Tagged amwriting

The Care & Feeding of Your Human Author – A Cat’s Perspective (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Lilliput the Bean here.

I have hijacked my human’s blog.

For you, fellow cat-kind, I present my tips on how to care and feed your human authorbeast.

  1. Provide authorbeast with small kills as often as possible while singing the song of our people. Toy mice, fleece snakes, occasional burnt muffin bottom, or earplugs (I call them pinkies).
  2. Distract your authorbeast from overworking, often. They shouldn’t be allowed to focus too hard: walk across keyboard, nibble ankles, pretend to drink the tea.
  3. When in doubt, eat the laptop stand.
  4. Is your human sitting? Is there lap? Do they have a full bladder? Make those biscuits, make them!
  5. Attack your authorbeast through the filmy curtains. We all know they are see-through, but your human can’t tell. Humans aren’t that smart.
  6. Ostentatiously check objects in use, on the off chance that they might be tasty: iPad, phone, earbuds, kindle, corner of book, your human’s fingers and eyebrows.
  7. Test gravity regularly. Make absolutely certain it is always working properly. For science!

Now, go forth and help your authorbeast to write!

{Gail’s monthly read along for March is Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith.}



Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Beat Jet Lag by Eating Meals On Local Time Before You Travel

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Top Ten Trends in Publishing Every Author Needs to Know in 2017

Book News:

Blackgate interview with yours truly.

Quote of the Day:

“Never trust a woman who wears mauve, whatever her age may be, or a woman over thirty-five who is fond of pink ribbons. It always means that they have a history.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
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Writing Modes ~ Work, Fugue, & Trance (Important for Writers)

Posted by Gail Carriger

So, Gentle Reader, I tend to think in terms of three different types of writing modes. I haven’t talked much with other authors, and I’m sure everyone is different but I thought perhaps you’d like a peek into my divisions of author ability, as it were.


1. Work Writing

Both the hardest and most common, this is the type of writing that feels like sweating blood. This is when I sit down and squeeze out the words, one after another. I try not to question myself, and just do it because I must, because it’s my job, and because I have a deadline. I make up games and bribe myself. I’ll do lots of silly things just to force myself to write those 2000 words for that day. When us authors talk about “training writer muscles,” this is the kind of writing we mean. The work of it. The business of it. If you want to be a career author I devoutly believe you must learn how to execute this kind of writing and never to rely on the other two.

2. Fugue Writing

I can’t remember who first used the term fugue with me, but I definitely stole it from someone (possibly one of the Armenian Lovers). I don’t like the idea of a muse (to me muse feels like I’m giving someone else credit for my work, talk to the Ancient Greeks about it). However, to use that analogy, fugue is the state when the muse has you in her warm embrace. Fugue is the best of writing. It’s being transported and having the words flow out of you. It’s the fingertips as conduit for something else. I think of the something else as my subconscious. Sometimes it’s Lord Akeldama. Fugue is when writing is fun and easy. For hobby writers, this can be the only type of writing that you do. I used to be like that in high school and college, only writing when I felt motivated. Chasing fugue, however, is the death nell for the professional author. It can’t be caught and you waste valuable time if you sit around waiting for it to drop. Instead you must activate Work Writing. It can also be dangerous if it happens too much in a book. To me it’s like a natural writer’s high, and I don’t want to depend upon it to get me typing in the morning. I find if I’ve had a run of fugue on a book then it is that much harder to motivate to finish without the fugue later.

3. Trance Writing

Trace is the rarest writing mode, for me. It’s not always pleasant, particularly for those around me. Fugue I usually welcome, immerse myself in happily, and then hop back out of, like a delightful swim in a cool lake. Trance is more like a wicked undertow. It drags me in and keeps me there sometimes for days. It’s hugely productive and I can double or even triple my word count, occasionally more than that, but I’m also absent. I’ll physically stop writing but I’m still there in my head, and pretty much anything and everything can cause a return to the computer. It can be painful on my body because I just forget things: food, posture, exercise, wrist pain.

Witness this conversation when I entered trance state over Poison or Protect:

AB: What do you mean you forgot to eat?
Gail: I remembered eventually. I also didn’t play with the cat.
AB: Poor little Lilliput!
Gail to the cat: I am sorry Lilliput. I’m just not really here right now. I’m somewhere in southern England in 1867. I promise, I’ll return eventually.

That’s what it feels like, usually for 24-48 hours I’m just absent, somewhere else.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, this only happens once or twice a year.

Now shall I tell you the great secret regarding all 3 of these modes?

The Glorious Truth

The reader will never know the difference.

In fact there’s a good chance when you go back a reread it yourself, you won’t be able to tell the difference. I never can. The hard working parts, the times it was like pulling teeth to get that daily word count done, the easy fugue times when the imagery simply flowed out of me, the rare and disconcerting trance times… You know what? They all read the same in the end. They all require editing. LOTS of editing. They were equally good and equally crap.

The point, in the end, is to sit down at the computer and type.

Rita winners on cover of RWA National Magazine

Rita winners on cover of RWA National Magazine

In other news congrats to the Rita Winners. Personal shout out to Alexis Hall’s For Real which took the erotic romance category and Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy’s Him which won mid-length contemporary romance. I read and enjoyed both these books, and it’s lovely to see m/m step in and take a non-LBGTQ specific categories!

{Gail’s monthly read along for September is Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair.}


  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Working proof. Releases Nov. 1 2016.
    LBGT romance featuring a parlourmaid bent on seducing a certain cross-dressing inventor who is too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?
  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Outline.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novella? Novel? Who knows.
    Status: Rough draft.
    Something new and different for Gail, contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.



My Sister’s Song

The warrior Mithra must repel a Roman legion alone and armed only with one very tasty weapon.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .


Ensemble Lucien Lelong, 1926 The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .


Self & the wonderful Ty!

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

100 Must-Read Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels by Female Authors

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  


Book News:


Quote of the Day:

“Once we had been friends, once we had been lovers. And now we were just two people who knew each other too well, who had—through carelessness, not malice—hurt each other too much.”
~ Glitterland by Alexis Hall

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!

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