Archive | July 2009

#Writegoal

I’m following the Twitter Hashtag #Writegoal

In essence, if you type: #Writegoal into a twitter search, you can immediatley be surrounded by authors such as yourself, who have a common interest… to finish something they’ve started.

Think of it like a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – only, you set the pace and you decide when you’ve achieved what you’re working toward. Make it, don’t make it. Reassess and reset your goals to be more achievable next time.

My #Writegoal has been to finish my WIP by the end of August. I’ve changed the date three times, due to summer and the perils of working/mama/writer-hood. The point is, I have some great new online “friends” who cheer me on, give advice, tips, tricks, and even the shoulder when I’ve run into plot issues.

Today, I was reminded that sometimes you just have to get the story out before you can polish it. I’ve been so ultra-focused on perfection, I’ve forgotten what it takes to get the draft out!

Here’s to tomorrow’s #Writegoal – which I am allowing myself 500 words of plot progression and 500 words of edits. We’ll see where the day takes us. Bop on over to Twitter, and see how we’re doing!

Prologues – Do or Die?

Yes, I know. I’m still supposed to be taking a bloggiesta. The WIP isn’t done.

BUT, as a writer, I’m treading water trying to decide what to do about a certain plot hiccup. Then, I decided, it wasn’t a hiccup at all.

I always want to slip in a prologue. They’re fun to write! They give us backstory that is needed (so we think) for character development. I’ve been lovingly massaging a prologue on my WIP for what feels like ages. Then, I had a moment of inspiration at 2 AM night before last.

Prologues are a no no. Agents tell us not to write them. Publishers say they’re unnecessary. But, my favorite authors all write prologues. Nora Roberts. Clive Cussler. Prologues! Something of key element to the story, the plot progression, a clue for the climax!

Ah. That’s what I was missing. Plot progression.

My prologue was simply character development. An explanation of WHY my heroine, a maritime archaeologist, was tentative about getting back in the water. But was it essential? Could I show those same elements elsewhere in the story, and not waste a whole 7 pages building up to that?

Instead, now I’m focusing on an event in history (which I’m creative licensing for my own purposes) – and writing a 3 page, exciting historical opening to my contemporary action/romance. I’m not sure if it will stick around, but it’s key to the climax and right now, it’s serving a purpose for me.

Back to writing my 1 k a day on Sapphire Tears – where Maritime Archaeologist is following a historical mystery before time runs out!  And now, readers will be privvy to at least a little part of that mystery in the prolouge.

Should it stay? Should I reveal it through conversation/discussion later in the story? We’ll see. But for now, at least, I can stop treading water, and get back to swimming.

Bloggiesta Month…

Yes, I know it’s the middle of July. Alright, it’s almost the END of July — but here’s the deal I just made with myself. And by God’s grace, I just might stick to it.

For the next month, I’m taking a much needed “Bloggiesta.”

When readers can sit down and inhale a book that took a year to write and release – in, um, a day… who has time for blogging? Facebook? Twitter? and now, so help me, GLUE? What’s that all about? I am often asked in interviews, etc. “How do you have time to do it all?”

I finally have an answer I can/have to live with. I can’t. I’m not superhuman. I’m an author. And, as an author, I have an over-burgeoning responsibility to use the talent that I’ve been blessed with and — um — write.  And, when I’m not writing, I’ll be honing my craft. Why? Because when a skill becomes your heart’s desire, you need to sharpen your sword. You need to practice. You need to write.

My bloggiesta reading list is:

  • Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
  • Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
  • Story by Robert McKee

and, for fun, I’m reading — Both by James Rollins:

  • The Last Oracle
  • The Doomsday Key

My creative energy has been requested elsewhere… so…

Instead of blogging, I’ll be getting things done around the house, at work, and on my current work in progress. As much as I love you all, and am enthralled by the visitors, your comments, etc. – If I don’t get back to my current cast (whom I’ve left in desperate peril), I’ll have nothing for you to read in the spring!

I’ll leave you with this:

Can an archaeologist unearth the truth before she loses the greatest treasure of all?

When maritime archaeologist stumbles into an ancient treasure, she finds her colleague murdered and her own life in jeapordy. She must trust a faithful FBI agent to protect her while solving an ancient mystery to free those whom she holds most dear.

In a hurricane of love, loyalty, and deception — Chandra Drake is confronted with the ultimate choice: Does she sacrifice everything that matters to her heart and expose the truth?

On that note, I’ll be back to chatting, e-mail, face book, twitter, blogging, etc. when the first draft is completed.  My challenge – 1,000 words a day (through edits or pounding through the ending) until it’s done.

What do you think?

Authors and Marketing

A really cool post from Kat Meyer on author tools:

http://followthereader.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/glue/

If you haven’t “Got Glue” yet, check out why you should.

~Ashley

One Lovely Blog

Hey, everyone!OneLovelyBlogAward

Just a quick thank you for my friend Skyhe Moncrief – and her lovely nod to this blog. I’ve been watching this award be posted around, and am tickled pink you thought of me.

So, I give the nod back to you, my friend: Skhye Moncrief – You don’t scare me, Skhye. But, please, stop trying. LOL.  I’m shaking my way through Spell of the Killing Moon and just might have to wait to finish it until Halloween. 🙂

For those of you who don’t know her, Skhye can tell you anything and everything you ever wanted to know about reference books. I am desperately in need of shelves, as my growing stack of writing books are threatening to topple down on my head the next time Southern California decides to do the hippie-hippie shake!

Now, it’s my turn to pass the baton on to my next lovely friends for their lovely blogs where I love to dawdle and spend my time:

Laurean’s Lore – who makes me laugh on a regular basis

Miss Mae – because you are so good at rallying the masses and keeping the ball rolling. You amaze me, girl!

Jeannie Ruesch -Happy Endings – My writer mama and friend, who I’m quite sure is the best website designer in the romance industry! 🙂 with the best tag line: Will Design for Chocolate. Can you imagine?!?!

So, take your awards, ladies!

Congratulations! The baton has been passed. The rules of acceptance are simple…
1) Accept the award, and don’t forget to post a link back to the awarding person.
2) Pass the award on.
3) Notify the award winners.

((hugs))

~Ashley

Starting the “Build & Stabilize Your Platform” Month!

Watch this video and consider where you are in the construction of your author platform:

Consider your social networking grade:

  1. Do you have a Web site?
  2. Do you have a Facebook or Myspace account?
  3. Do you have a blog? (must update more than once a month in order to say “yes”)
  4. Do you have a Twitter account? (again, must update more than once a day to say “yes”)
  5. Do you belong to any online groups, such as Yahoo Groups, Book Clubs?
  6. Have you started BRANDING yourself…
  7. Are you still writing? (Give yourself 2 points for this one.)

If you scored 5 or above – good for you! leave us your links and let us grade each other!

If you scored 4 – you’re on your way. Chances are, you’ve made friends across the country, if not the globe!

If you scored 3 or below…We need to talk.

Let me help you over the next month as we work together to build and/or stabilize your Author Platform! Your first step, at the VERY least — set up a free blog site. We are authors, yes? So, chances are, you should have something interesting to say.  So, let’s blog about it!

Step 1. Use one of the following:

http://www.blogger.com

http://www.wordpress.com

Register.

Post a profile picture.

You don’t  have to do anything else just yet.

Just register. Post your book cover if you’ve got one. Say “Hello, World” if you don’t. Just do one thing today to help others know you’re here. You’re writing.You have something to say that others should read!

Once you’ve done that, let me know and we’ll move on to step 2!

Post any questions or comments you might have! I’m here to hold your hand as we get going into Books 2.0 together.

Double Booked!

All or Nothing, cover art by Kimberlee Mendoza

All or Nothing, cover art by Kimberlee Mendoza

I’m double booked today! discussing motherhood and All or Nothing!

Come visit me as I am interviewed by the lovely Emma Lai…

And, drop by www.mamawriters.com and share your favorite healthy recipe!

Have a wonderful Friday!

~Ashley