Lindsey R. Loucks

Author of Romance and Other Scary Things

Category: Writing (page 1 of 4)

It’s Spring Break! *flings off bikini, then puts it back on again because NO*

Spring Break is heeeeere!

Spring Break is heeeeere!

My poor, poor neglected blog. I still think about you sometimes, and that’s usually as far as I get. I’ve been so wrapped up in life and my characters’ lives that I’m not 100% sure where the past few months have gone.

 

It all started with National Novel Writing Month in November. Oh my God, that month was killer. I’ve never done NaNoWriMo before, and I’m pretty sure I left my brain somewhere between weeks three and four. But I wrote over 50,000 words. Boom! Some of them are really ugly words, more like a string of nonsense that may have more to do with my waning supply of Pop Tarts than the actual story. But still! Words!

 

I did learn a few things about myself as a writer through NaNoWriMo though–I can breeze through dialog with hardly a clickety-clack pause. Give me two or three characters with tons to talk about, and I’m set. But for a pantster, someone who writes with only a vague idea of where they’re going, NaNoWriMo will tear your arms off and beat you with them. I did have an outline, but the further I got into the story, the more bare-bones it got. There are many instances where I wrote *something happens here but I don’t know what*. I think I’m going to leave that in and let the reader fill in their own blanks. Just kidding!

 

Anyway, this book is called Sail, and it’s a New Adult sexy ghost story in space. I’m thinking it will be ready for consumption by Fall 2014.

 

What else? Oh, yeah! I expect to have edits back on The Grave Winner book 2 sometime this week. I’m excited to jump back into Leigh’s head.

 

One more thing! See the sidebar on the right where it says Subscribe to Lindsey’s Insider Newsletter? It will be a happy day if you sign up because you’ll get cover reveals (the one for Sail is going to be AH-mazing!) before anyone else, never before seen excerpts, and contests just for newsletter subscribers. It’s different from my blog in that I will actually do something with it! ūüėČ

 

Now, excuse me while I continue licking dishes clean. Hey, it’s Spring Break–I can do whatever!

What’s Love Got To Do With It? Everything!

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image17577654

 

Love’s got everything to do with everything in my life. I love books so much I became a librarian so I can build forts out of them on my desk and pop out from behind them whenever anyone comes into the library. (If that doesn’t wake the students up, nothing will).

 

Chocolate and the Foo Fighters and Firefly all put a smile on my face because I love them/it so much.

 

So, yeah, love is huge in my life. But why do I feel the need to write about it in most of my stories? I’ll answer that question with another story. Don’t worry – it’s short.

 

Lightning struck my heart when I first got to know my BF eighteen years ago. No, not literally, but it sure felt like it. Every time I thought about him, which was all the time, my cheeks heated, a smile would dance across my lips, and I’d lose my appetite. Oh, yeah. I was falling for him. Big time.

 

Fast forward to now. The¬†lightning that struck me has fueled a raging fire, and me and the BF are still ridiculously in love. We leave love notes for each other. We call each other cute nicknames. We walk each other to the door before work for one last kiss goodbye. It’s almost sickening how cute it is, isn’t it?

 

But that’s why I write about love. I want to capture that feeling for¬†my characters¬†because that feeling will stay with¬†them forever, even if that particular love doesn’t last. Plus, as a reader, I enjoy reading about characters who find first love or long-lost love or love in the strangest place. I feel what they feel all over again.

 

Now, because I love¬†all of you, here’s a gigantic contest! The winner gets a $250 e-giftcard¬†to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, your choice.¬† The contest is international and ends February 19th, so hurry! Enter the Rafflecopter below to win and good luck!

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you want to hop around to other Crescent Moon Press authors’ sites to see what they think love’s got to do with it, you can start here.

 

My Knickers Aren’t in a Twist Over Word Count – Are Yours?

From openclipart.org

 

So NaNoWriMo is over, and while I didn’t participate, I did try to write a little every day on A Boy and Her Scratch. I didn’t succeed, and¬†I didn’t even come close to 50,000 words. But I’m okay with that.

 

The story and characters have solidified in the 10,338 words I’ve written on it, which is always a plus. I keep fighting the urge to go back and “fix” things because the first draft is supposed to look like word vomit, and it does, so yay! I’ve decided to keep writing this story until December 31st, and then at midnight, instead of turning into a pumpkin, I’ll start writing like a mad woman on What Gifts She Carried.

 

From January onward, I won’t be staying the night¬†at work (something I did do in November), I won’t have as many loooong work days, and I won’t be going out of town. It gets¬†too cold in Kansas to do anything but stay home in my pajamas and write anyway!

 

My point to all this rambling is that I’m trying this new thing where I don’t stress about writing. I let it happen, word by word. It’s slow going, but I’ll get there.

 

Does word count stress you out? Does getting the book finished twist your knickers?

Vote For My MC’s Roommate’s Name

File:Vote !.svgBy RRZEicons via Wikimedia Commons

 

Yes, I know many of you voted in last week’s election, but I’m asking you to vote just one more time! See the poll to the right? Below the search feature? I’d like to know your thoughts on my MC’s roommate’s name.

 

Here is a little information about the roommate and the story: this girl is, um… Let’s just say she… Well, she gets around. A lot. She has glossy black hair. The happy and sad theather masks are etched into her irises. She’s a college student. She’s tough and can take people down quickly. The story takes place in the future in space. It’s a ghost story, but the roommate has never encounted any.

 

So, is the  name Moon Dragon too cheesy? Or does it work?

Make Nice With Your Muse

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

No no NaNoWriMo. I won’t participate in you this year or next year or never but I will cheer for participants from the sidelines.

 

Why? I’m a slow writer, like 1000 words in three hours slow. I try not to stress about making things look pretty in a first draft, but I do anyway. Plus, I have to stop and picture what’s happening in my head. It’s like watching a movie in painfully slow motion.

 

But I’m using NaNoWriMo as inspiration to learn how to not worry so much and speed up the pictures. I’m also using it to get inspired to write after I get home from school. I used to think a sleepy brain tells sleepy stories, but a sleepy brain is the norm now, and sleepy brains still have stories to tell.

 

The story I should be telling is the sequel to The Grave Winner, but it’s still coming together in my head. So my muse has hammered another story into my brain (ow!) while I let the sequel percolate. That’s the story I’m working on now, and I feel like I should make nice with my muse in case it flips me the bird and abandons me.

 

This new story¬†has ghosts¬†in space, in case you’re wondering. It also has some sexy times in it because it’s not YA. The title is A Boy and Her Scratch.

 

The sequel to The Grave Winner is coming, I promise! Please don’t hate me, Fabulous Editor Melissa and my Must Have Critique Partners and my Totally Tubular beta reader and everyone else who has made it this far through my ramblings!

 

Anyone else have a muse? Anyone else pet it and feed it cookies so it won’t flip you the bird?

 

P.S. I voted today!

Editing, Or Putting a Chopped Onion Back Together Again

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onion by zeimusu -
From OpenClipArt

So I wrote my first romantic horror novella in July, and I plan on pitching it to a few editors in a few weeks. That means it’s time to edit like a crazy woman. Whenever I edit, I imagine I’m putting a chopped onion back together again because I’m adding the layers (character, plot, setting, dialog) to make a complete story. Each layer has to fit together just so to make the perfect whole.

You may not hear from me much while I hunker down and fling onion pieces around. But I’ll soon be finished and smelling like dinner!

My Creative Juices Have Turned to Sludge

My brain and I aren’t getting along so well anymore. Does someone know where I can get electroshock treatment? I don’t even know if that will help. So remember how ecstatic I was when I signed with Crescent Moon Press? Don’t get me wrong – I’m still crazy happy about that!

Me, after I signed with CMP.

Now¬†the pressure is on though. I wrote a book, and someone liked it! Hurray! But this book is the first in a series, and the rest should be equally good, if not better, so my brain tells me. *gulp* What? Equally good if not better? Excuse me while I go curl up in a ball and count the strange spots on the ceiling for the next five years. Nobody told me the rest¬†of the series has¬†to be equally good if not better OR ELSE, but my brain thinks that’s what I need to do.

So I started writing book two. My goal was to finish¬†the first draft over the summer¬†since I have time then. I’m maybe halfway through, which isn’t too bad considering it’s only July 10th. But¬†so far the story is just a¬†bunch of scenes. Nothing threads through it¬†to tie it up in a nice, cohesive whole. There aren’t many twists (yet), but in book one, there were twists coming at you from every direction. I think the problem is I don’t have the story plotted out well enough, but the other problem is I can’t think of a plot! Yikes! I know exactly how the story begins. I know exactly how the story will end. It’s all that stuff in the middle that’s killing me.

Yeah, there are things I can do to get the old creative juices flowing again, like:

1. Take a break – I’ve done this.¬†It didn’t¬†work.
2. Read a good book – I’m doing this. It’s not working.
3. Watch a movie – I watch movies all the time. It’s not working.
4. Write something else – I don’t have any ideas for anything else! There was a contest for novellas I thought about entering, but my brain couldn’t pump out any ideas.
5. Go to the store and read some greeting cards – This is stupid. I’m not going to do this. This was actually a tip I found on the internet for writer’s block. No foolin’.

Does anyone have any other tips?

Oh, and my series is a dark and scary YA (think zombies, ghosts, possession, witches, etc), so if you have any horrorific ideas you’d like to toss my way, I will catch them and give you a big virtual hug!

How To Write the First Draft of a Sequel in 6 Easy Steps

What Gifts She Carried, book two of The Grave Winner series, is coming along. Not nicely, but it’s coming along. I’m already on page 36, so yay for that! It turns out that writing a sequel, much like writing any book, is hard. If you’re going through this too, here are some tips to keep¬†from stabbing yourself in the eye with a french fry:

From www.bestuff.com

1. Open book one on your computer for reference. You don’t want your MC’s little sister to have a potty mouth or have a sudden fascination with vampire unicorns¬†when she didn’t in book one. Well, I guess you could as long as there’s¬†a reason for it.

2. Sneak in bits of back story throughout the beginning chapters. Readers may have forgotten what’s happened since reading book one and could use brief reminders here and there.

3. Look back at book one and remind yourself that it was crap too at one time. Don’t let the first draft blues suck your writing confidence¬†through a straw.

4. Keep your novel outline close, but don’t be afraid to push it away every once in awhile. If a good idea comes to you that’s not on the outline, use it. If it surprises you, it will surprise your readers.

5. Resist the urge to go back and edit. Resist, I tell you! Puke up the story first, clean it up later. Ugh, sorry about that metaphor. I hope you weren’t eating.

6. Keep writing. Yes, that’s a given, but even if you’re not feeling it some days, keep writing. Have a daily word count goal or a daily that-would-be-really-cool-if-I-got-this-many-words-written-but-whatever-goal. I do the latter ‘cuz that’s how I roll.

Anyone else have some tips?

Waiting For My Main Character To Talk To Me

Credit

Argh, I have this problem a lot. I’ve started writing a brand new story, and my main character is a bit of an oddball. The problem is she won’t speak to me. I waited for her to start talking so I could transcribe everything, but nope. Nothing. I had high hopes for spring break – I was going to crank out fifty pages. All I got was seven, which isn’t bad, but spring break was ten days long. Ten days. Seven pages. Frowny face goes here.

Those seven pages were mostly actions and dialog since my main character wouldn’t share her thoughts with me. Then, this last Sunday, she started talking. I wrote three pages in two hours. Not great, but not bad.

We’re working through her trust issues. Slowly. I’m trying to make her think I exist¬†just to tell her story, and I think it’s going to be a good one.

I know I’ve blogged about this before, but is it possible to force your characters to talk to you?

P.S. I’m glad I can call myself a writer, because otherwise I’d be labeled a schizophrenic. ūüėÄ

First Book Trash, Second Draft Treasure… Maybe?

There’s a battle in my brain. Story ideas are throwing spitballs, shouting obscenities, and scratching their chins with their middle fingers at each other. It’s quite rude.

Credit

But the one¬†that has my attention now is my first novel called Pause. Maybe because it’s been sitting quietly in a drawer for so long, acting like an angelic first novel. It’s total crap, though, and I can’t believe I queried it. Yet underneath the meandering plot,¬†the crybaby main character, and way too much internal dialog, there are some real tense moments and several plot twists. I still like the story.

So, I’m rewriting it.

Does that mean I’m not going to write every other story idea in my head? No. What Gifts She Carried and everything else will still be written.

Does that mean I’ll like Pause after I’ve rewritten it? It kind of depends on my critique partners. If they give me permission to like it, then yes, I’ll like it. ūüėČ (I’ll post a few chapters to Critique Circle soon).

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