Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In Which We Meet Shizake

Hey guys.

So, this is kind of like the Character's on Couches thing, but it's not. Shizake was part of a capcha I got when posting a comment on Jezzy's site. It got me thinking.

So, here we go.


Author paces around her cluttered writing room, office, den, whatever you want to call it. It's badly lit, and corners hold shadows, perfect for inspiration to walk out of. But it's been awhile since inspiration has hit. Author is fairly certain that her Muse, whom she has never seen or spoken to, has abandoned her. 

Trolling the internet in search of something, anything, Author comes across a word. 

"Shizake? What is Shizake?" It has to be something. Author knows that. Everything is something. And if it stands out enough to procure comment, it's something important. 

Is it a place? It brings to mind sweeping spires and dangerous cliffs. But no, that's not right. 

Is it a world? Barren landscapes with sweeping winds and never ending deserts. That's not quite right, either. 

Author sits at her overly stuffed chair. It's so comfortable as to be uncomfortable, if that's even possible. Picking up one of the many chewed on pencils on the pristine desk, she brings the eraser end to her mouth and makes like a defective beaver. 

"Wha' ith Shi'ake?" It's rather hard to speak with a pencil in your mouth. 

"I am." A deep voice comes from one of the corners, but Author can't tell where. 

Peering into the darkness, Author finally finds a pair of deep brown- no, golden eyes staring back. As Author looks, he comes into focus. Deeply tanned skin crossed with scars. Sandy blonde hair hangs in a single tail down his back, many different ornaments decorate it. His square, neanderthal-like face with a slightly crooked nose, as if it had been broken one too many times, is rigid in it's glare. 

He steps out of the shadows and Author can see what he is wearing. Very little. Pants, tight at the waist and ankles, but flare out at the sides are dusty and worn with age. His feet and chest are bare. As is his face. 

"Isn't Shizake kind of a short name for one of the Zhahilen?"

"What is your point?" 

Author shrugs. "You speak Common quite well, also." 

"And?" This man would be a hard nut to crack. 

Author shrugs again, but stops as she hears his teeth grind audibly. She turns her gaze back to him, and stops. He is pointing a sword at her. The handle is- 

"Is that bone?!" She's out of her seat and around beside him in a flash. 

"It is the bone of the leg of my Kahlorahkta." 

Author takes a step back, looking the tall man up and down. "You're a Zha'Dahkrah? But your hair-? And the sword?"

"Yes. The sword is made from steel. I gave up my life many many days ago." 

"And your hair-?" 

"I am no longer Zhahilen, I am Zhacorahl."

"You are Forsaken?" 

Author rubs her chin as she takes in this information. Taking a seat back in her chair again and curls her feet up underneath her. "Very well. If you would pass through the door behind you and choose a room, all accommodations will be provided for you until you are needed."

*stretches fingers*

Well. That was something. I love my writer brain. 

Have a wonderful Halloween! 

"Bruiser Knits, Killer Sews"

Or, "The Bad Guys Aren't All Bad"

Alright, Tangled is a good source for blog ideas regarding the bad guys/antagonist.

So, your bad guy(s)/gal(s) may be totally despicable human beings or other creatures. But remember, they're still people, whether human or not.

What do they want? Money? Power? To rule the world? That's well and good, but what do they like? What do they do in their spare time? Do they knit? Sew? Dance? Pet cats and laugh maniacally? Watch day-time television? You should know this, even if they don't do it on paper, but only when the focus is elsewhere.

When you think of your antagonist as a real person, they become more rounded.  But when you see them as "just the bad guy", you stunt their character growth and they become flat and boring.

This is a short post, and I have become really bad at posting every day, but I promise I'll post every time I have something to say, and it'll be more than once a week, I hope.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


No blog post again yesterday.

I'm fighting headaches daily again, and the weather changing is trying to make me sick, and my sleep schedule is all weird again.

And I have no ideas for a blog post right now. I'll probably slip back how often I post... Monday, Wednesday, Friday maybe.

Again, I'm sorry.

So, here for Halloween

It's a kitty. Forgive me?

Friday, October 26, 2012


Ah, Inspiration. Sometimes called the Muse.

Inspiration is where we authors get our ideas from. It's a weekly e-zine that's sent straight to our inboxes and it contains all the idea's we will ever need.

Seriously, though.

Inspiration is Over-rated

If we sat and waited for inspiration to strike us, very few people would ever write a word. 

Yes, sometimes we have sudden bursts of genius, but that doesn't happen enough to rely on it for everyday writing.

So we can't just sit around and wait for inspiration or our muse or the cosmos to hit us over the head with a great story. So, if you can't get on the Inspiration's e-mail list, you have to chase it down and beat it with a stick. How do you do this?


Watch the world around you. There are billions of people out there doing any number of things, and they are endless fodder for your novels. 

Watch the news. Watch the weather. Eavesdrop on stranger's conversations. Go people-watching at the nearest mall or walmart. 

Ask Questions

Don't just observe. Ask questions. Why did that woman do what she did? What would be the outcome? How could it possibly get worse? Question everything. Ask why? How? Who will it effect? Ask the obvious. Ask difficult questions. The answers may surprise you.

Keep a Journal

Or a notebook. Or anything. Just write down the observations you think are interesting. Write down the questions/answers that you think are good. Write them all down. Cut out clips from newspapers you think are interesting. Press leaves, color, scribble, draw, free write. This is the bucket for catching ideas. Keep it with you wherever you go. 

Well, that's what I have. 

Happy writing. (Sorry I didn't post yesterday, I slept late.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Creating a Protagonist

What is a Protagonist?

A protagonist is, simply, the person whose actions and problems move the plot.

For that reason, the protagonist is vital to a plot. Without a protagonist, you don't have a plot.

Now, the protagonist does not necessarily have to be a "good" guy. Sometimes lines are blurry. Also, there can be more than one. Some people simply call the Protagonist(s) the Main Character(s). I count the antagonist as a Main Character (after all, without him/her/them you don't have a story), but to each his own.

Do I have to have a Protagonist?

Uhm. Yes. Without a protagonist, or main character, you don't have a story. At all. 

At least not one that's worth reading. 

How to Go About Creating A Protagonist

I'm not so sure what I can say here. My protagonists normally end up coming with the story. However, that's normally just an idea. This year, her name came first. I don't know why, her name is Sarah-Juliet. She hates her name. Thinks it's too girly. She goes by Jewel. (Yeah, because that sooo less girly.) 

But after the initial idea, that's the first thing that came to mind. Her name. Her personality was part and parcel with the idea. But I'm going to try and talk you through my process. 

Back Story

You have to know their back story. Back story is one of the main forces in the story. What happens in the past inevitably has an impact on the present.

I'm a pantser, as I've said before, so I normally don't have it written out entirely, but I normally know the main points in their background. What made them the person they are?


 Most of my Main Characters, for one reason or another, have no family. Either all dead, they're estranged, or they just hate them and refuse to even think about them. But this year, for NaNoWriMo, I had help creating my characters, and most of them have families.

Keep in mind, if a character disappears, or does something dangerous, how will their family react? That's an entire subplot there.

In my NaNoWriMo, my main character, though he's 21 years of age, is kidnapped. He has two older siblings, and a father. His sister doesn't notice, as she has her own family and is taking care of their father. The brother, however, single and quite close to his baby brother, is worried beyond belief and goes to the police. I'm not sure yet how I'll work that in...

Strengths and Weaknesses

And those that know them. 

This is why I make the antagonists (normally) someone from the Main Character's past. They would have a real reason to know the strengths and weaknesses of the characters. It forces the main characters to over come or find ways around their weaknesses and play up their strengths. 

Love Interests

Ooh, love interests are fun. Most of my characters have love interests, whether that love is requited or not makes it fun. Ah, well that's just me. I don't know that I can write a novel without love playing a role. Romance is a big thing for me, but I don't write romance, it's just a facet of my writing. 

Unrequited love is my favorite. Also, it doesn't have to be lovey-dovey love. Familial is great. Also, best friend love is awesome. Especially when that (non essential) best friend dies. And spurs the Main Character on to finish the Goal. (Yes, I have used this before.)

Ah, anyway, that's my process. Sort of. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NaNo Tips and Tricks 3

Upping Your Word Count

For NaNoWriMo, you want as many words as possible, in as quick a time as possible. There are ways you can do that without technically cheating. 

You can cheat, there's no way the word counter can catch it, but what's the point, then? This is a personal challenge, it's not like you're getting a money reward. Seriously. 

Over Explain

You remember Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls?

Well, even if you don't, a lot of his speech was quite redundant. He said the same thing about three times in three different ways. Try it. If you don't like the way a sentence sounds, don't delete it, just rewrite it and keep going. Better yet, have a character with a penchant for over explaining, or tell the same story again and again. 

Write Out Numbers

And full names. Have someone introduce themselves using first and last name and any and all titles. Have them require that they be called by their full name. 

As for the numbers. 22 becomes twenty two. One word, into two. A little bit adds up quickly, believe me. 

Dreams and Flashbacks

So very, very, useful in boosting word counts. Have a scene you've ALWAYS wanted to write, but it doesn't really fit in with the plot? DREAM SEQUENCE! Something someone said made you or a character think of something in his/her past? FLASHBACK! Most people can get an easy one thousand words out of one. 

Contractions Be Gone!

Do not use contractions in your narrative. Have a character that speaks with no contractions. It does not matter if you cannot explain it at the moment. Just do it. If you do not have a reason for it, change it all in editing. Again, a little bit goes a long ways. 


How do you boost your word count?

Monday, October 22, 2012

I have dreams like you, no really.

"Just much less, touchy-feely".

Yeah, I just watched Tangled again. But this is perfect for today's blog post.

Dreams are SO important! You have no idea.

My NaNoWriMo novel this year, Tainted, came from a dream. Really. The dream was a girl (me?) watching the guy she claims as a brother, get burned to death. She (me) is a werewolf. She's so angry, she's beginning to shift. Her human friend tells her she has to run. To get away. That he's not her brother. She (I) took off running. That's when I woke up. That dream was nearly two months ago. It stuck with me. It inspired this novel.

And today, when I got in my six hours of sleep, I remember waking up once from a dream. It had to do with my plot. It was a really good plot idea. I thought "I'll write it down when I wake up for real." Guess what happened? I forgot.

Keep A Journal

Dream journal. I don't have one. I will from now on. This is not the first time I've had a dream where I go "That's a GREAT idea!" go back to sleep, and then forget. Seriously, keep a notebook and pen/pencil by your bed. 

When you wake up, even if you don't recall your dreams, try writing something. Anything. The mind is, for me, much more malleable early in the morning. If you're the opposite and are better at night, do it just before bed. But keep a journal. I have a notebook I carry with me everywhere. I have many ideas crammed in there. And bits of beginnings or middles. I have a list of random sayings from my Junior Year History teacher. He was funny. I have a list of possible chapter titles. 

Some of my ideas are very simple. One simply has a title (Point Taken) and three questions (Martial Arts? Pressure Points? Serial Murderer?) . Another is a title (Nexus) and one question (All magicians in the world connected?) Really, that one's just a magic system. 

Some of these ideas came to me at work. That's why I carry my bag with me everywhere. I also have a pocket sized notebook that I carry in my back pocket at work now, and a pen, obviously. 

I think that's all I have for today. 

Do you keep a journal of any kind?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Serial Stalker

I promise, the title will make sense in a moment.

If you ask one of my coworkers what he does, he will tell you he is a "Serial Stalker", but what he is really saying, is "Cereal Stocker."

See, told you it'd make sense.

But what does this have to do with writing? Well, it's all about the Spoken Word versus the Written Word. When writing, there is little chance for misunderstanding, unless you're using sarcasm, which is a topic for another day.

When speaking, it's often quite easy to be misunderstood. But when writing, what you want to say comes as you want the reader to read it.

So, keep this in mind as you write, not everyone has perfect hearing. When focusing on something else, they may mishear, not hear, or completely misunderstand what is said.

This can lead to some funny and/or dangerous situations.

Yes, today's blog post is short. I slept for nearly 12 hours today. But I'm caught up on my sleep now.

Good day and safe travels.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

NaNo Tips and Tricks 2

Late blog post cuz, you know, sleep.

Reward System

Alright, this is actually quite simple and will be a really short blog post. 

Reward yourself. 

I've never really done this during NaNoWriMo, but I will this year, and I think it will be quite effective. Other people say as much. Like Chris Baty's No Plot? No Problem!

Seriously, reward yourself for writing. When you write a certain amount of words, you get to do something/eat something/watch something fun. I'll give you an example, my Reward System this year. 

500 Words- Piece of Candy. (I will be continuously snacking on fruits and/or veggies, so candy is my reward)
2,000 Words- Watch episode of InvaderZIM or Fruits Basket (I love both of them, and want to rewatch them)
5,000 Words- Watch Episode of Doctor Who. (Because Doctor Who.)

The list is not set in stone. I will probably add more steps. Like one for every 10,000 words... But I can't think of anything better than Doctor Who. And... the boyfriend just helped on that. I'm not saying any more.

So give yourself something you really want to do, and tell yourself you can't do it until you reach a certain word count. It'll keep you motivated for sure. 

And that's really all I have for today. Good luck!

Food For Thought

What kind of things will you use for rewards?
Have you used a reward system in the past? How did it work?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Creating an Antagonist

Hello, guys.

Late post again, but that's because I'm trying to catch up on my sleep. I'm so far behind that by the time I get off work, I'm dead on my feet. So I didn't set an alarm today and slept for as long as my body let me. I'm hoping a few days of that and I'll be caught up on my sleep.

Anyway, today's post is On Creating an Antagonist.

What is an Antagonist?

Simply put, the antagonist is the character that opposes your "Hero(es)." 
Dictionary.com says "a person who is opposed to, struggles against, or competeswith another; opponent; adversary."

Pretty much what I said. 

Do I Have to Have an Antagonist?

Not necessarily. It depends on the book you are writing. 

Most romance novels, I've heard, don't have antagonists. Normally it's the situation/misunderstandings/etc that provide the force against which your characters are fighting. 

Heck, even in my NaNoWriMo novel, Tainted, I don't have what would be thought of as an antagonist. Well, maybe. I'm not sure. I have... four(?) different storylines happening all at once. But they are all interconnected. The character I view as the antagonist is chasing two others, he is in turn being chased, and the two chasing him are also being chased. So who is the antagonist? Well, it depends on whose point of view you prefer. 

Anyway, short answer, no, you don't have to have an antagonist. 

Should I have an Antagonist?


Again, it depends on the story. 

I would suggest it. In most stories, the antagonist is what the heroes are fighting against. If there's no one working against them, the protagonists are not in a hurry. If there's no antagonist, there's no suspense. Books without suspense, are like... an action movie with no action. 

You Said You Were Going to Tell Us How To Create An Antagonist.

Chill, chill, I'm getting there. 

So first, your antagonist needs a reason for what he does. 

He has to have something he's working towards just like the protagonists do. And IT HAS TO MAKE SENSE. 

No one does something simply to be evil. (Unless you are Doofenshmirtz.) 

Some of them are looking for redemption. Some are looking for love. Some forgiveness. Some want power, or money, or fame. 

In Mortality, my antagonists are looking for Invulnerability. The opposite of my Protagonists. (There's a twist in that, but I don't do spoilers.)

So now that you have a reason. Childhood. Why does he do the things he does? What does he want redemption for? What does he want to be forgiven for? Why does he want power, money, or fame? 

Take Flynn Rider, from Tangled. He was an orphan, who wanted to become rich, like a character in a story. So he became a thief. (Okay, technically he wasn't an antagonist, but that reason works.)

Or we can look at the actual antagonist in Tangled. Mother Gothel. She wanted to be young forever. So she kidnapped Rapunzel and hid her away. (By the way, if you haven't watched that movie yet, you need to. It's awesome.)

Now, how does he rationalize what he does? Does he kick puppies? Why does he not think that the things he does are evil/bad?

In Mortality, Damien thinks he deserves to rule. That's how he rationalizes everything he does. He deserves it. 

It could be as simple as that. 

From the Author

I hope this helped you figure out your Antagonist. 
At some point I hope to create a thread about creating a Protagonist at some point. 
Have a good day!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

NaNo Tips and Tricks 1

Okay, obviously I still have NaNoWriMo on the brain.

I couldn't think of anything to do for this blog post, and so fell back on NaNoWriMo. Fortunately, I have much to say on the subject.

Much, I hope, that may be helpful to others. Like you.

It's Not Your Life

Writing is fun. As writers, most of us know this. But it's not always fun. But mostly it is.

NaNoWriMo, week one, is extremely fun! But don't think that means you can completely and totally change your life.

Chris Baty says as much in No Plot? No Problem! and I'm going to reiterate it here.

Don't make writing your life. I know for those such as myself it is a big part. And that's okay. But don't seclude yourself from all of life thinking that all you need is time alone and you'll crank out novel after novel.

That just won't happen.

Without other stimulation, you will have no access to new ideas. Without new ideas you stagnate and write the same thing over and over again. You become old fashioned.

So don't. Do NaNoWriMo, and then go back to the way your life was before. If you find you want writing to be a bigger part of your life afterwards, great! But slowly introduce it more and more, that way your loved ones and those that care about you will have time to adjust.

From the Author

Late post is late. T.T
I apologize, I wanted to wait until I got my new computer, but it didn't get here until 7:30 PM CST. So... late post. 
This will probably be a series of shorter posts as I am trying to plan and what not for NaNoWriMo. 

Not So Ninja Edit

Almost forgot! I was hosted on The Kelworth Files blog here.
Check it out!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sleep is Good

Like, really good.

I work nights, and can't sleep during the day, so if I don't go to bed when I'm exhausted I will be physically incapable of sleeping until the next night.

Now, I know as a writer, especially if you are a WriMo'er sleep is one thing we sacrifice to get our writing done.

I know that.

I've done it.

But please, make some time to sleep. A whole sleep cycle is an hour and a half. Or, sleep in 45 minute increments. Or look up online how long you should sleep.

Because I'm smart and slept the night before I had to work, I could't sleep at all the day before, so when  I finally got home from work, I had been up for over twenty-four hours. I know some people can go 36, or even 48 with no sleep. I am not one of them. Caffeine stops working for me at the twenty-four mark.

Still Not Convinced?

I know the feeling. 

Depending on who you talk to, lack of sleep could be good for creativity. Some people say opposite. But you know what? Sleep deprivation is not good. For anyone. Today was probably the first time I've gotten a full eight-hours in a week. You know how much creative writing I got done during that week? No work on Mortality. Just some character development for Tainted, and most of that was thanks to the NaNoWriMo forums. 

Now imagine if you did that during NaNoWriMo next month. No creative output for a week? Maybe that's been my problem. 

I have never completed a WriMo with 50,000 words. I rarely sleep a full eight hours. Especially now that I work nights. 

So the way I see it, get as much sleep as you need. You'll be more creative. 

Food For Though

What's your view on sleep and creativity?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Surviving NaNoWriMo

Hey guys. So I just realized it's past noon and I don't have a blog post up yet.


So I've, for obvious reasons, NaNoWriMo on the brain.

So, how do I survive NaNoWriMo?


I have never passed the 50,000 word mark, but that will change this year. (But then again I said the same thing last year and during JulNoWriMo '12... well, this time I mean it.)


Everyone always talks about a Survival Kit. The stuff you HAVE to have for NaNoWriMo, or sometimes, writing in general.

Well, I have never typed up a list of what I consider MUST haves.

Really, if I did it'd be a short list.

Like, the only thing I need is my laptop (with wall charger).

BUT! Stuff that I prefer to have... that's another list entirely.

  • Laptop 
    • Charger
  • Notebooks
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Coffee/Tea/Caffeine
  • Chocolate (dependent upon my mood)
  • Nuts/Dried fruits (For some healthy snacking)
  • Veggie platter (with ranch dip. Mmm)
  • NaNo Notebook (different from regular notebooks in that it has all my planning)
  • Blanket/Other warm clothing. (Our house is kept quite cool)
  • Head phones
  • I-pod (if I turn off the internet)

Hmm. I think that's about it for me. Like I said, I've never typed up a list. 

So, that's what I will have to survive NaNoWriMo. 

Happy Writing!

Food For Thought

What are your needs/must haves for writing?
What do you prefer to have?
Music or no music?

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Can Draw

Sort of. 

I've been doing character art for people on the NaNoWriMo forums and it's fun. My DeviantArt account is here if you'd like to check it out.

I've been doing that instead of writing today, so... There's not much I can say except I can't WAIT for NaNoWriMo to be here.

I have been a master procrastinator even more so these past few days, because I'm putting together my NaNo Swap items, drawing characters, fending off ideas with a stick, trying to come up with side plots for Tainted, figuring out characters and MAIN plot for Tainted. And all sorts of other things. So...

Well I don't have much to say.

Sorry. Bad blog post is bad.

Food for Thought

What do you do when you procrastinate?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My House Is Kinda Clean

Hey Guys!

So I've decided my blog has been too formal. I'll save all the preaching for when I'm actually on the road to being published, how about that?

Now that's not to say I won't be sharing my writing process... I will. I am, first and foremost, a writer. And pretty much my entire life revolves around that fact. Outside of work and my boyfriend... yup, all revolves around that.

SO! Today I was in an odd mood. I was trying to plan my character Jonathon some more for NaNoWriMo. But I decided it'd be a better idea to clean the entire house. You have no idea what an undertaking this is. My boyfriend is a habitually messy person, and I am a habitually lazy person. We don't match well when it comes to keeping a clean house. Also. WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?! I HATE cleaning. Like, you have no idea. But suddenly, my OCD kicked in and I was like... "Wow, this place is a mess."

...I don't know either. But I got most of the living room cleaned up. Cleaned the stove, and tidied the kitchen. Finished off my pot of coffee (maybe that had something to do with the urge? Coffee does strange things to a person. Great things, yes, but strange.). All the while I was listening to music. Then I was like "Hey! I haven't seen Tangled in awhile, I'll pull it up online to play it in the background." *shame*

I love the movie, and sat down to watch it. I've done like three loads of laundry, though, so I haven't been doing *nothing* while it was playing... And I suddenly don't want to clean anymore. Maybe I need more coffee...

Onto the writing point! I don't think any of my blogs will be without *something* to do with writing or a book. It's the way I am. While I was making breakfast this morning (oh yes, I did that too, I never do that), I had a brilliant idea! Actually, two. One for Mortality, one for Tainted.

Mortality. So, the Mortality idea came when I was washing the dishes before making breakfast (pancakes, eggs, and bacon, in case you were wondering). I realized I had so many characters that were mentioned but not fleshed out, and was like... "How do I incorporate them?" So, I was thinking, they're about to go on what is essentially a scavenger hunt for an item that hasn't been seen in centuries so... They split into groups. Follow each of the groups and go from there~! GENIUS!

Tainted. This one came... either in the shower after breakfast or while I was making the pancakes, I don't recall which. It's less ground breaking than the one above, but considering I know less about this novel, it means more to me at this point. So, I was toying with the idea in my head, just mulling it around, and it came to me. Garret isn't Jewel's half-brother, he's an ex-boyfriend. The crazy kind. He got it into his mind that the "party" and sacrifice would win her back and show her the joys of being a werewolf, but when she denies him, he chases after them, still trying to win her back, and also, probably kill Jonathon when he finds out she's falling in love with another man (Jonathon).

Ah... I think this post is long enough. Quite a bit of a rant, there.

Leaving you with this

When do you get your best "eureka!" moments?
What's the last such moment you remember?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 27

Alright, I know many of you will not know the significance of that date.


This. Does this mean anything to you?!

It should. Oh my god, it should.

If you recall, I reviewed the first book in the Grimoire Trilogy, Lichgates. AND I LOVED IT! (Yes, I realize I'm using a lot of caps lock in this post. But lemme tell you a secret *whispers* I don't have a caps lock key.)

Anyway, the second book in the trilogy, Treason, is going to be released on the 27 of this month. *fangirl squee* DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?!

We have just enough time to read it before NaNoWriMo starts. *happy dance*

Anyway, that's all I really wanted to say today. I didn't have any other blog post planned or in mind, and I'd been meaning to do this one for awhile now.

Thank you, for reading my little outburst.

I will leave you with this:

What book are you most looking forward to?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Creating Characters

Hello guys!

I was trying to think of what this blog post would be about, when I thought, why not just talk about what you're doing? So, I'm in the midst of fleshing out all my characters for NaNoWriMo. I figure, I'll talk about my process for that.

Now, I know everyone's process is different, but bear with me.


Names, names, names. Names are *very* important. Sometimes, I get them right on the first try. (Damon, Alucard, and Nicholai in Mortality have been named thus for eight years.) Other times I have to rename, and rename, and rename again until the feel is right for the character I want. (Devin's name has changed *many* times, but now I think it's right.) 

When choosing a name, you have to think of what genre you're writing in. My NaNoWriMo is written in a modern setting, so the naming isn't as difficult as it is with a fantasy setting. I have names like Jonathon, Garret, Alyson, and Abigail. But the one I'm most proud of is Sarah-Juliet. The name seems to not fit her at all, but that's why I like it. And it's why she hates it. 

If you're writing fantasy, it's a bit more difficult for naming. If you've got multiple countries/continents/areas, the names will sound differently for each place. You've got to figure that out or all the names will sound the same. In Mortality, all my vampires have, understandably, older sounding names. My main human character's name is Devin (a male name), her brother's name was Deron, and her mother was... Lina, I think. (They only showed up in a very important flash back). Two human twins I need to rename. I couldn't think of anything so they're Coral and Drell. 


Personality. This is the most important trait of a character, in my opinion. If you're unsure of your character's personality, the writing will be unclear. (A *big* source of much of my editing. I wasn't sure of a character's personality throughout most of the novel so far.) You don't necessarily need it before you start writing, it will develop as you write, but *please* edit it in in the beginning. 

Something I like to do is to give them a contradictory personality. Sarah-Juliet, one of the first person POV characters. Is self-loathing, but selfish. Filled with hatred (for herself and others), yet pities both Supernaturals and Humans. And... well she's the only character I have fully fleshed out. I can't wait to learn about the others. 

Physical Description

Arguably the least important, at least to me. In your novel you should *never* spend a block of text of pure description. (Unless, that is, it's NaNoWriMo and you need word padding.) You know, for the longest time, I couldn't describe Devin in Mortality. I *think* she's blond. Maybe has green eyes? Like I said, it's not that important to me, especially not in the rough draft. 

However, I'm writing out full physical descriptions for my NaNoWriMo characters this year. When I insert physical description into a story, I use individual things. Like eye color, or hair color, or height. For me, those three are the most important descriptors. Though weight can sometimes be in that list, too. 


Some genre's, like high fantasy or supernatural, have some special powers, or magic. Often, that needs to be clear from the beginning. Magic plays a large role in Mortality. Magic binds her and another character together. Magic keeps her from dying, and warns against danger. etc. 

In my NaNoWriMo novel, this is the first time I've actually had to describe a car. So Sarah-Juliet drives a '76 Chevrolet Camaro. It's old. Not well taken care of. Doesn't like to start. Also, the Supernaturals are kept track of by GPS tracking tags. But some have been missed. They stay deep underground. Figuratively, not literally.

Well. That's all I got. Good Luck this November! (You know, if you're a NaNo'er.) 

Food For Thought

What's your process for creating characters? 
Do you come up with characters before, after or with the plot?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Characters on Couches 2.2

Hello again, guys.

I'm falling apart, just thought I'd let you know that. I have carpal tunnel in both of my wrists and my right (dominant) hand is so swollen and in pain right now that... well it sucks. Also, I sprained my ankle the day/night before last and worked (standing, moving, bending, heavy lifting) all night last night and will have to again to night and the night after. So that hurts quite a bit too.

I'm eighteen and don't want to know what will be falling apart/off when I'm 30.

Anyway, enough about me, we were talking to Jonathon. I decided to go ahead and finish up this Characters on Couches session, because I have nothing else planned for today.

Characters on Couches 2.2

So Jewel, Sarah-Juliet, walked out. Jonathon watches her with a small frown pinching his eyebrows together, but when the door shuts and he turns back to me, the smile is back in place. Strange man.

"You still have questions for me?" Leaning, he rested his chin in his hand. 

"I do. A couple." Resettling my shoulders, I lean back in my seat. "You're a human." 

"Obviously." Damn that smirk. 

I roll my eyes, I can't help it. "Smart ass. What are your thoughts towards the supernaturals?" 

He grins. How can someone be so happy? "Right to the meat of the issue, huh?"

"I'm not here to ask you your favorite color, though what is that, by the way?" 

"Hm. Green. But a light green, not quite neon, but lighter than the crayon of the same name." 

Specific. "Alright. So Supernaturals."

"Right. That is... a difficult question. I don't hate them. But neither am I really a Sympathetic. They're just people. It's like asking me what I think of Blacks, I'm sorry, African-Americans, or Asians, or Chinese. They're people." He shrugs. His smile is gone. 

"You're one of the few." I make a note in my notebook. 'Indifferent.'

"No, no I don't think that's entirely right. It's just that the ones who oppose their existence are the loudest. Those who speak the loudest, often know the least." 

"Mm-hmm." 'Pessimistic optimist?'

"Mm-hmm? What's that supposed to mean?" He lets out a small laugh and when I raise my head, he's smiling again. 

"Oh. Nothing. Thinking to myself. So. Tell me about your parents."

"Ah! Not much to tell, there, actually. My mother- My mother died five years ago. Since then, my father has been living with my older sister and her family. He... quit taking care of himself when she died." He's still smiling. 

How is he still smiling? 'Mother- deceased. Father- living with sister. Incapable of caring for self.'

"Alright then. One last question. How did you know how to keep Sarah-Juliet from Shifting?" 

He stiffens. The smile appears frozen on his face, and it slowly fades, until he's frowning. I don't think he's seeing me anymore. 

"How did I know?" His voice has dropped an octave, and the overbearing sadness within is... well, saddening. "My mother... My mother was a werewolf." 

I feel my mouth drop open with a slight "pop". He smiles, but it's more of a smirk, and saturated with sadness. 

"No one outside the immediate family knows that. I suppose you'd find out eventually. My father did the same for her, that I just did for Sarah-Juliet. My father said the secret was, for my mother anyway, to make her realize that he loved her." 

His head is in his hands, and he stares at the ground as he speaks. "My mother hated her existence. The first time she Shifted, the night ten years ago that everything changed, she was alone with my brother. He has three claw marks down the right side of his face. My mother hated herself. We never blamed her." 

"So five years ago-?" He knows what I'm asking. 

"Yeah. It wasn't just an accident. My mother hung herself. When we found her, I wondered if my father wouldn't follow. That's a big reason he lives with my sister. They watch him at all times to make sure he eats, sleeps, and takes care of himself."

"I see..." I don't know exactly what to write. There aren't words that can express this. 

"Are we finished?" He finally looks up, still unsmiling. 

"Ah... yes. That's all I needed for now. Thank you." 

He stands and as he looks at me, I'm allowed a glimpse beneath the happy-go-lucky outer shell. He's a more complex character than I had first expected. He walks out and the door shuts quietly behind him. 


Alright. So that's all for today. 

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Characters on Couches 2.1

Alright. So I've put it off for... well, all day.

So, Hi.

This Characters on Couches session is going to progress a little differently then last time. One, I will be using characters from a different story. My NaNoWriMo novel. I *had* planned to use three gals from my WIP Mortality, but, well I need to figure out my NaNoWriMo novel titled, as you know, Tainted.

Anyway, it's going to be written in roaming first person. I don't know if that's a thing, but that's what I call it. What I mean is that I will use multiple first person perspectives. I know, for a fact, it will be awkward as I am *highly* unskilled and unpracticed at first person.

*Anyway* I'm going to start with the fictional "I" as author, and then will switch to I, as the character. Don't judge. I'm bad at first person.

Characters on Couches 2
Sarah-Juliet and Jonathon

Here we go again.

This time, I have foregone the desk and sit instead on level with the others, facing two empty chairs. The two chairs are intentionally uncomfortable, but I am quite happy in mine. Again I have a clipboard and pen, but this time I am determined to actually take notes. 

This time, I can't use Hilia (well, technically I could, but she's from a different genre and time entirely, and she'd have so much to learn in an instant, that she wouldn't be a reliable lie detector), so I have to either trust they're telling me the truth, or figure out what they mean when they aren't. 


There's a knock at the door and I jump, spitting out a piece of my pen. (That's why I buy cheap pens. I chew them up.) How long had I been staring off into space? 

"Come in, please."

Ah, so it's Jonathon first. He's... wow, he's tall. Taller than I'd thought. He's got to be well over six feet tall. I let out a quiet whistle and he grins. His height would make him intimidating, if it weren't for everything else about him. He's thin to the point of gangly, his hair is the brightest red I've seen in my life and his pale skin is *covered* in freckles. Over all, he's quite a goofy-looking guy, but at that grin... damn. He lights up a room without trying. 

"So who're we waitin' on?" He sits, lounging in the chair, somehow making the stiff wooden thing look comfortable. 

Apparently all of his height is in his legs, because I can now look him in the eye.

"You know full well, who." 

His grin widens and he laughs. Shit but this guy is charismatic. I can almost feel myself start to smile in response, but I have to maintain a serious facade. I cover my mouth with a hand and "scratch my nose" until I can be serious again. 


What the hell is this shit about? That woman better not have invited him. If he's here, I swear to god, I'm going to kill him. How long is this hallway? Everything around me is empty and my steps resound back at me. I'm angry. I can't get angry. I can't afford to Shift. 

Stopping, I take a deep breath, hold it for three seconds, let it out. Again. When I can feel I'm calm again, I push my way through the door that has suddenly become close. It's quite a plain door, really. Nothing special about it. I thought our author would be more ostentatious.

A woman is sitting in a... I stop just inside the door. I swear it's a... 

"Is that a throne?" 

So much for not being ostentatious. 

I swear, it really is a throne. It's twice as high as the other two chairs, and it's... it's black. But the decorations on it. I shake my head. Jesus H. Christ. They're bones. 

"Don't worry, they're not real. Please, take a seat." She waves a hand and gestures to the two seats in front of her. 

My fuse is growing short again. I'm not an idiot. I know the bones aren't real. Even an idiot could tell that. I can tell I'm getting angry because I can hear my footsteps again. I'm stomping. I sit in the chair. God damn, this thing is hard as a rock, I swear. No matter how I shift, I can't get comfortable. It's pure wood, there's no cushion whatsoever. 

"Why ya fidgeting, Jay-Jay, nervous?"

My back goes rigid. I hadn't been paying attention to the second chair. Turning I'm met with a glowing smile. Idiot. Why is he always happy? This is not a happy time. I'm irritated. 

"Calm down, Sarah-Juliet." 

"Don't call me that!" My head whips back around and I give the author the most biting stare I can manage. 

"Fine, fine. Jewel, then. Can we get started?"

"Sure!" God, Jonathon's enthusiasm is so annoying. 

At least it's not him, though. I brace myself for her first question. 

"Why do you call her Jay-Jay?" 

Relief. She turned to him first. Thank god. 

"Cuz she hates her name." He says it matter of factly. 

I shake my head again. He really is an idiot. 

"Why don't you call her Jewel, then?" Her pen is poised over her notebook. 

"I don't like it." I swear he's like a child. 

"...Alright then." There's a slight pause before she answers. She's dumbstruck too. 

"How'd you guys meet?" 

"Fuck you." I talk over Jon. "I know you know exactly how we met. You wrote, well, will write it. God damn, how is it I have knowledge of past events that haven't happened yet? You haven't written a damn word."

She shrugs. My blood begins to boil. This woman... she's just doing it to piss me off. I can feel the blood in my veins. It's getting hot. My ears are ringing. My jaw hurts. Everything hurts. No. Not now. I can't Shift now. But I'm so angry. I'm angry all the time, and it's boiling over no. 

"Jay. Look at me."

 Something cold touches my face. I can't focus. Is that... fire? No. It's not fire. It's Jonathon. Shit, Jonathon. I can't Shift. He can't see that. I can't. I'm stressing. I can't stop it. I'm shifting. My bones start to grind and stretch. It hurts. 

"Hey... Jewel. Come on. Deep breaths."

Jewel. He called me Jewel. He's never called me that before. My skin begins to cool, and my bones settle. My ears stop ringing and I can finally focus. 

We're on the floor. Jonathon's arms are... he's holding me. For the first time, I realize just how much bigger he is than I am. I'm not short, but he's... huge. But he's so thin, I don't think about it most the time. His skin is cool, too. Not burning all the time like mine. No. This isn't right. I can't do this. 

"You're so... annoying." 

He smirks at me and stands, reaching down to help me up. Ignoring his hand I sit in that god-forsaken chair again. 

The author looks completely and totally composed. God she's so irritating. But I'm cool now. Relatively. 

"Ask your question." 

"Why do you hate yourself?" Her pen is poised. 

"Go to hell. You know I hate being a werewolf. I didn't ask for this. Yet I'm a pariah." 

She nods. "Yes, yes, that's all well and good, but you hated yourself before this." 

I can feel Jonathon's gaze on the side of my head. He's curious too. Damn them. Damn everyone. 

"You want to know why? Fine. My father, on the day of my birth, killed my mother. And then he took his own life."


"Would you just shut up for a minute?" My breathing is heavy, but I'm not on the Edge yet. "He left no note, so everyone says that we can't know why he did that. But I do know." 

I can't sit any longer. Pacing, I can focus on the floor and my feet and not have to look at either of them. "He wanted a son. My mother didn't give him one. So he killed her. I don't know if it was sorrow or guilt that cause it, but... either was the reason for his suicide. Can I go now?"

I walk out. I don't care what her answer is.

Alright. So that's it for that. And... well, these characters are not what I expected them to be. It's nice to get to know them before November, though. 

However, I decided this is only part one of this Characters on Couches. I don't know when I will continue it, either tomorrow, or next Wednesday. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed!


Are you doing NaNoWriMo?
Will you be my Buddy?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Are You a Pantser or a Planner?

The upside and downside of both.

So this was supposed to be yesterday's post, but there was no post yesterday because I am a horrible person and @nobody_knows on Twitter got me reading a manga (again), and you should totally follow her because she is awesome and a writer and a NaNoWriMo'er and because I said so and you trust me right? Anyway, I would normally link you the manga (it's called Skip Beat if you're a glutton for punishment) but I won't because then you will be sucked into the same black hole I am in.

Anyway! To the post.
This one is unplanned as I am a horrible horrible planner and a pantser in all things.  


First, I think, we have to define what, exactly, a Planner is. So what is a planner?

Simply, it is someone who plans. A Planner may draw up all kinds of outlines and even model their characters off of pictures found on the internet or in magazines. Planner's will have their novel planned out to almost the minutest detail. 

The Pro's

The pro's of being a planner are, I think, quite obvious.

With a plan, one has less of a chance of hitting writer's block. (When you know where you're going, you can't come to a spot and go "what next?")

Well... that's really the only one I can think of at the moment, but it's a big one.

The Con's

Perfectionism. This may not sound like such a bad thing, but if you are a perfectionist, you will second guess yourself every step of the way. 

The lack of surprise. When you know everything from A to Z, there is no chance for your characters to surprise you, as you are far more liable to Railroad them. 

Writer's Block. It's the opposite of the Pro, but this is the reason I don't plan. If I plan, and I know what's going to happen next, it is impossible, sometimes, for me to continue because I feel I won't do it justice. 

Hum... Well, I never said I was an expert on Planning. 


Pantsing is a term used for writers like myself who "write by the seat of their pants." Often we go at the task with little idea of the outcome. I, myself, usually start with a beginning and an ending in mind, and some vague ideas of the middle. 


Anything can happen. With limits. I love world building. (In that way I am a planner.) Normally I have clearly drawn lines of what can and cannot happen. However, within those limitations, anything can, and probably will, happen. 

The story, and characters, take on a life of their own. No, really. I've experienced this before. Without a plan, it is up to the characters to truly decide what they are going to do. As a writer, I often am bemused, befuzzled, or straight up confused at why my characters do certain things. But you know what? Their motivations always come clear in the end. 

Little Railroading. If you don't know how you're going to get to the end, how can you tell your characters what to do? It's that simple. 


Anything can happen. Yes, this goes in both categories. When anything can happen, some people can freeze, and so nothing happens. 

Writer's Block. Oh lordy, writer's block. My pantsing is probably the reason for 95% of my Writer's Block in the past, and that much in the future, too. Without a plan, it's quite easy to come to a spot and go... "What now?" 

Editing. I haven't gotten to this stage yet, but because I have had not plan, and my angle has change multiple times throughout writing, I know Mortality will need a MAJOR overhaul before I even THINK of getting beta-readers. 

The In-Between

Now, normally, no writer is entirely one or the other. 

Myself? I am most definitely solidly in the Panster group. However, I do LOVE world-building. And that falls entirely into the Planner category. Also, When I reach a point where I say "What now?" I will ask myself, what has to happen before the end. And a mental map is created. Sometimes I even right it down on paper. 

So. Happy Trails! Tomorrow will probably be another Character's on Couches session, because even though the blog spot was that one time... well, I've got more issues that need worked out! Thanks Murphy!


Food for Thought

Are you a planner or a pantser? 
What works best for you?

Sunday, October 7, 2012


It's about that time of year again.

The NaNoWriMo website rebooted not too long ago, the forums are already up and jumping and I've already got a cover!

For those of you poor few who don't know what NaNoWriMo is, well, follow the link.

The awesome cover to the left is brought to you by Measa. I don't think she has a blog, otherwise I'd link you there.

Let's see, what can I say about NaNoWriMo?

Well, for those of you who don't know, it was started by  

Scratch that, you can read all that info on the website. Here, I think (since I have never crossed the 50K mark during NaNoWriMo) I will give you tips on what NOT to do during it.

Do's and Don'ts Of NaNoWriMo

Or any other WriMo, for that matter. 

Really, I only consider myself an expert on the don'ts. You know, cuz I've never crossed the finish line. ANYWAY! Disregarding that fact, I do have some tips that might help. 


  • Add buddies. But don't just add buddies. TALK TO THEM. Send them some NaNoMail, ask them how they're progressing. Offer to bounce some ideas around. I know a lot of people need that. Like me. 
  • Check out the forums. Seriously. I didn't last year and they would have been SO HELPFUL. They can be kind of confusing because of how fast they explode in size. But if you need help, don't hesitate to post. If you're not sure where, ask an admin. Or post where you think appropriate and if it's not, an admin will move it for you. 
  • Check out the Adoptables. Even if you think you have everything figured out. Check the Adoption Society threads. Much will be useless to you I am sure, but you can find a name, place, dialogue, description, any number of things that may spark ideas. Even if you don't use them in NaNoWriMo. 


  • Try to go at it alone. If you have no one holding you accountable for your word count, you're more likely to stop midway because something comes up, or put off writing for days on end and get so far behind you're unlikely to catch up. 
  • Smother flights of fancy. Really, right now is the PERFECT time to indulge. Want to follow the stream-of-conscious of a gnat? Go for it. A side character wants to steal the spotlight? Power to 'em. Don't railroad your characters. 
  • Expect it to be perfect. Just don't. You're writing an entire 50,000 words in a month. A lot of it is probably going to be crap. 
  • Reread. This is my biggest killer. If you go back and reread what you wrote the day before, you'll REALIZE it's crap and be disheartened. 

Other Tips

Uhm... I swore I had some. Oh yeah!

Stay comfortable. If you're cold, or sore, you're not going to be in a very writerly mood. Have a comfortable place (but not TOO comfortable or you'll fall asleep!), where you can plug in your laptop (or sit at your desk), put on headphones (even if you don't turn them on), and just write. 

Writing Totem. It's good to have one. I think the first time I came across the term was in Chris Baty's No Plot? No Problem! (He's the guy who created NaNoWriMo and that book is a How-To guide for making it through the month.) It's basically an outward sign that you're in "Writer Mode." I don't have one, unless you count my glare. 

ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS. Sorry to yell at you, but it's that important. If you're distracted, you won't write. Believe me, you may start off strong but midway into the month you'll have the "what am I doing?" thoughts. Those will lead you to procrastinate. Don't do it. Unplug the TV, turn off the internet, and throw away the phone. (Just kidding, but seriously put it somewhere you can't hear or get to it.)

Anyway! That's all I have. 

Follow me as I tweet about NaNoWriMo @ThatNerdyWriter
Or Add me as a Buddy on the NaNoWriMo website C.R. Trumbo

Good Luck Next Month! I'll be battling right along side you!

Food for Thought

Do you have any other NaNoWriMo Tips? Leave them in the comments!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Slow Down


I'm mostly feeling better now, but not trusting myself to eat anything but crackers or drink anything but Ginger ale or Sprite.

Anyway, this blog post is brought to you by Wasteland Nomad, an interesting person, who, with one tweet, inspired me.

The tweet was as follows,

"Sometimes physically writing a story can slow you down and let you see things clearer. At least to my crazy brain anyway."
Which made me think.

Can You Write Too Quickly?

Unless it is during NaNoWriMo, or another WriMo, the answer is, surprisingly, yes.

NaNoWriMo is all about writing quantity over quality, and that's great when the goal is to just get something written, but outside of NaNoWriMo?

If you're working to a deadline, you want to write quickly, but not so quickly that you lose sight of where you wanted to go. Working with a go, go, go attitude is great and all, but too much of that, and you become derailed. Become derailed and we can become unmotivated. You may look back at what you've written and go, it's crap. Well, yeah. That's because you weren't paying attention to what you were writing.

How can we keep from writing too quickly?

Sometimes, we just need to take a step back.

If you feel you are becoming lost in your story/novel/post/fanfic or you've written yourself into a hole, take a step back. Look at it as if for the first time, take note of what you want to happen later, or how you want the scene/novel/fanfic to end, and try to figure out what happens in the meantime.

Even as a pantser, I find taking a look at it this way helps. With my current WIP, Mortality, I wrote out the main plot points from where I am to the end, and have started figuring out what happens between now and each point.

It's making the writing itself flow much smoother. I don't plan to the last detail, I leave my characters a lot of leeway, and you should to.

Can You Write Too Slowly?

Most definitely yes. This is the other side of the same coin. 

It's great to know the specifics of what's happening and going on in your novel/scene/fanfic, but while you're writing don't worry about that. If you do worry too much about who's doing what, what's taking place elsewhere or how this effects the future or how the past affected this scene now, you're going to be so wrapped up in the past/future of your novel that writing RIGHT NOW, is going to be downright impossible. 

How do we keep from getting bogged down?

Well, there are many ways you could do this. 

For one, stop worrying. If it's a first draft, which is really all this post pertains to, there is so much editing going to be done that really, worrying now is a time waster, and nothing more. 

If you can't help but go back and reread what you've written (a BIG no-no, especially during WriMo's) the moment you open the file, turn the font color for everything previous, white. Or whatever background color you choose. 

Use WriteOrDie. (Really, it's a life saver). Especially on Kamikaze mode. 

Well, that's all I have for today darlings. 

Stay inspired,

Food for thought

Do you write too quickly? How do you slow down?
Do you write too slowly? How do you speed up?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Research, Music and Distractions


So, I'm sick. If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that.

I did not have this post pre-planned. And I'm not sure what to say, but I made a plan to post once a day, so that's what I'm going to do.

So, onto my other writerly things I promised.


Do I research before a novel? Not really. 

Can you? Definitely. 

Can you do too much? Yes. 

What are some ways you can research? I am no expert on research, as I've said, I don't really do research. For my current novel, the only research I did was to read a few books on vampires. And I didn't read one from beginning to end. 

What is too much research? When you start looking up specific height and weight for something. Seriously, if you want to know something and you can't find it right off the bat, pull something out of the air and look it up during editing. Really, you don't want to do too much research before you start your rough draft. 

The only research I've done for my NaNoWriMo novel has been to read a book on werewolves and pick and choose how I want my "werewolves" to act. 

It's easy to over do it. If you can't find something with five clicks on google... Save it for editing. 


Or other ambient sound. 

Some people say they have to have silence. Some have to have a certain kind of music playing. In any other situation, they say they can't write. 

I call bullshit. 

Even though I have my preferred music (J-Pop), I can write in silence, or my boyfriend can be playing a movie in the background (though the movie quite often distracts me). 

The thing is, it's okay to have a preferred method, or situation in which to write, but don't refuse to write unless those conditions are met. Don't place restrictions like that on yourself. 


Music, for some people, can be under this category. 

If you want to get any good amount of writing done, you want to separate yourself from any and all distractions you can. Kids, cats, significant others, television, phonecalls, texts, internet, etc.

If you're constantly being distracted, what writing you get done will probably be negligible. 

Being distracted by your children? Well, I don't have children, but you may want to wait until they are in school/daycare/asleep to get your writing done. Maybe let them watch more brain-melty tv? 

My cats are a constant companion as I write. They, being kittens, are attention hogs. Now, I don't mind them laying next to me, but when they're all up in my keyboard, I have to move them off. If I have to keep doing this, I will move them to another room. They normally get the hint. 

My boyfriend is harder to take care off. Normally he's at work or asleep during my writing times, but on his days off, he wants attention as badly as the cats. During NaNoWriMo this may be a problem and I will have to hit him over the head with his iPad to get writing done. I'll keep you posted. 

Turn off your phone. It's that simple. If you answer a phone call even once, people will expect you to keep doing it. If you can, unplug/turn off the internet connection. I can't do this, as the music I listen to is from an online source, but if Twitter distracts me I will hit that nice little "x" in the corner. 

That's all folks

Sorry, that's all I can come up with for now. 

The illness, boyfriend, and cat 2 are making it hard to concentrate. 

I'll see you guys tomorrow!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why You Shouldn't Care

Hello all!

I'm going to start this post with a few stories, but bear with me. I have a point. I promise.

Now, if you've read my first post, *ahem* Briony, you will know roughly my age. So keep in mind I've been in the work force for three- almost four- years. Mostly fast food. My first story is when I was 15/16 years old, at my very first job.

  • It was a small, family owned business, so I worked with pretty much the same people almost everyday. There was one girl I recall who *really* didn't like me (some of you may already see where I am going with this post, but let me finish). I had no problem with her, so I went about work as usual. Almost a year later I finally asked why she didn't like me. She gave me a legitimate reason. I worked to fix it. We never had a problem again. 
  • My second job I had few issues aside from my last day (which is another story ENTIRELY). My third job was at a McDonald's. I think I worked there all of three-four months? In that time, most the people I worked with loved, or at least tolerated me. However, one girl disliked me extremely and it was causing problems. She'd outright ignore me, but that wasn't the issue, it was a problem when she'd ask me to do HER job, while I was helping or doing something for a customer, but I digress into run-on sentences. I asked her one day, and this is pretty much the conversation verbatim. "Do you not like me, or something?" "No, I don't." "Okay... Why?" "I dunno. It's just the way you are." I walked away and don't think I ever spoke to her again, but then again I quit like a month after that. 
  • My fourth/fifth job (I went back to my first job for a couple months after my third, but then we moved.) I worked at a taco place down in Texas. Still in school, I worked night shift. There were a couple girls I had issues with, but one stands out. She didn't like me. It was obvious. I didn't say anything until she snapped at me one night. We were both on drive-thru and she took off her headset to take care of something in lobby. Shouldn't be a problem, right? She was still working, after all. My issue is, it wasn't her job to take care of lobby, her job was to do drive-thru with me. I asked her to put the headset back on. She comes back with something snarky about there being no customers. It irritated me. But I let a manager take care of it. Texting her later I asked why *she* didn't like me. She said I was bossy. Really? I'm bossy for asking you to do your JOB? (I actually told her this. She didn't like it.)
  • Now we come to the incident that spurred this entire post (because I'm bad and forgot to write up my post before work, I hand wrote part during lunch and am now typing the rest.). I work at walmart. I don't care that you know that, it has nothing to do with this post. Nor am I criticizing it. But anyway. A guy I work with, doesn't like me. (Starting to see a pattern here, eh?) I don't know why. I don't care why, though I AM curious. I have no problem with him. He's a pretty cool guy, just has some issues of his own. I can understand that. Everyone has issues of some sort. Now, I'd only just figured out he didn't like me. Like... the night before last. 
    • Last night at work, I was messing around with him and another employee. I don't think Terry will mind if I tell you his name, he's cool. So I was kinda messing around with Employee A and Terry. Stuck my foot out when they passed to "trip" them. (I don't think I ever actually touched either of their feet, was just messing around.) An hour or two later, one of the managers calls me in to talk. She does the whole schpiel about safety in the work place and how they know I was messy around but that it could cause an accident. Yadda, yadda. (She called me "bubbly", and while I'm not too sure about that, she said I light up a room. It made me feel good.) It's a mild pat on the wrist. I'm fairly certain at this point who complained. I'm sure you are, too. 
      • Now. That normally wouldn't bother me that he went to the bosses. But some of the stuff he "jokingly" says to me, could warrant sexual harassment charges. But I'm not vindictive, and like I said, I think he's an alright guy. I would like to talk to him about this, but haven't had time/opportunity to get him alone. I may, I may not. 
Alright. Story time is over. 

How could this pertain to writing? You may ask. 

Well, I told you those stories to tell you this. And it's a harsh truth I think many burgeoning authors need to know right off the back; I just thank the life I've lived that I learned this lesson early (It's the way I am, after all). 

Not everyone is going to like you.

Some people could downright hate you/your book. However, there will be the people who absolutely adore your writing. Learn this. Know this. Write this down and stick it on your refrigerator. The sooner you learn it and take it to heart, the easier rejection will be.

That being said, I have never faced rejection of my writing before, but I have no doubt I will, and you will be among one of the first groups of people to know how I truly take it.

Happy writing, tomorrow's post will probably be something about NaNoWriMo, or the other writerly things one of my previous posts talked about, or something about cats, I haven't decided yet.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Characters on Couches

Hello, again. 

Today, if you did not read yesterday, I am taking part in something called Characters on Couches. It is hosted by the lovely, and perhaps insane, Murphy. *snerk* "perhaps", I'm funny.

ANYWAY, if you follow that link it will take you to her blog which you should totally check out, you know, once you've finished reading here.


Characters on Couches #1
Damon and Nicholai

Here we go. I've never done this before, so it will be an experience. But then again, neither have they. I have called in two of the men from Mortality, Damon and Nicholai, both vampires, and both fighting on the same side. Nicholai has an animosity towards Damon that is more than just jealousy, and we are gathering here today to find out just what that reason is.

Damon arrives first, punctual, as usual. He wears black pants, tight, but loose enough to allow movement. His blue shirt just barely shows through the gap in his long coat. I don't know why he bothers with the coat, we both know he can't feel the cold. His black hair hangs almost to his shoulders and no matter how pristine the rest of him is, it's in perpetually disarray. It doesn't help that he runs his hands through it constantly, as now.

“Come in, come in, please sit.”

His deep blue eyes turn to me, and even as his author a feel a tingle to my fingertips.

“So this is the real world, then?” He does finally sit, back straight, hands palm-upward in his lap. He wasn't allowed weapons, though he seems quite comfortable without them.

I laugh, sitting on the desk I fashioned for myself, instead of behind it. “It's my world, if that's what you mean.”

I decided I'd go with a sort of business-like attire. Keep things professional. But I detest skirts and so am wearing a nice, dark gray suit. My hair is pulled back into a neat pony tail, keeping it out of my face and keeping with the professional motif. The time ticks by as we wait for Nicholai. My foot taps of its own volition, and out of nowhere the song “Some Nights” by FUN begins playing.

Damon quirks an eyebrow slightly as he looks at me, and I can see why Devin would fall for him, even if she didn't have a choice. I can feel my cheeks redden as, even though this is my world, I put the music back in my head. Just as the silence is beginning to get awkward, at least for me, the door bursts open, slamming against the wall.

“What in the nine hells is going on? Where are we?” Nicholai.

Perhaps at one time he was considered handsome. His hair is short and blond, his eyes are a brilliant, bright green, and his muscles are large and well defined, while Damon is more lean. However, any good looks he may have had are destroyed by the sneer that is pasted on his face.

Damon sighs. “We are in the world of our authour, Nicholai, please try to keep up.”

He is nothing if not polite, though Nicholai sees the hidden insult. It's cleverly done, if I do say so, but I clear my throat. Arguments like this will get us nowhere.

“Now, do you both know why you are here?” I look to Damon and then to Nicholai, who stands far too close for my liking. “Please, sit, Nicholai, I can't stand people who tower over me.”

Nicholai does what I asked, sprawling in a seat he scrapes against the floor, pushing it farther away from Damon's. Damon watches with a bemused little smirk, I swear he knows how good looking he is, but the look disappears before Nicholai can catch sight of it. He looks directly at me, or through me (I'm not so sure), as he answers.

“You have not informed us of what it is you wish, though as it is only the two of us, I can guess.”
I nod, motioning for him to continue. 

“I wish it to be understood that I bear no animosity toward Nicholai, he has disliked me from the moment we recruited him.”

I swear, I love the sound of his voice.

“And how did you recruit him?”

“His was an abnormal case, you see, normally they come to us. But twenty-eight years ago-. Surely you know this.” His head tilts to the side curiously.

Nicholai continues, not waiting for my confirmation or denial of knowledge. “Twenty-eight years, seven months and three days ago, they saved me from a Hunter.”

“Alright. I'm confused. Why did their saving you make you hate him?”

“I could have handled myself quite well without them butting in,” he shoves his chair back and stands, facing Damon. “You have your precious Devin now, but what about me?”

He's yelling, but Damon just sits there looking up at him, letting it wash over him.

“You kill the Huntress “accidentally,”” he actually makes the air quotes and I fight the urge to giggle. I never giggle. “and then put in my mind this grand plan to become mortal. What kind of sick game is that?”

Damon still doesn't say anything, so I ask. “What was this Huntress to you?”

He rounds on me, and if looks could kill, well, his story would never be told. His voice grows quiet, but no less angry. “She was my Soul Mate.”

Damon lets out a small moue of surprise, as I let out a similar squeak. It's a quite unbecoming sound to make.

Nicholai turns away from me, not looking at Damon as he heads for the door. “I will never forgive him.”

As the door swings shut, Damon looks like if he could, he'd be sick. He can't go green around the gills, or turn pale, but I recognize that look on his face. It's the look of someone holding down bile, or holding back tears. But then again, he can't cry either. He slumps now, the only time even I have ever seen him lose his composure. He cradles his head in his hands and speaks to the floor.

“I had no idea.” At first, I don't think he's going to say anymore, but before I can go and comfort him, he continues.

“Normally we try to explain things, set them on the trail of others, some of Damian's crew perhaps. But she refused to listen. Even then we try to spare them, perhaps knock them out and leave them some place harmless.” He takes a deep breath. “I messed up. I let myself succumb to the Ahrin, and when I returned, well, that werewolf got off easy.”

He stands now, and gives me a sad smile. Like the metaphors I use far too often, it makes my heart ache.

“That is all you wished, correct?”

“Uhm, yes.” As he walks toward the door, I remember what I forgot. “Oh! If you could please tell the girls that I will be seeing them next week?”

His back goes rigid. He stops with his hand on the handle. He slowly turns toward me. “What girls?”
“You know. Helena, Hope, and Dev-.” Before I can finish her name, I can't breathe.

I'm off the desk and Damon has pinned me by my throat to the wall behind. His eyes are mostly black, though I can tell his fighting the Ahrin. “You are not putting her in a room with the two of them.”

I manage a smirk despite the fact I can't breathe. As I look at him, the arm pinning me to the wall begins to move of it's own- well, my own- volition. It's a battle of wills, and I, as his author, am going to win. His arm is at his side, and I can breathe again.

“You cannot tell me what to do, Damon Fa'erha.” His eyes narrow in surprise. “Yes, I know your true name Mr. Damncry. Now, you will either tell the girls or you won't. That's up to you. But I will be seeing them.”

I slip out from around him and pick up my clipboard and pencil.

“Have a good day.” He bows slightly before gliding through the door.

Once he's gone I throw myself into the unused plush chair behind my desk and finally let out the sigh/giggle suppressed the entire time.

“I take it you enjoyed that?”

The closet door opens and Hilia stepped out. Her almost lemon-yellow hair is loose but for two thin braids that circle the crown of her head. It looks quite lovely. Her sharp green eyes seem to look through me as she looks at me, however, and goose bumps raise on my arms.

“I did. So what do you think?”

Hilia shakes her head, taking a seat in the chair Damon had used. She taps her chin with her thin, perfectly-manicured fingers. “I know Damon's mind better than he does, and he did not lie. Nicholai, however...”

She trails off.

“Was he lying?”

“Oh no, no, you misunderstand me. I am quite certain he was telling the truth. I do not believe he wishes to become mortal again, however. I believe he sees his existence as penitence for letting the girl he spoke of die.” Hilia's eyes are distant as she glances at the other chair.


Hilia shakes her head slightly. “I cannot be sure without actually seeing into his mind. But I am quite sure.”

“Damn... Never would have guessed. He always did seem like he enjoyed being a vampire.”

“Oh no, he does not enjoy it. I do not believe any hates it so much as he. He feels he deserves it. He deserves it because for all his strength, he could not save the one he loved.” Hilia stands now and tips her head to me. She leaves without another word.

Setting my clipboard and pencil on the desk, I realize I forgot to take notes. Damn.