Writer Wednesday…

 

Writer Wednesday with Selena Blake

wanna know more about Writer Wednesdays?  Go here… writers interested in doing it just need to do the questions and contact me.  Info is at the link.

 

What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process, from one book to another? (ie: Intensive plotting? Music?)

A: As much as I enjoy writing the first draft, I love (and sometimes hate) the revision process. One thing that never changes in my writing is how intense the revision process is for me. To me, that’s really when a book comes to life. I understand the progression of the story, can see any plot holes and I know my characters. I can add twenty-five percent to the wordcount during revisions.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?

A: Believe in yourself. There will be many days where you’ll lose confidence and wonder if you’re any good. That’s natural. There will be reviews that will tear you down. You’ll question yourself. But at the end of the day, believing in yourself will keep you sane. It will help you continue when the going gets tough. If you don’t believe in your work, how can you expect anyone else to?

What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of writers everywhere?

A: That there’s a right way and a wrong way to proceed with your career. Each author is different. Each journey is different. The important thing is being happy with how you get to where you want to be. Traditional, indie, a combination there of. Do what works for you.

What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?

A: James Scott Bell’s writing resource books. I love Art of War for Writers, Plot & Structure, Revision & Self-Editing. I’m pretty sure I could recommend anything he will write on the subject in the future. He has a way of breaking things down that will make you say “ah hah!”

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Writer Wednesday… Myla Jackson…

Today’s writer wednesday is …Myla Jackson

What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process, from one book to another? (ie: Intensive plotting? Music?)

A: Focus. I have to focus on one project at a time and push my way through.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?

A: Keep your day job! Writing is not for the risk averse. It’s a tough business with unpredictable income.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of writers everywhere?

A: That there’s only one right way to write a book. Writing rules are guidelines you don’t always have to follow.

What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?

A: The book of life. There is no one book for everyone to read. Live your life! Books can enrich and make life a better experience, but nothing beats getting out and exploring the possibilities yourself.

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Writer Wednesdays… Delilah Devlin

Today’s Writer Wednesday Guest is my friend Delilah Devlin

What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process, from one book to another?  (ie: Intensive plotting?  Music?)

A: I begin every day with a cup of strong, black coffee, incense or a candle burning on my file cabinet, and I write my blog as my “morning pages” to get my mind and fingers going.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?

A: Write. A lot. Submit. A lot. If you get repeated rejections, seek a good critique buddy or group to help you figure out where you’re missing it. Then write some more.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of writers everywhere?

A: That there are hard and fast rules about what you can’t write. Take risks. You’ll be remembered.

What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?

A: Stephen King’s On Writing. He can make a book on writing read like the best fiction—and he has solid observations and advice.

want to know more about Writer Wednesdays?  Go here…

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Writer Wednesdays.. Lauren Fraser

Another WW post! Lauren Fraser

What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process, from one book to another? (ie: Intensive plotting? Music?)

A: I’m assuming you mean besides those frustrating moments when I read back what I’ve written and think sweet mother of god that doesn’t sound at all like it’s supposed to.LOL

When I write I’m a bit of a weird plotter. Before I sit down to write I have the basics of the plot figured out I know how things are going to begin and end and a basic outline of how I’m going to get there, but usually my characters take me on a bit of a circuitous route. *grin* The main plotting type activity that I always do is characterization. I spend a lot of time figuring out my characters, who they are, what makes them tick and what kinds of things would really send them for a loop. I think it’s all those countless hours in the psychology classroom during university that makes me a bit neurotic when it comes to who my characters are. If I don’t feel like I really understand them I have a heck of a time writing them so I always make sure I really have a clear picture before I sit down.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?

A: Find a great critique group or partner. Unfortunately as wonderful as family is they usually aren’t willing bite the bullet and tell you what needs to be fixed or what’s missing from your writing. A great critique partner can be worth their weight in gold. I’d much rather hear from my critique partners what’s not working then my editor when she rejects a book.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of writers everywhere?

A: That you can’t use “to be” verbs when you are writing because it’s passive and you can’t use passive voice ever. There are times when “to be” verbs are needed and they just work. Plus it would read really odd if you changed your sentence structure so that you never used them.

What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?

A: Oh gosh that’s a hard one, I have so many books that I love. But since I know not everyone likes to read romance or suspense or genres that I might be drawn to I’ll pick one of my favorite books of all times that should appeal to everyone as well. So that being said I’ve got to go with The Giving Tree. I love this book and read it ALOT with my kids when they were really small.

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Writer Wednesdays…

Today’s Writer Wednesday guest is SD Grady

What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process, from one book to another? (ie: Intensive plotting? Music?)

A: The cat.

When I embarked upon my first novel, there was a lot of closet writing. I hunkered down in front of the monstrous desktop and typed away. I put on music, but mostly tried to ignore the goings on in the rest of the house. But there was Betty. My tuxedo kitty who has never accepted the fact she was the “also ran” from the pet store.

Betty would jump on my lap, purr (you would not believe the engine on that cat) and meow. She does that a lot. It can be annoying. She’s got that, “Hey Mom? Mom. Mom? Mooom. Hey Mom!” thing going. Closing doors does not work, she just tries to rip it off its hinges when locked away from me.

One day, she sat on the floor next to my chair and stared up at me, making her usual amounts of noise. Occasionally the paw would fly up and hit my knee, or the seat cushion, maybe my hand. We had discussed writing with her in my lap before. It didn’t work. But clearly she required easy access at least to the human level of the planet.

I spotted my shaker foot stool in the corner and wondered. I brought it over and placed it next to my chair. Betty jumped up, purrrrred, and laid down. That was that.

Ever since, whenever the keys start clicking, she comes running and parks her lazy butt next to me. We’ve moved around the house a bit with the advent of laptops, but there’s always a spot for me, and one for…Betty.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?

A: Find some new friends. Lol Don’t get rid of your current ones, that’s not what I mean. You need fellow writers in your circle. Ones who will tell you when you’ve messed up, who are ready to work with you, and who will understand when you can’t go to sleep because the people in your head won’t shut up.

Writing groups are the reason I’m still doing what I do. Fellow scribes are supportive of this addiction, and tend to IM in complete sentences ;)

What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of writers everywhere?

A: Absolutely never…

There are no absolutes in writing. A great many rules exist that will help you get to where you want to go, but you can break every single one of them and still succeed. You just need to know why those rules exist in the first place…then have at it! Writing is a creative process, not a mathematical equation.

What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?

A: The Cat in the Hat

Before we pick up War and Peace, the planet must first be able to read. Every child and adult needs to be able to read. In order to do so, they need someone who does read to share their joy of reading with them.

I know at this blog, I’m preaching to the choir, but I’m gonna ask the question anyway. Did you read with your child, today?

Even some forty years later when I visit with my parents, we pick up the morning paper and share columns that spark our interest. I do it at work, pointing out articles to those who usually don’t bother with the paper. Others show me links on their phones.

Awareness of politics, news items, sales, health hazards, weather….literacy for every person on the planet is required.

want to know more about Writer Wednesdays?  Go here…

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Writer Wednesdays… KevaD

Today’s WW is KevaD

What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process, from one book to another? (ie: Intensive plotting? Music?)

A: Learning my characters. I imagine them walking into my living room, and watch their movements, their unconscious habits. This one might rub the side of his nose before he speaks when he’s nervous, another might rub a knuckle, yet another may shift her foot back and forth on the ball of her foot. Does one sniff his food before the first bite? Does the woman across from him demurely sip her coffee, or slosh it over her tongue to savor the flavor? Does the man line up his belt buckle with the buttons on his shirt? Is the woman’s shoe heel scuffed from kicking it off, or polished because she removes her shoes by hand?

While these specific traits may or may not make it into the story, they teach me who the characters are and how they will react in the situations I place them in.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?

A: Be honest with yourself. Make sure you really want to do this. Mom and family don’t exist in the writer’s world when it comes to sales and reviews. Professional editors exist to send the most polished story they can to publication, not to tell the writer how wonderful he or she is. Just because your story is contracted does not mean it’s perfect or even close to ready for publication. Pay attention to what your editors say, as they are a treasure trove of information.

Of course there is another side to that coin. Unfortunately, there are some editors who couldn’t find their way out of a phone booth with a GPS and guide dog. So, if you get assigned to a good, skilled editor, become their best friend; they will make your writing better than it is now.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of writers everywhere?

A: That the writer has to follow “the rules” that exist within certain genres. Write the story writhing in your soul, begging to be told. While it may take some searching to find the right publisher, you will find a home for your work.

What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?

A: The one on your shelf you just haven’t found the time for. Bookshelves and e-readers shouldn’t be about amassing collections. Books are meant to be read. We not only do the writer and book a disservice by not reading, but ourselves as well. Find the time. Read.

read more about Writer Wednesday here…

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Writer Wednesdays… Jessica Scott

Today’s WRITER WEDNESDAY… Jessica Scott

What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process, from one book to another?  (ie: Intensive plotting?  Music?)

 

A: I’m kind of a creature of habit so first drafts are always in Scrivener. Revisions and editing come in Word.  And no matter what, I can’t start a book without knowing my characters. At least their names. The rest comes to shape as their storyboard develops.

But through it all, if I’ve got an earworm, it doesn’t matter of what kind of music, I can knock out some serious word count. I think it connects somewhere in my psyche that the music and the words are linked. I almost never write without music.

 

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?

 

A: Learn your craft. By that I mean, don’t just read every craft book out there but learn what it means to you. All books won’t resonate with you but some will. Figure out why those books do. Don’t query too early. Remember that writing must come with passion. Querying too early (trust me on this one) can drain the joy and passion from writing and make you quit. Make sure your book is ready and clean and polished before you even think of that first query. And expect rejection. Lots of it. But rejection doesn’t always mean you suck, nor does it mean you’ll never sell. It just means you haven’t found that one yes.

 

What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of writers everywhere?

 

A: All of the miscellaneous advice out there that takes away your concentration from writing the book. You have to blog. You have to be on Goodreads or Twitter. Allison Brennan consistently tells writers who ask about social networking that it doesn’t matter how many Twitter followers you have or how many Facebook friends you have, if the book sucks or isn’t even written, it doesn’t matter.

So if you’re just starting out, have a basic website that tells who you are so that people can find you, social network if you want to, and otherwise, focus on honing your craft. The single biggest thing you can do for your career is write the best book possible and strive to get better every day. One of the Army leaders I look up to says “Get better every day and never quit.” He was talking about dedication to duty, but it fits for writing life perfectly. If you quit, you’ll never sell and it’s as simple as that.

 

What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?

 

A: Oh wow. This is a tough one. I’m going to go cook dinner and come back to this. There are so many great books out there to recommend. The book I’d say everyone should read is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I know everyone either loves or hates this book and it is not without its controversy, but the frank, candid look at the far extreme of how entertainment has been perverted and what happens when we look for ever increasing thrills to keep ourselves amused. It’s great for writers to read and learn how to make characters that absolutely stick with you from the first word and for non writers, a great story that makes you sit back and think.

(Interested in the Writer Wednesdays? If you’d like to do one, check out this post for info)

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Writer Wednesdays… Sarah Makela

Today’s Writer Wednesday is Sarah Makela

What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process, from one book to another? (ie: Intensive plotting? Music?)

A: The one thing that remains unchanged during my writing process is the way I keep track of my progress and daily word count goals. I love my Excel spreadsheet. It keeps me aware of my deadline, so I know if I should change my pace if I get ahead or too far behind of where I should be.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?

A: Don’t give up! If you want it fiercely enough, you’ll achieve it.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of writers everywhere?

A: I’d totally wipe away “Write What You Know.” If I followed that and wrote solely what I know, my books would be so boring. I’ve never shot a handgun. I’ve never met a weretiger or a technomage. I’ve never been a private investigator. That’s the beauty of research and the creative mind.

What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?

A: I’d say for everybody to read a book that happily whisks them away from everyday life. I started reading when I was younger, and it’s helped me through some really challenging times.

Want to do the Writer Wednesday? Check it out here

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Writer Wednesday with Farrah Rochon

It’s time for another Writer Wednesday…

Today’s author is Farrah Rochon!

What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process,
from one book to another? (ie: Intensive plotting? Music?)

A: After much trial and error, I’ve developed a pretty set process, but
the one thing that never changes is my story bible. As soon as an idea
sparks, it gets it’s own notepad, and I carry that notepad everywhere.
Plotting ideas may pop up while I’m waiting in line at the bank, or stuck
in traffic, and my cute little story notebook is never far away.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?

A: Do this job because you love writing; no other reason. If you’ve
decided to become a writer because you want to be Kathleen Turner in
Romancing The Stone, you are in for a rude awakening. You must love
creating stories because that is where you will find your joy in this
business.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of
writers everywhere?

A: Head-hopping, or point-of-view switching, is a cardinal sin punishable
by a slow, brutal death. Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but you hear this
all the time. You should never, under any circumstances, switch
point-of-view. Some of my favorite books of all time hop back and forth
between the hero and heroine’s POV. If you can do it well, there is no
rule of writing that cannot be broken, or at least bent a little.

What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?

A: Judith McNaught’s Whitney, My Love. Some people love it, others
absolutely hate it, but I think that’s one of the things that’s so special
about Whitney, My Love. Any book that can evoke such strong emotions in
it’s readers is worth reading. It’s also one of my absolute favorite books
of all time, so, of course, I think everyone should read it.

Want to do Writer Wednesday?  Read about it here… 

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Writer Wednesdays…Claire Ashgrove

Another Writer Wednesday…(if you’d like to do one, check out this post for info)

Today we have Clair Ashgrove/Tori St. Claire

What’s the one thing that remains unchanged during your writing process, from one book to another? (ie: Intensive plotting? Music?)

A: Plotting by far. Everything else from environment, to physical setting, to background music changes with my mood. But plotting is consistent. I’m a heavy plotter. I stick to my outlines as rigidly as possible. And I plot until I can write down, chapter by chapter, what’s going to happen next, where my cliffhangers are, etc. It’s a start to finish process, or sometimes a finish-to-start process. But it is unchanging.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give a new writer?

A: Writing is like every other job, sport, or art form out there. You very rarely can overnight yourself into success (no matter what your version of success may include). You have to work at it. You have to take ‘continuing education’. If you truly want to be published, develop a training schedule, train yourself to write like you’re already an in-demand novelist, and don’t deviate unless there are emergencies. Gold medal Olympians train daily, Pro Quarterbacks are always studying the game – follow those successful examples and create your own regime. If you want it badly enough, make that evident in your daily life. Make it part of your daily life.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish was wiped from the minds of writers everywhere?

A: “When you finish a book, you must revise it.” No. You mustn’t. You may choose to go into revisions, or you may be aware there are gaps you need to fill in. But revisions are not mandatory. What is, is an editing pass. A read through where you check for loose ends, fix that sentence that accidentally changed direction in the middle of it because you were interrupted. It is okay to be happy with your completed product and feel like it is as tight as it could be when you reach the last word the first time around. Repeated revisions can (and often do) destroy an author’s voice. Believe in yourself. When you’re done, be done. Even if that means facing down a cocked eyebrow or wide eyes when you inform “so-and-so” you omitted revising the book. If it should happen that the book doesn’t sell, don’t dwell on it. You haven’t done anything wrong. Write the next one and don’t get buried in the “I must revise, revise, revise to be any good” mindset.

What’s the one book you think everybody, writer or not, should read?

A: Oh gosh, this is hard… very hard. There are so many books that have made an impact on me… I would love to say Hamlet, but I know Shakespeare is a difficult chore, and not many would follow through. I’ll have to go with John Jakes’ North and South. It has all the elements of a great story – internal and external conflict, outstanding three dimensional characters, layered plots and twists, romance, action – it’s really a wonderful read. An unforgettable read. So yes, that’s my answer – at least for today! Ask me tomorrow and it might end up being, “As I Lay Dying,” by Faulkner… but that one too… well let’s just say it could require patience to appreciate.

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