Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blogging schedule



I am trying so hard to have a consistent schedule when I blog but honestly rewriting my novel has taking up my time and the reality is I am also a mother to two girls , so what has worked for me is simply writing my blog before the ending of the week that's the best I can do in regards to being consistent. I check out other writer's blogs and some are so amazing they blog consistently three times a week maybe even more and come up with great topics but I am not there yet, during the summer I have couple months off so I am hoping my blogging entries will get more consistent.

Pacing

Its Saturday, the kids are at my mother in law for the night so I have loads of time to write and I had a magical number my aim was to get to page 70, even if I cut and paste from the original document that was my goal but there is so much that goes into rewriting firstly, I am finding that reading over what I had written previously or cut and paste helps, it either conjures up new ideas or emphasise on the scene etc and yes that takes a load of time but I came to the conclusion that I did not write my novel in a night it took me a few months and will take me a few more months to make revisions on the rewrite I had done presently. So no pressure or guilt I am not under a deadline each goal I set will be executed so as I am writing my blog I will check off that I made it to page 40 of 100 this portion of my rewrite is the last 100 pages and I am done rewriting the entire book and happy so far the direction I went with my original idea.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Are you there luck? It's me writer

Last night during yalitchat I asked the question getting agent/published is it merely luck, many responses was it is partly luck but writing a well written book is the focus of the publishing goal.

The dreaded word again subjective; there are many factors that affect luck, books are published within particular seasons so it could simply be the wave of opportunity was gone, also if an agency has numerous submissions or there existing writers have written something similar I could go on and on.

So until my luck comes my way I will polish my mss and continue to grow and evolve as a writer I am convinced I don't want to do anything else but to write the stories in my mind.


*Luck*

This week though I did get luck in the form of a contest I won on twitter complimentary of IndigoGreenRoom, I won the opportunity to see one of my favorite author the legend known as Suzanne Collins.

I never heard of the Hunger Games series until last summer when everyone was tweeting about Mockingjay I bought the first book read it in couple of days and then bought the next two books. I was in awe this writer had me in her clutches I couldn't take myself away from the books and for the first time I read a series that I could not figure out what would happen next because when I thought I knew I was totally wrong. But it is more that I love this author because she appears humble and an overall nice person. I believe its important to never lose oneself success can do that.
Note: Pasted from former wordpress blog

HUNGER GAMES FANADDICT

Today has been the greatest day, I had the amazing opportunity to meet the legend known as Suzanne Collins. I waited in line anticipating what I would say, mingled with a few people talking about the Hunger Games series and how awesome it was and scary at times. Also the books got better as Katniss evolved throughout the series, and then the moment came I was next. I felt like the room became foggy my heart rate was elevated and then when I was in front of her the tears came.

A little quirky fact about me, people close to me know when I cry I am either really angry or happy I know its weird and doesn't make sense at all but that's what I am. Anyways I touched her arm and also I had a sore throat so when she asked me what's my name all that came out was a squeaky "I am Keisha." The employee of the store took two pictures of me and one was deleted immediately I wont divulge why and the other all you would see is my long curly black hair but none of that matters because I have a picture with Suzanne Collins and her beautiful smile, she is so humble and a joy to meet. My husband joked none of the teenagers cried but I got emotional because I am so inspired by her and the journey towards publication although rough at times is also rewarding when I get the opportunity to meet someone I respect. So if you have been living under a rock and have not heard about the series go get it an join in on an exciting series.

Reality Check

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of an awesome manuscript will find her agent, get published and have a successful career.



I wrote a previous post about my goals for the new year, thinking about my goals and the expectations in regards to my publishing journey I had an awakening. Firstly the surest thing I know is that I am in love with my first novel Ecliptic Dreams more so since I have started with revisions and rewrites which resulted in better ideas that heighten my plot and the variety of conflicts. In addition, I won’t give up I have gone this far it’ll be pointless to stop when I have invested in my writing, and I have set a round off number of 300 agents I will query when my manuscript is polished. Now I will move on to talking about expectations.



The expectations are brutal but again this is the reality that I have come to terms with.

Agents are not obliged to love my manuscript
Publishers have to fall in love with my manuscript to offer their investment to my product
I may never get on the bestseller list
I may never get appreciated by my target market
I may have to write plenty of novels before I reach the first step of getting representation


However….



I am not alone, many writers are striving up the same mountain as me and that is something which is comforting and helps with my tenacity to continue.

The final point that is important for writers is to focus on your realistic goals and put up a barrier so to speak blocking your expectations for the publishing industry.

GENRES

Today I was thinking about fiction and the various sub categories that it falls into, the first genre I am currently writing (editing/rewriting since 2009)

Paranormal romance is a sub-genre of the romance novel. A type of speculative fiction, paranormal romance focuses on romance and includes elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, blending together themes from the genres of traditional fantasy, science fiction, or horror. Paranormal romance may range from traditional category romances, such as those published by Harlequin Mills & Boon, with a paranormal setting to stories where the main emphasis is on a science fiction or fantasy based plot with a romantic subplot included. Common hallmarks are romantic relationships between humans and vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, and other entities of a fantastic or otherworldly nature.

Beyond the more prevalent themes involving vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, or time travel, paranormal romances can also include books featuring characters with psychic abilities, like telekinesis or telepathy.

Paranormal romance has its roots in Gothic fiction. Its most recent revival has been spurred by turn of the century technology, e.g. the internet and electronic publishing. Paranormal romances are one of the fastest growing trends in the romance genre.

Source Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

CHICK LIT This genre I don’t like to read it or write it but if it’s a movie I’ll watch it I know that’s totally weird but that’s who I am the last CHICK LIT movie I watched was CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC and even weirder this movie was based on a best-selling novel. The basic understanding of this genre is that a young women maybe between the ages of 20-37 searching for her brooding, dashing guy, add shoes, clothing, accessories like purses and voila CHICK LIT.

HISTORICAL come on the name is straight forward but in this vast world there will be someone who does not know so here goes. Historical is the past it could be yesterday technically and it can attach to a genre, romance, mystery etc

LITERARY FICTION When I researched this I was still boggled because I thought all sub genres was fiction here is the research info.

Literary fiction is a term that has come into common usage since around 1960, principally to distinguish “serious fiction” (that is, work with claims to literary merit) from the many types of genre fiction and popular fiction (i.e., paraliterature). In broad terms, literary fiction focuses more on style, psychological depth, and character , the plot may or may not be important. Mainstream commercial fiction focuses more on narrative and plot

Source Wikipedia The free encyclopedia

THRILLER this genre involves mystery/crime that is thrilling the main character(s) must solve a problem or locate the clues to solve the problem police, FBI, CIA, via adventures, escapes, martial arts or military training. Thrillers can involve legal, forensic, basically the goal is to keep the reader on his/her toes by being fast paced.

MYSTERY When I was a kid I enjoyed reading the Nancy Drew, Hardy boys novels so the genre involves a detective who has to resolve a crime, maybe they know the suspects or maybe they have to travel to locate the above, towards the ending of the novel everything has to be resolved unless it’s a series and then the reader will anticipate what will the sleuth figure out next.

This year I kept hearing about this genre and after I researched I still did not get it but interested in reading books in this genre.

STEAMPUNK Revolves in alternative history, mainly in Victorian-esque capacities with clocks, steam power fictional machinery maybe a robotic insects that spew out metal from their teeth but the character has an anti-metal spray that temporary immobilize the robots or uses a gun with bullets made from titanium the only thing powerful against these robots. I watched LEAGUE OF EXTRODINAIRY GENTLEMAN for one reason only if my dreams come true he would be a candidate to play my MC main squeeze and I don’t care that he’s way past the teen years.



Scott Westerfield LEVIATHAN and Robert Downey Junior in SHERLOK HOLMES

SCIENCE FICTION Here is the research since I have never attempted to write in this genre, or read any SCi-FI I too have to know the definition

Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with the impact of imagined innovations in science or technology, often in a futuristic setting. It differs from fantasy in that, within the context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible within scientifically established or scientifically postulated laws of nature (though some elements in a story might still be pure imaginative speculation). Exploring the consequences of such differences is the traditional purpose of science fiction, making it a “literature of ideas”. Science fiction is largely based on writing rationally about alternative possibilities. The settings for science fiction are often contrary to known reality, but the majority of science fiction relies on a considerable degree of suspension of disbelief, which is facilitated in the reader’s mind by potential scientific explanations or solutions to various fictional elements.

These may include:

A setting in the future, in alternative timelines, or in a historical past that contradicts known facts of history or the archaeological record
A setting in outer space, on other worlds, or involving aliens
Stories that involve technology or scientific principles that contradict known laws of nature
Stories that involve discovery or application of new scientific principles, such as time travel or psionics, or new technology, such as nanotechnology, faster-than-light travel or robots, or of new and different political or social systems (e.g., a dystopia, or a situation where organized society has collapsed)
Source Wikipedia The free Encyclopedia

URBAN FANTASY Fantasy elements faeries that reside in the real world which can include real life situations maybe faeries on a reality show partying all night, drinking and job in the morning and then doing all over the following night.



DYSTOPIA I never thought I would love this genre until I read the awesome series by the one and only…drum rock and roll Suzanne Collins HUNGER GAMES SERIES if you have not read these books you have either fell off planet or under a rock basically short version of what this genre is about are as follows.

A dystopia (from Ancient Greek: δυσ-: bad-, ill- and Ancient Greek: τόπος: place, landscape) (alternatively, cacotopia,or anti-utopia) is, in literature, an often futuristic society that has degraded into a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian. Dystopian literature has underlying cautionary tones, warning society that if we continue to live how we do, this will be the consequence. A dystopia, thus, is regarded as a sort of negative utopia and is often characterized by an authoritarian or totalitarian form of government. Dystopias usually feature different kinds of repressive social control systems, a lack or total absence of individual freedoms and expressions and constant states of warfare or violence. Dystopias often explore the concept of humans abusing technology and how humans individually and collectively cope with technology that has evolved too quickly. A dystopian society is also often characterized by mass poverty and brutal political controls such as a large military-like police.

Source Wikipedia The free Encyclopedia

Crutches/Voice

Deep in revisions my editor brought to my attention the crutches I use in my manuscript The first is the body language, I tend to have my characters run their fingers through their hair, in addition, I use begin and started a lot. So the question is what crutches do you use when you write? I have made note of my crutches and try to catch myself as I edit. I also bought the wonderful BODY LANGUAGE FOR DUMMIES by Elizabeth Kuhnke which has helped me utilize various body language but its more than that once you know your characters their body language should be authentic to them. I am also watchful of my voice which is emotional/edgy/dark. My prose is using realistic situations within my fiction world.

Agent Rachelle Gardner talked about voice on her blog, which helped me finally understand what voice means in relation to writing.

http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-is-writers-voice.html

Shades in fiction

Recently on twitter I engaged in a discussion with the lovely Leah Cypess regarding diversity in fiction. Before deciding to pursue my writing ambition I first had to read tons of books which is the #1 goal for all writers . When I concluded the novels I was left with one nagging thought many characters in fiction are white, and I had a bizarre conversation with a friend few months ago she had said if I write black characters in my novel it won’t sell. I don’t have the stats of how many books have majority of black or white characters , the 50 books I read last summer had mostly white characters. I think fiction should not have boundaries and its up to an author to make the choice what shade their character should be. Me on the other hand I believe the worlds I create will be more interesting with different shades of people.
Check out the lovely Leah Cypess book MISTWOOD and releasing May 2011 NIGHTSPELL

Novel Review

REYES GOLD
Author: Ruthie Robinson
2010 Indigo Spectrum
An imprint of Genesis Press, Inc
Genre: Multicultural, Contemporary Romance
Sensuality: Sizzling

Back flap blurb
Stephen Stuart and Reye Jackson are in their final year of University, when she stumbled upon him while waiting in first class check in line at the airport and was immediately attracted to Stephen , from the get go Reye had few mishaps Stephen was a gentleman and offered her a helping hand, and then him offering her an empty seat next to him made Reye developed a spark for Stephen. (I will not give away the spoiler what happened next it was perfect)

In Austen, Texas they meet up and Stephen decided to date Reye but made it clear it was stictly sex until they graduated, after graduation as promised he broke it off with Reye this shattered Reye who at this point was in love with Stephen.

So the story of how I got this book is not strange typical Saturday run to library to stack up on new books to read and research, last-minute before I checked out my books I noticed this cute little book, the cover did nothing for me, I wasn’t enticed by the white attractive male and a pretty black female, but it wasn’t hard to formulate what the book would be about an interracial couple struggling to be together. (I was right.)

Stephen was wealthy and at a very young age it was drilled to him by his parent’s to study law , Reye on the other hand had always struggled with school but her parents drilled in her as well the importance of education and she wanted to become a teacher so she could help other students who struggled throughout school, here are the reasons I was hooked.

The love interest had the same name of my love interest in my novel ECLIPTIC DREAMS *Stephen*
They have the same issues he is wealthy and his parents want him to study business and later run the family business
Although my book is a YA paranormal romance it tackled the same issues such as Elizabeth my main character not feeling secure in her relationship with Stephen because she feared the world would judge them because he is white and she is biracial
There is a break up also in my book in which my main character Elizabeth knows that she is better off with Stephen but didn’t want to take the risk which is what Reye experienced as well.
So that was the hook for me reading a book that had similar plot and conflict as my own which made me learn a lot I read this book from 11p.m.-3a.m. I rarely do that the last book I read all night was Mockingjay by the phenomenal Suzanne Collins. The book I wouldn’t consider it erotica, I interpreted the sex scenes as two people needing each other like a magnetic current and creatively expressed that via their romps in many places.

I have never read erotica but the scenes was tastefully written ( I would never do half of the positions or techniques that was described in the book but that’s why fiction is so amazing it transfers readers into that fantasy.)

I felt the two characters in love from the moment the writer introduced them, the plot was easy to figure out and I never got the sense it was the type of romance story in which the author wanted to keep her readers on the edge of thinking whether or not these two would get back together it was so easy to figure that out she gave very obvious clues for example the love interest missing Reye.

The POV was done in third person which was perfect because it enabled me to get in the mindset of Stephen and the other minor characters in the novel, but I would’ve liked first person POV to see the experience solely through Reyes eyes because I loved her personality, she was fearless, smart, witty and down to earth and I liked the contrast between her and Stephen; he on the other hand was conceited, somewhat arrogant and knew he was all that and more, but with Reye she softened him he could be himself he didn’t have to put on a front to prove anything to her and I really like that the author did that.

Rating: *****

Motivation

Last week I went into a dark zone, my new editor had giving me back chapter 1 and the first thing that I had to do was slow down because my scenes were too rushed, the realization hit me my former editor wasted my time and when money is involved that time wasted continues to haunt me. So what did I do yes it took a while a whole twenty-four hours for me to snap out of my self-pity and utilize my editor expertise and ask for help. She did more than what I asked for she gave me examples and a positive kick in the… I want to become published, I want to write until my fingers ache and even then I will likely still find a way to write, everyday I think of new things to write and I enjoy the escape, that’s the best part for me.

Its been almost two years since I decided to stop pushing aside my dream and the fact that it’s a painful journey so far means I am not giving in to defeat, nothing in life in my opinion is easy without sacrifice, and I also know some people will have better fate than me but I have come to the conclusion this is the way it will be for me and even though I am at the beginning I will be at the finish line one day.



What motivation do you tell yourself to keep going?

Validation

The week of February 22-25 2011 had been a horrible at week, conflicts with a coworker is never fun and feeling like no one gets me or that when I seek out support from my superiors they don’t offer me the support I wanted.

The reality is I can’t change others I have to work on myself to be the best person I can be and appreciating my family who should never soak in my negative energy . I overcame my issue by working out which is challenging I want the results of a leaner body but don’t want to work for it refer to my previous post about this goal and writing. As an aspiring writer I think getting an agent/publisher will validate me but I had an awakening I don’t need that validation I AM A WRITER! I struggle to write no matter what I endure in the real world even if I don’t accomplish my writing goal of 1000-1200 words a day,I still write something which most of the time will be revised or deleted. Being a Child and Youth Worker is difficult giving so much yet at times I feel I don’t get anything back but then a client will come to me and let me know how much they appreciate what I have done for them and that makes me get happy that even though I may not hear it, often I do make a difference. That’s similar to writing it takes a lot of hard work for me to gain knowledge about the craft putting myself out in the literary world knowing many rejections will occur before I get a validation but I know that if I dedicate time, effort that is my validation.

Feeling Complete

Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.
—Genesis 3:19
As a Christian I reflect a lot on the person I am now and the person I would like to aim to be in the future, which is to be the best parent I can; by working hard to secure a future for my children, being a good spouse which lately has meant taking a break from writing to remember I have to offer my attention to my relationship. Showing compassion, respect for others which has been difficult because I have come to terms that not everyone will be nice to me, not everyone will say positive words to me I have to feel complete about who I am and what it means to be me.
While I am in reflection mode I really want to strive to let things go not doing so inhibits me from growing or keep me stuck and I get all stressed.

My reflection will never feel complete without discussing my path towards getting an agent/published most people in my close circle of family and friends know that I write it is my passion that I ignored for a few years mainly because I was scared to take the leap the other thing about telling others about what your passionate about is they don’t take you serious and think it’s a hobby they don’t really understand that it’s not but an investment in my dream and confident that if I don’t give up especially when things will get hard my goal will see fruition.

What do you reflect about to aim for your complete self?

Going back to the beginningPosted

About two weeks ago my editor suggested a new way for me to start my novel, I had originally had the novel set up in which my MC grew up in the town but the plot kept getting confusing and difficult for me to show certain aspects such as the secondary important character treatment towards the MC. I gave myself the goal of page 200 in which it would enable me to kick-start the novel with as much momentum my muse can give me, but rewriting has also helped me not rush the story, even though my mind is at a much faster pace than what’s on the computer I am savouring the journey of my MC situations and my editor also has taught me something on her lovely blog , is that the main character journey should not be so easy because truthfully who wants to read that, readers want a character that can achieve many hurdles, they want also a character that they can relate to. Wrinting for the young adult market is not an easy feat I have to literally go into the mindset of when I was a teen . Writing is not easy its a lot of giving and I seem to always come back to the same point that I want it so much but I have to put immense motivation and take my time learning as much as I can about the craft. Few days ago I chatted with a good friend on twitter, I was in the zone of feeling like a failure, I felt defeated and at the time I really thought I was going to wave the white flag and announce that I will be in the category of writers that gave up on their dream but then I started feeling better and I realized that there is no shame in needing someone’s ear to vent, the key is finding the right person that will be positive but realistic.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rewriting/outlines oh my Gawd SOS!!!!


I have 220 more pages to go until I am done my rewrite of my first novel, and each time I think I am on the ball something always snags my momentum, for example this week I realized I don't have a freaking outline all I have been doing was writing quick notes of ideas so on my desk I had so many papers and after a while yep you guessed it I was overwhelmed.

I was confused and didn't know where the quick notes fit into the story, therefore I stopped writing and completed a chapter outline, and added notes on the side of my notebook that will remind me about something later that I might come back to, this has alleviated plenty of stress but then I went on twitter because that is my other obsession and while talking about Dawson Creek with a few awesome tweeps it dawned on me I had not thought about my character arc?

I know her, so I should know how she changes, because all characters must have a change whether that change is good or bad its still a change so back I went into the thinking vault which helped me but yet again I came up with something else.

I am pursueing an agent so I have to write my book as a stand alone and so awesome, but by tieing up all the loose ends to resolve my story, and even though I am done my second novel I cannot think about it, because if I do get an agent, and published and able to continue the story the plot in the second will be totally different so basically to give my first book enough stamina I am cutting and pasting a few climatic scenes.