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Posts Tagged ‘l.s. engler’

first-day-first-paragraph-tag

Thanks to Ruth Ann Nordin for tagging me for First Day, First Paragraph.

Here are the rules:Publish your own post on the first day of the month.

  1. Use the graphic above.
  2. Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
  3. Explain the rules like I’m doing now.
  4. Post the first paragraph of a story you’ve written, are writing, or plan to write someday.
  5. Ask your readers for feedback.
  6. Finally, tag someone to do the post next month (for example, if you do the tag on the first of January, the person you tag has to do it on the first of February), and comment on one of their posts to let them know the good news.

For my first paragraph, I chose a short story that’s free to download. I chose this instead of one of my novels or novellas because this one has always been near and dear to my heart. I love the Beauty and the Beast type stories, and this one has a special twist.

The Beast in the Mirror

Here’s the paragraph:

From the shadows he watched her. She was exquisite…perfect. He knew he would only be able to watch her from afar. She was beautiful, and he was a beast. So he would watch her, admire her, but he would never speak to her or even let himself be seen by her. Her delicate senses didn’t deserve to look upon such ugliness as his.

What do y’all think?

So, I’m going to tag L. S. Engler for March 1!

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Today I have L.S. Engler here on my blog to do a guest post. Please give her some love by commenting. 🙂 Psst! This is a very good book!

There’s a lot a person can learn when publishing their first novel. They can learn about pacing and plot, on how to make sure all the details fit together and how to tighten their writing to get rid of excess details that don’t enhance the story. They can learn about character development, character consistency, and character interaction. They can learn that, no matter now many times you edit your novel, it will never be perfect and there will always be something you’ll want to change. Despite my background in creative writing at Central Michigan University, I still had a lot to learn on all these things when I wrote up my first novel, Soulless. But the one thing that I really had to learn is easily the most difficult aspect of writing, as well as something that, once you conquer it, will make you unstoppable.

I had to learn to just keep going.

Something I hear over and over from people when I tell them I’m a writer is that they, too, would love to write, but they just can’t do it. They get a good start going, then they just kind of peter out, losing interest, or starting to feel like what they’re writing is just plain awful. Or you have other writers, like my boyfriend, who obsesss over making sure everything you put down is perfect. They write the first page, decide they don’t like it, and start again. Another first page, and they don’t like that, either, so, riiiip, start again. And again. And again. Lather, rinse, repeat. I used to be one of those writers, and conquering that obsession was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. And Soulless was a big part of that.

For a majority of the rough draft of Soulless, I hated it. It was sometimes a chore to go in and plow through and write up what I knew I had to. I was so tempted to just drop it and pick up something new and shiny, or to just scrap the last five chapters I had written and start them all over again. I refused to let myself do that, though. I made myself sit down and write at least a page of day, reassuring myself that these rough patches would be over soon, and the the sooner I got through them, the sooner I could get to the chapters I really wanted to write. I had to push forward, almost blindly, full speed ahead, until I reached the very end, even if everything left in my wake was pure and utter crap.

Because you know what? A first draft is supposed to be crap. The biggest challenge and the greatest success can come with merely finishing a rough draft. When you’re done, it doesn’t matter how rough or perfect it may be. You finsihed a book. It needs some work, probably a lot of work, but it’s still there, and you did it. The editing and revision process is where we take this big lump of an idea and mold it into something more refined and beautiful, where we smooth out the edges and fill in the gaps, something that’s much easier to do when you have the whole picture before you rather than little bits and pieces. It’s easier to put together a puzzle when you have the final image to compare your progress to than when you’re just blindly putting the pieces into the spots that fit, right? Right.

Soulless and I had an incredibly tumultuous relationship, I’ll admit that, and I was very close to giving up several times. I’m so glad I didn’t, as hard as it was to forge forward against my critical judgement. The experience taught me one of the hardest and most difficult things I’ve ever encountered in my fledgling career: never give up, no matter what. Set yourself a goal and an end game, and, even though you could set it aside for another time, even though you could push that deadline release day back…don’t. Don’t you dare. You forge through and you fight to the very end. You’ll be bloody and bruised from the battle, but the victory will surely be yours.

In a way, this is all a metaphor for the plot of Soulless, too, which features a bold, strong, fearless warrior, constantly faced with the desire to just give up and let herself go to the monsters that she’s spent her whole life fighting. But she doesn’t give up, not even when all the odds are against her and the world seems to be descending deeper into chaos. The Slayer and I found our strength together, and, hopefully, you’ll find some of it in our respective stories as well.

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I was asked to join in this blog tour by Julie York. The idea is to link here to the person who tagged you, then tag three other authors whom you’ve asked to do this.

I met Julie online and she participated big time in my Facebook Release Party for Hearts of Evil. Thank you, Julie, for this opportunity. So…here are the answers to the four questions about my writing process.

1. What am I working on? I’m currently working on a book called “Fire Wizard”. It’s a paranormal romance with a little bit of a different angle for me. There are no vampires, werewolves, or ghosts this time. The hero and heroine in this book are just a little…different.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? I usually put a little different twist on things. Some of the vampire or ghost lore doesn’t apply in my characters. I actually got criticized in a review because my vampires could eat real food. LOL. I believe when it comes to creatures that aren’t real in the first place, we have free reign to change the rules.

3. Why do I write what I do? I’ve loved vampires since I was a kid and starting watching Dark Shadows. I’ve always been fascinated with the paranormal, even though I’m a total skeptic. That’s why paranormal romance came easily to me when I started writing again. (I say “again” because I gave it up years ago and came back to it.) There’s always some kind of story in my head. I’ve branched out a little into horror a couple of times, and I’m actually playing with the ideas of other genres. I like to try new things!

4. How does my writing process work? I’m not sure I have a process. I’m always so busy at work, I barely have time to write. I feel like I’m always trying to just squeeze a little writing in when I can. When I do get to sit down and write, I like to do it in my office surrounded by munchies and my two cats.

As far as the plotting goes, I really don’t like it. I tried seriously plotting the last book I wrote, and although I was able to do it, I pretty much hated it. I’m a pantser at heart and like to see the story develop as I type. I love it when my characters surprise me. I really kind of plot in my mind. I don’t do it all ahead of time. I figure out what I want to happen the next time I sit down to write. Then I hit those main points I want to make, but I allow myself to drift away from those if I think of something even better while I’m writing.

Here are the three authors I’m tagging:

J.R. Pearse Nelson
I am a fantasy and paranormal romance author. My work is fast-paced, adventurous, and sometimes dark.

I’m a native Oregonian, residing in the beautiful Portland area. I live with my husband, two small daughters and the family dog. I’m always searching for the magic in our world. I love to weave tales rooted in mythology, bringing legend to life in modern-day and fantasy settings. I’m the author of the Children of the Sidhe paranormal romance series, and Queen Witch, the first installment of the Foulweather Twins fantasy series.

L.S. Engler
L.S. Engler is an aspiring writer, dreamer, creator and editor.

Her works have previously appeared in Temenos, 10;29, and The Grand Traverse Insider, and she is the author of a collection of short stories entitled Bowlful of Bunnies, available now on Amazon.

Michelle DePaepe
Michelle DePaepe is the author of The Gardener, Vampire Music, and Eaters (published by Permuted Press).

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Today I was reading THIS blog post by my friend, L.S. Engler. She was talking about a quote concerning deadlines whooshing by. Her post made me start thinking about deadlines and how, as indies, we only have self-imposed deadlines. Although one of my favorite perks of being indie is that I don’t have to answer to anyone about deadlines, it also can cause me to be lazy about them. If I only have to answer to myself, what are the real consequences of not meeting them? Maybe this is part of the reason I haven’t published anything in a year (except a short story in an anthology). Because I don’t HAVE to. I’m not making even a quarter of the money I made when I first started, before this whole indie thing exploded, so THAT motivation isn’t there like it was. As long as I’m answering to only me, will I have the discipline to make myself meet deadlines? Wait…I haven’t even SET deadlines.

Okay, this has got to stop, right? So I went to my trusty Google calendar and I entered November 30 as the deadline for finishing my WIP. That gives me about 17 days to finish. I’m already about 80% done (see my nifty little word count widget over to the right), so that should NOT be a problem. This will make me have to up my word count per week a bit, but it CAN be done. If I finish by November 30, then I should be able to get it published before Christmas. My beta readers are super fast and they are also great editors and proofreaders. This should be NO PROBLEM. The only obstacle is me. I’m going to start treating this like a real job again with deadlines. And you guys out there need to kick me in the behind if I don’t do this. When I said the only person I have to answer to is myself…well, that should be the most important person!

Thanks, L.S.!

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This came from Susan Bischoff

1. Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next seven lines as they are – no cheating
4. Tag 7 other authors

The is from the gnome book that still doesn’t have a name:

“No one blames you, Tara. We just hate that it happened. I wish the two of you could put it behind you.”
“Are you serious?” she asked incredulously. “He cheated on me. That’s that.”
“Okay, I understand. Thanks for considering inviting him, though. You know he’s always a lot of fun.”
“Yeah, a real blast,” muttered Tara after they hung up.
It was dusk when she heard a truck pulling up to the house. She looked outside and realized

Okay, what 7 authors shall I tag?
1. Nadja Notariani
2. J. R. Pearse Nelson
3. Michelle DePaepe
4. L. S. Engler
5. Darlene Steelman
6. Juli Hoffman
7. Alex Laybourne

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