Posts

Holiday Writing - Finding Time to Write

I’ve known some writers who have tons more time to write during holidays, but the majority of writers I know have less time. Many of them just accept the fact that they’re not going to be able to keep up their daily word count goals.

But for me, after battling several bouts of writer’s block over the past few years, now that I’ve maintained a steady discipline of writing every day for a few months, I don’t want to break that streak. Part of me is afraid I won’t be able to regain my daily writing discipline after the holiday season. I just don’t want to lose the momentum.

I’ve never really thought of myself as a perfectionist, but I’m realizing that I depend heavily on certain comforts around me when I write. I enjoy writing at my desk with my big monitor, with a blanket on my legs and surrounded by shelves of my book collection, a carafe of tea next to me. I usually have a nice big chunk of time available to write so I can build up my words-per-hour momentum and really increase my wor…

How to write a kiss

Image
There was a question on the writer’s Discord server that I’m on where someone asked how to write a kiss. They weren’t specifically asking me, but I was able to give a short answer for how I write kisses. I write and read traditional romances, so my kiss scenes tend to be heavily influenced by the genre and by how my editors critiqued my manuscripts.

You basically want to focus on the emotion of the kiss and how the kiss makes the point of view character feel, as opposed to going deep into physical detail. Ideally, the description will show that the kiss is something special and not just them macking.

For example the kiss made her feel ___. Or the kiss was ___ which made it seem that he felt ___ for her.

“The kiss made her feel as if she were incredibly precious to him.”

“His lips were gentle and almost tentative, as if he were afraid of frightening her.”

“The kiss surprised her and yet felt as familiar as if they’d kissed a thousand times before. The kiss felt like home.”

Ideally, it …

Update on dictating my fiction

I've been dictating my fiction manuscript for a few days now, and I'm a bit disappointed. It takes me longer to think in long phrases or complete sentences, and so my word count per hour rate has been less than when I type. I suppose I simply need to get more used to dictating fiction, and then hopefully my word count per hour rate will increase.

I do admit I like the fact that it's reducing the strain on my hand when I type or use the mouse. It's been very easy to navigate within the document when I use Dragon on my computer, and I've been able to make most corrections by using verbal commands within the program. I was having issues with my wrist several years ago because of using the mouse, despite trying lots of different types of mice (mouses?), rollerballs, and track pads. With Dragon, even though there is more editing that needs to be done because of errors with the transcription, the editing is almost entirely mouse-free.

I have found that I need to put the …

Trying Dictation Again

Image
Now that I'm over my bout of writer's block, I suppose I'm feeling a little panicked about getting as much done as I can before the next bout of writer's block hits. I know that's very irrational, because sometimes writer's block hits because of some problem with the writing that I have to address, so writing more now might only hasten the arrival of my next bout of writer's block.

Even when I was working in biology research, I was always interested in optimizing processes. I've carried that over to my writing, and tried to optimize my writing process over the years.

So I did some Internet searches on writing faster, and I found the books 2k to 10k, and 5,000 Words Per Hour. Both books had very good tips and advice.

In the 2K to 10K book, I liked the advice about jotting notes in detail about the scene you're about to write. I had never done this consistently, but when I did, I noticed that writing the scene went much more smoothly. I also liked her…

My experience with Writer's Block

It’s been a few years since I last had a book out, and while some of that is because I changed my mind about how I wanted the next book to go, for some of that time I had a few bad bouts of writer’s block.

I know there are people who say writer’s block doesn’t exist, and/or it’s just your subconscious trying to tell you something about your story or about your own emotional state. I’m not here to debate that. All I know is that I couldn’t write, for whatever reasons, when I hadn’t had bad writer’s block during my time writing for Love Inspired, Guideposts, and Zondervan.

I know that sometimes when I had writer’s block, it was due to stress. There were family issues that came up and I could clearly tell that I was worried and that made it difficult for me to focus emotionally on writing. I personally need a calm heart and clear mind to create fiction, and it’s very hard for me to write when I’m emotionally upset. Some writers rage-write or cry-write to great emotional impact, but I’m n…

Ira Glass quote

kapitan_kraken posted this quote on the writing subreddit:

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close…

Timed writing sprints #writersblock #writingtips

Image
I’ve been struggling with writer’s block/lack of motivation in my writing for several months now, and I’ve been battling it the way I’ve always battled it before—I sit my butt down in a chair and force myself to write, powering through the blah feeling and writing absolute crap as if I’ve forgotten everything I’ve learned about writing prose.

The problem with this is that if the writer’s block/lack of motivation lasts for a long time, that kind of “powering through it” can get really tiring. So I’ve also been reading writing books to try to glean some new trick or technique to use.

I read 5000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox and I really liked his concept of timed writing sprints. I found that the time pressure really helped me to turn off the internal editor and just write.

Rather than being stuck on a particular scene or page, I would force myself to just write whatever came to mind even if it was trite and bland, because I can always fix it later. If I really couldn’t think of somethi…