Sunday, 20 October 2013

"It’s Just A Little Crush" by Caroline Fardig

Today I welcome Caroline Fardig to my blog. Her novel, It's Just A Little Crush, is a #1Bestseller on Barnes & Noble’s Humor and Women Detectives lists. It's Just A Little Crush will be on sale for $0.99 through October 24th.Get your copy today!

 Is there a proper writing process? Caroline tells us how she sets about writing a book:
What is the proper writing process?
All writers are different.  (Brilliant hypothesis, Mrs. Fardig.  Where DO you come up with your ideas?)  And, because of that, each one of us has a unique creative process.  Bottom line?  There is no wrong way to construct a novel.  That being said, I’m going to explain the way I do it, and why it’s the best way.  ;)

Before anything remotely close to “writing” happens, we must come up with an idea.  Ideas come to me in various ways—sometimes they just pop into my head, sometimes I dream them, sometimes I think “I need to come up with a new story” and consciously try to come up with something, sometimes I hear a song which sparks a feeling or emotion that I can build on, and sometimes a location that I visit brings a story to mind.  After I have the general idea, I use a technique similar to the way music therapists use guided imagery, but by myself.  I turn on some music that would fit the tone of my story and let my mind drift, but keep my thoughts centered on my story idea.  This part of the process might go on over the course of several days or weeks, depending on how well my ideas are flowing.

Once I have the plot and the feel of the story, I start with a timeline of events.  This is one of the steps in my process that keeps getting tweaked, because once I start writing, sometimes events in the plotline would be better if they occurred at a different time than I originally planned.  I decide how long my story arc is going to need to be complete and work from there.  I write down all of the days of the week (I don’t bother with calendar days) and start filling in events that are to occur each day.  I find that it’s sometimes difficult to fill weekdays because weekends are generally when a lot of the action happens if your characters are “real” people with full-time jobs.  Anyway, this timeline is invaluable to me as I write, because I can use it instead of having to wade through hundreds of pages of manuscript to refer back to when something occurred.

After I have a roadmap of sorts, I begin my first draft.  Notice that I didn’t refer to it as a “rough draft”, because I’m an edit-as-I-go type of girl.  Just writing this short blog post, I find myself stopping after every paragraph and making sure that I like what I have written before I go on.  OCD much?  Probably, but it works for me.  Writing that first sentence is SO frightening, isn’t it?  That blank screen staring you down, just daring you to mess up the first line so badly that no one will ever want to read past it.  The good news is that it gets easier each time you sit down to write a novel.  Once I have that first sentence, I’m off and running.  If writer’s block strikes, I just start typing words—anything is better than nothing.  I know it sounds weird, but a lot of times, words that you didn’t know you had can pour forth and be better than those you’ve spent time mulling over for hours.  After I get a page or so written, I go back and read through it and make minor corrections.  The reading serves two purposes:  on-the-spot proofreading, and making sure that your scene stays on track.  Sometimes (most times) the way that my head thinks a scene is going to turn out is much different from the written version, so going over what has just been written is a must for me for continuity.

So, once the first draft is done, I read over the whole manuscript, mainly for flow, and of course my perfectionist self can’t keep from making some corrections, but I’m not doing an in-depth proofreading sweep this time.  I make note of passages that don’t make sense, which are to be corrected the next time through.  Then, the real fun begins—having to be overly critical of the baby you’ve just pushed out of yourself, the labor of love that has consumed your life for the past couple of months.  First, I let the spelling/grammar checker do most of the grunt work, like finding typos, misspellings, weird sentence structures, and the like.  After that, I do my human spelling/grammar checker thing, shredding my manuscript apart sentence by sentence.  Once my English mechanics are in place, I go back once again, this time intent on making the text interesting and entertaining.  I crack out my thesaurus and exchange “she said” for “she gasped” or “she blurted” or “she sneered” and maybe sprinkle in a few more swear words, just for fun. 

After that, I take one last read—this time for pleasure.  I read it like a novel, questioning if it is interesting enough to hold my readers’ attention.  Once I’m confident that my errors aren’t too glaring anymore, I pass the manuscript off to my four proofreaders, who all have a different approach to proofreading.  One goes more for the storyline and the dialogue, one goes straight for the grammar, one goes for believability and “would a guy really say that?” (my husband, of course), and finally my last proofreader goes over it with a fine-toothed comb as a final polish (it pays to have a Doctor of English on your team!).

Once I make all of their corrections, I always take yet another read through to see if my baby is indeed ready to be released out into the cold, harsh world.  Once I’m finally ready, I psyche myself up to face the many formatting headaches I’ll have to suffer through to get my novel from my computer to the distribution channels, but that’s another post.

Book blurb:

The sleepy town of Liberty hasn’t seen murder in…well…ever. Residents are stunned when the body of a young woman is found strangled, and reporters at the Liberty Chronicle are thrilled, rather disturbingly, over the biggest news story to hit town this century. 

Lizzie Hart has even bigger problems. Lately, she can’t seem to concentrate on her job as copy editor at the Chronicle with the new hunky investigative reporter, Blake Morgan, swaggering around the office. How can a girl work when she’s using all of her energy combating Blake-induced hot flashes and struggling to repress the giggly inner schoolgirl that’s constantly rearing her dorky head? It’s a good thing that Blake barely knows Lizzie exists. 

After an odd string of events, however, Lizzie begins to wonder if Blake is really as fabulous as she has fantasized. When Lizzie and Blake find a co-worker dead, Blake’s personality changes completely—and not in a good way. Even though the police rule the death as an accident, Lizzie immediately suspects foul play and senses a connection to the recent murder. She is determined to bring the killer to justice, but is having some trouble getting her Nancy Drew on thanks to the pesky stalker she’s picked up—Blake Morgan. Wait, didn’t she want him to follow her around and pay attention to her? Not like this. Blake has turned from cool and smooth to cold and downright scary, making Lizzie wonder if he should be next on her suspect list.

Available for:


About the Author:

CAROLINE FARDIG was born and raised in a small town in Indiana. Her working career has been rather eclectic thus far, with occupations including schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom. Finally realizing that she wants to be a writer when she grows up, Caroline has released her debut novel, It's Just A Little Crush , now a #1 Bestseller. She is currently hard at work churning out a second novel in the LIZZIE HART MYSTERIES series. She still lives in that same small town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.
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