Monday, March 12, 2018

5 Ways Writing A Book Is Just Like Having Kids! — By Alyson McLayne

My five-year-old daughter had a major meltdown on the way to school this morning. We were walking fast because we were running late, and I’d been encouraging her and her brother to gallop their “horses” to each corner and wait for me to catch up. This worked well until we were a block or so away from school. Suddenly she was tired and stopped dead in her tracks.

“Carry me,” she said.

“No,” I said. “We’re almost there.”

Not to be ignored, she laid down on the sidewalk and cried while I persuaded, cajoled, and counted to three—several times—to get her moving again.

Ten minutes later, I finally got her off the ground and into class. As I was walking home, all I could think about was how I should have handled the situation differently. Being pushed for time, I tried to force her to keep moving rather than stopping, picking her up for a hug—on her schedule, not mine—and encouraging her to keep walking, staying open to her needs.

Which made me think, isn’t that just like writing a book! And a new blog topic was born…

5 Ways Writing A Book Is Like Having Kids!!

1.  Sometimes when you write, the words just aren’t flowing, and you end up forcing them because you have a deadline to meet. But often the best thing to do is take a break and let the story breathe. See what ideas rise to the surface. Then go forward gently, staying open to the organic needs of the story. Which is what happened with me and my daughter. When I tried to force her to keep moving and failed to address her underlying needs, she dug in her heels and refused to take another step!

2.  In a similar vein, the characters you create can be just like kids, they’re demanding, unreasonable, and never want to go where you want them to go in a timely manner! They have minds of their own and can say and do things that make you want to scream.

3.   One of the biggest frustrations about writing can be a diminishing word count. You spend all morning writing a scene and then delete the whole thing that afternoon because it’s just not right. Which is kind of like cleaning the house when you have kids—you spend hours cleaning only to have them come along behind you and mess it all up again, leaving you right back where you started.

4.     In romance novels, the hero and heroine are like toddlers—they have trouble keeping their clothes on and have lots of sleepless nights! (Thanks to my friend and fellow author Kari Cole for this one!!).

5.     Lastly, when your book is finally done, and it’s time to release it into the world, it can be hard to let go. You want to save it from criticism by people who see things differently from you. But in the end, you have to pry your fingers free and hit ‘send’ even if you’re afraid. If you’ve done your job right, as an author and as a parent, your book and baby will not only survive, but thrive.

I hope you had as much fun reading this list as I had writing it. If you think of other ways writing a book is just like having kids, please let me know!!

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Alyson McLayne writes historical romance set in the Highlands of Scotland. Highland Conquest, Book 2 in her series, The Sons Of Gregor MacLeod, is out now!

He was looking for vengeange…

Laird Lachlan MacKay never planned on leading his clan, but when his older brother was murdered, he was left with no choice. His vow to avenge his brother has led him to the MacPherson clan—and their bewitching healer, Amber.

Instead, he found her

Amber MacPherson is desperate. Dressed as a boy to escape her clan's treacherous leader, she runs right into Lachlan—who orders her detained. At first she causes him nothing but frustration, especially when she blackmails him into helping her clan. But when she’s threatened by the same man who murdered his brother, Lachlan will do whatever it takes to keep her safe—and by his side.

Snag your copy today!


Alyson McLayne is a mom of twins and an award-winning writer of contemporary, historical, and paranormal romance. She’s also a dog lover and cat servant with a serious stash of dark chocolate. After getting her degree in theater at the University of Alberta, she promptly moved to the West Coast of Canada where she worked in film for several years and met her Prop Master husband.

She and her family reside in Vancouver with their sweet but troublesome chocolate lab puppy named Jasper.

Please catch up with Alyson on social media. She loves chatting with her readers! 

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