Thursday, July 28, 2011

Juggling needs and wants

On Friday it is the annual camping trip with my family, its the cheapest vacation trip, last year my husband and I decided to go to Jamaica with our girls, I was born there and did not return for over thirty years, so for me it was special to return back to the place I was born, I did not return to my hometown it has changed so much, now its quite violent I won't mention the name of the town so that no one is offended if they are from that place.

We will be heading up to Balsam Lake and once again I am banned from writing it was a treaty I made with my kids last year or perhaps it was when they realized I was serious about my writing, I love to write when I am looking out at the lake, or the beautiful trees but I also have to realize writing has to take a pause when it comes to creating special memories with my family.

The treaty however, does not include books though, so I will get inspiration from Jane Austen I recently wrote a outline for a new WIP which is frightening because I am inspired by the author Gothic theme.

Choosing to pursue my writing dream comes with many sacrifices and I feel sometimes time is not on my side, working a full time job, mommy duty during the school year, trying to get healthy by going to the gym and fitting in my writing can get overwhelming so my focus is to try my best prioritize my routine which in the end will still result in me writing into the wee hours on the weekend and reducing when I write during the week so that I am rested for work the next day.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dreams will come true...it happens when the timing is right.



Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?

Judy Garland

source Google

I really like this song, on my journey towards my dream its quite easy to settle with the fact I may never get published, but then I go into the bookstores, libraries even my local dollar stores and there are so many books. There are many books that I don't like versus there are books I adore and that's the joy of having such an eclectic mix of genres so that everyone can choose what they like, and if I am published the same will be true for me but right now I enjoy the quiet moments I have to write and to dream and never give in to failure.

Friday, July 22, 2011

HUNGER GAMES



I have never been so anxious for a movie I fell in love with the HUNGER GAMES BOOKS way after the fact the last book peaked my interest because so many people was tweeting about it, I never thought I would like dystopia but Suzanne Collins spin made me adore the genre.

When I read the trilogy I did recognize the possible influence; Greek Mythology and Stephen's King The Running Man, the movie's I think will meet the expectation of the well plotted series although I hated the cliff hangers, but it was done so well because many people purchased the books.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

MARKETING 101

Editor extraordinaire Lynnette Labelle will be offering Hook, Line, and Sinker: How to Hook Readers and Reel Them In? She will be teaching the course in September registration is now open.

And that leads me into author self promotion, again I was stalking the amazing Nathan Brandsford
a few of his comments were people disgruntled because he was self promoting his book
I don't understand what the problem is, if I get published you best believe I will pimp my novel marketing I believe is a huge aspect of the publishing world its competitive and on top of writing and selling a marketable book you have to make sure that other books that may be similar will not gain the upper hand. A blog is a good way to market and although its not the only way its a start especially for Nathan who has a great following but he has earned that by offering useful advice to aspiring writers and because part of the journey is appreciating authors and helping build word a mouth for them I am recommending to check his book out.

As always right with joy (and I ate chocolate today the travesty.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Panster/Plotter.



An email from my editor encouraged this post, I never thought about what I am in regards to the way I write, so when she mentioned that I am a panster I researched and concluded that I am both a panster and a plotter.

When I have a shiny new idea that sticks in my mind for more than two weeks I start to research, first I need to know the characters, setting, and the conflict even if the conflict is not fully fleshed out I at least need to know vaguely what I want it to be about.

In my handy character notebook which I have for each book I write
(dollar stores are my bff) I write maybe a paragraph or two of the intro so that when I do go back to the wip I am already at the starting line.

I am a panster because I would say 70% of the time I wing it at this point I am just writing not worrying about editing, however, I'm still focused on the plot.

Con of a panster
The problem with this is that when it comes to revisions you will likely have more revising/cutting to do and you should have had a notebook that has relevant facts or else it will be a daunting task to back track these information.

Thank goodness I did that but I still have a huge mss to reorganize. ECLIPSE is a novel I wrote last year if you have read my previous post I queried too early and even though I got a few agents request for partials and couple fulls it fizzled because it had numerous holes in it, so I decided to rewrite my novel, using some of the scenes from the old mss and revised according to the changes in the rewritten book.

Plotter
You must know all the details, the good thing is that your revisions may not be as long because you structered your novel according to your outline, so I thought about this more and came to the conclusion I am, both a panster and a plotter and I feel that being both enables me to get the advantage and disadvantage of both, that's the key to anything that you want to do in regards to the journey of becoming published I think each person has to evaluate how they write.

I think as well one should be flexible maybe there will be a time I have to solely be a panster or a plotter so the point is to expand your horizon out of your comfort zone which will enable you to continue your growth as a writer.

As always write with plenty of joy and chocolate or whatever else helps you quiet the voices in your mind.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Putting back my words




What was I freaking thinking? I rewrote my novel in sections, thinking it would be easier to do so, I was so wrong because when I put it back it was a catastrophe the scenes were scattered and did not flow the way I plotted them to. I was worried initially that the effort to try and make sense of what I wrote will be a daunting task.

So I sat and stared at my computer screen and then the solutions trickled in my thoughts ways I can rectify my mistake. I printed out all 428 pages (word count should be 100,000 obviously with that page number I am way above that number so plenty will be on the cutting room floor so to speak)then separated my manuscript in sections 1A etc I also wrote a memo to myself that if the scenes did not advance the plot, conflict etc it will cut.

In addition, I wrote all major scenes that have to be kept doing this has made me feel much better.This is also what the journey is about making mistakes can be a good thing as a writer I hope to learn from my mistakes and this is just one out of many I am sure will occur, mistakes are not bad they enable growth and also it enables an individual to evaluate what type of write they are, in my previous post I mentioned knowing your unique voice and not trying to mimic another writer to expand on that ,it also includes habits how you revise, how you sit down to write, for me I have to hear quiet music, I used to write listening to head phones but that changed and I have no reason why that is. I stopped snacking because I was eating junk food in the wee hours of the morning and since I am on my diet I munch on carrots, so back to my point although I was slightly overwhelmed because of my blunder I accept it and happy that I once again wrote a book that still makes me giddy although my book has a specific target audience in mind right now I am writing for me that's the best you can do so that you stay true to your true self.
Write with joy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Revision Checklist

Stalking the awesome Nathan Bransford today I found another useful list that I taped to my desk to help me as I enter revision zone.

The main plot has to stay consistent:

I have had issues with a few books I read recently in which the plot shifted into unknown territory which left me with so many questions and I am the type of reader if something doesn't make sense I look back to see if I missed something,that's just me other readers may say bye bye to your book.

Characters experience's has to seem like a roller coaster: Nathan explains the character has to go through up and down moments that's why readers read books they don't want MC to have things work out nice and fluffy like cotton candy they want to be on that journey, to feel satisfied that the MC achieved her goals.

CONFLICT:
conflict is the heart and soul of a good book show the good the bad and the ugly of your MC back stories, histories digging deep will ensure the reader further understands why they should care about your character because back to plot it will help it

Pacing:
I am currently rewriting my YA PNR I struggled with the consistency of the pacing in my original version. The truth of the genre I am writing in is that teens don't want to be bored they want there quick fix and move on or if they love the book they may read it again.

Tense:
This is one of the known suspects for me I always slip, in addition the POV I am writing is in first person but my awesome beta catches me when I use we etc

Ground the reader:
Basically keep the scenes tight, give as much information that is needed for the scene

Voice:
I don't think I need to go in depth about this one most writers understand yet they struggle with gaining their unique writing voice, which I did as well. What is so unique about your writers voice that will sets you apart from other writers? I have engraved this on my desk to never try and write like another writer its one thing to get inspired its something totally different to mimic. I think it also has a lot to do with self esteem too so believe in yourself and your voice will shine through your words, descriptions, emotions etc

Too much description:
Climatic events should be given priority pay attention to chapters, editing out what doesn't advance the plot, conflict etc reflect if the plot still makes sense if you delete a chapter scene etc ( I advise though to have a outtakes file you never know when you might need that for another scene I learned the hard way)

Relationship of the characters:
This has to get more complex, evolve as the novel progresses

GMC:
Know your main characters internal external goals so that when you are in revisions you can answer this question: Is it clear to audience the unconscious motivations

Tics:
I call them known suspects, mine are short scenes which doesn't leave reader grounded


Dialogue and other mention-ables:
He said/She said dialogue tags when there doesn't need to be if the dialogue is rocking then don't go a tagging (I just made that up nerd muse is on fire )
Can I get a ADVERBS INTERJECTIONS press the delete button now, I was told by my beta I had too many adverbs and when I checked oh yeah taking a few out made a huge difference.Gestures my editor told me one of my crutches was characters running fingers through hair now I stray away from that crutch sparingly. Repetition when I wrote this word for some strange reason I had Aretha Franklin RESPECT song in my head

The End:
I am almost there *squee* according to Nathan it cannot sound rushed, it has to tie up all loose ends although I have written the second book in my potential series guess what agent/big editor at nice pub house may not give a hoot so I have to write my baby as if I will never get opportunity for a series pack the juice it but it has to be a satisfactory conclusion.

Final thoughts:
The whole point of a story IMHO is to identify the changes the character makes I hate to use this example but I must BELLA in TWILIGHT series I did not get the sense that she evolved I wanted her to kick some Vulturi butt, I wanted her to go off to study maybe somewhere like Paris, I wanted her to be her own women without living for Edward even though he was the love of her forever.
Kiersten white author of Paranormalcy and soon to be released SUPERNATURALLY
commented that minor characters can be combined I personally have not done this but it is an interesting thought I have a character book and organized MC and minor characters if a character becomes one of the main characters I think about that for a while because most of the time it just happens, for example I had a main character initially be the secondary love rival for my MC with the rewrite and new plot that is not possible he will still however be a really good friend.
Scenes:
must be dramatic on their own as well as contribute to overall plot
-

So that's all folks its 1:57 in Toronto my girls are in my bed my husband is sleeping in younger daughter room and I can't sleep which is why I cannot have a consistent day to blog when the idea for post comes I am on fire now I will write another hour.
Write with joy (and plenty of chocolate)
Lyrics to Sex On Fire :

Lay where you're laying
Don't make a sound
I know they're watching
They're watching

All the commotion
the kiddie like play
Has people talking
Talking

You
Your sex is on fire

The dark of the alley
The break of the day
Head while I'm driving
I'm driving

Soft lips are open
Them knuckles are pale
Feels like you're dying
You're dying

You
Your sex is on fire
Consumed
With what's just transpired

Hot as a fever
Rattling bones
I could just taste it
Taste it

But it's not forever
But it's just tonight
Oh we're still the greatest
The greatest
The greatest

You
your sex is on fire

You
Your sex is on fire

Consumed
With what's just transpired

And You
Your sex is on fire

Consumed
With what's just transpired
Lay where you're laying
Don't make a sound
I know they're watching
They're watching

All the commotion
the kiddie like play
Has people talking
Talking

You
Your sex is on fire

The dark of the alley
The break of the day
Head while I'm driving
I'm driving

Soft lips are open
Them knuckles are pale
Feels like you're dying
You're dying

You
Your sex is on fire
Consumed
With what's just transpired

Hot as a fever
Rattling bones
I could just taste it
Taste it

But it's not forever
But it's just tonight
Oh we're still the greatest
The greatest
The greatest

You
your sex is on fire

You
Your sex is on fire

Consumed
With what's just transpired

And You
Your sex is on fire

Consumed
With what's just transpired

[ These are Sex On Fire Lyrics on http://www.lyricsmania.com/ ]

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Breaking Down


Today I had another cry fest t I was thinking about my journey and the fact I am taking my dream of getting published/agented serious I am finding that the road to that goal is hard. When I am in that zone I hear that awful voice telling me to quit (my stubbornness is way stronger so I could never quit.) Feeling like I needed a break I hopped over to blogger extraordinaire Roni Loren and after reading her post I tweeted to her its like she writes her post with me in mind because they generally seem to relate what I am experiencing at the moment. Check out the post its amazing how she comes up with the most useful post, the post also gave me a boost making me reaffirm to myself I don't totally suck I have come a long way I believe I will gain the understanding of the craft and I am also determined to keep learning because learning never stops no matter how amazing someone gets. So I have put my tears away and smiling and back to work on my wip that's almost done *squee*
Write with joy.