Saturday, August 31, 2013

When Characters Write Themselves

Yesterday I reread the last scene I had recently written, which is a practice I always do before moving the story on, and then I previewed my notes for an upcoming scene.  My character Samuel was just sitting there feeling lost and sorry for himself due to a couple of pretty significant events.  I didn't know exactly what to do with him, but then he did something wonderful -- he got up, walked over to the end table, pulled open the drawer, and  . . . . . wrote his own scene!  Perhaps this will sound a bit odd to some of you, but I just love when a character writes his own scene.  You see, sometimes you have an idea where you want the story to go and write exactly what you had planned, but then sometimes your character just does it for you.  Love this!  It's unexpected and truly a mystery to me where they are going until they do it.  Will that scene make the final cut?  Don't know, but I think Samuel came up with something pretty good.  Thanks Samuel!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Defining My Genre

So what do I write?  This question is asked of me whenever someone hears that I'm writing a book.  I've dabbled in several different areas with my flash fiction, but in answer to my book?  Well, when someone asks me what I write, of course I say fiction.  After all, just about everyone knows that there is fiction and there is non-fiction.  However, what type of fiction do I write?  Ah, now that has been a little bit of a challenge until recently.  I think.  I'll explain.

First off, I need to know my genre.  This is extremely important when I finally wrap up this thing and start pitching it to agents.  I must know what genre my book falls under.  I have to put this in my agent query letter. So when I started trying to define this some time ago my head started to spin like a scene out of the Exorcist.  Why?  Well, you think there are two main types of fiction, commercial (larger audience) and literary (smaller audience).  But then you hear terms such as mainstream fiction (broad audience appealing to many), upmarket fiction (a combination of commercial and literary), genre fiction (western, romance, historical, horror, thriller, mystery, science-fiction, etc.).  Oh, but it doesn't stop there.  Take for example Romance.  Simple enough, right?  Nope.  Under romance you have sub-genres such as paranormal romance, historical romance, erotic romance, adventure romance, regency romance, fantasy romance, Gothic romance, contemporary romance . . . enough?  Okay you get my point.   So after screwing my head back on I calmly pulled out the laptop and started doing some serious research.  And what did I finally come up with?  Upmarket Fiction.  Yep, that's it.  And perhaps to take it one step further, Upmarket Woman's Fiction.  Think, for example, Water for Elephants, Memoirs of a Geisha, and authors such as Jodi Picoult, Anita Shreve, Sue Monk Kidd and other book club type authors.  It's actually quite a wide variety.   So since I am writing this book with multiple POVs (points of view) in the style of such authors as Jodi Picoult and Anita Shreve, and since I think my style of writing is a combination of commercial and literary, that is how I came to this conclusion.

So there you have it, my genre defined.  Uh, maybe.  You see, things change by the minute in the literary world.  In additional to YA (young adult) I recently just found out we now have NA (new adult).  But I'm going with Upmarket Woman's Fiction.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  (At least until an agent tells me I have it all wrong.)


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Quote of the Day

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” 
― Edgar Degas

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"The Collector" Just Went Live

Check out my newest flash fiction piece, "The Collector", which just went live on The Story Shack today. The illustration was done by the talented James Brown.

Monday, August 12, 2013


Did anyone else catch this on 60 Minutes last night?  This story is so outrageous.  How can these people sleep at night knowing that their practices are killing people?  Shameful and disgusting.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day!

So you were wondering what to do with all of your zucchini?  Well, you're in luck.  Today, August 8th, is National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day!  Yep, now is your opportunity to ditch some of those green squashes that have been taking up space on your kitchen counter onto an unsuspecting neighbor.  A word of warning, however, don't be surprised if some of those emerald gourds end up back your front porch too.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Quote of the Day

“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.” 

― G.K. Chesterton

Friday, August 2, 2013

Update: Illustration Received for "The Collector"

Hi everyone,

I received the illustration today for my next piece on The Story Shack, "The Collector", and once again James Brown did a wonderful job.  You might remember that he also provided the illustration for my story "Saving Sylvia" earlier this year.  Look for "The Collector" on August 21st.

Have a great weekend!