Tag Archives: Writers Resources

#NaNoWriMo Week One Update

Hey, this is great!  I can spare a few minutes to update y’all on my writing progress every week, right? And, let’s be honest, I need to post something here.

Thank you NaNoWriMo for getting my ass moving on all writing fronts!

Anyway, here’s the low down on my NaNo thus far:

A little background info first. I signed up for a month-long challenge on the NaNo site about eight months ago. Guess that would make it April. I think I ended up writing 20K on a book that I still have yet to finish, but anyway, it inspired me to write faster. I’m not a NaNo success story by any stretch of the imagination, and I can freely admit that. I plan to fail miserably this month as well. I’m a planner, and I like my whiskey and my rough drafts pretty damn neat.

That being said, I signed up thinking the starting date would get me to complete my second book in my Shooting Stars series. It (kinda) did. I finished my rough draft of “Double Takes” on the 3rd of November. Not bad. Not too late to start the next one.

But I didn’t feel ready. I spent a few days outlining and doing character sheets and re-outlining. Okay, and formulating a play list of inspirational songs, I’ll be freakin’ honest.

Yes, this is my muse music. Clearly it will be a happy-happy, joy-joy kind of book. 😛

I know some people just jump right in and let the book take them. I’ve tried that. My books take me to brick walls if I don’t have at least a loose sketch of each chapter.

Anyway, I started writing on the fifth, I think, and I finished my first chapter yesterday at 4049. I could conceivably manage 7K words a week going forward, which would put a nice dent in book three.

I also need to start editing Double Takes so I can get that out to beta readers in the next few weeks.  All in all, I’m feeling good about my NaNo, doomed to failure though it may be (hell, according to my outline, this book will probably fall in the 40K mark anyway–doomed, I tell ya!). But that’s cool. I’m loving my characters, and the fact that I haven’t submitted book two yet gives me the opportunity to make sure they are consistent in both books.

So, yeah. There’s the report. Check back next week to see if I’m spiraling downward in a flaming plane. 🙂 Magic eight ball says “Signs point to yes.”

-Kimber

 


An Erotica Writer’s Resource

I attended a local writers’ group for the first time last week.  Before the date, I’d debated whether or not I would own up to writing smut.  Of course, I blurted it out during my introduction, because, A: I can’t keep a secret, and B: I love shocking people.  It’s fun.

Well, the theme for the meeting was, “What are your favorite books on writing that have helped your craft,” or something like that.  We all brought in a book or two, and said why we liked them, and passed them around.  Many were poetry-related books, as this group seems to have an abundance of poets.

For my part, I considered bringing in a now out-of-print book that I’ve had for at least a decade—long, long before I started writing erotica, back when I figured someday I might write romance and saw this book at a great price and snapped it up.  Already I had my romance/erotica lines blurred; my sex/love boundaries woefully screwy.  Story of my life.

My internal smut-sensors must have been telling me something, though.  I always did read Playboy and Hustler for the articles (and look at them for the pictures) when I was a kid, stumbling upon an uncle’s or friend’s father’s stash.

Mercedes Ambrus

Mercedes Ambrus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was written in the stars that I would write about people buffing the wood and falling in love.  Ahhh, sweet romantic lust (see, I still mix the two together).

So, anyway, I digress.  The book I was talking about before I was so rudely interrupted by myself was “How to Write Erotica” by Valerie Kelly.  Yes, this book is dated—it came out in the eighties and, yes, you can almost picture the big hair and chicka-bow-bow music in the background when you are reading the excerpts.  But, for something over 20 years old, it’s aged surprisingly well.  True, the list of publishers is obsolete–don’t buy it for that (and, incidentally, it’s available used for about a buck plus shipping on Amazon from various sellers.  Note the condition of the book before purchasing, as you never know if the previous owner was using it for stroke material–it could happen.)

The book is an interesting read, start to finish.  Valerie Kelly illustrates the how-to’s of erotic letter writing, short-shorts, longer shorts, and novels–all still relevant structures for today’s authors.  “The Marketplace for Erotic Fiction” section is more a history lesson on erotica, at this point, but I think it is still fun reading for anyone interested in the business to see how it has evolved in the past twenty years.  It’s still evolving.  Who knows what is ahead?  If history repeats itself, as they say, I’ll be ready with my leg-warmers and my copy of HTWE.

Anyway, Kelly goes into the basic formula for story-telling (Plot, Character, The Setting, The Climax, POV, The Denouement).  This section is still valid, as are the parts about tense, pacing, and making things sexy (yeah, 80’s sexy is still sexy).

Even Kelly’s advise on query letters can be modified for today’s electronic submission process.  True, we don’t need to know about 20lb paper or SASEs anymore, but skip it, or read it just to appreciate how much easier we have it now.  When I was your age, I had to walk to school in five feet of snow.  Actually, I took a bus.

Finally, Kelly has exercises to inspire your creativity.  Need a jumping off point?  Close your eyes and pick one.  Her glossary and list of sensual words at the end are tré useful.  I’ve penned in my own additions at the back of the book.

So, that was a rather lengthy book review, it turns out.  I give “How to Write Erotica” 4.5 stars and the coveted Vale Smutty Stamp of Approval.

And to answer your question, I did not bring it to my writer’s group (and good thing–there was a rather suspicious character present who may have absconded with, and defiled my book).

I brought “Self Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King.  I like that one, too, even sans any juicy bits.

Now, for a little exercise of our own.  Pretend this is a writer’s group meeting.  I’m the creepy guy leering at you.  What book/s do you recommend for your fellow authors?  Don’t worry, I’ll only borrow them until the next meeting.  Sorry about any pages that might get stuck together…

-Kimber


Wading into the Slush Pile

I was rabidly devouring info on turn-around time for submissions to certain pubs on Absolute Write yesterday.  That’s a productive use of writing time, no? Okay, it’s not.  It’s about the same as haunting Web MD in search of an ailment that matches the numerous questionable symptoms you (I) have lately.  It’s enough to make you think you’re dying as far as the symptom-checker goes, and enough to make you second guess the submission you (I) just sent and get absolutely no work done.

46. symptoms of cancer Courtesy of techtechboo...

46. symptoms of cancer Courtesy of techtechboom.com (Photo credit: TipsTimes)

In my case, it made me realize that I never wrote “Dear [Anybody]” at the top of my submission.  Nothing.  Just tacked my synopsis and full onto the attachments and launched into a brief description.  The automatic response email didn’t flat-out call me an a-hole, but I doubt it has those detection abilities.

So then I had to search for the etiquette behind the “Dear Editor” thing.  Is it really necessary?  I know I’ve read “the rules” before.  I planned to send my sub in as picture-perfectly as possible.  I read everything on the site numerous times, and triple checked to be sure I had included all of the requested info.  I self-edited until my eyes bled.

But they never told me to be polite on the web site and I just plum forgot.

Crud buckets.

I’m not rude, generally speaking.  When I burp, I say the word “burp” which I think is way classier than a loud belch.  I always remember my “pleases” and “thank yous”–case in point, I remembered to thank the mysterious entity on the other side of my email for their consideration after I dumped my electronic business in their inbox.  Perhaps I earned back one of my demerits in the closing.

Well, the fact is, I don’t believe I’ll be summarily rejected for lack of an opening greeting.  Me being me, I feel like if I received a tug boat full of perky, overly friendly, and downright presumptuous submission emails each day, I’d want to punch someone in the face.  Cut to the chase.  We all know why we’re here.  Sorta like long-winded and cocky bios–I don’t like to write them and it pisses me off/gives me a reason to make fun of people when I read them.

Halifax Harbour

Halifax Harbour (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Editor,

You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I think you’ll be interested to read what I am sending you.  The fact is, I’ve been having sex for years now, and I fancy myself an A+ fucker.  It was only natural for me to translate my sexpertise into smutty fiction.  I’m sure you’ll find my submission to be the best you’ve ever read and will want to thank me in person.  I will graciously allow you to buy me a drink at my earliest convenience   I just know we are going to be best friends.

You may find a link to all of my illustrious writings below.  Once you sample my authorial prowess, no doubt you will be interested in purchasing my other work.  Use coupon code IMAJERK10 for 10% off for a limited time only.

Thanks for your consideration,

[insert revoltingly flowery pen name here]

I like a bio with a bit of mystery.  Or maybe that is just my excuse for keeping them as short as possible because I hate writing them.  Food for thought.

Back to my point (if I ever had one, other than trying to justify my stupidity).  Does placing a specific editor‘s name on the top of one’s submission help it out of the slush pile?  Without an agent or a well-known name, aren’t we all just doomed to doggy paddle around in the slushy pool?  A flashy swimsuit won’t get us out of there any faster, will it?  I like to think, if I don’t drown immediately, I’ve got the same chance as the kids with the Speedos on, right?

Here is an interesting link on the subject.  I like this guy’s style.  Of course, in the end he says “Dear Editor” is just fine.  Nothing about having a cheesy log line for a greeting…

At least it got me off of Web MD for a short while.  I can’t die from idiocy, can I?

-Kimber


Girls Who Write Boys Who Dig Boys Who Like Girls

You know the tune to sing to that, right?

If not, here you go.  Thank me later for the incredible ear worm.

Our talk today is about–you guessed it, girls who write boys who dig boys.  Don’t be discombobulated by my sketchy title.

Recently, I wrote a short gay erotica after reading some of the same.  For one, I like to flex my writing muscle, try new things, all that jazz.  My mom asked me, “How would you even know how to write that?”

Yeah, that’s right; I told my mom I was writing gay smut.  She’s my mom.  She has to love me no matter how far off the charts I go.  Besides, it’s just fun to see what she says.  If she wants to spend more time with her bible-thumping daughter, she’s entitled, but so far my writing proclivities haven’t boomeranged her in that direction.

Anyway, I didn’t tell her that I’ve done all the shit I write about; therefore, it’s really not too tough to write about.  Shock her, yes.  Give her a heart attack with confessions about blow jobs and anal sex—no.  Even I have my boundaries.

But, really, is it a huge stretch to imagine what two hot gay guys might get up to with a tube of lube and all the time in the world?  Nope.  In fact, a large percentage of M/M erotica authors are women.  Yes, men write it too, but the chicks are well represented.  And why not?

Is there some rule that non-lawyers can’t write a legal thriller?  Those without a medical background are incapable of producing the next Patricia Cornwell-esque novel?  Non-pet owners shouldn’t write characters who own dogs?As anything, you must do your homework.  The old adage, “write what you know” applies to an extent; in that, if you don’t know, you better find out.  Research–online, real live books, ask friends, whatever.  I wish I had a close gay friend so I could pick his brain.  And ask him for fashion advice.  But I don’t—yet.  So for now, I’ll stick to reading what others have written, trolling forums, and watching porn.

I’ll also keep DVR-ing Dr. G for when I get around to my autopsy mystery masterpiece.  You never know.

&&&&&&&&

Not to deviate too much from my topic, I also wanted to address the believability of females writing male characters and vice versa.  I read a blog post a little while back in which a woman was bashing a male author who had written from a female character’s POV.  Her beef was that he, apparently, did not have the slightest idea how women talk, think, behave, etc.  I did not read the original, so can’t weigh in on it.  I do, however, write horror on occasion, and I wonder if men generally shy away from female horror authors?  Also, do they dislike reading fiction with a female main character and/or dislike when women authors write from a male POV?

Just some thoughts, and if anyone has theories on this, lay it on me.  I am stone-cold curious.

Discuss. 

On a side note, I’m so glad they are letting that big ole lobster go free.  The guy that eats that bad boy would probably die immediatly of mercury poisoning anyway.  Bury ‘im with the plastic bib still on and melted butter running out of his nose.


Sirens Call Publications’ Horror E-zine just out…

http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/ezine.htm

And the first issue is up for grabs–gratis–for a limited time!  Check out some fun new voices in horror, excellent chilling photography, and insight into the writing/publishing/editing world all for free!

My bizarro flash fiction ‘Mental Floss’ was graciously included in this zine so go snap up your download before the lovely ladies at Sirens Call change their minds!


Connecticut Daylily Society

For the Latest News on the Connecticut Daylily Society

Luv My Books' Reviews ♡

~Archive of 100 book reviews! 18 + Romance, Contemporary, Erotic, Paranormal -Enjoy!

three books over the rainbow

Blog about m/m novel - TRE LIBRI SOPRA IL CIELO

Alexis Duran

Writer of Fantasy, Science Fiction and Erotic Romance

Reckless Indulgence

of the Written Word

piper vaughn

piping hot

Moonbeams over Atlanta

A writer's, and reviewer's, area to explore stories in erotica, romance, and love. Love is Love: Romance with a twist.

Mia Kerick

Love is What I See

The Smutsonian

Book Reviews From a Professional Reader of Erotica

Rosanna Leo

Star-crossed loves are my specialty.

The Paisley Kamyleon

Digital Designs, Photography & Fine Art by Kamryn E. Priebe

V's Reads...

Reviews, Rants and Rambles from a mom and pre-published author

Molly Lolly

Reader, Reviewer, Lover Of Words

Amy Quinton

Historical Romance Author - Romance * Sexy * Historical * Love * Magic

readersperspectiveblog

Where reader's choose their favorite M/M romance book and let them shine!

Natasha Snow Designs

Book Cover Design

The Drinkslinger

If you sell booze, this blog's for you!