Finding Inspiration in Writing Contests

So, sometimes I find there is a lull in my writing. A empty, shallow time that is void of any and all inspiration and desire. Nothing I come up with sounds right, my plot is going in circles, and I’m tired of my stupid book and how crazy it is making me. I am starting to forget why I wanted to be a writer in the first place.

And then, a contest is announced. Now, not just ANY contest, mind you. The winner of this contest gets to have a 30-45 minute writing workshop with MAGGIE STIEFVATER. Yes, you heard me right. The NY Times best- selling author of YA novels (the genre I am trying to break into). She also happens to be my favorite author so, no bigs.

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How to Write Great Opening Pages to Your Novel

So you want to know how to write great opening pages to your novel? Here is the secret: FINISH YOUR NOVEL FIRST.

Now, of course, this is an opinion, but I wouldn’t post this if I didn’t believe it to be true. You cannot fathom the amount of time I have spent in the past re-working and revising the opening few chapters of the many novels I have started. It is probably as astronomical as it is idiotic. Continue reading

The Soundtrack to Your Story

Music has been and always will be a great inspiration to me. Music can drive me to tears or get me pumped up or mellow me out when I’m stressed. It is a mood changer or creator. So, when establishing mood in your story, what better way to do it then by selecting jams that match the mood?

I have developed two different kinds of strategies for getting the right kind of playlist to match the mood and dynamics of a writing piece. Before you try either of these methods though, do yourself a favor and download Spotify onto your desktop (www.spotify.com). This is the best invention known to man since the Twinkie (soon to be extinct, apparently). Continue reading

Pictures Worth a Thousand Moods and More

I promise, this is the last time I will shove my sweet “book banner” down your throat. Ok, maybe not the last time but it will become less infrequent. I only want to use it as an example in this post about stirring up the creative mind and setting your mood right in your head and in your novel.

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One Thousand Words and Beyond

It has been two days of outlining and fleshing out my characters and two days of actually writing for my new WIP, The Beholder, and I already have 1,000 words! That may not seem like a whole lot but I am happy with it because it is 1,000 words more than what I was accomplishing on my series this past month.

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Taking a Hiatus on my WIP Series

When it comes to writing, I have a “I’m not quitting” mentality this time around. It is very important to me to zero in on this ever-changing craft and publish my own stories to share with the world. I am not, by any means, taking a hiatus from that dream. However, this series that I have bouncing around in my head has too many flaws for me to deal with and stay confident. It is a story close to my heart and I will not put it to sleep for good but it just needs to take an afternoon nap right now. Since I have never fully completed a manuscript, not even a rough draft version of one, I think the concept of a three book series with a lot of subplots going on is overwhelming me. I have been spending way too much time trying to sort and outline and plan and NO time really writing. And even after all the planning work, I still feel like key elements are missing from the story. So I feel the best thing for me to do right now is put it aside and regroup.

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Friday First-Novel-Attempt Blues: The Curse of the Tree Novel

So here is where I am at with my first attempt at a novel. Wait…let me re-phrase that. I have had many attempts at a first novel so, really, here is where I am at with my first attempt at a novel I am forcing myself to finish. That’s better.

My novel right now is a tree. Let me explain. I have the core idea with roots firmly planted into the ground. I have my main characters developed in my head and they are wonderful little darlings. The base of my novel is strong and thick and ready to take on anything. It sounds like my novel is in a wonderful place then, right? Why the heck am I complaining?? Continue reading