Category Archives: am writing

I have a story out

redhots-3d-book

I’ve been quiet around here because I’ve been busy but look! It’s alive!!

I have written an erotic short story under the name Barbara Be and it’s published now!

This anthology has a great variety of stories, there’s something in here for everyone. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

http://mybook.to/redhots

Not dead, still running

Only metaphorical of course, this is a no-sports zone, thank you very much. me-snow

I just wanted to pop in here, to show my metaphorical face. It was snowing this morning, I was not amused.

 

Tempting The Dragon will continue soon but I’m currently working on something else. I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, aiming for half the amount of the normal words.

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-150

sexy-ailen-assAs I have said before, I came to writing by writing porny sexy fanfiction and looking at those real world examples made me think that I could write stuff like this at least as good as that if not better.

Sooooo, yes, there’s going to be alien porn and it’s going to be sexy and romantic.

On that note, I would also like to point to this writing opportunity: A sexy Anthology for Valentines Day is looking for contributions.

The story needs to be:
Between 5,000 and 8,000 words in length
ORIGINAL characters – I don’t care if it’s fanfic with the serial numbers filed off, as long as they’re filed off thoroughly
M/F or M/F/M
Sexy romance/erotica. At least one EXPLICIT sex scene that should last around 1,500 to 2,000 words.
End on a positive note – if not an HEA, at least Happy For Now
EDIT: Valentine’s themed!

There you have it. If you have a naughty sexy story on the backburner, this may be the opportunity to get it out into the world.

So long and happy writing!

When the chapter just doesn’t work

I have been working on the next chapter for Tempting The Dragon (among other things, why does the list of things I’m writing get longer every day?) and I read through the 3000 words I wrote and I have to admit: this just doesn’t work.

As always, I already knew something was wrong while I wrote it, neither the emotions nor the urgency of the events came over in a convincing way. Isn’t it weird how our writer brain keeps yelling at us “this is all wrong!” and we just ignore it? Or is it just me?

Now, after awareness comes the analysis and then the consequences.

Analysis — what is wrong with this chapter?

  • Theme failure: for a fun little action romance, the subject turned way too grim.
  • personal uneasiness: turns out, I really don’t want to think and write about children getting kidnapped, at least not on a close and personal level.
  • insecurities about the characters: Since I’m mostly pantsing, as I always do, I’m only just now getting to know the characters. They are both a bit reluctant to take action at the moment. I wonder how a story can be interesting when both main characters would rather stay home and read instead of going on life-threatening adventures.

The consequences:

  • Unfortunately, this chapter needs a new start. It’s not enough to edit it a bit, it needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.
  • I’m going over my rough plot list and see what I need to change to make the action believable and the characters more active.
  • Read and write. I have lots of things in the works and I keep adding books to my pile that I want to read “for inspiration” and haven’t made it past the first ten pages on any of those.

What does that mean for the story? No worries, it’s not going on hiatus, I just need two more weeks to write a new chapter. I think. I may be a teeny bit too optimistic there. Probably two weeks.

Oh what the hell, lets nail this down. Deadlines are supposed to be good for writers, right? The new chapter will be published… drumroll please… 27th of August my time (Central European Whatsit). That’s a Saturday, that should work.

See you then!

Be safe friends and write a lot!

Writing — online or offline?

Hello friends!

I have just been on vacation, had hardly any access to free WiFi and/or reliable mobile data connection.

no-wifi

And that’s when I realized that my writing process is flawed.

Recently I have been writing exclusively in Google docs. I’m not even sure why I like it so much but I just love writing in it. Maybe it’s the reduced interface, it has everything I need and nothing more. And I can easily switch over to another tab in the browser if I want to reward myself for a good writing spurt by looking at tumblr or twitter. Yes, that’s the kind of thing I do and yes, sometimes I kind of lose time on those  sites and I have only myself to blame but you know, life is hard enough and you got to keep the little things you like alive and I’m a grown ass woman and if I want to look at pictures of sexy aliens I’m gonna fucking do it.

Anyhow.

As it turns out, google docs swallowed a lot of data from my data plan. I could live with that but when we were at our vacation home, the cellphone connection was so bad that I didn’t even get a connection at all and docs stopped working on my phone, despite all the documents having been set to offline use.

So there was my first clue.

I managed to successfully write on my phone at the beach right under the cellphone tower with my little bluetooth keyboard. Which drained the battery of my phone in the span of an hour. Lesson learned for next years vacation: bring the netbook again.

Now today, Google Drive fails to connect to the server. Has failed for over an hour now.

internally-screamingI’m taking this as my second clue.

I need to check my writing process again.

I used to write everything in LibreOffice. But it felt like work, it looks too much like a program for tables and invoices and my creativity shrivels and dies when I look at it.
Writing in FocusWriter worked for a while but then I still had all these odt documents that I needed to open in LibreOffice to work over. Back in the invoice writing thing and ugh…

I tried Scrivener for a while about 2 years ago and I was thinking of giving that another try. I don’t remember why I stopped using it. It even was in limitless beta under Linux so I could use it as long as I wanted. But now I checked the site and it seems like the company does not plan to further develop the linux version. As almost all my computers run linux, it looks like that software is now out of the race too.

Now what?

Writer’s Cafe has a linux version, maybe I’ll try the demo for that. Or should I just overcome my disgust with LibreOffice?

Come on Google Drive, give me back my chapter!

become a writer

A quick note

So this:

CNW_Participant

…starts in just a few hours!

screeeech

My writing project is… everything. I have so many unfinished WIPs, I’m just going to work on everything.

WIP madness2

For the few people who want to read more of Tempting The Dragon, fear not, that story is also part of my project and I have even constructed something like a very rough OUTLINE!

gasp joey

I know right?!

I’m making this post as a promise to myself to A: stick with it and B: work on some good wordcounts and C: post my progress here.

See you soon and if you also participate in Camp NaNoWriMo — Good wording to you!

Outlining will be my downfall

My outline is still not… I can’t even say that it’s not finished because, frankly — it does not exist at all. Yes, I know Camp Nanowrimo has already started, shut up, I’m working on it!

Outlining has turned into a self fulfilling prophecy of failure over here. I just can’t get myself to do it and I still know that I need one to actually get this novel done. I know this!

I have personal proof and experience that I need some rough guideline to be successful. In fanfiction that part is easy, the game or movie or what ever the fanfiction is based upon provides the framework for the story. But for original fiction I have to do this myself and that part of my brain is like a screaming little toddler stomping his feet and whining “No no no, I won’t do it, I don’t want to! I don’t  — oh what is that? Gimme gimme gimme, oh I’m sleepy…”

bangheadagainstwall

So much for that. I guess Camp Nanowrimo is starting with outlining for me.

With Libbie Hawker’s framework I got to this form to fill:

Outline according to Libbie Hawker’s ‘Take Off Your Pants!’

  • Main character
  • External goal
  • Internal goal
  • Antagonist
  • Plot
    • Opening Scene:
    • Inciting Event:
    • Character realizes external goal
    • Display of Flaw
    • Drive for Goal
    • Antagonist Revealed
    • Thwart #1
    • Revisiting Flaw
    • New Drive for Goal
    • Antagonist Attacks
    • Thwart #2
    • New Drive for Goal
    • Antagonist Attacks
    • Thwart #3
    • Repeat as needed
    • Changed Goal
    • Ally Attacks
    • Girding the Loins
    • Battle
    • Death
    • Outcome
  • End

Flaw:

Ally:

Theme:

Now, looking at this list, I can totally see how useful it is. But it just doesn’t work for me. My brain just freezes up. If you look at this and it speaks to you, get her book and work through it.

For me, I’m going back to another book:  2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron.

In her book she starts with analyzing how you can write faster and more but I want to skip ahead to the part of How to plot a novel in 5 easy steps. That name alone warms me to it.

It starts with Step 0: Decide what book you want to write.

What an excellent question! As Rachel Aaron says, the book you want to write has to excite you for a long time. You’ll be working on it for weeks, months or even years, this better be a project that you want to look at for such a long time.

I think this is also a good point to think about the theme and genre of the novel.

I my next posts I will show how my outline grows and how the novel grows from that. For now, the theme for this novel will be:

Paranormal action romance. 

tada

Ta Da! Awesome theme is awesome!

Crossposted to my tumblr.

Camp NaNoWriMo!

As I have failed to keep a blogging schedule once again, let’s just start something new.

Hi there! I’m going to do Camp NaNoWriMo, how about you?

In case  you don’t know what that is, Camp NaNo comes from the same people that bring you the National Novel Writing Month every November (which is the worst time of the year, seriously, only single dudes could come up with that date!). Camp is much more relaxed than the big NaNoWriMo, the main reason for that is: you set your own goal!

Setting your own goal is so good! It’s this load of pressure off my chest. Instead of having to meet this arbitrary goal of 50,000 words, I just set my goal to 28,000 words and it so nice. Look at that attainable goal, so slim and friendly!

The only problem now… I kind of procrastinated preparing for Camp. I don’t have an outline, I don’t even have a full idea of a story. I have a a vague plot bunny jumping around in my head and a few characters but I haven’t written down a single thing.

So… that’s what I’m going to now, eh?

Start with character

It’s Thursday and of course I’m nowhere near my goal of “having this shit figured out, established a routine and wrote an outline” yet. There also should have been a decision about what novel to write at some point…

I’m about 90% certain that I will restart and rewrite the science fiction novel, working title: Spacedames!

A long time ago I even submitted it to Ryan Lanz’ blog for a critique of the first 350 words in his section Under The Microscope. The feedback was in line with what I thought too: it needs some more tuning but it is a good opening. I can do openings, the big swampy middle is my weakness.

Now in my quest of being smarter than usually about this process, I decided to actually use some of the many writing books I have acquired. As I said in the last post, I’m using 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron and Take Off Your Pants! by Libbie Hawker. And I’m also listening to the writingexcuses podcast.

Combining all that knowledge from Aaron saying that “effective writing starts with knowledge” (paraphrasing here) and Hawker saying to start with the character, and an episode of the podcast about characters, I took a good long look at my MC. And I have a problem.

My main character is stubborn, confident and knows how to act rational despite being nervous. And she stays that way. My character has no arc.

This is something I have to address and maybe it’s also one of the reasons that I stopped writing this story at about the 30% mark, a destiny that so many other stories have met before. In a way, I sensed that something did not work with it. And I’m also lacking a theme despite the obvious “lost in space” with sexy aliens vibe .

My homework for the coming week: Develop the main character, give her an arc. And decide on a theme for the novel.

How about you? Does your main character have an arc?

Look at that, it’s Thursday.

So here we are, it’s Thursday, the weekly writing post is here.

As I said, I want to talk about outlines. I hate outlines. I wrote an outline for NaNoWriMo 2014 and it took me three days to fill one page and I bitched and complained to everyone about it the whole time. Afterwards I felt like I had zapped all my energy. It took me a whole day to find the energy to write again, good thing that I started early enough with that outline.

For NaNoWriMo 2015 I skipped the outline. I had a rough plan but I didn’t make an outline. I just wrote by the seat of my pants like I have always done. It was fun!

So, outlines are not for me, right?

But here’s the thing: I won NaNo2014 but I didn’t even make it to a half NaNo in 2015. I may hate the process of outlining but I’m convinced that they are absolutely necessary to write consistently and in useful amounts of words. What’s a useful amount of words? I don’t know yet but it’s closer to 1000 words than 100 per day.

Among the many, many, MANY links and books with writing advice I have plenty of advice to get me started on outlines. But I decided to mostly follow the advice in these two books:

  1. Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing 
    by Libbie Hawker
  2. 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love
    by Rachel Aaron

I may add other things to the coming posts because I have collected a LOT OF advice. But I want to limit myself to three resources because I have a tendency to overload myself with information and then I do nothing with it.

More to come in my adventures of writing this novel soon!