Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hug A Cat Day

For those who don't know it is supposedly National Hug Your Cat Day.  In some cases I realize this is probably a dangerous proposition, but hopefully for those of you with lazy fat cats you'll get yourselves a nice big hug.  For those who get mauled, I leave you these fun pics to at least get some joy out of the day.  Have a good one...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

depth aka chicken post

Okay so yesterday was a bit of an odd post for most I would suspect.  It was meant to be a lighthearted and not taken with the utmost seriousness.  With that said I still want to make the point that I believe it matters to the readers that their writers did their research or took the time to make the story right.  When I read it is in short spurts (probably because the writing gets in the way.)  I know for many others they sit and read for hours, which sure I love to do as well, but seldom get the time to do so.  In either case, but more importantly to those like me who only read little chunks of a book at a time I think it is important that each block of words hold value.  The page should have depth and meaning to it so that the reader can feel engrossed in whatever moment is depicted in it.  I know personally I would not want to read blah blah blah and then bam a nice cliff hanger at the end to keep me on the edge of my seat.  No for me I would rather read substance, substance, substance, and then holy crap I think I'm going to pee my pants.  So have I and other writers hit that achievement every time probably not; but what a goal right?

As one of my old forums use to say "this post is useless without pics," but since this is a writing blog I think it more fit to give a writing example.  So without further adieu, the chicken crossing the road example of what I'm talking about.  I'll give ya two versions and hopefully you'll be able to pick which version is the better of them.

Why did the Chicken cross the road: Version 1

Sam the chicken thought it would be a good idea to cross the road.  In order to reach the other side he would have to traverse the pavement that stretched two car widths.  Having not previously been on that side this would be a great adventure for him.  He left behind his parents, some friends, and his girlfriend named Butterball.  On that far side were lots of food for dinner so Sam could not wait to get started.  After several moments he looked back having accomplished the deed.  He had been lucky that no cars needed to pass during that time frame.  He was now on the other side and his new life awaited him.

Version 2:

Sam's eye stared down the highway, his neck tilting slightly as he anticipated the cross.  There was so much to consider about this life changing decision.  If he crossed now, Sam would be leaving behind his parents, his friends, an the love of his life Butterball.  He had known her since they were peeps, and his heart ached as he thought of losing her.  The other side with its insect and worm lush fields and the low hanging branches for roosting held so many promises for his future.  Over there he could make a name for himself.  Yes he wish Butterball had the courage to join him, but there would be other hens.  He swallowed hard, and stretched out his neck fully checking one last time that the way was clear.  Then with his head held high he strutted across the two lane road.

Okay those were written on the fly so please be easy on me.  I hope that they still illustrate what I am trying to get at.  The first blurb is cold and quite frankly leaves as fast as it comes in.  The second though, at least for me, has a bit more oomph to it.  I feel his dilemma and then his pride at the end.  So even over such a few short words big and dramatic differences can be found.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

WIP to EPIC a story of ABC and XYZ plus f ?

Talk about a work in progress (WIP).  I would have never imagined that in the midst of writing one novel I'd fall upon so many ideas.  The bonus part is that not all of the ideas that are flowing out are slated for this particular novel but for future installments.  There is so much 'machinery' to think about and keep track of while writing.  I would guess most folks just figure that a writer must develop the scenes, the characters, and a workable plot.  But ah... there is so much more to it, trust me.

I'm currently juggling the intricacies of how each character will grow over time across several plot lines.  On top of that I need to take into account how this first storyline will influence a separate but tangential tale.  Then both of these stories will combine or more like intertwine as each will need the other to complete the climatic ending of a third story.  Okay I realize this is somewhat confusing, so I'll attempt an example that is unrelated to my current piece.  Hope you like algebra.

a---> A  where character one is little a and through book grows into big A.
x--->X our nemesis also develops and grows stronger in the book so by the end he is big X
So book1 the finale is A battling X where A defeats X and becomes Ax ....

b--->B now little b is character two and he develops in book two and grows to be big B
Ax is still around and helps b become big B so you have B+Ax as a team.
y-->Y is our new book 2 villian and the duo defeat this new villian thus becoming (B+Ax)*Y==>(B+Ax)y

So you start with By and Axy and they are stronger than ever having survived through two installment already.
This time they will be battling z who turns into Giant Z by the end and they of course win the day as always.
So the final equation is then (By+Axy)*Z ==> (By+Axy)z where our heroes defeated Z and made him little z.

But hey this is the final installment so the boss should be huge and heck if we are crafty enough maybe they have been developing over the course of the three books, right?  So taking that into account then in book 1 we could have a little z thrown in, who by then end of book 1 is big Z.  Then by book 2 big Z has become Giant ZZ.  Finally by book three he's beyond imagination growing to a humongous ZZZ that must be whittled down by our characters who have just now mustered up enough strength and wisdom to overcome the bad baddie beast of ZZZ.  (getting tired for some reason, but lets continue anyways.)

book 1 = a + x + z ==> Ax +Z
book 2 = Ax + b+ y + Zz ==> Axy +By +ZZ
book 3 = Axy +by +ZZz ==> Axyz + Byz

Phew, are you still with me? (Yes, that weird ass crap up there is really how my brain thinks.) Well then what happens after the big 3 part story ends?.. A new beginning starts of course and with it a bunch of new characters.  This time however the setting is changed from what occurred in those first few books and we have so much history to help us create the follow up books.  Let's just say for the sake of this discussion that the author kept the 4th book and maybe more in mind when tackling the development of numbers one through three, wouldn't you think that four would be pretty stellar.   At the very least it would probably fit and flow better.

I think this is why I now understand why so many fantasy novels end up as epic fantasies.  The worlds created by these writers are truly 'green' ever changing and growing as the stories develop over time.  In my case, and probably with many other writers, the 'green' state is alive even before the first printed copy of the novel hits the shelves.  I cross my fingers that all this hard work up front will pay off in the end and that the world I have designed is intricate and wonderful, a place that readers will enjoy visiting from time to time as new installments are released.      

Oh, just for fun... keeping the string theory algebra fun alive a putting book four into the equation then you'd have to add in the elements that might foreshadow the characters or events that could take place in this book in the first three books.  We'll call this foreshadowing the variable f.

book 1 = a + x + z +f ==> Ax +Z +f
book 2 = Ax + b+ y + Zz +f ==> Axy +By +ZZ +f
book 3 = Axy +by +ZZz +f ==> Axyz + Byz + f

book 4 = f + c + u ==> Cu  ... as in Cu L8ter


Friday, May 13, 2011


I know it isn't summer yet, but the weather here in Georgia can be deceptive and lead a fella to think that it is.  We keep hitting in the 90s and I can't help but wonder where our spring went.  How does a guy miss something as obvious as a whole season, or did I?  I kid of course I believe it is still the midwest coming out in me.  Where I'm from we truly have four distinct seasons.  At any rate, I don't want you to get me wrong and think I'm complaining.  I love the warmer days more so than the colder ones, but come on Georgia give me at least a few more days in the milder clime.  I did want to share with you all a couple of pictures.  One was this beautiful sky that snuck up on us the other evening.  

The picture doesn't do it complete justice, the colors were so much more vivid in person.  

Also below are some pictures to prove I am not the only one who wished the sun would ebb a bit.
All of the horses huddled up in the barn by the fan.

This is our youngest, her name is Pretty Girl, I suspect you can imagine why.

Monday, May 9, 2011


A reminder to all the folks out there who are writing.  Does your story have direction?  As in a flow path that takes the reader from the initial backdrop all the way to the finale.  Does the story actually drive them to this goalline you have set up?  If not, I implore you to start thinking about it.

Whether you are the plotter type or free form type of writer you should examine each point/chapter and determine whether it moves the characters forward.  In other words, does it help the character grow as a person?  Does it get them to start seeing the underlying theme/s present in the book?  Are they slowly but suredly overcoming conflicts and weeknesses?

This can be done through a variety of ways of course.  General narration although mundane in nature is sufficient in allowing the reader to get a sense that our hero/protagonist is having developments.  Remember we want our heroes to have life, to be realistic (most of the time), and we want them to most importantly not be stagnant.

Don't forget though that dialogue is a very powerful method for pushing this idea of forward driving as well.  You can let any variety of characters whether they are friends, enemies, strangers, inside or outside of the inner circle of the main character to help "teach" them morals and life lessons.  The use of diatribe will reveal the faults of your characters and inevidably help them through it.

I could continue on, but you all get the point and I don't want to get into a lecture on the subject.  I forget who said it first but its sound advice, remember each element of your story should have a purpose and it should pretty much, in some form or another, help drive the story to the pinnacle.

Hope everyone had a happy mother's day... see ya soon.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Misfit Posts

I went back and was looking through my posts via the edit button on the dashboard and realize that I have a ton of drafts.  Some of them no doubt were rewritten and/or consumed into actual postings.  However a few I recognize as simply unused.  It is as though I have shipped them off to be on the isle of misfit toys.

I am truly sorry drafts you will someday see the light of posting.  I will not forget you forever.

---  From the drafting table ---


The idea of introducing "drama" into a situation is counterintuitive.  I am definitely not one to create it nor take part in it.  So putting drama in a book is quite simply a difficult task for me.  Where do you begin and to what degree does one add it?  
Drama can be the push and pull phenomenon or sexual tension between male and female characters.  It is the angst that develops between the relationships that draws readers in.  Often times it portrayed as constant squabbling/bickering.  Other times it is simple flattering of one and the denial of the others flirtations; again it is the push and pull effect.  It will always be obvious to the reader that they are quite attracted to one another, but station in society or sense of duty keeps them apart.

There could also be the conflicts/drama due to differing personalities, ideologies  or opinions.  Taking the form of people just setting out with opposing goals, one character might need to reach the goal to prove themselves where the other just does it for the glory.  In this case the drama comes in as one character is cautious or meticulous in their approach and the other is reckless.  They both desire the same thing but have vary opposing ways of getting it done. 

Here is another example of spicing up a manuscript with drama.  Why not dash in differing levels of fear versus the strength of heroism.  Some writers give inherent attributes of each and as a result the coward hunching down in the corner ready to give over his fellow companions can play a major role in drama.  The hero is betrayed but somehow still manages to save the day like we all want him to do. 

I don't know there are so many more elements to story telling and I think I am slowly developing a nice repertoire for it.  It takes time to develop a good story if you are not just inherently gifted in the art.  I realize this and to the best of my ability I am trying to add in as much flavor into what I write as I can for you all.


So anyways folks, there is one of the misfit posts that almost never saw the light of the blog world.  Enjoy the fifteen minutes my lil one, you are special too... 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Therdra and a darker side

Again another fun contest has popped up over at Confessions From Suite 500.  I thought today it might be fun to  give them a taste of Mistress Therdra.  Hope you enjoy as well.

Todays challenge was the following.  100 words or less using the following words (Personal, Demons, Sin, Hellbent, Original) and the phrase (A devil's own.)

Therdra's yellow eyes glowed brightly as the magical lifeforce called the 'bredth' was removed from her latest victim.  She spoke to him and a devil's own tongue could not have stole his courage with greater adeptness.  Her raspy voice forced into his mind leaving little room for original thought.

"I have but one personal request from your sin laden mouth.  Tell me where the one they call the 'Risen' is hiding."  Mistress Therdra was hellbent on finding her nemesis and destroying her.  Only then could Therdra's demons destroy the Brethen people.

The man gasped his final words, "I don't know!"  

Entry two:  ( for fun I will also post a rather gloomy/dark one)

A devil's own tongue could not have stole my sin filled mind with better guile.  The demons within me tugged at my desires for her and diminish my resolve.  It left me with little room for original thought and I dare not seek it.  A slave to her magnificence and inspired by her kindness, I would trudge a through a thousand lifetimes to be with her once more.  It was a hellbent scheme, I realize now, but as the blade found its home my own personal needs ebbed into a void of blackness.