Saturday, November 22, 2014

A bit of fun: 8 Terrible Titles

I volunteered to take part in a fun blog hop where essentially I just flip through my current manuscript and the first place my cursor lands, I need to take the phrase and that’s a new faux title for my book. Thanks Nikki Roberti for the amusement during my writing break. (Check out her hilarious post here.)

This sounds so fun, and I need a break from the carpoltunnel marathan I just cranked out to catch up on my #nanowrimo goal. So here are 8 TERRIBLE replacement titles for both ROWDY DAYS OF DOM SANDERS and SAMANA'S FLAIR.

  1. What a Great Idea
  2. Could have done
  3. My Heart could have Leapt (Wow, passive much?)
  4. Nolly Point Trail (an important part of the setting!)
  5. VFW Pancake Breakfast
  6. In the Crick So Long
  7. Tear the Motor Apart
  8. Blackness Below Me
  1. Flicked Sacred Water
  2. She Now Remembered
  3. Deepening the Lines
  4. Crawled Backward
  5. Some Mysterious Thing (Okay this one wins!)
  6. Not a Sunset Went By
  7. Smothering Weight
  8. Chewing Some Rabbit Meat
Which one do you like? Who else wants to play? Comment below please!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Liebster Award: 10 Questions about my Work-in-Progress

About a week ago, I was tagged by Nikki Roberti for the Liebster Award. (click her name to see her 10 W.I.P answers!) I have to answer her ten questions about my novel and then tag some more people and give them 10 questions. Since my National Novel Writing Month project is fresh in my mind, I thought I'd give you all a little teaser taste of it. This is SAMANA'S FLAIR, a young adult fantasy novel with multiple view points.

1) How did you come up with your WIP’s title?

I had my MC's name picked out in the old story this novel stemmed from. When I decided to give the magical marks a special name and came up with flair, the novel's title fell into place.

2) What motivates you to write?

Not sure how to answer this. I write to escape, to create something bigger and better than myself and my life. A way to connect with others that is very unique. I strive for that kind of writing, and it motivates me to keep going, even when walls of adversity stand before me.

3) Do you find yourself putting past experiences in your book? Give an example!

Yes, yes, yes! Although in this particular novel, I've used more of things I've seen or explored in the setting than interpersonal, emotional experiences. An example: I've been in cliff dwellings of the southwestern U.S. several times in my life, and they inspired the setting for this novel series.

4) What is your main character’s biggest obstacle?

Oh goodness. Um, um, um, probably herself. She's so wrapped up in finding her place in the world that she's got a blurred and bias worldview.

5) What is your crutch word that you always have to go back and delete because you use it too many times?

It's a toss up between "that" and "and". My writing mentor would say "that" takes the prize.

6) Who is your author role model and why?

I'm not sure I have one. There are so many authors I admire, but I pay more attention to their writing then to them as a person. Is that bad? Should I be more aware? Maybe, but all the pretty words!

7) What happens in your favorite scene from your WIP?

Oh good question. I love a deep character and an arc that makes the reader question their initial judgement of a character. Though its sort of sinister, the scene where my antagonist plays out his piousness in a ritual is one of my favorites so far. He feels incredibly real, with all the confliction emotion of the evil he's done and how badly he wants his God's favor.

8) Please share a favorite line from your manuscript!

So many choices! Should I give you flirtatious banter or dubious threats or internal wonderment?
I'll give you two:

  • The cycle of madness would continue, and it would ride on the currents of her shame.
  • A hare-fast fog crept and swirled around her, soaking her, snarling her in restricting cloth like an unwanted cocoon.

9) Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?
Yep! I'm writing the second half of SAMANA'S FLAIR, and starting the second book in series, working title: A SOUL AND A SONG. But I'm toying with another title for it as well.

 10) What advice do you have for other authors?
 Get out of your own way and feed yourself positive thoughts. When you are positive, you leave the doors of creativity and possibility open. By staying positive even when the muse went out to lunch, you're just taking a moment of respite. In this way, you'll never move backwards.

Now to pass the baton! I'm going to tag Kendra Young as well as some recent NANO sprint buddies MK England, Siolta Saillie, Kelly Loy Gilbert, Katherine Lock, and Ida. (If you don't have a blog, I'd be more than happy to host your post here on my blog.)

And for your 10 questions, we're going to dive into the amazing story you're writing!! I want to know all about it:
  1. Is this W.I.P your nano project and did you start it prior to November 1st?
  2. What is the name and personality of your MC?
  3. What makes your book unique in its age/genre market?
  4. What do you love most about your story?
  5. What area of the plot are you very sure will need some serious editing hours?
  6. Who is your favorite character in your novel?
  7. What is/are your crutch word(s)?
  8. Did you purposely put a bit of your personality into one of your charcters, and if so which one?
  9. What part, if any, of your setting is perfectly clear in your mind?
  10.  What is the biggest obstacle of your MC?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fall 1st Page Critique Blog Hop

A special thank you to Michelle Hauck for putting on this fun blog hop! And also to anyone that critiques the first 249 words on my National Novel Writing Month project SAMANA'S FLAIR.  

YA Fantasy

The gentle tug of fingers raked through Samana’s black hair. She let out a breath, glancing around the dim adobe room, and soaked in the melody filling it. What once was somebody’s thatch-roofed pueblo now embraced her and Dimirez.

The haunting song faded into the shadows, and Samana turned to her Wanderer-sister.

“Do you have to stop?”

Dimirez’s cheeks bunched as she smiled. “Singing or brushing your hair?”

“Both.” Samana gathered her locks over one shoulder and began to braid them. “Your songs are so beautiful, especially the one you sing all the time. No wonder your flair came in as birds.”

Dimirez touched her chest, where a swirling trio of birds cascaded down from her shoulder in black lines. Then she fastened Samana’s braid with a leather tie. “Music beckons the soul from its darkest places.”

“Where did you hear that?” Samana asked.

Dimirez paused. “I don’t remember, but I wish I could. It was a long time ago, before I was dropped at the North Chawe house with a few other children.”

Samana nodded repeatedly, as though that could somehow shake away their family-less status.

“But look at us now!” Dimirez swept from their place on a pile of empty cloth sacks. “We finally have a place to call our own! If I can keep finding places to sing for trade, we can make a life here. All we have to do is avoid getting snatched up and sent to the mines for a little while.”

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

#NANO2014 Series: Tips on Defeating Your Low Word Counts

It's that time of year again. You know, when millions of writers talk themselves into writing insanity, in a group. Yes, National Novel Writing Month is alive and roaring again. We are five days into the craziness. My twitter feed is jam packed with a combination of positive and negative posts. Everything from conversations with our word counts (come on admit it!) to word count shout outs to self defeating mumbles.

It's these downer posts I'm addressing here. Or rather, the reasons behind them. For the most part, each of these negative posts fall into one of two categories. Either the writer is struggling to cling to the shreds of the inspirational plot that lead them to participate. Or, like me, time availabilty is against them.

I wanted to give a few tips on how to deal with either of these situations.

Wrestle the Muse Tip - Identify the Stop Sign

If your #NANO word count is suffering from a lack of direction, you might consider stepping back from your word count and doing some novel related studying. What is it about your word count that is resisting being written? If it's a character, consider writing a short paragraph about that/those character(s). See my antagonist interview here for more ideas on questions to consider. If it's a lack of action or movement in the plot, consider drawing a timeline or writing out a short synopsis. (I'm eyeballing you, pantsers! Just try it, don't fight it!)

Also, don't forget that the amazing organizers of NANO have a virtual write-in planned in about 2 hours! It includes some prompts and sprints designed to get those keys clicking! Check it out here.

Wrestle the Clock Tip - Prioritize

If you're like me, you are racing the clock or trying like mad to make writing time fit into the 24 hours you have to get the word count entered on your profile. Last night, after complaining to my husband, who barely heard me over his latest Netflix venture, I realized the only real problem I had was how I chose to prioritize my time. If I wanted to make sure I won NANO, I needed to write every day. That is the bottom line. So I could either resist sleep and hope I made it each evening or I could write first thing in the morning. I made the decision to stick with evening writing. That meant removing dish washing and T.V. time from my nights. The dishes can be done earlier in the day and my daughter can help. I'm okay with that.

The choice to write is yours and yours alone. Make a list of what you are doing each day, and line out one or two activities you can give up for 25 days to focus on this much bigger goal. I'm behind you 100%, and I can confidently say that last year this worked for me as well. I won NANO and that novel has gotten some serious industry attention. Don't give up on your novel, just give up on the things that may be sucking the time out of it's potential.

Are you battling the muse or the clock? I'd love to hear your battle story in the comments below!