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Muse Monday: Writing in Layers

Welcome to Muse Monday!

Every Monday, I’ll write a post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse, or whatever strikes my fancy to write regarding the craft of writing. I’ll also include a Linky. Link up YOUR post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse — ANYTHING to do with writing and the craft of writing.

Writing in Layers

I have found over the years that I tend to write in layers. I have all of these action scenes in my head that drive the story, and I have to get to each one of them. So, I write action — “She walks into the room, does this action thing that drives the story, and leaves the room.”

Chapter after chapter is almost entirely action. I cannot stop the forward momentum of getting from one scene to the other. I just write and write, creating the first layer.

When I reach the end, I have to set it aside. My head is full of all of the details – scenes, emotions, thoughts – and I have a hard time seeing what is really there and what I know should be there. This is where my husband comes in.

My husband is a brilliant writer, but as good of a writer as he may be, he is even a better editor. I hand him this action packed story, and he goes through it and makes notes. “How does she feel about armed assasins breaking into her home?”

In a way, this annoys me. My mind says, “How do you think she feels?” But, as a reader, I understand that I still need to give the reader that information. The reader needs to feel through me, see through me, understand motivations and characterization through me. I cannot assume the reader is just going to “know” like I do.

It is very easy for me to write that first-draft, action driven story. I know exactly what happens next and how to plot it out and get there. It is extremely hard for me to go back through and flesh out every scene with thoughts, feelings, descriptions, and setting, mainly because I can see it and feel it already and I don’t necessarily see where the holes are.

When I finish the second layer, I hand it over to my husband and he’ll line-edit it, picking apart the passive voice, fleshing out a lot of male point-of-view that I might not get right, and telling me what works plot-wise and what doesn’t. He gives it back to me and I put the final, third layer, finishing touches on it.

The end result is a wonderful story, driven by action but full of the kinds of things that keep a reader turning the page. The best part about it is that it was created with this wonderful rhythm and teamwork my husband and I have developed over the years. As a romance writer and a romantic at heart, I love that we are able to work together like this.

He is currently in the first editing phase of the book I recently finished (Song of Revelation, which will be released in December) while I’m currently writing scene after scene of the novella Greater than Rubies that will take place after Sapphire Ice, Book 1 of the Jewel Trilogy but before Emerald Fire, Book 2 of the Jewel Trilogy.

What is going on in your Muse world this week? Leave a link to your blog post! Here are the rules.



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Muse Monday: Re-Writes

Welcome to Muse Monday!

Every Monday, I’ll write a post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse, or whatever strikes my fancy to write regarding the craft of writing. I’ll also include a Linky. Link up YOUR post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse — ANYTHING to do with writing and the craft of writing.

Re-Writes

My current work in process was the first book I ever wrote.  I wrote it in 6 weeks – 100,000 words of uneducated, un-researched story that just poured out of me.

The thing is, it’s a really good story.  The other thing is, there is so much in there that is just junk.

It wasn’t so hard to re-do the first half of the book.  The mystery and intrigue plot just needed a little bit of refining.  I did need to incorporate the things I’ve learned about police procedure and such over the last fifteen years.  But, all in all, tt wasn’t too bad.  The relationships needed a little bit of help, but it was okay.  I breezed through seventeen chapters in two days (about 8 hours) of writing.

I thought, “Wow!  We originally wanted to publish this in August.  Even though I ended up taking the summer off, maybe we can still do it in August, or close to it!”

Then I hit a wall.  The relationship changed and became sexual – what I do not write now.  The intrigue and mystery plot got more intense and I was able to see just how clumsy I used to be about that type of plot.  And while I’ve started sprinkling some elements of faith through the story, there isn’t nearly what there needs to be — especially now that I’m removing the sexual relationship.

Consequently, when I got to chapter 18 (and really, I deleted two chapters until I got to this one, so it’s the old chapter 20), I read, re-read, started to re-write, and finally decided to scrap it all and start fresh at that point.  Three solid hours of writing Friday and I have half a chapter to show for it.

As I write this in preparation for Muse Monday, it’s actually Saturday, and my mind is whirling with plot ideas, character development, and where things need to go in the story.  I’m itching for that 9AM-2PM writing window on Monday morning to roll up my sleeves and dig into the second half of this book.

What is going on in your Muse world this week? Leave a link to your blog post! Here are the rules.


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Muse Monday: Links

Welcome to Muse Monday!

Every Monday, I’ll write a post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse, or whatever strikes my fancy to write regarding the craft of writing. I’ll also include a Linky. Link up YOUR post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse — ANYTHING to do with writing and the craft of writing.

Social Media Links

I know the Muse Monday is intended for writing craft articles and blog posts, but I’ve spent some time this weekend doing a few blog hops and came across something that I see as a trend among writer blogs.  While this may not be about craft, it is certainly about marketing.

I cannot easily find how to follow many writers on social media.  I can find links to everywhere on the planet to find a book, but I can’t find social media links.

I’ve spent over three years blogging at Hallee the Homemaker and interacting with other homemaking blogs.  For some reason, a typical homemaking/mommy/marketing blog is full of links in the sidebar or in every post for “follow me”.  I think they’re so obvious, because sponsors and advertisers for those kind of blogs want to see numbers – stat numbers, follower numbers, Facebook and Twitter friends.  The more obvious the “FOLLOW ME!” signs are, the more likely people will add their name to the numbers.

But in pursuing writers’ blogs, I have noticed that many of them do not have ANY obvious “follow me” signs.  I have to hunt and search for Facebook links,Twitter handles, and Google+ pages, and often I can’t find them.  I’ve had to go so far as to search for their names in Facebook or Twitter and then make guesses as to whether I’ve found the right person or not.

Here is my advice to you, my writer colleagues:  Make it obvious.  I you look on the left of your screen, you’ll see my big “Follow Me” banner – which will open up to provide you my links.  On Hallee the Homemaker, near the top of my sidebar, all of my social media links can be found.  At the bottom of each blog post, under my signature, a host of links are available.

I want people to follow me and I’m sure you do, too.  This is an easy and instant way to communicate with our fans.  Make it easy for them to find you.  Make it easy for ME to find you.

What is going on in your Muse world this week?  Leave a link to your blog post!  Here are the rules.


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Muse Monday: Hours a Day

Welcome to Muse Monday!

Every Monday, I’ll write a post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse, or whatever strikes my fancy to write regarding the craft of writing. I’ll also include a Linky. Link up YOUR post about writing, or the muse, or frustrations with the muse, or excitement about the muse — ANYTHING to do with writing and the craft of writing.

Hours a Day
Long ago, when my daughter (who is 15) was nearly two-years-old, I started writing.  I kept it for a secret for a while.  I’d wake up at 4AM and write until 6AM, then would turn my computer off and wake the household for the day.  I worked full time, and often went home on my lunch break to catch 30 minutes of writing time.

Even after my (now ex) husband knew that I was writing, I maintained that schedule.  I didn’t really write any other time, and I was always alone (or the only one awake in a sleeping house) when I wrote.  Writing that way, two hours a day, five  days a week, I was able to write 10 books in two years.

Starting this week, I will have six hours a day, three days a week that will be focused solely on book writing.  The other two days of the work week will be spent blogging on my two blogs.  That is giving me 18 hours a week to write – eight more hours a week – of alone writing time.  I haven’t spent more than an hour or two alone for years.  I am so excited to see what kind of productivity I can accomplish in this designated writing time.

I have a goal, I know.  I know how many books I want to write before the end of the calendar year.  If I’m able to maintain a good pace, I’ll be able to meet my goal with no problem.

God willing, very soon my current work in progress (working title of Song of Retribution) will be completed.  Debi Warford has already given me a draft cover for it, and I’m well on my way into the story.

What is going on in your Muse world this week?  Leave a link to your blog post!  Here are the rules.


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