Writers on Writing

How to write a hook that offers the promise your #novel will fulfill

English: The main screen of Albite READER 2
Do the first lines of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland work for you? | English: The main screen of Albite READER 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Author Dave King shared an interesting article yesterday on Writer Unboxed titled, Beyond the First Five Pages. In his post, he discusses the importance of writing a good hook that both draws the reader in and leads the reader properly into the rest of the story.

I’m only working on my second novel now (not counting the 872 false starts that I wrote before finally finishing something!), so I’m no expert. However, in my most-humble opinion, I think it is best to worry about your hook after the rest of the story has been written. Continue reading “How to write a hook that offers the promise your #novel will fulfill”

Novel Writing, Uncategorized

How to organize your first draft #novelwriting

CaptureThe past few weeks, I’ve been working on my second “real” novel, and it hit me this morning that I’ve finally figured out how to organize my work in the first draft stage so I can keep track of what I’m doing. Because organization can be a key element of being an efficient writer, I thought I’d share my system in case some other writer might find it useful. I think the easiest way to explain my system is to paint a picture of it for you, so I took a screenshot of the first page of my actual document:

And now, I will explain what I have done: Continue reading “How to organize your first draft #novelwriting”

Novel Writing

I think it’s time to start #writing

English: penulis = writer
Writers write! | English: penulis = writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My notes on my new novel have reached 12 pages and 6,500 words. I have come up with a focal point to build my story around. The more I think about it, the more convoluted the story becomes. I think it’s time to start writing!

I seem to have also discovered my main writing genre, despite the fact that there are other genres I would like to write in. The book I originally planned to write next was adult fiction with a little bit of magic and fantasy thrown in. It was going to be dark, and in many ways, devious. I still really want to write that book. However, it seems to make more sense in this moment to maintain the momentum I have built with Valley of the Bees and stick with future-fantastic dystopia.

I also can’t ignore the fact that this new novel is demanding to take center stage at the moment! Continue reading “I think it’s time to start #writing”

Novel Writing

Reining it in: How to focus your #story so it doesn’t run away with you #amwriting

Animated sequence of a race horse galloping. P...
Animated sequence of a race horse galloping. Photos taken by Eadweard Muybridge (died 1904), first published in 1887 at Philadelphia (Animal Locomotion). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My new novel has topped 3,500 words of notes as I freewrite and brainstorm my way into an outline. I had a moment today when a sudden realization about what my novel is really about struck me. A shiver ran down my spine as I realized the possible implications of the totally subversive idea that emerged from the murky depths of my subconscious mind.

“This is big,” I thought.

And then, “This is probably going to piss a lot of people off.”

Muahahaha!

Not literally, but I was thinking it.

As I typed out the details of my idea, another idea struck me. By “struck me,” what I mean is that it wacked me upside the head like a baseball bat. Continue reading “Reining it in: How to focus your #story so it doesn’t run away with you #amwriting”

Novel Writing

New novel worries: How do you know when an idea is worth #writing?

Freytag's pyramid
Freytag’s pyramid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I run down the final stretch of publishing Valley of the Bees, I am itching to get started on my next novel. I don’t want to waste all of this momentum I have built while writing my last novel. After all, gathering and maintaining momentum seems to be half the battle of writing!

My first problem was what to write. Luckily, I had plenty of ideas. I just couldn’t seem to choose one. I was ready to write one novel one day and a completely different story the next. When I finally settled on an idea that held my attention for more than a couple of days, I thought the battle had been won. A vibrant story world has taken shape in my mind, and my main cast of characters is coming to life.

Then I realized: I have no plot! Continue reading “New novel worries: How do you know when an idea is worth #writing?”

Demons of the Night, NaNoWriMo, Novel Writing, Valley of the Bees

It’s time to gear up for #NaNoWriMo 2016!

It’s that time of year again, writing friends! Time to prep for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November! This year, I am doing it, and I am doing it right. Anyway, that’s the plan!

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participant

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot to do over this next month to prepare. My writing plans for October include: Continue reading “It’s time to gear up for #NaNoWriMo 2016!”

Book Reviews, Novel Writing, Uncategorized, Valley of the Bees

Now available for pre-order: With Envy Stung | Valley of the Bees #1

It’s official! I just set up my novel, With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 for pre-order on Smashwords! I completed the first draft of the third and final book of this trilogy, and I finally feel confident that Book One will be ready for publication by its September 1st release date!

With Envy Stung cover with white border
With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 is now available for download on iTunes and Kobo. It will soon be available on your Nook as well! See the links within this blog post for more info.

This is such a huge milestone for me. I have been working on this trilogy for about three years now. With Envy Stung has been critiqued and revised until I can’t imagine what else I might possibly do to make it shine any brighter. That is, until I sit down to read through it again and find a few more lines that I could write *just a little bit better.*

Update: I now have direct links where you can pre-order your copy of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1 from the retailer of your choice:

As with any work in progress, I will probably always be able to find something else that I could tweak a bit more. But, as with any other work in progress, the time always comes when it’s time for the author to let it go as it is. I feel confident that With Envy Stung has reached that stage in the writing process. The time has finally come to complete my final line edits and format the book for publishing! Continue reading “Now available for pre-order: With Envy Stung | Valley of the Bees #1”

Novel Writing, Valley of the Bees

Planning the final book in a series

A friend of mine is sketching out some ideas for the cover of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1. What do you think?
A friend of mine is sketching out some ideas for the cover of With Envy Stung: Valley of the Bees #1. What do you think?

I don’t remember having this much trouble writing the outlines for books one and two. I’ve made a list of all of the loose ends that need tied up, and now I am trying to figure out how to tie them together. It’s getting very complicated!

I thought I was ready to publish book one, but as I play with all of these loose ends, I think maybe I’m not ready after all. What if I need something to happen in book three that won’t work due to something I wrote in book one? I won’t be able to go back and revise it once it’s published!

Maybe I need to at least have a first draft of book three before I publish book one. I want to start my pre-launch of book one, but what if I don’t have it ready in time? What if I think it’s done, but it’s not? I have thought it was done many times throughout the process, only to find that it still needed more work.

What if, what if, what if? Sometimes – a lot of times – writing is just a whole lot of “what ifs!” Continue reading “Planning the final book in a series”

Memes, Novel Writing, Valley of the Bees

Is your novel stuck? How to write your way past the flashing cursor

One of the most important lessons I have learned about novel writing is that the worst thing you can do when you’re stuck is to sit and stare at a flashing cursor on a blank page. In my experience, when I have done this in the past, the longer I stared at that cursor, the more stuck I became. Instead, I have learned that the only way to get unstuck is to write through it.

writing meme

This may sound like a crazy idea.

“I’m stuck,” you’re thinking. “How do I write through it when I can’t think of anything to write?” Continue reading “Is your novel stuck? How to write your way past the flashing cursor”

Novel Writing, Writer's Block, Writers on Writing

Writing the boring: How to write transitional material between novel chapters

I struggle to set up each new chapter in my novel. I want to jump right into the dialog and action and keep the story moving along. While writing the first installment of Valley of the Bees, I did just that. I wrote the story in the throes of momentum and didn’t slow down for anything as uninteresting as setting up my chapters properly. When all was said and done, my story came out to around 25,000 words and was in desperate need of transitional material between chapters. Imagine how I felt when I realized that I was going to have to sit down and write all of that boring stuff at once.

back to basics - writing with the five senses

Lesson learned. Continue reading “Writing the boring: How to write transitional material between novel chapters”