Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Awriterfunny1

It has been said that writers must have the tendency to doubt and the capacity to believe in equal measure. Perhaps that is why I find myself dwelling on this peculiar, I mean particular, issue.
I’ve been writing for years, right? Along the way I’ve learned a few dos and don’ts. I have masses of information about my writing process and style, I have great tips about editing too. But, tonight, I’m not here to brag. Actually, it’s the opposite.
I dwell on this issue when it comes about. When I see others asking for writing advice, or even discussing their own processes, I shy away. I would love to be able to share my journey as though I am some kind of authority on the issue. Problem is, I am not really an authority. To give advice we must first surely believe that what we are saying will help in some way. How am I to know if that is the case when I give out advice? I’d love to be able to talk about things that I’ve been through because I know what an uphill battle things can be at times. I know what it’s like to dream big and I know what it’s like to crash.
Maybe it’s a confidence issue, in fact it has to be a confidence issue, because I just don’t believe that what I have to say is helpful enough to pass on. I’m not a writing teacher. I only have my experience in this arena. Yes, that experience is vast, but we all work in different ways, don’t we?
It’s difficult because there are times I believe I have something to offer but then I will withdraw because I worry others will think less of me, maybe they’ll think I’m trying to brag or act like an authority when I have no right to.
Writers should seek solace in each other and they should be able to lean on each other. But our “success”, if we dub it that, is so subjective. Some of the biggest names in fiction have the loudest critics. Even those on hefty-advance contracts still have negative reviewers. But they’re obviously doing something right.
So when I think about this, and about how valuable what I have to say would be, I always come back to the same, single question – when has a writer “made it”?
I believe a writer is a writer whether they’ve sold a million books, or written their biography on the back of a napkin. If you can sit down, write with love in your heart, and get to the end of a project (whatever it is) then you’re a writer. So by that definition, yes, I am a writer. But until a writer has “made it” surely their advice is as useful as the guy’s who wrote his shopping list on his iPhone last week. Ok, that’s harsh, let me explain myself.
Most writers will have come across this when they tell people what they do (whether professionally or for fun), people want to share their story, or their ideas anyway. So you have to sit there while your Great-Aunt Whoever’s, next door neighbour’s, gardener’s uncle tells you about how they sat down to write their book. Chances are they never finished it, chances are this was thirty years ago, whatever, people have advice to give even without authority.
I can tell you how to write a book. I could write a book on how to write a book. But that would be one book I’d never let anyone read. I want to be helpful, I want to be a part of the writing community and offer words of support and guidance. Trouble is, what gives me the right? I’m no better than the gardener’s uncle, am I? Or if I am why is that? What gives us the right?
This is useless meandering again, I suppose, because there is no quantifiable answer. If one book is sold, is that enough? How about ten? Or a hundred? Why not make it a thousand?
If I’m asked a direct question I’ll always answer it. Otherwise I lean toward, your guess is as good as mine…

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

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So here comes the announcement you have all been waiting for! Wait for it… Explicit Instruction will be released on the 26th of June 2014. That’s right! It’s set! Are you as excited as I am?
For all my talk about it I have to admit I’m so glad we got here. Things were touch and go there for a while, who remembers my moral dilemmas along the way? Well I tell you, it is what it is, and that’s is that.
I’ve decided on the title of my next project. That is the contemporary romance that will be released this summer ahead of the Mistake Me Not sequel (which is as of yet, untitled). Both are written so fear not, there won’t be any delays… famous last words!
I’ll tell you all about them when we’ve got over Explicit Instruction :p For anyone who hasn’t already, please check out the excerpt on the website. But don’t forget it carries a parental advisory. I will update the excerpts section this week with a segment of my next fun contemporary romance. Also keep your eyes peeled for the official Explicit Instruction description.
For now however, put the date in your diary, Explicit Instruction on June 26… this is one not to be missed!

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

homer-excited

Today is going to be a quick one because I’m in a rather philosophical mood. In other words if I start typing I won’t stop! I hope you are all enjoying Father’s Day with your loved ones, and enjoying the weather – if you have it.
I just wanted to remind everyone that The XY Factor is free today! That’s right free! For one day only (June 15) :p

New cover for The XY Factor!

It’s free, so why don’t you check it out:

The two of them may have grown up in the same town but their ways couldn’t have been more different – he was the rebel and she the invisible princess. No one knew of the chance encounter between Darcy and Sloan on his last night in town almost a decade and a half ago.
But when Inverquay needs money Darcy steps up to take part in her worst nightmare – a TV talent show. Things don’t go to plan and she ends up under the glare of the media spotlight. In the big bad city she’s alone, and to a small town girl that’s inconceivable; but no one knows why she’s there so Darcy has no one to rely on.
Sloan swore he’d never go back to Inverquay and after thirteen years he’d rid himself of the town that had forsaken him. Until he stumbles upon the girl he met only hours before he roared away from Inverquay on his bike, and she trusts him… now why in the hell would she do something as stupid as that?

Good luck on your adventures!

Scarlett

Excerpts available here.

Oh no!

Posted: May 24, 2014 in Blog post
Tags: , , , , ,

whoops

 

Don’t you hate it when you go into a document to quickly check something, then when you X out of it you’re asked, “Do you want to save changes?”
“I didn’t make any changes… did I?”
:p

xSx

Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here and for that I apologise. But I do now have my website up and running, which has taken up more of my time than I’d imagined it would.
I haven’t looked at Explicit Instruction this week though I’m itching to get it out. But I have my editing process and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
What else? Hmm? I spent a large part of last night outlining another project that will stay on the back-burner for a while but it’s always nice to take note of ideas as they flicker through my mind – otherwise I forget. Plus, writing out an idea, the plot and themes, building the characters with names, appearance, occupations etc. allows the idea to develop.
At the initial stages of my process I often feel it’s a game of join the dots. Starting with the beginning (sometimes) then as the characters come together I’ll get an idea of scenes and how they’ll play out in my mind. Flashes of scenarios then form the bare bones and I can find out, ‘ok, how do we get from point A to point D while hitting B and C in the process.’
Then there’s the ending. There has to be an end point but I find it’s best to keep the story loose initially because often the more you write and the deeper you wade into the narrative process the story and/or characters take on a life of their own and boom you’re going in a different (and hopefully better) direction.
Writing has to be a dynamic process, it’s organic, but it can be easy to forget that. At times I’ve found myself working and reworking to try and fold in a secondary character only to realise that, ‘hmm, I can just delete this guy altogether – problem solved.’ But as any writer will tell you the life and world of that novel becomes as real as any other three-dimensional, tangible world we live in.
The characters may only live in our minds but they don’t feel contrived. While getting their experiences and conversations out onto the screen I don’t think about thinking them up they’re just there. Like I am transcribing a conversation I may be eavesdropping on… and that’s where later editing comes in, lol.
My tactic of ‘be creative – now!’ keeps me going. Though I’ve been working with my business this week, promoting Mistake Me Not, and getting my website up and running I still write every day. Keeping in mind that over and above any other work I do to obtain income for the household I am a writer.
Writing is a part of me. It’s a part of me that’s always been there. I could no more turn my back on that than I could on eating and sleeping (though as mentioned in previous posts those often fall by the wayside when I’m writing). Yesterday I was waiting at lights while taking my son to his swimming club and I found myself wondering – what do other people do?
I don’t watch TV. I listen to the radio in the car and have music on while I’m doing housework or writing. But everything in my life hinges on deadlines. I work to tight deadlines with my business. I give myself specific writing goals and always keep them – even if I’m up to the small hours. But what do other people do?
Writing takes up so much time, not just the process, or the editing, but the outlining of projects. There are covers to design and descriptions to write, then there’s the evil monster of promotion – and there was a time I considered a career in marketing but with all that smoke and mirrors, is anything real? (Says the woman who makes up people and situations for fun in her spare time).
People are talking about summer holidays and home improvements, which is all well and good. But my driving force for writing has always been in me. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in a world without a passion.
I know I’m lucky. I love to write and even when I knew I wasn’t very good at it I still did it. My writing doesn’t judge me, it’s a release for me, and while I talk to friends about writing a hundred thousand words they gape because they struggle to write their kids notes for gym.
It’s just there. My love for writing (and reading) have always been there. Friends who don’t so much as read the cereal packet gape when I tell them that I read books from start to finish without putting them down because I have to know what happens. I’ve missed whole nights of sleep because I was enthralled. Books charm me, they seduce, and coddle me. I love the feel of the paper, the smell, the words to me are art, as beautiful to look at as they are to read.
It’s hard work to write a novel but I don’t feel it’s a chore. I’ve fallen asleep at my desk before but when I awake I never resent it. I go about my day with a smile on my face because I’ve made progress, whether it’s ten words or ten thousand I’ve moved forward, every day I produce something.
I remember when the early mobile phones were out and we were limited to a hundred and sixty characters (before the days of Twitter). I genuinely struggled and as I notice how much I’ve written today I see things haven’t changed much.
Abbreviations can be just as bad, I actually had to teach myself to use them. To this day I cringe when writing ‘lol’, and I was around when MSN Messenger was the most amazing thing. I used AIM and spoke with people across the planet and together this language was developed.
But it’s odd, I might inwardly cringe but it’s not out of any sort of literary snobbery (I don’t think) it’s because I feel like I’m doing something incorrectly. Typos drive me mad. They happen to us all but when I come across one – especially in my own work – I feel as though the teacher will berate me then send me to the corner, or give me lines to write – it’s insane.
But I’m going to shut up now. I’m rambling and I could probably could go on all day (I’m working to a deadline and am wavering in my resolve, can you tell?) Enjoy your weekend folks and always remember to read – even if it’s just he back of the cereal packet.

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

My website

We all have it in us...

We all have it in us…

There aren’t enough hours in the day. Shoehorning in the time to do all of the things that we need to do is hard enough, let alone trying to fit in the things we want to do.
We’re back! Might not mean much to most of you; my son and I have been away this week but we’re home now. My work schedule over the weekend is jam packed, simultaneously I’ll be trying to get my inspiration onto paper. Every once in a while inspiration hits, sometimes I enjoy it in the moment then mentally move on. Other times one idea leads to another and before you know it I’ve got half a novel in my head – and half a novel is all it takes.
So while parenting, running my business, and editing Rivals ON AIR (it has a name now), I am getting my inspiration onto paper. The funny thing is the idea struck me a while ago and I’ve been musing on it. But during the long drive home I pondered it. I don’t need a lot of brainpower for staying on the road it seems, lol.
I get so much enjoyment out of writing that the extra work isn’t a chore for me. I often feel for Val my Vaio because she gets less rest than I do. From the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed my computer is on. It’s never off. I at least get pleasure from my writing, the computer can’t say the same thing; though being inanimate probably helps.
Anyway, let’s talk about Rivals ON AIR. I’m so pleased I’ve decided on the title. Oddly, naming things can be the most difficult part of the process. The title has to be catchy, and if possible weave into the story in more than one way. This one does it for me. I can’t wait for you all to get to know Hunter and Annie, I hope you all grow to love them as I do.
A story can be expanded and trimmed. Ideas incorporated whilst others are thrown out. The process is dynamic, it has to be organic (as Annie would say) and getting the details straight in the course of the story is of course paramount. So many times I’ve got an idea into my head and I rush off to get it out of me but find myself stumbling over the first hurdle… who are these people?
I’m not sure how many of you are writers and so I wouldn’t want to be teaching you how to suck eggs (lovely expression, eh?) so suffice to say that not getting the details hammered out early can lead to delays further down the line.
As far as marketing goes I’m at a bit of an impasse because I just don’t have the time to do it properly. Then again, even if I did have the time I probably wouldn’t have the money. One avenue that I’ve used with both Mistake Me Not and XY Factor I’ve decided isn’t worth the money – two avenues actually but I called the first a dud a while ago.
Truthfully, I do what I can but as all indie writers know the curse of the review – or rather lack thereof – can make or break us. Readers don’t review very often and so without the word of others to encourage would-be readers of our work we’re a bit stuck. I can tell you how great my novel is until I’m blue in the face but I wrote it so I’m ever so slightly biased.
So I trundle on. I’ll get the boring stuff out the way and get Rivals ON AIR released when I can though there’s no real rush. I’m excited about it but I’m the only one – and I’ve read it! Hehe.
Have fun y’all, don’t work too hard, and remember to always make time for fun!

Have fun on your adventures,

xSx

Write, write, and write again...

I love to write – yes, contain your gasps of surprise – it’s hard work but fun, so I don’t really notice the work part very often. Every person’s process is different; please note that I said “person” because most people do write at least on occasion. Whether you’re jotting down a lunch order, or writing a memo, writing takes time from all of our lives. We have our internal codes, little notations in the way we reference certain things so as to be assured we remember them or act correctly; our own writing flair, if you will.
The difference of recreational writing – and I mean beyond just your usual plot, characters, themes, style etc. – is that once is never enough. I’m editing at the moment as anyone who’s read my Facebook page knows. Editing is a difficult process. It’s not quite as fun as the writing part, but it is good to relive what you have created.
As I’m sure most of you are aware a key part of the editing process is walking away, yes you heard me right – walking away. Once you have finished a (in my case) novel there’s a buzz. A “yippee it’s done”, then you back-up once on the flash pen, and again on two separate Clouds just in case, and then you close the file. If you’ve been ensconced in the characters world for weeks and months walking away can throw you a bit off kilter. But I take a deep breath, make a coffee, and think about what’s next – which is not editing.
Walking away gives time and space for your brain to snap back into reality then gives you distance to allow a better perspective – at least in theory – and it works for me. Editing can be a slog, and if I’m tired I stop because I don’t want to get lazy, lol. But over the years I’ve adjusted my process and I’ve found tricks to make the procedure better and more interesting.
So I’m rambling about editing because it’s relevant to what I’ve been up to. But I’m blogging because I have a conundrum. Being an indie author is great because you have the freewill to enjoy the process without being bogged down in the business side of things. But the difficulty in that is you also have to make your own decisions.
Here’s my point, Mistake Me Not has gone out and people seem to enjoy reading Lacie and Ryder’s tale as much as I did creating it. But I have another standalone novel, which has been finished for a while, and I’m just going through the editing process with now.
So here’s the question, do I carry on editing and get the standalone out there ASAP? Or do I go back to finish the next novel in the Stone Investigations series? The next one is basically done; I’ve got enough mapped out for another couple.
Anyhow, I want to ensure that my readers have what they want, and I’m happy to accommodate them. But while I’m still trying to carve out a fan base I’m getting little feedback so I have no idea what people want!
I have to say a special thank you to those who “liked” and “followed” the blog after my last post. It really meant a lot to me that you showed the love 😀 I really appreciate it.
So what I’m going to do is keep playing with Hunter and Annie (standalone) because those guys are fun and I’ve neglected them for a while. I haven’t figured out a title yet, which will be a blog for another day – “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
As always any questions or comments are welcome and in the meantime just remember – in life we get only one take; and all editing is subjective. 😉

Good luck on your adventures,
Scarlett

Talking to myself

Insanity’s just another word for thinking outside the box…

This is tough. This whole publishing bit. The writing I’ve got a grip on. The editing I can cope with. The publishing is fiddly but you get to grips with it. The hardest part (and this won’t come as a galloping shock to anyone) is marketing.
It’s not that the marketing is difficult per se, the process is never ending, and there are a bunch of decisions to make. Often as soon as you make one you almost immediately decide it was the wrong choice *deep breath*. But that’s not why it’s difficult, read on…
As a writer I’m used to talking to myself. I do it out loud, in my head, on paper, on the keyboard, pretty much everywhere it can occur it does. But as a writer when I put something on paper, when I make a decision, and talk to myself, I can respond. It’s not as kooky as it sounds. We’ve all had the odd argument with ourselves, talked something out loud just to make sense of it, and as a writer that’s what I do.
Also, part of my job is dialogue, so when I type out something a character would say, or read it aloud to see if it makes sense, I can decide what comes next.
“How you doing today Joe?”
“Muddling through, how about you?”
“Not so great, some nutcase dinged my Ferrari.’
“Didn’t your wife just leave you?”
“Yeah, but replacing her is easy.”
I make it up as I go along – so to speak.
So, when I published ‘XY Factor’ I did a bit of advertising, not loads because I didn’t want it to take over my life – you really could go round the bend with all the options out there. E-books are everywhere, and everyone has one to publish; fair dues.
Then I put ‘Mistake Me Not’ out there and did less advertising.
I’m not wholly concerned with exposure. I don’t care if only five people read my novels. But the difficult thing is knowing when to stop.
I have another novel that I’m editing, and I’m excited about this one, really, really, excited because Hunter Riordan is such a sweetie-pie (though he’d never say it out loud) and I had such fun writing it. Maybe the most fun I’ve had since writing Nick and Bella’s tale (prequel to XY Factor). I want to get my work out there, and I want people to read and enjoy it. Like I say if it’s only five people who care about my characters then I’m happy to write for them. I’ll allot time to ensure deadlines are met and I’ll continue to feed the beast – so to speak.
It’s like this, blogging, it’s actually quite fun, and I hadn’t realised. I didn’t know I would enjoy this. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer so I type fast, and can get my ideas out quickly, that it’s nice to meander without a specific goal in mind – though writing as myself is a novelty, lol. Except if no one reads it, and no one cares about my characters, or has an interest in news or sneak peeks, then my writing may as well have stayed on my hard drive. I wouldn’t have to take time away from writing to publish, blog, advertise etc. and that’s the only thing I miss when I do these things. If I don’t have to do this then I could be writing just for me and immersing myself in the worlds I create.
So, if you care, if you’ve read my work, or are reading it, if you have ideas, comments, questions then please do share them with me. Comment on the blog, or review a piece, hell swing by goodreads and mail me, or Amazon, or Smashwords.
I love writing. I love getting my work out there. But I do wonder at what point talking to myself becomes a problem, lol. Without a hello how do I know anyone’s there… is anyone there?

Thanks for listening,
Scarlett