Monday, February 28, 2011

dots (ellipsis) and dashes.

Dots (ellipsis) and dashes. I'm not talking Morse code. I'm talking about using these little treasures in your dialogue. One of the ways I start writing a scene is by writing the dialogue. It's usually the first thing that I "see" my characters doing. After the dialogue is down, then I fill in the rest. I do know that I've doodled my manuscripts with dots (ellipsis) and dashes. What do I mean? Pick up any novel that has tons of dialogue and check out the punctuation. I'm not going to write a super long post about punctuating dialogue. (Seriously, my ADD is full swing today so sorry, plus I'm not awake yet.)

Do you see any lines that have ... or --? Yeah, I'm sure they are there. So, why and how?

Here is what I've learned.

... (Ellipsis dots) :
When writing dialogue, your character may not know what to say next or just have a loss of words.

Jack open the black velvet box. A large diamond ring, sparkled. Ariel stepped back. "Jack...I don't know what to say..."

The character may stutter or stammer.

 "I...I...have the money." His sweating hands slipped as they opened the black bag.

Make sure you use only three when using ellipsis. It's one of those rules.

When writing dialogue, the dash can be used for an interruption or a sudden break in the thought or sentence structure.

Jack's hand shook as he held the box. "I thought you might like--"
"I love it," Ariel interrupted.

"Well--what's your answer," Jack said.

I'm not the best person for examples, but I think you get the idea. I tried to make this a short lesson. Like I said, my ADD is kicking in.

As always, use these in moderation. You don't want to overdo it.

Check out these links for more information on dashes and dots (ellipsis).

Dialogue by Victory Crane

The Ellipsis by R. Ann Siracusa

134 How to Punctuate Dialog in Fiction by Terence Kuch

Anything to add?

Any interesting posts on this topic? Please share.

I received a few awards over the past few weeks. Thank you so much. I hope to get to them soon.

I have about 30 pages left to revise for the first round of revisions on WiP#1. Can't wait. I will put it away for a while then go back and chop it up some more. During the WiP#1 rest time, I'm ready to start something brand spankin' new. I'm so ready to write. I'm super excited.

How was your weekend?

Have a great day!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fun Facts Friday

So I'm still sort of M.I.A. I'm sorry about missing the first crusader challenge. When I get on a roll, I must go with it. So the post I have today is very random. Really just some fun facts, if you will.

1. After the inspirational post on Wednesday, I did fall back a little. I'm writing scifi, and the book The Host by Stephanie Meyer is going to be made into a movie. I haven't read the book (I want to, I'm just scared it may be one of those that my WiP will be compared too.) Let me know if you've read it. I'm curious. I'll read it, but I'm waiting till I'm finished writing my story. According to the blurb, my story and The Host are not similar, but you know how it goes.

2. Peanut butter M & M's sparked my new roll. I need to do some extra work on the treadmill. Bleh to exercise, but it's necessary. Especially if these lovely hard shelled candies spark my writing.

3. I feel bad because I missed the First Crusader challenge. Sorry. **holds head down in shame**

4. I plan to start up Writing the Next Line next month.

5. I also plan to start a grammar post. This is not my strong point, so I thought I would post on some grammar topics.

6. My son needs glasses. He has a wandering eye. I asked the doctor, "How do you get him to wear them?" The doc didn't have a concrete answer. Should be interesting.

7. New idea number 4 is showing itself. Yes, my mind's about to explode.

8. I have 50 pages left to complete the first round of revisions on WiP #1. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. After this round is complete, I'm putting it away for a while, and writing something new. So excited.

9. Check out Laurel's Leaves for an interesting post on apostrophe abuse.

10. Hi new blogger buddies and crusaders.

11. Oh and this comes out on 3/1/11 (see photo below.) Check out the details here. Yeah, I plan to get my pink hair at some point. It's gonna rock.

Any weekend plans?

See, totally random.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Love what you do.

Well, the posts and commenting are random this week. Sorry. Apparently, I'm not super woman. Who knew. This week, and most likely next week are devoted to catching up on CP stuff and my stuff. I'm on a roll, so I need to keep going with it.

I got to meet up with Kate and Kelly the other night. So much fun and so nice to hear encouraging words and stories. Serious inspiration. Thanks Kate. One thing that was discussed--  love what you write. This is sometimes hard, especially when I get feedback that's not so nice. Me being a natural pessimist always sees the negative, but I'm getting it. Sure, I'll say my stuff is crap, it probably is, but I like it or I wouldn't be writing it. I get so immersed in my story sometimes, I don't want to leave it. I want to make it the best it can be, learning the craft, twisting my words till I see double. Yes, I've got a little burn in my gut called determination. Never had it this bad before with others things I've done, but it's there and it's not quitting. I'm also at the point of --write it, loosely follow the rules, and get it done. Yes, days of serious doubt are ahead, but I need days of 'yes I can and it's good.' Let's get in the mode of the latter.

I think if you love it, it will show through. Your work will shine. In fact, you have to love it. If not, then why write it.

Any thoughts or inspiration?

Have a great day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Use your voice.

I say this to my kids often. "Use your voice." They usually look at me funny. My daughter then will ask, "What does that mean?" Hmmm. She tends to act more like a 15 year old than a 5 year old. She's right, what does it mean? In writing, this is one of my struggles, even though in some instances I've been told my characters have a great voice. I tend to disagree--that's my Pessy side (pessimist side.)

Author voice and character voice. Sounds intimidating.

Author voice--well it's your voice. It's your style, your humor, your sarcasm...It's the way you write. You could write 10 entirely different books, but your voice would be there somewhere threading each one in your published blanket linked to you. Is this easy to achieve? I don't know, but it takes practice. It's something you develop as you strengthen your mad writing skills.

Character voice. This one's easy, right? It's your characters way of speaking. Are they from England? then they have an accent and a certain slang that you may have to consider to make them real. It could be as simple as a character who speaks proper (she is a snob) vs. (she's a snob.)

Of course, my descriptions are short and well I don't have a whole lot of examples. Mainly because I found an awesome post that really helped me in this department. Roni at Fiction Groupie wrote a post on this topic way back in May. Check it out.

In the end, this skill takes practice and lots of it. So keep writing.

How's your voice?

Any tips on strengthening this skill?

How was your weekend?

My weekend was pretty good. I'm beta reading so I'm almost finished that. I also managed to put together two versions of my WiP#1, yeah crazy. I just need to finish the revisions on the ending--wicked fighting scenes. Can't wait.

I also got to meet up with my CP, Kelly, and Frankie. Frankie, thanks so much for the advice. I can't wait to get crackin' on your suggestions.

Hi to my new blogger buddies/crusaders. I will be visiting soon.
Have a great day!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Revision decision

Hello to my new blogger and crusader buddies. I will be visiting soon.

So, I'm working hard on my revisions. I decided to go back and change the direction of my story which meant I needed to write in two chapters, cut two, and seriously consider cutting more (which also needs to be done to my beginning, but that's for the next round.) I do need to delete some things, and tweak chapters that have been revised, but this new direction re-writes the end. Yeah, so-- testing my patience, but I think it might be good. I hope. Once I write this second ending, I'm hoping my CPs will want to read it. I feel super bad making them read it again, but I can't decide. My feeling is the new way is the way it should go, but how can I be sure?

The other problem I'm having is my new stuff. I'm lovin' my new ideas. I can't wait to write them (the MCs keep showing themselves to me.) I keep writing scenes totally out of order as they come to me. I have outlines, but revisions keep distracting me.

Does anyone have this problem? Can't put your full self into new projects because your revisions are blocking you.

Any advice on this?

I should be thankful that I have lots of ideas. I just need to focus on getting one thing done. Hopefully, I'll get to get some writing done today. I'm going out to write. That's right not my normal, sneak it in while the little guy sleeps. Should be interesting and fun.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My favorite commercial

Thanks to all of you who commented on my blogfest entries. You are all too kind. I just have to work on my grammar and tenses in the worst way. Well, I don't got much today. I've been kickin some revising and writing butt. Yesterday, 1500 words, re-written for WiP#1 and wrote a chapter for WiP#4. I know, not as much as some of you, but it's a lot for me. Lots of distractions here.

Anywho, I plan to do more today, so not so much thinkin' on the post department. I hope to have more insightful posts next week.  Instead, I share my favorite commercial at the moment. As you know, I bow down to George Lucas, and love anything Star Wars (I'm a dork, seriously.) Plus, a German car (I'm not sure if it's made in Germany anymore, but a German company.) Yes, I love German cars. How's your week going? Have a great day and enjoy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just KISS Already blogfest

Yeah, I wasn't going to post today, but since I'm a sucker for kissing scenes. I pulled one out from the WIP#1 for Stina's and Christina's Just Kiss Already blogfest. **stomach clenches** This scene may actually be cut from WiP #1, we will see.

His eyes flashed playfulness then stopped as his lashes lowered becoming more seductive.

“What?” I let out an uncomfortable breath, unsure of where he was going with this.

“I missed you.” He brushed some stray hairs from my face then cupped his hand around my cheek. I just smiled back, nuzzling my face into his hand.

He leaned down and kissed me gently with a slight hint of moving further. The kiss deepened, and I started to lose myself-- any ounce of control was disappearing. My thoughts began to flash quickly.

Would I stop this?

Why would I want to stop it? 

Just a minute ago we ‘had to go’.

Anna stop thinking rational thoughts and go with it. You did want to savor your reunion.

He trailed his kisses down my neck, sending electric tingles that ignited the embers in my soul. His mouth then met up with mine and his lips picked up their pace as did my breathing. I ran my hands up his neck, knotting his hair between my fingers, pulling him closer. Our bodies slowly moved backward with each step in sync with the other. His hands pressed against my back, pushing me tightly to him.

The mattress tapped the back of my knees, ending our travels, but we pressed on with the other activities that brewed. His mouth parted my lips, and I felt his warm breath brush across my tongue.  A faint moan escaped his throat, and my kisses rushed trying to keep up with him. The heat from our bodies swirled up lifting the scent of his cologne, intoxicating my nostrils, making me dizzy. His fingers slid to the bottom of my shirt and began to ball the fabric into the palm of his hands. Despite the heat, when his fingers met the bare skin of my waist my body shivered to his touch.

The muscles in my throat started to ache and I tried to let his passion numb the pain, but the hurtful moan that was lodged in my throat made its escape.

Ian pulled back, but didn’t let go. We stood there, staring, as our bodies lifted and fell with the pace of our heavy breathing. His hands, still on my bare skin, had made their way to my ribs.

They stayed there --waiting.

My fingers still twirled his hair, slowly –waiting.

Those eyes, his beautiful eyes, contemplated what to do next. They flipped from wanting to continue by throwing me on the bed, to stopping, and obeying his orders. I voted for the first one, but I wasn't going to make the decision.

His grip loosened around my waist and I knew what took priority. The passion that raged in his eyes was now being pushed to the side for another day.

Ian cleared his throat. “We need to get going.”

I lightly licked my lips as he gently and slowly lowered my shirt back to its original position. He wasn't sorry and neither was I. As we stood there, his head would slightly lean in and then draw back trying to calm the fire that was burning inside both of us. His phone started to ring, and he closed his eyes for a moment, not wanting to answer.

This is a rough draft-- so there you have it. Maybe that was a bummer at the end. I don't know. BTW--Anna was just in a fight so that's the reason why her throat hurt. Just thought I would let you know. :)
Check out my That's YAmore blogfest entry here.
I'm also getting critiqued on Tabitha Olson's Blog. Talk about putting myself through torture on Valentine's day.
Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

That's YAmore Blogfest

Here is my entry for the That's YAmore blogfest, hosted by the lovely gals over at Oasis for YA. I apologize for not posting this earlier. I didn't get to finish it yesterday so please forgive the roughness. This is a project I just started and I'm still working out the kinks. I can't wait to read the other entries. Oh and as usual I broke the rules and went over the word count...sorry. **holds head down in shame**

Graham pulled me into the closet. Temporary blindness set in as my eyes adjusted to the darkness.

I yanked my wrist from his grasp. “Let go of me.”

“You’re really going through with this?” His voice quivered, slightly.

The small round window at the ceiling let in just enough moonlight to create a glow around Graham’s head. “Yeah. I thought you left.” I smoothed the satin on my ball gown.

“I almost did, till I realized you were staying.” I could see the whites of his eyes. He wasn’t going to make me change my mind.

“Well, I’m staying.” I could smell the remnants of his spearmint gum.

“What about your parents, you have a life.”

“My parents only care about my brother. He’s going to be a doctor…I’m barely passing English. Who do you think they love better?”

“They love you.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “You get whatever you want.” His head cocked to the side. “You don’t want to be this. It’s not you.”

“What do you care? You have her. You never wanted to see me again, remember?” My heart took on an angry beat, and a tear formed in the corner of my eye. “Give me one good reason to go back with you.”

He stepped closer to me. I took a step back. Some of his black hair fell over his left eye. “Because… I love you.” My stomach sank to the floor; every part of me went numb. Mixed feelings left my side in a cramp. My back met the wall. His finger twisted a lock of my hair just like he used to when we were together. Heat rose between us and his nose brushed mine.

“Stop.” I whispered.

“You don’t mean that.” I could barely hear his words as his lips touched mine. Cool fire raced through me as the kiss deepened. I couldn’t stop. My feelings for him rushed back, swirling through me. He ran his fingers through my hair undoing all the pins that held it in place. He snaked his other hand around my waist, pulling me to him. I ran my fingers up his arms, tracing each muscle.

The door flew open. Bright light sliced through our comfortable darkness.

“Rowen?” I tried to catch my breath.

Rowen’s jaw clenched as he swallowed. “Seize him.”

There you go. **stomach turning** Two posts in one day. Whew! Have a great weekend! Happy Valentine's Day!

The Crusade and some tidbits

Well, I joined a crusade to get fellow bloggers that are writers, together. Go check out Rach Writes and see what it is all about. It should be fun!

A great way to meet fellow aspiring authors, bloggers, industry people and published authors. You will be guided to those in your similar genre. Sounds cool, huh? All you have to do is comment on the crusaders who come to your blog. Simple. Runs from February 1st to April 30th. Go check it out.

How was your week? I didn't meet my goals, but I know next week I should do better. My schedule is coming together so next week should flow smoother. Putting a kitchen back together is like a puzzle, I didn't realize how much thought I had to put into it.

Weekend plans?

Short and sweet today. I've gotta get to writing, CP stuff and beta stuff. Have a wonderful weekend!

I will post my Blogfest entry shortly!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dude, I totally thrashed it.

You probably have seen this post on If not, go check it out because it pretty much sums up what I did to WiP #1 and I'm now bandaging up my wicked thrashing.

When I started this project, I was desperate to find out people's opinions (okay, after I got over the squeezing pain in my stomach,well, I never got over this.) I was a critique whore. Yeah, doesn't sound so good, but I needed to know how I was doing. The only way I learn is through doing, so why not get the opinions of the ones who do. The problem: I got too many opinions, leaving me confused, frustrated and not sure why on earth I was doing this.

Getting critiques from agents and authors is helpful, but I should've limited it to how many, along with waiting till I had my plot worked out. As soon as I would get feedback, I would change it in my MS. This really made my story, not mine. It wound up jumbled and confusing, basically a big mess. Now I'm re-writing and trying to find my voice, along with my characters voice (this is a post I will write soon.The whole voice issue.)

Where it did help was in my writing skills. Basically, giving me some sort of rules, leaving me to decide which ones I want to break. Now, I'm no where near query material, but I have learned a lot.

Getting critiques is good, don't get me wrong. I would recommend them to anyone. Actually, I highly recommend them. They strengthen your novel and your writing. Just make sure you don't overwhelm yourself and try to stay true to yourself and your story. My whole policy is-- if more than two people say to change something, then I may want to take a real hard look at it. If it's only one then definitely my choice.  I did do a post way back on critiques that listed some sites I used (some are still around and some are not.) Check it out here.

Any critique advice?

Happy stories or horror stories?

Have a great day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Name Game

I'm sure I've posted about this topic, but I was thinking about it over the weekend because in my most recent WiP I'm undecided about my male MCs name.

 Naming your characters. I don't have a specific method. Most of the time, the characters just name themselves and I have to like it. The names usually fit, so I don't change them. In WiP #1, I did change my MCs best friend's name just because it reminded me of another character from another book. I still refer back to that name now and again when I write her.

Besides the characters insisting what their name is, I use a couple of other methods if I'm unsure or stuck.

Here is what I do:
1. So, if you have no name, not even an inkling, go to a site that lists names and meanings or a baby name site like or This could get the juices flowing or totally overwhelm you, but it's a start.

2. Sometimes a letter appeals to the character like"J", but you can't figure out a name. Then go to the sites above and look for names with that letter.

3. The name of the character has to mean something. If this is a must, go to a site like the ones above and look for a name that means what you want it to mean.

4. If you want something different, combine names. Like Mattames --Matthew and James put together. I'm sure that was a bad example. It's early people.

5. If your story takes place in a certain land, mystical or real, it can have an effect on the names you choose. This can go into the make things up catagory, especially if it's a mystical place. If it's a real place, then research people. The internet is a wonderful place. Must research.

Things to avoid.
1. Right now, I'm avoiding the name Bella for obvious reasons. Sometimes names are over done or can totally make someone think of another character from another book. This can lead the reader to keep thinking of that other book. Unless, you totally blow them away with your character, which I know you will, try and find something that is uniquely yours.

2. Names that are not easy to pronounce. Unless you somehow show the pronunciation of a difficult name, try to use something simple. I have seen this done, and done well enough that I could pronounce the name. Usually done through dialogue, which to me is great, but I know I couldn't pull this off, at least not right now.

Any methods on your naming of characters?

Anything I missed?

How was your weekend? Any goals?

I actually had a revelation this weekend for WiP #1 and hope to remedy it in my revisions this week. It does require some re-writing, but I'm used to that now. I have a CP who is waiting, and I feel so bad. My goal: revisions. I know you are so surprised at that.

I'm also getting countertops in the whole kitchen renovation thing, which has turned my house upside down. I'm so excited because I will finally have a kitchen sink after 3 weeks. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I could actually get back to some sort of normal routine. Ahhh! Oh, maybe, I can finish my revisions and possibly finish a first draft of another WiP that is waiting. Okay, I'm dreaming.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Is technology taking over? and contest winner.

It's funny. I try to be 'with it' when it comes to technology. I do like it. I think it's neat and totally makes things easier, but it's addictive. Even things like blogger had a hold on me so tight, I couldn't breathe. I'm better with it now. The whole iphone thing is really cool, and, yeah, I want one one day, I just can't justify it right now. I don't text much. I know you're laughing, seriously, I don't. Not really by choice, I just don't get that many, so I haven't gotten sucked into it, yet.

I guess I just don't want it taking over my life. I'm stuck on the computer enough, do I need to be that attached? Although, it does help in certain situations, like when the people you're going to meet change locations and you can just tweet them. Helps a lot, trust me. Or if you need it for your job.

Where it bothers me is when you can't let it go for a second. Example: I took my kids on a playdate. The individual who hosted it continuously check her phone for emails while holding a conversation with me. She proceeded to tell me that her mom just got a new phone and was going crazy with the email function. So I let it slid. When I saw her again at a function that involved the kids, what do you think she was doing? Yeah, checking the phone for emails. To me there is a line. Unless, something is pressing that you absolutely need to take care of then fine, excuse yourself or just say "I've got to answer this." Did she absolutely have to answer her emails while I was talking to her? I think not.

This can go into safety. Remember the lady at the mall, texting, and falling into a fountain? Yeah. Or even texting while driving, which is totally dangerous. I don't know why you would try it in the first place.
This leads into what I saw the other day.

Since texting is what has us all distracted, I couldn't believe it when I saw a guy walking in a parking lot (of a grocery store) reading his Kindle, yes you heard me, his Kindle. I don't own a Kindle. I'm fighting this mainly because I like holding the book, smelling it, the cover, yeah I'm old school. I get the Kindle, more convenient, get books faster, etc. Does it make you want to walk into a grocery store reading it? I don't think I would be carrying a book in a parking lot as I was attempting to buy my groceries. I could see the screen, at the top Chapter 5, so no grocery list. He almost walked into a car that was pulling out of a spot. I hope he wasn't reading it while he drove there.  I really was in shock. That must have been some good book. I should've asked what he was reading.

So is technology making us a little crazy?

Are we going to end up like some Matrix movie?

Before I go off on my weekend, I have to announce the winner of the book Hooked by Les Edgerton.

The winner is:
Faith Hope and CherryTea.

Congratulations! Please email me your address. christine(dot)danek(at)verizon(dot)net
Thank you to all who participated.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Stay warm!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A contest to check out

Just a quick blurb. Get on over to K M Walton's blog, Some Things I Think. She holding a contest that's sure to beat the winter blues. Yes, my fingers are crossed, and I'll be wearing my lucky socks on February 14th when the winner is announced. Kate is the sweetest so get over there and check it out. I'm not telling you what the prize is because it's that awesome. That means get over there and check it out!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Don't forget my contest closes tomorrow. Go here for details.

I know I gush about books, loving them. I do I really do, but this book has made me fall hard and in love. In fact, I'm putting it on my list of favorite books. What is this book?
Title: Shade
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 320

The blurb:
Love ties them together.
Death can't tear them apart.
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn't help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift.

My take:
Yeah, the cover had me at hello, I will admit, but this book is so much more. I love ghost stories and this one had me turning the pages so fast I wanted to read it again when I was done. Aura is a great character, very realistic and likable. She's not perfect and neither is Logan, her boyfriend. I think that is what made them so real. They were not angels. Of course, Logan is a hottie, but that's just me. So is Zachary (he had a Scottish accent, I'm just sayin'.) 
Anywho, The whole plot to me was intricate, yet, seemed simple. I think the way the author wrote it made it easy to understand.
It took place in Baltimore, Maryland. A place I've been several times so I could perfectly imagine where they went. Philly was also mentioned (yeah). There was also a lot of references to Ireland and Scotland (places I would love to visit.)  
The end had me with my mouth open, wanting more. My wish is about to come true because on May 3rd, The Shift will be released. **lets out big breath** Not sure I can wait that long.

Do I recommend this: Absolutely
Contains: great characters, intriguing/thought provoking plot, hot boys, great setting, and ghosts-- who doesn't love that.

 Has anyone read this?
Let me know you thoughts.
Have a great day!