My early birthday present to me…

…putting aside these guys for a while…

…and diving into my paranormal police procedural.

kaya


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

Hiatus: Over

Starting January 1st, I have taken great pains to write every day. I don’t have a word count goal or a time goal. I’m writing random scene snippets from all over the book.

But I am writing.

Proof:image


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

It’s Not Going at All, Thank You

Remember when I listed 10 Things Not to Say to a Writer? Here’s #11: How’s your novel going?

stitch-frustrated


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

Oh Yay!

When a reader tells me they will always ship my favorite in-story couple:
200
(True story.)


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

Choosing the Perfect Word

dictionaryI love it when my characters use words I’m not certain of, and then when I go to check the definition, it’s precisely the right word to use! Ah, the cleverness of them.

For example, in the latest scene I was writing, Arianna was walking through the castle with her bow and arrows, feeling stupid. She said of passersby, “To their credit, none of them openly stared at her strange accoutrements.” Now, I don’t use that word. It’s too stuffy. And it didn’t sound like the right word for the situation, so I looked it up. The definition is “the equipment needed for a particular activity or way of life” — turns out Arianna had chosen the perfect word.

Eustace does this all the time, unsurprisingly. I mean, he’s not the Scholar for nothing. (Of course, when I go back to look for examples to show him off, I can’t find any of them. Alas.)

In a somewhat related vein, the most obnoxious feeling is when you’re thinking of a word — the perfect word — it’s on the tip of your tongue, but…nothing. No idea what it is. You can think of every almost-good-enough word there is, but not that perfect one. I turn to the thesaurus at that point and encounter every single word I’d already thought of (and then some) but I still can’t find it. Maybe it never existed, I don’t know.

It’s been several weeks now, but I’m still trying to find a word that means “soul” or “spirit” but isn’t either of those. Nothing seems right. Seriously, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment with options for a word I can use, because I’m running out of ideas.


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

Whoa

When you finally put the last pieces together and realize what your Muse has been trying to tell you all along:
ron


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

Writing on a Depression Seesaw

A_dog_plays_on_a_seesaw_with_children_in_Scotland,Back from Hawaii and the jet lag is kicking my butt. I was awake in the 1:30 to 4 am range, woke up at 9, meant to sleep in a little longer…and next thing I know it’s 1 pm. Whoops.

What’s really annoying, however, is this writing seesaw I seem to be on. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ve seen this for yourself. I’ll have an amazingly awesome day, like when I wrote a little over 2,500 words, followed by an absolute crap day where I write 0 words (and maybe throw out what I did write yesterday, so now it’s going into the negative).

And it’s not just about word count, or progress. My mood is significantly better on a good writing day. And my mood gets flushed down the toilet on a bad writing day. But saying it like that confuses the cause and effect: my mood dictates how I write. Sure, how I write feeds back into my mood, but it starts with mood.

So it takes twice as long to get anything done, because I can’t get anything done on a bad day. I just sit around and watch Netflix. And the bad days are way worse after getting seesaw’d from a good day, because I want to keep writing and keep up my momentum, but I’ve just plunged from one extreme to the other.

And since I’m writing this on a bad day (Sunday), that’s about all I’ve got. I’m just hoping that Monday will be a good day.


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

My Week in GIFs

After writing over 2,500 words in one day:
tangled_best_day_ever

And then, realizing I had to throw out almost 1,000 of those words because I’d gone in the wrong direction AGAIN:
buffy_sad

And then, having a friend help me figure out how to keep most of what I’d written (and only throw out 372 words):
relief

So, you know…nothing new.


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.

Meet Calder #2

Calder 2In my massive rewrite of The Narrator, I’ve just passed the midpoint. I was pretty worried about the scene, and kept putting it off and putting it off. But when I finally dove in, it was actually pretty fun.

And I owe it all to Calder #2.

There are two Calders in Narrator: the original, and the one the Narrator tried to make by changing his backstory. At the midpoint, the second Calder manifests (because of an enchanted forest) and the two Calders have a bit of a chat.

And that second Calder was a treat to “work with.” He was very talkative and came up with some great stuff, all without really trying.

(I know that to non-writers this kind of talk sounds crazy, but characters usually take on a life of their own. They can be complete chatterboxes, like Calder #2, or they can refuse to give up any information on themselves and frustrate the crap out of you.)

So this scene was going better than I expected, but still with a lot of false starts and backtracking. And suddenly Calder #2 was dragging his feet, and refusing to cooperate, and giving me a really crappy performance — until I put back some paragraphs I had removed. Once they were back in place, he was more than happy to talk again.

Things slowed down again as we neared the end of the scene, because Calder #2 knew this was going to be his only scene, and he was reluctant to “leave.” I could tell he was trying to stretch out his time. I felt bad for him, too, since he was (for the most part) so great to work with. But alas, I don’t think I’ll be able to justify bringing him back.

Even if it would be fun.


Jennifer A. Johnson is a newly published fantasy writer thanks to The Adventure of Creation anthology. She's still revising her first novel, but you can sign up for her free newsletter to pass the time.