Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed . ~ 2 Timothy 2:15

Friday, July 12, 2013

Website 101

As a writer, do I need a website? If so, how much will in cost in time and money? Where do I start?

Randy Ingermanson, award-winning author of six novels and also known as "the snowflake guy" because of his "snowflake" method of plotting fiction, addresses these questions in three blogs for the Christian Writers Guild:

"Everything Starts with Your Website" (part one of three)

"Using WordPress to Build Your Website" (part two of three)

Look for the link to part three on Sunday or Monday. Check the list of blogs for writers in the right margin of this page. This list updates automatically.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Day eleven

July 11, 2013
4:27 p..m.

TOTAL WORDS IN MS:                             23,520

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day ten

July 10, 2013
4:38 p.m.

Finished chapter 7 (wrote 301 words, plus revisions and tweakings), researched and noted plot ideas and scenarios, then completed and submitted my assignment (due today) for the Christian Writers Guild Craftsman course I'm taking.Need to write 700 words today to fulfill my 1,000-word/day commitment for the day.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Two great blogs

Just read two great blogs for writers:

James Scott Bell's "The Kill Zone: The Magical Midpoint Moment" (which is exactly what I need at this point in my WIP)

Kristen Lamb's "5 Traits of the Successful Author" is a good reminder of the difference between an amateur and a pro.

Day nine

July 9, 2013
10:41 a.m.

When Scene 1of Chapter 7 fell flat, I let the manuscript rest for a few days while the problem of why simmered in my brain. I emailed the scene to my online critique group for feedback. "Melody (my main character) is acting out of character," wrote back one. "Needs more tension and conflict" wrote back another. Bingo! They both nailed the problems. What I love about their comments is that they both showed me what they liked and hence what to keep, as well as what needed revised.

I spent yesterday rewriting the scene and am much happier with it. The muse is dancing again.

If you don't belong to an online critique group, find one or form one. Or join one in your area. You can meet weekly or monthly. I like the online group because it works with our separate schedules. No meetings, just submit every other week (I'm submitting every week while I push through my WIP), review when you have time. And my writing buddies are always there to help me through a rough patch, like Chapter 7, Scene 1. Their feedback is always balanced with what could be improved and what is working. They are an encouraging group. Thank you, Patty Kyrlach, Robyn Whitlock, Kathy Bolduc, and Kay Clark!

(Check out Word Weavers and see if there's a chapter near you. If not, why not see about starting one?)

PROGRESS REPORT: Still working on Chapter 7, Scene 1, and I see clearly what needs to be covered in Chapter 8, which will be the last chapter in Act 1. Still on target to meet my goal of 20K words in July. Aiming to finish Chapter 7 today and Chapter 8 Thursday.

TOTAL WORDS FOR JULY (as of 11:10 a.m., 7/9) : 2,414


Friday, July 5, 2013

Day five

July 5, 2013
9:03 a.m.

No forward progress as far as words go. I took James Scott Bell's advice and took a day off. Hubby and I went to see a 5th wheel up by Lewis Run, in the Allegheny National Forest. I read portions of Bell's Plot and Structure that applied to where I am now in the novel. And I did a lot of thinking and taking notes: Why, for example, did the scene where my protagonist finally meets the man she's supposed to fall in love with fall flat? Jotted down lots of plot ideas.

Today I have my column to write, blogs to schedule, and lessons to review. What I really want to do is hole up someplace and just read.

I will complete 20K by July 31. I will.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day three

July 3, 2013
8:27 a.m.

Wrote only 107 words yesterday, and that includes tweaking what I wrote the day before. The scene went stale. Has that ever happened to you? I told myself it was horrible writing. Who was I fooling? I'm not a fiction writer.

Then I remembered what James Scott Bell wrote in Plot and Structure:

"Sometimes the . . . problem is merely writer's exhaustion. A temporary loss of confidence. Maybe even the fear that what you're writing is total garbage.

This is The Wall, and it should help you to know that most novelists hit it at some point in their first drafts.

For me, it is around the thirty-thousand-word mark. I get there and suddenly think all the worst things about my novel: the idea stinks and is beyond redemption; my writing is lame, the characters uninteresting, and the plot virtually nonexistent. I can't possibly go on. Career over."

Sound familiar? This is my fourth attempt at novel writing. Prior to this manuscript I completed two novels and abandoned a historical fiction at about 10K words. That I'm up to 18,355 words, further than usual, tells me I'm making progress. But I'm definitely at The Wall.

Here I am, closing in on Act I, ready to plunge into the "muddle" of Act II, and the creative juices freeze. What to do?

First, I won't panic.

Second, I'll complete the tasks that are on my mind that need to be done - such as paying the bills on time, fulfilling my mentoring duties, preparing Sunday's sermon, and daily stuff like putting supper together, cleaning up the kitchen, and doing the laundry. If I ignore these chores, they'll muzzle the muse.

Third, I'll read a chapter of Plot and Structure or Conflict and Suspense (another James Scott Bell how-to-write book). Bell's writing on writing never fails to motivate me. Ideas and scenes just fill my mind, begging to wriggle out.

Fourth, I'll press through. So what if it stinks? I can fix it later. 

(Check out James Scott Bell talking about "Writing Through Frustration" on YouTube. Be prepared to laugh.)

Bell gives some excellent advice on pushing through The Wall in Plot and Structure:

  • Take a whole day off from writing.
  • Try to spend some time at a peaceful location.
  • Spend at least thirty minutes sitting without doing anything. Don't read, and don't listen to music. Breathe deeply. Hear the world around you.
  • Do something for pure fun.
  • In the evening, drink a glass of warm milk and fall asleep reading one of your favorite authors.
  • First thing the next day, write at least three hundred words on your novel, no matter what. Don't edit, don't slow down. Just write. You'll start to feel excited again.
  • Push on until you complete your first draft.

I'm still on target to meet my goal of 20K words this month. I gave myself some breathing room. I can take a couple of days off a week, or write less on a couple of days. 20K/month is 5K/week, or 1K/day, 5 days a week.

I'm going to go read a chapter in Plot and Structure. Then, look out, Wall! Here I come!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Great new blog for writers

A friend in the publishing industry recommended Kristen Lamb's blog to me. I visited, got a good feed, and signed up. Today's post, "Brave New Publishing & Attack of the Feral Bunnies," is a great reminder to keep pressing on, pursue that dream. There are no shortcuts. Reminds me of the saying, "The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary." (Vince Lombardi)

Click here to get to Kristen's blog. 

NOTE: I've added Kristen's blog to the list of blogs of interest to writers in the right margin. It will update automatically.

Day two

July 2, 2013
9:02 a.m.

Wrote 1,020 words yesterday. Met my goal. 18,980 to go. I can't think of the mountain. I have to focus on the next step.

Monday, July 1, 2013


We writers are always told to "SHOW, DON'T TELL." Anne Greene's blog for today, "Breathe Life into your Manuscript," SHOWS how this is done.

Here's an excerpt:

I discovered that in Very Deep POV, no thought or action is told. Everything is shown. So I couldn’t use words like wished, hoped, thought, felt, caused, watched, knew, wondered, realized, speculated, decided.

I couldn’t use wonderful verb phrases like happiness flashed through her, despair tugged at her, jealousy flattened her, love took her breath away.

I couldn’t write that she smiled with satisfaction, her skin prickled with fear, the explosion made her jump, the pollution caused her nose to itch, her heart beat fast with excitement. 

No. Emotion by emotion, each has to be shown, not told.

Click here to read the entire blog.

Great advice. Thanks, Anne!


Day one

July 1, 2013
10:38 a.m.

Day one of Camp NaNoWriMo. My word count goal for the month is 20,000 words, 1,000 words a day, 5 days a week.

I'm working on Getaway Mountain, a novel about a reclusive romance novelist who overcomes betrayal to find the love she writes about.

Yesterday, I finished chapter 6, for a total of 17,121 words. Today I will write 1,000 words (at least) in chapter 7.