personal

Brainless

I feel brainless. Not stupid, mind you. Just without any new and exciting tidbits to impart. Why is it when you have a blog, you feel like you have to share a juicy piece of information that will teach, or inspire, or wow others?

Impressing others was not why I started this blog. I started it to share my journey and have an online “ID” to connect with other writers in the blogosphere. I didn’t like the look of that anonymous grey head ID. I wanted to be ME!

So, today I have nothing for you. 🙂

I will solicit prayers from all you cyber friends of mine. We got an offer on our house and are now waiting for bank approval. I’d LOVE for it to go through and get on with life. I’m ready to downsize and live simply. I’m ready to not have people traipsing through my house all the time and trying to keep the house immaculate. lolololol….hilarious, I know! After 9 months on the market, I’m weary of the invasion of the people parade.

Give me normal. Give me a routine.

Oh, and I’m ready for the Olympics to be over. I’ve enjoyed it, but I’m tired of staying up late to see all the good stuff. I need my beauty sleep. I pull my cranky pants out more when I’m sleep deprived.

I hope you all have a great weekend. Read alot, write alot, and give lots of smiles.

encouragement, writing, writing books

I Am At War & Loving Bell!

I’ve been thumbing through one of my favorite books on writing, The Art Of War For Writers by James Scott Bell. In a previous post, I mentioned the first of his three sections in the book. If you don’t remember…and it’s okay if you don’t…the first section is about Reconnaissance. The mental game of writing. Writing smart, and writing with discipline.

The second section is all about Tactics. It is all about craft. Bell has so many succinct and jam-packed chapters that cover all kinds of issues on the writing journey. He focuses on getting your work to rise to the next level and out of the slush pile.

One of the quotes Bell uses is by Katherine Neville. It spoke to my heart and really sends home the message that we must WRITE! There is no substitute for it.

Write. Remember, people may keep you (or me) from being a published author but no one can stop you from being a writer. All you have to do is write.And keep writing. While you’re working at a career, while you’re raising children, while you’re trout fishing–keep writing! No one can stop you but you.

Isn’t that awesome? Isn’t that motivating? Isn’t that inspiring? I don’t know about you, but I need to be encouraged during every stage of this writing journey. Sure, it is fulfilling, but there is also a lot of doubt and discouragement. We all face it. (If you don’t, then don’t tell me.)

Definitely go purchase Bell’s book. The Art of War. It is a keeper!

Oh yes! I just got a package from Amazon today. (You aren’t jealous, are you?) In it was A Novel Idea: Best Advice On Writing Inspirational Fiction. It has chapters written by various authors, such as: Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, Randy Alcorn, Terri Blackstock, Jerry B. Jenkins, Robin Jones Gunn, Angela Hunt, and more! I’m looking forward to this one and I’m sure I’ll share some of the juicy tidbits I find.

What writing books have you read lately that inspire and encourage you as a writer?

discipline, synopsis, writing

Reflections & Triumph

My week away from blogging helped me last week. I was refreshed. I was productive. I was victorious!

I wrote my first synopsis!!!!!

And it’s not all that great. Believe me, it’s not. I had a friend look it over, as well as my dad, and they both had some encouraging and constructive advice to give me. Once I get their feedback in written form, I will tackle the edits on it.
Photo: Tim Toole

This learning process is such an interesting thing. I had looked online at different synopsis and yet I still struggled with how the thing was supposed to be done. Especially the one pager…it is difficult to fit all the plot variables of your story onto one page–even if it is single spaced! lol
I learned how to write the synopsis through the actual act of writing it. And I learned even more by having someone with experience look at it with expert eyes and show me how to make it better.
I am finding that I can read writing craft books until the cows come home; I can soak up the great blogs about writing until I’m saturated and dripping all over the place; I can research and talk to other writers 24/7 and yet I will never learn as much, or as fast, as when I actually put fingers to the keyboard and write, write, write.

Newbies like me need to write. We need to write a lot. Practice may not make perfect, but it hones our skills and makes our stories stronger.
I’m confessing my addiction to blogs and to FB…and to Twitter…and to TV. (I refuse to confess to my book or chocolate addiction!) I am not giving them up, but I am cutting back. Paring down, weeding out, throwing out…I’m going to be strong.

Yay me!

blogfest, love

Love At First Sight BlogFest

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is the day of Courtney’s Love At First Sight BlogFest. Jump over to her blog to read scenes of love at first sight.

Alas, my WIP does not have a “love at first sight” scene since my heroine is disguised as a boy for quit awhile. So I found a clip of the new Emma where Mr. Knightly professes his love for Emma. Not really a love at first sight either, but it’s a first declaration of love. Very nice. 🙂

backstory, chapters, editing

Chapter Lengths & Editing

I experienced a glorious day off yesterday. I donned my sweats, lit a yummy smelling candle, poured a Diet DP into a pretty glass, and cuddled with my laptop in my cozy chair. Pure bliss. A little piece of heaven. And oh, I was productive.

I took my 13 page First Chapter and my 4 page Second Chapter and combined them. I took the crits I had received recently and deleted, added, cut, and pasted to my heart’s delight. I used that delete button ruthlessly, cutting out the backstory that weighed my chapters down. Well, not all of it, but a lot of it!
I debated combining my first two chapters because I really liked the ending line of the first chapter. It is a real “hook”. But with the second chapter only 4 pages long, I felt I needed to combine them. I could have combined the second and third chapter, but I am getting these chapters ready for some contests and thought it’d be good to have the heroine and hero both show up in the first chapter.
What would you do? Combine and mess up your hook? Or let it be and have uneven chapters? Do chapter lengths matter? What is the an average chapter length anyway?
Did I give you enough questions to choose from?