Monday, August 10, 2020

Are You Stuck?

I began writing my second novel while my first was in the hands of my editor. (No, I don’t edit my own work when it’s that big!). I loved the way the book was going…the characters, the story line, everything! I’ve been working on this novel for several months, but in the last few weeks, I’ve been second-guessing the plot. Is the twist good enough? Do I keep the reader’s attention and wanting more?

Stumped, I talked to my aunt by way of Marco Polo (this brilliant video chat app!). We tossed a few ideas back and forth and I sat back down to write but…nothing. Then a few days ago, my aunt sent me a video talking about the novel and a few other ideas for a twist. Suddenly, I had an idea based on something she said and BAM…I had my twist!

I hurried to my laptop to type up the outline so I wouldn’t forget. Normally I don’t do outlines, I just WRITE (fly by the seat of my pants, if you will), but I had to type this one up quick because I loved the idea and didn't want to forget it.

Now I am writing freely again and making progress…again.

It’s ok to ask for help. Talk to a trusted friend or family member and toss some ideas around if you find yourself stuck or bored with your work. Sometimes just walking away can help, but getting ideas from others can work wonders as well.

Keep writing, friends! Don’t give up if you feel “stuck” – just keep writing!



Thursday, August 6, 2020

What Are You Working On?

When you write, do you work on one project or multiple? Do you write in one specific genre or several?

I like to work on more than one writing project at a time. Currently, I am working on two fiction novels and a few pre-teen and children’s books. As I’ve mentioned before, I write when the idea(s) strike or when I’m in the writing zone. I never force myself. So, for example, I may wake up tomorrow morning with ideas roaming around my head for my novel. I’ll sit down and do some writing on that one. I may stop after a bit and pull another file up - maybe the children’s book or maybe the other novel - and I’ll write a little bit on that.

Sometimes I will be writing one story, save that after a bit, and do something else non-writing related.

Don’t forget to give yourself a break; whether you’re writing a book, a blog or anything else, take a break when you feel overwhelmed or tired. Go for a walk, stretch, call a friend or read a book!

Working on several projects is fine, but make sure you take time for you as well.

Monday, July 27, 2020

A Few of My Favorite Books and Authors

When people ask me what my favorite book is, I usually reply with, “Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.” That’s the truth, as far as classics go. I can’t narrow down a favorite fiction book that’s not a classic because there are just too many.

I loved the series by Richard Paul Evans called The Walk. To sum it up, terrible things happen to a man within a short period of time and he really doesn’t know what to do…so he walks. And he walks. And walks. His journey is amazing: what and who he encounters, lessons he learns, and a building of his faith. I will definitely read that series again in my lifetime.

I have favorite books by some other favorite authors as well such as Riley Sager, K. L. Slater, Loretta Marion, David Baldacci, David Bell, Mark Edwards, Dean Koontz, Mary Higgins Clark and David R. Dow, to name a few! But I just cannot narrow down one favorite.

Speaking of Riley Sager, I just finished a book by him called Home Before Dark. Besides the fact that I have no idea WHY he titled it that, it was an EXCELLENT read. I absolutely LOVED it! I read it within a few days. It’s one of those books where you’re a mix between “huh?” and “what the…” and “ohhhhhh” then “WHAT?????” If you want a suspenseful mystery – and, perhaps, ghosts - read that one before any other book. You will not be disappointed.
I have only written contemporary fiction (more like drama and family stuff) – besides children’s books – but I will aspire to write like Riley Sager one day!

What are some of your favorite books?

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Writing and Writer's Block

People often ask me why I write. My response? “Why do you draw? Why do you run? Why do you travel?” 

Because it’s what you love; it’s what you’re good at and it’s your passion. Writing to me is like breathing at times…I don’t know what I’d do without the ability. I write in journals and notebooks. I write stories and poems and letters. I love blank paper and I love blank Word documents on my laptop. When I have a blank sheet of paper or Word document, I just start writing and sometimes I don’t even know what is going to come out.
Sometimes I get “writer’s block” and I can’t continue on a children’s story or novel I was working on, but I step away when that happens and read, write in a journal, or work on a cross stitch project. However, what gets me out of the funk the most is walking! For some reason, when I take walks, my eyes see stories and my head is filled with ideas. When I get back to my house after my walk, I’m usually ready to get back at writing!

Do you get “writer’s block” at times? What do you do to help yourself get back into it? My opinion is that no one should ever force themselves to do something that doesn’t come naturally. Take a break, take a deep breath, and dive back into it later.

I often read novels about a character who is a writer, and they have a deadline from their editor so they can get their next book published but they get writer's block. What does that writer do? They sit there staring at a blank screen. And what usually ends up happening? The writer goes through something (traumatic or thriller-like) and the inspiration hits…and then they write.

When you feel you can’t write, take a deep breath and walk away. Take a walk, take a hike, visit someone, go out to eat, read a book, or even take a nap. Just relax and let the story come to you. Because it will.