Monday, May 7, 2012

Dust It Off Bloghop - Day 3

Welcome to the third day of the Dust It Off Bloghop hosted by two talented women, Cortney Pearson and Theresa Paolo. This bloghop encourages you to take a shelved manuscript, dust it off, and rediscover some of the treasures forgotten inside. Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn't it?



There are three parts to this bloghop:
Day 1 (May 3rd) - Post a 1-2 sentence pitch.
Day 2 (May 5th) - Post a 300-350 word excerpt.
Day 3 (today) - Post what you learned from this manuscript.


I picked my sci-fi dystopian romance called Toe-suckers. The title is horrible, but it's not what you--  Okay. It's totally what you think. The aliens have reproductive organs that resemble human toes and feet. "Toe-sucker" is a great insult when used by people who hate the aliens.

What I learned from this manuscript:
1) I learned I liked to write science-fiction. It was my first novel with aliens, and though the aliens aren't the primary characters, it was a lot of fun to create a race of beings.
2) I used adverbs too much. I know what a mistake that is now, but I was too in love with using the "-ly" words.
3) I slipped out of my protagonist's POV too often. It made for some confusing parts. I was also writing from Zegg's POV, and I rarely write novels from the male POV. Zegg was a gutter rat and a thief. He wasn't an alpha male. I think I did an okay job with him, but I learned I best stick with a female protagonist.
4) I wrote too many long paragraphs of description. I use to write thick descriptions like you'd see in big fantasy books. The scenes that worked best in Toe-suckers were the faster paced ones, the ones with less description. I've really cut down on my descriptions over the years. I know better how to show rather than tell. I also have more faith in the intelligence and imagination of my readers. They don't need every little thing described.
5) This manuscript taught me how much I love being a pantser. I have no idea where I was going with this story. I only had an idea of toe-sucking aliens. It led to an unusual, quirky, and dark story with which I had tons of fun.

22 comments:

  1. Excellent lessons, some of which I've recently learned/ am learning myself.

    Points two and four especially resonated with me, and are things I need to work on.

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    1. Thanks. Yes, it took a long time for me to learn that less is better. The important thing is to keep learning as you go along.

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  2. Would love to do this, maybe another time, if I don't complete my chn's sequel they will be grandmother's before it is published....

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    1. It was a fun bloghop. Hopefully they'll do it again next year! :) Good luck with your story.

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  3. Great lessons. This has been such a great bloghop. It's so cool to see everyone's growth. (And get tips for things I'm still learning!)

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    1. Thanks! It has been a fabulous bloghop. :)

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  4. This is such a great list, and I love that as I read I was like, yep, me too. Oh yep, I did that too. Lol! Christine, thanks for sharing your story with us!! :D

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    1. A big thank you to you and Theresa for hosting the bloghop! I've really enjoyed it. :)

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  5. I hear you about the long passages of description. I think a lot of modern writers have forgotten that you can have description, but it shouldn't be description just for description's sake. I tended to skip over the flowery descriptive passages when I read Victorian-era books in my teens.

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    1. I do the same thing. I like fantasy, but sometimes fantasy writers feel the need to describe too much in their world building. I skim over those long descriptions. Thanks for popping by!

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  6. Awesome list of things you learned, Christine! And I give such huge props to all sci-fi writers... it takes a brilliant mind to come up with what you do!

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    1. Thank you! I wish I had more ideas for sci-fi stories. My mind goes more often down the paranormal romance track. :)

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  7. I love seeing how your writing has changed over the years. :)

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    1. It's neat to see how we've evolved as writers.

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  8. Great learnings... I would add some of those to my learnings since I wrote some of my earlier stories:)

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    1. Thanks! And we're still always learning. :)

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  9. I've never done sci fi/fantasy, but it'd be fun to try something really different.

    I like being a pantser too, although I'm trying my hand at plotting with my current WIP. I think I'll end up somewhere inbetween.

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    1. It is fun to try something out of your genre. I don't do it often, but it makes for a great challenge. I've been trying to be more of a plotter lately, but it's not working!

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  10. I'm a total panster. The only outlining I do is a few random thoughts on post it notes. I couldn't imagine it any other way. The few times I have tried to outline, my characters basically tok over and were like yeah we're going to go in this direction instead and we don't care what you think. lol.

    I actually really love the title and thought your pitch was great. Thanks for hopping with us :)

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    1. That's about the only outlining I do too. I just let the story takes me as it wants! Thank you for hosting the bloghop. It was so much fun! :)

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