Category Archives: inspiration

Inspiration and Goals

First, the inspiration. On June 8th, I– along with my little sister and two friends (one from Oz and the other from around the corner) drove nearly five hours to Medina, Ohio. Aside from getting stopped at the boarder for nearly an hour so my Australian friend could get her passport checked and processed through immigration, the drive down was uneventful. Fun, but leisurely and quite uneventful. The reason for the trip was a whole other matter. For years I have followed an author– by my reckoning I first found her story in 2003 and she is now published.

5911_643761262303900_1925006202_nI’m of course talking about Sarah J. Maas who is the author of the Throne of Glass series and the inspiration behind me starting my very own writing blog. Well, she and her other author friends (Susan Dennard, Kat Zhang and Erin Bowman) decided to go on a Authors Give Back Tour of the eastern USA and I just knew that I had to meet her (and the other’s too because I have read their books and loved them all). The picture is the picture of the five of us together. They are such inspirations and I can only dream to have my books published as they have. It was so awesome to meet them and the comments that they wrote in my books were just heart-warming. I am totally in awe of all four of them and beyond thrilled that I got to meet them for they are where the inspiration comes in.

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“SoulShip” is my science-fiction baby and while I got the finished copies (they are beautiful) I have come to the startling realization that my one book can actually be spread out over three. There is so much more story to tell and my beloved characters won’t leave me alone. New characters are popping up into my head all the time and the story keeps expanding. So I have decided that this summer’s project will be to write book one of the Mind Bender trilogy.

Book One, Ghost in the Machine will take roughly the first 10k of the original and then completely go off in a different direction. Book Two will be from the original 10k mark to either the 57k or 67k mark. I haven’t quite decided yet and it depends on how much extra room the new side mission takes up. Book Three with go from the 57 – 67k mark to the end. But it will be a lot more drawn out. I have a rather epic battle scene at the end and I need to show the Rebellion forming which is what book three is going to be all about.

My goal, as I have said is to have book one written by the end of summer and edited by the end of the year. I hope to be querying it off around Christmas and my fingers will be crossed for something good to happen. ^_^

The only other goal that I have set myself for this summer is to read all six “Anne” books by LM Montgomery. I read “Anne of Green Gables” as a child but never read the sequels. I am nearly 3/4 of the way through book one and loving it! I can’t wait to go onto book two. ^_^

So yes, those are my goals for the summer… I shall be crossing my fingers daily in the hopes of completing all of them. ^_^

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Soundtracks and Stories

Normally when I write I pick a song that fits the mood of the story and I listen to it on endless repeat. Sometimes the music that I listen to has NOTHING to do with what I’m writing. That isn’t quite the case with this year’s NaNo novel. I heard this song from Jason Walker on the radio and it just spoke to me. I eventually found it on the radio and after reading the lyrics I realized that this song epitomizes one of my main characters at the beginning of the novel. I’ve listened to the song at least a couple dozen times now and every time I hear it… it gives me chills. More than that though, the thought of having a song for the beginning made me wonder if there weren’t more songs out there that would fit my fledgling novel.

And yes… there was. I have found that my entire novel can be told in song (more or less) and the songs are as follows; Starlight by Muse, Arrival to Earth from Transformers, Across the Universe of Time by Hayley Westerna, A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, The Rohan Theme from Lord of the Rings, Illan Eshkeri from the Young Victoria, Lamia’s Lair from Stardust, This is War from 30 seconds to Mars, Thor’s Soundtrack Suite by Patric Doyle, Love Theme from PotC: At World’s End, Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson, Never Alone by Barlow Girl, Breath of Life from Florence + the Machine, Losing your Memory by Ryan Star, Two Steps from Hell by Archangel, Humanity in Motion by Nathan Lanier, Only You by Sinéad O’Conner and finally Skyfall by Adele.

The entire playlist is one hour and thirty seven-ish minutes and listening to it form start to finish really gives a sense of what the novel is going to be when it’s written. The instrumental themes inspire me to write the description, while the lyrical songs remind me of characters and scenes that I am now bursting to write. It’s six days till NaNo and I really can’t wait. ^_^

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Plotting to the End

So, I know that I’ve written about this before but I’m going to write about it again. When one writes, there are really only two ways of doing it. One way is to plot the story out from beginning to end, to have a road map so that the story doesn’t get bogged down by tangents. The other way is setting off into the great unknown and let your characters find the way for you.

Normally, I’m a pantser—especially when it comes from National Novel Writing Month (which starts in 7 days O_O). For me, the magic of writing comes from having a vague idea and maybe one or two scenes and letting the characters grow and develop as they will. This pantsing approach has led to problems in the past, but more often then not it has worked out just fine for me in the end. There usually does come a point for me in NaNo where I do have to figure out where the story is headed but that’s usually well past the halfway point.

This year is a whole other kettle of fish though. Because I’ve chosen a genre that I’ve never written before (science-fiction space opera) I decided that I really needed to know WHERE it was that my plot was going because otherwise how was I to know whether or not I would even have enough to write  a full 50k?

So the plotting began… I broke my story down into ten parts and began to fill it out. I knew the beginning of my story quite well after all it was the thunderbolt that hit me while I was driving home from tutoring a student sometime last year. It was the middle that I was foggy with. I had no idea on what the motivation for my characters would be, or how this single idea would fit into a whole new world. But by forcing myself to think of things, I was able to fill out nine of the ten parts. The one part that I haven’t filled out is the ending because quite frankly I’m not sure who is going to live and who is going to die and whom is going to end up with whom with this story. I will cross to that bridge when I get to it.

And while I know that it is entirely possible that an idea will strike me at the eleventh hour, I can rest easy for the next seven (O_O) days knowing that I do indeed have enough of a plot to see me to 50k and maybe even beyond if the parts take longer to tell then I think it will.

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An Idea Does Not A Plot Make

Ideas. I have an abundance of ideas. Every time I walk up or down an aisle at the local bookstore where I work I get another idea. They come at me with such ferocity that I often don’t know what to do with them. More often then not though, they disappear before I am able to do anything about it (like write them down).

I have a whole folder called “The Graveyard” where the barely started ideas are placed, and I’ve got several files (588 to be exact) of chapters and story ideas, beginnings and endings, bits of dialogue and all the rest. The problem for me is finding an idea that (a) can be developed into a long story and (b) can be sustained for a long amount of time. Most of the time both are huge issues for me, but National Novel Writing Month FORCES me to make an attempt at least.

In terms of a plot for this NaNo, I *think* that I have one hammered down. It’s still in the idea stage really, but bits and pieces of plot points are coming together and with eight days to go I am eagerly waiting for that thunderbolt of inspiration to hit me so that I have enough in the tanks to see me through the thirty days.

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Lack of Inspiration or Too Much?

So after reading such a wonderful novel (as was Throne of Glass) I was inspired to dive into my own writing yesterday but found that I couldn’t write a word whether it be new or to edit something that I have on the back burner. Today is the same and I’m sure that tomorrow will follow this pattern. This has always been my stumbling block. I have so many ideas. Too many ideas really and not enough will power to write them. I have a couple half-finished YA novels that I would REALLY like to get back to, but the problem is that I don’t know which one to start on. Add to that the fact that I have SO many new ideas and I feel lost in s sea of inspiration. I don’t know what I’m going to do.

While I think about what to do, I just don’t write and with each day that passes without me writing I feel more and more guilty. Last year I wrote SO much. 12 original stories, one of them being 50k and 27 stories of fan fiction, one of which was over 100k. This year, I’m reading a lot more. I’ve already read as many books this year as I did last year, but I do feel like I’m going stir crazy or something. The voices of my characters whisper in my head and while I want to sit down and write I find that I just can’t.

*facepalm* So what do I do when this happens? I read some more and then feel inspired to write my own stuff, and then the cycle starts all over again. So to those of you who do read my blog I ask this of you; what do you do when you find that you have too much inspiration that you can’t focus on one thing at a time, or too little inspiration that you find that you can’t write at all.

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I, Writer

So even though my muse is on the fritz again, I’ve come to realize one important thing… I am a writer of prose. I tried my hand at screenwriting, and while on the first day I churned out more than ten pages, on day two I only wrote three or so and by day four and seventeen pages I had totally run out of steam.

Now, if I’m being honest with myself the first time that I tried to write a novel in a month I gave up around the ten day mark, and several attempts after my two initial wins ended around the 12k mark where a lot of my stories fizzle out and die… the point being that if I were to really put my mind to it I probably could write a script. However, I don’t.

Through my feeble attempt at Script Frenzy I have realized that I am a prose writer through and through. I thought that description was the bane of my existence as a writer, however I’ve come to realize that without the description I lose sight of what my story is about. It is also true that the dialogue comes easy to me, I see my stories as movies in my head but when it comes to translating that image onto the page, I need the description to balance out the words.

So while Script Frenzy was a complete bust, I fully intend on trying my hand at the two sessions of Camp National Novel Writing Month in June and August and the normal National Novel Writing Month in November. What I’m going to write for those three months, I have no idea. I am contemplating doing my Retold Tales which will be my re-imagining of my favourite fairy tales, and I am contemplating doing a sequel to either Dreamscape or Circle of Light, or maybe something new entirely. Only time will really tell I guess.

While I wait for June and August and November I plan on continuing to work on my Steampunk short story. Right now I’m mostly writing it on my phone and then e-mailing the results to me. I find this way of writing quite satisfactory because I’m not as pressured into making every word perfect. I also plan on rewriting Circle of Light to get it to the point where I won’t mind having a proof for it. My coupon for winning NaNo 2011 expires after June 30th so I’ve only got a little bit of time to get the story finished. Plus it will be easier two write the two sequels when I’ve completed the first novel.

I also plan on working on my short stories in an attempt to get them publish ready. I took most of my writing down from Fictionpress and while I see some gems in the stories that I did take down, I know that I will totally have to polish them up if I want them to be worth anything.

Ideas keep flowing through my head, and the plot bunnies keep multiplying. I am no where near my writing goal for this year (on the plus side I am getting a lot of reading done) but I feel that if I can churn out some really good pieces then it won’t matter if I hit my number goal at all.

So I bid you readers adieu for the night as I am going back to Word to write. ^_^

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Getting Down To Business

One of my very best friends submitted her novel to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest and not only made it through the first round, but the second one as well. Her story is freakishly brilliant and I have full faith that she will continue to go far in the competition.

Her success has made me think about my own goals for writing. I know that I want to be published one day, but I haven’t done anything about it for a really long time. I know that I’ve got one of my novels in the hands of another friend to be edited but there is something else that I could do as well. I plan on going over my last National Novel Writing Month to see if there’s anyway that it can be salvaged. The last time I skimmed through it, I was surprised at how much of a page turner it was even if it had the slowest start in the world. I honestly think that if I brush it up a little A Circle Of Light could be a pretty awesome novel.

So this is me saying that I’m getting down to business.

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