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These are my writing posts from my former blog, spanning 2009-2012. To see new writing posts, click on the blog tab above. To see these archived post organized by topic, click "For Writers" above.

Entries in WIP (15)


Writer's Insomnia


I apologize if this blog post isn't totally coherent.  I have developed a case of writer's insomnia.  You know the disease where you're dead tired, but as soon as the lights go out, your mind goes into overdrive?  Daytime side effects include spending more time listening to the voices in your head than you do talking to your family, putting the milk carton in the pantry and the cereal in the refrigerator, and watching entire tv shows but not remembering anything that you saw.


This tends to happen when I have a new WIP.  My brains decides to store away all plot problems, scene ideas, or conflict issues into a file that it only drags out at night.  So instead of drifting off to the land of Nod, I end up running dialogue and story threads in my head until three in the morning.  Then, just when I think I'm going to fall asleep, an idea hits me that I fear will be lost by daylight, so I grab my notebook and jot down incoherent notes--waking myself up all over again.

*yawn*  I enjoy the creative process, but if I don't get some sleep my WIP is going to sound like a first grade reader:  Jack is nice. Jane loves Jack. He feeds her cake.

I'm not sure what the cure is beyond continuing to write so that everything gets on the page and out of my head, so it may be a while before I get a good night's sleep.  But I'm open to remedies if anyone has any.

So how about you?  Do you ever suffer from this affliction?  What do you do to get some sleep?  And how long can milk sit in the pantry before it goes bad?


*Today's Theme Song**
"Brain Stew" - Green Day
(player in sidebar--go ahead, take a listen)



Back To the Future: Stories with Dual Timelines



Lately, in an attempt to stretch my pantser self, I have been trying to outline my new WIP before writing it.  I made it to chapter six before getting itchy and starting to write a bit, but that's okay, right?  Right?  Alright, so I cheated a bit, but it's progress at least.  :)


So anyway, part of this process involved fleshing out the characters' backstories.  Backstory is one of my favorite things to come up with.  It may be because of my psychology background, but digging deep into what makes a character who he/she is fascinates me.  So I'm used to having a pretty extensive backstory and accept that only about 10% will make it into the actual story.

However, this time, the backstory started to take on a life of its own.  My story is going to have a major suspense/mystery thread, and I found that the crime that happened in the past ties to the crime that happens in the present.  My romance thread also has story in both times because my hero and heroine had a relationship ten years before and now are thrown back together in the present.  SO, I started to get this urge to write a story with a dual time line.

This means I would have "two nows" as author Charlotte Rains describes it.  I would have chapters take place in the year 2000 and then chapters that happen in the present.  All would be told in real time--meaning, the past chapters would not have that hindsight perspective coloring it.

I've read a few books that use this structure, including Deeper by Megan Hart, which I reviewed a while back, and I've enjoyed the style.  However, I have to say I'm a bit intimidated by it.  I'd basically have to have two complete stories that eventually weave together.

Each storyline has a distinct narrative arc, with its own conflicts, disasters, and troubles for the characters, and its own forward movement and mounting action.--Charlotte Rains

That seems like a lot to keep a handle on, especially when this is my virgin attempt at suspense.  But what good is being a pantser if you don't take a risk every now and again?  And I kinda love the idea of writing my character as an 18-year-old and then as a 28-year-old because I can play with the voice a bit.  So, as of right now, I'm going to give it a shot and see how it goes.


But I wanted to ask you guys.  What do you think of books with dual timelines/story lines?  Have you read any that used this structure?  Is it distracting?  Should I just suck it up and try to figure out how to slip in this vital backstory in flashbacks? Let me know your thoughts.


*Today's Theme Song**
"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" - Green Day
(player in sidebar--go ahead, take a listen)



WIP Wednesday: It's Been a While



Today: Updates on my WIP, writer websites, and fighting vile spammers.




Okay, so you know when these WIP Wednesdays start mysteriously disappearing over here that I'm struggling with a draft.  I have two story starts with the same characters.  One has about 18k words, the other 6k.  I like them both and hate them both, if you know what I mean.  In the first I'm having trouble nailing down believable motivation for my heroine.  I know her backstory, I know where I want the story to go, but I have to come up with the thing that gives her enough motivation to make the decision that starts the plot.  I've agonized over this piece of the puzzle but I haven't landed on the "fix" for it yet.


The second story start, I like, but I think the story would need to go down a steamier path than the first book to make the most sense.  I have no issue writing an erotic romance, but this book is supposed to be the second in the series and Wanderlust is a sexy/sensual romance, but not erotic.  Here's the difference from Passionate Ink, in case you're wondering what the difference is:

Erotic Romance: stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT to be an erotic romance.
Sexy Romance: stories written about the development of a romantic relationship that just happen to have more explicit sex. The sex could easily be removed or “toned down” without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT as this is basically a standard romance with hotter sex.


So there is my quandary.  And this has paralyzed my writing, which is driving me nuts.  I'm wondering if I should just work on some completely new idea and come back to these--although I hate doing that.  So, I dunno.  Maybe I'll throw out both to my crit group and see which start grabs them more.



Alright, moving on to websites.   Last week I asked your opinions on pre-published authors getting websites. Most seemed to agree that waiting until you have an agent or book deal is your preference.  I still haven't decided what I want to do.  But I did (based on commenters advice) reserve my domain.  So now, if you type in, it redirects you here to Fiction Groupie.  (For those of you interested, you can do this at  It only costs like eleven bucks to reserve your domain for a year.  So not bad.  And that doesn't mean you have to have your website with them, all you're buying is the use of the name.  You can point that name to whatever site you like.)



Vile Spammers

Lastly, spammers.  I know we all get them.  It's unavoidable.  Some of us use the dreaded verification word as a defense (although that doesn't totally fix it) and some of us require comment approval to help with it.  I'm not a fan of either--the first because it slows things down, the second because when the comment has to be approved first, you can't see if your comment came up right and it hampers the commenting conversation.


So, what I've done is set up that comments require approval only if the post the person is commenting on was posted more than two days ago.  (You can do this in your blogger settings.)  This has helped tremendously because most spammers (sneaky bastards) go and comment on old posts so they can slide in without you noticing.  Changing the setting prevents that because those comments then need your approval before posting.  Just thought I'd share since it's helped a lot with my spam issues.

Okay, that's it.  I know it was a bit of a random day, but every blogger needs those once in a while, right?

How's your WIP going?  What do you do to deal with spam?  And for those of you who didn't see last week's post on websites, what's your opinion of having an official website before you have a book deal?


**Today's Theme Song**
"Unwritten" - Natasha Bedingfield
(player in sidebar--go ahead, take a listen)



WIP, Award, and Q & A


I actually have progress to report! Okay, well 800 words isn't so wonderful, BUT it's the first pages and those seem to be the hardest for me. And now that I'm reading Hooked, my self-inflicted first line/page/chapter pressure has increased exponentially. (Great book so far, btw. I'll do a post on it soon.)
So I'll count this as progress and post the new WIP in my sidebar even though it's not that many words and probably 300 need to be cut because I had a character show up and try to trump my hero--not good. How does that happen? I just intended him to strode into the scene to add a bit of information, and all of sudden he's exchanging witty banter with my MC. Down boy, you're not supposed to be the hero.
On a different note, I wanted to thank Stephanie at Steph in the City for the Honest Scrap award. I know most of you follow her, but if you're not, you're missing out. She has the uncanny ability of coming up with a topic every day that I can't help but comment on. Thanks again, Steph!
I'm passing this on to five people who I feel are great at being open and honest in their posts.
1. Stacey @ Stacey's Respite
2. Donna @ Donna Hole
5. Tina Lynn @ Sweet Niblets
And speaking of honesty, instead of listing ten honest things about myself, I'm going to steal an idea that a few bloggers around town (Stephanie, Stacey, and Sierra) have been doing. The inquisition! Okay, well not that harsh, just q&a.
I don't share a ton of personal information on here, so now's your chance to ask any questions you may have for me. Nothing is off limits. Although if you ask me my weight or something, your comment may be "accidentally" skipped. ;) So ask away. I'll answer them in a future post.
So what do you want to know?

**Today's Theme Song**
"Welcome to My Life" - Simple Plan
(player in sidebar, go ahead and take a listen)



WIP Wednesday & Choosing a New Baby


First off, I want to say thank you to all you guys and gals that follow my blog and regularly comment. I've passed the 75 followers mark and am so grateful to all of you. Your comments and your blogs are such a wealth of information and insight, I can't believe I waited so long to join the blogging world. You guys rock!
Now for WIP Wednesday. I can't say that I have too much to report. Since I was on vacation much of last week, I only managed to revise two chapters in my WIP. The good news is I'm almost through the first round of edits. It's gone way quicker than I expected, so I'm happy about that. It helps that the book is category length, so it's 30k less words to slog through than my first manuscript.
So now that I'm getting close to round one edits being over, I'm itching to start another project. I feel restless when I'm not writing. I have a few ideas knocking around in the bat cave, but I haven't decided which baby to choose yet. 
The most developed idea is for a YA (non-supernatural) romance. I also wrote Shadow Falls with intent for a sequel, so I could start that. Although, I have this superstitious thing about starting a sequel to a book that isn't agented yet.
Also, I had so much fun writing the adult romance I just finished, that I'm wondering if I should do another one of those. I have a suspense storyline in my idea notebook that I could turn into an adult romantic suspense. Hmm. Decisions. Decisions.
How do you decide which project is the perfect one to start next? Do you stick to writing the same genre or switch around? Do you start sequels before the first book has gotten picked up? How's your WIP going?
**Today's Theme Song**
"Perfect One" - Lit
(player in sidebar--go ahead, take a listen, everyone needs a love song in their day)