Coming this spring to a bookstore near you!
Hello everyone. My writing world runneth over. Just a few little updates! To find details on the books mentioned, stop by here.
NIGHTMARES & ECHOES III CHARITY ANTHOLOGY #2 BEST SELLER!
Gorillas With Scissors Press introduces a yearly horror anthology with 50% of the proceeds going toward a charity every year. This year the contributions go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. I’m happy to say that I’m included in this year’s anthology with my spooky story Comeuppance. Just recently I learned the anthology has zipped to #2 on the Horror Anthology bestseller list at Amazon. How amazing is that?
MOVIES/TV SERIES NEWS
In other quick catch up news, my story Blackout is still in development for television, and recently I started working on another TV series with producer/writer Marie D. Jones (Where’s Lucy Productions) and producer/writer Brian Keith Ellis. Exciting writing times. When I can reveal more on these projects I’ll be sure to let you know.
ZOMBIES AND HORROR
I finished writing my zombie series of books and I’m slowly working through revisions in between participating in NANOWRIMO in November. Although I won’t finish NANOWRIMO this year, I’m perfectly okay with that. I still achieved a lot of writing. I think December might be a good time to take a chill pill and relax a little before the new year starts.
Until next time, live, love and dream.
Gratitude is sometimes hard to cultivate, especially if you’re rolling with the punches, whatever those punches might be. I’ve been busy, busy the last few weeks, but it’s all pretty much been good stuff. Even though I have a million things to be grateful for, I’m like everyone else. Sometimes need to remind myself to do a check in and say, “Hey idiot, look at the amazing things you’ve got in your life!” Having an incredible writing career is very much one of the top spots in that gratitude list.
Like every writer at some point in time, I’ve had to jump through hoops and adapt. One of my more recent adaptations is creating more straight horror stories whether they are short stories or full-fledged novels. I’ve always enjoyed writing paranormal romance, but I realized that horror writing had grabbed me by the throat (pun intended) and was begging me to get more involved. (I recently joined Horror Writers Association as an example). Rather than strangling that desire, I am jumping in with both feet. I can tell that my creativity needs it.
So where am I going with this?
A writer, in order to survive the publishing world, has to be willing to adapt.
Over the last several months I’ve seen many authors say they’re quitting writing. Everyone has different reasons. For some it’s been as simple as transitioning into a new career they prefer or feel drawn to at this point in time. They may have been writing thirty years or twenty years and they feel there are other things they’d rather do now. If they can leave the writing career with absolutely no regrets, with a sense of “this is right” in their gut, I say more power to them. Some, though, aren’t feeling it is right in their guts. They aren’t relieved, calmed or settled. They’re profoundly sad and torn up.
Some are quitting because they are discouraged. They might be burned out and blocked. For those individuals they may need some time away from writing to recharge, reassess, and discover through self-analysis what is required to reboot their creativity. These people often come back to writing with a whole new energy, even if it is months later. Many have worked with me in my capacity as a creativity coach. I love helping them discover their way back to writing.
Then there are people who have stopped writing because at the end of the day, if they can’t get accolades, money, and significant recognition for their writing…well that’s the end game. They’re unhappy because they’ve been writing five years or ten years or even twenty and they haven’t become a NY Times best seller and they aren’t making much money. Or maybe they were a NY Times bestseller and they used to make money hand over fist. Just like anyone who used to make money in a career and no longer is, it is understandable they might feel disappointed and discouraged. Some of these writers will stop writing for a while and realize at some point they really were writing for more than money. But if you truly can’t and don’t want to write unless the bucks are rolling in, there is no shame in quitting.
I’d encourage you, though, to consider the fact that making a lot of cash in the writing world has never been guaranteed and has never been particularly easy. Learning to deal with that reality so that you can either move on to another career or to find a brand new way to keep writing in your life…that is paramount. Keep asking yourself why you started writing in the first place. If it was purely for fame and fortune so be it. If it is for the amazing love and satisfaction that can come from creating, and if that creation brings you a high, then maybe money isn’t your honest reason for doing this writing thing. Maybe it’s time to explore adaptation and discovering how to reboot that creativity and keep writing in your life.
Think about that.
I’ve been writing since I was fourteen but didn’t start seriously considering writing for publication until about 1991. Over that time I’ve formed a lot of opinions about the writing world and publishing in general. Too many to express in one blog. The other day I looked over some old blogs and saw one from several years back I felt needs resurrection. In that blog I talked about myths I see perpetuated in the writing world over and over. I still believe these myths hold true to this day. They haven’t gone out of style. See what you think.
Writing Myths Exposed
Is there one right way to create fiction? Many people would have you believe there is. Or that there is a secret to being published. The answer is that despite everything people will tell you about how to write a book, or how not to write a book, you will find dozens of famous books that didn’t follow the rules. Rules, in the end, rarely seem to have anything to do with whether a book gets published. At the beginning of a writer’s career we’re told the rules make a difference. Do they? Sometimes. Sometimes not.
What are some of the rules that are tossed out to newbie romance writers? Well, here ya go. True or false?
You must plot every move in your fiction.
You must plot a book and know everything there is to know about the characters, their motivations, and their vulnerabilities before you start a book. After all, you can’t start a book free form and have it end up well.
False. If I can write a book without knowing all of this from the start, you might be able to as well. It depends on whether you are a pantser writer or not. If you’re a plotter at heart you probably feel more comfortable with plotting out a good chunk of what you want to have happen in the story before you start to write. If you’re a pantser you’re more comfortable with not having all this knowledge up front. In the end, many of us are a combination of pantser and plotter. Neither one is better than the other. As long as you’re writing and you’re staying creative that’s the only thing that matters. In other words…don’t worry about which one you are. If it works for you, it’s all good. Just write.
Alpha heroes never have any flaws or they have so many they might be a serial killer.
An alpha hero, or any hero for that matter, shouldn’t have any flaws. Or he can be what I call (yeah I’m going to curse), a total dominating asshole. Those are the two types of heroes the heroine must put up with and that most readers like.
False. As far as I’m concerned this is false, but some may disagree. I think a great alpha hero has flaws, but at the core he is not what I call an ass alpha. In other words, a man who treats the heroine like crap and she loves him for it. There is a balancing act between mean alpha and an alpha man who is softened by his code of honor, his belief in protecting women and children, and the simple fact that he’s not an ass when comes to dealing with the heroine. He’s still a good guy and not someone who enjoys inflicting emotional and physical abuse on women or children.
Heroines have so many flaws it ain’t funny or she has to be an alpha kick ass able to hang from trees like a monkey.
The heroine should be either totally vulnerable and act like a ninny and do stupid things, or be as invulnerable and impossible to relate to as Laura Croft.
False. Either direction is kinda overboard in my opinion. The heroine needs flaws and vulnerabilities as well. Just like the hero, she needs personality traits we can relate to. If she’s perfect I don’t want to read about her any more than I want to read about a hero who is perfect.
There’s a secret to being a best seller.
You should write exactly like NY Times best sellers because if you do, you’ll get published. False on the whole. Writing like anybody else, best seller or not, ends up making you sound like everyone else. I won’t lie to you. Homogenized writing sometimes rises to the top. It can also fail miserably. Plus, many writers discover their creativity drying up and blowing away after years of either writing a series that never ends or discovering they aren’t writing the stories they really want to write. Wouldn’t you rather write what you want to write now?
The real secret is…
So what’s the secret? There isn’t one. Publishing is a wild and crazy business with twists and turns big enough for any plot. My belief is that sticking to writing what you truly enjoy is going to keep you creative much longer than following a lot of “should” rules. Listen to your heart, keep your integrity, honor your creativity. What’s going to keep you creating for life?
Oh, and if you’re having trouble figuring that out, I might be able to help. You can find me at Creative Pen Coaching.
Ever feel like you need some creativity help? You might not realize how many resources are out there for you in the battle against creativity blocks. In my video, Creativity Books Worth Reading, I give some recommendations on books I’ve found helpful in my writing/creativity journey. Enjoy!