Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Welcome to the November 2021 Insecure Writer's Support Group posting where we share our writerly concerns and fears, and encourage and assist other writers with theirs. If you're a writer and want to join us the first Wednesday of every month, click on the link for more information and to sign up.
If you're struggling with what to post about, here is the optional question:
Both are hard, of course, but for me, titles are harder. Coming up with an appropriate title can be agonizing, and can take months! And sometimes when you finally come up with a title you like, you may find, if not the exact title, something similar that has already been published by another author. None of us want that! So it's either back to the drawing board, or risk your book getting confused with another writer's book (I found this with my book Givin' Up the Ghost--after the fact--lesson learned).
I write cozy mysteries, and punny titles are part of the genre. Adding the "paranormal" sub-genre aspect limits your options even further.
Most titles in cozy mysteries use a well known saying or quote which is then modified. I don't consider myself particularly witty or clever, but I try to be consistent with my titles and that's a starting point at least.
My original YA paranormal cozy mystery series used "ghost" in the title: Givin Up the Ghost (a take on a quote from the King James Bible, and as I said above, similar titles had already been used) and, A Guilty Ghost Surprised (a take from a Wordsworth poem). These titles aren't particularly punny and didn't fit the genre well for many reasons--they're now unpublished.
My latest adult paranormal cozy mystery series uses "boo" in the title:
A Scandal in Boohemia (Sherlock Holmes fans will recognize the reference) and Something Borrowed, Something Booed (a take from an old wedding saying). They took a while, but I got there in the end.
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
- Marcy Kennedy's "A Busy Writer's Guide" series and in particular, Deep Point of View ,and Showing and Telling. These are short and easy to follow.
- Mary Buckham's "A Writer's Guide to Active Setting". If your setting is lacking, definitely pick this one up, it's pure magic.
- Renni Browne and Dave King's "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers". A must have for writers of all levels and especially helpful for self-publishers!
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Good question. I don't have a set amount of time between first and second drafts, but I have noticed that the longer it sits, the more errors/typos/plot issues become apparent. A good month or two gives plenty of distance. It helps to put the second draft aside to stew for a while as well. For me, this doesn't change with experience.
I actually looked this phenomenon up because inquiring minds want to know *winks*. It's called "change blindness":
The New York Times defined it as “the frequent inability of our visual system to detect alterations to something staring us straight in the face." ~BigThink.com
Anyway, it doesn't affect just writers, it affects everyone.
See? We're not so different after all!
How long do you shelve your first draft?
Does your "change blindness" get better with experience?
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
But to be honest, I'm struggling. I have had a first draft of my next novel for quite some time (a year?) and I know it needs a lot of work and I'm sort of just paralyzed and can't move forward. My characters are static and not moving forward either. I'm even struggling with writing the blurb for which my illustrator has been waiting for for weeks now so that she can finish the back cover.
(for The Good Place fans out there LOL)
Can this be writer's block?
Any advice is welcome.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
It's the first Wednesday of March and time for another posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group event. If you'd like to join, please go HERE.
Thank you Alex Cavanaugh for hosting this monthly event, and thanks so much to this month's co-hosts: Sarah - The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose!
This month's optional question is:
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?
I was a reader long before I became a writer. To me, a reader is a reader is a reader. Give me something good to read, whatever the genre, and I'll read it. Anything from inspirational and motivational to classic literature.
But the mystery genre is my go-to. It's what I read to relax and escape.
There are so many sub-genres to a mystery. I write in a sub genre called cozy mystery. But to go even further, I write in the sub-sub genre called paranormal cozy mystery. My paranormal cozies include ghosts, but other paranormal cozy mysteries might include witches and other paranormal creatures such as werewolves, vampires, or even fairies and elves, which sort of crosses over into fantasy.
Though I write cozies, as a reader, in recent years my go-to mystery is a police procedural by classic authors such as Ian Rankin, or the late P.D. James. Or historical cozies by Jacqueline Winspear. I still love the classic cozies, as well, such as those by the late author M.C. Beaton.
BUT, I'm always desperate for something inspirational and motivational, so please feel free to drop your recommendations in the comments!
Do you write in genres other than your reading preferences?
Do you read widely?
Have a go-to genre?
Have a motivational/inspirational recommendation?
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for the Insecure Writers Support Group Hop.
This month's optional question is: Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?
I've met tons of friends through blogging. And through blogging, friendships pour over into other social media such as Facebook and Twitter. I've learned a lot about what these friends think and how they feel about things, and even share in their successes and failures, the highs and lows, birth, marriage, death, divorce and the loss of beloved pets. My buddies at the Untethered Realms group I belong to are very supportive.
We've never met face to face.
...my most special blogging-turned-real-friend, Angela Brown! She is sweet and kind, beautiful inside and out, and so, so talented! We met through the A - Z Blogging Challenge back in 2012, decided we were going to blog tour together with our new releases, and have never looked back. We've been critique partners for nine years and we have a system down that works for us. We schedule when our work is due to each other for critique, and when it's due back. Then we have our monthly Friday Night Zoom Meeting to discuss what we've written, where we're stuck, what we want to work on next, and bandy ideas around.
We discuss everything under the sun.
Sometimes our meetings last two hours.
And may involve wine.
What about you?
Have you met any lifelong blogging buddies?
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
- Too much backstory, too much description, too long to get to the point of the story--and I'll put the book down.
- Give me unique characters and an original story--or at least a twist on an original story--and I'll stick with it. Tell me an interesting story and I'm yours forever!
- A bit of snark and humor is important. Make me smile or laugh.
- And NO whimpering or whiney females, please!