Oct 27, 2008

Cheese Anyone?

The weather (and my mood) have not greatly improved, but I’m working on it (my mood, not the weather).

The cheese I am offering is to go with all the whining from people who don’t know where to get ideas for stories. I’m sorry, but if you haven’t figured it out by now, then maybe writing is not for you.

“You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’’re doing it.”
~Neil Gaiman

Here’s what happens to me. My mind wanders. It meets someone. All of a sudden, that someone starts having an adventure, maybe even meets some more someones. Before I know what’s happened I have a full-blown idea roaming around in my head and it wants out onto some paper (or onto the computer screen). And it will continue to wander in my head, going in circles, refining itself, until I finally cave and at the very least write an outline for it.

Now this may sound all well and good, but it isn’t. Trust me on this. These ideas are persistent, and pushy. They are not willing to wait while I finish the piece I’m working on, they’re like spoiled children. They want attention NOW! And if they don’t get it they start intruding on my other writing; a word here or a phrase there, popping up where it’s least expected.

Even when I’m not writing, there’s always an adventure going on inside my head.

So listen, all you whiners out there. It could be worse. Instead of searching for ideas you could have so many they start leaking out of your fingers.

Now wouldn’t that make a good idea for a story?

Oct 23, 2008


I have the greatest respect for people who post on their blogs every day. Or maybe it’s a case of blogger envy. My life is just not that exciting. Take this week for instance. What have I done so far?

I sorted through and organized some piles of stuff from my office - not just back into new piles, but into storage bins that have been put away. My desk area looks so nice now! We'll just see how long it lasts.

Set up and cleaned up my desk top computer. Watched the snow. Watched the Africam. Went to talk to my career counselor about going back to school.

Very little reading, very little writing. And even though the weather’s been grey and miserable, I’m not going to use that as an excuse. It’s just the kind of mood I’m in.

Oct 20, 2008

Characterize This!

I was over at Absolute Write today and someone in the Writing Novels forum posted a thread topic about using character sheets. This person was told by an “experienced and published author” that in order to make a successful novel she needed to write a character sheet for each character. She then invited comments on the character sheet she came up with.

The sheet itself was a very long form. It listed everything from the character’s name to how they felt about crime.

I really wanted to reply to this post, but I couldn’t find a truly diplomatic way to tell her to stop listening to this so-called “experienced and published author” and start thinking for herself. Maybe character sheets are necessary for this author to be successful, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

I totally agree with the poster who replied with: “If I were to take a character form and just try to create somebody from scratch by filling in stuff, I'd never end up with a character, I'd end up with cardboard.”

Think of your character as someone you just met. Do you need to know all that stuff about them to be their friend? No, you don’t. All you need to know is that you have something in common and the rest will be revealed as you spend time with them and get to know them better.

The only way I could see using a character sheet is if I was looking for a new form of procrastination.

Oct 17, 2008

Is It Friday Yet?

This week did not turn out the way I expected. Not writing wise, not any wise.

Today I couldn’t write fast enough - 2000 words outlining a new story idea that’s been bugging the crap out of me all week. I finally wrote it down to get it out of my head. Now I keep thinking of things to add to it. It’s going to be a space type steamy romance - not quite erotica, but there’s one scene that comes very close.

I added 700 words to Changeling earlier in the week, cut 1400 yesterday, and then added 850 today. I think that still leaves me on the minus side.

I didn’t get any work done on DIF, but I did add 1200 words to Magic.

Not great, but not bad at all considering this was both a short week and I spent most of it feeling sick.

Oct 16, 2008

Holy Interruptus Batman!

So, I’m sitting here, working on the very last sex scene in Magic. I decided to re-work the ending of the book because even though my main character has progressively more graphic sex with a series of phantoms, the one person she doesn’t have sex with is the guy she ends up with in the end. Not only does she need to have sex with him, she needs to wake up with him the next morning to prove he isn’t just one of her phantoms.

Anyway, I’m sitting here, merrily typing away, my characters are divesting themselves of their clothing, and in walks . . . my husband, with his octogenarian aunt. Talk about your bucket of cold water!

See, this is another good reason to have more than one WIP going at a time. I was able to quickly switch to a document without so much sex in it before auntie came down the hall to have a chat.

So, what’s the big deal?

Quite frankly, while I have no problem writing about sex and I have no problem with strangers reading what I’ve written, it’s a whole other story when it comes to family. Especially elderly family.

Yeah, I know, I’m a sad case. But there’s hope for me.

A few weeks ago I thought writing erotica was just too far out of my comfort zone. At this point I would have to categorize Magic as just that, and you know what? It’s been fun to write. So I’m sure that once it’s finished and sold I will have no problem with family seeing it.

But not until I’m ready.

Oct 15, 2008

Hump Day

I’ve been working on Changeling today. I still feel like crap but I decided I was going to feel like crap whether I got any writing done or not so I might as well suck it up.

I have to admit, I’m at one of those points where the story seems to flounder a bit. I’m sure that most of what I’ve been writing will end up cut in edits, but at least I’m pushing through.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

After reading a lot of good books lately, I’ve started to wonder why I’m doing this - writing that is. There are so many excellent books out there that what chance do I have of getting published? Fortunately, most of these books have been vampire romances, and other than one short scene in Magic, I stay away from writing about vampires. As I said, too many good ones out there already.

However, today I started reading a book that isn’t a vampire romance, and to be honest, it isn’t very well written. If I were the author, I’d be doing some serious editing. There were a lot of preachy paragraphs (paragraphs where the author seemed more interested in preaching her world view instead of moving the story along) strung together and the dialogue was very soap-operaish.

And this wasn’t some low budget book either, this was a Silhouette Nocturne, the first book in a series. And the author has written many other books for Harlequin/Silhouette.

I think I enjoyed it all the more because it was so badly done. Woo hoo! There’s hope for me yet!

Oct 14, 2008


Remember how I said earlier in the week about how I was going to print out what I had of Driving Into Forever so I could take a look at it and figure out how to fix it? Didn’t happen.

I must have had a brain fart when I thought I’d get any writing done. It was the Canadian Thanksgiving, which meant I was pretty much booked solid. And apparently three days of forced socialization was more than I’m able to take, because I’m really sick today.

Actually, it’s my own fault for being sick. I hadn’t had anything to eat yet when I went to the in-laws yesterday so what was the first thing I had? A couple of deviled eggs. On an empty stomach. Have I mentioned I can’t eat eggs? I’m not sure if it’s an allergy or what, all I know is they make me sick.

The bottom line is, I got no writing done on the weekend, and I’m probably not going to get much done today. Tomorrow better be one hell of a good day.

Oct 10, 2008

Friday Count

I don’t know why, but I always think I’ve done more work on Changeling than I actually show in my word counts. Maybe because I’ve been taking my time with it. Hopefully, that means I’ll have less editing to do when the time comes.

Don’t worry, I’m not counting on it.

Driving Into Forever is still driving me crazy. I think part of it is my need to explain everything so much in the beginning. I’m going to print off what I have so far and then try to work out an outline of some kind.

Magic +16
Changeling +2367
Driving Into Forever +11,069
Total 13,452

Oct 9, 2008

Due to the Weather . . .

Yesterday was not a good day. Actually, this hasn’t really been a great week but yesterday was particularly bad because it was a cold, overcast, incredibly miserable day. My depression kicked in big time and to be honest, my husband was lucky I could even muster up the energy to make him supper.

I wandered around the internet for awhile, tried to get some writing done . . . read a new vampire book . . .

I did spend a lot of time in front of the computer with my other two WIP open. I skimmed through a little of Magic and changed the order of what happens next (I’ve already got the beginning and the ending done, in the middle I have a short, point form list of what else is going to happen). I wrote about 100 words in Changeling, deleted about 96 of them and gave up finally.

Here’s hoping today’s better.

Oct 7, 2008


There’s an icon out there that shows a cartoon figure sitting at a computer typing until their fingers turn bloody and then they start banging their head on the keyboard until there’s nothing left but a stub. That’s how I feel, except without the typing, just banging my head on the keyboard.

I’ve added about 10,000 words to DIF in the last three days, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s just not working.

So, rather than tossing the whole thing into the chiminea (which would mean printing it out first and wasting a lot of paper), I’ve decided to set it aside for a couple of days. Maybe I’ll print it out on the weekend to have a look at it - things always look different in print.

I guess the thing that bugs me most about this is that I’m not having this kind of problem with Changeling. I’ve been moving along at a slow, steady pace, and I really like what I’ve written so far. That’s not to say it’s not going to need some heavy editing, but I’m creating a good base to work from.

Magic is kind of all over the place right now. I’m thinking it needs something near the beginning that’ll make a reader want to keep going to find out what happens next. There was a short scene near the end that explains a few things and I may move it up closer to the start. It’s a stand alone scene, so it should work just as well at the beginning as the end. Hmmm, or maybe expand the scene and then spread it out, like use little snippets for the start of each chapter. That could work too . . .

Oct 6, 2008


Okay, I just couldn't resist this. I posted a quiz on my other blog and then I went back to the site of origin to try out some of their other quizzes and stumbled across this one.

What Kind of Writer Are You?

You Should Be a Romance Novelist

You see the world as it should be, and this goes double for all matters of the heart.

You can find the romance in any situation, and you would make a talented romance story writer...

And while you may be a traditional romantic, you're just as likely to be drawn to quirky or dark love stories.

As long as it deals with infatuation, heartbreak, and soulmates - you could write it.

Oct 5, 2008

Bleeding Eyes

I’m really starting to hate Driving Into Forever.

Okay, not really. The way the story starts out, there’s a lot of information that needs to be shared and I’m trying to spread it out to avoid an info dump. The problem is, it’s like the information is shards of lead and I’m a big magnet. It all wants to gather in the one spot.

Yesterday I worked on the same section (where my FMC learns where she is and what’s happened to her) until I felt like my eyes were bleeding. I kept changing my mind about what she was told and who was telling her and what she was shown and who was showing her.

All I can say is, thank God for cut and paste. I think I’ve got it pretty much straightened out now, but I’m going avoid re-reading it at all costs. Re-reading leads to changes which leads to eyes bleeding.

Today I’m working on introducing her to the rest of the characters she’ll be interacting with and it’s turning into another info dump. This is not good. It’s got to move the story forward, it’s got ignite the spark of attraction between my two main characters, it’s got to keep feeding that flame - Argh!

And the worst part is, I want to stick with this section until it’s done. I don’t have the urge to play games, I don’t want to watch T.V., I’m ignoring the siren call of my stack of unread books. All I want to do is write.

How scarey is that?

Oct 4, 2008

I Knew There Was a Good Reason!

Remember when I said I wanted to get all my writing stuff organized before I got down to brass tacks? Then, figuring it was just one more procrastination ploy I stopped organizing and started writing. I’m here to tell you now that it’s come back to bite me on the ass.

I had the urge to work on DIF today and I finally reached the part where I’m going to explain a little more about the mist they’re all stuck in. This particular section has been plaguing me since I first came up with the idea for DIF. I have to come up with a way to explain it to my female main character in such a way that it’s not just an info dump, is plausible enough to be believable, and yet leaves room for the FMC’s doubts.

One of the things that needs to be explained is what the different colours of the mist mean. A long time ago I was whining about this to a writing friend of mine who suggested I make up a poem or a nursery rhyme to explain the colours. What a great idea! Look at the origins of a lot of old nursery rhymes and you’ll see what a great idea it is. So I made up the poem on the spot. Only now I can’t find it. I remember seeing the scraps of paper I worked it out on, and I vaguely remember refining it and writing it down somewhere when I was organizing, but I have no clue where it’s gone.

You have no idea how irritating this is.


But, as tempting as it is to stop what I’m doing to look for the poem and get the organizing done, I’m not going to do it. Instead, I’ll leave a marker (okay, more like coloured text to mark the spot) where the poem is going to go and write around it. After the pathetic word count last week I can’t afford not to strike while the iron is hot.

But as soon as that iron cools off, I’ll be starting work on the organizing again.

Friday Update

Worked mostly on Changeling today. It’s probably a good thing when you keep plugging away at a story because you want to know how it turns out. The older brother and the best friend I was talking about yesterday have decided they might like bigger parts so I’m trying to oblige them.

The word counts for the week:
Magic +306
Changeling +2977
Driving Into Forever +2534
Total +5817

To be honest, I thought I did better than that.

However, when I think back on it, I spent one day with the heating pad on my back and another day sick. Add to that a few other things I have on the go and the books I got last weekend singing their siren songs and it’s actually surprising I did as well as I did.

Guess this means I don’t get the weekend off.

Oct 2, 2008

Pushy Characters

So, I was working away on Changeling yesterday, and my main character had to go talk to his brother . . . He’s spoken to this brother before but this brother has always been just a very minor character, someone more referred to than interacted with. Suddenly, this character starts intruding into the story. And now he’s pushing for a story of his own!

So I spent the next couple of hours writing out a one-page out-line for big brother’s story. This would be the 3rd sequel to Changeling, I’ve already got the other two outlined. So now big brother can meet my female main character’s best friend and I don’t have to worry about inappropriate behavior from either of them. She’s getting her own story too, but it won’t involve big brother.

There's this whole bad guy secret organization sub-plot that's crept into it and I think I'm going to have to go back and start developing it a little more because it’s becoming more and more important to the over all story.

Now, if these characters would just start co-operating, maybe I’d get one of these books finished!

Oct 1, 2008

Happy First Day of October

Yikes! It’s been a few days since I last posted. My bad.

The truth is, there hasn’t been that much to post about. I’ve been writing, I’ve been reading, I’ve been suffering a lot of upper back pain which I’ve been treating with the heating pad. The heating pad is fast becoming a close, personal friend since my doctor can't see me until January.

I’ve been working on all three WIPs. Monday I concentrated on Changeling and yesterday I seemed to flit from one to the other. Today, so far, I’ve worked on both Magic and Changeling, but I have DIF sitting there waiting for its turn.

I’m not going to lie and say I’ve been going great guns, I haven’t. Monday I think I managed about 650 words, but it’s still 650 more than I would have had. Yesterday I didn’t think to check my word counts. Yeah, it'd be nice if every day could be a 3,000 word day, but I count any day that shows progress as a good day.