Writing Tools

Visit his website at http://www.matthewlieberbuchman.com/
Visit his website at M. L. BUCHMAN

Yesterday I attended an amazing workshop by M. L. Buchman called “Series Thinking in a Hybrid World.” Hybrid is the term authors now use to explain their publishing options, especially in the genre fiction world where fans want lots of books, now. Some readers want all the books in a series to be available before they begin the series so they will not have to wait months (or years) for the next installment.

A few years ago, M. L. Buchman (Matt) and his wife, a librarian, were facing tough times. With a sense of determination (and some desperation!) he began writing romantic suspense novels. His first series The Night Stalkers was created. Matt has published some of his novels with a traditional publisher (digital and mass-market paperback) and other novels in the same series through Indie venues so they were available between the traditionally released stories. Readers liked having more books, now, and that they are able to get those books in the digital format of their choice.

Matt now has published over thirty novels and has a variety of other publications. I haven’t read any (yet) but some of my writer friends are his fans and his books get 4 & 5 star reviews, and have won reader awards. He also writes nonfiction and short stories.  This was his first workshop on this topic and he’s planning to streamline it and present it at future conferences.

Aside from presenting great information on writing, how-to craft characters in a series to be unique, and a wealth of business insights, Matt also shared his writing process. He will choose a storytelling or writing technique like “cliff hangers” or pacing, or voice or non-verbal dialogue, and make that the primary writing practice for a whole novel or series. This is his method to assure he’s always improving as a writer and bringing something fresh to his readers.

The timing for me to attend this workshop was perfect as I am making solid progress on future novels that will make the currently published one as part of a series. I now have lots more insight into how to turn the organized chaos in my files and writing room into a solid series bible. This will serve me well for more than the projects in process.

I’m also grateful for all the talented authors who share their tools!

Question Answered

Tall Ship in Coos BayWe had a great Mother’s Day in summer like sunshine at our weekend place. The grandsons rode dirt bikes and the six year old was undamaged by his spill through a barbed wire fence into a small stagnant pond. His mom had stopped to caution him on the turn so got to watch – which she said was like watching it happen in slow motion.

The massage I had yesterday was devoted to my neck, shoulders and hands so I’m feeling pretty good again. I’ve been taking care of writerly business stuff and now am ready to return to a novel in process. There was really no doubt which one to give my attention but I like when a nudge from the universe give me a “Yep, on the right track” message.

Paty Jager posted the above picture on Facebook with the  caption, “Spending our anniversary in Coos Bay and this drifts by our hotel.”  That’s my Yep, as Coos Bay is one of the main settings of the novel I set aside last month. Now the storyboard is again set up and binders and books are spread across the dining room table.

Power Wash

Spiked Helmet 1
This is our eldest using Ed’s new power washer to clean her two story home and driveway.

Whew – we’re past the biggie stellar energies and we’ve survived! I believe things will lighten up now and May could be wonderful for many. You can read about this at jbuss astrology – “Everybody survive?”  The most important point is to remember that once we’ve learned a new truth, or had an epiphany, there’s no going back.

The best metaphor I read about this journey is that the symphony within our DNA is now harmonious with the heavens. Doesn’t that sound peachy? Do you hear the music? For me it has felt more like a psychic and physical power wash. For months.

Power washing is an annual requirement for homes, gutters, drives, and everything that endures the Pacific NW environment. Ed has always been one for power tools and I and our girls know how to use them.

Ed is no longer allowed on ladders as he tends to topple, but he can hold the ladder. This means he was under the constant spray as our eldest cleaned the front of her home, and as he had no hat used the most practical thing available. Our five-year-old grandsons bike helmet.

In other news, the weather is awesome and summer like as it was this time last year but I won’t be kayaking in the 80 degree sunshine this week. I have grandbabies to take on walks to the park and a trip to New Orleans in less than two weeks!

A close up view.
A close up view.

My grammy-nanny routine is working out better than I hoped and I’m writing the first draft of my next novel in hundreds of words daily. It’s a horrible disaster; scenes totally out of order, loads of purple prose, hopping heads,  stilted dialogue, and characters floating around naked in gray space because I haven’t fleshed out the setting or picked out their wardrobe.

This is the super fun stage for me but I am embracing this creativity instead of finding the time to write between other tasks. As one reader recently said to me, “There’s no way I could ever write a book. Your brain never turns off, does it?”

Nope. There’s always one part of my brain that is constantly chugging along with the story. (It’s a good thing I am able to multitask.) But that reader comment made me claim my talent. I can write a book. There is no going back. I’ve been power washed. Cue the music.