Sunday, May 5, 2013

Blog is Moving!

So hey guys! Sorry I haven't had any posts in a week, I've been working on moving my blog to Wordpress. If you would like to check it out, it's at cheyennetrumbo.wordpress.com. (I honestly wouldn't if I were you, it's only old posts at the moment and I haven't gotten the homepage set up like I want it. But it's up to you.)

ANYWAY, big news shall be coming to the blog soon, as soon as I get it set up fully with Wordpress.

Look forward to that!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Know Your Reader

Hey all! This was not a planned post (as if most of them are. *snicker*), but I realized this the other day.

When you're planning, writing, and editing, keep in mind your ideal reader. Are you writing for children? young adults? adults? Men? Women? Do they have a lot of time on their hands? Are they in a hurry all the time? Do they have time to sit and devote to your book or will they put it down if it shows a hint of getting slow?

This might seems like unimportant questions, perhaps something that will work itself out without your needing to work at it. For some people, I have no doubt, they are. Some authors may never think about audience. However, I would hazard a guess that many of these never sell many books.

I would highly suggest finding someone whom you want to write a book for. Who do you want to read your book? Who simply must enjoy it? Find one person in your life. Keep them in mind as you're writing.

For me, that one person is my mother. She's read my very very first draft. Normally I would say that's a no-no, but my mother's not an editor, she's not a beta reader, she's not giving me any feed back except her reactions to scenes and telling me to "write more, now". Until I finally finished it. Now it's "Edit it!" But I digress.

I recently gave her the last four or five chapters of the rough draft. Her reactions to some scenes were... not what I expected. They're not even what I had hoped for. Not anywhere close. BUT, she did give me some insight into a character who had reacted in a way I hadn't expected. That feedback is invaluable. Now I have some idea of other things that need to be fixed/changed in editing before it goes out to beta readers.

Now, my mother may not be the target audience for EVERY book, I'll probably use friends and other family members at points, and that's okay. Not every book is good for everyone. Some people enjoy fantasy more than others, some steam-punk, some like romance (which I thought my mom preferred, but she LOVES Mortality).

A Tip: If you're book is romance, don't have a hardcore Tolkien fan in mind for your target reader. It doesn't make any sense. Instead, find a Nora Roberts fan. Someone you know. Let them read your book (I'm not saying VERY first draft, but early) and they will give you invaluable feed back.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Progress Begets Progress

See the arrow? Yeah you should totally look at that word count meter. Notice how it's moved? Probably significantly since you last looked at it, right? Yeah.

I've been editing. A lot. Alright, so it's not really that big of a number. But it takes me awhile to get through a scene. Many of them need entire rewrites. And I'm adding a lot of scenes as I go through. So I'm making progress, but also most of these scenes I would still count as first draft and are still labeled as such in Scrivener.

By the way, about Scrivener. It's awesome. If you don't have it, and you write anything, you should totally think about getting it. They even have a thirty day trial. FREE. You can see and read about and download Scrivener here. It works on both Mac and Windows, with the Windows updates being a bit behind. Don't worry about it, though. It's still awesome on Windows.

Okay, with that little bit out of the way, I'm going to talk a bit about editing. I know I had a post on how easier it's becoming for me to edit this the more I do it, but I don't think that's unique to me.

The more I edit, the more I want to edit. I'm putting the first layer of shine and polish onto these first scenes and chapters, and I'm beginning to see the potential. Which shows the potential of all the other scenes as well. That, in turn, makes me more excited for editing and so I go back to it with renewed vigor. It's a cycle. And a good one.

I'm no longer afraid to make it worse, because honestly, it couldn't be much worse. And that is SO freeing! I can (I think) only make it better.

So don't hold back! Edit away. But remember, keep a virgin copy of your first draft. So you know and remember all the hard work that went into it, and in case you do end up messing something up royally, or changing the plot and deciding it works better the old way, you have something to look back on.

Happy writing/editing!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Short Snippet Sunday - Mortality (3)

Sorry for my silence this week! Been fairly busy and/or tired all week. Work is killing me for some reason. Anyway! This week's snippet.

A recently rewritten scene in the beginning. Hope you enjoy.

“Why have we stopped?”
Damon suppressed a sigh. “Nicholai.”
Why have we stopped?”
Turning to face the blond-headed vampire, Damon gave into the sigh. “We have stopped because Alucard placed me in charge and I said to stop.”
Damon could imagine the sound of Nicholai’s teeth grinding. “Wh-”
“Before you ask again,” Damon began slowly, as if explaining to a child, “We have stopped because we do not wish to appear aggressive. The Elves who protect the boy must make the first move.” 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Give It A Rest

[APOLOGY: I am so sorry I have not yet gotten up the interview K.R. Green and I did with S.M. Boyce. If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed I tried right before bed, but I didn't want to screw it up. My schedule is so wonky right now... I feel like I'm sleeping more than ever but I'm more tired every day than I have ever been. Doctor's Appointment tomorrow morning, as well, so I don't know when I'll get that video ready and up. Hopefully by the end of the week!]

This is a post about editing.

I don't remember exactly when I finished Mortality. I think it was around December. But as soon as I typed the last words, I wanted to jump straight into editing. I was so in love with what I saw that the book could be. So I did. I jumped right in. Wrote a single scene of prologue, and then stopped.

If I'm right, and it was December, I've been stopped for four months. I haven't done a thing. I've looked at it. I've re-read it many times. But I haven't done any editing. Until Sunday. I was talking on Skype with K.R. Green (pre-interview) and she kinda got me back to it. I've got two new scene's started. They're not finished yet, but they're started. And it's going pretty smooth.

My point is. Some writers go back and edit straight away. They can't let a book sit. I thought I couldn't. I had so many grand plans for the rewrite and I didn't want to forget a single one of them. I wanted it all done right now.

But, I think, when I went to go actually edit, I was afraid of making it worse. I know it's bad right now. Oh it's so bad. But you know what? It's a first draft. It's OKAY for it to be shit. The second one is probably going to be shit, too. But hopefully a smaller pile. Or perhaps a little less rank.

If you are new to the writing game, and have a first draft under your belt. Go ahead. Edit right away if you think that's the person you are. This was my first finished draft of any long piece of work. I thought I was that type. Don't be discouraged if it turns out you're not. Go ahead and set it aside for a few months. Maybe work on something else. But get back to it.

Don't let it sit aside indefinitely.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Short Snippet Sunday - Mortality (2)


Hey folks! We're back on schedule with your regular Short Snippet Sunday!

This is from near the end of Mortality. Still first draft scene I'm afraid. Bit of a teaser. Don't want to give away too much now, do we? Ta ta for now!

Oh yeah! K.R. Green and I have an interview S.M. Boyce and I here in a few hours! Look for that on Monday!


She was barely breathing, and she only realized this when she started seeing stars. Taking a gasping breath, she finally pulled her eyes from the head on the ground, and looked up at Damon. As she met his purely black eyes, she nearly stopped breathing again. He hadn’t been able to let go of the Ahrin on his own last time, either.

But Damien had relinquished it just before-. Just after the wound on his throat. 

K.R. Green can be found on Twitter here and her website here.
S.M. Boyce is on Twitter as well, as well as having an awesome website.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Heart of Poison

Ideas can come from anywhere. ANYWHERE.

The title of this post is a working title for an idea I recently had. You want to know what it was "inspired" by? A song I hate, sung by an artist I detest.

Say what you want to about Taylor Swift, I think she needs to grow up.

Her song "Love Story" plays at my work place once a night. About a week and a half ago, it was on. I was letting my thoughts roam and I realized it was the most UNoriginal use of Romeo and Juliet I had ever heard. Even Gnomeo and Juliet was more original.

My mind continued to wander and I hatched upon this idea. What if Juliet DIDN'T kill herself after Romeo? What if, instead, she took it upon herself to kill those responsible, in any way shape or form, for his death? And what if it were in a steampunk setting? I think, with how many twists (I haven't even listed them all here) I'm using, it won't look a thing like Romeo and Juliet at the end. But that's okay. I don't want it to.

Anyway, my point is. Your ideas can come from anywhere. Yeah, some of them might not be any good. But you must sift through the bad in order to get to the good. Let the ideas, good or bad, come to you when they want and always keep a notebook handy. (I use the memo app on my phone, or a sharpie and the palm of my hand.)

Also, don't be afraid to take inspiration from other works. If, when you're writing, it seems to be too close to your inspiration. Change something. Make it a drastic change. I did something similar with a book of mine. It was too similar to Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy. So I changed... well a lot about it. It's now nowhere near it. I think.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Don't Wanna Go to Heaven.

[APOLOGY: I am so so so so so so sorry for my absence. SO many things have been happening. I had bad/no internet for a month and a half-ish, and then I moved. We got internet a few days ago and I meant to type up a post then, but I didn't want just another apology post but didn't have anything to say. I PROMISE I'm back this time. I'll post at least three times a week.]

At work, there's a song that plays that has the lyrics "I don't wanna go to heaven if I can't get in."

I kinda love that. I overheard a few days ago some women complaining about how it made no sense. I assume, from where we live, that they were referring to the fact that ANYONE could not want to go to heaven. The lyrics I think that they missed were "Everybody got a problem with the way I live," and "'Cause I'm no criminal/I'm not your enemy."

It's a song about the freedom to believe what you wish. That's what the United States of America is founded on, no? To hear a song like that called "ridiculous" just... irritates me.

So, how does this tie in to writing? Simple. Religion.

It may not play a large role in your book, it may not play a role at all. But you have to have SOME form of religion. Often, as in our own world, there are multiple religions. How do they get along? Are they constantly fighting with each other? Are a couple characters of differing religions? How does that affect the way they interact with each other?

Sure, it could seem like a small thing. And in fact, I think, in many books, it's overlooked. That is a travesty. It can make a book seem more REAL, to have the characters believe in something, but it's often times only used if it's central to the plot. (Such as in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Series.)

In fantasy, many characters have magic. But it often goes unexplained as to where this power came from. Often we aren't even given theories. In our own world, how everything came to be is unknown for certain, but EVERYONE, religion and science, have theories. Why do so few characters in books ever question?

Anyway, that's my little rant for the day. Just something to keep in mind while you're writing. What do your characters believe in?

Friday, February 22, 2013

My Apologies

I'm Sorry!

I've been away from home for long stretches of time (giving the ex-boyfriend some space, though he doesn't believe he needs it), haven't written a thing in over a week (stress tends to do that to me), and we just got over a foot of snow where I am and my car is having issues. 

Anyway! I am getting back to writing, hopefully, getting my car fixed (it's at the shop now), and going down to Texas this weekend... to see my mother. So... I'm sorry I haven't been around, real life has gotten in the way of everything here lately. 

I promise I'm back and will have a post up tomorrow and another snippet on sunday as well. 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Death of a Soldier

I had many different ideas for this post and many different titles to go with it. At first, I was going to write "On Grief", and take a closer look at the way different people express and cope with it. But I thought that sounded too formal and too sterile. "In Living/Loving Memory" was considered, but I thought that sounded a tad cliche. Another idea was titled "The Death of a Mentor", and would probably have focused simply on my feelings and coping mechanisms. But that wasn't right either. I feel that "The Death of a Soldier" fits, and I hope you will read on to see why.

His name was Jeff "Sarge" Regan. He was a Marine and a Vietnam veteran (he was sent 3 times). He worked for years at Wal-Mart, working his way from the bottom of the totem pole until he finally reached Support Manager position. In the time that I have worked with him, I came to care for him, as one does when they spend nine hours a day four-five nights a week with another.

He was funny. He was smart. And he never really seemed to be that old. He worked hard (probably harder than he should have, honestly) and worked long (I don't know how he managed not to go over 40 hours a week), but he always had a smile and a kind word. Along with a rapier sharp wit. I thought- we all thought, he would be around for years yet.

On Tuesday, February 12, 2013 during the daily meeting before work, we were all informed by the Shift Manager (Steve) that he had been contacted by Sarge's wife and that he was in the hospital. He'd had a heart attack. At that time, that was all that was known. Steve was going to try to see him/get more information in the morning, I assume after our shift. (Over nights 10pm-7am normally.) It came out of nowhere. We were worried, yes, but we went about our work as normal (minus Sarge). I think I was perhaps the least worried, as my grandfather, a man probably older than Sarge and definitely more frail, had a heart attack 2-3 years ago and is still kicking. In fact, my grandfather had three in a day. I believe he needed triple by-pass surgery. But I digress. I wasn't all that worried.

The night went by fairly quickly. Not ten minutes after I got back on the clock after lunch (around 4:15am), Steve called over the PA system, "All associates to GM receiving". It's the only place big enough in the back room that could hold all of us. I was confused. That has never happened. NEVER. While we waited, I heard a woman on my right (I don't recall who) mention she thought she knew what it was about. I had no clue. I didn't ask. Someone else did, though. She said she thought Sarge had passed. It was an aside, and no one else heard. I'd heard, though. I didn't want to think it was true. I prayed to God that it wasn't.

Once we were all assembled (minus two to watch the registers up front and a couple people who refused to come during their lunch break) Steve, now obviously unsettled, took a deep breath. He'd gotten a call from someone (I don't remember who, I think he said it was Sarge's daughter). He had passed away at about 2am. Reactions were varied. Sandy in Produce, who has worked with Sarge the entire time he'd been there, walked out. The door slammed behind her. Nobody else had yet to move. Many were crying, mostly silently. Steve told us that if anyone needed to talk... I quit listening. I was trying, and failing, not to cry.

I was more concerned with Terry. Sarge was like a father to him. They'd been friends for years. He took it the hardest of us all, and I don't blame him. He was the focal point of most peoples condolences and pity. I remember the way he sounded when he told somebody to pinch him and that it couldn't be real. I will never forget that in my life. It's not a feeling that can be put into words. He received countless hugs. Steve opened the bay door so the few of us that stayed behind with Terry could get some fresh air. More hugs. I can't count the number of times I heard somebody say "It's alright" or "You're alright", and I don't know how many times I said the same.

I told Terry I would take him home if he needed it. He was worried about his attendance, as he couldn't afford to miss anymore work. Or he could have been fired. Steve called me aside a little while later and let me know he was taking Terry home. Terry didn't come into work on the 13th either. Steve told him it wouldn't count against his attendance.

Here, I must say I was trying to put a positive spin on things. I wonder what all the customers had to have been thinking, three quarters of the associates walking around either crying or had been crying. The rest of that night had to have been the worst customer service in awhile. I guarantee you few associates greeted customers and even fewer managed a smile. I tried when I passed them, but I'm fairly certain it was more of a grimace.

The funeral services are to be on the morning of the 18th. I've never had anyone close to me die before. I'm lucky, all my family is fairly healthy. The closest that came was a friend of mine's older brother passed away some years ago. But I'd never met him.

I think Brandie had it right. She said, no matter how harsh it sounds, that at least he went quickly. Sarge didn't suffer through everything that heart patients do. No numerous surgery's. No days full of nothing but pain. He didn't suffer at all. And it's the way he would have wanted to go. He was a soldier. Here is what I add to that. It hurts. It always does. I don't think that pain will ever be gone completely. I hope it won't. But time does dull it. And we have to move on. So that night and every night on, we will continue cracking jokes, laughing at each others expense, and making fun of each other because that's what he would want.

We will never forget.

Rest In Peace, Jeff "Sarge" Regan.
Semper Fi.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How would you describe life?

While this quite technically has nothing to do with writing, or any sort of craft, I came across this idea whilst drawing, and thought I might turn it into a little challenge. What if you were asked to define life in one simple word? What would it be? Could you even describe it with just one word?

To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Life is a journey, not a destination." To some, this very well might mean nothing at all, but if you take the time to think it out, I believe that you can find your own meaning to it.

So here is my challenge, how would you describe life in one word? Based on that one word, could you write out why you find that word fits you? It doesn't have to be extremely writer-ly or anything, but you can make it so if you see fit.


Voyage

This life is all that I know, all that I have ever known. In it, I have grown to see many things, I have loved and I have hated. I regret nothing, and I wouldn't change a bit of it.
Many times I have been unable to see the road ahead of me and even thought that I had reached the end. Through countless trials, I have found that the most obvious path has never been the best, nor the most exciting. In learning this, I was able to begin picking my own path, essentially making this life my own. This is just the beginning of my voyage, and I plan to continue living it to the best of my ability.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Selecting Books

I realized that, as an off and on writer, I have almost nothing to say about writing right now! I'm in one of those more so off-writing periods. However, I find that books seem to be a big part of my life right now. Not necessarily that I am reading a ton of them(I most certainly wish I was), but instead I am reading some really insightful ones, which amuses me.

Currently, my favorite is An Anatomy of Thought, The Origin and Machinery of the Mind, by Ian Glynn. Now, I am absolutely in love with this book, but I find that I can only read it whilst I am extremely relaxed. I just suck up more of it when I am.

The only reason that I find this to be so amusing is the fact that just a few years back I was still craving reading all of those vampire-related and teenage angst-seeming books -don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker for a good ol' vampy book still.- My tastes have just changed so much! Used to be, I would have seen "An Anatomy of--" and walked away. Now...I'll be the first one running to grab it before anyone can snatch it up first.

Well, that was just a little glimpse into the craziness that forms my thought processes. Namely because I'm trying to stay awake! Teehee.

Short Snippet Sunday - Mortality (1)

Okay! Here we go, back on schedule!

I will apologize once more for the lack of posts the other couple days, I was tired, lazy, and watching Doctor Who. As I said, I have no regrets.

Anyway, this is my replacement for Six Sentences Sunday. If you would like to join me in Short Snippet Sunday'ing, you can give me a link in the comments or send me a tweet or an email and I can link to your blog/post at the bottom of my post every Sunday.

So, my Snippet. This is from the end of the first (rewritten) scene of Mortality. I feel these characters are rather well defined.

“That damned mortal killed six of us. Six. Within a mortals lifespan, he devised a way to do so. What could these abominations do with limitless time? There is nothing to be gained by letting them live and everything to lose.” 

He took a step towards the ‘failed’ Roen and Diagania put a hand on his shoulder, stopping him. 
“I won’t let you do this.” Her voice had dropped to a bare whisper. 

“So stop me.” 

So what do you guys think?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

No Regrets

Okay, so, every body has those days where they want to lay around and do nothing, right?

Well, this past two days have been those kinda days.

I've watched... two and a half seasons of Doctor Who during this time.

So.


Tomorrow I will have a Short Snippet Sunday up, I promise.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cliches

Optional Title: Cliches Aren't All Bad.

Alright, so we're going to be talking about cliches today. What prompted this is simple. I began rereading Eragon, by Christopher Paolini.

This book is rife with Cliches. Let's list them, shall we?

These are in no way by order of importance or the order in which they happen, just the order that I recall them.

Cliche #1. Eragon is a poor farm boy.

Cliche #2. He has a background even he doesn't know.

Cliche #3. The wise old man. Brom. He knows all about Eragon, but won't tell him.

Cliche #4. Description due to looking at oneself in the mirror. Granted, it wasn't at the beginning.

Cliche #5. Everything comes easy. Eragon is a 'quick learner'.

Those are what I can remember from the first two hundred pages.

Oh wait! One more.

Cliche #6. Prophecy.

Anyway.

My point in this is, I love the Inheritance Saga. (I haven't yet read the last one, but I just started rereading Eragon so I can read them all the way through from the beginning.) Cliche's aren't all bad. So long as you use them correctly.

If you have an interesting story otherwise, cliches are great. Just don't try to hide them. Try to disguise them as something else and SOMEONE will call you on it. Own the cliche.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Be True To You

This is a bit of a jolt from my regular blog posts in that it has little to do with writing. Indeed, what prompted this had nothing at all to do with writing, or reading. Instead, it is about life. Just life.

An old friend texted me out of the blue the other day. Basically he told me he wanted to get his life together and figure things out. Well good for him, I thought. I believe he is soon to graduate highschool, or perhaps he may already have graduated, being homeschooled, I'm not sure.

I feel a tad hypocritical giving out advice on life, as I don't have my own life under control or understood yet, but I did my best. My advice to him was to focus on the concrete things, like saving money to buy a car, first and foremost. My reason for this, I told him, was because 'figuring out who you are' is such a nebulous, almost impossible task. I still am not sure who I am, but I feel I am closer every day to that realization.

I asked him why he wanted to change, and what he wanted to change about himself. He quoted be a "shut-in" and having "social issues" as things to change. That struck me as a bit odd.

I will tell you what I told him. Don't worry about being a "good person", as everyone's definition of "good" is different. Instead, focus on being a person YOU like. Be a person you can stand to look at in the mirror every morning. And most importantly, be a person you would like to be friends with. If you don't like you, how on earth can you expect other people to like you?

I guess there is a way I can tie this into writing.

Write What You Love

Whether you are just starting out or have multiple drafts under your belt, there's one piece of advice that can't be said enough. 

Write the book you want to read. Don't worry about trends, don't worry about fads, chances are by the time to get it finished and published, the trends will have changed. Vampires will be out of style, and choose your own adventure books will be the way to go. Don't worry about it. Don't fret. And most of all don't feel pressured to write anything that you are not in love with. 

If you like your book, readers can sense that, and your writing will be all the better for it. If you don't like your book, or the characters, readers pick up on that even faster. They will be less likely to care about your story and what is happening and if they don't care they won't read it. It's that simple. 

I read somewhere (I don't remember where) that you feel something like 10x more emotion for your characters and what is happening than the readers ever will. This is due to the fact that much is lost in the translation from your mind to paper. You will never get it said or shown exactly the way you see it. That's just a fact that all writers have to live with. But you HAVE to care. If you don't care, your readers will care even less. 

~C.R. Trumbo

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Writing Goals

Optional Title: Keep Your But In The Chair

Deadline's can be seen as a dirty word. Almost as dirty as a four letter. But that's what I'm here to talk about today. So, if you don't like the word 'deadline' let's call them 'goals'.

I was speaking with Katy-Rose yesterday and she made the comment about not liking having a 78k book and an 80k one. And we got to talking about goals.

NaNoWriMo is great for writers. It gives you a Word Count goal (50k) and a Deadline (November 30). Combine those two, and it's the kick in the rear most people need to keep going. The community attitude about NaNoWriMo helps as well. You've got other writers not only doing the same thing and aiming for the same thing, but they are also their to hold you accountable.

Any WriMo does this.

But what if you don't participate in a WriMo? Or are writing outside of the boundary of a WriMo? That's okay! Set yourself a personal goal. Is that not enough? Talk to other writers, you can find them by the dozen on twitter, or troll the NaNoWriMo forum at practically any time of the year.

Talk to them, and find an accountability partner. Katy-Rose and I are keeping each other writing, because after edits we are going to exchange books and be each others first readers. I really want her to finish because I want to read it and vise-versa.

A family member is a good choice, if you have a mother such as mine. But I'm guessing few of you do. If you have someone in your family that likes to read, and they like to read what you write, tell them a bit about your book. Not all of it, mind you, just a little bit. Get them interested. And then tell them what date you would like to finish by. Normally, they will bug you and bug you and bug you about it. That's good. But I wouldn't go to a family member for a beta reader. More on that in another post.

Also! In case you haven't already seen it, I have a gadget up at the top right hand corner of my blog where I'm keeping track of my editing scene by scene. Watch as I trudge along, and don't hesitate to post a comment bugging me about it if you don't see it change often enough! You an ALL be my accountability partners!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Editing and Non-Writers

Since finishing the first draft of my novel, and letting people know, I've figured something out.

There is a big misconception about the editing process. And I think it's not just non-writers, but possibly for new writers as well. We need to clear this up RIGHT now. Whether you are just planning your novel, are currently writing it, or are already finished.

To show you what I mean, here's how quite a few conversations have gone.

Me: I finished my novel!

Them: Oh yay! Now all you have to do is proof read and-

Me: Bahahaha! No. At least the first half of my story needs a complete overhaul.

Or, alternatively.

Me: I finished my novel!

Them: Oh yay! Now all you have to do is go through, fixing small mistakes and-

Me: Bahahaha! No. I'm not even worried about spelling or grammar right now.

Get the picture?

I think this misconception can be blamed on the public school system. Yes. The public school system. In school, "editing" a paper WAS just reading through, catching small grammatical errors and spelling errors. That is what people define editing is. It's not. That, my friends, is proofreading, or line reading. However you want to define it.

Editing, especially the first few rounds of editing, is for CONTENT. Does the story progress smoothly? Does it make sense? Are there any extraneous characters? Plots? Red herrings that are never followed?

Though, don't get me wrong, editing for content isn't the ONLY means of editing, but if this is your first draft, it's the only one you should be worried about.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Six Sentences Sunday Seven

Okay, so last week, I found out where Six Sentences originated from and apparently last week was the last. So, well that doesn't really affect me, does it?

Just know that this is an unofficial Six Sentences and is in no way connected to SixSunday.com I am not trying to rip off their idea or anything, I am merely using it as a means to share snippets of my work.

However, I have no ideas what else to call it. Perhaps Short Snippet Sunday? Beginning next week, I shall call it that. Perhaps.

Anywho! The snippet this week is from my (now finished) Mortality. Fight scene!

“What? Don’t you want to win? Why aren’t you taking this-” Damon dodged another swipe, but he didn’t get far enough, Damien grabbed him by the shirt and slammed him against the wall. “-seriously?” 
Damon heard a roaring in his ears and a pounding in his head. It wasn’t being thrown into the wall that caused it, either. Damon saw red, pain and heat spread from his center to the ends of his fingers and toes, and rational thought ceased. 

That's a nice little piece, isn't it?

Happy Sunday All!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The End of the Night, a Short Story

Okay, I was going to do a second introduction post of Amaya, but I think she handled that rather well on her own, as well as already having an About Her page set up, so I don't need to.

But I didn't really have a post set up and ready for today. As I thought, I remembered a short story I wrote last years for a writing/critique group I was a part of down in Texas. Yes, I worked in fast food at the time, and no, I never imagined doing the following to any customer. I'm a complete angel. *malicious grin* *evil hand rub*

The title of this short story, as you have quite probably gathered, is The End of the Night.

It's nearly midnight. The end of my shift and this tub of lard in front of me has changed his mind for the third time. It's hard to refrain myself from telling him to just order all three, because he's eating himself into an early grave anyway. But I don't. Management tends to frown on that.  
He's changing his mind again, and the last of patience has gone out the window. I finger the pen in my pocket and examine the walking heart attack standing there. He has no idea the wrath he's about to incur. Taking the pen out of my pocket, it's surprisingly easy to pretend about his changing order.  
Wait, that's not right, either. He's changing it again. That's it. Lunging across the counter, the pen sinks into the fleshy part of his neck like a fork through jell-o. The carotid artery is severed and the spray of blood covers my chest, face, and arms. I take a deep breath and stand. 
Everyone is staring. No one has moved or said anything, though. There is no reaction at all. Wiping my hands on my pants, I walk calmly around the counter, clock out, and leave. My car starts smoothly for once. Every light is green as I pass. Tonight's a good night. Gathering my stuff from the trunk, I head around the back of this beaten up duplex and kick the back door open because my hands are full.  
A chorus of voices greets me as I step into the poorly it basement. As we pull out our papers and prepare to pick up the game from where we left off last wee, Alex looks at me.  
"How was work?" 
I look down briefly at my unstained hands and clean conscience.  
"Oh, you know. Same old."

Written by: C.R. Trumbo
25/4/2012
302 words

Just Another Beginning

This may come off a bit writer-ish, but it's just my style sometimes. Teehee.

We all start things, all the time. And I believe this is just another beginning for me, one that I plan to pursue.

This time, I have decided to begin on creating new things and seeing how far I can stretch my imagination, within my ability, of course. This led me to the idea of beadwork. While I have yet to find it quite as captivating and expressive as drawing, I believe that I can find a way to capture one's own personality into the art, and then be able to hand them that captured work.

Most jewelry and other accessories are just something we see and think is neat. Sure, a lot of it can have some meaning, but personally I would love to have something that can actually express what I believe in, what I feel.

Cultured to your specific taste, I can make you nearly anything that you can come up with. I've taken it on as my own sort of mission, to create for you something that clearly expresses the person that you are.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The End of a Journey

I begin this post by apologizing for the past two non post days.

Yesterday I woke up feeling sick and light headed to the point every time I stood I felt as though I would fall right back over again, and barely had the strength to hold my head up for long periods of time. I was awake for about two hours before I told a coworker I would not make it in to work. There was no way I could do manual labor in that state.

The day before yesterday, which would be the 30, I meant to write up a blog post for the 31, but I was eyeball deep in writing. Which brings me to the purpose of this post.

*deep breath* I. Finished. Mortality.

It's only draft one, but I finally did it. I've been working on Mortality on and off for ten years, and that is WAY too long to be working on something like that. I know that now, and it will never take me that long to finish something again.

But give me some credit, I was around the age of nine or ten when I first hatched upon the idea and started writing. I stuck with it for that long, it's kind of sad to see the end come.

However, whether it's the first draft of your first novel, or the first draft of your tenth, it's only the end of the beginning. After the first draft, comes editing.

I was going to begin my own editing yesterday after I finished changing my (flat) tire, but I decided after my shower that I was too tired to stand, much less look critically at my book. I went to bed. And woke up sick as mentioned above.

Now, however, I am feeling somewhat better, meaning I don't feel as though I am going to pass out any time soon. I plan on diving right into editing after only a days rest from it merely because I can't stand to wait!

This is a good feeling, one I hope every writer will persevere until they finally feel it as well.

I now can call myself an author, and not just a writer.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Up A Tree (A Book Review)

Yes, it's true. Another book review!

Imagine waking up to your best friend trying to eat you and that overnight almost the whole world has turned into Zombies. Now, imagine having to take care of your little sister who then gets taken by Aliens; which are the cause for the Zombies. This is the story of Kendall Roberts and their adventures through a zombie apocalypse, space travel, and a new world.

At an estimated 51 pages long, Up a Tree is not a novel. But it's just a tad too long for a short story. I would, personally, classify it as a novella. But novella carries a connotation that a novella can't be good. After all, if it were good, why isn't it a novel.

Ah. But I digress. Up a Tree is written by Sara D whose blog you can find following that link. It is the first in a series, though I don't know how long that series will be as she has not disclosed that information anywhere I have been able to find. (EDIT: I was wrong, it says on the Amazon page that U[ a Tree is the first of three.) I assume they will be all roughly the same length, and am personally waiting for the next one.

Now, onto my thoughts about the book.

It's written in a style that is very easy to finish, and could be described as... childish in ways. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, though, as the first person narrator is only a teenager herself. However, what cannot be contributed to the age of the narrator, are the errors I found while reading. They were little things. "Isle" instead of "Aisle", "he's" instead of "his". Things like that that wouldn't be caught by a spell checker. Obviously it needed a more thorough editing.

The story started out brilliantly. A small glimpse into "now", and then a recap of how the protagonist (Kendall) came to be in the situation. (She provides a sneak peak of the first couple pages on her blog, and you can also read the snippet on Amazon.com as well.) It's done quite well and serves to make the reader curious.

While the action happens quickly, we're given a buffer of an almost normal day before we get to the zombies. That first day, we're shown Kendall's best friend, her ex-best friend-turned-enemy, her younger sister, and a glimpse into her home life as well. It makes one care about the character and what happens to her.

Now, a little less detail to avoid spoilers. The middle was well done. The action was tight, and the pacing phenomenal. One more character was introduced, Eric, who seems a tad stereotypical when it comes to zombie-anything. He's the gun-toting hard-ass. But he cooks. Who would have guessed? He's a nice guy for the most part, and he may be more well rounded than he appears on paper, but we're not told enough about him to make that distinction.

It ends with such a huge, but brilliantly done, cliff hanger. I want to know more, especially about these aliens.

Overall I give it *** stars.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Characters on Couches 4

Well, Alys showed up right after my conversation with Seryn, so here is that interaction for you all to laugh at. In which I find out more things I didn't know. 

SPOILER ALERT! (Continued spoiler from CoC 3 part 2) Read at your own risk.

Alys: The Psychic

A voice speaks up behind me. "Interesting man." 
"Sweet Mary, mother of Jesus! Do you guys have to do that?" 
I turned when she first spoke and now I'm hard pressed to find her in the dark. With just a thought, the shadows lessen and reveal the shriveled, stooped figure of Alys.  
"Who's Mary and why do we care about her son?" Though she's old, her voice is as strong as ever.  
"Nevermind that, what are you doing here?" 
I think she shrugs, but it's hard to tell under the loose, baggy clothing. "I was curious." 
"You were curious. About a man even I didn't know existed." 
"Dear, I've known about him and his kind since before his last incarnation." Her laugh is the only thing that shows the beautiful woman she once was. 
My eyebrows climb again. They're getting a good workout today. "You mean the one before this?" 
"Precisely." She shuffles around the desk and takes the seat Seryn had been in. It's much too big for her.  
"And how did you know?" I sigh. I'm tired of my characters hiding things from me. 
"Followed a sixth sense to a hidden place in the mountains four hundred years ago. Apparently no matter what life he was in he kept immaculate diaries. Some are in languages even I don't recognize."  
"A sixth sense? You mean other than you being a Psychic?" 
"Naturally."  
"So he keeps journals. What else did you find?" 
She shifts slightly as if uncomfortable. But that can't be true. Vampires can't get uncomfortable. 
"There is a ten year gap between his death and rebirth. Unless killed by blade or plague he will live three hundred years or greater."  
"I think you're the most cooperative so far. Why?" 
She shrugs. "You need the facts to tell our story the way it happens." 
Huh. She's the first to understand that. "One more question, then you can go."  
She nods. "Ask away."  
"Why the Soul Mate lie?" 
"When I first awoke (as a vampire, that is) I just knew I had to get them to believe it. Until recently I was unsure as to the reason why."  
"So..."  
"If Damon hadn't believed it, he would have ignored his feelings for the girl and our goals would never be accomplished."   
"When you say that you sound so altruistic. But you're not. You just wish to be young forever."  
She shrugs again. "You wrote me that way." 
I roll my eyes as she stands to leave. "You wouldn't do this for any other reason, Nareya."  
The door shut before she heard me. Not that she'd remember her True Name in the novel. Yet.
And to think, Alys literally came out of nowhere when I was writing Mortality. To think she's this important.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Characters on Couches 3 pt 3

The final part of the trilogy! I hope.

"Damn." 
Mental note: Bring in her next. Straightening from picking up my clipboard and pen my heart leaps to my throat. He's standing literally inches away.  
"Good god in heaven! Don't you men have any respect for personal space?"  
His eyes narrow and though I know he's trying to intimidate me, I can't help but notice, again, how hot he is. His skin is pale, as though he spends all of his time under the dark of night than the light of the sun. I noticed before that he's thin, but he's not. Not really. His muscles are thick, though I think my hands would manage to wrap around his biceps. I'm tempted to try, but the glare makes even me hesitate. He's only a head taller than I am, so he's probably around 5'8" or 5'10".  
"There is no 'good god'," he informs me. The way he says it, that deep quiet voice, it's as if he's trying to seduce me. I have to admit, I'm tempted. He tempts me even more than Damon. Devin may be in trouble if she ever runs afoul of him.  
"May I leave now?" Never would have thought he was the kind to ask permission.  
"Hell no." I shake myself free of his gaze and put the desk between us. Taking a seat in the over-stuffed chair there, I pull out a new pen from a drawer. I will be taking notes. 
"You've told me what you are, but what are your kind called?"  
He crosses his arms again and remains standing inches in front of my desk. "The original name for our kind was Xai'xyn."  
"Shy Zen? Spell it." My eyebrows climb higher as he proceeds to do so. Hm.  
'Xai'xyn: Offspring of fallen angel and mortal.' 
Silence falls between us even though I know I still have questions for him. If only I could remember them. Tapping my pen on the clipboard I wrack my brain. I look at him and I can tell he's about to say something. The tapping stops. I'm so stupid. 
"I apologize. I don't even know your name."  
He tilts his head slightly, I assume in acknowledgement of my apology. "My name is Seryn."  
It's my turn to narrow my eyes. "Is that they name you bore your first life or the name you were given in this one?" 
He smirks slightly, though truthfully his expression isn't malicious. "I didn't think that would get past you. It is the name I was given in this life. I would rather not reveal my True Name at this time."  
"Why not? It's not as if anyone else will know."  
His right eyebrow raises just slightly. "Oh? What about anyone who reads your transcript of this?" 
I wave that away. "That's the real world, no one from your own will know it. Hell, I don't think any of them even know your kind exist."  
"True enough. But be that as it may, I'd rather not say. Are we done here?" 
I sigh. "Fine, we can be done for now. But I have more questions later."  
"Naturally," I hear him mutter as he walks out the door.

I like him.  He frustrates me. And intrigues me. And he adds another level, and perhaps novel, to the story.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Six Sentences Sunday Six

Wow! That's a lot of S's.

Anyway, I'm kind of stuck on a scene right now. Seriously thinking about rewriting it, so here's the last six sentences of it. It may change dramatically through rewrites. But this is it for now. Enjoy?


The worry that washed over Damon put his own to shame. “I mean- We think she was kidnapped.” 
“You think? 
“Alucard. Calm down. You are over reacting.” 
“Over- You- Of all the-.” 
Damon worried for a moment when the connection disappeared. When he could sense Alucard again, the man seemed calm. Too calm. 
“Why, for the love of all that is holy, are you not over reacting?”

The reason I'm stuck is... well... why *isn't* Damon reacting in the way that Alucard is?

Bah! I'll figure something out. Happy Saturday Sunday, you guys!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Emulate. Don't imitate.

So I was planning on finishing up the Characters on Couches session with the still unnamed Immortal (yes there's a part three, remember, we don't know his name yet.), but I finished reading The Hobbit (again) at work the other day and came upon a thought.

There a quite a few well-known authors, right? J.R.R Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games, I know, she's more recent), Stephanie Meyer (don't get me started, I don't like her either), Stephen King, and many many others.

Most people who call themselves writers, read a lot. It's something like a prerequisite. I've read all of the aforementioned authors books. Some of them, I haven't read all of Stephen Kings, but I've read some, and I never could finish The Silmarillion, but I digress. I respect each and every one of them. Yes, even Stephanie Meyer.

Not only do we know the well-known, but we all have our personal favorites. Mine has been, for the longest time, R.A. Salvatore. I *love* the Legend of Drizzt books. I want to own them all someday. My father has almost all of them, and I think I started reading them around grade school age. I also have more recent favorites as well, such as S.M Boyce, whose books I have reviewed here, and Leanna Renee Hieber whose books I plan to reread and review here as well.

Anyway, what do these have to do with the title of this post you ask? Well, for new writers especially, some often start out trying to imitate their favorites. Or the classics. I thought about this while reading The Hobbit. Don't get me wrong, it's some brilliant story telling, but you know what? That sort of telling wouldn't sell at all in this day and age. All through the book, the narrative seems intent on keeping a distance between the reader and the events happening on the page. We were given a little insight into a few of the characters, but nothing that really would make someone emotionally attached. Even the three dwarves that died (even though they are my favorite dwarves in the movie), I felt like I didn't care. (Though I just know I'll bawl my eyes out in the movie).

But that's not my point. Imitating may be good practice, but it will, obviously, never sell. If someone can look at your work and say "S/he was just copying so-and-so", it won't be viewed as good as or any better than, the original.

However, emulating, is another thing entirely. The definition of emulate I am using is as follows. "to try to equal or excell; imitate with effort to equal or surpass" Emphasis on surpassing. So my advice, if I may be allowed to give it, would be to not try to write like your favorite authors, but write to surpass them. Don't look to be their equals, look to be their betters. However, you will not get it on your first try, you may never reach that point. But, how can you know if you don't try? 

In trying your hardest, for whatever reason, you will find your true self, and you will develop your own style and means of writing, so give it your all, and don't hold back. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Characters on Couches 3 pt 2

Yes it is finally here! I'm sorry for the wait you guys! I totally meant to have it up yesterday, I swear.

SPOILERS! (I know this is a couple days late, but it just occurred to me) Read at your own risk.

The Immortal pt 2

"Okay, now that that's out of the way. What are you?"
He sghes, running a hand through his hair. When it catches the light right it almost looks like fire. Cool.  
"We were never mortal. Nor were we celestial. We are the children of the fallen Nephilim." 
His arms are folded once again and he stalks to take a seat in the chair I used during the talk with Sarah-Juliet and Jonathon. The skulls really suit him. Finally, what he said hits me.  
"Fallen Nephilim? Doesn't Nephilim refer to the children of God?"  
"Foolish mortal -." 
"Hah!" I failed completely to suppress my laughter.  
"What?"  
"Do me a favor. Don't say that, ever, in the novel. I will never live it down." I'm still chuckling, though it's mostly under my breath.  
"Fine. Yes. Nephilim does refer to the children of the gods. What you would call angels. My kind are the offspring of the fallen ones and mortals." 
"The Fallen Ones?"  
"Yes. That war you were talking about? Those Nephilim that chose the wrong side of that war were cast down to live as mortals. They lost their immortality but any children they had inherited it. We are not Nephilim, nor are we mortal. We live forever, living and dying only to be reborn again endlessly. It is a curse." He really sounds bitter as he examines the fingernails on one hand.  
"A curse? But what about the Soul Mates? The one person who, in each reincarnation, is the one whom you will be most happy with?"  
With an inaudible crack, the cap of the pen I'm chewing on breaks in two.  
He utters a sound somewhere between a laugh and a derisive snort. "Complete bullshit." 
I can feel my jaw fall open and the pieces of the cap drop in my lap, clanking softly against the clipboard before falling onto the floor. I... don't know what to say. His look says he's not lying but... this is what Damon and Devin's whole relationship is based on. It's the reason for Damon and Nicholai's animosity. To say it doesn't exist unravels everything.  
"Wh- What do you mean?" 
"I mean there's no such thing." He meets my gaze, he bright green eyes daring me to argue. "Love at first sight? Sure, it happens. But only one person that someone can be happy with? Sheer fantasy." 
"Then where did it begin?" 
"Think about it." He sounds almost friendly now. For once. "Who has held all the cards, but only delved out bits of the truth at a time? Who knows more than anyone thinks?" 

The pen and my clipboard join the broken cap on the floor. "Son of a bitch."  
He smiles, but the motion holds no mirth. "So you know who I'm talking about."  
"That conniving little witch."  
"She's not a witch. She's a psychic. And she's had over seven hundred years to perfect her manipulative ways."
Think that's all? Nope. We don't even know this guys name yet. I like him already. Even though he irritates the hell out of me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Characters on Couches 3

At least, I think it's the third one. 

Today I'll be coaxing out a character even I didn't know existed until I asked the right questions. S/He is a sneaky bastard.

Technically contains Spoilers. I think. (That part of the plot is fuzzy. Read at your own risk.)

The Immortal

I'm not really sure what to expect this time. I'm in formal business wear perched on the edge of the desk, ankles crossed. I'm not sitting on the desk really, just leaning, clipboard and pen in hand. Staring at the door, it scares the everliving piss out of me when someone puts a hand on my shoulder. Whirling around, and nearly falling on my face, I lower the clipboard (it's stupid for an Author to be afraid of her characters, but after Damon's little attack, I have to be prepared).  
The figure is.... Androgynous to say the least. It's nearly featureless as well. Simple slits for eyes, a nose reminiscent of reborn Voldemort, and a hairless head. Even as I watch, though, red hair shoots out of it's head until it hangs just below the individual's shoulder blades. Shoulders widen and the jawline sharpens. So it's male. Great. Just what the story needs, another man in a position of power.

"Wipe that smirk off your face." 
Oh, but his voice gives me goosebumps. It's very deep, with a rumbling to it that makes me think of a rock slide or a grizzly bear yet also has a lilting quality that reminds me of an elf.  
"I said-" 
"Oh I heard what you said. And quit giving me that look, this is my world. Your mesmer won't work here." 
Even in the midst of anger he's handsome. Why on Earth is every male in Devin's life hot? Oh, wait, they're all elves, vampire or Immortals. In fact, much of Red-Head's physical being reminds me of an elf; arrogance and all. His face is quite angular and his physique is generally thing, though he's wider in the chest. I wonder if all Immortals are like that? Bearing aspects of multiple race. 
"That reminds me! What are you?" 
He gifts me a glare that would put Damon to shame, but I roll my eyes. I won't be put off, but he is nonforthcoming. I'm not even sure if that's a word.  
"Are you mortals blessed for participating in the right side of a celestial war?" 
"Who are you to demand answers?" His arms are crossed and his scowl deepens.  
I can't help it, I roll my eyes again. "Seriously? I know Nicholai is a bit slow, but Damon understood straight away. I'm your Author."  
"You- You dare compare me to those- those filthy, blood-sucking creatures?" He's really angry now. His hands are clenched into fists by his sides. 
"I do. I expected an Immortal to be smarter, honestly. Knowledge of past lives and all that, you know?" 
Oh he doesn't like that flippancy at all. I'd fear for my life if I didn't know he couldn't hurt me. Within that knowledge, thought, his buttons are fun to push.

Alright. That's all for now. I'll post the rest tomorrow!

Sorry for the wait today!

And thanks once again to Murphy for the Characters on Couches!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Six Sentences Sunday 5

Okay, sorry for the lack of updating you guys, I promise I will be more active, hopefully daily, but really... All I can promise is that I will try.

Anyway!

It's Sunday again, the excerpt this time is again from Mortality, as it is what I have been working on (mostly backstory) lately.


“Where is she?”
‘What do you mean “where is she?”’ Blade whined, pawing at the ground.
“I mean she is gone. She is not here. Where. IS. She?” Damon was dangerously close to the Ahrin, he could feel it, like a sickness coming upon him. Grinding his teeth together, he fought it down. It would do no good to lose his cool. 

I don't know if that's six sentences. It's close enough for me and is one of the most recent excerpts from what I've written. (And I completely just botched that sentence structure but I don't care.)

Anyway!

Devin is gone, and her ever-worried protectors have no clue where she is!

Just to keep you wanting more.

Have a great day guys! Probably a Characters on Couches-esque thing tomorrow!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Scrivener

Okay, for those of you who were awake between 2 and 3 am CST and follow me on twitter, you may have noticed some #amplotting tweets.

I was in that mood. I think the caffeine may have had something to do with it, but I digress.

I take my netbook to work with me. It's safe in the break room, as no one would dare mess with anything that is somebody else's. Except to move it to another table in the morning for no reason whatsoever, but here I go digressing again.

Before NaNoWriMo '12 I dowloaded the free trial of Scrivener, and I used it all through November. Now, however, I have recently bought the full thing. At half-price, I may add, because I won NaNoWriMo.

It you want to check it out, or see what it is, the website is Literature and Latte.

I cannot recommend it enough.

Now, last night, as I was planning, (and Scrivener makes this SO easy) I was coming up with questions, mostly backstory that I needed to answer. Instead of opening to a new page in my notebook and having thoughts all over the place, not to mention killing my already carpal tunnel pained wrists, I created a new file under the research folder. And I began figuring things out.

Now, this will make no sense to you, but here's an excerpt.

Original beings were the Psychic Vampires (that I REALLY need to rename).
Their existence was not a curse, rather a blessing.
They were the few that stood by (insert deity here) during the war.
What war? Creation? Equivalent of angels? Humans made next best thing?

Psychic Vampires given the Chalice (need to name?) to create the Noble Undead (rename?)
Noble Undead purpose to protect the well-being of the Psychic Vampires through young life and before their reincarnation’s.

How do the Noble Undead know where/in what body they will reincarnate?

If the Helyn are the offspring of the Psychic Vampires, and it is the blood of the Helyn that is used to create the Noble Dead. Who was used for the original Noble Dead?

That is how my mind works, if you'd like to know.

I created three new files, I think, and Scrivener makes it so I will NEVER lose them. EVER! Seriously, Scrivener saves your work if you pause for more than two seconds. It's amazing.

And, best part is, I can use it without an internet connection, so no distractions if I don't want them!

It's great because at work we don't have internet so I can't use google docs (now drive) there.

I suggest Scrivener to anyone whether you think you need/want it or not. I believe... yeah, it's $40 for the full version, but they have a 30 day free trial that you can try before buying, but also, they have a deal with OLL that any winners of NaNoWriMo can get it for HALF OFF. If you won NaNoWriMo this year I recommend going to the goodies page and getting that code. DO IT.

However, if you did not win or did not participate in NaNoWriMo this year, you can buy it full price, or use the trial for NaNoWriMo '13 and buy it AFTER for half price. That's up to you.

I highly recommend this. No matter what you write. Novels. Short Stories. Poems. Screen plays. Anything.

Yes, this is a post with no real substance, because I had nothing else to say today. Have a good one!






Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Getting Unstuck

So I promised you guys I would give you more explanation on my past few busy days and onto my being stuck in Mortality. (That was a poorly worded sentence, but I can't seem to think of a better way to say it. Meh.)

SO!

I think I'll forgo the busy days explanation and get right to the stuck.

As writers, we all get stuck. Whether you're a pantser or a plotter, a newbie or an old pro, it happens. Maybe not for every book, sometimes for every scene. When you get stuck can often tell you why you get stuck.

So if you find you get stuck often, try to look at where you are, what you are doing, whether writing related or not, and see if there are any similarities.

One reason that I often get stuck is because I don't know what's going to happen next. I assume that this is the same for most pantser's out there. I know where I'm at and I know the end, but what happens in the interim?


  • To solve this, try sitting down and writing out how the characters may react, what choices they have, and how others would react to those choices. Often listing that out, I've found, will tell me what happens next. 
  • Other times, if you really don't know how they would react, you have to go back and maybe pick a different action/reaction. This can cause major rewrites, but for the moment, move what you change to a new file and continue on as if it never happened. You never know what may come in handy later.
  • If you are REALLY stuck, you may want to rethink your story from the beginning. Do the events happening in the beginning naturally lead to the end? If not, you either need to change those events, or the ending. 
Another time that I get stuck, is when I start realizing just how BAD my writing is. And there are those times. It's a first draft after all. I assume that these times happen for newbies as well as old pro's as well. This is what has happened here for me most recently. My writing sucks. So I began reading books on writing. (You know those free books for the kindle in that post a couple months back? Yeah, I finally got around to reading them. Most of them are really good.) That was a poor decision. 

  • My one tip, DON'T go reading books on how to Write, or how to plan, or how to anything. The only thing I got from those books that would help me, would be to start over. I can't start over. My mother would kill me. She's been waiting for me to finish this since I made the mistake of letting her read some of it. 
  • Also, DON'T go back and edit. No matter how much you may want to, the most important thing at this point (if it's a first draft, if it's not, this doesn't apply to you) is to FINISH. Work through it and just get to the end. Once you have a whole novel you can then hack it to pieces and fix what's broken.
  • HOWEVER, I would take the time and sit down and talk to your characters. (See my Characters on Couches blog posts. Another one may be coming soon). See if they have any input on the plot, or the way things are going. Sometimes, you get a big shock. (Again, see my Characters on Couches blog posts)
Sometimes, life gets in the way. I've been depressed. I've been over worked. I've been tired. I've been sick. These are the times that are often both the easiest and the hardest to break through. 

  • When you're sick, sometimes the only thing you can do is take it easy and get better. Depending on the type of sick, sometimes I can write during it, sometimes I sleep all day and all night just trying to get better. 
  • When you're tired, sometimes the only thing you can do is rest. However, there have been many time's I have put off going to bed to get something written. For me, it doesn't matter how little or how much I get written. 
  • Overworked can go in the same category as tired. But when I'm overworked, there is always SOME time somewhere that you can get some writing done in. It may not be the best, but for a first draft, very little is going to be the best. 
  • Depressed... That one's a little harder. I've fought depression, and always needed help dragging myself out of the muck. That's what friends are for, good friends. Basically, you have to solve the depression before you can get writing again. At least for me. I wrote a lot of your typical teenager poetry during that time. I think I've since burned them. 
Anyway, I hope this helps you get unstuck! 

If you have anything else, either reasons you get stuck or ways to get unstuck, discuss in the comments! 

Thanks, as always, for reading, and have a great day!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Six Sentences Sunday 4

Blah. Busy days. More explanation later.

Six Sentences Sunday from Mortality, this time.


Devin laughed weakly. “Besides the fact that I'm slowly dying, am surrounded by beings I've been trained my entire life to kill, and have just relived the murder of my entire family?” She closed her eyes and nuzzled into his hand. “Surprisingly good.”

“I am sorry,” his thumb rubbed her cheek lightly as he frowned. “I should not have pressed you to go through with that.”

Those two are adorable.

I can't help but "aww" a little inside each time.


Friday, January 11, 2013

2k to 10k Book Review

Before I get into the review, I would like to apologize for the lack of post yesterday. For the past couple days I have been nose deep in two different books on writing. This is because I'm stuck. I may go into detail tomorrow.

Now onto the review!

First, I love Rachel Aaron's voice. I haven't read any of her other books (note to self: Add Eli Monpress novels to TBR list. P.S: Make TBR list.), but when reading this book, it's as if she's sitting there talking to you. At least, I assume that's the way she meant it.

Second, this book makes me rethink everything I've ever written. But in a good way! Looking back at my process while writing Mortality, it makes me want to scrap it and start over. In all honesty, it would save me hours and hours and possibly days of editing. However, I think my mother would probably kill me.

Third, I'm so going to try what she has to say when writing the last half of my book. Considering I have very little planned, this is a good thing. Hopefully I can knock out the last half of the book in a shorter time than the first half. Bear in mind it's taken me... eight years to get the first half done?

Also, it's .99c on Amazon. You have no reason not to.

I rate it ***** stars.

Follow Rachel Aaron on Twitter @Rachel_Aaron
Or go to her website www.rachelaaron.net

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dialogue

Hey. Late post today. Apologies.

So, as writers, there's GOT to be that one thing we struggle with.

Whether it's finding time to write, actually getting words out of your head on paper, editing, character creations, world creation, not procrastinating, etc. The possibilities are endless.

What's mine?

Dialogue.

I dislike writing dialogue. But I love how my characters interact. I don't know that the two are connected, but that seems a bit of a discrepancy to me.

I found out the other day, that when I don't have anything planned next... my characters talk about what they're going to do.

That just... it ends...

Well, here. I'll give you an example.

What I was writing yesterday. (It's from Mortality, if you are not familiar with the characters)


The vampire smirked slightly, looking out the window to where the sun was sinking below the horizon. “Would you believe it if I were to tell you I am older than the Elder’s of the school you protect? I had a deal with the previous Elder’s, actually. But that did not carry over, apart from my own promise that our kind, that is, those that I speak for, would not go near the school grounds.” 
Blade’s eyes narrowed. ‘But to find Devin-.’ 
“I broke that promise. I know. It was necessary. Without the girl, we cannot regain what we have lost.” 
‘How is she supposed to help? Why must it be she?’ 
Alucard shook his head. “I do now know that. But I know it must be her.” 
Blade huffed quietly. ‘Who are the Helyn?’ 
It was Alucard’s turn to be taken aback. “The Helyn? I… do not believe I have heard that name before. But it has the sound of a word from a long dead language. It used to be spoken by a peoples in the Kwiktilk Mountains. However, I cannot tell you without more context what it means.” 
“They are a group of people,” Damon explained from the door way. “Devin’s asleep,” he said by way of answering the questioning looks. 

Also, dialogue tags. When it's two men (okay, a wolf and a vampire, but both male) speaking, I can't use just 'he' and 'she', but if I use their names too often, it reads awkwardly. To me. I may be insane. That's a distinct possibility.

I showed a bit of that to a friend of mine, she says there is too much action to detract from the dialogue. But I think the action is fine, it gives the reader a clearer view of what is happening.

I can't point to what I don't like about my dialogue, but it feels awkward and clunky to me.

What're your thoughts?

Sidenote: I'm considering moving to Wordpress. Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

If You Let Them, They Will Come

Also titled, let your ideas come from where they may.

As writers; well, for those of us who announce the fact that we are writers, we often get asked: "Where do you get your ideas?"

Often, if asked this question, many of us mutter something indistinct as the audience or individual wait expectantly for some brilliant never before heard, oh so inspirational, mind-blowing secret. But really, there isn't one. We know that. The blood, sweat and tears that have poured over the years, or even weeks, we have been writing prove that.

However, that doesn't mean that ideas just come to us out of the ether. We have to work at them. Sometimes, there is some inspiration. When that moment comes, savor it, write it down, and relive it over and over again. It may never happen again.

I have one example that I recall. I will share it here.

I hate Christmas music with a fiery, burning, passion, right? You cannot believe how much I hate Christmas music. I had to listen to it for... oh... six weeks? From the first week into November until after Christmas. Living. Hell.

However, I went with the flow. Whatever, right? If you can't change it, don't gripe. Well, I did gripe, but I learned to deal with it. What was more amusing were the people who would rave about the music day after day and never learned to deal, but I digress.

What does this have to do with inspirational ideas? Well, the song 'Do You Hear What I Hear?' got me thinking one day.

I actually stopped and typed out a note in my phone. At work. It was that... Well not necessarily big, but I didn't want to forget it.

This is what that message in my phone reads- "Xmas inspired story - 'shepard boy' dreams become real. Dreamy something about kings illegit son. Thrown out after that. King hires ppl to kill the prophet/godson the boy tells him of. Psychic"

That's it. Now. I transferred this to my Ideas Notebook and expounded upon it.

In my book, it's simply titled "Book Idea"

The entry goes as follows.

Based on Inspired by song Do you hear what I hear? 
In the song, the Shepard Boy speaks to the King about Jesus and the King takes him at his word. 
But would he (the King) really take the boy's words as truth?
The way I see it, he wouldn't. 
What would happen if Jesus, or another equivalent prophet/son of god, didn't get that help and grew up not knowing? Perhaps with people of the king after him? 
SB (here meaning Shepard Boy) psychic. "What I dream comes true."
SB starts saying something about Kings son. (illegitimate son)

Now, I really like this idea, and think I might use it at some point.

Will it have any resemblance to the song when I'm finished? No. Not at all.
Does that matter? Nope. In fact, it's better if the finish project doesn't look like what inspired it.

Let your ideas come naturally. You don't have to use them, and some will be horrible. Some, you may not realize are horrible until you begin writing/using them. Don't let this discourage you.

With an open heart and an open mind.

Take Care!

~Cheyenne



Monday, January 7, 2013

Plotting

Hey guys!

So, I know I've said I'm a pantser, and I promise, I really am.

But after reading K.M. Weiland's Outlining Your Novel that I have already reviewed on this blog, I began planning my Untitled NaNoWriMo Novel. (I really need to change that Untitled to a real title.)

Planning is not a bad thing!

This may shock some of you tried and true pantser's out their. But really, it's not.

Half the time I don't follow my plot. Some points have gone straight out the window as I wrote, but you know what? One of those points came back to be used at another time, but changed to reflect the change in my charrie.

Some things have different impact at different times and illicit different responses from characters at different times in their growth. Confused? You haven't written enough. Get back to it.

Alright, so this post is mainly to post an example of my plotting.

Mostly, it's talking to myself. Don't take any of it seriously, and if you can't understand it, don't worry. I don't half the time either.

He has a month before Ilyrana catches up (not that he knows that) and they get captured by Slavers.
He could...
      - Seek out Orsam
      - Visit more Elven cities searching for knowledge on the Old Ones
      - Visit major cities of other races for knowledge of Either Old Ones or the Ancient humans
          (What the hell did I call them?)
Or he could do all three.
Obstacles finding Orsam
      - no clue how
            ~Orsam found him last time
      - can't find place where he met the man            ~but Talliel would      Not much of an obstacle
So he they return to the burned sentinel.
      - Ent-like being with a grudge?
      - dryad? (also w/ anger)

That is a page out of my notebook copied over as closely as I can online.

It actually helps. Now I need to get writing so I can catch up to what I have planned.

Happy Writing!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Six Sentences Sunday 3

At first, I was freaking out because I didn't have a post planned for today.

Then I checked my email (procrastinating) and saw a notification from another blog with a triple S post, and I was like, OH YEAH!

So here's Six more Sentences from my (still) untitled NaNoWriMo restart.

Hrothsam looked at Aoduain closely. "There's really only one thing we can do." 
"What?" asked Ilyrana. 
Aoduain closed his eyes, as if knowing what was coming.  
"We have to amputate it." 

I am evil to my characters. Yes, they really do amputate his arm. But that's okay, he's not much of a fighter anyway.

Muahahahah!
 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Merry Everything and Happy Always

Hey guys.

I apologize for my absence and begin with saying I have no real reason - no good reason, anyway - for my being gone.

I will, however, attempt to explain.

Hate me if you will, but that's what this post is.

First- December has always bee, and always will be, a lazy busy month for me.
      1.2- My new job at Wally World.
        During the Holidays, I began working 40+ hours a week. Doing my job, this is hell. Hell on my back, hell on my wrists, and hell on my personal well being and mental state.

        This started around Thanksgiving and only recently ended.

Second - Video Games. In this case, the Mass Effect trilogy. I started playing 1 in early December.

I finished with three less than an hour ago. I cried. Again. This was my second play through.

Side Note: If you are any kind of gamer; fantasy, shooter, plot-based, etc. you should check out these games.

The backstory, characterization, and gameplay are superb. The best I've seen, easily.

Also, I may or may not write an ME fanfic or two.

Third - Life. Seriously.

With work, the holidays, family and trying to find time to sleep, I barely had time to think, let alone sit and write. (Look at all the commas!)

I understand now why my parents never had time to do what they wanted when I was growing up. (Hell, they still don'e, what with my four younger siblings and nephew.) And I don't have kids. (And I won't for awhile, stop panicking, mother. I know you read this.)


So this is me officially reentering the real world. And by real, I mean the internet world. The writing world. And... nope, that's it.

My new years resolution? Less games, more writing. Also, eating better and maybe exercising some? I have weight I'd like to lose.

Typical resolutions, I know. And my boyfriend isn't helping. He's trying to introduce me to three or four new games...

*le sigh*

As my mother's Christmas card said, Merry Everything and Happy Always!
Since I missed the holidays.

How have you guys been?