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Put The Stuff On The Page

When I was a young writer, I wrote a rape scene.  It was full of pathos and horror.  It made me cringe and cry. I thought I might be too graphic.

Then my reader — yes, that’s right, at the time I only had one — aka my husband read it.  “Why is she so upset because the guy came into her room?”

Yep, that’s right.  All that actually made it on the page was that this guy came in, and then she was re-arranging her clothes and crying.  The rest was still in my head, and I was putting it into the scene without noticing it was not actually written. Read more

On the Perils and Pitfalls of Single Parenting

I have very recently been informed that what I am doing is vitally important, and should count as, if not a career, then a respectable detour. I’m still unconvinced I genuinely believe this (I certainly don’t grok it, but I’ve had confidence and perception issues for decades), but whether I do or not, this isn’t truly the issue.

What’s going on right now is that I’ve spent two days fighting with my children instead of writing. I JUST NOW spent nearly an hour building Lego instead of writing this post. Because the noise and wails when only one had a motorcycle.

I’m slowly coming to the realization that anything I want undamaged, anything from which I don’t want pieces missing must be cryosealed and buried, to be opened only after the last one has been unceremoniously ejected from all the Spaces That Are Mine.
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Taking time to recharge

This is the first time in almost five days that I’ve opened my laptop to do anything other than a quick check of email. I haven’t blogged. I haven’t put down a single new word of fiction. I even quit carrying my iPad around with me wherever I went. Better yet, I haven’t felt a single pang of guilt about it. How could I do such a thing, especially with a deadline looming less than two weeks away? Easy. A friend was coming into town. For the first time in years, I was allowing myself time to relax and not worry about the next book or editing the current one or anything else like that.

And I loved it.

More importantly, I realize now that I needed it. Read more

Wrong about what you know…

“Always write about what you know about”

That’s standard advice to writers, doled out like the wisdom of the ages to aspiring writers trying to write about the wilds of 1970 Irian Jaya, and the charm of the young nurse working there and the mechanics of the genetic illnesses in isolated tribal populations there… when the wilds of Poughkeepsie would be a bridge too far… and the nursing profession as alien as paleo-botany. As for genetics… they are almost sure it had something to do with genes. Or maybe jeans.

To the average mine of useless information (AKA professional writer) it shows, painfully.

Like most writing advice (actually, make that most advice) –it’s a crock… with a tiny gem of truth somewhere near the bottom. Read more

Cover caveats

The moment has arrived; your book is ready for its debutante ball. But no matter how finely honed its grace and manners, formatting and prose, it still needs to be dressed in an eye-catching cover that lets the readers of the world know exactly what genre and subgenre she is, and what promises are being made that will be revealed if they can take her home…

And if you’re like me, you’re not an artist. (Really; I just feed them.) So you have to get someone else to do that. Read more

Happily Ever After the End

I wasn’t sure what to talk about this week, and then I was, and then I thought someone else said it so well, how could I possibly do better? Then I got into a conversation privately with another writer who has, through no real fault of their own, wound up in a tight spot. And I realized that I’m weird.

Ok, if that wasn’t confusing enough, here’s this: this post is not about writing. It’s about what comes from writing, after the story is finished. Because as we all know in our cynical little back-brains, there’s no HEA.

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I do a lot of multiple point of view books. A lot of multiple thread books.
Unfortunately I’m not sure I do it well.

Might be a matter of never having taken an English class since I was in high school, and never having taken a creative writing class ever.

So, here I am laid up by a muscle cramp of all things, and not able to sit at the desk for very long.

In fact, kicked back on the couch with foot elevated seems to be the order of the day . . . well, week. So I started rereading David Weber’s Safehold series. Now for a moderately successful writer . . . well, let’s just say the shear competency of the man’s writing is humbling.

Let me try to explain how I see the threads of a story. Read more