March 14, 2010



Get your mind out of the gutter. I was going to say “pens.”

I spent an hour or so with the notebook and a pen this afternoon, hand-writing what turned out to be a good scene. It was full of both love and laughter — what more can you ask?

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

When I left my makeshift office at Burritos Fiesta, I started to think about the tools I write with — mainly because my favorite pen had run out of ink the night before, and the one I started using just didn’t have the same feel or flow.

Don’t get me wrong: I love writing utensils and have quite the collection of pens, in a rainbow of colors. But some do write better than others. In college, I was a Pilot girl. I bought Pilot fine-tipped ballpoint pens in every available color because I loved the way they wrote.

Even now, I’m a Pilot pen lover. But today I use the G-2 gel writers (still in many colors). In fact, my pen that bit the dust Friday night was a standard blue G-2.

I love everything about the G-2: The way it feels in my hand, with just the right weight and heft … the way the ink flows from it, making it easy to capture my thoughts quickly … the way it doesn’t smear …

I’ve used my share of pencils, too, mostly mechanical ones. My favorite was (and still is) a Scripto refillable pencil with thick lead. I can’t tell you how long I’ve had mine, or if the lead refills are even available anymore. But I can tell you that words flow pretty well for me with it, too. And that lead, unlike a lot of mechanical pencil lead, rarely breaks.

So tell me, what are your favorite writing tools? Any other G-2 fans out there? Surely I’m not alone!

I’ve had a busy Friday. I not only wrote about 800 words on Meg & Matt’s story, but also finally readied the talk I’m doing on dialogue at next Saturday’s NARWA meeting.

I know, I know. I’ve been procrastinating. A more conscientious person would have started preparing long ago. Actually, I did start gathering info on what makes great dialogue a couple of weeks ago. I just spent tonight finding examples from my writing to illustrate each point.

Here’s a sneak peek of the things I’ve determined make for great dialogue:

  • It moves the story along, intensifies characterization or both
  • It must be true to the character
  • It doesn’t necessarily sound like we talk in real life
  • It can include all the witty comments we don’t think of until it’s too late

Am I forgetting or missing anything? What do you guys think?

March 12, 2010



I have another confession to make: I have trouble with my follow-through.

This is true both in life (I think it’s why I can’t seem to reach my goal weight or balance my checkbook) and in my writing.

More than one mostly finished manuscript languishes in my collection. Two of them that I thought were done are still several thousand words short of even the shortest category-length novel. (Being some of the first things I wrote, they’re also full of head-hopping and other annoyances I’ll have to go back and fix if they’re ever to see an agent or publisher’s desk.)

The ones that trouble me more, however, are the half-finished ones. I start out writing and for a while it’s great. The words are flowing and I’m in love with the characters and situations.

But then, I always hit a wall. I stop writing … for days, weeks, even months at a time.

When I go back to read through what I’ve written, I find myself in love all over again. The great metaphors and interesting characters make me wonder why I ever stopped writing it.

I think it’s because I get to what the gals at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood call “the sagging middle.” When I can’t think of what should happen next, I abandon the story and start a new one. And the result is a bunch of really good starts.

Because half-finished novels do me no good, I need to figure out how to get around this problem. I don’t want to write at a frenetic pace for a few weeks and then hit a wall.

I suppose plotting beforehand would help. (I tend to be more of a pantster, making it up as I go along.)

Writing something every day also seems to be helping. (I did finish “Blind Date Bride” because I signed up for the NaNo and started writing much more regularly.)

Any other suggestions? I’ll try pretty much anything once. (I plan to do some pre-plotting on my 2010 NaNo story in October.)

March 10, 2010

Progress, Query Letters

1 comment

… But somewhere between sitting in traffic for an hour and driving up I-17 at 20 mph, I forgot what I wanted to say. Maybe it’ll come back to me for a future post.

I didn’t get a lot of writing done these last couple of days. I did, however, manage to do a little. Better than nothing, I guess.

There was another rejection in my e-mail inbox a couple of days ago. Three down; two more to go. By the time I hear back from them, I’ll probably know the GH results, too. Maybe then I’ll know if Brad and Erin’s story is even worth sending out.

I think I just remembered what I wanted to say. But I’m going to save it for another day. Maybe tomorrow, so I can appease those regular readers of mine. 😀