Tag Archives: writing

Writing Update

Well this is a first for me but I figure some people will want to read this so here I go. This week hasn’t gone according to plan and I haven’t gotten much work done on the Phoenix Diaries, my science fiction/fantasy young adult trilogy.

I’m coming to the end of book two and I’ve been dragging my feet on completing it this last month or so. I’ve been trying to make more time to write but I keep putting it off because it just doesn’t feel right. Honestly I know I have to get it done and then worry about making it better in the rewrite.

Yeah I know it will take time to finish the trilogy and I have to keep motivated until I reach the end of this project. Sometimes I feel like I’ve taken on too much to handle with this project, but then I think about all the things I want to accomplish with this series and that’s what keeps me going.

Sure I could be spending time working on other projects, but I know in my heart I have to get this story on the page or I’ll go crazy.

Part of me is a little scared about spending so much time and energy on this trilogy only for it to fall flat. I know I can let my fears overcome me, or I can face them and write any ways, because that’s my job.

I know to temper my expectations because most books only sell a few hundred copies and most writers don’t make much from their work. Yeah it’s scary to think about what ifs but if I go down that path it’ll lead me to self doubt and depression, so instead I’m going to focus on writing the best series I can and worry about the outcome later.

Improvise Adapt Overcome

image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu
image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu

 

Introduction
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing goes right and you just want to crawl back in bed and forget the whole series of horrible events? Well this past weekend I had such a series of events.

First my charger for my laptop stopped working and I had to switch to the old charger, which is prone to fall out the charging port. And then right in the middle of me working on my WIP my laptop crashed and I lost everything I wrote up to that point.

I was beyond livid and wanted to tear my laptop apart, but that wouldn’t have solved anything in the long run. No instead I took a deep breath and calmed down. Sure I was still pissed but I picked myself back up and moved forward.

Perseverance is The Key
This experience has taught me patience and how to adapt on the fly when things don’t go as planned. Sure you could curl up in the fetal position and wallow in self pity, or you can get up and tackle your problems head on.

Sure in the moment you might feel like giving up, but don’t. When adversity strikes it’s a test of who we really are and can either break us or make us stronger. We can either face down the obstacles in our path or we can shy away from them and not live up to our full potential.

Conclusion
When rough times come or way sure we can ask for help from friends and family but ultimately it is up to us to get through the crises in our lives. And we do that by adapting to the situation around us and not giving up until we’re through it. Whether that be writing or getting in shape, you don’t stop until you’ve reached your goal.

Review Justice League Vs Teen Titans

Justice-League-vs.-Teen-Titans-charactersWarning: spoilers ahead

Introduction

Justice League Vs Teen Titans is the latest feature length movie released from DC Comics and centers around Damien Wayne being shipped off to the Teen Titans to learn how to work in a team. At first he treats the titans with disdain and picks a fight with Blue Beetle resulting in him almost dying. He recovers thanks to Raven’s healing abilities and learns to get along with them.

As this is going on Superman and the other members of the Justice League become possessed by emissaries of Trigon and seek to bring him to Earth using Raven as the key to an ancient satanic temple. Seeing no other alternative Raven gives herself up to the Justice League and brings Trigon to Earth.

With team work Raven is able to re-imprison Trigon in a shard of crystal, which she keeps with her as a bindi and the movie ends with her rejoining the titans on Earth.

The Good
I really like the character design of the titans and would so totally watch a reboot of Teen Titans or Young Justice staring them. I especially like Starfire and Raven’s design as it suited them well.

Over all the movie was enjoyable and kept me invested in the characters through out and I especially liked the montage where Down to Nothing plays. It really made that scene and was a catchy tune.

I have to say I loved Damien Wayne in this. Yeah he starts off as a huge ass in this, but grows softer over the course of the movie. I find him to be a more interesting Robin then either Tim Drake , Jason Todd or Dick Grayson.

The Bad

The biggest sin this movie commits is being too predictable. Within thirty seconds of seeing people get possessed I called it that the movie would about Trigon trying to come to earth and Raven trying to stop him. And sure enough that’s exactly what happened.

I also had issues with the Superman/Robin fight. Let me preface this by saying in no way am I a Superman fanboy, but even with Kryptonite Damien took down him way too easily.

Another issue I had was with Blue Beetle. His character came off as too much of a wannabe Cyborg for my taste. Sure his powers were nice to look at but I couldn’t stop thinking he was just a rip off of Cyborg the whole time he was on screen.

Another issue I had was when the titans went to Trigon’s home dimension and Beast Boy transforms into a demon. It came out of nowhere, was never explained and no one brought it up after it happened. It was a total big lipped alligator moment for sure.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for something to kill 80 minutes and aren’t too pressed for good story telling give this movie a watch. It’s not the best but if enough people buy it maybe we’ll get another movie starring these titans. Even with its flaws this was an enjoyable watch and you should totally check it out.

Review: Elements of a Broken Mind

Introduction
Elements of a Bro

image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu
image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu

ken Mind is book one of the Clear Angel Chronicles by Heidi Angell. Set in small town America the plot revolves around a serial killer targeting women in the area. In charge of the case is Grant Anderson. Formerly from the city he moved to town to get away from the craziness only to have it find him in the end.

With no leads to the case Detective Anderson gets help in the form of the eponymous Clear Angel, resident horse trainer and psychic. She is drawn to the case by visions of the missing girls which she can’t control.

Grant is reluctant to believe in her abilities until she proves it to him by predicting his promotion to lieutenant.

The Good
Overall the book was enjoyable, the plot engaging and the characters well rounded. Once I was able to turn off my inner editor(more on that later) I was hooked and couldn’t put it down.

I found Grant to be very likable and related with his longing to see his daughter again. As for Clear she was strong willed and independent, yet I could relate to her fear of being used and ridiculed for her gift.

It was refreshing that she didn’t have full control of her abilities, unlike in most stories where the psychic has no problems with their abilities and are never shown struggling to use them like Clear does.

The chemistry between Clear and Grant was there from the beginning and was a natural part of the story without overshadowing the plot like in some books.

The Bad
In all honesty the book could have used another pass with the editor. I found a few typos and the sentences were a bit on the wordy side for my tastes, but overall nothing that impeded me from enjoying the story.

I also found some of the plot twists predictable, like how the killer was also psychic, or how Clear would go after him and wind up being the last sacrifice.

I found the killer’s motive to be on the vague side and really didn’t get why he’d go through all the trouble of kidnapping the girls just because he was crazy.

Conclusions
Overall I’d recommend this book to fans of thrillers, cop procedural shows, and anyone else looking for a good read. Check out Heidi Angell’s site here

for more information.

Coming Out As a Writer

image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu
image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu

Introduction

Coming out is a continuing process, whether it be your sexuality, gender identity, or mental health. Yes it can be a scary, but also liberating process. But today I want to talk about another coming out that is often over looked. That being coming out as a writer.

Coming out to yourself

When I first started to write I always called myself an aspiring writer as I had all these preconceived notions about what it meant to be to be a real writer. But I’ve since learned that the only qualification to be a writer is to write.

Once I started taking things serious by writing every day and commenting on blogs I found that the more I wrote and engaged people, the easier it became to call myself a writer and mean it.

Going Pro

This is what author Jeff Goins calls going pro. It’s when you clam your identity as a writer and take action by writing without fear of trying to please everyone. You instead focus on your ideal reader and pleasing him/her by producing the best work you can.

Coming out to others
Sure once you’ve gotten comfortable calling yourself a writer, you next need to own that title when interacting with others. When someone asks you what you do, don’t hesitate to say you’re a writer. Say it loud and proud and don’t qualify it either.

Yes people have a million preconceived notions of what it means to be a writer, but don’t let them pidgin hole you. If they ask you if you’re published, answer honestly and don’t feel bad if you haven’t, or if you’re self published. Not all writers are at the same place on their journey and there’s no shame in that.

Dealing with Negative People

You can’t control how people will respond when you come out to them. Sure some of them will be in awe that you’ve followed your dreams and become a writer, but there will be people who think you’re wasting your time and will never make it. Don’t let them shake your confidence. Kill them with kindness and move on.

Conclusion

You know you’re a writer and no matter what others think you know the path you’ve chosen is the right one for you. And whether traditionally published or self published you’re a writer. So embrace that and go forward into the world secure in the knowledge of your talents. For more tips on writing click here

Doggone Good Writing

Introduction
Are you a dog or cat person? For me I’ve found dogs make the best companions and I have had several over the years, the last one being a purebred German Shepard named Minnie who sadly got into some rat poison and died.The memories I have of each of them are fresh in my mind and got me to thinking how does this translate to writing?

Loyalty
Dogs depend on us for everything and this breeds loyalty in them. They trust us wholly and will sometimes travel hundreds of miles to find us. Likewise when dealing with readers you want to build a platform and following by producing stellar content on a regular basis. Whether you post once a week, or three times a week like me, make sure it’s on the same day around the same time so readers begin to expect it.

Love
Dogs are affectionate and crave attention. I once had a miniature Doberman Pincher named Draco who loved to take socks and hide under the table so you would chase after him. He would do this all the time and after awhile I found if I ignored him he’d lose interest and move on.

Readers are similar in that they will move on if you don’t engage them. This is why it pays to have a landing page to build your email list. Without one you may get views but not readers who will returned to your site. Having them opt in for your mailing list gives permission for you to connect with via your newsletter.

Leader of the Pack
Dogs are pack animals and look at you as members of theirs. Fail to establish dominance over them and they will run roughshod over you.

When it comes to readers in order to build your platform you first must earn their attention and then gain their respect as a leader in our niche. You do this by reaching out to people and helping them. this builds trust and will eventually lead to gaining a loyal readership.

image by Swami Qweqwe via sxc.hu
image by Swami Qweqwe via sxc.hu

Dogs are loyal, loving, and make for great companions if you put in the time and effort to train them right and take care of them. like wise building a loyal following for our writing takes the proper time and actions on your part to take care of your readers.

How Music Can get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Introduction
I don’t know about you, but when I write I need some background noise to keep me going. And when thi

image via upsplash.com
image via upsplash.com

ngs aren’t flowing right, or a scene isn’t coming together like I want it to I listen to some music and usually that does the trick.

One track mind
But it has to be the right track for the scene. For angsty scenes my go to is Linkin Park and I’m transported back to my teenage years. For fight scenes I like to listen to hard rock and metal tracks to amp the energy up.

Often I’ll listen to a song on repeat until I’m done, the music painting a mental picture in my head that I try to translate onto the page. I’ve found that certain songs evoke specific emotions like sadness, anger, joy, etc and that helps to get into my characters’ head.

Change It Up
When I get sick of a song or when it isn’t working its magic I hit shuffled on my Iphone and just write. Often I find this helps to break up the monotony and get me to focus on the scene in question as the music fades into the background.

When the Music Stops
For me the best writing is done after getting in the groove. Usually this is after I’ve been writing for awhile and the whole world fades away, and it’s just me and my laptop. Then I don’t need the music anymore. The words just flow from my fingers and all is right with the world. Those are the days you live for but sometimes they are few and far between.

On the days you struggle to write try listening to music and coming up with stories to go along with the song. I find this gets the creative juices flowing and helps you to ease into your writing session.

Conclusion
The right type of music to make you soar, or bring you to our knees. It can help you make out a scene or give you that creative spark that you’re lacking. So next time you’re in a rut pop on some music and get to writing. For more tips on writing click here.

 

Why Fan Fiction Matters

3d illustration of computer technologies. concept notebookIntroduction
When I first toyed with the idea of being a writer I cut my teeth on fan fiction and learned a lot in the process. I encourage all new writers to do the same as it will give you experience in characterization, world building, and plotting.

Characterization
Because you’re dealing with another author’s work the task of world building has already been done for you, and all you need to do is keep people in character. This means having the characters act and speak and the same manner as the original author. Get this wrong and you’ll get hounded with calls of ooc (out of character).

While this might seem stifling many fan fiction writers can and do create OCs (Original characters). When done well this leads to new interaction and plot lines, but when done badly it leads to the dreaded Mary Sue/Gary Stu. While the definition varies the common theme of Mary Sue/Gar Stu is that the character is too perfect, often to the point of breaking the rules of the universe they’re inserted into.

World Building
To fix this many writers alter the universe to accommodate their OCs. Theses so called alternative Universe stories can be simple what if scenarios and full on rewrites of the cannon material. When done right these stories explore areas the cannon areas not well known or relationships in a new light.

So called slash fiction and fem slash deals with same sex relationships among male characters and female characters. This offers representation for
LGBTQ readers and opens new plot lines to explore.

Plotting
But what is one to do if you don’t know what to write? Well if you’re lacking inspiration there are many ready made plots to explore, just read other stories or author prompts and you’re set. Or you can come up with our own plot lines and go from there.

Conclusion
Fan fiction provides a ready made world for new writer to play around with characters and plot, and practice honing the skills needed when they transition to original works.

On Dreams

“We all have dreams. But in order to
What are your dreams as a writer? Do you want to be a New York Times Best seller, hook an agent, or land a contract with one of the big five publishers? The truth is you’ll have to work to turn your dreams into reality, no matter what they may be.

There are thousands of other writers out there you’re competing with and you have to be willing to sacrifice for your dreams. What are you going to do to separate yourself from the others out there?

Will you get up an hour earlier to write, or get in another hundred words before calling it a night? Are you willing to risk failure to reach greatness, or will you let your fears cause you to play it safe?

The truth is you could be the best writer in the world, but if no one reads your work then what’s the point. You have to be in it for the long haul. You have to write everyday to find your voice and build a platform for your work.

Yes rejection sucks, but it’s how you deal with it that determines what type of writer you are. You can either get all butt hurt, or let your ego go, develop a thick skin and move on.

The Audacity to Hope

What makes for good stories? Why do we decide to read one thing but put down another? Why do we like one character and not another? The answer boils down to how we are able to identify and empathize with the characters and the trials they’re put through.

Every time we open a book we’re looking to be entertained, but more importantly to know we’re not alone, that we matter, and that there’s hope for better days.

When you write something there’s no telling how much it will affect others once you release it into the world.

Our job as writers is to hold up a mirror to society and report on what we see. The worlds we build are a reflection of this, wrong or right, and we should never forget the power we hold to raise people up or tear them down.

This doesn’t mean we should shy away from negative things because life is full of them, but is also full of positive things too. How our characters deal with the challenges in their life speaks volumes more than anything else. Are they victims or victors?

Everyone loves an underdog because deep down we’ve all been on the short end of life and wish that the world rewarded hard work and playing by the rules, and that nice guys finished first.

Cliched as it may be the truth is even the most hardened cynic hopes for a happily ever after, that good triumphs evil, and the boy gets the girl.

Though we know it’s foolish to believe in things like love at first sight and destiny we still hope none the less things turn out as they’re supposed to.

Yes hope is the reason we get up every day and go once more into the breach. The reason we rise even though the world throws us a ton of crap. Hope is the reason we answer no when we are told to give up.

So often we’re told to be realistic which translates to giving up our dreams and giving up hope.Well I say forget that because at the end of the day all we have is our hopes and dreams.

Never let anyone take them from you because sometimes just sometimes, with hard work and a lot of trying, dreams do come true. If you dare to hope.