Category Archives: writing

My Poor Neglected Back-Burner Story

I started writing the rough draft for my Hansel and Gretel inspired young adult book back in February 2010. I’ve worked on it off and on throughout the years – although most of 2014 past without me even opening the file – but my progress keeps getting interrupted by different projects, like in 2012 when the idea for The Trouble with Snowmen (Trouble with Men series summer 2015) hit me, and it wouldn’t let me go until I finished writing it … and then, you know, I had to write book 2 (The Trouble with Scarecrows).

A few months ago, I dusted it off and read over it, and these were some of my thoughts:

  • I should have taken better notes.
  • My rough drafts are more like outlines. Unfinished, vague outlines …
  • It doesn’t matter where I intended this story to go before, it will either come back to me or new ideas (better ones hopefully) will emerge.
  • The concept is solid, I can work with this.

This has been my main project but now I have something else tapping me on the shoulder – book 3 of the Trouble with Men series – But I want to at least get finished with a solid rough draft … or at least take better notes. Well, hopefully one day this poor story will make it to second draft!

Love and Laughter,
Dorlana

Do’s and Don’ts From Dorlana’s Writing Desk

Over the years I’ve developed habits while writing, some good and some bad. Here are a few of my personal do’s and don’ts when writing/editing.

  • Do email myself a copy of the draft I’m working on everyday. Not only does this save a file in case my computer crashes (I’ve lost 50 pages before) it also gives me a writing record. Accountability.
  • Don’t stop writing (rough draft) when frustrated. I have to remember that writing a character into a corner can create fabulous, productive frustration. That is not the time to walk away. That is the time to dig in, think, and analyze. It’s the magic portal past that top layer of fluffy clichés and memories of already written stories, to the raw imagination. Here is more on my thoughts about frustration and writing. Frustration: a writer’s BFF 
  • Do sit up straight. I’m constantly having to tell myself this.
  • Don’t ignore story changes/suggestions/critiques. When I first read through a critique, sometimes I’ll disagree with a suggestion. But then I have to remind myself: if something took the reader out of my story, something is wrong. It might not be what the reader thinks it is, but there’s a problem that needs fixing. Here is more on my thoughts about critiques: Don’t Take Critiques at Face Value.
  • Do trust myself and my work. I had a dream the other night that an artist was frantically rearranging her pictures on display at an art show. She couldn’t get them perfect. I told her she knew colors and she knew balance and at some point she had to trust herself. I then told her to stop and walk away and come back later to take a fresh look. ( I’m trying to take my own advice.)
  • Don’t bring an entire box of snacks to my desk. I get hungry when I type ….
  • Do put cut scenes in a separate computer file. I’m not a pack-rat in normal life, but in my writing life I’m like, “I might need that someday.” And even though I don’t think I’ve ever retrieved anything, it takes away all the anxiety when I highlight a page (or sentence) and hit delete. I’m not deleting it … I’m just moving it.

What are your personal do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing?

Love and Laughter, Dorlana

Birthday EBook Giveaway

Hi Friends,

4 of my 5 eBooks will be free on  July 9th. This will give you a chance to grab a book you missed or become a first time reader.  (I have five eBooks, however, only four are eligible for giveaways at this time. )

Jaclyn's Ghost

Jaclyn’s Ghost by Dorlana Vann

Jaclyn’s Ghost by Dorlana Vann

Ghosts, Mystery, and Fashion.

Can this diva solve her own murder, or will she be stuck in limbo forever?

Supernatural Mystery, Romantic Comedy

Amazon U.S. (Kindle)

Amazon.co.uk (Kindle)

Supernatural Fairy Tales

Supernatural Fairy Tales by Dorlana Vann

Supernatural Fairy Tales by Dorlana Vann

fairy tale + paranormal element = supernatural fairy tale

a collection of paranormal short stories inspired by fairy tales

Silverweed by Dorlana Vann

Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale by Dorlana Vann

Silverweed: a supernatural fairy tale by Dorlana Vann

In this Little Red Riding Hood-inspired supernatural fairy tale,

the roles of prey and predator become interchangeable.

  Young Adult, Dark Fantasy

Amazon US

Amazon.co.uk

The Princes of Tangleforest by Dorlana Vann

The Princes of Tangleforest by Dorlana Vann

 

The Princes of Tangleforest by Dorlana Vann

How do you change Frogs Nerds

into Princes the popular kids ?

Young Adult, fairy tale inspired

Amazon U.S. (Kindle)

Amazon.co.uk (Kindle)

Writer’s Playlist

Here’s a fun list of songs for all you “Crazy” writers out there.

It’s difficult to know when to stop editing but eventually you have to “Let it Go.” Just remember “The Waiting is the Hardest Part.” And “It’s a Long Way to the top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)“. Whatever you do, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” you “Beautiful Dreamer,” you.

Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey

“The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty

“Let it Go” by Idina Menzel

“Beautiful Dreamer” by The Beatles

“Crazy” by Aerosmith

“It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)” –  AC/DC

 

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana

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