Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Fun Facts: Visit Me!!

Hi everyone! Come over to Janet Walters' blog and visit me! Yesterday I blogged about my writing style and strategies, plus I celebrated my birthday :) I'd love to hear from you!

Oh, and happy weekend too!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Writers' Wednesday: What's in a Name??

Okay writers, let me ask you: how do you choose your characters' names? Do they just come to you? Do you have a resource book you use? Do you page through the phone book? (Do you still own a phone book?) Do you wander around graveyards and look at tombstones for inspiration (no joke, I have a friend who's a playwright and he does just that). There was a great article in Writer's Digest about the importance of names, and a few points are worth mentioning:

~Some names resonate as "miniature poems" : Holly Golightly, Atticus Finch, Scarlett O'Hara
~Some names are ironic: give a clumsy, awkward guy a name like Powers or Strong
~Some names are symblic: John Singer, a deaf-mute who's a prophet in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (but don't go too far! Avoid giving your hero the initials J.C.)
~Some names tap into connotative suggestions: Draco Malfoy (taken from root words suggesting dragon and malice)

Having said all that, I need a strong last name for my current hero. His first name is Lucas - he's about 6'7", beefy, ex-football player, and he's pretty introverted. The story takes place in a small New England town, and his family has lived there for three generations. Any ideas?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Mentionables: Dealing with Rejection

Happy Monday everyone! Remember, every comment on a blog post this month earns you a chance to win my "Keeping Warm in Winter" prize package!

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about dealing with rejection. I think some people are under the impression that once you publish, you never have to worry about rejection again. All your book ideas and proposals will find a contract, and your editor will love everything you submit.


First off, authors change editors and publishers A LOT. This means that you'll have different people buying your books, and if they like your style/ideas/genres, great. If they don't, well...not so great. Take it from me: this has happened a couple of times. And going from working with an editor who knows and likes your writing to submitting to an unknown commodity (especially as industry trends change) can be challenging and disheartening.

Best-selling authors talk about this in the current issue of Romance Writers Report. Their advice: have a routine to deal with rejection. Whether that includes a hot bath, a glass of wine, or calling a friend to vent, make sure you have a way to soothe your ego.

Then, try not to take it personally. The market changes. Sales change. Editors change. This is a business, and you are part of that business. Look at the market, your writing, and current hot genres and decide whether you want to change, shift, or keep on doing what you're doing (all valid choices, by the way).

Finally, realize that there's a certain freedom in rejection. Yes, freedom. You don't have a deadline hanging over your head. You don't have hours of promotion and social interaction to keep up with. What you do have is the time to play around with your writing, your ideas, maybe even the crazy notion for a brand new story that you never had the time or courage to try out before. Now you do.

Rejection happens, even to published authors. And rejection hurts. But it can also be empowering. Keep that in mind, and forge onward.