s goal is not to show one truth, but to provide the truth at the moment, to show what needs to be seen, to inspire the thought, the emotion, and the action.

Reflection has been my constant companion for several weeks. I have hopped from one teetering emotion to the next. Confidence to anxiety. Frustration to annoyance. Serenity to apathy. It moves fast. At least I haven’t sunk deep into one or the other. Each provided something to work with, concepts, ideas, and images. Not all were good. Some were right on. I had to see each reflection and with a little focus and determination I think I can finally start revising.

Posted in motivation, reflection | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Ickity Ackity Oop

Posted by erinlausten on January 7, 2011

I am short of words today. Exhaustion or shock, I’m still not sure. So, I am going to let my old friends at Warner Bros give you an idea of how I am feeling.

Finished the first draft of my manuscript last night.

One minute after I put in that final period:

Once the shock wears off and I fully realize that I have indeed completed the first draft:

I of course realize I cannot give it any one yet. And as posted previously am fully aware of the amount of work still left to do on the thing. Which is why I spent most of the night like this:

And this morning?

Can a girl catch a break?

Posted in dreams, Momentum, writing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Wonderful Wizard of Was

Posted by erinlausten on January 5, 2011

Photo by marie-ll

Words written: 84,090 Currently Reading: Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel

I screwed up. Seriously. Like Orpheus in Hades, I looked back. (palm to forehead)

Never, never look back until you are ready to deal with what you see. I’ve been doing a little brushing up, looking for those things that will make my writing better. Nothing too complicated; don’t want grammar and sentence structure to get in the way of a good yarn. Once the story is down then I can go back and fix what is dreadfully wrong. This method has worked really well. The pace through the manuscript kept steady, my creative mind stayed focused, the story evolved and settled into a decent shape.

However, I am not done. I am almost done. But no, I had to go and take a peak. Just to see what I had in store for the next month or so. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Panic attack ensued. Sleep took a hike and worry sunk its teeth in me like a rabid Chihuahua. (In other words, nothing too bad, but once it starts to fester… bad news).

What did I see that had me in such a fit? After all, I don’t usually have these kinds of fits. I have perfected the blind confidence that allows me to fool my insecurities enough for the job to get done. But here’s what I did. I–stupidly–did a simple Control Find in my manuscript for the word WAS.


It’s ugly. Really ugly. Like put a paper bag over its face and mine just in case one falls off kind of ugly. There are so many WAS’s I could populate a small town. Ok, maybe not a small town. We’re talking on the verge of applying for city status kind of numbers.


It’s going to take a wizard to fix that mess. As I believe Harry Potter and his cronies are too busy living the high life I will have to do. But not until I am done. So, I am off to sweep my misgivings under the rug and finish this first draft. Then take a breather long enough to like my writing again. Ten minutes should be enough? Right?

Posted in editing, Momentum, writing | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »

Don’t look back!

Posted by erinlausten on December 12, 2010

Words written: 48,049 Currently Reading: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Oh the pain! The agony! The AAAGOOONYYY! So, I am moving right along (a bear in his natural habitat–a studebaker) on my manuscript. In fact, I am feeling really good about the amount I have written over the last week. However, and this is the big however, while the words are flying off my fingers, I feel like I am in the scene that will never die!!!

I have to keep on moving though. Because I know this is the danger zone. This is when I will start second guessing myself, feeling like everything I write is crap, and do the unthinkable (the BIG DELETE). So I am going, and going, and going, and by all that is holy I will get through this scene. Luckily, the bad guys just showed up and we have shotguns! So, I think I am near the end of the agony, on to better times (or at least ones that go bang bang).

I am having a ton of fun with this one and I have done a pretty good job of telling myself to just write and not worry too much about it. I am walking past words that could be better, sentances that don’t have that thing, and just writing the story. Good thing I have every intention of an indepth revision process. But a small piece of me is a little terrified that in the revision process I will lose that all important voice.

And the thing about voice, unlike grammar, sentance structure, etc.. it is really more feel than anything else (at least as far as it has been explained to me). As I am still discovering mine, I am particularly concerned I will strip everything that is good in my writing by revising. But then again, it takes practice to get good at anything, so we’ll see what happens. I will just remember to keep the original so that I can go back and make sure that which is good does not get lost.

That’s the plan. Now, for those of you that got the reference to Fozzy Bear at the begining of this post, you get 20 coolness points.

Posted in Momentum, the craft, voice, writing | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »