Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Genre Project

Follow me in 2012 as I explore at least 23 writing genres!!

My quest for the year is to learn as much as I possibly can about the craft of writing. I will be reading as much as humanly and financially possible from each genre. I am depending upon blog readers, social networks, my writing group, and local bookstore employees to recommend the books to be read and reviewed. I am not compensated in any form and all books will be purchased by me or obtained from the local libraries. Please be patient as I undertake the blogging project as well!

I begin this project with : Romance novels. I have not read a true romance novel since high school, but it keeping with my resolution for the New Year to explore other genres, I have three brand new paperbacks in front of me. In the heat of making this resolution I signed up for a romance novel writing class. I have no assumption whatsoever, that I will produce a romantic tome that shall be anywhere near acceptable. Cozy Mystery and Historical Fiction are my most favorite reading and writing escapes. I am quite content for the hero and heroine to flash smoldering glances at each other over the mysteriously deceased or pay courtly but somewhat chaste attention to each other as they dance in a castle.

I tried to select books by three different authors but as I was on my lunch break, I will admit the cover design and the description on the back cover are what drew me in. I did have several romances selected on my Goodreads shelf but alas, I did not remember to check it first. I did search later for the 3 novels I purchased today on Goodreads but I did not read the reviews, as I wanted to start each book with no preconceived influences. So now in the order as I chose them from the shelf:

1. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn I chose this book because the blurb on the back from Jill Barrett said, “Julia Quinn in our contemporary Jane Austen.” That alone sold me, I will admit. Readers on Goodreads gave it: 6,849 readers rated it 4.16 (of 5) stars and 353 readers left reviews. (I did not know this is Book #2 of a series however). The author posts the song on her website: that inspire her for each book. I downloaded the songs from ITunes and plan on playing it this week as I ponder what I have read in the book.

2. Brighter Than the Sun by: Julia Quinn Also the #2 book in another of her series. Goodreads readers say: 3.86 from 2, 236 readers . Follow her on twitter : @LdyWhistledown 

3. Taming the Highland Bride by: Lynsay Sands The tartan plaid drew me to this one and the back cover blurb makes me think the Heroine will be a very strong woman. This is #2 in a series as well. I surely chose from a shelf of second in series books! Goodreads gave it 3.98 out of 816 readers. Her website is: and twitter as @lynsaysands.

I must stress again, I am in no way affiliated with either of these authors. I really just found their books at my local bookstore today.  I am sure there are many other authors of the ROMANCE genre that I should read as well and I am happy to take suggestions.  I admire any author of any genre simply because they have poured their hearts into their works, whether it is in print or electronic.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What do I do with so many plot ideas?

I have bypassed all of the books that assist writers with plot ideas. My problem, at the moment, is TOO many plot ideas. I have the basics for two cozy mysteries in a series, the first in a of a historical mystery series, two historical fiction novels set in totally different times and countries, and most recently a pulp fiction piece. I have spent countless hours pouring over reference books on the two historical fiction novels. My best friend has almost become "Friends" with the characters of the cozy series and has begged me to write at least the first book in the series. My NaNoWriMo novel consisted of the first book in the historical mystery series and I have temporarily shelved it until I work through more of the plot twists. The story ideas come faster to me than I have time to write them! I have posed this question to my small writing group and was told to write about what interests me most. The idea for the pulp fiction piece struck me on my drive home and I as wandered through the grocery store last night and by lunch time today I had major points formulated for the story. I plan to write the basics and the few scene ideas tonight and the resume focus on my historical pieces. I wonder how other writers deal with this dilemma and hope to discuss it deeper with my writing group this weekend.

I just finished Natalie Goldberg's "Writing Down the Bones" and I highly recommend it to those just beginner to write seriously. One of the quotes I liked was" This book is about writing. It is also about using writing as your practice, as a way to help you penetrate your life and become same." If you are having doubts about yourself as a writer and your abilities, this book will help you resolve those doubts. We often think writers are a magical breed and we could never make the cut. My confidence and desire to write was boosted tremendously by this book and I plan on revisiting it many times. It is one that will stay in my library.

Monday, December 5, 2011

After NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo has come and gone and this year I was among the winners. I am not happy with the very rough first draft and thought to leave it for sometime. I decided to research the Boston of the 1800's and any possible news stories that could relate to my novel. A most fascinating historical tidbit simply dropped into my lap. I have spent the past week researching this event and am thoroughly intrigued by the story. My quest right now is to uncover as much truth to the mystery as possible. The fact that I wanted to write this from the viewpoint of a woman who died six years before it happened has placed me in a quandary. I do not want to stretch the truth that far. There are several books written by people who were in the orbit of the incident's principle players, so I don't feel comfortable using them. I am debating on the invention of a poor relation who sees all of this or from the eyes of the well known and much loved governess. I have not found an account by her as of yet. The research is not only interesting but massive. I love little details.

I also love my writing software, Write Way Pro, which I used for my NaNo novel. This time however, I am using massive amounts of notecards. I lay them out according to character, plot, setting, etc and as I research and come across an interesting fact, I simply add it to a card. Yes, my software allows for this but this novel is requiring much more research so I think I will use the notecard system for now. I will post later on how that is working out for my story.

A shout out for the New York Times and their archival process, an immensely helpful resource this week!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, November 27, 2011

NaNoWriMo 2011

I uploaded my novel this morning about 2 a.m. to check my word count and was surprised to see the "You are a Winner" page load. Yes, my novel authenticated at 50,004 words and I still have two or three scenes left before the first draft is completely done. I do plan on finishing those 3 scenes before November 30th. I will proudly display my winner's certificate on my bulletin board at work. There were several factors that helped me complete this year's NaNoWriMo and will I be blogging about those in days to come. I know NaNo will be closed by the time I get them posted but I think the helpful links and tips I have collected will be of great benefit as I start my next two novels. Historical Fiction is the genre that truly fascinates me but the cozy mystery genre is what actually got me interesting in writing. Congratulations to all of you who devoted massive amounts of time to your novels.

Here are today's links:
This is an absolute must for historical fiction writer's in my opinion. For example: baby boom was coined about 1946 and would not be referenced in 1746.

Researching the Historical Novel by Shelly Thacker
This is a excellent reference article to assist the historical novelist with research ideas. (I spent 2 hours researching board games in the 1880's for my NaNo novel.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Finally Got a Badge

Update! There is now a Cellphone merit badge! I think after 3 years of relentless communication between myself and various cell phone providers, I have most definitively earned this one.

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