Friday, September 17, 2010

The EIGHTH level of Hell has been found, and is being explored!

Yes, yes you read that right! That's what I said! The EIGHTH level! What's that? You thought there were only seven? Well, Let me tell you you were WRONG! *sigh* What is it you ask? Well it is a special level that was made with authors in mind! The Syn of hell! Yep, Synopsis Hell.

One would think that writing and editing would be difficult, right? Well it does have it's up and downs, that I will admit. But it is a breeze, a piece of cake, a walk in the moonlight compared to having to do a Syn!

For non authors, you think all we do is write? Nope, that isn't all there is to it. You think authors have it easy? LOL! Ok well let me give you a run down! Here is the way things go:

1. Think about what all the voices in our head are saying. ~ Yes, I think a lot of authors have to be crazy to write. How else do you explain us talking to the voices in our head? How do we get away with it and not thrown in the loony bin? We give them names and say they are the characters in our books!

2. Write down our ideas, or the ideas of those voices that just won't shut up until we do! ~ Yeah, yeah, I hear you snickering out there! Cyberspace is filled with the echoes of it! If you see someone talking to themselves remember don't just assume they are crazy. Ask them what they are writing!

3. Fill out character backgrounds. ~ Yes, that's right. Even if we,the authors, don't give you the full details they are written down, floating around, somewhere. Getting to know your characters isn't much different than getting to know someone on the streets... except that they aren't real, only in the authors heads, and no one else can hear them which can be a good thing... digging myself further into the "crazy" pit huh?

4. Research, research, research. What's that? You didn't say anything? Ugh, damn characters strike again! ;) Seriously though, yes we research. Do you want a paranormal book where vampires sparkle steam-punk book that doesn't use steam engines of any kind military book where the handguns use small "cannon balls" a well written book that you can lose yourself in or a book that is so utterly ridiculous that you end up yelling at, and throwing it across the room? No I didn't think so! That would be book abuse!

5. Then it is time to start writing the actual book. Yeah, we hadn't started writing yet. That's right I said it, this was ALL before actually starting on the story! And you thought it was just us sitting at a desk, going hmmm, and writing? Pffffft! No that is not it by a LONG shot! And no, we are not done yet! Because while we are writing the little voices get louder, more insistent, and demanding. You think it's easy to write and hear "HEY! THAT's not what I would say!" or "Hmmmph I would NEVAH do that! DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!" or even the snark of "Hmmmph and you call yourself a writer? I could do better in diapers!" *sigh* yeah sometimes our voices characters can get a bit mean. Feel sorry for us yet?

5.A. Making of Mock-up cover, playlist, pics as inspiration. Yes, 5.A. Authors like actors use props to help us. Whether to help us through writers block, spark the imagination, or to help us have a goal to reach. I know you are thinking "SHIT SHEESH" by now, I did tell you it was more than just sitting down and writing remember!

6. Self editing What? You didn't think we cranked out what you buy the first time around did you? HELL no! We agonize, debate, mutter(once again but no other voices this time, just our own), gripe, cuss, and sometimes rewrite the whole thing~ Or so it seems. This is where we deal with our WIP (Work in Progress) like it's an unruly child until we get it just right!

7. Have a Beta Reading Group read and critique the story. What is a Beta Reading Group? That is a group of people some friends, some other authors, some editor, and sometimes just strangers but NEVER only friends, who take your tale and read it. They then give you their thoughts and suggestions, which we (the authors) look over, critique ourselves, and go back through the editing process. *sigh*

8. Now comes the hard part Blurb/Query letter. Yeah more writing, but this time it is to interest a publisher/agent into the "thing" (as we are probably calling it by this point). The blurb we write separately, similar to what you read on the back of the book. We then add this to a letter to said publisher/agent begging asking them to read what we have spent so much time grueling over in hopes that they will like it and offer us a contract!

9. And now we come to the evil Synopsis Now since I have begun my descent into this black pit I have heard of many ways to do it, and many agree on making an outline and fleshing it out as you write (And they tell me this NOW! AFTER I wrote it!) And there are many ways to do it! :( *sigh* So wondering exactly what a Syn is? It is a 2-5 page summary of the characters and actions of the book. Yep. You would think that would be easy right? WRONG! *SIGH* Two to five pages of each plot twist, character, and subplot from beginning to end. Cut down into those few pages... in the PRESENT tense... And people wonder how we authors become so twisted. They wonder why we seem insane and our hair (what we have of it) is gray and standing straight up. Yeah think of Albert Einstein! He has NOTHING on an author on a bad day!

So next time you think of giving that wild eyed, crazy haired, forgetful person who is talking to themselves in mismatched clothes a wide berth and a quick pass to the loony bin remember this. Because who knows, they may be the next Great American Novelist!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Holiday Hoopla!

Wow, the holidays are coming up fast! Soon it will be time for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. A time for parents to rush to and fro, trying to appease their children and their inner child. A time of "boo!" "trick or treat" "man I'm stuffed more than that turkey was!" "merry Christmas" and "ohhhh, ahhhhh"'s over haunted houses and Christmas lights.

It is also a time for packed stores, fighting over costumes and presents, internally cursing the person in front of you at check out because they got a bigger turkey/ham than you could find (which means they got there before you, darn them!), rushing home to try to start cooking the day before so that you (hopefully) get to visit with your guests or family, and late nights of wrapping gifts or opening bags of candy.

And amongst all of the hoopla, turmoil, and stress we find ourselves smiling happily. Why is that? Maybe because what brings others joy is what makes us happy? Maybe because we enjoy the outcome of all of that whirly-gig motion? Or maybe because we are weirdly demented and actually enjoy the stress? LOL! Whatever it is, it is what makes the holidays very memorable indeed!

I have to say out of all of the holidays in they year my favorite two are coming up; Halloween and Christmas. Halloween because, well let's face it, even us adults get to act like kids and dress up~ have fun for a night, go to haunted houses, eat candy, have a reason to stay up late, get a sugar rush (for those still lucky enough to get them!), and smile and laugh. We get to act out as much as the kids!

Christmas, well because it is Christmas. It is a time of setting aside your differences and to make others happy. To see children's eyes light up when they notice the cookies and milk are gone that they left out for Santa. To know that you got that perfect gift for someone that they were too scared to ask for. And to hold your friends and family close! It is, to me, the ultimate day to show everyone you love how much you love them, and not by spending a ton of money on them but by showing them how well you know them with a small gift and a smile.

So, what are your favorite holidays, and why? Care to share any favorite memories? Or recipes?

Monday, September 13, 2010

The playlist is up on iTunes!

Do you use...

Many writers use different things to help them get through the writing process and beyond. For example, some are visual aide types. Those that use backgrounds, mock covers, print out pictures, ect.

Some are musically inclined, and want to set the mood. They will assign or make playlists to help them get through the process.

Some are inclined to use both~ I am one of those. I want visuals and the music, to help lose myself in the world of my imaginings.

And then after we finally get that manuscript done, we have all the rounds of edits, self doubt, ect that our friends and family help us get through.

So here is a question for you... What do you use to help you stay in that world that tries to burst from your mind? And do you let people read as you write, wait until you are done with the rough draft, or go through countless rounds of edits first?