The Gypsy Muse – Author Rachel Kenley

November 9, 2011

Wednesday Web Wanderings – Write or Die

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 5:52 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

30 crazy days!

A fellow writer (and Nanowrimer) turned me on to this great website called WRITE OR DIE which can be found at where they “put the PROD in PRODUCTIVITY”.  It is a fun and useful tool for helping you to write a lot in a little bit of time… or suffer the chosen consequences.

You determine 1) how long you have to write, 2) how many words you want to write during this time, 3) your consequences for how pausing will be “punished” (Gentle Mode, Normal Mode, Kamikaze Mode, and  Electric Shock Mode… okay this last one isnt quite real), and 4) your grace period before the prodding begins (Forgiving, Strict, Evil ).  I chose “Normal/Strict” and reached my goal of 500 words in 30 minutes… with a few moments of the screen going red and some awful music playing.  Be warned, “EVIL” will start to delete your words begining with the last one you wrote.  Now, that is evil.

This link: will take you right to the part with the web app (there are downloads available for your pc and ipad for purchase as well).  It’s a great tool both for fun and productivity, especially when time is short and your word count needs to be as high as possible.

Let me know if you try it and what your results are.

Now, can I count this blog in my nano word for the day?


November 7, 2011

Monday Writer’s Prompt – Missed Holidays

Filed under: Monday Writer's Prompts — authorrachelkenley @ 5:07 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It's that time again....

Last night on November 6th I took my sons trick or treating, almost a week after the actual Halloween holiday.  We live in Massachusetts and had an unexpected and destructive snow storm last week which caused the delay.

And it made me wonder…

How would my character feel if she didn’t get to celebrate her favorite holiday?  What would it take?  What would she do instead?  What if it was her birthday (like in Sixteen Candles when everyone forgets).  Would the hero find a way to make it up to her or create something even more special?

What would your characters do?

Have a great and productive week!

May 16, 2011

Monday Writer’s Prompts – Well, I never…

I was once given a great idea for getting develoing a character and for creating scenes in a story.  As yourself what would your hero/heroine/villan never

a) do

b) say

c) think

Because, my fellow writers, they are going to have to do just that before the end of the book and we as the authors will have to decide under what circumstances they would be willing to do/say/think what they never thought they would. Don’t we have the best jobs?!! 🙂

One of my favorite instances of this is in a *terrible* movie, Catwoman, with Halle Berry.  Her friends have given her this totally wild and sexy leather outfit as a gift telling her it’s for when she’s having a dating emergency.  She says it’s lovely, but she’ll never wear it. Oh yeah?  Guess what she reaches for the first time she goes out embracing her new life.  Wearing the outfit shows her – and us – how much she has changed.

So…. what would your characters never do?  Now go make them do it!

April 19, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – And yet…

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 2:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I am really glad that I am keeping to my writing schedule of at least 500 words a day, and even spending this week with family in New Jersey I expect to be able to keep that going.

And yet…

Although the overall word count of the manuscript continues to increase, it doesn’t feel like enough.  I find myself focusing more on how much more is still to go.  I’m at that point in the manuscript where I am definitely committed to it.  I like my hero and heroine and the journey the heroine must go on to have her happily ever after. I know most of the candy bar scenes (thanks to Holly Lisle for this tool – and what it will take to get to the dark moment and the happy ending.

And yet…

There are days when I sit at the computer and even though the words come, it feels hard.  The writing is choppy.  There’s too much passive voice.  Too much telling and not showing.  Too many weak words. 

Yes, it’s a first draft and I need to get through the whole thing before editing, polishing and making it truly readable, but there are times when the inner editor is awfully loud.  And times when the inner critic is even louder (“You sure you’re up for another pass from your editor?”)

And yet…

I keep writing.

I hope you do to.  What are your tricks for moving forward even when it feels hard?

March 29, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – Rolling Along

There’s something wonderful about  getting a little done every day (although why I can’t seem to apply this knowledge to the process of getting to a healthy weight is beyond me).  My goal has been to write at least 500 new words on GUARDED HEART each day, and I have.  *POOF* the manuscript is more than 2,500 words longer.

Added to that are the words I wrote this weekend on my writers group retreat, and the book has a nice solid foundation to keep me moving forward.

There are two tools I  credit with being able to move a book forward.  One, is Debra Dixon’s book GOAL MOTIVATION CONFLICT.  This book is possibly the best $20 I’ve every spent on my career. These are three must haves for your main characters, and Debra shows you how to develop then, use them, and  know if you have enough to write a fully fleshed out novel.  Sometimes I fill out my GMC charts before I start the book, other times I start writing and then go back to see if I know the answers to chart.  Either way – I dont finish without it.  In addition, when I edit, I make sure every scene is related to the hero or the heroine’s GMC.  Otherwise – the scene is tossed.

My other “mentor” is Holly Lisle ( Holly gives new meaning to “paying it forward” with all she’s learned and discovered about writing and the writing process.  From her mini-plot class I use the idea of making a list of “candy bar” scenes for my hero and heroine.  These are those yummy scenes you can’t wait to write.  As the list builds I can start to see the best parts of the novel taking shape and come up with ideas for how to get to each of those scenes.  It’s very helpful.

Wishing you all a great writing week.  What techniques and devices have you learned that work for you?

March 24, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – My pens

Filed under: Thursday Favorite Things — authorrachelkenley @ 3:33 pm
Tags: , , ,

Sorry for missing yesterday.  Car repairs – and recovering from the cost – took up most of the day.  Makes it nice to jump into Thursday things I love.  It’s a much better place to focus.

Most writers have their favorite tools, things that help them to be more creative, more productive.  The UNIBALL JET STREAM – BOLD pen is my must have.  It writes sooooooooooo smoothly.  I can tell the difference with any other pen I use and I have yet to find another that I like as much.

Best pen ever!

For the life of me, I can’t remember when or how I discovered them.  It was probably an accident.  I’ve always been a bit of a pen and stationery addict (common among writers, I’ve heard).  I always tried new pens and I assume I came across this one.  And fell in love. 

I was so used to fine points before this, which I never particularly liked, that, I think, using a bold point made a huge difference.  It’s a cap pen which always confuses people when I hand them one to try.  They try to click it :).  After they try it, I usually have to wrestle it back.

Gimme! Gimme!

When I find it it comes in two- and four-packs of black, and four-packs of a variety (2 black, 1 blue, 1 red). Since I, of  course, live in fear of Uniball discontinuing this particular pen, I buy them almost whenever I see them, and keep a stockpile in my pen holder.

What’s your favorite writing tool?

Blog at