Friday, July 26, 2013

Druid Derrick - Meditation doesn't always come easily

Thoughts on the last few days churned through Derrick’s mind making the quiet hard to come by, but the Lady came anyway. Chill hands came to rest on his shoulders then moved to his neck, and then to his cheeks. Cold fingernails combed hair back from his temples and then raked his braid loose in a single leisurely motion.

Then like the smoke, she drifted in front of him and rested her cool cheek against his; her icy breath tickled his ear as she whispered to his soul. Then she changed sides, whispering something else into his other ear. These words he understood.

“Say it,” she whispered. “Prove to me that you remember what you ask of me.”

Derrick was confused, but then she showed him the meeting with the teachers, the meeting with Anya and the two men needing some healing, the meeting with Daniel at the car, Simon giving him the chest, Marissa reading his cards, the meeting with Cade, Sidney and the others at his door. It didn’t take him long to catch on to what he was seeing. All people meeting with him, seeking his attention for one reason or another, ticked back over the last several months. But it was the last meeting that jogged the necessary memory, the dark elves. “Never let me forget my purpose in this life. Never allow the things and people that come and go to distract me away from my very first vow. My heart and my soul and all of my weapons are yours to command in all things. All else is secondary and transient.”

Her satisfaction was felt in the warmth that exploded from his heart, and then she sealed it with a brief kiss full on the mouth.

As if he wasn’t having enough trouble breathing, he found himself gasping as he opened his eyes.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Order of Events

What if you were to just toss a cup of scenes onto your pages? Each one was a glowingly written pearl, error free, and just plain awesome. They all involved the same characters. They all could have taken place today in hometown USA. Would you read this book?

I am such a linear creature, reading this random collection of scenes would likely drive me nuts. I am always in search of a progression of events, a character arch of some sort, a resolution to go with the beginning. This is why I don't care for a book of short stories. I actually have to gear myself up for such a book - prepare myself for the fact that the book is full of separate stories and not chapters. I've been taken by surprise a time or two and was really frustrated - didn't pay close enough attention to the title when I picked the book up.

But I digress - Back to our cup full of lovely pearls in need of a string. The string of your story is very important. One scene needs to lead into the next one, and the next one, and on and on. You can't have Mary kissing Billy before she meets him. You can't have Billy showing off his baby boy before he ever knows Mary has moved in next door.

Now let's really make this interesting and mix time travel in. Does that fix our issue with the cup of pearls? It doesn't. It can't. Time travel can be fun to mess with; you get to visit all sorts of interesting places in time, or visit different spots in someone's life, as might be the case in this sample.

Even with time travel in full play, we still need a string for our pearls. The best way to do this is to pick at least one character in your story. I'll flip a coin and...Billy is my main. Regardless of how many loops through time the story takes, the events that happen around Billy happen in order. Billy needs to do this, which means that he needs to go there, which lets him meet Mary, which causes him to do something else so he can go back and kiss Mary, which isn't enough so he needs to go back to the beginning and give his assignment to someone else, so he can go back and win Mary's hand. But then for some reason he needs to go back even further to set some detail right, and... Well you get the idea.

It doesn't matter how many loops and trips through time, forward or backward, there still needs to be something linear, something we can follow from a beginning to an end, through a character arch. Look at Billy. No matter how he traveled through his story, he went from an irreverent time traveler to looking to commit to a relationship, to being a proud daddy. That progression, no matter how glowing the scenes are, is not possible without a string.

Do you tell your story in order? Now, I'm not talking about the opening scene that is essentially the ending, and then the story backs up and gets us there. That's different. Besides, it still has a string. It's just that the clasp is on the other end of the necklace. haha

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Writer's Block or Procrastination

So exactly what is writer's block? According to Wikipedia, it can be as minor as a temporary interruption in productivity or as bad as a complete abandonment of writing altogether. The writer can simply run out of inspiration, or it can be that the work is simply beyond the writer's ability; I've run into that one a time or two. There are also as many coping strategies as there are writers having this problem. You need to fish around and find what works for you.

I discussed my first confrontation with this issue here. Ultimately I went back and rewrote that part, and the story continues to flow now. The interruptions are still in place, and even more have been added, to include a paid editing project I've been working on lately. So Druid Derrick may be my biggest project; it is also my longest ongoing project. But I hope to have it finished one day relatively soon.

So, do you have a block sitting right in the middle of your writing? I think it happens to all of us at some point and to some degree. I have found that the myriad of distractions in our lives can be the biggest blocks, taking the form of a type of procrastination. I know, ever since I got internet and started promoting my books and socializing, my disturbance-free window for new creation is very small. Many of my writer friends lean on music to inspire them and maybe help set the mood; I happen to find the noise distracting. My husband is one of those people that simply has to have some kind of noise going in the background. If not the radio, then the TV as soon as the generator is running. Since the TV is sitting directly in front of me, only the width of the table away, it's quite a distraction. Given the opportunity, I get up early and write before anything else gets turned on (and before my husband gets up). Sometimes I'll get up in the middle of the night when an idea won't let me rest.

I like to give my stories their own life, and a life needs attention just like any child you're trying to raise to a strong, self-sufficient adult. If you don't give this life enough attention, it will be less than it could be. Also, as a 'life', sometimes you might want to go in one direction but your story simply insists on going another way. My advice is to listen to your story. Most of the time, it really does know best. It's another way of saying 'listen to your subconscious mind'. If you're not comfortable with a scenario, change it. If you are still stuck, shoot the idea at anyone, me if you like, I'm a good sounding board. More often than not, either an idea will ring true with you, or the mere act of asking will turn on the light in a dark room and a new idea will occur to you all of your own.

My issue with Druid Derrick was something of a redundancy. At first a traditional Christian marriage that would make her parents happy, and then a druid marriage my character would see as far more binding. I did all the research. I had it all planned out, but it was like my character had simply dug in his heels and refused to go forward with it. There is also the issue of redundancy, and though the ceremonies would be drastically different, there was still the issue of getting married twice. What was the point? What was the real value to the story? Through the course of this story, it became my window into today's druid society, but though a druid ceremony would have been interesting, in truth, Derrick's wife is a very secondary character and the second ceremony would have been overdoing it. It's still something that might happen, but really I don't think so. There's already a lot of things planned for this book, and this particular issue has been semi-permanently shelved. You never know, a birth is expected, Derrick might want to cement his relationship over that. We'll have to see. At the moment, he's still learning how to socialize. He's reached a point in his druid life where he can no longer afford to hide, nor does he need to; he's a big boy now.

What is your strategy for dealing with Writer's Block. Do share; it might help someone else.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Indie-Soul Giveaway

This giveaway is co-sponsored by Indie-Visible: Literary Justice For all,  a resource for authors to get everything they need for their self published book:

We’re a powerhouse collective of independent writers using joint resources and collaborative social media to deliver quality books to the masses.

We work with top notch editors, illustrators, graphic designers, and PR gurus, keeping all aspects of industry-related work within our ever growing family of freelancers, supporting a thriving community of entrepreneurs.

Indie-Visible as a whole exists to help members of the indie publishing community not only connect, but thrive! 

So lets talk details:
There will be three winners, a reader, a blogger and an author
Victoria Faye, Indie-Visible Designer will discuss with the winners which they are.
The initial winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter, the other two by another randomizer. 

Lets talk prizes:

Each winner will get:
1 BOOKLOVER // JOURNAL (Designed by Whit&Ware)
1 INDIELUV TEE by Whit&Ware (Choose from three designs!) 

The Author winner will also get - A FREE COVER DESIGN/PROMO PACKAGE by Whit&Ware Design 

The  Reader winner will also get-  An Awesome Book Haul! 
-Arrows of the Mist by Christina Mercer (postcard,bookmarks)
-Tongues of Angels,  and The Doris Diaries Vol.1 by Julia Park Tracey
-Forged in Grace – Jordan Rosenfeld
-eBooks: Raksha by Frankie Rose,  and more (TBA) 

The Blogger winner will also get - A FREE BLOG REFRESH! New header, buttons, and custom graphics by Whit&Ware Design

So what are you waiting for? Enter NOW!

More Prize Details at:
Look in Whit&Wares Page Notes for prize info!

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