Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Resolution

Usually I evaluate my life when I get to February (b-day), but this year I think I'll post my goals for the year for my writing career.

1. Revise "Dragon's Heart"
2. Finish and revise "Fallen"
3. Work on the following ideas:
What Would ***** Do?
Unnamed Story - Jen & Drake
My Own Backyard
4. Enter two contests, Golden Hearts and one tbd
5. Submit finished MS to at least 5 agents
6. During week, write at least 1800 words a day
7. Enter NaNoWriMo because my life isn't insane enough

Here's looking forward to 2008. What are your lofty goals for the year?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Reading Addict Anonymous

Seriously, I need an intervention. The next 4 books in the JR Ward's brotherhood series came in the mail and I've read three books since this weekend. I finished the 4th book in the series today and have the fifth book. I'm afraid to read even the back cover. I seriously need to get back to reality and do the things around the house that need to be done and stop ignoring my kids. I get vaguely annoyed when she cuts in the middle of a scene to add some info on secondary characters, but I've gotten used to it. I feel like I should go read it right now, but I know I'll get all wrapped up in it and vanish from life for a while. This is what authors hope for. The inability to put a book down. I swear though, it's hazardous to my health. I'm jonesing for the next novel and the problem is there's nothing really to stop me from tackling it except willpower. Argh! I can do this. I can do this. Ah, screw it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Writing References

Here's a listing of books I've read that I found helpful or not so helpful in my pursuit of my writing career. A majority of these books are not romance writing specific, but include some genre specific information. What books have you found useful?

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass – Still working on reading through this one. It seems to be a good inspirational guide. Meaning that it talks about the high level things that make a good novel. It’s not tedious to read which is always a plus.

The Writer’s Journey (2nd Ed.) Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler – Recommended if you are having difficulty with plotting. This goes over a very specific plot patterned off the Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell. I used this to help formulate my first plot. This might be one of those you borrow from the library to see if it’s something you’d think you’d use.

The Nitty Gritty
Plot and Structure (Write Great Fiction Series) by James Scott Bell – Highly recommended. As I read through this, I got plenty of ideas on the plot I was working on. It does have exercises, which I haven’t gone through. I never was one for homework. Worthy of a second read through.

Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint (Write Great Fiction Series) by Nancy Kress – Highly recommended. This is another one that brought on a lot of ideas. Again more exercises at the end of each chapter. The Write Great Fiction Series provides the building blocks for writing a novel. This was a quick interesting read.

Dialogue (Write Great Fiction Series) by Gloria Kempton – As part of the set, highly recommended. I can’t honestly remember if I finished this one through to the end. I don’t have a lot of difficulty with dialogue but this does have a lot of good tips and things to watch for. I think this series is very good at giving you to basics.

Description & Setting (Write Great Fiction Series) by Ron Rozelle – As part of the set, highly recommended. On its own, it’s a bit tedious. It doesn’t quite reach the level of purple prose, but at times, my mind would drift. It is one of the building blocks of fiction and therefore, essential to a good knowledge of writing.

The Romance Writer’s Handbook – How to Write Romantic Fiction & Get It Published by Rebecca Vinyard – This is a nice book to read when you want to read a little bit at a time. It is a collection of articles on writing, publishing, community. It can be inspirational, but again a lot of what it says can be found elsewhere. It’s a nice pick up and read book. It has a section on writing synopses.

The Romance Writers’ Phrase Book by Jean Kent & Candace Shelton – Highly recommended. This book can be a starting point to your own phrases. The authors collected a ton of examples on everything that needs describing in a romance novel. This is an inspirational novel meaning you aren’t supposed to use their phrases verbatim, but they help you get into the “mood” of writing romance. From expressions to emotions, this book is a fun read when you are stuck.

The Joy of Writing Sex by Elizabeth Benedict – Recommended. Note this book will not teach you how to write a convincing love scene in a romance novel. It is geared toward literary fiction writers. It is interesting and has very good points about sex in novels. It delves into homosexuality, adultery, and solo sex. This was one of those that I picked up and read a bit and then set aside. I did get through the entire book over the course of a month or so. I think it does have something to offer every writer. It goes into the emotion and feelings about sex that every other should know.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (second edition) by Renni Browne & Dave King – Recommended. I read this is bursts. One chapter every few nights. I will probably read through this one again. It points out errors that almost every writer does at one time or another. Some are mentioned in other books as well, but they give an in depth analysis of the major editing points. It does not give you a method of going through and editing. It does give you things to look for while editing.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I read J.R. Ward's Dark Lover within a 24 hour period. Good read. Interesting premise and I ordered the next four from Amazon. That's the nice thing about coming late to the party. I don't have to wait a year for the sequel. I also am working my way through Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass while waiting for my delivery. I've avoided the book for a while, but after seeing multiple reviews and blogs discussing it, I decided to give it a go. Besides since I'm stuck on my current WIP, this may unstick me. I had plenty of time to start the book since I got sick in the middle of the night on Saturday. So I sat in the bathroom and alternated between reading and emptying the contents of my stomach. Feel much better now. It seems like a good book so far. Will post more later.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Fallen Off the Horse

I don't know what it is about this week, but I just can't drum up the energy to write. I even printed out what I had so far so I could read it over. I'm up to Ch 6. Tonight I'm going to bed with a book from my TBR file. J.R. Ward's Dark Lover. I tried to read a book I've read but that wasn't going well either. I've heard good things about Dark Lover, so here's hoping it's a two day read and I'll be back on my horse and ready to ride through to the end.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Begging for Inspiration

I've written a total of 511 words since NaNo ended. I've opened my novel multiple times. Read through the last bits. Wrote a few words. I just can't get to where my characters are. The next scene just isn't easy on either character. I think I need to work on the characters' motivation for the scene. Kinda like an actor. What am I feeling at this moment? Why am I feeling it?

The one thing that has been bombarding my conscience is ideas. Flurries of the darn things happen at the oddest times. I'm not complaining, but I'd like to finish this book and start polishing. I'm thinking of entering it into a contest and need it done. I got stuck on my last first draft in roughly the same spot. I think stopping my momentum for a "break" is what the real problem is.

So here's hoping today is the day I reach up and grab the words I desperately need.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Music for Writing

This novel has songs that help me get into the mood of the story. Here's the short list.

Saving Grace (theme) - Everlast
Animal I Have Become - Three Days Grace
Apologize - Timbaland
Teardrop - Massive Attack
Elsewhere - Sarah McLachlan
Fallen - Sarah McLachlan
Sooner or Later (Soren's Song) - Switchfoot

If you haven't heard Teardrop, it's awesome. The words a bit weird but the music is lovely.