Archive for the ‘Writing Craft’ Category

Writing tools I already have


16 Jul

Today’s writing was a mere 30 minutes of editing before the gym. I’m still liking this story – a lot.

Today’s writing: 30 min before the plane leaves!


I’m packing to go on holiday today, starting my first writing break of the year. I’m a little nervous about taking 2 weeks completely off writing today so I’m trying to figure out what I can do that’s writing related but not as formal as writing and editing. Options are reading contemporary romance to get more into it, reading books on writing, beta reading (I should really do that) or reading a goal oriented self help book to motivate me and give me better direction. I’m not sure yet but by tomorrow I should have a good idea of what works.

What I learned today:

I’m toying with giving sexy contemporary romance a real try (i.e. keep going with that genre) and I made a list of the tools I have to help me write those. Here it is:

“I have already tools to write romance!”

- The clear GMC method to write a blurb and set the story I got a long time ago from a workshop.
- The conflict grid – again from a workshop.
- Characters traits: defined using tricks from Jim Butcher’s blog.
- Characters sheet from Mary Buckman’s book.
- Characters questions from Donald Mass’ book.
- Save the Cat method to storyboard and plot.
- TV tropes for story idea.
- my own way to craft sexy love scenes!

And that’s what I have so far!

Editing, planning,
Marie-Claude xoxox

Location:Seattle

Goodbye for now…


05 May


Well this is the time to say goodbye to this blog for an undetermined time, maybe for good. I haven’t been very active in the last few months mostly because I am concentrating on my writing. I am working on some great projects and want to give them my full attention both time and creativity wise.

Blogging regularly takes a lot of one’s mental energy and as writers I think we have to decide where to put all that creativity. For me, it’s at the page, in my manuscripts. This is where lies my “happy writing place.”


So I have decided to blog a lot less and only at Musetracks, a popular blog for writers that I am very proud of. We started it as unpublished authors with big dreams and now we are still great friends and writing partners and the blog has grown bigger than we ever imagined.

So you can find me there on Mondays, but I do hope you will stick around on other days because we offer a lot of inspiration and companionship to fellow writers, along with the chance to pitch to agents and editors once a month.

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox

p.s. if you like social media, you can also add me as a friend on Facebook or on Twitter, or Instagram as marieclaudewrites

Location:Seattle

And what if the manuscript doesn’t sell?


16 Feb


And by that I mean sell to a publisher or catch the eye of an agent.

I’ve spend my not so long writing career with a plan that had back-ups, if this doesn’t sell, I’ll have another series to submit and so on. And I’ve written a few first-of-series manuscripts now (which still need tons of editing) and had always thought that they were back-ups.

But as my whole writing approach change, to a more habit-driven, kinder, soul-stirring, organic approach, I am starting to also change my idea of what I should write next.

I started thinking about what my writing plan would be if I had total control. Not because I want to do that, in fact I’m not really interested in putting all the effort and money it takes to self-pub (if I did, I’d hire an editor, a copy editor and a cover designer and I just can’t afford that).

But I was asking myself what if I was guaranteed a sale, at my own conditions. What would I be writing now? It’s obvious to me now that I would continue with the series I am currently working on. I am totally in love with it. And once this series in well started, I would continue to write the occasional gothic paranormal trilogy.

I would writing my sword and sorcery theme, because I might as well be honest, this is what I am really into.

So why have been derailed? The more I am away from the buzzing of the “business” and listen to my inner writing voice, the more I know what I truly want to do.

And I know that an unsold manuscript is more than a failure. It’s time spent with loved characters, a lesson in patience and huge practice at the writing craft, which I love just for the sake of it.

Would I still write it without the money? Yeah probably.

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox

Location:Seattle

Writing… liberated


30 Apr


If you regularly pass by this blog, you may wonder where I’ve been in the last week or so.

So yes, I have been sort of hiding from the work. The problem with this “trying to be a productive writer” thing, is that writing can get so riddled with anxiety that it’s not really like cranking up work output factory-like.

I do try to make it so, but that little voice telling me my attempts are futile is very hard to quiet down.

Yet yesterday, I stumbled upon this great quote by J. D. Salinger:

“One day a long time from now you’ll cease to care anymore whom you please or what anybody has to say about you. That’s when you finally produce the work you’re capable of.”

This trusty resonated with me. Yes, I have one agent who requested this manuscript I am working on and I have been thinking a lot about how she would react to the story. But to be honest, I am taking so long that it is very likely her interest has already vanished.

And that’s ok. There are tons of agents and publishers to submit to, and frankly, if I am to make any progress, I can’t think of sales and contracts right now. I’m more for enjoying the thrill of building my story, spending time with my characters and basically having fun with it.

Hope you can do the same with your work.

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox

Location:Seattle

Easy peasy writing


19 Mar


Do you have some part of your writing that you would call coasting? Some steps in your writing session that is easy and doesn’t cause you too much anxiety?

I did one of those step this morning. When I face a difficult scene to edit, I usually highlight it. That means I highlight similar parts in different color, blue for dialog, green for settings, that sort of thing. Then, I can see if the scene is balanced or not. Nothing worse for me than a scene that is just inner thought.

I kind of like it when I get a new scene to highlight on Mondays. Somehow the week starts easy that way.

What is your easy shortcut to writing production?

Much love,
M-C xoxox

Location:Seattle

Steampunk link of the month: word-building for writers


16 Mar


Hi everyone,

Today I am at my steampunk group blog Steamed! sharing my favorite link on word-building for fantasy writers.

Do visit if you are interested :)

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox

Location:Seattle

Oh how I hate writing settings


06 Mar


How about you? Are you good at settings or not? See the thing is, I usually do my research while writing the book. I am known to write my first draft real fast and write things like /insert description of a super awesome lavish oriental room here/

Then, oh joy, I get to fix during revisions. Which is what I am doing right now– revisions, aka fixing stuff.

I do fear writing settings, I have no idea why. If you are like me,you can try a trick I got from reading Stephen King ON WRITING. He tells us to imagine the actual place and pick three things in it, then write those in your paragraph. Sometimes when I can’t imagine anything, I’ll search the web and look at pictures of things, like a club, or a beach, or an old castle. Or sometimes I look at the setting lists they have on the Bookshelf Muse emotion thesaurus for writing website.

This morning was a little hard because I was working on the setting of a market in an alternative small desert town in Morocco during Victorian times. I’m not sure if I can find any picture for that.

I was trying to recall what my dad had told me about Morocco. He worked there a lot for his work as a paleontologist. He had a pretty poetic vision of the place.

Anyhow, I may try to search for some more pictures and see what I can come up with. Or maybe watch an old Indiana Jones movie, that always work to.

How do your solve your settings problems?

Much love,
M-C xoxox

Location:Seattle

Do you still write long hand?


05 Mar


I do.

I can’t imagine I will ever stop writing long hand, and it’s a real pain because everything takes sooooo long to do. I have to write the scenes in my notebook, then type them all up afterwards on my laptop. I really wish I could write straight away in a Word file. That would be awesome.

It’s strange how I can actually type long papers for my Education classes directly on the iPad but when it comes to fiction, I blank out in front of a white screen.

This morning however, as I attacked the revision of chapter 22 on the laptop before heading to work, I had to add a few paragraphs to my scene and I managed to type away some pretty good words which added up to at least 4 paragraphs or so.

It gives my hope. I may try one day to write a book straight on the screen and by-pass the tedious typing. I can only imagine the time I would save, don’t you think?

Do you also have ways of writing that slow your writing output? Any plans to try to speed it up?

Much love,
M-C xoxox

Location:Seattle

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