Thursday, April 4, 2013

A-Z Geek (D) + How Change Can Make a Story Sing

How Change Can Make a Story Sing
by Carol Kilgore

I had so much fun the first time I visited here with Lynda that I just had to come back to tell you one of the stories behind the story of my new book – SOLOMON’S COMPASS. And to say that maybe I’m a little enamored with Jake Solomon … but you didn’t hear that from me :-)

The manuscript went through a number of incarnations. When I’d finally made it as good as I could on my own, something was still off. I felt it, yet I couldn’t put my finger on the cause.
So away it went to my editor. And she zoomed right in on the problem.

In the original manuscript, USCG CDR Taylor Campbell already knew her uncle had been murdered. My editor suggested I change the premise so that neither Taylor nor the police know of the murder. They believe his death was due to accidental drowning. Another rewrite.

I saw the change in Taylor within minutes of making the first change, and my fingers flew through those 300-plus pages.

When Taylor knew of the murder, she suspected everyone. Instead of looking like a smart investigator, she came off as suspicious and hesitant.

But when she didn’t know, she developed a strong spine. Taylor acted the part of an officer accustomed to command of a hundred-person crew at sea. And although the story itself didn’t change, the entire tone of the book became more purposeful and urgent. It was such fun to see Taylor really step up and become the character I had envisioned from the get go.

One suggestion from my editor gave my protagonist’s attitude a whole new life.
Priceless.

A missing belt—her uncle’s prized possession. The lure of buried treasure. And a sexy former SEAL who makes U.S. Coast Guard Commander Taylor Campbell crazy. What more could any woman want. Right?
Taylor is in Rock Harbor, Texas, on a quest to unearth her uncle’s treasure—a journey far outside the realm of her real life. There’s one glitch. Taylor's certain the buried treasure was all in Uncle Randy's dementia-riddled mind. Now he’s dead.
Former SEAL Jake Solomon is in Rock Harbor under false pretenses to protect Taylor from the fate that befell her uncle and the other members of a tight circle of Coast Guardsmen called the Compass Points who served together on Point boats in Vietnam.
Jake is definitely not supposed to become involved with Taylor. That was his first mistake. Taylor is attracted to Jake as well, but she refuses to wait for him to locate the killer when she knows her plan will force her uncle’s murderer into action.
But the killer's actions are just what Jake is afraid of. 

Carol Kilgore has always had stories and characters in her head. She wrote short fiction for a few years and enjoyed a small success as a freelancer before giving it all up for her true love – novels. As a Coast Guard wife, Carol has lived in locations across the U.S. She and her husband now live in a San Antonio suburb and share their home and patio with two active herding dogs whose mission is to keep them free from danger, real or imagined.

You can find Carol and her books at these locations across the web:
blog
. website . facebook . twitter . goodreads . amazon . amazon uk

--
A-Z Geek (D)
by Lynda R. Young

GAMES

Doom (1993):The first computer I bought had a massive 40meg capacity and the first game I loaded onto it was Doom. The first and funniest first-person shooter I ever experienced.

Dragon's Lair (1983): The original came out as a laserdisc video arcade game. It required lightning fast decisions and reflexes.

MOVIES
The Dark Crystal (1982): Pure magic.

Die Hard (1987): a study in tight storytelling. Yes, I can turn a non-geeky movie into a geeky event.

BOOKS
Dragonlance Chronicles (1984-1985): A Fantasy trilogy written to formula but still enjoyable. I believe it's been reprinted many times.

TV
Doctor Who (1963-): I lined up for hours to get an autograph from Tom Baker. I even offered him a jelly baby.

What was it like buying your first computer? Which of these stories or games, or any other ‘D’ did you indulge in? Looking forward to reading Carol’s book? What kind of changes have you made that caused your story to sing?




68 comments:

  1. I'm impressed by how much work goes into the writing and rewriting of a book.

    I love the Dark Crystal... I was so you back then.

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  2. I still look at this book cover & go into a brief daydream, it's so pretty :)

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    1. Secret? So do I :)
      My cover designer is totally awesome. He gets all the credit.

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    2. I have to agree. It's a brilliant cover.

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  3. Die Hard. Oh my that was a great movie. I can't relate to any of your other geeky references though ( I may not be geek enough- he he he)

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  4. It's amazing how much difference an apparently small change can make to a story.

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    1. I was amazed, too, Patsy. That change affected the tone of the whole story with different words and connotations on every page. Not many paragraphs were left untouched.

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  5. Carol is just lovely and ever so naughty too!! Yay for her!! My first computer?!?! Oh wow - I can't remember! I do remember my first electric typewriter though! LOL!! Take care
    x

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    1. Hi, Old Kitty!
      I love being naughty :)

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  6. Changes can make a book even better. Glad it helped you.

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    1. I totally agree, and my editor's suggestion was spot-on perfect!

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  7. Carol - a good editor is worth their weight in gold!

    I'm a Die Hard fan. Just love those movies. Hubby and I watch them together :)

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    1. And more!

      I like the Die Hards and Bruce Willis. Hubby, not so much. So I'm a closet Die Harder :)

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  8. Hey Carol! It's funny how one little change can make such a huge difference. Glad you found what would make your book rock.
    I think Doom was one of the first computer games I owned as well. And that old computer couldn't even run my screen saver now!

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  9. Dragon's Lair looked so good and yet was so frustrating.

    Die Hard is a classic but responsible for a slew of pale imitations (many of them starring Bruce Willis).

    mood
    Moody Writing

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  10. My first computer was an amstrad with one of those nice joysticks, and the games came in the form of cassette-like tapes!

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  11. I saw this cover somewhere else yesterday or the day before. Really like it. Hadn't checked into it, but now I will.

    Dark Crystal rocked!!!

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    1. You won't be disappointed, Terri. Carol is a fabulous writer.

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  12. I'm writing a Prologue so the reader may be more sympathetic with my protagonist. Like Carol, it really brings to the story something that niggled. :D

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    1. My editor also suggested adding a prologue, and she told me what the prologue should be about. I didn't want to do this because of all we hear about 'no prologues'. But she explained why some books need them. I understood what she meant, so I added a short one.

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  13. Thank you Carol - you've given me an idea!!! Your book looks great, I'll check it out.
    Lynda I remember being scared of Daleks when I was a child and sitting under the table whenever they came on. Ooooh Tom Baker :-)

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    1. Cool! I'm glad. Run with it!
      And thank you :)

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    2. For a long time I avoided Dr Who because I thought it was a horror show. Then there was nothing on but Dr Who so I thought I'd give it a go. I've loved it ever since!

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  14. What an interesting detail, Carol, about how much a story could improve if something is changed. I think you've waken up my muse! (ouch)

    Lynda, I have very sweet memories about the Dark Crystal. :D And I liked Die Hard very much!

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    1. Great! I love poking muses with sticks. Ummm...I hope mine didn't hear that. She loves the word 'retaliation'.

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    2. I love that something so seemingly little can make such a huge change and effect the whole book.

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    3. Lynda, the thing I really learned from this is to look at EVERYTHING about the story, each tiny detail. I hope I'm able to do that in the future.

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  15. I've got the first computer very late in my life since we were extremely poor. I even finished college when I got my first computer.

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    1. I was always around computers because my big brother was so into them. For a long time I used his hand-me-downs.

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  16. Lynda, thank you so much for sharing space with me today. I'm having fun being here again.

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    1. Carol, anytime!! It's a true pleasure to have you here.

      Hugs,

      Lyn

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  17. Very interesting Carol. I suppose it takes "editorial eyes" to pick up on those little changes that can make all the difference...

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    1. Good editors aren't easy to find, but they are so awesome. They aren't as close to our work as we are as the creator of it.

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  18. Just shows what some great rewriting can do:) Also, Doom was awesome, that totally takes me back:)

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    1. 'Writing is rewriting.' Somebody famous said that, I think.

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  19. Great post. It really points up how essential rewriting is for an author.

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  20. It's amazing how one suggestion can make such a difference! Interesting post, Carol.

    Love your D choices, Lynda! :)

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  21. *sigh* I'm in the process of needing to make changes to my first novel, "Still". I'm procrastinating because I don't know if I believe in it anymore. Decisions, decisions (hey, there's a "D" word for ya)...

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    1. Once you begin making changes, you may fall back in love with it. Give it a try and see.

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    2. I agree with Carol. That's happened to me before. In fact, it happened with my current manuscript. I didn't like it for a long time until I made some changes and now I LOVE it.

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  22. I love Doctor Who, and Die Hard (yup all of them) and you forgot Diablo 1 & 2 I won't get 3 as it's all online and I loathe that.

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    1. Oh my gosh! How'd I forget Diablo??? I've played 3. Online, while annoying, isn't a big issue for me since I already play other online games.

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    2. I've only got dongle (a little memory stick) type connection, so it's not beneficial at the moment to play online which is why I Loathe it lol.

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  23. Thanks for the great post Carol.

    Lynda, I love the Die Hard movies.

    Nas

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  24. The Dark Crystal kind of scared me as a kid - creepy movie! Also, yay for Doctor Who! The new series is pretty awesome.

    Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom
    www.mithrilwisdom.com

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  25. I just started reading Solomon's Compass today and so far, I'm liking it! Dr. Who is a classic!

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    1. Cool! I hope that 'like' stays with you :)

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  26. That second pair of eyes is so very important. Great post - see you at 'e'

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  27. I loved hearing about this rewrite. Sounds like one suggestion made the book so much more dimensional. I won one of Carol's books, and it just arrived today. I'm so excited!

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    1. It certainly did. I'm glad the book arrived safely. Enjoy!

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  28. They say it's the rewriting that makes the story sing. It's great you had an editor with such a keen eye. I love the CG angle. My hubby was a CGmen. Love that uniform! :)

    And then there's Dr. Who. Geez, I say that and I hear the music.

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    1. I loved my editor! Yay for Coasties! I'm married to one, too. And there is that uniform :)

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  29. So good to see a fellow gamer! I hope you're still into them. Get Steam, buy the Orange Box and you get 5 excellent FPSs by Valve for a great price.

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    1. Yep, I'm still into them, but I have to pull back a little because they eat into my writing time.

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    2. Thanks for stopping over! Great to see you here :)

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  30. Now that's what we all need - an editor like yours *sigh*. But then I've never known you not to work things out for the best yourself in any of your stories, so I believe you'd have got there in the end without help.
    Good luck with Solomon's Compass - I don't think you'll need it though - it has success written all over it.

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    1. I don't know. I'd been mired in the story for a long time. For sure it would have taken much longer. Thanks for stopping in here :)

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  31. Die Hard and the Dark Crystal, loved both of them.

    I've watched some of Dr. Who back in the 80's, I don't know if they were rerun episodes from the 60's or if they had other ones. I liked it but never really got into it.

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  32. I'm at the stage of rewrites, and I'm looking forward to it-- I think most writing is re-writing.All the good stuff, any way.


    Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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