Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

5 Tips for Writing Scenes

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

Scenes make up everything in writing….

If you didn’t know well now ya know (Hamilton).

Writing them can be excruciating.   How do you create the right amount of emotion using only words?  I mean it’s not like you can add lens flares, choir boys singing, or dramatic music to your scenes….or can you?  Here are 5 tips to help you write better scenes.

1.   Does this scene even need to be included?

This may seem like a simple and slightly ridiculous question to ask, but it’s important.  Can you story carry on without this scene?  If the answer is yes then cut the scene.  Scenes need to convey something be it emotional development, action that moves the plot forward, or shows some form of character development or show something about the character(s). If the scene you’re planning on doesn’t meet any of that, then it might be best to cut it.

2.    Use the five senses.

Now I know this is a common suggestion but just how in the world are you supposed to do that.  Well here’s what I do using an action scene.

We heard them before we saw them.  The ground thundered beneath our feet; the terrible drumming march of a thousand demons.  My men shifted behind me, their chain mail and armor clinking softly.  The wind shifted and with it came the fetid odor that assaulted the delicate skin of my nose and caused the bile to rise to the back of my throat.  My stomach rolled in violation coating my tongue with the acrid taste of fear.  A fear that I can’t show.  Not if I don’t want my men to flee.  So I swallow it down.  It sticks in my throat and stays there.  I lift my eyes to the heavens.  Even the stars have fled from this ungodly army.  Five seconds.  I give myself over to the fear for five seconds.  After that, I cannot have any other thoughts in my head, not if I want to survive the night.

One.

Two.

Three.

Four.

Five.

I am ready.

From the tree line, gleaming eyes emerge.  They have arrived.  With a roar that turned my blood to ice and my limbs to quiver, the demon hoard descended.  The smell of carrion crashed over the field.  I grip my blade tighter; the sweat on my palms making the hilt slick.  That could cost me my life but I don’t have time to wipe them.  Summoning a roar of my own, I raise my sword to the sky.

“For Mareth!”

My men roar in reply and we surge to meet the black army that we meet with the familiar song of clashing blades and screams of the dying.  It is a good night to die.

 

Did you become the character?  Did you feel what he felt?  That’s what you need to do when you write.  Don’t be the god that observes.  Be the on in the moment.  Think of how you would feel in that situation, let you body feel it then put that to paper.

3. Want a dramatic flare to your writing?  Slow down the pacing.  Or speed it up.

When the character in the above scene counted to five I made each count it’s own paragraph.  That will naturally slow the pacing.  Up until that moment the pacing was much faster.  Play around with the pacing.  The more action you put into a single paragraph the faster it will be.  This can be applied to all types of scenes not just action ones.  In a romantic scene maybe have your characters come together slowly making each paragraph only a few sentences as they notice more, feel more.  It’s your story, have fun playing with it.  The rules that we learned in school don’t necessarily apply.

4. Use music for emotions.

I’m a music lover.  I work better with it than without.  I listen to music when I write.  I have several playlists that are just for writing.  I have my general writing music playlist, but I also have ones that are for spooky themes, villains, fighting, romance.  All the songs in those playlists play up to the emotions that I need.  When I’m working on a scene and it starts to give me trouble I start the appropriate playlist.  I listen to it for a bit and then get right back at it with the right mindset.  So play around on wherever you get your music and create playlists for the emotions that you know you struggle with.

5. Act it out

I know this sounds a bit strange but trust me.  When I get stuck, I step away from my computer and act the scene out as best I can.  This also helps with dialogue.  Acting it out will help you achieve some all too important realism in your writing.  Pay attention to the facial expressions you make when you talk.  What’s you body language like?  Now you might get some weird looks from your significant other, but they’ll get use to it.  My hubby just rolls his eyes and asks if I’ve finally lost my mind every time.  If you choose to apply this method, do so at your own risk or comfort.

 

Well that’s it.  My five tips to help you write scenes.  Do you have different methods that you use?  Let me know by commenting below.  I’d love to hear them!

 

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book reviews, Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

Greetings My Peoples!

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review. 

So here’s how this works.  I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

Rating: 4 Cups

General Overview:

Verity Gray is an archaeologist who gets summoned to a sleepy fishing town the Scottish highlands by her slightly eccentric boss who has been looking for the lost Ninth Roman Legion for decades. On the way to the dig sight she runs into a charming Scotsman because you can’t have a story in the highlands without a hansom Scott. As it turns out, her boss started the dig not because anyone found a clue but because a little boy has claimed to see ghosts. Naturally, Verity gets upset but she also gets drawn into a situation that is part crime novel and part supernatural. And it could just cost her life if she’s not careful.

My Thoughts:

I’ve read Susanna’s other books and loved them.  This one is no different.  I honestly didn’t know how this story was going to end.  I think I read it in one day without meaning to.  It starts out a bit slow but that’s where the author is so clever.  She lulls you into thinking that it’s going to be a slow book and then she slyly starts throwing things your way, slowly hooking you without you realizing it.  I know her style and it still gets me every time.  There is a bit of romance in this book but it’s not the main drive.  It does feel natural given what happens throughout the story and you really root for them in the end.  And speaking of the end, the ending of this book is (to me) bittersweet.  Things are finally brought to light but not everyone comes out alright in the end.

Reread factor:

Definitely one that I would read again.  It’s not a story that grabs you by the collar and drags you through to the end.  This is a story that slowly ensnares you until you’re left sitting there wondering where did the day go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want other content?  Want to get to know me on a personal level?  Follow me on my other sites by clicking the links below:

 

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See ya next time!

 

Greetings My Peeps!

Book Review: A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan

Greetings my lovelies!

I love witches.  I love reading about them and I am one.  I came across this book while looking in the non fiction section, although this book is a work of fiction. So let’s get started shall we?

I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating.  0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER:  No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would.  Not really.  These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

 

Rating: 4 cups

 

General Overview:

This book follows the lives of five witches from a French Gypsy line.  It starts off the the death of the current matriarch and continues until the current keeper of magic decides that she’d rather not use it anymore.  The time in this book spans 1834 Nannette to 1937 Victoria.  We see the end of the witch trails all the way to the World Wars.  The story focuses mainly on mother and daughter relationship and why each woman used her powers.

 

My Thoughts: 

Like I said before, I love witches.  I love seeing how each author interprets the mythos around them.  This author chose a little more traditional approach with grimoires and rhyming spells.  What I thoroughly enjoyed was how the actions of the mother affected their daughter and her approach to the craft.  Nannette grew up believing and practicing making her an outcast.  Her daughter, however, grew up knowing that it had to be a secret and thought it was fake.  Her daughter saw how hard her mother worked and how rough she was and wanted more.  Her daughter saw that her mother’s pursuit of power led to an unhappy life caused by using magic.  Her daughter knew nothing of magic until the end because her mother realized that magic wasn’t the end all be all to life.

Re-readability:

I’m not sure if this is a book that I’ll reread.  I enjoyed this book and loved following the family as they grew and changed throughout a century.  However, it didn’t give me that feeling of “yes!” that usually means that I’ll read it again.  Only time will tell, but I have a feeling that this book might end up in the donation pile once my bookcases get too full.

Question Time:

Have you read this book?

What did you think?

Who was your favorite character? Mine is Nannette

Who’s your least?  Irene

 

Want more content?  Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram (links on About pg)

Want to help me continue to put out quality reviews, writing help, and kick ass stories?  Become a patron today by going to my Patreon page (on About pg)

Until next time people!

Greetings My Peeps!

Why I became a Writer

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

Today’s post is a bit of a personal one.  Often when I talk to people about my writing and the books I’ve published, they tend to look at me like I’ve grown three heads.  To people who aren’t writers, writing is often this crazy and amazing skill.  And then they usually follow up with “WHY?”

Such a funny question “why”.

I tend to find that I cant really answer that question.  I don’t know why I feel the compulsion to write, only that I do.  I’ve been telling stories for almost my whole life.  But the firs time I put pen to paper was middle school.  And while those stories in my head raged and demanded to be let out, I never saw them to their end.  I lacked the discipline then.  But now I’m different.

I write because I can’t imagine doing anything else.  I love it.  I love creating worlds, people, and weaving them into a story.  While I have some control over the story and the characters, they still evolve organically.

I write because it gives me peace.  It quiets the demons in my head telling my cruel lies.  I loose myself in my work, my craft, living out tiny pieces of my soul in the worlds I create.  That doesn’t mean that I self insert myself…no… just fragments of myself (the broken bits) tend to make their way into my works.

I write because as of right now nothing gives me as much joy as finally being able to hold my book in my hands.  To see all that work and pain meld into something that brings joy.

These are just a few of the reasons why I write.  What about you?  Why do you write, create, or whatever? Comment below. I’d love to read them.

 

book reviews

Book Review: Trust Me by Mary Elizabeth Summer *Series Edition*

Greetings my lovelies!

The books that we’re going to talk about today aren’t really a “series”  in the traditional sense of the word.  There’s only two books and a novella, but they build off the other so it fits.  The rating system is still the same.  I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating.  0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER:  No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would.  Not really.  These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

 

Rating: 4 cups

 

General Overview:

The two books in this series are Trust Me, I’m Lying and Trust Me, I’m Trouble.  These books follow the main character Julep Dupree, a teenage con artist, as she tries to find her dad after he mysteriously disappears.  She and her computer hacker best friend delve deeper into the criminal world than they usually do. To make matters worse, the most cookie cutter boy in her school wants to get to know her better but she has a sinking suspicion that he has another angle.  The second book follows up with the events from the first.  I won’t talk about it because it will spoil the first book.  But it’s as equally fast past and twisty as the first.

 

My Thoughts: 

I really enjoyed both of these books.  I can’t exactly remember how I came across them, most likely Goodreads, but I’m happy that I did.  Julep is a no-nonsense type of anti-hero.  She’s a criminal, she doesn’t like getting wrapped up in other people’s problems, she’d rather cause them.  Her skill set is vast and she’s able to think fast on her feet.  She hate’s making mistakes and hurting the few people that she does care about (even if she won’t admit it).

 

Re-readability:

I initially read these books a few years ago.  While I already know the outcome, I love rereading books like this.  Already knowing the outcome allows me to pay attention to the minute details that I might have missed during previous reads.  But not everyone is like this so this may end up being a series that you only read once.  If that’s the case, best get it from the library and save your dollars.

Question time:

Have you read either one of these books?

What did you think?

How would you rate it?

Please comment below.  I’d love to hear what you thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Want to help me continue putting out book reviews, writing  help, and kick ass stories; become a patron and get even cooler content. (link on About pg)

See y’all next time!!!!

writing help

Balancing Writing with Life

 Greetings My Lovelies!

 

Sorry I missed posting yesterday.  Normally, I write my posts for the week on Saturday or Sunday and then schedule them, but I forgot.  Things have been a little crazy with moving and trying to get my classroom ready before my students show, but hey, what a great topic to talk about today.

Now, I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard the advise to write every day.   While I like the idea behind it, I still disagree.  That’s just not plausible.  Our lives, especially if we have day jobs, significant others, children, a social life, are not always going to allow us to get behind a computer to push out a decent word count.  What you should, to me, take away from this bit of wisdom is that you should carve out writing times.  Whether it’s a particular day or a hour, carve out some time that’s dedicated to your writing life.

For me that means that most of my writing happens on the weekends, either morning or evening depending on what’s happening.  I do leave some time from 7-9 at night to get some writing done during the weekdays.  I also carve out time to work on my author’s platform and building relationships with other writers and people in the writing industry.

You just need to find time that works for you.  I needs to be easy to accomplish and something that you can do consistently.  And that right there is key: consistency.  The more you do something, the more it will turn into a habit so that it feels like a chore.  Once writing during your scheduled time becomes habit, it becomes a little easier to balance your writing life with the rest of your life.

But what happens if the muses bless me and writing takes over?

Hey roll with it, if that’s what you want.  Just remember to take a break from your writing for a couple of days.  Get out of the house.  Take a shower.  Let your loved ones know you’re alive.  writing is an organic process.  It’s different every time you sit down in front of that computer, typewriter, or paper.  Just try to not let it consume your life and try to not go three days without doing something writing related.

What do you mean writing related?

Anything that will help you on your path to becoming a kick ass writer.  Take a writing class. Read an article about the publishing industry or tips to improve writing.  Dig around pinterest for images that go with whatever story you’re writing.  Hell, read a book from an author that inspires you.  Just don’t let writing get placed on the back burner.  Put it more on your second favorite burner (you know you have a favorite).

 

Also, if you don’t make it during the time you schedule, don’t fret.  Just get it done another time.  Like me and this late post.

Question time

Do you guys have any helpful suggestions about how you keep your writing life and regular life balanced?

What are some of the problems you’re having right now?

I’d love to hear them, just comment below.

As always, for more content, follow me on Twitter and Instagram. You can find the links on the About Me page. 

What to help me keep posting writing help, book reviews, and kick ass stories, head over to my Patreon page link on the About Me page.

Until next time folks!

book reviews

Book Review: Horns by Joe Hill

Greetings my lovelies!

I hope that you are having a pleasant Monday.  I’m of mixed feelings because this is my last Monday of Summer Vacation…..sobs. I love my job but I love my summers too; ya feel me?  Any who, it’s time for another review.  I read this book only because of the movie.  I hadn’t heard of it before and when I saw the trailers I had to read the book before the movie put any images into my head.  I rate each book/series on a coffee cup rating: 0 cups means I couldn’t finish and 5 cups means that I absolutely loved it.

DISCLAIMER:  No one pays me for my reviews…sigh…I wish they would.  Not really.  These reviews are my personal opinion and just for fun.

 

Rating: 5 cups

 

General Overview:

So this book is written by Stephen King’s son.  He wrote under a pseudonym so he wouldn’t ride the coat tails of his father’s fame.  Good on ya Joe!  So this book is a mix of supernatural and crime fiction.  It centers around Ignatius Perrish who was accused but never convicted of the murder of his girlfriend Merrin Williams.  Needless to say, his life is pretty shitty until the day he wakes up with devil horns growing out of his head. Now here’s the kicker, no one sees or really cares about the horns. However, whenever they come in contact with Ignatius, they’re compelled to tell him their deepest darkest secret and as an added bonus, he can tell them to do something and they’ll do it.  At first, Ignatius has some fun until he realizes that he can use these new abilities to track down his girlfriend’s true killer and get revenge. Hilarity ensues and a twist that I didn’t really see coming but not too surprised about it.

 

My Thoughts: 

I really enjoyed reading this book.  Now I’m not the biggest fan of King’s books.  I love the movies and have seen them too much to be able to read them.  His son seems to be right on par with pops.  This book had some truly funny moments and the flashbacks were nearly seamless.  I started to have some suspicions about who Merrin’s killer was, but I watch a lot of Law and Order and Criminal Minds.  But the ending….god the ending….I can’t even talk about because I don’t want to spoil it.  Dear lord, does it tear at the heart strings.

 

Re-readability:

While this book was amazing, it’s not one for my re-read rotation.  I might read it again when I want some thing weird, but until then, it’s safe on my shelf for years to come.