So let me know which is best for you – #1, #2 or #3 – and why 🙂 Thanks!
|Natalie Wright, Author
Crisis of Confidence
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares to other expressions. It is your business to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that activate you.
Keep the channel open. – Martha Graham
|Natalie Wright, Author
|Natalie Wright, Manic Monday|
Arrives Spring, 2015
|A Writer’s Space: Where the Magic Begins|
1) What am I working on?
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3) Why do I write what I do?
Because I have to write what I write! It’s as if I don’t have a choice. I have lots of ideas but some grab hold and become like an obsession, begging me to give it voice. Those ideas become notebooks full of notes, folders full of research, drawings of characters and scribbled on maps. The ideas that begin to fill a notebook become a novel.
4) How does my writing process work?
My stories typically start with a plot. I often have a story come to me in beginning, middle, end form. I then work from the plot idea and consider characters, worldbuilding, etc. I do not outline per se, but I do write a synopsis hitting the main plot points. I spend quite a bit of time working on character back story and I try to understand the main characters and their motivations, etc. before I begin to write. I try to write the first draft in a short period of time (short for me means 30-60 days), then I let it simmer for a while. Then I go back to the manuscript and read, revise, re-write and repeat. I do that until I’m sick of looking at it and can’t think of any way to improve it. At that point, it’s ready for initial beta reader/content editor. Then the revision process starts anew. My books generally take about 9-13 months to complete. Now that I’m no longer practicing law, I might be able to produce books more quickly. We’ll see 😉
Author of Dead and Buryd
And next week be sure to check out Heather Sunseri’s blog for her post about her writing process. Here is a little bit about Heather.
Heather writes young adult science fiction romance (but don’t let the science fiction trip you up—it’s mostly romance). Born and raised in a small town in Central Kentucky, which can be quite boring at times, she had no choice but to create stories in her head in which she can be anything from an FBI agent to a mad scientist who clones human beings to an actual cloned human with supernatural mind control abilities. You can find out more about the stories Heather writes and her publishing journey at http://heathersunseri.com or if you want to discuss other fun life experiences, join her on her brand new experimental blog, http://alifedissettled.com.
“[O]f or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses. Supernatural.”
|“Holy cow, this is exactly the manuscript she’s been looking for,” said the agent’s cat.|
Congrats to Jason G. Alexander, winner of my “Judge This Book by the Cover” contest. Jason will receive a signed copy of my forthcoming novel, H.A.L.F. Here is the winning cover that all of you helped create through your comments and input:
I’m working on revisions to H.A.L.F. now. I’ll keep you posted on the release date as soon as I firm it up.
|Young Reader and Her Best Friend
at the Tucson Festival of Books
This past weekend I attended the fourth annual Tucson Book Festival on the campus of the University of Arizona. It was a fun, educational and exhausting weekend dedicated to the love of books. For writers, it is a great opportunity to attend workshops and panels – for free!
I attended a funny and informative workshop on World Building in science fiction and fantasy. The panel included Maxwell Alexander Drake, an award-winning fantasy author, Sam Sykes and Janet Hobbs (among others). These fabulous writers shared how they go about creating their amazing fantasy worlds and gave tips and pointers. For example, if your story is set in a current or past time on Earth, make sure you do your research to ensure that you are accurate about details. Drake commented that that’s why he “makes it all up” – that way he doesn’t have to worry about accuracy!
I was impressed with young Sam Sykes and decided to purchase one of his books, Tome of the Undergates (The Aeons’ Gate, Book 1)
and get an autograph. Fortunately for me by the time I got through the purchase books line, there was no signing line in front of Sam. I got to spend a few minutes chatting with him. Sam’s twitter profile (@SamSykesSwears) says that he’s the “angriest man alive.” Yikes! But I found Sam to be funny, personable, and passionate about story. Sam and I discussed whether male fantasy writers and readers tend to prefer a more “world” driven story while female fantasy writers and readers prefer character-driven stories. Sam thought that was true to an extent and commented that he thought female writers were “ahead of the guys” on creating character-driven fantasy fiction and that the guys were playing “catch up.” Sam says that he’s a character-driven writer and that the worlds he builds and details he includes have to relate to the characters and make sense from their point of view. I’m looking forward to digging into Tome of the Undergates (The Aeons’ Gate, Book 1)
and read Sam’s character-driven high fantasy. If you enjoy fantasy, check it out and let me know what you think.
One of the things I love most about the Book Festival is wandering around, coffee in hand, checking out all of the booths. One of my favorites this year was the booth for the publishing company Inner Traditions Bear & Co. They specialize in “books on indigenous cultures, perennial philosophy, visionary art, ancient mysteries, spiritual traditions of the East and West, sexuality, holistic health and healing, self-development, as well as recordings of ethnic music and accompaniments for meditation” (from their website). I love to read this kind of stuff as inspiration for stories, sub-plots and theme. Science, metaphysics, religious and spiritual theory and philosophy. I know, I’m a geek of epic proportions! Here’s my haul from Inner Traditions.
Then there’s that book Seven Secrets of Time Travel: Mystic Voyages of the Energy Body. In Emily’s House, there is quite a bit of time travel. I didn’t want to create a machine for time travel but instead created an energy form of time travel. I thought I’d just made it up. But this Seven Secrets of Time Travel: Mystic Voyages of the Energy Body
book is discussing the same thing. Who knew? Since I’m revising the second book in the Emily series, Emily’s Trial, right now too, maybe these mystical books will inspire me further.
Do you have a book festival where you live? If so, do you attend and what’s your favorite part?
A huge thank you to all of you that gave me input on the last round of cover designs for my newest novel, H.A.L.F. What insight! But we had a tie between two choices. So I went back to the designer and asked for few tweaks and we’re down to two concepts. I’d appreciate your help once again and let me know your vote between these two options. Thanks y’all!
|Option #1 (Please note if this option is chosen,
it will have the title lettering like Option #2 below)
Leave me a comment or head over to my Facebook page and vote there – http://www.facebook.com/NatalieWright.Author
|The Writer on Deadline|
This year I took up the NaNoWriMo challenge (that’s short for National Novel Writing Month) this year. Write a novel (50,000) words in 30 days. If you’re not a writer, to put this in perspective, my first novel, Emily’s House, is about 84,000 and it took me over two years to get to the end of the first draft.
To make it really interesting, NaNoWriMo hit the same month I released my first book, Emily’s House. A sane person would probably decide that doing both the same month wasn’t a good idea. But who said we writer-types are the most sane people?!
And to make it even more interesting, my daughter was out of school for five days straight for the Thanksgiving holiday. It is a known fact that listening to the Disney channel and the Cartoon Network kills inspiration faster than alcohol kills brain cells.
No matter that it took me over two years to get to the end of the first draft of Emily’s House. Or over a year to get to the end of the first draft of my second novel, H.A.L.F.
I figured that if I set my mind to it, I could do it. Hey, when I’m in the groove, I can write about 2000 words an hour. So only two hours a day times 30 days . . . I figured, I can even take some days off.
Here’s what I learned this month. Some days it’s hard to even find those two hours.
But I persevered and wrote whenever I could. And found out something important along the way.
When pressed to write every day, some days I just don’t have much to say! This has come as a shock to me. I’ve never had writer’s block. I’ve never been at a loss for words.
But I’ve never forced myself to try to come up with words every day, day after day, for a solid month.
I’m at about 37,500 words, 12,500 to go and less than 3 days. The bad news is that’s not a lot of time (especially when you consider that I have to work my “day job”, take care of my family and eat and sleep).
But the GOOD news is that just last night I had the story epiphany I’ve been waiting for – the character and scene that I needed to pull it all together and juice it up. The inspiration I needed to push through and see how it all ends.
And I’ve been hearing from folks who have purchased Emily’s House and they want Book 2! Having fans ask for more is a great kick in the pants to press on and keep writing.
Having a first draft is only the beginning, but oh, such an important beginning it is. I’m excited about Book 2 of the Akasha Chronicles, born during a crazy NaNoWriMo month, and I’m looking forward to sharing Emily’s Trial with all of you!
If you’re a NaNoWriMo-er, how did you do this year? What is the best part of the WriMo experience for you? The worst? And will you do it again?