Thursday, September 2, 2010

You're Never to Old to Learn

I'm a great beginner.  Opening lines of stories come easily to me.  Sometimes, entire chapters will suddenly spring to life in my head (often in the midst of a business meeting, church services or other inconvenient time). 

The end of stories come pretty easily, too.  In fact, I once started a story knowing little more than an ending scene.  That was a rarity since usually I see the beginning and the end together.

Unfortunately, the middle of the story is my nemesis.  Like my own anatomy, the middle of my stories tends to be saggy and shapeless when what I'd really like them to be is trim and defined.  So what am I to do?

Well, last month, a writer friend suggested an online class on PACING by author Mary Buckham.  The idea appealed to me, so I signed up before I could get cold feet.  The class started this week and I already had an aha moment.  Mary suggested that my love of thrillers might be hurting the pace of the cozies I also like to write.  She asked me to look at them and see if I was speeding up the pace in them faster than I intended as I was subconsciously choosing the faster pace of the thrillers I read.

I'd never thought of that.  Interesting food for thought.  I'm looking forward to the class to really dig into the pacing differences.

I'll keep you posted!
~ Stephanie

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcome Home, Muse!

The last two years have been stressful to say the least. It's never easy dealing with illness. When it's a parent and a final illness, it's doubly hard. At least for me.

I've been using that as my excuse about why I'm not writing: "I've already got so much stress in my life, why would I want to spend what little free time I have writing suspense?"

Sounds pretty good as an excuse, but Muses don't like excuses. More importantly, they also don't like to be ignored. My particular Muse tends to be a lot like Tinkerbelle: make her your bosom companion and she sparkles; ignore her and she'll pout and head for someone who'll pay her more attention or maybe take off on a long safari to the heart of Africa.

Luckily, my Muse likes Starbucks, chocolate, city lights, and running water nearly as much as I do. I mean what in the Serengetti can compare to a nice Venti Mocha Frappe with Double Whip? Okay, so you get my point.

Any way, my dear muse has recently been sending me messages. Unfortunately, they usually arrive in the middle of some meeting at work or during my pastor's Sunday homily. But, hey, that's why I always carry a pen and pad in my purse or pocket.

So this week, I'm reconnecting with her. I took a week's vacation, and I'm determined to make her feel welcome. If that involves drinking a lot of Mocha Frappes to do so-- well, I'm willing to make the sacrifice.

It's a tough gig, but someone has to do it. I'll let you know how it goes!
~ Stephanie

Monday, March 22, 2010

Where Have All the Postings Gone....

Some days, it just seems like life is rushing past you, yet you don't have a damned thing in your head to write about.

Other days, you're so rushed with all the trivial things in your life that you don't have time to write even if you wanted to do so.

Then, there's times like today where you polish off two chapters in a day and are so wired that you can't sleeps. So you sign on to your Blog at 1:30 in the morning to write an entry.

Looking back at my previous Blog posting, it's obvious that I have had far too few of the latter days.

Sigh! It's enough to make a writer want to fire her muse...or drink! Got milk?

~ Stephanie