Author Archives: CLW

Three Things Thursday

Ms Cheryl:

A writer’s “writing space” is a revered, almost legendary idea. I’ve heard one writer say that she had no writing space…as long as she has her laptop, she’s good to go. I know of another that needs a particular chair with a view, a yellow notepad, and a certain brand of tea. One friend needs pictures, toys, and brightly colored walls. Another needs a completely clutter-free desk.
For me, I need my books. I need to see them, to touch them, to remember the end goal in all of this. I need to look at the beautiful cover art. I need every series to be lined up, in order.
On the other hand, I once wrote an entire novel in a journal while sitting in a rocking chair every night for months, trying to teach my daughter to fall asleep in her crib. So I can be flexible.
What about you? What does your workspace look like? What would your dream workspace look like?
Ms Brenda:
Do you believe in Evolution? If you are a writer, you should give that some thought. We keep talking about ARCs:: Character ARCs, Chapter ARCs, Story ARCs. What is that but Evolution?
The character begins in one place (i.e., living under the stairs in his Uncle’s house — an insecure boy not sure of his place in the world, not even sure if he HAS a place in the world). Then he finds out he’s expected to go to school. A wizarding school. Because he’s capable of creating and utilizing magic. That’s some “evolution” over multiple books (and YEARS) in his life.
This boy, like any other boy, will have to change and grow — “evolve” into a good and talented and worthy young man . . . or be caught in the evil web he’s woven by going in the opposite direction.
His story means he will meet new people, learn to adjust to his every-changing (and ever-challenging) environment. Like all of us, his story will include good, bad and ugly people and places. The story begins with him in dire straits and evolves into a story of achievement and beating the odds.
Each book in this seven-tomed mammoth has its own ARC as well. And the eighth ARC is in the total of all the volumes.
Whether you are writing a short story, a novel, or a non-fiction book, whether it is a stand-alone or a part of a series, ALL those ARCs must be thought of, figured out and central to its main characters, it’s place within the (or each) book, and its over-all view within the series if you intend (or your single “story” later) dictates a multi-volume work.
The sooner you figure out each of the individual threads, the more easily you will weave the story into the fabric of the full tale.
Ms Me:
I once gave a speech where I was talking about strong writing. Of course I mentioned to cut all the adverbs and as many adjectives as possible.
A woman in the audience said, “When you’re speaking YOU use adjectives and adverbs.”
Speaking ain’t writing.
If our lives were novels, there would be a LOT of stuff fast-forwarded, thrown away and edited to fit.
We’d be cut down to 300 pages (on the way long side for me!).
All our words wouldn’t be used.
And our thoughts? Ha!
No, when we write, we pick and choose.
Our stories are the best parts of us.

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Filed under CLW, three thing thursday, Voice

15 Minute Monday

I can’t think of anything to say.

Since the conference, I haven’t written. I’ve been too tired and too sad.

That goes for the blog. Too worn out for this, also.

For some time, Ann Dee has felt we have nothing to offer, and for the first time in all these years of writing this blog, I agree with her.

Is there anyone out there? Hello, Lynne! Debbie!

So I’m closing up shop early today, though I’ve been sitting here for far longer than 15 minutes, hoping I could make a difference for even one person.

And could that person be me?

PS–Yes, I’m being whiny.






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Three Things Thursday


Tt’s been predicted for years that horror in YA would make a big comeback, especially with the success of novels such as Rick Yancy’s THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST. Since I’m a 90’s kid, this is thrilling to me. I learned to love reading when R. L. Stine’s GOOSEBUMPS and Alvin Schwartz’s SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK were in their heyday.

There’s something about horror that kids adore. This isn’t a new concept, as anyone who’s spent any time around a campfire can attest. Horror stories are similar to a roller coaster, in that the reader can experience terrifying things while knowing they are still safe.
It is, however, an incredibly difficult genre to write. It’s similar to humor, in that the outcome has to be unexpected and yet believeable. Gore can give a quick and cheap thrill, but it lacks the substance of true psychological terror.
What are some of your favorite horror novels? Why?
I’m still livin’ off of WIFYR.  Which reminded me about the last 1 hour workshop I went to there: David Powers King on the “Psychology of Heroes, Villains, and Everyone Else.”  It was fun, sometimes funny, interactive and VERY interesting.  Here are a few snippets from my notes:
What is a Hero?
Helps others at expense of his own safety and rises to the occasion
Usually the lead in the story
Tends to support moral choices
Motivates others to do good
What is Villain?
Acts in interest of self; may strive to fulfill a perceived morality
Choices often made at expense of others
Usually the lead antagonist of the story
Has wicked, cool outfits!
Who is Everyone Else?
Everyone in that world is affected by the hero/villain
Exists in a neutral zone
Supports hero or villain or fights against them, depending on side they’re on
Gray “pool” of potential heroes/villains
Also note, there are no rules against having more than one hero or villain in any one story.
Any action may prompt a response: this is the cycle every character must make every second of every day.
Do your hero and villain both fit the above profiles?  Do your other characters fit their profile above?
I’m thinking of changing this to Three Thongs Thursday.
What do you think?


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Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

How do you find confidence in your writing ?
I feel like every word on the page lately sounds like a mess and a half.
I need to find my confidence and strap it on like a helmet and just write.

Is that what’s holding me back ? Or is it everything else?

Writing is hard. Working makes writing harder. Family issues makes writing the hardest.

Confidence will help repair that. I sort of know.

Is Mom a confident writer? Probably. How else would she sell so many books? But then you also need insecurities to keep the writing genuine, right?
Who has the answers? {besides Steven King?}
This makes no sense. It’s 2:10 in the morning and I’ve been up since five.

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Filed under Kyra, Life, writing process

15 Minute Monday

I just saw this “Give Yourself an Exciting Horoscope!” Geez. All this time I’ve been looking at the old, boring, supposed-to-happen horoscopes. I think I’ll opt for exciting from now on.

This morning I’m sending an email to an editor. I have an idea. An awful idea!
The Lynch gots a wonderful, awful idea!

This idea is naughty, even.

And I want to see what my-hopefully-soon-to-be editor thinks. I sorta think she’ll say no. If she does, I’m talking to my agent.

I’ve never done this before–you know, come up with an idea that I think is controversial in the publishing world. I mean, I’m even thinking of using a different name. Probably I’ll use a play on John Green’s name, because that will help sell the novel. Joan Green. Anyway, let’s put that aside. My question to you is, when do you KNOW you must write a book?

Maybe a book outside your comfort zone.

Maybe a book that could get you in trouble.

Maybe a book that needs to be written but will be hard as all get out. (Yes, that’s a thing. That’s historical slang.)

Usually when I write anything it’s because I must. Something hilarious happened. Or something horrible. Or something frightening. And now there’s this emotion and it needs to be set free.

And this idea is sorta like that.

I have this unhappy feeling in my gut that has to come out.


Why do YOU write?

Not the average answer, “Because I have to.” We all know that. But why do you have to write? And why do you choose the ideas you choose? None of this, ideas choose me. We pluck them from the air or from the news or from other titles or from people.

Your answer is?



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Filed under CLW, Editors


Summer sort of begins for me a few days after ALA. The older I get, the harder it is to recuperate from WIFYR. And if I’ve made the trip to ALA, well there you go. (I love going to ALA, BTW.)

But then I have July and August (school starts the last day of August this year) sort of to myself. I mean, I can write and rewrite. And paint this new home we’re in and maybe even make my bed if I want to.

There are clothes to organize, weeds to pull, food storage to think about and do something with, boxes to unpack, closets to clean out, Mom to care for, and of course, every days has to have some kid time in it. I do have these beautiful daughters.

Constantly, though, there are the story ideas.

No matter how hard life is (and it’s been a beast for several months now), there are places to escape to, words to worry over, plots to play with.

The stories are always in my head.


So here are questions for a writer to think on:

How do you keep track of your stories? Especially if you have lots of crazy ideas spinning around.

How do you decide which is the best idea to spend time on?

How long to you work on a book before you’re done?

Is it bad to write lots of words as fast as you can, even if they are crummy words?

During rewrite, what do you do with discarded words?

How much time do you give yourself for your writing?

How much time do you really write–how much do you check your social sites?

How do you know, before you do it, if it’s going to be worth the time to follow a character for 60,000 words?

Why do you keep going?


That’s the biggest question of all. This is a hard, many times, unrewarding venture. We’re lonely, underpaid (if paid at all), and many times our delicious books don’t get into the right editor’s hands, or readers’ hands. When  books are published, most don’t get the awards they deserve, and certainly many don’t sell as well as other novels that seem poorly written. It’s frustrating, sometimes hard to watch, and so very personal.


If I didn’t publish, would I still keep doing this?

Truthfully, probably not as hard as I do now. But I would spend time each day working on a novel. And when I had cleaned that book up the best I could, I’d start another. I’d write another and another and another. Why?

Because I’m a writer.

That’s who I am.

All the way down to the bone.



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Filed under CLW, Depression, Exercises, writing process

three things thursday


One of my friends just posted on Facebook that during a phone call to her husband, they both heard a distinct clicking noise. When she spoke to it, it responded. 

Her explanation was that the clicking was aliens trying to communicate. Other people commented that it was the weather, cell phone interference, or the government spying.
What’s the first thing you thought it was? Whatever your first thought was, throw it out. What was your second idea? Your third? What would your character have thought?
Now that WIFYR is over (and I’ve slept and slept and slept for several days), thought I’d share an occasional topic or idea that resonated with me while I was there.  One of the panels consisting of Ann White, Ann Cannon and Michelle Branson discussed non-fiction.  Specifically, non-fiction for kids.  It was suggested that we take a look at children’s magazines who are ALWAYS looking for interesting non-fiction ideas, and often for poetry as well. They need articles about people doing good things, helpful things, funny things, accidental things.
Your kid was in a class program and something funny happened?  Write about it.
You had an odd, funny, difficult, sad, happy incident in your childhood?  Write about it.
You know a favorite family story that would bring a chuckle or show the way things were “back in the day”?  Write about it.
We can step beyond the boundaries of Utah’s own The Friend magazine to look at Cricket, Boys’ Life,Girls’ Life,Highlights, Jack and Jill, Ladybug, Stone Soup, to name just a few.  Not familiar with many of them?  Go to your friendly neighborhood library, and spend a few pleasant hours seeing who’s publishing what and where.  Need more info? Check out the Writer’s Market: they list many publishers, approximate prices for work . . . and just seeing what each is looking for will probably give you enough ideas to work on all month!
Happy Publishing!
How do you get done all the important things that must be done?
Right now I’m so tired.
I know most of this is from stress, but I am almost weak from exhaustion.
What do you do when you get to this point?
Just watch TV?
Go running?
Eat ice cream?
Suggestions gladly accepted.

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