Tag: Staci Troilo (page 25 of 25)

A Break in the Grind

Originally posted March 21, 2012

It’s Spring Break. My kids are off school for the week and Corey’s parents have driven down from Pennsylvania to visit. I barely have time for posts, let alone writing. But that’s okay. It’s great visiting. We haven’t seen any family since Thanksgiving, and everyone’s having a blast.

But I’m not letting the time go to waste creatively. Not only are families a treasure trove of inspiration, I’m letting ideas percolate while I’m not writing. There have been some plot points that I’ve been stuck on that I’ve been letting simmer in the background. Hopefully I’m “unstuck” once I start writing again. I think I have the kinks worked out. It’s been refreshing not staring at the screen and wondering how to fix the problem. Without the pressure, the problems seem to have fixed themselves.

And I had a nice visit in the process.

Have a Little Help from my Friends

Originally posted March 14, 2012

God bless the computer. Without it I would have had to wait until my critique group meets again to have help with my elevator pitch, and boy did I need help with that. As it was, I just fired off an email, and got an answer back just as fast. Jan, my “editor”, cut my 114 words down to 55. And I didn’t have to wait for my group meeting.

Why am I working on a pitch now when I don’t have a finished manuscript? Because I want to be ready when anyone asks what my book is about, especially if that anyone is an agent or editor. It’s best to have a clear, coherent pitch ready to go.

I have a good pitch, and a decent first draft. Now all I need is an elevator… and a finished manuscript

Creating a New Website

Originally posted March 12, 2012

I spent a little bit of today editing and sending a synopsis and three chapters off to an editor (and doing some laundry… boy was that overdue!), but then I spent the rest of the day building my platform. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means creating a favorable Web presence so editors and agents believe that you can market your material once/if they publish your book.

Today’s efforts – creating a Website. I already had one for my professional writing. Now I have one for my creative writing. For a first draft, it isn’t too bad. I have to go back and do A LOT of polishing, but I’m happy with today’s work. Let me encourage all of you to find a Web hosting service that you are comfortable with, probably one that has templates already built in for you (I haven’t used HTML since 2000, I never did figure out Java Script,and I don’t even know what the latest trends are), and spend a day playing with your pages.

I don’t have anything to market – YET – but when I do, I’ll be ready. Can you say the same?

NWA Writers Conference

Originally posted March 10, 2012

I attended the NWA Writers Conference today, and I wish you all could have been with me. It had excellent presenters and valuable information for any published or hoping to be published authors. I feel inspired to work on my platform and my manuscripts. Which is why I’m here blogging right now instead of doing the thousand other things that always take me away from blogging. Check out nwawriters.org. Many of the members have useful links that you might like.

Get in the Groove

Originally posted August 24, 2011

I have a routine. I put on music (classical music – channel 866  or classic rock channel 862 on DirecTV) when I’m writing (depending on my mood) or my own personal playlist (the Rocky soundtrack if I’m writing an action sequence or some of my favorite love songs if I’m doing a love scene) and sit down at my laptop. I make sure I have something to drink – water, coffee, or tea – and I make sure the dog has gone out and has toys and snacks at his disposal so I won’t be interrupted.

Then I write.

Routine is important. I need background music for flow. I don’t listen to it, but I hear it, and it keeps me going. I need something to drink nearby because writing hard is exhausting, and it makes me as thirsty as a hard workout does. If I’ve got something to quench my thirst right near my hand, I don’t have to get up, and therefore, I don’t have to break my rhythm. If the dog is placated, I won’t be interrupted, and I can just type.

The familiarity gets me in a groove easier than if I try to write somewhere new everyday. It gets me back in my story faster. And the sooner I’m in the story, the sooner the story is on the page.

Yes, there are benefits to a change in scenery or an interruption or two. If I have writer’s block, changing the music or sitting with my laptop in a cafe or at a park can work wonders. If the plot or characters start wandering in an odd or stagnant direction, a change in my routine can result in a change in my writing – a change for the better. But if things are going well, why mess with the formula?

My recommendation? Find what works for you and stick with it.

NWA Writers Group

Originally posted August 5, 2011

Last night at writers group was eventful. It started with Dusty, one of our group leaders, giving us a quote to ponder. He said it was the best advice he ever heard, and it was written by a man Dusty says is a fiction genius: the late Dwight Swain.

“A story is not about anything. It concerns someone’s emotions to what happened, his feelings, his emotions, his impulses, his ambitions, his clashing drive, and inner conflicts.”

Dusty explained that if we don’t try to market our book as a story about a person or people, then all the editor will see is ink on a page. And I have to agree. Even plot driven fiction is about people. We don’t really care about the story unless we care about the people in the story.

It’s something to keep in mind when writing, editing, and drafting those darn query letters.

Don’t Waste Time – Using the Unplanned Vacation

Originally posted July 30, 2011

Family came to visit this past week, and while I didn’t plan (and don’t recommend) taking off writing while entertaining visitors, sometimes I just can’t carve out the time to write when I have house guests. My family room is my office, and my guests rise early and stay up late, so, really, there was no time to sit down and knock out any revisions. How could I possibly stay productive while they were here? Three in the morning just didn’t sound appealing to me.

The solution: discussing plot hiccups, of course. I’m an advocate of writing groups, and I do belong to one. But sometimes a fresh perspective is just what you need to get you over that proverbial hump. We had some belly laughs at my expense, but once we got past my ridiculous errors in plot-management, I was able to find my way through the problems I had created after seeing things through a few new sets of eyes.

And the jokes brought us closer together in the process. If that isn’t economy of activity, I don’t know what is.

Inspiration

Original post date July 22, 2011

Today I decided that if I wrote a blog detailing my progress through my book, I might be more likely to be motivated. Right now I’m dragging my feet because the rough draft is done, and the rewrites are hard. I know what needs to be done to improve the book, but doing it is painful. So if I put myself under the microscope of the world, I might be more motivated to do the hard stuff. And in the process, people in the same boat as me might be inspired to stop dragging their feet and do what they need to do, too. So all you writers out there with a draft that needs to be edited, hear this: today I realized that the scene descriptions in chapter 1 need to be beefed up and the end of chapter 1 needs to be rewritten. I made notes on both on my critical re-read. What did you do today? Get your drafts out… find a red pen!

Hello world!

So I’m now on WordPress. Bear with me while I figure this all out. I’m working on building my platform as I write my novels and short stories. Let me introduce myself… I’m Staci Troilo, and in addition to being an author, I’m a wife, mother, and owner of two crazy dogs. Welcome to my world.

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