Sunday, September 22, 2013

By George I think I've got it and #writemotivation

First, I will confess, I totally googled the "By George" above to make sure I got it right. The frequency in which I use google to verify phrases...yeah, we'll just say it's a lot.

This phrase has been my personal mantra all week long: Get over yourself and just write already.

Years ago I was searching for a writer's group in the Pensacola area I could go to, a place where we could critique each other's work and I'd learn how to be a better writer. What I found was a group of people who wanted to sit around and give excuses as to why they weren't writing. I didn't go back until several months ago, hoping to find something different. Fortunately I did. This week I was so completely ashamed of myself when I realized that was what I had been doing--making excuses to myself as to why I wasn't writing, why I couldn't write that day or at that time.

Doing my normal "ooh, look at all the shiny things on the internet" procrastination technique, I saw this retweet on my feed (okay, so I tried to embed the tweet onto my blog and it didn't work--I need a little more practice at this stuff, instead, I'll just quote it below...)

Maggie Stiefvater tweeted on Sept 18: In fact, every writer get off Tumblr & Twitter right now and finish your damn manuscript. Yes, I mean you.

At first, the rebel in me (honest, I really was born a Rebel) told Maggie to shut up (in my head, not Twitter, because that'd be rude), she can't tell me what to do and I kept scrolling through Twitter.

Then I started talking to myself--really, it's okay, that's normal. I told myself, "Self, she's right. You need to get off the internet and write." I whined back, "But, but I just can't. You don't understand. You're not telling me what to write. It's all crap." So I responded, "Stop being a whiny brat and write your book. If you don't write it someone else will." And, ooh, that really scared me. So I shut up and started writing. And finally, finally, finally I am writing. And it's flowing. And my brain's cooperating and giving me the story. And all the crap I had before can be worked in somewhere so it's not all crap, just wasn't right for the beginning.

I have at least ten different Word docs saved on my desktop of various beginnings I thought I liked, then I didn't like, but I can't delete because I never know when I might want to use that one specific turn of phrase I hashed out in that doc. That doesn't even count the number of times I deleted a whole page or doc because it just didn't work at all.

I cleverly (in my opinion of course) tweeted a while ago: My computer keyboard gave my fingers the eye and told me, "This book ain't gonna write itself."

And it's really not. So, to summarize: me writing; it's good.

Writemotivation updates:
            1.) Did a lot of writing--doubled my ten page goal. Yay. A lot of copying and pasting, but it still counts!
            2.) Have you ever loved a book so much, been so affected by it that you're scared to read another book that you know will affect you that way? Especially when it's traditionally published and takes a year or more for the next one to come out. And you're just trying to spare yourself the emotional trauma. No, just me, okay. Well, last week's Sarah J. Maas books still have me aching inside, so I decided to give myself a break and reread Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series--freaking LOVE Bones. Cat really annoys me, frequently, and I feel as though Jeaniene Frost's writing of her is awkward at times--but she is always spot on when it comes to Bones. His voice, his personality, just all of him. She said she visualizes James Franco when she writes him, but I totally see Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer--especially when Bones has his blond hair. It might be that he so completely and unashamedly loves his Kitten and it's nice to read a story where they're not constantly fighting their feelings or finding reasons why they can't be together...anyways. Rereading the 2nd-5th book in that series, not to mention the new adult garbage I read this week (none of it's worth mentioning--not good enough nor bad enough), that's how I met (sort of) my reading goal for the week.
           3.) Here's my blog--3 for 3 so far. Yay me! Next month my goal will also be to comment on other people's blogs as well, but that's a challenge for another month.
           4.) Not letting myself focus on any other books besides my current WIP because I'm finally focused and don't want to distract myself again. So, that's a fail. But I'll accept it.

I got lotsa -ly words and parenthesis above...kinda cringing. But it's 2:20am and I still have words in my head ready to get on the page and a goal to meet for next week. Ready. Set. Go.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Expecting more from New Adult and #writemotivation

I follow several self-pub'd New Adult authors on Facebook. All of them like to rant when they read a reviewer talking about the devolution of writing because of the self-pub'd industry. I've read many, many book blogs that recommend self-pub'd books, effusively praising the story and how amazing it is and they give them all 5 stars. Eighty-five percent of those books make me want to beat my head into a wall.

First, a disclaimer--there is absolutely nothing wrong with self-publishing. It takes a lot of work to promote your book after the hard work of writing it.

Here's my problem--the lack of editing. As I've ranted before, they don't maintain the tense. They flip back and forth between present and past and I don't think half of them have heard of past perfect. Using then versus than. And my favorite so far: "He wondered off to the other side of the club." Wondered? Wondered? The word you're thinking of is wAndered. Another author describes the MC as having her head on her love interest's shoulder. The MC "elevates her head to look at his face." I understand wanting to avoid cliches and wanting to find a different way to say what has been said a million times. However, elevate is awkward at best. Maybe it's because I'm a nurse and we elevate broken extremeties to reduce the swelling.

I'm fairly certain I've discussed those in a previous blog, so I'll stop there. Obviously it bothers me.

Now, is the traditional publishing industry jumping on the New Adult bandwagon? When I search for New Adult books, most of what I find is self-pub'd. Maybe that's because they're so much more popular due to the lower cost. I'm not sure.

I obeyed one of my September writemotivation commandments this week: read a book in my genre I'm writing. I, of course, read several self-pub'd New Adult books--those are so easy to read and I devour at least one a day. The books I read this week for my Young Adult genre are the first two books in a series: Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. Can I just say WOW!

Throne of Glass follows condemned assassin Celaena Sardothien in her quest to re-claim the title of royal assassin. I couldn't stop reading this book Thursday night, probably finished it about 3 a.m. Deciding I wanted to see where the Crown of Midnight started, I told myself I'd read the first couple chapters and go to bed. One-hundred-and-fifty pages later, at 7:30 a.m., I forced myself to stop so I could sleep. The first book was completely and utterly captivating and amazing. The second took that farther. Her love interest straightened itself out a bit, she suffers a horribly heartbreaking loss and the ending she reveals the big secret about herself that left me speechless. Speechless. And so completely frustrated that not only is there no release date for the third book, there's no title yet. I know it probably won't be out for a year and I can't freaking wait. I haven't felt this way about a series in a very long time.

I think the thing I love best about this series is Celaena's active struggle with readjusting to life outside of the salt mines she had been condemned to the year before. Her thought processes and emotions are real and relatable and I feel them so deep in my stomach I ache for her.

So, writemotivation goals:
                   1.) Did some writing, nothing towards my current WIP. My very awesome agent decided she wants to focus her career in a different direction and passed that news on to her clients last weekend. I allowed myself the week to be in a funk and now I'm making myself snap out of it. She was such an inspiration and I wouldn't have started my New Adult without her and my YA WIP wouldn't be where it is now without her. Also, without her, I wouldn't have found the awesome K.T. and her writemotivation and I wouldn't be doing this blog. There's me focusing on the bright side!
                   2.) Read a book in my genre: as noted above, very two awesome books by Sarah J. Maas.
                  3.) Here's the blog!
                  4.) Haven't focused on sketching out a new story because I let myself funk.

Now, onto the writing, because the voices in my head won't stop if I don't.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Superheroes and September #writemotivation

Looking back at my previous blogs, I did my very first writemotivation last September. Ha ha! And then I really slacked off...oops.

And, as many writers know, the writing world is very much a waiting game. The industry is super busy and your MS will be reviewed in the order in which it was received--which could take months. So while I funnel my limited patience to, well, waiting, I'm getting my tush in gear (again).

I'm currently very fortunate to have the work schedule of every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Because of that, I'm going to bend the writemotivation rule for posting my blogs on Mondays and due them on Thursday/Fridays instead because Fridays are my Monday. This gives me the whole week to work towards my goals so I can update my progress, etc.

As the entire world knows, Ben Affleck's been cast as the new Batman in the far-far-far-away Superman sequel. In the entire superhero universe, Superman is my most favoritest superhero. Now, I haven't read any comics. This is based solely on movies and TV shows. I will confess that my love started with Dean Cain on Lois and Clark. And I did not completely hate Superman Returns with Brandon Routh, honestly I kinda liked it. Then, there's Tom Welling on Smallville. I'm not forgetting Christopher Reeve from the original movies--I love his "aw, shucks, Lois" Superman.

When they cast Henry Cavill as the newest Superman/Clark Kent: fangirl overload.

Every single actor they cast in the movie I love, with the except of Russell Crowe. That almost put me over the edge, but that can be for another blog.

Anyways, the casting of Ben Affleck of Batman I didn't immediately love or hate. I, again against the norm, enjoyed Daredevil. Do I think they have some serious screws loose to recast Batman this close to the "retirement" of the amazingly awesome Christian Bale's Batman. Oh, yes, totally crazy of them. Few actors completely embody a superhero so completely.

The most relevant example of this is Robert Downey Jr as Ironman. Perfect. You don't see RDJ on the screen, you see Tony Stark. The second closest is Christian Bale as Batman. But the difference there is the entire Batman trilogy focused on Christian Bale AS Batman, not so much of him as Bruce Wayne.

Now if you're thinking about Affleck having been Daredevil and seeing him take on a new superhero facade, think back to Chris Evans as The Human Torch in The Fantastic Four. The only actor in that movie I think was more their character than Chris Evans was Ioan Gruffudd as Mr. Fantastic. Chris Evans is another actor who becomes his superhero character so well that I forget I'm watching Chris Evans and see Captain America on the screen.

I'm cutting myself off there because thinking about Captain America makes me think about The Avengers and that makes me think about Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk (both also awesome casting choices).

Why is this all relevant? Because this isn't going to Christian Bale's Batman in the next Superman movie. This is what the new Batman's going to be:

     "I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come. In all your most private moments. I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you."

Holy goose bumps, Batman.

Again, I've not ready any of the comic books, but apparently Batman has not beaten Superman once, but twice. The only person to have done so. Do I love this--of course not. I love it as much as I love seeing Superman kissing Wonder Woman in fan art instead of him kissing Lois Lane--which is not at all. But is it going to be badass...hell yeah it is!

Okay, gotta wrap this up before I ramble on some more. Because that can totally lead me into a Justice League movie and who's gonna be The Flash (personally I think Ryan Reynold's would've been a better Flash than Green Lantern) and who's gonna be Wonder Woman (and I'm sure every fanboy across the world can't wait to see that movie poster).

                 1.) Here's my blog!
                 2.) Met my writing goal plus some (yay!)
                 3.) May have cheated on my reading--I re-read the Significance series by Shelly Crane. It falls under my genre, but it's self-pub'd and a series I'd already read.
                 4.) Have begun mentally exploring another idea and I'm going to start putting an outline into a doc next week. Hoping it won't take away from my WIP, which is currently acting like a petulant teenager and cooperating with difficulty.

To end this blog with some alliteration:

Superheroes, September, and Sexy Superman :)