Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm Off to Camp!

  I'm going to camp, guys!
   It's a camp I've been going to yearly since I was twelve and love it dearly. I'm super excited to go, packed up already and could leave in a second's notice. I'll be leaving tomorrow morning!

  However, that also means I will have vanished from the blogging world for a while. I will be back soon, I promise! Also with new writerly advice! I'll come back with a fresh view of the outside world, considering I haven't done much outside of my little corner where I write. The mountain air of Hanging Rock should do the trick.

  Hope you guys have a great time in your writing endeavors, I for one will be enjoying time spent trying not die while white water rafting.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Letter to my Novel

  Writing a letter to your novel is a fun thing to do! Even if it is a dear John. It's a book I started writing when I was twelve and now I can't stand to look at it. So here it is, you guys ought to try it sometime.

Dear A Room For Lost Souls,                                                          
  Life is tough with you. 
  I remember you started off as a dream, literally. I woke up and wrote down the idea that started you on a random old bill sitting in the house and eye liner (for lack of a better writing utensil.) I was too excited to get started, I was immature, and I didn't know any better. I started off with you, and I didn't see any flaws, you were my first novel after all. I wrote and wrote and wrote, we had such good times.
  I remember that flush of excitement I would get when a new idea for you sparked, every time I was with you, you were what seemed like my soul mate (see title above, hint play on words ;) )
  I began to grow too attached to you, still too young to see your flaws. But, my ideas seemed to grow longer and longer and because they grew I began to grow as well. When I reached thirteen I was slowly starting to realize that I was sorely inexperienced. And when I took a better look at you, began to see what was wrong. I worked through it though, told myself we would come out of this rough patch. 
  We never did. 
  I began to see every one of your flaws, from the sloppy inexperienced writing towards the beginning, and the odd ending beginning to start. Not to mention when we started this whole ordeal your font was 18 (don't know what I was thinking), and when I tried to change you you were suddenly 200 pages less, leaving me with a measly 100 pages.
  Many months passed, I told myself I just needed time alone, time to think about you. I dabbled in some short stories, but never returned to you. I tried to give you one last shot and pulled up the dusty file you were under in my flash drive. When I saw you again after so long I'd thought I'd be happier to see you, but you had grown even more odd. I could have fixed you. But that would have been a long lengthy process that I just wasn't ready for.
   And then I met Manipulated. He came along in the June of 2011, a bright day, I was trying to get over you, his new shiny idea was too much to overlook. I'm sorry A Room For Lost Souls, but it's time to say goodbye. I won't dispose of you, I may even return to you one day, but don't get your hopes up. Manipulated is just so much more attractive. He's flexible, compatible, something you weren't.
  And so you lay in that dusty old file, unfinished, unedited, unreliable. 
  I am sorry for this harsh Dear John letter but it is true. Don't lose self confidence though, you have a good premise working out for you. I might rewrite you, if I ever feel like it. Remember the good times we had together, and don't think about what we could have been, it will only make the separation harder. Goodbye! 

Aaah... the imaginary world we writers live in where we send break up letters to our novels. It's a pleasant place isn't it?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nobody's story is your story

  I keep scrolling through writing blogs, looking at random advice from professional authors. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent reading the archives of my favorite author's blogs.

  I've seen a pattern though.

  I like reading about authors stories, how they got published, where they got the idea for a certain book I liked of theirs, and I realized, no author has the exact story.

  Some of the authors spent years writing books they've never published. Others had only written one book, and that was the one that got published. Rick Riordan had gotten an adult's novel published before Percy Jackson came in to view. Christopher Paolini, J.K Rowling, and Stephanie Meyer all had only written one book before they were published, the one they published, and look at what wild successes those stories were.

  Then you see many authors, like Ally Carter, Suzanne Collins, Ally Condie. They had other books out before they really had a huge hit with specific ones.

  But then there are the other authors who've written a plethora of books before they were published. 

  I sometimes look at how an author's life has turned out and try to match that up with mine. I find myself thinking, so, if they had written three books that were never published, but then got a bestseller on the first one that was, then that means the one I'm writing right now will never get published, and I have to write more. Or, they tried to get published in high school, but didn't and were eventually published when they were in their twenties. That means, I won't get published until I'm at least twenty-six or something... 

  But then I snap myself out of it. 

  Because their life isn't my life. 

  It never will be.

  I don't know where I'll end up in the publishing industry down the road. I could strike up luck with the series I'm writing now, or maybe I won't. 

  I could be a bestselling author by the time I'm twenty-one, or I could try my whole life and never get anything published. 

  There's a world of possibilities out there. 

  So just because one author did one certain thing, and another author did another, doesn't mean that's how every author's story is going to turn out. 

  My dream is the same as theirs and countless others. 

  I just have to be patient, write my best, and find out where it leads me.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Things We Writers do for Our Writing

  I had a wow, this is really strange moment the other day when I typed in to the google word search, "can you eat raw fish?" 

  I'm not very informed on the whole raw vs cooked thing and pathogens and what not. 

  And then I realized, how many times had I looked up very strange random questions like that on Google? The answer is many, many times. I've asked Google questions like how far is the trip by boat from Hawaii to California? Can a person be stabbed by a knife in the stomach and survive? What happens when someone gets blood poisoning? 

  Not the average every day search people put in. 

  We writers do strange things for our writing. I think I've mentioned on here before how I walked barefoot around the forest because I wanted to know what it felt like. I needed better descriptions. As it turns out it is very painful.

  It's also happened that we were having a nice family dinner when someone brought something or another up, and I just got this glassy stare in my eyes, pumped my fist in the air and shouted "Inspiritation!" 

  I've heard stories about people who've taken trips to places like the alps and the jungle to get a better view of the scenery that takes place in their books. 

  It really is crazy.

  What kind of crazy things have you ever done for your writing?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How Much Crying is too Much Crying?

  My main character is a cry baby.

  I just realized that.

  She cries too much, but she has reason to when she does. She's sees people die, people she knew, people she cared about. But sometimes I worry she cries too much. I can't have a good epic climactic crying fest because I feel like every other chapter she has one.

  I tried to build her up strong, and she mostly is, but she just cries a lot.

  Like a girl on her period. I don't care how strong of a girl you are. You can be Wonder Woman for all I care, but when you are one your period you cry at least twice a day. I am slowly starting to wonder if my MC is on it 24/7, and because there is not chocolate in the world she lives in, she is succumbing to the dark abyss.

  She just cries too much!

  And most of the crying occurs inside of my lead character guy's chest.

  I mean he never cries, but then my main character is just like *boo-hoo* I need a shoulder to cry on, oh here's this hunky guy, let me just soak his t-shirt, I haven't done that in a few hours. 


  So, how can I, when my characters won't stop their wailing, tell you how much crying is too much?

  Simple, I cannot.

  But at the same time I can!

  Crying is different for all of us. You may have never seen your Mother cry, while some people see her cry every day. You may cry when you got a C on your math test, but some people smile and say, at least I'm not failing. (Don't have that kind of attitude by the way.)

  I can tell you I'll cry at appropriate times, weddings, funerals, the end of the Harry Potter series...

  But do you? Do weddings really make you tear up a little? Does the end of the most epic series that ever walked the planet make you feel like you are slowly spiraling in to a bottomless pit of nothingness??!!

  It comes the time to ask yourself. Does your main character really need to cry here? Based on their personalities would they cry their guts out and hack up their lungs in the process, or would they shed a little tear and shred on through? So, now that you understand what crying is really about, ask yourself. Is your character cold and hateful? Then why is she bawling to the movie The Notebook?

  Now on the other hand if you have a ditsy blonde, let her cry to whatever chick flick she feels like! 

  Like the first world problems lady, would your character really cry because the remote was on the other side of the room? 

  I know my character is the strong type, but she's the strong type that ends up strong through their trials. She tries to take on things that eventually break her, but as Kelly Clarkson would say while pumping her fist in the air; What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!!

  So she has a reason to cry so much. She really can't handle what is happening to her. At least not yet, and she lets it out the only way she knows how to. Crying. And that's just how it'll be because she's who she is. And I can't change that. (Well, technically I can, but in the world of books let's pretend I can't.)

  Now if you came up to me and told me my main character was crying her guts out because someone ate the last brownie, then that would be odd.

  That kind of crying belongs to the world of characters in the their toddler years.

  But, please, listen to me when I say this. Even if your character does cry a lot, don't write unnecessary long descriptions about how much their chest ached and their breathing was rapid and the tears fell like waterfalls.

  We get it, your crying really hard. Now shut up so we can get along with the story!

  So, to cry or not to cry?

  That is the question.

  I guess you and your character will just have to figure that out yourselves.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Moving the Story Along- or for Short, Pacing

  All right, as you can see from the title up there today's topic is about keeping a fast pace, or moving the story along.

  So, how does one do this kind of thing? First off, you need a good and steady plot. The plot is the thing that drives the story, it's the very essence of what your book is about. It's the thing that brings conflict and the thing that makes your reader hungering for more. Without a good plot your basic story would look like this:
  Once upon a time there lived a little girl. The end.
  Ok... what did that have to do with anything?

  Absolutely nothing. 

  There was no story, no conflict, no hero saves the day, no meaning. Nada. 

  Now, if you want an example of a story with an amazing plot take  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I know you've probably all read it, so bear with me when I explain this.

  She has the perfect set up, immediately describing what life is like in District 12 and she doesn't waste time by delving right in to the story by having Katniss volunteer as tribute in the first chapter. The story continues with fast pace and there's no lagging. There's a perfect amount of conflict that evens itself out as the story continues, and then leaves you hungering for more when the story's over. 

  Make sure your plot is tight and you know what's going to happen next. Writing is all about looking ahead. To move the story along you must have some plan for how things are going to work out. That's why plot plays such a big part in the pacing.

  Once you know your plot, roll with it! Here's where the major part of pacing comes along. You have to make sure your explaining the plot evenly with no lagging. That means no side stories! The events in a book should all help move the story along. If it doesn't, then cut it.
  Oh, but, Johny and Susan are my favorite couple in my book! I should write another love scene between them and add it somewhere. 

  No, you don't. If you already have it set up that Johny and Susan are together don't add unnecessary love scenes. The same goes for everything else. Don't just write little day to day things the character does. Don't write a whole chapter about how Susan did her laundry. That's boring. Now if Susan was doing her laundry when BOOM, the phone rings and it's Johny calling about he wants to break up with her, then yes, add that, it moves the story along. Even if it is heart breaking. 

  Also, don't add unnecessary long descriptions. That's how you lose readers and it keeps the pace of the story down.
  But the trees looked so beautiful that day. Their leaves seemed to shimmer under the bright summer sun. They danced with the wind and shimmied through the air. Green blurs filled the sky as the leaves fluttered down and.... 

  No! You start to lose people. I bet I lost half of you in that little description of the trees leaves.

  I know some of you will protest when I bring up the next thing that helps the pacing. 

  Having an outline. 

  If you have an outline of the story you'll know what you need to write, and you won't write yourself in to corners, where you don't know what happens next. That also leaves people uninterested. I've done that before... and that's where disasters come in to play. 

  Trust me, outlines are very useful and they keep you one your toes. I could go on and on about them, but I'll save them for another blog post.

  So, that's the insiders edition to pacing. I hope it'll help you move your story along without all those sappy Johny Susan moments.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

What I listen to as I Write

  Howdy all!

  I've mentioned on here before how music influences our writing. So, I'd thought I'd share with you guys my basic playlist for the book I am currently editing Manipulated. They each pertain to my book in a certain way, whether it's the meaning, or I just thought the tune fit.

1.   Snow Patrol- "Set Fire To The Third Bar"
 I find the map and draw a straight line
Over rivers, farms, and state lines
The distance from 'A' to where you'd be
It's only finger-lengths that I see
I touch the place where I'd find your face
My finger in creases of distant dark places

2.   Superchick- "Stand In The Rain"
She never slows down.
She doesn't know why but she knows that when she's all alone, feels like its all coming down
She won't turn around
The shadows are long and she fears if she cries that first tear, the tears will not stop raining down

3.   Athlete- "Rubik's Cube"
The world is too heavy,
Too big for my shoulders,
Come take the weight off me, now.
Thousands of answers,
To one simple question,
Come take the weight off me, now.

4.   Florence and the Machine- "Breath of Life"  
 I was looking for a breath of life
For a little touch of heavenly light
But all the choirs in my head say, no oh oh

5.   Florence and the Machine- "Cosmic Love"
A falling star fell from you heart and landed in my eyes
I screamed aloud, as it tore though them and now it's left me blind
The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I'm always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart

6.   Marianas Trench- "Beside You"
When your tears are spent on your last pretense 
And your tired eyes refuse to close and sleep in you defense.
When it's in your spine like you've walked for miles 
And the only thing you want it just to be still for a while.

7.   Lights- "Pretend"
Once in awhile I act like a child to feel like a kid again
It gets like a prison in the body I'm living in
Cause everyone's watching and quick to start talking, I'm losing my innocence
Wish I were a little girl without the weight of the world

8.   Aqualung and Lucy Schwartz- "Cold"
God and His priests and His kings
All were waiting
All will wait
As they go over

9.   Paramore- "We Are Broken"
I am outside
And I've been waiting for the sun
And with my wide eyes
I've seen worlds that don't belong
My mouth is dry with words I cannot verbalize
Tell me why we live like this

10. Paramore- "Ignorance"
You treat me just like
Another stranger
Well it's nice to meet you sir
I guess I'll go
I best be on my way out

11. Fireflight- "Unbreakable"
Where are the people that accused me?
The ones who beat me down and bruised me
They hide just out of sight
Can't face me in the light
They'll return but I'll be stronger

12. Plumb- "I Can't Do This" 
I'm standing still
I'm oh, so peaceful
I cant pretend, that I'm fine
I get so ill, crazy, agitated
When I've not really died

13. Taylor Swift - "Haunted"
You and I walk a fragile line
I have known it all this time
But, I never thought I'd live to see it break

14. The Civil Wars- "Falling"
Haven't you seen me sleepwalking 'cause I've been holding your hand
Haven't you noticed me drifting
Oh, let me tell you I am

15. Once-"Falling Slowly"
Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You've made it now

  *Whew* These are all great songs, I love them to death. Well, that would be my playlist for the book I'm writing right now. Any specific songs you guys love to listen to while writing?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Reasoning for the New Layout and Ttile

  Hey guys!

  Well, as you can tell the blog has taken a new format. It's always kind of changing but now there is a reason for this new design, and I intend to keep it that way.

  I was scrolling through some of the photos that blogger has to offer and found this lovely photo of a city. *Gestures hands towards background.* It is more than lovely actually, it is mesmerizing. This photo is a tapestry of shaded green lights, glistening jeweled water, things that catch the eye, that all glow under a beautiful  sky decorated in a green haze. And that, is exactly what I try to capture when I write. Mesmerizing details and descriptions, beautiful scenery that leaves you feeling like you've just been there. Truly mesmerizing books. That's what I want.

  I always try to hint in little details about my writerly life when I blog. Where I am at the moment, and how everything is going. Editing is where I am at this exact moment, and through editing I've come to realize that goal that I want. Mesmerizing writing.

  And so, I properly changed the title of this blog, to demonstrate what it really is about, what the goal is. Along with this change I will trying to update more often, at least a couple of times a week.

  So, followers, perusers of blogs, any one interested in writing. I hope that this blog can shape that goal in your minds and make you want to mesmerize your readers, just as much as I want to.

  Besides, what is life without those truly mesmerizing moments?