• The Writer

    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

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    April 2018
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  • Quotes

    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
    ~Flannery O'Connor

    You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
    ~Arthur Polotnik

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "There are forms of insanity that condemn people to hear voices against their will, but as writers we invite ourselves to hear voices without relinquishing our hold on reality or our right to control."
    ~Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

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Editing, Openings, and Snoopy

When you just can’t figure out a good opening…

326cdcb4d02ec72aba2b7087586f0078I have a novel that has been around for seven years.  Yup.  SEVEN YEARS.  I first wrote it when I was fifteen.  Then I rewrote. Then I rewrote it again…and again…and again… It’s labeled as being in it’s third draft in my documents folder, but really, it’s probably in it’s twentieth. (I just didn’t start keeping track of the drafts until later.)  This novel was my first, so it’s a bit special.  (Very special since I wrote it seven years ago and I’m still editing it… first books, what can I say.)  At least with each edit and rewrite it IS getting better…slowly

In all the years it’s been around, in all the edits and rewrites, I still can’t open the thing.  A good, grab you by the throat, opening still eludes me.  So, I’m finally going to try something I’ve done with other stories to jump start them. (Why I haven’t try it with this one yet… I really don’t know.)  Not actually start it at the beginning.  I’m going to pick a spot where events start getting interesting and write from there.  If there needs to be more back story I’ll figure out how to get it in there as I go along, if not, great!  If I need a different beginning, maybe just having the rewrite of the story started  will help clear up a perfect beginning.

I’ve heard of other writer’s doing this.  Even read that you should cut the first three chapters of a rough draft because more than likely you don’t need them.  So, I’m cutting them and starting somewhere else.  We’ll see if this works or not for me and this story.  Fingers crossed.


Heart of Hope Born Again

It’s happened.  My first novel Heart of Hope has been pulled off the shelf after almost three years of sitting.  I’ve blown off the dust and cracked open the pages and ever so slowly, new things are taking shape.

A few weeks ago my mind brought it up again, turning over ideas for changes, fixes for plot wholes I couldn’t figure out then.  It took a while, but Heart of Hope is finally growing up and maturing into something I can work with.  It’s going to be a different book when I’m done with it, but with the same people, same ideals, same places, and the same story.  (Same song different tune if you will.)

The plot has changed.  Two (soon to be three) characters have new names, and there’s a new twist in events.  I’m excited about it again. 🙂

I think I have my work cut out for me.  I’m sitting on Choices for a while, developing a new world, outlining/writing two stories set in that world, editing Heart of Hope again, and, working on an epic story with my husband.  Few!  Believe it or not, that’s how I keep myself writing, lots of projects at one time.  Keeps my mind in the writing mode. 😉  (Plus I get to world jump.  Who wouldn’t want to do that!)

There you have it, my latest writing update.

Until next time… may the Force be with you, stay out of the shadows, aim to misbehave and never meddle in the affairs of dragons.

How NOT to NaNo: “And” is Not the Answer

“and” is a filler word, but most of the time it’s unneeded.  Usually you can get by without using the word “and”.  Next time you’re about to type out “and”, try the sentence without it first, or with a sub-word.  (Dialogue is the exception.  You can do anything with dialogue.)

If you do a word search for “and” in your manuscript and the page looks like this… you need to do some cutting.

Oh. And please don’t begin a sentence with “and”… incorrect grammar pet peeve right there. (Yes, I know I just began that sentence with “and”. See my point? 😛 )

I do not know how long we song and drank, but eventually I drew weary and the friar insisted we had gone on long enough and ended the revelry and made me lay down to sleep.  He mixed some tart and sweet herbs in to a cup of mead and gave it to me to drink.  I downed it and very quickly, my spinning head settled and sleep was all I wanted.  And so I lay down and slept, all that night and well into the morning.

William and I remained with the friar for a month.  I wanted to leave sooner, but the friar insisted I was in no condition to travel and so we stayed, much to my great annoyance, and even though I quite liked the friar, I would have much rather have been on my way to Locksley instead of sitting in bed all the day long.  But the friar said it could not be helped, and I need rest and that was that, and I learned very quickly, in the hovel that was his little domain, and the friar’s word was the last word and lay.

You don’t won’t one sentence looking like this either…

The day we set out it rained, and rained, and rained and rained and rained and rained and rained until I thought William and I would be drowned by it all.

Or this…

The knight tried again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and

(Of course, it could be argued, for NaNoWroMo this is okay.  It’s an easy cut, but if you’re going for the free copy, do you really want that in there?)


Archimedes M. Quinn

Every writer has an inner editor.  Each editor is as different in personality as their writer is from another writer.  Some have names, some do not, while others are known simply as Ed.  Mine, well, his names is Archie.  Actually, that’s his nickname, his full name is Archimedes M. Quinn.

Archie has been around for quite some time, but recently he decided he was going to come out of his little inner editor shell he put himself into inside my head and let me get to know him better.

I’m sure all of you are wondering, “What kind of an inner editor calls himself Archimedes M. Quinn?”  (btw, he gave himself that name, I had nothing to do with it.)  Well, I shall tell you.

Archie is a red-headed, perfectionist-realist-skeptic.  That’s right.  He thinks of himself as some sort of James Bond, Doctor Who cross over, (not kidding) and is obsessed with his wardrobe.  He likes to be well dressed and tends to look down on inner editors who do not take their appearance as seriously as he does.  (Yes, that means he’s a bit of a snob.  Where did I get such an inner editor?)   His interests include (but are not limited to), rapiers, bow ties, pocket watches and owls.  (Not to mention diving his writer crazy.)  He most recently informed me that he had a pet Spectacled Owl named Theophilus.

There’s Archie, pocketed into one paragraph, though he says I’m exaggerating on some of his lesser qualities, therefore, I shall tell you about his better qualities.  First off, his skepticism.  Yes, I see this as a good quality.  It keeps me on my toes.  If he’s skeptical of something *cough*my romance writing*cough* it forces me to rethink what I’m doing and make sure I’m showing it correctly.  (Though, if it’s a rough draft I usually just tell him to take a hike and come back for the revision.)  Even his perfectionism and realist POV can be good qualities.  Though maybe annoying, they really do help.

Archie and I tend to argue allot, but in the end we’re still writer and inner editor and get along pretty well.  (And he’s slowly learning to be nice.)  There you have it, you have now been introduced to my inner editor, aka, the personality in my head that keeps me thinking, aka, the side of me that was so frustrating it needed it’s own character. 😉

P.S.  Here’s a picture of Archie and one of a Spectacled Owl.

Spectacled Owl Pulsatrix perspicillata

Spectacled Owl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editing Like There is No Tomorrow

Just a note to let you all know that when you suddenly notice there hasn’t been a new blog post in a week or more it’s because I ran away to the world of Aeden and am editing like a mad man.  Okay, maybe not like a mad man, but like a mad writer, yes, a mad writer.

Archie (my inner editor) and I are kicking ourselves into gear with edits on Choices and I will now be devoting all my spare time to finishing the second draft before my trip in June.  I am also concentrating on getting Chances reading for a rough draft.  So I shall be a very busy writer.

When I have a “day off” I shall remember my blog and all the readers who follow it and give you all an update (and maybe a clip 🙂 ) of what’s been going on.  And from time to time I might even write about something philosophical or substantial on occasion. 🙂

Hope you all are having an awesome week!  Until the next time!

God bless,

~The Mad Writer

I shall try to keep producing videos for your enjoyment every so often as well.

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