Drunken Jesus

Yes, that is the title of the chapter. No, I will not tell you more!

This chapter was easy to write until the end and then I blundered like a baby while I wrote the last two thousand words or so. It was so emotional for the main character I just couldn’t help myself.

Anyway, since my goal today is to write at least another 8,000 words (gotta finish this thing!) you might get another updated post of a chapter complete.

20130312-152648.jpg

Things I notice in my books when I read through the rough draft.

I do this a lot when I’m editing. My beta readers seem to do it even more than I do though, which I find amusing and fantastic!

Things I notice in my books when I read through the rough draft..

Grammar Wednesday: COMMA–direct salutation

Direct salutations occur mainly in dialogue when one character is calling another by a specific name. Now, this can be the name of the character or a nickname. Either way, it is considered a direct salutation. I will also tag on identifying characters in this. The commas go on either side of the name. When the name is at the beginning or the end of a sentence, there is only one comma necessary either after or before the name–respectably.

EXAMPLES: (Direct Salutation)
1. “Hello there, Bob.”
2. “Hey, Bill.”
3. “Captain, the report is on your desk.”

EXAMPLES: (Identifying Characters)
1. Sharon, the fifth grade teacher, had recess duty for the rest of the week.
2. The girl who loves to read, Katherine, gets through a book a week.

now for practice.

EXAMPLES:

1. “Katherine you need to mail me my yarn!”

RESOLUTION

“Katherine, you need to mail me my yarn!”

2. The cable guy Larry, made a funny joke when he was fixing the cable box.

RESOLUTION

The cable guy, Larry, made a funny joke when he was fixing the cable box.

Writing and Book Launching!

This world has been crazy the past few weeks for me. I am writing, though not on fiction (unless you are atheist, then maybe it’s fiction to you). I am sermonizing. It’s actually quite like writing a short story. I’ll share it when I’m done. I’m also adding in music to it.

Secondly, if you happen to live in the Fort Worth area, come to Gingerman off Camp Bowie on Thurs night. 9 pm. I’m having a book launch party. There will be give aways, and if it is quiet enough, maybe a bit of a reading too. So come on out! I’ll be there!!

Writing is a crazy adventure. Like the best roller-coaster ride EVER!

Grammar Wednesday: Comma–parenthetical phrase

A parenthetical is easy. If it could go into parenthesis, a.k.a if it makes not difference to the meaning behind the sentence, but you still want it there, then it is a parenthetical phrase.

EXAMPLE:
1. Bobby went out to the bar, which he did a lot, and had so many beers he couldn’t drive home.
2. Adrian loves the smell of incense, especially the type in worship, but could never light any when she lived with her mother.
3.She cracked the door and saw they slept, and a little braver than before, pushed the door all the way open.

The “which he did a lot” and “especially the type in worship” are unnecessary to the meaning of the sentence but add extra information. These are the parenthetical phrases. The parenthetical phrases need commas before and after. This gets a bit tricky in concerns to parenthetical phrases and conjunctions.

EXAMPLE:

1. Rusty the wonder kitten loves to play with laser pointers.

RESOLUTION

1. Rusty, the wonder kitten, loves to play with laser pointers.

EXAMPLE:

2. Rusty likes lasers the light is distracting, and, she chases them around the room.

RESOLUTION:

2. Rusty likes lasers, the light is distracting, and she chases them around the room.

EXAMPLE:

3. Rusty, and, her older brother, Seeley, play every morning at six a.m.

RESOLUTION:

3. Rusty, and her older brother, Seeley, play every morning at six a.m.

Watch conjunctions when resolving parenthetical phrases. They complicate matters. Have fun, folks!!!

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.

20130215-183338.jpg

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!

20130215-091711.jpg

20130215-091732.jpg

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.

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..

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!

20130202-232615.jpg

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

20130202-232818.jpg

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.