I finished up a round of books that are all deep with social commentary in the message of the story. They were great stories with such meaning and touch on dark spots on our human experience.
When I got the end I reflected on my own stories I’ve written and they seem shallow. Yet the deep, dark sides of humanity seem constantly in our faces with the news, conversations, and tragic events that happen all around us so why do I feel bad for wanting to bring joy, laughter, and light into the world with my creative works?
Do I want to take my religious/political/world view and bare it to the world by burying down into the storyline and make the reader’s question just what is happening in the world? Is that my purpose? Do I want that to be my purpose?
To be a writer, I want to be very clear about why I AM writing. Is it to entertain? To lighten another human’s burdens even for the brief time they read my words? Or do I want to comment on social woes and strive to make changes?
In the end, I don’t think it matter why I write. Maybe I’m just being too heady about this all and I should just write what I want to write and let the rest sort itself out later after I’m done with the piece. For now, I guess I will be content and get the story out of me and let the rest just be and not worry to deeply about it.
I love coming up with new ways to describe things. It may be odd to make something what is black and white like a typed story into imaging what it would be like if we could describe it with other senses. So here’s my question: is your story like a cozy hot tottie by the fire or maybe so cute that a gaggle of kittens would fart fairy dust? And if it’s not what you want, how can you change it?
A few elements that can change the readers images/sense of the story are sentence structure, word choice, and mood.
Sentence Structure – short simple sentences are like crack for most readers, they move the story along at a fast clip. Dense sentences are great for reflective times where the author is slowing down the pace.
My feet slapped the pavement. I gave in. I stopped and leaned against a wall. My breath was ragged and raspy to my ears. There’s no way out, my brain protested.
With my breath raspy and ragged in my ears, my feet slapped the pavement. I gave in, leaned against a wall, and thought, there’s no way out.
Word Choice – is paramount because this can change the feel of everything in a story so once you know what mood you’re going for it’s easy to see if a word doesn’t work to create a mood.
The fire shot up, pushing the night’s darkness to the edge of the campsite.
The fire snaked up into the sky, gobbling up the black sky, and shadows danced around the campsite.
Mood – is the feeling the reader gets from the writing. It’s created by using a combination of sentence structure and word choice.
birthday decorations before the party:
Cries of not it float through the window, my lips can’t help but smile. Cake with grass green frosting with five red candles are center stage waiting for the singing masses of his friends to bounce off the walls. It’s perfect.
Cries of not it burst through my roiling emotions. The sounds are everyday but they are hollow. Cake with grass green frosting with five red candles are center stage waiting for the singing masses of his friends to bounce off the walls. It seems so perfect but how long can it last?
The first is light and carefree but in the second there is a sense of foreboding and unease. So using these very basic but powerful elements one change the world or at least shake up your character’s world.
So go reek some havoc and have fun playing with these elements to your hearts desire.
Nothing like messing with your character’s minds. We meddle because we care!
Is it just me that the thought of eight books coming out in six months is crazy? I mean even Nora Roberts said she can crank out an entire book in 45 days. So that’s a today of eight books in a year not six months.
Yet despite the numbers there are a few authors that are churing out double that amount, how are they doing it? Co-authoring. That’s right. Now there is a difference between co-authoring and ghost writing but this one seems like it’s skirting the line.
I’m not against a good paring of authors to pen a book but when you mix one best seller with a fairly new name and the style seems no where near the best seller’s work, who’s work is it really? Is this a good thing for the non large font author? Yes and no.
Yes, because this brings the authors level of exposure up and expands their reach. No, because if the big name’s brand/style is what the readers are looking for they may never try their writing again. But the upside for the best selling author that they get money from all those books with their name on it. I’m not against the co-authoring approach but they only need to be conscience of the reader’s reaction.
So if a few of my favorite authors happen to be interested, I’m available to collaborate.
Nothing like waking up on a Tuesday (or for most people Monday) and realize that your to-do list never was culled. Oh, no, when you weren’t looking the dang thing bred like rabbits. Now with my 40 hour work week starting, I don’t have time to chase down the fury little rodents and get stuff done.
Yet in my defense, you perfectionist ego self that is nagging at me, I managed to finish reading three great books. So I may not have got more words on my work in progress done but I’ll get to it. Maybe this weekend was to allow me to take time away from the story so I can come back refreshed and ready to make the story move.
I know I am very hard on myself so I’m cultivating ways to let myself off the hook about my own personal deadlines. Though that may be my wish, every time I say something about being “nice” to myself or to “cut” myself some slack, in my ears all I can hear is a little dark voice telling me that I’m copping out, I’m lying to myself, and that I’m a hypocrite since I push others to complete their goals by sticking with them.
I must be gentle with myself because I need to keep me filled up with hope, love, and joy for me so I can overflow such sentiments to those I see, speak, and interact with every day. Deep in my heart that rings true. Because that is how I want to be treated and if I can’t stomach giving those responses to me, how do I plan on receiving the same things from others?
One of my goals this year is to write two complete manuscripts. To do this I must keep track of my goal weekly and tweak my long term goals. For example, I started a new work-in-progress that I want to have approximately 65,000 words manuscript. And I should be able have the first draft written by the beginning of March. Round 1 of edits should take me a month to get through. So by May, I could be ready to start my next work-in-progress.
Rinse and repeat with additional editing sprinkled in between. It sounds easy on paper but hopefully with me constantly checking and keeping my goals insight I can keep on track. By checking the goals at least once I week, I can adjust my time line to see if the original goal is feasible. If it isn’t that’s simple enough to handle, I update the completion date. This isn’t hard but I make sure I’m making progress and not letting myself off the hook.
My little linear mind loves to make goals, to-do lists, and the such. But when it comes to this creative game called art, my neat little organizational mind needs to go into hibernation. The lists can suck fun and creativity right out my ear. So how can I make a satisfying meal for both sides of my brain?
I haven’t found the secret sauce ingredient yet but here’s what I’ve found thus far:
Set goals with creative things as my reward.
(For example, I wanted to start reading the long In Death series by J.D. Robb but I know once I start a series, I will inhale the whole thing without coming up for air. If I did this I would get through the series but have no writing done of my own to show for it. SO now once I finish a large task while working on my book I get a treat; I get to read the next book in the series. Win-win, in my book (yes, pun was totally intended).)
I must open the document up every time I’m at my computer. And if at the end of the day I’ve haven’t done anything on it, I’m OK with it because I at least opened it and maybe reread a few paragraphs.
(Sometime it’s good enough to allow my mind to mull things around in my subconsciousness without me trying to strong arm it to do something.)
It’s fine if I watch cartoons, comedies, and do things that bring me joy instead of writing that day.
(I do this because my reason to write is to be in joy not because some mass market is dictating that what I’m writing will be perfect for this year’s latest and greatest writing trends.)
Appreciate being a noncontracted author.
(Seems hinkey, I know, since I am trying to get an agent/publisher to pick me up but I cherish this time because I decide what I want to write or how I write. There are no demands on my skill. Bliss is my only goal with my pen and story. I am my audience so if I don’t enjoy it neither will anyone else.)
I am excited to keep forging ahead chopping down the jungle as I go along. Some days will be easier than others but I above all write because words are my dear friends that can light up someone’s day. When the days get bogged down I just need to channel the joy and reflect on it from time to time.
Words are my life boat in this sometimes crazy world,
Through a discussion with my friends we stumbled across the notion of being right or being kind. In situations where emotions are charged it is easy to rage about being right and this being wrong. But what if we choose instead to be kind? Is there a way to bring love and kindness into any emotional charged conversations? Can I express my frustration and disappointment without being right?
At work I got an email questioning a decision that was made that I had been for weeks going around and double checking everyone was alright with. Now it is less then a week away and a light bulb went off in someone’s head and yep as I had been trying to avoid, there is a huge problem that if they would have listened to me we could of fixed easily weeks ago. So here I am with a massive problem and little under a week to repair the damage. I heard roaring in my ears, my hands ball up, I just want to scream out my frustration. Then a quiet nymph whispered “be right or be kind.”
My body responds my letting go of the anger balled up inside. The options are laid out in front of me: am I to be of service and help fix it OR do I hold onto my righteous anger because this could have been avoided if only they had listened? It is so much easier to hold onto what feels like the high ground and sneer at their stupidness but that feels horrible to cut myself off from my coworkers. So the option must be: be kind. Time to roll up the sleeves and do the work. Sweep up behind them and find answers to remedy the situation.
All in all being kind may feel harder to do, in the beginning, but with time this becomes an easier and faster reaction. Plus all that energy that I would of held onto can now relax and create a better environment to be in.