Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom for Writers and Those Who Love Them

"What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure." —Samuel Johnson

I'm working on a manuscript that is requiring a lot of effort. I hope in the end I don't give up. I hope in the end, it's the best I can offer. I hope in the end I offer a bit of pleasure.

And by the time this posts, I will have read an amazing manuscript written by Tim Hallinan, who happens to write one of my all-time favorite series—Poke Rafferty. I blogged about one of them here

In the past, Tim has freely said that the Poke books are often some of his most difficult books to write. And it's no wonder. They're filled with detail and passion and history and sadness and hope and people who are incredibly real. And still, he sticks things in that make me laugh out loud. 

That ain't easy.



It's all better with friends.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom for Writers and Those Who Love Them





"Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand." — George Orwell



The thing to me is that there are moments of complete surprise. Even confidence and ecstasy. Without those moments (seconds, perhaps) to experience and then to dream about occuring again, writing would become a drudgery. Many of us who write would be on to the next thing.

But we're not. Because we're hooked.


It's all better with friends.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom for Writers and Those Who Love Them



This really is one of my favorites... (I'm pretty sure I first discovered this quote from an episode of Criminal Minds)...


"What we hope to do with ease, we must first do with diligence." — Samuel Johnson


It's all better with friends.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Any Time Now I Will Love to Write


I love to write.

I hate to write.

Let's start over: I love to create. I love to edit. I love to tell a story.

I love to have written book.

The writing part? Well, I'm pretty much on the hate side. Except for the times I love it. Which becomes kind of like a drug addiction. I'll work through days of hating it because I know—I just know—that I will love writing if for even just a few hours any time now.

Dangling carrot. The cocaine-high of effortless brilliance. The part where I get to play a kind of writing god where I create the world (in seven days? ha!), and I create the people and their backstories and their fears, and decide what fate has in store for them.

That's a lot of responsibility.

And even more work.

Writing my first draft is wild. They often begin like silk. The words flow. I can't possibly type fast enough.

"This is gonna be the fastest first draft (and perfect, by the way) in the universe. It's magic!"

Yeah, right.

Then comes the first speed bump. And the second.

I've found I write best when I have a bit of a roadmap—an idea of where I want to get to next. That doesn't mean that little bits of flotsam won't work through whatever filter I have in place and make its way onto my page. The magic part is... (are you ready?) I don't immediately delete those things that feel, at the moment, like dust-bunnies. Pieces of lint I'm eventually going to have to vacuum up.

Trusting the process is one of the key elements for a writer. My process can include a lot of deleting, but it can also include a lot of surprises.

"Oh, yes! I see the connection now between that earlier dust-bunny and this trigger for murder!"

Or:

"That dust-bunny sure set up a great metaphor for the overall theme of this story (which I rarely know about ahead of time): global terrorism!"

Which is part of the whole addiction.

You get my point. In case you haven't, it's to trust the process. Sometimes you've just got to let it flow.

Thanks to my Sisters in Crime sister, and good friend, Sheila Lowe, for encouraging me to write this post. You can read hers by clicking on her name. She writes an awesome series featuring a handwriting analyst. Which works really well for her because she is one. (And waving to Dennis Palumbo, whose fabulous book, PHANTOM LIMB, I finished reading this morning even before turning on the news. Yes, it's that good. And who, by the way, provided a beautiful endorsement for my last book, THE SACRIFICE.)

Check out another Sisters In Crime blog (and yeah, she's really my sister): Lala Corriere.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom for Writers and Those Who Love Them






"You only get true perspective of your book when you put it out there for readers." —Peg Brantley


It's all better with friends.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Difference Between Male and Female Authors

Grammarly, a grammar-checking site, recently polled in excess of 3,000 men and women to examine some of the differences between male and female authors.

Do you see anything interesting here?

Agree?

Disagree?

It's all better with friends.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom for Writers and Those Who Love Them








"The first draft of anything is shit." —Ernest Hemingway



Thank you, thank you, thank you.


It's all better with friends.