Thursday, August 2, 2012

Guest Post: Maria Geraci

I want to say a big thank you to author Maria Geraci for stopping by Books Etc. today. She's got a fabulous guest post and I hope you all have fun reading it. I sure did!


NOVEL BLOOPERS

First off, thank you to Kaley and Books, etc, for inviting me to blog here today. I’m excited to talk about my new release, A Girl Like You. In the opening to my story, my main character, Emma, overhears herself referred to as “the ugly friend.” Yikes! That’s a lot for a girl to take in. On the outside, Emma remains cool and collected. But overhearing that one careless remark sets her on a journey that changes her life forever. I loved writing this book and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

Like any novel, A Girl Like You went through numerous rough drafts before I finally got the story “right.” And by getting the story right, I mean finding the correct ending. I always knew the story would end happily (as all my books do) but I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to give Emma the ending that not only felt right for her, but was right for the other characters in the book as well. It wasn’t until I was almost three fourths through my first draft that I knew how my book would end, which means I then had to go back and make sure the ending I came up with seemed logical from the first page. Which meant more rewrites.

Every time you rewrite a scene or update a draft of your novel, it leads to potential bloopers. Those little details that don’t get added in, or those little things that no longer make sense because your rewrite doesn’t need them.

I thought it would be fun to share a blooper from A Girl Like You.

Set up: My main character, Emma, goes to a bar to meet her friends.

Page 2, original sentence:
I signal the bartender. He ignores me and moves to another customer.

What’s so bad about that, you ask? Well, on the very next page, this happens:
“We invited your sexy boss to go out with us tonight,” says Torie. “He should be here any minute.”
This seemingly benign statement causes my beer to go down the wrong way.

See the problem?

How can Emma be drinking a beer when the bartender never took her order?

Of course, a reader could assume that somehow Emma was given a drink, but I hate details like this that don’t make sense. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch this blooper until the final galley stage when it is nearly impossible (and expensive) to make corrections. Luckily, I was able to add in a few words to the original sentence to allow it all to make sense:
I signal the bartender. He ignores me and moves to another customer before finally taking my order.

Whew! Scene saved.

Maria Geraci writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with a happy ending. The Portland Book Review called her novel, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, “immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous.” Her fourth novel, A Girl Like You, will be released August, 2012 by Berkley, Penguin USA. For more information, please visit her website at www.mariageraci.com


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