I’m done! I’m doooonnnneee!

I just completed my first draft of my 7th novel, PAINTING SHADOWS!

I edited it two or three times.  Now, it will be ignored until I complete my first draft of my 8th book.  Then I’ll bring it back out, reedit a couple of more times, then send it to an editor who will make me redo it again before publishing.

This is a mystery where an artist, Nancy Burke, leaves all the woes of her life, and moves across the country. The move creates an ability in Nancy to perform skills she never had before.  No one had ever had before.  But, within every painting, a shadow of a woman appears.  Who is this shadow, and what does she want?

 

 

WHAT’S YOUR METHOD?

Ask 100 authors what method they use for writing, you’ll get 105 different answers.  That’s the beauty of our world of writing.  Every author has their own style and method that works for them. So, there is no right or wrong way to write. When I post, I state things as I would do.  I do not speak for every author.

When I start a book, I begin with daydreaming.  I get an idea pop in my big ole’ head, then I form a story around that idea.  I once wrote a book “loosely” based on my crush for Josh Groban, which will NEVER BE PUBLISHED.  But, I started by imagining the two of us singing on stage.  Then I thought, “why would he be singing with me?”  Then I imagined I ran a little community theater and he agreed to sing.  Then, I thought about it.  Why would Josh Groban, Mr. Voice himself, agree to sing at a two-bit town theater?  Hmn, he is a friend of my son’s?  Where did they meet?  I do this until I form the “basic” plot in my head. (As we all know, plots tend to change as you go.)

Once I have the concept down, I daydream about my characters.  I start by completing a character sketch.  Then I daydream about that character, inside and out, until I know that character like I’ve known him or her for years.  I never start a book until each of these characters become real people.  It prevents your characters from being nothing but “talking heads.”

Next, research, research, research.  I don’t just research the topic of the book, but the flora and fauna of the area, the songs that played at that time, the types of cars, the wardrobe, etc.  It certainly allows the reader to visualize the scene when you can create a vivid picture.

Then I begin.  Most writers, not all, will tell you to write without looking back.  New writers look back a lot.  They rewrite the same chapters over and over again.  This really slows down the process, and it can actually keep you from completing your work.  I buzz straight through.  Sure, I change the name of characters along the way, I change the color of their eyes, or the room they are in.  All that gets fixed when you edit.  When I’m tempted to look back or change a previous chapter, I simply type myself a note while I’m writing.  It can be done on a tablet next to your desk, but I like to type it right into my story, so my hands never stop.  For example, I’m currently writing a book called Painting Shadows.  My MC has a scar that she is self-conscious about.  This same MC has been seeing a psych on another matter.  I wanted her to refer to that scar early in her therapy, but I didn’t want to go back to write it in at this time.  So, I did this:  “Nancy raised her hand to hide the scar on her forehead.  (ADD REASON FOR SCAR IN 1ST PSYCH APPT)  She couldn’t stand the way Clara was staring.”

After I whiz through the first draft.  I then edit to make all the corrections and additions.  Then I edit again to make sure the grammar is as good as I can make it.  Then I read it out loud.  Trust me, doing this will help you find all sorts of errors and revisions needed. (It also shows you where a story lags.) Then I rewrite it again.

THEN, I PUT IT AWAY!  I put it away until I do the first draft of my next book.  I refused to allow myself to touch it during this time.  This enables me to read my original story with fresh eyes later.  Man, do you find the errors by doing this.  Then after I rewrite it again, I send it to an editor.  No matter how perfect you THINK your story is, an editor will change it all around and find things that need to be corrected.   Trust them.  They know their stuff.

Well, that’s my method.  What’s yours?

WHERE ARE THE CELEBRITIES?

I was all set to enter a post about my writing techniques this morning.  But when I opened the internet, I saw an article that stated that six officers in three separate cities in Florida were shot last night.  Two more officers were shot up north.  I want to know where are all the celebrities?  Why isn’t anyone speaking out about this atrocious behavior of our citizens?  Surely, the people who claim to cherish all life can’t condone murdering these officers.

I believe politics is like religion.  We are free to worship any way we choose.  I don’t care how you stand.  I truly don’t.  But killing police is not a political statement.  It is an act of terrorism.  It is murder.

The media loves to cover the few unethical and questionable acts of police officers, when in fact there are millions of great acts the police do across the nation, that no one covers.  This just isn’t fair.  They come in every color, race, sex, religion, and locality.  We can’t judge them as a whole any more than we can judge any other group of citizens.  Police officers are human beings.

I want to know where are all the celebrities who have been so vocal of every political event, action, and word?  Celebrities are the most influential persons in this nation at this time.  They have become our Gods.

I beg the celebrity community to stand up in front of the cameras they love so much and say “Stop!”