Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Layered Writer

Trying to meet a deadline for the Nocturne Cravings pitch at has taught me a few valuable lessons about writing.

First, I'm a very slow writer, even when I'm trying to free write. When I was younger, words flowed out of me like a river over a waterfall; those days are apparently over. The river has dried to a trickle. I can accept that as long as the water is still there.

Second, writing can be fun, but it can also be work. Before this, I had never had a real writing deadline. I wrote when I felt like it. If it wasn’t fun, I didn’t do it. To make this deadline, I must write for several hours every day on one project. It’s like having a second job. Don’t misunderstand; it’s hard but it feels good, like I’m seriously accomplishing something worthwhile.

Third, where once I was a one draft wonder, I am now a layered writer. I’ve discovered my mind can no longer see/write everything at once. I now need to layer my stories in multiple drafts. My first draft consists of description and action. This is how the characters look and this is what they do and say. In my second draft, I work in thoughts and emotions. These are the reasons the characters do what they do and say what they say. My third draft is for mechanics: grammar, spelling, style. And, so on.

So, even if I don't get my novella done in time for the pitch, I have discovered a renewed enthusiasm for writing. After the writing hole I've been in for so long, it feels amazing to actually enjoy writing and to look forward to it instead of avoiding it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Next Writing Tool

Outline 4DSince I've decided I'm going to outline before I write, I've found my next writing tool: Outline 4D. It sounds like a great program for outlining just about any writing project, including screenplays and novels. It integrates with popular programs like Word. I'm not sure if it works with Final Draft though, but I can get around that. They even have a website tutorial for it: (

Is anyone out there familiar with Outline 4D for the PC?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

First Gentle Sex Scene

I'm writing my first gentle sex scene. I've put it off because I thought it would be a no-brainer. I've written hardcore sex before, this should be easy. Man, was I wrong! I'm not a prude. I like sex. I've had sex. I read sex. I even like talking about sex. It doesn't embarrass me.

So why can't I write about normal sex?

This concerns me because my chosen genre is erotic romance. Sex scenes are mandatory. My first attempt at heterosexual, loving sex read like an instruction manual--no passion, no inner dialog, no feeling. My second try was too much inner dialog and no action. I tried putting the two together but I can't make them flow. It's like switching between the Science and Soap channels.

I tried getting some refresher experience with my significant other last night. Unfortunately, we both have colds and had dosed ourselves with NyQuil. We ended up falling asleep on each other.

I now have a higher regard for writers who write successful sex scenes.