When you feel sad…

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Rediscovering the Joy of Writing and Two New Reader Giveaways

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Today I’m a guest over at On Top Down Under Book Reviews, helping them celebrate their blog’s 4th anniversary. I’m sharing more about my experience writing The Haven #2 and also offering up a giveaway. Check out the post at this link: Creativity, Disappointment, and Rediscovering the Joy of Writing. Be sure to comment there to enter the giveaway before October 18th.

Here’s a full list of their other anniversary events and giveaways.

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This week I’m also taking part in the massive Halloween Giveaway hosted by Diverse Reader. There are more than 40 prizes up for grabs and some fun posts by an amazing list of authors who are answering questions such as:

What’s your favorite thing about Halloween?
Tell us the best costume you ever wore for Halloween?
What’s your best Halloween memory?

What’s your favorite Halloween or scary story and why?

Stop by and check out all the fun, and be sure to enter the giveaway. The authors’ posts are divided into two sections: Part one & Part two (check out mine in part two).

The contest ends on October 20th.

Good luck!

Writing Life: The Rewards of Patience

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Photo License: CC0 Public Domain

“That’s the magic of revisions – every cut is necessary, and every cut hurts, but something new always grows.”  ― Kelly Barnhill

“The writer must have a good imagination to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising.” ― Stephen King

“The best advice I can give on this is, once it’s done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes. When you’re ready, pick it up and read it, as if you’ve never read it before. If there are things you aren’t satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that’s revision.” ― Neil Gaiman

I recently hit the point in revising HOW TO HEAL A LIFE where I’m even more connected to the story and the characters. I’m adding those extra little touches that allow for deeper meaning and emotional impact. I’m learning far more than I knew I was missing about who these characters are. At the same time, I’ve been strengthening their interactions, tweaking the overall story arc, and filling in any plot holes.

It feels really good to be at this point. I wanted to wrap this book up MONTHS ago, but I’m so very glad I stuck it out and kept on plugging away at the revision phase instead of calling it “quits” too early. I would’ve been seriously disappointed in myself. Especially when it came to this book. Seth’s journey is a difficult one, but I always hoped that would make the book all the more emotional and powerful for the reader. I wanted to give his story the attention it deserved. 

Now it’s coming together to be what I’d always envisioned for his story, and I couldn’t be happier.

I have a bit more to go with the revisions, but for me, this is one of the most rewarding parts of the writing process. I can’t wait to do my next read-through and see the full effect.

It’s All About the Feels

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Photo License: CC0 Public Domain

When looking at a picture and thinking about that particular place in terms of setting, I like images that are striking, that evoke emotion or set a particular mood. When revealing where a scene is taking place, it’s often more powerful to do so through the character’s other senses, rather than merely running through a descriptive list of what is visually present.

For me, a picture often sparks ideas for how to describe those little sensory details, such as how a character can feel the slick brick sidewalk beneath his feet as he walks the city streets and tries to deal with the disaster his life has become, how she can hear the slow trickling of water that transfixes her as she nears the stream situated beside her childhood home, how he can feel the worn, smooth leather beneath his palms on the couch where he had his first kiss years earlier.

I like taking such sensory details and matching them to what the character is feeling and the mood of the scene. Visuals can go a long way in helping me discover those details.

Here are a few of my recent Setting Inspiration Finds:

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Photo License: CC0 Public Domain

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Photo License: CC0 Public Domain

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Photo License: CC0 Public Domain

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Photo License: CC0 Public Domain

Those Eyes, That Stare, and More Character Inspiration Photos

More of my character inspiration finds

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(c) konradbak / fotosearch.com Stock Photography

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(c) curaphotography / fotosearch.com Stock Photography

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(c) audioundwerbung / fotosearch.com Stock Photography

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Photo License: CC0 Public Domain

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Photo License: CC0 Public Domain

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Photo License: CC0 Public Domain

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Photo License: CC0 Public Domain