Thursday, July 11, 2013

Using Your Thinker

Because I write mostly historical novels I have had to do a lot of research to understand the way things use to be.  I actually like to do the work, it is interesting to me and I find life in the old west fascinating.  I also enjoy reading historical novels of all shapes and sizes, because I have always enjoyed learning.

My current Camp Nano book takes place mostly on a ship, an old ship, and I have done some looking around and learning about ships and the process it takes to actually make on work. I have a printout of a ship taped to the wall in my writing nook for reference, and this morning as I was getting ready, my daughter asked me what the picture was. I told her I needed it for the book I was working on and she asked, "Why?"

I think a lot of people who don't write don't understand how much work goes into the book before you even really start on it. Once you learn the information it is a lot easier to write a second, third, fourth book in the same time period, but if you decide to change to something different you need to do the research all over again.  Like I said before, this is a process I really enjoy and I think it really adds to the story when you have correct facts and information in your book.

One caution I give about information though, is not to have information dumps in your book. It is cool to learn about new things but if you just dump the information in different parts of your book, your readers are going to feel like they are in a history class and loose interest. Remember that tidbits here and there are much better, kinda like those little Dove chocolate nuggets, bits of sweetness through the story.

The beauty of the brain is that we get to use it for some amazing things.  So use your thinker this week, learn something new, even work on something new, and definitely eat chocolate!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Voices in my Head

I have yet to put my fingers back on the keyboard for my CampNano book, darn life getting in my way, but last night I just could not sleep.  It was about one o'clock and I was playing over a conversation my hero and heroin will be having in the book.  Over and over I played the scene in my head until I wasn't sure if I was even awake anymore. Finally I was able to sleep, but those voices sure were persistent.

It reminded me of a time I was working on a manuscript, and I was having a conversation with the main character in the shower.  It must have been afternoon, probably after a morning of cleaning and playing mommy, but the shower curtain opens and there stands my husband.

"Who are you talking too." He asked.

Scared the heck out of me! He just laughed and left the bathroom. Apparently he is use to the crazy conversations I have with myself.

Another time I was grocery shopping, and I was standing by the cereal having a conversation with a character, and this lady pokes her head around the corner and gives me a funny look. Slowly she crossed over to the next isle keeping her eye on me the whole time.  Apparently she is NOT use to the crazy conversations I have with myself. Hahaha!!

I can't say I mind the voices so much, unless it is 1:30 in the morning. They sure have given me some good laughs, and some great ideas, and as long as the special people in my life except them, then I guess things are peachy.  Now lets see, the voices are telling me I need chocolate.  What? I was up until 1:30 people!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again!

Day 9 of Camp Nano and I regret to inform you, that I have written nothing in two days.  AHHAHAHHA!!! OK, now that I got that out of my system I need to re-focus.  I would like to use a weekend of camping and swimming, game playing and pretty much being lazy as an excuse but we all know that doesn't work during Nano.  So today I recommit, I say, write, write, write!  The beauty of Nano for me though is that I open the manuscript and I keep going, I don't go back and read anything, I don't worry about flow or congruency, I just write and it is fun!

I remember a couple of years ago being stressed about my story at the time. I was worried about everything working out, keeping my readers attention, following all the rules. It was a very stressful time for me. I remember sitting down at the computer and not knowing how to do something that I have loved doing forever.  I expressed my concern to my wonderful hubby and he told me to stop worrying about everything and just enjoy writing, enjoy the process.  That is when I found Nano.  One whole month of throwing the rules out the window and just having a good time.  Since then I have looked forward to November so I could let my hair down and just enjoy. 

Today, when I open up Capturing Lady Jane and start plunking away, I will remember how much I love what I do.  How much I enjoy living in another world for a couple of hours every day, and knowing that, no matter how my stories are received, I loved writing them!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Yesterday I took a break from writing to spend Independence Day with my family and friends.  We went to the parade and had a BBQ at the park. Spend the afternoon watching cartoons with the kids and then played cards with friends until dark, then set off fireworks.  It was a fun day, but no writing got done! Good thing I worked hard the day before!

Camp Nano had given me a reason be be a crazy writer, you know the ones in the movies who wear
sweaters, drink cup loads of coffee (hot chocolate for me please) and look all pensive all the time.  It's fun to be that person, feeling all angsty about things while I write poignant phrases like:

"She stared into the deep, feeling the turmoil of the black waves within her own soul."

Yesterday I got to watch my children enjoying the full measure of life and it made me wonder why I can't just let myself live every day like I do when I write during Nano? Don't get me wrong, I don't want to wear sweaters all the time, and to much hot chocolate would relegate me to the bathroom for a good portion of the day, but that doesn't mean I can't write with all the passion and abandonment that I do twice a year for Nano. 

What I am trying to say is, yesterday on Independence Day I learned a few things about myself. I'm going to try to not be so hard on myself and enjoy the process instead of trying to make everything perfect.  Just like a firework, life is more exciting when you don't know what is in the package. :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Time to Hit the Keys!

OK friends, yesterday I managed 4,000 words and it was a lot of fun.  Sometimes I feel like I get stuck in a rut trying to pound out the same old thing every day.  I love what I do, but just like every job, I  need a change of scenery to keep the juices flowing.  I had no idea what I wanted to do for Camp Nano until about 9:30 yesterday morning but the story is really coming along.  I like the characters and the plot line is fun, something I haven't really done before.

I was talking to a friend yesterday, and he was saying that he likes the idea of Nano because you can just put it all down and lock your editor in the closet without food or drink for a month.  I agree!! It really is fun to throw all the rules out the door and know that it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be creative.  My neighbor calls it hamburger writing. It isn't pretty but it is full of all kinds of goodness!

Anyway, I encourage all of you out there to work on your Hamburger Manuscript today, and hit the keys!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

As the Fates Would Have it!

This morning I was looking around on the web, (when I should have been writing) and I came across a mention of Camp Nanowrimo.  As most of you know I participate in Nanowrimo in November, where you write a 50,000 word novel during the month.  Well, the wonderful people at Nano decided to help our writing along and offer us another chance to write untethered for a month. A month where we throw it all out the window and just write. And that month is this one!

So, I mentioned yesterday that I was going to set a writing goal to work towards this month and as the fates would say Camp Nano has handed me the way.  While my brain seems to be stuck when it comes to A Runaway Heart, I have decided to spread my wings and work on another manuscript for the month then hit A Runaway Heart hard next month after I have blown off some writing steam.

Camp Nano started July 1st so I am a day behind, but I am insistent on finishing, so I better get started.  I have chosen a Pirate Romance this time. I guess there is a first time for everything! Wish me luck.

Day One!

I did it friends. Day one of writing has been completed.  I worked really hard to get something down on paper.  Some days writing is hard! I worked and worked to get something at least readable down yesterday.  I think it is interesting, some mornings I wake up and just have to write, the words just beg to come out and I can spend hours writing. Other days it is like pulling teeth to get anything worth reading!

I have began to realize that the more the story is in my head, the easier it is to write. It's just like talking with a friend, I find that when I am more in touch with my characters it is easier to write about them and their lives.  I told my husband once that it is hard having all these people in my head because sometimes I don't know who I am talking too! 

Anyway. I am looking forward to another hour of writing today.  I think if I have a good long conversation with my characters this morning, we can have a good long writing session later in the day when it is to hot outside to do anything. 

Good luck in your writing and I hope you have success in your day.

Monday, July 1, 2013

A New Month!

So I am going to challenge myself this month to write every day.  I think I'm an going to try for an hour of writing every day through the month of July.  I am working on the next novel in the Heart collection.

In A Runaway Heart, Kit and Macey are trying hard to make it work, but being an ex US Marshal has it drawbacks, especially when bad guy Jamison comes back for revenge. It is a fun story and I really hope to make some process on it this month.

If there are any writers out there in the blogging world I challenge you to the same writing goal. I don't care it if is an hour or twenty minutes. Maybe you only want to do 2000 words, or something similar, but lets do it. Lets make some stories guys!!