A series of random thoughts.
Writing is akin to hearing a thousand voices screaming at you all at once and you trying to decipher which ones you should listen to, and which ones you should ignore. Life’s a bit like that too.
March 15, 2014 | Categories: Author, Novel Writing, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Arts, Author, Book Writing, Fiction, Inspiration, laney mcmann, novel writing, on writing, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author | Leave a comment
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.
A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.
Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
~ Ira Glass
October 30, 2013 | Categories: Inspiration, Novel Writing, Writing, Writing Tips | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Arts, Author, Book Writing, Ira Glass, laney mcmann, ya fantasy author | Leave a comment
It’s been a while since I’ve jumped on Road Trip Wednesday. Been a little busy. 😉
This Week’s Topic : What song would you love to see a book based on?
Being the huge music fan that I am, I could think of A LOT of songs that would make good books. I’m a YA dark fantasy writer, so I’m drawn to songs with a lot of … atmosphere. But I’m going to pick a wide variety for this post. Some may be more suitable for New Adult rather than Young Adult novels.
Tried to find the clean version—couldn’t. There’s some cussing, fyi, for anyone who might be offended.
I could keep going … 😉
July 17, 2013 | Categories: Inspiration, Music, Novel Writing, Writing | Tags: Author, Dark fantasy, Fiction, laney mcmann, Road Trip Wednesday, Young Adult, Young-adult fiction, YouTube | Leave a comment
“I loved words. I love to sing them and speak them and even now, I must admit, I have fallen into the joy of writing them.”
~ Anne Rice
“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”
~ Lloyd Alexander
- Fantastic reality (fingerprintskavita.wordpress.com)
- “Even Nothing Cannot Last Forever” (thesecretkeeper.net)
- “Fantasy is esc… (deathofanauthor.com)
May 30, 2013 | Categories: Inspiration, Novel Writing, Quotes, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: Arts, Author, Fantasy, Fantasy world, Fiction, laney mcmann, Lloyd Alexander, novel writing, Quotes, Science Fiction and Fantasy | 4 Comments
Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.
~ Joseph Conrad
April 9, 2013 | Categories: Inspiration, Life, Novel Writing, Quotes, Writing | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Arts, Fiction, Inspiration, Joseph Conrad, laney mcmann, novel writing, Quotes, Writer, Writing Advice | Leave a comment
THE COVER REVEAL FOR
Book One of The Fire Born Novels
9 DAYS !
February 19, 2013 | Categories: A Fire Born Novel, Cover Reveals, New Releases, Novel Writing, TIED, Writing, Young Adult Novels | Tags: Arts, Author, Countdown, cover releases, laney mcmann, teen reads, TIED A Fire Born Novel, TIED by Laney McMann, YA Fiction, young adult book releases 2013, young adult paranormal romance, young adult urban fantasy | Leave a comment
There is a moment now and then when writers may catch themselves and think … wait, should I write that?
I think her words are both honest and true. There is a fine line writers walk between fiction and fact. Fantasy and reality. So much of who we are is embedded in our stories. Our words, our voices, our hearts … our sometimes crazed imaginations. Elena writes, “Just because you write about an axe murderer, doesn’t mean you are slightly unhinged and could lose it and carry out your protagonists actions in the middle of the night – just because you think it, doesn’t mean you would do it.”
People judge you as a person when you put your stories out there. And we can judge ourselves as words fly from our fingertips in a flurry of ideas. Whether you write horror or paranormal romance, people will either love your work and sing your praises, or wonder if you are indeed unhinged.
Does it matter? As a writer who has chosen to share their work with the world–it probably shouldn’t. It’s the risk you take when you decide to go public. It’s the reason every writer hears those few words of caution, “Grow a thick skin. You’re going to need it.”
Not everyone will praise or even like your work. Some people may hate your genre, your ideas–your imagination. And they will judge you. But we can’t please everyone and we can only write what moves us and hope our words resonate with readers.
So I leave you with this to ponder:
“Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake.” ~E.L. Doctorow
So the question is, Are you willing to put yourself out there? It’s the risk all writers have to take. The difference between owning what you love and hiding it. The difference between being public or private. Published or tucked away in a drawer.
SO WRITE ON WRITERS. Take your best shot. 😉
*** Re-posted from April 2012 ***
February 1, 2013 | Categories: Author, Inspiration, Novel Writing, Thoughts, Writer, Writing, Writing Tips | Tags: art, Fiction, laney mcmann, novel writing, The Fire Born Novels, Writer, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author | 15 Comments
“If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me? You are a human being with a unique story to tell. You have every right.”
January 16, 2013 | Categories: Inspiration, Novel Writing, Quotes, Writing Tips | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Arts, Author, Blog, Education, Fear, goal accomplishment, Inspiration, laney mcmann, Richard Rhodes, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Exercises | Leave a comment
We make so many promises as writers with a hope we can fulfill them all.
**As I sit finishing my final blurb for TIED, I’m reminded of this fact. Thought I’d share it.
January 13, 2013 | Categories: Author, Inspiration, J Taylor Publishing, Novel Writing, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: blurbs, Book, excerpts, J. Taylor Publishing, laney mcmann, teens, The Fire Born Novels, TIED A Fire Born Novel, TIED by Laney McMann, YA Fiction | Leave a comment
Some readers hate them, while others love them–especially fans of a series. Cliffhangers keep the story moving forward from book to book. They have the ability to leave the reader wanting more.
Or … less.
Some readers get so furious when a story leaves them hanging that they give up on the series entirely. The majority, however, cling to the book, wanting more, more, more!
So, as a reader, do you hate a cliffhanger ending, or do you love them?
December 17, 2012 | Categories: Author, Novel Writing, Writing | Tags: Arts, Author, books, Cliffhanger, Fantasy, Fiction, laney mcmann, Literature, Readers, series endings, The Fire Born Novels, Writers Resources, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author, YA readers, YA series | 2 Comments
“You must be prepared to work always without applause.”
December 5, 2012 | Categories: Author, Inspiration, Novel Writing, Quotes | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Arts, Ernest Hemingway, Fiction, goal accomplishment, Inspiration, laney mcmann, Quotes, Writing process | Leave a comment
Yep, I said that.
Getting a publishing contract is everything you’ve wanted, everything you’ve worked your ass off for, and when you sign on the dotted line, everything you’re afraid of.
It’s a truth I think a lot of authors keep under wraps because some days when you sit staring at your story, the one that has a deadline attached to it now, the one that needs to be as close to perfect as you can make it—some days, it can feel like you’ve signed yourself up to fail. The days when nothing makes sense and you wonder who in their right mind, including yourself, ever thought your story could actually sell. The days when fear seeps in and hangs on.
From the legalese of contracts, to the swell of accomplishment in your chest that is almost immediately replaced by the tightening of panic, to the real edits and real deadlines, being a contracted, and soon to be published, author is both thrilling and terrifying.
But, in those split seconds when rays of light shine through the blinds in your mind, it is incredibly gratifying. The times when, for once, there are no blue, red, or green edits marking up your pages and your comments come back with “Great!” instead of “Huh?” or “Powerful.” instead of “Make it clearer.” Those are the days when every drop of doubt and ounce of fear is worth it. The days when you’re proud as hell. Maybe they’re far and few between, but those rays of light keep the writing fire burning bright and remind you that you should feel proud, maybe even excited–even if only for a second. 😉
December 4, 2012 | Categories: Author, Editing To Deadlines, Inspiration, Novel Writing, Publishing, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Arts, Author, Contract, editing, Editing and Proofreading, Facebook, Fiction, goal accomplishment, Inspiration, laney mcmann, novel creation, published author, Publishing, Publishing contract, Publishing contracts, Technology, Writers Resources, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author | 1 Comment
Pre-Final edits are in full swing, so forgive my sporadic blog posts of late. The writing pendulum is searching for the mid-point.
Turns out real editing with changes and revisions takes a while. Add in a deadline and … yeah, it’s a time stretch. With that in mind, I’m continuing my What’s In An Editor post series (a spin-off of What’s In A Beta Reader). And since I’m new to the editing game, it will be a work in progress. Here we go:
I keep asking myself, “How would you feel?” Or, “What does that look like?”
Feelings are hard to write. For me. Well, I should reword. Feelings are hard to show in my writing. It’s a point of head banging lately. Rewriting sections to show instead of tell. Showing say … scrutiny, for example, causes my head to ache. How would I show scrutiny? It’s a good question. One that I’m working on.
The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi is an invaluable tool. One that I use from time to time (more often lately). It doesn’t, however, give a writer all the answers. It simply leads them a bit farther down the ‘expressive’ path. After that, showing is still in the mind of the writer. Showing without repetition … harder still.
I’ll move back to my example. The sentence I needed to alter per my editor was this one: I scrutinized both of them.
So, how do I show scrutiny?
Here’s the definition: A critical observation or examination.
I could have my character shake his/her head, but I do a lot of head shaking (it’s an easy and probably overdone fix). I could have a disbelieving eye roll (also a bit overdone even though I like eye rolling). How about narrowing eyes? That works. When we are skeptical of someone’s behavior we narrow our eyes in disbelief.
Still, it’s a crap shoot. Seeing eye to eye on every little detail is unlikely when it comes to editing, but your words should feel right. Put yourself in your characters shoes and ask yourself, “How do I feel?”
Nobody said editing would be easy.
WRITE ON, WRITERS!
November 1, 2012 | Categories: Editing To Deadlines, Novel Writing, Writing | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Arts, Beta reader, edit, editing, Editing and Proofreading, Facebook, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Twitter, Typing, Writer, Writers Resources, Writing and Editing, Writing Tips, YA paranormal romance author | Leave a comment