Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

Posts tagged “Inspiration

To Live By… Failure.

We learn from failure.

Meet The Robinsons is one of the most inspiring movies I’ve ever seen. We should all take a page out of this script and live by it.

Write On, Writers.


My Music Monday

A few of the tracks I’ve been writing too…


A Week In Links

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato...

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato Patrimoniale) lie open, one on top of the other. Only a few lines of the underlying book’s text are legible because of the narrow depth of field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. Here are some of the best links:

From The Write Angle: Fifteen Reasons Why Other Writers Aren’t Showing You The Love by Jean Oram

By Indie Author, April L. Hamilton, Fifty Shades of Hypocrisy

And lastly, New Wave Authors Blog, Of Sentences And Stories, by Author Craig Lancaster

WRITE ON, WRITERS!


Spread Your Wings…and Fly

We all get a little down sometimes when trying to achieve our goals. The road from where you are now, and where you want to be, isn’t always that far. You just need to believe.

**This is a must watch for anyone who is feeling a bit stuck. Actually, it’s a must watch, period.


Writing Is Perhaps The Greatest Of Human Inventions.

“One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person -perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millenia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time.”

~Carl Sagan

English: New York City. Stone dedicated to Car...

English: New York City. Stone dedicated to Carl Sagan at Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Česky: Pamětní kámen věnovaný Carlu Saganovi na Celebrity Path (stezka celebrit) Brooklynské botanické zahrady. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Fantasy World Building — Through The Wormhole

Hubbleshots

Hubbleshots (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I find inspiration in the world around me. As a fantasy writer it doesn’t take much to peek my imagination. That being said, there are a few ideas that are so far-fetched even I am mesmerized. Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman is by far the best show on television for widening my imagination and helping to broaden my world building ideas. If you write fantasy or paranormal or sci-f, it’s worth your time to check it out.

I found this next video while browsing YouTube. It’s fantastic.


My Music Monday

Going back in time to my all time fave band, The Cure, for a little easy writing music this Monday. Enjoy.

English: The Cure performing in Singapore.

English: The Cure performing in Singapore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Still Focused On The Quantity? Quality Is Where It’s At.

Numbers, numbers, numbers. Are they your social media goal? Build higher numbers (fans, followers) and hope they equate to higher book sales?

Friendship.

Friendship. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m raising my kids by a few beliefs I hold true. One of the biggest: Quality over Quantity. Every time. For my kids I relate it to friendships. A few real friends trump a lot of fake ones.

Social media is no different. It isn’t about the numbers, it’s about the connections. I believe a lot of writers have become too focused on the wrong side of the coin. Stats.

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell anyone that I’m miss social. I’m the opposite of that. So it’s difficult for me to reach out to everyone who friends or follows me. But I always reach back to the ones who speak up and draw me out. And to those people, I am extremely thankful.

And here in lies my point. Connections equal friendships. And friendships reward us as writers and as people.

I make it a point to support the friends I’ve made online. I shout out to them on Twitter, I retweet their tweets,  and support their books. I don’t do it because I feel I have to as part of my daily social media routine. I do it because I want to. And it’s reciprocal. It feeds those quality connections and comes back to me as a reward. It’s karmic.

Engagement is the key to real connections. If you read a blog post that resonates, say something. Like it, comment, tweet it, ping it, whatever, but engage. It matters.

Us writers, we’re a needy breed. We like pats on the back. And we aren’t generally telepathic, so we need to be told we’re saying the right things. It gives a sense of accomplishment and reminds us that we are on the right path.

Communicate. With words. We like that.

Pay it forward. Right?

How about you? What do you need from your writing community to keep you moving forward?

Links you may be interested in:


When Do You Become A Writer?

During my usual perusal of blogs, I ran across Joanna Penn’s interview of Jeff Goins. If you haven’t seen it, it is a must watch. Especially for those of us who are new to the writing scene. No aspiring here, just real writers writing. Watch. It’s worth your time.


Fantasy World Building. J.R.R. Tolkien

 

The vision and imagination behind The Lord of the Rings is hard to fathom. Written in 1937, The Hobbit was the first of Tolkien’s works within this series. The three remaining books followed over a span of twelve years. Tolkien gave me my first real taste of what high fantasy can be.

The Balrog, as seen in Peter Jackson's The Lor...

The Balrog, as seen in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World building. It isn’t easy. Writers must create rules for their world to abide by, scenery perhaps never seen before, and creatures of vivid imagination. With fantasy comes conflict, and with conflict comes action. Action that makes sense, flows smoothly, and can hopefully be seen within a readers own imagination.

This can be the most difficult part of writing. Recreating the images we have created in our minds into words on paper. Words that resonate with the reader.

I see all my stories in my minds eye. Similar I’d say to a film reel. Scenes rush by in my head and try to catch them, and write them down.

Here is one of my favorite LOR scenes:

“The Balrog reached the bridge. Gandalf stood in the middle of the span, leaning on the staff in his left hand, but in his other hand Glamdring gleamed, cold and white. His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings. It raised the whip, and the thongs whined and cracked. Fire came from the nostrils. But Gandalf stood firm.

‘You cannot pass,’ he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. ‘I am the servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.’

“….Gandalf lifted his staff, and crying aloud he smote the bridge before him. The staff broke asunder and fell from his hand. A blinding sheet of white flame sprang up. The bridge cracked. Right at the Balrog‘s feet it broke, and the stone upon which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained poised, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into the emptiness.

With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged down and vanished. But even as it fell it swung its whip, and the thongs lashed and curled about the wizard’s knees, dragging him to the brink. He staggered and fell, grasped vainly at the stone, and slid into the abyss. ‘Fly, you fools!’ he cried, and was gone.” ~LOR, The Fellowship Of The Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien

**Here is the film scene:

Rarely do I think that movies hold a candle of the magic that books do. Especially when recreating a classic such as LOR. LOR however, is one of my exceptions. There is as much to learn from this series of films as there is to learn from the series of books. Both are incredible.

Having trouble writing action, creating worlds? Read some Tolkien, and remember to keep it clean and concise.

Related article: Fantasy World Building — Thanks To Star Wars and Legend

 


Fantasy World Building — Thanks to Star Wars and Legend.

Star Wars. My first taste of being transported into another world. I owned everything related to those first three movies. The books, the action figures, I think I even had the soundtrack. I was utterly mesmerized by that world. I owe a lot of my writing desire and curiosity to George Lucas. But I was pretty young when Star Wars hit the screen. Too young probably to start creating worlds with anything other than my vivid imagination. I hadn’t started writing stories at that point.

English: Opening logo to the Star Wars films

English: Opening logo to the Star Wars films (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Until the movie Legend came out. And then it was all she wrote. I was hooked. That movie, now somewhat of a cult phenomenon, changed the way I viewed the world (I was young, give me a break), and it triggered in me the desire to not only start reading fantasy and sci-fi like a fiend, but to start writing it.

(Give it 14 seconds)

What inspired you to walk the writing path?


Write On…

“One of the things that draws writers to writing is that they can get things right that they got wrong in real life–“

~Tobias Wolff

Tobias Wolff at an event at Kepler's in Menlo ...

Tobias Wolff at an event at Kepler’s in Menlo Park for his short story collection OUR STORY BEGINS. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whatever  your reason for writing…..Write On.


To Outline Or…Not

English: Hot-swap states with transitions appl...

Image via Wikipedia

You had two roads to take, the gut instinct or the outline. You chose to write from your gut, let the story pour from your imagination onto the page. You didn’t think about where it was going because you knew it would get there. You’re 80,000 words in. Done. All feels great. Now what?

Now, Editing. You begin to go through your work chapter by chapter, detail by detail and you realize the transitions aren’t what they should be, could be, need to be or what you thought they were. Here is the biggest issue writing without an outline — headaches. You’ve got a great story but it doesn’t roll off your tongue quite right. It doesn’t work quite the way it sounded in your head.

Now for the rewrite. The biggest pain in the ass ever. It even trumps editing. And that is saying a lot. You rewrite from the beginning, move a paragraph here, a chapter there and think, okay, I can do this, it’s not so bad. Until it is bad. Until you have 30 chapters staring back at you asking to be properly read and all your thoughts become a jumbled, dizzying mess.

Now, let me start from the beginning. I’m not methodical. I’m a jumper. I get hit with an idea and I’m off. It’s my way, my style, my inspiration. But let me say that my style completely bit me in the ass. No outline is a bad idea.

I had notes. Pages and pages of notes, handwritten. I had documents–so many I couldn’t keep track of them all. In the beginning, I thought they were enough. In the end, they weren’t. Not even close. I had too many ideas. Ideas that I couldn’t reign in. Ideas that I couldn’t mold in the way I needed to—wanted to. I paid for those amateur mistakes in the end. Through rewrites, a staggering number of drafts, cuts, edits, and revisions. Close to two years worth.

Now my notes are in an abstract outline form, still free-flowing, but an outline nonetheless. Word to the wise: Get your idea, work it through and outline it. Even if that outline is as simple as a few sentences per chapter–a few ideas. Even if you only have a kernel of an idea of what the beginning, middle, and end of the story should be. In the end you will gain a ridiculous amount of time, a better story and with any luck, your sanity.


My Music Monday

It’s been a while since I posted any music. Here are a few happy songs from my current playlist to kick Monday off. Enjoy.

(I own nothing)


Say It Like You Mean It.

“If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.”

~Tennessee Williams

T. Williams (1965)

T. Williams (1965) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Without truth, our words die on the page.

WRITE ON.


A Week in Links

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato...

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato Patrimoniale) lie open, one on top of the other. Only a few lines of the underlying book's text are legible because of the narrow depth of field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. Here are this weeks links:

Joanna Penn has a great post up on her blog, The Creative Penn. Tips For Writers: On the Importance of Persistence. You can find the link here: The Creative Penn

Anne R Allen has an interesting post on her blog. 12 Myths about being a Writer. You can find it here: Anne R. Allen’s Blog

Lastly, Steven Lewis has this post up on his blog, Taleist, Do you have the storyteller’s intelligence? Here’s the link: Taleist

WRITE ON, WRITERS.


Don’t Stop

“Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”

No matter how hard it gets, how overwhelmed you feel, keep going. You will get there. 

WRITE ON, WRITERS!


Today’s Quote

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A Week in Links

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. Here are this weeks links:

Author Anne R. Allen has a great post up on her blog this week, When Should An Author Hire An Editor?

Author Kristen Lamb is continuing her blog series, Don’t Eat The Butt. Her 4th post in the series, Real Writers Never Struggle

Author Janni Lee Simmer has a post up on her blog, Desert Dispatches. On Publishing and being a writer in the Right Now

WRITE ON, WRITERS.


My Music Monday

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any music, so today is a good day. Here are some of the songs I’m writing to, as well as running to, these days. Thanks for listening.

(Thank you to all the Artists, and producers of these videos—I own nothing.)


Quote of the Day

“Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant—you just don’t know which. You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you’d mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place.
Trust your demon.”
― Roger Zelazny

Roger Zelazny

Image via Wikipedia


Quote of the Day

“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”

-Barbara Kingsolver


Quote

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

~Charles William Eliot


God, I love bookstores.

They lure me inside and force me to buy, buy, buy! Books that I should, I guess, be buying on my Nook.

Yeah, I bought one. A Nook. I failed to mention that fact about….six months ago. I broke down. Technology lulled me into its grip. Honestly, I bought one because:

1. I’m a writer and we need to stay current.

And 2. I thought for the sake of research and further education, it would serve an excellent purpose. I didn’t want to lug around a lot of books on craft and research material.

It was great at first. Then the inevitable happened. I started downloading novels. Of course I did! Do you realize the price difference? The ease of paying and BOOM, there’s your book. Waiting to be read. I love that!

But….I miss bookstores. I miss turning pages, the smell of paper, the feel of a book in my hands. I’m a reader and part of that love is meandering through bookstore isles. Browsing. Searching.

So yesterday as I continued my Christmas shopping, I found myself in Barnes and Noble. I could have only bought the two paperback books on my list, the ones for kids who don’t own ereaders. I could have gone on by only purchasing a Nook gift card for my mom, but did I?

No.

I saw a gorgeous hardback copy of the book I intended my mom buy with that gift card on her own Nook. The soft light gleamed off the black cover, I inhaled the sweetness of paper and picked it up off the shelf. All $18.99 of it. 400 pages of…ahhhh. I had to buy it. It was calling me!

So there. My defiance toward ereaders is based on my pure love of heavily perfumed, weighted paper books. They are why I write. Why I’ve always written. Why my shelves at home are stuffed full of books I’ve read time and again. They give me a sense of pride. For myself and for every writer whose blood, sweat and tears poured into those pages.

Soon I will also join the ranks with my fellow indie, self-pubbed and trad authors with books available on every manner of ereader imaginable. But, Barnes and Noble, and all of you mom and pop bookstores and shops….you had me at hello and you’ll keep me ’til goodbye.