Author Tools to Keep A Story Together

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Share how you keep your characters, storylines, etc., organized. Do you use an outline? Notecards? Post-its all over your walls?

I am back, everyone. I’ve missed writing for this blog hop, but I was slammed…hard…with a number of illnesses and was laid out for weeks.

Yeah, it took a while, but I am better now and ready to go!

Okay. How I keep track of everything needed to write a cohesive novel, novella or short story. What fun! And how convenient that I recently wrote articles about high and low-tech productivity for the awesome Haute Hijab blog. Below are some tools I use to keep things in check while story writing, even rebellious characters like Quinn Ang and Raad Khouri.

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High-Tech Tools

Continue reading “Author Tools to Keep A Story Together”

Author Interrupted – Dealing with Distractions

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What are your top three distractions and how do you deal with them?
Note: I am writing this post on the road. Please forgive any typos.

A writer’s life is full of all kinds of distractions, which can make finding the time to develop ideas and getting out of one’s head and onto paper (or the screen) difficult. I have mentioned that time management can be an external factor hindering writing.

Damn those twenty-four hours in a day. They just won’t listen and become more. Authors have professional (novel writing is not the main source of income for most) and personal lives, each demanding energy and time. Finding sufficient time to develop a plot, construct character arcs and write content can be difficult.  One cruel irony is that creative often burgeons when there is no time. Authors scramble to find a moment to weave a story, but frustration usually sets in when the brilliance blazing in their minds flickers into embers because that’s how it often works. Write right now or risk losing everything.

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Continue reading “Author Interrupted – Dealing with Distractions”

The Dual Life of the Self-Published Author

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How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Control is something I have a difficult time relinquishing to anyone. I can delegate easily enough but must maintain the power to make the final decisions, especially when it comes to my writing.

Like many authors, I put a lot of myself in my books. I have been exhilarated while writing some scenes and depleted by others. More than time and talent, storytelling requires energy. After completing a fleshed-out plot, I am usually vested in it and the characters, making it hard to detach myself and place it into someone else’s hands. I figured out pretty early into the novel-writing process that I did not want to let go.

Mis Quince Años (24) Continue reading “The Dual Life of the Self-Published Author”

LWL Interview: Tiffani Velez Writes History, War and All That Good Stuff

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As people wrap their holiday presents, I am posting the final Layla Writes Love author interview for 2019. I am thrilled to introduce readers to Tiffani Velez. I met Tiffani through a mutual author acquaintance via social media.  I became an immediate fan after reading her bookA Berlin Story, which was called “hauntingly beautiful” by Geekwire.  Her ability to write a solid stream-of-consciousness piece garnered my respect. So much so, that I passed my first novel to her before publishing.  Continue reading “LWL Interview: Tiffani Velez Writes History, War and All That Good Stuff”

Male Authors, Female Characters and the Wonders of Writing Sex

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I have read many social media posts and articles from women expressing shock and frustration on the ways some male authors describe female characters and sexual encounters in their writing.

Here is one example.

Yeah, the dude wrote that women’s insides are “mazes” and men “conjure up” pee.  There are far worse. This one just gave me so many giggles when I read it that I had to share. Some of my other favorites include: Continue reading “Male Authors, Female Characters and the Wonders of Writing Sex”

The Non-negotiable Writing Exchange

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What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

For people dedicated to the craft, writing is an impactful part of their lives and identities. I mentioned in another post, “I acquired and honed skills to interpret and craft words, using a range of prose (and a tiny bit of poetry) to harness the resilient power of language for liberation and resistance.”

Endeavors to generate words can be powerful and empowering, making writing a tool and art form requiring commitment. 

Dedicated writers pick up their pens [or fire up their keyboards] to share their perspectives and stories. The better ones know that wordsmithing involves layers of composition, drafting, editing and revising—all of which require development. Only deluded writers think that their skillsets are fine and they don’t need to hone them. 

Two mistakes many new writers make are thinking that all writing is the same and it will not take that much work.  Continue reading “The Non-negotiable Writing Exchange”

Book Writing, A Numbers Game

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How many hours a day do you write? How long on average does it take you to write a book?

When I saw this week’s Open Book Blog Hop prompt, I laughed because it coincides with some realities I have had to face while participating in NaNoWriMo this month. The month-long writing challenge is meant to get writers to sit themselves down and finish a set goal during November.

Although I signed up for NaNoWriMo years ago, I had not participated. Why? That’s for another blog post. This year, someone encouraged to consider using NaNoWriMo as a tool to complete book four in the Brothers in Law romance series. Brandon and Hawwah want their story out there,  so I agreed.  I am half-way through the challenge and only have a little over 4k of my 50k goal achieved. I have been writing but not just the manuscript.

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Feeling a Character: Why Toni Kent Tore into Me

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Original Post: Feeling a Character: Lyndell Williams’ novel Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit 10/5/19 – Just Contemporary Romance

I am thrilled about the release of my new novel, Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit. It is the second book in the Brothers in Law Romance series and the most difficult to write.

The characters in my books face realistic issues that impact their falling and staying in love. In Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit, Toni must deal with the pain of infertility while watching her sister-in-law have baby after baby. She was successful in concealing her anguish the first time, but with a new pregnancy comes renewed pain and desire to be a mother. She needs to decide if she should stay quiet and suffer in silence or try again, something her husband, Marcus doesn’t want.

Marcus loves Toni and works hard to make her happy. Seeing her in any pain tortures him, so he decides that they just shouldn’t try to have a kid anymore. Unfortunately for him, the infertility demon doesn’t play fair. Toni vacillates emotionally; he feels helpless, and their marriage begins to fall apart. Continue reading “Feeling a Character: Why Toni Kent Tore into Me”

Weaving Stories Readers Want

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Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Authors frequently discuss notions of originality and fulfilling reader expectations. I have read posts all over social media and on blogs, all with writers seeking to draft texts that pristine from anything else written under the sun and that will satisfy a mass of readers worthy of their artistry. Both are exercises in futility.

Defeatist? No. A powerful storyteller resolves to the realities that neither is their story completely untold nor will it enchant every pair of eyes (ears hearing, fingertips touching) gracing it.  At the crux of any good story is the distinctive style and voice of the weaver of the tale, which is the primary way an author can create something that is theirs to share for people to connect with and respond.

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Continue reading “Weaving Stories Readers Want”

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