Saturday, January 30, 2010

Things That Don't Work on Your Editor

EDITOR: Why is Nya doing blah blah blah in this scene instead of blah blah blah?

ME: Um... Because I said so?

EDITOR: Nope, try again.

ME: --bangs head on keyboard trying to think up a good reason--

"Because I said so" works for mom's, why not writers? Not fair. Totally not fair.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ask Away

It dawned on me that I've opened the blog up to questions on The Other Side of the Story, but I've never done that here. So...

What's on your mind?

Anyone got any questions for me?

Ask away!

NOTE: As questions come in, I'll answer them but keep this post on top for the week.

Reader Questions #1

Q: How have you approached outlining your series? In other words did you give it directions early on OR have you let it find its own way?

Good timing on this question since I've been blogging all about this on the other blog. But for those who don't need that much info, I'm a light outliner. I like to have a solid structure for the major events of the story to give me direction, but then I like to let the story itself happen organically. I like to say I always know where I'm going, but rarely how I'll get there.

I did not have the entire series outlined from the start. I didn't even have more than a general idea of books two and three until I needed more detail for my agent. She had to give potential editors a synopsis of those books when she was submitting the novel. I did a two-page synopsis for book two, and a half page synopsis for book three.

I knew the bare bones for books two and three, but until I wrote the books, I didn't know how those key pieces would play out. For example, I know "Nya defeats the bad guy" but no clue how. Or "Nya uncovers the truth about X" and I just point her at the guy keeping the secret until she finds it.

Connections always show up as I write and my subconscious does a pretty good job and putting things together. I also uncover things as I write, then have to go back and put in the groundwork for it. (which is actually a post planned next week on the writing blog).

I find it's a lot easier to have a firm understand of my characters and their goals (and motives) and then putting them in a situation and seeing what they do. They always come up with more interesting things that what I think up.

So yep, you were right, there is a balance of the two.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Good Stuff

Writers lead strange lives. We live in make believe worlds, and we're a bit like time travelers, existing in lives and worlds that no one else will experience for a while.

I just started working in Shifter 3. Shifter 2 is written, but won't be released for nine or ten months, and Shifter 1 is has barely toddled its way into the world. I'm learning about things that for my readers, haven't happened yet. And sometimes, that really stinks.

Because I wrote a scene this morning that I truly love. It actually made me tear up. It was perfect for Nya and exactly the kind of things she'd do in this situation, and I can't tell anybody.

Fall 2011 can't come fast enough.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hard to Wait

I'm very excited this morning. I got to see a black and white sketch for the cover of Shifter 2! I can't say anything more yet, but it looks super cool and I love the theme building for the series.

While I can't show the sketch off (yet!), I can show you some other illustrations by the artist. His name is Brandon Dorman and I love his work. His use of color is just amazing. He did The Shifter as well, so you can trust the next one will be just as beautiful.

I can't wait!

Talking About It

There's a fun interview (and review) with me over at Writing it Out. Good stuff there, so stay awhile and check it out! (and a big welcome to those coming here from that blog)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Because Everyone Deserves a Laugh

That expression is priceless. I just might have to make this my desktop.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Holidays Are Officially Over. Almost.

I took the Christmas decorations down yesterday. -sigh-

I left them up a little longer this year since I'd been sick and didn't get them up as early as I usually do (Thanksgiving weekend). I still need to do the tree today, but then it's back to house as usual. It's kinda sad, because the house looks so pretty with the decorations up, and it always feels so pale after. Something about all that green and red and garland and stuffed toys make the place seem so rich and vibrant.

At least we still have snow.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Cool Thing (Literally) to Wake Up To

I walk into my kitchen to make some tea, and what do I see outside my window?


I took these through the window while the water was boiling, but then I had to bundle up and go outside. (These shots are of the back yard and the woods behind the house)

First, I crunched down the front steps...

Then past my flowerbed with the birdbath, and it always tickles me when it's frozen over. I can't help picturing little ice skating birdies. (Yes, I know I'm weird).

I wanted to get a shot of the house, so I headed down the driveway... (and by the way, this is the view from my office window. Just lower since my office is on the second floor)

Along the way, I discovered I wasn't the first to be out in the snow this morning...

A whole line of kitty prints ran from the side of the house and off the driveway. Poor kitty! Mine are sleeping on the heat vents and they aren't even outside.

At the end of the drive, I turned around and..

Saw my house all covered in snow! (that's my office window there above the garage)

I know a lot of the country is buried in this stuff right now, and it's nothing new or exciting to them, but as a Florida gal who never saw snow at all until a few years ago, THIS IS AWESOME! It's a totally new experience for me. We had snow a few years ago for three whole glorious days, but none since then. The sun is up now and I'm sure it'll all melt away by this afternoon, but I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sneak Peak. In the Beginning...

As promised, here's a sneak peek at the opening of Shifter 2...

Responsibility was overrated. Sure, it sounded good--take control of your life, make your own choices--but that also meant you had to pay for your own mistakes. And if your life and choices hadn't gone the way you'd planned, well, then your mistakes might reach deeper than your pockets could afford.

I hoped mine we deep enough for the mess I'd caused.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cool Things About Georgia Winters

The soda you grab from the garage storage shelf is already cold.

Snow (when it falls) doesn't stick to the street, so it looks cool on the flowerbeds and yards but doesn't have to be shoveled.

You can wear coats, hats, and scarves.

Above coats don't have to be so huge they make you look like a stuffed toy.


Very snuggly cats trying to stay warm in your lap.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Brand New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I can't believe it's 2010 already. Where did the time go?

2010 is going to be a busy year for me. I need to dive into Shifter 3, finish copy edits and whatever else my editor wants me to do on Shifter 2 as they come in this month, and continue to promote and talk about Shifter. The first half of the year is going to be packed, but it'll also be a lot of fun.

I didn't do any New Year's Resolutions at midnight, but thinking now, there are some things I'd like to do this year.

1. Blog more regularly.

2. Remember to take out the trash on trash day every week.

3. Exercise more.

4. Get organized.

5. Carve out more time for fun when I'm on deadline. (hence the get organized part so I'll be able to do this)

Up until recently, my resolutions every year were always "get something published" and "do what makes me happy." Pretty much nailed those, so it's time for something a bit more constructive.

So how about ya'll? Setting any goals for yourselves this year?