Thursday, October 27, 2005

Progress update on both books

Today's page count: 150

I'm plugging away at my second novel, THE SMART ONE, which is due this July. I guess that might sound like a lot of time to some people, but I'm not an especially fast writer. I'm just not the type who can throw it onto the page in any old form and then go back later to fix it. Call me anal, but I have to hammer away paragraph by paragraph, editing as I go. That's not to say I don't do revisions later on, it's just that it has to feel right for me to proceed.

The other day I got kind of jammed up on one of my minor characters, and with this deadline looming, that makes me panic. I just don't have time to wrestle with these things. On the other hand, the thought of sacrificing quality for speed makes me crazy, so I forced myself to focus hard and take a couple of days to rethink this character, and I finally feel better about him. I just wasn't relating to him before--didn't get who he was. But I changed him into somebody else, and that's made all the difference. So I'm moving forward again.

Anyway, I'm on Chapter 14 now, and haven't shown anything to my agents since Chapter 6, so I hope I'm on the right track here. I'm working toward one particular scene before I send it off for their input. I should get to that pretty soon--either in this chapter or the next.

In other news, I'm close to having an approved cover for SECRET CONFESSIONS OF THE APPLEWOOD PTA. Everyone loves what the designer and illustrator did with my suggestion for using a Lichtenstein-esque visual, including me. I'm so thrilled with the cover that I wish I could show it to you today! But I think they're still experimenting with one color element. I'll post it the very second I can. In the meantime, don't forget that you can pre-order the book from today (and be the first on your block to own one!).

I also found out that they're going to need my book jacket author photo by the end of December, so I have to get right on that. Since I can't go back in time and have the picture taken ten years ago, I'll have to find a talented photographer who isn't a stickler for sharp focus.


Katie said...

This is interesting! Thanks for sharing your process. Good luck with your latest writing endeavor.

You know what is wonderful. PHOTOSHOP. It has a tool where you can clone the skin right beside the wrinkle and paste it on wrinkle, and you look like you have no wrinkle. I LOVE IT.

Ellen said...

Hi Katie. Thanks for the photoshop tip! I have a program called Picture It that lets me do stuff like that, though I suspect it's less sophisticated (and easier to learn?) than Photoshop. That's how I wound up with that cute little hazy black and white photo you see. I even did some special effects. :)

Don Capone said...

I think you'll be fine without Photoshop. But hey I'm a Photoshop wiz, it's part of my job—just say the word and I'll knock those ten years off pronto! Seriously, make sure you are 100% OK with the author photo, cos it's going to be used everywhere, on every printed promo and website.

Ellen said...

Thanks, Don! Yeah, I know there's a lot riding on that shot. Fortunately, I have a back-up picture I can use (the one in my zoe bio) if I really hate the professional one. Anyway, I might take you up on that Photoshop offer! I'll keep you posted.

Myfanwy Collins said...

Your cover jacket photo will be gorgeous because you are gorgeous!

Ellen said...

Thank you, dear Myf!