Monday, September 26, 2016

The Creative Way

Dusty is finished and has hit the editing stage! Honestly, my least favorite stage. But very necessary, so I won't complain. I am very excited to share this story with the world. :) You might get a glimpse of the cover some day soon :)

As a writer, it is always my goal to be growing and learning in my craft so I can write better stories so as to better glorify my God. I approach my life in the same manner, always desiring to grow closer to the Lord.

Today I started class on writing, what Ted Dekker calls a course in transformational fiction. I am so excited! I've only done the first session, this being my first day. But it is positively amazing! It is both a powerful tool to enhance the way that I write and a powerful way to approach living with Christ. Ted Dekker covers it all. Again, I've only done one day. But this course has already inspired and challenged me and I am so excited and so grateful that I have the opportunity to learn in this way.

So that is what I will be up to in the following months. Taking my class, The Creative Way, and editing Dusty.

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Rare Breed


More specifically, AUTHORS.

What are these strange creatures that never socialize and only come out at night? Well they certainly aren't vampires, I can tell you that. We're a beautiful, weird, quirky bunch of people who spend way more time inside imaginary worlds and talking to made-up characters in our heads than we do in the real world with real people.

I don't know how it is for most other writers, but these are the things that I have come to recognize as my writer habits and quirks. These are the things that say...yep. Amanda is a writer. (To my mind at least)

1) Socializing...what is this foreign concept? You mean I actually have to spend time with people? What? No. Not gonna happen.

Now don't get me wrong. I love people. I really do. I love my family. I love my friends. I love all sorts of wonderful people that I meet on the street. And I do socialize. I had a recent coffee date with a friend that ended up lasting over eight hours. So yes, I socialize. But I can't deny that as soon as that awesome and super long coffee date was over, I locked myself up in my room to avoid any and all human interaction. Humans. I can't handle too much of them. Partially because, well, I'm an introvert. Leave me alone, folks. It's not that I don't like you. I just need space.

2) Coffee. Hot Chocolate. Tea. Cider. The staples of my diet.

3) Starvation. This is perfectly normal, I promise. No really. It is.

See...when writers get writing...we lose track of reality. That includes time. Time passes much, much faster when you're a writer. And food...well, we writers tend to forget we actually need sustenance. It isn't that we think we're too good for food. "I can survive fasting for months." It's just that we actually forget. We lose track of time and then go..."Wow. It's 7pm and I haven't eaten anything today. How did that happen?"

4) Hygiene.... isn't that I advocate not being clean. But when I get into a writing phase several....days....might go by between showers. And again, it isn't because I don't want to shower or that I think I'm above showering. I just forget. Writing is very distracting from the real world. You have no idea. (Or maybe you do, if you're a writer)

5) Nocturnal. 100%. I swear I am a cat.

My best writing tends to happen somewhere between midnight and 6am. Why? I have no idea. But I'm pretty sure this is the case for a lot of other writers, so I don't think I'm too weird.

6) Leaving the house is like being thrown into the Roman Colosseum. Please don't make me go. PLEASE!!! Now, once I actually get out of the house, it suddenly turns into a pleasant experience and I am fine. But before I actually get out the door....torture.

That's a few things that, to me, tell me I am a writer. Do any of you writers have your own quirks and habits to add to the list?

We are an interesting group of people to be sure, us writers. We inhabit a world of our own and I've never met anyone else quite like writers. I don't even know how to describe us. We're something different and unique, and we have a very different perspective on the world than anyone else I've talked to in my short years. I am proud to be a member of this quirky bunch of crazies who live life in made up worlds in the middle of the night.

Here's to all your writers out there! We might be different, but that doesn't mean we aren't awesome. In fact, I'm pretty sure it is our very different-ness that makes us awesome.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

How Do I Do What I Do?

I am still deep in Sherwood, finishing up my third Robin Hood book. Dusty is coming together nicely :) I spent a beautiful four hours writing last night and I am utterly convinced that I slept better because of that.

We're taking a step back from Dusty, however. Today I thought I would simply share my approach to writing. How do I do what I do?

Usually I type on my computer because it saves me time later, but occasionally I'll write in a notebook or on my lovely typewriter. My typewriter is actually my favorite place to write, but it can be a pain getting my manuscripts from the typewriter to the computer to publish them so I don't do that as often as I might otherwise.

When I sit down to write I always have a few things handy nearby. First of all, I have a timeline (handwritten by myself usually). For Dusty, this timeline is immensely long and spans a good thirty pieces of paper or more, which I keep in a simple three-ring binder. I also make sure I have fresh lined paper handy for any notes I might make while writing, or any research I might need to jot down. Research tends to happen spontaneously with my stories. I'll reach a certain part of my story and I realize I don't know enough that I need to to write a particular scene authentically so I pause writing and open up my browser and read and take notes for several hours before heading back to my manuscript to finish the scene I was working on.

Other necessary items I tend to keep by my side when I write would be cider or hot chocolate. Sometimes you just need that helpful burst of inspiration that a wonderful drink can give you. For a lot of writers, it's coffee. For me, it's usually apple cider but sometimes hot chocolate or even tea.

Once I have all my supplies gathered and am ready, the business of writing begins.

First step: Praying. I always sit down and pray before I begin writing, every time that I sit down to write. I usually pray for God to work through me, to help me write the stories he wants me to, and for Him to be glorified through my stories. If there's a particular thing I've been struggling with in one story or another I'll pray for that too.

After praying, I sit back and watch the magic happen. Generally, when I am writing, I don't know where the story is going or what is happening. I do have some idea, obviously, being the author. But I don't know a lot of what is going on so I get to "read" the story just like anyone else. It is a lot of fun! Writing is one of the most enjoyable things I have ever encountered in this life. :)

I tend to write for several hours at a time. I used to write all day long, if I didn't have anything going on. But now that I am a nanny writing is reserved for the evenings only. It's a beautiful thing to look forward to every day and it is the perfect ending to my days.

So that is my method of writing novels. I hope you enjoyed this little insight into my little world.