• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

The Process

Sometimes I like to pretend my favorite authors are like superheroes, you know, somehow not quite human.  I go between wanting to know everything about them, and not wanting to know anything about them.  I sometimes even hesitate to look at their bio at the back of the book, worrying that knowing something about them might take away from their story.  It is an absolutely silly thing to think, I know it is, and yet, I feel like my favorite authors can only fall off the careful pedestal I’ve created for them.

This being said, I recently decided to research one of my beloved authors.  I was surprised to find how snarky she could be in her question and answer page, but I was also relieved to find that she seemed honest about herself and her experiences.  And most of all, I was shocked to find out that she only works with a rough outline for her books.  I thought with all the intricate details, she must map her books out entirely before writing them.  It seems though, she actually hates going into too much detail with her book outines in the beginning, because then she feels like she has already written her book.  She actually just spends a great deal of time editing and revising, I gathered.

This might not seem like a very significant bit of information, but it was a huge relief to me.  I write in a very similar style.  I create a character, and outline, and world information.  Then, I start writing.  Things often change as the story develops, but all of this actually leads to a need for a lot of editing and revising.  It is daunting to finish a book and still have so much work to do, but it eases my mind a great deal to know that a writer I admire so much also has such a daunting task, and creates such spectacular books through this process.

NANO, Just Writing

The plan for NANO (National Novel Writing Month) is to just write, not edit, not outline, just write.  But how do you just write?  What does that even mean?

When I begin writing, I naturally crave some kind of structure, some kind of guidelines to follow.  Often my characters take me off my decided path, but then, a new path is created based upon what my characters want.  Does that make any sense at all?

BUT, this month I am just writing.  I am creating words on a page, without my usual obsessive compulsive behavior.  I am not going to re-read my work (at least I’ll try not to).  This plan, however, really worries me.  I think I might end up creating more work for myself in the end by doing things in such an unorganized way.  But at the same time, I am really looking forward to trying a different writing process.  Hey, I may even realize I like this way of writing better!

What do you think?  Does writing without a plan simply cause more problems in the long run?

NANO- National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month!  We Evil Dwarves are proud to say we are participating this year (and November is ALMOST here).  I have prepared my blogs ahead of time with a plan, so I can spend November working on the second novel in my new series.  But, I do have some reservations.

First of all, you have to understand my writing process to understand why something like NANO could get me a little stressed, so here it is:

  1. Wake from an intriguing dream.  Write it down.  Mull it over.  Write it down again, with some of the weird that doesn’t make sense when you wake up stuff, gone.
  2. Start writing.  Understand my character and my world.  Adjust how the character changes what I originally thought.
  3. Stop writing.  Create a general outline for the remainder of the book.
  4. Start writing again.  Make it to about the halfway point in the book.
  5. Stop writing again.  Go back and edit/revise the first portion of the book.
  6. Rewrite the outline with more details, adjusting for the changes that have occurred during the writing process.
  7. Start writing again.  Write until the end of the book.
  8. Finally, the hardcore revising begins.

Okay, so I never claimed my writing process was neat and organized.  What is your process like?  Also, this is why I fear NANO so much.  I am expected to go against my obsessive writing behaviors and just write for an entire month.

I don’t know how successful I will be in this process.  Our expectation is to write 50,000 words in one month, BUT it has taken me three months to write the first 50,000 words of my current novel.

So, wish me luck!  I hope I can proudly say, come the end of November, that I accomplished my goal, but if I end up mumbling something less than 50,000 words as my accomplishment, don’t judge me too harshly.

Also, does anyone else plan to participate this year?

Let’s Try This Again

Okay, fair warning, don’t eat while you read this blog because for some reason analogies of festering wounds have been coming to me regarding this topic. Well, this week I had an epiphany: I realized that whereas I liked the general storyline of my WIP, there were certain elements that I no longer felt were a good idea. Also, I realized that I had some of those pesky little holes in my overall plot. The other evil dwarves don’t seem to think “it just does” is a good answer when they question the dynamics of my world building. 

I know that everything is fixable, but at the same time after being with the group for a few months, I realize there are certain things I would like to add to the story, and that my setting isn’t working for me. Plus those lovely dwarves have also been helping me with formatting (my current formatting skills are lacking). So with all of these various items weighing on my mind, it became a bit overwhelming. Cue the epiphany.

Time for a rewrite. This WIP is one of those I have gone back and forth to over the years because while I loved the story idea, I wasn’t 100% sure where it was going. In retrospect, after joining a critique group, I know why I wasn’t sure, because the story has issues. So as not to disappoint those who set aside their lunch: a good story is like a wound. The initial idea is when the injury first occurs and the closing of said wound is when all of a writer’s plotting comes together perfectly. If a writer has a deep enough connection with a reader,  a nice scar may be left behind, and the reader will never forget your story. On the other hand, sometimes stories don’t close up well and they start to fester. You ignore them until you realize you can no longer deal with the infection,and at this point you can amputate (give up on the story if you’re sure nothing else you do can fix it), or you can tear off the scab, clean the wound, and start over. I’m choosing the latter.

So I bought Scrivener as I believe it will help help me with at least a general outline (I’m a bit of a panster) and organizing my research. So today is to new beginnings. I’ve got a fresh band aid so let’s close this one up.

 

Tiiiiiiiiiiiiime Is Not On My Side, No It Isn’t!

 

 

Very few of us have the luxury of writing full time. We have jobs, school, kids (or at least I’m assuming some of you do), and general obligations that make finding time to write difficult if not a pain in the ass. Yet we’re here and we aspire to be that person who no longer works the nine to five or graveyard shift to pay the bills. I hope to one day be that person I also hope to finish my degree so I can set down the textbooks for a while. My goal is to not have to get out of my pajamas to work. I probably will get out of my pajamas but I want the option.

The past week with school back in session I find that I’m very stressed out trying to figure out when I can get it all done. I will admit I am not the best time manager and need to find a way to change my habits. I bought a day planner to try and organize but it is difficult as homework and my job as a server leave me with an erratic schedule at best. Then again many others have had the same if not worse schedules and have gone on to be best-selling authors; so please go ahead and have some cheese to go with my whine (I myself am a fan of goat cheese and gorgonzola.)

Since the stress has led to insomnia I have decided to ostrich a bit and pretend that writing a novel is easy and that the publishing world is all rainbows and ponies, at least for one more night before reality must again rear its evil head. To help me do this and so that you may join me on this magical journey I have for you the lovely and talented Jackson Pearce’s video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ_-TOJhXXk

I hope you all enjoyed that, and do take her advice and watch it while listening to “Do You Believe In Magic.”

James Scott Bell and The Plan ~ Week 1

So, last week I talked about the new challenge I forced the 7 Evil Dwarves to begin undertaking. Yes, they’re very much in fright of my shiny whip. It’s so pretty…

Oh, back on track.

So, see, a couple weeks ago I had the great pleasure of attending a webinar with the wonderful James Scott Bell through a writing site I’m active in, Savvy Authors.

(Shameless plug: February 14th through 20th, they’re holding a free con – Digicon. Come check it out. Your’s truly is even teaching a workshop about the state of the publishing world and how to figure out which path is right for you 🙂

Again, back to the topic on hand. So, this webinar with James Scott Bell.

Now, I admit it. I have 3 of his book about writing. Not only is he talented and succesful, but he has great advice to aspiring authors.

One of the things he talked about in the webinar was how he got there. “Writers Write” is a saying I’ve been hearing a lot lately. To become a successful author, one must write. Then write more. With every written word you hone your craft, learn your voice, and just get better all around.

Many people say an author must write at least 500,000 (yes, that’s half a million) words before they start to get good. It’s part of paying the dues to get to play with the big dogs. (Hopefully I don’t riddle my novels with so many cliches 🙂

James Scott Bell advised writing every day. It doesn’t matter what your goal is (though it should not be too big, nor too little, but something manageable).

Why? Because writers write.

So, I whipped my crew into shape and we are on track to write every day.

How did we do week 1?

Here’s the stats:

Remember, If you want to join in, Place your goal & how you’ll be tracking in the comments. Then, on Mondays, come back and let us know if you achieved it each day.

***I’ll be updating through the day as the dwarves check in.
Snarky – Goal: 1500 words  – Week 1: Achieved, Yes!

Sunny – Goal: 1 hour   – Week 1: Super close, 4 hours

Quirky – Goal: 1/2 hour or 3 pages – Week 1: Pending Check in

Wicked – Goal: 1 hour    – Week 1: Between the flu, work and house hunting… But Snarky’s going to corral the muse with her whip 😉

Eerie – Goal: 1 hour    – Week 1: Woo Hoo! 6 out of 7 days, but in total, far exceeded 7 hours. You go Swamp King 🙂

Smokey – Goal: 1 hour    – Week 1: Pending Check in

Hippy – 1 1/2 hours    – Week 1: Achieved Awesomeness ! 7 out of 7 days hit goal.

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