Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Fun Facts: Studying the Craft

"Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret." (Matthew Arnold)

So I'm currently taking an online course titled "What Does Nora Roberts Know That You Don't?" offered through Lowcountry RWA. Like attending conferences, classes, workshops, and the like are great ways to jump start your writing. This one's only 3 weeks long, but our instructor has packed a lot in already. As a published author, I've already heard and used some of the techniques she's talking about. But there's ALWAYS something new to learn and apply. With a background in Hollywood and movie production, she's got a lot to say about story structure, archetypal characters every story needs, and scenes every story arc must have.

I can see where it's easy to get bogged down, though, especially if you do a lot of reading or studying. Different 'great' teachers have different techniques they swear by, and a lot of the newer/unpublished writers on the class loop with me are getting confused. I think the best thing is to read over as much writing instruction as you can and filter out what works for you. Continue to learn, of course, but don't spend so much time weaving this strategy with that one that you confuse yourself only to end up writing and rewriting the first few chapters over and over again.

Turn off your inner editor and let yourself go. Come back later and edit that page, using the strategies you've learned in moderation, and one at a time. Speaking of getting words down on the page, I've been tinkering with a sequal project to Beacon of Love, which is coming out next year. This one is tentatively titled Inferno of Love and gives one of my favorite minor characters from the first book his own story. This is also the first time I've written a sequel to any of my books, and I'm finding it a lot of fun! It's neat to go back to a town and characters I already know and see what they've been up to in the three years since the other book finished...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Writers' Wednesday: New Cover Art!

“Just give me a thousand words and you may make your own pictures.” (Erica Goros)

Ooh, look! I just got my cover from Audio Lark for Summer's Song, which releases in audio book format September 12th!

What I love about this cover is that it suggests a few important things about the story: that it's set in a small rural town, that it's about coming home (walking the road back home) and that it's set in the middle of a hot & steamy summer. Love the bare legs :) Also, I think the idea that it's a sweet romance comes across as well. It's interesting to take a look at the ebook/print book cover that Samhain did (over there on the right sidebar) - so different, right?? I love different artists' interpretations of a story!