Judgement Day

No, I am not referring to the looming end of the Mayan calendar on December 21st. I am talking about the day that the winners of the writing contest are announced, you know, the one that I have been blabbing on and on about for the past month. I am sure those that follow this blog are glad to see it is finally over.

I thought long and hard about if I should post this before or after the winners were announced. I finally decided since I had already started this blog post with a promise to not mention said writing contest again that I guess I need to have the results to keep that promise.

So what happened? Am I about to victoriously do a virtual tap dance across your computer screen or do I need to end this post right now so I can wallow in my self pity and defeat?

Well…

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When the Writing Dream is Under Attack

I like to think that I have my head on straight when it comes to my expectations for a writing career.  Ultimately, the goal is to do this full time and that has to involve making money, so I can’t say that I am in it just for kicks. I love it enough to want to devote many, many, many (many) hours to this craft. I do not expect to be the “next big thing” in the writing world but, yeah, sometimes I let myself dream about what it would/could be like if it did happen. The hubs and I have conversations that revolve around what our lives will be like when I am a household name and we discuss where we will have our vacation houses and what car he will drive when it’s raining outside as opposed to the car he will have for when he is feeling dangerous and, of course, we had to decide on a limit for the amount of cats I would be allowed to have on my cat farm.

However, knowing that I have not even gotten through one querying process yet (which will probably flat out kill me since I take criticism as well as a feline takes to water – so cold and wet and unpleasant!), even considering that future is kind of laughable. But it is still fun. I draw the line at fun though, as it will probably never be a reality. But just HAVING a writing career? Now that is a different story. Continue reading

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

The Disease of TMI

I currently am very sick. I have succumbed to a disease that has shattered my ability to write. I want to share this disease with you in hopes that you will be able to withstand the infection that seems to be spreading amongst novice writers like myself. This is the disease of TMI or, Too Much Information.

What this disease feeds on is our yearning as beginners to gather up all of the little trinkets and golden nuggets of information that prestigious published authors want to toss out on the road for us to pick up in scraps. Or literary agents who blog or Tweet occasionally and try to throw us a bone while we fuss relentlessly over our query letters and outlines. Or the countless marketing tactics out there to draw in naive and hopeful new writers with workshops and how-to books that will make us “the next best-selling author.” Continue reading