Tag Archives: ROW80

#ROW80 Update: Write the good parts first?

So yay me. Basically I have two goals right now:

  1. Write every weekday
  2. Write 1k+ per session
  • Monday: 1193
  • Tuesday: 4938

Yeah, I typed that right. OMG, I was exhausted. It’s been such a struggle to make myself sit down and put any words on the page. There was a lot of giving up. But yesterday was the 5th weekday in a row that I was making myself sit down in the coffee shop to get something done, so maybe I’m getting warmed up.

One thing about yesterday, though, is that I skipped what I was supposed to write– Raine and Tim having a bit of a fight in front of pretty much everybody. When I sat down, I still didn’t know how that was going to go, so I decided to move on to the next thing. And the next thing was the first big reveal of our villainous element for this book. So it’s a big deal and something I’ve been kind of primed to write for at least a month (when I finally figured out how I wanted to do it). It was something I actually wanted to write, which makes a big difference.

I was soooo tired at the end of it, though. 1k-2k is usually pretty comfortable for me. The last week of writing a book I’ll have days of 5k-8k because I so desperately want to be done with it and I can see just what’s going to happen, but by that time I’ve built up some muscle. But yesterday, by the time I started to wind down to end the chapter, it felt like my brain had melted and was leaking out of my ears. So, really need to get back in shape.

Wouldn’t it be cool to write 5k per day? Write a book in a month. Not that I could put out 12 books a year, but dang, 2 would be nice, wouldn’t it?

One thing that I started doing when I started writing with Kait: working sequentially without skipping. Before that, I think I used to do a lot more jumping around and writing on inspiration–though it’s been several years now and it’s hard to remember.

Last year I was having a lot of trouble getting going on CURFEW. The front end felt really off, much like the front of end of SIEGE does. By the time I got to the middle of CURFEW, where I was writing the scenes that made me want to write the book in the first place, I decided to stop, go back and rework the front.

I know there are different schools of thought on this. I was talking to AM (do you follow @AMhairiSimpson? She’s awesome.) about this the other day. “They” always say you shouldn’t go back and continuously rework the front end of a book, never getting anywhere on the rest of it. And I totally get why that is. It’s something I’ve had to break myself of. On the other hand, it is DAMN HARD to keep moving forward when you feel like you’ve got this big mess hanging over your head that you have to clean up later. Especially when it’s a case of feeling like you have to work through how to make it RIGHT before you can move forward without digging yourself deeper into total shite.

For HUSH MONEY, I just pushed my way through, skipped very little, refused to go back rework what was already there. And that worked. But that book–that book was written by fairies. I still don’t know how that came together as fast and as well as it did.

***Going to talk about plot here. Potentially spoilery***

For CURFEW, I had to go back and fix the front end before I could really move on. There were a few scenes I pulled out and rewrote, really changing the mood. Like that fight Joss had with her dad–that needed to be angrier, and end angrier than it had when I first did it, which resulted in Joss making a different choice and me having to do minor plot fixes thereafter. I already realized I needed to do a better job setting that up, went back and made big changes to the previous scene with Joss and Gene. And, after I did that, the whole Joss/Gene plotline worked a lot better and was easier.

I went back and changed Vivian’s role in the story. Pulling her in tighter to the plot, and that changed the story itself, for the better.

I needed to go back and fix a Groundhog Day problem. It was lame to have too much talking stuff going on before school on different days. I needed to do something else in school. I had this idea I was going to send Joss to the nurse’s office and that’s where she’d run into Bella because the point was to get out that idea of why kids were willing to follow Marco, and why Joss might need to think about stepping up. Having just made decisions to change Vivian, I realized that I could introduce her here, which would bring her in even closer to the beginning, and also reintroduce Dobbs, and getting the cast introduced early on is often a good thing. Suddenly my Groundhog Day of bleh was a lot different and more interesting. It worked a lot harder.

***/rehash***

Whew. That damn book (in fact, possibly we’ll just start calling it DAMN BOOK instead of CURFEW, not to be confused with SIEGE which we’ll call DAMN BOOK2) was still hard all the way through, for a lot of reasons, but I felt SO much better about it after that.

So all I’m saying is that sometimes it’s not good to ignore that feeling of offness because a good fix can really change things and make the later stuff more interesting.

Plus, when you FEEL like you’re facing a huge rewrite due to the piles of stinky shite you’ve left behind, it’s hard to be motivated to keep going.

I mean, at some point, you get to be the grown up and you get to judge whether you’re doing a partial rewrite because you really need it, or because it’s perfectionist procrastination that’s keeping you from moving forward. I mean, sometimes “they” are right, but they’re not the boss of you and sometimes those rules just don’t apply to you.

Anyway, I know this is getting long, but this brings me to SIEGE and the notion of skipping ahead. In a way, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to skip ahead because you miss some of the things your subconscious develops for you by working sequentially. But then, as I have clearly shown (okay, it was clear to me), sometimes my subconscious it a bit slow to work things out. And maybe it would work out more stuff if I let it go ahead and say okay, THESE are the points we are definitely making. Now you go figure out the best way to get from point to point while I go wash these dishes, kthxbye.

But then, what if I wrote all my favorite parts first and then I had nothing to look forward to and the rest of the book was just total drudgery?

So, does anyone do this? Skip around and write all the high points first, then go back and fill in? Does it work for you? Did you try it with horrifying, project-killer results?

Best wishes to the ROW80 crew.

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#ROW80: I’m in. What could possibly–?

Okay, mostly I TRY not to be unreasonably superstitious, but, as many of you know, the one thing I fear is the Almighty Jinx and the resulting backlash of the Universe. My daughter’s favorite thing to say to freak me out these days?

What could possibly go wrong?

OMG, I hate that.

Nevertheless, here I am, tempting the ire of the Universe and joining up for this round of ROW80, just because I’ve managed to write over 1k each of the last 4 weekdays in a row. Because I am unreasonably stubborn (understatement), goal-setting often proves to be my downfall.

Incidentally, the money you spend on consumables so that you can take up space at the coffee shop…that’s tax deductible, right? Workspace rent and all?

Well, anyway, 1k+ per weekday is my goal for this round. That will be a real challenge come Spring Break next week and the end of school at the end of May. But hope for the best.

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Not so much with the rockin’

Okay, so I’m a downer. Sue me.

Things in my GIT life are better. I’ve been doing better with the housekeeping thing which is mostly a matter of keeping the dishes washed. That’s really the main stumbling block in my life. There have been times in the last two weeks where I’ve had unexpected stuff come up and come home late with no dinner plan and still whipped up something quick out of my pantry. Good to be veering away from that “let’s just get take-out” path I was headed down. (I really like take-out. A lot.)

My weight/size continues to be the same. So far I’m not having trouble keeping off what I’ve lost. Of course now that we’re going into the colder part of the year that will be more of a challenge as a) I like to eat when I’m cold, and b) it’s cool enough in my house that I can actually use the oven without roasting us. This may result in cookies.

To cope with that I’ve started Zumba. Let me just say that I’m glad it’s just me and the pets and that they can’t talk. I couldn’t be more stiff and out of step. These hip just don’t move like that, okay? Let’s face it: I am waaay too uptight to salsa.

Is Zumba the all that and a bag of chips that everyone says it is? So far it’s not. It honestly doesn’t seem different from any other aerobics video I’ve done in the past. I mean, yeah, I can see where the dance aspect is there, and maybe how the production is different, but those are things that don’t seem to affect my experience of it. I’m not saying I hate it or that I’m quitting, I’m just saying I’m not going to be going to Amazon and writing one of those reviews gushing about how it’s the funnest exercise evar and I’m, like, super-addicted.

I will say, though, that I’m not sore, and I’ve moved enough that I maybe should be. And maybe it’s somewhat motivating that I have this secret, Zumba-inspired fantasy that I will finally learn to loosen up and dance, and also attain the label “hot mom.”

So I guess my final verdict on that is that if you like to dance, you will probably like this, and if dancing makes you feel like a dork, then you may not like it as much as the Zumba-crazed reviewers imply you will.

ROW80

So today’s the big #ROW80 Twitter party. I’m gonna be standing over here in my corner watching, if you don’t mind.

I’m having a lot of trouble with Heroes Under Siege. And I remember going through this with the last book. I can’t seem to find a place to get started. I can’t craft the right scene for the beginning to show what I want to show.

It doesn’t help that, if I could change something about Heroes ‘Til Curfew, I would change the beginning. I’m not sure what I would change it to, I just feel like the beginning was pretty weak with not enough happening and too much exposition. I was in that thing where I was trying to write something that could be easily understood by someone new to the series, and hopefully interesting enough to draw readers of the last book along. But I probably went like 1500 words before anything interesting actually happens. Which is not good.

So, learning experience for me. I’m very much with the thing that this book is done and over and I’m going to apply what I’ve learned to the next book. I’m not going to change what’s already out there (that would be weird and it’s not THAT bad).

Meanwhile, the whole experience doesn’t fill me with confidence about getting started on book 3. But I’ll figure it out eventually. It would be awesome to be able to get started in time for NaNoWriMo.

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#ROW80 and a lesson about character arc

Last week was really crazy. My daughter broke her arm on Wednesday. And it was one of those things where it was a very small break and we didn’t find it out was broken until we saw a specialist on Friday. So from Wednesday to Friday she was in a lot pain basically every time the wind blew. And besides the general suck of your kid being hurt, it’s also that that thing where you can’t actually DO anything, which is frustrating, and just have to grit your teeth and keep being soothing and nice over the repeated requests for you to do something. For those of you who don’t have kids, trust me, this is harder than it sounds. But anyway, since getting the cast on it on Friday, she’s been much better. Three weeks in that. It’s bright pink. She was so excited that she wanted to go back to school after the doctor’s appointment to get all her friends to sign it.

So that long introduction was basically to explain why I’m pulling up a re-run post for you today. But unless you’ve been combing my blog for my brilliance, it’s probably not one you’ve seen before as I wrote this right before I started writing Hush Money, back when no one really read my blog. I was talking over this stuff with Andrew a few weeks ago, looked this up, and remembered that I liked this post.

Another Post on Character Arc

…rethinking the terms: goal, motivation, and conflict.

This post comes about as a result of plea in my inbox this morning from my crit partner, Kait Nolan. Kait’s writing strengths are legion, but character arc can be Kryptonite. Fortunately, playing with the brain dolls is one of my favoite things.

We’re both fans of the book, Goal, Movtivation, & Conflict, by Debra Dixon. It’s really a fabulous teaching book, and in the email waiting in my inbox this morning, Kait told me that she broke it out, refreshed her memory, and got to work on her charts. Briefly, External GMC is sort of the action part of your story. Your character must have a goal. She must be motivated to achieve that goal. There must be a conflict that gets in the way of the goal. (It sounds simple. It is. But the book takes it farther than that and is wholly worth buying. Also note that the book discusses the use of a charts with GMC down the side and External/Internal across the top. So when I start talking about boxes later, that’s what I mean.) GMC makes up the heart of your story concept.

I’ll take a stab at Edward in Pretty Woman.

Goal: To use hired female companionship to get through the week while making the big deal.

Motivation: To avoid complication and relationship drama.

Conflict: The diamond in the rough charm of the companion takes his mind off his work and draws him into an impossible relationship.

That might be enough for a zany comedy if you can get by on the likes of flying escargot. But what elevates any story are the changes made and lessons learned by the characters. Edward and Vivian can’t be together at the beginning of the story. They must go through the events of the story and be changed by them. That what Character Arc or Internal GMC is.

Now reading through Kait’s email, I started to get the feeling that the words “goal”, “motivation”, and “conflict” were giving her problems because she was trying to apply them to her story in the same way for the Internal as the External.

In the above example, having seen the movie about a million times, we know that what Edward had to come to understand was that he wanted and needed more out of his life than success in business. Ultimately, he finally wanted to make something, build something–a life. Before that, he wasn’t capable of having a long-term relationship with anyone. So we know that Edward’s lesson to learn was that there is more to life than monetary and social success and that he wants more.

Do you see where “goal” becomes a confusing term here? It’s not Edward’s goal to learn this. He doesn’t say, “I want to go out and find what’s missing in my life.”  Some characters might, but for a lot of characters that thing they learn over the course of the story that changes everything–it’s kind serendipitous.  But it’s not for the writer. The writer puts that lack in the character in the first scenes and works, over the course of the story, to teach the lesson. It’s not Edward’s goal, but the writer’s goal. I like to think of it as the Lesson or Change.

What allows him to make that change? Yes, it is just Vivian herself because she’s his perfect match, but a reader wants more than One True Pairing as a reason. Because Vivian needs so much tutelage to be an acceptable companion in his circle, he has to put business aside for periods of time to work with her. Because they’re so different, he’s exposed to parts of life he hasn’t experienced and perhaps just things he’s forgotten. And he likes it. He starts to laugh. He takes a day off!

So, looking at it this way, “motivation” doesn’t work really well either. Where the G question in the Internal column was What lesson does your character learn or what change does he make over the course of the story?, the M question might be: What allows the character’s lesson to be learned, or makes the change possible? This is not so much a question of what things in the story bring about the change. It’s more…global than that, I guess, more abstract. What circumstance will facilitate the change? But I guess my current favorite way to think about it is: What’s the crack that allows the mind to be opened?

During the course of the story, we watch this build. With these ideas firmly in our heads, that Edward will change as a result of spending time with Vivian and being exposed to new things, we can go through and pick out one scene after another showing the differences between them, his revelations, his growth as a character, and, indeed, his struggle not to grow–to avoid change.

So then we come to “conflict”. If you think in terms of the word “conflict” you might just write a line like, Edward wants to stay focused on business and resists Vivian’s attempts to get him to live a little. Which might do the job. I like to think of my C as a series of teaching moments. In this box think of some of the story moments you probably already have in mind, scenes that are going to be turning points for your character in terms of their inner journey. In doing this, you’ll begin to see if your story really teaches this lesson and develops this character.

You might write:

Goal: Edward must see that there’s more to life than business,

Motivation: and Vivian’s just the girl to do it

Conflict: but Edward is resistant and wants to stay focused.

And if you’re the kind of writer who “gets” that and can run with it, that’s good enough. If you’re not, then you’ll want to force yourself to think more deeply about your character arc and perhaps write something more like…

Lesson: Edward must see that there’s more to life than financial and social success.

Facilitation: The differences between them force Edward to spend time on Vivian and non-business activities, and open him up to new experiences.

Moments: Edward and Vivian in the tub, Edward takes Vivian shopping,  fun at the polo match, lunch in the park, etc.

When you go beyond your GMC chart and into plotting your story, you’ll be able to elaborate on those moments to talk about what happens to affect change, how the character reacts, etc, to add more points, and to make sure that you provide resistance and setbacks to pace your character’s growth.

The terms goal, motivation, and conflict probably work fine for a lot of people. And then, what I’ve put here may be more confusing still for some. Kait said that showing it in these terms was helpful for her, so I’m hoping it might be click for someone else. YMMV.

ROW80

Today begins Round 4 of A Round of Words in 80 Days. My goals lately have been much more about myself and the way that I do things than the kinds of things most people like to list as goals for this challenge. My main goal right now is to get consistent work habits into my weekday routine. Meaning to work, in some way, on my series every day, and to not kid myself about what should count as work. By the end of the challenge I hope to have a well-fleshed outline and at least be well into Act 1 of the draft for Heroes Under Siege.

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Updatey #ROW80

Haven’t finished up working through those story threads yet. This week I’ve been busy with Girl Scout stuff, and have been getting my house ready for company and much writerly goodness.

Kait will get here sometime tomorrow and we’re going to have some girlfriend time. Lauralynn is coming to join us for lunch on Saturday. Then Andrew and his wife, Tracey, are coming Saturday afternoon and will be here a few days. I’m VERY excited about this.

Speaking of parties, I have another Thirty-One Gifts party open with my friend Kristy. If you missed my last post about Kristy and these products, you can find it here. The post shows some great Thirty-One things that I’ve bought and how I use them. Just like last time, I’ll be doing a drawing from those who place orders for a prize: paperback copies of both my books.

Please remember to choose to have your order shipped to you (not to me) and use this current shopping link.

And, speaking of paperback, I’m expecting the proof copy of Heroes ‘Til Curfew at the end of this week. If it checks out, the paperback version should be available next week. I’ll probably mention when I have a link.

That’s all the news I’ve got today. Thanks for stopping by!

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#ROW80, Write Hard

It’s my turn to make the inspiration post of the week for the ROW80 crowd, so you’ll find me over there today, talking about writing with passion in a post titled Write Hard.

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#ROW80 Update and Sunday Mashup

My goals this week were to get the book launched, survive getting the book launched, and to not babysit my stats. We’ll call that a 2 out of 3. While I haven’t been as bad about it as I was last time–I haven’t been refreshing Amazon hourly–I need to stop. It’s already at the point where I’m dropping about 200 points every time I look and I don’t need to watch that. The launch peeked almost as soon as it started, got within about 50 points of the top 1000, but I didn’t have the customer base to get a foothold and stay there. While I made it to page two of my category bestseller list, I probably didn’t have enough ratings and reviews yet to entice browsing customers to take a closer look.

So what happens now should be a drop in rank concurrent with a trickle of sales, and then I’ll need to hope that the book bloggers who have responded to my offer of an ARC, and the fans who were excited enough to snap up the book in these first few days, will be able and willing to enthusiastically recommend it and give me a push back up to visibility again. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll have to come up with something else.

Mostly I just need to write the next book, and then the next book, and wait for my time and some more luck, though surely I’ve already had my share of that.

I don’t mean to sound bummed out here. Mostly I’m just tired. Getting back in touch with some of the fans of the series has been great. I had girls write to me who snapped up the book as soon as the links went out, read it that night, and had to drag themselves to school the next day. Hopefully learning absolutely nothing between being sleep-deprived and thoughts of Joss and Dylan. (I mean, they’ll be okay, look how I turned out.) After two weeks of crazy work toward this launch, I’ve just hit that point where it feels like it’s over already and it’s time to reflect and see what I’ve learned.

I’ve lost another 3.5lbs. Let’s all party because I just weighed in like it’s 1999.

Recommended Reading

Konrath gets lucky
So I’m on Twitter and @jakonrath tweets: “Konrath on How to Succeed: LINK.” And I’m like, Oh yeah? What’s that post going to be like? “Do the work, bitches. The End.” And it pretty much is, only much funnier. And it’s really worth reading because it ends with a sincere and important message. (via Twitter, @jakonrath, but I also subscribe)

Your writing is interfering with me reading this story
I can’t tell you how often this is a problem for me, to the point where I start to think: maybe it’s just me and I’m picky and being a bitch. But then I find this post over at KidLit.com. That’s what I’m talking about. Sometimes I just want to say, “Relax, find your own voice, stop trying to sound like your favorite book–I think it was from the 80s anyway and that’s not working anymore. I think there’s a great story here, I just need to hack away the metaphors, complex sentence constructions, and fifty-cent words to find it.” Anyway, I find this post dead-on and nicely instructive. (via @JamiGold on Twitter)

Have I ever mentioned practice = good?
I dunno how much I harp on it on the blog, but I totally believe in it. Dean Wesley Smith has an awesome article on how many writers tend to think about practice. As usual I think he totally nails it. Now he talks a lot in here about not reworking the same piece, but mailing it off or self-publishing it and then moving on to the next one. While I agree with the moving on to the next one, I’m not sure how I feel about inflicting something on the world that may be best shoved in a drawer. But hey, it’s a free world (void where prohibited). (via @dlmartin6 on Twitter)

Ticket to ride.
I’m going to try to get back on the Flylady wagon. Last year I was totally out of control with everything and it hurt my ability to get stuff done. If there’s anyone who reads my recs who feels like they can’t write (or [insert life thing]) and keep up with their home at the same time, check out the program. You don’t have to agree with everything she says, you don’t have to manage your stuff exactly the way she lays it out. But there’s a lot here worth learning. I’ve already opened up a #flylady column on TweetDeck; it would be nice to see some of my friends there. (I am a former Flybaby and know this helps.)

I’m still trying to get my head around this one.
Lastly, a post from Kristen Lamb that I found very complex in the fact that it is just chock full of an overwhelmingly large amount of helpfulness. Kristen says, again, that we need to stop being so…homogenous. Just go out and make friends with normal, non-writer people. Yeah, that’s so easy. But then she explains how to find them on Twitter. Oh, yeah, Twitter. I know Twitter. Okay…so maybe this is doable after all? Let’s go get sticky. (via subscription)

What I’m Reading

I read a lot of stuff I never talk about on the blog for one reason or another. So I thought maybe I’d start mentioning what’s at the top of my TBR pile at the moment.

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Remarkable Amounts of Productivity, Heroes ‘Til Curfew Available, #ROW80

Partly because Heroes ‘Til Curfew went live on Amazon, and partly just because, I went out today with my IRL friend, Kristy. Had celebratory lunch and avoided refreshing Amazon to check rank, KDP to check sales, etc. Very attractive waiter who made us totally forget what we were talking about every time he came to the table. Good times.

The initial uploads are done. I’m still waiting for a buy link for the NOOK peeps, and then I can be more announce-y and send out my newsletter to the email list.

I’m having some problems with the print version, so that’s going to take a while longer.

So the ROW80 update is that I’ve been working on all this STUFF. I’m still getting new ideas for the next book and the series and jotting those done, but nothing like actual writing right now. But that’s okay. I know that I’m a one thing at a time person and didn’t put that kind of pressure/goal on myself. I hope to be able to put this stuff behind me by the end of the week.

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#ROW80 update, upcoming release, and some recommended reading

Heroes 'Til Curfew postcard with release information

Click to share

So whew, it’s good to have this all settled and to say, “Thanks for asking, it’s coming out around September 2nd!”

Really good.

I’m still wrapped up in this book and not so much active in the next one. I continue to lack true multitask finesse. Once this week is behind me and the book is out, my new ROW80 goal will be to try really hard to leave it be. To not babysit my stats, to not read reviews, etc. To move on to the next thing and let this thing do what it’s going to because once it’s out, it’s no longer in my control anyway.

Been extremely busy this week, so my reading has been limited to my subscriptions. There was some good stuff, though.

Recommended Reading

Big News (Look! My agent!)
Yeah, ’cause it’s all about me, right? LOL. If you’re an indie and you missed this, what have you been doing this week, writing a book? When I read Konrath’s piece on John Locke’s deal with Simon & Schuster in which they’re going to print his books but he’s keeping his erights, I thought Wow, that’s something. And then, Jane, what a BAMF you are. Good job! I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say the end is necessarily nigh. It’s hard not to agree with Jane’s assertion that publishing is full of brilliant people who will find a way to turn things around for themselves. And I figure if she can do HER job every day and still think that, there must be something to it. (via subscription)

Konrath goes #MyWANA?
That’s what I thought when I read this post in which Konrath and Crouch have a back and forth about the future and who has the power in publishing. Where it gets particularly interesting is where they start talking about author to reader direct sales. I sell PDF sewing patterns and have some knowledge of how to set up to sell digital goods directly. I could do it tomorrow, in theory. Notice how I don’t. Because, as a small fish (without a 10K member mailing list), developing web traffic is a marketing issue I don’t want to deal with. And the idea of carrying other authors’ books, having to keep track of THEIR royalties and pay them out…accounting nightmare for me. Not to mention the fact that building a high quality brand means having to tell some people “no” and that’s just awkward. I need to write more books, not manage a store. Never say never, though. And I did like the idea that this post sort of represents a convergence of Konrath and Kristen, two smart people I always want to listen to. (via subscription)

I’m a sexist pig
Okay, not actually a pig, maybe, although I did participate in an objectification of Tom Welling on Twitter the other night. Again. My double standard about men should be men but women can be anything, is something I know about myself and am working on. Andrew highlighted that in his Girly Man post this week. He picks up a discussion about how the issue of fewer young male readers maybe shouldn’t be about the lack of “boy” books, and moves it into his take on life as an open-minded guy who doesn’t need gender bias to make his choices for him. Which is, undoubtedly, part of his charm. (via subscription)

#UnicornLoverz Unite
Beverage warning applies to this brilliant bit of hand-drawn comic goodness from Claire. Claire reveals what it’s like for an author and her unicorn when the author gets in “the zone” and the world is blotted out by her own awesomeness. A must read. (via subscription)

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#ROW80 and Recommended Reading

Things are going well for me. In my measurable goals, I’ve managed to participate a little on Twitter and to post to my FB page every day this week, and I’ve kept up with my blog schedule, including scheduling posts at least a day in advance to be sure I don’t forget.

In writing, I’m continuing to work on my blueprint for HEROES UNDER SIEGE. I’m at the stage now where I’m gathering up the list of things that need to happen, things that need to be planted and shown along the way, and trying to come up with a list of specific scenes to write. Kind of the real getting down to outlining business part of the process. But next is actually writing.

I took a day off from that yesterday to map out something completely different. I don’t usually think of anything else except the Talents, but sometimes your brain needs to do something else just to remember that it can. I came up with a world, problem, and character list for a new YA trilogy. I also came up with general ideas for all three books and a plot skeleton for the first one. I have a lot of Talent work to do and I don’t know when I’d ever get to such a thing, but I wrote it all up and sent it to Jane to see what she thinks of the idea. Now so I got that out of my system for a bit and it’s back to work on the Talents.

Speaking of Jane, I think I might be interrupting Friday’s regularly scheduled post to bring you some news about HEROES ‘TIL CURFEW. Maybe. Ack.

While you’re waiting you can check out this week’s

Recommended Reading

Superman, like Shrek, has layers
I know, as soon as I said that we all started thinking of parfait. Or maybe that’s just those of us with a sweet tooth who didn’t have breakfast. Well anyway, I found What Does Superman Stand For? to be a very thought-provoking article on Superman’s motto Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Recommended for Superman fans and general malcontents. (via Twitter @slackerheroes)

Writing: a force for good in the world
No matter what your level in the writing thing, you need to read every word of Holly Lisle’s Money From Nothing: The Economic Value of Writing Original Fiction. It will explain to you how, even if you kinda suck right now, you’re adding awesome to the world. And as you improve, your contribution of awesome seems to increase exponentially. A joyful read for all of us who scribble. (via subscription to Holly’s newsletter which should be mandatory)

Don’t make me send you back to the kids’ table
This is a bit old and has probably made the rounds because it’s pretty awesome. But if you haven’t read Self-publishers Need To Start Minding Their Manners, I suggest you check it out. Catherine Ryan Howard reminds us of just how good we have it–so don’t screw it up. (via Twitter @Belinda_Pollard #MyWANA)

This is neat
That was just my reaction to seeing this blog by the awesome Vicki Lieske. If you’re wondering “Why is my book not selling?” you can submit it to this blog and she’ll go through your listing, give her reactions to the cover, blurb, writing, etc., and make some suggestions. She’s not tearing these listings apart. I found the posts to be very polite and professional, and very much in the spirit of being helpful. No surprise there. (via Twitter @VictorineLieske)

She’s 94 years old!
Piper Bayard runs a regular feature on her blog called “The End Is Near–and we deserve it!” It’s a spotlight on…the foibles of humanity? Okay, really, on people who must be smoking crack. This week’s clip is a crack up. It’s just over a minute so get over there and click it. She’s also got a list of recommendations for you. The apocalypse is freaking nigh, people. Nigh! Get a move on. (via subscription)

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