ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

JOIN YOLANDA RENEE ON HER BLOG TOUR!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

What are you writing?

Hello everyone!

Brisbane survived the G20. Life is returning to normal. There was no terrorism, just a few low-key protests.  

November is NaNoWriMo month for many of us. I don't expect to finish 50,000 words this year, but I'm using the time to get a new story underway. If you're not doing NaNo, you are probably writing up your own little storm, editing your latest masterpiece...or thinking about Christmas while you plan your latest blog tour. 

Here’s your chance to share and discuss with each other what you are writing about.



So...my questions to you are --



What Are YOU Writing?
  • What are you working on right now? - a novel? Your best article ever? A poem? A memoir? A photo essay?
  • Maybe you’ve just finished something you’re really proud of? Or you just can’t tell whether it should get a Pulitzer or be thrown into the trash?
  • Whet our appetite with a few lines or the opening paragraph of your future bestseller or give us a link to your best article. (Give us some context for your excerpt).
  • State what aspect you’re working on. For example, you might say, “Here’s a link to my NYT future bestseller, 'Whatever,' a story about 'Whatever'. I’m currently working on eliminating superfluous words.” 


A word on critiquing:


* When commenting, first list everything you really like about the excerpt.
* Only then offer careful suggestions.
* Treat each other with respect, friendliness, caring, and honesty.
* Remember that we are all still learning.

  • Go on, share your lines with us.
  • Comment using the Reply button on those brave enough to share with us.
  • Have fun! Play nice!

I've still been making time to read. My favourite read of the week is Bitter Chocolate by Lesley Lokko. Wow! What a mix of settings and characters and fantastic storylines - it took me to Haiti, Ghana, London and the US.





If you're doing NaNo, all my best wishes for you to finish!

And...f you had me on your blogroll, please copy whatever URL you see above and replace the old URL. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently now Google adds your country to the end of my URL. I never noticed that until now. 





66 comments:

  1. I'll get the ball rolling to show the standard is not expected to be high on a first draft. This is an excerpt from my latest NaNo, second in a series of my soon-to-be-accepted Fijian Princess. As it's a romance, the all-important boy meets girl moment is crucial. Tell me what you think...

    'He faced her and brazenly appraised her from head to toe. Callis was shocked at the overt sexuality in his gaze, yet her traitorous body sizzled with excitement at her body’s response to his aura of power, privilege and extraordinary male beauty'.

    Of course, I'll be working on eliminating cliches in my second draft.

    I hope you'll join the fun!!

    Denise :)

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    1. Love it! :-) So much in it and so many promises... :-)
      Good luck with Nano! I'm not participating even though it would be great to be able to find the time to write so many words in one month.

      Delete
  2. Got another 20,000 word rhyme tale in the pipeline, starting posts for june 2015 at the cat's site, a sequel to my latest novel Max Blizzard is in the works and just editing a new kids book or three as well.

    We all stood back to back ready for any kind of attack. Then out of the fog came something that made me wish for a dog. Yeah, I would rather take a mutt. Instead we got a clown with a rather huge butt. It's butt dragged across the ground. It would sure be easy to sniff for a hound.
    "I bet he was the butt of many jokes. He has to be butt hurt." Pat snickered at his sight. The clown looked angry and ready to fight.
    "Clownstuff will not take that off of a human. How dare you bring humans here, Drazin."
    "Butt I'm just getting started. Wait! What? Clownstuff? Who names these things? Really, I have to know." Pat was trying to hold in his laughter as we all wanted to know the name crafter. Drazin was the only one so far with a normal name. At least all gods were not the same.

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    1. Pat, your words just jump off the page. I must read one of your novels. I especially loved: "I bet he was the butt of many jokes. He has to be butt hurt."

      Thanks for playing!

      Denise :)

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  3. Here's this bit of dialogue that gets my current hero involved in protecting an Earth colony he could care less about.

    “Liam, promise me. Give me your vow that you’ll take food to my daughter. She’s only six years old.”
    Liam didn’t know what his leader’s plan was for their next stop, but did it matter? One Earth colony was as good as the next. Maybe he could keep this vow and make up for all the broken ones behind him. “I promise.”

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    1. Hi Susan. Thanks for playing!

      Liam sounds like quite the character. Now I'm asking questions--what are all these broken vows about? Intriguing. Does that "I promise" mean anything?

      Great excerpt Susan.

      Denise :)

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  4. Fun. Nice stuff everyone. I decided to work on a sequel this month.

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  5. I'll be back in the morning Denise, to post my lines! What a great idea and I'm glad you didn't disappear!

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  6. Hi Denise,

    I am working on a poem, and trying to polish a short, when I get fed up of the poem I switch and vice versa :) Taking it a little easy this month, Oct has been kind of intense writing wise,

    I don’t really know what my grandfather
    did for a living. He told me that for
    a time he was in jute in Narayangunj
    but that folded, ruined during the great war.
    Some sort of rehearsal, some vague template
    he supposed in hindsight, for the loss of much
    greater things. “Once their world war was sorted,
    ours began,” he said, but didn’t touch
    on exactly how.

    Some lines from the poem, nice idea to share! Fun reading everyone's excerpts.


    (The URL shows neither au nor bh it ends in .com, and that is the only url I am able to save on my bloglist, I have tried adding both au and bh which is my country but then they both seize up and don't get saved. And also no difference whether added as url or copy pasted direct. Aaaargh!! But I shall keep calm and keep on trying,)

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    1. Hi Nila. Thanks for playing along.

      I love your excerpt. I'm left wondering what Grandfather is going to reveal later on in the story.

      Yes, October with all those articles on the Indian diaspora. Congratulations on those!

      This URL thingo is annoying, but I'm being calm and carrying on, lol! Meanwhile I'll give you a nudge when I post if you don't mind.

      Denise :)

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    2. Thanks, that would be great, Denise. All the best for the rest of Nano! :)

      Delete
  7. This is a cool idea...and I'm loving the other excerpts! I'm not doing Nano, but my story recently got nominate for the Pushcart prize, and it starts like this:

    "Take the day off, they said, her sisters, You’re no good at the pole tonight, and Shelly left. She took off the feathered costume at a go, instead of bit by teasing bit to reveal her brown skin like she did each evening. This time nobody watched her. Not when she took off her painted face, nor the eyelashes that batted and winked, bringing wolf whistles, drunken cheers and dollar bills."

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    1. Wow, this has so much movement. Wonderful. Of course I want to know what happened next to Shelly. If the rest of the story is as good as this no wonder it's nominated for the Pushcart.

      Thanks for sharing!!

      Denise :)

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  8. Gah, I meant nominateD, of course!

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  9. Here's an excerpt from my current WIP. It's a standalone psychological thriller. In this scene, the protagonist literally runs into his ex-fiancee at work. They're both teachers.

    Nate moved down the school's main corridor, his rubber soles chirping against the polished lino. Sunlight, cold and brittle, struggled to find its way through the mesh windows. He turned the corner toward the teachers' lounge and crashed hard into Becca. She staggered. He reached for her arm to keep her from falling, and their eyes met. Her gaze was fierce, brown irises wide and full of an emotion Nate could only guess at.

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    1. Hi VR. I love:'...his rubber soles chirping against the polished lino.' You sucked me in right away. Ooh, and I can only wonder, like Nate, what he saw in Becca's eyes. Lots of action here.

      Thanks for playing along, VR. I'm really enjoying the writing that's taking place this November!

      Denise :)

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  10. you should get a survival badge! Keep trucking and writing that NANO!! so I'm not doing it but you're right! I am working on the most therapeutic book ever for me and believe me it is very comical in it's own way. Hey Denise!! ((hugs))

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    1. Comedy is definitely your thing Tammy. Go girl!

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  11. I'm working on my NaNo, which is largely a rush job and probably fairly crap. ;) Will get to fixin' later.

    Here's a little sample:

    Later that week, Benedict rocked up at school on the arm of his first ever ‘proper’ girlfriend. Her name was Leisl and she was a clarinet player in the band. She was kind of cute, and Ginna found many other reasons to hate her as well.

    “Clarinet would go well in the Ingrid Tanner craplective,” Kathryn observed as she and Ginna sat at school watching the lovebirds down on the quadrangle, surrounded by all their fawning friends who happened to consist mostly of wannabe Benedict groupies.

    “No,” Ginna said mournfully. “She’s too talented for them. If she just played the triangle, she’d have a shot.”

    “Yeah,” Kathryn muttered, for once lost for anything better to say than that one flat word.

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    1. I love the school yard shenenigans Trish. You've nailed it! Snark snark.

      Thank you for playing along and sharing.

      Denise :)

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    2. No worries - thanks for inviting me! :D

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  12. Hi Denise - I saw the heat expired one protagonist from the G20 and sent him off to Siberia where he waves his war planes ... I'm not NaNoing or anything similar .. but I must try and get a Turner post out today .. and lots of other things to do ..

    Cheers for now .. Hilary

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    1. Ha ha Hilary. I'd said that in my post but decided to delete it. Poor Putin.

      Delete
  13. I'm doing nano as well - and despite my lack of pre-planning, it's going well. It's a romance (of course) between a freelance journalist and a former SEAL turned outdoor enthusiast guide and involves the reintegration of wolves into an area... and more. Lots of fun! My first line is "The snow drifting down lazily from the sky wasn’t fooling Myla anymore." - but it'll probably change :)

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    1. I like your premise Jemi. Love your first line, but as it's a first draft, of course you will edit, edit, edit. I wonder what Myla's up to? Can't wait to read on...

      Thanks for coming by and sharing!

      Denise:)

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  14. Blogger ate my last comment. Lovely people them!

    I'm glad Brisbane and you survived G20: the world may die, but the politicians will find some way to thrive.

    What a fun idea, Denise. I especially liked VR's entry. Hilary's comment about Putin shows her wit and her sly way with words.

    NaNo is not my thing, but I am writing a sequel to THE LAST SHAMAN where the Mayan Prophesy came true ... just not in the way expected. And yes, more politicians than normal citizens survived.

    The tagline to RETURN OF THE LAST SHAMAN: "The End of the World Was Just the Beginning."

    Its first paragraph:

    CHAPTER ONE:
    AUTUMN’S WARRIORS

    “It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand.”
    - Wolf Howl

    The night had strung death like beads along the thread of its hours. Dawn’s sun now burned, a stellar acetylene torch defying the cold womb of its birth. I looked around me. In the Divine Comedy, Purgatory had been a mountain … a mountain of madness.

    Thanks again for allowing us this platform to raise the curtain on our infant novels. Have a fun mid-week.

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    1. Roland, thanks for coming by and sharing. I know you're a sure thing to have writing under control no matter what month! Love your excerpt. Unique imagery -- 'The night had strung death like beads along the thread of its hours.' Love that opening paragraph.

      Thanks for playing!

      Denise :)

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  15. LOL! Okay, I'll share.

    “I can’t wait to see the blood seeping from his chest.”

    The thought smacked me with the force of a stage coach. I paused, one boot still lifted. This was not the kind of mental chatter I usually stumbled across while wandering the streets of London. People grumbling about the lack of clean water, fantasizing about the lady next door, or frustrated with King George’s latest tax—those I expected. And ignored. Where most people’s thoughts were lazy and wishful, easily moved and as transparent as sheer curtains, this was a marble pillar of rage. Someone was going to die, soon.

    And there you have it! The much anticipated serial story, Bellezza, is set to release early 2015.

    The unofficial blurb:

    Miles has a gift to "see through other's eyes." Because of that, he's been feared and avoided by most the Passionate, except for their leader who trusts him entirely.

    Bellezza is unlike anything or anyone Miles has met, and while her thoughts/emotions are disturbing and volatile, he's drawn to her suffering soul. She single-handedly destroys the tentative balance he's found in life, and now he's torn between the calm of following orders, or helping Bellezza (rightly) avenge herself of her enemies.

    Unleashing the Dreamworld

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    1. Whoa Crystal, this sounds awesome. I love your fresh take on imagery--'...as transparent as sheer curtains.' for example. What about that opening thought? Cripes. I want to read on...

      Thanks for playing!

      Denise :)

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  16. That's why NaNo is so great. Even if you don't finish or don't even sign up, you can use the challenge to motivate you to write more than you normally would.

    Right now I am writing a prequel to 30 Seconds. It's not finished or edited for that matter so I'm going to pass with sharing a few lines, but I did have fun reading everyone else's comments. :)

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    1. It would have been fun to read Chrys. I wish you happy writing!

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  17. Thanks for pointing me to your new home, Denise. I'm following, but the "Followers" widget put in the .com and there's no way to edit it. It's a perfectly valid link but my dashboard isn't seeing your posts :( I think this is a sneaky effort to force everyone onto the dreaded Google+

    I'll play! I'm in the middle of editing my current WIP, Tiamat's Nest. Here's the opening lines:

    It was barely eight in the morning, and Professor Charles Ainsley Hawthorne was already having a bad day. He'd just watched six billion people live. People who should have died.

    Charles scowled in frustration at the screen lining one wall of his office. Animated charts and diagrams spanned the full five-meter width of the room, a dancing profusion of data, lines and arcane symbols. The simulation still unfolded its tantalizing myth of a prosperous history that had never happened. It had gone off the rails. Again.

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    1. Ah, the ways of Google are past finding out. Sorry you can't get my updates.

      Thanks for turning up to play. I love your excerpt. 'He'd just watched six billion people live. People who should have died.' Intriguing. So the Prof is upset. I wonder what he's going to do now...

      A great snippet. Thanks Botanist!

      Denise :)

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  18. Hi Denise,

    I've just finished preparing my collection of weird short stories for publication and I'm sort of suffering of withdrawal symptoms... :-) But now I can go back to my novel - a tentative title is "The Girl in the Moon" - which is mostly science fiction.

    Here are the opening lines from Chapter One. It also has a prologue.

    “Let me see it closer,” the man said.
    His hand darted forward but Talli was faster and the man’s hand closed on air, one inch from her chest.
    “Easy,” she said, without flinching. “No touching. Just with your eyes.”
    The man’s eyes narrowed and his stubbly jaw tightened. Talli wondered if she’d gone too far. He could grab her and the stone, and no one would even care in that crowd.
    “Let me see it again,” he said, forcing his lips into a grin.
    Slowly, Talli opened her left fist, her arm still tight at her waist. Her right hand tensed around the blade that was small enough to hide in her palm. Small but efficient. The 'shroom stone was so old that it gave out its own faint light. It was probably priceless. She shouldn’t even sell it. But she’d seen others where this one had been. More difficult to reach but not unreachable. She would pick another one next time.


    Thanks for hosting this, Denise. I enjoyed very much reading what everybody else has posted.

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    1. Hi Vesper! Thanks for coming by and playing along!

      Your science fiction novel sounds great. Lots of action in your excerpt and the actions tell us something about these two characters. Tense scene! Now I want to know more about these 'shroom stones. Fascinating.

      Denise :)

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  19. Right this second? I'm about to write about phone systems...or put it off until tomorrow and go to bed. Probably the latter. Ahhhh, the glamorous life of a freelance writer!

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    1. Ah, sounds interesting and hopefully you get paid so you can write what you really love!!

      Denise:)

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  20. Right now I am taking a pause from working on the second book in my MG series to read over and make changes to the first pass which I just received from my editor. So I am busy editing! Great quote- I am living the fact that you don't have to get it right the first time!

    Happy writing! It sounds like you have been busy!
    Jess

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  21. I just finished a memoir about my cat and a short film script. Both are with beta readers. Can't wait to start writing new stories and books.

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    1. Cat lovers everywhere will be waiting for that one.

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  22. Oh, and thank you for having pinned my travel pictures :)

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  23. Good luck with NaNoWriMo! Even if you don't get all 50,000 words, it's still a lot more than you would have had! (I know you know that, but it's still fun to think about. :-D) Right now I'm working on revisions for my agents. Hoping to turn those in in a month or two and then start on something new. I've already begun plotting a few possibilities. Shhh! Don't tell my WIP!

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    1. That sounds exciting Caryn. It's so fun starting something new. All the best with the revisions and finally publication!

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  24. Just checking in. I'm involved in a project which includes some writing on a regular basis but not typical writing as in writing a book. It's interesting and fun. As long as one can keep one's focus and keep going, developing. All the best, Denise.

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    1. Thanks for popping by Adura. As long as you're involved in writing!

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  25. Hi, Denise,
    I decided to have a go at NaNo this year, but I'm not comfortable enough with the material to share yet. It's my favourite thing though - romance.

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    1. Not many of us are comfortable with our NaNo first drafts. Glad you are participating. Another Joy romance on the way.

      Thanks for coming by.

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  26. I wish I had something typed so I could share! I'm 8000 words away from winning NaNo but the story needs at least 30k more... I'm getting bogged down by all my research needs...

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    1. Comgratulations Deniz. How did you manage it with a new baby? Amazing.

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  27. Hi Denise
    Well, I'm a lot late because I didn't check my emails. I've been busy. Thanks to Donna Hole I've found a fabulous critique group and much of last week I spent reading their submissions. I'm in the middle of my sequel to my epic fantasy and working on Chapter 8. I've also penned several flash fiction stories for Christmas but sadly I won't have time to critique, edit, etc., enough stories in time for a Christmas release. So, I'm going to focus on Valentines Day. I have a number of flash fiction stories appropriate for that Holiday. Promotion still eludes me. The two stories I put up recently have no downloads.
    That...that...that's all folks.
    Nancy

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    1. Nancy, great that you've found a critique group. Sounds like you're on top of your writing. Selling is another story...:)

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  28. Too busy on too many projects to focus on a NaNo this year, but I am impressed by how many are already done, and many finished early. That's astounding! :)

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    1. Yes David, all those words! Is great.

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  29. Oh my gosh, what fun! I've been distracted from my current work, reading all the lovely excerpts! Currently, I'm writing like crazy - well, re-working and trying to get the kinks out of my current, before I send it off to an editor. Not doing Nano this year but love the idea and it's been a great motivator in the past. Good luck, and yeah, liked the cool, or is that 'hot' intro to your work!

    Here's the link for WOW - http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/contest.php

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    1. Thanks for the link Yolanda. I will check it out. Thanks for commenting on my intro...is fun reading along, isn't it?

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  30. I knew there was a reason I didn't go into brain surgery for a living. Cormier has a way of revealing absolute truth, doesn't he?

    As to what I'm working on. . .the answer is a new YA. I swore I wouldn't do another one, but here I am scribbling notes and talking to characters again. Sheesh!

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  31. I'm working on several short stories. One involves vengeance and sand, lots of sand.

    "He ran his tongue around his mouth, felt more of the grains scratching against his teeth, grating along his gums. When he spit into the sink the foam was laced with more of the grey flecks and a streamer of blood."

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  32. I like that keep calm and show your work. I have had a few writing story ideas, though i did not write them down. I feel sure that inspiration will strike soon and then I'll be back in the swing of things. Great post. (BTW I'm no longer on Fbook)

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  33. Hi Denise,

    I'm glad the G20 went well. We got some international visitors from there. Some VIP's as well.

    I had plans to do some writing in November but plans changed when I got three editing project at once...which kept me really busy so far.

    All the best!

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  35. I'm in the polishing stage with my second novel, Forbidden. Here are the first few lines. Let me know if it peaks your curiosity, please.

    Voices of excited Middle Eastern travelers echoed throughout Samarra’s crowded airport. A large man bumped into Eliza and muttered, “Laanah aleiky." (damn you). She cringed and turned her back to the frenzy.

    Her knowledge of the Arabic language and Islamic culture drove home the risk she was taking – travelling alone in a country with a history of treating women harshly.

    Habitat For Humanity had requested Eliza meet fifteen American volunteers at Samarra’s International Airport. United Air was now overdue. After another hour, she again checked the airport’s arrivals digital board. ‘United Air 719 – DELAYED’. Friggin hell, they’re almost two hours late. Eliza fidgeted with her hijab (head scarf).

    As she gazed at ‘DELAYED’, a vision overshadowed the surrounding clamor. Bloodied bodies, flames in a dark void and screams impaled her with waves of horror. She barely contained a shriek. Stop it, just friggin stop it! A sense of foreboding urged her to run. Find the next plane out of RIPT and get the hell back to Dubai.

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Please take the time to share! I love hearing from you! Hit me with your wisdom!