Monthly Archives: October 2017

Celebrating Halloween with Edgar Allen Poe.

To those celebrating Halloween tonight, happy Halloween! Hope you have a fun night with tons of sweets.

To everyone on the eve of National Novel Writing Month, I wish you all the best of luck. Don’t worry writers, we got this!

How am I spending this Halloween and Nano’s Eve? By reading Edgar Allen Poe. The master of mystery and creepiness. Perfect for a night like tonight.

No trick or treating  or costumes for me tonight. The boyfriend and I are having a night in with some twizzlers and gummy bears and maybe a Halloween themed movie. Really exciting stuff.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

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Last minute re-outlining before NaNoWriMo, because procrastination.

Hey everyone.


There’s a saying that pressure makes diamonds.

(and anxiety attacks)

National Novel Writing Month is fast approaching, peeps. It seems like everybody has been planning the whole month, and of course, me, last-minute was like “okay, let’s actually outline”. Basically, I redid (and hopefully improved on) the outline I’m using during NaNoWriMo.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a skeleton of an outline before. But I decided I should give it more…substance? You know what I mean. Before, I had a bullet point that just said ‘intro’. Like just titles of scenes.

 

So I’ve been scouring through the internet, and other blogs for tips on outlining and winning NaNoWriMo. Clearly, I need all the help I can get. And some people actually know what they’re doing, unlike me. I found one blogger who made a post it wall of notes on poster board to outline their story. Inspired! What a great idea! I am a visual thinker and posting notes on a white board like that actually helped me spot plot holes and weak points while keeping track of sub plot stuff. It’s also a pretty motivating thing to look at.

 

Never made a board like that before and I know it’s probably not done correctly, I squeezed a lot of info on some post it notes. Over the course of November, I have a feeling notes will be added and changed and moved around (and by the end, set fire to the board itself). I guess I would be considered a plantser, I’m half planning, half winging it. For the most part, there is a plan (lol me with a  plan). There’s definitely some wiggle room here also. It was an interesting way to spend an afternoon. I ordered some Chinese food, sat on my bedroom floor and inked up my hands writing all those notes (I was feeling permanent ink marker today).


Side Note, today, while was enjoying a nice vegetable fried rice and trying to organizing my scattered ideas, I got a fortune cookie fortune that felt very fitting to the NaNoWriMo season. I wanted to share…

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My boyfriend thinks it’s a sign of good luck. How perfectly does that embody the National Novel Writing Month experience? It’s about writing quantity not quality, right? So how are you guys planning for NaNoWriMo? Any last-minute tips? Are you ready to go? Because I’m slightly petrified and mildly excited. Good luck to everyone participating!


Write With Heart,
Lady Jabberwocky

When your brain feels like a house party.

Sorry I haven’t been posting lately. I’ve been dealing with trials of being an unemployed writer. With disappointments and drama as the whip cream and cherry on top, it’s been a dismal couple days.

But something kinda hit me last night. I laid awake in bed, pondering the universe (Another thing that comes with being an unemployed writer, I suppose). I wasn’t thinking about the story I plan to write during NaNoWriMo, which is detective fiction, I was thinking about how wonderful a fantasy story sounded. It could just be my indecisiveness, I am notorious for not making up my mind. It’s that feeling of uncertainty, what story am I meant to pursue?

Sometimes my brain feels like a house party.

Stay with me, I know it’s a weird metaphor. Like seriously, picture like an ordinary get together, with light music playing and snacks on the table (like chips and homemade salsa… Ooh, that sounds good right now.)

I’m the host and the guests are all these characters from different possible stories, from different genres entirely. In attendance, there is a 1920’s detective, a princess from fantasy land and a young super powered vigilante, to name a few. And I have no idea who I want to have a conversation with at this party first, they all look interesting to me. I’m not insane, I promise.

What I mean is, I don’t know what I want to focus on when it comes to writing. Guess I always felt like I had to pick one genre to write in if I ever became a “successful writer”. Like I had to be married to one for the rest of my writing career.

It was a feeling I got right after I graduated. With no essays or projects to worry about, I was finally able to focus on my own project. Endless possibilities, right? Honestly, I thought going to college to study English would help me discover and hone in on what I truly loved to write about. The opposite happened.  If anything, it expanded my horizon, in a literary sense.

Can I help it? There have always been multiple genres I’ve been interested in. Real classic mysteries intrigue me and fantasies make my heart flutter and myths are like magic and sci-fi can be cool and those real life dramas are just plain honest. (This sentence = My friggin’ entire life)

I want to know what you guys think about this. Am I crazy?  You guys ever feel like that? Like you have so many ideas that are pulling you in completely different directions? Or are you happy with writing one genre forever? Maybe, as writers, we are allowed to dabble in every kind of story (like at an international buffet, and your plate is confused because you got like tacos and dumplings next to each other).

Maybe I’m an indecisive dabbler.

Indecisive dabbler and unemployed writer, what a combo.

Write about what you love, guys, even if it’s everything.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing an Era – Where to Begin

A Writer of History

Stephanie CarrollI am pleased to welcome author Stephanie Carroll to talk about researching historical fiction. In her post you will see  vivid examples of how she has incorporate research into her debut novel A White Room and experience part of the journey she took to write it. Now, over to Stephanie … 

Writing an Era – Where to Begin

I still have a vivid memory of sitting down at my computer prepared to write my novel after I had the initial idea for A White Room. I tried to start typing, but each time I moved my fingers toward the keys, I flinched back, thinking: I don’t know what they wore so I can’t describe her clothes; I don’t know how they talked so I can’t write dialogue; I don’t know what kind of house they would be in or what they would be doing . . . I couldn’t…

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Red Hots and Cold Cases (A Scene)

The summer of 1925

“It’s really quite simple, once you think about it.”

“it can’t be that simple, even the police ruled it a suicide,” I leaned on the counter and ordered. “Two red hots and a root beer,” I glanced behind me at Mr. Barnaby. His shoulders had stiffened from being crammed into the crowd of hollering teenagers. I grinned. “You want a soda pop, boss?”

His wrinkled face pinched into a scowl. “Too much sugar.” What a flat tire.

“Make that two root beers”

We made our way to the Coney Island boardwalk. The sound of waves crashing and thrilled screams filled the air. “I don’t know why you insisted on coming here. It’s terribly noisy.” He huffed as he eased onto a wooden bench, holding onto his walking stick.

“It’s summer. We live in Coney Island,” Ladies were prancing around in tiny bathing suits, showing off their curves and exposed knees. “What could be better than this?” I raised my root beer in an unmet cheers.

Mr. Barnaby took a sip and grimaced. “Solving a case, for starters.” He furrowed his thick grey eyebrows and removed his hat, wiping the sweat off his brow with a handkerchief.

“Or agreeing he shot himself.”

“You think finding a scribbled message about how cruel the world is and what appears to be a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the temple is enough to prove a man killed himself?”

“Pretty much.” I took a bite of the frankfurter. Definitely needed more mustard.

The detective began to ramble on about his brilliant revelation, how seemingly minor details led him to his remarkable conclusion. I didn’t hear a word of it. I was to busy eyeing the gams of a gorgeous brunette with a sharp bob smiling at me from underneath her parasol.

“Are you listening, Oscar?”

I toss him a distracted nod. “Absolutely, boss”


Meet Detective Barnaby and his assistant, Oscar Fitzgerald.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Act One, Scene One (Poem)

Act One, Scene One.
It always starts with Act One, Scene One.
Take a moment, become your character.
The cello strings moan in anticipation.
The stage is set.
The wood floor is glossy and shining under the lights.
Red velvet curtains are drawn with golden tassels.
Keep your toes pointed.
The audience is taking their seats.
Remember your lines, remember your cues.
Remember to breathe.
Remember,
It always starts with Act One, Scene One.


Felt like posting a poem tonight, which is rare, I’ll admit. I’m more of a fiction writer than a poet. This is from a poetry class I took in college last year.

Here is a poem about beginnings.

It’s something I’m trying to keep in mind at this particular point in my life.

Write With Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Looking back at my old (cringe-worthy) writing.

Hey everyone!

Today, I thought I’d show you guys a little snippet from my past writing. Now keep in mind, we all had to start somewhere. And that I am putting myself in an embarrassing  situation on purpose.

Let me set the scene. This was written in 2011 (practically 100 years ago) in a time when I thought writing was a fun little thing to do and not an actual craft. All I knew was that I loved storytelling, but I don’t think I considered myself a serious writer yet. I believe I was a senior in high school (or possibly a junior) when I got this piece of paper with a list of all the college majors. I was to choose one, a decision that would impact my future (because you know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life at 17). Checking off the ‘Creative Writing’ box seemed most appealing to me, at the time. Who knew it would be so important to me today?

This also dictated how I was to go about my senior project, which is sorta like a test drive for the field a student is interested in. Basically, for my project, I worked with an English teacher after school and I wrote a couple of short (horrible) stories that she critiqued and gave me notes on. I love super heroes and comics, even back then when I was young and impressionable. So I created my own super hero…. Kinda. The character’s name was Joey, he had some supernatural abilities, and was a guy juggling his masked vigilante life with his love life.

Don’t judge me, I didn’t know any better.  Here is a snippet of one of those stories.

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Wow, Majorly cringing. 

Like I said, we all had to start somewhere. Looking back at old stories, I really can learn from my past mistakes.  Here’s just a few I can pick out. (Translation: Me about to vent about how terrible this was)

  1. Fudge, look at that giant chunk of an intro paragraph.
  2. What a grabber of a first line. “The city was dark and gloomy” Really hooks in the reader right off the bat.
  3. I don’t think I knew about the ‘Show, Don’t tell’ rule at the time. That whole first paragraph could probably be condensed into like three sentences.
  4. It sounds how I would normally talk, not how someone else would. Big narration problem there.
  5. Are we watching Powerpuff girls? “Forces of evil” Seriously?
  6. “I want you to break up with me” Who was I? Trying to be so dramatic. Damn.
  7. Did my younger self actually think this was good writing?

Well, there you guys have it, an embarrassing look back at my old work. Don’t worry, I have no problem critiquing and making fun of my writing. Let me know what you guys think, and maybe take a look at your old cringe worthy stuff. I always love hearing from you.

Write with heart,
Lady Jabberwocky