Friday, September 28, 2012

Well, I Promised, Didn't I?

So I promised you that I would write at least once a week from now on. And I fully intend to keep that promise. I even went so far as to think up a bunch of different blog topics during the last week and a half or so. Just so that I would be prepared when the time came to sit down and write. I came up with some good stuff, too.

At least I'm almost sure I did. Because, as I tweeted earlier this week, I didn't bother to write any of this stuff down. I used to have the most incredible memory. I would remember everything. Okay, well, I guess not everything everything. Not like this guy:

If you don't know who this is, that's totally lame. Also, you should go watch Sherlock on Netflix. Immediately. Or at least immediately after you finish reading this post.

But still, I remembered a hell of a lot more than most. I could remember huge chunks of conversations, verbatim, years after they took place. In fact, I once repeated back to my friend in college, right before we graduated and went out into the world, a conversation that we'd had early our freshman year. I did this because I mentioned something about him that he said never happened, when he'd told me all those years earlier than it had. And after I told him exactly what he'd said, he realized that he'd completely forgotten that such a thing had ever happened to him. Or, put a little differently, I knew more about him than he did.  :P

It was almost tiring, actually, having that many memories in my brain. But I kind of liked it nonetheless. And it definitely helped with my writing. I'm not going to get into how I felt about the creative writing program at my college right now (let's just leave it at this: genre fiction isn't sophisticated enough for some people), but I did still get some pretty good feedback on some of my short stories. (I'm also not going to get into how much I despise writing short stories, because I never have to write another one ever, ever again. So who cares if I hate them?)

Okay, getting sidetracked. The point I'm trying to come to is that, in all the feedback I ever got, in all of the fiction writing classes I had to take, one thing was consistent: they all thought my dialogue was completely natural/believable/real. This is because I have hundreds upon hundreds of conversations that actually happened milling about up in my brain. It's never been all that hard for me to draw on that knowledge to write dialogue that sounds like what people would actually say. Well, with contemporary characters, at least. My WIP at the moment is a traditional fantasy (something I haven't done for, oh, eight years or so), so that's a whole different kettle of fish.

Yeah, I didn't mean for this blog post to take this turn. In fact, I was mostly going to lament about how I guess I'm not as young as I used to be, my brain is turning to Swiss cheese, the mind is the first to go, blah blah blah. And how I need to write shit down. But I like the turn this post has taken. So the lesson of the day? LISTEN TO PEOPLE. Nothing you can possibly do will ever help your writing as much as listening to other people talk. You'll get a better idea of how they talk. The words they use. The cadence. So the next time you're sitting in a restaurant or shopping or just at your desk at work, listen to what the people around you are saying. Honestly, it's some of the best research you'll ever do. Nothing sucks more than crap, unrealistic dialogue in a book. That is one of the top two deal breakers for me.

Ooh. And now I have another idea for a blog post. Next time, I'm going to talk about the ultimate deal breaker. The one thing that will make me never read another book by an author, no matter what. Because with all the awesome books out there, why read something that sucks? And I followed my own advice and wrote it down. On the internet, no less. No way I can lose it now.

(And seriously, if you haven't already seen it, go watch Sherlock. It's amazing!!!)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Little Blog Hijacking

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going? 

Don't look so startled - I don't bite. 

My name's Frankie. And I'm just a regular guy. 
Well, except for the whole ghost thing, I guess. 

You’re probably wondering what I'm doing here. Well, it’s pretty simple actually. Something is coming for my best friend Ever - something I alone cannot protect her from. Regardless of how much I love her how hard I try. 

So I have to spread the word.

And I need your help to do it.

I've been a bystander for far too long, trapped in this ghostly shell for the past two years. I've decided it’s time to make myself known and set some things into motion. See, I've hijacked Amazon, Curiosity Quills Press, and blogs all over the internet to make my move. 

You're probably wondering why, right? 

Well allow me to be a bit more specific. Something isn't just coming for Ever; her actual soul is in danger. So I've decided to stay silent no longer. Word needs to spread. People need to know. 

Evil lurks in the shadows.  

To give Ever more time to figure things out and try to protect herself from the trouble that awaits her, I'm upping the publication date of our story. 

 I'm sure you can understand. I mean, souls are on the line here. 

So, with that said, EVER IS NOW AVAILABLE. Yes, you read that right. NOW. I couldn't wait any longer, so I did what I had to do to protect that stubborn girl I love my best friend, Ever. 

I had to do it. Some things are too important to wait for, and Ever is one of those things for me.

Now as you’re spreading the word about this new development, take heed this one warning:

Evil lurks in the shadows. And not just any evil. 

It’s disguised as that slick talking, good-looking bastard, Toby James ... the new kid next door. 

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer Funk

At least one of you already knows this (because I've mentioned it to you), but for the rest of you: I hate summer. I think I liked it a little more back when I was in school, because it meant time off. And it's hard to truly hate a time where you have minimal responsibilities. But even then, I don't think I ever loved summer the way so many others do. Such as my parents, who absolutely live to be on the beach and out in the sun, and anything under eighty degrees is long sleeve/pants weather. And heaven help them if it drops below fifty, because then it's practically too cold to survive.

I kind of lean in the other direction. Anything over eighty degrees is so hot that I feel like I'm going to just fall over and die. Heat and humidity and an overabundance of sunlight make me feel exhausted. Sometimes even woozy. Just generally lethargic and icky, with a longing for fall weaving its way through my very being. I won't even wear a jacket until it gets down to around forty degrees. No wonder I moved to New England!

So they say that the publishing industry basically shuts down in the summer. Whether or not that's true is a different story (I've seen a lot of tweets to the contrary), but for sake of argument, let's say it does. Well, so do I. Remember back in July, when I was so excited because I'd written a page of a new WIP? As exciting as that was, it didn't manage to get me out of my summer funk. I wrote a few more pages after that, but my battery was running on low, and I just didn't have the mental or physical energy to do much more than that. Which, as any writer would understand, made me sad. Which made my battery run even lower. Vicious cycle and all of that.

What's my point, you may ask? Well, as you may have noticed, my summer funk also meant that I haven't posted on this blog in almost six weeks (for shame!). I know some other people who had to take a hiatus of a month or two over the summer for various reasons. But they were good enough to do a quick post letting people know. My hiatus, on the other hand, wasn't planned. I kept meaning to blog. And I managed to keep up with all of the blogs that I follow. But I wasn't writing anything. I wasn't even reading much of anything. Every time I sat down to write a post, I'd realize I had absolutely nothing to say. So I'm writing this post today to let you know that the weather has made a change for the better, my outlook on things has improved, and I'm ready to get back into the game. I got the jump start I needed.

This is the first post of many. I intend to post at least once a week, as I have in the past. Also, I now have two chapters of the WIP. At some point, I'll pull together a few paragraphs and make a new page for it here on the blog. But for now, that's just not possible. I don't have a title, you see, and my working title is...well, honestly, it's both ridiculous and kind of embarrassing. Only my husband and one of my CPs have been trusted with it. When I come up with something more suitable, you'll all be among the first to know.