Monday, April 30, 2012

Organizing Thoughts

How do you organize the chaos of your own mind? I generally don't since I'm really good at multi-tasking. But, I have a lot of projects to plan- job hunting, getting Certificates in Editing and Graphic Design, working on my second novel, to name a few. The brain warehouse became cluttered and everything was screaming at me at the same time. I couldn't focus on anything. Something had to change.

Mind Map
from Mind Tools
Mind Mapping is sort of what I wanted but I've never been big on creating charts and graphs for myself. Tried it, never helped. Reading an article about storyboards gave me more inspiration.

Buy a push pin board and dedicate wall space to my projects.

This had to be organized carefully. I don't want my apartment looking a mess. It turned out better than expected.

One area is for my novel. It has details of my world- how it has changed from the first novel, history and the difference between the two main creatures. Since I'm a very visual person, I also included pictures for inspiration. To make sure it wasn't totally boring, I gave the text fun colors and added visual effects.

I also listed all my characters- describing their personalities and soul wounds- my new favorite phrase. I learned it from Diane Carlisle's post A Writer's Journey - The Wounded Soul. You never really appreciate just how many characters you have until you write them all out. This took longer than I expected but those two elements (personality and soul wound) forced me think deeper about my characters and their lives.

The world building board helped me gain some perceptive too. Since creating it, I've developed more history. Organizing the warehouse freed my mind to create more scenes.

I dedicated another board to the elements of my other projects. Already, there's too much information to fit on the boards but, I organized the papers around them so it still looks nice. This has gone a long way towards organizing my thoughts.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Places that Inspire

What place inspires you the most? When the weather was nice, this became my new favorite place to work. I'd roll out the blanket and sit for hours. The atmosphere is amazing- so relaxing. The ideas flow so freely here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

What do you think?

In novel writing, is it really important to hook the read with a delicious opening line? A while ago, I would've said yes. No one has the patience to struggle through a story. When shopping in a brick and mortar store, some readers still let the first page decided whether or not they want the book.

But, after reading The Last Wish and Dark Lover, I'm leaning towards not sure. The first several pages of both books were a pain. The female protagonist in Dark Lover was so annoying. The Last Wish was told in a format I didn't expect and didn't care for at first. It was like a short story collection, no story arc.

Despite this, I pushed on and, as it turns out, they were both great reads. I devoured Dark Lover in like two days. The Last Wish was awesome! This happened with Prince of Thorns too

Besides, I can't remember the last time I read an impressive opening line.

Maybe we should instead focus on making the readers love the characters from the start. The reason I stuck with those two books, outside of sheer curiosity, was because I loved the male protagonists.

This may be where audience research comes in. How do your potential readers decided what books they want to read?

What do you think? How important is it for writers to focus on grabbing the reader with the first line or a tantalizing opening?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pottermore Opens

Pottermore is open to the public! I was gonna blog about something else but seriously, what else matters now? More Harry Potter so, I'm excited. Can you tell? ;)

As a writer, I'll be taking notes. As I've said before, I'm really interested in how technology will change the way we interact with content. An article about eBook apps said we're heading towards a time where the maps at the beginning of fantasy novels could be interactive. I hope so. That would be pretty cool.

Here's a message from Pottermore Insider
"Get ready to begin your Pottermore journey, because is now opening to everyone.

Over the coming days, we'll be inviting new users onto We're expecting to be really busy to start with and plan to activate new registrations in a steady stream. This means that you may not get access to Pottermore immediately after you sign up but we will get you exploring the site as quickly possible.

After you've signed up, you'll get sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses, have a wand choose you, and discover exclusive new writing from J.K. Rowling.

We’ll be adding lots of exciting new features over the coming weeks and months, so make sure you return regularly to explore and discover all the changes as Pottermore grows."  
How awesome does that sound? It's like Second Life meets Harry Potter. I already registered. Now, I'm waiting for an email telling me I can enter Pottermore. No worries. I've been waiting for like months- I think I can wait a little longer. Besides, if access was instant, I'd be doing nothing else today.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

NY International Auto Show

I really like looking at cars. Spent almost 4 hours at the Auto Show over the weekend and took like 300 pictures. There were so many hotties. I had to take a picture from every angle. Talk about eye candy. Let me tell you, at the end of the day, my feet, my legs and back were killing me. All I was thinking of was chair now.

Back to the Show. Dodge had the Charger and the Challenger. They're always fun to look at, especially the Challenger but it was so hard to take a good picture of them. There were always people around or inside them. Dodge were seriously pushing the Dart. They seemed to have one in every color. I exaggerated of course but there seemed to be a lot of them.

Ford was Focus heavy and Chrysler was showing off the 300, the 200 and the Town and Country. The 300 Concept Car was so awesome.

I love Concept Cars. They're all so gorgeous! Even now, they make me smile. You know, one of these days I'll actually take time out to learn about a car's interior. At this point, simply looking at them makes me happy.

And then there was the SRT Viper (not a concept car). *Sigh* I think it was love at first sight.

I'm not a fan of red but I gotta admit, it looks great on cars. Some had vicious wheels too.

And, I had an unexpected nerd moment.

The S.H.I.E.L.D car from the upcoming Avengers movie. The most impressive thing about this car was the 6 million dollar price tag.

And the DeLorean Electric

This post was so hard. I wanted to show more pictures, share more stories like the one when I'm in front of a yellow Ford Mustang Boss 302 with black strips and people behind me keep calling it Bumble Bee. I'm like Bumble Bee's a Camaro people. I didn't say this out loud of course ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

If They Can Do It...

I've been in a content sharing mood lately but what can I say, I love sharing information.

Anyway, I setup Google Alerts for terms like publisher, author, literary agent and dark fantasy to receive daily emails when new content containing those terms is put online. I find some really interesting stuff. Sometimes it's information I would never come across normally.

In one of those emails, I read an article about a teenage writer and publisher. She and a friend co-authored a book and self-published it using and she established "free publishing, editing, formatting and cover-design services for writers through" How amazing is that!

Read the full article here: Novel Way to Start a Career

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Need to Write

Why Writing is a Potent Drug. Before I even read this article on Suvudu, I knew it was speaking to the choir. I like articles or posts like this. Always nice to know I'm not alone in my insanity. Writing as a drug. What a great way to put it! I never thought of it that way but it's so true. I couldn't stop even if I wanted to or, as the author put it:
"It won’t be denied and if a writer tries it doesn't work out well for them." really doesn't. What happens when I stop writing? I don't get grumpy, at least I hope I don't. It's probably because I haven't been in a situation where I couldn't write. If I wanted to write but wasn't able to I'd probably be really irate.

When I choose not to write, I get kind of backed up, my brain gets clogged. It becomes difficult to concentrate on anything because the words are piling up in this well in my mind and man are they annoyed at being ignored. The author described it perfectly:
"But something builds in the back of my mind... an altogether dark passenger like the serial killer Dexter carries with him, capable of being unleashed at any given moment...There is no magic that lessen its potency; there is no silver bullet to kill it. There is only writing. Writing lulls that passenger to sleep for a while."
Naturally, I love the idea of a dark passenger. It would be nice if stories found a way of getting my attention without so thoroughly obstructing my life.

What happens when you stop writing for awhile? 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mark Your Own Path

 I've read often how important it is for writers to have a blog. I was glad because I enjoy blogging but recently, I came across an article where a writer said it was a wast of time. I started thinking am I spending too much time on something that'll do nothing to promote my brand and eventually my book?

There are so many books and articles and blogs on how to be successful writers. I automatically assume their rules are law because they're published or work in the industry. The language is like you need to do this to be successful. If you don't follow every one of these rules it's likely you won't get published.

I stopped writing for awhile because the path to getting published was taking all the fun out of working on my novel. The information is useful but in the end, it was slowly freaking me out. It was driving me up a wall especially when one advice contradicted the other. Talk about information overload. So sad since my Masters is in Library and Information Science. I'm trained to make sense out of information but I was drowning in it.

Then, I thought about outlining. No matter how many times I read professionals saying we need to outline our novels, no matter how solid their argument is, I am not going to do it. I tried it, doesn't work for me. No matter how I many times I read advice telling me to write for a market or I won't make money off my book, I'm not going to do it.

While thinking about this post, I gave myself permission to mark my own path. You know what, I feel so much better. I'll do things to get my book published and promote it because I feel I need to do it and not simply because someone said I need to do it.

I mean I've marked my own path in every other aspect of my life, why would getting published be any different? If you think about it, a career as a writer requires quite a lot of bravery and determination. Marking your own path seems small in comparison to years of your book, your baby, being ripped into by strangers. We're trying to get published now when, because of technology, no one really knows what the industry or even the book will look like years from now. All they know is things will be very different. It's frightening when you think about it but despite that, writers are still trying to get published.

At least that's how I see it. ;)

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