Theme Reveal Day! 2016 Blogging from A-Z April Challenge

atoz-theme-reveal-2016 v2Grr, I cut my pinky on a mandoline blade when cleaning out a kitchen drawer today.  The giant bandage is making it hard to type.

Today, March 21, is the 2016 Blogging from A-Z April Challenge Theme Reveal!  This year, I have a plan, and I’m actually ahead of myself for once.  Cheers for me!

RULE BRITANNIA--oh wait, that’s the wrong cheer.  Calm down, Grandma.

RULE BRITANNIA–oh wait, that’s the wrong cheer.  Calm down, Grandma.

Image:  stockimages /

Ironically, the captcha for downloading that image was “forever and ever.”

I really enjoyed writing the Character series in the 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge.  In that vein, this year I’ve chosen to pick apart different elements of settings.

In this post on The How to Write Shop, Kathy Steffen states:

A setting does more than add interest; in fact, if your story can take place anywhere and nothing else in your story would need to change, rethink how you have used setting. Make it integral to the story[…]. 

Check out her post; it’s from a few years ago, but she shares some cool creative writing prompts you can use to establish a setting.  And you might want to look at this one on world-building from Chuck Wendig.  He’s so good he makes me feel like a clumsy farmer trying to plow a field with a fork, but he’s also pretty inspiring in between the swears.  In fact, that entire post kind of negates my entire series here.

Your lack of faith disturbs me. -- Darth Gorilla

Your lack of faith disturbs me. — Darth Gorilla

Image:   Arvind Balaraman /

And the captcha for that one was “Plan Ahead.” I’m on a roll here.

I already wrote about setting once before, in this post.  For the Challenge, I’ll cover a few things I didn’t mention and try to expand on those I did.   These posts will pose lots of questions.  You don’t have to answer them all; just pick the ones most applicable to your story.  It may seem overwhelming, but if you picture the setting in your head and you know where you want to put your characters, the answers will come to you.

And remember, nothing is set in stone at this point.  A first draft is only that—a first draft.  But a solid setting in your mind will make moving your characters through the story much easier, as well as orient your readers.  World-building is fun, but it requires careful consideration.

Stay tuned for the Challenge.  I’ll see you there!

Blogging from A-Z April Challenge and Random Updates!

It’s March already (how did that happen!?) and April approacheth, with its Blogging from A-Z Challenge!  I have been pre-writing posts for that (or notes, rather) and will announce my theme during the A-Z Theme Reveal Blogfest on March 21.  Look for it!

2016 A-Z Blogging Challenge

Random update #1

I am so freaking tired, you guys.  Seriously.  I cannot wait for winter to be over.  I have literally no energy and I’ve eaten everything that isn’t nailed down.  Even the baseboards looked good (lots of fiber, you know).

It did not help that I managed to give myself the world’s biggest whiplash while skating. I came out of a spin and my blade slipped out from under me, and my back hit the ice, followed closely by my head.  I’ve been in car wrecks that didn’t hurt that much!  I still have a little residual neck pain and an annoying groin pull.  However, my Wolverine-like healing powers have activated and I am fine and back on the ice.

And, with the advent of warmer weather, my energy levels should go back up soon. I’m sure we are all looking forward to the sunshine and longer days.

Random update #2

This means absolutely nothing to anyone but me so I don’t expect you to care, but I thought I would share.  I’m no longer a redhead–I’m now a blonde!  Well, strawberry blonde.

A recreation of my expression when I saw my hair for the first time.

A recreation of my expression when I saw my hair for the first time.

Photo:  Elizabeth West

It’s actually more golden than it looks in that picture; I haven’t gotten a decent selfie yet.  They say blondes have more fun.  So far that’s not true, but I’ll keep you posted.

Random update #3

I have constructed a gigantic Word table with all the scenes/chapters either written or planned for Secret Book.  Only nine remain unwritten.  That may not sound like much, but they’re kicking my ass.  Because this is the Year to Finish Stuff, it WILL get done.  The table helped–it forced me to consider the purpose of each scene, with the unfortunate materialization of a couple more.  Nerts!  Oh well.

I shall leave you now and go recover from this day/week.  You’ll get another vocabulary post before the Challenge.  In fact, I hope to actually finish that by the time it rolls around.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!

Image: Hongreddotbrewhouse / Wikimedia Commons