Monday, October 31, 2016

NaNo Eve

On the eve of NaNoWriMo, known as Halloween to some, it seems quite appropriate that on Authors Answer, we share the best writing advice we've received. And that sentence really felt like it should rhyme, but it's early and my brain isn't up for that task just yet. All of this advice seems to directly relate to the challenges of NaNo, so if you're participating, do take a look and be fortified for the task set before you.

Still on the fence about writing a novel in a month? If you haven't given it a try, why not this year? Writing starts tomorrow. There's plenty of time to sign up. 50,000 words in 30 days. It's totally doable. NaNoWriMo, go on, try it.

I'm looking forward to diving headfirst into of writing a pile of new words. It's my writing guilt-free month. People know I'm writing and I'll be in and out in the coming weeks, rushing dinners before write-ins and sitting there distracted while I'm plotting the next scene in my head.

And today is my last day of planning, so I guess I better get back to doing that. Tomorrow, I write.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

On Being Thankful

If I were looking to jinx myself, I would do a post I've been contemplating for a while about being thankful. But I wouldn't do that, because I know how the universe works.

I wouldn't want to dwell on the fact that I'm vastly enjoying life in my new house with plenty of room for everyone. Or that my writing room has in fact remained a writing space, free of clutter, or other encroaching household items seeking storage space.

If I were foolish, I would curse myself by talking about how comfortable and inviting my writing chair is, or my new warm, furry lap blanket, or the horde of chocolate I have stashed away for NaNo writing sessions. I surely wouldn't want to mention that I suddenly have more story ideas than I will have time for this November.

Speaking of work going well enough to support two people, or at least well enough to pay the bills, would surely prod the powers that be to bring about some costly misfortune that would sideline my intention to be credit card debit free (creative financing for unexpected projects when we built our house two years ago) by spring of next year. 

I wouldn't want to invite an onslaught of poor reviews by saying that Sahmara has been well received or talk about the nice comments on the cover art from people at the author fair I attended last week.

No, doing any of these things would be just asking for trouble, and I certainly don't need that. So, instead, I'll just leave the whole topic of being generally healthy and happy with where I am in life out of this post and get back to planning my NaNo project, because, thankful or not, I can't seem to focus on that no matter how hard I try.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG October 2016

Welcome to this month's Insecure Writer's Group post. The question this month is:  When do you know your story is ready?

My stories are written in a flurry of words. They're messy and ugly. After one or ten edits, they go to my crit group where they point out all the ugly bits I overlooked. Around this time a story might be ready. It might not.

So how to know when? It's a feeling. And sometimes that feeling is wrong (like when multiple editors point out the same reasons for rejection). But, for the most part, it isn't.

It's a point where you can read the story and not have any doubts over a line or a paragraph, scene or chapter. When the story makes you smile and feels complete. When you've reached the point where you're fussing over a word choice and realize you're just screwing around rather than bucking up and putting it out in submissions.

The stage when you're sick of your story and don't ever want to see it again...unless you're holding a printed copy in your hand with your favorite signing pen in the other.

When you've run out of ideas of how to make it any better than the version in front of you. That's when it's time to either shelve it or pat it on the head, smile at it one last time and sent it off into the world to see what becomes of it.