Alien Arrival

This is what I’ve been working on most of the day. It’s got one of my favorite scenes! The scene is based in truth. I worked with law enforcement and heard a call similar to this one. Although, the way it’s written is from a very different POV and its greatly exaggerated.

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One up, One down

I finished writing chapter 4 of the super secret project that’s not so secret yesterday. It took longer than I expected and the chapter itself is a bit shorter than I thought it would be (my guess is that’ll change in edits), but it is finished for the first draft.

This chapter was incredibly intense to write. There was a point where my heart pounded so hard in my chest that I had to stop typing for a bit because it flat out hurt.

Anyway! Here’s your picture!

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Oh, and Rusty the wonder kitten had surgery on Monday, so that’s part of why I haven’t been around. =P

Grammar Wednesday: COMMA–participle phrase

Participle phrases can be a bit tricky. Basically, if you have a sentence with an “ing” word in it, you need to pay attention to what’s going on! A participle is a verb that acts and pretends to be an adjective. It modifies the noun. So, now that I’ve probably confused you with the lingo, I’ll get some examples.

EXAMPLE 1. She glanced up, looking for the man.
2. He stared, knowing she was there.
3. Their eyes met, staying locked together as time slowed.

Making more sense?

There is another thing, sometimes participle phrases can be flipped around and most often are confused with introductory phrases (which I’ll cover next week).

EXAMPLE
1. Looking for the man, she glanced up.
2. Knowing she was there, he stared.

Making some sense? Okay, here’s the examples with resolutions.

Practice Examples:

1. I plan on going to Guatemala traveling with friends and classmates for school credit.
RESOLUTION:
I plan on going to Guatemala, traveling with friends and classmates for school credit.

2. Leaning out the window the teenager mooned the passing car.
RESOLUTION:
Leaning out the window, the teenage mooned the passing car.

3. She read through her class papers highlighting all the important sections.
RESOLUTION:
She read through her class papers, highlighting all the important sections.

Hope this finds you well!

Fucking Fucks! (Cursing in exposition)

I need to preface this post with the fact that I am NOT against cursing in books. So, I am NOT against cursing in books.

Have you every seen the movie “Good Will Hunting”? I read something recently where it started to turn into that movie. For the first ten pages there were no curse words, not harsh or crass language. Then suddenly, it was like WHAT THE FUCK? <== see what I did there?

Anyways, suddenly the word “fuck” was used in every other sentence. The word lost its meaning.  I am not opposed to using curse words in exposition or in dialogue, but you have to make them worth while.

For example: I have a scene in “Forever Burn” were Max is freaking out because he feels completely helpless and pulled in ways he never thought possible. He didn’t know what to do and the frustration just continued to build. EXCERPT TIME!

In frustration, he tossed the piece of paper with Rob’s name and number into the trash bin and stood up glaring at the telephone.

“Fucker.”

The word slipped through his lips.  It was rare that he cursed, but the harsh word sounded throughout the deadly silent room and filled him with a sense of pleasure.

“Mother fucker!”  He shouted it louder this time.

The knot that had been held tightly in his chest and stomach released and everything tumbled down.  He sat back in the chair, his hands covered his face, and his mind reeled with the reality.

The tears fell unbridled.

See, the cursing plays to the mood of the character and exactly to what is going on in that moment. But if the word overused, if the meaning behind it is overdone, then it loses all its impact.

Just food for thought.

Writing brings people together…

Yesterday, I spent the day at the Dallas Sci-fi Expo/Comic con. It was an amazing experience. I met actors from my favorite TV shows, friends from twitter, and hung out with general geeks like me! Aside from the general grandeur, what amazed me the most was how writing brings people together.

I went with a friend from a writing group that I’m a part of. While there, I was able to meet many others who I have met through my own writing (fanfiction and original fiction), and even speak with actors who have ventured into the realm of writing. Kevin Sorbo was one of those actors. He had I had a great conversation about writing, about pen names (including ALL of my names except maybe one), and publishing ventures.

All in all, the answer is: Writing brings people together.

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Devil’s Advocate

Wrote about 8k words today! My original goal was 5k and I upped it to 10k. I’m satisfied and taking the rest of the night off.

This project is turning out to be amazing! I’m so excited for it! In 2,000 more words, I’ll be a quarter of the way through my original plot (always subject to change). I think you guys are going to love it!

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Hearing about an unpubbed writer who replies to rejections with reasons why the editor/agent is wrong.

This is one of my favorite tumblr pages of all time. Granted, I don’t really tumblr, but if you’re an author or aspiring to be one, these posts are HILARIOUS!

Hearing about an unpubbed writer who replies to rejections with reasons why the editor/agent is wrong..

Grammar Wednesday: COMMA–compound sentence

A compound sentence is made of two independent clauses. That means, in the basics, each part of the sentence can stand alone as a sentence itself.  My FAVORITE example for this is from Katy Perry.

“I kissed a girl, and I liked it.”

“I kissed a girl.” and “I liked it.” can both stand alone as two separate sentences. By combing them with a comma and coordination conjunction, the two sentences connect more closely.

Example:

I went early to choir practice and I was stuck in traffic for an hour and a half while waiting for a car accident to clear.

RESOLUTION:

I went early to choir practice, and I was stuck in traffic for an hour and a half while waiting for a car accident to clear.

Example:

I never wanted to go to the party but my friends dragged me to the house.

RESOLUTION:

I never wanted to go to the party, but my friends dragged me to the house.

Example:

My cat goes crazy in the morning so I crate her at night.

RESOLUTION:

My cat goes crazy in the morning, so I crate her at night.

There will always be a conjunction connecting the two independent clauses (unless it’s a comma splice, but that’s another issue for another day).  In a compound sentence you have

(Independent clause), [coordinating conjunction] (independent clause).

Hope this helps! Have fun!

The First

Had to share! First book, that I know of, has arrived! Katherine wins (if there was something to win other than the book, lol).

When you get yours, take a self and either tweet it to me or post it on my fb page! It’ll be fun to see them all and maybe ill make a vid or collage when I get enough.

Enjoy!!!!

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James meets Heath

This is one of my favorite scenes. Mostly because James is extremely annoyed.

‘Mr. Sheriff’s Deputy with the extra smelly cologne’ had his hand on her leg and a soft look on his face. “You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Her brow narrowed and wrinkled between her eyes. It was a look she often gave when trying to figure something out. There was something off about him, yet something overwhelmingly pleasant as well. “You good?” She didn’t know why she asked it back, but she couldn’t help herself.

He nodded and smiled, his white teeth showing and his eyes crinkling in the corners. “Yeah, for now. Don’t ask me tonight though.”

James cocked her head to the side reading his name badge. She hadn’t seen him around and in a town this size she knew all the officers of law. “Deputy Taylor.”

“Heath Taylor, at your service ma’am.” He bowed his head slightly.

“First off, don’t call me ma’am.” James jumped down from the truck and started for the back to check on her supplies. “Second, I’m James.”

“James? What’s your first name?” He followed her and stood closely as she opened a storage hold, the hinges swinging up until she set the metal leg in its locked position so she could dig around inside.

She was having a slight issue with how close he was to her, but let it slide without comment. “James Matthews. My mother liked jokes.” The last statement was bland and obviously not the truth. She shut the door and looked to her left noting that the people from her station were starting to come back; she could feel their adrenaline running around and their minds whirling. She knew what each was thinking and feeling without looking at their faces. Adrenaline was always a good sign and one that she took to steady herself. The boys started to round up all the supplies, used and un-used while cleaning up the area as best they could.

“What you did today was really brave,” his voice was hushed and his eyes cascaded across her face, tracing the lines of her cheeks and jaw.

Taking a moment to pause, James realized that she had no idea what she should say. She was never good with compliments, but this one was extremely odd coming from him—he didn’t seem like the type to give out compliments. “Ummm… thanks. Just doing my job, you know.” And really, she was. This time she had done little outside of her job description. “You know we’re not just fire anymore, we’re fire and rescue.” Giving a quirk of her lips and showing some teeth in the smile, she hoped it was enough for a quiet hint.

“I love your eyes.”

James stepped back and blinked: obviously not enough for a dismissal or a hint. She really had no idea how to reply to his comment, and she was beginning to feel rather uneasy.

“I mean, they’re so unique and expressive.” He amended, trying to explain away his sudden outburst that had clearly made James uncomfortable.

Air was slowly pulled into her lungs and she let it out in a rush deciding on what to say. “Yeah, everyone says that, try to be a bit more original.” Turning on her heel, she made for where her Battalion Chief was standing and away from the nosy and creepy deputy.

All Rights Reserved Copyright 2013 Adrian J. Smith

Amazon.com: Katherine’s review of Forever Burn

meanie Katherine might possibly have made a few tears roll down my cheek.  I don’t know how I am blessed with such good friends, but thank you!

Amazon.com: Katherine’s review of Forever Burn.

Simple Advice

I am what most people consider somewhat prolific.  I produce a lot of story over a little amount of time.  This is particularly true for someone who is a full-time graduate student.  This also comes from what are considered amateurs, though I consider myself an amateur so there is little distinction in my book.

People ask me all time “How do you write so much?” “How do you do it?”  The answer is really rather simple:

I write every single day.

The answer is, if writing is what you really want to pursue, if you really want to get your book out there and published and have people read it.  You have to finish it.  In order to finish it, you have to be motivated.  To increase your motivation, you have to have a regular practice.  Make writing a habit.  I write every single day.  I certainly did not start out writing every single day. Believe me!

From about 2008-2011, I didn’t write a single word except what was due for school and most of that was research papers, not creative ones.  In September 2011, I started writing again.  It was like my mojo and muses exploded out of me and I managed about 60 short stories in the span of a year.  By short stories, I mean stories under 30,000 words.  Now, that’s like half a novel in some of those shorts.  I averaged about 39,000 words a month! Not including my school work.  A novel of 50,000 wasn’t that big of a stretch for me.

I wrote every Friday.  I wrote every Friday. I wrote EVERY Friday.  It was my day.  My friends knew it. I arranged my homework and work schedules around it.  Fridays were my days.  Quickly that advanced to three days a week, four, five and before I knew it, I was writing every day.

I started writing novels with NaNoWriMo. Well, at least that was my intention. I wanted to do Camp NaNo in June or August of 2012.  I had a two week intensive class in June, as well as traveling–so that was out.  August, I think I was home all of ten days in the entire month.  I did my own Camp NaNo in July.  In 19 days, I wrote and finished “Forever Burn”.  It evened out at 68,000 words.

19 days to write
70 days to edit for my first draft

Everyone writes at a different pace.  I type about 100 wpm, so knocking out 5-10k words a day isn’t rough for me.  My best friend hits about 800 words a day.

So…after all this…my advice to you aspiring authors and to you writers out there who want to be published and who want to finish your piece.

WRITE EVERY DAY!

DV 101

Guess who’s writing! Oh right, that’s me! I’ve been writing a lot of today. Here’s a pic of the first chapter of my super secret project!! I’m very excited for this project. You also get to see a few lines (kinda sorta) so be excited!

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Oh and say hello to my writing partner, Rusty the wonder kitten.

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Books!

My goal in 2013 is to read more books for pleasure.  Last year I read exactly two books for pleasure. Actually, now that I think about it, it might have only been one book.  It’s not that I don’t read! Please don’t think that I do not read.  I read almost every day (and not just my emails).  I’m a full-time student in humanities.  That means I average a novel’s worth of reading a week, not including papers.

In total, I guess I’d read about 30-40 books last year.  Yet, only one was for pleasure.

That book was Geonn Cannon’s Riley Parra: Season One. Geonn is not only an inspiration, he’s a total stand up guy. Oh! And the book is amazing!

This year, however, I want to read more! I’m achieved that already. Here’s what I’ve done!

  • “Personal Adventures” By: Sidney Bristol–This book was a quick romantic read. I wish there had been a bit more depth and time lapse for their relationship, but over all the characters were well-developed and the plot-line kept.  It was a good read for late nights, but not if one expected actual sleep.  I had to force myself to put it down.  As always, if I am left wanting more, the book was excellent.  4 stars
  • “O Christmas Three” By: Suzan Butler–An erotic read! This novel started with a bang and kept on chugging along.  The three characters experienced a wide range of emotions that dragged the reader along with them.  I wish there had been more to the novel as it was just that good. 5 stars

  • “A Brewing Storm” By: Richard Castle–The first in the Derrick Storm series and I’m still left with no idea as to who Derrick Storm is.  The plot moved quickly and kept a fast pace, but I was left with no bearing on who the main character was.  All I know is that he’s egotistical when it comes to women, which is not a good quality to want in someone is potentially saving lives.  There was no character development.  He seemed flat and boring.  I’m not sure if I’ll buy another Derrick Storm novel.  1 stars

  • “Underdogs” By: Geonn Cannon–Geonn writes woman like no other man! I love it. However, compared to Riley Parra, this novel was lacking.  While both the love interests are well-rounded and developed the plot and overall themes seemed to not be as complicated as I was expecting. Now, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. This was still a great read that I couldn’t put down.  I just wish there had been more complications in everything that was happening.  4 stars

I’ll definitely keep you updated and posted on what I read (at least for pleasure, since I doubt you’ll have much interest in what I’m reading for school).  I’ll write up short reviews: here, amazon and goodreads.  That way you can pick and choose what you want to read.

Also, write your own reviews! If you liked a book, if you didn’t like it! And say why.  We as readers need more opinions about that, and well constructed ones.  We need to know what other readers think about a work.  We as writers also need the reviews, so we know that our work is being appreciated (in my case only give me good reviews =P bahahaha! no, really, if you have something bad to say about my book, say it.  Just be kind and constructive and not demeaning or demoralizing).

Adios!

 

February Goals!

February is fast and coming. AKA THAT’S TOMORROW! Yikes! I have two goals for Feb.  I’m changing it up from my original goals because I need the help.

So I have two goals, aside from my general school studies and actually being up-to-date with my readings.

1. Write my super secret project
2. Edit “Dying Embers”

I’ll probably be writing before editing because, I’ll admit it, writing is A MILLION times more fun than editing.

These are my goals.  Wish me luck!

oh! and hint to the super secret project: yes, it is another lesbian friendly-centered piece.

Grammar Wednesday: COMMA–dialogue tag

To start off my “Grammar Wednesday,” I figured I would start with commas.  They seem to be one of the biggest issues with the aspiring authors and current writers that I beta and edit for.  Now, there are five or six basic rules for commas.  I’m going to do one a week.

THIS WEEK: dialogue tag

A dialogue tag is when there is something that modifies the speech.  The traditional one that I can think of at the moment, is “she said” or “he said.”

EXAMPLE:

1. “Gonna go ’round the bend, she is,” Cadie said.
2. He whispered into her ear, “Don’t move, or I will shoot.”
3. “I need the medics A-sap,” she called to her partner.

These are all dialogue tags.  To properly punctuate a dialogue tag, you need to have a comma in the dialogue and the tag (if following) needs to be lower-cased as it is a continuation of the sentence.

Practice sentences.

1. “Sit still, now.” he ordered.
2. She sat in pure fear, “I’m not gonna run.”
3. He scoffed, “Good.  Now, shut up.”

Sentence corrections:

1. “Sit still, now,” he ordered. — “ordered” is a dialogue tag, so you need a comma and to lower case the following.
2. She sat in pure fear. “I’m not gonna run.” — “She sat.” does not modify the dialogue, thus it is not a dialogue tag.  To punctuate correctly, there needs to be no comma. They are two different sentences.
3. He scoffed. “Good. Now, shut up.” — “Scoffed” is not actually a dialogue tag! Scoffed is an action verb and thus does not modify what is actually being said.  Therefore, you need two sentences here.

Hope this helps and makes sense! If you have any questions or comments, I’ll try to answer.

Things to know when writing…

– You will always offend someone.

– You will never please all your readers.

– You can only fully satisfy yourself, but only if you are lucky.

– Write how you want it to be written. If you don’t agree with changes that the publisher or editor are making, find a new one, even though it’s a hard decision to make.  If it is your story and you are that passionate about it, keep it your story.

– Keep writing. Never stop because someone says they don’t like it.  Take what they say, ask them why, ask them what about the story or characters they didn’t like.  Let the information sit before pulling it out to re-examine everything.

– Laugh, smile, praise whenever someone loves what you do.

– Keep writing.  If you stop, then there is nowhere to go. If you don’t finish, then there is nothing to edit. If you don’t work hard, you will never succeed.

– Have faith.  There are ups and downs, there are sideways strolls and massive roller coasters.  Have faith that you will find the finish line, that you’ll get to the end.  Maybe you’ll want to go on the ride again.

– Write first, edit later.  You can’t ever get anything published, have anyone read it, if it is not FINISHED.  I write NaNoWriMo style–massive quantities in little time and spend weeks and weeks editing afterward.

– Always be open to criticism, even if it’s not constructive.  Take a moment when you get it, go to the other room, pound on the pillow, take a hot shower, go for a long run.  Come back, sit down, read it again, figure out what you can do about it.

Gingerman Monday

So I’m at the bar, again, and my bartender is shocked that I’m writing in a notebook today! He says I’m going old school.

There are advantages to writing on a word processor and advantages to writing on paper.

Computer!
1. Faster: I type close to 100 wpm so this help me get a ton done in a short period of time.
2. Spell check and auto correct: this can be disadvantages too but it’s nice to know my words are correct–for the most part.
3. Backing up: I can save to hard drive, flash drive, Internet, email. So many places.
4. SAVES TREES!

Notebook!
1. Slows me down. Makes me think about what I’m writing rather than my word count total.
2. Less distractions: no Internet, no twitter, no Facebook, etc. means I can only focus on writings.
3. Less distractions(yes, that deserves two points).
4. Old school, how it’s been done for ages.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. It really is a preference. I prefer to write on the computer and use the notebook when I’m blocked or stuck.

Monday Morning

Good morning folks! (so long as you’re on my side of the world).

It’s 9am and it’s one of my favorite times of the day.  This is the time of the day I spend editing =D.  It’s my favorite time because it’s over and done with my noon.  Today I’ll be editing for someone else, Sirena, who is writing a complex story and is reworking the age-old story of the apocalypse and adding in a few more twists (I’m not going to say more because I haven’t asked her if I can say more).  The plot is really amazing, and she will be published some day!

Once through editing, I’ll probably do some writing on “Ashes Fall.”  Last night, I was lucky enough to make it half-way through the writing of the fourth chapter.  This book, the final of the James and Addy trilogy, has been whooping me a$$ while I try to write it.  I don’t know exactly why I’m struggling so much.  Although I have a few theories, which I will not share with you because they contain SPOILERS for the other books.  Either way, I did actually accomplish writing last night, which is a good thing!

So today!

1. Edit for Sirena
2. Write on “Ashes Fall”
3. Read Walter Bruggemann “Preaching as Reimagination” and “Poetry in a Prose Flattened”
4. Writing a short little one-page paper on Bruggemann
5. WRITING GROUP AT GINGERMAN!

So, I’ll see you folks later!