Saturday, December 28, 2013

First Draft = Step One

Late last night I finished the first draft of my latest novel. While it may be retitled later on I'm calling it Fox Hunt at the moment. When that last sentence was finally typed and I realized I had finally gotten the entire story down I felt a sense of joy and relief. Getting a story down on paper or in a word processor takes the longest for me. For the most part that first draft is the real trail. It's the telling of the story and everything that comes after is just refining the story so that readers can understand.

When I joyfully gave my husband a kiss and told him the story was wrote, he smiled and said, "Cool. So you're almost there." I understood what he was saying completely. After six years of watching my creative process he knows what's next. The horrors of revision and edits. The long nights of "does this sound right" are about to start. Once I do a first pass over the first draft to clean it a little my husband will get a copy. It's at that point that I really get to relax and await his response to the story. I'm always ready to hear what he has to say, and trust me he questions any and everything he doesn't understand.

So last night as I bask in the glory of finishing that first draft I couldn't help but dread the next step. The rewriting, the revisions and the polishing. I love taking that first step towards story telling, but there are many steps left to take. Thankfully, like with many things in life, it's step one that always takes the most time to prepare and finish.

Happy reading everyone and I'll see you again in the new year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Second Life Book Store

Witch Hunt has made it to the shelves. While the paranormal romance has long been distributed through Amazon, Barns&Noble, All Romance EBooks and Cobblestone, now it is on a real shelf. Well, sorta. It is currently resting on a shelf in this virtual book store located in Second Life.

This store is run by author Sharon Clare and the sign above the door reads "Welcome to Temptation." I love the idea of having a book store set up in a game. While I thought just having an ebook was a little techish, this takes me into a cyber trip. Sharon places books on her shelves along with a buy link and a blurb. It also rotates through on the store window, as you can see in the picture. 

Here's the fun part. I'm hosting my first contest. The first person to locate the bookstore and post a screen shot of Witch Hunt on the shelf wins a free copy of Witch Hunt for their Kindle bookshelf!

Here's the rules: You must be over 18 and the screen shot should clearly show Witch Hunt. The first screen shot posted on my Facebook page, Hunter or Hunted, wins. This contest will run until someone claims the free copy.

Happy hunting all!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Writers' Block: Cure #13

There are a number of reasons why an author could suffer from writers' block. In fact, there may be more reasons than there are cures. Maybe. Over the many years I've found that there are many ways to get the creative juices flowing.

One of the many reasons writers deal with writers' block is stress. Stress can cause a lot of problems. A person's health, personality and performance in life can all be affected by stress. Writers have a lot of things in their career that can cause stress; deadlines, tour schedules, marketing, editing and even technical difficulties. These are just the stressful things that our jobs can cause. Stress can also be brought on from outside influences. No matter where the stress comes from it can cause a creative blockage that every writer must surpass to continue their story.

My answer? Destress. It sounds simple but it isn't always as easy as taking a day off. Relieving stress should be a regular thing to ensure your health and writing stay in good shape. People deal with stress in different ways. I make sure to take at least ten  minutes a day devoted to me. This does not count my writing or housework. This is ten minutes a day of me time. Whether I spend it meditating or pampering myself with a nice cup of tea and a great view I take this time each day to not worry about everything else.

A healthy diet can also play a big part in relieving stress. A well balanced diet gives the body more energy and reduces the aches and pains that come with poor diets. A diet of fast food or frozen diners can lead to heartburn, upset stomachs and a range of other problems. These problems add to the already heavy load of stress we deal with every day. I'm not saying never eat junk food again. That's just crazy, but by balancing out your diet you can relieve some of that stress in the long run.

This cure for writers' block isn't a quick one you should try if you're facing a deadline. This is a long term cure that can work wonders. So for a happier writing life filled with that creative spark remember to take some you time and leave the stress behind.

Peace and love!