When Writers Block Means to Dig Deeper

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is: “The most difficult scene you ever wrote and why.”

I’m guessing that’s why was it difficult, not why we wrote it. Though I do think the why we wrote the scene in the first place is relevant.

There’s a school of thought among writers and writerly-advice givers that if a story becomes difficult – if the writer hits a block and grinds to a stop – then that’s an indicator of Something Gone Wrong. I see this advice a lot. Writers will say – often in response to questions about how they handle Writer’s Block – “When I hit a block, I know I’ve done something wrong, taken a wrong turn somewhere, so I go back and rework the plot.”

You all have heard a version of this, right?

Makes me cringe every time. I’ll tell you why. But you have to go to the SFF Seven to find out. 

Writing Through the Cycle of Despair

Happy Groundhog Day! In celebration of this (dubious) holiday, we here at the SFF Seven will be discussing that THING we find ourselves doing over and over in our books. If that’s not scary, I don’t know what is.

Just last weekend I did a video chat with an author friend, because I asked for her help with some brainstorming. We also chatted about our current projects and deadlines. Now, she’s had multiple books on the NYT Bestseller list and commands enviable advances. She has a large and passionate fandom. But she was at the phase of her current book where she doubted *everything* about it.

I said, “the phase where you’re certain the book is not only TERRIBLE, but the one that will destroy your career forever?”

And she said, “YES!”

This is an inevitable Groundhog Day cycle for me. Come on over to find out more – and how I get through it. Also for news on THE FATE OF THE TALA!

How I Became a Morning Writer

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week involves our writing schedules – what’s our most productive time of day, when do we actually write, how much time each day, week, month, etc.

I chose this photo I took of the moon at sunrise, because seeing amazing sights like this has become one of the great benefits of being an early riser. Who knew that catching the moon at dawn could be so very beautiful? I certainly didn’t, because I was never naturally an early bird. Come on over to learn more!

 

#1 Thing to Assuage Holiday Stress

I posted this pic to Instagram Stories asking people to vote on whether this is a helpful cat or not. Something like 82% voted “yes.” (I forgot to look at the final score before the story expired.) This only proves that my tribe of followers are TOTAL CAT PUSHOVERS.

And yes, that’s THE FATE OF THE TALA on the monitor. I was amused by how many people messaged asking if that’s what they spied. Those who listen to my podcast know that I’m struggling with this book, but I’m also at 88K now – which I originally thought would be my total! – and I’m getting there…

NOT helped by cats who insert themselves between my hand and the mouse.

Anyhooo….

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is our #1 Thing to do to keep our sanity this holiday season. Come on over to find out mine!

 

Gravedigging: a Peek at Something No One Has Ever Seen

It’s laundry day here, and Jackson takes laundry VERY seriously.

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is Gravedigging: Share Something Great from a Dead Project.

While intriguing, this is also a tall order. I mean, for me, very few (if any?) projects are truly dead. Though I suppose zombie works also qualify for this spooky theme. Also, if there’s something Great in it, then the projects is almost certainly not dead. The truly dead projects are those that have nothing redeemable in them.

Also, this topic seriously took me down a rabbit hole of looking at old fragments of stories and various projects that languished for one reason or another – some going back twenty-five years to when I was first rooting around and finding my voice as a writer.

But here’s a little something that’s kind of been hanging around in the Undead Files. I wrote it down in part to capture a certain feel. It came from a dream when I was immersed in other projects and couldn’t devote time to this. Turns out that was ten years ago! I could’ve sworn it was only a couple. Alas.

Anyway, it’s rough – the names are placeholders – but I still see the shine in it. Come on over to read it. 

 

Show Me the Money! (Or at Least Don’t Make ME Pay)

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is Lit Cons, Fan Cons, Comics Cons: What’s Best For You?

I imagine there will be a variety of replies to this topic – and maybe someone will take on defining each – but I’m taking a bit of a slant and talking about the stance I’ve taken on conventions in general. Come on over to find out more. 

 

Book Marketing, Author Branding and the Long Game

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is reviews: do they really do any good?

 

Serendipitously enough, this topic dovetails with something I’d already noted on my list of Things to Discuss, which is author branding and the long game. I’d been thinking about it since I was interviewed last week on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast. Since it aired, I’ve received a lot of great feedback and appreciation for my “down-to-earth” marketing strategy and advice.

 

I found that description kind of amusing – because I don’t think of myself as “down to earth” in general – but I also get why they say that. I think it’s partly because a lot of my marketing strategy is grounded in author branding and the long game.

 

I’m also thinking, as one does days later with these things, that I didn’t say exactly that in the interview and I wish I had. So I said it here. 

 

 

A Fab Year Ahead for SFF Romance!

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is books we’re looking forward to in 2019. 

Can I just say ALL OF THEM???

Okay, I’ll try to hone it down to a few. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the final book in my Chronicles of Dasnaria trilogyWARRIOR OF THE WORLD, will be out January 8. A fine way to kick off 2019! Come on over for more. 

What’s Your Favorite – First, Second, or Third Person?

Minerva Spencer’s kitchen in Taos – isn’t it gorgeous? I’m up here visiting for the weekend and she wants me to tell you it’s normally much tidier than this but we’ve been having an eating, drinking, talking writer’s bacchanalia. 

Our topic this week at the SFF Seven, to continue the contentious cycle of last week’s one vs. two spaces throw-down, is: First Person POV vs. Third – or Second – Which Do You Like to Read? Come on over for definitions, and my answer!