Living in a Dream

Sometimes I just think too much

The New Approach

Dreams are fickle things. As are resolutions, elections, vacations, and everyday lives.

I am not even going to mention trying to editย a novel. Right now that just isn’t going to happen. Why? Because apparently I am terrible at editing. I would much rather write another story that might actually come together without major rewrites. And given my history of ‘pantsing’ these stories I thought I would try to do something a little different this time.

I am actually taking notes on the chapters I want to write. The notes consist of who, what, where, and bread crumbs on the tone of the chapter.

For example:

George goes to the movies with Eric and Sandra. They are going to see an action film that is supposed to be a little scary but not too much because Eric screams like a girl. Lucas is trailing behind keeping a close eye on Sandra. He has been watching over her since she was a baby and knows that she can often find trouble where there is none.ย 

As the movie plays George gets up to go get popcorn and something to drink. When he gets back he gives the drink to Sandra, who after drinking it passes out. George and Eric take her outside.

Okay that’s a really short version of what my notes look like, but you get the idea. The main point of these notes is to give me a guide that will point out the pitfalls and introduce people as I need them without getting wrapped up in their backstories.

Though I will admit that some of that sneaks in. When it happens I simply cut that bit out and move it over to the bio page for that person. ๐Ÿ˜€

The secondary point of these notes is to allow me to rearrange the chapters without having the actual chapters getting in the way. Since I’m doing this before I start writing I’m less likely to put something in that won’t work if the chapter gets moved.

Let’s hear it for organized chaos.

And if you don’t think it’s chaos, just wait till I print these pages out! It’ll be arts and crafts week at summer camp. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rewriting the bible

In this case I’m talking about the bible I use when I’m writing my novel. I got the idea/suggestion from another blog or article I read a while back. Shamefully I didn’t bookmark it so I have no idea where it is or who said it.

I’m sure the idea of having a notebook filled with character information, locations, and other important facts for a book is not uncommon. I’ve done versions of it on 3×5 note cards in the past and it turned out disastrous.

For example: I would come up with a character that I thought was wonderful. Absolutely perfect for the story I wanted to tell. Then as I began actually writing I’d find out that this person was as one dimensional as you could get. There was not person in the character I had created.

So I would throw the note card away.

I would rewrite the character completely and start over trying to fit this new character into the old character’s spot. Trouble was that most of the time the situations that came about after the setup were because of how the original character acted.

And of course by this time the trash had been taken to the dump along with the character I had fallen in love with in the beginning.

So the notecard idea wasn’t going to work for me.

My next attempt was putting those notes into a notebook. That worked out well. Until I had to add more characters and locations. Or a new interesting fact came up. Or I would get distracted by a back story and have a whole notebook filled with events that had happened so long ago that no one in the current book gave a damn about them.

And then of course there was the constantly changing face of my characters.

Between Models.com and taaz.comย I have literally thousands and millions of faces to inspire a character.ย I’d find one and the next thing you know I have found an even better one.

So what’s a writer to do?

Get a blank 9×11 sketchbook (hardbound with an elastic closure)
Get a pair of scissors
Get tape
Get a stapler
Get a yellow pad of paper (or notebook)

And rewrite the bible to your hearts content.

Your characters are going to evolve from your concept into people with their own voice and opinions about who their are. It’s nice to document the journey all the while staying true to the Idea you had in the beginning . ๐Ÿ™‚

For the love of….

How do you know you’re going to do something, until you do it?

J. D. Salinger

Feel free to input what ever you’d like at the end of the title. Mine ranged from “driver’s ed” to “flying pink pokadots” while I was driving back to work yesterday.

And yes, for those of you keeping track of my life- yesterday was my day off. But when your boss screams ‘help, I don’t know what’s going on’ days off are like smoke. In this case there was nothing I could have done because of one little detail JJ forgot to mention. The entire county was cut off from the internet.

Just a small detail.

And of course along with that their phones were out too. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

But that wasn’t what had me thinking up new and strange ending for the phrase “for the love of….”

No, that award goes to the 3 vehicles who insisted that every curve was going to run them into a brick wall or make them drive right off a cliff.

You think I’m joking?

You know that gentle curve that you can see both ends of as you approach? Maybe a 2 degree bend in the road?

These people were slowing down to 15 mph to go around it.

This would have been just an exercise of patience if not for the fact that I just had an hour of practice not 20 minutes before. So what is a poor frustrated girl to do?

I can’t pass (curves of doom and all).

I can’t honk my horn because the guy in front won’t hear it (4th car in line and all).

And did I mention I wasn’t driving my car? I was in my husbands and my phone isn’t hooked up to his system. So no music either.

I play the word game. Come up with the most ridiculous ending of a phrase that I can possibly think of and use it as a catchphrase for one of my characters. ๐Ÿ˜›

See, even without working at the keyboard I’m still working. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Give it a try

Yes, I know I should be working. And in this case I actually am. Well, notย right now, but I spent most of the morning working on Characters and a little on the world building. And I’ll be working on them again this afternoon.

I am currently using a couple of questionnaires to help with my building projects. Both are fairly in depth and can be found online. The Character Sheet can be found here and the World Building Questionnaire is here. And while I thought I had a pretty good grasp of how things worked in my world and who my characters are, I have to tell you I really really didn’t. ๐Ÿ™‚

It has taken me a few weeks just to get as far as I have, which isn’t far at all. But in my defense I have had to work and of course there is the Stanley Cup series going on. ๐Ÿ˜›

And life returns

Yes, I know. It has been months and months since I’ve updated here. To be fair I have had a busy winter and an even busier spring.

Not that I have a lot to show for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I had planned on getting a manuscript together for some beta readers later this year, but discovered that I need to do quite a bit of work on it before that can happen. And naturally the small issues rapidly evolved into major issues. Issues like- one event taking place earlier in the story changes how some of the characters interact with each other later on in the story.

Another issue was that some of the characters were becoming too polarized when they were meant to be like everyday normal people who are neither one way nor the other.

Grrr.

So for the past 3 months I have been trying to get the back story fleshed out as well as some world building done.

You would think that I would have done this prior to all my work in November and December. And I really should have, but… you knew that was coming right? …I just don’t work that way.

And then my day job got hectic. My dentist is planning a trip to Disneyland on the profits from my visits. And of course there is the daily life I have at home. I will do it because I want to and that is all that really matters. ๐Ÿ˜€

Brief Step Back Into The Spotlight

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Wow…okay so I’m really doing badly on the whole write at least once a week deal I made with myself this year. In fact I think it is pretty safe to say that I completely failed at it. But to be fair I did have a few things occupying my time this year aside from my day job. One of which was kind of depressing in the ‘I don’t want to talk about it too much or I’ll end up in ball on the floor’ type of way. There was also a few health scares one of them my own. And let me tell you there is nothing as frustrating as not getting the attention you deserve and then the hospital staff trying to blame you for their mistakes.

But all in all I survived so no foul called.

The winter season promises to be storm filled this year which will be awesome! But I don’t think the new puppy will be thrilled with it, even if I am (there will be some awesome light shows this year I can feel it!). Yes, Lyo & I got a dog from the local shelter this year (after years and years debating between cat and dog). A sweet little guy Murphy, 1/2 Chihuahua and 1/2 Min Pin, or if you really want to make the boy feel proud call him a MinChi (pardon me while I let the fur settle for a bit after that comment).

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Oh and if anyone ever tells you that dogs continue to ‘grow up’ past the age of 6 months…I bet they haven’t lived with one!

In other news for winter I will be doing NaNoWriMo again this year. I skipped last year because of hunting trips and basically too lazy to do it, but this year….this year I think I may actually have a shot. If you’re in the competition this year too be sure to say ‘Hi’. (Angel S.)

Adventures to plan

georgeeliot119576

I have fallen out of practice again. Not just in writing, but in my spiritual life as well. And the longer I wait the harder it is going to be to get back into it.

So I need a challenge. An adventure that will scare the hell out of me. ~grins~ Why scare and not thrill? Because I want my adventure to end up with me being stronger and pushing forward. For me thrills just mean that I enjoyed myself and that I probably won’t do it again. Odd but true. I’m not a thrill seeker by any stretch of the imagination so that just leaves giving myself a challenging adventure.

But what adventure? That is the crossroads I’m standing in the middle of.

Should the adventure be someplace I go? Something I do? Should it be internal adventure (trust me going through my head/heart could be one)?

Maybe figure out something that does all 3?

I go wandering

What do you do when you are looking to learn something new, but you’re not sure what that something is?

For me…I go looking at a few websites to see if there is anything that sparks my interest. ~grins~ I’ll even go and join some groups to see if there is anything worth my time. Usually though I end up giving more advice rather than taking it. ~wry grin~ But that is part of the learning process for me, the interaction between people helps clarify what I’m trying to understand myself.

It is a nice side effect. ~chuckles~

But these days there aren’t many places to go for learning and interaction that I have confidence in. Quite a few of them seem to be geared toward one section or another of what I would like to learn about, and they don’t seem as friendly as they could be either. And to make matters more depressing the sites I used to frequent are long gone. ~sighs~

So the hunt continues for something…I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually. ~smiles~

Set Backs are a bitch

You are remembered for the rules you break.Douglas MacArthur

Set backs are frustrating. Not so much because they make me work around a problem or through it, but because I’m an impatient person. Very impatient. ๐Ÿ™‚

I want things to work out quickly with a fast solution that I can see coming. When I watch a movie I will usually record it just so that I can flip through channels while waiting for the ending of said movie. Or I will fast forward through bits and pieces of the movie so that I can get to the end. And yesI will read the ending of a story just so I know what happens. Then maybe go back and read the actual book.

Unfortunately life doesn’t allow for such short cuts.

Well, I guess it isn’t unfortunate because I’m not sure I’m ready to find out how I die. ๐Ÿ˜› But I wouldn’t mind knowing what the otherside is like before I get there. Maybe I won’t have such a bitch of a time with first impressions then.

But right now the only set back I’m annoyed with is that my IBS is trying to flair up. Well, maybe trying is the wrong word. It has flared back up. So I’m back to popping a ย mineral supplement that seems to help. But here’s the fun part.

I used to be really good at swallowing pills…food I didn’t like…and now I can’t seem to get these stupid pills down without gagging on them. ~sighs~ And they taste terrible. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I guess it is what it is. But it is still a set back to my health. One of the few things that can get me to act rather than just bitch about it. If I don’t improve by next month I guess I’ll be off to see a professional. >_< Not a good start to getting out of debt.

This is what happens with too much time to kill

Language is the source of misunderstandings. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

All has been quiet on the home and work front for the past week. Which leads me to wonder what’s coming down the pipeline.ย This isn’t good because right now one of the avenues that something could go wrong is Lyo’s health getting worse.

Actually I’ve been think alot about what would happen to me if Lyo wasn’t here. Would I keep the house? Would I be able to keep my shit together long enough to make it through to the other side of grief?ย 

The scary answer is No.

Maybe that is why I can feel myself sort of shutting down parts of how I feel. I didn’t know I could do that. Nor do I know how long I’ve been doing this. It is kind of odd not to feel upset/pissed off/afraid of what will happen if we don’t get this figured out.

I’m not sure if this just my ignoring how I’m feeling or if I just haven’t figured out what I’m feeling. ~shrugs~ย 

Or if this is me after a couple of drinks. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

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