Tag Archives: writing

In Which I Have A Life…

So… I’m very much a homebody, which suits me rather well most of the time. However, this weekend, I spent three whole days going Illogicon, which is a SciFi convention that was being held not too far from where I live. Typically I don’t go to such things, but my favorite author (Jacqueline Carey) was one of the guests of honor, so I HAD TO GO!!!

I’m not going to fangirl too much here, but if you are interested in how that part went, you can read about on my Tumblr (here and here).

In addition to various SciFi topics and authors, there were also some panels on writing and publishing, so I thought I would share some of the highlights.

On Friday I started at the All Roads Lead to… panel, which was a discussion about the various options we have for publishing: self-pub vs small/independent pub vs traditional/large pub houses, along with the pros and cons of each. Lots of great information, and probably one of the most important things that I learned, was that no matter which route you go, you are likely still going to have to do a lot of your own work, in terms of marketing and promoting. A thank you to author Michael G. Williams and Lynn McNamee of Red Adept Publishing, for their insight.

Also on Friday, I went to a reading by author Natania Barron, who I had not heard of before, but highly recommend others go and check out. The reading that she did was a submission from the Kaiju Rising anthology, but she also has a several other books, including Pilgrim of the Sky, which is now on my “to read” list.

Saturday I had to work, so didn’t get to do much other than go to a reading by Jacqueline Carey <insert fangirl swoon>, but Sunday, again had several panels on various topics, two of which revolved around “worldbuilding.” The first was more focused on the use of religion and mythology when writing (and doing it well vs epic fails), the second was worldbuilding in general and what sort of things are essential to ensuring that the readers are fully immersed in the world that you are creating. In both, the key seems to be research and making sure that (as the author) one knows all the details, even if those details are never used on the page, and not to ignore logistics. Things don’t just happen, and there are a million little things that we do and see daily that are essential parts of our world, even if we don’t fully acknowledge them – these are important when building a cohesive world for your readers.  In addition to Jacqueline Carey, also big thank you to authors Debra Killeen, Natania Barron, Misty Massey, Ada Milenkovic Brown, Gail Z. Martin, Clay Griffith, Thomas A. Mays and Chris Kennedy for giving such great discussion on the topics presented.

Also on Sunday, was the You’ve Finished Your First Draft, Now What panel, which discussed editing and getting feedback, along with the pros and cons of using critique groups. Another big thank you to authors Clay and Susan Griffith, Terri-Lynne Smiles and Betty Cross for their insight.

Anyhoo… had a lot of fun, but now I’m going to go sleep for a week to recover!! XD

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Packing for Camp…

roasting-marshmallows

Or you know… grabbing a blanket, and some chips and moving the ten or so feet from my bed to my desk. XD

It’s just about time for the July session of Camp NaNoWrimo, and as it’s become abundantly clear that I can’t keep to any sort of writing schedule unless I have at least the semblance of accountability, I will be participating again this go around. If anyone wants to join me, or needs a bit of extra support/motivation to get through the month, feel free to add me over there and we can sweat it out together.

I’ll probably have some excerpts of the newest project up on Book Country within the next couple weeks for feedback. I’ll post more on that when the time comes.

Outside of camp preparations, I’ve been working on doing some final editing on In Plain Sight, so that I can get ready to send off some query letters. Exciting and nerve wracking… all at the same time!!

 

Fun While It Lasted…

All things eventually come to a end, it’s a fairly inevitable part of life. Sad to say, in this case – I did not make it through to the semi-finals of the ABNA, which as I mentioned previously wasn’t entirely unexpected, despite the somewhat positive PW review.

Anyways, still extremely happy to have made it as far as I did. It’s been a great experience, and looking forward to potentially doing it again sometime in the future. In the meantime, I’ll continue to do some last minute editing on In Plain Sight, and then start sending off some query letters, so I can get this baby published.

Thank you again to everyone who has stuck with me on this awesome journey. I truly appreciate everything you all have done for me. Would never have gotten this far without you!!  ❤ ❤

 

*squeeeeeeeeeeeee*

(actual approximation of the sounds I was making… I swear… along with quite a bit of screaming and manic giggling)

It’s a question I posed before, and now I’ll pose it again (and maybe if I’m REALLY, REALLY lucky I can do it again in June)…

GUESS WHO MADE IT TO THE QUARTER-FINALS IN THE ABNA CONTEST?!!!!!

quarter finals

I’m seriously so excited, and nervous and excited and nervous – being this happy should not make one’s belly feel so funky!! Still a long way to go, but a whole lot closer than I thought I’d ever get.

You guys are awesome!! ❤

 

Writing Is Hard

 

I’ll admit that I’m struggling just a bit. I didn’t go into this fully prepared, didn’t have any sort of outline, or even a fully fleshed out plot to work with. While I’ve managed to throw something together, still getting from point A to Z (and all stops in between) is proving to be a lot harder than it should be. I know more or less where I’m going, and what needs to happen to get there, but OMG… there just are no words. Nothing… Nada…

Part of it, I think still has to do with my issues over point of view, and the related issue of past tense vs present, which others in my Camp NaNo cabin brought up today as well, so at least it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one. The other part (as I mentioned to a friend the other night), is that my MC has been more or less out of it for the last 10 years – it’s not like she’s just going to jump out of that raring to go. It’s going to be somewhat slow going, which unfortunately, at least up to this point is boring as hell.

Currently the whole thing reads like an overly detailed diary, and I figure if it’s got me reaching for the snooze button, I can’t really expect anything better from anyone who might be unfortunate enough to read it. So at some point there will clearly be massive amounts of editing going on, otherwise this whole project will just end up a footnote in the history of epicly fail-tastic story telling. For now though, I’m going to keep muddling through, and fighting the good fight.

But srsly gaiz… writing is hard!! XD

Bonus points: what sort of things do you do when you feel like what you are writing is total shit, but you don’t necessarily want to abandon it completely?

 

Point of View

I’m currently working on my newest project – potentially titled “Is This The Real Life”, as part of Camp Nano, and though I should be typing away at my 1000+ words a day goal, I sit here pondering point of view instead.

I was/am seriously considering writing this one from a first person point of view, really wanted to, since a lot of it, especially in the beginning is all just the main character sort of nattering on about her life, but I know too that once the other characters come into play, it’s going to be harder for me to stick to that. First person is not a comfortable writing style for me at all – guess that’s why I always had a hard time keeping a diary as a child. XD

Anyways…

  • What point of view styles work best for you all? Or does it vary depending on what you are writing?
  • What ways do you find it best (when writing in first person) to convey the thoughts of others, or to convey actions/events that may have happened outside the narrator’s presence, but that are somewhat central to moving the plot along?
  • Should I just abandon first person and go with third person, or just keep at this and see how it goes for a bit?

Inquiring  minds want to know!!

 

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

April 1st starts Camp NaNoWriMo, which is a much more laid back version of NaNoWriMo which happens every November. Both are great motivators, for those who are need a bit of an extra boost to keep to a writing schedule, but the great thing about Camp is that you can set your own word count goals. So it’s not quite as grueling as the 50K words in 30 days, that NaNo generally is.

I’ve had a few things kicking around in my head for a while, so I think I’m going to give Camp a go. If anyone wants to join me, feel free to poke at me, and we can find a forum or something for motivational support, or Twitter/Tumblr, etc… Whatever works.  Not sure how this one will turn out though, since I don’t have it nearly as well planned out as I did with my last NaNo effort.

Either way… shall be interesting.

 

 

The Devil Is In The Details

It’s a topic that has come up in a couple places recently, which made it sort of obvious that maybe it was something that needed to be addressed on a larger scale.

  • How much detail is TOO much?

The first instinct is to say that there can never be too many details – the better picture we paint with our words, the better our readers can understand our characters and immerse themselves in the world we have created. On the other hand there are authors like George R.R. Martin, who while being perfectly marvelous at their craft – sometimes just don’t know when enough is enough. Yes George, we’ve already been down the road to King’s Landing (more than once even), you don’t need to tell me about it AGAIN. Or as a friend likes to ask – Does he ever shut up about the food?

In any case there is clearly a time when less is more, or at least a point where the reader doesn’t need to be shown every single rock and pebble, or condensation drip on the rim of a glass, unless it’s absolutely central to moving the plot along.

  • As a reader – would you rather read a book that was too detailed, or one that was maybe a bit more on the sparse side? 

Personally I’d prefer too little (if I had to choose one over the other), BUT I’m also a very visual person, so it doesn’t always take much for me to envision something based on very little description.  For others, having a perfectly crafted setting – down to the last floor tile, might  be something that works better. It’s often hard to find a good mid-point. 

Which begs the question… at what point does the line between the perfect amount of detail and oh dear gods please stop, start to blur? Or is it something that we each have to judge for ourselves, and hope for the best?

Seriously asking, so please feel free to comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!