character profiles: Jodie, for example

I’ve shared this (or some version of it) on some of my other writing blogs, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared it here. This is an example of the character profile questionnaire I use. Feel free to “borrow” any of these questions for your own character profiles, since I “borrowed” most of them from other people anyway, as we do. Jodie’s profile is maybe more filled out than some of my characters’ are, since she appears in more of my books and is one of my older characters. And because she was in a novel rather than a shorter work. It’s not as extensive as some I’ve seen people do (or maybe it is, lol!), but it’s a good selection of basics to get started with. I note all of this mostly because I’ll need it for later books, but I tend to discover this stuff as I write, … Continued

time in a bottle: on short stories and time spans


Short stories are often thought to be the story of a moment. Where a novel can cover years and years worth of time, the given wisdom is that a short story rarely covers more than a very succinct period of time, like a week, a day, or even a few hours. (Whether or not this is actually true, I suppose is up for debate. New writers are often given “rules” that are not universally true.) So how on earth do I explain that while my full-length novel only spans six months of story time, my short story, “All the Other Boys” spans 5-6 years of story time in 6600 words and actually works?

ChickLitLove #4: gal pals


For #ChickLitLove Valentine week, Thursday’s topic is about Galentine’s Day! “It’s what?” was about my first reaction. I thought it was a typo, lol! But maybe some of you guys don’t live under rocks like I do. In short, it’s the day before Valentine’s Day, when girls celebrate their girlfriend loves. And it just so happens that the current predicament Leila is in is the result of an innocent “girls’ night out” with her bestie Charlotte. See, Charlotte is friends with Amelia, and Amelia’s mom owns a day spa, where Corbin works. So for Galentine’s Day, I want to share a little excerpt from two of my favorite fictional gal pals, Leila and Charlotte. Now, this excerpt totally doesn’t even pass the Bechdel test, since they’re talking about Corbin, but even so, I think it showcases the special bond Leila and Charlotte have. Leila and Charlotte were best friends in … Continued

ChickLitLove #3: meet the leading men


For #ChickLitLove Valentine week, Wednesday’s topic is all about the guys.  (For the record: I think it becomes clear that just in writing these interviews, I’ll need to forfeit my literary fiction author’s club card, but you know what, it was fun, so I don’t care!) Between two novels, Exactly Where They’d Fall, and The Fish and the Bird (coming this fall). Gary (Berges), Drew, and Corbin appear in EWTF. Corbin, Matt, and Drew (briefly) appear in F&B. Let’s do this thing where we imagine all four men from both books are sitting in a room and none of them try to punch each other. (I can’t promise as much for the actual novels…) Gary says, “Hey, I’m a lover, not a fighter!” [Drew and Matt are both glowering at Corbin.] Please tell us your age at the start of your story: Gary (Berges): 38 Drew: 27 Corbin: 31 Matt: … Continued

ChickLitLove #2: romance in the bathroom


For #ChickLitLove Valentine week, Tuesday’s topic is to share a romantic excerpt from your work. Here is where I fear I may have the most unromantic romance book of the bunch. Who knows. Like everybody has a different sense of humor, I think everybody has a different sense of what’s romantic too. And like my sense of humor, my sense of romance is a little offbeat. One of my favorite scenes from Exactly Where They’d Fall is um, Amelia getting a half-drunk almost marriage proposal on the bathroom floor, after her boyfriend has just finished puking his guts out. Right, so, here we go…From “chapter 1.2: things to do before forty.” Bonus points because the scene happens in a bathroom! 

why I love NaNoWriMo (even though I always lose)

I sort of “fail” at NaNo every year. If you note my ticker, this year was like many past years. First week strong, second week loses steam. Third week it seems like half of the people around me have already “won” NaNoWriMo and the other half have given up, but I’m still plodding along, hopelessly behind, but stubbornly valiant. Then the fourth week, my husband’s birthday and Thanksgiving destroys the universe. So I got 26,000 words accomplished this NaNo. But you see, for the whole previous month of October, I only wrote 5000 words. Do you see how I can’t possibly consider this a failure? So I don’t think anyone who attempts NaNo and gets a good amount of work done can really fail. The way I see NaNo, it doesn’t have to be about banging out 50,000 words of sludge. I didn’t get that many, but the days I did … Continued

I quit! And it feels so good!!!

On a spur of whimsy, an offhand comment on twitter today, I made the decision to quit trying to market my books. And more importantly, to quit caring. It was directly linked to the impending release of Sims 4, and this makes perfect nerdy sense, lol! Let me explain…

All the Other Boys, a short story


New Short Story, Now Available on Amazon!!! US UK CA DE (If you require something other than Kindle format, write to me at laura.rae.amos (at), and we can work something out. ) A kooky and hopeless young woman recounts the spectacularly awful rise and fall of her first real relationship. Spanning five years of earnest loyalty to this young man, she discovers the truth about sex, religion, life, and herself, interspersed with memories of all the other boys who stole her heart for a short time. For fans of contemporary stories of first love and growing up, “All the Other Boys” is darkly comical, truthfully disappointing, and ultimately triumphant. This is a stand-alone SHORT STORY at 6600 words (about 25 pages). ~~~ Surprise! I know this one came out of nowhere! This story was hardly, if at all, on my list of planned WIPs. I was just working happily … Continued

listen up: three intense and haunting picks

#1: Milo Greene, “1957″. I can’t get enough of this song or this band. Haunting, dreamy, and nostalgic. Makes me want to write a story. And the whole album has me quite entranced. Check it out. One reviewer said, “like roots rock has been mixed together with dream pop.” Yes! A bit short for $9, but all the songs are good!   #2: Passenger, “Feather on the Clyde”. The most breathtaking dude with his guitar you’ll ever hear. I also own his whole album, Little Lights. Beautiful, beautiful album! Much recommended! This lovely acoustic solo performance of “Feather on the Clyde” is not on the album, sadly. The album version is good too, but it loses some of that deeply affecting simplicity of the solo version. You might have also enjoyed “Let Her Go”, which you get with this album too.   #3: Delta Rae, “Bottom of the River.” Holy … Continued

how to keep slugs off your strawberries

I will bestow upon you the knowledge of the most genius thing the internet has ever taught me: how to keep slugs off your strawberries. You see, the bastards like beer even more than they like strawberries. You fill a tuna can with beer, and dig a little hole so that it’s level with the soil. The little drunken idiots will toss themselves right into it! It’s like a pool of alcohol and death! Drown, bastard slugs! Drown! The plastic forks are to keep the strawberries up off the ground, to make it harder for any stray slugs who weren’t tempted by the beer. But it looks like they all were, lol! Who knew slugs were such alkies? I was really surprised at how well this works! You can see the fat one in there, but there are also about eight more smaller ones too. This is after two nights. … Continued