Tag Archives: danika dinsmore

The Accidental Novelist relaunches as “writing to support my teaching habit”

Accidental: occurring unexpectedly or by chance

I didn’t expect to become a novelist, and by chance I was inspired and encouraged in that direction. It was a very “happy accident,” because when I landed in this new world, it was as if all my experiences had organically brought me to this point. I took a circuitous route, but everything along the way has served me well.

It wasn’t just by chance, however. I got where I am now by perseverance, passion, focus, commitment, appreciation, and joy. By choosing better habits. Those were conscious decisions (Yes, even the joy. I believe living in joy is a choice.), not accidents.

So, I decided it was time to shed the “accidental” identity and make a few changes around here, because I intend to stay for a while. It’s not so much a renovation as a paint job and some new curtains.

Welcome to “writing to support my teaching habit!”

So, did you get where you are on a straight and narrow path, knowing what you were going to do by the age of 12? Or did you take the circuitous route, like me? Flitting from one creative passion to the next until you found your way? Or are you still looking?


Filed under writing life

Last Leg of the Blog Tour and Weekend Workout

There are four more stops on my blog tour on four great blogs. Reviews, Interviews, and Guest Posts.

Guest Post Today (May 11) on 4 AM Writer
I love Kate’s enthusiasm for all things writing.

Review/Interview Saturday, May 12 on Dead Houseplants
I snorked my coffee when I *got* that blog title. Oh, how I relate.

Guest Post Monday, May 12 on Just Deb
Deb is a great supporter of children’s writers and is a writer herself.

Interview on Wednesday, May 16 on Morgen Baily’s Writing Blog
One stop shopping for reviews, interviews, guest posts, podcasts, flash fiction and more.

And now to the Weekend Workout…

I’m in this odd in between writings stage at the moment. I still have not finished my Character – Action Workout series, but I’m not in that space right now, so maybe next Friday.

I just completed the final draft on INTERGALACTIC and am querying agents with it. I now have to get back into writing Book Three of the White Forest series, which my publisher probably wants to see by the end of the summer.

How does one step back into something that she hasn’t been working on for several months? Especially when it’s part of a larger series?

It’s time for the Fall Back Exercise.

This is the one I turn to several times in the process of writing a story. It’s useful at the beginning, at the end, during rewrites, for writer’s block, and for writing synopses. It’s the aspirin of writing exercises.


When I sent my Intergalactic query letter to my critique partner she wrote back that I hadn’t really told her what the story was about. But wait, I had summarized all the main points of action. The problem is the main points of action are NOT what the story is about.

There’s the THING your protag MUST do or else THIS BAD THING will happen. But there’s also the emotional arc to the story.

For example, in Intergalactic, idoLL must figure out how to save her band mates and Princess Tarantella or there could be an interplanetary war. But her emotional arc is that she’s got to face her own possible cultural insignificance, swallow her pride, and partner up with her nemesis in order to save the day.

She risks losing her fame when it’s all she thinks she has. She risks losing her fame when it’s her entire identity. She doesn’t know who she is beyond the character she plays. Jettison is everything she isn’t and her instinct is to destroy her, not to rescue, defend, or befriend her. IdoLL does all three.

Now all I have to do is figure all this out for Ondelle of Grioth. Book Three (!) in the Faerie Tales from the White Forest series.


Set your timer for 5 minutes.
Start at the top of the page with the following startline:

1) This is a story about

Write, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

When the timer stops, Set your timer for 7 more minutes.
Start with the following line: 

2) In this story, a boy/girl/animal must . . .

Write, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

When the timer stops, Set your timer for 10 more minutes.
Start with the following line: 

3) My protagonist makes his/her greatest sacrifice when . . .

Write, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

Read your exercises, make notes, highlight what makes sense.

Happy Weekend!


Filed under Intergalactic, Ruins of Noe, weekend workout, writing exercises, writing life