~ By Melina Kantor So it's just about Week 3 of NaNoWriMo. Anyone else feel like this?
Anyway, I came across this NaNo pep talk, and even if you're not doing NaNo, it's good inspiration:One more thought:
"Be like Mae West, brash and bold and brave." ~ Anne Stuart
Have a great weekend.
Write on, everyone! :-)
Melina writes contemporary women’s fiction with a pinch of oregano and a dash of chutzpah. She just returned from a two month trip to Crete and Israel, where she visited family and friends did her best to turn her travels into research and inspiration for her writing. You can visit her at http://melinakantor.com.
~ By Melina Kantor On Sunday, I went to a fabulous NaNoWriMo write-in, and, just for fun, asked fellow Wrimos to share some of their thoughts about NaNoWriMo.
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I want to see if I’m capable of writing 50,000 words. And even if I’m not, whatever I write this month is more than I would write otherwise. ~ Anonymous
Write-ins are good for commiserating and getting support, egging each other on, and doing sprints. They can be helpful to push people to reach their goals. Write-ins in New York are full of awesome people. It’s great to meet other writers and chat about your writing. ~ Erin O’Brien, NYC Municipal Liaison
Come out. Come meet other writers. You can find a cheerleader or a nemesis. The first NaNo I won was the first NaNo I went to a write-in. I take it as a sign that I haven’t lost since. ~ Marsha August
NaNoWriMo is more about the community than the writing. I meet amazing, inspiring, people every November, and have learned so much from the experience. ~ Alexis Daria, NYC Municipal Liaison
NaNoWriMo is a great way to get a first draft, and it’s never perfect, you always needs a second draft no matter how wonderful a writer you are. Writing a whole novel is so daunting, but if you write a novel quickly, it’s not as daunting anymore. And revision is December’s problem. ~ Erika (who reached 50K at the write-in on 11/13!)
~ Nan Reinhardt …maybe. So here’s the weird part about being a writer, well one of the weird parts. I’m never done. I buttoned up the revisions on the first novel last night, dealt with my crit partner’s comments and edits and worked out the parts that still needed tweaking. When I was done, I put all the chapters together into a manuscript file and saved it. Then I sent it to my Kindle so I could read it again in book form. Six pages into Chapter 1, I found a POV (Point of View) glitch that neither of us caught. Um…probably a safe bet that my heroine is not going to think about the color of her own eyes when she’s fighting tears. My critique partner will tell you that I have issues with POV–mostly when I get caught up in dialogue. I’m telling the story, creating the conversations between my characters, and I lose track of the fact that the hero doesn’t think of his own shoulders as brawny and the heroine doesn’t realize her own skin is touchable. POV was a new concept to me, in spite of the fact that I’ve been writing for years. It never occurred to me that I needed to stay in the head of the person who was guiding the scene. Another term I’ve learned is “head-hopping,” which means going from one character’s thoughts to another’s in the same scene. Not a good thing unless you’re already an established author and have published numerous titles. Then you can probably get away with it because we already love you and we’ll read anything at all you write, even if you break the rules. I’m not sure how to define my writing style–except that I’m a story teller and I can get very sappy, which in the romance world is not particularly a bad thing. I’m working on my tendency to overuse adverbs, since my partner has threatened more than once to come and rip the “l” and “y” keys off my keyboard. Another thing is that I write with a lot of emotion, but I have hard time writing anger, I think because I have a hard time being angry. I’m not good at it. My biggest problem is that I’m not only a writer; I’m also an editor–that’s how I make my living. And I edit nonfiction–a lot of college textbooks–so the language is completely different from the language I use to write my novels. But the editor kicks in occasionally. For example, the use of “bad” versus “badly,” as in “He wanted her so badly, it hurt.” Now, editor Nan fixed this to read, “He wanted her so bad it hurt.” Here’s why. “Badly” is an adverb that describes the action, so the sentence as is tells me (editor Nan) that the guy is doing a poor job of wanting her. “Bad,” on the other hand is an adjective that describes the level of his feeling–he wants her a lot. So, logically, well, grammatically, that’s correct. But, that’s not how we talk. Most people would say “badly.” “I feel badly for him.” or “She wanted him so badly…” You get the picture. If you read the words aloud–something I’m learning to do as I write–“badly” just flows better. Maybe not to my editorial ear, but to most reader’s ears, it would. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and probably again and again. Writing is learning. If I stop learning, my writing stops improving. And I always want to be the best writer I can be. Nan Reinhardt is a romance writer. She’s also a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and grandmother to one aging bunny and a golden retriever named, Lily. She’s been an antiques dealer, a bank teller, a stay-at-home mom, a secretary, and for the last fifteen years, she’s earned her living as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader. But writing is her first and most enduring passion. She has completed two novels and they are currently with her agent, Maureen Walters, of Curtis Brown Literary Agency in New York. Like Jo March (Little Women), she writes late at night in her upstairs garret, after the editing gig work is finished for the day and her household is asleep.
~ By Cynthia Thorp You hear a lot in writing circles about refilling the creative well. It can be as simple as watching a movie or catching the latest episode of “Dancing with the Stars” or listening to music. I do all of that, of course I usually have some crafting project on my lap as well. I’ve been crafting just a little longer than I have been writing and I started writing when I was 11. I remember making clothes for my Barbie dolls from plastic templates my Aunt Carole made for me, it was certainly cheaper than buying clothes for the dolls. It’s also an example of my “go for it” attitude toward crafting and writing. I mean have you ever really looked at the circumference of a sleeve on a Barbie jacket? Didn’t stop me from making a couple, I was about 8 at the time and I didn’t even understand that it might be hard. They weren’t going to win any fashion awards but it was a way to spend a rainy or snowy afternoon. One of my first knitting projects as an adult was a fair isle sweater. I really hope it held up for whoever ended up with it. My fiber allergy made it impossible for me to wear it. Well that and the fact that I knit so tight it was actually a size smaller than intended. Knitting to gauge, never crossed my mind. Rarely does today either, which probably explains why all my socks are now just a little too big. Yes my knitting has gone from one extreme to the other and somehow that doesn’t surprise me in the least. My first quilt was one with curved seams and open bias edges. I didn’t really follow the directions to understand that the curved edges of each piece needed to be on the bias so it would stretch when you sew it. Okay so that’s one less I have learned. You gotta follow directions every once and a while. The bulk of my crafting is in the making of quilts and I’ve tackled some quilts that most have on their dreamy “someday maybe” list. I’ve followed the same theory here as I do with everything, I just go for it. If I fail at least I failed in the trying. Actually can you fail at something you don’t try? My crafting today is a way for me to quiet my mind enough to let ideas percolate. In most cases whatever I’m working on craft wise, whether I’m sewing/quilting or knitting/crocheting it doesn’t require my complete attention so while my hands work away my mind drifts off and plots. There’s a comfort in working a sewing needle through fabric and feeling the warmth and softness of the fibers, something nearly meditative about the whole process and about as close as I’ll ever come to meditating. I hear to meditate one has to sit still, sounds a little like torture to me. I’ve noticed recently, as I’ve taught myself new craft techniques (anything involving a sewing machine is new) that at some point I just do it. Doesn’t matter how scary it may seem at the moment, it’s usually easier than I think it will be and much more rewarding in the end. I’m taking that same attitude with my writing. I’ve had a scathingly brilliant idea that I have no intention of sharing yet (yup I’m being a tease) but this idea is one I have to earn. That idea is what pushed me back on the writing horse (I had a very bad year last year) and has me running, galloping, whatever (yeah I’m great at mixing metaphors) with new enthusiasm for storytelling. Cynthia lives in a magical cottage in Western New York where from her "office" window she can see roses and chipmunks and birds a plenty. If she's lucky one of the neighborhood bunnies will stop by and if she's really lucky she'll spot a hummingbird amongst the sweet peas. When she's not writing contemporary romances she's dreaming of warm sunlight beaches, especially around January when she hasn't seen grass in 2 months and it will be another 2 before it reappears.
~ By Meredith Schorr To date, I’ve written two novels, one published, one in revisions, both fiction. While both stories are make-believe, some of the characters, events, conversations etc. were inspired by true life events. For instance, my relationship with my mother, the dynamic between two or more friends, my own dating experiences and those of my friends, work environment etc. In my mind’s eye while writing my first novel, I didn’t picture famous people as the characters, but rather real people I’ve known. Except instead of reenacting true events through my writing, the words the characters spoke and the actions they took were created in my head. I think in my own way, I wrote my first book to get resolution on a few of my own relationships. While writing it, I had different experiences with dating that inspired the plot of my second book, but it took on a life of its own pretty quickly. And then I was stumped. No inspiration for a third book whatsoever. Until last night. I had a dream, rather a nightmare, that woke me from my sleep and in tears. The kind of nightmare that kept me up for a good hour, afraid to lose consciousness and return to the alternate universe waiting for me in my REM sleep. Part of me also had trouble letting go of what happened in the nightmare and truly believing it wasn’t real. Unlike my recurring dream about forgetting to go to my college classes all semester before the final or being chased by monsters, the tragic event which took place in my dream could, God forbid, actually happen. Except that a portion of the dream also dabbled in the paranormal and I was struck with an idea for a book. I jumped out of bed and only half-awake, jotted down the dream on a piece of paper and went back to sleep, still somewhat sick over the nightmare, but also excited about what could possibly be the plot of my third novel. When I woke up this morning, I read my notes and, even in the light of day with cup of a coffee in my system, I think I might be onto something. Inspiration often comes unexpectedly and under strange circumstances and while I pray I never have that particular dream again, or anything close to it, I’m grateful for the muse. If you are a writer or creative type yourself and care to share some of your own sources of inspiration, I’d welcome a comment :) Meredith Schorr is the author of Just Friends With Benefits, a humorous women’s fiction novel. She lives in New York City and works as a trademark paralegal at a prestigious law firm. In addition to writing humorous women’s fiction novels, her passions include running, spending time with friends and family and rooting for the New York Yankees. Meredith is a member of Romance Writers of America and Chick Lit Writers of The World.
~ By Melina Kantor Hello All, Well, let me guess. Most of you are freezing. It's the middle of the week. You're tired. So, we're bringing you a bit of inspiration, from the legendary Maeve Binchy, who's been called "The Mother of all Chick Lit." Listen closely. She sneaks in a opinion on the "chick lit" label there's been so much talk about.
We certainly do have an incredible group of Irish women writers to thank for helping establish the genre. And don't you just love her definition of success? She's so right. I adored the image of our individual successes building onto everyone else's. We're all in this together! Stay warm, and happy writing! Melina writes contemporary women’s fiction with a pinch of oregano and a dash of chutzpah. By day, she is an elementary school computer teacher. You can visit her at http://melinakantor.com.
Hello Chick Lit Writers! Happy 2011! We here at the blog thought it might be fun to start the year off by setting some writing goals. Fun, right? And the best part is, by sharing our goals we can help each other keep them. And hey, the only way we're going to prove that chick lit is SO not dead is to keep writing it, and writing it well. So here it goes. Take our poll, and then leave a comment and elaborate on your answer. Here's to a wonderful year full of wonderful writing!
P.S. Did you know that you can follow us on Twitter? P.P.S. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what types of posts you'd like to see on the blog over the coming year.