Writerly FAQs: 5 Common Questions Writers Ask

This post is for all you new writers out there – or for anyone who feels like they’re not an expert yet. That probably covers most everyone.

Since I’ve been blogging for a few years and I have a few books published on Amazon, I’ve had a number of people ask me questions about writing. Apparently, they view as an expert. Which I’m certainly not – but anyone who is a few steps further down the road can offer advice to those who are coming along behind, and so that is what this blog post is about.

So here are five questions that I’ve people ask me about writing and becoming a writer:

Should I write a book?

Do you want to a write a book? “Should I write a book?” is not a question that anyone can answer except you. If you feel that you have a story to tell, a message to communicate, or a part of your life that you want to share, then yes, you should write a book. Continue reading

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You are the Narrator of Your Own Life

What is a narrator? A narrator is someone who tells a story.

In literary terms, a narrator can be “I” – called first person point of view. To borrow the first line from a classic Gothic romance novel, an example of first person narration would be “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.” (from Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier)

A third person point of view narrator is someone else telling the story. This is either a character written as he/she/they (not “I”), or an outside onlooker relating the tale (as when a story begins with something like “Listen, dear reader, and you shall hear a tale…” Continue reading

Why Do You Write?

Every writer has a different reason for writing.

Some write from a place of pain, and their writing is both healing to themselves and a message to the world about true hurts.

Some write from a place of joy, wanting to share the positive experiences that tie all humans together.

Some write because they have a message to deliver, a cause they want others to support, or a lesson they want others to learn.

Some write to explore the inner workings of their own minds, or to help others explore theirs.

Some write just to tell a good story. Continue reading

When You’re Hit with a Shiny New Idea

Most of us creative types are often working on at least two projects at any given time.

So what do you do when you’re going along as planned, making headway (or not) on your current creative projects, and a Shiny New Idea hits you out of the blue?

The way I see it, you can handle this one of three ways:

File it away for later

Whether your Shiny New Idea is just the vaguest form of a concept or a full-blown Idea, write it down. You’ll never bring your Idea to fruition – now or later – if you don’t first write it down. And no, you won’t remember it later. Writing it down and filing it away is a good way to a) remember the Idea when the first Shininess has worn off, and b) let it cool before you interrupt all your current projects to work on it. Continue reading

2017 – A Year in Review

This has been quite a year for me. For all of my followers, I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts, and have gotten some useful and insightful tidbits from this blog. And I hope you continue to read, because in 2018 I plan to delve deeper into all things writerly, both for myself and to share with my fans and followers.

2017 has been a busy year for me, full of learning experiences, dreams being realized, and unexpected blessings. Here’s a quick rundown of my year:

  • In the spring, I left the only home I’d ever known (central Virginia) and moved across the country to the inland northwest (north Idaho). I had no job or place to live lined up, but my sister and her family had moved out there the year before, and I was ready for a change. So I packed up my cat and my books in a U-Haul (don’t panic – the cat rode in the car, not the trailer) and drove across the country.
  • Just a few short months later, I’m living in a little cottage built in 1929, surrounded by fruit trees and mountain views. My town has one traffic light, no McDonald’s, and no movie theater. Most of my neighbors have chickens, and it’s not uncommon to see someone riding a horse through downtown. It’s a border town, so I see as many Montana and British Columbia license plates as I do Idaho plates. My town does have a library and a used book store, though, so there’s that.
  • I’ve met so many new writers this year, both in real life and online. There’s a pretty vibrant writing/artistic community in my area. And Twitter is a wonderful platform for connecting with writers from all over.
  • I published three books this year. They’re all short (a novella and two short stories), but hey, it still makes me an officially published author.
  • I’ve been delving into dieselpunk this year, and learning more and more about all the different nuances of this “punk” sub-genre of science fiction or historical fantasy. I’m learning that there’s a niche for every interest, and a market (even if it’s a small one) for every niche. If you’re not sure who your target audience is for your books, or what to call the kind of books that you’re writing, then keep searching and keep reaching out. You’ll find your people.
  • I had a white Christmas for the first time in forever. I think I experienced a white Christmas perhaps twice my whole life in Virginia. I’m a big lover of snow, and an even bigger lover of Christmas and all things holiday, so having two feet of white powder on Christmas was pretty much a dream come true.

I hope every one of you had some good experiences in 2017. Whether 2017 was your best year or not, find something to be thankful, something you can learn from, and set your goals and dreams for the upcoming year.

Onward to 2018!

Why I’m Writing Short Stories Instead of Novels

I’ve always considered myself a novelist. I love long involved stories, the more epic the better. As a kid I loved The Chronicles of Narnia, then I read The Lord of the Rings and others (The Silmarillion, etc.) I love a thick novel with a thick plot (like The Historian), and my favorite TV show is the sprawling sci-fi epic Babylon 5.

And so, I began writing what I loved reading. In middle school I had an epic fantasy series that I wrote on for several years (I’d planned to make it a seven book series, and wrote first drafts of about two and a half books). When I first started this blog a few years ago, I was working on an epic fantasy trilogy inspired by the folktales of Finland.

While I have not given up on either fantasy series, both have been temporarily shelved and I’ve started writing short fiction. Because of my love of long epic stories, I never thought of myself as a short story writer. Continue reading