When Figments of Your Imagination Tell You What to Do

So the last 11 days have been dry for me in a writerly sense.  I have not been able to ‘figure out’ why one of my characters thrust themselves to the forefront.  He just pushed aside my pre-planned and pre-plotted story and made the announcement that he was the next chapter.  Why?  Because he is an integral part of the story.

So, yeah, this may sound decidedly odd that a character tells the writer what to do (you non-writers just don’t understand), but trust me, this is normal. 😉

What has to happen on the logistical writer end?  You have to figure out where the character fits in or else you have to start all over.  After over 70K words, I’m not starting over so I had to figure out where this character fit.  He was a throw-away character in my mind.  He was the one that was to be killed off much earlier in the book.  The very fact that he’s still alive an the book’s almost over is a problem and I was probably going to edit him out of the second-draft — but NO!  He’s made it clear he’s a keeper.

I have an inkling of an idea of why he’s a major part of the story but it’s still sketchy.  I got down 291 words yesterday that pointed the direction to where the story goes next.  It actually is following what I wanted to do but now there will be an interesting twist!

I’m telling you, writing a novel is more exciting than watching a Speilberg movie!

Writer: It’s a State of Mind

Writing a novel is hard work.  I never thought writing was easy, except for academic papers.  Those?  They’re easy because it’s straight-forward.  You have your plot, premise, thesis, points — all of these things are laid out in a specific format that you have to follow.  Your instructor tells you which format to use — Turabian, APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.

These formats are rigid and well-defined.  You simply put your topic (chosen generally by your professor) into the format.  Your biggest job?  To research and ensure that the details you enter into the said aforementioned topic are in line with the class, the instructor’s preferred style and of course, make sure you do not plagarize others.

Writing a novel?  Much harder.  No one gives you the idea.  No one has a specific format for you to use (unless you’re doing genre work which has very specific rules about how to do things including pacing), and there’s no one there to give you guidance as to how it’s coming along as you write. (Unless you’re part of a robust writing group.)

Writing a novel is hard work.  You have to ensure that you keep yourself on target.  Make your own goals and KEEP to them!  Create your own tracking method for assessing your progress.  Toot your own horn when you meet goals.

You have to find others who have forged the path ahead of you and take heart and guidance from their leads.  One of my favorite quotes is this…

“Authors don’t just write with no endpoint, they finish books, submit them, get rejected or accepted, and write some more.” – Samantha Hunter, 2008 RITA finalist

I read this quote every day.  It motivates me to be a writer.   To me, being a writer is not just saying I’ve finished one complete book of over 70K words and have three others in the works.  Being a writer is realizing that these works-in-progress were the fledgling steps taken to get onto the path of being a writer.  Those works were not my work.  They were the baby steps taken to get me to the stage of walking and then on to running.

It is foolishness to think that just because you put words to a page that you are a writer.  It is foolishness to say that just because you have published that you are a writer.  You are a WRITER when you decide you are a WRITER.  It is your personal perspective that matters most.

Therefore, you are a writer even if you have not put words on the page as yet.  If you are still in the planning stages.  If you have notebooks with scribblings in them.  If you decide you are a writer then you ARE.

This is why writing is such hard work.  It takes place even before you put pen to page, fingers to keyboard.  Being a writer is a state of mind.

I love writing.  It’s what I think I was born to do.  I’m middle-aged, have not had a book traditionally published but I feel it in my bones.  I am a writerI exist because I write.  I write to exist.

Okay. Done ranting now.

Book Thoughts: The Magick Host by Jacquie Gallo

The Magick Host by Jacquie Gallo centers around Skye Evans, a young man with purple hair and a big heart.  He’s been in love with Amy Watson since they were in grade school but its been unrequited.  Why?  Because they’re both so young and inexperienced they don’t know how to proceed.  However, besides this, Skye is not your normal everyday young man.  He possesses magical powers that have left people…dead.


While he tries to control the destructive nature of his powers it is his emotions that truly control him.  This, of course, leads to trouble in the form of drawing the wrong type of attention — vampiric attention.  Some of the vampires that are drawn to Skye and Amy are helpful, some not so much.

Skye and Jack (who is Amy’s best friend and he also befriended Skye), must continually fight for their lives while realizing that there’s something even more unnerving about the source of Skye’s powers.

The premise of this vampire story was not clear initially.  It seemed as if one story was being told — love conquers all.  Then, about halfway through there was an unfoldment that shifted the story’s plot to — revenge is sweet.  Ultimately, The Magick Host is a story with high ambitions that are not fully realized due to technical and grammatical missteps.  In three places, the characters are referred to by another name.

If you can overlook these things, and see the story as a whole, it does bring satisfaction in the end.

2.5 Blogairy Notebooks

4th Annual No KISS BLOGFEST

Straight from Plymouth Meeting, PA, Frankie Diane Mallis has a great blog idea that promises to make each and every one of us a bit hot under the collar throughout the year.  What am I speaking of?  The 4th Annual No-Kiss Blogfest, of course.

Frankie Diane Mallis

YA writer Mallis is getting writer-bloggers all worked up over the almost-kiss.  You know when your favorite on-screen couple have emotional angst going on and they’re hot for one another but there’s that one thing (or a couple of things…) keeping them apart?  Like Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara?  Or, Beauty and the Beast?  You get the idea.

Here are the rules straight from Frankie’s blog

No Kiss Blogfest Jan 2, 2013! 

Things You Should Do To Prepare For The Ultimate Non-Kissage Festivities!
 

1) Sometime between now and Jan 2, 2013 write a post about the No Kiss Blogfest to let everyone know you are participating and that they should too. Why? Because it’s awesome! (Please link back)

2) Sign up for the No Kiss Blogfest by filling in the Mr. Linky below.  Because Mr. Linky is awesome.

3)Tweet about No Kiss Blogfest, using the hash tag: #nokissblogfest because #hashtagsareawesome

4) After you’ve recovered from New Years Eve, write a blog sharing your Almost Kiss, No Kiss Blogfest entry (either one from your WIP, one you just wrote, one from a book, movie or tv show, or even a really hot almost-kiss picture)and post on January 2, 2013!!! Because reading your posts are awesome! (Don’t forget to link back)

Get ready for the steamiest day of 2013! It’s going to rule!

What’s my entry for the almost-kiss?  Currently reading a fab Victorian romance story by C.J. Archer called The Medium.  In the story, Emily Chambers has the gift of sight and can communicate with the dearly departed.  She and her sister have no trouble sending the spirits back to the ‘Waiting Area’…normally.  However, one distinctly handsome ghost is defying their every command to return to the holding area to wait for the Administrators’ next command.  Jacob Beaufort is something of a rogue but one that excites Emily.  After only a few days of them being in acquaintance, things heat up!  Check this Victorian steamy scene out…

I stood and set my book down on the writing desk then sat beside him on the bed.  He lowered his gaze to our hands, inches apart on the bedcover.

And then something happened.  His fingers moved ever so slightly towards mine.  My breath caught in my chest and I watched, waiting for his fingers to move again, but they did not.  Nevertheless, they had moved.  Jacob was still looking down at them.

Silence enveloped us but id didn’t feel awkward or heavy.  More…charged, thick with unspoken words and a thousand jumbled emotions.

All of a sudden I wanted to touch him.  I wanted to feel his skin against mine, explore the bruises of his knuckles, the smoothness of his fingernails.  I inched my fingers closer and his moved too, towards mine, as if we were two magnets drawn to each other.  Finally we touched, just our pinkies, but it felt like a spark jolted through me on contact.

“Emily,” he whispered.  My name had never sounded so good, like a hust of a gentle breeze across a grassy meadow.  “Tell me what you’d been about to say.”  His voice was buttery soft.

“What?”

“Why are you thanking me?”

“Oh.  For caring about my health of course.”

His fingers recoiled and curled into a fist as if I’d slapped them away.  I felt the abrupt loss of his touch so keenly it hurt.

(This excerpt taken from C.J. Archer’s The Medium which is book one of this trilogy.  It is available in the Amazon Kindle Store at no cost.)

So there you have it folks, my version of the age-old almost kiss, or the Victorian version of such!

Get all the juicy details of how you can participate in the 4th Annual No Kiss Blogfest here.  We’ll all be looking forward to fanning ourselves throughout 2013…Happy New Year!!