July and Aug Wrap up and Sept – Oct Goals

July and August Wrap up

Sept-Oct Goals

           This is a tad late, I realize this. August took a bit of a turn writing wise and I’m essentially playing catch up. Kind of. Most of these goals didn’t get accomplished. Some because it got pushed to the back and others because of things outside of my control.

            So, here we go.

  1.  Finish Revisions for STR – I did this. I finished revisions at the second to last week of August and managed to meet the deadline for author mentor match submissions. I’m now sitting through September waiting to hear anything. I realize the chances of being picked is slim to none, but I’m also using the time to work on some other projects that have been sitting on the back burner.
  2. Post at least 8 videos on Youtube between July and August – Ha! Yeah, my record of procrastination didn’t fail on this one. I got a grand number of 2 videos between July and August. At least I attempted, right? No? Okay, we’ll call this one a fail and move on.
  3. Attempt an actual writing vlog – Now here I did say attempt. That means I did attempt and I filmed a couple of these vlogs and wound up actually just deleting because I didn’t like the results.
  4. Go on day trip with kids- Succeeded! Twice over! So, yay for fun times with the kids.
  5. Read three books that I already have – I managed to read two books, unless you want to count the self-help book that I read. Then yes, I read three books and counting this as a success.
  6. Post at least two short stories on blog – Nope. I did finish two short stories, neither are edited and only one could possibly be posted at this time. More on that in a bit.
  7. Continue eating healthier and being active – I’ve been eating healthier, more active is harder to do because I’ve been doing a lot of crazy writing to finish revisions.
  8. Finish the New York Trip Collage book – This one didn’t get completed. At first because I kept putting it off and then because when I finally got around to it my printer broke down. That’s right. No printer. So this is going to be put on hold until I can find either a new printer or other options. (Probably a trip to the library will be coming soon.)

So, now there’s the June and Aug wrap up and now we are moving on to September and October goals. I’m going to keep things simple again and this time maybe lesson the load a bit more. Make it a little more reasonable.

Starting off

 

  1. Outlining two stories – Seeing as I’ve got all of September not to do a whole lot with my main WIP Stop the Raven, I’m going to focus on some other projects that I’ve been neglecting. Starting with that short story that I mentioned earlier. It’s written and needs to be edited, then I will be trying to find some betas soon to look over it so I can edit it again so it can be submitted to an anthology. Deadlines in two weeks and I’m sure I can get it in by then. (By the time this is posted, I finished revisions on said short story and submitted it. Here’s to waiting for October to hear back on anything!) 
  2. Attempt 4  videos for Youtube instead of the 8 – That’ll be two videos a month and unless I keep procrastinating I’m sure I can get that done. Might even attempt one of those 24 hour writing challenge that I’ve seen going around.
  3. Read 3 books – I did this last couple of months, no doubt I can do this again so I’m sure I got this in the bag now.

So, that’s it. I’m not going to attempt far too many goals this month. Kind of relax and see what happens with the author mentor match and the anthology submission. Work on a few random projects in the meantime. So, til October fellow scribblers.  (Also I had a video for this update but it’s gotten deleted so I’m posting the script and I might refilm here in a bit, but we’ll see.)

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#BoostMyBio

 

Deep breath. blows dust from the old blog
I guess this is a good a time as any to put this thing to use once again.

ABOUT ME:

Hey everyone! Thanks for taking the time to read this thrown together thing. I’m always up for meeting new writing friends, or people that just want to talk about random things. Seriously, total fangirl of just about everything.

I’m also a mom of two boys. They are my blessings and the reason I get up and do the things I do. Like, sacrifice entire weekends to the time-clock just so that I can be home for them during the week.

Boys

When not goofing around with them I’m probably following along with one of my husband’s  random tangents. He’s got a tendency to get into various different things. i.e. various outdoor activities, trips, or video games (recently it’s been about building an arcade.)

20170606_195202-e1533141770450.jpgThe man keeps me on my toes and there’s never a dull moment. One of the many reasons why I love him.

 

 

WRITING:

I’m a paranormal fantasy writer who’s been known to step outside of her comfort zone from time to time and try other genres. I’ve been seriously writing for about five years now and have two completed and shelved ms and countless others that are collecting dust. (We won’t mention that long list of fanfiction on my hard drive.) As a writer, I’m constantly striving to better myself and work in hopes of one day mastering a craft I know will never be mastered. Probably why my stubborn brain latched onto the idea of being a writer.

Stop The Raven Asthetic          My WIP, Stop the Raven is an  Adult Paranormal fantasy that was originally posted on Wattpad under a different name, where I met my first writing buddies and realized that I wanted writing to be more than just a hobby.

The story follows Olivia Colt, one of many reapers that lead the souls of the dead through purgatory. They can live among people, interact with them even, and pretend to be what they’re not. Human. One rule to be remembered above all others, there are always consequences when dealing with death.

Protanginists.jpg

When Olivia’s mother dies, she takes a break from that life and returns home to Orchid, Texas to help her aunt and brother in this time of crisis. There she remembers what the simple life can be and finds herself falling for the small town boy, Travis. When the times comes to leave and return to her duties as a reaper, Olivia strikes up a deal with the others. An agreement that will allow her to spend a lifetime in her hometown with her family.

Of all the stories I’ve written over the past five years, Stop the Raven is the one that I’ve continuously come back to. Even after shelving it for a bit because I knew it needed a ton of work after it’s original draft and didn’t have a clue where to even start, but the characters and the concept stayed with me until I was able to make it into what it is today.

It’s also the reason I’m entering Pitch Wars for the first time this year. I’m looking for a mentor that will help me not only improve my current WIP but also my skill as well so that I can continue putting out bigger and better stories. I’m a fast learner and have a thick skin that can take criticism well. When pushed, I can work remarkable fast and am determined to have not just this story, but others as well on bookshelves one day.

FAVORITE THINGS:

Reading is one of my favorite past times and I’m never without a book to read at home or when I’m out of the house. Some of my favorite authors are Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and J.K Rowling. Hand me a book from these three and I’ll probably love it.
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Some of my other favorite books from other authors are Mortal Instruments, Interview with the Vampire, Book Thief, Silver Wolf, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, The Night Angel Trilogy, and Normal.

Really the list could go on but I’ll leave at that.

When not reading, I’m also a huge fan of movies and television shows. Thank goodness for Netflix. I did say I was a huge fangirl.

Some of my favorite movies: Boondock Saints, Labyrinth. Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Breakfast Club, Harry Potter, Star Wars, DeadPool, IT, Most Disney and Pixar Films, The Dark Knight, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeny Todd,  and Secret Window.

Some favorite television shows: Supernatural, Doctor Who, Walking Dead, Sherlock, Orange is The New Black, Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, Criminal Minds, Preacher, The Penny Dreadful Series, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. tenor

As you can see I have a habit of binge-watching shows, so I’ll leave it at that. I also like to play video games, but not as much as my husband does, and the game really has to capture my attention. I’ve also been known to go on trips here and there and go to a con or two.

That’s it. That is all about me and my writing. I’m looking forward to meeting other writers out there so if you to chat about writing, or books, or anything else you can find me on twitter.

7 Way to Focus on Writing

 

 

Now, I know. I’m one of the biggest advocates for mental health day, take it. Take care of you so that you can take care of everything else, but there comes a point when one can take too many “mental health days.”
It’s really not that hard to do. You sit down, look at your WIP, blog…whatever…and think. I’m not feeling it today. I’m just going to sit and watch some television, or something. Next thing you know it’s a week later and you’ve managed to plow through all twenty some odd episodes of the newest season of Supernatural and have maybe written one word in your

WIP.

Yeah, been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt.
I’m the queen of procrastination at this point and there’s no denying it. So, that’s why I’m thinking that it’s high time to get my ass in the chair and sit down and write.

This WIP isn’t going to publish itself and it sure as hell ain’t gonna hit book shelves by collecting dust on my hard drive. Not to mention, I really want this book to be published. So, without further ado, here’s a couple of tried and true methods that have gotten me to get that writing done is May.

1. Stick to a Schedule
It’s been said before, and it’ll be said again. If you stick to a schedule, your mind and body will eventually get used to doing whatever it is that’s supposed to be done, pretty much on autopilot. It’s like going to your regular 9-5, you clock in and you automatically get to work. You may stare at the building for a couple of minutes and wish it was on fire, kind of, not really, but eventually you do get to work. It’s all automated responses with what you do and how you do it and sometimes, if your lucky to have that sort of job, it’s just routine. You know what to expect at what time of day. Getting yourself into writing is no different. If you do it regularly enough your mind and body eventually turns to autopilot and there’s nothing else to it.

2. Writing Rituals:
The same with a routine, having certain rituals that you do right before a tasks usually helps trigger your mind and your attention and cues it in on what is to happen next. Mine at the moment is waiting until near 8 o’clock at night and making myself a hot cup of coffee, pull out my writing notepad and bringing up some video game play through on youtube. I’m not arguing with whatever happens to get the creative juices flowing, and it’s working for now.
Yours could be putting on some kind of background noise, cozying up in a special spot, and tapping out those words, or maybe you need to be at a coffee shop with all the people making noise. It don’t matter, figure out what works for you and stick to it.

3. Plan out the words
Maybe part of the problem is you don’t know what to write. You’re staring at that page and wondering and coming up blank on what to do next. Try outlining a little in advance. I hear some of you pantsers out there groaning at the moment, but it helps. Really.
Not saying you have to outline the entire book, maybe just a scene or two. Maybe just this particular chapter, and next thing you know you’re pushing out the next chapter and the next. Sometimes you just need to brainstorm ideas and get an idea of where the story is going before the words will come.

4. Tap it out for 10-minutes
So you’ve got your schedule. You’ve followed your rituals that get you into the mood of writing, and you’ve got something of an outline and….you’re still staring at the screen not feeling up to writing even a word. Okay, that’s fine. It happens. Maybe you’ve got twenty other things demanding your attention. School, kids, words, etc.

We’ve all got responsibilities. We all have days where we really just want to throw in the towel and watch that next Supernatural episode. It’s to be expected in this day and age and that’s fine, but you still got to stick to that writing schedule. I mean, you’ve planned it, right? You’re in front of the computer staring at the screen anyways, right? So why not just tap out ten minutes of words. That’s it. Anyone can spare ten minutes, and if you’re still not feeling after ten minutes that’s fine. You’ve written a hundred some odd words and made some form of progress on your WIP. Now you can carry on with your day and not feel guilty about not writing a word.

5. Join writing sprints
This is one of those where you kinda have to put yourself out there and actually talk to people. Joining other writers in writing sprints, even if it’s just through Twitter or Facebook is some how inspiring in that you know there are others pushing through this writing journey with you. Having a sense of community can go along way in inspiring someone into writing out those words. Sometimes that includes screaming into the void that you are doing writing springs, and hoping for the best. Other times you happen across them on social media and get this tiny thrill when you find that they are timed. Best place I’ve found is on twitter. Just type in the #writingsprints and see what comes up.

6. Seek out motivation
This one sounds a bit counter productive and can go really bad, but it’s worked for me on occasion so it’s worth a mention. Try seeking out other writer’s journey, vlogs, blogs. Whatever suits your mood. For whatever reason whenever I watch other writers get excited about their progress makes me really want to work on my on WIP and hit those mile stones. Like I said, this can go bad in that you could find yourself down the youtube rabbit hole of youtube videos and it’s suddenly two in the afternoon and you’ve written nothing. So, set a timer. Give yourself a cut off time to watch a couple of videos and then get back to your own work. Remember, you’re supposed to be achieving your own goals, not watching others live the life.

7. Hold yourself accountable
This is a big one. Especially for those of us who don’t have editors, or agents expecting something back in a certain amount of time and so can diddle-daddle until the end of time and it wouldn’t hurt anyone but yourself.

Well….dilly-dally, shilly-shally

Make up your own deadlines and hold yourself to them. Best way you can do this is by finding a writing buddy that you can check in with daily, or once a week. Whatever works for you. Just find someone that won’t have a problem breathing down your neck and demand that you get those words in and vise versa. These writing friendships are a two way street and you need to hold your buddy accountable as well. If you can’t find someone then maybe you could start up a blog, or vlog, much like what I’ve done and keep up with weekly posts on what you’ve achieved,or haven’t achieved. Somtimes just admitting to yourself that you’ve failed to meet your own goals can get you moving to try harder next week. Remember, we’re our own worse critics.

So there you have it. Seven whole tips on how to get your ass in that chair to write. They’ve helped me make progress in my WIP and I hope they help you as well.

Until next time!

A Slight Update and Possible Mistake

So I’m still in the middle of the revision process. I’ve taken all the beta suggestions that I’ve gotten and have it all listed in Scrivener and as I revise my story, I work through what needs to be changed and what doesn’t.
The problem, I feel like I’m making the story worse. I’m not even sure if this isn’t starting to sound like another half-assed first draft and I honestly thought this was supposed to be the better version. So, I can either keep pushing through, do another round of beta reads and see if it’s gotten better or…
and here’s the real doozy … stop and start over on the revision process with a whole other outline, character arcs plotted out better, etc. etc. and just go from there.
It’s been something that’s been eating at me for some time now and I really feel like that would be the better option, but it feels too much like I’m ripping it apart again and starting from scratch. Which I don’t want to do, because I do like this version of the story. It’s just missing some elements. Not to mention there are still characters that tend to appear and disappear and that’s not going to work so…
Here we go.
I think I’m starting my revisions over. Not sure if I’m deleting all of the fourth draft, or I should just call it 3.5 at this point because I’m fixing to trash what I have. Lord help me this is so much harder than I thought.
Also, I think I need a bigger notebook.

Thanks for listening to my rants and Until next time.

Editing is Hard

 

 

I’ve been absent for a while. Most of it was me procrastinating, per usual. Are you really surprised? The other half is that I’ve been trying to get through the revisions/edits in my story so every little bit of writing time that I actually put in is going toward the story. Unfortunately, that meant this blog is more of an afterthought, and while I feel guilty about that, it’s not something that is eating away at me.

I started this blog to track my writing journey and while I try to keep it updated, I try really hard not to be overly concerned about it either, especially if there is nothing to write about.

That is not the case today, however. I do have something to write about.
My editing process and how I am handling it.

A few months ago I found some beta readers to read my story Stop The Raven and get some feedback and most of it was extremely helpful. It also proved that I really needed a lot of work on this story. Mostly revising a good portion of the first half of the story.

When I first started gathering the notes and trying to come up with a game plan I was thinking, okay change a few scenes, add some stuff and rearrange a few others.

Yeah.

That went well for about…..a day. Then I realized that rewriting one chapter requires rewriting the next chapter and the next and then I started questioning my plot points and explanations of how things happened.

It’s been a shit storm to revise and there is still a good portion that I will be going back to fix up, but for the most part, it’s coming out better. I’m loving the scenes so much better in the beginning and I’m excited about the changes.

It’s been such a slow process and sometimes I wonder if I’m ever going to actually finish any of this but there is hope.

I’m giving myself til October to be completely finished with this manuscript. Does that mean I will stop working on it in October if I’m not?
NO!

I’ve tried to give up on this MS and it didn’t leave me alone until I started writing on it again. It’s one of those ideas that has managed to hook its nails in me and I don’t see myself giving it up until I’ve been told to throw in the towel.

That doesn’t say I don’t have other ideas that I could work on, if, and when I do finish this story. The other night I came up with a futuristic space pirate novel and I’ve gotten another story that’s pretty much got a half of a first draft finished that will probably be trashed and rewritten much like Stop the Raven was.

So, with all that being said, here are a few quick writing ideas that are getting me through this editing portion of my writer’s journey.

1. Watching horror based video games.
I don’t try to understand what gets me through the writing process. I just know if it’s working, it’s working and listening to someone play a scary video game is somehow getting those writing juices flowing.

2. Many breaks
Taking one too many breaks is something that is a thing at the moment. I’ll write a chapter, clap myself on the back and proceed to watch something on Netflix. Not the best move, but whatever.

3. Writing sprints
20-minute writing sprints are all the rage for me at the moment. Especially if I can find someone to join in the writing sprint. Keeps me motivated and pushes me to make that word count.

4. 90’s/Early 2000 bands
Again, I’m not trying to understand my brain but when the horror games fail me, listening to Vertical Horizon and Matchbox 20 on repeat over a hundred times is the next best option.

So if any of these ideas help you, or if you are in the writing trenches along with me and have other things that are helping you get through the process let me know.

Til next time.

A Balancing Act

You can’t do a good job, if your job is all you do.” – Unknown

Like everything else you need a balance between writing and life. It’s a proven fact that too much of a good thing can be lethal and that goes for spending all your time writing as well. You sit behind that desk, pouring out word after word and eventually the well runs dry.

It can also hurt you in the other sense as well. You spend so much time digging around in your work and you wind up ignoring your family and friends. Before you know it you’ve isolated everything and your kids are probably screaming for your attention.

When my kids were younger (I’m talking terrible two and troublesome threes stages) I found that it was a literal circus trying to spend time with them and finding a moment to write. Back then it was a hobby and not so much something I was looking to make a career, so it was easier to push aside the writing and focus on the family.

Mostly by writing down a few words while the kids were napping or when they were distracted and didn’t need my immediate attention. Which wasn’t often but like I said, the writing was more of a hobby then and not such a big deal.

Now a days, I’m looking to publish my first novel and trying to perfect my WIP to be that novel, while still maintaining family and friends. The kids are older and are in school most of the day and the husband now works mornings. So I split my time. Mornings are for house work and blogs. Writing is for the afternoon, when I have a couple of hours before I have to pick up the kids. Evenings are for families. It’s when the kids and husband come home and we focus on homework and other such things.

Friends get mixed in there somewhere in the evenings and I only work full time on Saturday and Sunday. I’ve got it nicely blocked out and the only thing that sucks away my time is my ever persistent procrastination. It’s getting a bit out of hand, and I’m in search of a way to keep myself accountable. This blog helps, but once the blog is written and posted there’s still all that time to do nothing but binge watch TV.

That’s a discussion for another time.

For now, here’s a few tips that might help you (and myself) to keep from tipping the scales.

 Schedule your day: 

Blocking out your time is always an option. Either through your phone, computer, or (my personal favorite) inside of a little notebook. Spend the night before setting up some sort of schedule that goes through your typical day: work, family, etc. Map it out to know when you have those empty slots that you can fit a bit of writing in to. This is particularly useful if you have a family and full time job, or are going to school.

As I’ve mentioned above, having kids makes this all the harder to do because we never know what those tiny creatures have planned, but you can still find ways to push in time for your writing without the kids screaming at you for attention.

Make a day of it.

If you have that option.

Take a day out of the week, let everyone know that you have plans, and focus solely on your writing.

Point is, make your writing a priority and schedule it into your day like you would anything else of importance. That’s going to help you figure out when’s the best time to focus solely on writing that and then allow you to move on to something else for the day. It also helps you create the habit of actually sitting down to write when your suppose to.

Let people know

If writing is more then just a hobby, or you really enjoy your writing time. Let people know what you are doing and ask them to get back with you at another time. The point of finding balance is to make time for everyone and everything in your life. As much as possible anyways.

If they’re friends, they’ll understand.

Treating your writing time like a normal work schedule and informing others lets them know you are serious about your work and allows for less unwarranted distractions to pop up.

Sometimes it’s unavoidable

Life Happens. Things are going to come flying at you and some times they are unavoidable. You have to put something one the back burner to focus on what’s more important. Rather that’s crunching out the words for a deadline that is steady looming over you, or closing the word document so that you can focus more on your family and friends.

In either case, don’t feel guilty. It’s life. And it’s all a balancing act.

Until next time.

Catching those winged creatures

That’s where these ideas come from. Little fairies, or storks…..whatever….come and drop these story idea into our heads and then leave us with this nugget of an idea that we have to somehow expand upon. It could be a line, a scene, or just a place.

The exact science hasn’t been worked out.

We’re just running around trying to catch these flying creatures so that we can squeeze new ideas out of them. Sometimes the tiny creatures get revenge by chunking multiple ideas at once and we’re left with a steady stream of half-written ideas and an overflowing ideas box.

And let’s not get us started on the when and where they decide to show up. I can’t count how many times I’ve been at work helping take care of a resident and something pops into my head and I just want to drop everything and run to the nearest pen and paper.

Luckily, this has never gotten me into any kind of trouble, but it just goes to show that inspiration waits for no man.

So throwing down some easy tips for inspiration isn’t really a thing that can happen, even though it’s been asked a million times. Some of my best advice, and typically works for me, is to read a book.

Try reading some historical fiction, or science fiction, or read that middle-grade book. Anything that isn’t your normal cup of tea. Broaden your horizons. Jump off that cliff. (Don’t actually do that, that’s not how you catch those darned winged beasts.)

Listen to some new music. Pull out those old 60’s albums, or try looking for bands from another country. I use to listen to a lot of Japanese Rock and still get inspired by that music from time to time.

Go for a walk! Get out of the house and make up your own adventure. I read a scene in Stephen King’s IT where the kids are just walking through the woods, and suddenly they are on a safari and it was flipping great! Complete change of pace and bit of the imagination working all at once.

Give it a try. Go in the backyard with your kids and see where your kids take you.

Careful though, if they are anything like my kids you’ll wind up in an episode of The Walking Dead.

Actually, go on an adventure. If you have the time and the money, actually go on a trip. Across country or the next county. Doesn’t really matter. Just go and do something, you’ll be amazed at what you might actually see.

(Seriously, there is some crazy shit out there.)

While you are at it, do some people watching. Maybe ease drop a bit. Just don’t get caught, or jump into their conversations. That get’s awkward. Trust me. I know this for a fact. (You could also wind up with a new set of friends, so….)

You are getting the gists here, right? There is no right or wrong way to hunt down those little-winged creatures, but can’t just sit around waiting for them to fly through your open window either.

Happy writing fellow scribblers,

Until next time!

Review and Onward

Past three months have been interesting. Somewhere between wanting/needing to get stuff done and slowly realizing that time is slipping by. I only just realized it’s the end of March and Easter is on Sunday.
Go figure.
That being said, I haven’t been idle. Going through my previous goals I’ve managed to mark off a handful and also added some more.
I tend to keep these goals few and short because I know my attention span and tendency to do nothing.

1. Beta reads/ Revisions (Completed the Beta/CP reads and have started on revisions. I’m only on chapter two and have been sitting on it for a month. Hence why I try to keep things short.)
2. Researching Agents and Publishers (Sort of finished. I’ve looked into websites to find agents, and have made a list of do’s and don’ts for querying.)
3. Blog Regularly (I’ve done this. Admittedly, not the two times a week as I said, but at least once a week. I know I missed a couple of days but I’m getting better.)
4. Buying a camera (Surprisingly, I have a camera being shipped in the mail as I write this and hopefully be able to get back to vlogging.)
5. Staying regular on Social Media. (This could go back with the blogging, but being active on social media. I think I’m getting better at this, probably not, but I’m still trying.)
6. Eating healthier and being more active. (Definitely an off and on thing going on here. I’ve been trying to stay consistent and am doing better.)

Those are the goals that I placed at the beginning of January and you can see that I’ve got most of them at least half-way done. Some of them are going to be put on hold, others are going to be a ‘to be continued’ type thing. So here’s a list of things that I plan to work on work on in the next quarter.
1. Finish revisions on Stop the Raven. ← Yes, still a work in progress.
2. Start finding agents that would be interested in STR.
3. Start Vlog back up. ← with a camera this will be easier.
4. Work on a new series for my blog.
5. Look into making the new series as a hashtag for Twitter. ← we’ll see about this.
6. Save for a trip with the kids. ← Got to make those memories with the kids.
7. Game night with kids. ← We started a game night with some friends and my oldest has been interested in doing the same at home.
8. Read at least three books. ← Considering I haven’t read one book in three months this might be pushing it.
9. Continue eating healthier and being more active.
10. Push husband to start up his own gaming stream, and join him on some games. ← this is something he wants to do and I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out.

 

Those are my goals for the next three months. Again, nothing extremely hard, most of it continuations of what I’ve already been doing. Let’s see if I get more productive. I’ve started keeping a schedule to stay on track and it’s working in other bits of my life, so hopefully, it’ll start working in my writing career as well.
June will be my check-in time, so until then, I’ll continue my regular postings.

Til next time.

Revamping That Character

Okay, so you’ve got this character that’s sitting in your story. You like them, their there after all. They didn’t get killed off, or did they? Either way, you get through your WIP and realize this character has far more potential then you originally thought. They’ve shown some sass, or heart, or whatever it is that caught your attention and you kinda want to go with it.

But you’ve written an entire book around the fact that they’re shy and quiet and kind of in the background until you realize that that doesn’t make a bit of sense.

You know that whole advice about how secondary characters need to be written like they’re telling their own story, yeah, well you get the idea.

So you decide to revamp and that requires getting a new identity for your character. Maybe not an all-new identity, they can keep their name, and their background if it still works for the story, that just leaves you with their personality. Their reactions to certain events and their attitude toward other characters. It’s not an easy process. I’ve done it twice now, well three, if you want to count the time I revamped the same character twice. It doesn’t get easier because you have to comb through your manuscript and decide if that reaction in that scene still fits or does it need to be completely rewritten. More often then not it needs to be completely redone.

So here are a few ideas to help with recreating a new character.

1. Have the character take another personality test.

Yes, this can be time-consuming, but if you are really wanting to know which direction this character is going it might be worth a shot. If you really want to go crazy, you could even decide on a birthday and pick a zodiac sign for them, or vice versa. I’m sure there are ways to quickly look up the various zodiac personalities and pick a birthday from there.

Kinda sounds like a fun idea.

2. Find the character’s defining moment.

You know that scene that really made you love the character. The one that made you realize they were going to make the cut or even that one moment that you realized you’ve completely underestimated that character. Find it. Make it stand out so that others will notice them as well and possibly even fall in love with them. This will also require you to comb through every scene that character is in and ensure that it all matches up with what you having coming for them. If they don’t have one, give them one. There’s got to be something that you can expand upon, or add. As long as it’s not fluff. Avoid all that glitter fluff.

3. Write out the character’s own outline.

This can happen in a number of ways. Any form of outline would really work and allow you to see from start to beginning how this character’s major plot points and all the bits in between. This, of course, would also require you to completely rip apart that story you’ve been working on just to add in all these bits. So this would probably work best for a major character, but if you are one of those writers that map every little detail out, all the way down to why the snail crossed the road, well it’s always an open option.

4. Do some character exercises.

Okay, so you’ve got this crazy ass character that won’t leave you alone. Begging you to give him a bigger better role. Okay. Fine. Throw them through the hoops. Put him through a series of character exercises. Not literally, of course, unless your stories some kind of military/ superhero type of story. Which is cool could work.

A few that I would suggest for those other stories is maybe a bit of truth or dare. Dive into their heads and see what they would and wouldn’t do. What they’d be willing to admit to. Have them witness a crime, or find themselves in a situation where it’s a save one or save all situation. Send them on a date and have another character say “So tell me about yourself.” There are a dozen ways for this to work and you just have to google Character Development Exercises to find the one that works for you.

Now, none of this actually has to end up in your story, this is just you doing some digging. Getting into your character’s head to find the juices bits that can be used, but you can still have fun.

5. Make them the hero of their own story

In the end, that’s what the four other ideas are boiling down to. If they are the hero, make them be a hero. If they’re a side character, make them a hero in their story. Look at it from their perspective. The whole the plot, the other characters, all of it from that insignificant perspective. You’d be amazed at what comes out when viewed from that scope.

Altogether, have fun. Enjoy your time with those characters because, from what I understand, you’re going to miss them one day.

Until next time, happy writing

Patience is Key

I’ve found myself searching for a great deal of patience this past couple of weeks.

Patience with my kids because they are home for the week for spring break and want to bicker over every little thing that they can think of. From what game they’re going to play, to how they are going to play said game and right on to who’s going to take a bath and drain said bath water when it’s the next person’s turn. (Yes, this is a regular argument despite me telling the person who took the bath to drain the water.) Top that off with them randomly getting sick and you’ve got my week in a nutshell.

Patience with the husband who is off for the week. Though he’s got a new computer and video gaming system and isn’t really that bad.

Patience with the mail system because I have several packages coming and they just seem to take forever to ship and deliver.

Lastly, patience with myself because I keep stopping and going on my WIP. I know what I want to do with my story and the changes I want to make. I even have most of them written down and staring at me, mostly. Until I actually get going and then I do this stop and go dance that has me sitting there an hour later with only a little over three hundred words written out. I did this the other night and tweeted about it.

The scene gave me such trouble that I was ecstatic to actually to have finished it. It was only later, as I’m lying in bed, that I kicked myself for not forcing myself to write more. I could have stayed up and written out the next scene. Could have even started on the next chapter, or at least make up the to-do list of changes that needed to be done. I didn’t. I simply went to bed and the next morning I got up and watched youtube videos. Something else I’ve been kicking myself for but I haven’t done anything about the problem.

So being patient with myself and my ever-present procrastination is there.

All that being said, this isn’t much of an update or even some sort of how to. More of a reminder to myself and whoever needs it that great things don’t happen overnight. That it’s okay to be a turtle writer, and not rush through things if want them to be perfect.

Patience is key with anything good in life.

Take care and until next time.

Wendy