Monday, January 23, 2012

Fantasy VS Reality

I'd just like to point out, that I would much rather be writing somewhere like here:

Then on a laptop, on my couch, while my three year old watches the same four episodes of Backyardigans. Just saying.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Do You Character Profile?

One of the most difficult tasks I face as a writer is forgetting who I'm trying to write about. I know, that makes me sound senile, but it's true! I remember the personality, and what happens with that character, but it's difficult for me to remember their physical traits.

More often than not, my main characters will start off with black hair, and end with red. They'll have a tattoo in the beginning that never ever comes up again. And from beginning to end, their eyes will hit the entire range of the color spectrum. If you were to read the character description in the beginning, and try again at the end, it would seem like two entirely different people with the same personality.

My solution? A character profile.

I make a new one for each story idea, since each story will need certain traits listed. For instance, if I'm writing a YA Science Fiction story about various aliens living on one planet it might look something like this:



Race Name:

Skin Color:

Skin Type:

Special Markings:

Number of Hands:

Number of Eyes:

Hair Type:

Hair Color:

Special Features:


And if I were writing about normal humans with normal features it would be more limited to basics: hair color, eye color, height, weight, skin tone, special markings, age, full name, birthplace, birth date. Most of the time my characters have seven pages worth of profiles, with everything from the basics to a characters fears, and likes and dislikes. Before I'm done I even have my main characters favorite movie documented.

Before I'm done my characters are as real to me as actual people and it helps me keep my stories straight.

How do you keep your characters straight? Are you a fan of the character profile or are you more of a "write now, fix the hair later" sort of writer?

What is the most important question you have for your main characters?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Taylor Swift & the Hunger Games

I don't know if you've heard, but Taylor Swift has a song on the Hunger Games Soundtrack!

I'm so excited!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Swearing in YA? What the #&%@!

There's a lot of controversy in the writing world when it comes to teenage characters and curse words. On one side are the people writing these foul mouthed characters, arguing that real teenagers swear all the time so why not use it if it feels natural to the story??

On the other side are the parents/teachers/librarians/etc who feel its their duty to protect children from bad influences such as sex, violence, and curse words in their literature.

My stance? I think it's OK. Realistically, there's absolutely nothing a teenager is going to read about in a book that they won't hear coming out of their peers mouths, especially the older they get. Hell, most high school seniors swear more often than Marines.

But I think there has to be a reason behind it. If your character is just cursing because that's what teenagers do, then I don't see that as a necessary part of your story. If, however, they're cursing at their boyfriend who just cheated on them, or dropping the f-bomb after breaking their arm- and its a natural response to the situation- I at least won't bat an eye.

As far as the adults looking to censor what their children read, or see on television, I completely understand their position. I think its important for parents to have opinions on their children, but there's also a line. Do I believe its inappropriate for a 13 or 14 year old to read a book about a child prostitute? Yes! Of course! Do I think that someone older than 16 is going to be damaged by reading a character dropping the F-bomb? Nope.

So for me, it all comes down to the age range. In my own writing I'll limit swearing if I'm aiming the book for the younger side of the YA scale. Of course I won't curse up the whole story just because its for older teens. A swear word is a choice just like every other word you choose to use. It has to have an impact and a purpose, otherwise its just unnecessary.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my position? And how often do your characters drop a four letter word?

Do you put swearing into the same category as sex when it comes to YA??

What else is YA taboo in your opinion???


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How Long Have You Been Writing?

I started writing about two and a half years ago; and when I say "writing" I mean fumbling through stories that had absolutely no plot, no arc, and pretty much raced through twenty or so thousand words and then spend forty on the big climactic ending.

Yeah, it blew.

But I was sitting here a little while ago and just thought "Holy crap, I've been writing for years!" I guess it still feels like I just started doing it and then all of a sudden here I am, roughly 1,000 days, a writing course, and two years worth of NaNo later.

Time flies when you're having fun, and I am most definitely having fun. :-)

How about you? How long have you been writing?

Are you like me, with dozens of unfinished manuscripts, or have you actually completed something? Lol.

Ps: Anybody like me, please speak up. Most days I feel like an idiot for having such a short attention span! :-) And to anybody NOT like me... I'd tip my hat to you, if I were wearing a hat...

Keep those words flowing writing friends.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Goals!

I refuse to call them New Years Resolutions, because I think that's just making sure none of it actually gets accomplished! So, this year I'm trying to keep it all realistic, short, sweet, and to the point.

1. Actually finish a story I start. (As well as conquering my short attention span.)

2. Read 50 books.

3. Celebrate 5 years with my amazing husband.

4. Save up for an iMac!

5. Start querying to agents before the end of the year.

6. Meet some more AMAZING people on this blog.

7. Win NaNoWriMo

8. See The Hunger Games movie at least 3 times. :-)

9. Get a dog

10. Write a minimum of 4,000 words a week.

So there you have it. I think its all somewhat realistic! Maybe not number 5, but that's only due to my habit of abandoning WIP's halfway through. If I can kick that, I think I'm in pretty good shape!

Any goals for you? How many words do you hope to write every week this year?

Happy New Year!