Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Write, She Writes, We all Writes

Remember that online writing conference I brought up a few weeks ago.... 

I signed up for a 'writer's web page/platform' workshop, and the teacher wants to get an early start at looking at what we have and discussing how to change it to what we need so I sent her this url. (I don't have the energy to keep up another one).

She says I have too many things going on and I should create a writing only page to provide focus. 

And she's quite possibly right. 

But this is advice I can't take. At least right now. First, I have no idea what to say to fill a writing only site. Hey, here I am writing again? Or more accurately, at least lately, here I am NOT writing again? I'm not writing often enough or getting published often enough to have news to fill a whole site. 

How-tos? There are plenty of those out there and I don't have anything original to offer there. 

Excerpts from stuff I'm working on? I don't want to fall into any publishing traps where I've accidentally used first rights I should have saved for someone else.

My site is pretty random, I admit, but my favorite author websites are not entirely writing related. Jennifer Crusie talks about her books, but she also does some serious studying. You can listen to her rip apart romantic comedies for the parts that make them work in her Popcorn Dialogues podcasts. But she's more than just a writer. Kim Harrison talks about gardening and restoring her home along with the occasional tour date or new release announcement. MaryJanice Davidson's latest post was about her tour of a potato chip factory. Carrie Vaughn is posting travel pictures. As is Keri Arthur

I prefer to read about things other than writing. Perhaps I'm just a slacker, but I have books for that. And ... How do I say it? I don't need to see every step used by my favorite authors to get to the books I enjoy. I know, I want to do it too, but I also know everyone will have a different process. 

I may not be famous enough for this to work for me, but their websites are what I'm emulating. I asked Hubby how horrible it was that I'm ignoring her first piece of advice, and he says happy agreeable things so do feel free to let me know how wrong I am. 

I think her other (related) piece of advice is spot on though. 

She said she can't even tell I'm a writer from my page. She asked if I wrote YA. YA! (young adult, for the non-writers here) I can barely read YA.

That I write should be obvious, as is the fact that I write Urban Fantasy. I may have to replace the Fierce but Cuddly tagline with something more writerly. Maybe Fierce but Writerly? There's no fantasy like Urban Fantasy? But I'm sure she's right. Even if I have a life outside writing and do other stuff regularly, people should be able to tell right away that I'm a writer. 

Any suggestions?


  1. Maybe writing opinions? Less of a how-to and more of a what I like to see and what bothers me? Such things prompt discussion. As for more urban fantasy, you can talk about not only what urban fantasy authors you like to read but what it is about urban fantasy you like, what you hate to see, and what you feel should or should not be tagged urban fantasy. I've always been curious about fantasy that takes place in suburbia. Is that suburban fantasy? Is there such an animal or does that get lumped under urban as well?
    I guess you could photoshop the image of you with the dragon so that it's in a dark alley. ^_^

  2. I think Urban Fantasy is just easier to say than Contemporary Fantasy. Hope so, because Gainesville, where I live, is way smaller than somewhere like Chicago. I grew up rurally, went to college here, and otherwise spent time on army bases as a AR enlisted. The four days I spent in Chicago doesn't give me enough to write big city so while I can imagine the other, my stories are probably closer to suburban.

    I know you're in Texas. One of the big cities or the wide broad rest of it?

    --Oh, thinking about that side of the country, the book I just finished (Storm Born, Rachel Caine) was in Arizona so had similar scenery to Texas and I don't remember it having much in the way of city scenes. And I think it's called Urban Fantasy too.

  3. Right now I live in College Station, which is medium-sized, but I've lived in both Dallas and Houston, which are huge. But unlike Manhattan, they're huge over a huge area, very little giant skyscrapers packed together. We call it the urban sprawl.

  4. I'm sure I drove through at least one of them on I-10 on my way to El Paso before. I remember wide spans of terrifying traffic where occasionally the lanes weren't even marked -- like Atlanta. Oh, and concrete lane dividers that looked close enough for the big trucks to scrape along both sides -- oh, and signs that the big truck speed limits were strictly enforced and much lower than for the cars.

    Gainesville has a sprawl too. Downtown is thick with businesses and the bars and hangout spots, but our county ordinances have limited the number of stories. Around that, it gets scattered. Residential and apartments clump up around the University and restaurants are scattered, but there's restaurant row.

    When the home prices sky-rocketed a few years ago, we spread even further as people moved into nearby towns for cheaper property and businesses followed them. Lots of sprawl. And we have a lot of trees still, and a few real wild areas in town so it would take a lot of change to make it look like big city.

  5. It must be because I know you that I think it seems obvious you are a writer. However, I have to say, you have quite a lot to write about, even if it's not "writing" related. I think you have written at least a few posts here about different authors, books, characters, and whatnot. Isn't that what writers/authors do? Is the teacher saying you need a page specifically for that kind of post maybe? If I could only be as productive as you. It's one of the reasons my web site and blog page are in limbo . Maybe one of these days inspiration will come to me. :)

  6. Unfortunately, blog writing doesn't count as productive when I'm not writing anything else. We've hit the point where, in the deal I made with Barbara, I'm supposed to have decided on stories, but I still haven't.