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Values

I wrote a post on Quora today that iIthought would be fitting here. 

Question: How do I write a character to contradict their values. 

My answer: What is the value? What value do they hold higher than that? They will make a choice.

Example, they value life and think guns are bad. But they value their life and their child’s life more. So when a masked guy breaks into their home and somehow the main character gets a gun in their hand they have a choice…. Die and hold the value that guns are evil, or use it against the bad guy.

We make choices like this all the time. Sometimes it’s as simple as “don’t hurt bugs” until the creepy spider shows up in your bathtub. Sometimes it’s something bigger. There is always the question of what is more important to them.

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Posted by on October 4, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Just keep swimming

It’s been a while since I started these five minute writing excersize, and I’ve learned that taking some time off is a bad plan.

A rolling stone gathers no moss…right? So if  you keep moving, keep progressing toward your goal, it’s less likely that you will stop and start growing moss, or in my case, procrastinating.

It’s so easy to procrastinate though. You have games to play, movies to watch, meals to eat. You can even procrastinate by cleaning the house. You need to clean the house, of course, but when  you’re looking for anything, even the little tiny things to clean just to get out of doing something then it’s more than cleaning. It’s procrastination.

The last couple of weeks since I finished “Dragon’s Flame” I started working hard on the procrastination. Games, mostly. A minecraft pack that I wanted to try, and West of Loathing (which is a WONDERFUL game and I highly recommend) were great distractions. Talking to my children, spending time with Bjorn when he took a moment from his own work. And so much more.

But I suppose it’s time to stop procrastinating, and start writing again. I am half way finished with the next book in the Half Blood Sorceress series, and it’s time to get to finishing it. I still haven’t gotten the edits back for the first book, but… that will come.

And there’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Writing

I’ve started cleaning up what I’ve already written for book two in my Half Blood Sorceress series. A lot of what I’m doing is just remembering what I’ve already written so that when I start getting to the chapters that aren’t finished yet I can keep everything on the right track.

That is the one problem with the way I write things. I tend to do things in a scattered way, switching from one project to another, skipping to the scene that is interesting me at that time so I can get it finished, then moving on to another. Linear is not part of my makeup. I use to drive my art teacher insane that way. I’d skip around on the paper, drawing parts of if here and there before actually finishing anything. She couldn’t figure out how I could draw like that and still get a coherent piece of art. But it worked for me, always, and I often had some of the most technically accurate work in the class, though maybe not the most creative.

My creativity was more in tune with writing. I could build worlds, expand them, add new creatures and dimensions to them. Explore ideas and themes that I couldn’t in real life. I had more mobility with writing then I did with painting. But still no ability to work in a linear fashion.

I suppose I’m better about it now. I do tend to write a plot line for the thing before rambling. It might not be a whole plot, but it is definitely something to keep me in check. I throw away a lot fewer words because of that.

And that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min- Publishing

It’s been a wild ride this year. I’m getting ready to publish my fourth real book. When I say “real” I just mean that it has more than 50k words in it and qualifies as a full novel. Most of the books I have up are short stories and novellas with the three main books that are full novels.

But I looked today and I have actually published 40 short stories. Not all separately, some are in anthologies. But, dang, that’s a lot of short stories.

Trying to figure out what I should be doing with those short stories. They don’t sell a lot of copies, but I give them away a lot. I get some reviews, and a lot of comments from people that read them. I am considering giving them away as a Patreon reward, or a reward for subscribers to my newsletters. Or both, maybe?

It’s the little things, though. Setting up the publishing details. Starting to do the print book set up. Considering where/how I might advertise it when I finally get it done. But! it’s at the editors now and I’m all set to go from here.

Of all 46 stories I’ve written over the years, and publishing so many books, I am so happy that I’ve continued on this journey. It isn’t always easy, it’s a lot of time, energy, and sometimes tears getting out all of those words. But the stories are worth it. Having the books on my shelf, or having something to show to others, or even the audio books, are all worth the trouble it took to get here.

And that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Word Counts

It’s August, and I thought it was time to take a look at my writing for the year. It’s easier now, right after I’ve finished a big writing project, (YAY, completed book one in Half Blood Sorceress Series) to look back and see what I’ve been doing.

I keep stats of every days writing, and I keep track of actual story word count separate from things like blogs, newsletters, and other writing media that I do. I don’t keep track of every word I write, because I love social media, but I do keep track of things that matter to me.

So how does this year stack up to previous years? Well, it’s now the 8th month of the year and I have only written 50,000 words. For the past four years I have written about 230k each year, which includes the NaNoWriMo 50k write in Nov. So if I manage to get through NaNo this year I’ll be a lot closer to my usual yearly goal, but still much farther behind then usual.

Why did this happen?

If we take a look at my monthly word count for just this year we see that I started okay in January, then in February everything went down hill, and didn’t pick up again till July. That’s because I was going through a bunch of changes at the end of last year, beginning of this year. Mostly moving to a much more involved, and stress filled job. I couldn’t write at work like I use to and had to make sure I took time out at home to actually write. I also had to make sure I made time with Gregg, who now works from home.

Overall, it feels like I’ve finally sorted that all out, and I’m able to work on my next novel with a bit more confidence, but still, I shouldn’t take my writing for granted.

And that’s my five.

 

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min- Finished! 

Back in April of 2015 I got a fantastic idea for a story by looking at a lonely piece of art. The art was looking for a book to be a cover for, and it would be a fantastic cover. Unfortunately it was a pro artist and I can’t afford his rates. But that didn’t stop me from writing the story. 

So in. May of 2016, a year later, I started outlining the series. Five books. Five complete stories, each one with a valuable part to play in making one girl, Sybel, who she needs to be to save everyone from an unknown danger. I started writing  it during NaNoWriMo 2016. 

And tonight I’ve completed the first novel in that series! 

It feels so good to be done. I wrote the first draft, went through line by line to clean up any plot holes and add descriptions to some areas, and I’m finally satisfied that it’s ready to go to the editor. 

So happy! And I  can’t wait to share it with all of you. 

And that’s my five. 

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – The goal is right there!

It’s 3:30 in the morning and I just finished editing a few more chapters of Dragons’s Flame. That leaves one more chapter, and the epilogue, to finish. Once I’m done I can send it off to the editor. I almost finished it tonight, almost, but when I started editing the final chapter my brain started rebelling.

Writing is so much different than editing. For writing it’s often helpful to be slightly tired because then it’s easier to let go of that editor trying to fix things all the time, and just write. Sometimes I write my best words while slightly tired at the end of the night. Other times I write the worst. I think it depends on how sleepy I am. Just slightly sleepy with a cup of coffee, great. Ready to fall over on the keyboard? Not so much.

I’m so happy with how the novel has come out. It is currently 49,500 words long. After editing this last chapter I’m pretty sure it will be 50k. That’s perfect. I wasn’t trying to hit that number, but it is a nice number in instead. And the second book is already 40k words long and only about half finished so it will likely be longer. That’s about how the Witch’s Trilogy worked out as well.

Last month, and this month so far, has been the best writing months I’ve had all year. I think this five minute writing page has helped a lot. It’s gotten me to get out of my head, and get onto the paper. It’s also been very good at getting me to write instead of just thinking about writing.

But that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2017 in On Writing

 

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