Posted in Advice/Helpful Sites

Writer’s Event at Wenatchee Library

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Event Name: Getting Published

Description: Need to know how to get published? Local author Donna Lee Anderson can help you. Bring a notebook and one to two pages of an example of your work.

Where: Wenatchee Public Library

When: Saturday, September 20 1-4pm

Free event for teens and adults. Pre-registration required. Call 509-662-5021.

Donna’s very nice. I went to another writing event at the library with her as the speaker. Although it was nerve-wracking reading my work in front of other people (you don’t have to if you don’t want to but it’s worth it), I got good feedback. Constructive criticism, not negative or hurtful.

Naturally the Salmon Festival in Leavenworth is going to be the same day. ARGH! But that starts at 10am so we can do that for awhile before getting back to town for the library event. I’ll probably be a little late but that’s okay. I mean, come on! It’s the Salmon Festival! I can’t miss that! It comes around once a year and is super fun for the kids. My son loves it.

I would give up the library event entirely if I thought we’d stay at the festival the whole time, however, I think several hours will be enough time to see everything.

I hope.

If not, then I won’t be at the library event. It won’t kill me.

Which would you choose? A writing event or a once-a-year family event?

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Posted in Advice/Helpful Sites, Personal

Getting Organized and My Editing Progress

I’m finally getting organized and apparently not a moment too soon. I wrote up a list of things I needed to do today because I had so many I was sure I’d forget the most important ones.

One item on my list was to get a planner. I intended to use it as an easy way to keep track of what days I write and how much etc. I’ve been doing that on notecards, true, but this appealed to my sense of organization and I hadn’t spent any of my allowance so I figured what the hey.

(On a side note, Office Debot had the most boring planners. I swear. If they weren’t “Academic Planners” which go from July-June instead of Jan-Dec, they were boring and ugly. Luckily I found some cool artsy tape to spruce it up and make it mine. I may have to get some later.)

Thank goodness I got it because I also went to my son’s future Kindergarten to register him for the Fall. There’s an orientation I have to go to and a screening. I started thinking about what else I need to remember.

  • Providing snacks to our next United Marriage class
  • Speaker at the library
  • 5k race
  • Write on the River Conference
  • Memoir Writing Workshop
  • Husband’s Seattle Conference
  • Visiting parents
  • Renaissance Faire

I wonder if I’ve forgotten anything…?

On another note, I can now easily see how productive I’ve been with my writing lately.

  • 4/10 – 5pgs 54min – CH 4 DONE
  • 4/15 – 1pg 37min
  • 4/16 – 2pgs 40min
  • 4/17 – 4pgs 1hr26min
  • 4/18 – 10pgs 1hr22min – CH 5 DONE
  • 4/21 – 7pgs 1hr10min
  • 4/22 – 13pgs 1hr8min – CH 6 DONE
  • 4/23 – 2pgs 55min

Wow! How am I getting so many pages done in so little time on one day and so few pages done on other days? Less to change the long days.

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Adverbs. They remain an issue with me. Commas too but I’m getting better with both.

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Which draft am I on now? I’ve lost count but hopefully it no longer stinks like poopy-caca.

How do you stay organized?

Posted in Advice/Helpful Sites

Ways to Brainstorm and Carrying Paper/Pen at all Times

Everyone has their own way of brainstorming. We all do it even if we don’t realize it. Anyone who’s considering different ideas or different possibilities for whatever reason is brainstorming. Some people enjoy this activity while others consider it a means to an end and do it for the simple fact that they must.

Let’s face it, sometimes brainstorming sucks. We sit there staring at the wall, a blank piece of paper, a blinking cursor – our minds empty. Or maybe ideas are coming but they’re total trash or they don’t interest us.

Maybe the problem that we’re trying to figure out is so difficult we can’t think of an appropriate solution.

Sometimes the solution to this problem is simple – change the way you’re brainstorming.

Now, some of the “techniques” listed below aren’t techniques – they’re questions to ask yourself. But I’m putting this up because all questions are useful when it comes to brainstorming.

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That being said, sometimes the best ideas come in a flash of insight when you’re not doing anything connected with writing. Write those ideas down. Don’t let them escape. You can always look at them later and brainstorm their details or how they can work on a larger or smaller scale.

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I don’t normally get ideas when I’m out and about away from paper or a computer but when I do it’s been frustrating to lose the feel of it later because I haven’t been able to write it down. I tend to daydream a lot and semi-cement ideas in my head but sometimes it’s not enough. Now I carry around a small notepad I got from a writing workshop I recently attended.

How do you like to brainstorm? Do you carry around something to record your ideas?

Posted in Advice/Helpful Sites

Rules for Writing Romance

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I love writing steamy scenes. Maybe even better are the non-steamy but horribly romantic scenes – scenes that make me giggle like a teenage girl with a crush. It’s as if I get to live vicariously through my characters.

Well, it’s not “as if” I get to live vicariously through them, I actually do.

Writing romance scenes allows my romantic side to rule the roost for awhile without my practical side butting in and being cynical or reminding me of reason.

But can we write whatever we want when it comes to romance?

Sure. Just don’t expect it to be any good or sell.

Not like I know what sells or what’s appropriate to write when it comes to romance. I may have romantic scenes, but my writing (as of this point) can’t be catagorized as Romance. But there are others out there who I’m sure know what they’re talking about.

Here are 5 things I agree with Jody Hedlund about:

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This goes against a pin I saw on Pinterest recently…

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I agree with putting obstacles in lovers’ paths, but I hate it when a romance makes the heroine’s life miserable. My heart breaks for her, for both of them really, and when the “happy” ending comes it almost doesn’t seem worth it or good enough.

Granted, in a movie, you need misery and major conflict. Maybe even a sadish ending. But a romance book?

Romances are fluff. Pure and simple. Storyline-wise they can be entertaining fluff but they’re fluff all the same.

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Check out Nora Roberts for some of the best romances out there (in my opinion anyway). She’s written oodles of books. Remember, though, that there are only so many ways to tell a story. After that, nothing’s original…even if Nora Roberts wrote it.

51ahc8dEMpL__SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Some of her books (one in particular – Born In Fire) seem to have sex scenes for the sake of having sex scenes. I commented about it to my mom while I raved about the book (it was really good despite the thrown-in sex – awesome descriptions of art and glass-blowing) and she said that romance publishers most likely have a prerequisite for how much sex is in any book they publish.

For example:

  • Put in too much sex or make it too erotic and you may have Erotica
  • Too little sex and perhaps you no longer have a romance at all in any kind of romance subgenre

That brings me to the question of: what are the subgenres of romance writing?

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Holy cow! If I ever needed a reason to write romance other than for the sake of letting out my inner romantic, all I need to do is look at the estimated revenue from romance fiction in 2011! $1.368 BILLION!!

Sign me up! Woo!

I love Leigh Michaels above quote about romance books assuring the reader that happy endings are possible.

…No matter how bleak things sometimes look, in the end everything will turn out right and true love will triumph…

That makes me sigh. I literally sighed with dreamy happiness after typing that quote.

And now to get on with my own writing. The scene I’m currently writing is the next best thing to romance – Horror!

And I sighed again out of pure happiness!

What’s your favorite genre to write? Or, if not genre, what’s your favorite kind of scene to write?

Posted in Advice/Helpful Sites, Personal

Writing Goals and Scenes to Include in Stories

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Hahaha! Yeah, sometimes it makes me lonely when even the people in my head aren’t talking to me. Editing prevents this from happening though because I re-read at least a couple paragraphs leading up to the spot I’m working on before I start working.

I don’t even remember how often I’ve revised my book. Every run through has me taking out and adding scenes as I realize what does and doesn’t work. Hopefully it won’t take this long the next time around but I have a sinking feeling it always will.

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You know how in a previous post I said I needed to re-prioritize my life because things had gotten crazy? I sat down and made a loose schedule to fit everything in and life is flowing more evenly now. I found an interesting picture on Pinterest the other day that coincides nicely with that idea. Looks like it comes from 2013 Write Market Design.

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I never bothered to make such detailed goals for my writing before but I may try these goals next time I start a book (if I ever finish editing this one that is).

My current editing goals are pretty simple:

Daily:

  • edit at least 15-30 minutes

Weekly:

  • blog 4 times (2x for each)
  • edit one chapter

Any more complicated and I’d probably slack off within a couple days.

What writing goals do you have? Do you keep it simple and general or narrow it down to each particular step?