I'm about 60,000 words into the new story I'm writing, and the current chapter I'm working on has been giving me fits for the past couple of days. It just won't cooperate no matter how many different angles I try to come at it from.
Last night I gave up staring at the blinking cursor on my screen and went for a nice, long run through the neighborhood to clear my head, and that seemed to help immensely. That got me wondering what other writers do when they run into a bout of writer's block. For me, I'm not sure if it was the physical exercise, the change of scenery, or just getting away from my computer for a while that did it for me. Sometimes going to bed and starting fresh the next day works, too.
Are there any tricks that any of you have learned that work when you hit a snarl in your writing that just won't untangle? For me it tends to happen most once I hit the real meat of the story, and then I start second-guessing myself about whether it's all coming together the way I want it to. I think I need to learn to just turn my brain off when I write and let the words flow, but that's really hard to do some days. Maybe listening to music would help? I don't know.
I'm M. L. Caufax, the author of the soon-to-be-published novel Deep Focus, and I'm both nervous as hell and pleased as punch to be here. As a lifelong writer and a lifelong pervert, the publication of this book is the realization of a lifelong goal for me. I didn't anticipate that my first published novel would be pornographic, but it's not terribly surprising that it turned out that way. They say there are two great themes, sex and death. Of the two, sex is by far my favorite. If you're reading this, chances are it's your favorite, too.
I haven't written anything in two months. I'm not sure what it is - a lack of inspiration or a lack of motivation - but whenever I sit down to start something, my brain just stops working.
I've got a couple in the works with FFP already but time passes slowly, it seems. I spent all day at work yesterday attempting to come up with an idea for a new story but all I came up with was thinking about how my stories tend to follow the seasons. When it's winter, I write stories set in winter. Now that it's spring, I'll probably write something set in spring, but that can change the entire feel of a story. I don't always think it's necessary to know when a story is set, like what month or date specifically, but knowing what season is important. Winter can be happy with the holidays or it can be dreary with snow and rain all the time.
Another chapter finished in The House of Silence Volume 3. At this point in the writing process, it's getting a bit difficult to keep moving forward. Every time I finish a new chapter, I have the near-irresistible urge to go back and edit, making sure that it all makes sense and that it flows well with the previous chapters. If I do that, though, I know I'll get so bogged down in minutia that I'll never get the novel finished.
So I keep reminding myself that this is only a first draft and that the important thing is to get it all written down. Once I reach the end, then I can go back and revise to my heart's content. I feel like there's a little cheerleading squad in the back of my head chanting "Go, go, go!". LOL.
I'm currently working on writing The House of Silence, Volume 3, the most recent addition to my The House of Silence series. I hit a writing high recently and managed to write about 20,000 new words just this past week. Whoo! It's all coming together really well, from the plot to the characters to all of the different subplots I'm weaving into it. Lots of red herrings and intrigue and just fun fun fun. ^_^ I'm really enjoying taking Charon and the boys out to play again, and seeing where their lives are leading them after the end of Volume 2.
I've actually been blogging again, weirdly for me. I've been blogging about writing, and giving writing advice, including the advice not to blog about writing. Meh. I don't take my own advice about a lot of things, like eating too much cheese or carrying an umbrella or running burns under cold water, and I'm still here.
I hope I'm the only one who received a less-than-robust Quarterly Royalty Report, but if there are others: Hang in there.
The stages of grief, according to Dr. Kubler-Ross (with a hyphen), are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I'm trying to stay away from acceptance, which in my case would be giving up on trying to be a professional writer entirely. I tried anger, but I find it's overrated, definitely not my style. So, I'm settling on depression, which is closer to my normal state. On the positive side:
1. The pesky IRS will probably not be taking an interest in any of my ill-gotten gains.
2. I have joined that rare pantheon of authors who know all of their readers on a first-name basis. Let's see Stephen King or J.K. Rowling do that.
Editing, for me, is like a dance. Sometimes I get a new partner and we have to figure out the steps, but more often I make my way back to former partners and I smile to see them again until we begin to dance again and I realize the music is different. This leads to stumbling and stepping on toes and keeping in mind that it's my partner's music and it's my job to study the notes and the rhythm so that when we begin to move and create the new choreography, everything slowly melds into something harmonious and pleasing not only to the eye, but the imagination. My current dance partner and I have been working for a while with a particularly tricky piece of new music, but I have to say that what seemed at first to be offbeat and out of tune has shifted with each note hugging the next and each step perfectly timed. It's exactly that moment that makes the bruised toes and stumbling worth it.
As someone who writes fiction as well is non-fiction I believe that the deepest truths can be found in fiction. I also believe in symbolic truth or mythological truth but I don't know what they are. All I know is when I'm far from other people and I look into the bush I know there is something looking back.
Where does this leave dreams? Some dreams seem real,and important. Recently I had some of these dreams, dreams more vivid more real than ordinary dreams and when you wake up it feels like you have been told a vital secret. I had three dreams over three nights.
The first night I was at a house party. I remember what the room looked like, the smell of alcohol and fresh air, the sound of the music pumping and the people. Someone appeared before me, someone rather good-looking and we started talking and everything naturally flowed and soon we were sitting on a couch in a quiet room in the house enthralled by each other's words and company, our eyes locked together.
This morning I was really thrilled to see SM Johnson, author of Above the Dungeon and other works, had reviewed Don't. Not only had she reviewed, but she'd also enjoyed it enough to discuss it on her blog.
Johnson discusses the merged worlds that Lynn Kelling and I are doing, which is good to see as it lets us know that word is getting around. The merged-world projects are certainly a "deep breath in, keep it there" experience for me, as I get to direct Ms Kelling's characters and... play. *grins nervously, maybe a little devilishly too*
For those interested, SM Johnson's Thrusday Morning Coffee Session with Don't is here:
My new novel Nicholi's Vengeance is an All Romance Ebooks best seller! I'm so excited and happy over the response that this book has been getting. It was incredibly difficult and stressful for me to write at times, but I'm very happy with how it turned out.
Click here to read a very nice review of the story.
Thank you to all of you for your support and encouragement as I was writing this novel!
Looking at what seems to be popular in the LGBT reading genre, it always seems to me that maybe I'm a little out of step. Most of what I see others reading (or at least, commenting about) is BDSM type of materials. Of course, BDSM is a great part of fiction and it really should be given a wider scope, especially when people think that 50 Shades of Grey is true to life. Me, on the other hand, I've never felt particularly talented or inclined to write BDSM-type of things, at least not in the hard-core way that seems to be popular in gay fiction at the moment.
I’ve had contact with some outstanding reviewing sites and blogs lately. Whether they’ve given a huge thumbs up or a 2-star review, all have been very gracious and professional with their approach when it came to handling a very nervous debut author.
Those authors here who have multiple works already know this, but if you’re a new author, self-promotion always raises that one niggling question: Do I really need to?
The simple answer is yes. It’s your work: self-promotion will not only assist whatever plan FFP is working with, but learning to come to terms with first-time nerves over approaching people about your work will only help you in the long run. This doesn’t mean talking to every person you come across about your book, but it does mean sending out a polite request to reviewing sites /blogs who review your genre. You can also request author interviews etc.
It was on this date a year ago, Feb. 11, 2012, that we launched our first ebook.
In that time we have published 71 ebook stories (15 novels, 13 novellas, & 43 short stories) and released two anthologies. We have also produced twelve print books (and two more will be ready this month). Check out our full catalog HERE. Our works are not only sold through our site at FantasticFictionPublishing.com, but also at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks, and Smashwords.
It’s been exciting, frustrating, scary and hopeful. It’s been an odd, up-and-down trip. We hadn’t imagined that we’d be blessed with so many submissions, and so many wonderful authors. We wouldn’t have stories without you, so thanks for bringing us nearly two million words to share with the readers. We also hadn’t imagined that our computers would be the grouchy and cantankerous beasts they have been, and we thank everyone who’s helped us keep those running as well as they have.
We had our first two interns last summer and fall, both of whom contributed to building our infrastructure as well as day-to-day tasks. We have added four members (see staff bios HERE) to our on-going staff: Siolnatine (Artist & Designer), Kel Draves, (Story Editor & Data Management) Tre Luna (Story Editor) and P.R. Fancier (Story Editor). We're still looking for the right website developer to work with us and would love to add a promotions lead as well.
Our wish list for the upcoming year includes not only producing at least as much great fiction, but starting serialization and the first audio books. We are working on site rebuilds for both the FFP and this site.
I'm absolutely thrilled to officially announce that I will be collaborating with the immensely talented author, Jack L. Pyke, on merging the worlds of our books. Deliver Us and From Temptation will now be part of a larger universe also containing Pyke's Don't… My forthcoming novel, the third in the Deliver Us series which, along with continuing the stories of Gabriel, Darrek, Kyle, Ben, Trace and Micah, will also feature the characters Jack, Jan and Gray from Jack L. Pyke's Don't… My characters, Gabriel and Darrek, will likewise be traveling overseas to Great Britain in a forthcoming novel written by Jack L. Pyke to join up with the men of her Don't… series!
I was reading my last blog and trying to stop chuckling at the first-time nerves that are painfully on display there (I’d love to say all my worries eased, but in all honesty, I think I just ignore them more). But away from the worries, I’ve had some fantastic reviews, so this post here is a thank you to all who have taken the time and effort to review, but it’s also just to update and say that my latest review comes from Smexy Books Romance Reviewer, Tori B.