Monday, November 24, 2014

NaNoWriMo & Me

Do you know what NaNoWriMo is?

If not, then check it out at

I’m so far behind in my word count for NaNoWriMo! It’s very discouraging, but I’ve been working full time and overtime at my day job and have felt little energy or inspiration to write on my books at night. I am however up to 8,300 words ... not bad, but not anywhere near the goal of 38,000 by this time of the month!

Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo … or will you?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

21 Days to a New Habit, the Myth

Do you believe that it takes 21 days of doing something repetitively and consistently to make it form into a new habit?

Well I did ... until I read a couple of articles here and there that quelled that particular myth for me.

So I wonder how long it will take me to form the new habit of writing every day?

I tried it as my New Year's Resolution and it only lasted for 12 days.

So here I am, going for another shot at it.

Let's see if I can keep it up this time and not feel like all I'm doing is spewing drivel to get my writing done for the day.

How long do you think I'll be able to write every single day?

Thank you most Hartly,
J.J. Harlty

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Google Plus Pages for Characters

So I'm trying to decide whether or not I should create a Google Plus page for my main characters in my stories ... since they are meant to be a series.

I tried looking around to see if anyone else has done this and to see how they've handled it, but I mostly just found where people have created character Google Plus pages for characters that they use in Role Playing Games, not for fiction stories.

I also thought maybe I should just create a World Page that talks about the World that my characters inhabit.

Am I missing them? Do authors go this far and create Character Pages or World Pages in Google Plus?

Thank you most Hartly,
J.J. Harlty

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Collaborative Fiction

Have any of you tried collaborative fiction?

What was your experience like?

My brother also happens to be a writer, but tends to write more dark and gritty than I do ... so I was thinking of asking him to write the parts of my story that involve the villain. It would almost be like a storytelling game between the two of us ... at least in my mind.


Thank you most Hartly,
J.J. Harlty

Friday, January 10, 2014

Character Outlines

Because I'm reading the excellent book "The Writer's Journey" by Christopher Vogler, I'm doing character outlines on all my main and secondary characters and describing what "personality masks" they might be wearing at various points in my story.

It's an awesome exercise because you get to know your characters on a much more intimate level even if you don't wind up putting all the background information in your story, it helps you to flesh out your characters and make them seem more lifelike and real.

I was able to discover motivations for my evil villain that makes me a little more sympathetic to her.

Do you create character outlines for all of your characters?

Thank you most Hartly,
J.J. Harlty

Thursday, January 9, 2014

To illustrate your own book

I was curious to see if most children's books authors illustrate their own books ... and was surprised to find several sources that said that Literary Agents prefer to receive manuscripts without illustrations and if they decided to move forward with your project, then they will hire an illustrator.

I'm just curious if this has been the experience of other Author/Illustrators too?

I used to be able to draw pretty well, but then I broke three bones in my right wrist, and I'm right handed, and now I can't get enough rotation on my wrist to draw very well. Any suggestions on that front either?

I love Dr. Seuss and his illustration style, as well as Mark Kistler of Imagination Station, and I really want to be able to draw again and illustrate my own stories. Besides lots of practice, any tips?

Thank you most Hartly,
J.J. Harlty

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

To Outline or Not

Do you create an outline before you write your stories?

I've been reading a lot about outlining. Authors that do it, authors that don't, some who just jot down scene titles and some that use complex color-coded plotting charts.

I've discovered that I'm a plotter by nature. I come up with scene ideas, jot them down and then I have to put them into the sequence of my story before I begin writing. It gives me a goal to write towards ... but I hold it all loosely and I can change the goal/end-game in the midst of my writing, so it's very flexible and just acts as a sort of skeleton that I adapt as I go. I also like knowing the end of my story beforehand ... even though that might change as well as the story develops, in the beginning I have to have the ending formed before I start.

Do you outline? If you do, do you do it loosely or more complex?

Thank you most Hartly,
J.J. Harlty