One of my favorites on Off The Beaten Track,
Eluvium ~ Envenom Mettle
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
“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
I know most writers have seen, read or heard of Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules for Writing. Obviously you guys have figured out that I am huge fan of his work—I am also a huge fan of his advice.
Here it is:
Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
Laugh at your own jokes.
The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.
April 27, 2013 | Categories: Author, Writing, Writing Tips | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Arts, Book Writing, goal accomplishment, Inspiration, laney mcmann, Neil Gaiman, novel writing, Sandman, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Exercises | Leave a comment
“You have to dream intentionally. Most people dream a dream when they are asleep. But to be a writer, you have to dream while you are awake, intentionally.”
November 24, 2012 | Categories: Author, Inspiration, Writing | Tags: Author, Book Writing, Dream, Dream Sharing, Haruki Murakami, Inspiration, Interpretation, Japan, laney mcmann, novel writing, Psychology, Social Sciences, Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Writer | Leave a comment
Young Adult fantasy novels are my first go-to on reading shelves. My first love of books in general. I write them too. Pretty well, I think. At least in content, anyway. 🙂 Sometimes, however, “Laney, YA writer” gets crossed with “Laney … well, Laney.”
Why do I sound like an adult sometimes when I write? Besides the fact that I am one, I get caught up in the flurry of the story–action scenes, love scenes– and I occasionally forget contractions and ‘teen speak’, as my editor calls it. When I’m on a writing roll, I write what I see in my head. The words kind of disappear. Strange? Maybe so.
Stories read like moving pictures for me. Like a blur of color. My editor slows the view down so I can see what’s staring back at me from the screen. It’s an invaluable tool.
Writers need editor’s eyes. They are programmed to see what we miss. Although, sometimes it may feel nit picky or overwhelming–we need to use it, learn from it.
My story reads tighter, cleaner … better. As far as I’m concerned, the frustration that can come from full-blown edits are worth every ounce of hair pulling and head banging. The goal is to produce the best story I can. Even if that means cringing every time I open a document to find blue ink covering my pages. 😉
November 14, 2012 | Categories: Author, Editing, Editing To Deadlines, Writing | Tags: Arts, Author, Book Writing, editing, Editing and Proofreading, Fiction, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Exercises, Writing Tips, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author, Young Writers, Young-adult fiction | 4 Comments
I am officially on submission with TIED.
This wasn’t my plan. Well…that’s not really true. I never had a plan originally. I never thought I would be writing for the masses. And when the thought did cross my mind, it was traditional publishing. Not because I had some kind of issue with self-publishing, but because at that time (which was two years ago), self-publishing was still fairly new to the scene. I didn’t know much about it, and as an unseasoned writer, I wasn’t sure I wanted to guinea pig myself out, or my novel.
That changed though. When you’re always writing, you’re always reading too. Novels, blogs, articles, craft books. And the authors I follow (who are amazing), gave me a lot of food for thought. Indie publishing food for thought. With the upheaval in traditional publishing, the negative press, famous authors jumping ship, brick and mortar book stores going under, and so many new authors choosing to go it alone–I was forced to reevaluate my ideas about the publishing industry and my goals as a writer.
I chose to go Indie. And when I say Indie, I mean going it alone. Solo. And I’d planned, like my bio says, to publish this year.
Why am I going on submission then? Because as a newbie, I think I need more support, and an Indie publisher can provide it. I also think that if I don’t at least try to get representation, then somehow I’ve sold myself short. Not because I need a pat on the back or some kind of validation in that regard, but because it’s part of the process of becoming an author, for me. Good or bad, it’s a part I want to say I went for. Then I will be on solid ground and able to make a sound decision in regard to my novel and my future novels.
I have a great team behind me, who I owe more than I could possibly ever repay, and I doubt they’re going anywhere, so either way, I’m feeling pretty okay.
The problem with announcing that you are going on submission is that now everyone will know if you fail. Scary. Very scary. But there’s something empowering about it too. You can’t crawl away, like so many writers are prone to do if you’re on a public stage. And like the saying goes,
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” ~Jack Canfield
July 26, 2012 | Categories: Author, Books, Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Author, Book Writing, Brick and mortar, Business, Fiction, goal accomplishment, Guinea pig, Jack Canfield, laney mcmann, Paranormal Romance, Publish, Publishing, Small Press, Writer, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 2 Comments
“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person -perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millenia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time.”
- Carl Sagan on Books (brainpickings.org)
- corygodbey: Carl Sagan. “The beauty of a living thing is not… (drawn.ca)
- “Look again at that dot.” – Carl Sagan and Perspective (moonlightenedshelves.wordpress.com)
June 29, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Inspiration, Quotes, Writing | Tags: Astronomy, Author, Book Writing, Carl Sagan, Cosmos, Demon Haunted World, History, Inspiration, laney mcmann, NASA, Pale Blue Dot, People, Writers Resources | Leave a comment
I find inspiration in the world around me. As a fantasy writer it doesn’t take much to peek my imagination. That being said, there are a few ideas that are so far-fetched even I am mesmerized. Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman is by far the best show on television for widening my imagination and helping to broaden my world building ideas. If you write fantasy or paranormal or sci-f, it’s worth your time to check it out.
I found this next video while browsing YouTube. It’s fantastic.
- Fantasy World Building. J.R.R. Tolkien (laneymcmann.com)
- Fantasy World Building — Thanks To Star Wars and Legend
June 25, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Inspiration, Writing | Tags: Arts, Author, Book Writing, Fantasy, Fantasy world, Inspiration, laney mcmann, Morgan Freeman, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Through the Wormhole, Worldbuilding, Wormhole, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author, YouTube | 3 Comments