To Be a Series or Not to Be a Series? That is the Question

Let me skip away from the title of this post for JUST a moment and then I will jump right back on task. I promise.

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When I first started writing THE BEHOLDER, it was kind of a side step to what I had really been wanting to do. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited about it and I thought the idea was pretty unique and had a lot of potential. But REALLY, I was more excited about the series idea (ELEMENTS) that I had been trying to write but was having a hard time plotting out. I had already spent months with those characters inside my head and they felt like the most awesomest cast EVER. To me, at least. I let a few CPs read the first 6 or so chapters I had churned out and a lot of the feedback was very positive and complimentary. But as a beginner writer, trying to tackle a series was a daunting task. I spent all of my time trying to figure out how each book would play out and how the characters would change from the beginning to the end of 300,000 words or so. It was mostly frustrating and sometimes insane. I felt completely and irrefutably over my head.

But I was determined to be a writer. It was in my blood. I knew I had the passion for it and I wasn’t going to let this hole I dug keep me down. So when I got the idea for THE BEHOLDER, I made the very difficult choice of setting aside ELEMENTS and all the wonderful characters I had created and started in on a new idea, a new cast. At first I didn’t know them as well but I came to know them. And I came to love them. And it was a lot easier for me to wrap my head around an idea that would only span one single book. Or would it? Continue reading

When Someone Else Publishes Your Idea

No, I don’t mean literally YOUR manuscript. I mean when you are steadily working along on that WIP that is going to be your ticket into the publishing world, the idea that your new-found agent is going to swoon over for years. The “THIS IS THE ONE” one!

And then…you see a new book come out and you start to read the description and you think, hey wait a minute, that sounds awfully familiar! Continue reading

Using Scrivener to Organize Your Novel

scrivenerI have heard from many aspiring authors and actual published authors (even some best-selling ones) who swear to using Scrivener while writing their novels. I have been using the trial version but I had a big decision to make as it was running out. To Scrivener or not to Scrivener? That was the question. Continue reading

Building Up Your Story – Tension is Everything Pt. 2

Let me start off by saying this: If you are in the murky depths of about 20,000 words or so on your novel and are kind of lost between the middle and the end, then this post is for YOU. If you missed Part 1 on this subject, no worries! You can find it here! Start there and then come back and rejoin us here on Part 2.

Waiting….

Okay, you back? Here we go! Continue reading

Building Up Your Story – Tension is Everything Pt. 1

tension_fullI have read enough books on the craft of writing to know that building tension is everything to a story. The reader has to feel it growing so it pushes them farther into the story and makes his or her desire to know what is going to happen so unbearable that it is a race towards the end. When I started writing The Beholder, I definitely had a few ideas on what “bricks” I was going to use to build up the tension in order to make the climax the highest point it could be. Think of your plot as a huge mountain and the more tension you stack onto it the higher your climax point. The higher the reader has to climb to get to the climax, the more exciting the view will be from the top when they reach it.

After reaching the 20,000 mark (click here to relive my virtual happy dance about that milestone), this is a good time to reflect back on what those tension building blocks are going to be. There should be new ones to add, old ones to revise, and even ones to maybe throw out, depending on how your story has changed in this initial phase. I also think the 20,000 mark is a good place to do this because, at least for me, this is where I have already done some major writing at the front and back of my story, but the middle is kind of hanging them all murky and evasive-like. I need to know more about what I am building up to in order to connect my super hooky beginning with my star-studded ending. Without realizing it, I created a “building up” exercise that I think will come in handy for any future novel I write. Here is what you do:

Continue reading

The First Idea Is Not (Usually) the Best

bright-idea1I have been working on The Beholder for over a month now and I am still in a pretty confident state on mind. I even had some breakthroughs for my series that I put on hold, so my creative fountain is just gushing right now.

I have to say, though, that one of the biggest things I am noticing while writing The Beholder is that your first idea is not usually the best idea you can come up with. Now, the main concept that got me to start the story – yeah, that kind of stayed exactly the same (so far). But I’m willing to put almost anything else on the guillotine if it makes the story stronger. Nothing should be sacred here except the ultimate goal of creating the best story you can.

That being said, I have already had a ton of changes occur in my story and I am only at the 15,000 words mark. Through these changes, I have come up with a few strategies to see if your writing could use some reconstructing in order to spice things up.  To better lay this out for my fellow aspiring writers, I have decided to use a listing format….because, let’s face it, who doesn’t like a good list? 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