Updates sporadically.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Complicating Factors

One thing I've always admired about the Harry Potter books (besides pretty much everything) is the intricacy of the plot. The way elements in the simpler early books come back and inform key pieces of the later books, the red herrings and misdirection, the subplots that come around and turn into major influences of the overall arc of the series -- it's masterful to the point that the word is almost insufficient.

The Harry Potter books are a beautiful concoction of complications.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Share Your Work: Inspiration, Dedication and In Memoriam

Blog Lady Note: 
I've just noticed that the post that was supposed to go up on 5/23 never made it. Most likely due to some technological issue (definitely not user error) it did not publish as scheduled. I apologize for the oversight, and will be running it tomorrow. However, in the meantime I've decided to make it up to you with a bonus Thursday update!

This post isn't about writing -- that is to say, it is not instructional about writing. It is, perhaps, more about writing than any of my other posts.

As some of my readers my know, I was a poet before I turned my attention to fiction. I got my BA in English with a focus on poetry, took as many creative writing poetry courses as I could (even auditing some), I have journals dating back to middle school filled with some of the worst poems you could imagine, I wrote a play in verse as my senior comps project ... you get the gist. I love poetry, and have been touched by the work of many fantastic poets, including Dr. Maya Angelou. When I write poetry, it is often because I have been inspired by a poet, or a person, or a loss. For Dr. Angelou, it is all three.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

In honor of Dr. Maya Angelou

I had a post planned for today, but have put it on hold. Instead, I'd like to focus on honoring Maya Angelou, who passed away today at 86 years old.

I believe in poetry. I believe that it has power, the ability to capture the pathos of a time and place and people and resonate through humanity. I believe it has the power to inspire and fuel change, and I believe in Maya Angelou's work.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hey, Author: Get out of my head!

I've pointed out previously that some of us are authors of plot-driven fiction, while others focus on character-driven stories. I typically follow into the latter of these camps, and one of my biggest struggles is to get out of my character's head.

I believe that this is an issue a lot of greener authors struggle with -- and the last thing any of us wants is to Stephenie Meyer it. Yes, that is a verb.

Stephenie Meyer
stɛf-ɛni ma-yər/
  1. 1.
    to move a story along by throwing a car at your main character.
    "That story was going nowhere fast until they Stephenie Meyer'd it."
    synonyms: cop out

I mean, yes, I entirely plan on being a billionaire author someday (and then JK and I can finally be besties as I've always dreamed) but I want to get there a better way. I mean, Ms. Meyer is only a hundred-millionaire, after all.*

So, after all the hard work I've put into figuring out how to get out of my MC's head and into the story, I have graciously decided to share with you a bit of what I've learned. That is very gracious of me, isn't it? You're welcome.

Alright then. How DO you get out of your character's head enough to move a plot along?

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Quick and Dirty Guide to Genres

Knowing what category your novel falls under is imperative in the querying process. Not only do you need to identify your novel to be able to talk about it and the audience in the right way, but you need to know where it fits just to be certain that you're talking to the right people.

This seems like it should be easy enough. And I say "seems" because I recently had an eye-opening revelation. My YA/NA novel is apparently not so YA/NA as I had previously thought.

My protagonist is 22-23 years old throughout the novel and a mother. I always knew YA was a big stretch, but NA felt right. Until I went through the critiquing process and almost everybody told me that it didn't fit. That got me thinking: how many others are out there talking about their novels in the wrong way?

That's when I decided to make you a Quick and Dirty Guide to Genres. This guide isn't intended to just explain genres to you -- I knew what the genres were and still got my novel wrong. The guide is designed to help you, as writers, categorize your work. Can you take this a little loosely? Sure, why not. But it's here to help you, and hopefully to unseat any misconceptions you have about your own work. It is not all-encompassing -- it is, as the title suggests, quick and dirty.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Update on the Blog Lady's Life

Hello, loyal readers!

If there are any of you left, that is ...

You know how you can sometimes hear the excuses coming from a mile away? Well, this is an excuse train running express, getting ready to blindside you with some weakass reasons for not updating regularly lately.

Let's just list this and get it over with:

Meeting Batman at C2E2.