31 Days: The Day I Reprioritize

field with book

I had lofty goals.  High ambition.  I really did want to make this work but life has a way of throwing curve balls and mine have added up so that this 31 Day challenge has to be reprioritized.

Curve ball one ~ Very little sleep for the past week and a half.  Not sure what the heck is going on but it’s been hard to get more than 4 or 5 hours before my body decides it’s done for the night.  That’s not enough.

Curve ball two ~ My son is sick.  It’s nothing super serious but it’s enough that he’s so miserable he keeps looking at me with those big eyes and asking me to cuddle.  Part of the reason I’m not sleeping.  Mommy duty is first priority.

I will still do posts on this topic when I can.  I love talking about writing!  It’s so much fun!

Now, if you’ve read this far down, here is curve ball three.  It’s a doozy and a great one!

Today, I start working on a synopsis of my book and a chapter-by-chapter synopsis with one of my favourite authors!   This amazing author contacted me and offered to help me out with this step of my journey.  There will be homework and focus that is required, and I don’t want to divide myself to thinly.

This was a tough decision to make because I really wanted to make this month long blog work.

Anyhow, I thank you for following me on this journey as long as it lasted.  I’d like to do it again next year except with a LOT more prep so that curve balls don’t impact it as much.  Lesson learnt.

I’ll leave you with one last clip of my story, and I may post more in the days to come.

Thanks everyone!

Her beautiful green eyes looked up at him, but they were glassy and unfocused.  One of her eyes barely opened it was so swollen.  He didn’t even try to count the cuts on her face.  Her hand was in his and he noticed blistering and burn marks on it.  Glancing down her body, he saw it.  The side of her cloak was dark with blood, so much blood.  Peeling it away he saw her shirt was soaked.

 “Chris.”  Her whisper was filled with agony.  He feared he was losing her.  She’d been bleeding so badly, yet she’d made it to him.  He leaned down and kissed her.  Softly, so he didn’t hurt her.

I hope that you’ll keep coming back because I will keep writing!  🙂

~Sarah

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31 Days: Day 13 ~ My Playlist

Good Morning!  Thanks for checking out my 31 Days posts!  If you haven’t checked out days 1-12, you can find them linked HERE!

From Pinterest

Today, I’d like to share a few of my favourite writing songs.  Some, I admit, I just put on repeat.  I currently have 45 songs on my list, so I will not be sharing them all.

The Piano Guys make many appearances on my playlist.  Here’s a few of my favourites to write to.

These were frequently was played when I was working on some of the harder moments for Kate and Chris.

This one is awesome for those fast paced fight scenes:

I used this one for quite a few scenes.  There’s a lot of drama.

This is one of few songs that are on my playlist with lyrics.  I use them often when the words are flowing and I wasn’t worried about the lyrics staunching the words.

This is still The Piano Guys but with features Spencer Schmidt.  This is a light, romantic song that often brightened the light moments with Kate and Chris.

I just love the sound of this one.  There’s a lot of joy in this song and a sense of relief which was key for Kate and Chris many times.

And the amazing Lindsey Stirling who I’ve also thought would play Kate fantastically!  See my post HERE on that.  🙂

There are many, many more on my playlist but I won’t make this a 3 hour post!  I hope that some of these songs inspire you!

From Pinterest

Let’s Talk:  If you’re a music person while you write, what’s on your playlist?

~Sarah

I'm doing 31 days

31 Days: Day 12 ~ The Sound of a Scene

music

Hey!  Welcome to day 12 on this 31 day journey.  If you’ve missed the days before this, you can find them all linked HERE!

I wanted to take today and tomorrow to talk about music.  I love music!  I kid you not when I say that I pretty much have music on from the time I wake until the time I go to bed.  It drives my husband crazy but I feel so inspired when I hear a good song.

The same goes for when I am writing.  I am able to write in silence but I am so much more inspired when I have music on.  Not only just on, but streaming through headphones right into my ears.  I am able to tune out all other sounds and distractions.  The scenes that are already alive in my head explode with detail, emotion and color!

Music talking

I’m always amazed at the difference that a song can make in how my scene plays out.  The descriptions are more thorough, the characters much more alive.  I get sucked into the world that I am writing.  I feel like I am walking alongside my characters as they face each trial.

I have a playlist on YouTube for each book.  Most of the songs that I listen to are wordless because I have enough words running through my head without adding lyrics to them.  The Piano Guys are some of my favourites, as well as Lindsey Sterling!  They have amazing songs and are SO talented!  There are songs by them for any, and all, scenes.

It’s easier to write the scenes with the proper emotional music flowing through my head.

Tomorrow I’ll share some of my favourite pieces of music with you.  Hopefully you’ll find a new favourite that you can write to!

Let’s talk:  How about you?  If you write, do you do it in silence or are you like me and love music in your ears? If you write to music, what is your favourite to write to?

~Sarah

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31 Days: Day 11~ What do you want to know

31 days button

Good morning everyone!  Thanks for coming back to check out day 11 on this 31 day journey.  If you’ve missed days 1-10, you can check them out HERE!

Today I’m going to post a bit more on my story.

Chris raised his face towards the sun and looked at the cloudy sky.  He was so glad to be alive.

He heard a footstep beside him half a heartbeat before a blade was at his neck.

“You really should pay more attention to your surroundings Chris.  Getting arrogant will get you killed.”

Chris anger ramped up.  He’d heard this voice before.

 “Where is she, Blaze?”  Chris asked as he heard more footsteps approaching.  His hand clenched on his sword in his sheath.

 “Let me tell you something Chris.”  Blaze’s whisper sounded pleased.  “She fought well.  She never even begged for her life as I dug a blade into her.  She whispered your name as I bound her and left her in a burning building.  She was quite the warrior and even got one good shot in on me.  You would have been proud.”  Blazes’ voice burned into his chest.  Fury ignited and the world went red around Chris, but he forced thought to remain.  Getting himself killed would help no one.

Honestly, I’m a bit concerned that I won’t have enough to talk about for 20 more days…  Thankfully today looks like it will be low key and so I’ll take some time to knock out some more topics for discussion.  I could just keep sharing my book, but I want there to be some mystery!

Tell me, is there anything you want to know?  I am FAR from a pro at writing.  I’m just feeling this all out myself.  If you have questions though, I’m willing to do my best to answer them!

first novel

~Sarah

31 Days: Day 10 ~ Write What You Love

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Welcome to day 10 on this 31 day journey into writing.  If you’ve missed days 1-9, you can find them HERE!

Do you love fantasy novels?

Are you a sci-fi fan?

Do you sigh over a good romance novel?

Then write it!

Chances are there is a genre that, though you may delve into others, you spend a lot of time reading in.  Once we find a favourite genre, we tend to seek out more of that kind.  You probably even chose movies or TV shows based on that preference.

It stands to reason that, unless you were inspired otherwise, you’ll probably write best in that genre.

Write

Many authors do a lot of research.  It’s not always manuals or on the internet.  You have probably spent many more hours on research than you even think.  Each and every book you’ve read has been research.  You’ve developed a taste for what intrigues you in a story and what doesn’t.

Right now, take a moment to think about a few things in each category.

What do you enjoy in a story?  What makes you stay up late in the night?  What features of a story drive you to devour a book like the most delicious dessert?  For me, a few key things pop into mind.  I like a heroine who is strong, but yet still feminine.  Someone who can kick butt and can also show emotion.  My heroes have to be strong and determined to do what’s right.  Give me a hero who is very masculine and yet has a soft spot for the girl.  I love, yep LOVE, romantic tension.  The fight against emotion that could lead to happiness or heartbreak.

Now, consider what, to you, makes a book unreadable.  What makes you want to  put a book down and never pick it up again?  What frustrates you?  There can be a huge list of things that you can think of, but what are some of the big ones?  Here’s my short-list.  First and foremost, a weak hero.  I can’t stand a hero who’s wishy-washy, someone who can’t make a decision without whining about it.  Someone who makes the wrong decision over and over.  Also, dry dialogue.  I know that dialogue is vital to a story, but pages and pages of background without any action makes me flip through.  I may miss something that I should know, but I want action interspersed with the dialogue.  Wait, am I supposed to say dialogue interspersed with action?  😉

Real writer

So, once you know your lists, you’re well on your way to knowing what kind of book you want to write.  Write what you want to read!  If you want to read it, there are probably others who feel the exact same way!

Let’s talk:  What genre do you love?  What do you love and hate in a book?

Write1~Sarah

31 Days: Day 9 ~ Miscellaneous Day

Show themWell, I made it a whole 9 days before my brain stopped coming up with ideas.  That’s something, I guess.  I got about 10 minutes sleep last night because I was up with a sick little one so I’m feeling a little worn.  It’s also my birthday so I’m giving myself a bit of slack.  If you’re just joining me today and would like to check out days 1-8, you can find them linked HERE!

Today I thought I would post a clip from my book, a few of my favourite writing quotes and then play a game with you.  🙂  Don’t freak out.  It’s not complicated!

People scattered before his horse; some crying out in alarm and several in anger.  Chris ignored them all and raced for the Council Hall.  Drawing up in front of the hall he leapt off Apollo and ran to the doors.  As he burst in, his father and the council looked up.  “Chris!”  Marcus exclaimed and moved towards him.

“They’re coming!”  Chris called.

 No one had to ask what he was talking about.  Everyone stood and moved towards the doors.

 “Don’t allow panic.  Make sure that the right people know and they will move how they should.  We can’t allow panic to make us disorganized.”  Mathias called.  Heads nodded as they moved out into the sun.

 Marcus walked over to Chris and set a hand on his shoulder.  “Did you get to her?”

 Agony afresh ripped through Chris and he felt his chest tighten.  They had always been close and Marcus’ hand tightened on his shoulder.

 “I couldn’t…”  Chris paused as his words caught in his throat.  He swallowed back the nausea.

 Marcus nodded.  “The trap may have just been for us Chris.”

 Chris was silent.  He knew deep down that Kate was in trouble.

I know, I know, I’m mean.  I shall leave you in suspense for a while longer.  Here’s a few quotes that I love.

doubt in writing scared to death Why I writeI really, really like the last one.  Though I’d need to kidnap only famous actors or it probably wouldn’t turn out exactly how I see it in my head.

So, here’s the game.  I told you it would be easy and it is.  Here are the rules.

1. Grab the closest novel to you.

2. Turn to page 52.

3. Find the fifth sentence and comment it here.

DON’T post the name of the book, or anything else about it, just the one sentence.  Also, please keep it G-rated.  If it isn’t G-rated, I give you permission to grab the nearest G-rated book.  I hope you’ll play!  Make it my birthday present!  🙂

Here’s mine:  “Chris stormed around the room, trying to shut out the anger and fear so that he could think rationally.”

~Sarah

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31 Days: Day 8 ~ The one on writers block

Writers block.  When I was writing my book, I was pretty sure that I was facing the worst case of writers block EVER.  I would write a sentence and then delete it.  As I mentioned in day 5, my characters were silent.  It wasn’t even like they just didn’t like the direction I was going, they were giving me the cold shoulder.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/drewcoffman/4815205740/

Welcome to day 8!  If you’re just joining me, please take a peek at days 1-7 HERE!  I’ve posted quite a few clips of my book as well as some other tips on writing.

Part way through my writing, the words vanished.  Like I was walking through a desert looking for words like one looks for water.  Several things were instrumental as I dealt with this desolate time.  

First of all, giving myself the permission to be frustrated and not feel like I just HAD to get something on paper on that story.  I found it extra frustrating to just write a scene in my book that I knew wasn’t good enough – wasn’t going to hack it.  Plus, my characters got grumpy when I did that.  The last thing I needed at this point was to irritate my characters.  Especially Blaze… he get’s vindictive.

So, if I needed to be creative but my characters weren’t cooperating, I would work on another story.  I always have a few in the works.  Mostly they will never see the light of day, but they give me somewhere to vent my words if I need to just write.

I was expressing my frustration to my writer aunt and she said something that helped profoundly (and so I made a photo with it).

Write or Edit

I realized that what she said was true.  I was trying to edit as I went.  I was confusing myself in my goal.  My goal, first of all, needed to be to get the story out.  Editing would come later.  I would second guess myself and staunch the flow of the words.  It was not helpful at all.

Kevin Kaiser wrote about writers block too and I still read it when I’m feeling stuck.

A lot of it is fear.  We fear that we will write the wrong thing, that the words won’t come out the way we want.  Write the words.  Write the scenes.  My friend Shan said that her favourite part about writing is the editing process.  (I think she may be crazy!)  She loves hacking at her stuff.  That’s the joy of editing.  Anything that you write can be changed, but for now… pure first draft.

Try it.  There’s something really freeing in pure first-drafting.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t flow as well as you want it to.  Don’t worry that the wording isn’t quite right.  Don’t worry about all the little, tiny details.  Just write what comes.  The machete can come out later and you can hack at the jungle of words then.

Above all, just don’t quit!  That story wants out and you want to write it.  Push through the tough times!  You can do it!

Have you ever faced ‘writers block’?  What did you find helpful?  Let’s help each other! 🙂

~Sarah

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