Question 4

(I have intentions of adding a new question every week.  Sometimes life gets in the way.)

Q4: What do you find the hardest part about writing? And what’s your favorite and/or easiest part? Anna.

Sometimes the hardest part is getting started; then again, sometimes that’s the easiest.  Consistently though the most difficult part about writing is keeping the flow going. All stories need to go from point A to point B to C etc. It’s tempting to skip D to get to E if E is going to be exciting, and then I have to backtrack. My head knows what happened during D, but the reader doesn’t. I hope that makes sense. After I exhaust point E, it can be a “now what?” situation, and I have to step back and figure out something new.

Another difficult part is getting involved with the characters. I had someone recently tell me that my stories are so real. That is a goal of mine: to keep it real. The way I do that is to feel what everyone in the story is going through, and that’s both good and bad. I’ve had the story affect my real life, and my real life affect the story.

My favorite part of a story is making things happen the way I want them to be. I can make someone happy or I can kill them off. That’s kind of powerful if you think about it.

Question 2

Q: How much time do you devote to writing? Rita M. What’s your process of writing like: Do you set a daily “this many pages” or “write for this long” goal? Do you send chapters to editors/beta readers along the way or wait until the end? Do you outline the story arc ahead of time or wait for the characters to tell you what happens next? Anna.

I thought I would answer this question next since a similar question came up twice. For the most part, I try to write something every day. I generally start around 10am and write for 4-6 hours, depending on my mood. Remember, for some of us, writing is a job and there must be a certain amount of time every day that you devote to work.  I aim for one thousand words each day; sometimes I get out 500 words and I have to stop; sometimes I keep going and do 2500 words – that’s a good day.  There are days I don’t write at all, days when I need to clear my mind and have a real life, not an imaginary one.

I have an idea what I want to happen in a story, so I do a basic outline, but I allow the characters the freedom to tell me when, where, and how that happens, or even if it doesn’t. I have found that if I allow that, the story is much more realistic and believable.

I use three Beta readers and they each offer me something different. One is “Sherry”: she loves my stories and gives me a different female view of how the story is progressing. I will give her a file of the book every 15k to 20k words, with all the changes from the last time; this is to check the new flow. The second one is my son Eric, who checks anything military or involving weapons; He’s not afraid to criticize his mother and to tell me ‘that sucks’; I give him a file halfway done and then the complete story. The final one is my older brother, Tom, who can be critical of his little sister – and that’s good.  I don’t want a “yes” person as a beta reader I want someone who can help me to make the story better. Tom doesn’t want to see anything until I’m done and can give him a printed copy to read. He has been very helpful in getting me past writer-block at times, since he lives across the street from me, we can sit down, face to face and talk about it.

The publisher I use doesn’t offer editorial service until the manuscript is complete.   The first editor I was assigned is a ‘content’ editor.  She offered suggestions and structure and we would pass the manuscript back and forth several times, we even talked on the phone; she edited ten of my twelve books.  The next editor I got is a ‘line’ editor.  He fixed punctuation, spelling, paragraph structure and it was one pass. The publisher said that I had grown so much and was an experienced writer now, that I didn’t need a content editor anymore. This last editor did Time Shadows, and will likely do EMPulse2.

Question: How do you pick character names?

Questions:

How do you pick character names?

Every writer has a different method of selecting names for their characters. I was told early on, that I should write what I know, but don’t use a person’s real name. Yes, you can get sued. So if the character was based on a real person, I would change the name slightly so I could personally keep the characters straight in my head. Dan would become Don; Alice would be Anna, and so on. I especially changed names if I had the character do things or act in ways the real person would never do. When I do use someone’s real name, it’s with permission.

As I grew as a writer, I started creating totally fictional characters.  I also started running out of names. I read somewhere that a writer’s best friend was a baby name book.  It has been invaluable! I also keep a list of names that I plain like! Time Shadows is filled with those names for no other reason than I like the way they sound or the image they bring to me.

There are times too, that I want to pay honor to someone. In The Journal: Crimson Skies, I introduced several new characters. James Geneva is my nephew who died several years ago, now he lives on.  Also in Crimson Skies I created the four nuns and the priest.  In my family there are four girls and a boy.  I gave the nuns and priest our middle names. In case anyone is wondering, Sister Doris was me, so I killed myself off. As an interesting side note, not one of my siblings caught the connection.

Another thing I was taught early on was to create a character biography sheet: a list of that character’s information, description, history, and such. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back to see if I gave “X” blue eyes or hazel eyes.  Consistency matters!

 

Q&A

to help me write an informative biography, I’d like my readers/fans to ask me questions.
What would you like to know about me? it can be anything … though if it’s too personal I might not answer.. LOL

So far I have questions like:
How do you pick character names?
Is John a real person?
when did you start writing and why?

I’m going to select a new question to answer every few days.

Ask your questions in the comment box.

Time Shadows

Good news! I’ve got another book that was just released, http://amzn.to/2t9LBoy

Time Shadows is a fun paranormal time travel.

What happens when an 800 year old sorceress sends a modern day woman back in time?

answer: anything!

IT’S HERE!

Book #6, the final episode, in The Journal Series, is now live on Amazon in ebook.  Print will be available on May 18.  It has been an awesome journey for me.  Thank you all.

The Journal: Martial Law by [Moore, Deborah D.]

 

Winter is coming

It’s a cloudy, dreary day out, weather wise, but I have a sunny smile!  I just finished checking off my “Winter Prep – Fall Chores” list.  This computer saved list helps me keep track of all the things I need to get done before the snow flies … and snow will be here soon.

Being single, if I don’t do something, it doesn’t get done, so this print out is critical to me.  It shows everything from restocking the pantry to changing the furnace filters; from filling the woodshed to filling the metal trash can with bird seed; from turning the cistern to turning the birdbath.

I love lists.  They keep me focused, and it’s so easy to forget something when I want to be outside enjoying the fall and all the beautiful colors.  I try to do that too, because it’s just as important to live your life as it is to do anything else.

Now, MY list will be different than yours.  I need to shut off the outside water faucet and drain that pipe, or it will freeze and burst, and the bird bath is the same: if I don’t turn it over, it will fill from rain or snow, freeze, and break the concrete bowl.  This is because here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, it gets cold, really cold, and that can happen over night. Sometimes there is no warning when the temperatures drop and I have to be ready, I have to be PREpared.  If you live in the south, you won’t have these issues, but you will have some I don’t.

So, make a list of all that you do or need to do, to be ready for the change of season, keep it saved to your computer, and update when you need to.  It will help keep you moving forward.

And remember, no matter who your candidate is, get out and VOTE!

A Prepper’s Cookbook

I did an interview with Time, Inc. about my new cookbook.  I’m very pleased with how it was presented.

http://www.extracrispy.com/culture/406/how-to-eat-breakfast-after-the-apocalypse

fan input

I’m 2/3 done with writing The Journal: Martial Law. This is book #6 and the final one of this series.
Here’s your chance for some input:
I’m asking my fans, readers and family, what would you like to see finalized? What unanswered questions do you have, and what loose ends would you like to see tied up?
Writing certainly isn’t an over-night thing, so we have time. I wasn’t even going to start this until October, however, my summer job was slow getting started so I took advantage of the extra time and got a head-start; now I hope to finish in October 🙂
The Journal has been an incredible journey for me, and although this might be the end of this series (these people need a break!!) it certainly isn’t the end of my writing. EMPulse is being released in ebook on Sept. 13 (print in April 2017), and that just may be the beginning of my next series. That will be up to my publisher.

The Reef Roamer on sale

for this weekend only, get The Reef Roamer for only 99¢ starting July 22, 2016

The Reef Roamer (The Roamer Series Book 1) by [Moore, Deborah D.]