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Don’t Push The Big Red Button

One of my peeps on Google Plus, a Mister John Ward, had a super handy link to post today, and I figured I needed to come share it here with the few of you that read my blog with any regularity.

(Which implies I post regularly, and you know that doesn’t happen. But just go with it for now.)

William Hertling, a person with whom I’ve had absolutely no familiarity until today, wrote up an excellent check list in PDF format (clicky, clicky, clicky!) for those of us seeking a self-publishing route for our writing.

To sum it up, here are the sections:

Phase 1: Pre-launch

  • Book Focused Activities
  • Web / Social Media
  • Other

Phase 2: Book Launch

  • Timing
  • Weeks 1-4

Phase 3: Post Launch

Phase 4: Influencers

This is a seriously hardcore (and very handy) checklist. Eight pages long. Print them. Print them all.

Also, don’t get too ahead of yourself. Finish the writing first, and then start checking things off the list. I see you hovering over that upload button. Stop it.

Brain Stickies

I’ve written two novels, one of which I’ve revised a few times already (and the other is a mess, but I’ll get to it eventually). The process of revising has taught me that I work a lot easier with material that already exists. Pulling new things out of my head in some kind of organized, decisive fashion seems more difficult than it should be.

Take the sequel I’m trying to write, for instance. Pushed out 20k words of amazingness while I had the drive and then got distracted by revisions on the original (to give myself credit, there were some major things I wanted to change in #1 that would have made a huge difference in how things progressed with #2. Already updated you guys on that one, though).

Then I tried again. Started an outline, even. The outline covered at least half the storyline. Should have been easy to follow, right? Hahaha. Another 20k words in and I stopped again.

Now I’m on the third attempt. Writing anything new in it is killing me. I know the general outcome of the story. That’s not the issue. The issue is that, past a certain point, I’m not entirely sure how I want to get there, and there are some scenes in both draft attempts that I’d like to smoosh together in order to make beautiful scene babies.

How do I want to proceed with this character? How is that one going to affect my protagonist? Do I want this guy in the story, or that one? Dafuq would happen if they were both there? Who is going to be present at the critical moment of my protag’s transformation? How the hell is that transformation going to go? Because this could totally happen, or it could all go completely wrong and that happens. I can imagine lots of different variances in my storyline, and all of them look equally appealing to me. The problem is they don’t mesh well. Some of them are complete opposites.

BRAIN, WHY YOU GOTTA BE SO INDECISIVE?

Ugh. It’s times like this I doubt my ability to be a dedicated writer. I’m a voracious reader, and I know all too well the frustration of waiting for the next book in a series to appear. I don’t want to be one of those writers that makes people wait too long. I don’t have the following and fan loyalty to get away with it. Though I also know that doubt is part of what holds me back.

I gotta get out of this funk, y’all. Think some rawr motivation thoughts at me. Grr, argh, flex! Screw you, brain stickies.

Hate So Good

I was recently catching up on season 2 of Game of Thrones, and was reminded of a phenomenon that only occurs with a few chosen fictional characters.

There are some characters that are so realistic and loathsome in their actions that I get unreasonably angry. Like, I will be snappy and irritated for days afterward. What characters do this to me, you ask? Here are my top three:

1. King Joffrey Baratheon/Lannister

Anyone that has seen or read Game of Thrones almost certainly knows the reason why I dislike him. He’s beyond cruel, and he’s a spoiled little brat. Combined with the power of being King (at like 16 or whatever) he’s nigh on unstoppable. I have a pretty vivid imagination, so I already disliked him in the books, but putting him on screen just tipped me over the edge.  I can’t stand him. And if he’s like that as a teenager, my blood boils at the potential he has as an adult.

Defining moment: Tyrion was trying to be the most awesome uncle ever and send him a present of joyful sex in the form of 2 hired concubines. What does Joffrey do? Has one girl savagely beat the other, with the stipulation that if she doesn’t, she’ll get the same treatment. He does this as a message to his uncle. Dafuq? I also had a sneaking suspicion that he was more turned on by the cruelty than the two naked chicks. Kid had no emotion while he watched it. None.

2. Percy

You know that giant asshole in the prison guard from The Green Mile? That guy. I can’t even watch that movie anymore because he makes me so angry I can’t see straight.

Defining moment: You’re supposed to wet the sponge they put under the helmet for the electric chair. This is so the prisoners die quickly and it doesn’t get messy. Percy does not wet the sponge ON PURPOSE, because he wants to see what happens as a result. He does a lot of other shitty stuff, but that one makes me cry and makes me want to punch someone all at the same time.

3. Dolores Umbridge

I can’t lie, I was waiting for something super horrible to happen to this woman in the Harry Potter series. I kept reading and reading, thinking “surely, someone is going to kill her off soon.” Nope. So then I had to keep reading about her, and I kept getting angry every time she appeared in a chapter. She doesn’t make me as angry as Joffrey or Percy, but she’s definitely up there. The thing that makes me angry is her blind conviction that this or that is the right thing, and anything else is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Defining moment: Not a big one, mind you, but it’s one of the very first things she does. I can’t even remember the reason why now, but she had Harry Potter write something like “I will not tell lies,” which doesn’t sound so bad, except that the pen was spelled to carve whatever he was writing into his hand. He had to write it over and over again until his hand was bleeding.  And she smiled the whole time.

Do you get this emotional over certain characters? Who do you love to hate?

Why Is The Rum Gone?

Disasters: they keep the plot moving, keep the muse on his or her toes, and torture our characters for the entertainment of others. These are some of the ideas I have for my disaster writing prompts in November (to be posted on my G+ page), and they theoretically should apply to most genres. I’ll expand on each of these prompts when I post them so that you wrimos can get a better idea of how to fit them into your plot. It can be as simple as these themes overheard in a character’s conversation, or you can actually make them happen to the protagonist.

1. Vehicle Stolen
2. Explosion
3. Severe Storm
4. Riot / Swarm
5. Missing Person / Missing Thing
6. Big Accident
7. Cat’s Out Of The Bag
8. Homeless
9. Invasion
10. Imminent Danger
11. Phobia
12. No Food / No Water
13. Release / Escape
14. Kryptonite
15. Communications Down
16. Flood / Leak
17. Overdose / Poison
18. Severe Injury
19. Broken
20. Freezing
21. Overheat
22. Lost
23. Malfunction
24. Death
25. Nightmare / Night Terrors
26. Electricity
27. Theft
28. Suffocation
29. Near Miss
30. Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire

Suggestions and feedback welcome. If I can make a list of 60 disasters I’ll do two prompts a day, or maybe I’ll switch out one of my ideas for yours. Would these work for you during NaNo? What else could I do to help bolster word count?

Change All The Things!

I did it. I finally went back and changed the ending to book 1, because I was hella stuck on my outline for book 2. The Almighty Douchebag was brought back from the dead by way of not killing him in the first place. I even twisted the knife by giving him a parting line that made my protagonist want to burst into tears. Epic level assholery. This means all kinds of bad things for her in book 2, of course. I’m grinning like an idiot over here, you guys. An evil idiot.

There are so many fun possibilities for my outline now. Mallory, my protag, is spiraling into Everything Is Shit Land, and throwing The Almighty Douchebag into the mix again right when she’s at a super low point will just tip her over the edge. It changes the dynamic completely. She’s been having nightmares about the other guy she killed and everyone else that died in book 1, so she’s not exactly in a good place to begin with, and now she’ll have something else to freak out about.  Tee hee!

Yeah. I need help. >.>

Along with all this rampant buzzkill for Mallory, I’m also going to be posting a prompt a day for NaNoWriMo. I decided to run with a disaster theme. Every day I’ll give my writer buddies over on G+ a small situation for them to apply to their story in some way. Day one’s prompt could be something like “your character’s microwave (or other convenient food cooker / materializer) breaks during breakfast.” Day two something could explode. Day three someone could steal your character’s mode of transportation (car, bike, space ship, horse, whatevs). If nothing else it’ll be a great exercise in creativity for me, but I hope it helps at least a few people keep up their word count.

How are your NaNoWriMo outlines coming along? Still excited for November? I know I am!

Work In Progress Challenge

I was tagged today by one Rachel Desilets (my muse / partner in crime) for this challenge, so of course I have to participate. The Rachel must be entertained!

Since I liked her style I’m going to be completely lazy and copy it. Here you go then, my NaNo novel for this year:

1. What is the title of your Work in Progress? 
Submission

2. Where did the idea for the WiP come from? 
This is actually the sequel to Dominance, my werewolf novel. I know the titles sound all BDSM, but really, it’s a play on words. There’s always a dominant person amongst werewolves. I figured what better way to follow up the story about a bunch of dominant alphas than to make a story about a few submissives?

3. What genre would your WiP fall under?
Urban Fantasy, for sure. It might even cross over into horror. I don’t know if it falls under Adult or New Adult (older than Young Adult but maybe not Adult Adult). I don’t know. The protagonist is in college. Suggestions here would be welcome.

4. Which actors would you choose to play characters in a movie rendition?
This is a killer question and it took me forever just to pick someone for Mallory. Times infinity to settle on someone for Roark. After a little deliberation I think Melissa Benoist from Glee could probably play Mallory, my protag, and either Chiwetel Ejiofor from Serenity or Anthony Mackie from the upcoming Captain America movie could probably work for Roark. To be honest though I think I’d want to seek out a lesser known actor for his part, especially since all my favorite picks (like Idris Elba… omg could you imagine him as a werewolf?) are like in their 40s and Roark is supposed to be about 30. They’re a potential couple, y’all. It can’t be a creepy age difference.

5. What is a one-sentence synopsis of your WiP?
Mallory has learned to deal with all the new dangers that come with being a werewolf, but she learns the hard way that a human with a grudge can be much more deadly.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I hope to land an agent and/or editor, simply because I would receive a lot more help in all levels of the publishing process with representation than without. I’m still a pretty new writer. Guidance would be very welcome. The notion of an advance is pretty attractive too. That said, I think there are enough opportunities out there for me to pursue and be successful at self-publishing. It’s very possible for me to do both, especially if I write a few between-the-books shorts.

7. How long did it take you to write?
This is a silly question for a WORK IN PROGRESS. It’s in progress. It’s not done yet. I can’t tell you how long it took to write if it’s not done yet. Silly. But these characters have been living in my head since like 2005, if that gives you any idea.
 
8. What other WiPs in your genre would you compare it to?
I’d compare it to the first book, Dominance, because it’s a sequel. I mean, duh ;)  I can’t really compare it to any of my other works, unless you want to get technical and say that I do have one other story with a werewolf. I do, but that wuff is a kid, so it’s not really the same.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this WiP? 
Laurell K. Hamilton is a big influence on these two books. Her and Kim Harrison, as well as Janet Evanovich. Evanovich taught me to be cruel to my characters and not pull any punches in embarrassing them.

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest about this WiP.
Well, unlike book 1 where I just tease you a lot, there are some seriously hot sexytiems in the pages. That’s all I can promise as right now it’s still in the outline phase.

So what now? This is the part where I tag too more people to continue the shenanigans. I choose you, Daniel A Samuelson and Rebecca Blain!

Unf, Dat Plot

You guys. I have no idea what this outline is doing. lol

Peeps gone missing. New roomie getting all attacked by werewolves and not freaking out about it as much as she should (because, you know, she almost died). Divorces. Strangely attractive lone wolves. Sudden interest in sexytiems from my male lead (he’s been resisting up until this point).

As I look over it tonight, I also notice there’s no discernible timeline. I mean, yes, there’s a general character development thing happening, but I mean actual day/week time. I have absolutely no idea what the time span is for these events. At one point I wrote that the roomie went away for a weekend and I was like… are we even at a weekend yet? What is going on here? I don’t even know.

That could even be a good thing, though. Maybe I’ll just let it go on its merry little way into some dark, sinister forest path that leads to doom and evil rainbows. With fluffy killer bunnies. Because I can.

Kidding! …. maybe >.>

Still don’t know who my bad guy is. That’s alright. He or she (or it) will reveal themselves at some point. I’ve been toying with the possibility that the antagonist could be human this time around. Nothing scarier than a vanilla human with a fanatic drive to make the world right, eh? Damned werewolves all up in his homeland making life difficult. Get off my lawn!

Those of you that are plotting, how are your efforts coming along? Got some nice research? Mapped out some scenes? Organized your note cards? Had a panic yet about whether or not to even do your planned story?

I need chocolate.

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