Monday, February 28, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Yesterday, Vanetta Chapman was nice enough to share her writing process with us. Make sure don't miss the chance to learn from her and to win her best selling novel, A Simple Amish Christmas.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Today, I'm thrilled to introduce you guys to Vannetta Chapman. All year long, I'm asking successful authors like Vannetta to share with us about their writing process. I found Vannetta's fascinating, and I think you guys will too.
My process for writing might sound a bit odd, so remember--WRITING IS DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE. The best thing you can do is write a lot, find what works for you, and don't be afraid to constantly change your process.
As I'm finishing my CURRENT work, I'm thinking about my NEXT work. You know, songs on the radio, things I read in the news, other books I read, dreams, different things spur our ideas. Whatever it is, I write it down. Ideas will slip away. I don't want to lose them. I keep notes in my writing journal.
By the time I'm ready to start, I've narrowed my ideas down to the one I like most. If there are several ideas I like, I'll go with the strongest for my beginning and work the others into the story line. Then I start writing. I plop my character into the middle of an uncomfortable, untenable situation.
I write every day. I have a deadline and I set a schedule for so many pages to complete a day. Even when I didn't have a deadline, I set goals for myself, even if it was only 3 pages a day. I don't edit pages the same day I write them.
The next day I look back over the pages I wrote the day before. This drops me back into the story. I might change a few words, adjust the scene a little, then I write 3 new pages. There's my schedule -- edit 3, write 3.
At some point, my characters become lost, wandering around, confused, dazed even. I LOVE this point. This is where I zoom ahead and write my ending. Imagine you walked out of the room during a movie, and you came back in and saw the ending--the PERFECT ending. Sometimes this will be one chapter. Other times it will be a quarter of the book.
Now I go back to where I stopped and I write TOWARD the ending. Crazy, right? But it's worked every time, because I know where I'm going now. I have a destination in mind.
Once I'm finished I usually take a break of a week or so. Then I start at the beginning and read through it -- checking for inconsistencies and errors.
Last step and maybe the hardest is handing my baby to my pre-readers. These are friends that I TRUST to tell me the truth. I don't want to hear "what a great story." I want to hear what was good and what was confusing. Sometimes these friends are writers, but not always. They are always people who love to read.
That's it! That's my process. Although I teach English composition at my local college, I don't formally outline my books. Isn't that funny? But creative writing is a bit different than academic writing. It doesn't mean you can be sloppy, but it does mean you can listen to your "muse." In fact, I'd say that's a critical part of the process. Good luck! I know you can find the process that works for you.
A Simple Amish Christmas, a CBD bestseller
Falling to Pieces--A Quilt Shop Murder, 2011
The Plain School at Pebble Creek, 2012
Monday, February 21, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
At the snap of the gas pump, he pulled back from the kiss and looked into my eyes, awaiting my reaction. If my giving in surprised him, it didn't show. He smiled, and instead of saying what I already knew - that getting together was a mistake - I forced myself to smile back. Just like that, I became Eli's girlfriend.
My eyes, innocently grazing the new releases at Blockbuster, locked on Connor Ross.I would've avoided him, especially since he stood there with Jodi, but we held eye contact too long to pretend we hadn't noticed each other.We exchanged awkward smiles - what else could we do? - and moved closer.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
As I stepped off the bus, I thought, If I removed myself from this earth, would anyone notice.Something deep inside told me no one would care. A pang of sadness gripped my heart, and I cursed myself for showing the softness.It wouldn’t do for an agent to turn warm.The bus rolled off, belching fumes and exhaust. I tucked my hand into my pocket and clenched my only coins in my fist. Ahead of me, a mangled Welcome home! banner hung from a tree, a mocking reminder of what I would never have.Nobody could love Mahlon Crabtree.
After two years of suffering I needed to start over. Without a note, I created my new world. I imagined his shock when he woke “partner” less, hung over and grumpy.
Probably shocking everyone in town, I defied my largest oppressor. With no family to inform, I had no reason to put it off any longer. I knew the 100 dollars in my pocket, and the bag of clothes on my back had to be enough to get me settled. I ditched my phone in the trashcan outside our apartment.
I was determined to start fresh.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Carla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by as depicted in her first highly-acclaimed novel,Chasing Lilacs. Carla launched her writing career in 2002 when she earned the coveted honor of being invited to attend Guidepost's Writers Workshop in Rye, New York. Since then, her articles have appeared in Guideposts,Angels on Earth, Saddle Baron, and Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine.
In her life before writing, Carla enjoyed a career in nursing and raising her family. Now that their four sons are married and they’ve become empty-nesters, she and her husband relish the occasional weekend getaway and delight in the adventures of their six grandchildren.
Carla enjoys a good cup of coffee, great books, and hearing from you, her readers. You’re invited to contact her and learn more about her writing at her website.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
"...the world of the novel is composed of much more than description of landscape or rooms. It is milieu, period, fashion, ideas, human outlook, historical moment, spiritual mood and more. It is capturing not only place but people in an environment; not only history but humans changing in their era. Description is the least of it. Bringing people alive in a place and time that are alive is the essence of it."
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
With a name like his, there was no hope of going unnoticed. But Phillip Screwdriver had never been sent to the principal’s office because of his name before. Consequently, he was wary as he sat on the not so comfy chair in the principal’s stifling hot office. When Mr. Aldrich finally came in, Phillip’s hair was sticking to the back of his neck and he was convinced that he wouldn’t last the whole year in this Arizona heat. As he saw Mr. Aldrich raise the gun however, he realized he might not survive the next few minutes.