The Good, the Bad, & the UGH-ly
Sisters in Crime-National September Blog Hop
I’ll reiterate that less than 1% of persons that sit down to write a book actually finish it. There are obvious reasons for this. It’s HARD. It takes a long time. It takes good writing skills, and discipline, and a thick skin. It’s lonely, and when you finally ‘get it out there’ it’s scary. If you stay with it I promise you one wild and unforgettable journey.
One: Prepare to be Unprepared
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” – Robert Frost
My writing process is mine to own because it works for me. It may not work for you. For me, the beginning of any story is always filled with great joy with only a little angst. I have a story but I am unsure of the twists, and some hows, and maybe some whys. While many authors write outlines [plotters], others rely on making it up as they go [pantsters]. I do a both. I have a vague outline to start the book off with a bang, I know the ending, and I have enough meat in it I know I can avoid a sagging middle. But my outlines are subject to change when my characters won’t get out of my head while telling me what they want to do. It’s all good.
Two: The Storm of Words
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach
The words flood your mind in all shapes and colors. The dynamics of the speed of information is mind-blowing. Just type as fast as you can! They may not make sense. Write them down. You may have loose ends. Keep writing. This is the most frustrating part of the process because of the nonsense I have on paper. I push through, coming up with different scenarios and scenes and mindful all scenes need to move the story forward. Some words will be UGH-ly. Some entire scenes need cut. To keep the self-doubt at bay, and the frustration at a reasonable level, I keep writing.
Three: It’s Puzzling
“So now it is time to disassemble the parts of the jigsaw puzzle or to piece another one together, for I find that, having come to the end of my story, my life is just beginning.” ~ Conrad Veidt
This is the fun part for me! I love tying up all the details in my puzzle. If I write about a cab driver, it’s no big deal. If I write about a cab driver with a red knit cap, I’m providing a detail. Readers will consider this a clue and they feel cheated if it’s not all neatly tied up at the end. The problem is that fiction writers are liars, and ask any detective—liars can’t always remember their fibs. Savvy readers demand solid lies.
The Next Steps:
Yay! You have a manuscript. Except for the UGH-ly task of editing. One little thing, it is not. And then there is that tricky thing called finding your path toward publication and book sales.
That’s another game.
Writing is sweat and drudgery most of the time. And you have to love it in order to endure the solitude and discipline.—Peter Benchley
ENJOY the JOURNEY. Make it yours!
To join Sisters in Crime please refer to www.sisterincrime.org
I now turn this magic blog hop over to the capable hands of Ross Homer. You can find his blog at www.theworldsofross.com
Character Blog Hop:
My predecessor, the amazing author Candace Carrabus, tagged me for this fun Author/Character Blog Hop. It’s a fabulous way for me as an author to better understand my characters, and I get to introduce them to you.
Here’s Candace’s story:
I’ve been writing stories and riding horses-frequently simultaneously-for as long as I can remember. I grew up on Long Island and spent my formative years in the saddle-just imagining. After high school, I traveled to Ness, England and studied at a British Horse Society training school. This was an all-around amazing experience. When I left, I clutched a certification to teach riding in my hot little hand, and I enjoyed instructing riders for many years. Who am I kidding? We know it is the horses who do the teaching. All we can do is try to remain open to what they have to say.
Not surprisingly, my fiction and non-fiction are both frequently infused with the mystery and spirituality horses have brought to my life.
My philosophy, in brief: (No, not in briefs, but that’s a nice image, thank you very much.)
We are all immigrants in spirit, with our minds, hearts, and souls being the final frontier.
Yep, that’s it.
I’ve discovered this is what happens to all my main characters-whether by choice or accident or design-they go somewhere else.
Interview between author Lala Corriere and her character, Cassidy Clark:
LC: I don’t want this to sound like a grand inquisition, but will you tell us a bit about yourself?
CC: Easy. So far. My name is Cassidy Clark. Born and raised in Tucson, I’m 35 years old, divorced and with no story to tell about that fiasco. After being a cop for nine years, I found the light. I opened up my own private detection agency.
LC: That must have been a major turning point in your life. Do you have others?
CC: I was fifteen when I realized I saw things others didn’t. Not like a psychic. It’s more of a blending of seeing and feeling what has happened or could happen. Maybe I see the details, in plain sight, that others miss. Some people are never affected by lightning, while the hair on the nape of my neck stands at alarm if it’s within thirty miles of me. I see it. I feel it. It’s intuitive. And lightning isn’t my only trigger.
LC: Your biggest regret?
CC: You mean so far? There will be plenty more! I regret that I couldn’t make my marriage work. I regret that I don’t have a couple of rug-rats terrorizing me on a daily basis. I truly regret that I can’t say good morning to my mom anymore.
LC: In a few words, how would people describe you?
CC: Feisty. Smart. Independent. Relentless. A quick wit. An occasional potty-mouth with some bad habits.
LC: Where are we going in our story, Bye Bye Bones?
CC: I’ve been thrust in to a case involving a string of missing women in the Tucson area. There doesn’t appear to be one single link between them. Not age, race, status, occupation. Nothing. It’s a challenge that’s driving me mad. Meanwhile, my team is tailing a malicious ex-wife stalker. I also managed to walk in on a murder scene that really wasn’t mine to find, but if you’re me, and see what I saw with the bloody crime scene, you have another case.
LC: When will we get your story out to the readers?
CC: Bye Bye Bones will be out this fall/winter. But me? I’m not going anywhere, Lala. I have more stories to tell. You’re going to write them.
Now next up on this Character Blog Hop we have:
On August 11th, you’ll meet:
Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in the UK in the East London suburb of Barking. She has lived in Israel, New York and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis, where for the last 15 years she has worked as a freelance puzzle constructor of word puzzles and logic problems. She lives with her husband, two children and a very opinionated feline.
A Colorado native, Peg Brantley is a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Colorado Authors’ League, and Sisters In Crime. She lives with her husband southeast of Denver.
Peg’s third book, The Sacrifice, was a finalist for two 2014 Colorado literary awards.
You can learn more about Peg at http://www.pegbrantley.com or meet up with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pegbrantleyauthorpage or follow her blog at http://www.suspensenovleist.blogstpot.com