Writerly Update

Draw Free! Picture_edited
(Photo credit: me, K.A Werts)

I’m sorry for the late post today, I had a late shift at work.

The last couple of days have flown by, partly because I’ve been working and also because I’ve been editing.

On Thu 6/23 one of my favorite Twitter events occurred, the #SFFpit.

The #SFFpit is basically a pitch party. It is where writers have the opportunity to pitch their Sci-fi/Fantasy novels directly to agents and publishers.

Last year I got one like from an agent, but I was still writing my first draft of “A Victorian Tale” and I couldn’t finish it in time for submission.

This year though I was very fortunate to have a publishing company to like my pitch for “A Victorian Tale.” Now with a completed manuscript I’m a bit more prepared for submission; but I do want to make sure the first 3 chapters are in tip-top shape before submitting them. So that is what I’ve been up to since Thursday, editing my first 3 chapters for submission.

This submission will be my first, and it’s terrifying; but I’m determined to forge forward no matter what the outcome.

Have you ever participated in a pitch party? What was your experience like?

Revert Back to the Basics of Childhood

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(Photo credit to: Steve Wilson, on Flickr)

Do you remember when you were a kid and school seemed to drag on?

Do you remember allowing your mind to drift so soon you were flying high in the clouds?

Do you remember being able to close your eyes and re-watch your favorite movie beneath your eyelids?

Do you remember how your dreams once were?

No? Perhaps it was only me then.

My daydreams were my greatest friends as a child. They were what entertained me and made my heart giggle with joy.

They were also the very start of my storytelling.

I would weave tales in my mind and reenact them with myself as the only actor but I could see my story’s world around me, I could feel it and I could hear it. I immersed myself in the fantasy.

As writers we can use that same technique a child does freely, we can close our eyes and take a trip down the cobbled, packed dirt or grassy path that weaves its way through our tale’s world. By doing so we can find better ways of describing things because we are thinking about how it would seem to someone who was actually there.

In turn when our readers read our tale they will experience the tale not just read it; which isn’t that what we all want as readers?

Do you daydream your way through a story too? Have you discovered new ways to use this age-old method in storytelling? Perhaps next time you babysit or spend time with your own child see how they tell a story; and maybe you will be able to learn a thing or two from them.

For more daily prompts, check out The Daily Post on wordpress.

What Makes Your Character’s Heart Sing?

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(Photo credit to: Fio, on Flickr)

When creating a character sometimes it can be very easy to get lost in just that, creating them. But sometimes the best characters are discovered in the littlest details that make them all the more human.

Today I’d like you to take a break from the research and instead think about the little things that makes our characters’ hearts sing.

Is it a look across a crowded room?

Or is it watching as a little bird perches upon surface and tilt its head up at the character?

Do they smile when music sweeps through the air?

Is their breath taken away when they step into a canopied forest?

Are they rendered speechless when someone smiles at them unexpectedly?

Have you ever thought about what makes your heart sing? If so why don’t you take a moment and find out what makes all your characters hearts lift high into the air like a kite.

For more daily prompts, check out The Daily Post on wordpress.

 

Of Horses & Manuscripts

(Photo credit to:
Picdrome Public Domain Pictures, on Flickr)

Owning a horse and writing a manuscript are more similar than one may think.

I used to have a horse, her name was Autumn.

We would play tag and I would read to her off the porch of my family’s 100+ year old farm house.

Autumn as a foal was like a mirror image of my 8 year old self back then. Stubborn, strong willed and could not be tamed.

She was the closest thing to a best friend back then and I think I was a little scared of her.

Our manuscripts take up so much of our life, they can become like that bestie that is ALWAYS there. We have a fondness for them but sometimes we need our time to ourselves. And sometimes they can even scare us when they stop eating our plot ideas or they maim our most
favorite and loved character.

They carry our hearts within them and our dreams. Our manuscript can often reflect back the turmoil we may be feeling in our lives at one point or another.

But one of my biggest regrets with Autumn was that I didn’t train her or groom her as well as I should have. When my family moved, we couldn’t take her with us. But because she wasn’t trained we couldn’t sell her either, not that I wanted to, so instead we gave her to our farmer neighbor who already had a dozen horses. I would visit her sometimes over the years. The first couple of visits she would remember me but would turn her nose up in anger before trotting back to me in order to nip my ear or eat my hair.

Over time she forgot me, but I never forgot her.

I still have fond memories of Autumn, but they are bittersweet.

(Photo credit to: Brandy, on Flickr)
The lesson that can be learned from such an experience is this:
Manuscripts hold so much life in them, but without being trained they will end up just grazing for the rest of their lives breeding other ideas.
 
Just like a living thing our stories need to be nurtured and trained.
  • Feed: The more we read and experience life the more we strengthen our stories.
  • Train: Editing is necessary. It helps our stories to flourish and grow.
  • Groom: Polishing our stories and making them sparkle is important. We need show why our manuscript’s tale needs to be told.
  • Love: Be proud of your manuscript. It is it’s own entity and can’t be compared to others. Show it respect and reward it with some TLC by using one of the above options.

 

 
Has this happened to you? Have you let a manuscript go to graze? If so why don’t you go out and give it some TLC.

Writer’s Wall: Vignettes

Life happens, as the saying goes, and when it does inspiration can sometimes seem to leave us.

This week I’ve learned a very important lesson though:

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This can happen to all of us. Maybe we can’t continue writing our novel that day, but there is something else we can do.

We can write a vignette.

What is a vignette, you may ask?

The definition according to Merriam-Webster’s “Vignette”.

  •  a running ornament (as of vine leaves, tendrils, and grapes) put on or just before a title page or at the beginning or end of a chapter; also :  a small decorative design or picture so placed
    •   a picture (as an engraving or photograph) that shades off gradually into the surrounding paper
    • the pictorial part of a postage stamp design as distinguished from the frame and lettering
  • a short descriptive literary sketch
  • a brief incident or scene (as in a play or movie)

On a day where my chronological writer’s brain has not been functioning, I have written little one-shots from the POV of one of my characters. Sometimes my mind can’t think at all and I’m stuck in reality so I will write vignettes of my life that day.

This week has been a week where reality has struck me cruelly. So in the face of reality, I wrote.

(Photo credit to: me, K.A. Werts)

As follows, “The Waiting Room” (written on Thu 2/25 at 9:41pm):

 
“The floors clash and stripes of varying earth tones fail to hide the grime and scratches upon their surfaces.
Limbs stretch and muscles roll as we try to stay awake in the humid air.
The bitter smell of a tube of hell floats in through the open hallway saturating the room and turning our stomachs.
I swallow the bile that threatens to rise in my throat…
I will not be sick…
I have to stay strong for him.
The fact that this hospital has always held my fears in its bleached white walls cannot overwhelm me now. 
I have conquered this horrid beast before and I shall do it once more!
For love! 
After all, for love anything is possible. 
Great foes shrivel in the face of true love.” 
When the famed Writer’s Wall hits you what tactics have you used to conquer it? Has life ever caught up with you, too?