Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Writing Quirks

Today I’m blogging about a new creation. The birth of a spanking-new manuscript. A million thoughts are racing helter skelter through my brain. Where to begin? I have a vague idea of a theme, a plot and a subplot. I even have a rough idea of how the story ends. So now what? I want a catchy title full of romance, danger and intrigue.

As we know, the design of the book cover is a major selling point and can often lead to a stellar launching. That and a hook to draw the reader in. Where to begin? I start with a title. Grant it, this is generally a working title and is subject to many renovations as the story unfolds. But unless I have a title to anchor my creative muse to, the flow will be off. After settling on a working title, I envision a setting and then the characters who will come to life in this setting. What will they look like? What kind of personalities will make the chemistry between the hero and heroine sizzle? Then there’s the names. What names pack a powerful punch and will linger in the mind of the reader long after the last page is turned?

HMM. Now this is where I become a bit whimsical. For those of you who know me and follow my blog, you know I am superstitious to a fault, adore legends and lore and believe in the Nine Muses. There is a reason why the goddesses—whose number set at nine by Classical Times embody the arts. They inspire the creative process with their grace through remembered and improvised song and dance.

Blame it on my wild Irish heart or on the powers that be! But before I begin writing each day, I rub the stones of my pink tourmaline ring and bracelet. According to legend, this gemstone will bestow inspiration upon the writer and the writing shall be blessed and published where it is meant to be. Then there is my musical fairy angel. I wind her up three times and allow the lyrical melody of Beautiful Dreamer to awaken my muse. These are my happy vibes and have inspired me to write stories of inspiration. Now when I write in my other genre, suspense, I wear my blue diamond. Blue diamonds conjure up images of forbidden danger, romance on the high sea and sunken treasures. Blue diamonds are very romantic…but seem to whisper an ominous warning in the wind. Which brings me to the manuscript I am embarking on. The new submission call out by the Crimson Line of The Wild Rose Press.
Jewels of the Night
One chosen submission will be drawn at random to launch the series. The theme of the story must be full of romance, danger and intrigue. But mostly, it must involve a blue diamond. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2010. For full details, see my blog entry of November 1st.

And if there is one thing you can be sure of, I’ll be wearing my blue diamond for inspiration while writing this manuscript!

Tell me your writing process? Where do you begin? Title or setting? Character sketches or outline? Plot and subplot? Maybe you have a new spin on an old endeavor. Leave a comment.

Until next time, may the luck of the Irish be with you as you travel through life.

Love and Blessings,



Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Sharon

Thank you for this fascinating and inspirational insight into how you encourage your muse to inspire you. It obviosly works, judging by the beauty and creativity of your writing!

As for me, as I settle down to another day of NaNoWriMo, with no roadmap and only the vaguest idea of what awaits my characters, I wear a Claddagh ring with its lovely hearshaped stone, the color of my first heroine's eyes, given to me by the lovely owner of this blog, and also rub the polished grey stone, with black and paler grey veins running through it which came from the Cullin hills on the Isle of Skye.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Lyn! Oh, thank you for the lovely compliment. You know how much the legends and myths mean to me and inspire me. I wish you luck with keeping up with your word count for each day. No fear, you can do it! I am so glad you were the winner of my Claddagh Ring contest last spring. It does indeed have mystical powers to its wearer and is said to have been blessed by St. Patrick himself! Rub it good and here's wishing you continued success in your beautiful and vividly descriptive writing!
Go get 'em!

Linda Swift said...

Sharon, I enjoyed reading this blog and your writing process which seems to work well for you.
My inspiration for a story may come from a setting, a character, or a plot. I take what comes without question. Right now, I have an image of woman, and an attornery named Matthew. I had been seeking a name for the woman for weeks, before I could get any further with the story. This week I found her name, Sarah Jane. My story lives in my head while it takes on order and then I start writing. Or should I say, recording? The story writes itself.

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks, Linda! Oh, you sound so much like me. A certain something has to fit before the story can take off. And you're so right. If the character didn't have a name, how could you bond with her or sketch a profile. I like Sarah Jane and especially like the spelling with the h at the end. You record? Now that's interesting!

P.L. Parker said...

I have a "writing angel" hanging over my desk at home. I am finishing a sequel to Riley's Journey (Journey into the Dawn) and also have a finished manuscript, Absolution, that I am tweaking.

Mary Ricksen said...

I write at the kitchen table that looks out over the pool and jungle of subtropical plants. It's pretty but I think my inspiration comes from inside me and nothing can affect it but me.
You are so creative, like Lyn says, it just seems to flow out of you.
You could make anything sound good.
I wear my three Irish knot rings for luck and I am thinking about a pink stone like you mentioned it can't hurt!
I love to read whatever you write.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Patsy,
You have a lot going on and I have no doubt the writing angel guides your hand and sprinkles good luck with her wings. Thanks for commenting!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey Mary! Oh, a tropical garden and pool sound so awesome. And how sweet you are to say that. What a lovely compliment! True, inspiration comes from deep within, but the trinkets and magic and myths add an extra blessing! You'd love the pink tourmaline. It's different enough that people will ask what it is. Another legend behind it is when you hold it in the sun, it reflects the colors of the rainbow and this is because it is said to have traveled the rainbow and picked up its brilliant colors as it came through it!

Celia Yeary said...

SHARON--gee, I have no idea. I have three books and about fifteen completed or somewhere in-between manuscripts in my files. How did any of them begin. I just don't know. I suppose if I had to say one thing it would be--a person--somebody in my brain. Not a place, not a plot, not...only a person. And what does the unknown character do? Millie wants a make-over...and? Lily Marie meets a new neighbor...and? Cynthia runs away from her father, and...? Very interesting post. It made me think. Celia

joanna aislinn said...

Hi Sharon,

My most recent hero's last name is Donovan--love that name!

My stories have taken off in different ways. My first book (still in first draft) came from a two-sentence exchange between two characters from another short work. My debut novel, NO MATTER WHY (coming Jan 15, 2010) started as flashbacks from said first book. My most recently completed ms is an extension of NMW and was supposed to bridge the gap between that and said first book. My brand new wip, is spinoff of aforementioned books and was born when a friend said, "You can't do anything w/him; he's about as low as he can go."

No way to go but up, right?

As per story development, I tend to have start, end and a few major points in between. The fun part for me is watching how connections to the points develop--I am the reader and the writer, my favorite part of first draft!

Non-traditional? Yes, but for this author, it works.

Thanks for some wonderful insight, Sharon--one can never get enough :)

Joanna Aislinn
The Wild Rose Press Jan 15, 2010

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Celia. Interesting. It sounds as if your character starts a conversation with you in your head. This is great and I've had a character who appeared to me in a dream and told me he wasn't handsome enough or cool enough or young enough. He demanded a makeover and what do you know. He got his way. I think this is part of a writer's mind at work. We learn to listen for voices of characters so they can find their way from the masses onto paper. Thanks for sharing! Good stuff!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Joanna. Can't go wrong with a good Irish name like Donovan! LOL You weave storylines from other books and let it take off. This is great and a perfect example of letting the mind flow with it. What I found most interesting about your comment is the part about you being reader and writer. This is so very true. I've noticed if I can completely dissociate myself as the writer and read it from a reader's pov who is reading it for the first time, I spot issues more easily. As writers, we sometimes have a tendancy to assume the reader will understand something so obvious to the writer. This is because the characters have been living in our heads and we know their every thought pattern. The reader does not and needs to have it explained without being hit over the head or repeating it to the point of redundancy. This is a tricky faux and while we, the writers, can be sensitive to criticism, if we read our own work with the eyes of a reader, we in turn, become the critique. Thanks for sharing. Great stuff!

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Sharon,

I think I'll have to look for pink tourmaline. I wear a running horse necklace because it's my eastern astrology sign and have a horse statue on the shelf behind my monitor.

Where do I start? Characters. They jump into my head and I create the story around them.

Good luck on the submission!

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks, LK! Horses are good and so is your writing plan. Isn't it funny how we all do the same thing in so many different ways? I guess that's why we all have a unique voice in our writing, huh?