Inspiration Time

November 12, 2013

Bitch-goddess Word Count demands a blood sacrifice.

NaNoWriMo 2013 is kicking my ass.  I am keeping on top of my word count, but I didn't outline this year's novel as thoroughly as I did my other two NaNo drafts, so I feel like I'm winging it.

Flying blind is not a feeling that I enjoy.  When I finish with this blog, I'm going to go beat my notes into submission until they yield to me and the violence inherent in my nature.

I kid.  I'm about as violent as a button mushroom.

Today, I cruised the Internetz and found pictures of the two celebrities who look the most like the male and female protagonists of the novel I'm working on this month.  Here they are.

What attractive people these two are.  Amanda Seyfried and Joe Manganiello.

Besides helping me write better physical descriptions, gathering photos of my characters is a great procrastination tool.  Because then this happens.

Come sit with me on the couch.  Image from
And then this.

Come sit with me on this rock.  Image from

And God help me, this.

I know you can't wait for Magic Mike 2.  Image from

But romance writers do not live on meat alone.  So, switching gears (just a little), here are a few quotes I've been thinking about as I slog my way through NaNoWriMo.

One of my favorites, from Mary Bly/Eloisa James:
Romances feel to me like a conversation between the woman who wrote the book and myself as a reader. Women talk about desire, but they also talk about the difficulties of building a new partnership with an old friend, or negotiating the shoals of a fragile marriage....Focusing solely on the sensual content of romances and deriding them as bodice-rippers leads to the assumption that America is full of women gobbling up romance novels because they're sexually frustrated and want to be overpowered by a strong man. These days, however, a romance heroine is likely to toss her own bra, and if buttons are skittering on the floor, they're quite possibly shirt studs....We all long for stories with narrative drive, stories that talk about relationships, and stories that aren't riddled with violence or death. Romances reflect no more than what most of us hope for in daily life - and that includes being lucky enough to experience shared desire.
 Next, from Neil Gaiman:
That’s how novels get written....You write. That’s the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die. Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
And from Elizbeth Sims:
As Ernest Hemingway famously said, “The first draft of anything is shit.”...Why does a coherent first draft give birth to a stilted finished product? Because it means you haven’t let it flow. You haven’t given yourself permission to make mistakes because you haven’t forgiven yourself for past ones. Admit it: Unless your throttle’s wide open, you’re not giving it everything you’ve got...Learn to love anarchy.  Ignore sequence while writing your first draft. Beginning writers will often say, “I’ve got the basic story figured out, but I don’t know how to present it so it hangs together. I’m never sure what should come next.”  Nothing is as freeing as writing what comes to mind next, not necessarily what must come next. Transitions are unimportant. Hey, don’t take my word for it—trust John Dos Passos, Patricia Highsmith, Mark Twain and William Shakespeare. Exposition is always less important than you think it is. Just focus on what happens next...It’s paradoxical that giving up control rewards you with what you seek most: concise, insightful work.
Oh, and I forgot to say that in the middle of all this NaNoWriMo stuff, I finished another short story for a call for submissions--7,200 words that don't count toward my total...unless I figure out how to work a Viking MMF erotica scene into a bubbly contemporary romance. Maybe this is what Sims means above when she writes, "Transitions are unimportant."

So, in light of that, here's a parting shot before I get back to writing.

Thanks, Joe.  Image from


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