Motivation

Help! How Do You Restart Your Story After a Critique?

This may sound crazy but have you ever gotten to a point where you know you need to re-start your story and you don’t know where or how to re-start it?

Let me explain (no, let me sum up):  A Fast Draft of 50,000 words, a critique in which the first chapter needs revamped, and the revamping will effect the rest of the 50,000 words to a big extent.  Frustrating, yes–but needing to be done.  Or maybe I’m looking at it all wrong.

I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who has come across this situation whether by critique partners/editors or even your own gut instinct.  I’ve done this a time or two also but always ended up agonizing over it (like when I used to agonize over Algebra problems in high school–no, I’m not a Math person).  I would over think the problem until my brain wanted to explode. …
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Going for the Gold — Again

This is my first post for Waterworld Mermaids.  Since we’re celebrating our first year anniversary, you might well ask, where have you been all this time?  Was something fishy going on in the Mermaid Pond? So here are the possibilities.

Diana Mermaid was:

a.  Sitting around eating bonbons?  (The completely delicious, fat-free ones that never add an ounce of weight)

b.  Traveling around the world with a really cute and rich guy? (Imagine castles in France, the casino at Monte Carlo, the Yacht moored off of Mykonos.  <sigh>)

c.  Leaving all the work to her sister mermaids (because she is as prolific a writer as Nora Roberts and just didn’t have time)?

d. Late to the original meeting where the mermaids met, didn’t sign in, and thus didn’t get an invitation, until just recently, to join?

Anyone who knows me, will guess, yup, she was late — which I really, really try not to be.  But I’m here now, and letting out a great big SQUEE!!!  I have enjoyed every…
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The Spark: Sizzling at First Contact

You know how when the hero and heroine have their first meeting, and at least one of them, but usually both, have that “feeling” they can’t always describe.  They don’t know where it comes from.  And they’ve never felt it before.

It’s just that something special.

That spark.

A shock of electricity, a quiver of their insides…those feelings.

We as readers recognize this as the age old sign that they are soul mates, whether they know it right now or not.  I love that.  In fact I just tilted my head to my shoulder and sighed for the potential sweethearts.

But is that electric current passing through their fingertips always believable?  I am on a quest to find more examples of this indescribable feeling, this spark, the lovebirds get when they first meet or come into contact.  My current H & H feel a connection when…
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What’s Zmeu with you? Or How Research Helped Me Find My Story Nitch

Okay, I know it’s a silly title but trust me on this one . . . it fits!  🙂

As many of you know (from my agony over the past month) I’ve been stuck in a rut with my story.  I’ve known about the story, actually wrote it a few years back, only to find out it just doesn’t have that certain, whatever it is a good story needs to have.

My idea for the original story came from a research session into the history of my ancestors.  My paternal grandfather came from Romania, the land of Transylvanian Alps (Carpathian Mountains), Vlad the Impaler, Bram Stoker’s- Dracula and various other mysterious stories that have been sensationalized.  But with all the fiction and history the general  populace know of, I wanted to delve deeper.

Two years ago I researched a bit into the early days of Romanian history, back before the Roman conquest, and found out about the Dacian clans who had ruled in the late B.C. to early A.D.  What I could find…
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Excuses, Excuses

The other day at the gym I told my trainer I couldn’t do a certain leg exercise because my rotator cuff was hurting. I pointed to my leg and made a sad face and everything. He sighed. “Kerri, your rotator cuff is in your shoulder, not your leg. Do the exercise.”

Oops.

We’ve all done it. Made excuses. Sometimes they are better than others. But hey, in my defense, I was an English major not a doctor! Note to self: must do more research for lies excuses. 

Brain Fried . . . Rebooting

I was thinking about a scene in one of my favorite 80’s movies, Real Genius starring Val Kilmer (for those who have seen or might remember).  The story is about a bunch of genius kids at a prep-college.  Val plays the lead who’s gone on to buck the system and is teaching the young newbie how to ‘ungeek’.  In this particular scene, in which I am referring to, it’s a montage of everyone cramming for end of the year exams. One student in particular (an extra) stands up from the study hall table and just yells.  He is just freaking out and runs from the room.  Everyone else takes a brief moment to look– at him as he has his ‘meltdown’, and returns to their studies–unfazed.

Lately, I feel like that poor kid.  It’s what I call brain overload.  Sometimes we just get to the point where everything we are focusing on just overwhelms us to the point nothing makes sense–no matter how many angles you try and approach the problem. …
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Rachel Aaron — How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day

Back in December, when I was sick and not feeling very productive, I stumbled across this wonderful blog post by Rachel Aaron, author of The Legend of Eli Monpress novels. Rachel has found a way to manage her writing goals and increase her productivity dramatically. I was so wowed by Rachel’s no-nonsense approach I asked if I could share it here. She has graciously agreed, so join us as she discusses her process of discovery and path to success.

This is a long read, but if you haven’t seen it before you’ll be glad you took the time. If you don’t have time now, please stop back when you can or go to Rachel’s blog for the original post.

And don’t forget to join us here tomorrow, when I will have the honor of interviewing the very talented Rachel Aaron.

 

How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day

When…
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Lent and the Distracted Writer

Yes, folks.  Mardi Gras is over.  Ash Wednesday is here, and the forty days of penance.  As in, fish on Fridays.  Giving up sweets.  Or soda.  Or alcohol.

Being Catholic, I’m asked to give something up for Lent every year.  One year, I gave up gossip.  Another year, I gave up saying bad things about people.  This year, I’m wondering if I should try to give up what I personally believe is one of the biggies.  It’s a real monkey on my back.

Being distracted.

I am a champion at being distracted.  I don’t like to turn off my wireless, partly because I’ve always allowed myself to believe that it can be hard to turn back on.  I love to look things up, to research, to collects tidbits of information.  I’ve studied cosmetics, perfumes and knitting with the intensity of a day trader.  Also, what if something really important comes through on my email?  What if I miss it?   I…
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What Plantar Fasciitis is Teaching Me about Writing

I have plantar fasciitis, a condition in my foot that is extremely painful. It’s an inflammation of the plantar fascia (a band of tissue) that runs underneath your foot and basically feels like someone is stabbing you repeatedly with a really hot machete. A lot of people have this condition, especially runners.

My usual way of dealing with health issues involves a lot of crying, whining and then ignoring the problem altogether. However, when I trip getting out of bed because my damn foot is so sore, even I have to admit it’s time to deal.

Interestingly, I’m finding I have similar stubbornness where my writing is concerned. What’s that? My first pass at a manuscript is NOT perfect as is? It won’t win any awards? WHAT! Break out the crying, whining and procrastination. Luckily, I have figured out some ways to deal with both my foot issue and manuscript woes.

Getting What You Wish For

Just in case you didn’t hear me shouting it from the rooftops . . .  I sold my first book!  Lori Wilde’s Indulgence line at Entangled Publishing will publish SOUTHERN COMFORT sometime in the near future (and you know I’ll let you know when!)

Even after having days to process the amazing moment of getting the call (described in detail on my blog) I still crack a crazy grin whenever I think about it. But, I quickly realized that I now had some work to do.

And, don’t get me wrong – I love every minute of the “next step” tasks. But, they did make me sit down and seriously reorganize and plan to maximize every opportunity I worked, hoped, and dreamed about.

Obviously, I need to prepare to hunker down and complete my edits when they arrive.  Turning in a quality book which will…
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