Thursday, June 30, 2011

Writers: You're One of Them

First off, THANK YOU so much to all of the people who commented yesterday. I’m literally compiling a list of all the books I now want to purchase/check out. AWESOME. Seriously. I’m going to wish more often…

Oh, btw, I was looking around Amazon yesterday and came across a New Adult contemporary romance that I’m voraciously reading right now. It had great reviews, seemed really angsty so I bit the bullet and bought it (it’s only $4 something). The book is called Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, and I’m getting whiplash from all the roller coaster emotions (in a good way, I like super angst every once in a while).

So lately, on Twitter, I’ve been talking with people who have been really good at setting goals for themselves when it comes to writing. I see them on #amwriting, and they proclaim proudly, “I’m doing this by then, and that’s it” or the ever popular, “I JUST DID THIS, HEAR ME WRITE IN CAPS.”

In both of these cases, I’m a Twitter cheerleader, so you’ll see me a lot (if you follow me) saying things like “OMG. That’s awesome, congrats” or “I wish I could get myself to do that” and the like. Now, thinking back on all these mini-chats, I think I’ve come to realization that’s there’s really three kinds of writers when it comes to sitting down (butt in chair…blah blah blah) and getting the work done:

  1. The Great Thinker: This person has been having the GREAT idea for several years now. Maybe it came to them when they were in high school, or when they were driving in traffic, but they know the idea is awesome, and if they could just get it done, the book would be awesome as well. ---> This one is actually a lot of people. They noodle for a while, but after a loooong period, they get it done, (and to be honest, it might be done better because they did take so long)

  1. The Let’s Get On With It Optimist: (ha) This person also had the GREAT idea but he or she wants to plow through it with a vengeance. Noodling it out is for people who don’t get things done, in their book. They are speed writers. Thinking is for the second draft.

  1. The I Know It’ll Suck, but I’ll Plug Through It Person: This is the middle ground person between one and two. He or she doesn’t have high hopes for the novel in the beginning, but they like it enough to get it done, and while it won’t take years, it’ll take more than weeks to write it all down and then edit it until it sparkles. (Most people are #3, I’d guess)

Now, for me, I’d say I’m a #2 who dabbles in #3. That meaning that I was once an avid #2 kind of person but I’m drifting quietly into #3. I’d like to go back to thinking in the 2 mentality though. I personally believe that the first draft should be done crazy fast so it’s more cohesive, it’s more fun, and you can hurry up and get to the all important edit.

Do you agree with me? And more importantly, what kind of writer are you? Let me know below.

Now, to leave you with a song to write by, “Mix Tape” by Brand New (officially my favorite band for the past 5.5 years). It’s off of their first album (but their 2nd is the best)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Most Wanted Book Plots: I'd like lots of these, please.

Reader Request Sheet:

Today, I’m writing a list of books I want to see/read. It’s a wish list of sorts, and while I may be considering writing some of them in the future to satisfy my wordy desires, I would LOVE for you to fill them in with some books already in existence, thereby forever earning my eternal gratitude and thanks.

  1. I want a 20 something paranormal romance. Yes, they are out there, but I want a “New Adult” one where I can say OMG and WOWZA and that could be me because so and so just graduated college and is awkward and is scared of being a real adult still…plus magic! Sounds amazing to me. (And here’s a post on “New Adult” that I found interesting by Kat Zhang at The Katacomb)

  1. I want a “New Adult” straight up romance that isn’t overdone, has a MC that isn’t annoying and has a MMC (main male character) that doesn’t make me hate him with a fiery passion. I want a MMC that I’d actually want the MC to get with, and if he’s hard to get, all the better.

  1. I want a really, really (REALLY) good contemporary YA series. Longstanding, preferably. Sure, every paranormal YA book is the beginning of a series (and mine is no different…ahem…), but I want to see one with real people/teens doing real life things, while also keeping my interest. Tall order?

  1. I want a really good YA horror. I mean I want it to scare my boots off but have teenage protagonists. I want to be disturbed by it. Please. I love horror, but I haven’t seen it much in YA…that is, not counting the “Oh, the male love interest is a ghost and is wicked hot” storyline.

  1. I want a magical realism YA where the MFC (main female character) is crazy awesome, bad-A, no apologies hardcore and DOESN’T want to be with anybody romantically…BUT, she gets tempted a lot. I love a good “I shouldn’t have him” internal struggle.

As you can see, I am a romance junkie. Romance makes the book go round for me, and those books practically turn the pages for themselves when I’m reading them (if they manage to hook me).

So this is my own little public service announcement: If you’ve read anything like any of the things I’ve asked for, please (pretty, pretty) let me know. And if you’re writing one of these now, also let me know, and I will be a complete cheerleader for you. For reals. On this blog, for a long time.

Now to leave with you a song to write by, “Last Christmas” by Roses Are Red, because I only crave Christmas songs when it’s awkward for everyone involved. (And Christmas songs in winter are so last year. --->and so is that phrasing, I’m sure. )

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wanted: Plots

I am a plot junkie. I love reading about crazy twists and how to up the drama without making the reader want to gag (and I’m still fine if I have to gag a little reading it). It’s one of my dreams to write a long-standing series, and I have a plot line brewing for that too, it’s just a matter of getting it to paper.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my characters. You have to get me invested in the characters first, but then the plot has to keep me. I can’t have Mr. or Miss Awesome just being awesome without anything happening for 300 pages. Wouldn’t work. I need the drama of it all, truly and deeply.

I dream in plots. Half the time, I’m an observer in the dream. It’s like watching a movie unfold. I’m sure I’m in there, but who knows how important I am. And while that may sound like I need to break out my old dream interpretation book to see what I’m suffering from, it makes for good book plots for me to write down.

I can’t tell you how many dreams have turned into book plots for me. My soon to be released book of yay (because I’m excited about it), started in part that way. I’m far more creative in my dreams, so I steal from them often.

My point, with this rambling and possibly incoherent post, is that I need a great plot to make me believe it’s a great story. Characters are also needed, but they both have to come together to make something worth it. My goal is to make the MC realistic, even if the world/plot isn’t. One can sell the other, as far as I’m concerned.

What do you think? Are plot and character equal? Is one more important than the other? Let me know in the comments.

Now, to leave you with a song to write by, “Blue Light” by Bloc Party. Pretty. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

5 x 5 x 5

Today, I am going to do a post involving 5s. Why? I love 5s. I love odd numbers. If you know me well, you know that even numbers annoy me, pretty much when it comes to anything (hello…love triangles, people.) If you feel like using my headers to make your own 5 list, please do, and link back so that I can see the greatness!

5 Jobs That I’d Love To Have (Besides Being a Full-Time Writer):

  1. Nail Polish Namer. (I love looking at the names they give for nail polishes. They’re always full of character. You need a crazy description? Look at these for inspiration.
  2. T-shirt Designer: I LOVE t-shirt designs. Really. I do. You can do anything with that medium. (Amaze or offend with them, the possibilities are endless…)
  3. Writing Consultant: I could brainstorm with people about how to make their fledgling books into full fledged novels all day (I’d just like to be paid for it lol)
  4. TV idea veto-er: I wish I could save people time with horrible tv shows, or help them take a suck idea and turn it into something amazing. (No, this is not too much like #3. Now I’m talking television. Totally different.)
  5. Slogan writer: It’s a hobby of mine to think of product branding and slogans for the product. (Hmm, looking at this list, maybe I should have gone into marketing?)

Now the job list is not listed in a particular order, because if it were, #2 would be #1, under writing novels for a living, of course.

5 Blog Themes (1 for each working day of the week)*:

Monday: Music Muse Mondays: name a song and how it inspired your writing on Mondays
Tuesday: Trying to Try Tuesdays: Name something you’re trying to accomplish, small goal to life dream and 5 steps you’re taking to realize that goal (keeps you accountable)
Wednesday: Why Not? Wednesdays: Try something new every week and write about it for Wednesday. Maybe give an example of your trying to see what you can do in a new genre in 5 minutes
Thursday: Thank you Thursdays: You take this time to blog about 5 things that made your life/blog/writing better that week. (links should be provided. Share the love)
Friday: Frankly Fridays: You are frank about something that pisses you off, leaving your weekend to be filled with post-vent happiness.

*This was inspired by Violeta Nedkova’s post on themes which is great and can be seen here.

5 Book Recommendations (on the spot without any prior noodling) all involving YA and crimes:

  1. Dark Song by Gail Giles
  2. The Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan
  3. The Rag and the Bone Shop by Robert Cormier
  4. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
  5. Tenderness by Robert Cormier

Yes, I used him 3 times on this list. Yes, I agree, I should become one of his cheerleaders in an official capacity.

So share the love and write your own lists (and share the links here). Psst, pass it on…

Now to leave you with a song to write by, “Girl Like You” by Edwyn Collins. I can’t hear this song without trying to do the twist (standing or sitting). True story. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

I hate her...and Bows and Books.

Her’s a profile of a character that I hate. I’m not going to name names about what book this character is in because the character, in this instance a “She”, is in a lot of books lately. You’ve probably seen her. Hell/heck, maybe you even liked her. I did not.

Her typical M.O.:

  • She is hopelessly clueless in the beginning.
  • In a world set up for inclusion in one way or another, she feels like something just ain’t quite right. But how will she ever find out what’s wrong?
  • Oh, yeah. The MMC (main male character). He’s different. He’s an outcast. He shows her the wrong so they can, together, make it right.
  • That is, after she has some kind of mental process where she questions her home, her family…and (insert gasp here) even her society.
  • By the end of the story, the clueless heroine has learned something and has immediately and subsequently turned into a bad A (capital A necessary, folks), and she can completely rise to the occasion of fixing the world, or at least she can pretend like maybe she could in the sequel.
Does this setup sound familiar to anyone? It’s been a friggin’ epidemic in the books that I’ve been reading lately.  (Btw, I haven’t talked about these books online or anywhere else so I don’t want anyone to think I’m bashing something specific). Now, I’ve seen it does several ways—some of them have even been tolerable, if not good. But, as a whole, I’m over it.

I like heroines who know what they are doing, or who are at least aware that they don’t know what they are doing when they don’t.

Lately, it’s been like these stories are the “damsel in distress” in a different setting. The world is wrong; she is right, but she doesn’t know it; and in comes boy to help her realize that she is the most awesome being ever and can fix said situations.

If you’re going to make your character weak, be consistent. She can’t save the world, unless she has some growth happen. It can’t just be “Knowledge in, awesome out” literally as soon as the character learns what happening around her. It doesn’t read real to me, and those books (not including the good exceptions to this) aren’t going to be on my favorite list anytime soon.

Hopefully the fact that this storyline is practically trending in books now will cause it’s disappearance as people will want something new, but in the mean time, I will continue to look for original people/characters and authors odd enough to create these new beings worth reading about.

Can anyone out there relate to this rant or am I off? Do you like that storyline? Let me know below.

Now here’s a song to write by that I don’t know particularly well, but I like it already, “Kihei Town” by The Throwdowns.

I couldn’t find a video of just them singing this song that I liked, so here’s a link to listen to it on their Myspace page, but if you want your video version fix, here’s how I first heard it:

The song is playing in the background for the first half, but the video itself is teaching you how to make a hair bow out of old magazines. (WHAT!? I know. Amazing, but mine didn’t turn out well, not that I’ll stop trying. 

Oh, and to those of you biting at the bit for my "TBR bought and on the shelves pile", I can't really do the largeness of it justice right now, but here are some of the highlights:
The last two of the Vampire Academy series (this one and this too) by Richelle Mead
The last three of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris (link to her Amazon page)
Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves
The Haunted by Jessica Verday
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Virtue by Amanda Hocking (on the Kindle shelves, and don't get me started on how many other Kindle books I have on there to the one I won which I talk about here). 

I know what you're thinking "Psssh, that's not much." Well, in addition to this, I have a small desk made out of books in my room (and by this, I mean my actual small desk is mostly comprised of books underneath it because Book Fairs are a weakness I have succumbed to several times...) So on that note, I promise in the indeterminable future to have more to add to this pile.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm a Winner. True Story.

I just won a ebook in a giveaway contest by The Ending Unplanned blog. The book is called Being by T. R. Mousner, and it looks really good and has fantastic reviews on Amazon. I'm excited, and when I'm excited, I blog...and ramble...and squeak on occasion. Check it out (at the title link)! And thank you to Rachel Harris (The Ending Unplanned Blog) and T. R. Mousner for having the contest. Yay! :)

BTW, here's a link to the winner's listing page on Rachel's blog. All of the books that she and the authors gave away look really good; so if you've read them and would like to recommend something, comment or email below. 

Beginnings Begin Here

Beginnings. When I open a book, I wan to be “into” it immediately. I want to be in the nitty gritty of it all, no explanations, no world building. Let me figure all of that on my own.

To me, the best stories just start. They don’t seem overworked, and yes, just as they tell you in the writing rule book, the best books start at the action.

My favorite books, or the most memorable books to me, all started without hand-holding. There wasn’t any time given to catch the reader up; we were just part of the ride. What we did need to know, we needed to figure out and we needed to do that quickly.

You might think this would confuse a reader, that they need to at least know where they are before they are whisked away by the character on some mission, but I completely disagree.

Having the reader slightly disoriented in the beginning is nothing but a good thing to me. Why? Because he or she is going to try to figure it out. They will automatically (in most cases, if done well) be engaged more so in the story because they were getting caught up in the action before they had time to realize why it was happening.

Here are the perks to starting “in” in the story:

1. Immediacy, the character is in the weeds trying to do something, and the reader is coming along, from the inciting incident.

2. No time for the reader to become bored with the world you’ve built.

3. They will look more at the details that they are given to figure out the world around them. If you leave them just enough breadcrumbs to have them follow the leader (your MC), they will follow, regardless of if they have heard of the place, your world.

4. Immediate investment, the reader will, by following the character, be invested in how the character will do, because they don’t have time to worry about he background, the little details. They only have time to worry about the plot at hand and how the MC will get out of whatever we evil writers put the characters into.

Here are some immediate examples that come to mind for me:

            The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins: The reader in me was into it from the 1st page. The FIRST page. The writer in me kept flipping back to the front and asking myself, am I really this into a book already? Did I literally become invested in the first, oh, three pages? Yes. Yes, I did. [Which also makes me scared about the movie because my investment makes me emotionally attached, I’m afraid]

            The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead: In the first book, the MC and her best friend are being caught from running away. You hear them freaking out that they’re being found and brought back to blah blah blah, read it.

            Tenderness by Robert Comier: A young, attractive teenage killer is being released from jail; a girl with a history of wicked obsessions that have to be met becomes fascinated enough to have to find him. (I didn’t do this one justice. I LOVE this book. So much. No words.) The point is, we see them, the MCs, and we know them because we are with them intimately before we get the run of the mill descriptions.

            We All Fall Down by Robert Comier: (Yes, he’s on here twice because he’s amazing): We start with a break-in, as the teenage robbers. They run a muck; you feel the chaos; you see a girl be broken during (=READ, no regrets afterward for time spent).

These books did beginnings well*. What books grabbed you? Did they do any or all (or none) of the things I listed? Let me know by comment or email.

Now, to leave you with a song to write by: “There's a good reason these tables are numbered Honey, you just haven't thought of it yet” by Panic! at the Disco. (Love that band name…)


 *I highly suggest clicking the links and reading the first few pages, even if you don't feel like reading the whole book (and don't tell me if you hate anything by Robert Comier (particularly those two) because I will die inside partially.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

TBR: Library Edition

Today, I’m switching it up. I want to let you all in what’s in my TBR (To Be Read) pile, the library edition. Let me know if any of them are particularly awesome or if you need to add something even more awesome to the list, because I am ALWAYS looking for new books to devour, typically YA (okay, mainly YA). This is not to say, however, that I would count anything out. If it’s interesting and will keep me up, I want it, and if it’s romance based, I want it NOW (or yesterday…hurry up, please). On to the list:

TBR pile: Library Edition: (Here are the books that I have checked out currently)

            Vesper byJeff Sampson (almost done)
            TheGardener by S. A. Bodeen (awesome premise, much?)
            Candor byPam Bachorz
            Devil’s Kissby Sarwat Chadda (library teen section recommendation)
            Love Is Hell anthology (I don’t do short stories, but wth *shrug*)
            Possessedby Katie Cann
            Accompliceby Eireann Corrigan
            TheReplacement by Brenna Yovanoff

I know. I get way too many books from the library at one time. BUT, I do typically read them all (even if it takes a few renews). If any of them are particularly amazing, I’ll let you know, and if I abhor them (or any other book), I won’t say because karma is a B, and I want all authors to do well and live in harmony *cue the violins*.

Sometime soon (probably this week, if not soon, soon in the next few days,) I’ll give you the “TBR: bought and waiting on my shelves” pile.

Now to leave you with a song to write by, "Nicest Thing" by Kate Nash, one of the nicest songs I've ever heard. [The link is to the YouTube video, because Blogger won't cooperate with me right now...]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My First Guest Post

Hello all,

Today, I'm excited to share with you all that I was able to provide a tip to a blog I particularly love, Literary Rambles. Every Tuesday, they post a writing tip that has been sent in by a fellow blogger, and this week, they used one that I sent in and love. Check it out here!

Let me know what you think about it here through the comments or by email or on the Literary Rambles blog.

Now, I'll leave you with a song to write by, "Undercover Martyn" by Two Door Cinema Club, which gave me my new life goal, to always speak words that'll melt in your hands (Great TDCC opening line adapted for

Monday, June 20, 2011

Brain Book/ Plotter Plans

Here’s what I have been up to lately. Today, I am embarking on the journey that is outlining my next book. The good thing about this is that whenever I get an idea, I write down so much about it (in my brain book) that outlining is just taking the bare bones of the story and flushing it out into scenes.

Just to clarify, what I mean by “brain book” is that I have this book that is my catch-all for everything writing or creative related. I have a dream; I write it down there. I hear a song that’s particularly amazing; I write it down there for future reference. I read a book; I add it to a growing list in the book (new addition to the book after many a frustration of forgetting a title). If I get struck by a new book idea; I write it down there. I hate having notes every which place, so having this book helps.

In this book (like this but unlined* and with a different cover), I recently combed through it to see how many book plots/ideas I have come up with since I started this book and made a numbered list from it, and the total is 25 (and that number makes me happy because I hate even numbers = fun fact). So this means I have 25 book plot arches written down in my brain book, and now my job is to take one of those ideas and plot it out.

To be honest, I’ve never been into extensive outlines, so while I am exciting to plot ahead, I am also slightly worried. But, I am also inspired. I read this post by Amanda Hocking on her blog about how she outlines, and it seems like what I do, just kicked up a notch. (Interesting read)

My normal process is I scribble out everything I can think of when the idea arises (like a chick possessed, I might add). This can range from a vivid scene that sparks a loosely written narrative arch to a FULLY flushed out book outline that started with me frantically writing down several scenes (like #10 on the list). Sometimes with these ideas, I do a bubble map of events (which is how I paced my soon-to-be-released-book-of-awesomeness), but as I wrote the book, the arch really moved into something I’ll be using more for book two than book one of the series.

What I am taking from Amanda’s blog is the notion of writing out super short descriptions of what happens in each scene/chapter. I read another blog recently (wish I could find it) that said if you’re sure you’re one kind of person (plotter or pantser), change it up and do the exact opposite and see what happens. So even though I range somewhere in the middle, I figure I’ll try the scene by scene method and let you know if it works for me.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? If so, why? Leave comments or emails (or how to’s for the plotters to help a semi-newb plotter out).

Now, I leave you with a song to write to, which I like for the rendition more than the song, even though the song isn’t bad, Dia Frampton’s cover of Kanye West’s “Heartless” from The Voice:

*I hate lines. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Muse Call

I was asked by a wonderful blogger/Twitter personality Violeta Nedkova to write a small entry on her blog about who my muse is, what he/she is called, and my relationship to my muse. She's compiled entries from all kinds of bloggers on her site, and I really encourage you to check it out! Here's a link to part one of her compilation, and here's part two (where I am). (And follow her on Twitter, because she's the bee's knees at keeping on top of the writing world on there).

This is my entry (in poetry form, but it's in prose on Violeta's site):

Ode to a Nameless Muse
By K.D.

When I try to write, he sleeps,
tranquil as my mind frets
over the how-to’s, the kisses, the angst,
the constant struggle to get my characters from here to there.
When I try to sleep, he calls me,
always collect,
filled with passion;
begging me to pay attention to him as my dreams call me.
He is a tangle;
I am a pawn.
But our music that is manuscript
is beautiful
when we work
We fight.
His time is his; my time is his.
When I want to write, he can’t fathom it.
But he wins
because he’s smarter,
more talented,
and more driven than me,
especially at four in the morning. 

Let me know what you think, and (again) be sure to check out all the other entries!
Now, to leave you with a song to write by, "How To Write a Love Song" by Axis of Awesome. HIGHLARIOUS and could quite possibly teach you how not to write a romance as well as a love song (or how to do such if you want it to be generic). Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

3 Writing Quotes/ 3 Writing Prompts

Today, I decided to leave you with some #sixwords entries. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the hash-tag "#sixwords" is how people on Twitter share with other people their stories and ideas that can be conveyed in exactly six words. It's been kind of an obsession of my lately (as I have already written 7 writing prompts using the six word technique in a previous post). So today, I'm giving you all 3 #sixwords on writing (about it and the process) and 3 #sixwords that can be used as writing prompts to help generate your own stories.

On Writing:
     Writing can't be stopped, nor finished.
     Writing longhand pulls words from fingertips.

     Ideas burn brain cells; writing replenishes.

Writing Prompts:

     Your eyes show me what's broken.

     Turning the key, I entered Hell.

     Only dreams can bring us closer.

Hope you enjoyed them! Now, I leave you with another song to write by, "Girl Anachronism" by The Dresden Dolls. I know this song forwards, backwards, and sideways, and when I'm writing crazy chaos, this is where I go.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Self-Publishing Links

Hello followers, lurkers, stoppers-by,

I decided for this post to list the links I've found in the past few weeks that seemed to be made of awesome when it comes to self-publishing. With each link, I've wrote a bit about what to expect when you go to the site, so you don't have to click blindly. If you have other links, please let me know in the comments or by email. I'd love to see them, as I have been hoarding them lately in anticipation of my own self-published release (here's my announcement).

1. This is a Writer's Digest article about how to get reviews for your self-published book. It gives tips on how to contact reviewers, where to look for reviewers, and what you should have ready to make your book easier to review. 

2. This is an article by Book Designer, letting you have a one-page link listing of how to format your manuscript for each ebook distributor site (i.e. Amazon, Smashwords, Apple, PubIt, Kobo, and the like)

3. This Marketing Tips article is on how to register your copyright for you soon-to-be-published ebook.

4. This article is by Book Marketing Maven. It gives links to different publishing platforms and brief how-tos for uploading. This link is similar to link #2, but who can stop at just one link resource?

5. This article is from Literary Abominations (lol cool name), and it gives a Podcasting 101 lesson on how to make your book into a usable file and how to get it out there for the masses to hear. [Can I just pause here to say I am dreaming nightly of making some kind of podcast or audiobook of my upcoming manuscript? I hear I'm dramatic enough to pull it off, maybe I'll let you decide one day]

6. This article, like #3 is from the Marketing Tips website [worth perusing], and it's about the best ways to link to your self-published book (on your website and beyond) so that it can be found easily (and purchased easily)

7. This article from Zombies Don't Blog (great title and site), shows you how to re-up interest in your self-published book after it's been out for a while. This'll get you over the possible slump in sales after your beginning weeks.

8. This Marketing Tip article (a la #3 and #6) explains how to get your book in newspapers, local and otherwise.

9. This Touch Review article, by Stephen Northcott explains in detail how to get your book into Apple stores. (Think links #4 and #1, but Apple specific).

10. This Lexcycle article explains how to convert your manuscript into epub format, which is good for getting it out to reviewers in a format they'd prefer and Stanza submissions.

11. This link by Urban fonts provides you with copious amounts of Free Fonts to use when making your cover. (I haven't used it yet, but it looks neat).

12. And lastly, for this blog post, I leave you with a link to Free Digital which apparently has royalty free images that they explicitly say can be used for ebooks as long as credit is given to their site and the photo creator. Neat huh?

AH so many links that started with the word "this;" it got to be too much for me, but hopefully they'll be useful to you!

Now to leave you with yet another song to write by, "Fool For You" by Cee lo Green featuring Melanie Fiona. I love how "into it" they both are:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Idea Generator Worksheet

Lately I’ve really interested in idea generating. I know how I come up with ideas (dreams, TV splicing, ideas just running wild, “what I would do if…”s), but I wanted a more formulaic way to go about generating ideas.

I, for one, think everything becomes more interesting when you give yourself parameters. I heard somewhere that people are hindered by too much writing freedom (which sounds scary), but basically what it boiled down to is that when you have too many options you might feel burdened by that freedom and thereby be unable to perform whatever writing task. Do I agree with this? No, not completely, but it makes for interesting thinking.

What could you write if you were giving unreasonable parameters to write it in? Could you combine a sci-fi/ western sounding romance set in the future that’s oddly like the past (hey, I kind of like that…lol)? Would it suck? These are the questions, people.

Here’s what I’m thinking for idea generation, and I hope you do it without reading it all first so your subconscious doesn’t sabotage you.

List 4 fiction genres: (1st ones that come to mind) [*Scroll to the bottom for genre list, if needed*]

List 2 phobias/fears:

List 2 objects: (you don’t have to make them related, but you can)

Now, take genres #1 and #4 and combine them on a brainstorming sheet with phobia/fear #2 and object #1. How can all of these things interact and become a cohesive story? Think of it as a puzzle that only you can solve (*cue superhero music*).

Now take genres #2 and #3 and write them down on a sheet with phobia #1 and object #2. Brainstorm ideas for this set. How can they be pushed together to make a story worth reading?

What format of writing you chose to do is up to you. You could stretch it out novel length (Good luck! J ) or make a short story or poem with your ingredient list.

Here are some questions to think about:
  1. Is the object the cause of the phobia/fear?
  2. How many main characters are affected by the phobia/fear? Is it specific to the MC (main character) or is the phobia/fear an epidemic?
  3. Can the object save the MCs from the phobia/fear?
  4. If one of the genres is romance, does the MC need help by the love interest to overcome his or her phobia/fear? If one of the genres is horror, did the object cause the phobia/fear or does the MC(s) cling to the object to protect them from the phobia/fear?
  5. What sets off this story? Is the phobia/fear or object the catalyst for how the story begins?

Do you have to do the exercise? Absolutely not, but I thought it sounded like a fun way to come about getting ideas. Let me know if it works out for you or how you tweaked it to make it applicable to your writing style. 

*Here’s if you need help with a fiction genre list (and without a doubt, I’m forgetting a lot): (P.S. I didn’t include sub-genres, because you’ll be combining two of these genres anyways)

Diary-like faux memoir/Confessional
Fairy Tale
Supernatural/Ghost (that’s not necessarily sci-fi or horror)

Now, I'll leave you with a video to write by, "Dead Skin" by Crossfade <3

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Creative Craziness *

*I am an alliteration junkie.

Lately a friend and I have been talking about how ridiculous we have both been getting with our ideas. It’s a new one every minute---a new form every minute, and they keep our mind occupied, but also keep us from accomplishing much.

I’m used to reading about writers getting that awful “That idea over there looks hotter than the one I’ve been working on for three months” syndrome, and I can fully relate to that. But, that’s not what I’m talking about here.

Here, what I am referring to is full blown creative distracting fluidity (CDF for short). One minute we are avidly discussing a new book we each want to write, then some business venture that sounds awesome and would make life worth while, then these  classes that are just the bees’ knees, let me tell you, to another book idea, to “Gosh, I just need to publish the one I have” discussions. [But as you know from yesterday’s post, I AM doing that…so there]

It’s exhausting. How can you track what your “true” passion is when you are passionate about so many things? Well I’ve decided to narrow down my wants by prioritizing them, and writing ALWAYS comes out on top. Now it’s just a matter of picking which idea sounds the most awesome atm (Book 2 of the soon-to-be-released? This completely different series? A contemporary? This YA horror thing I’ve been noodling out?)

It’s seems like now that I’ve “narrowed,” I’ve “widened” again. What do you all do when you get distracting? Take a poll of friends? Write everything down and hit them one by one (sounds good to me)? Or, suffer silently until exploding mentally and locking yourself in a room to have the ideas fight themselves TO THE DEATH!? Let me know in the comments or by email :)

And now I leave you with another song: "Daisy" by Brand New (My FAVORITE band: Their lyrics are pure poetry. )

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Decision Made/YA Sub-genre Roll Call

So I’ve decided as of recently that I will self-publish. I know; I know. How is that news nowadays? But, I assure you, it was news to me. After discussing it with my advisers (hella smart people out there, you know who you are), I’ve decided that rather having what I’ve written collect even more dust, I will put it out in the world and see what happens.

What’s the worst case scenario again? Oh, yes. Everyone will hate it and me by association, but that’s a small price to pay, I think to have people (HONEST TO GOODNESS PEOPLE) reading what I loved to put together.

Now, I’ve gotten to the point where I:
  1. Am even more obsessive about reading through it for editing.

  1. Need a book cover, and I just may be crazy enough to design it myself. (I’ll take pictures/snapshots along the way to show you how I did and what I used to do it, whenever I do it).

     C. Want to get a copyright on the manuscript, which apparently only takes an upload and $35 at the      Library of Congress website. YAY CONVENIENCE.

  1. Set a price. ($0.99 or $2.99)

  1. Decide on a name for the cover. Pseudonym? No pseudonym? (I’d love to hear your thoughts on that, btw)

  1. Talk about it incessantly without bugging people. (Hard to do. Maybe I’ll just beg the lurkers out there to tell your friends when it happens? Pretty, pretty, gorgeously, pretty please?)

Anyone else just starting this crazy journey? Please link me to your great (and horror) stories in the comments or through email. Or, simply write that we are embarking on this thing together, thus making my powers and yours stronger as we enter this process. :)

P.S. My soon-to-be-published book is YA. I was trying to decide what sub-genre of YA it would be so I ended up doing a main YA sub-genre list to get my mind straight. Hope it helps you to (and tell your friends, please!)

YA Sub-Genre Roll Call
Sub-genres can mix
All of the below can be /Romance
(and I believe the story is better when they are)

  1. Dystopian (see versus #2 here)
  2. Post-apocalyptic  (see versus #1 here)
  3. Contemporary (no magic, “real life”)
    1. In School Setting
    2. Issue based (death of someone, mental disorder, drug-related)
  4. Fantasy
    1. High (a whole new world)
    2. Low (Our world, but slightly different)
    3. Mix (Our world, but we can travel to a whole new world)
  5. Paranormal
    1. Angel (Fallen or otherwise)
    2. Vampire
    3. Werewolf
    4. Faerie
    5. Ghost (Main Character [MC] is a ghost, or a “haunted” story)
    6. Miscellaneous school where all of the above are welcome, or only one type (I count it as different because school stories are a different mindset kind of sub-genre to me)
    7. Zombie
    8. Dream related magic
    9. New breed, and it ain’t human, but it’s cool and not one of the above. Often involved with fantasy as well.

So, after looking at these, I’d say my book is a Paranormal: New Breed, and it ain’t human…”/Romance/ Mix Fantasy. I’ll get into more and better details later to make you be just as excited about my book’s eventual release as I am.

Here’s another song to write by/to/from: "Strange and Beautiful" Aqualung

And here’s a video on YA sub-genres with recommendations/examples that I thought was interesting:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

7 Writing Prompts (in 6 words each)

I've been obsessed with the #sixwords hash-tag lately (check out #sixwords here). Snippet stories are really inspiring to me so I decided to write several today and offer them up as writing prompts. Feel free to use them as jump-offs to stories or how ever you feel they would work for you. If you do use them, please leave a comment with a link to what you wrote. I'd love to see it! Have a great Tuesday, everybody!

Here's some inspiration through song "I'm Walking This Road Because You Stole My Car (Don't Go)" by Fascinoma:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Writing Tips 1-3

You can click to enlarge. Hope you like them!!

And I'll leave you with a great song to write to..."Last to Know" by Three Days Grace

Friday, June 3, 2011

It is IFI time!

It is IFI time!

These cartoony posts are amazing. I wholeheartedly, and in the nicest way, suggest you get your arse over to that link and be highly entertained.

Written Writer's World

Click to enlarge 
Here's a bubble map I did of the writing process. Mainly, it focuses on the decisions made when you decide to write a book to when you get that book published, in one way or another. Let me know what you think, and tell your friends! :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Paranormal Normal

Lately my writing interests have changed. It’s not what I like writing about has completely changed (although it probably has a little at least) but really, what I like to read has changed. I am a YA junkie. Very seldom do I feel extremely compelled to read something in the adult genre (occasional random romance excluded). YA just does it for me, and that would be paranormal YA at that.

Lately though, I’ve been craving contemporary fiction, and if not contemporary fiction, then I’ve definitely been craving some out of the ordinary, vampires and werewolves won’t cut it anymore-paranormal.

For example, I recently read DARK SONG by Gail Giles. AMAZING (caps required, I assure you). It was contemporary, no magic whatsoever, completely real and believable but exciting, 200+ short pages of goodness. I took to Twitter and text messages heralding its awesomeness as soon as I hit the end. I fully endorse it. Fuuuully.

What used to turn me off of contemporary YA fiction was its…well…boringness. I wanted something I couldn’t have, and I can safely say that a normal life, with run of the mill romance is something I am fully capable of having. But, like I said, something has switched in me. Maybe I over-used paranormal so much that it’s become “normal/everyday” to me, whereas contemporary is now where I want to be because it is everyday life, but (hopefully) in a way I wouldn’t chose to live it necessarily.

Am I the only one changing tastes? (Though I’m sure it’s not permanent—as my library finds as of today suggest). Have I finally caught the paranormal over-saturation bug that everyone has been talking about in the YA world? Heaven knows dystopian isn’t cutting it for me either these days (except for the Holy Grail that is the HUNGER GAMES series, of course…)

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Word Recycling

Did any of you all write in high school? I did. I wrote snippets of stories, poems, rhymes, things to make people laugh. I did so much of these things that I filled little notebooks with words and doodles of words, things that I know now are called typography art (who knew?) But it’s looking back on these things that really trips me out. I think I was talented.

That sounds awful, let me try again. I am always critical of my work. I have phases. I write; I feel like I like what I’m writing is good enough to continue. I chug through it. I finish it. I think about it. I hate it. I am an idiot for writing it. Ew! awful, just awful. And repeat (always repeat).

But when I look back on my writing from high school, I like it. I really like it. I am pissy I never finished stories. I remember how proud I felt at feeling like a “real” writer, even if I just started things that went no where, even if I never showed them to anyone. And now, looking back, my only regrets are that I wish I had finished because I like now what I wrote then.

Is it a time thing? Had enough days passed (maaaany days) that what was once horrible becomes shiny and new again? Could that happen now? Is that the last part of my hideous cycle of writing—the falling in love again? Maybe, but I have decided that the least I can do is learn from this phenomenon and move on to bigger and better things.

So here’s what I’m taking away:

Save everything. All my scraps from high school are printed out or originally written on notebook paper. Why is this important? Because computers are awesome but inherently evil. Do not trust them. Sly devils.

Second gem-like knowledge: What you wrote before can be harvested for new genius. What you thought was crap before may look better or, dare I say it, good today, and you’ll want it. Maybe you can rip yourself off with finesse and tweak what was done before into something beautiful today.

What about you? Do you have evidence of your former rock-star writing? Or have you read works of your own recently that you had from long ago? Was it any good? Can you use it now? I’m interested. Let me know in the comments or drop me an email.

Thanks for all the love from my last posts about some of my favorite blogs. I got a lot of responses both on here and through emails, and I truly (TRULY) appreciate it. Also I am more chatty on Twitter so be sure to follow me!