Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

Posts tagged “WIP

Everything in moderation

….well maybe not everything, but social media–for writers, yeah.

During the first six months or so of writing my WIP I only had me, my music, my laptop, the thoughts in my head and everyone around me looking at me like I’d lost my mind. I was running to keep my head from exploding (I still do this) and having no other real outlet for the thoughts and ideas in my head. My family is very supportive. Still. But they don’t really get it. When you say you’re a writer, not everyone really gets what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. Or worse they think you’re just wasting time because in the grand scheme of things, it could go nowhere (I’m speaking of the up and coming authors here). We are counting on and trusting in some kind of blind faith.

I started my blog with trepidation. I’m not the most social person in the world so what would I possibly say? And who would care that I was even saying it? Twitter was worse. But I have found these outlets to be incredibly useful. (Well maybe not Twitter. Yet. That’s a lot of talking!)

Writing is hard. IT IS. And it’s harder if you are alone in your own head all the time. Connecting with other writers in the same or similar boats is invaluable. If I can’t think, blogging can loosen my brain. If I’m overwhelmed, commenting and receiving helpful replies on other sites helps me refocus. If I’m staring out the window and my Twitter alert sounds, it brings me out of my reverie.

These little devices are helpful in forward momentum. In moderation they compliment each other. They help with encouragement, insight and advice that otherwise we may never find in our own heads.


Designing for your audience

I am continuing on my topic from yesterday as I think it’s relevant and deserves some attention.

My blog is pretty straightforward. My page, color scheme, etc… represent me. But I’m wondering , as I peruse other writer/author blogs, maybe my page needs to represent my genre.

If you are targeting a certain audience with your work (and we generally are based on genre), should your blog try to attract them? This of course is in line with how much information about your WIP is too much to post online.

Perhaps having two blogs is the answer. One for your actual work. To vent, find like-minded writers, get support, etc… And another site for your platform. A site dedicated to your current WIP. Thoughts?


How much is too much?

You’ve established your blog, it’s purpose, your purpose…now what?

We are all in the writing game here. Pouring our hearts, souls and minds into our craft, hoping at some point that we connect with other writers and readers in some way. Some of us are happy telling our stories or poems through our blogs. Some are rants or advice and some are simply day to day rambles. All writers having something to say. All worthy of this craft.

What about those of us who are blogging with the intention of creating a platform as an up and coming author? Those who are trying to create a following. How much should we say to our readers, followers, fans, fellow bloggers/writers, etc…. about our WIP?

We want to create interest right? That’s the aim at a certain point. When the novel is complete, that’s the next step. Create the interest. But how do we do that really without giving everything away? Without allowing our ideas to be taken from us? Until our books are actually produced, (traditionally or self published) how much information can we safely feel comfortable giving?

If I gave ten writers the same idea for a story, what would be produced? Ten completely different stories, with different voices and different angles. The way I write will never be the way you write. And thank god for that or we would all sound the same.

Now I’m not saying I think it’s a good idea to post all your ideas and excerpts on your blog. But I am saying that creating interest about your book, is at least part, if not the main reason we start these blogs. Yes, we want the support of other writers (god knows I do) and yes, we need that occasional kick in the ass to stay on course. But at the end of the day, I think, at least for us novel writers out there, we are also looking for a fan base to jump from. A place where we can connect with other writers as well as readers who know the language we are speaking and hopefully want to take the journey we are telling through our books.

So in that light, we need to give tastes of what we are writing about. I’m not talking plot and the first three chapters. I’m talking basics. Interest builders. Genres, fiction or non fiction. Basics. So when all the moaning and complaining (mine) is over and we are staring at the blood, sweat and tears of our finished book, loving every second of it and being washed over with relief…someone else out there will actually want to read it:)


What’s with the yo-yo?

It’s not just me, I know that. But I swear I’m on some whacked out carousel ride with high lifting horses and low riding carriages that keeps going in circles and will not let me off.

These last few weeks have been awful. Writing wise. I lost my thread, my focus, my concentration, my mind and it’s taking everything I have to get it all back–to make myself finish my final draft.

How many times do you have to hear your favorite song before you hate it? You know the one. That great song. The song that gets replayed so many times you could scream. I’m there. I will throw up if I read my first 7 chapters again.

How in the hell do people write the same novel for… years? I’m guessing at some point they say, well it’s a good as it gets, I can’t look at this anymore.

So…I started reading backwards. You know, from the last paragraph forward. Edit one and move up. So far, it’s working. I’m kind of afraid to say that out loud in fear of jinxing myself. But there seems to be some type of odd symmetry happening. My brain isn’t hearing the same story I’ve gone over more times than I can count. It is seeing and hearing mistakes more clearly though and at this point, I think, editing more productively. So if you are in this most trying place with your writing, give the backward edit a try. Hell, maybe writing from the end could work too.


Character development

It seems the more I write, the more I read.  And the more I inadvertently watch character development. I’ve been reading a ridiculous amount recently, it helps immensely to widen the scope in my own writing and I’ve seen more and more how  imperative it is to show the reader what you see as the author.

I can sit here at my laptop and edit or add text or work on a different book. I can choose any of my WIP‘s and vividly see  my landscapes, my worlds, my characters and the intimate ways they all culminate. I can flip from novel to novel, brand new or a year old and see them all as though I were watching a movie. But my goal is to make the reader see what I see. That is also, I believe one of the biggest challenges for a lot of writers. All those minute details that are needed to bring words off the page and to life.

I was recently reading one of the books on my ‘Currently Reading’ list and felt that familair tug of wanting more. More detail, more…life.  It seemed at the end of the day (or book) I still wouldn’t feel connected to a certain character. I didn’t feel the pull that I am sure the author intended, that I am sure the author felt as it was being written.

My point being just because you, as the author, feel it and see it and know it doesn’t mean you are conveying it to the reader. I think we (me too!) have a tendency to get so caught up in our story, so excited or touched or moved by everything we are creating, that we sometimes forget the reader can’t see inside our heads. It’s our job to transport them into our imagination and hope they feel nice and comfortable and choose to stay a while.

So read your dialogue out loud and see how it sounds when it isn’t only in your own head. Hear how it sounds to someone who isn’t already in love with the main character because he only just got introduced.


Inspired

The rain blew in again last night and with it, another headache. The barometric pressure shifts wreak havoc on my head. Needless to say, I was awake again at 3 am. As other writers out there can I’m sure attest, laying somewhere between wake and sleep in the middle of the night, headache or not, conjures streams of dialogue, characters voices overriding your own and a general rush of random information. Needless to say, I was awake for a while. It’s still nastily grey out with glooming drizzle. Really do hate that.

Good news: I made major headway with my continually frustrating WIP, The Duck Pond. I’ve written a few posts about this novel. I’ve been trying to write it for so long, I was beginning to think maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe I was pushing too hard, trying too hard. Maybe I was too close to the subject matter. Maybe it was simply too hard to write. Then out of nowhere, the gates opened and I found my in. I finally feel like I know where I am going with it, which road to take. This novel, unlike my others, isn’t a YA work of fantasy or paranormal romance, it is YA realism. I generally stay away from realism, it just doesn’t interest me all that much in novels. This book however, is different. It’s close to my heart and although searingly hard to write, needs to be written. It has taken me years to find my way in to this WIP, to find a way to make it read like it needs to.

Ah, the streams of our imagination and how they come together at the most unexpected of times. Some days being a writer is very rewarding to the soul. Where do your inspirations come from?