Descriptions for heat levels in book list

------holding hands, perhaps a gentle kiss
♥♥ ---- more kisses but no tongue-- no foreplay
♥♥♥ ---kissing, tongue, caressing, foreplay & pillow talk
♥♥♥♥ --all of above, full sexual experience including climax
♥♥♥♥♥ -all of above including coarser language and sex more frequent

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Along the trail

When I was at Klamath Lake, I got to thinking how much starting a new book is like walking a trail you have never walked before. If you've been on the trail many times, or are doing it only to make fast times, it doesn't apply; but a new trail, one you are seeing for the first time is like writing a new story.

You take your time. You look around. You keep moving forward but also watch the trail to avoid tripping over rocks or roots. You must always look around to be sure you are on the right trail. Are the markers clear? Did that last Y have you taking a wrong turn?

And then what is that over there? Beautiful colors. Was that a butterfly you hadn't seen before? You stop to analyze and try to remember its name if you ever knew it. Beyond, up a tall tree, you hear a sound, a bird you cannot see but can only hear.

What made those tracks along the bank of a small stream? Each step along that trail is savored and considered. You can't go too fast, or you miss the little things that make a hiking experience so rich. You know where you are going when you start out on such a trail, maybe even have a map, but what will be along the way, that's the fun of the hike.

In writing a new story, all that applies to hiking applies to the book. It's important to not rush, to look for what might be alongside your characters, what is impacting their lives in subtle and less subtle ways.

The temptation is to barge forward, set up one of those schedules some encourage of writing say 1000 words a day. I don't think that's a good way. Take some time in between writing to think about who these people are, what hidden aspect to their personality did you miss before but see now.

When I am writing, I particularly try to remember my dreams. They often give me insights into what is happening that my daily thinking isn't delivering. I will write sometimes 5000 words in a day but then might go a week as I mull it all over, go back through and look at what was alongside the trail that I missed.