Showing posts from November, 2009

NaNo day 30: The End?

It is about to be midnight here on the east coast (some of you might have a couple hours yet). So, how did you do? Did you cross the finish line?

I scratched out the last words I needed to finish NaNo, but my book is not yet finished (very few genres accept 50k word books) so there is writing left to be done. Unfortunately, this shiny now has to take a complete backseat for revisions and contracted books, but I do plan to continue working on it in my spare time. How about you? Did the NaNo goal allow you to finish your first draft, or are there words left to be written before you reach the magical words "the end"?

I encourage you to celebrate the end of NaNo and the madness, but also to keep on writing. They say it takes three weeks to form a habit, so everyone is now in the habit of writing. Try to keep that habit in the coming months. Did you know that even if you write only 500 words a day (that is about two pages double spaced) you can write two 90k word first drafts in …

Cover Art for TWICE DEAD

I'm thrilled to say that I have received permission to release the cover art for TWICE DEAD, book two in the Haven Series. I think my publisher did an amazing job with this cover, so I hope you like it just as much.

TWICE DEAD will be released in late February, so look for more updates soon!

NaNo day 29: Did you see the size of those ninjas?

Okay, I admit it, the title of this post has practically nothing to do with the content. A friend tweeted the saying to another Wrimo who is pushing toward the finish line, and it made me chuckle and think about how zany first drafts can be.

Have you noticed this month that sometimes, when you maybe have no idea what should be happening next and you just need something to happen, a plot ninja (meaning something totally unexpected and probably a little out there) sneaks on the page? And yeah, you might cut that craziness in the second draft, but maybe it leads you on a cool new path you would have never considered without the weird ninja. I've detailed my pre-plotting routine, and I am very much a plotter, but I have to tell you, I do love when a plot ninja shows up and gives me a new twist to work with.

Anyone finding an abundance of plot ninjas? Any really interesting plot ninjas?

Well, we are pushing toward the final moments of this challenge. I'm almost back on track, and s…

NaNo 26: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

I've never taken a picture of a turkey, but I tend to snap far too many pictures of big cats, so today, Lions will be representing Thanksgiving on this blog. ^_^

NaNo day 25: Thanks!

We are hours from Thanksgiving, (officially--sleep still needs to happen. LOL) and while I sometimes forget and mark the day down as a scary'food holiday', it really isn't. It is a day to remember our blessings and give thanks.

So, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone out there reading this blog. A lot of amazing things have happened this year, and I've been thrilled to be able to share them with you. Thanks for stopping by and sharing this bit of the net with me.

I hope you are well blessed, have safe travels if you are visiting, and have a wonderful holiday!

I bet a couple of you Wrimos are so near the finish line that you can taste it. (Or maybe you crossed it already?) Let's see those word counts!

NaNo 24: Piracy

I like pirates. The fictional kind. You know, big hats, swords, and a penchant for rum. I really like sky pirates in their clockwork ships.

I don’t like internet pirates. Not at all. They make me sad.

Google alerted me this morning that someone made a copy of OB available for download. It was suggested that I should feel flattered that someone liked my book enough to give it away. I don’t feel flattered. I want to cry.

On average, authors make 8% of the cover price from books (that means, on your average 7.99 mass market book the author makes about 64 cent) but they make 0% on pirated downloads. Everything comes down to numbers in publishing, so not only do pirated downloads affect an author’s bottom line, but they can actually jeopardize her ability to convince publishers to purchase future books from her. Which translates to no sequels, and the author possibly having to use a pseudonym to sell another series.

Now, one little download site on my one little book isn’t the biggest co…

NaNo Day 22: Pay to play? No Way!

There has been a lot of internet chatter recently about a certain big press, Self-Publishing, and Vanity Publishing. I'm not going to go on a tirade here because other people have said it better, but I am going to hit the high points. So lets talk business.

In publishing:
Money should always flow toward the author.

Be wary of anyone who refers you to a service.

Do your research before you start querying.

Okay, I'll expand on each of those points in a moment, but first I guess I should explain why I'm thinking about this today. Earlier in the week, Harlequin announced their new vanity publishing venture. Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and Mystery Writers of America (probably the three largest and most influential writing organizations in the US) took a stand against Harlequin, and basically told them that if Harlequin was going to pee in the sand box, they weren't invited to play anymore.

Why would they do this? Because these o…

NaNo day 21: Boring scenes? And FIRE!

I’m going to answer questions today, but first I want to talk a bit about, well, today.

Today was the annual lock-in. Every NaNo, my Co-ML and I host a day long write-in. The outcome of this event tends to be huge one day word gains (for me today that is about 5k words, but we’ve had two writers cross 10k for the day so far) as well as a lot of laughing and silliness because if you lock a dozen writers together for 14 hours, silliness occurs. The one thing we never get enough of at these events is exercise. So, abi showed up in the middle of the day with hoops to force the writers to move. He returned after dark for another exercise break (isn’t he awesome, and he’s leaving to run off to China) and this time he brought the fire hoop

Yes, if you are looking at the picture right now, that is me, on fire. Okay. No. I’m not on fire. The hoop is on fire. But still . . . It was just . . . amazing! This was my ‘virgin burn’ (which means this was the first time I’ve ever fire hooped) and wow…

NaNo day 19: Changing the routine

Today was a day of hard won words. The muse clearly gave me the finger and went her own way this morning. After a couple hours in front of the computer with a diminishing word count (I know, I know--no deleting in NaNo. Do as I say not as I do.) I decided it was time to switch things up, change the routine.

It is amazing how freeing it can be to do that. To step away from the pressure of the keyboard and write long hand for a while.

It helped. A lot. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to transcribe the words into the computer yet, so I haven't a clue my current word count.

So how was your day 19? We are about to be 2/3rds through the challenge. How is your story coming? Loving it? Hating it? Have you gotten stuck? Tried changing your routine, write somewhere else or with something else? Did it help? Let's see those word counts!

NaNo Day 18: The Process of writing a novel

Alright, back to answering questions. (Just one today, because this is a big one.)

Cher asked: What process to you go through during the writing of a novel? Also, something that keeps popping up is the use of scenes and sequels. I'm a little confused about the differences. I understand the functions but when I look at other's writing I can't point out which is which. Any suggestions or examples?

My answer: There are a couple different ways I could interpret this question, so if I don’t hit on what you are really asking for Cher, please let me know. (*Disclaimer* this is the process that works for me and I am not claiming it will work for everyone.)

Anyway, my process for writing a novel goes something like this:
I start out with brain storming sessions where I figure out my world and my characters. I tend to work with pen and paper in this stage, and the result is typically a mess. I rarely start with plot ideas, so this is truly just figuring out who I’m dealing with and …

Nano day 16: There are no sick days

Hey guys. No questions answered in this post. No impressive word count either--most of my gained words are from yesterday. Most, but not all.

Today I must admit to being sick. The coughing-headache-fever kind of sick.


Thank goodness for laptops. I did get a few words in today. Mostly I've been watching Buffy and sleeping. Fun.

So, short post.

22759 / 50000 words. 46% done!

I hope the rest of you are doing better than me. So how are those word counts coming? Good night everyone!

NaNo: Start of week three

Hey gang! Sorry I missed a couple days there. Go ahead and post your word count here, and I’ll add your name in the drawing for the days I didn’t post as well.
So, I asked for questions, and I’m very pleased to have received quite a few. I’ll answer them all in the next couple posts, so don’t worry if I don’t get to yours today.

Demon Hunter asked: “What's your word count goal every day? Does your daily goal vary depending on real life, or do you just make that goal every day no matters what happens?”

My answer: I have had all kinds of goals worked out in the past. At different times I’ve had daily page goals, word goals, and chapter goals. I’ll be honest, I prefer chapter/scene goals to word goals. If I’m tired and aiming for say 3k a day, I’m more likely to write filler-garbage just so that I feel better about hitting that number of words. If my goal is to write so many scenes (or specific scenes) or so many chapters, the writing tends to be of better quality, though at the end…

NaNo day 11: Another day, another blog post

I've been trying very hard to keep my daily NaNo blogs short but interesting. I'm accomplishing the first, but I'm not too sure about the second, and I doubt very much they are useful to you guys. So, I think that means this is a good time to open the floor for questions.

Anyone have questions for me? Maybe a writing topic you'd like me to blog about? Something about my process? About the publishing world? About my books in particular or the genre in general? Now's the time, let's hear those questions!

NaNo, the one third mark.

It is day 10 of NaNo and this marks the 1/3 point of the challenge. I covered a lot of ground today, and I'm very happy with my story progress, but, my word count is a little short of the one-third mark. Tomorrow will be my day, I can feel it. The plot is starting to come together now.

Word Count:

14091 / 50000 words. 28% done!

In other news, look what I found today: I'm on the RavenCon website! Of course, I've known I'll be a guest for a couple months now, but this is the first time I've seen my guest link. Very cool. If you will be in the Richmond, Virginia, area between April 9 - 11, you should definitely come out and see me.

So how are you doing? Several of you passed the 1/3rd mark days ago *huge cheers for you!* Others should be right on track to be hitting it tonight, and a couple, like me are dragging a little behind (don't worry, we'll catch up!) So, let's see those word counts!

NaNo Day Nine

Not much to report today. I ran off to the zoo and did a little writing, but mostly took pictures. If I were writing about gorillas, I would have fascinating new material because I spent a good bit of time chatting with a keeper, but alas, no gorillas. (Maybe I can create some shapeshifters in the Dark Haven series whose second form is that of a gorilla . . . )

Chugging along. Definitely not crossing the 15k mark tonight, but I'm not unhappy with the words I wrote.

11522 / 50000 words. 23% done!

Let's see those wordcounts. Anyone learn anything new and fascinating today?

NaNo: The start of a new week

Week one of NaNo is now behind us. While I decided I hated my shiny yesterday, I am once again very much in love with it. I am still plotting and fleshing out characters, but things are falling into place. I'm behind, no more than yesterday, but not significantly less either. I'll have to work on that.

In the mean time, I'm happy it is shiny to me again, and I am looking forward to working on it again tomorrow. I'm not sure if it was the plotting, or the fact I spent a little time out of my head read someone else's work, but I see the potential again.

Do you fall in and out of love with your words? How do you renew their vigor and gleam?

Current wordcount:

10017 / 50000 words. 20% done!

Nano Day 6: Belated

Opps. I didn't post yesterday, so there will be two posts today. I am ashamed to say I have fallen a good bit behind. I didn't write on Thursday. No excuse except that I was very busy and very exhausted after the craziness of my final day at work. (Oh but look, here is a picture of the cake from the awesome farewell party they threw me.) I had grand plans for making up the missing wordcount on Friday, and maybe even pulling ahead. Two things got in my way:

1) I hit the point at which I had to admit I'm not a pantzer. There were no more scenes, and I had no map. eeks! So, I spent my writing hours yesterday working on plotting and outlining (actually, I spent most of today on that too.)

2) This is a big weekend for the Columbia Hoop Troop. We are hosting Lara from GA's Super Hoopers. She's in town to offer local hoopers free classes to spread the joy of hooping. Large chunks of yesterday were spent preparing for her arrival and getting the space for the classes re…

NaNo Day 5: News and a Poll

Today was my very last day at the day job. It was a hectic one as I ran around trying to anticipate any issues I could preemptively fix, but now it is over. I had a lot of friends I'll miss and I hope to keep contact with. The department threw me an amazing farewell party, and my boss said the sweetest speech. I guess it was kind of like having a funeral--people say all the good stuff--but I was alive to hear it.

Well, this page of my life has now passed. Tomorrow is my first day as a full time writer. Guess that means I have to write an impressive amount tomorrow. X_X

In the mean time, I'm entering a contest the brilliant Faith Hunter is hosting, and I'm trying to decide which picture to use. What do you think?

Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4

I hope you are all finding good words today! Write on!

NaNo Day 4

It has been a crazy busy day. At work I'm wrapping up everything I can and preparing things to be taken over by the new 'me' (whoever that turns out to be) so I ran around in crisis mode most the day, just trying to keep up. There were errands to take care of at lunch, so I lost my extremely important writing hour. Luckily, there was a write in tonight, and I pumped out some much needed words.

I would really like to be building a bit of a cushion right now so that I'm ahead when my revision notes hit, but currently, I'm just scrapping by with the minimum daily word count. I can deal with that.

I'm enjoying this story. Every scene I write leads me to new discoveries about my characters and plot. It is a lot of fun. But, I need to do some research at some point. I keep inserting words like "SHOES" which I intend to replace with a name brand. The thing is, unlike my character, I know absolutely nothing about big name fashion. Anyone out there know an…

NaNo Day 3: It's a plot!

It's day three of NaNo, I'm almost 10% of the way through my word count, and I have now, finally, discovered my plot!

It's not a complete plot. It's more of a glimmer. A direction. But I'm happy to have it. (That pantzing thing is hard and totally not for me.) So, I am very excited today because I know where my shiny is going (and it's going great places!)

Obviously it is sill early in the day and there are many more productive writing hours to come, but I'll go ahead and splash up my word meter.

4476 / 50000 words. 9% done!

I have hooping tonight. Then I will buckle back in and take this shiny new plot idea for a ride. How is day three treating everyone else? Anyone discover something new about their story today?

Day 2: Logic in fantasy

It's day two of Nano, and I'm tripping over the fact this shiny has no prewriting work. World building is one of my favorite parts of writing, and I like to know (at the very least) the basic rules before I release my characters into a brand new story. Not this time. I'm writing blind. It is a fun in an experimental type of way, but writing blind also means my main character has to spend time figuring out what I, as the writer, should already know (which means the words won't last the second draft.)

Every new idea brings with it a mass of new and interesting questions. Want teenage vampires who are going to grow up to be adult vampires and not stuck at sixteen forever? How does that work? How can an unageing/immortal being age? If a character can walk through a shadow and end up in another shadow, what happens if light is brought to the shadow while he steps through? What type of portal is a shadow? Logic has to come into the answers of world building questions and &…

NaNo Day One

Day one of NaNoWriMo is finally here and the writing has started! We hosted our first write-in in my region this afternoon, and I have clocked my first 1700 words. The thing is, they are words in the wrong book.

Yup, you heard that right. Wrong book.

I had a plan. I had a plot. I even had a logical reason I needed to write what I'd intended. That all went out the window when I opened my laptop today.

I was supposed to start GW2 today. Instead I'm working on a shiny. My critique partners are ready to kill me, but I managed to convince myself the shiny was the more logical book to write. I know, I know. With six books in my que, there is no real logical reason to write something not contracted. But . . . I haven't received edits for GW1 yet, so major things could change that would possibly reshape the direction of the second book. (It sounded more convincing in my head.) I'm also probably going to get interrupted by two different revision notes this month, so working on…