Hosted by: Cynthia Swanson & Andrew Swanson


How Do You Keep Your Creativity Simmering?

For most of us, writing is a passion relegated to our spare time due to our need for money to keep a roof over our head. And let’s face it: between home and the day (or night) job, all that energy can often get sucked right out of you. If it happens often enough, we can despair from ever achieving our dream. I’m not a writer. I can’t come up […]

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Why Moment-by-Moment?

After many years of trying to bring structure and process to writing, of telling stories that were close, but never felt quite “right”, the ideas of a new writer, my husband, recently made everything finally click into place.  I don’t know why I didn’t see it. In my heart, I think I’ve always known it, but I’ve never given this idea the credit it deserves.  Until a conversation with The […]

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Research and Character Building

The Super Secret Project is progressing very nicely.  As the post title indicates, I’ve been doing research and fleshing out my main point-of-view character.

The beginning part of the novel building process has never been my favorite part. In the past, I was always much more of what they’re calling a “pantser” these days–someone who just starts writing, hoping for inspiration along the way. I have completed novels that way, but it doesn’t work for me any more.  Maybe it’s the structure and organization that I am responsible for in the day job rubbing off.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that the novel I am writing will be a better product if I expend the time and effort necessary “worldbuilding” the infrastructure of the novel: doing my research so I can ground the pages to come in reality and make the tension come alive; creating flawed and interesting characters; and developing the framework of the story.

If this works, the story will then practically write itself. Or at least feel that way, because I won’t reach points where I don’t know what will happen next. Or write myself into a corner. Which is when writer’s block hits.  And I hate that.

So here I am, chomping at the bit to write and yet forcing myself to weave the threads of the storyworld together first. I’ll keep you apprised as I go along, and share with you what I learn.

Until next time, happy writing.

Super Secret Project Update


I’m neck deep in brainstorm/research mode on the new book. Things are going extremely well. The story premise is holding up. I’m starting to get a mental image of the main character and the roadblocks that will get in their way, both internally and externally.

And I have to say…

Research…I do not love thee.

When I get a new idea, my first inclination is to sit down and start writing.  If my latest rejection is any judge, I’m a decent writer with a good grasp of language and the ability to spin a story. But can I emotionally engage you in the story through the lead character?

Not without a different kind of planning.

Also, unlike when I was younger, my time for writing is limited. In order to write a book in a reasonable amount of time while maintaining a challenging day job requires more thoughtful preparedness up front. More structure, so I spend less time flailing around, and so when I sit down for my few precious hours of writing, I can actually write vs. staring at the computer thinking about writing, getting sucked into web surfing, or wasting hours playing solitaire or my Facebook games.

So, with the aid of my wonderful husband, I’m stepping out of my comfortable old habits, and actively trying something different. It’s not easy. Believe me, I still want nothing more than to open a document and start writing the book. But it will be light years better because of the time I spend now. And if I do it right, when I get done I will have created a story that not only scares the bejeezus out of you, but had a lead character you want to see win the day.  And if I make you cry? Bonus points.

A tall order, but a doable one.  I’ll share with you what I can as I feel my way through this.

Until next time, happy writing!