Monday, October 26, 2009

Techniques for maintaining the course of the plot

Do I have any techniques for maintaining the course of my plot?

In a word NO. I start out with a rough idea of a story, but it's not until I start typing that the plot starts to evolve. Sometimes I don't even have much of an idea of what I am going to write but I start tapping the keys and 4000 words later I have taken my characters down a path I didn't even knew existed a couple of hours before.

I sometimes wonder if it because I am a new writer and have lots of ideas in my head. So far I have been lucky and writer's block has not been an issue for me.

Bits and pieces of the plot come to me at all times of the day and night, so I make sure to keep a note pad and pen handy at all times. I may just scribble down a sentence but when I get home and open up my laptop, that one sentence can easily lead me to finish a chapter in one sitting.

I really don't have any techniques when I write. I am learning things through reading WD magazine and joining online forums, but I have no professional training, I just write because I enjoy it, and I get so excited when the story progresses, makes sense, and is enjoyable to read.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Preferred Writing Style

When you read a book it's usually written in one of 2 writing styles. There is the 1st person or 3rd person style.

For those of you who are not familiar with this terminology it basically means that a book written in the 1st person is told by the protagonist, and is seen through their eyes. Lots of people like this because they really get inside the main character’s head and the whole story revolves around just her.

Writing in the 3rd person means the author can write the story from anyone's point of view in the book, providing there is a pause between the scenes. It is not good to change POV’s within a scene, a mistake I have made in my first book, The Amulet, and at this point I don’t think I’m going to change it.

My preference leans towards the 3rd person writing style, only because I like to know what is going on in different people’s heads not just the protagonist’s. I prefer reading books written in the 3rd person. Agents also think it shows more talent as a writer to be able to narrate from different character’s perspectives and not just one character. I admit I have to agree with them but that is just my opinion, so please don’t shoot me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Writing Bug

My writing bug bit me many years ago. I have wanted to write a book for about 20 years but never had the courage to try before a few years ago. I knew I wanted to write a book about my travels round Australia, when I was 20 years old. I backpacked for nine months and had the time of my life, and lots of adventures and stories to talk about. But I didn't want it to be a memoir or a documentary.

It wasn't until 2006, 17 years later, that I had the idea to write a romance using my travels round Australia as a back drop. The romance was fictional but the adventures in my book did happen to me in one form or another. So My first book was a romance called "What's a Jilleroo to do?" I self-published it and had some great feedback.

I have since taken it off the market and I am going to re-write it when I have finished my current project. I have learned so much on my writing journey and know that my original book needs a lot of work.

I did think that I only had one book in me, I thought after writing it that the itch would have been scratched, but 2 years later I got an idea in my head for a YA urban fantasy (one of my favorite genres). So I sat down to write and didn't stop. Six weeks later the 1st draft of The Amulet was ready.

Now I know that bug has gotten under my skin and no amount of scratching is going to relieve it. I am currently writing the 2nd book in what I hope to make a trilogy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hidden Treasures

Today my friend and I discovered a hidden treasure. I have a friend visiting me from England this week and unfortunately she seems to have brought the rain with her (although she tells me they haven't had rain for weeks back home).

Anyway that's besides the point. Here in rainy old Missouri I was trying to think of something we could do that was sightseeing oriented, to prove that we did have something here in the middle of nowhere. I have lived here for nearly 4 years and knew there was a cave nearby but had never been there.

We decided to take a trip to the cave and found an absolute treasure. I don't know why I had imagined that it would be just an over exaggerated hole in the ground but basically it blew my mind.

The cave was stunning and went on for much longer than I would have guessed. I was seriously impressed and stood there marveling at the stalactite and stalagmite formations wondering why I had never made the effort to go there before.

So I learned a valuable lesson today. That you would be suprised what hidden treasures and sources of inspiration are right on your doorstep.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Writing Community

A few days ago I discovered an awesome writing community. It is called and run by HaperCollins UK. I was sucked in instantly and have been lost roaming around in there for days now. (Okay that was a slight exaggeration).

This just leads me to talk about a catch 22 that is bugging me right now. In Authonomy you can read other author's work, comment on it and add it to your "bookself" When your book gets added to a bookshelf, it goes up in the ratings and if it gets high enough it ends up on the editor's desk and they check it out.

Aside from the fact that getting to the editor's desk is a possibility and exciting enough in its own right. There are some incredible authors and books on this site and I have spent a couple of days reading other's work and commenting on it. I have also had many people read mine and put it on their bookshelf.

I am so totally addicted to this site now that I wonder when I am actually going to have time to write my next book. Here is the catch 22. You need to get your name out there and the only way to do that is to have an internet presence, but in the pursuance of doing that when do you write the next potential bestseller? Well I guess that is something I am going to have to overcome.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A friend lost

Something very sad happened to me on Wednesday, I had to have my cat put down. It was sudden and unexpected and she will be sadly missed.

My pets are my kids. I don’t have any children and they are my family. Thelma, my cat was my writing partner. She would lie by my leg on the sofa throughout the entire process of writing my last novel. When I was finally finished for that evening and put my laptop aside she would climb onto my lap and curl up until I went to bed.

I am in the process of writing the second book in the Custodian series and will miss her lying by my side as I type.

On Thursday I was going to catch up on writing my blog and surf the forums I belong to, but the weather was not cooperating with me. I live in the boonies and have satellite internet. Only problem with that is if we have even the slightest disturbance in the weather, the internet goes offline. And we had some seriously yucky weather. Oh well, it just goes to prove that even in this modern day and age with all of our technology we are still at Mother Nature’s mercy.

It's now Friday and finally I have my internet back. Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Faery or Fairy

I thought I had better explain the reason why I used both spellings of faery/fairy in my book.

Someone brought the question up and I wanted you all to know that there was a method to my madness, and that my spell check hadn't gone into phonetic meltdown.

The book is set in contemporary times, it is an urban fantasy and the protag is a teen. So for much of the book I use the more contemporary spelling of fairy. But there are times when I want to give an olde worlde feel to the story, and in that instance I use the other spelling of faery.

Make sense? Oh well, us fiction authors are allowed to act a little kooky at times. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :-)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Last Curtain Call

It has been a while since my last post and for that I apologize, but I do have a good reason. I have been performing in a play and it has taken virtually all my spare time up the past two weeks. The couple of nights we did have off, I slept!

We did our last performance on Saturday night and ended it with a standing ovation. It left me with a mixture of feeling relief and sadness. Relief that I get my life back after three months, and sadness that I won't get to spend all that time with my "surrogate" family. I did add a lot of new friends on facebook though.

My book signings went great. I did them before the shows and also at the Apple Festival that was held in town this weekend. Sold 56 books altogether, which is a great start. Now I am going to concentrate on the rather time consuming task of marketing it to a wider audience.

I have had some great reviews from the local teens who have bought it and already read it. The feeling you get when people talk about your characters as if they are real, is priceless.

Actually the coolest thing happened in the girl's changing room backstage. A "discussion" started between the girls who had read my book and those who hadn't yet. They were comparing my main male character and Edward Cullen from Twilight. The girls who had read both, preferred my character and were actually arguing with those who hadn't read it and were of the opinion that no one would be better than Edward.

It was a totally surreal experience and one that had me overflowing inside. Just the mere fact that they were comparing my character to that of one so famous made me feel that maybe, just maybe my book could be loved by as many people as Stephenie Meyer's are. Well we are all allowed to dream aren't we??