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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

WriYe Blogging Circle: Genre Preference



















What does genre mean to you? Do you have a "home" genre? Or are you a genre hopper and are comfortable in just about any one?

Bonus:

Do you read the same genre you write? Yes or no? If yes, why? And if no, why not?  

Genre is how to categorize books (or media). My "home" genre would have to be both Fantasy and Science Fiction but I tend to go from genre to genre.

I like coming up with worlds and creating races. I like making governments and societies but mine always end up a little messed up and dark. Oops. My District Pluto series is a good example of that. There are times when I try other genres because I don't want to build a world from scratch or I just want to write something different. I do like a good change of pace, and sometimes it's needed. It usually happens between books in a series. So, say I'm writing a fantasy series and I just finished the first book. I won't start on the next book right away. I tend to write something else in a completely different genre.

Reading for me in pretty much the same. I tend to lean toward Fantasy and Science Fiction but I do read in other genres as well - for a change of pace. I find that General Fiction is faster paced and I won't get so sucked into another world like I do with Fantasy and Science Fiction. That doesn't mean I don't get sucked in. I just don't try to piece the world together to get a bigger picture.

[I'm a little behind on the blogging circle so I'm working on catching up.]

Friday, January 13, 2017

Update: Revising and About Hourglass



I'm pretty sure I said something about this before, but I put Call of the Piper on the back-burner for a bit so I can break it down a bit better and fix the plot holes and just the big mess I made with it. Instead, I'm writing a novel called Hourglass. Well, it's written, I'm just revising it now (because it's a mess).

There isn't a synopsis right now. I'll be working writing one soon. I'm currently focusing on revising the first few chapters before sending it to my critique partner...but I'm finding a hard time fitting it in. I need to revamp my schedule because classes started up again and the professors this semester aren't messing around. I can't slack off like I usually do. I'm currently working on fitting everything in.

For my WriYe challenges, I decided to jump in on one (like I didn't want to do) and participate in the Genre Challenge. It's Origin Story. It's such a good pick for the month. I couldn't pass it up. I decided to write an origin story for someone in the novel I'm currently working on. It's really good to know the backstory of this character, though I can't tell you without giving some kind of spoiler.

Other than that, I have to say, revising is probably one of my least favorite steps in the process. It's long but it's worth it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Character Driven vs. Plot Driven


It's amazing how many people don't know the difference between character-driven stories and plot-driven stories. It's pretty self explanatory. To make it as simple as possible, character-driven stories usually always deals with more of an internal focus. This is where the story is more about the character changes throughout the book more than the outside forces. Plot-driven stories are more external. The things happening around your character are what drives the story.

There should be a good mixture of both aspects in a novel but writers tend to lean heavily toward one compared to the other. Knowing which one you tend favor can really help you direct your story.

I'm the kind of person who tends to favor plot-driven stories especially for my fantasy and science fiction novels and novellas. I like  having the external conflict be the main drive of my story. Getting to a deep emotional level and having that drive it, is really hard for me but with the novel I'm currently revising for publication, I've discovered that it's heavily character-driven.

How can I tell? Well, my characters emotional and mental state are huge factors on what's going on around him. I color-coded my main plot, my series plots (over reaching plots) and my subplots. So when I outlined, I could see how it all fit. My character's emotional and mental state ended up being huge and crucial for the story and his development also becomes a cause of some of the events that happen in this series. (I will probably write a blog post about this Friday.)

If I had to compare it to my novella The Survival Agreement, I would have to say that they are completely different in terms of style. The story is being moved by the plot and the situations that my characters have to go through. Their internal conflicts aren't prominent. They are important but not heavily brought up. (Does that make sense?)

Normally, I write lists for these blog posts but I feel like this one is fairly simple. I mostly wanted to bring up this topic because I struggled creating an outline for my novel due to the fact that I didn't realize how character-driven it was. So, it's good to know your style.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

WriYe Blogging Circle: More and more goals




What’s your Wriye Word Count goal and why did you chose it? What are you going to be focusing on this year? What are you doing differently this year compared to last year?

Bonus:

What are you most excited about for in 2017? Writing wise or not. Let us know!

The Blogging Circle for 2017 is up and thought I've already written a post about my goals, I'll be a little more specific on my writing goals and there are things that I didn't talk about. 
My WriYe word count goal this year is 250,000 words. I might raise it later but I'm uncertain at this point how much writing I'm going to complete but 250,000 words sounds like a manageable  goal to me. 

This year, my focus is on publishing. I after many changes, I've decided to nix the Call of the Piper as the novel to publish and just start working on Hourglass. I have a lot to work on for that and I've already figured out my plot and start working on my new outline. Hopefully, I'll be able to start revising by this weekend. 

The biggest thing I'm doing differently this year is having a critique partner or two.  I'm actually part of a critique group in one of the writing groups I'm a part of...but I haven't sent anything to them yet. Maybe this will be a good chance to send them something. I also have a few beta readers and a deadline. Some of the other things that I've done differently is join a writing contest. I might join more or try to write for an anthology. Just trying to get my writing out there is important.

I'm most excited for publishing. This is a goal I've been working toward for some time. After lots and lots of research, I finally feel like I have everything ready to publish this year. It's probably not going to go smoothly, but it will be a good experience.

Friday, December 30, 2016

2017 Goals



Writing Goals
  • Finish Editing Novel with HTRYN
  • Publish Novel
  • Publish Dowsers on Wattpad
  • Edit Hourglass
  • Be more active in writing communities.
These are some really big goals that I need to hit, and this is just for my writing, not anything else. Yikes. I'd better get my life organized and break it down a bit.

I want to publish this year. That is my biggest goals. It's scary and exciting to think that I'm pushing myself to get to this stage, but that is just the general goal. It's a pretty big process that I have broken down into parts that I'll be doing as I edit. There are some things that I won't be able to do until after I finish editing but for the most part, I have everything broken down. I have tasks that I need to do.

First and foremost, I need to edit.I have a novel that needs to be published in June. I need to edit everything. I'm almost done with the editing process so, it's all about finishing, come January.  I want to edit my novel Hourglass because it's going to be my next novel I publish. This also coincides with my finished editing with HTRYN

Publishing Dowsers...yeah. It might be a little later but I have another story I can start posting in January called Spliced. It's a Sci-fi retelling of Beauty and the Beast. This will be available on Wattpad.

I have several writing communities that I'm a part of. I would like to be more active in them this coming year. Actually participate in assignments/challenges.

That is basically my goals for next year in a broad term.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Spliced [A Retelling]


My novella Spliced is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I wrote it back in February for Tell a Fairy Tale day. It currently stands at 27k but that is before the edits. As much as I wanted to start the year off with Dowsers, I don't think that's going to happen. Dowsers has a lot of editing to go and it's generally, really long. I can at least post this while working on Dowsers.

I'm hoping to do a new retelling this year. I haven't decided what though. I was either going to do a Cyberpunk version of Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard King. I guess I'll have to figure it out later.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Writing Short Stories When You Usually Write Novels



Writing a short story is something I feel like every writer should know how to do. It doesn't matter if you say that you "only write novels" because there is going to be a time where short stories are needed. Short stories have multiple purposes.

How Short Stories Might Benefit You:
  • You want to give your readers a little extra. Your readers are important. I can't stress that enough. Sometimes giving them a little something extra isn't going to kill you. Writing a short story is a good way of doing that. Say you have a side character that your audience just loves. Why not give them a little short story in that side character's point of view. It doesn't have to be related to the original story but be sure to give it a plot on it's own.
  • Helps you omit needless words. If you don't want to give into your readers, then at least use it as practice to omit needless words. It will force you to stay focused on the plot and try not to generate subplots, since it is a short story.
  • It opens up other opportunities. Anthologies being one of them. Or for those who aren't published yet, short story contests. There are a lot of them. Anthologies and contests are a good way to get your name out there so use it to your advantage.
  • You learn to gain control. This might sound a little weird but I was one of those people who would try to write a short story and ended up writing a whole damn novel. I learned to tone it down. It taught me how to control my story, keep things on the right path because your characters really don't have the control of the story, you do. When your character's veer off, that's you trying to explore your options or you just really have a hard time following your own directions. 
 I'm sure there are other ways that short stories can benefit but these are the immediate things that came to my head.

Now that we know how short stories can benefit you, lets move on to how to write one. I'm a novel writer. I know how hard it can be to cramp a story into a limited amount of words. But I learned.

For this short story contest I decided to enter, the guidelines for the story were:
  • Any genre
  • No more than 3,000 words
  • Due November 31st
It was a pain in the ass.  I had a great story planned out but then I realized that it was too damn long. Something had to go but what? Everything varies for me. I don't always do the same method twice in a row but these are the basics of my process.
  • Figure what I wanted from the story. That meant plot. I needed a small plot that had a lot of impact and could intrigue readers to continue. So knowing what I wanted for a general plot was important.
  • Keeping characters limited. There are only two characters that the readers know the names of and one that everyone refers to as "Boss" but you don't get to know him as a character very well. Keeping characters limited means that you will have to not fill your story with a ton of characters. That will just make it drag. Keep the characters that have an important role. 
  • Throw everything into an outline. I advocate outlines more than anyone I know. I love outlines. They are the way I keep everything in line. I even outline blog posts. By throwing what you have into an outline, I was able to establish three major parts of the story that were 1,000 words a piece and it was more than enough for what I was writing. It will also keep you from veering off into something that it shouldn't be.
  • Write what's important. This is the only way I didn't go over the limited amount of words. I only wrote down what was important to this plot. When you have subplots or a series, you'll probably have to write a lot more than in a short story. Novels are more complex than short stories. I only have one plot for this story. Keep only what's important to the story. 
It might look like a lame little list here but it works for me. It's as simple as it can get really. It's a short story, after all.