Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

World Building for Dummies

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

The world that you build for your characters to play in can make or break your story.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across a story that was great but I spent half the time confused because I was trying to understand the rules of the world.  Sometimes they give me names of people or cultures without explaining anything about it and then roll on.  Or sometimes they’ll sum up what appears to be complex magical system with a few short sentences and never build.  

Now I had decided that I wanted to do a world building post a while back, but as I sat down to get into it, I realized that it was an awfully big concept to squeeze into a few short paragraphs.  I mean, no one wants to reach a mile long post.  So I’ve decided that the better course of action would be to split it up into smaller, more manageable sections.  These being land, people, religion, economy, the every day man, crime, and finally maps. I know what you’re thinking….how can I build a world when I don’t have a world to go off on.  Trust me.  It will all make sense when it’s all said and done with. 

But just one small thing before I leave you.  World building is essential to your writing.  There’s no half assing it, or getting around it.  Not every world build has to be elaborate or complex, although, if you are making a whole new world from scratch you might want to put some extra though into it.  If your world is just a slight variation of this one then all you really need to do is figure out how the changes you made will logically fit.  And there’s the key word logic.  Even in fantasy worlds there has to be a bit of logic when it comes to the inner workings of your world.

Well that’s it for today.  If you any questions about world building, comment below.  I’ll try to make sure I address them in their proper places or right away if you say it’s an emergency.

On a different note….

My book, Time of Prophecy is available in paperback and e-reader.  Follow the link here for a list of all the places you can find it.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much a I enjoyed writing it!

 

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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Want to help me continue putting out content be it book reviews, writing help, or epic stories, click the link below and become a patron today!  Patrons get special goodies like sneak previews, bonus content, and opportunities not available to public.

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See ya next time!

 

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writing help

Digital vs Paper Outlining

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

I hope that everyone is doing well on this fine Wednesday.  For my people on the east coast watching the hurricane roll in, I hope you got all your provisions and let’s keep our fingers cross that we don’t loose power too long…

On a different note…I was supposed to have a book signing event this past Saturday but something fell through and I had to cancel.  I’m not gonna lie, I cried.  But I pulled up my big girl panties and went on with life.  I’m hoping to get it rescheduled soon.  It was my first event and I was really looking forward to it.  Sigh…oh well let’s in on to the matter at hand.

Outlining is something that you either do or don’t.  Some writers get their ideas and just see where they go organically while others (like myself) outline our works.  I outline because if I don’t I either run off onto weird tangents that have nothing to do with the story or I don’t put enough details into it.  And if you’re like me then I highly recommend outlining.  Now I know that this seems like a simple concept…and it is but it’s not either.

When I realized that I needed to outline, I did everything on paper.  But I ended up with piles and piles of paper, post-it notes, and scribbles in my writing journal.  My thoughts were scattered every where, so I searched for paperless options and came across Notebook.ai and I thought that all my problems were solved…not quite.  I ended up spending a hellish amount of time on little things, but I still like the site.

So here are the pros and cons of using paper and digital forms of outlining.

Paper pros

You can work anywhere as long as you have something to write on and with.  Also your ideas are locked into where you initially thought they would fit.

Paper cons

Lots of little pieces of paper to organize.  You can also loose them.  Plus once you’ve finished your story, it’s a lot of recycling.

Digital pros

Everything is in one place and you can access it anywhere and everywhere.  It’s a lot easier to make changes and you don’t really have to worry about loosing your ideas.

Digital cons

If you’re like me, you’ll end up getting sucked into a new toy.  If it’s not something you’re used to working with you’ll end up forgetting about it and not utilizing it thus making all that work that you put in a waste.

 

In the end it all boils down to preference.  I like having paper.  It helps me to remember but I do the vast amount online.  I use notebook.ai for world building but avoid the character fields bc I will get stuck there.  For my paper options, I have this cork board that I pin picture inspirations, notes, and whatever else on.  The blended option works for me, and you just need to find what works for you.

So what do you guys use for your outlining?  Do you even need to outline?  Comment below I would love to hear from you!

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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Want to help me continue putting out content be it book reviews, writing help, or epic stories, click the link below and become a patron today!

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See ya next time!

 

book reviews

Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

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

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:

3 Cups

 

General Overview:

A retelling of Greek Mythology with a more human flare.  This story follows the life of the infamous witch Circe.  It starts off with her life in the halls of her father the Titan Helios (sun god).  As she tries to find her place in his halls, she taps into something that even the Gods fear, magic.  She and her siblings are a mixture of gods and witches with terrible, limitless power.  This gets her banished to the island that will go down into legend, but not all is what it seams.  As heroes and gods make their way to her island and Circe struggles to find where she belongs and what she wants out of her long immortal life.  

 

My Thoughts:

I love mythology.  I vaguely remember the stories surrounding Circe so I’m not sure what’s original and what the author made up.  It was interesting to see how the author mixed in the legends and people with Circe.   Circe comes off as the most human of the gods.  You feel sorry for her but that’s about it.  I’m amazed at how dull the story was for the most part.  Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a good read and I enjoyed it, but it was dull.  And because of that, I had no idea how this story would end.  I guess that’s a good thing.  I was happy with it by the end but overall the story didn’t make any lasting impression on me other than I wanted to reread the Percy Jackson series again.

 

Reread factor:

I don’t think I’ll end up rereading this book.  It will most likely end up in my donation pile at some point.

 

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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Want to help me continue putting out content be it book reviews, writing help, or epic stories, click the link below and become a patron today!

Patreon Page

 

See ya next time!

 

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!

 

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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Want to help me continue putting out content be it book reviews, writing help, or epic stories, click the link below and become a patron today!

Patreon Page

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!

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!

Greetings My Peeps!, writing help

My Top 5 Favorite Vlogers

Greetings my lovelies!

 

Like many of you, I spend countless of hours on Youtube.  I watch a mix of music videos, nostalgia cartoons, and to learn stuff.  I’m a visual and kinetic learner which means that I have to see and do it in order for a skill to set in.  Plus, it’s entertaining.  As a writer it’s quite easy to get lost navigating the literal thousands of vlogers out there.  And in case you’ve been living under a rock, a vloger is a person who blogs with videos.  I have the utmost respect and admiration for these people.  I can plan an entire series in a three days but I can’t edit a 5 min video.  It turns me into a fire breathing bitch queen.

So here are my 5 ish all time favorite vlogers.

5. Try Guys/Ladylike

I can hear you guys now….”These guys are really vlogers or writers”  I know, but hear me out.  The Try Guys and Ladylike are my go to when I’m feeling fried.  After days of planning or hammering through a bought of writer’s block I need to reset my brain and these guys are the best.  Their videos are entertaining and they make my brain switch gears.  Now I set a limit as to how many videos I watch (usually 3).  This keeps me from falling down the rabbit hole.  To check them out for yourself, click the links below.

The Try Guys    LadyLike

4. Sea Lemon

Again, not a writer, but Sea Lemon is an artist.  Watching her work keeps me going.  It’s hard to not watch her make these and not want to create yourself.  Creation feeds creation people!  She’s also supper bubbly and sweet!  Check her out below.

Sea Lemon

 

3. Amy Landino

Her vlog Amy Tv is the newest addition to my list.  I stumbled across it one day and instantly fell in love.  I haven’t had a chance to see all her posts but from what I’ve seen she is the Queen of motivation.  Her vlog is about how to become and maintain success.  She as posts about habits that she’s adopted and how they’ve helped her, how to overcome things like self doubt and embarrassment.  Honestly, just check out and see for yourself.

Amy TV

 

 

2. Derek Murphy

I found Derek right when I needed him most.  I am an indie author, which means that I have to take care of everything if I want my books to be published.  I’ve used Createspace and Ingram Spark.  They have their templates that you can use for your books interior, but I’ve never been 100% happy with them.  Fonts don’t always come out right.  They can sometimes look cheap.  Sigh.  I had no idea how to make the interior of my books just as engaging as the outside.  Honestly, a little effort inside goes a long way.  Well that’s where Derek comes in.  He’s all about helping some indie writers get their shit together and his videos on formatting book interiors are easy to follow.  They’ve helped me out a lot and I keep going back to him.

Formatting Book in MS Word

 

1. Jenna Moreci

ALL HAIL THE CYBORG QUEEN! I love Jenna.  I mean seriously.  I have yet to met a vloger that I love as much as her.  She’s hilarious and incredibly kind.  She encourages everyone to go out there and get some shit done. Her videos have helped me as a writer and given me a laugh or two.  Her post include topics on story structure, outlining, and the darkest aspect of publishing….marketing….shudder.  But she also loves sharing with her audience and clearly appreciates every once of support she gets. She’s who I want to be when I grow up.  But in all seriousness, check out her and see for yourself.

The Cyborg Queen