Tag: Writing

Novel Failure…

Novel Failure…

I read an article recently, well, two actually, that discussed why authors abandon novels. Hmm. Why do we? One article: Why Do Writers Abandon Novels? By Dan Kois gave a few reasons and examples of authors—famous, well-known authors—who’ve abandoned their manuscripts (MS). Sometimes drastically and dramatically. Other’s just quietly pushed it aside labeling it as “Wrecked.” Remember “Midnight Sun?” A book in the Twilight Saga that never was? Stephenie (SIC) Meyer claimed she was “too sad” to finish the book after parts were leaked on the Internet. For her, the book was “wrecked.” Creative types can be that way. Like […]

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Scheduling…

Scheduling…

School is here! Yes. I’m excited.   Don’t misunderstand, I love my kids. I even like having them around. They’re at the fun age that we can do a lot of family activities, especially on the spur of the moment because we don’t have ten thousand things of baby items to pack. My girls are still young enough that some of the stories, sayings, and words that come out of their mouths are hilarious. And my son, who’s sixteen, is a natural comedian. Between the three of them, I’m always entertained. So, yes, I’ll miss them. Mostly. See, the one […]

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People Watching

People Watching

I have a confession to make: I’m a spy. Well, kind of. I’m an Introvert to my core. So in most situations, you’ll find me happily on the sidelines. Watching.   I love to people watch.   We (people in general) are a funny lot. I’ve written things down that I’ve found amusing, poignant, or angered me to use as inspiration when I write a scene or a character.   So, I started thinking—I know, a dangerous thing for me to do—how many writers people watch for inspiration? I mean, how can we see something like this… And not use it somehow […]

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Thank you

Thank you

I think every writer has a moment (or several) when they wonder why the hell we do what we do. At least all the writers I know have these moments. I certainly do. Sometimes it’s writer’s block. Or we think everything we’ve written is crap (which, if it’s a first draft it undoubtedly is). Or we feel like imposters, always waiting for someone to point a finger at us and call us out as frauds. Because I can’t be a real writer. Most days I don’t even feel like a real grown-up. I’ve had several of these self-defeating moments lately, […]

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Monday Music and Memes…

Monday Music and Memes…

    It’s Monday. The most wonderful day of the week. Yeah, sarcasm. But, let’s face it. Monday is as good, or bad, as we let it be—or so I keep telling myself. So, get your Monday groove on with some music and MEMEs.  Here are my picks. Share yours in the comments below, or link to your blog post so everyone can visit.   My Music…   My playlist song of the week is an older song by Snow Patrol, but one I really like. I have it on more than one book’s playlist, but right now I’m listening […]

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Cover Art…

Cover Art…

I just realized something about myself: I’m a cover snob. Seriously. If you’d have asked me a day ago if I judged books by their covers, I’d have said, “No way.”   And I would have been So. Wrong.   I can admit that I’ve never bought a book based solely on a cover I’ve loved. But, I have picked several up and read the jacket blurbs because of their covers. So based on that, the cover did its job. It caught my eye and drew me in… I read the jacket copy and (hopefully) bought the book. Or not. […]

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Deep POV

Deep POV

I love writing-craft books. An entire shelf of my bookcase is dedicated to them. There’s only one problem… many writing books repeat information. An author might explain it in a different way, or use different illustrations and examples, but the truth of the matter is: out of every ten writing books I read, only one might have new, relevant information.   So, I have this idea for a book. It has been percolating for a while. I have some notes, a crude outline, and even a chapter or two of the manuscript written. But, I just can’t figure out how […]

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Do you RUE?

Do you RUE?

I have this taped on my laptop:   It’s a reminder of some advice I received: to RUE when writing. Where the advice came from, I can’t remember, but it’s good advice nonetheless.   What does it mean? Well, it’s an acronym for:   It’s based on the simple principle that readers are intelligent. We (authors) don’t need to spell everything out detail by detail, explaining every last idea until our books are so bogged down with exposition, the intelligent reader is put off and sets the book aside.   This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t explain somethings. Fantasy, […]

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Do I write about zombies or am I one?

Do I write about zombies or am I one?

And there it goes down the road. A cheery yellow blob disappearing into the horizon, and with it, my carefully planned, but rarely kept, writing schedule. *Sigh* It’s June and the end of the school year is here. And that means I can kiss my writing time buh-bye.  At least writing during the day. I’ll find time to write/edit. Usually between the hours of ten p.m. and three a.m. with a few hours of sleep before the twins plop in the middle of my bed at approximately seven a.m. demanding breakfast between sticking their faces so close to mine my eyes […]

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What’s My Salary?

What’s My Salary?

One of my eleven-year-old daughters asked me the oddest question yesterday. She said, “Mom, are you an author?” What made her question odd was that she already knew the answer. Even still, I answered that I was.   Then the reason for her question was revealed: “My friend’s mom said you aren’t an author because you don’t make enough money and wouldn’t live in this neighborhood if you were.”   Um… okay. Well, first, I live in a nice, gated community. Is it the Hollywood hills or the Hamptons? No. Is it the slums? No. Most importantly: is my family […]

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My Biggest Writing Challenge

My Biggest Writing Challenge

  Here’s a Throwback Thursday post. What’s your biggest challenge as an author? If your not an author, tell us what your biggest challenge overall is… The greatest challenge I face as an author is time. I know what you’re thinking. Nearly everyone can say they need an extra hour or two in the day to get everything done that demands their attention.  But that’s not the kind of time I’m referring to.   Creativity doesn’t turn on at eight am and off at five pm. I can’t get up send the kids to school and then sit down and […]

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The Death Of My Favorite Character

The Death Of My Favorite Character

Warning: This post discusses character deaths—spoilers abound.   So, I want to talk about death. Specifically, death of our characters. I think I’ve mentioned that my son, Evan, recently got me to watch Supernatural. I’ll be honest and say that, until now, I didn’t know anything about the show. Now I’m hooked. I love it! It has a good blend of supernatural situations, comedy, and drama.   I guess I should stop here and mention that I’m a reader (or movie/television show fan) that gets so into a story (if it’s good) that I feel anger toward the writers when one […]

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The Plot Thickens

The Plot Thickens

It took me quite a while to get through Lukeman’s The Plot Thickens because a lot of what he writes has been covered in other writing how-to books I’ve read. The Plot Thickens will benefit new novelists, writers facing writing block, and anyone who is in the outline stage of the writing process.   While the book is about plot, there is a lot of discussion on characterization. Lukeman believes that plot stems naturally from characters.   One thing that had me gritting my teeth was the aggressive nature of the author and, also, the tendency to state the obvious…   “Take […]

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Writing Tip: Dialogue

Writing Tip: Dialogue

  Pretend today that I’m not an author. Because I’m writing this post as a reader. And, as a reader, I hope you’ll chime in with your opinions (there are no “wrong” answers) to help the authors who might read this post.   Let’s talk about dialogue. When writing, it’s important that dialogue flows naturally. It needs to mimic normal conversation. So how you talk to your husband, friends, parents, and so forth, is how your characters should speak to each other. (Mostly. There are always exceptions.)   Examples that I’ve come across recently:   “I really loved that black, […]

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Hooked, by Les Edgerton

Hooked, by Les Edgerton

Beginnings are the worst. So much pressure to come up with that perfect first sentence to entice readers to keep reading.   But, it’s not just the first sentence. It’s the first paragraph, the first page, the first chapter. Like I said: Pressure.   An opening scene has ten core components: 1. The inciting incident, 2. The story-worthy problem, 3. The initial surface problem, 4. The set-up, 5. Backstory, 6. A stellar opening sentence, 7. Language, 8. Character, 9. Setting, and 10. Foreshadowing.   I read Hooked in one sitting. Then, read it again the next day because I knew I’d missed some great gem the author tucked […]

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Story Structure Architect

Story Structure Architect

This was a good writing tutorial. The author packed a lot of information into the short book.   The first two chapters were of particular interest to me, covering the three-act story and outlining. As the book progressed, types of stories, plots and situations are discussed.   Example of the “Romance” chapter:  Definition of the romance plot structure. Breakdown of the types of romance structures:              The Cinderella Structure              The Beauty and the Beast Structure              The Sleeping Beauty Structure Each of the structures […]

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Tweak Me, Novelist, and UBB…WOW!

Tweak Me, Novelist, and UBB…WOW!

Today I’m doing a different kind of review. Instead of a book, I’m reviewing software. Specifically, a WordPress theme and two plug-ins. So bear with me. So, in the quest to build a bigger, badder (as in good. And “badder” is totally a word. Trust me.) mousetrap (or website), I’ve found a few things I’d like to highlight that I think will benefit authors, bloggers, and anyone who wants an awesome website/blog but doesn’t have the Benjamins to have a professional create one. No too long ago, a blogger helped me switch my separate blog and website into WordPress where […]

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Where do ideas come from?

Where do ideas come from?

One thing I’m often asked by readers is how I come up with the ideas for my books. And, usually, I have a really boring answer: I don’t remember. Yeah, told you it was boring. But the truth is, it can be months—even years—after I first have an idea before I begin actually “writing” the manuscript. During that time, I jot down ideas, maybe an outline, character studies… or nothing at all. It depends on the story and where my creativity is leaning. For instance, my current work-in-progress is a young adult/new adult dystopian. I’m super excited about it, but […]

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