Saturday, July 19, 2014

Epic Fail

Look at this- it's a Saturday post...yup sssaaaattttuuurrday.  Not Wednesday like I usually do, not even Thursday or Friday.

Nope- Saturday.

So what should cause such a horror you ask?  Life.

Sometimes life goes sideways and while we mean to do something, we really really just never happens.

Our modern lives are very complicated when compared to people of the past, we have way too much silly stuff  bouncing around, trying to keep our balls in the air, and sometimes those balls fall, bounce around a bit, and get picked later.

Like a Saturday.

Which makes me think about chronic daily annoyances and stressors and our characters (ya knew I'd get to writing eventually ;)).  Now adding boring everyday ones "Sorry, couldn't save the world, had a day job to deal with." wouldn't add much to our stories.  But have we made things to cute and dry for our characters?  If they have a job- how does it affect their current "save the world or at least my corner" call to adventure?  Family?  traffic?  Shopping?  There are whole herds of boring everyday stuff that even someone on a space station would have to deal with.

Point is, to make things real in your stories, you need to have some real life "balls" hit your character on your head a few times.

What about you?  Do you give your characters a "real life" where sometimes the little things fall through?

Have a great week-end!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Turning tricks...

Today I’d like to talk about writing tricks. We all have them, whether they be for getting the work to flow, or jump starting a character, goosing a sagging plot, or keeping the writing fresh after a few books. And what works for one writer may work for others- so please play along!

I’d have to say my biggest “trick” is writing sprints, with NaNoWriMo being the biggest sprint of them all. Ok, in reality it’s a marathon, but it’s a series of sprints or it won’t work ;).

Sprints are my way of working past whatever part of my daily mundane life is interfering with my writing. You can do them alone, or with friends. I’ve seen pro writers shout out writing sprints on the hour or half hour on twitter. Folks join in, then report their count when the time is up. Sometimes the stuff produced is amazing- other times, not so much- but it’s SOMETHING- and it usually gets the juices flowing. Besides, everyone loves a little competition!

Another “trick” is jumping. Sometimes I’ll just have images for amazing scenes pop in my head- of course they are often nowhere near where I am in the story at hand. I usually follow through on writing them though- then during editing piece things together. It’s a great trick for when you feel like you’re stuck or the story is feeling blah. (And probably would give most plotters the hives, so if you’re one of them- don’t do it ;)).

Lastly, if I have a difficult character I try to take them out of the context of my story and find out what they like in our world. What music would they like? How would they dance? What foods? Since pretty much I write characters not of our world, seeing them in our settings (in my head) often helps me get a better grasp on my otherworldly folks (besides it’s fun ;).

Sooooo- now it's YOUR turn- what are some tricks or "best practices" (to steal from the cubical world ;)) you use to keep your writing moving and growing?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

IWSG: Freaking out

Happy Insecure Writer Support Group Wednesday!

This is our day, once a month, for writers across the globe to scream and rattle their fists at the Universe- Join us!

I recently had some serious downtime, no internet, no TV while I was housesitting for a friend. No, she's not crazy, she just really likes things simple at home ;).

This downtime gave me the time to really look at the whole marketing/what-the-hell-was-I thinking aspect for going Indie published.

I kinda had a mini melt down.

There is so much to be thinking about and doing if one is going Indie.  Not only writing the best damn book you can, then keep writing those things at a quick pace, but the marketing, the editing, the hiring artists, websites, etc.

I lucked out and have an awesome website coming up- I won it at auction in the Brenda Novak Diabetes Auction and it will look amazing.  Which is about the only part of this madcap plan that feels anchored right now.

I can't find an artist- granted, I only tried one, but it didn't work out so now I'm freaking that I can't find an artist who gets my work and does market professional covers within my price range. 

I'm freaking out that even with editing, my books won't be "perfect". (I hear the laughing out there- yeah, yeah, no such thing as perfect- tell my primitive brain that!)

I'm freaking out about writing fast enough- I am fast- but I get derailed by bright and sparkling things...ok, by most things.  What if I can't keep up?

What if I can't figure out all the damn algorithms from Amazon?

I sort of feel like this photo of mine:

Like my goal is waaaaaay at that far end, and I might just fall through the rocks at any moment along the way.

Yep- that's freaking me out too.

I love that I am going to get my work out there, and deep inside I trust myself to do great books, and hire great folks to help me (ok, lack of money is freaking me out too)- I just need to get past all the fear.  And do it anyway :). 

Words of support welcome!

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