Sunday, October 30, 2016

Enchanting Inspiration

Throughout my life, cinematic films have had an immense impact on my imagination, creativity, and professional pursuits. Even more so than books. Did she actually say that? Yes, I did. Shocking perhaps (considering I write novels instead of screenplays), but true. Movies, of most all genres and years, have inspired me to sing, dance, act, and write. They sparked my obsession with romance, history, and the supernatural. All of which play into my writing in some form or fashion.

Most recently three upcoming films (in particular) have me all a tingle. I was entranced by the trailers and I cannot wait to see them. I know without a doubt that I will leave the theater enchanted and inspired. I'll share a visual teaser as well as the trailer. Let me know what you think. And if you have more recs, do share!

La La Land    

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Rules Don't Apply

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Digging Deeper, Going Darker

I've lost count of the times I've tweaked and revised the first sixty pages of NO PLACE LIKE NOWHERE. These revisions have taken place over the course of several months. Yeah, months. I've had to stop and start this project time and again for various reasons. The stilted momentum entailed me having to go back to the beginning, to reread and reconnect (multiple times). I can't move forward with a story unless everything I've written thus far 'clicks' in my mind. It's a feeling. A part of my natural process that I've never been able to circumvent. Interesting because that's exactly what I'll have to do once I take this project to NANO on November 1. (Read yesterday's post if you're unfamiliar with NANO.)

Part of the problem stems from this being the fourth story in a series. A series with recurring characters, connected subplots, and an overall series arc. Weaving in back story without bogging down pacing is a challenge. Since I generally write heavily connected trilogies/series, I've been here before, but (dang it!) this aspect never gets easier. Let's just say I'm looking forward to writing a stand-alone story in the very near future! That said, this complication was not the whole of the problem.      

I'm happy to say that from the get-go, for the most part, I liked everything I had on the page. So every time I made tweaks and revisions they were relatively small. Still... Something was off. Something that wouldn't allow me to write ahead. For the longest time, I blamed the plot. I did not write an extensive outline, but I have several scenes and turning points firmly in mind. I can envision how the ending plays out as well. But I couldn't get past where I was to get TO any of those envisioned scenes.

As of yesterday, while I was tweaking in those first 60 pages yet again, I realized that all the revising I'd been doing had to do with the two main characters--Emma and Zeke. The tweaking involved digging deeper which led to going darker. The problem wasn't connected to the plot (although this epiphany may extend to a renewed vision), it was rooted in characterization and tone. In a nutshell, I was trying to force a lighter story when NO PLACE LIKE NOWHERE is in fact a very emotional story. I don't know why it took me so long to figure that out. But the tweaks I'm making now are generating one after another 'click'. Instead of thinking it to death, I'm going to go with my gut and by the time I get to page 60...just in time for NANO...I'll be ready to FLY into the mist.


Friday, October 28, 2016

Writing for the Joy of It

I so rarely blog. So rarely, that I can't imagine anyone comes here anymore. I'm most probably talking to myself right now. But that's okay. This is more for me anyway. A place to free-think/write as I explores new worlds over the next couple of months. I've decided to shake up my writing routine in order to increase my productivity and joy. Here's a couple of opportunities I'll be exploring.

1) This blog. A place to pour words onto a page. Any words at all. Words that may or may not be connected to a novel or novella in progress. Just a way to flex my free thinking writing muscles in a place other than Twitter or Facebook. Not that I'm deserting FB (my fave place to socialize), but this blog gives me more room to ramble.

2) NANO. Which stands for National Novel Writing Month. Here's the description per their website.
 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. 

I won't go into details regarding this organized event. If your interested hop over to their website for a look-see. I'll just say that it's something I've never done before and it's a little out of my comfort zone, but I'm going to try it for that exact reason. Something different to shake up what is beginning to feel like a rut. Although NANO suggests you focus on a brand new story, I'm going to use it to explore a work in progress, a novel readers are waiting for. A story that I'm having a difficult time with because I'm thinking too hard and the inner critic is wreaking havoc. Since NANO is based on celebrating word count, I'm hoping I'll rise to the challenge of just spewing from my heart and gut... flying by the seat of my pants like I used to do when I first started... which was a whole lot of fun. I uploaded a NANO word count widget in the left column. Maybe that visual graph will help to spur me on. We'll see.

Speaking of visuals, I'm also going to create and share visual teasers as I progress. Inspiration for me. Proof for you... that magic is in the making. Behold Teaser #1.

I have some other things in mind when it comes to exploring new worlds, but I'm not ready to 'commit' just yet. I'm starting small--This Blog and NANO for November. If I can stay true to both that will be a huge accomplishment. Huge. :)           

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mega-Big HAPPY News!

I've devoted most of this year to exploring new worlds, specifically pertaining to my writing. I have a few irons in the fire, but one of them is a definite and yesterday I got the official okay to shout the news to the world. So here I am—shouting and happy dancing like a loon.

I’m thrilled to announce that I’m collaborating with James Patterson (Yes, you read that right. Bestselling author JAMES PATTERSON!) and his Bookshots team to write a story for Bookshots Flames!

The working title of this romantic women's fic endeavor is THE WEEKEND WIFE and… I’ll share details as soon as I can. Just know that I am over the moon excited about this fast-paced, emotional tale and this very special opportunity.

A shout out to my agent, Amy Moore-Benson, and my editor, Laura Fazio, for their tremendous support. And, of course, to James Patterson for the challenge and thrill. Somebody pinch me!