Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Fiction Feed - Allergies

Hello! No Friday Fiction Feed last week because I am lame. But I have one this week because I'm not super-lame! Yay.

How many characters have allergies? Few, if any. But how many people do you know have allergies? Odds are, a large amount. Allergies are just one of those little side-comments that can make a characters seem more human and real. It doesn't have to be huge. Just a, "Want a piece of gum? Oh, it's strawberry flavoured, I'm allergic, sorry." BOOM. Character realism in fewer than ten words.

So go ahead and give your character an allergy this week. Make them break out in hives or sneeze! (Or die, if you are feeling bloodthirsty.) Give them a funny allergic reaction story. Just try and humanize those characters a little bit*.

*Bonus points if you are humanizing aliens.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Travels: Do You Know the Way to Comic-Con?

I very nearly included San Diego Comic Con on my Bay Area Bucket List. Why didn't I? Because attempting to get tickets is turning into Battle Royale. Only those who are lucky enough for Hogwarts letters can achieve these tickets. They are as rare as Wonka's and as hard to find as Articuno.

(Yeaaah, geeky references.)

So, I have decided to chronicle my attempt to get tickets in this week's Tuesday Travel post, as an explanation of why I did not put it on my list.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Fiction Feed - ~Dream Sequence~

I love dream sequences.

They tell you so much about the characters. They can reveal or hide the plot as needed. They can reveal things the characters should, but don't, know. They can be silly and funny or scary or romantic or almost any emotion you want. In terms of writing, I feel freest to do what I want in a dream sequence.

True, they often end up on the cutting room floor. But not always! And anything that helps you understand the characters is words and work well spent. So make your character take a nap and go for the wild, my friends. I want crazy dreams! Off the wall! Exciting! Adventurous! Go Inception-style if you want!

Dream on. Write on.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Fiction Feed - Bad Habits

I hate it when people crack their fingers. The snapping noise just brings up my hackles; it sounds painful, and then I think about someone breaking my fingers, and then I wince and want to stuff my hands in my pockets to protect them from vengeful finger breakers. It is the most aggravating thing a person can do to me.

Almost everyone has that sort of thing--the one that they cannot stand. Maybe it is a twitch every time they hear the word "darling", or a certain level of discomfort with people coughing. Regardless, we usually don't put those little humanizing things in books. We may mention big weaknesses, but not the little ones.

So here is your task: give your protagonist something they hate. But--this is key--don't tell the reader. Just keep on showing that they hate cracking fingers or loud burps. Readers are smart; they can pick up on the quirks. Don't be explicit. Show, don't tell, your character's hate.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Weekly Writing Wrambling - The State of the Novel, Part One

I originally meant for Weekly Writing Wramblings to partly be about writing, and partly about my writing--that is, the current book that I am working on and trying to get published. That being said, though, I haven't done anything about my current book. There are a few reasons for this--well, okay, one. I am very protective of it. I mean, you put in all of this time and energy, and after a while the book is just part of you. It's like a little sliver of my soul in a Word document. Showing it to people can be downright terrifying, unless I know them well.

One of the few times I let people read my novel...I cried.
So now I'm just typing a lot in hopes of buying time and not needing to tell about my novel. If this keeps up, I'm going to be a wreck if/when publication happens.

So: the current working title is The Demon Hunter's Inheritance. I had been playing with The Guardian Inheritance, but it sounded slightly corny, and actually explaining what Guardian meant seemed to help with that. The basic gist of the plot is that three teenagers (Matt, his cousin Sarah, and their friend Jake) get involved in the world of demon possession and hunting after Sarah's brother dies. All three of the main characters get a few chapters from their POV, as they all individually discover what Sarah's brother was up to and how it now involves them.

I had been toying with the idea of demon possession for a while before I wrote this novel--since 2010, really. I started writing the story back in March 2012 and finished in December, and have been revising and editing for the past two years. Sometimes the revising is fun; sometimes it is a pain in the butt.

But we have reached the point where I look at the book, and I make a few changes, but it really is remaining the same. There are a few minor changes still to be made, but it really is about done, and certainly ready for me to start showing people...and agents. It is really time for me to start trying to publish this book. It is scary to get to that point. Every time I think about that, I just start listing problems with it in my head--but then remember that those problems are just me panicking and not actual issues. It really is about done.

So we are now in the Polishing and Querying phase. I'm picking out agents and sending off queries. I have sent off queries before, but that was back when I was a teenager. Now I'm adult. I could be published, I could sign the contract, I could easily go to visit agencies and publishers, I could actually accomplish this dream. It is all possible. I have given up a lot in the pursuit of becoming a published writer, and this time next year, it could all be worth it.

So that is the state of my novel. Here is to an exciting update next time!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday Musings - I Hate February

January is over! This is usually a good thing. I don't think that anyone really enjoys January, unless their birthday is in it. If I recall, Roald Dahl once wrote that he would prefer if they just took January off the calendar and gave us an extra July instead. (I don't really like July, though. How about another October?)

The end of January, to me, signifies something else even more horrible on the horizon:

I hate February. It is a horrible month. On one had, you have engagements. Tons and tons of engagements. Tons and tons of people who have decided to exchange married bliss for singleness, which means that the number of people I can go on vacations with or call up to hang out is lessening. (This is slightly hypocritical of me. Yes, I'm happy people are happy. Yes, I'm super jealous. But it still means that if I want to go to Hawaii, I have fewer people to go with every year. Because who invites a third wheel to Hawaii? Nobody. That's who.)

Also, everyone who is already married feels the need to gush about their spouse. We get it! You like who you are married to! Now go away! I don't care that your spouse is super sweet. They probably also fart under the covers and have the annoying habit of leaving mayonnaise jars open in the fridge, but would you post about that? No. You just have to make everyone else feel inferior because you married the bestest person in the world. SHUT UP.

No (good) books come out in February. No action movies come out in February (just rom-coms with the same plot every time). No interesting sports events in February. I ask you, what is the point of February? Other than once again returning to caveman form to judge animal habits for meteorological ideas and celebrating dead presidents, there is nothing to this stupid month.

Looking back, I always hated February as a kid. There was the whole romance angle, but there was also just so much time until spring break and felt like there was very little hope, in February. Everything was just so far gone. Perhaps that is why February is always a good reading and writing month for me. Traditionally, I do anything I can to escape February and its Februaryness. A world of fiction is a much more comfortable place to be than a world filled with February.

So here is to February. You suck! Go away now!