Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chapter 4.5: Book Blog: Magical Writing and Magical Bears

Yes, it's time for another book blog. And I swear, I will try to post actual blog posts again soon, but it may not happen before Nano is over thanks to how much further in my story I still have to go. So for now, have fun with the video and I'll be back soon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chapter 4.4: Book Blog: Fairytale, The Last Queen of Egypt, and Espionage

So sorry that I haven't posted in forever. I went home this past weekend, so I never got a chance to make the book video. But today, I have it for you, fresh from all the hoopla it takes to post it. Oh, and I have someone who watches on YouTube! Yes, I'm sucking in more!

Have fun and I'll be back soon with a new post

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chapter 4.3: Does It Count As Murder If You Only Strangle Them In Your Head?

So, anyone who loves reading has met the characters you yell at. Possibly out loud, possibly in public (drawing many confused or disturbed stares along the way). It happens, characters do stuff that ticks you off. Maybe it's a simple as sighing in frustration when the couple in a romance novel don't talk to each other and get upset over simple misunderstandings. Maybe you yell at your favorite character when it turns out he's the one who's been the bad guy all along.

It happens to everyone. Characters act unexpectedly sometimes. Maybe it feels out of character, or maybe you never knew what their real character was. They react in ways you never saw coming. And sometimes you want to reach into the world of fiction and shake them until they shape up and get back to being who you know and love.

Well that happens to writers as well. Most people think that writers have the control in their story, that they are the ones who decide what the characters are going to do. This is only true to a very very very small degree. We have a basic idea of what characters are going to do, of who they are.

But often, the characters are the ones running the show when you start writing as story, at least that's how I've heard it works for many authors (and how it works for myself). You start off with someone you believe is a simple side character and then suddenly they've over taken the story to become a vital member of the plot.

Or they react completely differently to a situation than you thought they would. For example, I once believed that a character would be headstrong and filled with righteous anger after a fight with another character. Instead she broke down into a puddle of tears and disappeared from the world for two weeks. That will screw with your plot.

And I've heard people say "You're the author. You're in charge." Now, this should be true, and you fight tooth and nail for it to actually be true. I've actually had arguments with my characters during the writing stages. I had a character once who was convinced she could weave and wanted a loom in her room. I said no. I said that since I knew nothing about weaving, she wasn't allowed to have one and then I went to bed...and five minutes later I got up and wrote the loom into the description because she nagged me and wouldn't leave me alone.

Although, this year I did have some success negotiating with a character and talking her out of saying something she would regret, that would break her and her dad apart (which would suck for me because I need them to like each other for other plot pieces to work). I told her "No. No no no, do not say that. You will hate yourself for it." And she backed down. Score one for the author!

And sometimes, characters just have sides to them you haven't seen. I believed my main hero in my story was just going to be your run-of-the-mill smart ass. And instead he is surprisingly deep and has brought in a whole issue of black and white and gray that is just taking root and popping up all over the place.

If you want to see more proof of this phenomenon, go here. It is quite fun to see how stories run away with people. Also, this is why Edward left in New Moon.* Stephenie Meyer said she begged and pleaded with him, but he left anyway. Sometimes there's just no arguing with these people. ;D

*While I enjoyed Twilight, I am not a hysterical fangirl groupie. Also, Team Edward already won. Why are there still teams?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chapter 4.2: Book Blog: Ice, Time Travel, and Science

I feel bad that I didn't post this yesterday, I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to do a book blog yesterday. I was feeling a little sick and the weather made me want to curl into a ball and I missed home. I don't know if people were sad I didn't do the book blog but until you yell at me to stop, they'll be here. Hopefully.

Now I'm off to eat some dinner and then hunker down to NaNo some more. Or read my incredibly odd and slightly disturbing book: Tender Morsels.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chapter 4.1: NaNoWriMo

It's that time of year again for many people around the world. NaNo time. For the uninitiated or those who don't have a crazy person in their lives that have explained it before, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. This is a sort of personal goal contest to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That's right, during the month of November, you attempt to write an entire novel. You can write outlines and plans, but you can't start writing before midnight on October 31st and you have until midnight on November 30th to complete the 50,000 words and have it validated.

Now, it seems like a simple challenge to those who love to write when taken out of context. Well maybe not simple, but certainly doable. However, that is without factoring in the amount of time that life takes up. All the little things you do in a day that result in difficulty finding time to write that 50,000 words. Luckily a whole slew of people are working through the same thing right along with you.

There's no real prize for winning except the personal feeling of accomplishment you get. You do receive a winner's certificate and a code that will allow you to get a free proof of your book though. A proof is pretty much the final copy of a book (bound and covered) that you give the final okay to before it goes into production.

Now, the past two years that I've done it I've won. It hasn't exactly been easy (that first year I ended up writing 25,000 words in the last five days) but I didn't have too much in my way other than procrastination.

But this year, oh this year is a completely different kettle of fish (yes I am using a rather old timey idiom. I like it.) because this is the year of the Fun Quarter of Doom. This is the quarter where I'm taking 19 credits of work. The quarter where I haven't read an adult book since September 19, where I haven't chosen a book for myself since September. The quarter with two lit credits and a foreign language to contend with. The work is fun, but there's a lot of it. And I do mean a lot. Believe me, I made a list.

Which is why I ended up being a NaNo rebel and bending the rules slightly. I had started the first book in my trilogy last June, thinking I'd surely be done with it by summer's end. When that didn't happen, I thought I'd finish it during school, but as we can see, I've been a little busy. So, since I was pretty much right at the beginning of the book, I've decided to just pick up and continue it, finishing it for NaNo.

The great thing is, I am loving the little time I get to spend with my characters and story. This book has been running around in my head for probably close to twelve years now and I'm glad it's finally coming to paper. I'm a little behind on word count (only at 4100, when it should be closer to 5000) but considering everything else I have to do, I think I'm in pretty good shape.

And it's not too late to start. The month is still young. You can still join me in my mad quest and write a story you've had running around. You don't have to have a definite plot (mine's never really planned out) just start with the idea and jump in, seeing where the road takes you. I swear, it's a fun a rewarding ride.

And so I'm going to leave you with the synopsis for this years book, the first book in the Negra Legacy Trilogy: In The Widow's Web.

Every family has its secrets
The Matins create their own form of justice, bringing down the hidden scum of society. The Negras are rich, powerful…and a family of drug lords. When Isabelle Matin was sent to reclaim a child taken by the Negras, she never counted Alex Negra as anything but a deadly obstacle. Sexy, sharp, and lethal, Alex was good at being his mother’s muscle. Until she went too far and he wanted out. But getting out isn’t easy and when the only person you have to turn to is someone who’d rather let you drown, it’ll take more than determination to stay alive. Can Alex soften Isabelle’s heart? And can she learn to trust a man she despises?