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Posting Schedule and writing update
Dee waiting
Hi people,

I want to let you know that there won't be an update on Justice this coming weekend, mainly because I've only written about 1100 words of the chapter so far. *hides*

What I'm planning to do is write the chapter in the next couple of days and then beg my betas to beta-read it in a week so that I can post it on the weekend of March 03. Now that the chapters are only 5000 words or so, I'm confident I can get it written soon.
The main thing that had slowed me down on this update was that I needed to organize my scenes. I've done that now, and when that's done, the words flow.

At the beginning of each chapter draft, I write the heading: STUFF THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN IN THIS CHAPTER. Then I make a numbered list. I always consult the same section of the previous chapter's draft because often my list of scenes is too ambitious for one chapter, and there will be items left over that I use to start off the next chapter. I also check three other files: My story outline for events, my story timeline for specific days, and finally the file entitled "Balls in the Air". This ensures that I don't forget anything significant that was supposed to happen before another major event.

I have reason to believe that a pretty significant portion of my readers are also writers, and I'm wondering how you guys go about writing. Do you just sit down and write and wait to see where the story takes you? Or do you make an outline (and perhaps a number of sub-outlines) like me? I'm curious to find out.

In other news, yesterday I wrote over 1500 words on my ancient Rome story. It was all lemon, too! The only reason that happened was that I got a gentle nudge from loki_the_fraud, a fellow writer and all-round go-getter. I told her I'd put in 500 words and ended up doing three times that. So, thanks, Erin! I was kind of stalled on that project.

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When I write

Hi it's Moon-

When it wrote, it was centered around a general idea or feeling or scene. I am not a writer by training at all. It was just a hobby. Your method is much more disciplined. And it shows in your work.

I realized after some time, that many of the brilliant ideas I'd had were probably things I'd already read. From books or fanfiction. This sort of horrified me. I started to question anything I wrote! I have read a lot of fanfic, maybe too much. We all steal from each other. I come across things all the time that are the same scene, wording, or idea that I've already written. I always check the dates; sometimes I realize someone has stolen from me, sometimes it's the other way around.

In the case of FAKE, we're all stealing from the original creator, though, so we can't complain :).

My writing is very different from yours. I can write emotion very well but not details in setting. When I read your work I can "see" the whole scenario you are describing. I started to try and do that, too.

I had actually written a very long FAKE story, set about ten years after the end of book 7. I made it very detailed and it's still in loose leaf paper and journals somewhere in my room. I too knew the whole general outline in my head and wrote scenes in random order as they came to me. Sometimes threads didn't work, and I took things in another direction. I wrote each section from one character's POV.

It's a good story, but a deathfic concerning Dee, so it's not an easy read. It took over a year of my life; I spent every free minute writing it. It reflects a lot of personal events in my life, so it was a kind of catharsis getting it down on paper. I guess that's why I feel "done" with it. I wrote it for me, not an audience.

That's probably more than you were asking, Brit. You are a really talented writer and I visit your journal nearly every day. The longer you write, the better you get!

--your American friend Moon :)

Hi Moon!

I'm not a writer by training either. I've hardly even read any books about it. That was probably why it took me five years to even notice that POV hopping was considered a bad thing. The only reason I'm disciplined in my planning is because I'm addicted to big, sprawling complicated plots.

Aristotle said, "There is nothing new under the sun." I recently read a regency romance that covered every regency romance trope known to man. But I didn't mind that a thousand authors had already done the same things. I just enjoyed reading the tropes the way this author wrote them,which is not to say that she was a great writer or anything. She was a decent storyteller and managed to keep me turning the pages.

When I first started writing FAKE, I worried that if I had an idea that was similar to someone else's, maybe they would get mad and assume I'd ripped off their idea. Like when I wrote Sweet Frustration, it was Dee, Ryo and a pair of handcuffs. At that time at least one other author had already done that idea. But my beta at the time said, "Who's never played around with a set of handcuffs? Go for it!"

I think it would be different if I ripped off someone's plot chapter by chapter. Or copied their paragraphs word for word. But something like handcuffs is just a prop. We all play around with the same props and tropes. I'll do it my way and everyone else can do it their way. I don't think there's really anything new out there, either. But the way I look at it is that everything that is written by me, even if it's not shockingly original, will have a uniqueness to it because it passed through the filter of me. And the same goes for everyone. I just feel fortunate that there are a couple of hundred (hopefully more!) people out there who like my writing style enough to keep coming back.

I'm pleased that you can 'see' my scenarios, although I don't quite get how that happens because I've always felt that I'm a bit sparse on setting details. Most of the time I even forget to make any mention of what the characters are wearing. It's possible that I include more details than I give myself credit for. It's possible that some readers (like you, for example)are so invested in the story that you make your own setting details. You are, after all, very good at picking up information that is presented in an indirect way. Maybe it's even possible that since I see the scenes so vividly when I'm writing them that some of the spirit of that vividness finds its way into the story as a kind of energy! Okay, I'll admit I'm pushing it there.

If you ever publish your long FAKE deathfic, I'll probably have to take a week off work just so I can stay in bed and cry! You alluded to Dee's eventual death in Six Senses. I loved that story.

It 's interesting to hear that another person had a complete story in her head and wrote scenes in random order. I've always done that, but I don't know if other people do.

Thanks for weighing in. And thanks for letting me know I'm getting better. I think I am. At least I ought to be after all the writing I've done.

Balls in the Air?

Mm. There's a chapter that needs to be written.

Edited at 2012-02-26 05:58 am (UTC)

Re: writing... outlines. Outlines are the best and they make sure that stuff gets done with minimal padding or nonsense. I try to cut unnecessary, fluffy dialogue whenever possible, it distracts from the action (either the planned-assassinations action, the surveillance action, or the sexy action, all of which happen in my ongoing story that will never be published anywhere because it won't), and outlines really help me do that. :D

Sounds like a sixty-nine, doesn't it? But actually it's all the threads I'm juggling. Don't want to drop any.

I have a real problem with dialogue. I think my stories are at least 75 percent dialogue. Sometimes I think that in my secret heart of hearts I want to be a scriptwriter.

You're not planning to publish? Is it original fiction or fanfiction?

Original fiction. I don't want to publish because I write to get out the stuff in my head, not for an audience, if that makes sense.

And you could totally be a scriptwriter! You have the eye for settings and detail that it requires, and you can convey a TON with dialogue. Me, I just prefer to choreograph awesome fights. lol

I write to get out the stuff in my head, not for an audience, if that makes sense. It does make sense, or at least it's a concept I'm familiar with, because when I was in my teens, my dad started writing books, and he said exactly the same thing. He said the books were in his head demanding to be be written, and he couldn't NOT write them.

You're a fight-choreographer and I'm a 'dialographer'!

Yep, LJ hates that word.

Thank you for telling us. I'll be patent.

Thanks, jenmoon. I'm still working on the chapter.

Writing Strategy

Hi lovely!!

I am not a published writer, but most of the memory on my laptop is literally dedicated to novels, short stories, poems, anecdotes, situations, answers to questions on life, love and anything I feel that I need to put down.

I also have numerous pens and notepads, that live on the dining table, in the car, and in my purse (sad), two memory sticks and a second computer for additional work – Yes I am anal! Ryo has nothing on me!?!?!?!?

I tend to have a definitive idea with a story objective, and then I build around the reasons behind that idea. Why, how, what, when and who - and that tends to flow around each chapter.

I am an analyst by nature, so I tend to get bogged down with the intricacies of the rationale, processes, actions and consequences and how they affect the outcome.

I am currently working on two novels currently totalling over 100,000 words, which I started fives weeks ago, and I doubt if ANY of my work will ever see the light of publishing day, but they are just for fun, and I still have lots more to add to them!!!

So, amongst all that waffling, my strategy is simple: Idea – scenario - rationale – objective – outcome. And then I just build around the whole arc, with subplots. Each story has its own folder – and each one could contain numerous subplots or further ideas and notes.

The larger novels are more sporadic in approach when it comes to writing and I ‘build’ on the chapters with a more of organic approach. I always think about what I want from that chapter and what my goal is and use an outline to then build on that with the detail. I always try to be two chapters ahead, to ensure that the flow is maintained, and the plots are air tight.

Tend to lean towards writing from the narrators perspective – I don’t know why, but it just seems something I am more comfortable with.

Hope this helps, but your work is so wonderfully intricate and the plot well defined, I will be hard pushed to find any fault with your process, as the outcome is always a wonderful piece of writing!!


I also have numerous pens and notepads, that live on the dining table, in the car, and in my purse (sad), two memory sticks and a second computer for additional work – Yes I am anal! Ryo has nothing on me!?!?!?!?

I'm betting that's a big (but very well-organized) purse. You sound like quite the Ryo! I hope you never lose your laptop.

I am currently working on two novels currently totalling over 100,000 words, which I started fives weeks ago, and I doubt if ANY of my work will ever see the light of publishing day, but they are just for fun, and I still have lots more to add to them!!!

That's exciting, even if it's just for fun. You're the second writer who has said she likely won't publish. I'm dying to know why not.

Moon said she wrote her Dee deathfic for herself not for an audience. Is it something like that, or do you think no one would enjoy your books? I also realize that going through the publishing process is a royal pain and seems to take a long time, and maybe that holds some people back.

I think your writing process is similar to mine, except for the part about being two chapters ahead. Once in a very long while after a burst of frenetic writing activity, I might find myself ahead by a chapter or two, but it isn't something I've been able to manage regularly.

You know, my favorite types of books are written from the narrator's perspective, but it seems as though a lot of modern readers are down on First Person. I like the intimacy of it, however. I like to be in the narrator's head, particularly if the narrator is funny. I loved Josh Lanyon's Adrien English books. But I think it must be quite challenging because once you start in first person, you have to stay there, so moving the plot along requires that the hero/heroine really get around and either witness, hear, or read about points that will advance the plot or reveal motivations of other characters.

Thank you for your kind words about my writing. If you ever do want to find fault though, I assure you I can take it. I sincerely want to improve as a writer. I walk the fine line that many creative people do in that I find fault with my work, but I also like it enough to keep going with it.

I find I'm doing sort of the same thing I did with A New Day, in that I'm introducing too many side characters and side plots willy-nilly. I've done it less this time around, but I still find myself doing it. I need to have more discipline in this regard. One day I'll have to get over my fascination with the side characters and their lives.

Re: Writing Strategy

Hi there!

I started to write short stories around the age of seven/eight and it just became part of my life growing up. And because I thought of it as a hobby, I never gave it much credence or thought on it any further.

However, the last year or so, my better-half has suggested I do something about my hobby, and turn it into something more tangible.

I believe because I put so much of myself in to everything I write, the judgement and possibly rejection will not be of just my stories, but of me, and that would be hard to accept.

Therefore I am just writing for fun and for my children – who love my stories – usually have a moral somewhere. And I inadvertently passed on my love of reading to them, so they were fluent readers by the age of three.

And yes, it is true (sadly) - I have a tiny notepad that I keep in the thin compartment of my purse, which is a little larger than average, but because I use shorthand for most of my notes, it is safe to take it out and scribe in the presence of prying eyes or nosey friends, and if they ask, 'what are you doing?' - writing a shopping list.


With regards to your additional side plots, these are just some of the questions I ask myself when my imagination gets the better of me:

How much of a detour do you want to take from the original story with this side plot?

How important is this additional side plot to the story?

How would it add to the story arc or meet the story objective? And;

Can I use it in a future story?

Hope it helps a little!!!!

Looking forward to more soon!!


Whenever I actually get the time to sit down and work on my projects I have to dig through my stack of random papers. I write down scenes whenever they strike me ON whatever I have handy; be it napkins or notebooks! Once I have those typed up I start organizing the scenes according to the feel of the scenes. I put them in folders to draw from later as side stories, or I put them in the chapter I know they belong in.

I actually started an outline of events last night. I'm so bad with writing with an outline, but this project is so big that I felt I needed one to keep the order together. It's all in my head, but somehow it seems much harder to write it down on paper!


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