#Writing: Water Cooler Round Up ~ 13 Great Guest Posts

My latest guest blog series has wrapped. It’s been one of my favorites. A baker’s dozen of writers coming here to spotlight their favorite coffee shop, talk about their day jobs, post interesting pictures from day trips inspired by novels, and/or share their thoughts on writing life, the craft of writing or seasonal topics. Below is the list of writers and topics. THANK YOU to each and every one of them for participating. Everyone else, enjoy and stay tuned for more guest bloggers in 2014!

14 Fantastic Posts

  1. Karolyn James: “How Washing Dishes Put Her on the Bestseller Lists” ~ Bonus: Top 5 Turkey Day Foods!
  2. Michael S. Fedison: “Muses Versus Ghosts” ~ Perserverance
  3. KM Fawcett: “Can You Play Nice With Others” ~ Writing collaboration and working with a partner
  4. Casey Wyatt: “So You’ve Got A Doubt Monster” ~ Author Insecurity
  5. JC Hay: “Without Romance, Science Fiction Can Feel as Empty and Soulless as an Interstellar Void” ~ SFR
  6. Sapphire Phelan: A History of Witchcraft
  7. Debra Elise: Online Workshops
  8. Jami Gray: NaNoWriMo ~ “Opening Skirmish in One of the Toughest Battles You’ll Face”
  9. Kimberly Kincaid: “Give Me Some Space” ~ Why where you write is a big deal
  10. Isabella Norse: Bare Bulb Coffee Spotlight ~ “A shop with heart” in Kathleen, Georgia
  11. Lark Howard: “Pilgrimage to Marfa” ~ Road trip to small Texas town
  12. Cecilia Dominic: “A Writer on the Couch” ~ Psychologist by day, writer by night
  13. Celia Breslin: PNR Review ~ Larissa Ione’s ROGUE RIDER
  14. Jill Archer: Writers and Websites ~ 10 Neat “Extras”

Hope all of you are having a great Friday! I am writing/revising all day today and then tomorrow I’m meeting up with close friends I haven’t seen in far too long. We backpacked through Europe together back in 1995 (yikes! almost 20 years ago!). For fun, here are two pictures of us in Rome (at the Roman Forum and the Colosseum):

Rome I Rome II

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#Writing: So, You’ve Got a Doubt Monster by Casey Wyatt

My next guest is a good online friend: PNR/UF writer Casey Wyatt. Casey is here to talk about our muse’s dark shadow — the Doubt Monster. Who of us hasn’t doubted our work, our characters, our premises, or our path from time to time? Sometimes it’s easier to silence the beast than others. Casey’s post reminds everyone that we’re not alone in feeling doubt — and she shares some ways to banish it. Welcome, Casey!

Doubty

Many creative types proclaim that they have a Muse – a benevolent entity that encourages the artist and nourishes the soul, allowing magical prose to flow from his or her fingertips like golden honey down a river of . . . blah, blah, flowery words, blah, blah.

Puh-lease.

Me and a Muse?  No such luck. Instead, I have a Doubt Monster. In fact, if I ever had a Muse, I’m pretty sure the Doubt Monster ate her a long time ago.

What is a Doubt Monster? Let me introduce you.

The Doubt Monster is that nagging feeling while writing that your prose is terrible, your plot is silly, your characters are insipid and no one in their right mind would read this drivel, let alone buy it. Definition courtesy of Jen Moncuse.

In my case, the greedy Doubt Monster messes with my confidence and rears his ugly head (yes, I believe it’s a male – no clue why, honest) at various times in the writing process. Sometimes, he nags me constantly like my brain has been Rick-rolled by an earworm (you know, an irritating song that repeats in your head over and over).

What? That never happens to you? Never mind, then.

Other times, he appears sporadically. If I’m lucky, he won’t show up until I’m almost done with the first draft.

So what attracts the Doubt Monster?

(Besides Rick Astley lyrics)

In my experience, lack of certainty creates openings for the sneaky cretin. Observe:

  • If your self-confidence is shot. Hello, Doubt Monster.
  • If you received a rejection letter. Hello, Doubt Monster.
  • If you received a bad contest score or one star review. Hello, Doubt Monster.
  • If you receive an awesome five star review. Hello, Doubt Monster. (Yes, success can also freak you out with an – “OMG, how will I ever top this story? I will never write anything good again” – moment).
  • If your family doubts you. Say it with me – Hello, Doubt Monster!
  • If you’re like me, and you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop or you just expect that what you’re working on will suck at some point – yeah, yeah, Hello, #@!# Doubt Monster!

And the Doubt Monster doesn’t prey exclusively on unpublished writers. Once you’re published, he has even more confidence busting fodder to torment you with! Even multi-published, NY Times, award-winning authors battle the beast.

So how do you combat this annoying creativity killer?

Don’t Feed the Monster!

As with any problem, identification is the key.

  1. Admit you have a problem. And take it seriously. Yup, it’s that simple. Consider the possibility that you’re staring at a blank page because you’re suffering from self-doubt. If you’re lazy, sorry. Can’t help you with that one. Maybe consider not being a writer, ‘cause, you know, writing requires self-discipline and actual work. Just throwing that out there!
  2. When you are in “the creative mind” – anything should be possible and telling yourself that your ideas are dumb or won’t work is not helpful. Really. Sit back and play out those ideas to their logical conclusion. Do they work? Do you like it? Does it move the plot along? Even if it doesn’t – write it down. You know the old adage – you can’t edit a blank page!
  3. Confront your Doubt Monster and root him out. What stage of writing are you in? Are you allowing your inner editor to stomp on your creative process? Do you fear imminent arrest by the Grammar Police? If yes, remember you’re not in English class anymore. You don’t have to have perfect sentences or perfect grammar while you’re drafting your story. First draft = word vomit! And that is fine!!
  4. Are you worried about what everyone else will think? At this stage in writing, do not think about your critique group, readers, the marketplace or much of anything else real world related. And, seriously, who cares what anyone else thinks?
  5. Tell old Doubty to shut it. Don’t feel guilty about it. You can’t hurt his feelings. See # 4.
  6. Do not stop writing. Ever. That is the worst thing you can do. If you are truly stuck, work on something else for a little bit. Take a walk, read, go the movies, clean your closet. Whatever floats your boat.

Who’s seen Men In Black 3? There is a great scene in the movie where J &K are stuck trying to figure out the enemy’s next move. Agent K says – “let’s have pie.” Meaning, they will eat a piece of pie and discuss anything but the case. Believe it or not, this really does work (well, you don’t have to have pie). Sometimes, in order to solve a problem, you have to let your subconscious work it out. Doing an alternate activity and letting your mind wander can help silence the Doubt Monster.

Which leads me to my next point  . . . sometimes you need to listen to the Doubt Monster.

Wait! What?? But you just said –

– Yes, I know. There are times when you should heed the Doubt Monster’s warnings. He or she is not always wrong to make you question your work. One way to test the validity of the DM is to ask a non-writer to read your finished work. I find it helpful to use first readers whenever I complete a draft. They are not writers, but friends who will be honest and read extensively in the genre I write in.

During editing, let the Doubt Monster play all he wants. This is the time to question your plotline, pacing, word choices, and story flow. The DM can be the voice of reason. Think of it as the same instinct that prevents you from engaging in dangerous activities like jumping off a cliff or leaving your house in nothing but your underwear.

Over time, the more you write the more you’ll find a happy medium. And, I have discovered that some stories are more prone to attacks of the Doubt Monster. Many times, those books turn out to be better stories in the end and that’s a goal even the Doubt Monster can get behind!

Jill, thank you so much for having me as your guest today!

If anyone has questions or wants to share their experiences with the Doubt Monster, please share!

About Casey

Casey Wyatt has no personal knowledge of the paranormal, but she hopes someday that may change. If there are ancient Gods, elves or satyrs living nearby, they’re more than welcome to visit. Bring pizza and chocolate please! Her paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels have won or placed in numerous RWA contests. When not writing, Casey enjoys time with her family, loves to read, and enjoys knitting and crocheting. She lives in a bustling Connecticut town with her husband, two sons and an assortment of pets (none of which are shape-shifters). Visit Casey on the web at:

paranormal romance, Casey Wyatt, Mystic StormFind her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine retailers like Kobo, Smashwords, my publisher’s websites, and Coffee Time Romance.

paranormal romance, Casey Wyatt, Undead Space Initiative

When’s the last time the Doubt Monster stalked you? Were you able to banish him? If so, how’d you do it? For me, I feel the strongest and most confident creatively when I am totally caught up in my own story. When I’m so focused on building the world, weaving the plot, and living inside the heads of my characters, that I don’t worry about how the novel will be received after it’s written. Self-censorship can be a killer. In the first draft stage, jettison that beastly baggage and give your muse free rein. Thank you to Casey for guest blogging today!

NaNoWriMo: “Opening skirmish in one of the toughest battles you’ll face” by Jami Gray

UF/PNR author Jami Gray is here to talk about NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, which is November. Have any of you participated in NaNo? Do you plan on doing it this year? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments! October is the month to prep, so a perfect time for this post. Welcome, Jami!

THIS IS NANOWRIMO…

by Jami Gray

I'll be cheering for Jami and all the other participants from the sidelines! GOOD LUCK!
I’ll be cheering for Jami and all the other participants from the sidelines! GOOD LUCK!

As I set up my war room for the upcoming battle of writer versus blank page month, two hormonal males run through my modest homestead utilizing turret-type one-liners, including, “This is Sparta!”.

I find it very apropos so I’m stealing their battle cry.

National November Writing Month carries a couple of different identifiers—NaNo or NaNoWriMo—but no matter what it’s called, don’t mistake it for anything than the opening skirmish in one of the toughest battles you’ll face.

(Bear with me because I’m going to channel a few classics here…)

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write 50,000 words in thirty days. This means a minimum of 1666 words every damn day for the entire month of pre-Christmas shopping and stuffed turkey family gatherings of November. (I could set it up like a math problem, but then I’d start to cry and walk away.)

Remember, this is a challenge, something you’re going to have to suffer, I mean work at, to achieve, otherwise how will you garner the lovely glow of accomplishment at the end, instead of readying for a padded room and a white suit with buckles?

For writers who have found the secret of super-gluing their butts to the chair and their fingers to the keyboard for the other 335 days of the year, NaNo may just be another month in the year.

For the rest of us, we’re just gluttons for punishment.  Let’s look at my track record at NaNo…

Year one my grand total was 18,480, which you won’t see on my nanowritmo.org profile because well, I messed up my author profile and it got deleted. (It was an accident, I swear!).

Last year I hit the 50K goal and most of those words are still part SHADOW’S MOON (releasing in 2014), but trust me, the original composition is very different than the final product.

Will I be doing it again? Yep. Even though on November 30, 2012 I made an oath signed in blood, sweat and tears, to never, EVER again put myself through such psychological stress. I have two boys, a dog and a husband, that should be enough for anyone to handle. Why add to it?

Because, I’m a writer. When the blank page brings it, I and the 1666 daily words beat it back, again and again, day in and day out so I can bring forth THE STORY.

As you consider taking up the pen and crafting your own battle cry, there are a few enduring words of wisdom you must consider so on November 30, 2013 your celebratory dinner doesn’t turn into the Red Wedding scene from Game of Thrones.

Do not mount your trusty steed without making sure you have your armor, weapon and sacrificial page…planning is the key to winning the war.  Make sure you know which characters will be accompanying you on this journey and why they’re here in the first place.

Once engaged in the battle, do not look back! Not that you’ll turn into a pillar of salt but if you do, I promise the big, sneaky guy on the black horse will wallop you upside your helmeted head and leave a dent.  Remember, the purpose of this particular battle is bring forth the words. Write them, don’t worry about how tense they are (there will be time to relax them later) or how they lose track of their spots. Get them down and keep going.

There will be days, hours, nay minutes where you will be besieged by warty little gnomes of doubt. Ignore them. They’re just insecure and in need of OxyClear. If they tangle you up and keep you from your pen, come at them from a different direction—use one of your other characters to set the scene or sound the warning. Switch your voice, it will confuse them because again, warty little gnomes of doubt do not deal well with change.

Write.

Write.

Then write some more.

When the battle is complete, remember, it is a small, but necessary part of the war.  If, by the end of November, you have 50,000 sparkly new minions, I salute you, but you are not yet done.  If your minions are less because you lost some to the dreaded turkey feast and Christmas shopping, fear not, you too, are not finished.

This is a battle, not the war. Take a day, maybe a week, but not more than a month, to celebrate the win of getting your pieces into play. When you come back, revisit your strategy, embellish, kill a few unnecessary characters, bring others into the spotlight…

Tweak.

Tweak.

Rewrite.

Add to your word tally.

Set it aside.

Come back.

Rewrite.

Breathe.

Now that you have won the Crown of Pages, you are ready to take on the Quest of the Writer.

I bow before you and wish you Godspeed.

May the Muse be with you!

More About Jami

Jami Gray
Jami Gray

Growing up on the Arizona-Mexico border, Jami Gray was adopted at the age of 14 and suddenly became the fifth eldest of 37 children. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and three minors-History, English, and Theater.  Shortly after marrying her techie-geek hubby (who moonlighted as her best friend in high school) she completed a Masters in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix Oregon.

Now, years later, she’s back in the Southwest where  she’s outnumbered in her own home by two Star Wars obsessed boys, one Star Wars obsessed husband, and an overly-friendly, 105-pound male lab.  Writing is what saves her sanity.

Jami is the author of SHADOW’S EDGE (“Everyone fears what hunts in the shadows—especially the monsters…”) and SHADOW’S SOUL (“Some nightmares are born of love…”). Buy links for both books in all formats can be found by clicking here.

Jami can be found online here:

In my house, NaNoWriMo is affectionately called “Project Rhino.” A few years ago, I attempted it and my husband misheard me and thought I’d be participating in Project Rhino. 😀 The name stuck. So… who’s in? I’m not, but I will be cheering for each and every one of you from the sidelines. Thank you for guest blogging today, Jami! Happy Thursday, everyone!

Looking for #Writers (both pubbed and unpubbed)

Writer

In search of… Writers!

I’m putting together a new guest blog series for this fall. In the past, I’ve done guest blog series that focus on a particular type of story: romance, new adult, “dark stories” (UF, mystery, horror), but this time I’d love to do a guest blog series that unpublished writers could participate in too. I already have a handful of writers lined up with some great topics (interesting, different, and creative ones — love it!) but I’d like to find a few more, if possible.

Here are examples of the type of content I’m looking for in these future guest posts:

  • Writing craft / Writing process
  • Writing life
  • Speculative fiction/PNR book review (honest and fair, but generally positive)
  • SF/F movie review (especially ones that are adaptations from novels)
  • Product review (product needs to be related to writing or reading)
  • Spotlight your favorite Bookstore or Coffee Shop
  • Neat post about your day job (especially if it’s in an interesting career and/or something someone might base a character on)
  • Travel post related to books in some way – either a research trip you took or a trip to a place that was a setting in a book you read
  • Seasonal post related to Halloween: books, decorations, costumes, food, history, etc.

I’m NOT looking for posts about your WIP, current project, or published work but published authors can include their published work in their bio and I can share links to websites, blogs, FB, Twitter, etc. I’m hoping that some of you will think this idea is as fun as I do. I like blogging and am excited to see the posts for a guest blog series like this.

If you’re interested in participating, please e-mail me (archer at jillarcher dot com) and include the information below:

  • Title for the post
  • Description of what you want to talk about
  • Online contact info
  • Anything else you think is relevant

Please forward this post to anyone you think might be interested. Thanks, everyone!

“Outta Sight” – Fun Flash Fiction Poem Inspired by Lite Brite and “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry

Lite Brite Pegs---- 2/8/10 (39/365)
Lite Brite Pegs—- 2/8/10 (39/365) (Photo credit: Candie_N (Welcome Spring))

Duct Tape, Chipmunks, a Floor Full of Laundry and… My Top 5 Fiction Rules

Kriss interviewed me today over at Cabin Goddess. I reveal some “dirty secrets” and talk about an unusual childhood pet that we had. She also asked me to write a flash fiction piece. I haven’t written flash fiction in years. (The last time was at a terrific U of Penn writers conference, which I think has since been discontinued). In any case, I found the whole exercise extraordinarily fun. I loved the freedom of it. No need to agonize over word choice, there’s no time! The other thing I liked is that what I came up with followed my TOP FIVE FICTION RULES:

1. There’s a slight twist

2. The end reflects the beginning, some significant event in the story and/or is thematic

3. It’s not perfect

4. It’s funny, provocative, entertaining and/or silly

5. It’s positive / the end has a message of hope or is forward-looking

There are more chances to win copies of DARK LIGHT OF DAY and FIERY EDGE OF STEEL and a $10.00 eGift Certificate to the bookstore of your choice. Click here to check it out.

Have you written any flash fiction lately? Do you enjoy reading it? Do you have a Top 5 fiction rule list? If so, what’s on there?

This weekend is going to be BUSY for me. Tomorrow, my oldest “graduates” from elementary school, Saturday we’re heading down to the Udvar-Hazy Center in DC for its “Become a Pilot” event, and Sunday is Father’s Day. How about you? Have any plans? Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful weekend! 😀

Just One Bite: Writing Novellas by Foodie Romance Author Kimberly Kincaid

Kimberly Kincaid is here to kick off her blog tour for her contemporary foodie romance e-novella, Love on the Line (yay! I get to kick off another blog tour! I have to admit, I love being the first blogger to host some of these awesome authors. 😀) Kimberly discusses how she went from writing single titles to writing novellas and she shares a few tips for anyone who is thinking about writing a novella. I also asked her to share something unique about the story that no one knows yet and she said… “The chicken and dumplings dish that my heroine, Violet, makes for Noah (the hero) is based on a real dish that I make for my family all the time. The recipe is included with the novella, and it’s not only a perfect belly-warmer, but it’s (really!) easy to make. The cheesecake, sadly, is a complete fabrication.” Which, of course, makes me curious about that cheesecake! Welcome, Kimberly!

Love on the Line

Novellas aren’t “less.”

If anything they are more.

My first e-novella, Love On The Line, is exciting to me in quite a lot of ways, not the least of which is that it happened quite by accident. Like many aspiring authors, I had manuscripts. Plural. So when my agent sold them in a three-book deal last summer (once I got over the screaming and the ugly-dancing and more screaming), I found myself with a very rare, very puzzling problem on my hands.

All three books were done. And I had nothing to write.

Now, writing is definitely a career for me. I’m not a nothing-to-write person. So what could I do? How could I fill my time and build my career? My agent and editor put their heads together, and what they came up with startled me. “You could write a few novellas,” they said.

But…but but but I write single-title! I wanted to say. I have no idea how to write a novella! But the option made sense, so (after I got over the shock) I grabbed it with both hands. The next thing I grabbed were stacks of anthologies and e-novellas online. And what I discovered surprised me.

Despite being much shorter than full-length novels, novellas weren’t “less”. If anything, they were more.

It took six months of research and writing (I’m currently writing novella number three), but what I discovered was that despite their small stature, novellas still have all the elements of a full-length novel. There are plot points and characterizations to be made. There are external conflicts and personal journeys to be had. There’s sexual tension to build, and there’s love to be found. And it’s all in this tiny, powerful package. Getting all those things into thirty thousand words means every single syllable matters, and measuring them out with precision is both challenging and crucial. It taught (very wordy) me to examine my characterizations, my plotlines, my arcs. You don’t have to sacrifice any of these things to fit them into a novella. In fact, you can’t. Novellas are still great stories. They’re just told with different method and intention.

That said, here are a few things I learned along the way (the hard way):

Getting to know you. It’s helpful (but not necessary) for your hero and heroine to know each other already in a novella. In Love On The Line, Violet and Noah were well-acquainted from page one, and in fact, had shared their first kiss well before that. This doesn’t mean they didn’t have hurdles (big ones!) But it made my job as the author easier because I could sprinkle their set-up into the action, rather than having to establish it freshly. Likewise, many authors use the novella for secondary characters who are already established within a series because they already have the setup in place. You still need setup. You can just write it in a more compact way.

I’m so conflicted! Since you’ve got a lot to do in a little space, conflict can lean a little more on either internal (emotions) or external (circumstance). Usually, in a full-length novel, there are both keeping your h/h apart. But the beauty of a novella is that you can usually choose either/or and really dig into it. For Violet and Noah, there was a lot of internal struggle keeping them apart. I got the chance to really make those emotions sing. In my Christmas anthology story coming out this fall, it’s all external conflict (a competition only one of them can win) keeping my hero and heroine apart. Whichever you choose, it’s important to make it sing in the space you’ve got.

Pace yourself. The same things that happen in a novel also happen in a novella; they just happen in different time. Pacing is crucial (remember that every-word-matters thing? Yes. That!) Starting on a hook is key. Keeping the hook at the end of every chapter, more key. Giving each scene, each sentence, purpose—the biggest key of all. Novellas must move. After all, you’ve only got a little space for a lot of action and a whole lot of love to go down!

So tell me, writers! What’s your experience with the novella? And readers, what do you think? Tell me some of your favorites!

More About Love on the Line

Violet Morgan puts the personal in personal chef, catering to clients who want the full cooking experience rather than a culinary drop-and-dash. But when her brother’s police detective partner is injured in the line of duty and needs help during recovery, she makes an exception. Violet lost her father to the job seven years ago, and worries for her brother’s safety every day. The last thing she wants is to get up-close with her brother’s career-cop partner…again.

For Noah Blackwell, being a detective isn’t just a lifestyle, it’s a legacy. So when he’s forced to take mandatory leave and deal with the trauma amnesia keeping him from identifying his shooter, it’s a literal case of adding insult to injury— and now he’s got to deal with an unwanted culinary caregiver on top of it. Never mind that he and Violet shared a steamy, secret kiss last New Year’s Eve. She rejects everything related to the job, and Noah’s not about to be distracted from recovering his memory and getting back to what he does best. No matter how pretty Violet is.

Despite their differences, Violet and Noah share a surprising bond in the kitchen that grows into something neither of them expect. But as Noah heals and their feelings for each other extend from the kitchen to the bedroom, Violet knows she must make an impossible choice. She may wear her heart on her sleeve when it comes to food, but can she risk it all to put love on the line?

Excerpt

As soon as Noah got behind her, the smell of coconuts and warm sand filled his senses, delivering a crystal clear image to his brain. His heart slammed in his ribcage, and without thinking, he cupped Violet’s elbow and swung her around, so tight to his body that he felt her gasp as much as heard it.

“You were in my hospital room yesterday. Before I woke up.”

“I…I—”

But he barreled on, the memory as bright and vivid as if it had just happened a minute ago. “Your hair was braided, on your shoulders, and you were wearing a…a bracelet that sounded like wind chimes. You said the doctor was coming. It was you.”

The fan of her gold-tipped lashes fluttered wide, and the warm puff of her breath heated his cheek as she nodded. “I didn’t mean to intrude. I was looking for Jason, but I didn’t think you’d wake up.”

Noah shook his head to quell her apology. “It doesn’t matter,” he said, his resolve locking into place, and Violet went utterly still against him.

“It doesn’t?”

“No. You’re the first thing I’ve been able to remember since I got shot in the first place. In fact, you’re the only thing I can remember since I got shot.”

Where to find Kimberly and her books

Kimberly Kincaid
Kimberly Kincaid

Love on the Line can be purchased from Amazon by clicking here.

She also has an anthology, The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, coming out from Kensington in the fall, which can be pre-ordered here.

Find her online at:

So, readers, are you a fan of chicken and dumplings? How about cheesecake? (Come on, who isn’t?!) Have you read any good romance novellas lately? Do you think the idea of a foodie romance novella is as fun as I do?

Writers, what about you? Is there a novella in your future? I’m seriously considering one after I turn in Noon Onyx book #3. I’ve been toying with the idea of possibly doing a novella featuring Nightshade, Noon’s twin brother. I think he’d be a fun hero to write about. We’ll see…

Congrats on your release and best wishes for Love on the Line, Kimberly! Thank you for guest blogging today!

Next Two Stops: Dark Light of Day Excerpt & A Monster Rally

Creative Writing Tools — First Drafts and the Scene Summary

I’m over at Writing Secrets of the 7 Scribes today discussing first drafts and the tool I use to create my scenes, the Scene Summary. There’s also a 1,200 word excerpt from the first chapter of Dark Light of Day.

Writers, how do you write your first draft? Slow? Fast? Plotted? Not? How much prep work do you put into building a scene before you actually write it? What drafting tools are in your creative writing tool box?

Readers, come share some of your favorite opening scenes. Which stories have grabbed you from that first paragraph and why? What was the opening scene for the book you’re currently reading?

The Demons of Halja — Dark Light of Day’s Monsters

Since I’m hosting a guest blogger tomorrow, I also wanted to let you know where I’ll be on 9/15/12: Happy Tails and Tales. I’ll be offering a sneak peek at Halja’s demons and will be sharing a brief excerpt from the scene where Noon Onyx, Dark Light of Day’s protagonist, meets a palm sized demon for the very first time.

Saturday’s post is also part rallying cry for those of us who love “monster stories.” If you love vamps, werewolves, demons and the like, stop by Happy Tails and Tales and let your voice be heard!! 😀

Don’t forget, I’m giving away one Ace/Roc SF/F sampler at every stop (US only due to mailing costs) and all commenters (international too!) will be entered to win the $10 eGiftCard (Amazon or B&N, winner’s choice) that I’m giving away at the end of the tour. For info on other prizes I’m offering, see my blog tour page. Hope to see you at 7 Scribes and/or Happy Tails and Tales!