Thursday, May 29, 2008

Please Welcome Author...Terry Spear

Writing Bloopers

Thanks so much to the Deadly Vixens for having me as a guest author blogger! Ironically, I looked up the term “vixen” this morning in the thesaurus because to me it means someone who’s impish, tease, troublesome, but in a playful way and I was going to use it to describe my heroine in my latest book, Allure of the Wolf. But the thesaurus showed it as shrewish, harpish. Huh? Okay, so I looked it up in the dictionary, hoping to find something closer to what I thought it was—a woman with a fierce temper, and a fox.

All right, so I chose siren instead to describe my heroine. :) Which brings me to bloopers in our stories. What happens to all the stuff I’ve revised? The stuff I’ve cut out? I hear about other authors who have several versions of their manuscripts stockpiled and they wonder when is the time to get rid of them? After the book is contracted? Once it’s published? Ten years after publication?

Hmm, will we become famous and the edited or totally unedited versions will sell for millions of dollars?

My best childhood girlfriend kept all her slippers from the time she was an infant to adulthood because she thought some day she might become famous and sell them for a fortune. :) But if she became famous, why would she need to sell them? **note, she never became famous and she finally ditched them.

For stuff I’ve cut, I keep it in a separate file, and then once the book is out, I put the “cut outs” in my hard drive recycle bin. Which is always full of neat stuff if I ever need to retrieve any of it. And I do, sometimes.

I even got really lucky one time because I’d saved the wrong version of a novel, the one without the end!!! And one of my critique partners had critiqued it months earlier and still had it in her recycle bin! This tells me two things, critique partners can be absolutely invaluable, like the friend who has a picture of your kid in their wallet when you can’t find one, and recycle bins are great places to save stuff you thought you might never need again. **note, and yes, I was so happy to have my ending to the book, which turned out to be two whole chapters and an epilogue, I sent her one of my world famous teddy bears!

The reason I keep a file of cutouts is the obvious, I might want to use them after all, but also, do you know how hard it is to cut your baby up? So, by making a file of cut outs, I can get on with the business of writing, and it doesn’t hurt quite as much.

I must have deleted my bloopers, but I remember my editor questioning something about the guns Bella had in Heart of the Wolf…it’s like an important prop, one minute it’s in the movie, the next, it isn’t. :)

So here’s a snippet from Heart of the Wolf when Devlyn is in rescue mode, headed to the zoo to free Bella:

A police siren wailed behind him, shattering the otherwise quiet and forced a shard of anger to rip through him.
Everyone turned around to see what was wrong. Frowning, Devlyn pulled the vehicle to the shoulder, spitting gravel out of its path.
“Speeding a little, Devlyn?” Argos asked, his voice amused.
Speeding a lot. Devlyn tightened his grip on the steering wheel, not wanting to leave Bella in the zoo’s pen one more minute. He glanced at the rearview mirror to see a policeman approaching. If Devlyn tore off now, he could probably lose the cop. The officer would never guess Devlyn would hightail it to the zoo.
He slipped his foot off the brake.
© Terry Spear, 2007

Currently, I’m writing Allure of the Wolf, and I kept feeling the opening, 12,000 words, wasn’t right. So yep, it’s in my cut out file. But I’ve since written a new 22,000 words, and when the heroine and hero get back to town, I hope to use some of what I cut.

The beginning is never the beginning, someone once said. It’s always a work in progress.

So if you are intrigued by a sexy shapeshifter story that is full of suspense, adventure, and humor, check out Heart of the Wolf!

And thanks, Deadly Vixens, you foxes you, for having me!

Terry Spear
Heart of the Wolf, Don’t Cry Wolf, The Vampire…In My Dreams (coming August 26!), Winning the Highlander’s Heart,

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Disclaimer (because we don't have a choice): The views expressed by the guest blogger do not necessarily reflect those of The Deadly Vixens.

19 deadly screams:

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

I'll be giving away either an e-copy (pdf) of Winning the Highlander's Heart, or The Vampire...In My Dreams to a lucky winner! Thanks!

Terry Spear

Lisa Hendrix said...

I have 2 files of cut material. One for really nice bits that I've decided just don't work where they are but might work elsewhere (called "Snippets") and a folder for all those first/second/third drafts, false starts, noodling around, whatever that will probably never see the light of day but which I keep just in case (called "Junk Drawer" -- you know, like the one in the kitchen that catches all the rubber bands and spare screws). As in real life, the Junk Drawer has saved me more than once.

Teresa D'Amario said...

Hi Terry,

I don't use the deleted files. I just keep a folder for each book, and have a sub folder for "deleted scenes/data". I'm afraid I'll empty my recycle bin and forget what I need is there, because I tend to purge that about once a month.

So it's better for me to do sub files, but yeah... gotta keep those deleted scenes. For when we're rich and famous, right? LOL Oh yeah.

Rachel said...

Hey Terry!

Great post, this is something I never really thought of. I am not an author, but I do occasionally get ideas for blog posts. I keep them in a draft email to look at later. I suppose if I don't use them, I eventually delete the drafts. LOL

Thanks for sharing your process!


AJ Hampton said...

You girls totally rock. Hee! I don't save my cuts. I just cut them and move on. Why? Because I tend to dwell on things for days!

I do have a whole file dedicated to stories that will never see the light of day. Sometimes, when I'm museless, I read back over them and get ideas or re do one of the scenes.

The Heart of the Wolf sounds like a great book! I can't wait to sink my teeth into it. I read the review that Rebecca York gave it and since I've itching to read it!! I'm in writing mode at the moment, which means, no reading. Its a good rule. LOL.


Love your style Terry (and your teady bears!)


Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Omigosh, Lisa, you have a junk drawer like mine!!! And I keep telling myself, I'm going to clean it out so I can find something in it!!! But if I clean it out, I'll toss something I'll probably need later, or not. :)

Teresa, delete the recycle bin? Horror of horrors!!! Yes, rich and famous, any day now. :)Is that Oprah I hear calling?

Rach, I hadn't thought of that for blog posts. Coming up with new ideas can be hard sometimes. I was thinking about The Mummy that I had watched with my son the other night and asked if they had any out takes. That's where I got the idea of deleted scenes and writing! :)

Ohmigosh, AJ, you don't save your cuts? It would kill me not to. But yeah, I have a lot of those stories that I reread from time to time. Sometimes it helps me get back in the mood for working on a current WIP. How? The older stuff becomes too much work!!! Don't blame you on the no reading rule while you're writing. I wrote 4,000 words yesterday on definitely no reading, or cleaning, or anything else!!! :) Thanks on the bears and Rebecca York's review. :) Hope you enjoy the book when you have the time! And good luck on your WIP!!

Gracen Miller said...

Hi, Terry! Thanks so much for blogging with us today! It's such an honor!

When I cut scenes or even paragraphs, I too save them to a separate file. I'm afraid I might need them later. Plus, I'm a pack rat by nature, so getting rid of anything is very traumatic to me. ;-)

Like you and AJ, I don't read when I'm in writing mode. When I'm suffering from writer's block, I'll pick up a book. It seems to help get me through the block and inspired to write again.

Rachel, this is a cool idea about the blog. I'll have to start a folder today!

Gracen Miller said...

Oh, I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed reading your blog. It was a great topic!

Heather Hiestand said...

I usually don't cut that much. I'm more the one with tons of started and never finished novels and stories. And sometimes I can't find them again when I want to dig them out for some reason, or I find ones I don't remember having started! Maybe I should check that recycle bin...

Heather Hiestand/Anh Leod

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks, Gracen! Thanks to all of you for having me! Getting rid of stuff is traumatic for me when it comes to writing. Don't you feel if you lose something (I write by hand in bed before I sleep lots of times then type it the next morning, unless something else distracts me) and sometimes I lose the notes. Then, I'll spend hours looking for them, because rewriting scenes from memory is never as good as the first time you wrote it. Now why is this? You have to still edit the death out of everything you wrote, yet the first attempt is from the heart somehow, I feel... :)

Oh, Heather, I've got the same problem. Come to think of it, I've got lots of problems!!! But I had started about six different wolf stories when I was trying to figure out what to write after Heart of the Wolf. But I hadn't sold it yet, so put them on hold.

Then, Don't Cry Wolf popped into my brain, and it was a stand alone single title, just in case I didn't sell Heart of the Wolf. It was about 4/5ths of the way completed when my editor bought Heart of the Wolf and asked for another wolf story. So it wasn't anything from the six original story ideas.

Then I had the idea for a sequel from Don't Cry Wolf, but it hadn't sold yet, so I proposed two more wolf stories that again were stand alone titles, although one of the secondaries in Heart of the Wolf has been in every story afterwards, and the hero in Heart of the Wolf makes a cameo in Betrayal of the Wolf.

Will I use the other 6 starts of wolf stories? At least one of them I intend to use. Readers will make a surprising discovery about the main character, Bella, in Heart of the Wolf, from one of those started stories. (working title: Night of the Wolf):) But I have to finish Allure of the Wolf first. :)

I had to smile when you said you couldn't find them sometimes. My problem is I can't remember the working titles because I haven't worked on them in so long. :)

Molly Daniels said...

I'm also one of those who has kept nearly everything I ever wrote. Maybe it will come in handy; mayb it won't. But it's fun to read (and cringe at) what I once thought was the Great American Novel/Next Bestseller:)

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Oh, Molly, I know what you mean. Amazing as you write more and more how much you learn. And continue to learn. Don't you wish everything was perfect the first time you wrote it? Sometimes I try to do that...doesn't work. :)

I watched a play about Amadeus and in it, the antagonist, who also wrote music, hated him because he never had to change a thing in his music. It was all in his head the right way and when he wrote it, it was always the final copy. Now that's the way I want to write!

Cathy said...

Love paranormal stories and have Heart of the Wolf on my wish list.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks, Cathy!! I love paranormal stories too...started back with my fascination with Count Dracula and his charming ways with the ladies.... :)

Sierra Wolfe said...

I hate to say it, but I never save the stuff I cut out. Maybe I should, LOL. But actually, I usually write short and end up having to add stuff instead of cutting it out.

Thanks for blogging with us today Terry! It was a great article and I loved reading it. Your book sounds like a great read!

Michelle M Pillow said...

Congrats on the new book!

I tend to keep everything when writing. You never know what you're going to need. :)

Susan said...

Hi Terry, it's nice to meet you. I haven't had the pleasure of reading your books but they sound like the kind of reads that I like. :) Give me a naughty shape shifter or a randy vamp and I'm happy. I'll be adding you to my TBR pile.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Okay, really bizarre, I posted after Susan and my post went missing.
Thanks, Sierra--I wrote short on Heart of the Wolf and had to add, but when I came to Don't Cry Wolf and Betrayal, I had to cut!!! So I'm hoping I get Allure right this time!

Thanks, Michele! I so agree with you!

Susan, thanks so much! I'm with you and naughty shapeshifters, and very sexy vamps!! :) hmmm-hm! Thanks!!

Gracen Miller said...

The winner of the contest is...HEATHER HIESTAND!

Please e-mail us at with your e-mail address and your choice of book.

Don't forget to check back each Saturday for another chance to win!