Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Avoiding Focus

I've been avoiding my writing lately. It's not because of any particular difficulty - I'm not stuck on a plot point or trying to review an indescribable book. It's just laziness, I guess. Broadband has not been good for my writing habits. I keep hoping to catch friends online, and spend my free time glued to the wrong computer. I prefer silence (or great music) and solitude for my writing, but maybe I'll have to compromise and do some writing out here with headphones. Something to help me not waste my time.

This week in The Writers View the topic of diversifying writing came up. It's usually best, sales-wise, for fiction authors to stay in one genre. But I don't know which genre I would pick. I love historical fiction and romantic suspense and thrillers and fantasy and mysteries and contemporary fiction. It would be a hard choice. Since I'm not published yet, the decision doesn't need to be made overnight, but I'll be giving it some serious thought over the next few weeks. I want to decide a focus for my writing instead of floundering.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Overgrown Stories

Three Strand (the working title for my short story) is coming along well, though the word count seems pitiful compared to others'. But that's not a bad thing with a short story. I feel like Gwen, Emerson, and Chelsea will soon be asking for a novel of their own. I specifically took stereotypes, melded and twisted them, and now these characters are so complex I'm not sure they'll fit under 6000 words.

One of the things I love about writing is the characters that develop a life of their own beyond the black and white of the computer page. I hate to leave them when the story or book is done. I guess that's why many authors write series - and have characters popping up in different novels.

Received my first writing check of the year - small but appreciated. Hoping it's just the start of many.

Sorry this is a bit disconnected, but I wanted to get this entry in tonight. Now that we have broadband I'll be able to post more often - if I can tear myself away from the new computer games!

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Perfect Name

Finally came up with the perfect name for a goth/geek in my short story - Emerson. Tonight I'll begin fleshing out his character. I still need to get middle and last names for all of my characters, but the people are only vague ideas until I get the first names.

With all the work I'm putting into the characters and finding them the exact right name, it seems like I'm preparing for a novel, not a 4000-6000 word story. But I think names are more important in short stories. In novels you have to really like the name since you'll be using it so long, but you have oodles of words you can use to describe the character. In stories word count is limited, and every syllable needs to do double duty. The perfect name goes a long way toward creating a clear image in the readers' mind.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Looking Ahead

I must admit, each year I make rather lofty New Year's resolutions. And each year, December 31st finds very few of them reached. That includes writing goals, though I've learned to be somewhat flexible with myself. For instance, last year I wanted to write the sequel to my first novel. Later on I realized that until a publisher is interested in the first book in the series, it didn't make sense to have that as a priority.

Sometimes writing opportunities come up that conflict with my goals. At this point in my career, I'm open to most of them that I feel I can do well and that pay. I've reviewed many books this past year, and while I love free books (and early copies from many of my favorite authors), I know I need to cut back to focus on my other writing. So my goal this year is 30 reviews, slightly over 1/3 of what I did in 2004.

One of the goals I did reach last year was 10 hours of writing or writing-related work each week. This year I'm trying for 12. I hope to write a book, 6 stories, and 25 poems. We'll see how far that gets.