Writing Life: The Secret Project

Last week I wrote about going through SPLAT, but before I could face my own personal splat, I had a few questions for it. Like why were my procrastination and resistance so hard core around the rewriting of Book Three? The answer came to me Sunday morning. Expectations. My own high expectations and the expectations of my publisher, my friends, my family, and my fans. Writing the next book in a series isn’t easier, at least not to me, and for some reason I thought it would be. It’s much harder. There’s an absence of freedom around it due not only to all the expectations, but also the pressure deadlines. I compared my lack of enthusiasm while writing Book Three to the complete joy I experienced working on my new book Intergalactic. No one, not even myself, had any...

Weekend Workout: More NaNo / Novel Prep

In two days I’ll be off on a 3 week book tour in the U.S. so my posts might be sporadic (or simply reruns). But that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about you. For those in preparation of NaNo, I’ve collected a few things for you: From Bob Ray and Jack Remick’s Writing Blog: New Tips for the 2012 NaNo This post covers setting, character, backstory, subplots, and structure. This is not just good advice for NaNo writers, it’s good advice for anyone starting any novel any time. And Bob and Jack have plenty of other exercises to keep you going for the entire month. This is an extremely helpful site for people working on novels run by two of the best writing instructors I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. And if that’s...

NaNoWriMo Day 16 – Down the Other Side (aka Tips, Tricks, Inspiration to Get Through the 2nd Half of NaNo)

Today’s Goal: 2,000 words Actual Words: 2,568 words Total Words to Date: 36,142 I have two NaNo friends who chose to quit last week because they were too far behind. I’m not going to give them a hard time b/c I know life gets in the way, we all have different priorities and responsibilities, and sometimes it’s not the right time. That doesn’t mean it was in vain, though, because 6 or 8 or 10,000 words on a new novel is a great start. If you are on the cusp of deciding whether to continue or not, I encourage you to stick with it. If you’re having procrastination issues, time management issues, focus issues, perhaps there’s a tip or word of encouragement in here to see you through. Tip #1) Your Timer is Your Friend I have had my...

NaNoWriMo Day One: Don’t Panic!

NaNo Goal Today:  2,500 words ACTUAL words as of 5:30 pm: 4,591 So you were all set to get up bright and early and write for two hours before you had to go to work / take the kids to school / fly to San Francisco, but you overslept / your kid had the flu / you opened Facebook and lost track of time. Stay calm. There’s lots of time and you’re going to manage it better from now on (or not, but you’ll forgive yourself for it). My philosophy is that it’s best to immerse yourself in your story as much as possible. Writing every day, even if it’s just a little bit, will help. The more immersed you are in your story, the less time you will need to review it when you do write. You don’t have to have 4 hours to do some actual writing....

It’s not a giggle, a chuckle, or a titter

Okay, this has come up on numerous occasions while working on my novel series. Say you have a mature/respected character, like a high priestess, and she gives a small laugh. I’ve been wracking my brains as to what to call it. It’s not laughy enough to be called a full laugh. It’s a restrained laugh. (and don’t tell me to write Ondelle gave a restrained laugh. That’s lame; I want a verb. Ondelle _______ed.) It’s not a giggle, she’s not a little girl. It’s not a chuckle, she’s not a fat creepy uncle. It’s not a titter, that’s too demeaning. It’s not a snicker or a snigger. And yes, I’ve gone through a thesaurus. (My publisher Tod said, “How about a guffaw!” and I nearly lost...