Abusing the Muse

There are so many days I feel that my Muse has gone off on a bender and is bar-hopping, black-out drunk, hitting on women who think he is just a sleazeball.

Then there are the days where he is excruciatingly sober and my light bulb completely explodes because someone, either in conversation or in passing (or maybe overheard…) says something and sends me on my own form of bender. My version of a bender equates to Reality No Longer Exists because I have to get these characters actions, thoughts, words, and emotions onto the digital paper RIGHT. NOW. Not hours from now, like when work is over, because oh dear god, that might not work and it’ll be all gone.

Luckily, I have many ways of doing this and somewhat free access to my personal online cloud systems.  I can log in to any one of them, unless I am in a meeting (eek!), to type up some quick notes about whatever popped into my head. Which helps later on when I go over them and think ‘wtf was I thinking?’.

Although, more often than not, I find some seriously excellent ideas for some steamy, dreamy, very sexy storytelling. And that is the goal. Whip your Muse into shape, let him or her run off the rails and wreck everything now and then, because when the Muse comes home, you’ll get some exploding light bulbs of stories to write.

 

One thing I’m very, very good at…

I have always wanted to be a novel writer. I wanted to grab a reader by the throat and keep them entranced until they finished every single word and when they put it down I wanted them to not only feel satisfied with the ending, but also that they went on an adventure. I think the most into a story I have ever gotten is 15 chapters. And then I threw it all away. I don’t even know why I threw it away. People kind enough to read it, people I had been gaming (RPG Online) with told me they were enjoying the story and wanted more. I believed them because I was writing about the character they knew from our gaming.

Since then, I’ve had a very hard time writing anything over 5,000 words. I couldn’t seem to figure out what I wanted to happen in the story and I wasn’t really paying attention to what the characters wanted either. A lot of what I write tend to be short erotic scenes. I’ve shared those as well over the years and people have told me they want more, that it’s turned them on, that they couldn’t wait to see what I come up with next.

Several years went by that I didn’t write at all, other than my personal blog, and even that I rarely touch now. I still have characters begging for my attention in the back of my mind. Conversations I have about ‘what-ifs’ and dreams make me think ‘that would make a great story premise’. One of those I am currently writing about. And last night I just pounded out over 3,000 words on another idea I had and I couldn’t concentrate on any other writing until I got it down. By the time I got it down I was wrung out and exhausted, but totally satisfied. I shared that with one of my close friends who is being kind enough to tell me what works, what needs to be fixed, and ‘try wording it this way’ opinions. I don’t think he knows just how much I appreciate him.

Every dream, every idea, every character, that comes to me now that says “WRITE ABOUT THIS” has been gathering on my list of things to write about. There’s a niche I might even be able to exploit since it seems to not really have all that much in it from what I have seen. I haven’t researched it yet but when I go to write for it, then I will.

I grab a lot of novels when they are on sale by authors I love, new authors I have never heard of, and freebies when they peak my interest. Usually, I grab them without reading reviews and with some of them I end up wondering why I didn’t read the reviews. (Especially on the freebies!) Some people truly weren’t meant to write, or they pantsed it and didn’t take the time to have it workshopped or revised. Or maybe they did and it just ended up still being terrible.

I did download a novel, which I haven’t opened yet, and then went back to read the reviews. The first two shredded it. The ones after that were in love with it. It was free, so I haven’t bothered looking at it to give my own opinion. I may have skipped out downloading it if I had read the reviews first. Sometimes, they are worth reading. I won’t know until I open it which ones would apply to me.

Anyway. I’m very good at writing short, hot and sexy scenes. However, I am hoping that with a timeline/outline that I can put my skills into a novel-length romance story. Currently, I am up to 8,132 words. Most of that will end up being backstory that gets sprinkled through the rest of the novel. That’s okay, though. I like knowing things that happened in the past so that I can use it in the future.

All In A Name

What is in a name you ask? Sometimes, it all can depend on a name. If you name a character and that name didn’t exist until 20 years later, there are people who will know. It might be less than a handful, but somewhere out there, they will know. And they might call you on it.

What about your name though, the name you want to publish under? I suppose it all depends on what you are writing. Is the writing you want to publish something you’d be fine with your family reading? What about your high school nemesis? When you show up at the reunion are you going to be proud of that novel or a little embarrassed that you wrote such a thing?

If you’re writing something steamy or hardcore that uses words you don’t want your grandmother realizing that you know, then the best thing you can do is to publish under a pseudonym. If you are writing something that you’re proud of and want to shout to the world from the rooftops, then publish under your own name.

Honestly, though, it is your choice. Regardless of what you write, as long as you are proud of it, and are proud to say “I DID THIS!” then it doesn’t matter what name you choose to put it under.

If you decide to choose a pseudonym, do some research. Find out if others are publishing under that name. Find out if there are other people wandering around the internet with that name. This way you can make an informed decision about it.

You wouldn’t want to choose a name and then realize that there is someone out there in the world with that name who almost, but not quite, looks like you, and has a terrible reputation. So, just like you should do a little research before naming your characters (for time-period purposes), please take the time to research the name you want to publish under.

There are three people in my area with my name that I know of for sure. One is a news anchor, the other works at the bank I use, so I’ve chosen to use a pseudonym because there are over 33,000 people with my first and last name. If you want to know how many people have your name, check www.howmanyofme.com to find out.

Write. Every. Day.

I’ve come to the conclusion that writing each and every day, even if the word count is small, is a huge accomplishment to moving towards the possibility of publishing a novel. Here I have created a space just for writing. And possibly some book reviews. I love reading. I love writing. I want to combine those two loves by writing something others will love to read.

There are days that go by where I have written nothing, not one word, and I feel terrible about it. This is my way of making sure that I have put something down into the novel I am currently working on. I’ve also paid for a copy of Scrivener and utilize it to sort out the novel, keep a timeline, character profiles, and photos of locations I would like to use as settings. I’m not getting paid to say I love it, but there it is, I do.

I also use Word because I can upload a word document to my Onedrive and add to it anywhere. Okay, almost anywhere. My phone screen doesn’t work with Word Online editing. I can download the file to my phone, but it doesn’t compute due to the ribbon. I hope someday that I figure out if it’s operator error, or just a glitch with the phone app.

I’ve also recently signed up for the free membership over at Scribophile. While I haven’t critiqued anyone yet, I have read a little bit. I have issues critiquing to be honest, and I am not sure at this point if I will ever gain the karma points it takes to post. I feel that I don’t have the right to critique other peoples’ writing when I don’t know who they are or why they chose to write what they did. Hopefully soon I’ll get over that.

Alright, well, there you have it. Do with it what you will, I suppose. Have a great day. I know I will because I have not only written over 300 words here, but I have also added 542 words to the novel I am working on, which is now up to 7,816 words. The goal is 100,000 words so that I have room to cut when it’s time to revise.