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This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the April 3 posting of the IWSG are J.H. Moncrieff, Natalie Aguirre, Patsy Collins, and Chemist Ken!

Happy April! I nearly forgot to post today, mostly because my work schedule changed and I was confused about what day it was. I can apparently write entire books but I can’t keep track of the day of the week. 😉 But here I am!

I wasn’t nearly as productive in March as I wanted to be, so I’m hoping April will be better. I’ve started working on a new book but I was hoping to be much farther along with it–and I would have been, except for a lot of procrastination. My goal for spring is to ‘spring’ into action more and write, write, write instead of spending so much time distracting myself. We’ll see if my enthusiasm blooms with the flowers this month.

April 3 question: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

I think I would use my wish on any climactic scene that I write. I’m always afraid the peak of the story won’t live up to the reader’s expectation when they finally get to it. I know what I want to write while I’m aiming for it, and it seems really dramatic in my head, but when I write it, it’s usually nowhere near as sweeping and all-consuming  as I hoped it would be. Usually, I can kind of get what I expected, but I’m always worried about it not meeting the hype I’ve been working up to.

How about you? What scene would you like help writing?

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This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the March 6 posting of the IWSG are Fundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

Happy March! I’m eagerly awaiting the coming of spring–I’m thoroughly done with the cold and snow now, thank you very much. How’s the weather where you are?

Let’s see, what am I insecure about this month? I just sent off a new submission to my publisher (the sequel to Hidden) so I’m chewing my nails waiting for an answer. In the meantime I’m trying to work on another book, both to keep myself distracted and keep the ball rolling. I feel like I’m struggling to do anything creative-wise lately, though. Just a lot of mental blocks at the moment. I know the best way over them is through, but it just seems so hard. And I’ve been epically lazy, too. I’m sure the laziness is only making the blocks worse, so it’s a vicious cycle. I need to focus and put more effort in. It’s not a matter of not having the time, it’s using the time I have wisely instead of procrastinating.

Ah, I love this once-a-month chance to whine and moan and stomp my feet. 🙂

March 6 question – Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

I don’t think I’ve ever written from the antagonist’s point of view, so I’d have to say the protagonist. However, I do like stories, and TV shows, and movies, where the antagonist is the main character, or where we at least get a big first-hand view of their side of the story. I’m a sucker for a good anti-hero. I just haven’t written one.

How about you? Which do you like to write–or which do you enjoy in other people’s art?

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

Each Wednesday from January 9 – December 18, 2019, Long and Short Reviews is hosting a weekly blog hop.

Blogging is a fun way to meet people and get to know them. We’re offering a weekly “prompt” for authors, non-authors, bookish folks and others to share something weekly and gain new friends and visitors to the blog. There’s no pressure to write something every week (though it should be fun and a challenge), but we do ask that if you do post something, you share your link on the weekly post we’ll put up at our site (it will be the top post on the home page each Wednesday morning) — the link list will be open for new links for 48 hours. Other bloggers will also share their links and you can hop over and see what they have to share.

February 27th – Fictional Worlds I’d Rather Not Visit

Ha! Can I list worlds from my own books, or is that cheating? I’ve definitely written some places I wouldn’t want to be in–or at least, I wouldn’t want to be in the same mess as my characters are in. But I don’t think that’s really in the spirit of the question, because there’s a lot of stories where the ‘world’ is just fine, the characters just happen to be in an awful situation.

I’m into Game of Thrones but I don’t think I’d want to be in that world, because it seems like everyone there is having a really bad time. And if you follow the show–you know it’s about to get even worse! I don’t watch The Walking Dead anymore, but I used to and I definitely wouldn’t want to visit that world either. In fact, I don’t think I’d want to be in any post-apocalypse world. As interesting as it might be, humans would always be the worst threat in any scenario like that. We all know what would happen in a world without rules and laws. Some good I’m sure, but also lots and lots of bad.

I’m not a big fan of sci-fi but I don’t think I’d want to visit most of those worlds, either. The idea of being in space or on another planet is interesting, but scary and unpredictable to me. I think I’ll stay on earth.

How about you? Where are you not making any vacation plans for?

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The #evernighties Thursday Weekly Author Blog Challenge is a once-a-week blogging adventure brought to you exclusively by Evernight authors. Each week, we answer a new question (listed below and borrowed from MFRW.org) and the answers will be featured on the Evernight Reader’s Group on Facebook, as well as our own blogs and social media platforms. Check out the group or follow the #evernighties tag to see how other authors answered this week’s question!

Week #8: Worst writing advice I’ve gotten

Hoo boy, this is a doozy of a topic this week.

First of all, it’s important to remember that all writing advice is just that–advice. And advice is not the same as technicalities, which are the things that are actually the backbone of writing: things like grammar rules and spelling, plot construction, and the parts of a book that make it a whole, like your protagonist and antagonist, conflict, climax, and resolution. Yes, even some of those things can be bent a little, but I seperate those things from the creative part of writing. There’s a difference between how to technically write a book and how to artistically write a book–and it’s the latter we all tend to get advice about the most. The former can be learned.

What works for one author artistically may not work for another. One writer’s style is completely different from another writer’s style, and it would be hard for those two very different writers to give each other creative advice. Even when ‘experts’ dole out advice, take it with a big fat grain of salt. The trendsetters could tell you how books about sharks are gonna be SO huge next year, so you waste all year writing about sharks and then next year everyone’s into dolphins. Advice should be considered, but not necessarily held aloft to the exclusion of everything else.

That being said, a few of the worst pieces of writing advice I’ve ever gotten are:

  • Write what you know. Books would be insanely boring and repetitive if all writers only ever wrote about things they specifically know.
  • Never write about (various taboo subjects). Taboo subjects tend to make controversial books that sell well, because people love controversy. Taboo subjects can also be handled in a respectful manner that sheds light on the reality of the subject.
  • Read everything. Read good books that you like in the genre you want to write in. Also, it’s very easy to fool yourself into thinking if you’re spending all your time reading that’s also writing. You got to do the hard part, too.
  • Write every single day. Anne Rice made a GREAT post on her Facebook about this last week.

But, this is just my advice. Take it or leave it.

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

Each Wednesday from January 9 – December 18, 2019, Long and Short Reviews is hosting a weekly blog hop.

Blogging is a fun way to meet people and get to know them. We’re offering a weekly “prompt” for authors, non-authors, bookish folks and others to share something weekly and gain new friends and visitors to the blog. There’s no pressure to write something every week (though it should be fun and a challenge), but we do ask that if you do post something, you share your link on the weekly post we’ll put up at our site (it will be the top post on the home page each Wednesday morning) — the link list will be open for new links for 48 hours. Other bloggers will also share their links and you can hop over and see what they have to share.

February 20th – What To Read To Learn About X

I’ve missed a couple weeks of this, but I’m doing these weekly blog challenges kind of casually so it’s not a big deal. I’m back today to answer this week’s question, though!

Since I’m a writer it would be easy to list books that help you learn about writing, but most writers probably already have a list of those, or can easily find them anywhere on the internet. I tried to come up with something more unique. It does, however, pertain to writing–specifically, writing about places you’ve never visited.

To learn more about (most) any place in the world–especially places you’ve never actually seen–read Google Maps!

More precisely, use the ‘Street View’ mode on Google Maps wherever it’s available: and it’s available far more widely than you can imagine. Even some of the most remote, barely-traveled places on earth have been photographed and mapped by it. I’ve used it countless times to get a feel for, or details about, places that I haven’t actually seen in person. It’s one of my best-used tools when creating settings for my books. Even for places where I have been (like Chicago in multiple books I’ve written), it helps in areas that I haven’t visited, or that I don’t remember clearly. I tend to be a writer who likes to keep settings close to what they are in the real world, so it’s something I rely on a lot. It makes it so I don’t have to always write about places I know, or places I make up.

Have you ever used a tool like Google Maps to help you ‘see’ a place you’re writing about?