Archive for October, 2010

Writing Tip of the Day

Since this was supposed to be posted yesterday, today’s writing tip post is a two-fer! Both tips deal more with the creativity and mental focus side of writing and less with craft, and both are issues that have derailed me from my writing in the past.

Problem #1:  OVERTHINKING

There was a time when I blindly started a book with nothing more than a vague idea of one character or the opening to one scene in mind. I just sat down and started typing. 

I miss those days. I long for the time when I could be happily typing away halfway through a mystery/suspense novel without having discovered myself who the bad guy would be.

Once I became published I grew much more analytical about my work. I believed I had to have it right the first time–none of this rewriting stuff for me–and I started spending as much time thinking about a new book as I did writing it. Eventually all I did was think. I never wrote. Thinking, planning, perfecting in my head (instead of on the page) became I kind of paralyzing clutch of the gut that spread to my fingers. If I didn’t know every plot point, exactly what the characters were going to say, how they were going to act, I couldn’t get started. Not very good for the productivity, mind you.

I’ve had to make a conscious effort to stop overthinking, and it’s been hard. Spreadsheets, plot wheels and character charts can be as addictive as a drug to the working writer. It’s kind of a proxy–working without really writing.

Recently I’ve made some headway. Oh, I still need to have a few ideas where I’m going with a story, but letting some of the story reveal itself to me instead of me forcing it out has brought some of the joy back into the process.

The subconscious is a powerful thing, sometimes more powerful than the conscious mind. Let it work for you. Dig into those stories even if you don’t feel “ready.”

Problem #2: Talking Too Much

A story idea is like a pouch of fairy dust. Talking about it is like sprinkling the dust in the air. Sprinkle too much, and the pouch is empty.

I know it’s tempting. When you get that great new idea that you’re sure is going to be your breakout book–a bestseller, a major motion picture, the one that earns you that life of eating bon bons on the couch and sipping champagne for breakfast–you want to talk about it. You want to tell your friends, your critique partners, your spouse, your dog so they’ll all realize how brilliant you are.

Okay, tell one person if you want too. Briefly.  Brainstorm with one person for a few minutes if you need to. Briefly. Then shut the hell up and write the book.

That pouch of magic fairy dust is really creative tension inside you. Once the tension is gone, so is the energy to drag you through 400 manuscript pages of emotion and action and universal truths. Talking about a book idea releases the tension. So does writing. Make sure you release your tension in the right place.

Foodie Friday presents…Greek Pizza!

This simple and delicious homemade pizza quickly became one of my standbys after I first tried (and loved!) it last spring. Somewhere I have a great picture from the last time I made this dish…but of course now that I’ve actually gotten around to writing the blog, I can’t find the pic anywhere. *sigh*

Trust me, if you like Greek salad, you will love this!

By the way, in case you didn’t notice the new widget over to the right, I am now doing quite a bit of freelance writing! Check out a few of my articles by clicking on the links. These are from only one of my four client sites. I am still trying to figure out if I can set up RSS feeds from the othe sites. If RSS isn’t available, I’ll add a page to the website and add hard links as the articles are published.

GREEK PIZZA

Ingredients:

  1. Pizza dough – either buy the rolled kind near the biscuits in the grocery store, the package kind you have to mix up, or the prepmade ones like Boboli…makes no difference.
  2. 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  3. 1/2 cucumber, diced
  4. 1/2 medium or large tomato, diced
  5. 3 slices of a medium red onion, diced
  6. 10-12 big Calamata olives (don’t use the cheap pre-sliced canned ones…go for the big flavor!), sliced
  7. handful or two of feta cheese
  8. 1/4 cup (or to taste) of Kraft Greek salad dressing
  9. 8-10 baby spinach leaves, steam wilted and chopped (optional)
  10. Black pepper to taste
  11. Pizza sauce (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Throw the tomato, cucumber, onion, olives and spinach leaves into mixing bowl. Add enough Greek salad dressing to lightly coat everything. Add feta cheese and stir together. Set aside in refrigerator.
  2. Make pizza crust according to directions
  3.  If pizza just isn’t pizza to you unless it has tomato pizza sauce on it, spread a layer of the stuff over the crust. Personally I like it better without.  Top with the mozzarella cheese and bake according to instruction on pizza crust package.
  4. 3-4 minutes before the crust is done, pull pan out of oven and spread the topping in the bowl over the melting cheese. Cook the additional time and remove from oven.
  5. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste and enjoy.

Great for football game day fare!


Available Now!

western romance novel boxed set

7 men as tough as the West. 7 women ready to Cowboy Up

Available Now!

Psychological Suspense short story with a bonus inspirational short story included

Coming Soon from Vickie Taylor

Fantasy Romance Novella

What am I reading today?

GOOD OLE BOYS - Denise Barker - Just started, but I'm intrigued so far!

Last five books read:

TEXAS GOTHIC - Rosemary Clement-Moore - Awesome! Great fun and spooktastic at the same time!

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN - Ransom Riggs - Really creative idea. Enjoyed it very much!

BOOTSCOOTIN' BLAHNIKS - D.D. Scott - Very enjoyable, fun book!

THE GOOD DAUGHTER - Diana Layne - Awesome! Get it now!

GOT YOUR NUMBER - Stephanie Bond - Fun little mystery!

What’s on my TBR List?

GOOD OLE BOYS - Denise Barker

Reader’s Guide to E-publishing

Find your next e-book here!

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