Saturday, March 31, 2012
First, news: KT (Wednesday) is going to be switching to Fridays. Wednesdays don't work for her very well at this point so she's going to be posting on Fridays.
Now. We are currently looking for 2 new members to bring us back up to 6 members.
Requirements are much the same as last time:
-- You must be under 25.
-- You must be a writer. (Well, duh.) State of publication does not matter.
-- You must be willing to commit to blogging every week on your day.
-- It would be nice you wouldn't mind tweeting from the @yalitsix account once in a while since I suck at remembering to do that and I would love if someone did that, too.
-- That's about it!
If you're interested in joining, please send a sample post to firstname.lastname@example.org, pasted into the body of the email. No attachments. We'd love to know a little bit about you, but no introduction posts, please. We are looking to see how your writing style would fit with ours and get an idea of your blogging ideas.
Try to have it be somewhere around 250-350 words, but use your best judgement. Last, please list in order which days you would prefer to have. Monday and Wednesday are available.
Since it's March 31st today, we'll give you until April 31st (because nobody posts on Sundays) to send in your posts.
Good luck to all!
Peace and cookies,
Thursday, March 29, 2012
People don’t stand around going hmmm I’m going to let my world revolve on this one person. Everyone is dealing with their own stuff. Anyways this is an opportunity for conflict when one character’s wants/ needs go against the MC’s wants/ needs.
People are very rational. Okay so there are a few completely IRRATIONAL people in the world, but for the most part we all have a goal. What will benefit me the most? Now the benefit can be different things: the relief of knowing a loved one is safe, money, power, etc. Most people don’t go OMG I wanna be locked up in a dungeon just for fun. There has to be a reason for the person who locked them there and the actions that lead up to the dungeon sentence.
You also have to take into consideration what they could lose from this decision. For example, happy people who are well feed and aren’t sick don’t start revolutions. The government could be horrible, but if staying peaceful means food and safety for your loved ones, would you risk it all for what’s morally correct? Maybe, maybe not. Think about it in Legally Blond terms: Food gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't join revolutions, they just don't. (I know this isn’t the exact quote, but I thought it would make the post less dull. And I know food actually activates endorphins, but I thought this would seem catchier.) On the other hand, hungry people who have nothing to lose have no problems saying down with the man. Look at France and Russia. Hungry people got fed up and you know revolution, death, dictatorship.
I could go more into depth about everything that goes around motivation, but I think it can be summed up in my little chart. I’m a planner, but I think this could help anyone who needs some help deciding why their characters are doing what without being boring.
Does she work on Friday night or go to a party with a friend?
Party with a friend
Her crush might be at the party ;)
Private time with her crush
Fun with friend
No work= no pay
Bad hangover in the morning
Nervous about missing work but slightly excited for the trill
Fired from her job
Forgot to pick up her brother from theater practice
Motivation Chart Key:
Chapter- This is only for organizational purposes, so everything is in the same order as your story.
Character- I like to rationalize all my characters decisions. Main Characters, villains and love interests are especially important for this column.
Options- What is your character deciding between? Sometimes it’s whether or not to act. Sometimes it’s between two reasonable. Sometimes it’s between a rock and a hard place.
Decision- What did they choose?
Motivation- Why did your character choose this decision?
Gains- What can your character gain from this decision?
Loses- What can your character lose from this decision?
Feelings- How does your character feel about this decision?
Results- What results from this decision?
I think if anyone can think though all 9 things, their motivation would come out stronger.
How do you work with character motivation? Did anyone find the chart helpful?
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
You showed me something that I couldn't see
You opened my eyes
And you made me believe"
He says he's so in love, he's finally got it right,
I wonder if he knows he's all I think about at night"
He stands there then walks away
My god if I could only say
I’m holding every breath for you..."
And that's the way I loved you
Breakin' down and coming undone
It's a roller coaster kinda rush
And I never knew I could feel that much
And that's the way I loved you"
I don't know what to say, since the twist of fate when it all broke down,
And the story of us looks a lot like a tragedy now."
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
- Hormones are involves
- Can be real and forever
- Can be temporary
- Takes an approving glance
- Heart is involved
- Real and Forever
- Takes time to develop
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
First of all, you guys have heard that expression, right? I got googled it while I was writing this post and got a fascinating Snopes post. Check it out.
That has very little to do with this post, though. Mostly I was thinking about this post and this one and this one.
The 25 list cracks me up. I’m guilty of number 12 very badly, number 10 because I think it’s hot, number 6 and 7 a bit because I tend to do them*, number 5 because it took me forever to teach myself how to DO that and it’s awesome and should be in my books, and number 2, none of my books have, I think, but my best friend actually does have red hair.
My MC in one of my books does have red hair. Her natural hair is about a strawberry blonde, light red (she calls it orange), which is natural for her. Her brother has red hair too, but she makes the colour brighter because fire-engine red hair is hard to come by in nature.
But what I actually wanted to talk about were characters who are different physically that the average book cover, especially YA books. There is a current trend in YA books of covers with pretty girls in pretty dresses. And there’s nothing wrong with that (some of my favourites are girls in pretty dresses covers), but part of me really wants more characters that aren’t a size two on covers.
There are a few things that I think there aren’t always enough of in YA (anyone else want to take that one?) but this is a big one for me because it’s personal to me. (That and short characters. I love short characters.) But I know when I was younger, characters who were larger were almost impossible to find in YA books. And if they were, they were largely athletic or something, which I DEFINITELY was not.
(Two more articles I find interesting, here and here which is about romance, but still interesting.)
One of my own main characters is about a size 10, with boobs and hips and thighs. She doesn’t talk about her weight much, other than the occasional worry about whether or not a third piece of pizza is the best idea, and once when she’s preparing for a date. (Which I don’t feel is unrealistic.) She’s an average size. (Wikipedia says the average American woman is a size 14. Some plus size models are size 10 or 12. How scary is it that a size 10 is a “plus” size compared to a “regular” model?)
My second MC is way skinny but she’s depressed so she doesn’t count because that has caused her to lose weight. Plus I have no idea what her size is. I just know that she’s skinny because she’s sick.
My third MC (from SMN) is plus sized. She’s a size 16 and she’s neurotic about it so I do know her size. (If you’re wondering, it’s generally accepted that a US size 14 and up is plus-sized.) She’s curvy and I think she’s the prettiest of my characters, although she’d disagree. She’s also smart, brave, funny, and just generally pretty awesome and, much like a real human being, I think her size is not the most important thing about her.
One of the reasons this character was inspired was that I’d read a lot of books and seen a lot of movies where female characters are only considered pretty or desirable when they lose weight. (Monica on Friends, anyone?) I wanted books where a girl didn’t need to be skinny to be pretty. (And there are those out there! Check out the links I just... linked. But by then I had this PERSON in my head…)
Mind you, I don’t know if any of these books will ever be published. I don’t know if they’ll ever have covers. But of all of them, I think SMN is the one I’d want most to be out in the world and I really, really hope that Lennie ends up on the cover of that one.
Okay! At some point this post stopped being funny and I lost my train of thought! So here’s a picture of a baby giraffe to lighten things up!
Talk to me in the comments about what you’d like to see in the books you read. Anything goes. (For the record, I also want more baseball picture books. Baseball, llamas, giraffes, and smart, strong princesses. But that, as they say, is another story.)
Peace and cookies,
*Speaking of, anyone want to lend me a nervous trait or two? :P
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
No, in all seriousness, I'm going to be talking about naming characters. Which I think has been done before, but I am ME and I name my characters my own way, right? Right. Hopefully.
Well, I happen to really enjoy naming characters. And hate it at the same time. Some names literally just come to me, and others I debate over for hours, days, years (not really). Most of the time, a main character's name comes the easiest for me. And it's a mix between the name fitting their personality and then sometimes shaping their personality to their name.
And a lot of the time, that personality thing happens to come from the meaning behind their name. In which case, babynames.com is the best invention ever. Let's take my characters Devin and Ember, for instance. Devin's name means "descendant of the dark-haired one." Um, well, Devin has dark hair, so that fits. But his name was a case of it just fitting his personality. Ember's name meaning is a little obvious--it has to do with fire/a spark. And I can sometimes see her being kind of sparky like that. And astrologically, she's a fire sign. However, her name came to me first more so than her personality. So, in that one book, my naming came from both sides of the spectrum.
...And then there's the fact I have an epic fantasy and I did that sometimes annoying thing that fantasy writers do. And I made names up. For instance, my MC's name is Lanani (which, if you want to pronounce it, it's "Luh-nah-nee"). I don't quite remember HOW I came up with that, but I was just writing and *poof* Lanani's name appeared, and I ran with it. To me it doesn't seem that weird anymore, but I know that if more people read it someday, I'm probably going to get some weird (figurative) looks... not to mention the male lead's name is Ranu. Weird. I know. My apologies.
And that's pretty much the way I name my characters. I look for meaning, how it fits the character... and sometimes I just make things up. And, actually, unlike some other people, it's not hard for me to name a character after somebody I know, or a name similar to mine (I have a character named Kate, too).
How do you guys name your characters? Any things you avoid in particular? (I do try avoid names I absolutely hate, unless it's a character I want people to dislike. Mean author is mean.)
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
I wrote this FOREVER ago... actually, it was pretty much my first post. So here's part of it that I want to talk about/discuss/use because I've been up too long to be original. (This idea? Not even mine. Inspired by Silent Pages on Twitter. Here's a tip, kids. 3am = Too early to wake up, but you know what's worse? Going to bed at 6pm after a 3am wakeup and being woken up at 11pm. AND NOT BEING ABLE TO GO BACK TO SLEEP.)
(I'm very tired at this point.)
Anyways, post excerpt:
You guys know how in ancient Egypt they used to make mummies out of people? And how they’d put all the organs in jars? Do you know how they did the brain? They’d take this big wooden hook thing and stick it up the person’s nose. Then they'd stir things around up there until they got all soupy and liquidy, and drain their brains out their nostrils.
What? You didn’t need to know that? Oh… sorry.
But the thing is, that’s kinda what revising feels like, at least to me. It’s slow and not very fun and tweeting that you took 50 words out of a scene and added 3 isn’t nearly as much fun as tweeting that you wrote 1500 words… but it’s worth it at the same time.
If you’re like me, revising makes things better. Revising is where you add in things like Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots and try to cut out as many f-words as you can because even though you don’t swear, a certain character has a mouth like a truck driver, and where you die laughing because you gave another character three hands in one scene and yet he wasn’t driving with any of them.A lot of this still applies even though this was written in August 2010. (Wow, this blog is a year and a half old! I can't believe it.) (I also can't believe my book is a year and a half old. Holy heck, Batman.) Revising is still slow and not very fun and kinda sucky.
At this point, I've been revising Spyder on and off for almost two years. I, erm, also wrote 2 other books, a half a book and a long short story. But that's besides the point. Spyder has had crazy amounts of drafts, several beta readers and crit partners and I have a query for it.
At this point... I'm going to be cutting back on a few of the plot things, I think. Someone pointed out to me that there's a lot going on in it that might not be necessary and I'm going to try to simplify it but make it strong at the same time. If that makes sense to anyone but me.
I'm also going to really go through and comb out any of the f-words I can because... well, like it says up there, truck driver.
I think - I hope - that those are the two largest things I'll have to do this last revision. (Please let it be the last revision.) I'm ready to move on to bigger and better things with this book! Like rejection!
Anyways, what are your writing goals lately? Are you drafting, revising, editing, submitting? Leave me stuff in the comments. ;)
Peace and cookies,
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Life got in the way. New ideas came up. I forgot. I know these are all reasons not excuses. I really wish I was the type of person with a backbone of steel who could say today I’m going to whip out 10k words, but I’m not. I’m the type of person who sees a new episode of Big Bang Theory and becomes a vegetable on the couch for the next 4 hours (because you can never watch just one episode of Big Bang Theory). I hope to remedy that though.
There is a Chinese Proverb that states “the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” In writing terms that means just because you slacked off for the past two months without making your goals that you can’t change that.
Today my internet went down (you may all gasp at the horror), but I think that might have been a blessing in disguise. Technically, my internet was only down for like a second, but I gave up trying to restart it and started working on this post (on Word). It’s amazing how much you can get done without the internet pestering you. I swear when my internet is open I am like Gollum from Lord of the Rings hovering over the screen going “my precious”. Without my internet, I have the chance to write which I am planning on doing the second I finish this post.
Anyways, back on topic, with my internet closed, I’m getting so more done now. I can’t change that two months ago I procrastinated writing, but I can change what I do today and whether or not I write today. Today is all we have. Nothing is set in stone. The past is the past. Unless you have a time machine, you can’t change that, but you can change how you spend today.
Now maybe this post motivated you into writing, but what happens when you become unmotivated again like New Years? Well here is the Jewel’s Method for Motivation. Jewelry! Get it Jewels jewelry? Yeah, bad joke.
Anyways, jewelry is a strong motivator. (I know guys reading this might not get it but keep reading. You might get inspired maybe in a more masculine way. Leave a comment if you did. I’d love to see what y’all thought of.) I was online shopping the other day flipping through pages of cute accessories. Every now and then I would stop and think “my character would so wear that” or “those earring completely fit with my plot.” This got me thinking about how often I mess with my necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, etc. I’m always twiddling with my necklace charms or my hair causing me to smack my earrings. What if I wore an accessory that my character would or that goes with my plot? How many times a day would I be reminded to write? For example, I have a pair of angel wing earrings. If you are writing a book about angels but was constantly getting distracted, wouldn’t being constantly reminded of your story by messing with your angel wings earrings remind me to write especially if touch your earring out of habit? I have a specific pair of earring that I wear when I write. If I’m sitting on the couch engrossed with Big Bang Theory, they always remind me that hey I have a WIP that won’t write itself. Sometimes having a constant reminder to write helps. Of course, you could as get duck accessories to remind you of this post *BTW This works really well for me. I almost forgot to post today, but while I was messing with my necklace, I remembered*
Other Ideas to Remind You to Write:
- On the Literary Rambles, they posted a tip about having your email background resemble your setting, so every time you checked your email you would be reminded to write.
- You could even set an alarm everyday at 7pm to signal you to write.
- You could have a friend act as your personal cheerleader and remind you everyday to write and how awesome you are
- Write reminders on your hands/ leave sticky notes all around you
- Have a rubber duck in your bath tub/ shower to remind you to pro“duck”ive
There are a lot of other ways to remind you to write. I know I constantly have my characters bicker in my head. Sometimes I don’t have a pencil handy. I put it off until I do, but sometimes I need a reminder to write down that bickering. You can’t write an amazing novel unless you take the time to write. Maybe you didn’t write yesterday or the day before but you will always have today. Today is all you need to start writing your novel.