Monthly Archives: February 2009

What Would You Do For Love?

I was brainstorming a story and listening to the radio while driving the kids around.  Meatloaf’s I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) came on.  I changed the station, but the song got me thinking about my character and what I would do for them.

So far I have gotten in touch with my inner sailor for the heroine of my current wip because she drops the f-word like it’s a hot potato.  For another heroine I have half choreographed an exotic dance to a Britney Sprears’ song.  There’s a ship’s mast and some other props involved.   I have written cheesy couplets for a secondary character to sing.  I have learned pirate speak.   For a future wip I will take up the piano again and write a sappy love song.

So what about you?  What would you do for your characters?  What have you done?

5 Comments

Filed under Kimberly, writing

The Power of Suggestion/Maniac Bananas

Seriously I have not watched a lot of TV in over a decade. I can’t remember the last time I had a set show I watched weekly or anything like that and the number of shows I have never scene is astronomical. Sex in the City? Heroes? House? American Idol? Survivor?

Never saw a single episode of any of those.

I do see an extraordinary amount of Nick JR and Boomerang, courtesy of Damien and the Omen but Sponge Bob does nothing for me.

Let’s not even go into the movies I have never scene. (The Godfather, Star Wars, etc)

I never followed soap operas or the like either. Damn,  the Neilson board would hate me. On the rare occasions I do sit down to watch television, I usually turn to the Food network, Discovery or the History channel. I like learning. I enjoy new things. I use it as research and brainstorming times.

If I have free time (rolling on floor and laughing at this point), I write or read. I have a total of 19 ebooks I have yet to read and am working my way through four hard copy books ranging from slice of life,police drama to romance. I read most any genre and LIKE IT.

Maybe because my eyesight has always been so poor (glasses at age three, now wear reading glasses on top of contacts), I have never been that into visual stimulation. I prefer to see with my mind.

I love radio for that reason. You hear it but your mind processes it YOUR way. Over 20 years ago, the radio industry had an advertising promotion where they challenged you to SEE it on the radio. The commercial described ten thousand maniac bananas running down the street or some  other nonsense.

Tell me you didn’t just get a mental image of a banana. Of course you did. The power of suggestion.

Isn’t that what writers do? They suggest a character’s description, you see it. They suggest a scene location, you see it. They suggest an emotion, you feel it. The best writers do it in the lest amount of words. Personally i don’t use famous people comparisons often. Why? One who knows if in 15 years anyone will remember or care who Matt Damon is? And I don’t want to TELL you what my character looks like, I want to suggest it and have you see it for yourself.

Is your guy going to look exactly like mine? Nope and I am okay with that. Your guy means something to you in your head and that is good enough for me. Classic example, JR Ward’s BDB Baddie Zsadist. He has a brush cut, dark hair. Not to me. Remember Spike from Buffy? (I saw a few episodes). That is how I see Zsadist. Does it match? No, but it fits in my head. She suggested characteristics. I SEE him. I love him. She did her job well enough.

So go ahead and plot your TV viewing week. Mark off a time slot, sit and veg. Enjoy it. Me, I will be practicing my powers of suggestion.

3 Comments

Filed under bizarre analogies, Humor, Inez, misc., movies, reading, televion, writing

Had Any R’s That Were Blessings?

I started my week with a rejection of a novella I’d had high hopes for. Sigh. Unfortunately, the publisher has had bad experiences with writers when they give reasons for the rejection, so their standard practice is now the dreaded form letter. Double Sigh. My novella was rejected, but I don’t have a clue as to the reason.

Not being one to accept a lack of information gracefully, I contacted a respected writerly friend and asked if she’d read the novella and give me her thoughts. Obviously, her thoughts wouldn’t be the editor’s thoughts, but they’d give me a starting point nonetheless.

What a good decision! My friend pointed out a major flaw and gave me enough feedback to get the muse started on the fix. I now have a new focus for the story and a renewed excitement for the project. Of course, that’s the real kicker…it’s now back to project status…no longer a completed manuscript to be submitted to markets… BUT the good news is the story will be tighter, stronger, and more focused than before.

So, while I’m not happy to have been rejected, I am thrilled to have the chance to improve my work and learn new lessons about the craft of writing.

Onward and upward!!

2 Comments

Filed under writing

Put Another Dime in the Jukebox, Baby

Your hero and heroine are at a restaurant.  The place has a jukebox and allows patrons to select two songs from the machine’s vast music library to be played during their meal.

What song would your heroine pick?

What song would your hero pick?

Feel free to share why the song is chosen.

I’ll post my answers in the comment section.

9 Comments

Filed under Kimberly, writing

MIX AND MATCH

My twins brought homework home from preschool yesterday. It was cool, one of those matching worksheets where they had to draw a connecting line between a cat and a kitten, a dog and a puppy, stuff like that.

So what if we HAD to do that with our characters and NOT match them up with their bookmates. Can you imagine the chaos? Like badboy John was made for Livvy and Livvy alone. But what if I drew a line from him to say…Charlie? The sex would be hot but short lived. Saucy and naughty Charlie would drive him nuts with her overt nature and she’d plant a skillet upside his moody skull in a  heartbeat. Likewise playful Jinx would tick sensible Livvy off to no end and she would tell him where to shove his quirky eyebrow.

Rhys and Myla might seem like a good match (they are both warriors but shy) but they would have as much spark as a wet match. They are the same side of the coin, nothing to play against. Same with Ward Cleaver Coe. Matching him with timid Willa is like mixing water with…water. Boring.

Diplomatic Prince Taric would spend fifteen minutes with Calamity Carly and throw her in the dungeon. Wanderlusting Jesse would leave for work and  Down to Earth Frannie would pack his stuff in a Hefty bag and set it outside the door and change the locks.

No, my characters are not interchangeable. They have a niche, a mate and a path to travel. There is no story without that line connecting them.

What about you. I dare you. Mix and match your characters just for fun and what would happen?

6 Comments

Filed under bizarre analogies, Humor, Inez, rambling, writing

Learning Curve

I haven’t been writing much this month–the personal life has gotten in the way of the muse. Instead I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading, and I think the break in routine has been good for me. I’m processing. And in that altered state where my cognitive wheels are spinning, but nothing is escaping my fingertips, I’ve recognized a few of my shortcomings. Sigh.

Ultimately, this is a good thing (I can’t fix what I don’t see as a problem), but in the short term it’s painful. I’m reevaluating and feeling like my work to date sucks bright green lemons. Fortunately, I’ve had the blessing of an editor I truly respect, so I comfort myself with the thought that my pubbed stories couldn’t have been that bad…Karen wouldn’t have let them out.

This feeling of suckiness will pass when I start producing again, and my work will be better for the processing, but this learning curve is painful.

Ah well. Who said writing was easy? Only those on the outside looking in…

Onward and upward to increased skill in practicing my craft!

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

My hair’s all wet

This seems to be a usual state for me come Tuesdays. My hair’s wet from the shower, I don’t know where the day’s pair of socks is coming from, lunch is half-packed and half in the oven and I have 35 minutes in which to blog, get my crap together, dry my hair and WALK to work.

I write this way too. Well – submit this way. Everything’s always a mess, I always realize or decide at the last minute, I don’t think I’ve ever had time to get someone to proofread a query letter and I usually don’t regret it in the end (but I do hope the editor doesn’t catch where I’ve typed “aureola” instead of “areola”). I suppose it works for me in it’s crazy little way. But when I read blog posts that are composed in advance or when I’m beta reading/critting a manuscript that’s had more time and thought put into it than the initial brain-dump I start to realize my shortcomings. It’s really a wonder I made it through school at all, given the way I approached term papers.

So, this is what I’ve been trying to make myself learn lately: a good product takes time, patience, and deliberate action. A fair product can be assembled with a little talent and a lot of slapdash energy, but the good product? Yeah, gotta do it when your hair’s not wet and you’re going to be late for work.

Are you trying to make yourself learn anything right now?

2 Comments

Filed under writing