May 2011 Archive

Looking for a Critique Partner?

Over the next month, my schedule is going to be pretty darn free…and not in a good way.  Hours have been cut at work and I’m preparing for a move in the next month or so, this means I’m not about to look for a new job, here.

Critique Partner?

Anyway, here’s my offer to all of you: if you need a CP, or just a new set of eyes for your WIP, let me know!  There’s only so much work I can do on my own writing in one day, so feel free to pass your stuff over.  I’m not so great at grammar/punctuation, but am pretty good with flow/pacing/voice etc.  Let me know what you need, and I’ll do my best to provide :)  (My turn around’s pretty good too.  Unless something else comes up, I’ll try to get it back to you within a week)

This is totally NOT to detract from Ready, Aim, Hook Me and their new site.  Go check it out.  It’s awesome.

Contact me here if you’re interested, or send me an e-mail, or find me on twitter.  Whatever pleases you.  I can’t wait to read your guys’ work!

Monday Night RAW

There are several things I never thought I would enjoy, but since moving in with Cale, have been proven wrong and been sucked right into them.  I hate to admit it, but Monday night RAW is one of those things (I have yet to give into NASCAR).

Don’t worry, John Cena wins in the end.  I know you all were worried…

Anyway, this post is all about why WWE is just like writing!

  1. Wrestlers have to build a platform just like writers.  Wrestlers can switch from good guy to bad guy in an instant, but whatever side they’re on, they have to get the crowd to believe in them and cheer for them.  To be successful, they have to be known.
  2. Wrestlers spend an exorbitant amount of time practicing and perfecting their craft, just like writers!  Cale watches Tough Enough with Stone Cold, which is a reality show with a group of people competing to become professional wrestlers.  These guys are beaten up, they work out until they puke, they practice  charisma down and until they have perfected personalities into ones an audience will respond to, and they must expect to live a life that will challenge them and always be at risk of failure.  Cale just told me WWE does not provide insurance for wrestlers and that they are paid by appearance.  Who does that remind you of??  Writers!
  3. Wrestlers must make their audience experience the fight with them. Wrestlers make their audience feel and I mean FEEL.  Even though this stuff is obviously fake, it’s exciting and the drama is intense.  The people in the crowd is right there with them, in the ring.  Writers have to do this as well.  Our goal should be to suck readers into our written worlds.  If they aren’t, they simply won’t keep reading.
  4. Wrestlers must be creative.  There are only a certain amount of moves you can do in the ring and a certain amount of props.  But it’s not about the move, it’s about how you carry it out.  It’s the exact same thing with writing.  At the end of the day, all of the stories we write are about the same thing.  The questions we pose are not unique, but the way we tell them is.  There must be something exciting, original, intense that only we can bring to our stories.
  5. Wrestling is a partnership between both wrestlers in the ring.  Writing is not a sole endeavor.  While we may not have to choreograph our stories with another individual, like wrestlers have to, but we do need the help and support of family, friends, crit partners, editors, and agents.
  6. Lastly, writers are like wrestlers because they have to be absolutely, fanatically in love with the art.  Otherwise, why the hell else would you do it?  Seriously, it’s not like it’s easy.

All in all, be a showstopper, believe in yourself, let your personality jump off the page – do as the divas of RAW do.  Go watch Monday night RAW and be more like a wrestler!  Aspire to be John Cena (or Kelly Kelly if you’d rather be a girl, haha)!

The Importance of a Timeline

I like being an organized person.  I love it when my house is clean, when I know exactly where my favorite pen is because it’s in the same place I always put it, and when my writing is outlined.

I’ve already posted about my plotting techniques, but something I did not write about was the importance of a timeline.  I hand wrote a timeline a month back for this new WIP, but since then have felt the need to make one on the computer, which I did yesterday. Yay!

Here’s a quick summary of how I made it:

  1. In your word document, go to the tab Insert. Under insert, click on shapes and choose a style of line.  You can have a squiggly line, a straight line, a straight line with arrows.  Oh so many options.
  2. After you’ve chosen your line, click on the document and draw the line out.
  3. Now is the fun part.  Go back to Insert-> Shapes, and this time go to Callouts- these are the bubbles that come off the line.  Again, oh so many options!  Stick the Callout of your choice onto the line and type away.

See, it’s easy.

Now, why do I think a timeline is so important?  Because if you don’t know what’s happening on different days in your WIP than your reader sure won’t.  This is a great reminder to put this information into your chapters, separating events and days.  If a month has passed, make sure to say a month has passed, or if it’s only the next morning, say it’s the next morning.

I’m already in love with my timeline and how it’s helped my writing, and I’ve only had it for a day.  Go make one of your own!

P.S. Be sure to come back in a couple days to see why I think writers are like wrestlers, and the writer’s journey is like WWE!

What’s in a Name?

Usually, I don’t spend too much time on character’s names.  This is usually how it goes:

Me: Cale, I need a girl’s name!
Cale: Kayln.
Me: Sweet, I like that one.

Or:

Me: Porsha, Helena, Mirial, Natalie, Victoria, Sophie, Jeannette, Shell.  Hmm, yeah, Shell sounds good.

Anyway, this is my current problem.  I really don’t like one of my MC’s names.  I’ve never liked it, but it’s been his name since 7th grade when he came into existence.  Do I take the time to figure out a different name or leave it as is?

How do you guys come up with your character’s names?

How Silly We Must Look

I wonder what other people think when I’m writing.  I just realized, as I was typing a paragraph, that I was mimicking my MC’s actions, trying to find the right word to describe her movements.  Thank goodness no one was here to watch.

I know I do this often.  In the midst of writing, I’ll make a face, shrug my shoulders, or pace the living room acting out a scene to gather the most detail I can.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall and watch myself write just to see how goofy I must look :)