Elle Clouse

Unique Romantic Tales



10 Sites I Use as an Author

As part of my Writer’s Life series, I thought I’d share links that I use either during the writing process or when I’m editing or searching for services.  There are in no particular order.

Continue reading “10 Sites I Use as an Author”

Writing Habits: A Questionnaire

I saw this on Jodie Llewellyn’s blog and thought, what the heck?  Sort of expands on the blog hop I participated in a week ago.

Writing Habits 

1. Typed or Handwritten?

Typed.  I can’t write as fast as my brain works but I can type fast enough to keep up.  Additionally, my hands cramp after a short while.  Perhaps I should create a font from my own handwriting?  😉

2. Cursive or Printed?

When I do hand write something, it’s actually a hybrid of both cursive and print.  I read somewhere that’s a sign of a highly active mind.  I’ll stick with that.  😉  Also, my handwriting starts off really neat and consistent.  Then as my hand gets tired, it begins to look like a doctor’s scrawl…

3. Show us your favorite pen.


Some writers are pen fanatics, not me.  I like the RSVP line of pens because I can get them in several colors, purple being my all time favorite.

I’m a Post-It fiend.  I have some heart shaped Post-Its I’m in love with at the moment.  The crazier the shape or paper pattern, the better.

4. Where do you like to write?

I have a writing nook I created specifically for writing.  I tried doing a write in once at a friends house but it wasn’t my nook so I got too distracted.  My nook is for writing and I write in my nook.

5. Who are your five favorite authors in terms of authorial style?

Five?  UGH.  Lets see, I wrote a post a while back that covered my 3 Favorite Books which listed Tamera Pierce, Peter S. Beagle, and Kresley Cole.  To round out my five…   I also really enjoy the works of Jennifer Roberson since her sword dancer series features a really strong female lead.  Meredith Ann Pierce Dark Angel Series featured an unlikely heroine who end up making the ultimate sacrifice.

6. What are you your three favorite books on writing?

I don’t actually have any favorite books on writing.  Most of my research has been articles online and reading works by other writers in my genre.  There is a lot of free info out there on the craft.

7. Have you ever competed in NaNoWriMo?

Oh yeah, every year.  I haven’t attempted the Camp NaNoWriMo though, just the competition in November.  I sort of depend on the competition for my drafting.  I need a crazy deadline although I’m getting more disciplined now that I’m serious about making a career change.

8. Have you ever won NaNoWriMo?

6 times.  🙂  I’ve participated in the last 9 NaNoWriMo competitions.  Stealing the Wolf Prince was my first win.  🙂  I even wrote the sequel, Thieving the Bandit Lord, during NaNoWriMo.

9. Have you ever had anything published?

Yes, I have a short story, Unrequited, available on Amazon.  I had an article and a poem published in 2007 through an online magazine, now closed as well.

10. What projects are you working on now?

I’m editing my novel Stealing the Wolf Prince, a fantasy romance.  I’m also working on a companion short story for Unrequited entitled Requited.  Super creative huh? 😉

11. What is your soundtrack to writing?

I have a playlist on Spotify that I listen to while I write.  The list of artists include Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Kaskade, Ellie Goulding, and Chris Lake.

12. Do you have a writing pump-up song?

Right now my go to song is Ghosts’ n’ Stuff by Deadmau5 & Rob Swire.  The Nero Mix is really good too.

My Writing Process Blog Hop

I’m participating in my first blog hop and this one is about  authors offering others a glimpse into their work, their work schedules, and perhaps their innermost thoughts.

Who poked me to share the strange inner workings of my mind?  Renea Mason!

Author of:
impostors kiss symphony

Click here to find out how she does it!

Q. What am I working on?

I have a couple projects going at once, in various stages of development.  My big project is Stealing the Wolf Prince, the first is my Wylderlands Chronicles, a fantasy romance series.  StWP is in edit mode as I got some very helpful rejections from some publishers.  Once I get my writing tightened up it will be back to pinging the editors for that manuscript.  I’m also developing a companion short story to Unrequited, tentatively titled Requited.

Q. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write fantasy and science fiction so each setting is of my own creation.  The magic systems are my own, the world maps are my own, the characters are my own.  I do my best to avoid the cliche (unless I’m trying to be funny), I try to think outside the box and approach every situation with a clear mind.  Plus, I’ve never read another author who creates realms like I do, and I’ve read a lot.

Q. Why do I write what I do?

It was a fourth grade writing assignment that started me writing.  It was as if a gate had been opened in my mind and ever since then, I wrote.  I didn’t seriously pursue writing as anything other than a hobby until about a year ago when I met some like minded writers.  We’ve been plugging forward ever since.

Q. How does your writing process work?

It always starts with an idea.  I could be a vague idea like unrequited love or something oddly specific like shape-shifting monster.  Ideas come from dreams I have and from flashes of inspiration I have doing mundane things.  Once the idea is rolling around in my brain, which I call Plot Bombed, I normally write it down, brainstorm it, or log it somehow.  

If the idea works with something already in development, I try to merge the ideas.  If it doesn’t work with anything currently in development, I determine the scope of the story (short, novella, novel, etc) and put it in a binder to explore later.  My binder is currently 34 ideas thick.

For drafting, I normally wait for NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo if it’s novel length.  30 days for a 50k word novel isn’t a bad time frame.  For short stories, I just push forward until it’s written.  My writing days are normally on weekends.  I just create a to do list and cross things off until it’s done.  Same with editing.

I used to wait to feel inspired to write or edit but realized that I couldn’t rely on a muse to get it done.  I created a writing nook and all I do in that nook is write.  So now when I sit there, I want to write.  

Q. Who will we meet next week?


Kristy Denice Bock, Romance Author

The Light

When Madison goes to sleep at night, she transcends into the body of another woman. Each night she wakes as a victim of a violent, senseless crime. With each waking day she bears their pain, experiences their death, and is helpless to stop it from happening. With only her aging butler at her side, Madison tries to survive each day without falling into madness.

Brian Brinkley chose to save the life of his young ward marked for death. Thrust from the heavens because he dared disobey God, he tries to find some type of life quiet life among the humans. One chance meeting with Madison and his tranquility is shattered. When she becomes the target of a sadistic man, he vows to do everything in his power to protect her.

Art of Forgetting

Joanne Hall, Fantasy Author

The Art of Forgetting: Rider

A young boy leaves his village to become a cavalryman with the famous King’s Third regiment; in doing so he discovers both his past and his destiny.

Gifted and cursed with a unique memory, the foundling son of a notorious traitor, Rhodri joins an elite cavalry unit stationed in the harbour town of Northpoint. His training reveals his talents and brings him friendship, love and loss, and sexual awakening; struggling with his memories of his father who once ruled there, he begins to discover a sense of belonging. That is, until a face from the past reveals a secret that will change not only Rhodri’s life but the fate of a nation. Then, on his first campaign, he is forced to face the extremes of war and his own nature.

This, the first part of The Art of Forgetting, is a gripping story about belonging and identity, set in a superbly imagined and complex world that is both harsh and beautiful.

NaNoWriMo Winner Goodies

One of the things that I always enjoy browsing is the Winner Goodies offered by sponsors of the National Novel Writing Month.  Last year I took advantage of the discount on Scrivener after my win. This year I was really looking forward to the book analysis offered through The Book Genome Project.

I submitted Stealing the Wolf Prince, my 2006 winner.


My book is classified as an EDBK:

One of the most prevalent personalities, EDBKs are found mostly in fiction. They appear most often in Mystery, Thrillers, and Romance. These works place a premium on plot and character development, and engage readers with their easy use of dialog. They tend to use rich descriptive passages, and their text is welcoming and easy to consume. They strive to engage the reader early, and keep their characters active and moving.


(E)xpressive: Your book contains more dialog between two or more characters than most books. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is an example of an Expressive writing persona.

(D)escriptive: Your book in very descriptive, more so than the average. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy is another example of a Descriptive writing persona.

(B)reezy: Your language tends to be easier to read and more straightforward than average. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is an example of a Breezy writing persona.

(K)inetic: Your book contains more physical motion than most books. The Lost World by Michael Crichton is an example of a Kinetic writing persona.

I can get a more in depth analysis if I want to spend the money but I’m happy with my free report for now.  Back to writing for me!    I have a short story to finish.

Plans for December

So with November done and my latest novel rough draft on ice, I’ve decided to write a to do list for December.  It will help me stay focused and no, it’ s not all going to be writing related.

  • Finish Christmas Knitting:  I am making my boys an Adorkable Monster.  I have two different color yarn for each. One is almost completely done, I just need to sew on the arms and horns.  The other I started tonight and I got one leg done.
  • Finish writing “Unrequited”:  I am working on a short story called Unrequited.  It’s specifically for a submission call to Science Fiction Romance Quarterly but the call is for something steampunk.  If they don’t select it, I might find another publisher for it or just self publish it.  We shall see.  I’m only 500 words in.
  • Edit “Stealing the Wolf Prince”:  I’ve gotten some very helpful comments about my manuscript and it’s going back into editing.  I agree with the comments made and will improve my manuscript accordingly.  Some of them I wanted to work in anyway and some I was worried about from the get go.  Vague I know but I’m not about to reveal spoilers.
  • Take online course Creating WordPress Websites II:  Already signed up.  I start December 11.  SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS.  I’ve always wanted to learn more about web coding and design and I can apply that to my own writing website.

I think I’ll leave it at that for now.  I have plans for as far out as January but my to do lists can get rather fluid.  Lists help keep me on the right path.  I can get a little distracted and way ahead of myself otherwise.  Do lists help you?

Week Two

I’ve made it through week one and I’m right where I need to be as far on words.  Week two is where I really start to doubt myself.  At this very moment I am thinking that I might not have enough story to make it to 50k.  I’m also thinking that my premise it too weak or my characters are lame…  You name it, it’s probably rolling around in my brain.  Week two is about determination, more than any other week I think.  I have to get out of my brain as much as possible and just write.  I might see if I can find some writing sprints to participate in.  Those always help.  Remember, NaNoWriMo is meant to help you get a rough draft, not a polished prize winning novel.  🙂

Productive Weekend

As of last night, my NaNoWriMo novel hit 6k words.  I managed 2k words a day, not a bad start.  I know that there is a least one NaNoWriMo participant who has already reached 50k and that’s just nuts.  In fact, there is another challenge that I recently learned about a competition called The Five Day Novel.  Now, I like a challenge but even I am not that crazy.  I’ll stick with a 30 day novel, thank you!

Day One

Today marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month.  Although I know some people have already been writing since midnight, their time, I am not one of those folks.  I have a day job and kids.  I’ll be writing this evening and hope to get about two thousand words.  Like most people in the beginning of this craziness, I’m going to try to write as much as possible so that when mid month hits and I get the blahs I have a cushion.  I’m also hoping my outline helps me.

Good luck to all my fellow participants!  Keep track of my progress by checking out my NaNoWriMo page or just glancing at the word widget on the right.  🙂

The NaNoWriMo Game Plan

NaNoWriMo starts in less than two weeks!

To prepare, I’ve created an outline using Holly Lisle’s Professional Plot Outline course, available for $.99.  Since I’ve never actually outlined, I figured I would consult an expert resource.  Now I have my whole novel plotted out, down to the scene, from beginning to end.  The course even pushed my ideas further than originally anticipated to new and fun plot devices.  I am hoping that a complete outline will prevent writers block and keep me on track the whole month.

The next step, I will be adding all my scenes from the outline and sticking them into Scrivener.  I bought Scrivener last year after my NaNoWriMo win with my winner’s discount and promptly forgot about it.  A writer friend, Jonathan Fesmire, mentioned he enjoys the program so I watched the start up video and updated my program.  Scrivener has this neat note card feature I can put all my plot points into.  So where ever I pick up writing, I’ll know where I am and where I’m going.  I could probably write the novel backwards, but I’m not that masochistic.

I will also be using the ‘research’ file system where Scrivener saves your files/images/sound bites IN SCRIVENER.  So it’s all at my finger tips when ever I need it.  I will be using this Character Chart for Fiction Writers to really flesh out my characters.  It’s seven pages long and asks for things I don’t normally think about.  It will stay right next to my writing and I can pull it up with a click or I can even use the two pane option and write while looking at it.  This way, my characters wont have eyes that change color through out the book.  My previous method of keeping a notebook isn’t ideal for me.

That’s the game plan so far.  For being a pantser in the past, I feel that’s pretty good.  If you are participating in the NaNoWriMo, what are you doing to prepare?

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