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Frankie's Wining Room

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Lessons Learned

Where Will I Be Five Years From Now?

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If you’re a writer, this blog hop is going to be a great resource for you because it’s a bloghop by writers about writing. So, be sure you click on the Linky link below and visit other authors.

December 7 Question: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

Five years from now, I’m going to be a full-time author, with a house big enough to fit all of our part-time kids–I’m hoping to see mine more often by then–and a room for our office and another for our crafting. We’re going to have the room in our budget to travel and experience the world we’re trying to write about.

The current construction project I’m on will be complete in two years. After that, the company I’m with may or may not move back to Denver. They’re a great company, so I hope they’re able to stay, but reality is, they’ll probably have to move back to Denver. Probably. I don’t know for certain.

So, that’s my time-frame. In two years, if they leave, I have to be able to wave them off with a genuine good luck–because they ARE a great company–and work full-time on my writing, OR…I’m going to have to relocate to some place with more construction opportunities.

I’m planning for the first option.

To make that happen, I’ve got four series slated for 2017 release that will be written to market. I’m not selling out. I want to sell.

S.M. Blooding & K.S. King are writing a military sci-fi space opera

Hattie Hunt is writing paranormal romance

F.J. Wolfram is writing a UF thriller that will adopt several tropes in the Harry Dresden Files.

Frankie Styne is wirting cozy witch mysteries, which is what a lot of readers were hoping Whiskey Witches would be.

I’m looking at putting books in boxsets to get a wider audience and a possible USA Today status. I have one book currently slated for a boxset that will launch late next year.

I have the plan. I’m writing every day even while working 12+ hour days at work. No excuses. I’m out of time for those. I’ve learned a lot in my writing career so far. I’ve downloaded a LOT of books. Chris Fox is particularly helpful right now. I’m going to make it happen.

The awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley!
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The Journey So Far

So, in Lifelong Writing Habit, by Chris Fox, Chris talks about writing 2,000 words every day. Since deciding that this was actually going to be my plan, I’ve succeeded! Now, granted it’s only day five! But here are my word counts since I started the plan:

November

1,986 – A Dragon’s Breath
2,570 – A Dragon’s Breath

 December

2,078 – A Dragon’s Breath
2,177 – Medicine Crow
 4,209 – A Dragon’s Breath & Mind Raider

I’m going to make this happen! I’m GOING to!

I went back to the basics a little. Instead of just sitting down to write, I set myself up on word sprints. Each of these sessions were only 40-60 minutes long. I discovered I can get 1200+ words in 20 minutes. And that’s without dictating, which is something I’m going to have to get better at.

I turned off FB. Twitter hasn’t been an issue in years. I turned off my phone so people couldn’t text me or message me–unless there’s an emergency. Certain emergency people can get through, but the phone is turned off. I’ve got my rain storm playing along with brain.fm.

This is going well!

My 2017 Plan

I’ve been at this writing thing for a long–long time now. I’ve grown as a writer and as an author, but I still haven’t made that MOVE into the big leagues, being able to write full-time.

Well, this year, I’m making the big push. For real. And I”m committing it to the public. By the end of 2018, I want to have the ability to quit my day job, if I want to, and write full-time.

Chris Fox's Writing Assistance

I’ve had this dream for YEARS, for over a DECADE. It wasn’t until I picked up Chris Fox’s Lifelong Writing Habit, that I became inspired to actually make it happen. In that book, and in all the others I’ve picked up by him, I’ve discovered a refreshed desire to make my dreams come true.

So, in 2017, I’m going to launch four more series under different pen names, and these books will largely be written to market. That means, you’ll be getting the books you want to read. Don’t worry, there will be more time in 2018 to write the books I want to write, the ones no one else reads, like Dream Killers, my absolute favorite.

But be on the look out for Hattie Hunt, F.J. Wolfram, and Frankie Styne’s books, along with two more series written in the same universe with two different authors. We’ll be journeying into romance, Harry Dresden-esque urban fantasy thrillers, cozy witch mysteries, and sci-fi space operas.

I’m excited! And I’m going to make this happen!

 

What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

If you’re a writer, this blog hop is going to be a great resource for you because it’s a bloghop by writers about writing. So, be sure you click on the Linky link below and visit other authors.

November 2 Question: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

20161023_193654Creating worlds, solar systems, histories, and characters. I could devote months and in developing the world that I will eventually tell a story.

Right now, my husband and I have (4) solar systems hanging from our ceiling. We did this to give us a better idea of how long it would take to travel between systems using the technology we developed. This also gives us a better understanding of when certain planets would be unreachable as they’re on the “dark side” of their sun. It gives a better idea of seasons and tides as some of these planets of have double moons, double suns, huge suns, small suns, etc.

It’s super easy to get lost in all these details because that’s where the real fun is! I love it!

 

The awesome co-hosts for the October 5 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley!
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Deep Third Person POV

Several of my writer friends have asked for an article on how to write deep third person POV, or point of view. There are already several great articles on how to write it, when to use it, the benefits of using it, and grammar usage in this POV. If you missed them, here’s a few:

The Editor’s Blog – What Is Deep Third Person POV

She Novel – How to Write Deep Third Person POV

Helping Writers Become Authors – Everything You Need to Know About Third Person POV

There isn’t a whole lot that I can really add that they haven’t already gone over. But here are a few highlights that I’ve discovered when authors think they’ve written in deep 3rd but haven’t.

Paige 5a

Voice

Deep 3rd has a lot in common with 1st person. As a matter of fact, I’ve had more than one editor tell me that I’m writing in 1st person…even though I’m using “she” instead of “I”. It’s a very intimate narrative. You’re using your character’s Voice instead of your own. You’re using her words. Not yours.

This was something I really had to work on in Whispers of the Skyborne because I had to use multiple POV’s in order to tell the story and, in order to keep the narrative fast-paced, I decided to keep the POV’s deep. Here are a few examples of how I used Voice to do this: Whispers of the Skyborne

Chapter 1

Rain beat against the windowpanes of the cockpit of the Khayal Layal. Lightning flashed though the dark storm clouds metres in front of us. Boiling ocean waves surged below. Thunder rattled through the windowed dome, clattering the rows of controls. A metallic tang laced the air.

One of my crew let out a startled screech.

Three months ago, my family had died. My entire tribe. Thousands of people in a matter of moments. Their ships had fallen from the sky in burning pieces, hitting the ocean’s surface kilometres below.

Chapter 2

Oki, Synn’s older sister and the current leader of Ino City, stepped off the elevator platform onto the command floor. The turquoise tile gleamed under the light cascading from the undulating belly of Ino’s lethara. It’s jellyfish skin glowed with yellows and slight bursts of blues as it shifted high above her. His smell was thicker here, but instead of turning her belly as it did others, it imbued her with a sense of familiarity and reassurance.

She needed that. Three months ago, her harebrained brother had taken possession of the entire planet, tipping it on its side, shaking everything out. He’d replaced leadership. He’d taken down two reigning powers at the same time like a big, powerful, overbearing, air-infected, pea-brained boy.

Then, he’d disappeared, leaving the world he’d flipped on its head wondering what in the love of dirt they were going to do.

Different View Points of the Same Action

As you can see, there are two different sides to the same story here. Three months ago, something major happened, but they both saw it differently. That’s something very important to keep in mind, too, and something that trips up a lot of authors and readers. Two people are not going to see the same thing the same way.

Thoughts and Italics

I think this is probably the biggest issue for a lot of editors who are used to omniscient third POV, or third person limited. Typically, when a character thinks, their thoughts are in italics. The reason for that is because we’re not really in their head. We’re receiving their thoughts as if we were telepaths and their thoughts are entering our minds.

In deep 3rd that’s not the case. We’re inside their head, sharing their thoughts in the same manner as 1st person. In 1st person, the only time thoughts are italics are when the thoughts belong to another person.

For more on this, see the Editor’s Blog – How to Punctuate Character Thoughts.

Adding Depth and Deleting Tags

This is the biggest thing for me. Deep 3rd adds depth. It just does. The reason for that is because we’re experiencing everything the character does as she lives through it. We feel what she feels. We hear what she hears. We see what she sees. And we don’t have to have her tell us that she’s feeling, hearing, or seeing. See below for an example that I just wrote in Witches of the West. Keep in mind this is Draft Suck.

She laced her fingers through his and walked to the double glass doors leading to the balcony.

The cool morning breeze danced along her skin. The wooden floorboards sent knives of ice into the bottoms of her feet.

Now, had this been in third limited, here’s what it might look like.

She laced her fingers through his and walked to the double glass doors leading to the balcony.

After the door opened, she felt the cool morning breeze dance along her skin. As soon as her feet landed on the floorboards, knives of ice shot through the bottoms.

There are more directions in third person limited. You have to direct the reader through each of the movements.

But in deep 3rd, you’re experiencing what the character is as she experiences, you don’t need the direction. There’s more story. Less unnecessary tags. Your narrative is shinier and gleams easier.

These are the biggest points for me. I love writing in deep 3rd. It is, by far, my favorite POV to use.

What’s Your Favorite Thesaurus? Share It To Unlock The WHW Prize Vault

I’ve been using Becca’s & Angela’s thesauruses for years in my writing. They’re a huge help! I’m wickedly excited about their newest thesaurus, the Urban and Rural Setting Thesaurus! I’ll be using them to help me write Witches of the West.

I was able to get my hands on the Rural Setting Thesaurus early. Here’s what I had to say about it:

Setting can sometimes become static. It’s just there. Also, there are times when you don’t describe it as actively as you could because you’re focused on other things. Also, you sometimes forget all the different senses you use when you walk into an attic. It’s an attic. Dry. Hot. Dusty. Boxes. Done.

This book helps to breathe life into your setting. The other Thesaurus books offered lists of words that could be used in replace of a word you overly use.

This Thesaurus is a bit different. It lists the thing you want to describe, and then gives you several phrases that spur creativity, inject visuals, and help you see your scene in depths you might have otherwise have missed.

These gals have done it again! This is a powerfully helpful tool for any author, from the new to the experienced. I will be using this again and again! I love this book and I love this series! They’re a remarkable tool!

As we storytellers sit before the keyboard to craft our magic, we’re usually laser-focused on the two titans of fiction: plot and character. Yet, there’s a third element that impacts almost every aspect of the tale, one we really need to home in on as well: the setting.

The setting is so much more than a painted backdrop, more than a stage for our characters to tromp across during the scene. Used to its full advantage, the setting can characterize the story’s cast, supply mood, steer the plot, provide challenges and conflict, trigger emotions, help us deliver those necessary snippets of backstory…and that’s just scratching the surface. So the question is this: how do we unleash the full power of the setting within our stories?

Well, there’s some good news on that front. Two new books have released this week that may change the description game for writers. The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces and The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Personal and Natural Spaces look at the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds a character might experience within 225 different contemporary settings. And this is only the start of what these books offer writers.

In fact, swing by and check out this hidden entry from the Rural Setting Thesaurus: Ancient Ruins.

And there’s one more thing you might want to know more about….

Rock_The_Vault_WHW1Becca and Angela, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, are celebrating their double release with a fun event going on from June 13-20th called ROCK THE VAULT. At the heart of the Writers Helping Writers site is a tremendous vault, and these two ladies have been hoarding prizes of epic writerly proportions.

A safe full of prizes, ripe for the taking…if the writing community can work together to unlock it, of course.

Ready to do your part? Stop by Writers Helping Writers to find out more!

Lessons Learned: Mission Statement

If you’re an author and don’t know who Susan Kaye Quinn is, you need to. She’s doing this thing where she’s posting some parts of the third edition of her Author’s Survival Guide.

I’m taking a hard look at my author career this year. I need to make this happen. I need to be able to write full-time, and help other authors out full-time. Right now, I have too many full-time jobs and not enough time to live. My passion is writing and the publishing world. I need to make this a reality.

Today’s post is about the mission statement. Go read Susan’s post, then come back and read my mission statement–if you want–then create your own. I’m also putting it on a piece of paper and posting it to my wall to remind myself WHY I’m putting myself through the torment.

My Mission Statement: 

To use my unique perspective, curiosity, and appreciation for knowledge to create stories that compel people to DO, not just write stories that entertain.

To discover ways to hone my craft through careful study, new classes, discussions with other authors, and to cease my wild mood-swing-induced decision making process.

To find a way to give back to the writing community to ensure other authors are able to tell their stories as well.

To do this full-time. This is my passion. This is my life’s blood. Write. Write like my fingers are on fire. Empower myself and those around me. And take the time to provide good, quality work.

Writing Everyday – Reality or Not?

The Lent Writing Challenges, like all of my writing challenges, leave me with one very strong stresser.

Writing every day.

A lot of the really great, fabulous, amazing writers say to write every day. They follow that up with something that my mind translates into, “Stop coming up with so many excuses! If you want to be a real author, you’ll write EVERY DAY and you’ll stop WHINING about it!”

I’ve tried. For eleven long years, I’ve tried. But the other things get in the way. The kids. The significant other people. The house. The pets. The plants–sounds stupid, but, yes, the plants. The other job.

I’ve failed. In every write-everyday-challenge, I have failed.

And I’ve come to one conclusion.

These authors are so amazing, and they’re so fabulous, and they’re so lucky that WRITING is their full-time job. It’s the only one they have.

I’m a project manager who can’t get promoted to full-on PM because I lack “the qualifications”. I fight every day to get those “qualifications” to make me a better PM, but the boys who aren’t as capable, apparently, have those qualifications. Because they’re getting the promotions. That is a 10+ hour a day struggle.

Then I come home, and I’m a writer, and an editor, and a graphic artist (which I need to get back into and show you what I’ve learned!), and a publisher, and promoter, and a webmistress.

And I’m a step-mother, and an almost-wife. And I’m potty-training a cat. And I’m bringing plants back from the dead.

Life has to be balanced. If writing that post or that chapter or whatever is the thing that’s going to throw you out of balance for the day, if your day is so chaotic and exhausting that the thought of applying words to cyber-paper makes you even more exhausting, then don’t. The writing challenge, any writing challenge, is to make you a better writer.

I’ve determined that writing EVERY DAY isn’t what makes you a better writer.

Making sure that your off-days don’t stretch out too long does though. And when you have the time, you put your butt in the chair, or on the toilet, or on the counter, or wherever, and if you say it’s time to write…

…then you write. 

One day, I am going to be one of those great authors. I will. My writing is pretty good. It’s not awesome. There are some authors out there that are AMAZING! One day, I’ll be ABLE to write every day–because one of these irons I have in the fire will be gone. Hopefully, it’s not family. I really like them. Hopefully, it’s the job that frustrates the crap out of me.

But even if I don’t, I’m still going to write when I have the chance because I enjoy it.

 

Lent 2016 4 – Middle Grade vs Early Reader

Okay. So, I’m going to stop the story here for now. I was going to continue on, but with these chapter lengths and the flow of the story, I’d be stopping right in the middle of something good and that would annoy me.

I intended to write this as Middle Grade. I didn’t do a great deal of research in this–which ALWAYS bites me in the butt later–and I just started writing something my eight-year-old step-daughter could read.

It turned out to be more of what I would call early reader.

So, then I decided to do a little research, only to discover that there isn’t a lot differences between the two. Odd, right?

They’re both chapter books. Early reader tend to be called chapter books. Awesome. They’re both about the same length, though as the MG characters get older, the books can be longer and the plots a bit more complex.

Great. Not helpful.

So, then I decided to dig out a few books I have lying around the house that are early reader chapter books, what I would call MG, and a couple YA.

The biggest leap, of course, was between MG and YA.

The main characters are old enough to perceive things. They’re able to see beyond their own nose.

That’s something that annoyed me with Tick-Tock. Kitty was so self-minded that she didn’t see much of anything of her surrounding except the obvious.

The word choices have to be small. Not small-minded, just small and age relevant.

This is, probably, one of the biggest differences between early reader and MG. The vocabulary gets wider. Well, and the character can perceive a great deal more of their surroundings.

There were a few other things, but these were the big ones for me, and, really, the only thing I could really button down to say, “This is early reader,” or “This is MG.”

So, this week was a learning opportunity for me. When I started this post, I sincerely thought I’d failed. But as I researched this topic more, I realized I hadn’t failed quite as spectacularly as I thought I did.

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