Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lost in revisions...

Okay, I’m knee deep in revisions now. And kids.

I have a ton of kids at the house (nieces and nephews) coupled with my three kids, their driving me crazy. Everyone will be gone in two weeks. Yeah, two. I’m counting the days. But it also means that my editing keeps being interrupted.

I pulled an all-nighter a couple days ago. Yeah, right! My daughter (15) and niece (13) came pounded down the steps. It seems at 2 am she had an allergic reaction to something. Her lips swelled up and her face had blotchy spots over them. Well, about 4:30 I sent her and the niece back to bed. About 5:00, I finished my shower then the hubby was getting up for work. So I stayed up with him. Oh, and I forgot, and apparently the hubby and son did too, that it was trash day. I took the trash out then thought I’d check my email before going to bed. Somehow, it was 8:00 before I crawled, defeated into the bed. My all-nighter had produced nothing. Frustrated isn’t even the word.

So to cheer me up, I thought of something that makes me happy. Other than writing, fam and books. It’s my fav TV show: Lost. So in honor of my fav show - that airs no more, I give you *drum roll, please* the cast of Lost.

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Random Musings of a YA Paranormal/Sci-Fi/Fantasy writer/mother/cook/pasta lover...

I have three WIPs that I need to work on. It's a tough job with all my other responsibilities but I'm getting it done. Well not without a little hair lost and insomnia. I've been thinking about my WIPs - here are my thoughts:

  1. I’m editing my WIP, on Chapter 15 of 27. I think these are the final edits. I’ve had 2 beta readers – early on before I started editing. I’ve went through one complete critique with one partner and now I’m working on another session with another partner. Now the only thing I need is two new beta readers and I’m done. Yay, baby!!!!

  1. My other WIP is at 56,000 – I’m almost finished. Yayjdfdf  *sorry, I was doing my happy dance and I accidently hit the keys. I’m so uncoordinated.* Once I finish the draft of this WIP, I’m going back to my first book and edit it. I can’t wait my first story is by far my fav.
  1. I’m having trouble with one scene – one of the last scenes in my current edit. It is where my protag is supposed to kick the stuffing out of the antagonist. She’s female and he’s male, and they both have extraordinary power. It’s an important scene and I don’t want to goof it up.

  1. I was really inventive with the WIP I’m currently editing. I’ve created another world and made up names for all kinds of stuff. Like, a special chemical toxin in the air, a cooking apparatus, the unlawful people of that world, the type of clothes they wear… And science plays a part in the overall story…actually without the science part the story wouldn’t sound right. Well early on, someone classified my story as paranormal – I had no problem with this, as I love the genre. But it never sat well with me. But out of all my stories, I would classify this one as more paranormal than the others. Anyone else have a similar problem? I’ve decided to query it as paranormal –whenever that happens- and let the agent/publisher decide the final genre.
  1.  My current draft is getting down to the last couple of scenes but I’m having trouble. My protag has been in another dimension for a while. But now she has returned home – to her surprise – but there is something she must do in the other dimension. She is desperately trying to get back to that place. I’m having a hard time getting her back. Grrrr…I can’t explain it. I have an outline but I deviated from it at one pivotal scene. Why? Oh, because I lost 100 pages (in the middle of the story- not the beginning) and had to start over and when I did, that scene came out different and changed the ending of the story. I still can’t figure out why she can’t go back…she has to. I’m kicking her scrawny behind out the door today. I will not go to sleep tonight until I have her back where she needs to be.
  1. How many keyboards do writers go through? I never thought about that much until I started seriously writing. My keyboard (merely a tot at two years) is worn out. Many of the keys are rubbed off so you don’t know what letter you’re typing. Well since I can type, it’s not a problem for me. And the hubby has a lap-top.  But the kids- who are using my computer until theirs is repaired – complain about it. Funny problem to have, huh? I never hear any other people with this complaint. I never even noticed the letters were rubbed off until the Telephone man came and was looking at the computer and said, “Wow, someone has been doing a lot of typing. The keys are rubbed off.”

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Best Book Ever...

I’m back. Yes, I’m really back and I feel awful about not posting. I thought I had it all figured out. I didn’t. I didn’t have the correct hard drive with me with the post on it. And my attempt to recreate the post, while my hubby and kids glared at me was null. So my apologies. I have been playing catch up (with the laundry, with the cleaning, with my schoolwork…) since I’ve been back and I’ve neglected the blog.

Since I’ve been away, I’ve been thinking of what makes a story great. What makes me want to turn the page and not stop until I get to the end? What makes me daydream about it long after I’ve put it down? And what makes me want to run out and purchase other books from the author? Well, those are tough to answer. There aren’t any right or wrong answers. What I like is my personal preference. It may differ greatly from what someone else likes. Nevertheless, there are certain elements of a book that cannot be compromised.

What are they?
Character Development – This is the most important element of the book - in my opinion. Great characters can make up for some of the other things that may be lacking in the story. Some…not all. The characters must be three-dimensional. Think: Stephanie Meyers character “Wanda” from The Host. Larry Brooks provides a great article about character development at his blog, Story Fix.

Setting – The setting (where your story takes place) can be like another character in your book. If done correctly. The setting should be rich and make the reader feel that they are there with the characters. Think: James Cameron's, Avatar (I know its not a book but it was great). A great article on settings can be found at The Storytellers Unplugged.

Villains – Now this is where I think some writers goof. They don’t spend enough time developing the villain. Now the villain does not have to be a live person. It can be nature, societal pressures, friends, relatives, or even the protagonist can be his/her own villain. Get creative, treat the villain like a real character, and make them three-dimensional too. Think: James Patterson’s character, The One who is the One, Witch and Wizard. I thought I’d direct you to an earlier post by me for the villain – here.

Pacing- This is another area (for me) that makes or breaks a novel. Don’t give away too much or you’ll lose your audience. But don’t make me wait until the last line of the book to start getting answers to questions. Think: Edward and Bella’s romance in Twilight. Janice Hardy over at The Other Side of the Story has a great article up about pacing.  

If any of these things are off in the story, I can’t continue to read. It throws me off. What do you like most in a story? What do you barely pay attention to in the story? What do you think? Do these things make you want to continue reading also if done properly? Or are there other things that you look for?

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What does your MC want???

Every novel has one thing in common. The main character, the protagonist, has a goal. They want something and that desire is what propels the story forward. I’ll use the novel, Twilight by Stephanie Meyers to illustrate my point.


In Twilight, Bella didn’t want to come live with Charlie in Forks. But she sacrificed her happiness for her mother. She had low expectations for Forks from past visits, all she wanted was to blend-in, graduate, and move on.

What does your character want?

Your character’s goal does not have to be tangible. Their desires can be to become a better person- this is an intangible goal. Or they could want acceptance, or peace… The goal could be to gain something tangible: a new car (maybe a first car for a new driver), a coveted award they have been vying for, the heart of a love interest… The possibilities are endless and are only narrowed by your imagination. 

The thing about goals, however, they change. Your character may begin the story with a specific goal but usually a quarter into the story something changes. This change makes it impossible for the protagonist to continue in the same manner. The change that takes place is called the inciting incident.


In Twilight, the inciting incident is when Edward rescues Bella from being crushed by the van. She was already highly aware of him because of his aloof attitude with her. After he rescues her from being crushed – and with supernatural strength to boot – she is awestruck.

Once the inciting incident occurs, usually the protagonist has a change of heart regarding their goal. It is no longer what they want or it is unachievable and therefore a new goal is found. Why?


After the nearly fatal almost-accident, Edward saved her from, her goal changes from blending. She is drawn to him and wants to know him. Wants to be with him despite her growing suspension (then confirmation) that he is very different from any boy she has ever met. This is her new goal.

Okay, so you got it right? I thought I’d list one more example to ensure you understand.

The Hunger Games

Initial Goal – Katniss’s initial goal was to survive her current circumstances: The harsh life in District 12.

Inciting Incident - The Hunger Games are taking place and Prim, Katniss’s sister is called as a tribute for District 12.

New Goal – Katniss rushes to take Prim’s place in The Hunger Games. Her new goal is to survive the games.

Do you see that after the inciting incident Katniss’s goal changes? It must. She does not have a choice in the matter. It is either win (survive) or lose (die). Not all stories, of course, will have such compelling inciting incidents. Some will give the protagonist a choice. You can do this or you can do that…but some, like in the example, only leave one possible choice. Win or die.  

Can you point out the inciting incident in your own work? What is your characters goal before this? How does that goal change after the inciting incident?

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh.   

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Don't ever give up!!!

I know sometimes you get discouraged. I know because I do. But I love what I'm doing. Writing isn't a hobby for me. It's the real thing! So don't stop chasing your dream. Every time I hear this song that's what I'm reminded. Don't give up. Keep on chasing my dream. I won't give up. Don't you. When you need someone to lean on - come lean on me. I may have to come looking for your shoulder one day, too.

Have a great day. Read a book and laugh!!!