Monday, November 26, 2012

When to say "All done novel, Robyn"

Back in art school I had a teacher who lived off snark. I usually laughed when he insulted me...until that one time when I really cared about the work. "Robyn, you're turning this in? Finished and signed? Oh, that's too bad." Not even all that biting, yet the words wrecked me for days, or perhaps the lower grade took the bite out of my pride.

Obsessing over the work until you run it off the rails seems to be the over-correction most people make. With writing, you don't want to suck the life and energy out of your novel. DYI editing books spout endless rules, cite the mistakes of famous authors, and finish their damning point saying, "If you're clever, you can pull off a certain amount of rule-breaking...p.s. you're not clever enough." Hell.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Let's write about sex

Erotica, it's all the craze. Thing is, haven't steamy bodice rippers been around since man was carving dirty pictures on cave walls? Walk through the book section at Fred Meyers and you'll see all the sophisticated book covers with titles that barely hint to the heat written between the pages. No pirates, no civil war soldiers, no vampires or shifters. Usually the main characters are a couple messed up people, rich, beautiful people who fumble and stumble through instant love. But the saving grace is that they can really get it on, and creatively. I love it. I love any kind of book craze because it means people are talking about books. Then the writer in me surfaces and daydreams, Maybe I could do that.

I'll tell you this right now, daydreaming is never a great tool to getting things done. First, I decided I would write an erotic romance. Why not? Just follow a certain formula and, voila! Second, I boasted my newest lofty goal. I'm not sure how that's helpful at all. Third, I stalled at the big empty screen. What's a writer to do when faced with writer's block? There's always what I call youtube- procrastination. It's how I didn't finish the last book I attempted, but I did manage to watch every clip of Britain's Got Talent from who knows how long ago. There's finding inspiration, but that would take a whole lot of effort. Then there's what we love/hate to do the most, research.

I didn't join some sex group or even a sex chat room. I went to Amazon and found a fantastic book. How to Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors gave me all the tools. One of the authors even touched on formatting which helped me with my other projects. What I couldn't glean was the ability to overcome my own bashfulness. I enjoy writing steamy scenes, even hot sex scenes, but erotic romance means sex plays as much a role as the characters and storyline do. That's a lot of juggling and blushing and other things.

After reaffirming my plan to write this book, again advertising to people I know, I went about overcoming my nature. I'm a writer, I like steamy books. I've written steamy scenes. Nope couldn't do it. I did manage to catch every clip of UK's X Factor. The walkaway lesson? Maybe, think big, try hard, and know when it's time to shelf a certain daydream. Or perhaps simply write what you enjoy writing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Very first blog ever!

I thought I'd dedicate my first blog to my favorite first books starting with Tiger Eyes by Judy Bloom. The first book I ever fell in love with, the first time I lost myself in another world. Most writers were avid readers as kids, not me. My mind refused to settle long enough to put the words into focus, but Tiger Eyes held my attention and made way for the dreamer sleeping inside me.

Jump to a few years ago to Stephenie Meyers appearing on Ellen. I had no idea who she was because Twilight was still in production and I was living under a rock. Here's this mom with an entire book series under her belt. So when I turned to writing and reading like they were the only things keeping me sane, I reached for her books. And I loved them, especially The Host.

Then I couldn't stop. Richelle Mead introduced me to a sexy and messed up succubus in Succubus Blues. Vampire Academy sucked me in and kept me there till the end.

Rachel Caine took me to a creepy town in Morganville, Texas with Glass Houses.

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes introduced me to an enthralling fantastical take on shifters with The Shapeshifters: The Kiesha'ra of the Den of Shadows.

My favorite story teller over all these favorites has to be Patricia Briggs. I just love her. Moon Called shows off a style that reminds me of Sue Grafton, but throw in shifters, vampires, witches, and a coyote.

There are dozens of authors and books I love and read and reread. These are just a few of my favorite firsts.