Tag Archives: Insecure Writers Support Group

IWSG 45: What I Love About Mysteries

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

~~~oOo~~~

 

Co-Hosts:

Stephen Tremp | Pat Garcia | Angela Wooldridge |

Victoria Marie Lees | Madeline Mora-Summonte

IWSG Day Question: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I loved reading mysteries for a long while before writing a word. When I got going, I wrote shorts, learning and practicing a long list of skills. What I found for my style and ability was mysteries needed strong bones.

Therefore, planning and executing an outline turned out to be my favorite element.

Not every word, but specific plot points in the work need to be clearly placed. When the victim dies. The placement of clues and how/where to hide them. Following them up and determining if they are red herrings or more. The tripping up of the hero and the uncovering of the villain.

I also cross the genre with fantasy, paranormal, science fiction. My latest WIP is crossed with magical realism which may land up being urban fantasy, depending on my rewrites. Turns out there is a fine line between them that I keep crossing.

I’ve even tried my hand at a middle grade mystery and had so much fun.

The outline is only the beginning of crafting a story. The bones of it if you will. And from the bones comes the strength that allows me to the flesh out the rest.

How do you work out the bones—plotter or pantser?

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IWSG 44: Making My Writing Stand Out

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

~~~oOo~~~

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

Co-Hosts: Tyrean Martinson | The Cynical Sailor | Megan Morgan | Rachna Chhabria | Jennifer Lane.

My plan includes writing and submitting. I don’t have the nerve or experience to self-publish. I prefer getting someone else to front the bill for the editing, cover art and promotion. Although I offer my help—I don’t have expertise to do the job alone.

I know how to put a story together and that’s hard enough.

A lot of my writing has become methodical. I run through several story ideas until I can put one down in an outline. Then I peruse it and ask myself what makes this different or better than everything else out there.

I’ve read that most queries need to address what makes the pitched story stand out.

I don’t like to move forward until I’m sure the project has got something special or different (in my eyes anyway) and have been doing cross genre work: sci-fi mystery and my latest—magical-realism mystery.

My magical realism mystery is still in the outline stage and will be much more graphic than I usually write. My heroine is ferocious, passionate, too hard-headed and stubborn. At first I was going to make her psychic, but I gave her grandfather the ability instead. His love interest is a fairy that keeps offering talismans and henna tatts to my hero. Who knows if they’ll help, but it does make her feel more accepted into the family.

What makes this one special? A world where monsters might be good guys (or bad) and the person set on protecting the world from them isn’t stable enough to get the difference and sees himself as Dean Winchester saving the world one monster at a time. He helps my hero look for her lost lover. Hence the violence.

What do you do to make your story stand out? Any tips for us.

IWSG 43: Inspiration Away From The Group

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

~~~oOo~~~

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Co-Hosts: Julie Flanders,
Shannon Lawrence,
Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

Answer: Not much but reflect and be grateful.

I met @DelilahSDawson during SWiC16. She led a workshop on writing first chapters and I’ve been following her ever since. She’s a charming open woman who shares day-to-day life as a professional writer.

The biggest message she has shared to date is: Be brave and take a chance. I played it safe and was rewarded with rejection. So I decided to follow her advice. I wrote a science-fiction mystery that’s way out there.

She teaches by example. Works hard. Shares the whole traditionally-published author experience. Goes to tons of conferences. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve met her or will meet her. Reading her tweets keep me inspired until I get back to all of you.

Which brings me to something very important–you. Thanks for your visits, commets and time. And I hope your future will be filled with boatloads of happiness and success. And I expect many more years ahead with you in my life. I lift my glass to you. Cheers.

In 2018 I’ll be taking the biggest chance of all–submitting to agents. I’ve made a list and I’ve checked it twice. Life seems better since I comminted myself.
If you’re interested in reading my latest, Symbiotic Slip, please sign up below.

IWSG 42: Past NaNo Lessons I’ve Learned

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

~~~oOo~~~

 

Co-Hosts:

Tonja Drecker | Diane Burton | MJ Fifield | Rebecca Douglass

 

October IWSG Day Question: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

I’d like to say yes. I finished them all. I’ve had all my work published even without submitting it. The problem is, I don’t want to lie. All I want to do is be supportive of the NaNo17 participants.

Please, Accept my good wishes because that’s where my heart is.

But the truth is, no. I finished all my first drafts. I didn’t bother polishing or submitting. None of them ever were published.

The closest story to submission was called “Rags to Bitches”. I can’t tell you how much time I spent trying to bring it to life. I even took a writing course on revision hoping that would help me cut away what didn’t work and build up what did.

Nothing worked and I can’t explain it.

So I may have won, but my stories didn’t.

Rags to Bitches lives in a drawer.

Winning NaNo taught me some important lessons:

  • Plan out what the story was about
  • Each chapter should have a prompt
  • Write everyday

What NaNo didn’t let me do was stop when I needed to and let my subconscious work on new ideas. Sometimes letting things rest can lead to twists, back flips,  and crazy new directions. I love that. But that means quitting before I reach my word count.

I hate to say this, but I think I’ve outgrown NaNo.

I’m working on a sci-fi mystery called Symbiotic Slip and I’m having so much fun. I’m being brave and going where I’ve never gone before. Every day is full of surprise and joy.

Who knew I’d ever get here.

What about you? Any NaNo stories you’d like to share.

IWSG 41: Truth In My Fiction

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

~~~oOo~~~

 

Co-Hosts:

Olga Godim | Chemist Ken | Jennifer Hawes | Tamara Narayan

OPTIONAL Question:  Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

I add personal information all the time. Not personal history. Not family secrets. Not even how I see the world. What I share in my work are my feelings.

I want to tell share truths.

I want to relate to my readers.

We all feel things. I don’t need to say this. We all know this to be true. Sharing my raw emotions is a form of reaching out. What I feel others have felt. I’m not special.

What I do with these feelings is chain them to my character’s life experience. They face a moment of loneliness and I look back at a time I faced being alone. No doubt it has been romanticized and it may be ballooned. I don’t think about that during my first draft and would never suggest or capture the real events that led to my loneliness. That would involve too many people—me included. But I run parallels in my imagination and take advantage of my rollercoaster past as much as possible.

But the one thing I will suggest is if a character goes through an event that brings about a visceral reaction you’ve had—dig deep and get it out. Don’t hold back.

Holding back is not what the reader is looking for. And the feelings aren’t the actual experience.

For example: Someone leaves your life and you know you’d never trade a moment of your time together. There is the loss, the adapting, healing, and the memories. What would you use?

Your main character’s situation will be entirely different.

It’s the moment the MC walks away into the sunset. The moment someone dies in the MC’s arms. The moment they turn down a wedding proposal. Or the MC leaves against their parents’ wishes; they see their sibling watching them go. What emotional road do they land up following? What are the consequences?

The list is endless.

What do you do to make your story real?