Still Writing

Ok, so it’s not #NaNoWriMo, but I accomplished a THING, you guys. 

You know, a thing. 

A goal. A writing goal, at that. 

In September, I set a goal to do the #writeastorychallenge. One word prompt, minimum two sentences. I told myself, everything had to be relevant to my current project. 

And I did it. 


I don’t know how to flip that, sorry. 

Yeah, that’s 30 scenes started. 

It doesn’t look like those same people are doing one for October, so I created my own. 


I can’t wait to start getting things in order! I’m going to be going through the plot in a few weeks – in that super brief period between class endings and beginnings. 

I’d love if you joined me! I’ll be on Twitter as @beautifulsadist and Instagram as @lauramichaela.author. 

Notice

School is back in session, and I’m taking both Intro to Taxation plus Advanced Taxation this semester (half semester each, not at the same time!). As you can probably imagine, these are pretty intense classes. Intense enough that I really haven’t even given my writing a thought in a week. And I don’t even feel guilty about it!

Because of this, I am putting my blogging here on hiatus. I am going to experiment with my Channillo channel during the next few weeks/months, and see if I can do some winding down every night before bed – you know, get off the computer, away from the electronics, and just relax before bed…

I hope you’ll check in with me there – and find other great writers, too.

How is it Wednesday already?

Over on my newest hangout, Mari’s Muses on Facebook, it’s Work in Progress Wednesday. But I’m really dragging out the planning stage of my writing. I must create both those same people who will live in that small community which is so important to the cozy mystery, plus that small community itself.

I have waffled with settling my cozies here in Springfield but truly I think we are looking at a smaller community just outside of town.  At the very least, I know that my sleuth is an inn keeper. Yes, I know. Surely it’s been done. To death, even.

And yet, still I will try to make it my own, to make it unique.

As the setting and the plot foment in my mind, I am putting myself to good use and doing a bit of reading. OK, a lot of reading. Hopefully, that soon translates to more reviews.

Now, I’m coming down with a cold, and I feel right nasty. You have a good night.

Sunday Funday, writer style


Yes, I have already switched notebooks for my bullet journal. Now, I’m in a faux Midori, traveler’s notebook style. It allows me to keep all my separate notebooks in one place – I have my trackers, my dailies, and my writing. 

Ah, writing. 

Things are not going so well there. Depression clouds many things, and I don’t mind telling you: I’m in a great fog right now. So, while words are elusive, planning goes in bits and fits. 

Today, I’m looking at setting. It’s a cozy series, so I need a small town. None of this small community within the big city for me. (Which I do enjoy, btw, and am not disparaging – I’m just not familiar with big cities!)

Now, small towns? Those I know. But I absolutely do not want one of the super tiny villages in Illinois. No, I want something a bit bigger – more attractive, more touristy. 

I found list of ten small towns in Illinois. Narrowed that down to five. And then had to make it four because one is just too small. 

At least, I think it’s too small. It’s something like 963 for population, I believe. It’s Elsah, Illinois and it’s absolutely  beautiful. And perhaps Hollis will find she has a cousin there, eh? 

Now, I really wanted something in central, Illinois but I’m not certain that’s feasible. But, I continue to compile a list. By the end of the week, I will have made my choice. 

Here are the contestants: 

  1. Galena
  2. Lebanon
  3. Fulton
  4. Greenville
  5. Nauvoo

Oh. I thought I started with five, but it appears I had six. 

What’s your setting research like? 

The trouble with first lines 

There’s so damn much pressure to have it be perfect. Even more so, perhaps, than just about every other piece of your book. And it isn’t that I disagree with this sentiment – not exactly. While I don’t know if any one spot of a novel is more important than another, I know that if I don’t hook my readers, they’ll put the book down and not pick it up again. 

But is it so extraordinarily important that I am agonizing over one damned sentence? Not the scene. Not the chapter. Not even the paragraph. 

One stupid sentence. 

Do you have this same issue, or is it just me? I still haven’t nailed mine down, though I’m working on it. 

(yes, by working on it I mean anything but…)

Chapter One – Where did it go?

So, it’s Wednesday – the day I’m supposed to update you on the goings-on in my current work-in-progress. Only, there’s not been much progress on which to report.

I’m trying to layout Chapter One right now – there are 5 things I need to cover in the first chapter –

  • disclose the crime
  • plant some clues and/or red herrings right away
  • introduce the sleuth, and reveal just enough of her background to understand her world
  • ground the reader in the time and place
  • begin with a dramatic event (whose? The victim? The sleuth? decisions)

So clearly,  I can absolutely disclose the crime at the start of chapter two, perhaps the very, very end of chapter one. Because let’s admit it – that’s a tall order for chapter one, isn’t it?

Also, in what order do I wish to plot these?

So, that’s literally what I’m staring at right now…

What’s your first line?

I love #FirstLineFridays. I love being introduced to your stories, being sucked in with just that one sentence. And yes, we all know there are some that are more memorable than others. I previously shared my favorite first line, and that sentiment hasn’t changed.

I love Jane Eyre. And that first line is forever a standard I cannot live up to. *sigh*

Here is what I have so far:

From an early age, I considered myself an above-average observer.

Exactly. It’s… lackluster. Boring.

I am currently reading the Stormy Day box set. First of all, I highly recommend this. It’s currently on sale, too. Second, here’s the first line of book one:

The hand-painted snowman on the vase kept his coal-black eyes trained on me.

OK. Perhaps that is only marginally better than mine. And by marginally, I likely mean leaps and bounds.

What about A Baron for Becky, by Jude Knight? (As an aside, I will be hosting a book club for Jude, featuring this specific book. August 6. The book is only $.99 right now, and I would love, love, love for you to join me. Just let me know you’re interested!)

In the nursery, the two little girls waited, sombre in their mourning blacks.

Oooh… much better. Not exactly delightful because we have children in mourning, but still… it’s lovely. And I think it really does what the opening sentence is supposed to do – it draws you in, hooks you. It begs the question: why are these girls mourning? Whom are they mourning?

Mine does not do that. It needs work. Lots and lots of work. But I’m still in the planning stages – and finding planner heaven with my bullet journal! (There’s a group on FB, you know…)

Share with me – what are some opening lines from what you are currently reading?

Oh, and I’d love to share this with you. I doubt they are all first lines, but they are beautiful all the same.

31 Most Beautiful Sentences – a link. click it. I dare you.

I especially love this one –

I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.