Elaine, the writer!

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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby Elaine Glimme » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:44 pm

:lol:
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby inspiresuccess » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:37 pm

Elaine,

I have some questions. I've never even written a short story so I have no idea how fiction gets written. Do you know who your characters are before you start? Do you have a plot? Do you know how many chapters it will be? Do you know what the ending will be?

Or do you just start writing and see what happens?
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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:09 pm

Here's what I think:

It's different for every writer, and it's different for every story - short or otherwise.

I start with an idea. It comes out of the newspaper or out of something that happened to me or something I read. Some writers write a synopsis first and then fill it in with description, building their characters, etc. I usually have some idea of where the story is going, but I might not know the ending until - well - the ending. And yes writers get into trouble when they get the whole book written and can't figure out how to end it. Writing involves a lot of rewriting and a LOT of deleting. My first drafts are terrible. If I can't figure out how something happens, I'll write something like THEY GET INTO A FIGHT AND JOE GETS KILLED. Then on the rewrite, I describe what led up to it, the details of the fight, etc. probably a few pages to replace THEY GET INTO A FIGHT AND JOE GETS KILLED.
In my writing group, someone leads and offers a prompt to a group. That's an idea - just to get us going. If you're told, "write about anything you like," it might work, but you might also just stare at the paper and not know where to start. But if you're told, "she poured the tea with a loving smile," you'll probably come up with something. Did she put arsenic in the tea? or was she smiling because she knew that her daughter had finally found true love? And so on.

Writing is therapy for me. I'll write about a problem I'm having, and let my characters solve it.

Writers' Block happens all the time. That's when you just can't think of anything to write. You have no idea what Weasel is going to do to Alex, or how Vivian and Austin will meet or how Alex will get out of jail. The cure for writers block is to write anything. Sometimes I go back and edit what I've written until a new idea pops into my head. Sometimes I write garbage like "this is total garbage but I can't think of anything, and the foil from the candy is lying on the table, and i wish I could come up with something." Of course that all gets deleted later on, but somehow it seems to budge the whole writing process. And sometimes the plot has to percolate in the back of my mind for a while, before a good idea pops up, and I figure out how to get Austin and Vivian together.

A novel takes a long time. For me, I have visions of whipping it out in a couple of months, but it takes me years. My friend Caroline puts out great prose and it seems to just happen. I do a heck of a lot of editing. I go through and rewrite everything about thirty times before I figure it's good enough. And after it's published, I find mistakes and things that could still be improved on. Some parts come out pretty good right away, most don't.

Writing classes help. You flesh out characters by describing their actions, and talk about their thoughts and feelings. Dialogue is a good way to build characters. Descriptions are hard for me. i usually describe something in a boring manner, and then cut and cut, until it's more enjoyable to read.

I hate to tell you how many times I've gone through "Stage Two" of the three stages of excitement (Everything is terrible, why did I ever decide to write this?). I usually get there when I read something I've written and decide it's terrible. I talk to myself and remind myself about other things I've written that started out terrible, and ended up as something I was happy with. When I get stuck "Writers' Block" I usually end up at stage two.

Having other people to read my work to and to share ideas with, is very helpful. (yes, i like to end sentences with a preposition.)
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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby inspiresuccess » Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:10 pm

Thanks for the description. It's fascinating.

What's a preposition?
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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby SquarePeg » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:22 am

A preposition is something that you don't want to end a sentence with. Like I just did. :)

Thanks so much for taking time to detail your process, Elaine!

The extent of my writing is limited to my private journal and blog posts, which are mostly auto-biographical (is that right?) or non-fiction essays. So "plot," to me, is just another four letter word. ;)
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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby inspiresuccess » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:11 pm

SquarePeg wrote: ..."plot," to me, is just another four letter word. ;)


:lol:

I don't know what a plot is, but I think it's the actual story itself, as in -- first this happened, then that happened, etc.

Is that right, Elaine?

P.S. I'm putting my writing questions and comments here, so as not to interrupt the flow of Searching for Kansas. I'll keep my responses there to my comments about the actual novel. I hope others do that, too, so that we can read the novel with as little interruption as possible.

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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby Elaine Glimme » Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:16 am

Yes, Inspire that's what a plot is. It's the story; it's what happens and what happens next.

Square Peg, my plots are usually inspired by real events and real people. Example - your posting that Shadow could hold two balls in him mouth at the same time led to the story about his winning the World Series (with help from the rest of the Boston Red Sox.)

Sounds like your a non-fiction type. And you're good at it. I enjoy your blog. And I suspect fiction wouldn't sit too well with your work as an engineer.

The trouble with fiction is that it's like trying to drive to Atlanta without a map or a Bluetooth. And I used to have arguments with myself, "But that didn't really happen." "That's okay, you're writing fiction." "But it's like lying." "No it's not; it's fiction."

Anyway, when I figure out what I'm going to do with Weasel, it'll be a real high moment.

Thanks for the questions and comments. I love them.
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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby SquarePeg » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:32 pm

I'm sure I would argue with myself, too, if I were writing fiction! And as an engineer, I would insist that all events would obey the laws of physics.
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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby inspiresuccess » Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:56 am

Elaine,

I hope this is a good place to ask you about writing. Sharing with us might help you realize how far you've come, how much you've learned, the obstacles along the way that you've overcome, etc. It would be educational for us, but may also help you, too. I find that when I explain, share, teach, it makes me realize that I know more than I think I do!

Here's my question today. How do people get reviews for their work? When I read novels, I always read the reviews on the back cover. I frequently wonder how they get reviewed.
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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby Elaine Glimme » Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:00 pm

Good question, Inspire Success how do you get reviews?

Short answer - I don't know.

Longer answer - I think: If the book is professionally published, the publicist submits the book to the New York Times, Washington Post, etc. and asks for a review. I assume the publicist gets to choose whether to use the review or not.

If you self publish, ask your friends for a review. Barbara Sher will probably write a review if you're someone who's a member of Hanging Out or the Boards, or something else she's involved with. But she's around 81, so she's slowing down a little. Still, she's doing the write/speak workshop and their launch is in September.

If you know someone famous, ask him/her.

If you find out anything else, let me know.
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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby inspiresuccess » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:48 pm

Elaine Glimme wrote:Good question, Inspire Success how do you get reviews?

If you find out anything else, let me know.


I will. It's something I plan to research. I know getting reviews really ups your chances for your book to be seen. The only knit magazine left is Vogue Knitting. I'd love to have my design book reviewed by them. I'm sure you're right, though. It would have to be published not self-published. I think a really intriguing question is how to get a self-published book reviewed and where. So many people are self-publishing these days.
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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby inspiresuccess » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:59 pm

Elaine,

Now that I'm creating a book I want to publish, I'm going to be doing a huge amount of research on things like how to get your book reviewed, how to market your book, etc. Instead of creating a blog, website, etc. I'm going to be researching how to create the strongest most professional blog, website, etc. before I even create one.

I'd love to share that info as I go along. I'm going to start a thread with that goal. I don't know what I'll call it or what forum to put it in. I'll let you know.

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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby inspiresuccess » Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:48 pm

new thread in general discussion...
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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby inspiresuccess » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:33 pm

Hi Elaine,

How old were you when you decided you wanted to be a novelist?
What inspired you?
Did you read a lot of novels?
Did you write when you were a kid?
How soon did you start your 2nd novel, after you finished the first one?
Did Barbara Sher's books inspire you to become a novelist?
Which books and why?

Some questions for you late at night when you don't feel like writing, or reading, or facing the challenges in your life!

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Re: Elaine, the writer!

Postby Elaine Glimme » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:38 am

Since you asked . . .

As a kid I was very left-brained, math and science type. I wrote a couple of poems especially as a teen when I was in love, but not very much. I started writing songs when my daughter was born, and when I discovered that there is a God who loves me. But music is not my gift. I wrote some kid stories while my daughter was little.

In my forties, I got a job as a hazardous materials specialist (haz mat,) and saw things that made good fodder for writing. My first book, "A Dive in the Dumpster - How to Find Romance and Hazardous Waste." (Great title, mediocre book) came from that.

By the way, most writers begin by writing about their life.

Then I took a couple of writing classes, and in 2010 I started a blog. I decided to write one short story each month, and I did that (barely.)

As a haz mat I took a class on weapons of mass destruction. Then, in 2011 when anthrax hit the newspapers, I realized that what they were saying couldn't be right, and that the anthrax was more likely coming out of the White House than out of Afghanistan. That was the beginning of "Temporary Address." Newspapers gave me inspiration for "Temporary Address." (That's why it's kind of heavy.) Self published "Temporary address" in 2012. Then I realized that the story wasn't finished. It had an ending, but I wanted to know what happened next. What would happen to Johanna and Alex. And Brat was a perfect fit for Occupy. So that's why I'm writing the sequel. And it might end up as two sequels, since my characters are in three different countries. And I guess I've gotten over my anger, because the sequel is a lot lighter than "Temporary Address."

Took a break from the hard stuff and wrote "The Molly Chronicles." That all started when Molly began posting on my blog.

I like to read, but I don't read as much as some people, as much as most writers.

Probably "Wishcraft" and "I Could Do Anything If I Knew What it Was" are the Sher books that inspired me the most. I'm not really a scanner. And I've seen Barbara's PBS broadcasts. Each book has a different twist, but her main message is the same in all of them. Do it. And I get a lot of encouragement from the Boards here.

Thanks for asking.
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