Archive for October, 2010

Yes, I know you’re looking at me like I have two heads, especially if you’re in the draft stages or even the final stages of writing your first literary masterpiece.  I know that just being able to finish the blasted thing was work enough and making it perfect is like a full time job.  If you’re really on the ball, you’re building your social platform and actively marketing your work around.  Trust me, I feel you on all of these things, especially as an indie author striking it out on her own.  Between editing and marketing, the last thing I want to think about is a second story.

But it’s very important to do so!

Unless you’re Stephen King or JK Rowling, the chances of making it big on the very first book are very slim.  Through my many hours of research and podcast listening, I’ve learned that you really don’t make serious money until your third book.  You can compare it to stocking up your writer’s book shelf.  Having more than one story in your back pocket shows:

You’re consistent:  You didn’t just write the first book and quit.  As a matter of fact, you were so serious about being a novelist, you dove straight into the whole love/hate relationship with writing again to make that second, third, and fourth book.

You’re keeping your creative momentum going:  I found this to be true while editing my book.  I’m really excited about the new stories I want to write, not only in the Epsilon series but outside of it as well.  That excitement makes the editing process not so grueling and keeps me on task so I can finish on time and get to write those stories!

You already have the next project started: While you’re working on your first novel, you can take a break to roughly lay out that second story.  Once the novel done, you already have the framework down for the one, allowing you to jump into it , getting  it done and out on the market.

I currently have three new stories in the development stages that I’ll take some time to write down and keep in a safe place. 

I definitely don’t claim to be an expert as I’m just getting myself situated in the writing game.  So what are your thoughts on keeping 2nd (and 3rd) stories in the back of your mind while still working on your first one?

What you may have missed!

Round One of Editing: Figuring Out Our Issues

Musical Inspiration: I Remain by Alanis Morissette

Character Spotlight: Queen Gorgo from the movie 300

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Follow Friday #4

Posted: October 22, 2010 in Follow Friday
Tags: , ,

 

OMG – Friday couldn’t come fast enough!  This week has been such a madhouse between my day job and managing the social media for the up and coming self publishing company Visual Adjectives.  I’ve also been schooling myself on the writing biz by listening to some great podcasts (which I promise to post about next week so hold tight!)

If you’re new to Follow Friday, this is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View.  Make sure to check it out if you want to participate!

This week’s question:
What are you currently reading? Basically, what book is that?
Well I just finished Punish the Sinners by John Saul this week (which was wicked awesome and I promise to review it!)  So now I’m reading the Lord Protector’s Daughter by L.E Modesitt.  I’ve haven’t read anything from this author before but I’m a few pages in and I’m already intrigued by the setting descriptions alone.  So I’m enjoying it so far!
Here’s some info about the book, courtesy of Goodreads!
The Lord-Protector's Daughter (Corean Chronicles)

Photo courtesy of: Amazon.com

The Lord-Protector’s Daughter is a standalone fantasy novel that takes place in Tempre, the capital city of Lanachrona on Corus, the world of Modesitt’s Corean Chronicles. Mykella, the eldest daughter of the Lord-Protector of Lanachrona, discovers that someone is diverting significant sums of money from her father’s treasury. One of the ancient soarers appears to Mykella, telling her that she must go to the antique stone Table in the cellars of the Palace and find her Talent in order to save her land and her world.
From there, matters become more perilous. There are attempts to remove Mykella and her sisters from Tempre by marrying them off to lords in neighboring lands, and fatal and near fatal accidents occur to members of her family and trusted retainers. While Mykella develops a solid idea of who stands behind it all, every attempted solution is used to discredit her. How can she save their father and land?

Have any of you guys read it? Am I in for a treat?

 

Photo courtesy of: billmullins.wordpress.com

I’ve been spending the past two weeks going through my first draft.  Since I finished writing it my novel and I took a much needed break from each other, where I immersed myself in other things (like establishing my social media platform, helping my business partners at Visual Adjectives with marketing strategies, etc.).  Once I got the ball rolling on all of that stuff that I’m still learning how to do, my novel and I were reunited.

And boy, do we have some issues to iron out!

Granted, I can be my very own worst critic.  It’s the perfectionist Virgo in me can be responsible for me not finishing anything!  So when my book and I rekindled our friendship I noticed some problems we have work on before we can get married to the book game.  Like any relationship, you don’t know the problems you have until you step out of it and now the issues are crystal clear.  As I went through, I wrote down and numbered each plot line I needed to clear up, any question that needed to be answered, and any holes that need to be filled in order to make my story better.  I thought the process would be quite painful at first but it really isn’t.  It just makes me push harder, research more, and think even more creatively.  I have some great scenes now that I can’t wait to put in there and some suggestions from my peers that are totally awesome ( and make me kinda mad that I didn’t think of it first! LOL)  When I’m done with my first run through, I get to tackle this not-so-long list and finally give my perfectionism some room to play!

I guess working through our issues isn’t so bad!

Follow Friday #3

Posted: October 15, 2010 in Follow Friday
Tags: ,

Happy Friday!!  I’m so glad it is because I have a few movies I want to see this weekend (Like the Prince of Persia) as well as some reading, organizing, and editing that is so hard to do during the week when you have a day job!

Follow Friday, which  is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View.  Make sure to check it out if you want to participate!

This week’s question:

What is your reading suggestion this week?

Because I’m a writer and I’m getting  into books that surround the genre I write in, I think it’s refreshing to read a book that isn’t.  So my reading suggestion this week just happens to be the book I’m currently reading by John Saul called Punish the Sinners.  The prologue alone was pretty scary and if you’re into books that explore the scary side of religion, this a great pick for you!

I’m in great need of book suggestions, so what are your picks?

 

Though I haven’t seen the Prince of Persia yet(though it’s on my Netflix list!), I absolutely LOVE  this song!  For one, I’m a huge Alanis Morissette fan and to hear her again after all this time is awesome!  Her voice is so melodic and realistically heartfelt that they couldn’t have picked anyone else for this song.  Second, the music gives that Middle Eastern feel that I love to listen to when I’m writing ( I don’t know why but it does!).  When I listen to this song, I envision the romantic storyline that my novel has.  Though I’m not a hopeless romantic or into all that mushy stuff, I do believe in the theory of soul mates and a connection that goes beyond the “I love you’s” and all the other flowery words and gestures.

Here’s an excerpt from the romantic plot and enjoy the video!

She couldn’t explain it and neither could Fael, whose years of loneliness were instantly erased, feeling complete just by knowing her.  Words weren’t necessary that evening for their silence said all that they were afraid to say as they watched the night roll in.  They both knew it would be their last night together, though Damaris didn’t know that it would be the last time in her young adult life that her heart would have its say.

Photo courtesy of: comicsmedia.ign.com

Queen Gorgo: Spartan!
King Leonidas: Yes, my lady?
Queen Gorgo: Come back with your shield, or on it.
King Leonidas: Yes, my lady.

 For those not familiar with my one of favorite movies 300, King Leonidas was a fearless Spartan who led a team of 300 men against an entire Persian army in Thermopylae.  Though he was the clear star of the movie, Queen Gorgo was just as much of a star.  While her husband was kicking butt and taking names with the Persians, Gorgo was being the strong woman on the homefront.  It takes a very special and secure woman to support a man like Leonidas.  Her job isn’t one for the weak-hearted or the overemotional.  Her strength didn’t come from wielding swords but rather being strong in character.  She knew the chances of her husband coming back alive were slim and she did what she had to do in order to get him the help he needed.   She had to be his voice of reason when Leonidas needed to make a difficult decision.  She had to be his rock when he left with his men, them both knowing his chances of coming back was next to none.  She had to be the Queen of her country when she spoke in front of the council.  Even when that slimeball Theron double-crossed her, she gave him exactly what he deserved.   I absolutely loved this character in this movie because she wasn’t the damsel in distress nor the your typical warrior princess.  Her presence alone was enough to make anybody take notice!

Photo courtesy of: thisnext.com

Did any of you see this movie?  What did you think of Queen Gorgo?

Follow Friday! Book Reviews

Posted: October 8, 2010 in Follow Friday
Tags:

TGIF!  Thank goodness its Friday! To celebrate, I’m participating in the  Follow Friday, which  is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee’s View.  Make sure to check it out if you want to participate!

 
This week’s question:
How many reviews do you like to do each week?
 
My blog is super new and I just came out of my writer’s cocoon with the completion of the first novel draft (which still needs editing!).  On top of that I play my alter ego, with her own blog that has it’s review, plus a full time job!  Sooo with all that said, I would be happy if I could squeeze in one a week.  A busy girl has to be realistic, right?
For those of you with much more time than me, how many book reviews would you like to do in a week?

Photo courtesy of: http://www.ssflibrary.net

I know that the obvious answer to the question of whether an author should read in the genre that they’re righting one is Yes.  However, there’s a little more to it than that and because there is, I answer this question a little bit differently.

For me, I made the conscious decision that I wouldn’t read in my genre while I was writing the first draft of my novel.   I even went as far as not to really look at any movies within in my genre (as well as I could anyway!  I’m a movie buff!).  I did this because no matter how hard you try, you can’t help but be influenced in some kind of way from a book or movie.  I didn’t want my novel’s concept to be a conscious rip off of someone else.  It’s easy to read a scene in one book and say “Oh, I want a scene like that in mine.”  I wanted my story to grow on its own, find its own scenes and scenarios.  I wanted to get the core of my story down and be my own.  There are so many great stories and movies out there in the realms of Fantasy and  Sci Fi and I didn’t want my inspiration to become a reiteration of something else I read or saw somewhere. 

Now that I’m done with my first draft and I’m  satisfied with my core plot, I can now read books out there in the same circle that I want my book to be in.  (By the way, if you have any good recommendations on a books, please let me know!).  I can  just be inspired because I already know my story is solid and the direction of the series is crystal clear.  It’s easy now to appreciate a book for its story and what it offers – instead of constantly comparing it to mine!

What do you guys think?  If you were (or are) writing a book in a genre, would you still continue to read books similar to the one you’re writing?

A few weeks back I finally finished the first draft of my novel.  Man, what a feeling! I’ve been working on this story for almost two years now, falling victim everytime to the writer’s procrastination.  My writing people know what that is – work a little and then set it down until inspiration hits, and then when you get inspired, you never have the time.  At the beginning of the year, I only had five chapters done, with the first chapter being rewritten a few times already!  But once I got with my partners in writing business, I had the pushs I needed and finally finished the damn thing.

Anyways, the road trip was conveniently planned the following week with my husband.  We drove to Pensacola,Jacksonville, and St. Augustine ( a feat I know but thank goodness my husband loves to drive!), armed with my Samsung Vibrant phone taking pictures like crazy.  I’m not the greatest photographer, but I found myself taking pictures of trees, clearings, and coastlines.  I did it because I thought my novel needed some help in the description department – especially being that it is a fantasy novel.  Descriptions are super important because my world (called Epsilon) doesn’t exist in real life so I have to make sure my reader can experience it to its fullest potential.  Pensacola was great because I-10 was a five hour stretch of nothing but green grass, lush trees, and the occasional farms of goats, cows, and horses.  Most of my novel takes place in the countryside, so this was super helpful for me in that respect.  I then took a stroll down Pensacola Beach, which had clean white sand and warm blue-green water.  It was gorgeous and I found myself picturing the shoreline for one of my Epsilon cities, Avenera, which is situated along a coastline.  The beach even had houses on stilts which was so crazy because it was my first time there and the houses in my Avenera were on stilts!  Super awesome to have something concrete to look out when I tighten up my novel descritpions.     Jacksonville is very urban so I didn’t find too much story inspiration there.  However, in St. Augustine when I took a tour of the famour fort, Castillo de San Marcos, I came to realize that the same coastal city in my book may need some type of fort like this because from a military standpoint it makes sense.  There’s a war that will break out soon in the series and such a fort would be very necessary.  I probably would have never thought of that had I not visited this fort.

All in in all this roadtrip not only served as a mini-break that I desperately needed but also a tool to help me out with my scenery descriptions for my novel!

Here are just a few of the gazillion pictures I took.  Hopefully they can help you and inspire you as much as it did for me!

Tell me, what inspires you?

Photo courtesy of http://www.nps.gov

I think its only right to give my new readers an teaser’s peek into my first novel Damaris.  I think the Prologue would make a great introduction to those who took the time to check out my little piece of the writer’s blogosphere!

And hey, let’s be honest, a lot people tend to skip the Prologue anways so what a great way to make sure it doesn’t go to waste! 🙂  Let me know what you guys think!

The doors of the Critique corner are now open!

It was dawn before the fire finally died down.  The smoke from inside Barron’s walls continued to escape into the air, the ashes of the flames victims dancing in the wind.  Damaris watched from the safety of the tree’s shadows as the farmers and herders from the adjacent villages of Camden and Aster, carried out those bodies that weren’t incinerated on wagons.  She was unaffected by the sudden wails of sorrow that ripped through the morning’s silence, damning their God Amil for allowing such a tragedy to happen.  As if they willed it, the rain began to fall, making the townspeople’s tears indistinguishable as they mourned. Damaris wasn’t sure how many were dead from the Festival the night before.  The fire took on a mind of its own after awhile, not relenting until her heart was satisfied.  Those who ridiculed her burned.  Those who harassed her burned.  Those who possessed the mere thought of causing her and her family harm burned. 

She wasn’t sorry for any of it.