Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday on School Survival Skills

Hi, guys.

Over here in good ol' Pennsylvania, we have just started school, and I've spent the last two days listening to some horrifying pronouncements.

Case in point A --

"We won't be reading any fiction in this class."

I've spent at least twenty minutes trying to figure out if this was a red herring or a really weird expression I'm unfamiliar with, but I've come to the sad conclusion that it's just a (kind of unpleasant) truth.

Case in point B--

"There will be a lot of writing in this class, but it will not require creativity. It will be tedious, but you will get a better great if you simply regurgitate the information given to you."

Any one who has ever taken notes on a history textbook knows there are only so many ways to say "and then the Europeans killed them and took their land" before you want to throw the fifty pound book through the nearest wall.

Case in point C--

"Hi, welcome to your math class this year."

No explanation needed.

Even for people like me, who actually like school (I'm told this is rare), things can sometimes get tedious and frustrating. So, I have some suggestions.

  1. When you're in class that requires you to write in a dry technical way, it can be tempting to assume you're going to be bored to death. Try to focus on the language itself, or something you DO find interesting in that five thousand page U.S. History book. Maybe you'll discover you find rhetoric or linguistic really interesting. Or maybe you'll be fascinated by the Neolithic Revolution.
  2. If you wish your class had more castles/fiction/poetry/whatever, go out and learn about it yourself. No one said you couldn't read a classic novel out of class just for the heck of it. And just because the course you are in doesn't cover something, that doesn't mean you can't decide you want to know more. 
  3. Your dislike of a class doesn't mean it's not valuable. Learning anything about the world helps you become a more informed citizen of it. Even if the subject doesn't seem to relate to you life, it's still useful to know the basics, even if that's only because you want to do decently on the SAT or another standardized test that is looming in your future.
  4. Chill out. It all seems really, really important right now. Some of it is, but you have to prioritize. Worrying about everything is only going to bring you down.
  5. Go to sleep. You'll regret your late night movie marathon in the morning (I usually do).
Don't die. 


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday on Audience

Do you write for yourself, or do you write for others?

Trick question--you probably do both.

Personally, my ultimate audience usually falls into the "for others" category. But I do plenty of "for myself" writing along the way. For example, storyboarding. When I storyboard I just blurt out strings of punctuation-less, grammar-less word jumbles that make sense to me because they trigger memories of writing them.

For example, a snippet of a storyboard from a short piece I wrote a few years ago:
@ drew k&k collaborate abt subjects note not much was exceptional about them except absent during lunch…
k&k just making up doesn’t seem real when seven comes in
seven informs them that she found location but not names
k&k make plans on when to talk to subs seven vetoes plans saying more time to scope out the situation and get into the group
K&k like         okay more observing   ......
(Just reading that again is making me laugh.)

But, see, I wrote it for myself, my eyes only. I had to transform it into something people would actually understand in order to make it acceptable in the "for others" category. It looked way different when I was done.

And that's okay! My point is, there are different stages. Writing is meant as a medium to convey an idea, a story, an emotion, whatever--and if you're just writing for, well, you, then there's no reason to use punctuation or capital letters.

Just thought I'd share that little revelation.

Happy Tuesday!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday on Dialogue

Or: It's really windy and my allergies are killing me so I dunno how coherant this will be.

(Seriously, my nose is all chafed and it's just pathetic. Stupid allergies. And I took my allergy meds as soon as I woke up so I don't even want to imagine what today would have been like without them. But as it is... breathing is HARD.)

So a little while ago I asked you guys what you'd like to see me blog about (which I'd still like to know!) and an Anon asked this:

"When I was writing today I thought of something I'd love for you to blog about. When characters are having a conversation, sometimes I feel like the "tags" of the dialogue start to repeat themselves, and I have trouble coming up with new ones. Like their actions, for example. "He nodded", "she smiled", "his gaze was intense as he said", things like that. I feel like it should be easier to come up with a variety, but sometimes it's hard! I know it also depends on the characters and their situations, but I'd be interested to hear what you think, and what you do in your own writing. Thanks! :)"

Sorry it took me a bit to get to this (and also that you're getting it on a day where I'm probably pretty dumb from the snot in my head), but here's my answer, anyways.

My answer is... I have no idea.

No, no, I'm not done! But the thing is, dialogue is easy for me for the most part. For the most part, my rough drafts just tend to be dialogue.

So! I thought maybe I'd share a (very, very rough, it's pre-first draft still) scene with you guys, then talk about it a bit. Sound good? Good.

"Are you ever going to tell me your last name?"

Jack looked across the trailer at me and slowly grinned. "Maybe one day."

"You tell me everything else."

"That's because you never go away."

I stuck my tongue out at him. "Are you coming to dinner?"

"Sure. You gonna be there."

I snorted. "Duh. What else would I be doing?"

He shrugged, taking a shirt from the small closet. "Go out?"

"Pfft, with who?"

Jack slid his arms into the sleeves of his shirt. "There's always me."

"You asking me out, Pittsburgh?" I teased.

He didn't say anything.

I blinked, then slowly crossed the trailer until I stood in front of him. I drew the edges of his shirt together and slipped a few of the buttons closed without thinking about it. "Are you asking me out, Jack?"

"Maybe I am."

"Well." I played with the edges of his shirt. "I guess you do owe me dinner."

"Doing anything tomorrow?"

"Rehearsal. Same as today." I look down at his shirt and curse. "I'm getting chalk all over you."

"I'm used to it. Once in a while, I swear I sneeze soot."

"Gross." But I laughed. "You wouldn't believe the places I find chalk. It gets stuck under my nails and ends up everywhere."

Jack touched my cheek. "Sawyer."

I looked up at him. "Yeah?"

"Tomorrow night?"

I smiled. "Sure." 

Obviously, this is very skeletal. You don't get a big sense of the setting from this and the balance isn't quite right. (I don't know how to explain that better. There's just a balance scenes should have in my head and it makes things okay.)

So, Anon, the answer to your question is that a lot of the time, I don't tag my dialogue. Honestly, it can get a bit tedious if you over-do it, in my opinion, and I don't think it always needs it. I tend to rely pretty heavily on actions, though. (And I'm going to pretend I'm not paranoid about over-relying on them...)

If you're having trouble coming up with actions, watch people! Erm. Not in a creepy way. No stalking. I am not going to responsible if you get arrested for stalking someone. But when you're having a conversation with someone, watch how they act, how you act towards them. Watch people on TV (although keep in mind that TV is not real life). Give your character something to hold, like a cup of coffee, or a nervous habit. (Nervous habits are great.)

Okay, Anon, I'm getting a bit dizzy, so I really hope this answered you and helped. (If not, leave me a comment telling me what you're looking for, okay? Maybe I can try again.)

Leave me fun stuff in the comments!

Peace and cookies,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday is Alive, but UNPREPARED


In case I've been away for too long, I'm KT and I blog on Fridays.

Well, I did. *ashamedly walks away* I do apologize for my absence. I never expected my summer to be this busy on Fridays O.O. Nor did I expect to NOT spend all my time online. Rest assured, though, the school year is beginning and I will be online a lot more ;)

So. Yes. I leave for college on Sunday. COOOOLLLLLLLLEGE. I'm terrified, hence the 'unprepared' part of my title.

In writing news... well, I'm still revising Society Road. Just about finished, though! I'll definitely finish it before I go off to school. And then I'm not quite sure what to do... I don't have something I want to revise after this, but I don't know if I want to start a novel right before NaNo. Especially with it being my first couple weeks at school.

Ah well. I'll go with the flow. That's what I do when it comes to writing, really XD

I don't have much to come back with right now, really, but to get back in the swing of blogging, I guess I'll try and make up for a post I missed. As you all know, we just had the blog's anniversary and there were a couple posts devoted to that, so here is what I have to say in regards to that...

Well, two years ago... I was sixteen and had just moved from Connecticut to Illinois (where did the time go...?). I was very passionate about writing and was in the middle of revising a book I'd been working on since 2008. I didn't know anybody on the online writing world, and I had just begun a blog.

I was very much a newbie, and still am ^^.

As of right now, I can say I'm much happier than I was two years ago. Happier with the people around me and definitely happier with my writing (well, in most cases). The book I was revising two years ago is in shambles and I really have no current interest in fixing it right now except for the occasional pang I feel of abandoning the characters I still love.

I've written two and a half more books... that I love and are much stronger than what I was writing in the past.

As of right now, I just left my first job at the library, and it's definitely influenced me and my dreams. I miss it very much and I pretty much just want to work at a library from now on XD

It's like we're going through all the tenses!

For the future... well, I'm looking forward to Nano and churning out another book. I'm hoping to carry on writing another book outside of November, because I haven't managed to do that really in the past year. Sort of.

I also definitely want to get a manuscript ready to query. Soon, hopefully. I think that's really my main goal within the next year.

And college. Having a great year at college is one, too :)

Well, this was a bit longer than my usual post, but since I've been away, I think that's a good thing!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday on Remembering

I am right now in the middle of a book. This one scene just made me tear up.
As a writer and a reader, that's the real dream I think. A lot of people say their dream is to publish or become a mega best seller.
I want characters that touch poeple on an emotional level.
I want the tears. I want the smiles. I want the laughs. I want the heartbreak. I want that true love.
I just needed to say that. I feel like I get so caught up in the big picture that one of the reasons I write. I write to give people what many amazing writers have given me: the ability to get lost in a character
This is why I write.
I'm not sure if that made any senses since I'm typing this quickly so I can get back to my book, but I just want to say never why you write. If you forget, you might lose your love for writing, and I honestly can't imagine life without loving writing.
What do you want out of writing? What books have giving you every emotion? Why do you write?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday on location, location, location.

I am currently writing this while sitting cross-legged in the middle of my carpet, facing my bulletin board and using my pillow pet that Katie claims is a snowy owl but looks more like a hedgehog (if you ask me) as a desk. (Hedgehogs, FYI, are not preferable to snowy owls. Hedgehogs are scary.)

I point this out because usually I write at my desk, where my laptop hooks up to a monitor and a keyboard (so this keyboard feels strange, actually). Also to provide a little insight as to why my tailbone is currently killing me.

Murderous tailbone aside, though, this was a really good move on my part. The new perspective (literally) has increased my college-essay productivity by 304% (to use a general estimation). I think lately when I sit at my desk I settle into a mindset predisposed to procrastination. It's not a conscious decision, it's just something about that corner of the room that has, over time, turned into an escape rather than a focus point.

I may have to rearrange my furniture soon.

Anyway, I bring this up as advice of the motivational sort--if you're feeling blocked, get up and move. If you don't have a laptop, grab a notebook. Choose a chair in your living room and curl up there for a while. Flop on the floor in your basement. Perch on a pile of laundry. And if, for some reason that isn't possible, at least change your desktop wallpaper or write on a different type of paper (wide vs. college ruled, different size, etc.) Let a new perspective inspire you.

(I swear that alliteration was only 5% on purpose.)

Happy Tuesday!


PS -- I'm now on tumblr!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday on Our APAUs

I hate school with every fiber of my being. Don't misunderstand me- I LOVE English, Yearbook, Journalism, and AP U.S. History- but that only encompasses about three hours of my day. As for the rest- Chemistry, Latin, and Algebra II with Trig- I would love to just casually forget about them as if they never existed.

I started school two weeks ago, by the way. Just in case you were wondering where I was... You probably weren't, but I feel guilty nonetheless.

And just in case you're joining us for the first time, the only background info you'll need to understand my lovely anecdote is that I work at a grocery store here in my hometown!

I work with the most awesome woman ever (for the sake of her privacy, we'll call her Addy). When I have a long shift, she always comes up with ways to make me laugh, and she has great advice to pass on to me. In short, she's my mom away from home. I get seriously depressed if we're not placed on the same shift because I know it'll be long and hard without any fun and laughter. We have the same goals (travel the world, write a little, stay happily single for at least another 10 years or so) and we love to share them with each other.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Addy was what I call my "adoptive parental advice  unit," which we see a lot of in modern day (and older) fiction. Typically, they're the older people that the main character draws advice from in the novel. Think about every book you've ever read and try to remember if there was  an APAU (pronounced ah-pow). Here's a couple to jog your memory:

  • Cinna from The Hunger Games 
  • Dumbledore from Harry Potter
  • Gloria from Because of Winn Dixie
  • Marmee (Mrs. March) from Little Women (even though she's not technically adoptive, she's unusually attuned to her daughters' deeper needs)
Those were just a few of my favorites, but APAUs are used in many works of fiction nowadays. They do really well in bringing out the best in your MC- the good traits that readers are drawn in by, such as kindness and loyalty, which are often reflected in their APAU's personality. I think we'd all be better people if everyone had an APAU. They're often the most quotable people as well.

Do you have an APAU? If you have written your own APAU, what kind of characteristics did you give him or her?

“There ain't no way you can hold onto something that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got while you got it.” - Gloria from Because of Winn Dixie

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday's Dogs Offer Writing Insight

I agreed to pet sit for one of my mom's friend's dog. Let's call the dog ND for New Dog. I took ND home and introduced her to my dogs. I have three. Let's call them MD1, MD2, MD3 for my dog #. Yes it does sound like all of my dogs are doctors, but they are not.
Anyways the main worry was that MD2 would bully ND. MD2 can be a bully around other dogs. MD1 was also a concern because he is the big boss. He is the guard dog of the group. MD3 is all bark with no bite.
One by one we introduced ND to the dogs. MD1 was first. They did the whole dog butt smelling thingy. A few barks were made, but they were okay. Good sign.
Then I brought out MD2. I put her on a leash just in case. Butt sniff, bark, etc.
Finally MD3 came out. She barked and barked and barked. Nothing less than I expected.
Over all it went way better than I expected. All the dogs are happy and relaxed.
Even though it all went well, ND was scared the entire time. Meeting my dogs was a very overwhelming experience for ND.
If you are like ND, you are probably a tad overwhelmed as well which is not surprising. I just introduced you to four dogs with names very similar to each other, random facts about said dogs that seem random, and also my mom and her friend.
All of that information can be overwhelming for a readers. 

Tips on Avoiding Overwhelming Your Readers:
  • Avoid introducing to many characters at once (this is the one I thought of because of my dogs)
  • Avoid characters with names that are similiar 
  • Avoid info dumping (even if it is all info the reader needs to know)
  • Avoid characters who are unnecessary to the scene or else they are just extra names to remember (I could have just said "I am pet sitting." and avoiding making you know two people who don't impact the scene)
I hope this post made more sense than my last few.  I need to stop trying to write posts when my brain is dead and only capable of watching NCIS reruns.

What overwhelms you as a reader? How do you prevent overwhelming readers?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday On Fate

Does your character believe in fate? Make them a slave to it. Or make them be a trail-blazer who hates the idea of destiny. People don't want to read about a character who just kind of cares about things. If your character is passionate, the reader will be forced to think about whether or not they care. Sure, it may seem like a great idea to have your character be too cool to care, but it's not realistic. Even the people who seem like they don't care have something that matters to them. They just don't want to show it. When you give your character opinions, you make them both vulnerable (belief can get you hurt) and strong. The vulnerability will make them human. The strength will make them someone to admire.

I'm not saying you should make your main character take an extreme opinion on every issue. Reading that book wouldn't be fun. If I wanted to listen to someone argue about controversial things 24/7, I could ask that annoying kid in my history class to follow me around. My point is that every one has ideas or issues they feel strongly about. When you give your character a stance, you have a whole new story. They didn't form that opinion spontaneously. Maybe they hate purple because their father used to wear it before he died and their passionate hatred of this color will cause them get into a fight with a mysterious man wearing a purple tie. Or maybe they hate the idea of fate so much they go out of their way to contradict what people expect them to do. Use your characters' deep-seated beliefs to create conflict. When you have conflict, you'll have a story.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday on Scrivener

Or: I've been up since 3am and it's noon and that SUCKS.

Do you guys know what Scrivener is? It's a writing software that is awesome. I got the Windows version when they came out with the Windows beta version right before NaNoWriMo in 2010. (2010? *checks blog* Yup, 2010. Which, if you weren't around, I completely failed at it because I got sick twice in one month... I think? Although the way the blog reads, I was sick from September to November. I think I spent about a month sick. Yay sinus and/or throat infections and this is why if you're sick for more than two weeks, you need to go to the doctor because obviously it isn't better and man, I barely remember that fall.)

Anyways, for a couple years it's been that if you win NaNoWriMo, you get a coupon for half off Scrivener. I lost horribly, but KT won and she already had it so she gave me her coupon and I got it for 20 bucks which is a GREAT deal and I think might be an annual thing? And last year you could get 20% off just for participating. I'd say hold out for a coupon because it's a bit expensive and I'm generally cheap, but it's a really awesome software.

Since I don't think I use it like most people do, I thought it'd be interesting to show you guys how I use it. I don't draft in it, though. The formatting throws me off and messes with the little thing in my head that tells me when paragraphs are the right size and how dialogue feels and stuff... I realize how strange that sounds.

Anyways, I'm using the "novel" template that comes with Scrivener, but I tend to adapt it a fair bit to work for me. Also keep in mind that I'm using the Windows version and I'm pretty sure there are some differences between that and the Mac version.

(Just click it to make it bigger and see all the details and stuff because it'd look awful if I made it larger.)

I tend to write in bits and pieces. See that thing that says "Manuscript?" That is where are the bits and pieces end up. (They also go into a binder once I rip them out of my notebook. This is why my notebooks must have a perforated edge and binder holes.)

Then you see the "Character" and "Setting" folders with the "Sketch" thingies? Those are templates that are just in the Novel template on Scrivener but I might play with them a bit. Generally I don't use them, but I thought I'd leave them in case I wanted to.

After that, my Research folder tends to be insane. I like to make a new text document for each thing I want to take notes on per book. (The text thingies are the things that look like index cards. They're a document and you can move the order around on the corkboard and stuff. I think there's a demo video on Scrivener's website so if you're curious, go watch that, okay? 'Cause this is just how I use it.)

OH and the colourful things in the Research folder are pictures. And it's all in one place! How awesome is that? Basically, that's why I like Scrivener. All my insane little research things and all my random scenes and everything that would normally be all over the place and I'd forever be losing is all in one place. And bear in mind that this is a book that I'm not writing yet so this is kind of small for now.

See why I was willing to pay 20 bucks for it? I would never say that you NEED any special kind of software to write books (hey, I wrote on looseleaf for years before I even had a computer) but this one is VERY HANDY for me personally.

What about you guys? Got any fun tricks or tips like this?

Also, I'm still open to blogging requests and stuff. Anything you want me to blog about? (Anon from last week - I will do that post on dialogue, hopefully next week. I just had this on my mind and wanted to do it first.)

Have a great weekend!

Peace and cookies,

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday on the Secret About Writer's Block

In middle school (before I started writing), I wrote a few essays for English about writers magically having the words flow. Whether or not they really did, I didn't care. Flowing words sounded way better than "Such and such was a good writer. He strung some cool words together." Little did I know that words do NOT magically flow. 

Words are more like a sink. Sure everything might come out fine and handy when you first turn it on, but after you try to turn it off, the only water left coming out is the tiny annoying drips. Did that make any sense? Basically, words might magically flow at the beginning, but if you break the flow to watch Supernatural, getting the flow to turn back on is hard. The occasional word might drip out, but for me, those drips are the kind what make me back up and go "how is this even English."

Some people might call this writer's block. I call it the end of my sanity.

I wish I had a magic solution to the end of all sanity, but I don't. I am currently in a drip faze. Plot holes and word funks are messing with my sanity, and I wish I had a cure. I don't though. The best I can say is just keep writing. 

I know you're sitting there like "I knew that, so what's the secret. Please don't tell me the secret is up there with all that mumbo gumbo." Sorry for the mumbo gumbo. I am on writing funk, and my brain is figuratively dead, so writing a post that might make sense probably won't make sense. I do have a secret though. The secret is...

Just because you are a writer, you won't magically flow out words. I don't think anyone magically flows words. BUT because you are a writer, you will have something amazing to say even through the drips.

Maybe you already knew that, but it's good every now and then to remember, especially during the drips.

How do you get out of the drips? What is the big writing secret for you?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday On Summer

Hey, guys! I know I've fallen off the radar for the past couple weeks, so if you thought I'd been eaten my sharks or something, I'm sorry to disappoint you. The month of July was kind of crazy for me, but I'm back (for the moment) and I hope you'll forgive me.

The last time I blogged, I wrote about my annual trip to the beach with my family. It was a great week. I bought a quilt, went on a scavenger hunt, wiped out a couple times, ate a lot of ice cream, and helped some toddlers dig a trench. One of my favorite things about writing, aside form the relationships between characters, is creating realistic places. Being in places that I love, like the beach, helped me think about how to create a place in writing that seems real. I can't say I came to any stunning conclusions, but changing my surroundings did change the way I wrote and thought, so if you're ever feeling stuck on a piece of writing, tell your parents to take you on vacation. Or you can just walk down the street to the park, if all else fails.

At the beach with my little brother. He's cute and also evil. 
 The following week I flew to Nova Scotia with my youth group. We started out in Cape Breton and I can easily say it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Being a visitor in a different country forced me to look at things differently and it was nice, for the first few days of our trip, to be so far removed from the rest of society. None of us had our phones or computers. The nearest grocery store was about an hour away and the hostel we stayed in overlooked one of the largest salt lakes in the world.

My favorite part about Cape Breton was being able to write in nature. We would go sailing or hiking and then be given half an hour to sit and write. It wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but I loved it. I felt like I was sitting in the middle of an Emily Dickinson poem. The places we went-- Lake Bras D'or, the Cabbot Trail, and other places I forget the names of-- looked like the kind of places people write poetry about. It was incredible.

We left Cape Breton for Halifax, the biggest city in Nova Scotia, which was kind of a shock after our silence-and-meditation kind of deal. I loved it just as much, though. I'm kind of obsessed with cities. Halifax was just the right mix of charming history and excitement. It didn't hurt that it's a major port (I'm also kind of into water, hence the obsession with beaches, rivers, lakes etc.). I think the reason I love cities so much is because it seems like they have so many stories. You can't turn your head without wondering "What if?"

Cabbot Trail, Nova Scotia.
Halifax (or as we obnoxiously called it, "Holla Fax").
I wish I could have had longer in Canada. I miss Tim Hortons and I even kind of miss the hostels, despite the freezing cold showers. Those were not my favorite. Coming home was easier than it would have been, though, because I was looking forward to my penultimate adventure of the summer: Irish dance camp. As some of you may know, I have been dancing for almost eleven years and I'm certifiably obsessed with all things Irish. On St. Patrick's Day, I look like the Irish flag exploded all over my body. For the past couple years, I spend a week of my summer at Camp Rince Ceol. Rince is Irish Gaelic for dance, and ceol translates to music. It's your typical summer camp, except campers spend 8 + hours a day in dance classes with members of Lord of the Dance and Riverdance. The rest of the time we swoon over said instructors. I kid, I kid..kind of. We have a fake bonfire where we sing irish drinking songs, trivia night, and a final performance and party at the end of the week. I will never forget watching two former leads in Riverdance trying to break dance to Brittany Spears. It's basically a week of being obnoxiously Irish. I didn't get to write very much last week because I spent the majority of my time sleeping and dancing, but it is always one of the best weeks of the year. I'm majorly camp sick right now and I'm coping by crying, hugging my Riverdance poster, and going through the copious amounts of ridiculous camp photos on facebook. Thankfully, I'm driving to Baltimore this week to hang out a few of my infamous cousins, so I'll probably recover.

Campers dancing at CRC.

What have you guys been up to this summer? Where have you been that's inspired you to write? What was your favorite part?

Hope you are making the most of your last few weeks (or days, for some of you).


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday on Other Modes of Transportation

Usually, when characters want to go places, they drive cars. It seems everyone has their license and everyone magically has a car, and if they don't, then their friends do. (Unless the main character lives in the city in which case they do that public transportation thing.)

And I'll admit, I drive a lot too, because my house isn't really walking distance from anywhere, and biking past the highway exits that follow my street is zero fun. But I've always been jealous of my friends who live in sidewalk-ed neighborhoods near downtown, because they can walk or bike or roller-skate or cartwheel to places without having to worry about parking and gas and other silly things.

Which brings me to an important point: take away cars, and you have an interesting new way to get to know a character.

Will your character strap on sneakers and walk/jog downtown? Or bike to a friend's house? Or roller skate to work? How about ride a scooter to pick up ice cream?

Here's how I would interpret the above:

Walking: this character is simple and independent.

Jogging: see above. Also, not afraid to show up at his/her destination covered in sweat.

Biking: this character is efficient and comfortable at higher speeds.

Roller skating: a daredevil who is also unique and maybe a bit loco.

Scooter: possibly wears a lot of skirts, but also efficient like the biker.

Of course, we could go on about cars and the kind of car your character drives and what that says about him/her. (Like, you know, the Impala.) Or maybe your character flies a biplane or hang glides.

What are the modes of transportation for your favorite characters?

Happy Tuesday!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saturday Shouldn't Blog Today

Or: Mostly I forgot it was Saturday.

But also the RSI (repetitive stress injury) in my left wrist is flaring up and I'm not really supposed to type that much and also ouch.

So this week's tip is: Go to the doctor when things hurt and don't stop hurting, okay, kids? Okay.

(I have a blog post planned but typing hurts so I'll write it next week. I promise and I promise I won't forget.)

Hey! Why don't you guys leave me writing questions or things you want to see me blog about in the box below and I'll see if maybe I can come up with blog posts about those things? Yes?

Peace and cookies,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday Tries to be Quirky

Characters should have quirks to make them real. I feel like a lot of characters today sound like carbon copies of each other. Quirks make characters unique.

I used to think quirks were only for…
Zooey Deschanel
Conspiracy Theorists
Sheldon Cooper :)

It took me a while to realize everyone has quirks. Okay maybe not realize they had them. It just took me a while to realize what they are. I forget mine because I do it every day. 

My quirks would be that
I love tomato sauce, but tomato on salad or whatever gross me out
The top drawer of my dresser always slides open right after I turn off the lights (I know this isn't exactly my quirk, but it's a quirk about my room. IDK I am horrible at thinking of quirks)
I wear flip flops all year round. Maybe it's because I live in Texas wear it doesn't get to cold, but even when it's cold, I wear flip flops. 

My dog is kinda quirky.
She likes to drink out of water bottles
She candance to Thriller.  I am seriously considering buying her a sequined glove and post a video on Youtube. Maybe not.
She giggles in her sleep. I think she may have the dog version of sleep apnea. I might just being paranoid though.

Even the people around me have quirks.
Someone who dries only their Hawaiian shirts in their garage instead of a dyer
Someone with a flag pole but never puts up a flag
Someone who doesn’t like fish, but if you say it’s chicken, they'll eat it

None of these people are super quirky or anything. They are all normal people who just have quirks.
The quirks don’t make them. If you asked me to say three random things about those people, those things wouldn’t be listed, but their quirks kinda just make them them. 
I am more likely to remember the eccentric 80 year old song writer who is tone deaf than the MC's guy best friend who is in love with her for no apparent reason. 

What are some quirks you notice? Do you ever put them in your books?