unbelievably bad when reality strikes?
That's kind of what went down with the whole 'let's show 'em how we write' birthday extravaganza, giving everyone a glimpse of writing methods, styles, and formats.
I'm fairly sure as of this moment that despite what my new BFF Bob Mayer might say, I'm obviously a total fake, fraud and failure because there is no way in this world that the little girl that dwells inside me, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, the kid who wasn't allowed to play with half the neighborhood because she/her house/her family was unacceptable, the kid whose parents never came to anything, ever, not once...
Is now a respected published author with interviews, book signings, book club invites, multi-book contracts, three 4 1/2 Star novels out of the gate, and an amazing sisterhood/brotherhood of awesome writers and readers to play with.
|Real fur is IN, haven't you heard?|
So much. As you can see, I still have my quirks. Yes, this is me at 4:00 A.M., and I don't generally allow side-shots because I have a BIG nose, but it is four in the morning and right about then I didn't care.
And I was holding the camera off to the side, trying to look normal and snap the shot, without disturbing the kitten, so it took SEVERAL ATTEMPTS to get me and the cat looking something better than downright frightening.
The kitten is "Dora" (this is what happens when you allow small children to name pets: the kitten likes to explore so she quickly became "Dora the Explorer". Find me a kitten that DOESN'T like to explore...) my little friend, the newest in a LONG line of farm cats, isn't she adorable? And just think of what people spend on those microwave neck-warmer thingies? I get the warmth AND the purr at no extra cost.
Since we're talking methodology today, let's do a cram course: I write my books in my head first.
Did you get that?
I write my books in my head first. I saw from comments these past few weeks that some of you can relate to that, others will simply twitch their lips and frown, while others will throw writing books at me the next time they see me.
I don't plot, I feel. I don't plan, I equate. I 'see' a book, the arc, the characters, oh, the characters!!! They're what move my books, their thoughts, their doubts, their memories, their past, their present. So when I sit down to actually write a book (or a paper, or a letter, or a newspaper article) it's already there, in my head. I just need to coax it to paper. Finesse it. Comb it. (See, if this writing gig doesn't pan out, I could turn into a dog groomer. Westminster Kennel Club, here I come!)
I jump out of bed, literally, around four A.M. (This is almost always true.)
I love to write. Because I work full time, my writing hours are sacred, sacrosanct, special... No one bothers me. (Okay, I totally get that no one WANTS to bother me at that hour, but that's a moot point: the point is, it works. You've gotta find what works, no matter what your schedule, right? Find something that fits in, that can be wiggled around, that can be woven into the framework of your day, your night and not instigate divorce proceedings.)
Here's the beginning to my day, and no, I'm not going to show you brushing my teeth... Or how Kramer-like my hair looks first thing in the morning. Here's the haze-laser:
And here is the finished product, approximately 8 carbs of amazing goodness:
Now we're ready. We've got the cat, the coffee, the Keurig, the laptop.
(Like Janet, I thought I'd hate a laptop. I was wrong. I love this machine, I love the feel, the speed, the mobility. Totally awesome.)
Now we write.
I don't read craft books.
I don't plot.
I don't plot-storm.
No, not even for series. For series I plant characters and if they've got a story to tell,
it will come out. It is useless for them to try and hide from the Ruthinator.
I don't write notes usually, but if I'm revising something I'll jot things on a sheet of paper alongside the computer to keep my timeline correct because when you re-write something in your head, your head doesn't always differentiate between editions.
Pencil and paper do.
And so I write. Once I have a book in my head, I start it whereever I want to start it.
This is rarely the way the book will start later...
Usually I'll hack out most of this when I edit/re-write, etc., but this is how the story
cements and ferments in my head, by actually writing it, getting it down. By BEGINNING...
After the first chapters, most of what gets written stay with the book. It gets tweaked, primped, pimped and primed, but the story does not generally change.
The first chapters ALWAYS DO. I realize that this is my way of preparing
myself for the book, for the characters, getting to know them.
And it works, so I keep at it.
I write for two hours every morning, +/- a bit. Yes, I am disciplined. I don't have extra time, or a lot of choices, so I make use of the time I have. I don't take time off, I don't have to push myself
to the chair because writing is the first thing I do, every single day. My goal is to write 3-4 books/year.
This schedule keeps me producing the way I want to while keeping my day job.
For me, writing isn't something I do, or something I play at.
It's a career. My first career. The one I've waited a long, long time for.
I hate stopping.
Just hate it.
But I must because people depend on me for other things: