Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chugging Along...

I started today with only 11,338 words in my mini-NaNo quest. Reality says that I won't even make the 30,000 goal we set in out Mini-NaNo thread on the Forum. Add the fact that I've not been writing very much for the last week--only 388 words--and didn't write at all on four days of the last 9 and you can't expect much.

This morning I had a reality check and counted how many I could conceivably write in the last four days. A thousand isn't too big and if I can power through for the days remaining in the week, I can hit what I'm calling a "micro-mini-NaNo" total of 15,000.

Happily I can report that I've already added 1050 to the total today, so I'm on my way.

12,338 and counting.

How are you doing?
Are you going to reach the magic number of 50K or will you join me with a lower, but achievable goal?

Keep Writing...the month isn't over yet! ; )

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Occupational Hazards

Do you ever think of something you need to jot down for your writing in bed...in the dark? I do. And I'm proud of my ability to write legible notes on the notepad from the bedside table without turning the light on.

Until the writing isn't legible. ; ) Occasionally there is one that trails off into a series of unreadable squiggles and an ink blotch. Sometimes the blotch isn't just on the notepad. ; )

On a more serious note, there are true occupational hazards to writing.
  • Repetitive motion stress injuries in hands and wrists--the dreaded Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
  • Chronic pain in neck and shoulders
  • Lack of sleep
Of course, family and friends always claim that we "daydream" about our stories instead of participating in real life. (As if our stories aren't real! ; )

How do you combat writing's occupational hazards?
What other occupational hazards can you identify?

NaNo update: 10,984. I'm slowing down, but that's okay. That's still a lot of new words to work with.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all in the US and have a wonderful Thursday to the rest of you. ; )

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

WIP Blog Hop and a NaNo Check Up

I'm excited to participate in this WIP Blog Hop! Thanks again to my fellow Forum and Muse buddy Lara Lacombe for tagging me.

Here are the questions:
What is your working title of your book?

Where did the idea come from for the book?
From a dream—really ; ) I saw the first scene during a nap and as the day went on, I’d figured out the basic story.

What genre does your book fall under?
Women’s Fiction/Family Saga

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Kathy Bates and a young Dakota Fanning

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Laura Grace Chandler is a retired teacher who is recently widowed and thinks her life is over until she meets an abused foster child who turns Laura Grace’s life upside down.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I hope I can go the agency route. Keep your fingers crossed.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’m still working on it :)

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS and some of Jodi Picoult’s books

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
All the my students from 25 years of teaching—and the caseworkers and foster parents who try to help the abused heal.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There’s an interesting potential love interest who shows up at the end of the book and FRIENDLY FIRE is the first of four stories set in Cherry Hill, Georgia.

I'd like to pass this Hop on to S. P. Bowers.

NaNo Check-In:
As of November 11, I have written 8594 new words for FRIENDLY FIRE. Guess what my doggies said about the bit I read to them--"Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!" ; )

How is NaNo going for you?


Monday, November 5, 2012

What's the Genre?

What genre do you write?

I'm guessing you've heard that question more than a few times. Is there clear cut definition for the genre you prefer? If so, you're blessed. ; )

Of the three genres I write--one is very clear cut (devotional), one has several sub-categories (Science Fiction), and one is all over the place (women's fiction).

It's the definitions of Women's Fiction that give me a headache. Many start with, "written by women for women readers." Do you know of any genres that are defined as "written by men for men readers?" This definition frustrates a lot of women's fiction writers.

One of the best places to get a feel for this is at Amy Sue Nathan's Women's Fiction Writers. Juliette Fay has a great take on this problems in her interview at Women's Fiction Writers. Juliette's latest book, THE SHORTEST WAY HOME has a man as the main character and is still classified as women's fiction.
"But maybe there’s a different question you’re asking: how does the gender of the writer affect the way a book is labeled, regardless of the gender of the main character. If that’s what your wondering, and if I’m being completely honest … I think that if someone in possession of a set of testicles had written this book, it would be called general fiction. After all, it’s not just about a man—it’s about a single man with no children. But since it’s ultimately a family drama, and I have ovaries, it’s called women’s fiction."

Her definition of the genre is "I think of women’s fiction as family drama, and I wish they’d use that label instead. But the women’s fiction label doesn’t really bother me, because a rose is a rose. Happily, there are a lot of people who want to read family drama/women’s fiction—and, hey, I’m here to help."

One of the issues with a gender based definition of a genre is the assumptions that books in the genre won't seriously written or about deep topics. That's a shame. I've read a lot women's fiction that deal with abuse, family disruption, life-threatening illness, and relationships among family members, both male and female.

What's you opinion on genre definitions that take into account the gender of the writer? Is is fair?