April 9, 2019 · 6:00 am
by Lillian Csernica on April 9, 2017
In the UK they have a saying. “More haste, less speed.” Sounds paradoxical, right? The meaning is simple. The faster you rush through a task, the better the chances of making mistakes. You will then have to go back and correct the mistakes, slowing down your overall progress.
Way back at the beginning of my efforts to write stories for publication, I was so excited I would blaze through my drafts. I really didn’t have a solid grasp of proper story structure, and it showed. Oh boy, how it showed. I was also impatient to fire those stories off in the mail, hoping for my first acceptance letter. What I got was a lot of form rejection letters.
Don’t be in such a hurry. Take the time to learn your craft.
Here comes another paradox: Go ahead and power through that first draft. Don’t think too hard, don’t worry too much. Just get the story down on paper. The creative rush that makes you want to write a story is one of the best parts of this business.
Now that you have something written down, you’ve got something that can be pondered, expanded, rewritten, and cut back.
Back in the beginning of my career, I wanted to dive right into writing a novel. I had no idea what I was doing. I tried to build a plot by reading how-to manuals and piecing together my ideas. What I quickly learned was how big and how daunting the work of writing a novel really is. It takes a lot longer than people realize, even when you know what you’re doing.
Fortunately, I made a good decision and let all the research I’d done implode into a short story. That story became Fallen Idol, which I sold to William Raley at After Hours Magazine. That story was later accepted by Karl Edward Wagner for The Year’s Best Horror Stories XXI.
You want to be a writer? Write. You want to be a published writer? Learn how to tell a story. Respect the art you want to create. Respect the craft that has been practiced, explored, and improved upon by great minds for centuries.
Filed under #atozchallenge, artists, Blog challenges, classics, creativity, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, Lillian Csernica, publication, research, Writing
Tagged as beginning, career, craft, Karl Edward Wagner, novel, Ray Bradbury, story structure, William Raley
November 2, 2018 · 12:06 am
by Lillian Csernica on November 1, 2018
Oh my stars and garters. I’ve been going like a maniac for days now. Friday–Halloween party. Saturday–trip through a Haunted House. Sunday–groceries, laundry, pizza, as well as prepping for the Kick Off Party. Monday–the Kick Off party! Tuesday–taking John to tae kwon do. And of course Wednesday was Halloween!
People ask me how I get any writing done. It’s simple. I do it whenever I get the chance. On Tuesday I was sitting there with my notebook on my knee writing while John was out on the mat with his tae kwon do class. At this point I’m busy typing in everything I wrote during #nanoprep in October. Still, I must keep writing every day. That’s the deal.
We’re going to EuCon again this month. John is once again in charge of the Art Bus. This means five days on the road. It will be a real challenge making sure I hit the daily quota when my brain is fried from driving for hours or working the con. I’ve already proven I can write in my sleep, so I might need that skill again and soon!
Then there’s John’s birthday and Thanksgiving! The excitement never stops!
I’m going to write. Every day. A whole new book.
To all my fellow WriMos out there, I wish you all the best as you embark on your journeys of creativity.
Filed under birthday, creativity, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, Lillian Csernica, parenting, steampunk, Writing
Tagged as #nanoprep, Artie the Art Bus, Bruce Campbell, EuCon, fun, inspiration, NaNoWriMo, novel, travel
November 30, 2016 · 7:40 pm
by Lillian Csernica on November 30, 2016
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Bouquet of Rivals, Book 3 of The Flower Maiden Saga, weighs in at 50,064 words.
Filed under Awards, creativity, dreams, editing, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, history, Japan, Kyoto, Lillian Csernica, love, research, romance, travel, Writing
Tagged as celebration, challenge, NaNoWriMo, novel, victory, winner
November 25, 2016 · 1:10 am
by Lillian Csernica on November 24, 2016
I have just reached the 40,000 word mark.
Six more days. 10,000 more words.
A whole new novel.
And I just received the inspiration that will be a key piece of plotting Book Four.
Filed under creativity, editing, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, Japan, Kyoto, Lillian Csernica, Writing
Tagged as endurance, NaNoWriMo, novel, success
June 11, 2016 · 10:38 pm
by Lillian Csernica on June 11, 2016
We’d been together for years. It’s hard to remember a time when we haven’t been together. I knew it would be a big commitment. What we’ve built together is strong. There are good days. There are bad days. In the end, we’ve always ended up working at it together again.
Then it happened.
I didn’t see it coming. I really didn’t. One minute I was trudging along in my happy little rut, taking care of that day’s To Do list. The next….
Nothing equals the excitement of a new beginning. A fresh start, full of all the possibilities, the starry-eyed joy that you feel before any of the mistakes start happening.
I wanted to stay up all night. I wanted it to last forever. That feeling. That sense of power, of fulfillment. It’s addictive. It’s also a trap.
The fast fix. The one night stand. Getting it all in one quick and dirty burst.
Short stories are such sluts. They’ll let anybody write them.
I’d betrayed my novel. It sat there at home, waiting for me, while I was off having a fling with A New Idea.
It’s so difficult. At times the temptation is intense. I just want a project I can finish! I love typing “END.” Is that so wrong?
My novel has to come first. Oh, I can have my little stories on the side, but I have to do the day’s work on my novel first. Then, if I have any energy left, any lingering “unmet needs,” only then can I go run off and play with some trollop of a short story.
They call it “career management,” but it feels a lot more like couples therapy.
Filed under creativity, Depression, editing, fairy tales, Family, fantasy, Fiction, frustration, Goals, historical fiction, history, Humor, Lillian Csernica, love, marriage, perspective, publication, research, romance, therapy, Writing
Tagged as addiction, Book Writing, cheating, fidelity, flash fiction, novel, short stories
November 21, 2014 · 2:23 pm
by Lillian Csernica on November 21, 2014
As of this moment, my official word count is 37,100. That leaves 12,900 words to be written in the next 9 days. 1433 with a repeating decimal per day and I’ll bring it in by the 30th. I’ve been writing between 1700 and 2000 per day, so the NaNoWriMo site tells me I’m looking at hitting the finish line on the 27th. Thanksgiving Day. Holy cats.
I have to say, I am doing what I really hadn’t thought I could do. 10,000 words per week? That’s 40 pages, according to standard ms format. Writing every single day, come hell or high water? Now that the rainy season has finally arrived, high water is not an impossibility, given that one border of my property is marked by a creek. As for the hell…. Some days are better than others, some days are worse, but the writing still has to get done, yes?
I must confess that this week I’ve had to push myself harder to get the work done. November is one of my busier months. Michael’s name day is Nov. 7th, the Feast of the Synaxis of the Archangels. There are four important birthdays this month, including my father’s on the 18th and John’s on the 23rd. And then we have Thanksgiving. This alone involves a complex list of questions and decisions that have to be made and remade every year:
- Where are we eating?
- Who is eating with us?
- What are we eating? Who can eat what? What can’t we have due to food allergies, lactose or gluten intolerance, and any possible philosophical or religious conflicts?
- Do we have enough room? Where will we put the kids?
- And then there’s the usual chaos surrounding making sure we have all the cooking utensils, pots, pans, baking necessities and enough matching pieces of everything to set a nice table.
This year, for some reason I’ve decided to get crazy and make some napkin rings. Curse you, Pinterest! You have so many pretty pictures, and you make it all sound so easy! I raided a fabric store today for craft glue, ribbons, and a bizarre variety of buttons. You know you’ve gone off the deep end when the ladies who work at the store can’t resist asking what you plan to make. That particular pile of supplies will go toward both napkin rings and Christmas ornaments. That explanation lowered the Weird Level of my purchases to something that made sense.
And yet I cannot allow myself to be distracted! No messing around with craft projects until my daily word quota has been written! One of the big reasons I enjoy making jewelry is because it works parts of my brain that I don’t necessarily use while I’m writing. I use a different department in the Idea Factory, so to speak. It also keeps my hands busy while the novel’s characters are having private meetings in the back of my mind. They’re busy making decisions and mounting conspiracies, so when I go back to the keyboard to have another go at writing, I’ll discover mutiny on the page. They wanna do what they wanna do. The great part about NaNoWriMo is I just let my fictional people run wild. This is like the Dress Rehearsal. Get it out of your systems now, boys and girls! That way when we buckle down for Opening Night, we’re ready to put on the professional performance.
Still, it is hard to maintain momentum over this long a haul when I’ve never done it before. Gotta get there. Gotta make it to the finish line, if only to give my agent a heart attack when I tell her I’ve already written half of the sequel to Sword Master, Flower Maiden. It’s important to know how to motivate yourself, right?
The Idea Factory
Filed under Awards, birthday, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Family, Fiction, Food, Goals, history, Japan, romance, Special needs, Writing
Tagged as crafts, NaNoWriMo, novel, Thanksgiving
March 30, 2014 · 9:01 pm
by Lillian Csernica on March 30, 2014
Here’s a very useful article from a very helpful blog. Enjoy!
Continue reading →
Filed under fantasy, Fiction, Goals, history, Horror, Humor, romance, science fiction, Writing
Tagged as novel, plot, story, throughline