Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Shattered" Elizabeth and Darcy

Ah Darcy... How I love you.

Setting Boundaries

I'm blogging about this because its directly relevant to my current project. I was procrastinating on my NaNoWriMo outline because... well I love to procrastinate! And I ended up brainstorming ideas for my epic fantasy, anything from how many moons to have, to the full extent of the magic in my world.

It's always important to set boundaries, no matter what kind of fiction you're writing, but especially when the supernatural is involved. There's nothing worse than a character only able to do one or two things, and then at the end they miraculously solve the big problem with a burst of magic you never knew they even had, especially if it would have helped earlier as well. It seems fake, well, because it is fake. Most of the time that happens when someone needs a resolution and can't dig themselves out of the hole they created. Believe me, I've done it, and its bad. Resist. Resist I say!

To avoid it, I'm starting at the very beginning, thinking of all I need to accomplish in the story and setting the parameters of what's possible and impossible in that world.

For example: My elves


Some use magic to manipulate the elements, but in a very small way. Ex/ They can't start things on fire, but they can create a bigger fire from a spark, small flame, etc.
Have startling grace
Create light orbs with their palms (theses are light elves after all)
Have pointed ears and small frames, though most are rather tall
Possess more strength than you would think
Have really bright eyes
Have a way with animals
Heal with touch
Live quite a bit longer than humans (due to the fact that they can just get another elf to heal them if they get old and ill.) Their only natural cause of death is old age.

Do Not

Contain unlimited magic
Read minds
Walk on water
Run any faster than the average person
Create storms
Become invisible
Worship dark magic (that's for the dark elves)
Heal without consequence
Stand up against man made weapons and live to tell the tale (they're not invincible)
Jump tall buildings with a single bound
Don red and white outfits and make toys
Live in trees and cause woodland mischief, or anything else equally ridiculous.

In summary, they're just taller, prettier, more graceful people with the ability to push the wind in a different direction for a minute, or make a light orb with their hands to defend themselves.

What boundaries have you set for your characters? For your world?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My average day as an upublished Author/Stay at home mom...

1. Wake up, after not nearly enough sleep.
2. Chase a 2 yr old around the house to get him to eat something.
3. Facebook, blogspot, and email while Logan watches Cars for the bazillionth time.
4. Stare at my outline like I expect it to talk to me and tell me what's missing.
5. Put Logan down for a nap.
6. Elliptical and loud music for a half hour, then a shower.
7. More staring at my outline, missing actual writing.
8. Write a blog about how much I hate outlines, or possibly just the Quote of the Day!
9. Redo my playlist on iTunes, the ones from yesterday are already old.
10. Close my eyes and think what the songs remind me of, maybe those things will give me an idea.
11. Logan wakes up, more chasing, and more Cars.
12. Realize there's no way my ending can be my ending. It doesn't make any sense.
13. Pound my head into the keyboard.
14. Look up pictures of wolves for inspiration, then realize I just wasted an hour. I already know what wolves look like.
15. Make Logan watch something else, Cars is bugging me.
16. Calm him down when the dryer buzzer goes off and scares the crap out of him.
17. Chase him around for dinner.
18. Facebook and email again.
19. Bath time for Logan. He splashes while I sulk, thinking why I'm even bothering to write at all.
20. Logan's in bed, loud music and elliptical for another half hour.
21. Sit and sweat over the keyboard while I type, and erase everything I think of. Nothing is good enough.
22. Stop sweating, still erasing.
23. Scour the house and pick up all Logan's toys off the floor.
24. Stare off into space imaging my story like a movie, wondering still, what's missing?
25. Pull my hair out.
26. Light bulb. I get one good idea and scribble it several places- whiteboard, post-it, notebook- so I don't forget.
27. Go to bed too late, in preparation of getting up too early again.
28. Wake up a few minutes after I fall asleep, and think of something genius, scribble it down on the notebook by the bed.
29. Fall asleep, and plan to stay asleep this time.
30. I hear Logan crying through the monitor...

Vampire Diaries "Obsession" by Sky Ferreira

This is my all time favorite show, add that to a great song and what do you get? My favorite music video of the week, that's what!


Quote of the Day!

"Every bestselling author starts out with the same 2 things; an idea, and a blank document. If you have those, you have all you need to let it out and see what happens."


Monday, September 13, 2010

Quote of the... early morning!

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”

~Winston Churchill

It's one am... ONE A.M.

Insomnia, why do you plague me? I feel like those poor little cartoon characters with the solitary cloud over their heads, constantly raining. Only the rain isn't a metaphor for me being sad, its literal. As in the rain is hitting me in the face and I can't sleep!

In other news I found out that a half hour on an elliptical burns around 500 calories, yay me. And I named my novel- well potential novel- and finished the major points in my outline. It'll take me a week or so to fill in the boring stuff in between the major plot twists and then I'm done and ready for NaNoWriMo.

I'm also starting my outline for my big epic elf novel. That's right I said elves. I miss writing though. I've been plugging away on outlines but the writing is stuck. I guess that means I have writers block, and outline prosperity. Oh well, works for me.

Have I mentioned how much I hate outlines?


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ugh... outlines....

It is, I've decided, entirely impossible for me to complete a novel without an outline first. Which is unfortunate, considering how much I LOATHE WRITING OUTLINES.

However, I hate not finishing my stories even more. So I suck it up, and outline. Currently I'm about 5/8 of the way through with my current one, and though I hated every second of it, I do have to admit that the story is about a million times stronger than if I'd just started writing it from the beginning.

Some things I sorted out?

A better ending, without getting to the end and realizing the beginning needed to be completely rewritten to get there.

A more plausible way to get to that ending, rather than "And then this happened. Why? Because I said so."

Change in bad guys to open the possibility of a sequel to the novel. (Which would have required almost a complete rewrite otherwise.)

A change from 1st person perspective to third.

And finally, a more effective way of introducing the fantasy elements of the story without dumping all the information on in a couple paragraphs at a seemingly random time.

So, all in all, the outline is the best way for me, personally, so I have to suck it up and just do it, because in the end I have a stronger story and a better sense of how I want to tell it.

Luckily Storybook makes it feel like less of a chore. There's just something about an outline computer program that makes it feel a little less like homework. Either way, I'm really excited about this one, even though I'm waiting until November to write it. GO NANOWRIMO!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Best Joke Ever!

Ok, I just heard this one and it has replaced my previous all time favorite joke for the time being.

Why does a chicken coop have 2 doors?

Because if it had four, it would be a chicken sedan!

I know, I'm still laughing....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Quote of the Day!

"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it."

~C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963)

Save The Words!

Thanks to the wonderful new Office of Letters and Light blog I've come across this wonderful site by the Oxford Dictionary!

Save the Words tries to bring the "endangered words" of the English language back into style! You can browse the words, click and see their meaning, even adopt a word and pledge to do your part in bringing it back by using it as much as possible!

My word? Succisive. Its an adjective meaning, of spare or extra time. And man do I wish my life were more succisive! I wouldn't be writing this blog and thinking about the fact that I'm supposed to be working out, showering, and making chicken salad at the same time right now.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jessie's Girl (Glee Cast Version)

Quote of the Day!

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.”

I dont know who said that. ;-)

Newest Form of Procrastination

Two words. Two lovely addicting words.

Veronica Mars.

I know. Its come and gone right? Well that's the only way I do things. For some reason I'll hear about a book, series, movie and it wont sound interesting at all. Give it a year or two, everyone's forgotten about it, and I discover it like Columbus discovering America "for the first time." (That was a little slap to Mr. Columbus in case you didn't catch it. The vikings? Hello?)

Back on track. The evidence? I started watching One Tree Hill in its 6th season. Bones in its 5th. I read Twilight a full 3 years after it was published, and now Veronica Mars.

What can I say, I'm always late to the party.

Seriously though, somebody should have alerted me to what I was missing! All the wit? All the shenanigans? Shame on you!

I suppose all this I hear about the Hunger Games series will follow suit. It just doesn't seem interesting, but give it a few years, I'll be blogging about how awesome it is and you'll be shaking your heads. Come on we'll shake together...