Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bring You to the Writing Table

I bet you thought this was about food and eating, didn't you? Not so. This is about writing and what you, as a writer, bring to the table for reader fare.

We all have pieces within us, as people, that are stronger and more appealing to readers--some skill sets, some experiences that strengthen our manuscripts.


Info Bit: When I started writing, I came to the Writing Table with Stories and Characterization (this according to my first editor). Looking back, she was right. I've always been able to churn stories--Dad was a storyteller, so maybe I picked up bits. He was a Verbal Storyteller. I am not. If Writers are lucky, they are both, because PR is essential. I belong to the Reclusive/Introvert Club when it comes to writing. :) Therefore, I am not prone to retreats or sessions or writers groups, though they are advantageous to many writers.

Personal Traits are on the Table Fare, too. If you are not a self-starter, need a guide, that's fine. But energetic writers, self-starters typically do better.

More Important Personal Traits: Regimented? Determined? Goal Setting? Handle a Calendar? Able to Multitask?

Info Bit: So I naturally (inside me) had the Stories/Lots of them and a grip of Characterization. Not a clue about Plotting--that little demon. Since starting, I've studied almost every plotting method possible. FWIW: I started with my first editor's direction: One paragraph per chapter, Build, MidPoint, Round Off, etc.

In my current WIPs, the Basket Series, I bring a whole lot of myself, my personal experiences. Rethinking this: In all my books, I bring experiences, i.e. How I Would Feel If? Selecting Friends, Animals, Perceptions, Who is Kind and Who is Not Likely to be my best bud, etc. A huge portion of my books are Simply Me. (That's scary, isn't it? :)

In the Basket Series, my past homemaking, sewing, canning, raising garden, working to create, home remodeling, raising a family, husband, etc. Life in a small town and the characters living in it, friends or foe/gossipers, etc. all comes out. I know what I'm talking about. Also, Nora is expecting in The Basket Maker's Wife, I understand that because I've had 3 daughters. She's tall, I know that. She fears, I know that. In The Egg Basket--yes, I've raised chickens, did the farm woman thing, made butter, bottle fed calves.


 Now, here's where the If/Then comes in to smack you: I have NOT had some of the experiences, like weaving a basket, so plenty of research on that one and others. You fill in what you do not know.

Experiencing the LOCATION is a necessity for me, like when I drove the Oregon Trail for Night Fire, or driving the gold trails, throwing that tomahawk. So I'm usually doing it--no sex jokes, please. We're so beyond that.

One Really Important Characteristic/Experience for you to consider: If you are overloaded in your personal life, the usual--kids, obligations, heavy duty job--I suggest not taking on an endless project, i.e. a detailed murder mystery.

And The Reason Is: Writers need assurances, pats on the back, affirmations of some kind. Look at your skill sets, who you are, what is your place in life, and create The Masterpiece that is your affirmation. Most of all, COMPLETE SAID MASTERPIECE. Completion is the best reward, good or bad--you did it, kid. :) That's your graduation certificate: a completed novella, stort story, novel, non-fiction piece.

That's it for now. We all have something unique to offer readers, or simply to satisfy ourselves. What do you bring to the Writing Table?

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Trickle of Sweat

I'm working on book 3 of my Basket Series. "Working" means writing rough draft, editing, seeing what works, doesn't work, checking the pacing, seeing that the important threads/theme, etc. are consistent and not dropped.

Summer is when a lot of writers take time for their families and to write new material. We start up again on business in fall, etc. but in summer we're dealing with a lot. We may write slower, because Life Interferes, but we are writing.

Book 3, Tentative Title The Bride's Basket, is the last of the trilogy, unless I feel the need to add more. This book, in particular, because of Novel Interruptus/Life, was a struggle that is now coming along nice, cruising into about 3/4 of what I planned. I'm layering, editing constantly, and writing almost like a race to the finish. Layering a novel, deepening it with layers and contrasting layers, gives a book strength.

Yesterday, as I was taking a long necessary drive in the heat, I felt a trickle of sweat. This was a disaster. My AC was working fine; therefore I should be cool. I was even wearing my large white man's over shirt to keep the front window's sun from me.  Yet that trickle of sweat ran from my temple to my cheekbone.

That trickle of sweat was so important, I notified two daughters. You see how important that was. :)

While debating that trickle of sweat (just one), I somehow came up with two characterizations to add to one character who is not quite coming alive yet. She's a woman, a plus-size  model and while I had her backstory— very important, all backstories are very important — I wasn't seeing her as a hero would see her.

So how to layer in the necessities of attraction: Accessories help. She was already wearing a black formfitting jumpsuit to a community affair. Adding the fine details make up our model would skillfully apply, some glittery chandelier earrings, hair piled high, and a belt did wonders for this girl. I think I'll let her live.

Now. That high piled hair do, is perfect for a hero to release and let flow through his fingers. This gives him the opportunity to steady and feel her hair, which up is applying to the senses. We've got five senses to use in writing, each one important. With touch comes, what it feels like, when it reminds him of, and what he might dream of. There is more.

Now2:  As he touches her hair, what does she feel?

Okay. He sees her, etc. Things are moving between them, but how does she see him? For one thing, he needs clothing and a model would know exactly what he was wearing and probably the strength of the body beneath the clothing. This guy needs a shirt, suitable to the occasion, a belt, pants, shoes.

Dress the characters. Make them feel.

And yes, I did feel that trickle of sweat, a sensation I do not wish to experience again. :)

Saturday, June 04, 2016

My To-Do Basket2

GOODREADS MEMBERS-- I hope you're entering  to win 1 of 2 gorgeous THE BASKET MAKER'S WIFE trade paper books. ENTER HERE.

I feel so blessed with the reviews of THE BASKET MAKER'S WIFE. KINDLE/UK/iBOOKS/KOBO. This series is one that has been lurking on my mind for years, and now I'm finally writing it! If you are not a writer, you may not understand this, but writers are heavily involved with their stories. I don't know if other writers feel this, but I feel that when mine are where I want them, after months of hard work, they have a living pulse.

I'm writing the third of the series, temporary title THE BRIDE'S BASKET. Just talked to another writer about how sometimes a title can anchor you to a book.

>>THE BRIDE'S BASKET (tentative title, tentative date November 2016)

EVERYONE: Make sure you subscribe to my e-newsletter for more contests, giveaways, etc. I love my Basket Series and writing Book 3 right now. Sometimes, I give not only my books, but my infamous crocheted dishcloths!
Subscribe Here: Cait's E-Newsletter

Speaking of writers: If you are a writer, I hope you are reading my Novel Interruptus posts. I'm in Novel Interruptus right now. Therefore... my To-Do Basket is overstuffed.

Here's the latest I dropped into that To-Do Basket. I've just re-met an old friend who is stuffed with ideas, very creative person who got me thinking about ACX, Amazon's audio program. Would love to try that!

Sometimes I give my unfabulous dishcloths with drawings, etc. But now, I've gotten even a more super idea. You'll have to wait on that. Sorry. I took up Tunisian Crocheting to help with stress, tension during my ongoing Novel Interruptus phase.

Then. I work on this whenever--stuffing all my how-to write articles into several books. A load of articles would make for several books.

Which brings me to TIME MANAGEMENT. I usually do pretty well with this, but when prioritizing to-dos my Time Management gets as tangled as the ends on my crocheting. (I do not enjoy weaving in the ends of crocheting. Therefore, there are many ends. :))

Always in my To-do Basket: Listening to Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn. She has me on overload as I am addicted to all of her very fine podcasts/interviews. She's wonderful and an especially talented interviewer.

Today, a friend and I who are passing on the Novel Interruptus Lane shared our blessings. Very important thing to do daily, don't you think? 

I hope you will enter my Goodreads Giveaway and also SUBSCRIBE to my email list, Or write to me at CaitLondonBooks. 

>>THE BRIDE'S BASKET (tentative title, tentative date November 2016)
Have a wonderful week!