Friday, August 27, 2010

NA....NO....WRI....MO!

Is that the thrill of anticipation I smell? I think it is!

Apparently I've been under a rock this last month or so, because NaNoWriMo has snuck right up on me!

It's a little like when your realize summer vacation is over, and you have to go back to school in a week? Only school, is a free for all shopping trip on the only cruise mall in the world!

IN CASE YOU CAN'T SEE... I'm super excited!

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about... I'll tell you! NaNoWriMo= National Novel Writing Month! Its a month long contest that opens every November first. The challenge? Write a full novel between November 1st and November 30th.

Rules? It must be 50,000 words or more. You have to type more than one word 50,000 times. It hast to be a novel (if you consider it a novel, so do they!) Don't edit! Editing's for December.

And at the end of this marathon of prose, you submit your work for validation of word count. If you've written a full novel by the end of the month, you win! You get a certificate and everything!

I'M SO EXCITED!


See for yourself!

Toodles!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quote of the Day!

"Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe"

If the wind will not serve,
take to the oars.

Latin Proverb

Awww Crap

I just realized something. I've almost completed 3 books, keyword almost. I came very close and I still might finish at least a couple of them, but as of now, I sound like a poser.

I say I'm a writer, but my current project only has a half finished outline while I work out the bugs. On the upside, as soon as I'm finished with the outline I'll be able to do some major work on the story, and it will be more organized than before.

But think about it. If someone asks me, "Oh you're a writer? How much of your book do you have?" I'll respond with, "Well... I haven't actually started it yet."

Some days, you just feel like a loser.

Working to turn my frown upside-down.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quote of the Day!

"Keep in mind that the person to write for is yourself. Tell the story that you most desperately want to read."


Susan Isaacs

Monday, August 23, 2010

Quote of the Day!

Sorry I've been slacking! (Gasp)

"If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster."

~Isaac Asimov

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Port Clyde



Downtown Port Clyde from the pier.



The beach at sunset.



Marshall Point Lighthouse.

Settings


Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas. Over 100,000 acres of land and in my novel, home to one of the deadliest "wolf" packs in the south. Aptly named the Big Thicket Pack, their leader Reed and his equally psychotic son Teak, take what they want when they want it, including life, land, and freedom.

Titles

I am so completely stuck!

Titling a novel is insanely difficult! I know in general, there's a good chance a publishing house or your agent will suggest changing the title for publication, and that can be for any number of reasons. I also know that if that happens to me, all this thinking and thesaurus searching is for nothing, but I'm still trying to find THAT title.

I want a title that gives the same feeling I get when I think of the story. That feeling you get when you read a novel that makes you keep reading. It has to match that and so far I've thought of a lot of good titles, but nothing that has that perfect fit feeling.

I researched articles on titling your story, and know that slapping the first thing you think of on your title page is ridiculous. I heeded their advice. I sat down with my white board and started writing out words that describe my novel, and short phrases. I took those words and looked them up in the thesaurus, I searched Amazon to see what other titles in my genre are named, for inspiration, and still haven't found THAT title. The perfect one.

So what do you think? Its a werewolf based story, and involves a rogue wolf hiding from his pack...

So far I have:

"Borrowed Time"
"Bite of Promise"
"Nowhere to Hide"
and
"Out of Reach"

They're sort of bland... but like I said before, I'm stuck!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hate is a Strong Word....

Everywhere I go, in every agent blog I read, in every comment I peruse I see people curling their noses at the thought of writing queries. Agents explain that they know how terrible it is to write them, they offer advice to get through the terrible ordeal.... and I don't understand it!

I have yet to complete an entire novel but that doesn't mean I haven't taken a stab at the query process. I've completed four that match stories that have never seen the light of day. How, you might ask, do I write a query when the story isn't finished?

Its simple. When I get a story idea I think of the story as a whole. Characters, events and all in a very general sense. I know I want girl and boy to fall in love, but I also know I want villain to make their love dangerous, or storm to kill boy at the end. I have a very general idea of what I want to happen, and I write my query from that point.

Anyway, I dont mind writing queries. Sure its hard work summarizing all 70,000 words into a two paragraph blurb meant to catch the agent's attention. Sure its nerve wracking knowing that the query is the only thing you'll ever write that's guaranteed to be read. But why does that make it a bad thing?

In my experience, if you have fun writing the story, then why wouldn't you enjoy the challenge of the rest of the process? Editing is tedious, but it makes your story better. Querying is just as tedious but equally exciting. (For me anyway.) And I have yet to experience the rest of publishing but I will, and when that happens I'm sure the challenge will be just as enjoyable as the rest.

I think people forget that if your novel never see's the light of day you've still accomplished something that not many people can do. It takes guts to spill your heart on a page (or keyboard) and complete a full story from beginning to end. It may not feel like it, but you've accomplished something, even as the rejections pour in.

Its important to be more than proud of yourself, no matter what the outcome, and if you have that attitude there's no reason not to enjoy every part of the process in your attempt to see your book on shelves, including querying.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quote of the Day!

“The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean”

~Robert Louis Stevenson

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Quote of the Day!

In the theme of my current writing, the quote of the day was chosen accordingly:

"All of us are God's creatures... just some are more creature than others."

~Anonymous

Werewolves are Fun!

Took a typing test online just a few minutes ago. Apparently I can type up to 53 words a minute, and that's with random words that made absolutely no sense when strung together. I'm pretty happy with that number. I remember in high school I took a computer class and you had to type 20 words per minute to pass. I couldn't do it without looking at the keyboard, so I sort of cheated.

Shhh. Don't tell anyone.

So 53 is a definite step up. I still cheat sometimes and look at the keys as I'm typing. Old habits die hard, what can I say.

On the writing front, it is so refreshing to work on one type of story for months and suddenly skip to something else, even for a little while. Like a cool bucket of water splashed on the face. (I'm talking about my temporary switch from vampires to werewolves.)

No more fangs for me, at least not for a week or two. It didn't feel fun anymore, and the only reason I write anything at all is because it is so much fun to do! So when it feels like work, I find something else to write about and let me tell you... werewolves are fun!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quote of the Day!

"Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing."
~Melinda Haynes

Taking 5

I took a break from vampires today. It was beginning to feel like a chore every time I sat down to write so it was time to try something else for a while.

I ended up starting an outline for a werewolf story. Not the half man half beast werewolves but the ones that turn into actual wolves, maybe a little bigger than the average wolf. My wolves also retain their natural eye color, which makes them easier to discern from the real, pure blood wolves.

The problem is, my outlines could practically be read like a novel. They're crazy detailed and take a very long time to complete. So it'll keep me busy for a while. When I say detailed I mean detailed too, down to where people are sitting in a room or the color car that passes them on the highway.

I've tried to do it differently but gave up. Sometimes you just have a way of doing things and trying to change that is like trying to change a piece of yourself. Never a good idea.


In other news my cousin wants to start writing! It always excites me to be able to talk writing stuff with someone who actually cares, so there's something to look forward to.

Well that's it for tonight. Toodles.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

SafetySuit - Stay

Recommendation!

Writing Magic by the author of Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine) is a must read! Its so cute and helpful.

Some books are full of words like protagonist and prose and a million other words that maybe the average person turned wannabe writer wouldn't know. The people writing the books probably assume that anyone who wants to write knows these words, and lets face it, almost every house has a dictionary, but its nice to see a book that approaches writing in its simplest form.

There are these nifty little writing exercises at the end of each chapter that definitely get you in the right frame of mind, and the book is short enough for even the busiest wannabe writer.

What's my favorite part? I thought you'd never ask! She devotes an entire chapter on never ever deleting anything you write until at least 15 years have passed. I think that's important because even if you give up on a novel, it doesn't mean you'll never return to it, even if it takes 10 years. ;-)

I should probably say so far. That's my favorite part SO FAR. I'm only on the 6th chapter, but I'll bet my nonexistent life insurance policy that it only gets better from here!

Check it out from your local library and see what I mean!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Book Trailers

So... this may seem like a strange question, but who makes book trailers?

I know there are fans that make their own home made versions and post them on youtube, but who makes the ones they advertise on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com? Is it someone who actually works with the author? Is it someone the publishing company hires? Do they just pick the coolest one from youtube and plaster it up there for free advertising?

I ask because I just watched one for a YA Fantasy novel that I have here on my shelf and the trailer was completely misleading. It made the book seem interesting, when in my opinion it was long and dull.

Its like the age old question of "Where did all my socks end up?"

Quote of the Day!

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”

~John Jakes

"I'd Come for You" Booth and Brennan Video

Ugh....

I got pages from a friend of mine the other day. She wants to enter her story in a writing contest or something, I'm not sure. The thing is, she sent me pages before, and after I read them I told her the same thing I'm going to tell her this time around.

SHOW DON'T TELL.

Its one of the most basic rules of writing. Long lengthy paragraphs about the scenery, every member of the protagonist's family, the exact material of clothing every single person (important to the story or not) is wearing, comma after comma separating descriptions of mythological creatures, and exactly who the bad guy is and what he wants? All in the first page?!?!?!? That's going to make any self respecting reader put down the book and grab something else.

Why? Because its boring! That's why!

Its not hard. Space out the information, dont just dump it on the first few pages like gravy on a Thanksgiving plate. Spread it out, thin the explanation to as few words as possible and explain it in dialogue! Have it happening there in the story, dont just explain what happened like an afterthought.

Your readers will continue to read as long as the story flows. If they have to pause, say "Huh?" and go back to reread the last paragraph (or in this case, the last ten pages), you're giving too much information!

SHOW! Don't Tell. Repeat it, remember it, and USE IT!

;-)

Quote of the Day!

I'd rather be caught holding up a bank than stealing so much as a two-word phrase from another writer.
~Jack Smith

Friday, August 6, 2010

Depeche Mode - A Pain That I'm Used To

Combination: Quote of the day and... other stuff

"The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea."
Thomas Mann

The last post is a song from an action sequence in the first season of Bones. I heard it and immediately thought of a million ways it will inspire me. It makes me think of chase scenes, or needing to get somewhere and not having enough time- life life or death.

In other random daily news, the procrastination that's kept me from writing anything that doesn't succumb to the delete button these past few days has been lifted! I needed to write a good scene between scenes. That is, I needed something to separate "action scene #1" from "action scene # 2" but I hated everything I came up with. It all sounded fake or not in line with where the story was going.

Not anymore. I changed a character, took one out of the equation and now I can bowl onto that next action scene (an attempted murder! How exciting?) and hopefully the rest of the book as well!

I see it as getting lost on your road trip. If you look at the map long enough (or find the charger for your GPS) you'll eventually get where you're going.

Patience is a virtue right? Well, I have loads of it.

Orson Scott Card is schooling me on the ways of science fiction and fantasy. I rented his book How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy from the library today, so that's my newest assignment. Oh, besides my real assignment for The Institute of Children's Literature. I got my last assignment back the day before yesterday so onto the next one. I should be done before the end of the year if I get to it.

That's all for tonight. Toodles.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

YAY GAY MARRIAGE!

I may not be everyone's friend for posting something like this on the internet, but I dont really care.

In case you've had your head in the dirt ostrich style for the last few days I'm talking about the reversal of California's gay marriage ban!

Its important for me to say that though I believe a higher power exists, I do not for one minute believe he would have created this planet just for us to discriminate- yet again- the people who live on it.

It doesn't affect me if two lesbians get married, and who am I to tell them they cant? Its their right to have every ceremony available to straight people, but its America's way to single out a group of people and make them feel like crap for years. (See the civil rights movement, the treatment of Asians during WWII, any Arab in the US right this very second.)

Anyway, I'm thrilled and happy for everyone this affects in California, and hope it spreads to the rest of the country!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead."

~Gene Fowler

SafetySuit - Someone Like You

Random Writing Stuff

I think I need to gain the ability to sit down and write out an outline. It sort of feels like doing homework, you know? The writing is like recess and the research and plot outlining is like math class.

But you cant graduate without knowing your math, just like I cant seem to keep my story straight with all my thoughts and scenes shoved into my brain. So that's my next task. I'll write out brief points that I want to cover in conversations, put them in order and fill it in with the scene it happens in.

It might work, and my hand might fall off if I go into too much detail, but I WILL finish this story. Three months I've put into this and I'm not about to let it fall apart now.

I'm probably too stubborn for my own good, but in this situation I wont see that as a fault. I'll keep writing until its finished, and I wont stop editing and revising until I'm proud of it.

;-)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Quote of the Day!

"Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears."
Les Brown.

Oh Sleep, How You Evade Me

Yet again, no matter how much my eyes sting, or my pillow calls to me, I can't sleep. My mind races, I think of scenes, and dialogue and hate- even for a brief moment- that I ever decided to be a writer.

That passes real soon. Like wishing your little sister didn't have a mouth so she would just shut up for five minutes. If her mouth really did fall right off her face, you'd be wracked with guilt.

I bought a pretty notebook today. It has a rather inspiring quote on the cover which goes nicely with its purpose.

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars."

I bought it as a sort of archive for all my story ideas. I think its one of the reasons I'm having trouble sleeping. I have several novel ideas just swimming around in there waiting to be written. Vampires, werewolves, past lives, stalkers, elves, heartbreak, terror and its all occupying the same little chunk of space.

I'm surprised it doesn't give me a headache.

So to ease my mind a little, I bought the notebook and tonight began devoting page after page to story ideas as painfully detailed as I can manage in a 5x7 notebook without using up too many trees.

Off to check the blogs of my favorite literary agents and see what they had to say since I last checked them.

Its a good thing I write my best stuff when I'm tired, because it seems to be a constant state.