I haven't blogged here in so long, I had to look up my website's password. Not good.
But, hey, I'm baaack!
How is everyone? More imortantly, what are ya'all writing?
I have been busy these past two months on two projects. One, a dark YA contemporary, STARS IN MY POCKETS. After some awesome edits via the incomparable Judi Lauren, I believe my story's truly alive. It's out in query-form to a few agents. Fingers crossed.
My second project was my NaNoWriMo2016. Yes, I won. Woohoo! But you can sense the lack of enthusiasm there, I'm sure. I didn't get a chance to plot the story before writing, so it's just a bunch of formless words on the page right now. More than 50,000 formless words, nonetheless. It's my first attempt at historical fantasy. Working title: JACKY INDIANA WEARS PURPLE POLISH. It's for the middle grade or younger young adult audiences.
Like my 2015 NaNo, this will sit for the next few months, marinating in its magical juices, until I return to it for major revision work.
Unlike bears who are preparing for their winter hibernation about now, I'm preparing to come out of my writing cave because this time of year always makes me want to connect more. So here I am, and I really did miss you all!
Right now, I'm revising my 2015 NaNo : MAGENTA WISE: PLASTIC WRAP. It's a young adult mystery--also my first attempt at this genre.
Although I spent all last summer plotting the story, after I finished it last November, I realized it wasn't what I'd expected. I revised it some, shared it with my critique partners and beta readers. Then I let it sit again while I worked on those above stories.
This week, I spent time at OneStopForWriters where I plotted it again. And let me just say, people, I love Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. If you don't know OneStop, get over there! These ladies have put together an amazing closet of tools to prep and preen your pretty baby and make her shine.
So, enough about me. Tell me what you're working on. If you use OneStop, I'd love to hear what sparkles the most for you.
That's my story, what's yours?
Many writers adhere to the adage - "write what you know". However, writers are not born with a wealth of knowledge. That means, our stories are limited to our own isolated lives. Often, there's need for research.
Don't skimp on research.
Tom Clancy never set foot on a sub before he wrote his acclaimed novel THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. You'd never know because he did his research.
Consider the many crime shows on television and the numerous and popular mystery novels that hold the attention of so many passengers waiting to board planes. Chances are the author never put on a police uniform, so he better have done his research. Think about the cop who picks up a crime novel and discovers the hero catches the crook based on a blood test (a blood test the cop reader knows is inaccurate).
Even romance novels require research; especially if they include a historical setting. Don't skimp!
For my YA novel BIRDS ON A WIRE, I embed information about birds throughout the story. It's not essential to the plot, but it is essential to the theme. I spent hours, days and weeks reading up on the different mating habits of blackbirds and owls and hawks. I read bird guides from the National Audubon Society. I spoke to birding friends. I reviewed various websites and blogs.
Presently, I'm writing a story about a girl who suffers auditory hallucinations. This is a completely foreign topic to me, but it fits well for the plot. I am hip high in books, websites and information from friends, psychiatrists and other writers. I've even received great help from someone I've never met in person, crime writer Fiona QUinn. Her website bursts with info on how to catch and commit crimes - info for writers only!
Whether you plan to write a children's book, historical fiction or fantasy, you will need to do some research. Click on the links above for some great tips. Good luck!