30 May 2011

Looking for a Critique Partner?

Over the next month, my schedule is going to be pretty darn free...and not in a good way.  Hours have been cut at work and I'm preparing for a move in the next month or so, this means I'm not about to look for a new job, here.

Anyway, here's my offer to all of you: if you need a CP, or just a new set of eyes for your WIP, let me know!  There's only so much work I can do on my own writing in one day, so feel free to pass your stuff over.  I'm not so great at grammar/punctuation, but am pretty good with flow/pacing/voice etc.  Let me know what you need, and I'll do my best to provide :)  (My turn around's pretty good too.  Unless something else comes up, I'll try to get it back to you within a week)

This is totally NOT to detract from Ready, Aim, Hook Me and their new site.  Go check it out.  It's awesome.

Contact me here if you're interested, or send me an e-mail, or find me on twitter.  Whatever pleases you.  I can't wait to read your guys work!

27 May 2011

Monday Night RAW

There are several things I never thought I would enjoy, but since moving in with Cale, have been proven wrong and been sucked right into them.  I hate to admit it, but Monday night RAW is one of those things (I have yet to give into NASCAR).

Don't worry, John Cena wins in the end.  I know you all were worried...

Anyway, this post is all about why WWE is just like writing!

1. Wrestlers have to build a platform just like writers.  Wrestlers can switch from good guy to bad guy in an instant, but whatever side they're on, they have to get the crowd to believe in them and cheer for them.  To be successful, they have to be known.

2. Wrestlers spend an exorbitant amount of time practicing and perfecting their craft, just like writers!  Cale watches Tough Enough with Stone Cold, which is a reality show with a group of people competing to become professional wrestlers.  These guys are beaten up, they work out until they puke, they practice  charisma down and until they have perfected personalities into ones an audience will respond to, and they must expect to live a life that will challenge them and always be at risk of failure.  Cale just told me WWE does not provide insurance for wrestlers and that they are paid by appearance.  Who does that remind you of??  Writers!

3. Wrestlers must make their audience experience the fight with them. Wrestlers make their audience feel and I mean FEEL.  Even though this stuff is obviously fake, it's exciting and the drama is intense.  The people in the crowd is right there with them, in the ring.  Writers have to do this as well.  Our goal should be to suck readers into our written worlds.  If they aren't, they simply won't keep reading.

4. Wrestlers must be creative.  There are only a certain amount of moves you can do in the ring and a certain amount of props.  But it's not about the move, it's about how you carry it out.  It's the exact same thing with writing.  At the end of the day, all of the stories we write are about the same thing.  The questions we pose are not unique, but the way we tell them is.  There must be something exciting, original, intense that only we can bring to our stories.

5. Wrestling is a partnership between both wrestlers in the ring.  Writing is not a sole endeavor.  While we may not have to choreograph our stories with another individual, like wrestlers have to, but we do need the help and support of family, friends, crit partners, editors, and agents.

6. Lastly, writers are like wrestlers because they have to be absolutely, fanatically in love with the art.  Otherwise, why the hell else would you do it?  Seriously, it's not like it's easy.

All in all, be a showstopper, believe in yourself, let your personality jump off the page- do as the divas of RAW do.  Go watch Monday night RAW and be more like a wrestler!  Aspire to be John Cena (or Kelly Kelly if you'd rather be a girl, haha!)

24 May 2011

The Importance of a Timeline

 I like being an organized person.  I love it when my house is clean, when I know exactly where my favorite pen is because it's in the same place I always put it, and when my writing is outlined.

I've already posted about my plotting techniques, but something I did not write about was the importance of a timeline (umm, is this supposed to be one word?  Because Blogger keeps putting that squiggly red line under it).  I hand wrote a timeline a month back for this new WIP, but since then have felt the need to make one on the computer, which I did yesterday. Yay!

Here it is:

Well frick, I can't get Blogger to post it.  I guess you guys will just have to imagine it.  It's a line with a bunch of text bubbles coming up from the top of it and on the bottom are day markers.

Here's a quick summary of how I made it:
1. In your word document, go to the tab Insert. Under insert, click on shapes and choose a style of line.  You can have a squiggly line, a straight line, a straight line with arrows.  Oh so many options.

2. After you've chosen your line, click on the document and draw the line out.

3. Now is the fun part.  Go back to Insert-> Shapes, and this time go to Callouts- these are the bubbles that come off the line.  Again, oh so many options!  Stick the Callout of your choice onto the line and type away.

See, it's easy.

Now, why do I think a timeline is so important?  Because if you don't know what's happening on different days in your WIP than your reader sure won't.  This is a great reminder to put this information into your chapters, separating events and days.  If a month has passed, make sure to say a month has passed, or if it's only the next morning, say it's the next morning.

I'm already in love with my timeline and how it's helped my writing, and I've only had it for a day.  Go make one of your own!

P.S. Be sure to come back in a couple days to see why I think writers are like wrestlers, and the writer's journey is like WWE!

22 May 2011

What's in a name?

Usually, I don't spend too much time on character's names.  This is usually how it goes:

Me: Cale, I need a girl's name!
Cale: Kayln.
Me: Sweet, I like that one.


Me: Porsha, Helena, Mirial, Natalie, Victoria, Sophie, Jeannette, Shell.  Hmm, yeah, Shell sounds good.

Anyway, this is my current problem.  I really don't like one of my MC's names.  I've never liked it, but it's been his name since 7th grade when he came into existence.  Do I take the time to figure out a different name or leave it as is?

How do you guys come up with your character's names?

19 May 2011

How silly we must look

I wonder what other people think when I'm writing.  I just realized, as I was typing a paragraph, that I was mimicing my MC's actions, trying to find the right word to describe her movements.  Thank goodness no one was here to watch.

I know I do this often.  In the midst of writing, I'll make a face, shrug my shoulders, or pace the living room acting out a scene to gather the most detail I can. 

I'd love to be a fly on the wall and watch myself write just to see how goofy I must look :)

16 May 2011

Aaand the definitions are...

1. Alacrity: eager and enthusiastic willingness
2. Hackneyed: rendered trite or commonplace by frequent usage
3. Specious: seeming true, but actually being fallacious; misleadingly attractive; plausible but false
4. Garrulous: given to much talking, tediously chatty
5. Trenchant: sharply perceptive; keen; penetrating
6. Obfuscate: to deliberately obscure; to make confusing

Clearly, I need to start studying the dictionary and quit relying on Google to do the work for me :)

15 May 2011

Do you know these words?

I read a tweet yesterday that said something to the effect of, "Open a dictionary, even if you know the word," which reminded me of studying for the GRE. While studying for the Verbal section, I read over the Hit Parade (a compilation of vocabulary words that are frequently tested on the GRE) and was surprised by how many I did not know.  Now, I knew the words, but not the actual dictionary version of the word.

My point?  Maybe whoever wrote that tweet yesterday had it right.  Maybe, as writers, we need to refer to our dictionarys more often to make sure we know what we're writing about.

I've randomly picked six of the words from the Hit Parade.  I'm going to post them below and then will post the definitions tomorrow.  Come back to see if you got them right!  And NO cheating! haha :)

1. Alacrity
2. Hackneyed
3. Specious
4. Garrulous
5. Trenchant
6. Obfuscate

09 May 2011


Geeze, you miss a few days and come back to 34713084138 blog posts to catch up on.  Looks like I have a busy night off reading ahead of me.

Here's what I did this weekend:
Road trip!  We drove to Knoxville for a weekend of...



Beauty and awe,

Relaxation, and if you ask Cale, most imporantly,

Mississippi State baseball!

I hope you all had an equally fantastic weekend :)

03 May 2011

Disagreement with my Teacher

First, award time!  The fabulous Kate Larkindale gave me this award (Kate, I'd give it to you also, but I'm not sure if that's allowed).  Her blog is great; go check it out.

Aaand here are five of my favorite blogs I am passing it on to:
1. Sophia
2. Angela
3. Christie
4. Gabi
5. Deana

At some point in my elementary education I had the following conversation (probably more of an argument, or a Juliana-being-stubborn moment) with a teacher about a paper I had written:

Teacher: Juliana, this is very good, but I want us to look at one particular word you used to describe this man. (points to paper)

Me: (Silence)

Teacher: You use the word nice.  Are there any other words you can think of that would be more specific?

Me: ...he was nice...

Teacher: Yes, but nice is a very generic word.  Think hard, is there another word you could use?

Me: But he was nice.

Teacher: I am sure though, that there is a better way to describe him than just plain nice.

Me: (Silence )

I don't remember how the conversation ended, but I have the very vivid memory of standing beside my teacher, at her desk, arguing over the word nice.  I really did not understand why the word nice wasn't good enough.

I have that same conversation with myself many times while writing.

Inner me: Oh honestly, you know better than to use the word shrug.  And did I see you write NOD earlier?  She nodded??  How boring.

Me: But she did nod, how else am I supposed to write that?

Inner me: Oh, I don't know, how about her hair fell over her eyes as she tilted her head to the side, that is much more interesting.

Me: I suppose that's better...

Inner me: You know it is.  Plus, did she really nod?  Maybe she stared at him blankly or maybe she blinked once to indicate she had heard him.  Maybe she thinks he's an idiot and stuck her tongue out and blew a raspberry.

Me: I don't know.  You're confusing me.

Inner me:  I'm confusing you?! And how do you not know?  You're writing it!  She can do anything you want her to.

I have this discussion with myself at least fifty times while writing a WIP.  Ugh, it's terrible and oh so annoying.

Are there any words you insist on using even though you know they aren't good enough?