Having a Little Bit of Fun

I swear we should start calling these posts Forever Fridays, because I always have the longest posts. I’m putting them here instead of on my first blog, The Ramblings of an Eccentric Writer, because well…I accidentally abandoned it. I’m a terrible blogger. I hope I’m not boring you.

Speaking of boring, I put off the Description Dino yet again because I was struck with a cool post, and I like to get my thoughts out there before they float away from me.

Have you ever felt bored with your story? (I should see every hand raised. It’s happened to everyone, at least at some point.Don’t deny it.) That’s how I am with my WIP Defender right now. Poor Finley’s hanging out on a limb with nothing to do because I’m both stuck and bored.

I could go back and read fun bits, but I’ve decided to give Finley and the gang a break for a little while and come back refreshed. Instead, I’m going to have a little fun.

Lately I’ve been working on a fanfiction. (By the by, I am not usually a fan of fanfiction, because I feel it usually destroys good literature, no offense. But when I do write fanfictions, its usually about a game I’ve played, and I try not to change any of the events, at all. I just add to it in a way that makes sense.) It started out that a friend and I were disappointed in the lack of a love interest for a particular main character of a game we were playing. So we decided to make our own characters for him. We’ve been swapping updates ever since.

It was fun, but I’m almost done now. And now I’ve gotten this strange idea to make alternate versions of various characters of mine and see how they function.

Like Risa and Gaelan, whom you sort-of-kind-of know. Instead of their semi-medieval, queen-and-commodore, battle for love and staying together seriousness, my friend asked me, “What if they were modern day hipsters? In college?”

14883466_s

Boy, that opened up a whole new world. Suddenly Risa doesn’t have to be a straight-laced queen with too much stress on her shoulders, she’s a college kid in faded plaid shirts, cut-off jean shorts, glasses, and a pencil in her hair. She’s a fond of antiques and makes jewelry and sells it on Etsy and takes art classes at college. Gaelan’s no longer a chivalrous commodore of the Royal Navy who is secretly in love with his own queen, he’s a poet who’s fond of skinny jeans and silly shirts, and uses cheesy pick up lines to make Risa fall for him. Which she does. With all manner of cuteness everywhere. (Think candle-lit picnics in the living room during a storm, and coffee dates, and walking in Central Park in the snow. Yeah.)

It’s a big drastic step away from their original designs, but it was so fun to play around with. And that’s when I realized, rather than being stressed all the time about what you’re writing, we take a step back. Find something cute or silly or quirky or funny and just write it. Just get it out of your system.

There’s a reason they say write every day. One, it helps get your story further along each day, and you don’t have to worry about writing 10,000 words on a Saturday because of a crazy deadline. Two, practice makes perfect. But then, you have those days where you can’t write anything in your WIP.

This is usually where I decided, “Nothing can be done with this today,” and switch to another WIP, since I have two open, plus the fanfiction. But there are some days I’m just not in the mood to write in any of them. So I turn to my bit scenes.

I write bit scenes all the time. And trust me, they’re so helpful. There are bit scenes of cute things that have popped into my head, with characters that don’t even have names. There are scenes with characters I already have that I know I’ll never use in the real WIPs but I write them anyway because it’s fun. And because I might get to use them later.

Writing should be fun. It shouldn’t be a stressful thing. I once heard a quote that said, “If you love your work, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Well writing may not be my work, but I hope it never becomes work. I hope I write just to write, without the pressures of being published (though that would be awesome), or super-stressing over deadlines (though I know I’ll eventually have them if I’m published), or pulling at my hair because I’m stuck on a story and I have nothing else to write. So I’m going to continue my funsy stuff when I can because that’s exactly what it is: fun. It may never amount to anything, but it means I’m writing every day, and practicing my craft every day, and I’m having fun while I do it.

-Hannah

Advertisements

The Perfect Last Name

By Cassia Schaar

So you have your first name for your fantastic character. It was fun to pick it out right? Or at least more fun than choosing the last name will be. You just can’t get the two names to have that perfect ‘ring’ to it that other characters have. Well I think we better agree to disagree. To me, pairing the perfect last name with your characters first name is just as fun if not more fun that the first name find.

Let’s start off with a a basic rule that applies to both first and last names. Don’t choose something that people can’t pronounce. Okay, I get it, your character is Russian but that doesn’t mean that all Russian surnames have to be complicated. A few good examples of not hard to pronounce names are Orlov, Polzin and Krupin. Those are more readable than Fyodorov (is the f silent?) and Kuznetsov. Both of those names I would have to pause to read and nobody likes their flow being broken when they’re reading. Don’t break the flow.

Now, how do you match the names? Well keep reading and I’ll tell you!

Something that I don’t like with most (not all) characters is when the first and last names start with the name letter or sound. Some examples that I made up would include: Matthew Morris, Katie Codek and Steve Siccot.

Those names don’t sound nearly as good as Matthew Sparrow, Katie Phox and Steve Redpath. Now saying this, certain letters do have different sounds within them that will allow the name to still sound like you aren’t repeating the same first sound. For example, my dad’s name is Steve and his last name is Schaar (Sh-are). The sounds are different so it works. Since English is a stupid language when it comes to rules, you kind of have to play around with this one and use your own judgment. Don’t worry, you’ll know.

Staying on the same idea, you don’t want the end sounds to be the same either. I think this is even more important than the beginning sounds being the same. Some bad examples would be: Kimberly Everly (last sound of ‘lee’), Connor Gunnar (last sound of ‘er’), Cheryl Brattle (last sound of ‘l’). These names just sound kind of…tacky for lack of a better term. Switch up the sounds people! It’s more audibly appealing. Taking some of the last names from above, Kimberly Morris, Connor Phox and Cheryl Redpath sound a lot better.

This is where we get down to the fun stuff. I might just be weird but I find this part fun. SYLLABLES! YAHHHH! Am I the only one cheering? Well then…

Syllables are so, so, so important. To make your name automatically flow, your first and last name should have different syllables. Take Katniss for example. Katniss is two syllables while her last name, Everdene, is three. Suzanne Collins also followed the other two rules. Look at that! There are a few famous rule breakers…Edward Cullen, Harry Potter, Beatrice Prior, Amy Fleming. So then, why do they work? They followed the other rules of course! And then there’s the matter that Beatrice changes her name to one syllable but then she’s just supporting my theory anyways.

So you know all the rules…but where do you start to look? Well first decide what your character is going to look like and what background they have. My dad is German so my last name is German. If your character is Latino, then look up Latino surnames on google and about a million different names will come up throughout thousands of websites. Now you have a nice list and you can go through all the rules and choose which one fits your character best.

A quick suggestion is that you keep a ‘last name bank’. Whenever you find a name you like, add it to the bank and then when you need to tag a character with a surname, go to the bank and withdraw a name. Not all your characters need last names though…I’m sure you already knew that though.

You’re off to a good start because I generously included some of my last names from my name bank throughout the post. You’re welcome 🙂

What characters do you have that follow the rules? Does your name have that perfect ring to it?

Harry Potter and Tying up Loose Ends

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is probably one of my favorite HP books. Like, top four, hands down. (I’ll probably talk about my other favorites and why I like them so much later on.) Great book. But there was just some plot points Jo didn’t resolve in the book, and I want to talk about that here and how you can avoid it. SPOILERS AHEAD:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

Image from goodreads.

  • At the end of DH, George Weasley has just lost his inseparable twin brother. We don’t get much of an in-text look at how George is coping. One of the biggest complaints I saw about the epilogue was “Well, what happened to George and Luna? Where are they?”
  • Teddy Lupin. When Teddy’s father, Remus, a well-loved character, dies, a major question the reader has is: A) Who is he living with? B) Is he a werewolf like his dad? Neither of those questions were answered in-text.

Okay, so part of me is wondering why none of those storylines were resolved in the actual book. Was it an editing error on JKR’s part? Was she so overwhelmed by her deadline that she forgot to fully wrap up those plot points? Did her editor not catch it? Here are some ways I’m thinking you can avoid this:

  • BETA READERS, people. Please, have people beta read your book and ask them if you dropped a plot, or if the plot wasn’t wrapped up to their satisfaction. 
  • Make a chart. Make notes of what is happening in your story and then cross it off when it gets written.

I’m not saying a plot always has to be wrapped up. But if you have a major character like George, or the child of a character that a lot of people love like Lupin–then you had better try and include some form of closure.

I once saw an author saying that she absolutely would NOT include an epilogue telling who her MC marries, and I think she missed the point. People don’t want know who her character married (in my opinion.) because they’re obsessed with a stupid love triangle. People *usually* want closure because they love a character and want to know how things eneded, good or bad. Like, if JKR hadn’t put an epilogue? People might have hated the epilogue we got, but they’d have hated it a lot more if they hadn’t got one at all.

What do you think?

Deadlines

Life has been crazy for me lately. I’m actually a little late to posting. But this is what you get when unexpected company is thrown on me: I don’t write my post till 10:43 p.m. day of. When I’m pretty sure I was supposed to post it at 11 a.m.

Deadlines are important. My deadline that I apparently broke today was important. The deadline I think I forgot about that I think I have tomorrow is important. That deadline for your test, for you resume, for your college entrance exams. . . Deadlines are important.

I think that some of our writing troubles stem from deadlines. Our whole life is made up of them and they must be followed. Sure, you might think of yourself as a rule breaker who decides to be a late person like I’m being right now, but you still face the consequences. I’m facing the consequences right now. Like, how I’d love to be sleeping or preparing for sleep, but clearly can’t.

But that’s the thing. We wrap ourselves so much in deadlines, that we set them upon ourselves. Upon our stories. We set deadlines on things that don’t need deadlines and we freak out when we’re not meeting them. We’re trained to expect the worst to happen if we don’t meet our precious deadline. And we do. But it’s our own fault. We cause ourselves to beat ourselves up, stress, worry, etc. all because we couldn’t reach whatever deadline we set for ourselves.

Our stories aren’t meant to be rushed. We need to let them unfold the way they’re supposed to. Deadlines only make us try to run at 100 mph and 1000 words per minute. Which really doesn’t work. We’ll blow up if our writing seems stupid and if it’s not working, and we’re so focused on getting done and reaching our deadline, that we don’t stop and evaluate the problem. We just try to rush through it and forget it. We want to complete everything by our deadline.

All I’m trying to say is, maybe deadlines aren’t the best things to set upon ourselves. Goals, sure. But make them loose. You don’t want to trip yourselves up.

And this is the amazingly painful and hard to understand piece of information you get from me as I cut off my light and fall asleep. G’night!

Talking the Talk

Hannah here again! But this time without a Writing Buddy!

Don’t freak out, there are more than just two, but I was struck with something cool to talk about today. But then, this post kind of goes hand in hand with the Dialogue Dolphin, so I guess we’re still in Writing Buddy territory…

ID-10088842

Anyway, you know another thing that’s great about dialogue? It shows your characters’ voices. Especially if you’re like me and you write in third because you tend to have scenes where the main character isn’t narrating. (And here I thought I’d never write in third. Go figure.)

Different characters speak in different ways. That kind of sounds obvious, but it was cool to think about today. I mean, my character Gaelan talks way differently than my character Tallon. Likewise, Finley wouldn’t dream of talking like Kenra.

How about I show you? Here are a few examples, from the aforementioned characters, taken from things that I’ve written.

Gaelan

  • “I believed myself to be a broken man that couldn’t escape his demons, yet a few words from you made me feel like all could be forgiven.” On talking to Risa about why he fell in love with her.
  • “I know how to be sweet. I can be sweet as sugar! As cake or candy!” After she jokingly said he didn’t know how to be sweet.
  • “Dark thoughts spawned from lonely nights, when men have too much time to think and nothing to distract themselves. When insecurities are born of the mind’s constant rambling.” When Risa asked what brought on a dark and troubling question.

Gaelan is a very formal person anyway, often playfully so. Writing him is a bit like pulling from Shakespeare, but it’s always a fun thing to do. Gaelan is a deep thinker, and often “waxes poetic” as he likes to put it. He’s a very good story teller, so sometimes that shows in his casual speaking. With Risa it’s always a little more loving, more descriptive, and formal.

Tallon

  • “The limit is three. Any more would harm more than help. You’d probably die. Kind of like an overdose, except more immediately lethal.” When explaining why he wouldn’t give Finley another healing rune.
  • “I’m just a guy who can handle his blades like every other guardian out there, who just wants to do his job. I’m not special.” When discussing the issue of his being like his extremely skilled father.
  • “Finley, you probably know better than anyone how hateful pity is. I don’t want yours, anymore than you want anyone else’s.” After Finley tried to apologize to him when he told her of the circumstances of his father’s death.

These aren’t the best quotes, but then, Tallon isn’t one to speak a lot. He tends to shorten his sentences. He explains a lot of stuff to Finley, and he’s very blunt most of the time. You wouldn’t catch Tallon using flowery speech like Gaelan, mostly because Tallon is walking around in present day and Gaelan is way back in the past. That, and Tallon thinks too many words is a waste of time. Why use 20 when 2 will suffice?

Finley

  • “Hello? Object of discussion, right here. Don’t talk about me like I’m invisible. I’m going back, whether you want me to or not.” When Tallon and Zane were having a mini argument on whether or not she could leave Alexios.
  • “She’ll just have to watch out. I tend to step on queen bees. And I wear soccer cleats.” On being told that Trista is likely to try and humiliate her.
  • “Thanks for telling me. I think my nerves just skyrocketed. I’ll tell you when they crash land.” After Zane tells her the rich status of Gwen’s parents, whom she’s about to meet.

Finley’s pretty sarcastic as a rule, and she’s always got a sort of confident tone. She’s definitely not afraid to speak her mind. Her grammar is a bit like Tallon’s, but she’s more likely to add little flourishes and bits to whatever she says, like the “Hello?” above. She doesn’t often think before she speaks.

Kenra

  • “I want you to keep it there so you remember me. I want you to look it for strength and courage and a reason to live.” When she ties her bracelet around her love interest’s tomahawk.
  • “You cannot separate parts of you, and you cannot choose to be only half of who you are. I would not want you to try to.” After her love interests questions who he really is between what feels like two personas.
  • “The least we can do is choose whose control we cling to. It is the most basic freedom, the very one that you and your allies take from the people. That is why I do not agree with your ideals.” When discussing why she doesn’t like her enemy’s visions of peace through ultimate control.

Kenra is a very wise young woman. She’s older than Finley, and so has that sort of maturity evident in her speech. English is her second language, so she doesn’t use contractions. Not only that, but her Mohawk culture influences a lot of what she says, as does the fact that she’s walking around in pre-American-Revolution/during-the-Revolution times. She’s one of those people that thinks carefully before she says anything (unlike Finley, who says whatever’s on her mind, good or bad), and her wisdom is often shown even in casual conversation.

As you can see, all the characters are very different from each other. Gaelan tends to be sort of poetic and formal, but Tallon is more clipped and blunt. Finley is often sarcastic or dry humored, and doesn’t think before she speaks, but Kenra is wise and mature, and chooses her words carefully.

The way they speak is also a product of their environment. Kenra doesn’t use contractions because English is her second language, and her wisdom often comes from her training to be the future Clan Mother. Gaelan’s way of speaking comes from his growing up in slightly-after-medievalish-times Atholica and the fact that he’s a sailor and often tells tall tales. Finley’s sarcasticness and dryness comes from her life in the foster system of New York City, which has toughened her up and given her a sort of cynical view of things. Tallon’s harsh experiences, and knowledge that life can change in seconds, causes him to be very short and to the point.

This can all go down to working out your characters’ voices outside of dialogue too. Finley’s internal thoughts are just as dry as what she says aloud, and whenever I’m on Gaelan’s point of view I tend to be more descriptive because of it. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your characters’ voices! But once you find the perfect fit, make sure to continue using that instead of jumping around and using different things. Defining your characters’ voices is part of what makes each of them unique.

What are some interesting things that your characters have said? What’s something they often do in their dialogue/thoughts that sets them a little apart from everyone else?

Loving What You Write

Hello everyone! Today, my post is inspired by a post on my favorite writing blog – Go Teen Writers. My post is about loving what you write. On GTW, they listed several examples of ways to help you when writing your first draft, and they asked for any other examples the reader might have. They had several great suggestions, which I’ll write my own version of.

When you write a story, you’re going to feel sensitive about it, that’s just the way it goes. Trust me, it can be a tad bit depressing to write sentences that just feel loaded down by a herd of elephants. (That was an interesting simile…) What I mean is, when your sentences move so slow, or just don’t sound clever at all, and your dialogue is… blah.

Half the time, in my opinion, that’s just your feelings. I mean, sure, a story is going to need refining, just like any worthwhile craft, but your original writing is sure to have that new spark. I love reading stories by my friends that have scant to no editing. So here’s a few tips on how to get past the feeling down about your story, and learn to love what you write.

Quickly write your first draft A lot of people like to edit as they write, but that can be a stressful and tiring way to do it. I, for the most part, try to just get through the first draft as quick as possible, even if I know that there are many things that need fixing, or something isn’t completely accurate to the timeline. It’s best to just write. After that,

Take a break from your story If you start reading/editing your story right away, it’s only going to depress you. “I spent a month writing this? I spent six months writing this?” Don’t give into the temptation to read your finished work. Instead, set it aside for a few weeks, or a month, and take a break. Maybe read a book you’ve been wanting to read, or start on a new story your passionate about. By the time you come back after distancing yourself from your story, you’ll feel a  lot better about it.

Share your story This is hard for many people. As I said, we’re very touchy or sensitive about our work, and we don’t like to have “prying” eyes reading what we’re still unsure about. But one of the biggest confidence boosters a person can get is if you share your story- with the right people. I’m not saying post it on the internet where the world can see, because there are some mean people out in the world. Some might even steal your idea. But if you share your story with another writing friend, even if they point out some grammatical or sentence structure mistakes, they’re sure to say something good too. You can also share it with family. I’m very close with my sister’s husband’s family. It’s the most wonderful feeling when you have a bunch of kids all wanting you to read them your story, it almost makes you melt. 🙂  One more…

Go back This is the one I was thinking. One way I can really get back into my story is if I go back several chapters, or even the beginning of the book, and read that part you thought was funny, or just remember why you wrote this story- remember why you love it. If you can get to the heart of your story- the core- then you’ll love it again, especially if you remember why you wrote it in the first place.

And that’s all for today! I hope this post has been helpful in any way to you. Have a great day!

Bethany

What are some ways you get back to loving your story?

The Difference Between Mushy & Sincere {The Do’s and Don’ts Of Writing Romance}

Greetings! Welcome to the third post in my series The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Romance.

First off, I’ll admit that lately life has been super hectic and my writing plate has been full to the brim. So today’s post will be a little shorter than the last week’s. If you didn’t see that one, it was on Love Triangles. I would insert a link to it but I’m kinda new to WordPress and can’t figure out how to post a link like that yet. :/

ANYWAY. What I want to discuss today is a few of my thoughts on the difference between mushy and sincere in a written romance.

Most of the time, people hate reading mushy romance stories and spit them out like my brothers would like to do with our family’s natural cold-prevention tonic. Mushy is another pitfall you want to avoid like the plague, just as with clichés.

What makes mushy so bad, exactly? And why do many people turn away from it? Because, 1., mushy usually connects itself automatically with clichés. Where a mushy romance can be found, clichés are typically not far behind, if not embedded directly into the story already. I believe another reason is because mushy romances are too syrupy-sweet. Meaning, too much pleasure, passion and stereotypical ‘love’ for the story to be believable. Not enough difficulties, trials and…*wait for it*…reality. What usually happens with most couples. occasional fights. Arguments. More turbulent days when you can’t figure out what’s going through your partner’s head at all.

Yes, it is possible to write a story about two people madly in love with each other without it being mushy.
Yes, it is possible to create a passionate, heart stirring romance that is entirely believable and not all fluff and fairy tale. (Unless of course that is what you WANT it to be!)

The key here to achieving a believable, non-mushy romance? Two words. Moderation, and balance. You’ve heard the saying, eat with moderation? Use the computer with moderation? What this means is to eat only as much as is sufficient to satisfy your hunger, no more, no less. To use the computer with moderation means to use your time wisely, and watch the sites your surf.

Well, this applies to writing a good romance. Do it with moderation. Don’t include so many huggy-kissy scenes that it makes your readers want to throw up. Don’t totally exclude any and all embracing scenes, (unless of course you really believe it to be important for your character couple not to hug a couple of times, for whatever reasons) because then that could also put a damper on the effectiveness and believability of the story.

If you’re writing a tale about a guy and girl who have promised to remain pure and chaste in their relationship towards each other, and refrain from any kind of physical embracing until marriage, then of course it would only make sense for them not to kiss, or get wrapped up in each other’s arms out in the moonlight.

But, what if you are writing a joyful reunion scene where a soldier comes home from war, after being away from the woman he loves for a long period of time? Obviously this would be a very emotional, passionate time for the couple and you would want to express that appropriately.

But what if the soldier returns only to find his wife or beau angry at him for not returning sooner? What if she has been unfaithful to him during his departure? Not everything always goes according to plan, or how it was intended to go. Not everything goes smooth as butter.

I’m certainly not implying that you must include sin,treachery or evil into your romance, please understand that. I’m just saying that it is important to consider all aspects of both the characters’ lives and how they affect each other, either positively, or negatively.

Mushy love stories are like the fairy tale where love at first sight is always inevitable and predominant. The truth is, rarely in reality does “love at first sight” ever work. Most of the time, it is based on lust, and not true love, and eventually the relationship collapses.

Mushy love stories focus too much on the day-dreamy, too-perfect-to-be-real side. They give us characters who are too perfect, and as unbelievable as they come.

I hope I don’t sound jaded against beautiful love stories when I say all this. I’ll stress again that is IS possible to write a beautiful love story which is realistic.
Oftentimes, you can look to the reality around you to find inspiration… in this case, I find my parents as a perfect example.
They are an example of a romance which is both beautiful, and real. They have had loads and struggles in their time together, and the road has been rocky often. But they never abandoned each other. They have traveled it out, and still love each other deeply.

That is no mushy romance.

I apologize if I rambled excessively or strayed from the topic often. As I said, my mind has been stretched all over the place lately an it’s been hard to focus on one thing at times.

I hope you found this post helpful! And, if you have anything romance-writing related which you’d like me to write about next time, let me know!

-Leigh
http://www.apassionatafortheking.blogspot.com

Writer’s Riot Episode 1

By Cassia Schaar

There are a lot of things that bug me that writers do…I mean a lot. I have a whole list going that’s almost four pages long in a document. So I’ve decided to express these feelings once a month to all the readers here at RW. I’ll pick a few things from my list and just rant about how much I hate them and why. If you write, this could be helpful to you as you may see some of the overdone things that other authors do that drive me up a wall.

Be warned: I tend to be sarcastic and exaggerate. I don’t mean to offend anyone who has these elements in their stories at all. If you have them, perhaps you are more creative than the authors who of the books I’ve read that have these awful…I don’t even know what to call them. They’ve left me speechless.

Riot: An outburst of uncontrollable feelings….in this case anger and annoyance.

So, before I being, I’d like to clarify one thing. Most of the stuff that I find that makes makes me go even more bananas than a monkey without bananas is from amateur authors in a decent sized corner of the internet called Wattpad. I love Wattpad. It’s a free site where you can post your stories and gain a fan base. You can’t make a profit because people just read stuff for free and everything but I love it almost more than I love a good old Rootbeer float. The problem is, anybody can post. Even a 9 year old kid from Fiji can whip of a story and get fans and votes and reads. The most annoying this is, people don’t seem to have creativity on here and those people are the most famous on this site. What has the world come to?! One person on Wattpad will write something incredible (incredibly terrible) and then every author on the planet, well on Wattpad at least, will say, “Hey, what a good idea. I think I’ll use it because I’m too lazy to think of an idea on my own. And besides, they have three million votes so if I copy them, I will too!”

Thus is the fuel for my fire in which I have named: Writer’s Riot.

 

1. The Evil Parents

Why is it that the parents are always evil? I’m mean honestly, could you be any more predictable? And to make it worse, brace yourself, the characters have never even met their parents before! *GASP*. What a way to get your character’s parents out of their life. *eye roll*. I’ve read so many amateur stories with this element. Not that it’s bad, but the in the one’s I’ve read the characters aren’t even shocked. If I found out my mom was some crazy villain, I’d kind of freak out a bit and wonder if I should try to attack her or join her cause she’s my mom. But noooooo, all the stories that I’ve read include the main character bravely fighting off their parent, defeating them in the end and saving the day (as usual). And what makes me scream so loud that glass shatters is that the parent ends up being the person behind all the totally malicious plans that almost killed their child. WHAT KIND OF PARENTS ARE THEY? And it gets worse…yes, worse. You never even know that the parent was alive until the final battle. Um excuse me, writer of this atrocious story line, I like to try to figure out who the ultimate baddie is right from the start and if I’ve never met the evil parents before the last chapter, you ruin the whole experience. Thanks a lot.

2. “Skyping” With The Reader

The reader is not your character’s friend. I’m sorry but it’s just the truth. Sure, let you’re reader get to know your character so that it seems that way but your character can NOT know the reader. It’s just unprofessional and frankly, kinda creepy.

ex. “Hey there, my name’s Betty Louise Tanner but you can call me BLT, everyone else does. (pages upon pages of unnecessary descriptions of BLT’s life. And then at the end of the chapter…) The moon comes out and I can feel myself changing. Oh yah, I forgot to tell you, I’m a werewolf. Crazy right? I look over and see Billy, who is also a werewolf, sitting on a rock, howling at the sky. I like him, like, like him, like him and he’s so totally hot. I mean, if you were me, you’d understand why I want to go out with him so much. If he were to ask you out, you’d say yes in a heartbeat because he’s just that hot.

What’s that you say? That story is terrible? Good. Then you see my point. Don’t talk to the reader! No! There should be a law against it! Something like this makes me shove a book back onto the shelf or burn it or send it to space or something. No I take that back, the astronauts don’t deserve to read such terrible literature after all those years they trained to reach such heights (see what I did there?).

But you see my point? The phrases in my excerpt that suggest “skyping” with the reader are…

“Hey there…”

“You can call me BLT, everyone does.”

“Oh yah, I forgot to tell you…”

“Crazy right?”

“Like, like him, like him….”

“He’s so totally hot…”

“If you were me, you’d understand…”

“If he were to ask you out, you’d say yes…”

So what, is your character delusional; talking to some imaginary person who is apparently buddy-buddy with them from page one? Save the terrible grammar, girly lingo for texting your best friend, do not transfer this to the pages. I don’t want to be BFFs with your character. It’s creepy having them always talking to me. Get that? C R E E P Y. I’d rather observe their life okay? You know what? I just had an epiphany! These writers must not have friends to talk like this with so they live out that dream with their characters!

Just kidding!

 

But seriously.

Thus concludes the first episode of Writer’s Riot. Next month, I won’t need the blurb at the beginning and I’ll be able to rant more.

What do you hate in stories? If I hate it as well, I might just rant about it!

Revamping your plot

No, I’m not talking about having a book about vampires and then taking them out and adding them again. 😛 I’m talking about redoing large parts of your plot. Today, I was writing what should be for you guys next week’s post, and I realized as I sat there whining about George Weasley and Teddy Lupin… That I was no better than JKR. That as a reader, I would feel angry and cheated at my own ending.  That sometimes, you have to think beyond what you think is a sad and tragic ending, and ask yourself how a reader would feel. You have to write selflessly.

And that’s how I realized:

My book is only halfway written. Yes, only halfway.

There is still SO MUCH untold story, and the book is only 20k–by book standards, much too thin. Which is, about 80-100 pages, something like that. So that is how I decided:

My characters are going to fail. Again.  Which is hard, considering I’ve already put them through SO MUCH, and now I’m telling myself I’m going to have cut two plotlines so I can add a bigger one? I mean, that now means I’m left with a story that I’m still not sure how to resolve. But, despite my whining,  the way will come. I just have to stop whining and brainstorm.  It’s kind of scary.  But I need to put away the lazy attitude. Because my book can be better.

I’m just glad the story as a whole works and I won’t have rewrite it from scratch. WHOO.

To Write or Not?

I’ve been working on my fantasy series for well over a year now. We’ve been through alot together, including moments where I just wanted to give it up.

Yet somehow, I always end up back at it. Arguing with my main characters, yelling about plot holes (that really are my own fault even though I oh so enjoy blaming them on Fluffy), and simply writing it. Or not…Pinterest can be such a distraction…

About a month ago I was close to giving it all up. Nothing was going right, I couldn’t write it and I was at the end of my rope. My writing buddy  challenged me to go back to the basics. As well as get rid of my current plot since that seemed to be the main problem.

And when I took a step back and stripped everything away until it was just back to the main goal and my characters, I started to remember why I loved this idea.

When you’ve been with a story for such a long period of time sometimes it can be hard to remember why you’re even writing it anymore, what you’re doing, or even how you are going to go about it. And if you are anything like me then you’ll probably end up asking yourself why you even bother anymore.

Don’t. Sure, I’ll admit as much as anyone that characters are pesky things who have minds of their own, plots like to spiral out of control, and sometimes everything you write turns into something fit to be burned.

Yet if this story didn’t mean something to you, if you didn’t have this burning desire inside of you to finish it, why are you still writing it? Why have you stuck with it all this time?

Now maybe it can’t be fixed, maybe you should just walk away, I’ve had ideas like that. But the majority of the time? The problems can be fixed and if we just take a step back and look at the big picture, we’ll remember why we love this idea and why we simply must write it.

Our characters have stories that must be told, dragons must be rode, and criminal masterminds must be defeated. We owe it to them to finish what we started, so don’t give up just because the going gets tough.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Ernest Hemingway