Wednesday, July 7, 2021

5 Reasons to Quit Writing #IWSG


The question of the month for the IWSG: What would make you quit writing? 

I thought about this question for some time and decided to focus on the word quit. Plenty of things have caused me to take a break from writing, but I’ve yet to quit altogether. So below is my carefully curated list of reasons that would make me quit writing. 

1. The zombie apocalypse. I imagine it would be difficult to write on the run from slathering zombies who want nothing more than the taste of my sweet, sweet brains. But then, maybe I wouldn’t quit. To occupy my time while holed up in my zombie-proof fort, I’d likely write manuals to help others to avoid the infestation. 

2. Stranded on a deserted island with no writing materials. Even then, I’d write stories in my head at night, or find a way to record my thoughts. Maybe I’d create paper from seaweed and ink from sea slugs. 

3. Abducted by aliens. Nope, not even then. That would likely give me even more reason to write. 

 4. If I were offered a million bucks to stop writing—nope, make that a BILLION, and even then, I’d likely keep writing under an alias. Because writing! 

 5. If I found something more creative and expressive than writing. Yep, that’s likely the only thing in this world that would stop me from writing. 

I must have that creative output, otherwise I get grumpy or depressed or both. So it’s in everyone’s best interest if I continue to create. 

How about you? What would make you quit your favourite creative outlet? 


This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

On Resting a First Draft #IWSG


The IWSG question of the month: How long do you shelve your first draft before reading and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt? 

Regardless of my six published books and the countless others I’ve written, the drafting process of every book has been different. 

The first book I ever wrote has been shelved for a gazillion years—after years of writing the first draft, then multiple rewrites with little sitting time between drafts. Same with the second and third books, although the third one got shelved after the first draft.

The fourth was the first I got published and that had mere months between polished drafts while I sent it off to friends, family, and an editor and waited for their feedback. Once completed, though, it sat for years more, because I hadn’t been sure what to do with it. It was non-fiction—my daily devotional, Cling to God, and my writing focus had changed back to fiction during that sitting time. 

Then life unceremoniously reminded me that it would be tragic to let the completed book disappear into oblivion. So I found a wonderful publisher, edited it again, and got it out there. 

My fifth book then got a revisit. I had paused worked on that one after the first draft, stupidly convincing myself it wasn’t good enough. Because of that foolishness, it languished in isolation for too many years. That was Wielder’s Prize. It ended up being my fantasy novel debut. And I’m so proud of it. During its editing phase, it percolated for a couple months between drafts as I waited for professional feedback. 

Wielder’s Prize needed a series. So Wielder’s Curse and Wielder’s Fire were written. Wielder’s Curse was born during a particularly difficult time in my life. It was a mess when it was first drafted. I had to let it sit before I could finish it, let alone rewrite it. Finding clarity had been a massive struggle. Time and pigheadedness fixed that. 

Wielder’s Fire wrote itself and it got almost no sitting time by comparison. Only a few months while I worked on marketing and covers and everything else associated with releasing books. 

And that’s just part of the story. I have more books under my sleeves, but as I said, they’ve all been different—different in the way I approached them, how long it took to write them, how long I let them sit, how often I reworked them… and so forth. 

There is no magic formula. I am a slave to the needs of each story and the demands of life. 

How about you? What’s your writing process and how long do you let a story sit? 


This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.

 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The Joy of Getting Reader Feedback #IWSG


The IWSG question of the month for May: Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way you didn't expect?

Whenever a reader responds--a good review, a fan email, a smile, a quiet thanks--I'm always surprised. Why? Because it means my writing touched someone enough that they went out of their way to let me know. It's easy to think you write in a vacuum, even when you're getting good sales. The stories go out, but percentage-wise, it's rare for anything to come back in terms of a response. Good, bad, or otherwise.

The time that surprised me the most was at a book festival. I was sitting around with other, better known authors, and a random person came up to the group and looked straight at me. 

"I know you," he said. 

I scrambled to place where I might've known him. At work? At school? At church? Nothing triggered.

"You wrote [insert novelette in an anthology that's now out of print--the same one I ended up rewriting and turning into the novella, Well of Ash]. I loved it!"

I kind of blinked at him. How on Earth did he recognize me? Turned out, he was a quiet follower of my blog and social media. This was an actual fan.They exist!

Don't think I've ever been more blown away.

So, if you love a writer's work, please let them know. We can live off that happiness for years to come ;)

Have you ever let an author know how much you loved their work? Have you ever been surprised by a reader's response?

 

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

On Taking Risks in Writing #IWSG


It's hard to believe it's April already. I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Easter. The IWSG question this months is: Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work? 

The whole process of writing and publishing is one giant exercise in risk-taking. We put ourselves in the stories we write (even when it's fiction) and then bare it all when we let those stories out into the world for others to read and judge. 

Then there's the risk of choosing a genre that might not be considered easy to sell.

Or the topics that people might have issue with.

Or the style of writing that might step slightly from the expected norms.

Or heaven forbid we should break those golden writing rules.

So yes, I'm a risk-taker when it comes to writing. I love breaking rules if it gives me the impact I want for the story. I don't have a choice of the genres I write in because while the market might be flooded with YA Fantasies, I love reading and writing YA Fantasies. And if the story edges toward a controversial topic, I will do my best to handle the topic with as much sensitivity and respect as I can, but I won't shy from it. 

One more thing: I won't dumb down my language for the teen market. I write for young adults, not children. It's ridiculous the number of articles that say you should keep the language simple for the teens to understand. A rich vocabulary is important for all of us to be able to express the nuances of life. I don't write in jargon, but if there's a word that succinctly captures what I'm after, then I will use that word...even if it has--gasp--more than two syllables. 

Just sayn'

How about you? Are you a risk-taker in writing? Do you bend or break the rules, if so, which ones?


 

This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

7 Reasons I Choose a Book #IWSG


IWSG question of the month: Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice? 

My favourite genres to write in is scifi and fantasy.  And yes, I read extensively in those genres through multiple sub-genres. They are my favourites to read. I also read thrillers and romance and anything widely considered "good". 

A number of factors influence my reading choices: 

1. If it's discounted and a book I'm familiar with through social media, then I'll snap it up. 

2. If it's discounted and has a great cover, then I'll read the first two or three lines on the back. If it still sounds interesting, I'll snap it up. 

3. If I'm down and need a lift, then it won't matter if it's discounted or not. I'll snap it up if I've heard good things about it through reviews or word of mouth. It won't matter about the cover or genre.

4. If it's got a READ ME! cover (Something artistic and gorgeous) and it's in the genre I'm in the mood for, then I'll snap it up. I won't bother reading the back or reviews--IF I'm in a bookstore. Otherwise I'll read a little of the blurb.

5. If people keep raving about a book then I'll eventually need to read it for myself, and it won't matter about the cover, genre, or blurb. 

6. If I want to try writing a different sub-genre, I'll pick up a few books in that sub-genre to get a proper feel for it. ie, research.

7. If I want to support a fellow writer, I'll read and review it.

I think that covers all my reasons for choosing a book.

Kinda shows how important a good cover and reviews are. 

How about you? What influences your reading choices?


This post was written for the IWSG. Every first Wednesday of the month, members post on their blogs about their writing insecurities or offer some encouragement to others. If you are new to the IWSG or want to learn more, then please go HERE.