When I began writing I had no idea what I was doing. I’d received a copy of Stephenie Meyer’s book, Twilight on my anniversary, November 1st. That week I read the series. From the first week in November to the last week in January I read some 18 more vampire novels, most of which were romances. Then I decided to write my own book.
I wasn’t the best student in high school or college, believing that I knew all I needed to know. (Funny how a little age can help you realize just how much you don’t know!) I didn’t know the first thing about writing a book. All I knew was I had an idea.
Since that time I’ve read countless craft books and attended many conferences, worked with the most wonderful critique partners and editors. With each book I’ve written my writing has improved. I continue to learn as I go, reading more books on craft and analyzing my writing.
However, too much analyzing makes the creative mind silent. When I focus on questions like “am I developing this character enough” or “is there enough conflict” or “what’s the theme of this book,” my creativity is stymied.
As writers we have to challenge ourselves to write stories that not only hook the reader, but keep them sucked into the story, rooting for the protagonist through the full book. We have to push ourselves to make our writing better, stronger, more vibrant.
But we also have to relax. We have to read for pleasure. We have let our minds wander to the place they go for ideas and freedom. We can’t always be in a state of “working.”
Writers are first and foremost readers. We love to read. We need to read. It’s what makes us write better. That ability to fall into a story and forget the rest of the world for a period of time is a paradise that everyone can relate to.
When I find myself at a loss for words, unable to get my story moving, I know I have not allowed myself time to be “off of work.” I’m spending every minute on my story (or busy with life) and not spending any time filling the well.
It’s summertime, which means beach season for me. I’ve read several books on the shiny new Kindle I purchased a few weeks back. I’m working my way through some classics this summer. I’ve just started on Tarzan, having seen the movie with Alexander Skarsgard, which I highly recommend.
I hope you’re taking time to “fill the well” and enjoy some great reads.
Here’s an excerpt from Her Vampire’s Promise, Novella One in the Romance In Central City Series. Free on all retailers. It’s a great beach read.
The woman beside Reade huffed. “Assholes.” Her voice muffled into her glass as she tipped her head back, letting the last few drops of her sugary drink roll into her mouth.
He watched her long neck swallow and felt an ache in his gut. He hadn’t fed tonight. In fact, he hadn’t fed in two nights. Without realizing he swallowed along with her.
Despite her incessant babbling, something about her intrigued him. Her scent was familiar, though he was certain he hadn’t encountered her before. The pretty little crazy ones were impossible to forget. They were the ones who sparked his interest.
She banged her mug onto the bar and waved the bartender over. “Mic, I’ll have another.”
The bald man glanced over his shoulder, turning his head so slowly Reade wondered if he’d ever stop. He gave her an almost unnoticeable nod and headed to the blender.
“Make sure you add the liquor this time.” She snickered at the tattooed Neanderthal. “Cheap bastard. Always trying to cheat the customer. Like I need to be jerked around by him, too.”
The bartender shook his head. “You’re the one who ordered the virgin daiquiri.”
“What are you laughing at?” She gave him a sideways glance, her pale blue eyes narrowing to slits. “You laughing at me, too?” She turned to face him, resting one hand on the bar.
Her right hand balled to a fist, and she clenched her jaw.
Reade couldn’t help but smile. She’d said she was pissed. She’d spent the last twenty minutes ranting about why. She’d been very clear about wanting to smash someone. The little thing wanted her fight, and she was willing to have it with anyone.
But a fight was not part of his plan tonight, least of all with a woman.
“I’ve had just about all I’m going to take of being laughed at today. So, unless you want me to move that stupid grin to the back of your head, I suggest you lose it.” She leaned forward, one hand gripping the bar hard enough to turn her fingers white. The other hand curled so tightly her nails had to be cutting into her palms.
The pungent scent of anger perfumed the air. Anger and blood.
Reade shook his head. The poor girl was just aching for a chance to unleash a world of pent-up rage. She was so consumed by her anger she couldn’t possibly be thinking straight.
What woman challenged a man twice her size, a stranger even, and never mind the fact that he was a more lethal predator than she could possibly know?
If she held a gun in her hand, she still stood no chance against him. With vampire speed and the ability to seduce any woman or man he had no worries. He hadn’t lost a fight in years, decades, quite possibly two centuries.
His gaze dropped from her face. With her chest puffed up her boobs stood out nicely. He guessed her size to be a full C cup, if not a D. His mouth watered. What he wouldn’t like to do to her. The possibilities were endless.
“That’s it.” She jumped up from her seat. “You were warned.”
Reade saw the blur of her hand. He even noticed the lion’s head carved in her ring before it made contact with his nose. The fact he was lying flat on his back on the barroom floor was less surprising than the echoing sound of bones crunching under the power of her little fist. His ears rang with that awful noise.
“Ow!” He grabbed his nose, pressing fingers on either side and forcing it back into a straight line. “What the hell are you doing, woman?”