Daily Archives: August 16, 2010

Research Trip for my For Real Book

This is me and Cam last weekend on a research trip:

So glam. We left our kids and took off for twenty four hours of totally intense and scholarly research. I think I’ll set my next book in Hawaii and the one after that in Italy. It’s important to really know the setting. Get a feel for the locals. That sort of thing.

The good news is I am going to have a third book come out in the near future! Yay! The bad news it’s my plotty book that is giving me fits. But that’s what it’s all about right?

The problem, if you haven’t guessed from my past few posts, is that I have been struggling with the characters. Really really struggling and this has sort of shaken me as a writer because I feel like characters are my strength. Find the right character and everything slips into place. The problem is sometimes a plot appears before the character and blah blah blah I’ve said it all before. So there has been heartache with this novel. And lots and lots of scene cuts, start overs, backtracks, etc. Because of all this, I have realized a few things that have to be clear in my head before I feel like I’m in my groove*.

1. When I sit down to write can I see my character? And I don’t mean physically, I mean emotionally. Do I understand who she is? Why she does what she does? Why she doesn’t do what she doesn’t do?

2. Can I see where my MC lives? Can I actually visualize her house? Her neighborhood? Her room? Do I feel like I’m there with her?

3. Can I see all the other characters in the community of the novel (whether it be a family novel, a town novel, a civilization novel)? Do I see how they all fit in? If it was a regular podunk day, what would each of them be doing? Watering the grass? Eating cheesecake? Throwing knives? What is their relationship with the MC? How does the MC feel about them?

4. When I write, is it flowing or do I feel like I’m just writing to write. Sometimes it’s fine to write to write but sometimes it’s good to take a step back and look at why a scene feels so laborious. Maybe I need to try something else, go at it from a different angle, play with it a bit, or perhaps go eat cookies.

That’s all I have for now. I am tired. And happy.

*And it’s okay if this groove takes a long long time to get into (I keep telling myself this).

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So Whadda You Think?

We’re coming up on the deadline for the neato changes on our blog.

One of the things Ann Dee and I have tried to do is make this a blog that will help you as a writer.That was one of our goals when we started this together.

You know, maybe you’ll walk away with something that will improve what you’ve working on. Or maybe one of the writing exercises will actually end up something you can use in a piece you’re working on. We hope that the writing marathons help you reach goals, that the occasional dinners offer a time to chat with writer friends and that the book reviews and author interviews etc help you get to know who is out there in the publishing industry and what great books are there to help you improve your craft.

With the upcoming changes, we want to be able to add MORE of what YOU would like to see here.

What would improve our site? What would help you as an author? Who would you like to hear from in the agent world? What about authors? What kinds of writing contests would you like to see? Do you want a quarterly get together? Are their specific topics you’d like to read? Things you want to learn about writing? What’s working already? What do you want to see more of?

Let us know. We’re headed to the wire.

PS Sunday talks went a-okay. Cait was amazing. Kyra sounded beautiful.
PMS I didn’t reach my goal.
PISS I have a new goal.

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