a new novel

My incredible partner-in-life Ria has just published her novel, a contemporary fantasy. It’s really good and you want to go buy it:




Nanowrimo Musings 2

Greetings gentle reader, I am continuing to share what I’ve learned as a writer from doing Nanowrimo. One of the things I’ve learned is that when it is time to write, your best productivity is most likely to happen if you just do it. No censoring, no second thoughts. This also means that you keep editing and re-reading what you’ve just written as you write it to a minimum, a feat I am still learning to do. My mantra has become “no one will see it until I’m ready for them to– Write it! If it doesn’t work no one will every know.” I’ve found that this simple act is much harder than it sounds.
The inner critic is happy to whisper that we’re wasting our time, that we could write it better if we did X instead of Y, sometimes the inner critic is even right.  I can’t imagine the process that detailed outliners go through. The number of times that I have literally torn up a scene that sounded really good only to find that it didn’t work half as well in execution is legion.

What I’ve found helps against the inner critic is the following:
Make a list of all of your characters. Yes, all of them. Keep it handy.  Not only will you then not have to fumble around for their name, (what was the name of that spear holder in the throne room?), but if you find that if a scene doesn’t work from your beloved main characters point of view, try the same events from the view of a minor character. Ask that minor character to explain what is going on, you may be surprised.  Even if it never makes it into your final draft, you’ve just spent more time writing, and not only honing your skills as a writer, but I  find that the other character silences the Inner Critic as well.

After all, if Fagan can be surprised by what the Artful Dodger does, then your Critic should be surprised  in what Dodger is doing as well. Belief, I have found, is a strong element in story telling. Not only the belief of your audience, but your own belief as well. If you can believe in what you write, then your audience will too. If you don’t believe it, experience tells me that your audience won’t either and really do not want that.
So gentle readers, if you write fiction, what strategies would you share about how you ‘trick’ yourself into believing in your world and your characters? Some of us do research, others observe the people in the world around them.

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New Raven Bond Novel!

I am so excited!!!
Just in time for your holiday reading, the first of my new steampunk series, Wind Dancer, is now available from Amazon! Please go here to buy it: http://www.amazon.com/Wind-Dancer-Steampunk-Adventure-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00RE0AX9M/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1419467599&sr=8-3&keywords=raven+bond
I want to thank you so much for your continued support, and I hope that the holidays bring you every joy!
Best Regards,
Raven Bond

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Nanowrimo Musings

So I have gotten through Nanowrimo month victorious! For the uninitiated, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is absurd on the face of it. In thirty days you are to write a novel of 50,000 words. This means that you must write at least 1600 words a day, every day. And not just any words, but 1600 *good* words–words that you would like to appear in a novel that you show to others, minus any editing and final proofing.
It doesn’t say that in any of the official rules. I made that rule for myself, else I don’t see the point really. The rules do state that you do not have to have a finished work at 50K, and I have used this to console myself when I am in the dire middle-muddle and have no idea how it’s going to reach the ending I envisioned.  Anyway, I did it! I reached a finished novel of 50k words in a month.
All of this leads me to want to share some of what I’ve learned in the course of doing the challenge. Writing really is a process of self-discovery, just like they tell you in school, only I have found that it is the process of creating that is the forge of discovery, instead of whatever autobiographical stuff you may insert in your piece. Here’s some of what I’ve found:
I am a seat-of-the-pants writer. This means that I have no idea what I’m going to write beyond a bare sketch of characters and a very general plotline. Sometimes the characters appear in a scene and I have to question them: How did they get there? Where are they? Who are they? What is going on? it’s the answers that make me excited, and the answers that make the story. When it goes well, I find that I am really jazzed to sit down at the keyboard, as I can’t wait to find out what happens next. The other very valid method I have heard of is that of the detailed outliner, who has every point of their story planned out in advance. I personally find this approach to be rather dull frankly. To have everything mapped out in advance seems to me to strangle the juice out of the story, and leave the writer with little motivation. To be honest, I write what I want to read, and the discovery of those answers is why I write. I feel that having the answers all worked out and then writing  to fill it in is, well, cheating in a sense.
This is not to say that I don’t work in advance of sitting at the keyboard. I usually have at least a vague idea of what is going on. It seems that I am always fiddling in the back of my mind with a piece of dialog or simply saying to myself, “What if X finds out Y? What the hell are they going to do with that?” Those who know and love me have caught me staring at the wall more than once, knowing what I’m doing.  Needless to say, I am very self-entertaining, and ever occasionally amusing.
So gentle reader, if you write, which camp do you fall in? Seat-of-the-pants or detailed outliner, and why do you like it? .

the lightkeepers ball

Hello Gentle Reader,

Thought that I would take a moment to tell you about someplace that I will be over the holidays, the Lightkeepers Ball. The Lightkeepers Ball is a wonderful masquerade ball held by the local Steampunk Community with live music and themed vendors. You can get more information here: http://www.lightkeepersball.com/.

I will be there as will many wonderful people . Feel free to come up and say hello!

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