Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Cliché MC

Young Adult. A popular genre in Book World. It's also one genre that carries cliches on its back. We all know the stereotype: young, 16 year old girl, virgin, no drinking, drugs, or partying of any type whatsoever. The outcast with 1-3 close specific friends. Sheltered. Bland, blah, and so exhausted.

I haven't picked up a good YA novel in a while. I think the last one that didn't have a stereotypical female MC was The Selection by Kiera Cass. The Selection may have fallen flat for some people, but it was a refreshing breeze for me.

But the Pure MC isn't the only book-turn-off. I found this article that clearly expresses just how I feel about the YA books of today. Will I follow these guidelines to the T? Probably not, But it plainly addresses the many problems I've had trying to find a good book lately. And it's advice from my target audience.

I can only hope that my wish to publish will be well received. I know there is no possible way to make everyone happy, that everyone will like my books, but I hope I can do the writer and reader community justice.

But if I fail...I will get up again.

What book cliches/stereotypes are you tired of? Share in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Scattered Thoughts

So far, all of my posts have been scattered, disjointed thoughts.

A broken road-map from point A to point B where I visit points C-Z first.

My mind works in a scattered way. I will have a thought or idea and to vocalize that thought I feel like I'm jumping down the rabbit hole just to get it out. Most of the time I end up not getting to the point. I'll have completely forgotten the point by the time I've finished typing.

Instead of taking the red line straight to X, I'm on the orange line, hitting every mark except the one I really need. 

Writing a book feels different. I can play each and every word on a movie reel in my head. Transcription from brain to document is as easy as breathing. So why is it so hard to write a clear and concise blog post? Technically, this place is an online journal that I'm sharing with anyone on the internet. It should be easy to write out all my thoughts. 

But its not. Maybe treating this thing like a journal is why this is so hard. I'm trying to share my real-life with you. And it's not as easy as I'd like to think. 

I can say one thing and do another. But I'd like to say one thing and actually do it. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

There's More to Me Than You'd Think

There's more to me than even I would like to think.

I am not just a writer. I am not just a wife. I am not just a mother. I am not just a woman.

I am all those things. I am creator, maid, laundress, reader, writer, play-thing, musician, singer, seamstress. I am queen, princess, peasant. I am my daughter's whole world: master and servant. I am teacher and student.

Everyday I think up new things to do, but very rarely do I actually do the things I think of. I want to go back to school, I want to get a part-time job. But I have no money to pay for school, and no baby-sitter to watch Lil Miss.

So i create my own school. I learn and teach myself new things from researching online. I get paid in smiles, hugs and kisses from Lil Miss. And now, I must become teacher, as my little student is begging to learn new things.

Let the home-schooling begin!

Got any suggestions of what to teach a 4 year old? Any tips on making learning more fun? Let me know in the comments. I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

For The First Time Ever...I'm Doing A Thing

And that thing is....*drum roll, please*....plotting.

Yes, for 25 years I have been what writers refer to as a pantser, ie. a person who writes by the seat of their pants. I have never in my life plotted, made notes, researched, wrote out character notes. None of that. I would get a story in my head and write. Within a few weeks I'd have a book. And some of the characters would have 5 different names because I couldn't remember what name I gave them the first time, events would happen that I could never find again to edit. There was even one part where I changed the book completely halfway through and couldn't figure out what was supposed to change and what was supposed to go.

Well now, so I don't have to deal with that headache again, I'm plotting. I'm making notes. I'm researching. As of 5 minutes ago, I was writing out character profiles. I only have 6 actual characters in the whole book, and only 3 of them are main characters, but hey, I need all the help I can get.

You could scour the internet for worksheets, tips, and the like but here's one I used from over at Writer's Write.

There's always a bunch of good stuff at Writer's Write and I visit it regularly. This is the first time I've actually used some of their tips and tricks and so far it's going pretty good.

OH! And the site contains much more info than just about writing. There's stuff for readers, gamers, movies, really anything in the entertainment world can be found at Writer's Write.

Do you have any websites you use as a resource? Share them in the comments below.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Research...You Mindless, Fickle Being

Writing fiction means you make up the rules. You create the world, the religions, the culture, the beliefs. You create the characters. You control everything.

Until you publish and you get criticized for the decisions you make. They say, "You didn't follow the rules." "That's not how it's supposed to be."

You could tell them all to screw off, that you make your own damn rules. But the things they say still hurt. The shiny accomplishment you wore is dulling out and you wonder how you can write again.

So maybe you decide to make facts work for you, instead of against. As I've said before, you can find anything on the internet. Doesn't always mean it is right. Here is where research comes into play. The book I'm working on now is a world of my own creation...inside reality. Basing fiction off real-life can be a hazardous road to walk.

The best and easiest thing to do is to find a reliable source. Books. Write a book using books.

Books are most definitely your best friend and knowing how to use them can make the research days of plotting seem like the calm before the storm (which it really is.)

For days I've been researching mythologies of all different types and origins, boats, languages, land mass, blahgity-blah.

I could easily go to Google and type in the terms I need. There's a 50/50 chance the info I find will be right or wrong. There's an even greater chance that someone will see this one fact in my book and tell me I got it wrong and then proceed to share 20 links to sites that tell me I'm wrong and he's right. So I beat him to it. Searching for an expert on the topic could lead to much more fruitful finds, and much less headaches.

Following some rules doesn't have to be painful. You can break all the rules you want and still appease the Fact police.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Things You Find Online

It is a known fact that you can find anything, and I do mean anything, on the internet.

Especially when you're doing research that involves mythical creatures.

Hence, I present to you a journey to the perfect mini-vacay: Mermaids.

Whilst Googling pictures for mermaid inspiration I came across this article by ABCNews. It introduces a school in Canada, specifically a mermaid school. AquaSirene is a school where you can buy/rent mermaid tails and learn to swim just like a mermaid. This is one of my childhood fantasies come alive. I think it's a lot of people's fantasies.

Well, of course now I want to go to Canada, but we all know that just ain't happening. So I've searched for the next best thing: a mermaid show. That lead me to the South Carolina Aquarium, where the Weeki Wachee Mermaids will put on one of their famous shows at the end of March. (The Weeki Wachee Mermaids are located in Spring Hill, Florida where they put on daily shows. More here and here.)

Well, that's too close to Easter to be able to do anything with, so I continued my search and happened across an article boasting 10 Popular Mermaid Exhibits in the US. And I found a show right in my backyard: Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Can you imagine the excitement? Lil Miss was thrilled when she snuck up behind me and saw what I was looking at. More importantly, the shows are every weekend, close to home, and affordable.


Now if only I can convince the hubby.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Gonna Try This NaNoWriMo Thing Again

This time, I've signed up for Camp NanoWrimo. Instead of 50,000 words, I can set my own limit. I've set it at 25K words, hoping I can make or even beat that goal.

I will be working on the same novel I tried to work on last time, but I hope to actually get some work done this time.

A lot of people think being a writer means you wake up, write, do life, sleep, and repeat. Not true. AT ALL.

Most of the time writing is sporadic. There are bursts of inspiration and then nothing for hours, days, or even weeks (or months in my case). The blank page on a computer screen is a daunting thing that terrifies people into procrastinating.

And when a writer isn't trying to write, they're doing chores, playing with their kids, hanging out with friends: everything a normal person does on a day to day basis a writer does.

Trying to write around all the normal life stuff is harder than people think.

Hopefully this go-around, I'll be able to meet my goals.

Fingers Crossed

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I Suck At This...

Blogging thing. I make 2 posts, all ready and fired up to do this writer thing and I never again come back online.

I could tell you that I was busy (I actually was in November which is why I never finished my NaNoWriMo '15 story) but the truth is I just don't have anything to say.

I spend my days watching TV and playing with Lil Miss. There's nothing else to do in this small town when you have no car (hubby takes it to work) and the only free entertainment is too far away to walk to.

Hopefully now that it's getting warmer I can get outside and I won't have to worry about Lil Miss getting sick. Aside form allergies, it shouldn't be too bad.

And I'm hoping, with my new toy my lovely hubby bought today, I'll get some actual work done.
I was set up on my broken laptop (broken screen, had to hook it up to my TV in the bedroom), but the neck pain was unbearable. Not such a great set up for anything other than watching movies.

But...the problem was solved, I'm over it.

And getting back to work. I'm putting my TU series on the back-burner for now to work on Crystallized. (The unofficial cover was posted months ago so go look and give me opinions!)

So excited.