Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Visual Aids

I have been doing this, but it wasn't until I saw Piper Maitland's blog that I realized other people do it too. A visual always helps with descriptions when you write. Go on an internet search and find the perfect house, perfect decor, perfect setting, perfect dress, or whatever suits the scene you are writing.

If you are writing fiction, you can go all out. There are no limits. Then describe the textures, colors, sounds, scents, etc. that make your story come alive. Just be sure to stay on track with the story and not get side tracked describing every little thing.

Writers today have an advantage with the internet. Use this source to help you feel the mood of your setting and increase the impact of your story. Whatever you can imagine, can be. Your character can look like Cary Grant or Robert Pattinson or whomever makes your heart throb. He can live in a gorgeous English house like this (William Morris's Kelmscott) or in a cabin in Alaska or a hut on a beach in Fiji and your descriptions will ring true.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bright Ideas

Where do you get ideas for stories? Ideas are all around us. News stories and headlines, conversations, people watching, reading other books, or watching movies can all give you ideas. As you watch people, interact with others, or read, think about the characters. Maybe one of the characters has an interesting vocation that could be the center of a story. I imagine what people at the mall are doing. Why do they dress like that? What is their life like. You can read a lot from a person's expression, posture, and appearance.

Imagine what it would be like to live in another country or another period in history.

Look for writing prompts. They are intended to make you think and can spawn countless scenarios. Each writer's mind works a little differently based on the experiences they've had in life. This is what makes all our stories unique. If a room full of writers were all asked to write a story on a certain topic, all the stories would be different. That's the beauty of it all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


It has been a few days past my last post. One of our sons was here for Father's Day and yours truly had a birthday, but we don't talk about that.

Recently, I was asked to write a patriotic play to be used in the school systems on Constitution Day. This has been a fun project even if it did come at a busy time and throw my schedule off balance. I kind of snoozed through American History in school, so I have learned a few things and have a greater appreciation for our founding fathers.

I hope to be finished with the play in a few days and finish up a book I've been writing with a good friend. It's never a dull moment around here!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The First Page is the Hardest

When I begin a new book, the hardest part of the whole book is the first page. An author needs a gripping first sentence to grab a reader's attention. I labor over this and improve on the initial offering, but still feel like it is lacking. Is there a class on writing the first sentence? 'Cause I'd like to take it.

Grrrrrrr! Computer Trouble

Contrary to my last post, I didn't take an extra long break. My computer had problems, but I'm back in business and looking forward to a great Father's Day weekened.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Take A Break

Writers do an incredible amount of sitting. It's a solitary job and our brains get quite the workout, but it's good to take a break once in a while and move about.

Go outside and get some fresh air. Move those joints. You may still be plotting a scene in your head, but you'll be pumping blood to your brain. A change of scenery, a little sunshine and deep breathing will help your creativity. Give yourself permission to stop working once in a while and live a little.

Saturday, June 11, 2011



Some days things fall into place and everything works. This was one of those days. I sat down early in the day to work. Before I knew it, it was after two o'clock. Ideas kept flowing and I could have written for several more hours. It was a good day. Hope you had one of those too.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Resources Galore

Today I stumbled upon a site called AbsoluteWrite.com when I was searching for a software to help keep track of research for a book.

You may know about it already, but it was news to me. There are quite a few free downloads for different purposes including writers research. Check it out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

All my good intentions went awry the past couple of days. I don't consider them a waste of time because much learning has taken place. I am by no means an expert on all things authorly. This is part of the process that all authors must go through if they want to improve and become established. It's all exciting and I'm considering which things to do first. It's my own version of triage - weighing which is most important. Hopefully I will make the right decisions and move forward with each step.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Making a Schedule

The past week I felt overwhelmed and underproductive. This week, instead of running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, I made a schedule.

To stay on track, I'll set a timer and stick to the schedule. Each day will show some progress on each project, so I'm sure I'll feel more in control.

Got a better idea? Let me know.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Eye Strain

I'm sponging up all the knowledge I possibly can. Yesterday and today I read till my eyes were bulging out. It's time for a break, but I'm getting a ton of good information.

Research and study are part of the process.

In case you are wondering, this little guy with the big eyes is a Philippine Tarsier, an endangered species. Do you think reading too long is what made his eyes bulge out?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Buried in Paperwork

At the moment, I feel buried in projects that make me feel frantic and out of control, which brings me to the point of this blog: Know your limits and how to politely say "no".

As a new author, I feel like I need to do everything possible to build a body of work and get my name out there. I also know I want to produce quality work and not just sling things together. There are those who work that way, but I can't in good conscience put something out there that is sub-standard. Don't get me wrong - I'm very grateful for the work.

I'm trying to put one project at a time to the forefront and get a grip on that one so I feel like I'm not spinning into outer space.

If any of you have comments or suggestions on managing everything, please let me know!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Finding Time To Write

We are told as writers that we must write every day. I do this if you count blogging, and all the other hundreds of things I do each day. I write grocery lists, to do lists, letters, emails, notes of things I want to remember, checks, and ideas that come to me. I try to write, as in write part of a book or other project, each day, but some days are too hectic and there are too many outside errands to do.

Still, I consider it "writing" or working on writing when I'm plotting ideas in my head. I may be washing dishes or loading the washing machine, but my thoughts are on a story line. That's the advantage of being a writer. You can do it anywhere, anytime.

Ideas come to me in spurts. There are dry spells, that really aren't that dry, just too busy to sit down and do it. Then there are days when my brain won't shut off and I have to sit down and start typing.

Many days I wish the household chores and errands would go away and I could devote the whole day to writing. But it's good to get up once in a while and move around too.