Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Check this out.

I have a couple of links to check out plus a teleconference.

1. Adapting Story Structure For Any Project by Becca Puglisi

2. If you Hate Writing a Character . . . Don't Write Them by Roz Morris

3. How Stephen King Writes Imagery by Jason Boog

4. Creating Tension by the lovely Christina Lee

Tonight at 7 p.m. EST. K.M. Walton will be presenting a teleconference --"WRITING YA: HOW TO LET THE CHARACTERS' VOICES TAKE OVER AND KEEP YOU SILENT" To learn more about it out go here. You don't have to be present to take part. It's free, and once you sign up you can access the presentation for 24 hours after it airs.

Isn't she sweet?

That's all I got today.

Do you have any links to share?

Have a great day!

Monday, November 26, 2012

What happens after the first draft?

You wrote a first draft. Yeah. Go you. So now what? The thing is there are many methods to what to do next, you have to find what works for you. I'm pretty much a panster. I do write the main story line on note cards to see where I want it to go, but otherwise, I write what the characters tell me. So, first drafts are torture for me. It's like an emotional roller coaster. I like all the new characters, but I don't like the jumbled mess it turns out to be.

I've discovered that once I finish that first draft, I need to let it sit. No matter how much my brain claws the back of my eyeballs to open it again, I try to wait a week at minimum. This time, I'm going to try and wait longer. Yes, it's killing me. The reason is to let those excited brain cells take a break from it. You see, the brain is still on it's perky wave that makes you think it's the best novel out there. Trust me, mine is not. I've checked, and my first draft needs loads of work, but that's okay. The skeleton is there.

So after you wait what do you start with? There are some methods out there that state to go through it with one thing in mind. In other words, each time you go through focus on one thing--character, plot, details, etc.

I plan to do this.

-First, I print it out and look at all the notes I made in the margins of what needs attention. I make notes in the margins at certain points while writing the first draft of where I want to check something or I know something needs more detail or research.

-Second, the plot. I'm going to go through and take a look at the plot line. Does it make sense? Does it flow?

-Third, character. This is a whole range. Are the characters consistent? Does my main character have an arc?

-Fourth, voice. Is the voice consistent? Does it match the character(s)?

-Fifth, line edits. Complete yuck, but yes, you must comb through and make sure that grammar is tip top.

Sometimes one of the steps is repeated and I may have forgotten one or two that may creep up when I go through it or after betas have read it. Another thing to think about while you're waiting for your first draft to stew is to write the query or a synopsis. It does help when you go through it. For me, it keeps me focused on the big picture.

What tips do you have when you approach revisions?

Have a great day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Mumbles

Over the weekend, I attended a workshop taught by the lovely Frankie Diane Mallis. It was very informative. If you happen to be in the Philly area, keep tabs on Musehouse Literary Center. They have some great workshops and maybe Frankie will be teaching another one in the future.

I've been thinking on how to spice the blog up. Really, I talk a lot, but it's about feelings and such, and that will not change, but I want to start posting about the craft and what I learn. I know I've done this before, but I feel like I should do this more. So, you will be seeing some more posts on strengthening the craft. Why? Well, because, I'm always learning and it doesn't hurt to share what we learn.

You see, I'm not technical. Yep, you heard me. I'm not the most technical. I write more on instinct than anything else so I need to keep strengthening my technical muscles. It will require me to dive back into my library of craft books, and as you know, that's a hard thing for me to do. I'm a visual learner and unless the book is written well, in other words not like a textbook, then I should be okay.

I'm also about to jump back on the revision train. My first draft is almost finished and I have a MS that has been patiently waiting for my attention. That means I will be switching gears after turkey day and jumping into revisions. So, I will be reviewing my notes and trying to make that baby shine.

I figured along the way as I review, I will post my findings. I'm sure I've written posts on many of these topics, but hey, I might write them better this time around.

Have you learned something new lately?

I will also be adding some tabs at the top on helpful links and such so stay tuned.
Have a great day!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

Another week has come to a close. Here are some fun facts.

1. I found it kinda funny when I saw a commercial for a treadmill/stepper thing. It had folks who claimed they lost lots of weight by using this machine (I'm tempted to buy one, it's convincing and I'm not mocking it, I really might want one). The very next commercial was for weight gainer. No lie.

2. Found this site on most frequently asked grammar questions: Dr. Grammar. It's a nice quick reference.

3. I'm trying to set up a critique group. If you write YA and are interested, please email me:

4. I'm reading this:
Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

   and it's quite interesting.

5. Next week, I will finish my first draft of my third novel. I know, you're tired of hearing me talk about it, but I'm excited. Oh and I will be listening to this. Love this song!!

6. On your journey there may be times when you feel let down or alone, don't let this stand in the way of what you want. There will be many obstacles, and locked doors--keep moving forward. Don't take things personally and ignore those who shut you out. Be persistent, determined, focused, and learn all you can. You will go far.

A short one today.

Do you have any fun facts to share?

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Yes, it's that time again. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing this wonderful event every month. Every writer needs support and this monthly gathering is wonderful.

So this month, I'm finishing a first draft. As you know, first drafts aren't my favorite. I do get a little rush of how fast it goes, but then a little bit of oh-my-god-this-is-going-to-stink sets in. The beautiful thing about this is that you have revisions. It is overwhelming. I will admit to eating some, okay, lots of chocolate over the thought of how much work needs to be done, but the thing I must remember is that I can go back and change things. Right now, this little nugget is just getting started. It needs to grow and learn. It needs to be molded into something wonderful. And that, my friends, can take time.

There will be times of argh and ahhh, and there will be times of awesomeness and big smiles. It takes time. It takes hard work, patience, determination, and focus. Once you can mush this things together, you can take on the big bad of revisions. Hey, you never know until you try.

Thanks again to Alex. Please do and check out the other folks who participate.

What are your thoughts on first drafts?

Have a great day!!

Monday, November 5, 2012


Do you have a card? I'm talking a business card. I have one for my day job, but I don't have one for writing. Should I? When do you do this? Some people say, yes. I should have one for when I go to networking events. The thing is--I'm not published or even have an agent so why should I have one or even think about having one. What would it say? Writer? I don't know so I'm turning the topic to you guys.

What are your thoughts?
Should an unagented, unpublished writer have a business card?
If so, what should it say?

Have a great day!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fun Facts Friday.

Halloween is over and I'm pretty proud that I'm not in a sugar coma. Okay, maybe a slight one, but nothing major. On with the fun:

1. Sugar can stimulate your writing. I've been on fire, thanks to chocolate. Now, it may all be crap when I'm done, but I realized I can type pretty fast.

2. Cutest cards ever! Check out Great Arrow Cards. Both are designed by Kaitlyn McCane.
3. I'm starting to get the first draft freak out. This is where you realized how crappy a first draft is and how much you have to do to get it right. This does pass and usually (after many revisions) a pretty novel is born.
4. Grimm is simply awesome. I can't wait till the next episode.
5. To those of you doing NaNo--good luck!!
6. What is your favorite book on plotting?
7. How long do you wait between drafts (not beer, people, book drafts)?
8. Don't forget to check out all the entries in Write Club over at DL Hammons Cruising Altitude. The competition is fierce. Check it out.

9. Ever wonder whether if you are using i.e and e.g. correctly? Check out this great post by Daven Hisky .

10. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.To help those in need-- Red Cross.

Have any fun facts to share?

Have a great weekend!!