Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My New WIP is Being Neglected

Hello, dear Blog Readers, I have been meaning to put together a post that talks about my current WIP. You know, so I have some place to refer all of my raving fans who ask about it (all the time!!) Or possible CPs. Or whoever.

However, I haven't made time to put together anything query-like this past week, so I'm afraid that will have to wait until next week (when I'm sure I'll have a whole new host of excuses for myself.)

However, dear Blog Reader, I didn't want you to think I'd forgotten about you. I've merely neglected you, not forgotten you in the least.

Until next week!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

TV Tropes - An Interesting Writing Tool

So I put together a ton of these photos months ago, and I no longer particularly like this one, but I feel some inexplicable obligation to use it. So here it is. (Perhaps this is like the part of editing where you're like, "Oh, but I had a reason to put that in there. You know, five drafts ago." And the editor is like, "Yeah. Makes absolutely no sense now." And you're like, "Uh. No. Really. It does." And then you eventually give in to reason and delete it. Except, since its just a dumb header pict of me, I didn't.)

The Basics

So I accidentally stumbled across this interesting wiki: It goes into odd and really entertaining detail on a million different TV Tropes, many of which I've never heard of but, when described, sound eerily familiar.

The Scrappy & Permutations

I was introduced to this site via a comment about Scrappy Doo, the much hated, super obnoxious Scooby Doo character. According to this wiki, he's pretty much the archetypal hated character (he was linked to from a Reddit article about JarJar Binks, to give you some more context here).

But what I found absolutely fascinating was that from the Scrappy article, there was a link to (among other odd archetypes) a Replacement Scrappy article. This is an article about a character that is absolutely hated, not because of who or what he/she is but because he/she replaced a well-loved character. THEN they have examples (which I absolutely loved reading through). One of the more recent examples they gave was when Captain Gates replaced Captain Roy Montomergy on the TV show Castle.

And this was just for Scrappy archetypes. They list so many more. Just for example: The Princess Tropes (with examples like The Spoiled Brat and The Tomboy Princess) and then there's Most Writers Are Male (that's probably a bit more TV specific but still has some writing applications) and  Girls Need Role Models. There are some hilarious (and helpful!) insights here.

Some of these character types would actually be really interesting to play with as a writer. And, you know, sometimes it is actually fun to throw in a semi-stereotypical character. Say, an Arch Villain (didn't look it up, but I guarantee it's there) and then look at some awesome examples of the Arch Villain.

Actual Writing Terms

THEN there are actually writing definitions (so I guess this is actually a bit more than Tropes, despite the website name. Actually, I'm pretty sure some of the examples I gave above go beyond tropes too.)

One good one I read was Character Development which had a nice little note about the fact that you should really try to avoid Character Derailment and then gave some great examples of character derailments.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Few Pictures.

A Hairstyle and a Meal From the Backyard

So last week was busy with The Voice competition. This week I decided to take the lazy approach to blogging and use pictures.

For fun, I did my hair up in two Heidi-style braids pinned up and over my head. This is actually how one of my characters from Trapped In Birch Stew does her hair. She's a winged warrior, and it allows her to keep her long hair and yet keep it out of her way when she wants to go on the attack!

She's not particularly nice to my main character (Eric), but I like to think that she'll learn to like him in time.

Here is a picture of my hair all up kinda funky-like:

And, in other non-writing but kind of interesting news: we ran out of vegetables yesterday. (I promise, I'm going somewhere with this). Neither my husband nor I wanted to run to the grocery store. (Yup. We're lazy.) But I really wanted to eat something healthy.

That's when I realized that we have some edible stuff in our yard. My husband fried up some dandelion greens, and I made a violet green and violet flower salad. I also picked some of those wild onions/garlicy grass and tossed some into my couscous. AND I found half a pack of corn in the freezer. It was a scavenger hunt sort of meal, which is why I am so very proud that it turned out like this:
We had some salmon in the freezer too. Pretty, isn't it?

If you happen to grow nasturtiums, their leaves are delicious. They have a hint of horseradish (or something spicy anyway). We did not have any nasturtiums, and I was a little sad about that.

NOTE: Not all flowers are edible. Some are poisonous. There are some great books about this sort of thing.

And because I said this would be a picture-filled post, this is a nasturtium:
(Photo credit to geekybodhi.)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Writer's Voice Contest Entry

Hello, Everyone!

I have entered the Writer’s Voice Contest, put together by these lovely ladies: Cupid, Brenda Drake, Monica B.W., Krista Van Dozler, and Kimberly Chase. (They all have wonderful writing blogs, so check them out!)

This is my query and first 250 words for Trapped In Birch Stew, my upper MG fantasy. 

Main character, Eric Ortega.
(Photo credit to Moodboardphotography)
Eric Ortega was rescued by the people of Birch Stew. At least that’s what he was told.

Eric doesn’t remember anything about being possessed by a demon, but, then again, there’s a lot Eric doesn’t remember. Like anything about his mother. Now he’s stuck in a town full of unfriendly immortals while desperately trying to regain his memories. All he gets for his efforts is this itchy feeling in the back of his brain that his mom needs him.

He’s told that he’s trapped in Birch Stew “for his own good,” but thirteen-year-olds don’t take kindly to that sort of reasoning. Eric sets out to recapture his missing memories and find his mother. He befriends a winged teenager and convinces her to help him escape. The thing is, Eric’s rescuers should have mentioned the one important reason for him to stay in Birch Stew. The demon is still alive and well. And it wants Eric back.

Complete at 62,000 words, TRAPPED IN BIRCH STEW is an upper middle grade fantasy with series potential. Thank you for your time and consideration.

250 Word Excerpt:
Eric tried not to watch the things Thanos did. Staying sane was hard enough as it was.
            “Don’t bother,” Thanos said through Eric’s mouth.
But when Thanos spoke to his mom or sister, Eric watched every second, cringing at every word that gave Thanos away. Eric tensed behind the mental walls holding him in, ready to do anything he could, even though he couldn’t do anything at all.
 “Are you sure you don’t need help studying for your test?” Alyssa asked. And of course she couldn’t keep the concern out of her eyes.
“Please. Just let it go,” Eric begged even though his sister couldn’t hear him.
Thank God his mom was working her usual double shifts. Eric hadn’t seen her in days. But Alyssa was starting to get suspicious. The only thing that had saved his sister so far was her new boyfriend. She spent so much time with Gareth, and she was so freaking happy that she barely noticed anything around her. Eric just hoped it would last until he could figure out some way to keep her safe.
            “I thought you were worried about this one,” Alyssa said.
            “Certainly not,” said Thanos in that old fashioned way of his.
Of course Alyssa was getting suspicious. This thing that had a hold of his body and his mind couldn’t talk like a normal person. Imprisoned inside a tiny piece of his own brain, Eric shuddered. Thanos wasn’t anything like a normal person, no matter what he used to be.

This is a sketch I'd done of Salme (Eric's winged friend) and Eric a while ago.
The sketch has been living on my fridge.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Writing Update of Sorts

I look so very pensive. I'm sure I'm thinking terribly great thoughts here. Wonder what they were.

Hello, Internet World.

And how are you?

Oh, really? Me too.

Oh, okay. No, not really.


And there we have it, folks. She's cracked. Gone round the bend. Gone a bit loony. And all sorts of other phrases.

You know it's bad when you're:
A) Talking to imaginary people (although perhaps it isn't so much that the internet people are imaginary as it is that they're not exactly responding to my conversational gambit above).
B) Talking about yourself in the third person. Always a bad sign.

I'm not sure whether I don't have that much to say or am just in a weird mood. I don't have anything terribly good to report, that's for sure.

I put out six queries recently, and have thus far received two rejections. I'm gonna go ahead and assume that my story line simply didn't grab those agents (that's a much more pleasant alternative than believing the thing you've poured blood sweat and tears into sucks). But, on the plus side, revisions are done and I've re-entered the Wonderful World of Queries.

So, wish me well, Internet World!