Tuesday, July 26, 2011

COOKING TOO? WHAT'S NEXT?

A few weeks ago I started exercising regularly and yesterday I spent two and half hours in the kitchen perfecting my own veggie burger recipe. Now I must admit, I can't really cook so me spending that much time in the kitchen is weird. But I created the perfect veggie burger to replace all those soy products, which I am allergic to. The secret to a great veggie burger is using rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs and getting the seasoning just right, which I did, finally.

Lately I keep surprising myself because yesterday I finished two chapters of the work in progress I told myself I wasn't going to write about any more. So I never know what I am going to be up to next and that is kinda fun.

Also, I applied for a job at a local media business who is looking for freelance writers. You have to write 150 word paragraphs about random topics, which I think I can do. I just hope it is a legitimate thing because there are a lot of people trying to scam freelance writers. That goes for locally and internationally, so be aware.

On another note, I am going to spend most of the day sending out more query letters.

Friday, July 22, 2011

UPDATE YOUR BROWSER

I have been having a problem reading some of your blogs lately and because I am addicted to your blogs (I might not always comment but I do read them) I went in search of a way to fix this problem myself.

What did I come up with? I switched my normal Google browser to Google chrome. Since doing that my problem has been solved and there is not a blog out there that I can't read. If anyone else is having the same problem, then your browser just needs to be updated.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

YAY! I GOT MAIL

I decided to put my current work in progress on hold for a while. Mentally I am just not focused concerning this one and will complete another, older work in progress instead.

Got a few more rejection letters and I must say, I have never been so happy to get query responses, even if it is rejections. At least now all I read is "We are not taking on new clients at this time," Instead of "Your project is just not right for this agency."

Talking about queries. I have a specific binder in which I put all my printed out email rejections. I keep it in view when I write. I don't know why. Maybe I just like torturing myself. I didn't even intend to keep any of my rejections but now I can't seem to part with them.

What have you guys been up to these days?

Monday, July 18, 2011

CHECKING IN

Creepy guy was at my house again this morning. Thankfully my mom was home and she told me she would take care of it this time. The creep rather left in a hurry when he noticed that I didn't answer the door this time. Thank goodness.

My mom and I are renovating our living room and let me tell you it was difficult picking up the almost 17 year old carpet, thanks to the carpet installers who had nailed down the carpet into the wooden floors. We have come halfway so far which is a relief.

I am also currently a little stuck on my current work in progress. I am 50 000 words in and now I am just stuck. Why? Because without me realising it this book is a lot more serious than my other work and I had not intended it to be at all. Now I am wondering if I really want to finish this book or just press delete and start over again.

I found a few more agents I can query, thanks to the 2011 Writers Market Book. Haven't heard back from the other agents yet, but it has been two weeks. So I am just going to keep querying agents till someone requests more material or something. I am seriously considering deleting the first two chapters of my book and rewriting the third chapter so that the novel can start with it instead. Right now my first chapter is letting me down with the querying I think. Because I don't think my query letter is that bad...but maybe I will post it on my blog and you guys can tell me if it scares you off too.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

SOMETIMES INSPIRATION IS JUST SCARY!

I am always in favor of inspiration and the wonderful ways it affects my life. Although lately I have been having second thoughts.

I am an aspiring romance writer and my favorite sub-genre would be paranormal romance. So naturally I relish any opportunity to use life’s experiences as an idea for a scene. All the emotional experiences I pick up along the way are useful too of course.

But a few days ago I was struck with a situation I do not ever want to be placed in again. There is a man who walks around in my neighborhood who is well known for coming onto your private property to unlawfully lay claim upon your possessions. Well, not only that but he is just creepy. He pretends to be crazy but I don’t think he is. He is just shifty.

Anyway, while I was alone on Thursday he came to my house. He was demanding I give him something to eat and when I refused (because if I do he just keeps coming back everyday) he kept bringing up something else and then something else, just to keep me outdoors and talking to him while his eyes roamed over my fully dressed body. I felt so vulnerable and so violated by the way he was staring at me. Something about him just screams danger. Anyway after asking him to leave numerous times and after the dogs were tired of barking at him, he finally left.

Even though he was gone I did not feel relieved. Because this was not the first time he showed up at my house. The last time I was in the street and he just approached me and started telling me how good I looked and before I knew it he was right there next to me, almost taking hold of me. Luckily I rushed behind my gate and I locked it before he could follow me in.

He always just shows up and refuses to leave. The police don’t really arrest him because I always see him prowling the neighborhood again soon, even though he behaves like a criminal. I have this fear that one day I will run into him when I am out and about and alone or that he might break into the house while I am alone or something and I don’t even want to think about what could happen if he does.

Maybe I am just being paranoid. All I know is that I don’t like feeling like a victim or like prey. This kind of fear is intolerable. I suppose I could use it to describe how defenseless a human feels in the presence of an immortal, but using him and his horrid creepiness as inspiration…would just taint my novel. I would not dare give him that much credit.

I am mean I know, but I don’t like it when someone makes me uncomfortable or scares me to the point that I am afraid to stick my head out of the front door.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

OK...REALY?

Never thought I would say this but exercise is really important for me, as a writer, to relax and keep fit. Because I usually just sit on my butt and not do much when writing, I have been feeling a bit rundown lately and I noticed that when I get in a workout somewhere in the day I write better and somehow feel more focused.

Me…saying I like exercise? What is happening to the world?

And a little tip for people who might also recently have started on a vegetarian diet or have adapted to a new vegetarian lifestyle…Please make sure you are not allergic to soy before spending a lot of money restocking your refrigerator with soy products and only finding out later that you are actually allergic to it. True story…

Sunday, July 10, 2011

BAD GIRL!

The title of this post makes me think of leather outfits and a whip cracking in the background. Fortunately...I have not been that kind of bad girl...yet. Moving on...

I have spent the last of my money on three books, which were on sale. They are, The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I have never read any of them before but I always wanted to. So instead of spending my money on something more productive or useful, I bought books. Stupid I know, but you only live once.

Also, I have been very whiny lately and for that I apologize. I will truly try and make a conscious effort to be less whiny, though I must warn you, at times I tend to break my own rules, so I might just be whining again pretty soon. Though, I am really truly going to try and stop.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WRITING FREELANCE

I woke up yesterday thinking “Why don’t I write freelance to get an income and still work as a fiction writer in my spare time?” I know I didn’t really think this through, but if it is possible it would be great for me, working from home and all that.

Though I am thinking that if it was that simple as getting paid for writing than all writers would be doing that right? So have any of you thought of freelancing before?

Monday, July 4, 2011

FIRST CHAPTER RESEARCH DONE

I must admit, I cheated a little with this research and only read the first few pages of each chapter because I only wanted to see what it was that made you as a writer want to keep reading for more and surely enough, I found what I was looking for.

I also used authors from different genre’s to get a better look at the different ways first chapters are started. The main thing I noticed was that the first paragraph of each first chapter was used as a hook for the rest of the chapter and book. The first paragraph sets you up, as the reader, for wanting to find out more, which I guess I am not doing with my own first chapter.

So here is the first chapter techniques I have picked up that could help with the writing of a better first chapter.

Using a dramatic scene in the start of the novel to lure the reader to want to know more.
Stephen King
accomplished this successfully in Desperation, when a couple discovered a dead cat nailed to a road sign. So I wanted to keep reading to find out why someone would do such a thing.
Peter James also favored this kind of start to both his novels Prophecy and Sweet Heart. In Sweet Heart a woman’s dog runs into an old abandoned building, but everyone is too afraid to go anywhere near it, even the dog used to be scared of approaching it and yet today it had run into that building, which made me want to keep reading to find out why the dog suddenly got the courage to go inside.

Creating characters that you can’t help but like or even love from the beginning.
Janet Evanovich demonstrated this fantastically in both her novels Seven Up and Fearless Fourteen. She uses a wonderful sense of humor to give you a first person point of view of the leading character Stephanie Plum and you can’t help but just love her.
John Grisham also started his books The Client and The last Juror in a similar way. In The Client I am introduced to Mark, an 11 year old boy who likes to smoke and there’s just something about him that makes me want to keep reading to find out more about this boy. You can’t help but wanting to know more of his story.
Gena Showalter’s Darkest Night and Darkest Kiss made me fall in love with The Lords of the Underworld because of how she just makes each and everyone of them so tough and tortured but also so very like able at the same time. You feel their pain and she makes you want to climb into those books and sooth those men yourself.
J.R.R. Tolkien did this in the Lord of the Rings. He introduced me to Bilbo Baggins and The Shire and I fell in love with that world he created and the characters.

A wonderful piece of description
Christine Feehan, who is dubbed the queen of paranormal romance, did this in both her novels Darkest Guardian and Dark Legend. Her powerful talent of describing a scene pulled me in since word one.
Johanna Lindsay did the same thing in Fires of Winter. She takes you to that place and you can really see it in your minds eye.
J.R.R. Tolkien probably does it the best. He really had a wonderful imagination.

The leading character finds himself/herself in some kind of predicament.
Jacqueline Frank excellently demonstrated this in both her books Drink of me and Ecstasy. I kept reading to find out why and to know what happened next.
Christine Feehan also used this approach in her books Darkest Guardian and Dark Legend. So she used two different techniques in her first chapters alone. Awesome!

These are only a few authors and I am sure if I read more books and studied more authors I would have seen even more different techniques. But technique aside, I also realized that it is all about the words themselves too. Just because I am going to use a similar technique, doesn’t mean my first chapter will be awesome. There is still the odd chance that my grammar and spelling, not to mention storytelling could make my first chapter sink. Each and every one of us will find a different way of writing and thus our formulas will change from writer to writer. So no luck in using somebody else’s.

Though I didn’t get a magic formula, I definitely learned a lot and have a wonderful starting off point. I could see why my first chapter doesn’t work and am urgently going to fix it. I just have to remember that the first chapter needs to be strong and unique.

Hope some of this was useful to you.