Really, in the end, the only thing that can make you a writer is the person that you are, the intensity of your feeling, the honesty of your vision, the unsentimental acknowledgment of the endless interest of the life around and within you. Virtually nobody can help you deliberately — many people will help you unintentionally.
*Originally posted October, 2012
July 26, 2013 | Categories: Quotes, Writing | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Editing and Proofreading, Inspiration, laney mcmann, novel creation, Quotes, Writer, Writer Resources, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing process, YA paranormal romance author | Leave a comment
“We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.”
~Neil Gaiman — The Graveyard Book
** I am a such a Neil Gaiman fan if you guys haven’t noticed.
- Put One Word After Another: Neil Gaiman’s Eight Rules of Writing (aerogrammestudio.com)
- Neil Gaiman Drops Knowledge (mentalfloss.com)
June 4, 2013 | Categories: Author, Inspiration, Quotes, Writer, Writing | Tags: American Gods, Arts, Author, Coraline, Fiction, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Neil Gaiman, novel writing, Online Writing, Sandman, Twitter, Writers Resources, Writing Advice, writing quotes | 3 Comments
“Some of this book — perhaps too much — has been about how I learned to do it. Much of it has been about how you can do it better. The rest of it — and perhaps the best of it — is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.”
~Stephen King (On Writing~A Memoir of the Craft)
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
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
I was nominated for the Liebster Award! Thank you so much to Jaime Guerard for nominating me for this very unexpected award. 😉 Jaime is a fellow YA fan as well as YA Paranormal Romance Thriller writer and author. Go check her blog out!
The award works like this:
– I list 11 random facts about myself.
– I will answer the 11 questions asked of me by the person who nominated me.
– I will then nominate my 11 picks for the award along with my 11 questions for them to answer when they post a response.
– If you’re nominated, your name/link will appear at the bottom of this post along with your questions. Follow the same format; paste the award badge to your blog, give us 11 random facts about yourself, answer my 11 questions, and choose your nominees…but you cannot nominate the blog who nominated you.
Here are 11 random facts: (Hmm … I’ve gotta think about this.)
1. I’m a Tea fanatic. Yes, really. Hot tea, iced tea, black tea, flavored tea. I could hang out in Teavana.
2. I’ve been dancing since I was a little. Love it. Miss it. Quit after too many injuries. Now I run. (Like that’s better or something … )
3. I’m a chef.
4. I read obsessively. Even when I should be writing and editing my own books. ;P
5. I’m a Tolkien fan to extremes. Love, Love, Love his books. Movies too. I could watch LOR from start to finish without a hitch. All 9 hours.
6. Same goes for Harry Potter. I can recite the books.
7. I have 3 dogs, and if I had more space, I would own way more than that.
8. I love Summertime.
9. I’m an introvert, but a few of my friends would probably argue with me over that.
10. I’m of Irish decent.
Here are my questions from Jaime Guerard:
1. Who is your favorite author?
I have so many, so I’ll name the big ones. Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Oh, and I really enjoy Michael Scott.
2. What is your favorite quote?
“You can’t win or lose if you don’t run the race.” ~ The Psychedelic Furs
3. What type of genre do you like to read? Why?
Fantasy. High fantasy. Paranormal. Mythology and some Sci-Fi. Both YA and Adult. I write what I read. Why? Because these genres are transporting and magical.
4. Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
I hope to still be writing stories from my heart. The ones that inspire me and speak to me.
5. How long have you been writing?
I started writing poems are a young age. 7 maybe. They were a kind of expression that just flooded out. I still write poetry. Short stories followed, and in my early twenties I tried a few strike out swings at novels. I think my writing has grown considerably since then.
6. Who has inspired you throughout your life?
7. What is one word to describe your personality?
Hmm … Sarcastic? Hahaha. Probably depends on which friend you asked.
8. What is your favorite book and why?
That’s almost impossible to answer. Although all of my favorite authors have things in common, their writing styles are vastly different, yet equally brilliant. I could name series’ of books. The Witching Hour series by Anne Rice. The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. The Lord of The Rings/The Hobbit by Tolkien. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.
9. Life’s too short for …
Regretting the chances you were afraid to take. Better to have tried/spoke your mind/put yourself out there, and failed, than never to have tried at all.
10. What is your desert island food (you only get one choice)?
11. If you could have one celebrity on your speed dial, who would it be and why?
One celebrity? Geesh … idk. Probably Anne Rice. I could bounce some pretty amazing ideas off of her, I think. She’s the queen of dark fantasy.
And … my nominees are:
Short Story Diary http://shortstoriesdiary.wordpress.com/
My Story To You http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com/
Gin and Lemonade http://ginlemonade.wordpress.com/
Lee Rawn http://www.leerawn.com/
Rich Weatherly http://richweatherly.wordpress.com/
AK Taylor http://www.backwoodsauthor.com/
Alison DeLuca http://alisondeluca.blogspot.com/
Ido Lanuel http://idolanuel.com/
Leigh Gembus http://submeg.com/
Whitney Moore http://writeinlife.wordpress.com/
Nominees, here are your 11 questions:
- What books are you reading?
- Who are your favorite authors?
- What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
- Where do you see your writing taking you?
- How do stories come to you? (or blog posts, poetry, etc …)
- Plotter or Pantster?
- What is your favorite genre?
- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
- Introvert or Extrovert?
- Who inspires you?
- What inspires you to keep moving forward in your writing?
Go check out all these great blogs! And Congrats to the nominees!
January 1, 2013 | Categories: Blogging, Writing | Tags: Authors, Awards, bloggers, blogs, determination, goal accomplishment, Inspiration, Novels, poetry, Short Stories, writers, Writers Resources, Writers supporting writers | 6 Comments
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
Aspire: to long, aim, or seek for.
Aspire is one of those words with an embedded escape clause.
“If I really suck at this, or if I just give up, it won’t matter because I’m only aspiring.”
Do you love to write? Does it speak to you?
Aspiring isn’t goal setting. It’s an escape hatch. It is scribble, scribble, blah, blah … What was I talking about?
If you want to write then write. If you want to become an author work your ass off at it. It’s hard and it will make you want to scream one second and cry the next. But writers write. It’s what we do. Don’t be afraid to put a label on it.
December 8, 2012 | Categories: Author, Inspiration, Writer, Writing | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, art, Arts, Author, Author of The Fire Born Novels, Chats and Forums, FAQs Help and Tutorials, Fiction, goal accomplishment, Goal setting, laney mcmann, Mailing Lists, Publishing, Word count, Writer, Writer Resources, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author, Young Writers, Young-adult fiction | 6 Comments
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