Here’s how the THE NEXT BIG THING blog hop works. I get tagged to answer a bunch of question about my current book, (while simulataneously getting more word out), thanks to J.A. Belfield for the tip, and then I tag YOU, and you get to share in the love on your own blog to get the word out about YOUR WIP.
I questioned being involved in the hop considering my current WIP is kind of under wraps, while my current finished book is on its way to publication–but, I thought this would be fun.
SO …. I’m going to pretend that my current finished novel is actually a WIP–even though it’s not. K? K! 😉
What is the working title of your book?
The title of my book is TIED, and it’s the first book in The Fire Born Novels series.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is one of those questions that’s hard to answer. Ideas sort of pop into my head and I run with them. Some work, some don’t–The Fire Born worked.
What is the genre of your book?
I write young adult dark/urban fantasy, paranormal romance, with bit of mythology mixed in.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
No clue. If I had to choose, it would probably be from people who aren’t even actors. 😉 I think it’s really hard to peg the right face/personality to a character you’ve dreamed up in your head.
What in one sentence is the synopsis of your book?
Yikes! Honestly, I don’t even think I’m allowed to tell you guys that yet—-under contract and all that. BUT–soon, so very soon.;) So, I’ll leave you with the hook that’s flying around on all my social media pages:
How far would you go … to protect the one you love?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?
All of The Fire Born Novels will be published by J. Taylor Publishing.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Hm … first draft took three months. All subsequent drafts took — forever. Seriously. A longgg time.
What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
I wouldn’t. Funny–I was just thinking about this. My play off fantasy and paranormal feels a bit different than what I read–and I read a lot. I guess the readers will have to decide ultimately. But, my intention is always to speak from my own voice and let it roll. Whatever comes, comes. I’m not aiming to compare my books to anyone else’s.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Another loaded question that’s difficult to answer. I’m not sure that any one particular thing inspired me, necessarily. A ton of factors led me to continue to write this book and see it through to the end. Not all my novels have made it to completion. TIED spoke to me in a way nothing else has. So I guess you could say, the story itself inspired me.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The blurb will be out very soon, and I can’t spoil that, so I’ll just say that if the hook I mentioned before intrigues you–just wait 😉
*** That’s it for me. Anyone want to jump in and let us know what all your blood, sweat and tears are pouring into? Leave me a link so I can check your book out!! 😉 ***
January 23, 2013 | Categories: Author, BLOG HOPS, Blog Tours, Blogging, Books, J Taylor Publishing, Publishing, WIP, Writing | Tags: Arts, Blog, Book, Fiction, laney mcmann, Literature, new authors, new book releases, novel writing, Publishing, Romance, The Fire Born Novels, The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, TIED A Fire Born Novel, TIED by Laney McMann, WIP, Working title, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author | 2 Comments
It’s every new writers nightmare. The reason so many hide their stories away.
What if no one likes my book? What if I only think I can write…but really, I can’t!
Oh, god, people are going to judge me.
A quote by Bruce Patrick
WRITE ON, WRITERS.
October 22, 2012 | Categories: Author, Inspiration, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Author, facing fear, fantasy author, Fear, goal accomplishment, Inspiration, Judgement, laney mcmann, WIP, Writer, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author | 8 Comments
You wrote your first book. Now you’re marketing it on every social media site you can think of. Or maybe you’re on submission and you’ve chewed your fingernails to bits with nervous energy at the thought of rejection. Either way, you’ve started your second book right? Right?
The tale goes that most writers need to have between three and five books in the marketplace before they will take off and be seen. If they do at all. There are exceptions, of course. So are you writing those three to five books and beyond, or are you putting all your efforts toward promoting your first, and only, book?
I won’t lie and say that I didn’t go into a state of panic when I went on submission, or that I didn’t freeze into a no writing phase for about a week afterwards. I did panic. I did freeze. Then I realized I was wasting both time and energy, and I continued on with TORN, the sequel to my first book, TIED, now on submission. I realized that regardless of what happens with TIED, I needed to move forward with writing. It was the only thing I could control. And if everything did work out with book one, I would need to have book two in the wings, finished, ready and waiting to go live.
The turnover with e-book technology is simply too quick. What I learned when I continued on with book two was that my anxiety decreased, my reason for writing in the first place resumed, and I fell back in love with my story. For me, that in itself is all I can ever ask for. To love what I’m doing regardless of where it leads.
Now, I won’t lie and say that marketing doesn’t scare me to death, or make me uncomfortable. It does. And I am only doing a fraction of marketing now compared to what I know will be required of me when I do publish. But even then, a balance will need to be struck. Because in order to sell books, you have to continue writing them. There needs to be something to buy within a reasonable amount of time after you’ve created a buzz with your first masterpiece. So market away, submit away, but remember, this is a writing game we’re in. We need not forget that.
So, what about you? Are you in a terrified state on submission? Marketing your Indie book? How’s it going?
August 21, 2012 | Categories: Author, Publishing, Writing, Writing Tips | Tags: Amazon Kindle, Arts, Author, Book, E-book, Fiction, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Marketing, Publish, Publishing, Self-publishing, Shopping, Social media, WIP, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 1 Comment
You had two roads to take, the gut instinct or the outline. You chose to write from your gut, let the story pour from your imagination onto the page. You didn’t think about where it was going because you knew it would get there. You’re 80,000 words in. Done. All feels great. Now what?
Now, Editing. You begin to go through your work chapter by chapter, detail by detail and you realize the transitions aren’t what they should be, could be, need to be or what you thought they were. Here is the biggest issue writing without an outline — headaches. You’ve got a great story but it doesn’t roll off your tongue quite right. It doesn’t work quite the way it sounded in your head.
Now for the rewrite. The biggest pain in the ass ever. It even trumps editing. And that is saying a lot. You rewrite from the beginning, move a paragraph here, a chapter there and think, okay, I can do this, it’s not so bad. Until it is bad. Until you have 30 chapters staring back at you asking to be properly read and all your thoughts become a jumbled, dizzying mess.
Now, let me start from the beginning. I’m not methodical. I’m a jumper. I get hit with an idea and I’m off. It’s my way, my style, my inspiration. But let me say that my style completely bit me in the ass. No outline is a bad idea.
I had notes. Pages and pages of notes, handwritten. I had documents–so many I couldn’t keep track of them all. In the beginning, I thought they were enough. In the end, they weren’t. Not even close. I had too many ideas. Ideas that I couldn’t reign in. Ideas that I couldn’t mold in the way I needed to—wanted to. I paid for those amateur mistakes in the end. Through rewrites, a staggering number of drafts, cuts, edits, and revisions. Close to two years worth.
Now my notes are in an abstract outline form, still free-flowing, but an outline nonetheless. Word to the wise: Get your idea, work it through and outline it. Even if that outline is as simple as a few sentences per chapter–a few ideas. Even if you only have a kernel of an idea of what the beginning, middle, and end of the story should be. In the end you will gain a ridiculous amount of time, a better story and with any luck, your sanity.
May 21, 2012 | Categories: Author, Editing, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Fiction, goal accomplishment, Inspiration, laney mcmann, Novel, novel creation, novel plot, novel writing, Plot (narrative), WIP, Writer, Writer Resources, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing and Editing, writing outline, Writing process, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 8 Comments
You know that feeling you get after you’ve logged in hours revising your novel, and then it dawns on you that you have to scrap chunks of it?
Yeah, I’m there.
I wanted to label it as a block. Pin it down to being “brain tired.” Chalk it up to, “I’ve been working on this piece too long, so now I’m just sick of it.”
That little voice in my head, the one that helps guide me down these cray writing roads I find myself on, that voice told me something was wrong. And it wasn’t because I was too tired, or blocked. It wasn’t because my story was too ingrained, or that I was sick of it. The voice stopped me in my revision tracks because something was wrong.
Scrap is a harsh word. Rewrite is a more appropriate one, and something I had not anticipated needing to do. But as I’ve said before, sometimes the story simply doesn’t work. Sometimes the ideas in your head don’t play out on paper in the grand scheme. Sometimes you need to rewrite a few chunks, so the rest of the chunks, work.
Listen to your voice. It doesn’t lie, and it won’t lead you astray. If something in your story doesn’t feel right, it’s because it isn’t.
April 3, 2012 | Categories: Author, Editing, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Author, Book Writing, Editing and Proofreading, laney mcmann, novel writing, Revisions, Rewrites, WIP, Writing Advice, Writing and Editing, Writing Tips, writing voice, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | Leave a comment
“Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”
No matter how hard it gets, how overwhelmed you feel, keep going. You will get there.
WRITE ON, WRITERS!
March 29, 2012 | Categories: Author, Editing, Inspiration, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Editing and Proofreading, Inspiration, laney mcmann, novel writing, Publishing, Revisions, Rewrites, Self-publishing, Stephen King, WIP, Writers Resources, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 2 Comments
“I rolled my eyes around the room, searching for her.”
My beta red-flagged this sentence, and made her remarks in the margins.
“Unless your MC is physically removing her eyes from their sockets, she can’t roll them around the room. Or is that what you mean? Can she?”
No, she cannot physically remove her eyeballs, and roll them around the room. I had to laugh, and then rewrite the sentence. These are the tiny errors that we as writers, all caught up in our story, usually miss.
I write fantasy, so the MC removing her eyeballs from their sockets wouldn’t be too far-fetched. But, no, she can’t. Nor is that what I meant to say.
I meant to say that she gazed around the room. Looked around the room. Eyed the room.
Our betas are useful for finding a wide array of issues. This was one of my funnier ones. They aren’t always funny. But that is something to keep in mind when reading comments from a beta (or proofreader, or editor). Humor. Don’t hold so tightly to your story that you become blinded by what others tell you is wrong. They are supposed to find problems. And we are supposed to fix them.
Have you tried to roll your eyes across the room lately?
*Related Posts: What’s In A Beta Reader?
March 26, 2012 | Categories: Editing, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Beta reader, editing, Editing and Proofreading, laney mcmann, Readers, Self-publishing, WIP, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing and Editing, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 7 Comments
My son, the skateboarder, is also a football player. Little league. He plays defense. Really well. On occasion, he plays on offense. Wide receiver. He’s a great receiver—in the front yard. On the field however, during a game, it’s hit or miss. 50/50. I told him it was in his head, and I believe that. He thinks too much. It’s all psychological. “Don’t think,” I told him, “Just do.”
I ran a post the other day, The Transitions, and talked about the need of an outline. Any kind of outline really. Something to lead you along incase you run astray, and lose your way. I am a pantster at heart. I believe in outlining loosely. Although I like having a guide, I feel it’s important to not rely too heavily on what you think your story should be. So..in that light, this post may sound a bit contradictory. It’s not.
My issue with traditional outlines is the feeling of being ‘locked in’ to an idea. For me, writing becomes the most difficult when I feel like I am trying to force the pieces of this massive novel-puzzle into holes that don’t fit. Sometimes even your best ideas, dialogue streams, and world building skills, simply don’t work. Sometimes you need to loosen the grip and let the story carry you. Let your imagination run wild. You would be amazed at what your mind can create when you let go of the boundaries.
When you get to know your characters—really know them, they will lead you, not the other way around. Everytime I feel myself getting stuck, hitting a wall, I ask myself, “What would Layla do? What would she say?” Layla is the main character in my novel—something I haven’t mentioned until now. I know her very well after almost two years of writing. Well enough that after my 6th draft, banging my head against the wall, and wanting to pull my hair out—I stopped thinking so much, and let her do the talking. Some writers think that sounds insane. While others, know exactly what I’m saying.
When I stopped thinking so much, and let Layla start talking, the whole scope of my story changed, and became alive. It wasn’t me telling the story anymore, it was her showing her world—leading the way. And….it became easier to write. Yup. Sure did.
That’s not to say that I went completely astray of the ideas I had loosely outlined for my story in the very beginning, only that I allowed those ideas to stay fluid.
There is a negative with being locked in to a specific idea when you write. Well….I should rephrase that. There is a negative when you write fantasy and paranormal. These stories aren’t built on traditional ideas. They are built on wild imaginations. In order to create alter universes, planes, and worlds—we need to let go of what we think the story should be, and allow it to be what it can be. Big difference. Let your thoughts take you, let your characters take you. Writing is about allowing yourself to be transported.
“Don’t think, just do.” Then edit. 😉
WRITE ON, WRITERS.
(**after drafting this post on Saturday morning, my son caught a 30 yard touchdown pass. His team won the league championship.)
March 14, 2012 | Categories: Author, Inspiration, Thoughts, Writer, Writing | Tags: Fantasy, Fiction, Freewriting, imagination, laney mcmann, novel writing, Online Writing, Paranormal Romance, WIP, Worldbuilding, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Exercises, Writing Tips, YA Fantasy, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author | Leave a comment
It was the flu. The fever crept in mid-week—after the sore throat and lack of energy sent me to bed. The fever kept me there for days.
Since my writing has been in a better place than it has in months, the timing was really bad. You see, I don’t function well when I’m ill.
The last time I was sick, really sick, was probably two years ago. Thank god for that because I kind of turn into a giant brat. I’m generally mad for the duration. And I don’t think clearly. That’s likely due to a combination of cold medicine and head congestion.
So as I’m trying to pull myself back into a productive state of mind, I’ve come up with a few motivational triggers that have helped.
Reading unlocks your brain and gets the writing current flowing again. And if you feel awful, you can read in bed.
Yeah, I know. But once your energy returns, exercise. Run, walk, whatever. It is one of the best ways to get back in the saddle.
For me this is obvious. But not for everyone. If listening to music triggers certain responses or emotions, use them. Music is great for generating ideas.
Yep. If you’re finding zero inspiration, sometimes going over your WIP with a skeptical eye is the best motivational tool.
Thankfully, my foggy head has cleared and standing for more than an hour is no longer torture. I have a lot of work to do.
This has been the most productive writing week I’ve had in months. Literally. Harnessing a writing streak however, can be an impossible task, so when it strikes, run with it. Here are some repercussions of what I call ‘writers hold.’
1. You have consumed more coffee or hot tea than your body weight.
2. Pajamas become proper work attire.
3. Your laptop has attached itself to your hand.
4. You wake up at three in the morning because your unconscious mind just unlocked the key to Chapter Ten!
5. You realize the dishes haven’t been done in days and you haven’t left the house in over 24 hours.
6. You start talking to yourself. Out loud.
7. You are in pain from the neck down.
8. You have amassed over one hundred unchecked emails and you don’t care.
9. Your blog posts become increasingly random and more sporadic.
10. You have no idea that your boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, child, roommate is talking to you.
11. You don’t know todays date.
12. And you are thankful as hell for all of these things because they spell…PRODUCTIVITY.