Rekindling my Love for Love!

My next book is going to be packed full of romance.

Why?

Because I want it to be 😀

I love romance, hence why I write it, but my last couple of books have had heavy stories to go along with romance. And I’d say they were romance of a different kind- a passionate, heavy romance.

This time I want something light and romantic.

So, I wanted to write a book where romance was going to be the main theme of the story. But, it’s also going to be a contemporary piece and I haven’t written a chick-lit type book before. So I needed to get into the mood for writing it.

I scoured the kindle store for books in that genre, but also I watched a lot of romance movies.

I have to say, they really did help me get in the right frame of mind 😀 As I said in my Romance Weekly post last week, I am very inspired by the visual.

I watched Austenland, which was just beyond awesome!

tumblr_n5sq2v9mUU1qmgx8uo1_500

Then I had an overload on Jane Austen, watching Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Next up was While You were Sleeping and Penelope.

I have to admit, I was a bit de-motivated when I started writing my book, as I enjoyed writing in the fantasy genre so much. But watching these movies and reading that type of story reminded me exactly why I planned this book next.

Because I love every moment of those fun romantic movies! Every stolen glance, every damsel-in-distress moment, and every inevitable kiss in the rain! 😀

My next book is going to be a light, fun read where the romance genre in movies and books is heavily involved in the storyline, so watching and reading this type of genre has been perfect for getting me in the right frame of mind.

Let’s call it research! Very necessary research.

I always forget just how much the right mind-set can help to give me motivation to keep writing!

If you’re finding yourself a bit stuck in your story or not motivated, pick up a book in the same genre or watch a movie and remind yourself why you chose that genre. Reigniting your love of that type of story can be an amazing way exciting your creativity to keep writing!

Do you sometimes have to re-find your love of a genre? Do you always read within a specific genre? Are there any books or movies that instantly get you in the mood for writing?

Progress Report:

Status of Fifth Manuscript: Writing first draft.
Word count: 2395 (Total word count: 24770)

Books read: 3/4

End of August indie book review: Written and ready.

Now let’s try it that way…

I realised something recently about my planning process.

For each book I have written so far, I have planned them each with a different technique.

I haven’t done this on purpose 😀 It is just something that has happened naturally as I started to plan.

It was an interesting observation about my planning style that I didn’t really notice until today. Possibly it’s because I write different sub-genres and it works better in my head for certain genres to be planned out certain ways.

Stolen Bloodline: I didn’t have much of a plan at all, I wrote scenes that I liked and then worked them all together.

The Queen’s Jester: I made an incredibly detailed bullet point plan that had every single scene and moment detailed on it.

Jesterplan

Heart of the Arena: I did something similar to The Queen‘s Jester, but the bullet point style was loose, only detailing big scenes and not specific moments.

heartplan

Prophecy of Stones: I planned out like a map. The characters go on a quest-style journey, so I plotted out the map and the route they would take, then I noted down what happened at each location on the map.

mapplan

For my next book (number 5!): I have taken the approach of noting down scenes on notelets and spreading them out on the floor.

Obviously there are a lot more notelets than this! But you get the idea.

Obviously there are a lot more notelets than this! But you get the idea.

The notelets have been brilliant as I have been able to see the gaps where I need to fill in scenes or link scenes together, but I’m not sure it would have suited the way I approached writing my other books. These different ways of planning have certainly showed me how much variety and individuality there is in the writing process, and it makes me wonder how I will plan out book number 6 😀

So my tip for the day is: If you ever feel stuck or get a bit of writer’s block, it might be worth trying out a different method of plotting a scene, short story, book, poem, etc. You never know if looking at it in a different way might just jog something new 🙂

Have you tried out different planning methods? Do you use one method that works for you all the time? Do you have any planning tips or tricks for others?

Progress Report:

Status of fifth manuscript: Writing first draft.

Word count: 5100 (Total word count: 8863).

Books read: 3/4

Mid-August book review: Written and ready.

At the Break of Dawn

Photo by Twisted Pixel on Flickr

Photo by Twisted Pixel on Flickr

A few people commented on my Romance Weekly blog post at how they were impressed that I had such a set schedule for my writing and could stick to it.

For a start I have to say I am very lucky to be able to write full time, so that is a major help, as that is pretty much all I concentrate my effort on. I realise a lot of people can’t do this as they have full time jobs, children, etc.

But the comments got me thinking about my routine for writing and if I could change, would I?

The answer is yes.

I wouldn’t change how long I write for, well, I would like to up the amount of hours I write, but I would change at what time of day I write.

I generally settle down to start writing at about 9:30am, after my morning chores have been completed. I write until around 12:30pm at which time I then check my blog, post a blog post and do all my social media and things which can take up the rest of the day.

It’s a good routine that works for me, but if I could I would change the time I write to about 4:30am.

Yes.

4:30. In the morning 😀

I am not a morning person, if I’m honest I’m not really a ‘day’ person. I am very much a night owl and can easily (and happily) stay up all night until the early hours of the morning and sleep all day. Most of my best work is done at night!

Dawn usually breaks at about 4am here, and wow, it’s an incredible time. It’s so quiet with only the birds chirping, and the light is soft and soothing. No one is around, which means I can concentrate and give everything to my writing.

There is something amazing about dawn, it feels slightly dream-like, and it is my ideal writing time.

Unfortunately I can’t write at this time, my dog wouldn’t be too happy about that! Plus everyone else is up during the day, so to get things done I need to be to talk to them at regular hours, like normal people 😀

It did make me think though, about other writers and their favourite times to write. Not everyone likes the same routine and I find it interesting (‘cause I’m completely nosey) to learn the best ways others like to write.

What time is your favourite time to write? Are you a day or night person? Would you change your writing routine if you could? Do you even have a writing routine?

Progress Report:

Status of Prophecy of Stones: Completing edits from the readers.

Books read: 2/4

July eBook review: Written and ready.

Can you feel it?

Photo by Dr Wendy Longo via Flickr

Photo by Dr Wendy Longo via Flickr

I am in the very early stages of planning out my next book. I know I shouldn’t be, I have got to focus on finishing my others! But I can’t help myself 😀 So, I’m doing little bits and pieces here and there to satisfy my craving.

My next book will be a romance again, but in a different sub-genre. I’ve been getting inspiration and doing bits of research, and I realised something about how I write.

I like to get the feel for the genre I’m writing.

For example, for Stolen, I read paranormal books, I watched vampire movies and tv shows. I immersed myself into that world and the feeling of the paranormal genre.

For The Queen’s Jester, I watched medieval shows, I read medieval romances. And for my third book (which I will give an intro to at some point and a title so as I can stop calling it my ‘third book’ :D), I dove into researching Romans and that life, surrounded myself in information of Romans and took up watching Spartacus!

I haven’t ever realised it before, but apparently my subconscious knows I need to immerse myself in the genre and get the feel of it for writing. Which is great, the more my head is in that genre then its likely the better I am going to write in it. It just means for a few months I watch, read and think nothing but the genre!

I think that is why visual aids helped me so much on my last book, it’s just another way of surrounding myself with that genre and getting into the mind-set of that story. Doing that means it flows easy and the writing has that distinct feel to it that I want.

It was just one of those random observations about my writing process I didn’t realise until I stepped back and actually looked at how I go about planning a new book 😀

Do you immerse yourself in the particular genre you’re writing? Do you have an unusual things you do to get into the right frame of mind for writing different genres?

Progress Report

Publishing status:
> Stolen- Formatting. (Still to do: Cover, blurb, marketing).
> The Queen’s Jester- Final edits. (Still to do: Cover, blurb, formatting, marketing).
> Third Manuscript- Final edits. (Still to do: Cover, blurb, formatting, marketing).

May E-Book Review: Reading.

Quiet, please…

'Quiet' by elycefeliz on Flickr

‘Quiet’ by elycefeliz on Flickr

On Tuesday when I posted my Romance Weekly post, I had to ask my readers not to read that post at all.

Why? I hear you ask. Well, I shall tell you 😀

I hold back any details I possibly can about my stories and books from my readers and people in general whilst writing. I do this because I find it helps motivate me to keep going, because I have that constant excitement about what they will think of the book, and can’t wait to talk to them about it when it’s done.

It keeps me writing.

By the time they have read the book, I’m about ready to burst with the need to discuss it! But, for me, it’s the best decision. I think if I talked about the book whilst writing, I might lose interest in actually getting it down onto paper because I’d already talked it into the ground (which I can do, trust me, I can chat for hours!).

Also, I find that if I give my readers no knowledge at all about the book, then the editing and comments are better for it. If I told them what the book was about, or details on it, then they might understand things in the book due to prior knowledge, where as those scenes might appear complicated to another reader who doesn’t have that prior knowledge.

Though I do have to admit, I talk to my dog about the story and use her as a platform for talking problems out. She’s a good listener, sometimes, when she’s in the mood!

So, if you ever wondered why I am so tight-lipped on the subject of my books whilst writing them, that’s why 😀

What keeps you motivated to write your story until the very end? Do you like to discuss your books whilst writing them?

Progress Report

Status of Third Manuscript: With my readers. 1 out of 3 copies back.

April E-Book Review: Book read. Review ready.

That’s the Spot

I read an author interview over at Nicky Peacock- Author blog where she interviewed A.S Fenichel. It was a great interview with fun answers, but one question really caught my attention:

‘Where do you write the best?’

It got me thinking about my ideal writing space compared to where I write at the moment.

This is what my writing space looks like in the living room:

Workspace

It’s comfy, lots of space (if Harliquin doesn’t take up all the seat!) and in general is quiet during the day. It works for me, I enjoy writing there and I am generally quite productive. The small table also means I can use the laptop for typing up my longhand things.

But if I got to choose my dream writing space, it probably wouldn’t be that. I can dream BIG.

I’d probably have a little cottage somewhere out in the middle of nowhere, just birdsong and nature the only things I could hear. My writing room (with a fabulous view onto a lake or countryside, obviously) would be well organised, be stocked with reference books and be decorated with antique furniture and pretty colours.

That is my fantasy writing place 😀 I’m not sure if having that would make me write any better, mind you.

But what I have now works for me, and finding any place to write is more important then not writing at all, right? 😀

What’s your dream writing place? Is it a lot different to where you write now? Do you think the space we write in makes a difference to the actual writing produced?

Progress Report

Word Count: 3,683.

Status of Second Manuscript: Writing first draft.

February E-Book Review: Writing review.

Genres and the Act of Crossing Over

In a discussion recently, a question was asked that caught my attention:

Should a writer stick to one genre or is ok to write in multiple ones?

My direct answer was that they can write whatever they feel like writing. Why should a writer be stuck to one genre just because it happens to be the one they wrote their first book on?

I have heard and read many articles from professional authors and others who say that a writer should stick to what they know, to stay in one genre and write that well. And that makes sense, the more you write in one thing, presumably, the better you will get.

But what if your creativity doesn’t want to always stay in, for example, fantasy? What if your mind suddenly bursts with ideas for a romping good tale about astronauts in another galaxy? Should you forget it altogether because that’s sci-fi and you wrote a fantasy book last time? Of course not! If sci-fi is where you want to head next, then sci-fi is exactly where you should go.

If we always think that we must stick to one genre then it puts up a barrier around our creativity. It’s a good thing to expand our horizons and test out new things, that includes writing in new fields.

I write romance (or attempt to!), but that is quite a broad genre as romance isn’t one thing it usually has to go with something else e.g. Paranormal romance, historical romance etc.

But although my head tends to think in love stories, they span a wide range of settings, times and characters. Not once when I began my writing life did I ever think that I would always have to limit myself to writing paranormal romance because that was what I chose first.

It was also really nice to see that people agreed with my comments. Everyone encouraged this writer to write in whatever field she wanted to, because that was obviously where her creativity wanted her to go to next.

I also understand that some people only write in one genre, and that their minds just happen to like writing like that. There’s nothing wrong with that at all either. In fact I am in awe of those people to have such focused minds! Mine jumps about from one setting to another faster than I blink.

In the end, it’s up to the writer what they write. Don’t be put off by people telling you that the famous writers always write in one genre only. On the other hand, if someone tells you that you should try writing something different if you only want to write in a single genre, ignore them.

Writing is about getting out what you love, no matter where that story may be set or what that article is about.

Progress Report:

Status of First Manuscript: With proof-readers. (My nerves are about at their limit in waiting! 😀 )

January E-Book Review: 100% Read. Writing review.

How do you feel about crossing genres as a writer? Do you do it? Or do you like to stick to one?

Why Do Writers Write?

Not for the money, as I have been told many, many times.

And it’s true. I recently read a blog post over at Free Your Pen called, What Writers Really Earn. It was referencing an article which pretty much just summed up the fact of what we already know: Writers don’t earn much. It was in fact talking of published authors, not self published writers who find it even harder to earn from their craft.

So, why do writers write at all?

I know the answer for me is because I love to do it. I love to write. My head is always full of stories and characters that I need to get down onto paper and want to put out into the world for others to enjoy. It provides a break from reality which sometimes can feel rather suffocating.

Real life involves money worries, car troubles and just general stress. Writing gives me a break from that, a few hours where I can lose myself in adventure, love and the worries of characters who are not me. I hope that my writing can provide the reader a break from the world too. A moment where they can just enjoy rather than think.

In today’s world I think so many of us get hung up on money. I know it is an important part of life but it has overcome the world. Everything is about the money. Now, as I am taking this journey to becoming a writer I realise I want to enjoy life. I am choosing this mostly because I want to get to the end of my life and think, ‘I really enjoyed what I did’.

Don’t get me wrong, I know people have to earn money to live and that means working jobs they don’t like or giving up on dreams they can’t afford. But writing can give some just an hour of respite from that when they get home from work or on a weekend.

And I that is why I write, why I need to write. It’s a break from reality and its troubles to get lost in another, less stressful world if only for a while.

Progress Report

Status of first manuscript: With proof-readers.

January E-Book Review: 62% read.

Why do you write? Is it all about earning the money? Or is it something else?