Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Stories have a mind of their own

I'm a combination plotter and panster. I come up with a basic plot and list of characters for my stories, but the scenes often take a different path than I envisioned when I actually write them. Character's come to life and flesh themselves out as I type. It's kind of neat to watch.

Of course, I have to be flexible. When I start writing a particular interaction, I sometimes realize a line of dialogue or character reaction is implausible and have to change course. At other times, the research alters something about the scene or a character's backstory. It's fun and interesting at times, frustrating at others.

With my historicals, a lot of research is done during the plotting stage, and more is necessary during drafting. I'm constantly fact-checking. Many times something I learn from a non-fiction source gives me the idea for an entire scene. Heck, some of my best scenes were inspired by research. But it usually doesn't change anything too significant.

This time is different.

The current novel I'm working on has been sucking in historical topics I never saw coming. I had to go back and change details so my heroine could have the proper wardrobe. What I discovered when I looked up a 19th-century church, simply to get the location and building details right, changed a character's backstory drastically and gave rise to unplanned scenes. Supporting characters who were only supposed to appear in a chapter or two are sticking around and showing back up. I'm sure the story will be better for it, but good grief! My head is swimming!

Does this ever happen to you when you write?

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Some highlights from the past 8 years

It's less than five hours before this post goes live, and I'm undecided over what to write. No good topic comes to mind, so I'll link some of the popular blog posts from over the years. Feel free to pick and choose what you like.

Beginning writers might find Showing & Telling and The Snobbish Rules of Fiction helpful.

If you're new to critiques, try What's a Critique? It includes a list of abbreviations and critique lingo.

Do you struggle with info dumps?

Would you like to write faster?

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Pub & Promo Help from L. Diane Wolfe

L. Diane Wolfe has formatted for me in the past. She's professional and talented, so when I heard how the pandemic had hindered her ability to earn a living with in-person classes, I offered to help her get the word out about her webinars. For a very reasonable price, you can learn about publishing and promoting your books in the safety and comfort of your own home.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The things we take for granted

Being stuck at home on my days off has given me time to do some cleaning. I came across a little comb-bound booklet that was given to me by my mom and one of my father's cousins. The booklet, titled This I Remember, is a collection of details my paternal great grandfather remembered from the early years of his life in the late 1800s.

I blogged about my great grandfather a few years ago, when I related the story of his elopement. William Edgar Whitten (Nov. 1875 - Apr. 1975) was a hard-working gentleman who achieved much in his life with only an 3rd-grade education. Though he eventually settled in South Texas, he grew up "a farmer's son in the piney woods and rock hills of Georgia."

I decided to blog about some of the things he remembered. When I start feeling like my life is difficult, it only takes reading something like this to make me realize just how easy I have it.

From This I Remember, by William Edgar Whitten:

Saturday, April 11, 2020

NEW RELEASE! The Dragon's Heart by David Powers King

One of my favorite writing friends has a new book! David Powers King, co-author of Woven and contributing author to FULL DARK just released The Dragon's Heart.

The Dragon's Heart is well-paced fantasy with charming characters that will suck you in and hold your interest. It's available from Amazon. Consider buying a copy to show your support.

For more info about the release and David's upcoming projects, click here.

Monday, March 30, 2020

FULL DARK got a facelift

What do authors do when they're stuck at home?
They write and dust off when-I-have-time projects.

The FULL DARK anthology authors and I decided to give the book a new cover. Author Carrie Butler was kind enough to make and donate a new one. She did an awesome job, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Hunkered Down in Houston

Well, Katy, Texas, actually. A smaller city right on the western edge.

And I'm not exactly hunkered down. Only on my days off. Despite my county's 'stay-at-home' order, I can't. I'm a nurse, so that makes me an essential employee.

I wasn't sure what to post today, or even if I should. I decided to keep my promise to myself to blog at least monthly, despite the pandemic.

There's enough scary news bombarding us, so I'll keep it upbeat.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

BDSM for Christians

Okay, so I sensationalized the title a bit.
What kind of writer would I be if I didn't try to hook you. :P

I came across something a while back that completely blew me away. I was reading a book review that mentioned 'domestic discipline.' I had never heard of the term, so I promptly looked it up.

Domestic Discipline (DD) relationship is one in which one partner is given authority over the other, and has the means to back up that authority, usually by spanking.

Yeah. I know. Stay with me.