I read an article this morning about why you should write romance novels only in third person point of view. In the past few weeks, a few people made comments on the writer’s groups I belong to about writing in a certain point of view and being criticised for their choice.
I gag a little in my mouth every time I read something along these lines.
A year or so ago, I read a writing exercise idea on a blog that changed the way I view watching TV. The blogger in question would make notes of, then dissect the episode she was watching. She’d figure out which plot points worked, which didn’t, where the dialogue fell flat, where it rocked, and how she would have improved the episode. By doing this, she swore she learned better writing techniques. (I’m sorry I can’t find the link to this article now.)
I’ve never taken an episode apart like that, but I haven’t really viewed anything on the telly in the same way either. This thing about learning better writing from TV has remained in the back of my mind, so my viewing has become more critical.
Here’s an interesting turn of events. I don’t know what to blog about.
At first, I couldn’t understand what the hell this caused this sluggishness. Sure, blogging is difficult sometimes. I’ve been doing this for six years and I know ideas dry up at some point. That’s why the blog changed its direction even before I moved here from the Couch. Still, I was on a roll a while back, so this drought is both unexpected and seriously annoying.
Some days, it’s difficult to get inspired. I’m having one of those days. I talked about this problem on Friday too, so you’ll know about my predicament if you’ve been around the blog.
The recap version? Today, I have no idea what to blog about and I don’t have the drive to put in any real effort. #yayhonesty This is me winging it.
A quick Google search on ‘how to find inspiration’ offers some basic results. Take a walk, read a book, listen to music. You get the general idea.
Nothing feels real in my life anymore until I share it here. ◄ That’s healthy. 😛
I had some awesome news this week and I want to share it with you. You know, so it becomes real.
I belong to a writer’s group and they’re releasing an anthology later this year. Submissions opened November 2016, with the theme ‘elements’. I figured I’d submit – a thing that came loaded with first-timer’s angst. I didn’t believe I’d be selected, but there’s nothing lost in trying, right? What can go wrong when your story is scrutinised and poked at by people with much more experience than you? *Yolandie laughs forever*
When you tell people you’re writing a novel, they’ll probably react in one of three ways. 1) You’re insane. 2) Ooh, that’s cool! 3) You know, I’ve always wanted to write a novel (this, by the way, is said with the greatest frequency). This post is for everyone in the third group.
I’ve been following some authors on YouTube (because what can’t YouTube teach you) and I thought I’d share some of their stuff with you today.
My kid will turn three in under a week, can you believe it? I struggle to.
Kayla is a happy, sweet little person. She loves to cuddle and kiss and say ‘I love you, Mama’, which obviously melts my heart. She and I have a blast together, and that’s a good thing, considering she’s home with me all the time. Honestly, I adore her and being her mom.
When I first started writing, I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t, but I’m growing. If there’s one thing in life I hate, it’s stagnating. I’ve mentioned this before.
Where writing is concerned, I really think I have grown and I try to learn more with every word squeezed out through my fingertips. All I want to do is share the stories in my mind with you, in such a way that you and I pass something between us telepathically, like Stephen King says. I want the stories that keep me up at night, to keep you up too.
These are my first babies.
I’m happy to report that I’ve broken the 10,000 word mark for this week. Coming up for air to type this post feels strange, as if I’m going to be struck by lightning for doing anything other than work on my book. This isn’t even really coming up for air, because I’M STILL TYPING! Good grief, I’m strange. I think this is the problem anyone with a naturally obsessive personality will face. And also, that obsessive personality is going to make me hurry this, so I can get back to work. 😛
So, this our hero this week:
You may have noticed that things look a little different here. This is due to a bout of website-altering creativity that took me by surprise during the week. I was never completely satisfied with the way things looked on the website, but I’m glad to report that I feel a lot better about all of it now. So, please, jump around the site and let me know what you think, where it can improve and what you like. Also, stick around to the end of the post for some announcements.
Week 9’s hero looks like this:
So, this is week 8 of the #storycubechallenge. Once again, I left my story to the last possible moment. I don’t know why I do this to myself, but in my defence, it was a crazy week with a sick 2-year old. At least I wrote something.
I’m also working on a short story that I plan to submit to an anthology and I got back my editor‘s notes on The Physician’s Apprentice. A lot of brainstorming and prep for a new round of revisions have been happening. Watch this space.
Here’s our hero for week 8:
Hello there, friends!
So, this is week 7 of the #storycubechallenge already. This week, I actually wrote something. Yeehaw for schedules. The cubes for this story certainly made more sense to me than those ones did last week. 😛
If you’re new to this, here’s where it all started. I also have a Pinterest board for the cubes, check that out here. If you’re participating in this challenge, please use the #storycubechallenge on social media, and I’ll go have a look and thumbs up!
OK, this is how our hero will look in week 7:
You’re not going to believe this.
This week, I actually wrote the story cube story on Monday. No, not so late last night that I couldn’t focus on the keyboard anymore, on MONDAY. What’s happening? I feel like I don’t know myself anymore.
I don’t want to jinx everything by saying that writing all of this getting easier with time. Especially not after seeing the cubes for week 5.
Not to discourage you, or anything. 😛
These are the hero cubes for week 5.
Hello there. It’s that time of the week again!
I seriously hope someone out there is doing this challenge with me, because I don’t have anyone to complain to. 😛 It’s challenging, that’s for sure. But it’s also kind of fun. It is getting easier to get the story going, once I have a basic idea of what the story should be. My husband has been an incredible aid in working out that part. He comes up with the story and I just write.
In case you missed it, click here for last week’s cubes.
This is how our hero looks this week.
Why do weeks move so quickly when you’re supposed to be writing for a story challenge you created yourself? I find myself doing anything BUT working on the cubes, until the night before. I really need to time manage better and procrastinate less. In the words of my friend Charlie Brown. Good. Grief.
Before I get to the cubes, I’ve created a Pinterest board for the challenge, because a reader asked me to. You can follow the board if you want to, so you’ll have all of the cube photos in order and in the same place. You know, without having to search through all of my random waffling. 😛
Here’s what you’ve missed if you’re new.
Please remember to use #storycubechallenge if you’re planning to upload your story somewhere, then I’ll have a look and give it a like.
Create a hero :
Well, that was more interesting than I anticipated…
Here we are in week two of the story cube challenge. I’ll just say that this thing lived up to it’s name. Making a story out of pictures was challenging, but heck, I did it! Woot woot! Did you? Please link me to your story, I’d love to see what you got out of it!
If you want a recap of last week’s cubes and the rules, here’s the link.
This is what our hero looks like this week:
This year for my birthday, I wanted something different. When Jan spotted Rory’s Story Cubes on Amazon, I was immediately sold.
You think I’m mad, don’t you? What would a 31-year-old mom want with story cubes? Well, inspiration. I find, as a writer, that the writing prompts online are few and far between, and the ones that are available are so, so tired.
So, I got story cubes for my birthday.
I’ve been following a lot of writing coaches, editors and authors via social media and blogs lately, and I’ve learned a TON about writing. The things to avoid, to embrace and habits to form to become a better writer have really impacted me. It also scares me.
When I sit down to write now, I’m so caught up in what not to do, that I feel like I’ve forgotten how to write. 😛 Even so, I have to admit that there’s a notable improvement, though it still isn’t flawless. I’ll keep working at it. There’s no such thing as a perfect writer, but we can aspire.
One of the most freely floating bits of advice is to write what you know and that’s what I want to talk about today.
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for their condolences and beautiful words concerning my grandmother. If you missed it, my gran passed away last week. It wasn’t a surprise, because she was sick for a long time before she passed. It still hurts though. I wrote a tribute to my grandma here.
Since this is a current chaos post, I want to start you off with the song I’m listening to on repeat at the moment. It’s called ‘Build me up from bones’ by Sarah Jarosz. It’s amazing.
If you’ve been following the blog and had a look at my social media (check it out in the sidebar), you’ll know that my editor, Nerine, suggested I flesh out the world where my new series will take place. This added work is my own fault, sure. I finished The Physician’s Apprentice’s first draft in seven weeks, after all. If I had done all this stuff I’m doing now to begin with, it would have meant a lot less double work. Lesson learnt.
So, for close to two months now, I’ve been focussed on adding details and working out those things that don’t make sense in my world. Paired with my tendency to obsess, it’s been interesting.
So, it’s finally happened. I got the notes back from my editor a while ago and since then, only writing has been on my mind.
Let me first fill you in. I went through a bit of a bad patch last year with an editor. Not because of bad critique, but because of the complete lack of critique (there were only a handful of corrections throughout the entire novel). I don’t want to make a bad situation worse by muddying someone’s name. But I will say that when you pay someone for a service and they don’t provide that service at all, anyone would be angry.
Taking the step to hire an editor is a big one. Anyone in a creative field – or any field where your work will be dissected and scrutinized – will know how difficult it is to trust someone with your creative baby. Editors are there to tell you where you screwed up, whether it concerns grammar to characters acting crazy. It’s their flipping job to pull your work apart and tell you where you can improve it. THAT is what you pay them for.
I’m obsessive. Very, very obsessive. It’s just the way I’m wired. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll probably recall other instances where I’ve admitted to this flaw in my personality. Maybe it isn’t always a flaw, but still.
Just the other day, I told you that my new novel is done. I wrote the whole thing in seven weeks, and that includes a complete revamp of the plotline and a mini write-over when I’d gotten to chapter 17 (which is just short of halfway through). Even if you add the actual planning stage of the novel, it puts me at just over three months. Sure, the idea for the novel came to me even while I was writing The Queen’s Fury, but I only started my research and plotline drafting in February.
You would think that the sight of a keyboard would send shivers of repulsion down my spine at the moment, wouldn’t you? I mean, honestly.