Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dangerous Times in 1918

Today I'm posting at the Craftie Ladies of Romance about what I think of the early twentieth century and how it influenced my book.
Danger and excitement, oh my! *grin*
Pop by if you have a chance.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Got Garbage?

(this is a repost)

Compost: a combination of decomposed plants and animal materials and other organic materials that are being decomposed largely through aerobic decomposition into a rich black soil.

Ever think your daydreaming might be a waste of time? The procrastination that strikes suddenly and with paralyzing force a loss of opportunity?

Maybe not.

Deb posted a fascinating account of a conference she attended. In it, author Ursula LeGuin spoke about compost, and how it's similar to what happens in our writing lives.
LeGuin is quoted as saying,
"Compost needs silence, darkness, time and patience."

Which ingredient do you find easiest to find? Which is more elusive? Is the soil of your writing garden dry or rich?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Never Say Never

Recently as I was traversing the blogosphere, I came across an author post that stated "Never blah-blah-blah." As in never do such-and-such when you write.

I didn't read the whole thing. I'd read this author's work before and felt that the craft guideline being espoused was too extreme and perhaps breaking it a bit might've benefited this author's work.

So I moved on, knowing that I'll never say never when it comes to my writing.

The reason I'm writing this is because I love to give my opinions on this blog about how to write a great story and to share craft tips but...I'm not perfect.

This is my official disclaimer. *wink*

If you read my book and you're a writer, you'll see places where I employed active voice, kept tension on every page, and used deep pov. On other pages...well, let's just say I'm better at dishing advice than following it sometimes. :-)

Do you worry about people reading your book and being disappointed? What was the last craft rule you broke? What is your favorite one to follow?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Keep'n it Tight, Keep'n it Real

If there's one thing every great book needs, it's tension.

Recently I was reading a book where, although I didn't really like the heroine, I empathized with her and the story even caused me to get some prickly eyelids (you know, the almost-cry?). Imagine my surprise though when fifty pages from the end all the tension suddenly dropped out of the story. The last part of the book was a tying up of plot threads. I almost didn't finish because the sigh-worthy moments had already happened.

So how do we keep a reader turning the pages to the very end?

Tension.

But it's gotta be tight. I happen to think there should be some form of tension on every single page. Whether in the form of dialogue, actions or narrative, there needs to be something that makes the reader say, "oooh, this is going to be interesting" or "uh-oh".

Not only that, but the tension has to be real. It has to be believable. It's possible to create paper-thin conflicts. Imagine tension as a tight thread stretched from one page to the next. If the conflict/problem becomes something the reader thinks is silly or not believable or easily solved, then the thread is cut and the tautness is gone. And the reader will probably stop reading.

Do you like page-turners? What do you find harder to do in your story, tension on every page or believability to support that tension?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

If You Like Inspirational Historical Romances...?

I think I'm supposed to get author copies soon. Yay!!

I'm looking for some honest reviews and blog stops. Is there such a thing as a "bad" review? Maybe hurtful ones but most provide a learning experience, in my opinion.

If you like to read inspirational romances or historicals or if you're just curious and would be interested in reviewing my book, I think I can send out about 20 copies. Send me an e-mail at jessica_nelson7590 AT yahoo dot com. You can find an excerpt of Love On the Range HERE.

If you'd prefer to have me as a guest poster or over for an interview, let me know. :-)

Also, I'd just like to say that I appreciate all of my blogger friends so much! You guys are wonderfully awesome and are such a part of my writing journey.

So...what do you think about reviews? Have you ever reviewed anything or been a part of a blog tour? Do you think there's such a thing as a bad review?