Tag Archives: novels

Writing, researching, & more waiting

I was talking to a writer friend today. She writes novels and is published. I haven’t completed the one I started six years ago during NaNoWriMo. She doesn’t write picture books. I am waiting/hoping to get mine published. It’s a waiting game no matter what you write.

She reminded me to not compare myself to other writers. I needed that reminder – again – because I have been thinking about my picture book submission earlier this week, and that many other writers submitted their manuscripts around the same time. Mine will get read but I will be astonished if it is accepted. Why? Because, I thought, the others will be better stories or more suited to the publisher’s interest, than mine. Through the process of elimination mine will be rejected. I thought, but I don’t KNOW. I’m waiting. My friend is waiting, too, for the next step in the progress of her latest novel.

She said if she were to compare she could be insecure because of my writing. WHAT! No way! Because, she told me, I write multiple stories in one year while she writes a story in about three years.  hmmm  My reply to that is it takes longer for her novel because of the length of her in-depth story and all the research she does for it. No matter if it’s world-building or just capturing a moment or incident, it all takes time and effort to create worlds or scenarios and scenes. It’s all writing. It’s all creative expression. It’s all work. And it’s an exercise in patience – definitely not one of my strengths.

I think writing a good novel (one that gets publish ) is an amazing and exciting accomplishment. I’d love to do that, but I don’t yet know if that is within my abilities. For now I am concentrating on picture books because that’s more where my passion lies in my writing. I have to stop comparing. I have to be who I am as a writer.

Look at this fabulous image I found on Twitter:

writing-research

 

 

 

 

She’s a history professor from the future. She said to just carry on as if she’s not here.

Researching your topic is a very important part of writing your story. Even for the picture book I recently submitted, I researched what the characters would be interested in eating. I like things to be accurate.

I am usually very visual, so as I write a story I see it unfolding before me like a movie. I’ve been told that is quite common to writers. I hear what the characters are saying and what is happening around them, and often what they are feeling and thinking. In fact, here’s another oddity about me — in real life I often see the words people say to me in conversation. I see the words spelled out before me, in my mind’s eye. I wonder if that is an advantage for me in my writing … or if I am just strange.  🙂  

Questions for you:

  1. Do you visualize when writing stories? Do you when people talk to you, the way I see the words spoken to me?
  2. Do you research for your stories, or do you not bother much with the little details? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

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My personal reading challenges

I have an account on Goodreads. If you love books then Goodreads.com is a great place to be. Each year they set up a challenge for us to challenge ourselves to read more, to set goals to read however many books we think we can or that we want to read. I enjoy challenges like that since I’m just a little competitive. And I love books.

In 2013 my goal was 25 books. I made it to 44%, having read only 11 books. Actually, if you look at my list here on my blog for what books I read that year, my total was 34. The difference is because I apparently didn’t report them all on Goodreads. Oops!

I don’t remember what my goal for 2014 was, but I reported 38 books. In actuality, I read 46.

In 2015 I met my goal of 50 books. Yay! (Plus one I didn’t report.)

This year I set a goal of 25, then decided to up it to 50 again. Once I joined the ReFoReMo challenge in March, I said – what the hey! – and reset my goal to 150 books this year. Yipes!  Not to panic, yet.  I am already 64 ahead of schedule at 71%, having read 107 as of this writing. I still have a few more titles on hold at the library for the lingering on of ReFoReMo in my life, and we have about eight months left in 2016. I can do it! (yes I can)  Gosh, I love books!

It may not seem like such a big accomplishment where most of my reading so far this year is picture books. I could never manage to read that many novels in twelve months. BUT … reading is reading. I’m learning about writing while I’m enjoying all those expertly told stories, too, as they serve as mentor texts.

Someday I’ll try to count how many books I have here in my growing TBR stashes♥  Novels, that is. Novels beckoning to me, novels tempting me, calling me.  *sigh*  I want to read them, get lost in them, devour them all!

pile of books

BOOKS.  

Another feature on Goodreads is that other members I’ve connected with as “friends” can recommend books they’ve read. Oh me. Some have.  🙂 

Oh, and while I’m on the topic — thank you to author Darlene Foster who follows my blog and recommended Pompeii by Robert Harris. I bought it through Audible.com and very much enjoyed it. Of course, I could have borrowed it from the library but I didn’t even think of doing that at the time. I really like Audible, anyway.  🙂  I can multi-task that way — listen to the book being performed for me (not just read), which is so great, and work around doing something else at the same time. But not writing. Not while “reading.”  😉

Have you set a goal this year for how many books you want to read? Or is there some other goal-setting you’ve established?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

‘Read More Books’ challenge: Week 8: 364-415 of the list of 623 of the best books ever!

Are you ready for week eight of our Read More Books challenge? 

 

Read HERE to learn about it. It’s never too late to join in.

 

Check the ones you may have missed or want to review:

 

WEEK ONE   WEEK TWO   WEEK THREE   WEEK FOUR   WEEK FIVE    WEEK SIX  WEEK SEVEN

 

How did you do with your reading? Even if you didn’t finish the book you selected, it counts if you select one for this week to add to your TBR pile.

364. Father and Sons — by Ivan Turgenev
365. A Wild Sheep Chase — by Haruki Murakami
366. Point Counter Point — by Aldous Huxley
367. Babbitt — by Sinclair Lewis
368. The Souls of Black Folk — by W. E. B. Du Bois
369. The Thirty-Nine Steps — by John Buchan
370. The Jungle — by Upton Sinclair
371. Under Satan’s Sun — by Georges Bernanos
372. The Voyeur — by Alain Robbe-Grillet
373. The Secret Agent — by Joseph Conrad
374. All Quiet on the Western Front — by Erich Maria Remarque
375. Double or Nothing — by Rayond Federman
376.  The Bonfire of the Vanities — by Tom Wolfe
377. The Phantom Tollbooth — by Norton Juster
378. Amers/Oiseaux/Poesie — by Saint-John Perse
379. The House of the Spirits — by Isabel Allende
380. Paradise Lost — by John Milton
381. The Joke — by Milan Kundera
382. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz — by L. Frank Baum
383. At Swim-Two-Birds — by Flann O’Brien
384. Contempt — by Alberto Moravia
385. Dealing with Dragons — by Patricia C. Wrede
386. Blood Meridian — by Cormac McCarthy
387. The Home and the World — by Rabindranath Tagore
388. 2001: A Space Odyssey — by Arthur C. Clarke
389. American Pastoral — by Philip Roth
390. The Cannibal — by John Hawkes
391.Matilda — by Roald Dahl
392.The Thornbirds — Colleen McCullough
 393. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd — Agatha Christie
394.Good Night, Mr. Tom — Michelle Magorian
395. Nadja — André Breton
396.King Lear — William Shakespeare
 397. The Magnificent Ambersons — Booth Tarkington
398.Othello — William Shakespeare
399. Aurélien — Louis Aragon 
400.Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Haruki Murakami
401.The Color of Water — James McBride
402.Soulier De Satin — Paul Claudel
403. Leaves of Grass — Walt Whitman
404. The Sonnets — William Shakespeare
405.American Psycho — Bret Easton Ellis
406. The Bean Trees — Barbara Kingsolver
407. Nightwood —by Djuna Barnes
408. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction — by J. D. Salinger
409. High Fidelity — Nick Hornby
410. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas — Hunter S. Thompson
411. Kane and Abel — Jeffrey Archer
412. Franny and Zooey — J. D. Salinger
413. The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui —by Bertolt Brecht
414. Sense and Sensibility — Jane Austen
415.The Faraway Tree Stories — Enid Blyton
 
I love to hear from you!  From the above list:
  • Which books have you read?
  • Which books do you want to read?
  • Which books are you going to obtain this week?(Even if you are not officially taking the Read More Books challenge I would love to hear about your reading.)

Note: I got permission to share this list on my blog. (Thank you, Stuart!) You could go HERE for the list of “623 of the best books ever written” and see them all at once for yourself, and/or you can follow the list here a few at a time.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

‘Read More Books’ challenge: Week 6: 260-311 of the list of 623 of the best books ever!

Are you ready for week six of our Read More Books challenge? 

Read HERE to learn about it. It’s never too late to join in.

Check the ones you may have missed or want to review:

WEEK ONE   WEEK TWO   WEEK THREE  WEEK FOUR  WEEK FIVE   

How did you do with your reading? Even if you didn’t finish the book you selected, it counts if you select one for this week to add to your TBR pile.

260. Les Misérables — by Victor Hugo
261. Tristes Tropiques — by Claude Lévi-Strauss
262. Dream of the Red Chamber — by Tsao Hsueh-Chin
263. Slouching Towards Bethlehem — by Joan Didion
264. Old Goriot — by Honoré de Balzac
265. Oscar and Lucinda — by Peter Carey
266. The Interrogation — by J. M. G. Le Clezio
267.  Appointment in Samarra — by John O’Hara
268. A House for Mr. Biswas — by V. S. Naipaul
269. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer — by Patrick Suskind
270. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets — by J. K. Rowling
271. The Secret Garden — by Frances Hodgson Burnett
272. Asterix the Gaul — by René Goscinny
273. The Wasp Factory — by Iain Banks
274. The Fountainhead — by Ayn Rand
275. Four Plays — by Eugene Ionesco
276. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban — by J. K. Rowling
277. Germinal — by Émile Zola
278. The Moonstone — by Wilkie Collins
279. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha — by Roddy Doyle
280. Sixty Stories — by Donald Barthelme
281. Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality — by Sigmund Freud
282. Waiting for the Barbarians — by J. M. Coetzee
283. Angela’s Ashes — by Frank McCourt
284. The Abyss — by Marguerite Yourcenar
285. The Way We Live Now — by Anthony Trollope
286. The Rifles — by William Vollmann
287. Democracy in America; and Two essays on America — by Alexis de Tocqueville
288. Cranford — by Elizabeth Gaskell
289. A Christmas Carol — by Charles Dickens
290. Fahrenheit 451 — by Ray Bradbury
291. The Rocognitions — by William Gaddis
292. On the Origins of Species — by Charles Darwin
293. Sula — by Toni Morrison
294. Daniel Deronda — by George Eliot
295. The Tartar Steppe — by Dino Buzzati
296. Young Lonigan — by James T. Farrell
297. On the Social Contract — by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
298. Sea of Poppies — by Amitav Ghosh
299. Portnoy’s Complaint — by Philip Roth
300. Shadow of the Torturer — by Gene Wolfe
301. Das Kapital — by Karl Marx
302. Cider with Rosie — by Laurie Lee
303. The Prince — by Niccolò Machiavelli
304. The Horseman on the Roof — by Jean Giono
305. The Executioner’s Song — by Norman Mailer
306. Atlas Shrugged — by Ayn Rand
307. Suite Française — by Irene Nemirovsky
308. Mountains Beyond Mountains — by Tracy Kidder
309. Cold Comfort Farm — by Stella Gibbons
310. The Story of Tracy Beaker — by Jacqueline Wilson
311. Angle of Repose — by Wallace Stegner
 
 
I love to hear from you!  From the above list:
  • Which books have you read?
  • Which books do you want to read?
  • Which books are you going to obtain this week?(Even if you are not officially taking the Read More Books challenge I would love to hear about your reading.)

Note: I got permission to share this list on my blog. (Thank you, Stuart!) You could go HERE for the list of “623 of the best books ever written” and see them all at once for yourself, and/or you can follow the list here a few at a time.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

‘Read More Books’ challenge: week 5: 208-259 of the list of 623 of the best books ever!

Are you ready for week five of our Read More Books challenge? 

Read HERE to learn about it. It’s never too late to join in.

Check the ones you may have missed or want to review:

WEEK ONE   WEEK TWO   WEEK THREE   WEEK FOUR   

How did you do with your reading? Even if you didn’t finish the book you selected, it counts if you select one for this week to add to your TBR pile.

208. Dead Souls — by Nikolai Gogol
209. Rabbit, Run — by John Updike
210. The Complete Stories — by Flannery O’Connor
211. The Making of Americans — by Gertrude Stein
212. Crash — by J. G. Ballard
213. The Glass Bead Game — by Hermann Hesse
214. Darkness at Noon — by Arthur Koestler
215. The Plague — by Albert Camus
216. The Soft Machine — by William S. Burroughs
217. Les Liaisons Dangereuses — by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
218. The Wanderer — by Alain-Fournier
219. Winesburg, Ohio — by Sherwood Anderson
220. Froth on the Daydream — by Boris Vian
221. Trainspotting — by Irvine Welsh
222. The Moviegoer — by Walker Percy
223. The Canterbury Tales — by Geoffrey Chaucer
224. Main Street — by Sinclair Lewis
225. Take It or Leave It — by Raymond Federman
226. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China — by Jung Chang
227. Nightmare Abbey — by Thomas Love Peacock
228. My Name is Red — by Orhan Pamuk
229. The Second Sex — by Simone de Beauvoir
230. The Awakening — by Kate Chopin
231. From Here to Eternity — by James Jones
232. The Black Sheep — by Honoré de Balzac
233. The Man Without Qualities — by Robert Musil
234. The Way of All Flesh — by Samuel Butler
235. The Wapshot Chronicle — by John Cheever
236. Going Native — by Stephen Wright
237. The Charterhouse of Parma — by Stendhal
238. The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum — by Heinrich Böll
239. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare — by William Shakespeare
240. The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street — by Naguib Mahfouz
241. Stranger in a Strange Land — by Robert A. Heinlein
242. In Cold Blood — by Truman Capote
243. The Code of the Woosters — by P. G. Wodehouse
244. The Red and the Black — by Stendhal
245. Sybil, of Two Nations — by Benjamin Disraeli
246. In the Heart of the Heart of the Country & Other Stories — by William H. Gass
247. Paroles — by Jacques Prévert
248. The Maltese Falcon — by Dashiell Hammett
249. Alcools — by Guillaume Apollinaire
250. Wise Blood — by Flannery O’Connor
251. The Magus — by John Fowles
252. The Wonderful Adventures of Nils — by Selma Lagerlöf
253. The Blue Lotus – by Hergé
254. The Naked and the Dead — by Norman Mailer
255. Orlando: A Biography — by Virginia Woolf
256. Hunger — by Knut Hamsun
257. The Time Traveler’s Wife — by Audrey Niffenegger
258. A Tale of Two Cities — by Charles Dickens
259. A Wrinkle in Time — by Madeleine L’Engle
 
I love to hear from you!  From the above list:
  • Which books have you read?
  • Which books do you want to read?
  • Which books are you going to obtain this week?(Even if you are not officially taking the Read More Books challenge I would love to hear about your reading.)

Note: I got permission to share this list on my blog. (Thank you, Stuart!) You could go HERE for the list of “623 of the best books ever written” and see them all at once for yourself, and/or you can follow the list here a few at a time.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)