The End

Today is the last day of November and the end of NaNoWriMo.

Crane in Saltgrass end of November

If you are one who has already or will be typing the end today — congratulations!

If you are one who threw in the towel days or weeks ago — it is not the end of the world!

The earth is still in orbit, the sun still rises in the east, the Apocalypse has not occurred (unless I missed it) and if you can pinch yourself then the Messiah has not arrived. Be thankful.

This is not the end.

This is only the beginning.

Write on!!

 

Writing for the World to Read (Tuesday’s Tell All)

Understanding & the Interpretation of Words.

English may be the most recognized language worldwide but it is also probably the most confusing.
Even in English speaking countries we have such a vast collection of dialects (or sub-forms of English) that it is not always easy to interpret what is being said. Add to that the accents, grammar arguments, idioms/colloquialisms and hell (pardon my French) – we don’t understand what we are trying to say half the time.
It is no wonder other cultures complain that English is confusing; there are too many words that have so many variable meanings.
For example: In the tiny world where I grew up a cock was a rooster… a male bird. That’s all it was!
Yo! Yo! Yo! Hold the jokes – you are in mixed company here. Besides, there is a point to this.

For me that WORD still summons the image of a rooster, a gamecock to be specific.

gamecock gray roosters.JPG

That is until something else is implied by accompanying words or a facial expression.

As writer’s all we have are words!

The reader can’t see your face and they are probably not from your neck of the woods.
While you are writing I want you to consider how your audience interprets your words; your story.

Keep it real and reel them into your scenes in such a way they don’t feel like they are struggling through a foreign film.
After all you are writing for the world to read, right?
Right!
Write on!!

Friday’s Free-for-all (Deserted)

I’m busy today so this photo prompt serves a dual purpose/challenge.
• Seven days, seven black and white photos of your life, no people, no explanation.
• Writers write what you don’t see.

 

An empty playground could just as well be an abandoned mall or a vacant house.
Why is it deserted?
Feel the essence and let the words flow.
Write on!!

Throw Back Thursday (Feel Free to Digress)

Janna Hill with hat and flag

Sometimes our thoughts meander…
And sometimes a character doesn’t reveal a fact about their past that is somehow pertinent to their future.
In such cases feel free to digress.
Try to deviate without losing/confusing the reader, e.g. dedicate a chapter to expose what they were trying to hide, like that hideous hat I was so fond of. 😉

Write on!!

Mad Monday (Break the Rules)

You know I mentioned going to Benton Arkansas last Friday.
It was a nice break. We shopped a little, ate too much, chattered like magpies and — well, I just had to see the old sanitarium/asylum aka “nervous hospital” where Karl spent most of his life.
Thank goodness my family is as adventurous and crazy as me.
There were no observable signs that forbade us from entering, so…
We considered going in a window but oddly enough we did not have to.

The doors seemed to beckon and willingly opened without the slightest resistance and ta-da, we were in.

and we are in... (800x533)

Exploring the dilapidated history in search of answers and ghosts and what-ifs.

And possibly inheriting a demon or a deadly disease. :/

What does this story have to do with writing?
This: Every now and then you have to break the rules to spice things up.
Of course you need to know the rules before you break them and sometimes the rules are not obvious.

Write On!!

Don’t Quit (Misery Loves Company & Asshats)

NaNoWriMo has barley started and you’re giving up? If you quit at the starting line how the heck are you going to reach the finish line?

Okay. I understand the pressure and the frustration and the fear and the time crunch you have to contend with [really, I do] but don’t quit. Take a deep breath. Let your shoulders drop (it is okay if the world has to float on it’s own for a minute or two) and remind yourself why you took the challenge to begin with.

The above was my partial response to an aspiring author I sometimes guide (guide sounds less hoity-toity than mentor). She continually strives to improve her skill and decided to challenge herself this year with NaNoWriMo. I was so excited for her.

When she said she was throwing in the towel one week into the 30 day challenge my heart sank.

I had to remind myself of two things: #1 this is HER journey. #2 despondency is common among authors, young and old, aspiring and established alike.

The exchange ended with us both feeling more optimistic. For now.

Another handful of emails followed (not participants in WriMo) mostly venting about criticisms which they said too often feels like bullying.

I read some of the criticisms. Honestly, I considered most of the comments as constructive – a little blunt and crude but valid observations. Constructive criticism is valuable.

There were a few however that did have a malicious feel about them. Asshats!

It is not always easy doing what you love… what you feel driven to do… following your passion. Self-doubt is relentless and Asshats… don’t get me started?!!

Insecurity fluctuates; it lessens with experience as the skin thickens but don’t expect Asshats to turn into compassionate humanoids.  Why? Because misery loves company.

Misery loves company

I cannot count the number of times I have heard/felt, “I’m too old”, “I’m afraid”, “I am not good enough” or “I’ve been ridiculed/rejected”. Self-doubt

Nor can I count the times I have heard of/read/experienced pointless insults that serve no purpose other than to humiliate a person. Asshats

So it seems Asshats and uncertainty will always be a part of life; a thing we all have to contend with. “But how?” some ask. Don’t quit.

You can’t lie down and quit. I guess you could but then you would be in a coma. Being comatose is not the answer.

You can’t throat-punch or cuss everyone who hates on you. Well, you can but the fines start racking up and…

Before I confess digress I think I’ll just send you to a more inspiring, graceful article.

Oops, a quick tip: Embrace your feelings (pain, anger, fear, etc.) and use them in your writing. Assign your feelings of defeat and grief to a character and then show the character how to overcome. It can be very healing.

Write on!!

Now check out the post by Joan Hall over at Story Empire and be sure to read the comments.

If you are not already following Story Empire  you should.

Why?

Because they offer countless resources for writers (especially new writers) and they are a great group of people. They don’t allow Asshats and trolls to hang out there.

Let them be Mad

Mad as in angry, insane, enthusiastic or in a swift manner.

I was driving 90 mph down the highway with my camera beside me and I snapped…

Mad Dash (1024x590)

I was in a mad dash and mad in every sense of the word. (Some of that lunacy is revealed in the poetic memoir Getting Me Back.)

The above photo is not one I would usually keep in my collection; it is dark, out of focus and lopsided yet I like it. Why? Because it reminds me of the world as I saw it at that moment in time.

I will probably be the only one to ever appreciate this inferior blurred image but maybe it will spark something in a stubborn character you are trying to bring to life.

Maybe the character is hiding something from you; afraid to reveal their passion, their fury or the fact that they are bat-shit crazy.

Tell them it’s okay. Everyone… every living creature [even saints] have moments of madness at some point in their life. Heck, even Jesus got mad. Wasn’t he ticked-off/pissed/irate when he turned the tables over and cleared the temple? Damn right he was!

And what about the insanity so many of the great artists/creators in history suffered from? Think about that, eh?

Allow your characters the freedom of expression.  Let them be mad.

Don’t Forget to Set the Table (Writing Prompt)

What are your characters eating? Drinking?

Set the table and invite us into your story with tempting descriptions.

Is the food/drink new to the character or is it the usual?

What is the usual?

Is it wine? Is it red wine or white wine? Do they prefer Merlot or champagne?

Maybe one of them prefers liquor? Water? Soda?

Is it smooth, bitter, dry or sweet?

Add your own beef, chicken or lamb – heck serve it to a vegetarian. How did they respond?

Light a candle [or not] and cook up something imaginative from the elements in the photo.

Groovy huh? Write on!