Characters Conspiring


One of my favorite things about being a writer is the way I can fall into a story. The point where I stop seeing the scenes as if watching a movie and I start walking around on the set, able to see, feel, smell, taste, and touch the setting around me. The real world disappears in those moments.

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Photo Credit: Lisa Hall-Wilson (Flickr)

Still, there are settings which I tend to avoid, out of fear or intimidation. My adult WiP, Dark Intent is set in early 1900s. Originally, it was set in the 1800s, but I’m not a history buff. I don’t read much historical fiction either, and therefore found working with that timeframe intimidating. There are so many things I don’t know. Would my main character be able to see her reflection in a window? Could she drink from a water hose? When exactly were blue jeans invented? Could she even wear pants? (Big NO on that one). The early 1900s are worked better, because it was easier to research and I was even able to find images of clothing my characters might wear. To  spend more time writing and less time researching, I found a few period details to sprinkle in to help set the scene.

As far as specific settings and fear is concerned, I will most likely never ever ever write a scene that takes place on a bridge. If my characters ever try to drag me onto one, they’ll have to do so with me kicking and screaming. Even as I type this, I hear them conspiring about a way to work one into a story.

Do you have a setting that you avoid writing out of intimidation or fear?

Want to know how my critique partners answered this question? See Dawn’s response here and Leatrice’s is answer coming soon.

IWSG – Never Enough Time


IWSG

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! (Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG)

Alex J. Cavanaugh’s awesome co-hosts for the March 6 posting of the IWSG are Misha Gericke and Joylene Nowell Butler!

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Now, on to my second IWSG post…

I’d like to consider myself an organized person. In fact, back when I was an executive assistant, I was often complimented on my organizational skills. I juggled twenty things at once, had documents and other things ready for the exec before she knew she needed them, my work desk was always tidy, etc.

If I can do that for an entire office, why can’t I do it for myself?

For a long time, I pondered that question. Then, I decided to do something about it. I created a 6-week editorial calendar for my blog. I started a “Writer Calendar” where I schedule time to write, keep track of people I plan to host on my blog, note participation in social media events, and even list my critique group meetings. With the help of Google Reader, I’m making a Blog Visiting schedule to help me streamline my time in the blogosphere. Since I’m really good at procrastinating, I’ve started using Pinterest (find me here) as reward to achieving writing goals. These things help me feel focused.

Find other Insecure Writer’s Support Group members here.

How about you? Do you have any writer-centric organizational tips?

My First Guest Post


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Photo Credit: Frank Selmo

 

Let’s celebrate!

<<<<<<< Go ahead, grab a cyber bite.

Sarah Negovetich is hosting me on her blog Sara Nego Writes today. It’s my first Guest Post!

Please stop by her blog to check out my 5 Tips on Managing Social Media. Thanks for your continued support. The blogosphere wouldn’t be the same without you!

Let’s Get Organized Today!


LGO BadgeMaintaining a social media presence is important, but doesn’t have to be stressful. For writers, it can’t trump time to write, otherwise it negates the purpose of building a platform. I’ll be the first to admit it’s hard to keep up with everything. Tomorrow, Sarah Nego Writes is hosting my guest post on managing social media. Almost like I planned it, huh?

I sort of did. At the end of last year, my critique group brainstormed topics for our group blog for the entire year. We have themes that transition seamlessly one into another. I wanted this for Writes By Moonlight, as well.

In an effort to find a balance between writing and the real world, we started the Let’s Get Organized blog hop.

The rules are simple:

  1. Create a 4-6 week editorial calendar (here’s a cool template). If you post more than once a week, feel free to cut this time-frame in half. Unless, you’re up for the challenge.
  2. Publish the schedule to your blog. As with exercising, people tend to stick to goals when they’re held accountable.
  3. Tag three bloggers to join in the fun, then contact them to let them know about it. (This step is optional)

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Without further ado, here’s what you can expect on my blog over the next few weeks:

  • Friday, February 22Guest Post on Sara Nego Writes (link goes live on 2/22/13)
  • Thursday, February 28 – eARC Review: Strength by Carrie Butler
  • Wednesday, March 7 – Insecure Writer’s Support Group post
  • Wednesday, March 14 – Guest Post on Novel Clique blog about Movies Dealing with Suspension of Disbelief
  • Monday, March 18 – Ninja Captain Alex’s Top 10 Movie Countdown Blogfest (scroll to the bottom of this post to join the fun)
  • Thursday, March 21 – Hosting Carrie Bulter

Many of the bloggers I follow are super organized, so it’s difficult to figure out who to tag. So, anyone who interested in creating an editorial calendar for your blog, consider yourself tagged.

If you decide to participate, please leave a comment below. I’d love to know what you’re up to.

Do you struggle with finding a balance between writing and the real world? How do you manage your social media and have time to write?

 

Let’s Get Organized


LGO Badge

Novel Clique, my writer’s group, determined 2012 the Year of the Agent. It went amazingly well, so we designated 2013 the Year of Social Media. We all plan to develop websites, continue to build our individual blogs, as well as the Novel Clique blog.

We’ll be busy, but maintaining a social media presence doesn’t have to be stressful. We sat down with our editorial calendar and brainstormed topics. Now, we have our group’s weekly blog posts planned for the year. It really took the stress out of figuring out what to write.

This morning alone, I changed topics three times. In an effort to find a balance between writing and the real world, we’re starting the Let’s Get Organized blog hop.

The rules are simple:

  1. Create a 4-6 week editorial calendar (here’s a cool template). If you post more than once a week, feel free to cut this time-frame in half. Unless, you’re up for the challenge.
  2. Publish the schedule to your blog. As with exercising, people tend to stick to goals when they’re held accountable.
  3. Tag three bloggers to join in the fun, then contact them to let them know about it.

The party starts February 21, 2013. In the meantime, mark your calendar, grab the badge for your blog to help spread the word and start brainstorming topics for your editorial calendar.

****NEW****

If you want to join the party, please sign up using the Linky Tool below.

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2013 Goals + Early Birds


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Photo Credit: Kristin Nador

It’s good to return to the blogosphere! I’ve missed connecting with my readers, though I did visit a few of you during my hiatus. I noticed many of you are setting goals for the new year, some more challenging than others. 2013 promises to be a busy, and hopefully exciting, year for me.

With that in mind, here are some of my 2013 goals:

  • Blog revamp. I like the look of my blog, but I’m ready to take it up a notch. Luckily, my critique group is right there with me, and we all plan to create new websites. We will learn together.
  • Interviews & Guest Posts. As part of the revamping, I plan to interview my readers and host guest posts by people in various stages of the writing journey – newbie, experienced, published, etc. I’ll have more details later. If you think you might be interested, I’m starting an early bird interview & guest post sign up list. 
  • Writer’s Retreat. Every year, my group takes a time out from family, friends, cyberspace, etc. and focuses solely on writing. I always look forward to this bonding opportunity.
  • Join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I can already put a check mark by this one (I’m #292). The first Wednesday of every month IWSG creates a safe haven where writers can express their doubts and concerns, as well as offer support and guidance to each other. I have a feeling I’m going to need this group.
  • Book release Blog Tour. I’m both excited and nervous about the upcoming (06.06.13) release of Edge Of Truth. Thanks again to everyone who participated in the cover reveal. Now, I’m recruiting a team to help with the book blog tour from June 6 to June 27. If you’re interested, here’s the early bird Edge of Truth blog tour sign up form.
  • Start a Newsletter so readers can stay up to date on contest, giveaways, tours, appearances, my next book etc. If you’re interested, please fill in the early bird Newsletter sign up form.
  • Last, but not least, something my critique group calls a pleasure goal. This is something that has nothing to do with writing. I plan to master baking gooseberry pie between now and December 2013. This was one of my mama’s favorite pies. I baked one for Christmas 2012. My siblings were kind enough to eat it and not make faces. I’m determined to do better next year, and welcome any tips.

How about you? What are some of your goals for 2013?

Earn The Story


The other day, I was watching a movie, and all I could think was the story didn’t earn emotions on the screen. It felt forced. I saw them setting up the blocks, predicted what would happen next, and felt rather disappointed when it did. Every genre has a general formula that if follows. You can’t have a mystery without a red herring or a contemporary romance without a hero/heroine. Regardless, readers and viewers expect some deviation. Writers can’t rely solely on tropes to set the mood throughout a story.

Emotional levels vary. When a character shoots straight from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other, skipping all the steps in between, it may feel forced. For example, a character is cheerful one moment and the next instant angered. There are a number of phases in between. Until readers get to know a character’s personality, motivation, goals, etc. this sudden shift may feel jarring and fake.

There are a number of ways to move from one emotion to the other:

cheerful + overwhelmed + isolated + frustrated = angered

cheerful + embarrassed + confused = angered

cheerful + surprised + discouraged + inferior = angered

Once the reader is firmly grounded in the story and character, they’ll understand which emotional change a character is undergoing and it will feel logical and earned.

How about you? What tips do you have for earning a story? Do you have any examples of a story/movie that earns the story?

Thanks for stopping by. This blog wouldn’t be the same without your support.