Hurrying Through the First Draft #Open Book Blog Hop

This week’s question from blogger Stevie Turner is this. “Do you hurry through a first draft, or are you conscious of flaws as they go down? Has that changed over time?”

My policy is to write now and edit later. This applies to everything, not just books. The idea is to get the words and ideas down, then go back and organize them.

That having been said, my novels and memoir were written one chapter at a time. By the time I started writing my first novel, We Shall overcome, I’d met my late husband Bill. He was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I, here in Sheridan, Wyoming. When he expressed an interest in my writing, I emailed him each chapter after I’d written and edited it, and he offered suggestions and feedback. Since he wrote mostly computer manuals, most of his ideas were from a reader’s point of view, but I still found them helpful.

After Bill passed, I started writing My Ideal Partner, which tells the story of how I met and married him, then cared for him after he suffered two strokes. By this time, I’d joined a writers’ group that met once a week and critiqued each other’s projects. So, I had another outlet for feedback on my work. Members of this group also supported me through my writing of The Red Dress and my current young adult novel-in-progress, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, which is now finished.

Speaking of which, when I’m done writing a book, I put it aside for about a month, then go back to it with fresh eyes. I read through each chapter one or more times, depending on if I find any serious rewriting that needs to be done. Then, I read through the whole thing one more time. By this time, it’s usually ready for publication.

I don’t set goals for when books will be published. It would be nice to have Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me published in time for Christmas, since it ends during the holiday season, but I’m not going to rush it. As the song goes, “You can’t hurry love.” It’s the same with books. You can either have it fast or have it good, and I’m sure my readers appreciate it good.

If you’re an author, I’d love to hear how you write your books. Please let me know in the comment field below, or click the link above to learn how to participate in Stevie’s blog hop.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, happy, and healthy, and may you always have positive experiences.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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A How-to Book on Writing, not Arson #Friday Fun Reads

Set the page on Fire: Secrets of Successful Writers

by Steve O’Keefe

Copyright 2019.

 

What Amazon Says

 

 

Discover the Tricks and Tools of the Pros

Successful writers write, rather than just think about writing, talk about writing, or plan what they’ll write when they get a cabin in the woods. Yet even accomplished writers sometimes get “blocked,” losing access to their in-the-zone writing mind. Steve O’Keefe offers proven techniques and practices for jump-starting stalled ideas, honed during his many years of working in virtually every aspect of publishing. His innovative, often unconventional exercises will get you writing and accessing your own unique voice — a voice the world wants to read! Containing a career’s worth of writing and publishing savvy, as well as the advice of expert authors gleaned from hundreds of interviews, Set the Page on Fire is the kind of nuts-and-bolts coaching and encouragement invaluable to novice and veteran writers alike.

 

My Thoughts

 

I was fascinated to learn that this author has worked as a technology coach with blind and visually impaired students and senior citizens. I like how he uses what he has learned through this experience in the book. Some of his writing exercises are fun, and most of his suggestions on such topics as finding time and outlets for writing make sense.

I like his idea of writing that sets the page and your readers on fire.  Since most people who set fires purposefully are angry, they’d do well to read this book and learn to express their emotions on the page instead.

 

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, happy, and healthy, and may you always have positive experiences.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

Those Pesky Adverbs #Open Book Blog Hop

This week’s question from blogger Stevie Turner is this. “Are adverbs really the devil? If they sneak in occasionally, does it mean the writer is lazy?” In the ten plus years I’ve been writing, I’ve come to the conclusion that in most cases, it’s better to use a stronger verb than an adverb. Let’s take, for example, this passage from The Red Dress.

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“Oh, God,” said Charlene, leaping to her feet. She hurried to her side of the room and turned off  the radio, then returned.

***

I could have said that Charlene walked quickly to her side of the room and turned off the radio. But that’s too wordy, don’t you think? I hope you agree it reads more smoothly the way I originally wrote it.

So, why did Charlene hurry to her side of the room and turn off the radio? Who was with her in the room? What song was playing on the radio? To find out, read The Red Dress.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, happy, and healthy, and may you always have positive experiences.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

 

Drawing My Main Character #Open Book Blog Hop

This week’s question from blogger Stevie Turner is this. “Do you draw your main characters so that a forensic sketch artist could put them on the cover, or do they belong to the reader?” With my visual impairment, I’ve never been good at describing people. I’ve come to the conclusion that character descriptions, like other aspects of a story, should be left to the reader’s imagination.

That having been said, I provide basic  character descriptions, i.e. eye and hair color, when they apply to the story, as you’ll note in the following excerpt from The Red Dress. For the book’s cover, which you’ll find below, my editor, Leonore Dvorkin at DLD Books, found a photograph online of a young woman we thought would match Eve’s description perfectly except for one minor detail. I’d originally written Eve’s hair as blond, and this model’s hair was black. Since I wasn’t sure Leonore could find another photo like that one with blond hair, I decided to change Eve’s hair from blond to black.

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“Oh, Eve, don’t tell me you’re going to work on that creative writing assignment now instead of  going to the homecoming dance.”

In her dorm room at the University of Colorado, Eve Barry was staring at the blank piece of paper  in her typewriter, waiting for her poised fingers to produce something. She sighed and ran her fingers through her long, black hair as she turned to her roommate, Charlene Tucker, who was fresh  from the shower, clad only in a black terry–cloth robe, her dark, wet curls plastered to her head.

***

So, does Eve abandon her creative writing assignment and go to the homecoming dance? Read The Red Dress and find out.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, happy, and healthy, and may you always have positive experiences.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

A Snowflake in July #Thursday Book Feature

How to Write Your Novel Using the Snowflake Method

by Randy Ingermanson

Copyright 2017

 

What Amazon Says

 

Are you writing a novel, but having trouble getting your first draft written? You’ve heard of “outlining,” but that sounds too rigid for you. You’ve heard of “organic writing,” but that seems a bit squishy to you.

Take a look at the wildly popular Snowflake Method—a battle-tested series of ten steps that jump-start your creativity and help you quickly map out your story. All around the world, novelists are using the Snowflake Method right now to ignite their imaginations and get their first drafts down on paper.

In this book, you’ll follow the story of a fictitious novelist as she learns to tap into the amazing power of the Snowflake Method. Almost magically, she finds her story growing from a simple idea into a deep and powerful novel. And she finds her novel changing her—turning her into a stronger, more courageous person.

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method is a “business parable”—a how-to guide written in story form. It’s zany. It’s over the top. It’s just plain fun. Most important, it’s effective, because it  shows you, rather than telling you. You’ll learn by example how to grow your story idea into a sizzling first draft. before you write it.

 

My Thoughts

 

I tried the Snowflake Method online several years ago when I was stuck on a novel I was writing. I gave up after the first two or three steps, and my novel eventually became a short story. But when a fellow writer recommended the Audible version of the book, I figured it was worth a second look. I discovered that this is the best book on novel-writing I’ve ever read.

Unlike other such books that just give you information and instructions, How to Write Your Novel Using the Snowflake Method turns the tale of Goldilocks and the three bears on its head in order to explain this method. You may wonder if this book is for children, but I assure you, it’s for adults who are serious about writing novels.

After weaving his compelling story to illustrate the ten steps of the Snowflake Method, Randy Ingermanson outlines the steps and includes his own steps in this method that he followed when writing his tale. A PDF document containing the steps and his own Snowflake Method can be downloaded for free from his website here.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in writing a novel. I may try the Snowflake Method with a new novel before I write it.

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By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.