Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Writing Tips Are Not for Writing

I read a lot of writing books, blogs, and suggestions. I write a tidbit on the third Tuesday of the month. 

But do I use the writing tips all the time?

Well, no. Here's the thing. If I worried about each of the many things I learned every time I sat down at the keyboard, I'd never get any words on the screen. I can't see how anyone would. So if I'm writing, I just write whatever carbon comes out, however bland and boring. I can compress the diamond later.

So when do I use them?

Character and plotting tips are great for planning--before I sit down, or when I'm stuck. If the words aren't flowing it might be because I don't understand my hero or heroine's journey. Or I'm unclear about what opposition the antagonist offers them.

I use the craft tips on the edit passes, and not even all of them then. I bring them out when the story or prose just isn’t working. When I've stumbled over the paragraph or yawned through the scene. 

In other words, I use writing tips and help to fix what's wrong, not all the time. How about you?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

3T Writing Tidbit

I've been published since 2009 but I've been writing for a lot longer. Over the years I've accumulated various items of wisdom from all over. Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit will showcase these items one at a time in no particular order.

Watch out for arbitrary categories.

Example: I was a fourth-level wizard.

As opposed to what? Is one good and four bad? Are the levels 1-100? Some categories are ingrained into our culture--red usually means stop--but if you build your own world have specific reasons for rankings (that make sense).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Biting Oz is a go!

The title goddess has spoken! Biting Love Book Five is officially Biting Oz. Rumors put the release date in the third quarter.

You've all been so patient, thank you! I'm currently writing three books (tentatively Beauty Bites, Alphas Don't Wear Bows, and an unnamed shifter story) but I have just enough time to self-publish one of my earlier manuscripts, if you'd like.

It's your choice! Below are the three manuscripts I'm thinking of self-pubbing. I'll put out a poll and you can tell me which of the stories (or just keep working on the new stuff, woman! :) you want.

Hot Chips and Sand 

Vickie's just trying to land a contract but instead she lands up a captive in the Middle East. Her escape is foiled when she runs into a bigger problem--a guy with a chest the size of the Arabian peninsula who grabs and kisses her to hide her from the bad guys, then takes her on a wild roof-top escape. Finally back in the U.S. she's hauled onto another project for brilliant, egocentric computer businessman Sir Humphrey Hawkesclyffe. Just what she needs, a white-haired, wing-tipped English lord lording it over her.

Dual citizen Cliff Hawkesclyffe is taking care of business in the Middle East when the gorgeous redhead bursts into his seedy boarding-house room. He rescues her but that's not his only gallant reaction. He wants her and decides contracting her team is the way to get closer. But someone is trying to steal Cliff's proprietary security technology, and it may be his own employees--or even the client himself.

Action, humor, romance and sex. This is not a paranormal title.

Mystic Streams

History professor Mircelle Baker is maid of honor at her fashionable cousin's wedding because her introspective nature ensures she won't outshine bride--and because Miri is the perfect buffer between her cousin and the groom's brother, tall black-haired loner Colin. He's an enigma, a mystic who claims he can see the future, but Miri doesn't believe in his powers until he predicts she will die--and then saves her from her killer. Attracted, intrigued, and wanting to help heal the rift between Colin and her cousin, Miri tries to figure him out. As a history prof that means digging into his history, and she stumbles on the horror of his past.

Colin Faulkner hasn't been close to a woman since his gift nearly killed one. Miri insinuates herself into his life, his heart and his deadly past. Colin's parents were murdered and the murders were never solved. And now Miri is stirring up sleeping snakes...and this time Colin may not be able to save either of them.

Paranormal action/mystery romance. Sexual tension, not explicit.

Tegan Rising: Makai and Associates Book 1

Tegan Madigan is a young computer programmer just at the outset if a rewarding professional life--when her mother is diagnosed with cancer. Traditional treatment hasn't worked and her mother, her only family, is dying. So when Tegan's best friend Johnny recommends an enigmatic businessman named Nicholas Makai, she goes. Though the offices of Makai and Associates are normal, airy and bright--Makai himself is anything but. Huge but concealing it, dark, and with a hard black stare that freezes her like a gorgon's, Tegan wonders if she's made a horrible mistake.

Until Makai  gives Tegan the serum that saves her mother's life. But when Tegan offers money in payment, Makai asks for something far more personal--a favor. Tegan must help an old woman. But that job turns into a mystery and race to save the old woman's life. And even when it's over, Tegan may not be free of the mysterious Makai.

Women's fiction. This is a series of interlocking short stories, a serial novel. Written and immersed in the 90's, Tegan's stories are a funny, poignant, and magical picture of an awkward young career woman given the terrible gift of growth in her personal life.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mary Hughes February 1T Giveaway!

Welcome to my First Tuesday giveaway! Each first Tuesday of the month I'm offering a contest where I choose one winner (who hasn't won in the past twelve months) by random number from all comments on that post. The winner will receive his or her choice of one Biting Love ebook *or* a $5 gift certificate from Amazon or Samhain!

If you're a 18+ and an adult, and if you consent to having your name listed on the rotating 12-month winner list, just comment on this post to enter! Void where prohibited. Please note, the Biting Love books contain explicit sex and violence. If you win please consider that when making your prize selection. Winner chosen at the end of the month and posted as part of next month's contest.

Thank you to everyone who commented last month. I love hearing from all of you! And the winner of January's contest is: Rho! Rho, congratulations! Please email me at mary @ maryhughesbooks.com for with your selection of prize.