Monday, April 29, 2013

Random things

It's Monday and rainy here so it makes me sleepy, but I have some things to share.

-Dianne Salerni's new release, THE CAGED GRAVES, will be out this month (May 14, 2013). Keep an eye out, it looks and sounds awesome.
Pretty, pretty cover.
-Yes, I'm still revising like crazy. Music is still creating visions of my characters, which I love. I've mentioned this several times. This week I've been really listening to the new Depeche Mode release. Yes, that synth pop band from the 80s. They have been producing music all these years, and they are one of my favorites. Here's the song that will be added to my latest WiP's playlist. It will sit beside Silversun Pickups. Total love.

-I'm feeling more comfortable with my writing process and doing things my way, which feels great and helps with the flow of things.

-I am scared to finish my latest revision because that means I'm closer to handing it to betas and it scares me cause, well, you know. Yes, I still get all nervy inside letting anyone read my stuff, but I know it will only help me improve.
See totally random. Plus, it's Monday and I'm sleepy.

What's new with you?

Any new books you are excited about?

Have a great day!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Simply complex

It's funny how writing can make you feel. I know I've discussed this many times here. It does make me happy. I know I could never quit because the visions and ideas in my head never go away. Um, don't commit me now, you know the feeling. So I know I would have to keep writing so I can appease this issue. I've accepted it may take a while. Yes, other's will surpass me and who may have started after I did. This I'm fine with, which is quite freeing, if I do say so myself.

What's happening now is still the fear of never getting there. Yes, this is common. Yes, I've improved, slowly, which is another story, but let's face it, I can't compare to anything so improvement is really left up to interpretation. I guess my problem is why I keep picking the most complicated things to write. Why can't I keep it simple? Why do I have to continually over challenge myself with complex characters and plots? This is what's frustrating. I can't keep things simple in anything I do. The first novel I finished I did it from two, yes, two POVs (a girl and a boy), why? I hope to one day come back to it, but why can't I just write at the level I'm ready for now.

So, for my current manuscript, I'm writing a character inside another character. Seriously, I'm insane. You would think since I didn't really get far with the other two novels that are complex, I'm not with this. I'm trying to stay positive, reminding myself there are reasons for this and this will make me stronger, but there are times when I wonder if I really am. Have I become a stronger writer? Have I made progress? Will any story I write be simple?

I'm not sure of the answers, yet. Hopefully, one day I will. Even though it's frustrating, I have to accept it, because to stop writing would be like never eating chocolate again. Okay, it would be more than that, more like a piece of my heart would be missing.

So what are your thoughts? Do you write things that are super complex? How do you solve this issue?

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Good old music

I'm on a roll this week. Two posts, look out. :)

As you all know, music is vital to my writing. Certain songs will entice movie-like scenes to appear in my head that usually spark a story. So, I have playlists for every story/manuscript I've written. And it's not one or two songs, it's a lot, we're talking soundtrack.

Over the weekend, I heard a song from my playlist for the first novel that I ever finished. I could see it as clear as day (don't think I'm crazy). I still love that manuscript. Sure, it was my first and all that, but when I see it in my head, I feel it again. It's a book that I shelved and one that I intend to dust off and look at again, one day.

In a way, this thought makes me feel happy cause I'm proud of it and the characters spoke very clearly to me. I know, I'm sounding crazy again. Wait, you're writers so you know what I mean. It's that giddy like feeling where a smile spreads on your face and comfort warms your heart. Okay, I'm getting mushy. First novels have a way to make you feel this way. Because they are your first and it was an exciting adventure. Some people have told me this and it's true, but my first novel is buried in me. It keeps holding on and reminds me of what it could be one day. Yes, I thought about this over the weekend because one song from this book's soundtrack played on the radio. Sigh.

But other things need to be finished before I can revisit the past. I'm focused on my latest manuscript and can't wait to finish this revision. The soundtrack is awesome, if I do say so myself. As soon as I put on the songs, things fall into place and it feels pretty good. *fingers crossed* Yes, I'm still scared to death for anyone to read it. It's that whole everything-I-write-is-crap mentality and the little bug called doubt except I'm starting to learn how to harness the little sucker. I'm getting there.

Working on anything new?

What sparks your muse?

Have a great day!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Go deeper

I enjoy writing from first person. I don't know why, it's one of those natural things.  I guess, I like becoming the character--getting inside their head and living through them just for a moment is amazing. Writing from this POV isn't the easiest. I'm not saying other POVs are not. Trust me, I don't feel comfortable writing in 3rd and I'm not sure if I could. Not that I wouldn't try, it just doesn't feel natural to me.

Let's face it, writing a novel is like swimming in the sea. Everything can seem overwhelming and scary. We may not know what direction to go when we are on the surface. The story is there, rippling and sparkling in the sunlight, but something is needed. Something that needs to take the reader to another level. When writing any character, I have to take a step back and look at the overall picture. That's when I usually ask myself, "Can I go deeper?" Think about it. If you're in a wide mass of water, you want to know what's beneath, right? Okay, maybe not, the whole JAWS thing, but if you did you'd know what you're dealing with and how to get out. You learn more and it brings your knowledge of the sea to another level.

What? What do you mean? You ask. Can I go deeper into this character's mind? Do I need to pull out more emotion from this character? Would the character react the way I have them react? What is in their head and what are they thinking?

Creating some, if not all of this, will suck the reader in, making them feel, making them care, and really want to know more. Because they'll be invested emotionally. It'll let your character have a stronger voice and make them real. Okay, you know what I mean, not real . . .real. Just real. It's Monday, so give me a break, my brain doesn't function too well in the morning.

My point: As you travel through your revisions, step back, then step into your character's head. Be them. Yes, step inside their skin. Think if you can go deeper into their mind than you have. Ask yourself questions that can take you there. Put yourself in your character's shoes and try to think they way they do. You'll create a character that will allow the reader to be them instead of a character that's just telling the story.

So, do you get into your character's head?

Does anyone want to add their methods or have any craft books they would like to add?

What are your favorite book that you felt emotionally attached to the character?

I bet you wanna go for a swim now, right? Yeah, I have beach on the brain.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Other things

So, other than revising like crazy, I've been revisiting my photography days. Yes, I was a photography gal back when there was film (I totally just aged myself). Sometimes other hobbies are good to clear the brain. The other day I was stuck on something so my little guy and I went to Longwood Gardens (local place full of flowers and fun stuff for the kiddos). Now, I'm not the best at people photos. I'm more of a nature/architecture snap shooter. Way back in the day, black and white was my thing, but now I allow color. It depends on my mood. So, another thing to do when you're stuck find something you enjoy to tickle the brain.

Photo by Christine Danek
Photo by Christine Danek
No, I'm not going to become a famous photographer. But it is nice to have something that satisfies the creative part of my head when I get stuck on my writing.
What hobbies do you guys have (other than reading books, which is a given)?
Have a great day!!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Hi all! Thanks to the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting this montly event. Go here to check out all the other participants.

It's spring, well, it's supposed to be. It's still cold in the northeast. You know how much I depise winter, and it's dragging it's feet getting out of here. Anyway, I'm in revisions and I have this love/hate relationship with them. I love the part where you move things around and make your manuscript shine, but I hate how long it takes. Of course that's part of the path. I try to keep things interesting by jumping around my story. Trust me, this one needs lots of description, but I also don't want to tell too much. Yeah, one of those.

I also don't want to lose the voice. It has to be consistant. But my methods are always . . . unusal. Revisions sometimes make you feel like you're making progress, but not. I guess cause you're not getting immediate feedback so you're not sure where you stand until someone reads it. So what do you do? Maybe have a crit partner read some parts that are done. It helps you see if you're on track, plus you get some feedback when you're ready to go through another round.

Revisions can be lonely, and yes, there are many distractions that will flirt with you, ignore them. They only tease and pester and sometimes makes you feel not worthy or small. Like I said, block it out, turn it off, and focus. I know, easier said than done. But if you focus, the rewards will be great.

So, go forth writers and create.

I want to apologize for my lack of comments lately. Revisions have got my focus. I can't say my work is great, but I'm trying to make it something.

How's your progress?

Have a great day!!