Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blog Chain: Genre Mindset

Margie started this round. She asked:

How do you get in the mindset of your genre? Do you research people or facts? Do you just reach into the recesses of your mind for events that would make a good story? Something else?

This isn't something I've ever really thought about so I'm having a hard time coming up with an answer. Bear with me. This might get kind of rambly. :)

Since I started writing, YA has always just felt like the right genre for me. There's a depth of emotion in YA books that I love and you don't really find it much in other genres. And since I'm a pretty emotional person, I guess that's why it feels so natural to me? I don't know. I was even more emotional as a teen (my poor mother), so there's a lot about those years that is still very vivid for me. I'm sure I draw on those memories and feelings a lot as I'm writing, but I don't know that I've ever used it to get into the mindset of my genre. Not intentionally, anyway.

As for the science fiction angle, I've always been fascinated with space and the universe and just science in general. That, combined with my husband's love for comic books--I think I've seen every comic book movie ever made--is probably why all my characters end up with some kind of superpower or ability, and why I keep wanting to put aliens in there, some way, somehow. So I don't know that it's a mindset so much as a compulsion. ;)

I'm pretty sure that didn't answer the question, but my writing process is pretty boring. I just need quiet and a general idea of where I'm headed, and then I sit down and write. Maybe I'm thinking about it too literally?

You all can probably answer it better. How do you get in the mindset of your genre?

Be sure to check out Christine's post from yesterday and Kat's post tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Liar Society Giveaway!

The ever awesome Tere Kirkland is giving away a SIGNED copy of Liar Society by Lisa & Laura Roecker. I've been dying to read this one, so do me a favor and pretend like you never saw this blog post. ;) Okay, fine. I know you want it too. Go ahead and enter. It won't affect our friendship. Much. ;)

Giveaway ends April 30th. More giveaway news coming tomorrow. Be sure to check back. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Awesome Followers Giveaway Winner!!

I put all the names and entries into an Excel spreadsheet and assigned numbers according to the number entries. Then I ran the numbers through and the winning number was:

And that number was assigned to

Congrats, Becca! Shoot me an email with your mailing address and I'll get you your goodies. :)

Thanks to everyone who entered! Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blog Chain: Writing Without a Map

Blog chain time! I got confused about my posting day so I'm late again. One of these days I'll get it up on the right day. Maybe. :) Eric started this round. He asked:

When was the last time you just sat down and started writing, with nothing but a whisper of an idea to guide you?  Did you find it easy to do or did you find yourself struggling for a more organized story?

I did this with the first half of the first draft of my first novel (which I was clueless then, so nothing was a struggle), but I don't think I've done it since. Honestly, just the idea of writing this way stresses me out. I'm not big on outlining, but I at least have to have a good idea of how the scene is going to go before I can sit down and write. Otherwise, I just end up sitting there, staring at my screen until I come up with a plan for the scene. And then, that's not really writing with just a whisper of an idea. ;)

I know it's something I should try, and it would probably help curb my perfectionism to learn to write like that. Just have to find the right motivation, I guess.

What about you? Do you ever write like this? Is it easy to do or do you struggle with it?

Be sure to check out Christine before me and Kat after. :)

And the last few days have been crazy busy and I haven't had a chance to pick a winner yet for the giveaway, but I'll try to have it up soon.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Writer's Angst

I don't remember who directed me there, but I read this post on Hillary Monahan's blog last week, and I think it's the most accurate description of the "Writer Crazies" I've ever read. ;)

A few gems:

All writers, even the ones that look balanced and happy, are insane.

Writers as a whole are insecure little egomaniacs....

We think we're both small gods and the gum at the bottom of your shoe. Possibly at the same time.

The full post is here. If you haven't seen it yet, it's definitely worth checking out. Just FYI, there is some rougher language, so if you're sensitive to that, you might want to skip it. :) Enjoy!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Time's running out!!

Only one week left in my AWESOME FOLLOWERS GIVEAWAY! Be sure to check it out! :)

Win these pens plus a big stack of books!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Blog Chain: Recharging

It's blog chain time, and I'm late. Again. My lack of blogging motivation lately is astounding. Oddly enough, where I lack the motivation to blog, I've been highly motivated to write and getting lots done in that area, so maybe it's good thing. Anyway, this round was started by Cole. She asked:

What hobbies, tips, or techniques do you have for keeping your writerly battery charged?

I didn't used to do anything. It was just write, write, write--more accurately obsess, obsess, obsess--all the time. Eventually though, this does burn you out. Now I know (and I had to learn this the hard way) that sometimes I just have to step away. Plus (and this one's huge) getting behind on my housework doesn't help. If my house is a mess, I can't focus, because I'm constantly worried about what I should be doing instead of writing. So, housework is definitely not a hobby, but it's important for me to stay on top of it.

I like to play around with graphic design. And along those same lines, I do a little digital scrapbooking, though not as much as I used to. I also like to doodle in the corners and along the edges of the manuscript pages I'm working on--this is how I procrastinate without my computer.

Also, watching movies with my husband. And just because I pick apart the plot lines and the character arcs and analyze the characterization does not mean I'm not recharging. Seems I can't help myself anymore and I do this without thinking. Just FYI, if your husband (or whoever you're watching the movie with) isn't a writer--and maybe if he is a writer--he doesn't want to hear your thoughts on these things during the movie and probably not afterward either. ;)

Hmm. That's all I've got. Maybe I should take up knitting again. :)

So what about all of you? What hobbies, tips, or techniques do you have for keeping your writerly battery charged?

Be sure to check out Christine's post from Tuesday and Kat's post today. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

MUG Monday: The Blank Page

Hey, looky there! Abby wrote a blog post. A scheduled one even. Craziness. ;)

Okay, so some of you know I'm rewriting the first half of Embrol. Again. It really is never-ending. I cut 43,000 hard-earned words last week. Painful, but necessary. And I think it's getting better, closer to where it needs to be. Never mind that I've thought this before (more than once), and yet, here I am, doing another rewrite. *sigh*


I've been stuck for a couple of weeks on one scene. Of course, it's an action scene. For me, those scenes always require a lot of revision. I always put in too much emotion or too much detail or both and totally screw up the pacing in the first draft. My perfectionist brain can't handle this. Just the idea of writing an action scene makes it shut down and then, somehow, I'm checking my email. Or Facebook. Or anything besides working on that blasted action scene.

I tried to sit down and force myself to write it. I knew how I wanted it to go, so that wasn't the issue. It was just getting my fingers to type what I knew would be horrible, horrible words. I couldn't tarnish my previously "perfect" draft with such an awful scene.

The solution?

I opened a blank document and told myself it was okay if I screwed it up because it never had to touch the real document if I hated it. Three days later, I have a shiny new action scene that, at least for the moment, I think turned out pretty good. Such a simple solution. Too bad it took me so long to figure it out. :)

What about you? Any types of scenes that trip you up? What do you do to get unstuck?

And my Awesome Followers Giveaway is still going on! Don't miss it!