Archive for February, 2013

Using my eReader as a Writing Tool

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

My Notes & Marks includes notes labeled, ‘too much backstory’ and ‘do I need this scene?’

I have been using my eReader for some time to read stories to me. I really don’t mind the electronic voice if it allows me to experience more novels than I could otherwise squeeze into my crazy schedule. But lately I’ve been using my eReader to help me with my works in progress.

Here’s How:  I email my story as a document to my eReader address and open it as a document.  Then I use the Read Aloud function to listen to my second draft.

Here’s Why: Despite cringing at missing words and incorrect verb tense and a myriad of other minutiae, the Read Aloud function lets me hear some big picture items without getting sidetracked with fixing trivialities

Here’s What:

The False Start – While listening, I can more easily spot where the story or chapter or scene really begins, in other words, where the writing gets interesting. I often unintentionally do some “throat clearing” before I get rolling, especially on a new story as I get to know the setting, characters and conflict.  There can be a pile of backstory in these pages and all of that has to go.  Nobody cares about backstory until they are vested in the characters.  So spotting these information dumps and making a note to myself regarding their elimination helps me create a fast read.

I’m Boring Myself – If my mind wanders or worse still, if I fall asleep while listening, I have a waving red flag that the reader will check out as well. My eReader helps me find those places.

Setting – It’s easier for me to notice when I have too many scenes set in the same location while listening and also to discover places where I have not done enough to help the reader experience the setting.

Weak Openings, Feeble Hooks – Did my opening grab me and do my hooks drag me into the next chapter?

Repeats of Ideas, Backstory or other things – Readers are smart and they have very good memories, so once is enough.

Unnatural Dialogue – Hearing the characters helps me see if their conversations sound natural or forced and if the characters have different styles of speech.

Timeline:  It’s always nice to notice if your story has a week has no Wednesday and no weekend or if you have the characters eating second breakfast like hobbits. Listening helps me here as well.

Here’s Help: I mark places that need addressing with the Notes function which does stop the Read Aloud function, so I only use it for big things, which again keeps me from miring in details.  I’m in the middle of such a read right now for a draft of a paranormal romance for Nocturne, but I took a little break to share something that works for me.

Happy writing!



My Books: Pre-release Giveaways

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Jenna’s Spring releases have arrived!

A nice surprise arrived in the mail this week.  My April paranormal release from Nocturne appeared on my doorstep.  Beauty’s Beast is the fourth and final in The Tracker series and although it won’t hit the shelves until April 2, you can get a first release copy by entering my GoodReads contest.  I’ll be running one every two weeks until April.

I also received a smaller box of copies of my UK edition of this month’s Western Historical release, The Texas Ranger’s Daughter.  The cover looks nearly identical except for two slight differences, the Harlequin Historical logos are not the same and the American release has a catch phrase under the title, reading: The one woman he can’t have.  Well, I thought those were the only differences until I tried to put them all in the same box and discovered the UK book is bigger than the North America release.

Larger UK release on left and North America relase on right

The books are tucked into my office but I’ll be bringing some to Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC for giveaways on April 1st.  If you’re in the NYC area, mark your calendars.  I’d love to share the evening with my fans.



Craft: Bonus Material, The Texas Ranger’s Daughter

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

By now some of you have read THE TEXAS RANGER’S DAUGHTER, released this week.  I thought readers might enjoy seeing some bonus material that never made the book.  This section was cut from the manuscript for several reasons.  Since Laurie mentions her encounter with Anton to Boon, having her seducer appears seemed unnecessary.  Her memories of the incident and her mother’s mention of Anton served the purpose of explaining to the reader why Laurie never married and why she feels like a fraud.  Also, if Anton reappears, Laurie has to act to protect other girls who might face seduction and then Boon or her father would have had to deal with him and this tangent would pull attention away from the developing love interest.  In other words, it side-tracked the story, so it had to go.

Still, I thought that the readers might enjoy seeing Laurie meet the man who ruined her and made her feel like such a fraud.  It was this man who kept her from being able to find a husband out of fear he would know she was not pure and fear that she was unworthy of a good man.

Here’s the cut scene between Laurie Bender and Anton Fischer…

 

A knock sounded on the door so quickly after her father’s departure that Laurie thought he must have forgotten something.  But when she opened the door it was to the face she had spent the last five years trying to forget.

There in the hallway stood Anton Fischer, the Ranger who had seduced her and then dropped her like a bad penny.  He had changed little, except that his face was no longer lean and his waist was no longer trim.  He grinned roguishly at her and Laurie wondered where she had put Larson’s gun.

Her stomach dropped as if she was falling, but something about his smug expression replaced her shock with a suspicion, creeping in like fog.  Was this some kind of game to him?

“What are you doing here?”

“Surprised to see me?”

She had heard from her mother that he had left the division shortly after marrying the one he had been engaged to even as he had taken her innocence, some five years ago.  She knew he had been working in the pharmacy owned by his in-laws here in Abilene.  He also had several children.

Laurie narrowed her eyes on him.  If he thought her the same silly girl she had been he certainly was in for a surprise.

His expression told her that he had not accidentally run into her while seeking her father.  No, this was a planned encounter, a strategic attack.  He always knew when her father was away and always approached her at such times.

“What is it you want, Mr. Fischer.”

“That’s mighty formal for the road we traveled.”

“You are very lucky that we two are the only ones who knew of that.”

“Well, that’s the thing I’m here about.  Since I never did have to pay that piper I figure you are a gal who can keep a secret.  And seeing how you’ve grown into such a beauty, I wondered if you had any interest in renewing our acquaintance.”

Laurie’s cool demeanor slipped and outrage roared.

“I do not.”  She fairly spat the words at him.  How could she ever have considered him romantic when now just looking at him filled her with disgust?

“Pity, still you are a bit old now.”

Old?  She was not yet twenty and he called her old.  A dreadful thought occurred to her.

“How many other girls have you seduced?”

He gave her that smug cat smile and a shrug then reset his hat.  “Just like you, Laurie, Dearie.  I don’t kiss and tell.”

With that, he strolled away, whistling ‘Camptown Races.’

Laurie narrowed her eyes as she considered her folly might not be losing her virginity to Anton Fischer, but not telling anyone about it.

How many girls had suffered her fate because of her unwillingness to reveal the truth?

© 2012, Jenna Kernan, excessed from

THE TEXAS RANGER’S DAUGHTER, April 2013