29 February 2012

An Interview with Authors April Fifer and Danielle Hylton-Outland


The wonderful thing about Twitter is that you never know who you are going to come across. Last week I had the chance to interview two authors April Fifer and Danielle Hylton-Outland. April and Danielle are urban fantasy authors who have co-written a book called, Flesh and Feathers, to be released March 17th this year.


Tell me about your upcoming book.

Flesh and Feathers is an Urban Fantasy set in downtown LA. It’s the story of Azaleigh Carlton, who is a waitress about to learn of her extraordinary future. Azaleigh, nicknamed Az, meets and falls in love with Kale. After a freak accident, her memory is wiped out and she ahs no recollection of Kale. Life goes on, and she starts piecing her routine back together. She meets Gage, who has just moved in down the hall. She fights against it, but her feelings for him grow strong. However, that is not her only focus. Azaleigh realizes that she is being hunted, and she finds herself running for her life. There are secrets… and danger… and worst of all she learns she is in love with two men. She must choose between them.

What inspired the idea?

April and Danielle: We loved the idea of a girl falling in love with an angel. There is nothing more attractive than someone falling in love with their protector. However, we wanted more than that. Because life is a mangled mess that can be beautiful and tragic, we wanted real-life problems with real-life people. The number one rule we had  - how would we react to "x"? We analyzed every scenario and contemplated every possible response before we wrote about it. Most of us have been torn between two loves. We wanted our character to experience this and share her story of how she dealt with it. At the same time, we want the magical aspect of it. Angels seemed like such an interesting topic and not to mention they are incredible creatures.   

What was it like to write a book with another person?

April: Ummm… well this was our first book. We took our time and relished in the fun of it. We laughed our butts off, and would plot for hours (best times of my life). Writing as a team was something extraordinary. The reason is the characters became real so to speak. They each lived in us, yet had their own unique personalities. We no longer were writing their futures, instead, we waited to see what they would do next. I have to admit I found that strange and never saw it coming, but characters really do take on a life of their own. They lead the way, and your fingers try to hit the keys fast enough to keep up. A bond grew between Danielle and I, and it was truly Azaleigh that taught us about friendship. No… I’m not crazy. Okay, maybe a little.

Danielle: I love co-writing! For people who have not tried it, should. The chemistry for co-authors can be one of the best bonds for life. Furthermore, it is nice to have someone to keep you grounded. For all authors, there are many moments of “What am I doing? Why have I abandoned life for this silly book I am writing? Can I survive on coffee alone?” So to have that partner to answer these questions is reassuring.

Is this something either of you have done before?

April and Danielle: Nope, brand new. We have learned everything together and let me tell you that it is something that brands you for life.

How did you work together the best?

April and Danielle: We have always worked the best driving in a car, talking. We have even had brain-blocks and looked at one another and said, “Let’s go ride.” By the time we were back to the house we had plot-bunnies coming out of our ears.

What is your favorite part of the book?

April: Hellooooo… shower scene! Yay! Don’t get too excited. It was one of those… getcha all heated up and then cut you off scenes. But something happened in that scene for me. At that moment, you saw Azaleigh and Gage connect on another level. You could see his feelings for her, and you could see her start to realize she felt the same but was too afraid to admit it. Truly, one of the most inspiring scenes for me.

Danielle: My favorite part of the book is where Azaleigh first meets Kale. She is dazed from an accident, and the reader gets to see her silly side.


What was most difficult to write?

April: The plot intertwined so much it was almost hard to keep up. If you just read Flesh and Feathers and is like what is she talking about… don’t worry, you will find out in book two. We had to be extremely careful because the main plot has yet to be revealed.  

Danielle: The most difficult parts to write for me would be the description. I love the dialog between characters, and the emotion felt, while April can paint you a picture of the entire scenario. I am getting better though.

What was most difficult to write?
April: The plot intertwined so much it was almost hard to keep up. If you just read Flesh and Feathers and is like...what is she talking about? Don’t worry you will find out in book two. We had to be extremely careful because the main plot has yet to be revealed.  

Danielle: The most difficult parts to write for me would be the description. I love the dialog between characters, and the emotion felt, while April can paint you a picture of the entire scenario. I am getting better though.

What did you do right? (I think I mooched this question off of Writer's Digest!)

April: I opened my big mouth to Danielle on that fateful day and said, “Don’t laugh, but I started writing a book. Wanna write it with me?” And as they say… the rest was history!

Danielle: One of the most important things I did right was agreeing to write the book with April and finishing it.



Any advice you would give to aspiring authors?

April:  If you say to yourself, “Am I crazy for trying to write this book?” The answer is yes. It takes a little bit of crazy to write a book. And you are not alone in that department.

Danielle: My advice for upcoming authors is for them to not be hard on themselves. Do not let rejections letters beat you up! Rejection letters are a part of the business and most everyone has received one or two…or a hundred.

What are you working on now?

April and Danielle: I guess the question is what aren’t we working on? Geeezzz. We are working on Flesh and Flames, which is the second book to The Flesh Series. However, we just finished a short story called Love, Lies and a Bloke. Then there is She Haunts Me and Them. Both of these books lean more to the Sci-Fi/Paranormal genre.  

Any plans for future collaborations together?

April: We have vowed not to write alone, because it’s, well… lonely. We are a great team and plan to keep it that way. Love you Danielle!

Danielle: Well there is no fiferhylton without fifer or without hylton. We have several books we are working on now so you will definitely see us in the future.

Now, here's a question completely unrelated - what is your favorite amusement park ride?

Danielle: I am not a fan of paying someone to scare the crap out of me. LOL. Adrenaline junkie is nowhere on my list of characteristics. However, I will say every time I am forced to go to Kings Dominion; the “Scooby-Doo” is totally rad!


April: Umm… did Danielle just totally knock us adrenaline junkies??? I’m so offended! I say, bring on the scary-as-hell! I love me some roller coasters. My favorite is the Intimidator.

Danielle Hylton was raised in Virginia. She grew up having a huge appetite for daydreaming; always wanting to live in the spectacular worlds she created in her mind. She now lives with her husband and dog where she is pursuing a degree in literature. Danielle is a strong animal activist. She is currently co-writing the second book in the Flesh Series, "Flesh and Flames".

April Fifer grew up in a small town in Virginia, where it was common practice believing that dreams could only be found in stories. At the age of seven sh e was diagnosed with dyslexia. She was told that she would struggle through life and would never pick up a book to read for pleasure. Although school was hard, she was able to find her way with the help of two teachers who taught her self-discovery. Ignoring what she was taught growing up, she turned it around and found that your dreams could become stories.

Make sure you check out their blogfollow them on Twitterand like their Facebook page  to keep up with their series. 





















Writer Wednesday Blog Hop

Welcome back to Writer Wednesday Blog Hop! This is a hop where you can promote your blog and gain some new followers (and meet some awesome ones!) we have three hosts to for all the more fun! And make sure you grab a button (yay, finally HTML code for it!)

Writer Wednesday Blog Hop Button!
writing, writers, blogs

Click and copy this code

Here's the rules!

1) Follow your blog hosts: World of My Imagination , A Writer Weaves a Tale..., and A Writer's Muses

2) Follow at least three other blogs (if you post your link early, make sure you come back and check out the other blogs)

3) Let the person you followed know that you are following their blog

4) (Optional...sort of): Tweet about the blog hop! (Use hashtag #WWBH and #WW when you do!) - Thank you to all of you who have featured this hop on your site!! I really appreciate it!

And all you do is link up below! You can link up your writing site, your blog, your twitter account, or your facebook page. We're flexible, and I know my other awesome hoppers are too. We're a cool bunch.

27 February 2012

Thoughts from the Unemployment Line

Photo Copyright by PhotoStock

The other day I spent most of my afternoon in the unemployment department. And something interesting happened.

If you've never had to file for unemployment, you aren't missing out on much. I spent most of my weekend filling out necessary online forms and overanalyzing my previous work experience so much it made my eyes go numb.

When I walked in and the first thing I noticed was the quiet. There were only a handful of people there, of course, and most seemed just as troubled about being there as me. Some looked a bit more scraggly than others. Others seemed a bit surprised and put off to even be there. Those were the ones who felt the need to justify their presence there. They had conversations with the unemployment department staff that ran along thelines of, "I have a job lined up, so I really don't need to be here..." or "This is only temporary..." The staff reassured them, with the same type of understanding you would give to a child insisting that Santa Claus was real.

As I sat quiet at the table I was assigned, I began to continue working on my book. I think it was the quiet and the expectation to sit there and not say a word that got me started. Not before long, it was my turn. I went to the computer, completed the registration process, and was instructed to sit at another table.

At that table, a woman sat across from me that was part of the "put off" crowd. She seemed a bit angry. She also wore too much make up. I did like her boots though. When it was her turn at the next area, I heard her having to explain herself as well. I decided when it was my turn I wouldn't do that.

So, when I reached the desk of one of the staff, it was an older lady. She had dyed hair and wore a huge diamond ring. The first question was standard - what was your last position?

Of course, I said what was expected - customer service. It was the job I am expected to continue to search for while being unemployed. I'm also good at this as well...I'm patient. I know how to connect with people and this makes helping them with whatever it is they need help with that much easier.

And then I surprised myself - I said I was also a writer. This is the first time - outside of family, outside of Twitter, Facebook, and GooglePlus - that I introduced msyelf to a total stranger as being a writer.

She asked me what I wrote about. I told her I was a blogger and I also wrote fiction.  (See, this is why every writer needs a blog. If you aren't published, saying you are a blogger is a great way to stave off those questions on whether you have been published before.)

Funny thing is she didn't ask any follow up questions about whether I had been published. Instead she said, "I had always wanted to write. I wrote something recently that had made me laugh so much..." She started to laugh while completing my paperwork. I smiled, thrilled at this brief moment of connecting with another human being at the most unexpected place and time. She continued, "But my husband read it and he didn't really like it." The smile began to fade. "I don't know, I thought it was funny. I always thought I would write, but I don't know..."

She shrugged her shoulders and something like reality set it in. She continued asking the same basic questions all applicants get asked. Gave me the basic instructions and told me where I could find customer service jobs.

I stood and she said good luck with finding a job and good luck with writing. I told her, "You too."

As I left, I wondered...what made her and I so different? I haven't been published, either. I don't have published novels on the shelves of my local bookstore. I don't write for nationally recognized magazines like Time, Newsweek or the New Yorker. Yet there I was introducing myself as a writer. And I didn't even blink an eye.

I think what a lot of us writers miss...is that getting published is only half the battle. Really, it's only part of it. If you've ever talked to someone who doesn't consider themselves of the creative kind...you will realize something that is missing. It isn't talent. It isn't even whether they are good or not. I know those things are a part of it, but there is something else that isn't there...

And sitting there talking to this lady, who seemed to lose her confidence as quick as a candle being snuffed out by the wind, I realized that I didn't just have the gift of writing and storytelling. I had the gift of confidence and self-assurance as a writer.

And that is everything. If you have that, whether you are published or not, you have so much. Don't ever forget that.

And if you find yourself identifying with the lady at the unemployment office more than you care to admit...I will tell you my secret. My secret of what gave me the confidence to introduce myself as a writer that day...

...I gave myself permission. I have done that my whole life. I gave myself to permission to be creative. To be silly. To be rejected. To sound stupid. To write my story. To writer others' stories. To be weird. To write scary characters, loving characters, funny characters, insecure characters, creepy characters. To be inspired by the world around me. To be inspired by my dreams, my nightmares and my fantasies. To not hold back. To uncover. To explore. To finish the story. To stop in the middle. To write a scene. To write a dialogue. To a write it into a poem. To fail. To try and succeed. To keep going. To give up and swear I'll never go back (but I always do). To keep the stories private. TO make them as public as I could. To trust myself.
I trusted myself.

Do this today. Even if someone doesn't think you are any good. Even if someone doesn't agree with your story or think it's crappy. Even if someone tells you to give up.

Because don't. Because there are people like me out there who listen to your story and want to tell you to not give up. That we - the ones who manage to find the courage to define ourselves by our creative nature - don't have this big huge secret power. We don't have an instruction manual that you don't. We have just given ourselves permission to try, to learn, and to not give up.

Do not ever give up.

25 February 2012

Excuse Me While I Throw Books on the Floor

Diane Carlisle over at the blog Are We There Yet? posed this question on her blog. She even set it up as a blog hop for the rest of us to join in...well, even though I had logged into my blog for an entire different reason, I thought I would answer it.

Why do I write? Why did that even start? Well, maybe it was my fascination with books.

My mom loves telling me this story and to be honest, I love hearing it. It shows my first, fascinating attachment with those wonderful creatures I call books. When I was very young, way before I could read or talk, I would go to the bookshelf that was in the living room and pull out every single book on the shelf. This was my daily ritual.

It was then that my relationship with the printed word began.

When I evolved, and my mom would want to read to me, I invited instead that we each take a page to read. This was way before I knew what the words were saying, so I would make up what would happen based on the pictures.

A writer was born.

Since then, telling stories have been part f my life. I think at the age of ten, when adults started asking what I wanted to be when I grew up, that I began to realize what I could identify myself as...a published author.

Now, at the age of 25, I am still waiting for that. It's still what I want to be when I grow up.

And as my novel sits at my side, waiting for me to write down the next word, I know for certain it will always be something that is a part of me.

And the interesting thing is, my physical connection to books has never changed either. I hand write my first drafts. For me, I need to do that because I feel more connected to the words in front of me. It also makes it easier when I rewrite it, because I have a new look at the story as I type. I can add descriptions, restructure if I need to, subtract scenes...

Really, if I could, I would be the first in line to buy the first published, handwritten novel. Edited, of course. But I think the physical nature of writing a book can turn it into an art form. Or maybe I'm just weird.

As you can tell, I probably will never adopt the e-book reader as a primary form of reading stories.

Why am I a writer?

Because I'm a storyteller. Like Diane said, it's a way of letting another part of you out. The part of you that needs to ask a question that can be answered with fiction. And I like how stories can take you away. Someone else takes the controls for a while.

I was watching a show recently where someone said, "Words can tell you something, but music can make you feel something." Well, I think that's wrong. Words can make you feel too. Whoever said that quote has never really read a good story.

Well, I'm not sure if I even answered the question about why I write...but tell me, why do you write?

Take part in the blog hop by posting your answer to the question on your blog and posting the link here.

And if you'll excuse, I have a date with the bookshelf...



23 February 2012

What Do You Do When You Have No Motivation?


Photo Copyright by David Castillo Dominici
 All writers face this. Some call it writer's block. Some call it having the lack of discipline. Some call it immaturity. Maybe others...the cruel ones...call it a writer who is only a dreamer, but never really writes. Someone who isn't meant to be a writer. The person who should give up. To stop fooling themselves. It's the cynical one, quick to criticize others, instead of understand.

But to me, I think it's something all of us must deal with. I have been dealing with it lately.

I started out this year like a bullet out of a gun. I had the motiviation to finish my novel, and got through more chapters than I have in years. I'm now on Chapter 14 and I have three chapters to go. I'm almost done with my book. Right now, I am five lines into the chapter and it's been  like that all week.
I try to talk myself into it. I really do. But it's tough. I got laid off from my job a few weeks ago and really, I have all sorts of time to write now. But the motiviation just isn't there.

So what do you do? What do you do when you don't have motiviation? Do we write anyways? Fight it?

I guess so. I know I'm supposed to. But it's tough.

This time I didn't ask the writing community what to do...I didn't ask the experts. Instead, I'm just putting it out there.

Our jobs as writers is to write. No matter how many blog posts we write, no matter how often we tweet, and no matter how much self promotion we do, at the end of the day, we define ourselves as a writer by writing.

With or without motiviation, we must write. Even if we are spent. Even if we are drained. Even if the emotional energy is just. Not. There.  I wanted to write this blog post for myself. To tell myelf this -

That no matter how much you get down, you are a writer. You are a writer. You don't need to be published to call yourself that. That even when the stress gets to you, the critics get to you, the stories just won't flow anymore - you are a writer. You have been that your whole life. Never forget that. You have wanted to be a writer way before you knew what it meant to be published. You just wanted to tell stories.

Today, tell a story. Write a story. Write for the purpose of getting that character out of your head, because he or she or it needs a voice. Write a story because there is a place, a location that haunts you, disturbs you, makes you think, inspires you, because it needs a voice too. Write because it feels good. Write because you want you to.  Write for the audience, the reader that you haven't met yet. Write for the little child in you that dreamed about one day finding their name on the list of authors at the public library. Write for foolish, lofty reasons. Write terribly. Write good. Write what you want to write.

But know this - you are not alone. Others feel this way too even if they refuse to admit it. Even if they think they are above the lack of motiviation. Even if no one talks about it.

Be motivated today, because, damn it, you are worth it. The writer in you is worth it.

Remember, I wrote this post for me.

But I hope you find some use for it today too.

22 February 2012

Writer Wednesday Blog Hop

Just like last week, today we have three hosts for the blog hop today, so that means more the awesome-ness for you bloggers out there. And we have Bugs Bunny (my favorite!) hopping with us again today...

And make sure you grab a button (yay, finally HTML code for it!)
Writer Wednesday Blog Hop Button!
writing, writers, blogs

Click and copy this code


Here's the rules!

1) Follow your blog hosts: World of My Imagination , A Writer Weaves a Tale..., and A Writer's Muses

2) Follow at least three other blogs (if you post your link early, make sure you come back and check out the other blogs)

3) Let the person you followed know that you are following their blog

4) (Optional...sort of): Tweet about the blog hop! (Use hashtag #WWBH and #WW when you do!) - Thank you to all of you who have featured this hop on your site!! I really appreciate it!

And all you do is link up below! You can link up your writing site, your blog, your twitter account, or your facebook page. We're flexible, and I know my other awesome hoppers are too. We're a cool bunch.

16 February 2012

Four Writers, One Story - A Blog Story Hop

I am proud to say that I am taking part in a blog story hop, where writers take one story and each carry it forward in their own unique way.

Carrie K. Sorensen at Chasing Revery took part one, so make sure you read that before you read mine.

Read Part One - Kalli's Story, Week One

And here...ladies and gentleman of the blogosphere...is part two.

_____________________________________________________

House of haunted memories
Kalli shrugged, feeling a sudden resentment for the harsh words that Jenae delivered to her. She wanted to shove her headphones back in her ears and continue her march down the well kept street. She looked into the eyes of the girl she grew up with and realized then that her friend, Jenae, never knew what had happened.  She never knew the reason why she left in the first place.  Kalli knew it had to stay that way.

Kalli tried to laugh, but it came out as a gasp. “Anyways, how have you been?”

Jenae stared at Kalli, as if looking for answers in her face. “How have I been? One of our classmates died Kalli. Didn’t you hear about it?”

Kalli feigned surprise. “Are you kidding? How?”  Kalli felt warm in her leather jacket, too warm.  She wished for a breeze that would cool her down and take away the sweat that began to form on her forehead.
“You really don’t know?” Jenae softened. Kalli exhaled, knowing she had fooled her friend, but guilt rose to surface, taking the place of her nerves.  “It was Claire who died. And you know that house down the road? The one that was boarded off ? She was found inside…” Jenae leaned forward as if revealing a deep secret to Kalli. Kalli could smell the Justin Bieber perfume that Jenae had saved up for just months before. “….and there were brand new boards nailed on the door. They were saying that she scared herself to death. It was part of something people in our class were planning.” Jenae pulled back and examined Kalli further, staring at the torn jeans and cut hair. An appearance that she would never have seen before on Kalli. “Do you know anything about a dare or something like that?”

Kalli shook her head, reminding herself that the less she said, the more likely Jenae will never know that she was there that night.  That she had been part of the group to press against the door and ignore Claire’s cries to get out.  “I have to go.” Kalli whispered.

“You have to tell me what happened, Kalli. Why you look like this…”

Kalli turned, watching as a middle aged man in his boxers and stained white t-shirt come out of his garage, with a lawn mower following behind him. She watched as he put together the bag and started the mower. The noise of the mower ripped across Kalli’s ears and she jumped, remembering the night her parents found out what happened and how she took the scissors to her hair to disguise herself.   

Instead of walking away like she planned, she reached out to Jenae, and looped her arm around her friend’s. When Kalli started walking, Jenae did too. Without saying a word, the two walked in the direction of the house – the one Kalli had just sworn she knew nothing about. Soon, Jenae’s walk matched Kalli’s, and they marched to the sounds of the lawn mower and to the bass pounding in Kalli’s pocket.  “I’ll show you what happened.”

Here's the link to part three!

15 February 2012

Alien Conspiracy, Earth Under Threat, and A Romance

Hey writers!

Today, I'm doing things a little different...I'm taking part in a cover reveal and not only that, you will get a taste of my writing a little later on. I'm very nervous about that...

...But now for the cover reveal for book, "Gravity," by Melissa West.

I'm drawn to this book, because I can relate to the character...somehow the combination of dangerous curiosity, falling in love with someone you shouldn't (like...really shouldn't) and government conspiracies appeals to me.

And here we go...

...drum roll please...




In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don't. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed - arrogant Jackson Locke, the
most popular boy in her school.

She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she's been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she's falling for him. But Ari isn't just any girl, and Jackson wants more
than her attention. She's a military legacy who¹s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know - especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the
information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Pre-order from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Gravity-Melissa-West/dp/1620610914/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Add to Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12844575-gravity

Today's my wonderful reminder to you writers to not forget to read! Catch my blog later on to read my short story expert as part of a blog story hop!

Writer Wednesday Blog Hop

This time we have things a little different...we have three hosts for the blog hop today, so that means more the awesome-ness for you writers out there. And we have Bugs Bunny (my favorite!) hopping with us today...
And make sure you grab a button (no html code for it yet, just save it as an image and you should be able to upload it to your blog that way).
Here's the rules!

1) Follow your blog hosts: World of My Imagination , A Writer Weaves a Tale..., and A Writer's Muses

2) Follow at least three other blogs (if you post your link early, make sure you come back and check out the other blogs)

3) Let the person you followed know that you are following their blog

4) (Optional...sort of): Tweet about the blog hop! (Use hashtag #WWBH and #WW when you do!) - Thank you to all of you who have featured this hop on your site!! I really appreciate it!

And all you do is link up below! You can link up your writing site, your blog, your twitter account, or your facebook page. We're flexible, and I know my other awesome hoppers are too. We're a cool bunch.

13 February 2012

Where do Story Ideas Come From? (Part Two)

Parlous
Welcome back to part two of my question, "Where do story ideas come from?"

Make sure to catch part one here...

In response to my question, here's what the writing community Reddit.com told me about where their story ideas come from...

thephink: "Music. A lot of the stuff I write comes from what I imagine in my head when I hear certain songs. Some of it it's easy to tell what it’s based on, some of it has barely any connection what inspired it."

Renieri: "I traded my soul for a plastic green bucket filled with the best Chinese cookie fortunes. They direct me in financial matters and how to end each story."

TBatWork: "Escapism, plain and simple. My imagination is always going, and my memory is constantly referring back to itself for the things that inspired me. High school translated into a fairly dense low fantasy epic. Community college was a coming of age story. University was a mix of post apocalyptic zombie story, and the fantasy story that proceeds from then to now. I usually ask myself, "Where would I rather be?"

Alan James Koegh: "Sometimes events trigger an idea, like the time I was falling asleep in a hotel and felt a drop of something land on my head, reached up to wipe it away, but forehead was dry, creeped me out a little so I turned it into a story.

"Othertimes a song might start an idea and most of the other time it just happens. I get ideas randomly and write them down if I remember. Then there are times when I have a great idea and I've fleshed it out, but when sitting down to write it, nothing works. So, I store it in my idea book, and if I can't think of anything, I can come back to it then...

"...I'm sure experiences I've had, books I've read/movies I've seen etc., have a part in it, but it's very rare that I know exactly where an idea came from. Most of the time it's just there. Sometimes a scene, other times I know the ending but not the beginning or vice versa." (Read his stories at his blog)

J Mooney Ham: "I have a short story titled, The End - and Clifford Dunburton, that I did as my own slant on a somewhat Lovecraftian horror idea of scary plausibility. I got the idea after having been a fan of cosmological books and news for decades.

"...The idea for My First Day in the Afterlife came from me feeling extremely world weary, but pondering the fantasy that I could be wrong about there being no afterlife - but those who do believe in one could be wildly off on the details. In the tale I steal from the hero what he wants most: non-existence and eternal rest; and instead inform him he has at least one more stage of existence to endure, before he can get the real end he wants. I also use this scenario to tweak the ire of religious extremists."

SomeSalvation "Childhood and the way my young mind used to work."

TheBadGuyy: "I don't know where they come from. I think I'm naturally prone to making up stories, because as I sit with my buds, watching TV, playing some video game or whether I'm chilling with my GF, I'll have these thoughts pop up in my head, 'What if the main character of a story was actually a villain? Well, then ____ would have to be the 'hero' and I'd want...'

"This keeps going on and on until I have a story playing in my head. Random scenes from it pop up from time to time."

Qwexva: "It seems like most of my ideas come from completely random sentences people say. Taken out of context they grow into elaborate stories."

CJ Greene: "My ideas come from daily interactions for the most part. I've had times where I was discussing a topic and it spun off into a discussion of hypotheticals. Next thing I know, I'm running off to write down an idea I want to expand on later. Inspiration can strike anywhere, from your dreams, to your conversations, even while driving home from work. Some of my best ideas have come from just a single word said in the context of conversation. Usually, the word ends up being incorporated into my title somehow It's all about looking at a world in a different way and taking what you see and hear and putting your own spin to create a new reality."


Make sure to catch part three next week! So, writers, where do your story ideas come from?

10 February 2012

Story Ideas and Where They Come From (Part 1)

This is probably one of the most hated questions among writers. I hate it. You hate it. We all hate it.

Why do we hate it?

We don't know what to say is the problem. I don't anyways. I mean, I do know where my ideas come from but it isn't linear like that. Blogger created a drawing once that showed a perfect photo of what this looks like (a scrambled mess) on her blog.  Just because a single idea started a story, that doesn't mean it ends there. Ideas are all over the place and most of them just "feel" right to put in a story.

So, how can we ever answer that question?

Well, you know what?

I asked it anyways.

And wow, did I get some responses.  Hence, the reason this is a two-parter.

Without further adieu, here is what the online writing community had to say about where their ideas come from...

Will Weisser said, "All my best ideas come when I am almost asleep in bed, especially if I've stayed up too late. On some nights, I can reach a hypnotic state where I'm sort of half-dreaming, and that's when I tend to get really wild and vivid thoughts that can sometimes be turned into stories.

"If I have a basic plot in place, but I need an idea for a specific scene or character, I will often brainstorm while taking a walk, driving my car, or just standing in the shower. This takes the form of free-association; tossing out every possible permutation I can think of and seeing which one sticks." I'm sure I mumble a lot while doing this and look like a raving lunatic, but it does work.

"The absolute worst thing you can do while trying to generate ideas is staring at a computer screen."

CJBest (from Reddit.com), "I'm a climber/mountaineer. Most of my ideas either come directly from my experience in the mountains, or are influenced by the landscape and its effects on my personal philosophical growth.

"I'm trying to follow the advice, 'Write what you are obsessed with.' The things which obsess me right now are physical challenges and the psychology of self-inflicted pain in the name of sport or discovery."

ThereJKessler (from Reddit.com), "My best ideas always come when I'm in the shower or on the toilet. There must be some mystical property to the bathroom."

IWokeUpWithoutaPillo (from Reddit.com) said, "Video games, other books I read, and a lot just automatically comes to me throughout the day. I am, of course, never near a place to write any of it down though."

Joel Allyn said, "..I have gotten more ideas while in the shower than anywhere else. This, I believe, must have to do with the lack of distraction and allowing your mind to go blank. I personally tend to believe that stories are found things and that they come to us out o the void whole and breathing, even if that void is in our own heads." (Read his short story about it here)

Okay that's just part one! Where do your story ideas come from? Let me know in the comments!

06 February 2012

Some Blogging Things to Think About


Link for Comic http://xkcd.com/610/
 Every so often I like to regroup my blog and assess whether the things I'm writing for my blog are working and benefiting...so, stay with this post, because a lot of this is me thinking as I write.

So, if you've been keeping up with my blog, you will notice that for the past few weeks I have written three different types of posts:

Mondays were my "Ask the Writing Community" posts where I asked you questions related to the writing process and posted your responses to my blog.

Wednesdays were my "Blog Hop" posts.

Fridays were my "Writer's Toolbox" posts where I hoped to find resources that you can use to make the writing process easier.



Really I thought this was a pretty clever collection of posts. I wanted my blog to be a useful resource.

It did not take me long to get burnt out.

And then I read a post today from Men with Pens on the topic of having a "Blogging Schedule". Or not having one...and having quality posts is a lot better than having a ton of posts just thrown together. (And then I read the comments and realized I'm not alone...hee hee hee).

And the thing is I do love getting feedback from the writing community on the writing process...it's interesting and fun and everyone has a unique perspect that is just awesome to read. And I love doing the "blog hop" because I can see that my readers who take part do gain more readership. And my "Writer's Toolbox" is fun too because of the interesting sites and resources I can accumulate.

So, over the weekend and for the past week, I thought. "Hey, this is working...I'm getting readers...this is good."

Until I was preparing for a post I would have on Monday (which obviously did not get posted) and I was actually working on it over the weekend.

What????

To be honest, I have never spent my weekend on my blog. I just don't for some reason. It's easier for me to do it during the week.  And plus, I'm trying to finish my book and write stories more regularly, and I realized I am spending way too much time and energy preparing posts I required myself to write. I thought...I have to rethink this.

I can't say I will get rid of those three posts, but I can't say I am sold on having a rigid blog schedule. It isn't for me I don't think. At least, not this much.

Quick Side Note: I am still sold on the idea of keeping my "blog hop." But, to sort of help get the word around to make it a more successful hop...is anyone interested in being a regular "co-host" for the hop? This would require that you post the hop pretty faithfully each Wednesday and I would give details about how to post the link widget. Let me know by sending me an email (clicky that "contact me" link tab above and send me an email). I'm hoping to two or more hosts (including myself)...so let me know!

Have you ever made any "big changes" for your blog? Do you keep to a posting schedule? Has it benefited your blog? Also, any feedback you can give me on my blog would be fantastic.





01 February 2012

Writer Wednesday Blog Hop

Writer Wednesday Blog Hop is here again!

Welcome back everyone! The blog hop is here! I hope everyone's week is going good...and while you are here, make sure you take a button with you:


And here are the rules:

Here are the rules:

1) Follow your blog host (Me) (if you want to co-host, let me know if the comments! Or remind me that you want to!)

2) Follow at least three other blogs (if you post your link early, make sure you come back and check out the other blogs)

3) Let the person you followed know that you are following their blog

4) (Optional...sort of): Tweet about the blog hop! (Use hashtag #WWBH and #WW when you do!) - Thank you to all of you who have featured this hop on your site!! I really appreciate it!

And all you do is link up below! You can link up your writing site, your blog, your twitter account, or your facebook page. I'm flexible, and I know my other awesome hoppers are too. We're a cool bunch.

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