Digging Right Now 716I haven’t done one of these in a while. For one thing, I’ve been busy writing! I finished all three of my fifties novellas (and I’m in the middle of editing them right now), I’m just (like this weekend) finished with second round edits on my novel, Infamous, contracted with The Wild Rose Press, and I’ve started the second novel to follow-up Infamous.

I’ll have lots more info for you on all of that in the coming months. But for now, what I’m digging this month.

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First, we have to talk about Game of Thrones. In my opinion, it was the best. season. ever. In fact, it was so good that when I finished it on the last Sunday, I started watching again on the

following Thursday and rewatched the entire season.

The Battle of the Bastards! Daenerys and dragons! The taking back of Mereen! Killing the khals! Bran and Whitewalkers! Hodor! “I drink and I know things,”! The Green Trial! I could go on. And on and on. The point is, it hit every structure and pacing note imaginable. Every episode was top-notch. If you’ve never watched Game of Thrones, I not only suggest you do so immediately (get HBO Now for a month or two), I’m wondering what the hell you’re waiting for.

Next, let’s talk about what I’m doing in my down time. I’m playing video games, of course. I play lots of what’s called casual games. I play Happy Street and Hollywood University on my iPad. I’m an Animal Crossing fanatic. (My AC:NL dream code is 4600-4766-5087; go ahead and visit me.) Yes, I’m blushing as I admit that.

I have lately been investing a lot of my free time in The Sims 4. In many ways, it’s not as good as it’s predecessor. I mourn the open town and the color choices, particularly. However, other than loading screens, TS4 has its own high points. Being able to do more than one thing at once and great graphics on low-end machines are two of them. All the same, it amuses me, and that’s all that matters. Maybe in a few years, when computers catch up to higher end gaming, we can have an open town again. For now, I’ll play both versions.

Finally, let’s circle back around to writing. A book was recommended in the crit group I belong to called Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes. It’s to the right there and that’s an affiliate link. This book was everything I’ve ever looked for on story structure for romance novels.

I read an article recently from BookRiot that the forumalaic elements of romance are like the elements of a sonnet. Yes, there are certain beats you want to hit if you want to write a good kissing book (what the author of the book calls them), but that’s no different than a lot of other writing that is revered. So what? It doesn’t make them any less enjoyable to read, if they’re your thing. They’re definitely my thing, and understanding why they work is, as well.

What are you enjoying this July? Also, happy birthday to me: I’ll be 42 on Sunday!

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Digging Right Now Oct15It’s a brand new month! Well, it’s the end of a brand new month, but I have new faves this month, all the same. (I  misspelled that bran both times, as if I’m feeling irregular or something.) I finished my second 1950s novella and I’m plotting my third (and final) one to hopefully pound out during NaNoWriMo.


logo-medium-landscape-26c12ce547f22c15ed6d3227f65708d2There’s this awesome new website called One Stop for Writers. It’s by the maker or Scrivener and the writers of the Emotional Thesaurus. It’s so amazing, you guys. Setting thesaurus, idea generators, Color and Pattern Thesaurus, Positive Traits and Negative Traits… I could go on and on. I won’t, but I could. It costs $9 per month (if you pay monthly, with discounts if you pay every 6 months or yearly) and it’s worth every penny.

Know how I said once that I couldn’t write with index cards? I went into all the reasons they didn’t work for me. Well, that’s not so true now. Process evolves. In the past, the very looseness of it bothered me; now the lack of rigidity (so, yeah, the looseness) is exactly what gets my muse all excited. I’ve been using them to plot (which I also did with my first 1950s novel) and I’m halfway through a scene-by-scene outline. (I know that probably scares the hell out of you pantsers.)

This book. Ohmygosh, you guys. This is the best book on structure I’ve ever read! And I’ve read several. In fact, I consider myself something of a structure connoisseur. I sort of am in love with structure because if your structure is off, it’s all off.

Anyway, K.M. Weiland goes through every piece of three-act story structure and walks you through what it means, how it looks in four different stories, and even a list that narrows down exactly what each piece should have. And that’s just the first 60% of the book (all I’ve read so far). The last slightly-less-than-half is about scene structure, and I’m really excited to read more on that. I can tell you that this has inspired me in my plotting of this new story.

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