Linda Maye Adams

Soldier, Storyteller

Rogue God

Cover for Rogue God, showing a tiki face on a surfboard.
Anton Keymas is part of a magical Special Forces, the Vai, and blessed by a party goddess.  His mission?  Hunt monsters that no one believes in any more and try not to get killed.

But this new monster has killed two soldiers.  Now that it’s gotten a taste of human flesh, it will be back for more.

Keymas has little time to stop a monster that is intelligent and cunning.  He may have to do the one thing he has refused to do, and even that has a cost, especially when gods get involved.

Barnes and Noble

A Little Pool Action

We’re going for record-breaking temperatures in Washington, DC today and tomorrow.  According to the news, the humidity is up in the tropical category, so it’s just clogging the air.  Definitely a day for a little pool action:

 The fun of being a writer

There’s so many negative things out there about being a writer that I thought I would do something on the fun of being one.  Like:

  1. Being able to write about cool things like adventuring and action—but none of the real life danger. I’ve been near an explosion.  Making one up in a story is sooo much safer, and I can make sure the characters aren’t that close to it.
  2. Traveling in space, or traveling under the sea.
  3. Find lost treasure! 
  4. Be a superhero.  Where else can you fly but in a story?
  5. Solve a crime.  My early stories were like Nancy Drew, a girl detective solving crimes.

What’s fun for you?

Keeping track of characters

As I work on novels, it’s sometimes hard for me to remember all the character names, and in some cases, the spelling of them.  Especially early in the process while I’m developing the characters.

So I just have a composition book, and on the first page it has a list of all the names.  Nothing fancy, like trying to alphabetize them or organize them in any way.  They’re just on the list as they come into the story, and get scratched out if I realize I don’t need them after all.

For my current project I also drew a line about two thirds down and split the page into two columns.  Since this story is science fiction, one side is for the names of spaceships, and the other side is the names of planets.

I like the notebook over a spreadsheet or Word file, because if I need the spelling of the ship name, it’s a quick look.  Or a quick addition.  A computer file requires me to stop, open the software, open the file—and disrupt the writing substantially.

And I don’t work terribly hard on it.  This is for quick reference when I’m writing. 

Bouncing around in the story

When I write, I like to move around in the story and pull everything together as I go along.  Dean Wesley Smith calls it cycling

What it isn’t: Revision.  I’m not tweaking words or sentences (though I fix those darn typos).  I’m also not throwing out scenes because I don’t like them or I think they’re no good.

Because I’m not outlining, the story is evolving organically.  Something may come in much later in the story that changes something in an earlier chapter.  If I don’t fix it, it keeps nagging at me because it feels out of alignment, and eventually, if I ignore it completely, it will wreck entire the story.  At one point, I’d heard that it wasn’t a good idea to cycle (then I was calling it revising as I wrote), so I didn’t, and I was shocked at how twisted the story got.  It went from a ten car pileup to a plane crash took out a whole city. 

Yes, it was that bad.

Right now, I’ve returned to Chapter 1.  My creative brain finally said it was time to fix a couple of issues.  One is that I did a little research on the setting, which is a captain’s cabin (on a spaceship, in my case).  Cool military picture alert!  I had fun looking at the pictures and trying to figure out what my skipper character would have, and how the main character would react to it. 

The skipper’s characterization also changed from that early chapter.  It was something that came in much later in the story, and my creative brain started to fuss at me about it.  So now I’m going back in time to bring some of those elements in.

It’s kind of fun because it’s like seeding treasure everywhere.

U.S. Army Veteran and Paralympic Swimmer

This is a great story about Sergeant Elizabeth Marks, who was injured in the war and became a Paralympic swimmer.  Usually when I see stories about wounded veterans, they’re always about men, and they describe in excruciating detail how they were injured and then all the medical procedures, like their life ended at that moment.  This one focuses on her journey becoming a Paralympic swimmer.

Entrepreneur Scarier than military?

Even when I started writing when I was little, I wanted to write full time.  Writing is so much fun–what else would be better than playing around with characters and story?  Though I listened too much to those myths that you can’t make enough money to live off, not realizing that if I didn’t go out after writing everything and anything, made the myths true.

Now the technology allows someone like me to publish my own books and eventually launch my own business.  It’s both a scary and exciting through, because there is no safety net of a job.  It has to work.  From an article on veteran entrepreneurs:

“I never got scared in the Marines or the fire department,” Green says, “but entrepreneurship is the scariest thing ever.”


Unusual Sighting at the Farmer’s Market

I walked down to the Farmer’s Market this morning, which I do every week.  It’s a small farmer’s market with about six or seven vendors.  During the spring and summer, there are a lot of people, and many of them bring their dogs.

So I did a double-take for a woman walking a black animal that, on a quick glance, was a medium-sized dog.

It was a pig!

He was on a leash, with a typical dog halter.  Thirty-eight pounds.  His nose was constantly working, sniffing the air.  Food!  Food!  Mine!  Mine!

As I made my rounds through the vendors, even the vendors were wanting to check out the pig.  People were departing vendors saying, “Okay, I have to see this pig.”

He was enjoying being the star of the show!


What’s the first book you remember?

Books have always been a big part of my life.  I would go down to the library with my mother and come back with a load of books.  The earliest books I remember—and it’s weird because I even remember where the books were located on the shelf—were the Blaze books, which was about a horse.

When I looked it up, I was surprised to see it was Billy and Blaze.  I remember the horse.  I don’t remember the boy.  Guess it needed a girl.

What’s the book you remember?

Behind the Scenes on NCIS

Most TV shows treat the military as a plot point or don’t really understand the rank or what the person does.  NCIS goes behind that with respecting the military in every episode.  Here’s some behind that scenes of the show.

Scrivener is the Pantser’s Tool

When I write, I’m all over the place.  I might work on Scene 15, then hop back to Scene 4 to add something that ties into Scene 15.  Then I change the gender of a character, so I have to hop through five scenes and correct the name and the gender.

In Microsoft Word, this was awful.  Scroll back through 5 or even 10 pages to find the right section is not too bad—but 75 pages?  Two hundred?

It starts to get pretty unwieldy.

When Scrivener came out with its beta for Windows, I signed right up as a tester.  I’d checked out most of the writing programs around at the time.  Some of them seemed not to really understand writers at all, and others tried to force the writer to fit in with a process of writing.

Like outlining.

I don’t outline (the pantser thing), so a program that required me to outline to use it was, really, a complete waste of time.  I suppose those programs were designed by people who couldn’t conceive that there might be multiple ways to approach writing process.

But Scrivener did.  It’s one of those tools that’s designed so that you can use the parts you want, and ignore the parts that don’t work for you.  An outliner can use the corkboard to keep track of their scenes, while I can happily ignore that.

And if I realize I need to hop back ten scenes, it’s a couple of clicks.

One of the best things though is that I can put one scene in one file.  It’s still part of the whole, but now I can focus on just one scene.  If I realize I need to add a scene or move the one I just wrote, it’s super easy.  In Word, that was always a big frustration because the document was so unwieldy.

The best thing the tools should do is let you write.

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