Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Really Awesome Thing Is Coming...Super Secret Giveaway Soon!!!!


I am SOOOO EXCITED about this super super awesome thing I'm going to be doing around Christmas this year on the blog. A giveaway, if you will, although right now it's all super secret!!

(c) Sarah G

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Good News, Snow Flurries, and Cute Kitties!

Hey everybody! Happy almost-December!

Where I live (Georgia), most of the leaves have fallen, and the trees are all naked and shivery in the brand-new chill that's descended. There's even talk of snow flurries today. Winter (and some of my best writing time) is almost here!

Have you survived November? I barely did... but it's almost over...


But! I have so many good news to tell you guys :)

Monday, November 21, 2011


It's been a while since I posted! Sorry about that. I've been on two (yes, two!!) trips already this month, with another one looming, and I am absolutely swamped with stuff to do. 

I am ALSO hard at work on my new novel (which is yet unnamed, but I am working on that!), and I thought I'd post a few inspiration pics to whet your appetites. This WIP has lots of shadowy forests, crumbling ruins, and magic. Loads of magic. :)

Here are today's inspirational pictures:

(c) Roberto Verzo

(c) erwlas

(c) thomas.clarkey

(c) my_urban_life

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Exciting news!!

So, I've been working on a little project quietly for the last couple of weeks... something I've been meaning to do for awhile now. And yesterday I got a beautiful, shiny present in the mail...

The Curse Girl is in print now!!

Well. SOON. It'll be available soon. That is just a proof.

I am reviewing the proof now and correcting any little errors I see. It's CRAZY how many of those sneak in. I'm convinced they multiply like rabbits.

But!!! It should be available on Amazon in the next few weeks.

I took a few pictures with my cats (as that seems to be the thing to do!) but it was hard to get Sansa to cooperate. She doesn't like having her picture taken. Gizmo, on the other hand, was stoic and blank-faced.

Isn't it soooo pretty??


Happy Thursday, everyone!!

PS ~ Check out this great review for The Curse Girl that someone just sent me :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NaNo Stats and an Interview with Angie Azur

Hey, all!

I have an interview up with Angie Azur on her blog Writing Teazurs. You should check it out... She asked me some really interesting and thoughtful questions, ones I hadn't had before, and it was a ton of fun to respond.

Read the interview!

In other news, I am hard at work on this (semi) NaNoWriMo book. I'm at about 15k, but hopefully I can squeeze out a couple thousand words today. I think I'm finally hitting my groove with the story.

How are your word counts coming, NaNoers?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I'm an Indie Author Rockstar!

You may remember that I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was a contestant in the Indie Author Rockstar competition with The Curse Girl.


The Curse Girl won!


Well, we tied for first actually. Which is just as exciting. DOUBLE the excitement, really.

I am November's co-reigning indie rockstar along with author Dan Holloway for his book The Company of Fellows.

Congrats to Dan, and yaaaayyy!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Don't Give Up

Writers, what keeps you going when you get discouraged? What one thing motivates you to keep telling stories, to keep putting the words on the paper even when you want to quit?

Is it the love of the craft, the thrill of seeing your name on the cover, the pleasure of knowing you've created a world other people can get lost in for a few hours? Do you write from a sheer need to do so?
(c) ganesha.isis

It's all of the above for me, but most of all I think I keep going because of those moments when someone tells me they loved what I wrote. It's a powerful feeling, like a creative hug--we've collaborated together to tell a story. Me by writing it, the reader by reading and imagining it.

I love sharing stories.

Happy writing, all! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

What They Didn't Tell Us (About Being A Writer)

I adore author and speaker Rachel Held Evans and I read her blog regularly. She doesn't usually talk much about writing, but today she posted about the things she never knew when she was a little girl attending writing camps for kids and dreaming about one day becoming an author. Some of the lines really resonated with me:

They didn’t tell me that I’d be working in my pajamas most of the time.

(c) Horia Varlan
They didn’t tell me how lonely this work can be.

They didn’t tell me that I’d go from loving my manuscript to categorically abominating it within a matter of hours. 

They didn’t tell me that this work—this life—would become such a part of who I am that even when it makes me crazy, I need it like I need water and sunlight and love. 

It's so true . . . especially the love-to-hate bit. That is exactly where I am right now.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and happy writing, NaNoers!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Indie Snippets!

Hey, all! Hope your Thursday is going well!

I was recently featured on Indie Snippets, a blog that posts short excerpts from ebooks. You can check out my entry here.

In other news, today's a good day for The Curse Girl. I'm currently hanging out in two Amazon Top 100 Bestseller lists (both related to fairy tales and mythology). We'll see how long it lasts. But for now, yay :)

*returns to writing*

Onward and upward, everyone!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Just Keep Writing

As a bunch of us start NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and others of us try to finish old projects, and others of us just try to stay afloat in all the work to be done, I have only one piece of advice.

Just keep writing.

Simple advice, right?

But it's sooooo hard, I know.

Sing it to yourself to the tune of "Just Keep Swimming" from Finding Nemo, if that helps. Visualize yourself as a dancer instead of an axe murderer, if that helps.

Remember. You can revise later. You can bemoan how awful the story is later. You can wish you'd never learned to write later.

For now, just keep writing.

I'm hoping I can take my own advice this month, as I have a bunch of projects on my plate...

Good luck and best wishes to everyone who's doing NaNo!!

The Info Dump

What it is

The info dump is when you take all that fascinating world-building, all that back story for your character, all the rules of your world... and you just drop it into the reader's lap in a big sloppy mess.

For instance

(c) Nigel Howe
Let's say this is the start of your book. This is a hypothetical example, but I have encountered several stories lately that featured a first page/chapter very similar to this:

(note--the weird subject matter is just the first thing I thought of, sorry for the randomness)

Margie stood on the pier, watching the children splash and play in the water before her. When one of the children got too close to the edge, she hurried to catch him. Her shoulders itched with the desire to grow wings, because Margie was a Lylis, a magical creature that looked human but was actually a type of fairy, but she forced herself to jog instead.

There were actually four subspecies of Lylis--lotus, rose, lily, and amaryllis. Each species had a specific color of wing and a specific duty to fulfill in the world. Margie was a Rose Lylis, which meant she had pink wings and a duty to protect all children. But right now she didn't feel like protecting children. She wanted to get married and have children, but all Lylis were barren, unable to have children of their own...

Okay, that's enough of that.  Do you see what was wrong there?

Well, there were a lot of things wrong with it...

But let's talk about that info dump.

If I was reading a book where this was the first page, I would put it right back down and not pick it up again. I want to read a story, not a textbook. Not a history lesson. Not a lecture on the various types of "Lylis fairies." This is boring. I'm not attached to the character yet. I will not slog through all this exposition if I have nothing enticing me forward.

A better way to convey the same information

Margie stood on the pier, her eyes tracking the movement of each child's flailing arms and legs as they splashed in the waves and scattered droplets through the air like diamonds. At the moment, she wanted to be anywhere else. But as a Lylis, a fairy protector of children, it was her duty to stay and watch no matter how much it pained her.

She spotted one of the children on the end of the pier, tottering towards the edge. A baby. His mother sat on the beach, her nose in a book, and Margie didn't waste time trying to get the woman's attention with a strong gust of wind. She moved swift and silent as a shadow. Her shoulders itched to grow wings, but she forced herself to jog instead. People might be watching, and not everybody was susceptible to the blinding spells that kept her veiled from human eyes.

She reached the end of the pier. The child gazed up at her with eyes as blue as the water below. Young children could always see the Lylis. "Dahh," he gurgled, stretching out one sticky hand. 

Margie scooped him up, ignoring the twinge in her chest at the way the baby fit perfectly into her arms. She wanted to have children, not just watch them. But unfortunately, it didn't work that way for fairies. 

At least not the Lylis kind.

She set the child down by the water and watched him toddle off to his mother. Her arms were suddenly too big, too empty without him. Eternal barrenness--and the ache that accompanied it--made Margie's job a unique kind of torture.

The second example certainly isn't perfect either, mind you. I just dashed it off, so it's just a rough draft and could probably benefit from some reworking. And it's still a bit too "to the point" for me, at least for a novel. (It might be just right for a short story, though, where space is limited and details do have to be tossed in quickly.)

But see how I wove some of that information in with actions and thoughts? And notice I didn't even include all of it, like the Rose and Lily category stuff. It's totally unnecessary for the reader to know every type, color, and job description of a Lylis fairy at this point. That can all be explained later, when the reader is already interested in the characters and ready to know more about the nuances of the world.


In short, don't waste valuable time at the beginning of the book pontificating about the rules and details of your world and the creatures in it. And when you DO include information, blend it in gradually like you're stirring sugar into cake batter. Don't just lump it all at the front and call it a day.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...