Frequently Asked Question: Writer’s Block

Today’s question comes from the Insecure Writers Support Group.

When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If you have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start? 

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeI don’t write chronologically for the most part; I write scene by scene and put them where they need to go.

Like many, I have dealt with ambient trauma since 2017 … except I didn’t always recognize it. That trauma was compounded by COVID-19. I have a manuscript that I started in 2020 that still isn’t complete.

Yet, I also have a novella with a beta reader. The idea came to me and the words flowed.

I have learned to be a little more gentle with myself. I don’t try to force words that aren’t there. I work on something else.

Frequently Asked Question: Can You Hear Me Now?

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Hi, everyone. Today’s question comes from the Insecure Writers Support Group:

insecure2bwriters2bsupport2bgroup2bbadgeHave any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

I have two audiobooks: The Rock Star in the Mirror and Clytie’s Caller (three if you count that I have a story in Dark Visions). I didn’t do the production myself, so the biggest challenge was finding the right narrator.

smartmockups-khf02bfr_origWith Clytie’s Caller, it was easy: Stevie Zimmerman was the perfect voice, and I knew it right away. With The Rock Star in the Mirror, the audition process was lengthy. I was pretty sure that Matt Haynes was  the right person, but then came another audition that knocked my socks off. I ultimately gave both Matt and the other actor a second script to read in character; it was Matt’s spot-on David Bowie impersonation that landed him the role.

Frequently Asked Question: To Write, Or Not to Write

Hi, everyone. It’s time for another question from the Insecure Writers Support Group. When I went over to the site to get today’s question, I noticed that I was no longer on the blog roll, so I added myself back in. Anyway, here’s today’s query:

Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

About writing a story? Not enough to stop me from doing so, although once I was not completely satisfied (it was waaaaayyyy outside my comfort zone). I was not at all surprised when it wasn’t accepted into an anthology, as it was not my best work.

As for adding a scene or not? Well, that’s what editing is for. You can add, subtract, etc., during the entire process. Sometimes a scene is wrong for one story and perfect for another. That’s why I have a “temporarily abandoned” file on my computer; I don’t have to “toss” anything until I’m convinced it’s no longer useful.

Frequently Asked Question: Who Influenced You?

Hi, everyone. Today’s question is from the Insecure Writers Support Group.

Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn’t around anymore? Anyone you miss?

I had a hard time answering this specifically about writing. I never felt like I had much support for it when growing up; in fact, a whole notebook full of stories and poems was thrown away when my mom decided “it was just a bunch of junk” when she decided to “ding out” my room when I was at a high school speech tournament. It took me a long time to get past that, to be honest. My mom reads my books now, and that early work was probably awful — but it still hurt a lot.

I think the one person who I felt was consistently in my corner was my maternal grandmother. She passed away in 1996. She always made me feel heard and appreciated. I’ve often regretted that the only book of mine she ever saw published was Born of War … Dedicated to Peace. That’s not to say that I’m anything less than proud of that work, but she never saw any of my novels.

Frequently Asked Question: Title or Blurb?

Hi, everyone. It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for a question from the Insecure Writers Support Group.

What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

The titles eventually sort themselves out, in my experience. Heck, In The Eye of The Beholder was just Erik/Claire for the better part of a year, but then the title came to me. For contrast, Bayou Fire and The Rock Star in the Mirror came to me in the earliest days of writing the stories.

The blurb, on the other hand, requires actual consideration and may go through several iterations before I’m satisfied.