Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Writing Myself Into a Box

I kind of feel like I should talk about editing or rewriting or something, since I've been doing editing and rewriting for a couple of months now on several projects, but I need a break from even thinking about such topics. Instead, I'll talk about writing myself into boxes, because I suspect that in a few days when I start my next book, I will write myself into a box or two or twelve.

Here's the thing: I'm more of a "panster" than a "plotter." I know there are people (you may be one of them) who can plot out your WHOLE story and you'll know how each and every scene will go. I can't do that. It makes me feel like I already wrote the whole story, and then I don't want to actually write it. I have some plots points--I have major events that I know I'll need to hit, and I typically know how the story will end, but how I get from one point to another is usually up in the air. I discover it as I write it.

This does mean that from time to time, I write myself into a box.


In some cases, this means backtracking and writing something different, but I never consider it a waste of time or effort. Sometimes, writing something one way shows me how things won't work and I need that to find what will work.

Other times, I don't backtrack. I examine this box I wrote myself into and I try to figure out how in the name of Santa Claus's monkey I'm going to write myself out of it again. This can be frustrating at times, but I find it kind of exciting. There's a solution somewhere in there, and who knows what might happen once I find it?


And then after examining the box from all angles and maybe doing some scribbling on the insides of it, a solution is found.


Writing myself into a box can force me to think of things I might not have otherwise thought of and shapes the story in previously unseen ways. It's given me important storylines and even more important characters that I wouldn't have had otherwise.


Do you write yourself into boxes from time to time? Or do you have everything planned out so you don't get stuck that way? If you do write yourself into a box, how do you handle it?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm Still Here

Can I just say: moving takes a lot out of a person. I've been moved for two weeks now and my brain feels like a giant puddle of mush. It seems like it's only been a couple of days and then I'm all "AHH! My blog is so neglected! I'll post something soon!" and then I'm all mushified. (Why, yes, mushified is a word. *adds it to dictionary*)

Then yesterday I got hit with some virus or something. My head feels like it's stuffed with cotton and I'm achy and my voice is all funky. Basically, if i hadn't already felt like a giant puddle of mush, this would have made me feel that way anyway. Huzzah. ;)

I have been doing a ton of editing. And rewriting. And more editing. And some plotting. And did I mention editing? I've been working on two different novels--the one that I said I was going to self-publish has been passed off to my final editors and as soon as I can decide on how to approach the cover, my wonderfully amazing artist friend is going to work on the cover art. My goal it to have this sucker published by the end of July or sometime in August. It's kind of hard to think right now. O_o  I've also been working on rewriting/tweaking one of my other novels so I can start writing the sequel in July.

In July, I plan to be writing like crazy. My goal is to get half of my next book written. I have several writer friends who are joining in with their individual goals--some writing books, some doing rewrites or whatever else they've been wanting to do. I find it incredibly helpful to have people working on goals side-by-side with me--it gives me a good push and holds me to my goals and allows me to encourage others to stick to their goals.

Do any of you have writing plans for this summer? What are you working on right now?

I have a list of writing topics I want to discuss on my blog, and I am going to do my best to get one written and posted within the next few days. I'll be back soon. :D


Saturday, June 18, 2011


I was recently tagged by Donna K. Weaver (she's wonderful; if you're not following her already, what are you waiting for?) and with the move and everything, it took me a while to find time to do this.

I get to answer some questions and tag some others. :D

1. Do you think you're hot?
I just moved back to Tennessee. Do you know how humid it can get here?

2. Upload a picture or wallpaper you are using at the moment.


I've posted both of these pictures before--these are the four main characters from the two Rising books I'm working on, drawn by my talented friend Holly.

3.When was the last time you ate chicken?
Yesterday, grilled.

4. The song/songs you listened to recently.
Oh, I listen to music all the time. Let's see...here's one I've been listening to a lot recently. Owl City (I LOVE Owl City!), "To The Sky":

5. What were you thinking while doing this?
-I'm so behind on my blogging.
-Coffee at 8PM might not be the best idea ever, but it sure tastes delicious.
-So. Much. Editing to do before July.
-Have to get the kids ready for bed soon.
-Other random stuff.

6. Do you have nicknames? What are they?
A lot of other things over the years, from Laurie to Liz. (Liz was my sister's nickname for me, because my initials before I was married were L.Z.)

7. Tag 8 Blogger Friends

1. Anne-Mhairi Simpson
2. Barbara Kloss
3. Chazley Dotson
4. E Louise Bates
5. Lindsay N. Currie
6. Michelle Teacress
7. Rachel Morgan
8. Tara Tyler

Who are these people? 
They're fantastic people with all sorts of cool and interesting things going on on their blogs. There's awesome advice and thoughts on writing and other things, and you should totally go check them all out!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

An Award for You

I've received some awesome awards from fantabulous people, and I've not been very good about passing the awards on. (If you'd like to visit the lovely bloggers who awarded them to me, they're listed in "my awards.")  I decided that instead of passing on these awards, I would make one for all of you who read my blog. Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts and experiences. I really appreciate all of the support you've shown me.

Here is my award to you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

World-Building, Part 5: Genre

I'm tying up my world-building series with a very short post today. I've talked about my basic building blocks for world-building: characters, setting, rules, and climate. There is also genre, which isn't so much "build your world with genre." It's more "your genre is going to affect your world-building."

For example, if you're writing historical fiction, the world you're working in is going to be very specific. If you're writing horror or mystery or romance or fantasy, there might be certain aspects of the world-building that will be different than other genres.

Of course there are books that mix genres. Often, though, there are things you probably won't see in some genres.


Do you write in one genre? Do you have several genres you work in? What's your favorite to write or to read?