Trusting Our Craft

Hello! I hope that you are all safe and well during this time that we live in. I can say that My family, my boyfriend, and I are all safe, well and healthy. I now it’s been a while, since I have been on here but I’m currently adjusting to what is my new schedule for a while. Where I currently live, we are on ‘stay-at-home’ orders until May 8, which could change or who knows at this point. On that note, I want to get today’s topic.

Let me preface this conversation with this is not my first post that I have made today. My first attempt at a post today went totally into a rant session, which I do not want to do here right now. So I’m kindly switching gears to talk about trusting the craft.

Many of us see writing as a hobby, as a business, as an art form, as an escape from reality. Now matter how you see it, at the core of writing or even telling stories there is a craft. A craft that I will try to describe nicely in saying, that when it is done right, it’s like magic.

The reason why I turned to this topic for right now, is that I recently was watching Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. This series was both beautiful and for me worth the watch. Well, after I finished the last epsiode, I wanted the making of documentary, The Calling of the Crystal. Now normally, when you watch these specials they do not cover the writing process, for it’s usually over the casting, the special effects and other such elements that go into making a production like The Dark Crystal; however, with this special they did cover the subject of writing.

I’m going to say one big thing here and that as a writer I apprecaited it. You have no idea who much I apprecaited it.

Getting back to the subject, I loved a certain quote that came from special and that was from Simon Pegg, who is not only an actor but who is also a writer. He was a writer on one of the Star Trek films. He said that as writers we need to trust in the process. Granted, while he was speaking about film or television production.

This means that no matter how we tackle our writing, whether it is by means of plotting, or flying by the seat of our pants, traditionally publishing or self-publishing. No matter how we tackle our writing, we as a whole need to trust in our process. Once we trust in our processes, then we are able to focus on our writing.

The other key takeaway from what he said in the special is that, as writers we don’t need to think about designers, or builders, for you write as massive as you want. But in terms of writing books, this means not thinking about editors and book designers, all you have to think about is writing the story that you want to tell.

Focusing on that idea is one of the main reasons, why I love self-publishing. Sure I have an editor, and I have an idea of how I want the cover to look and feel but everything else relies on the craft of story telling. If it was not for that, then there wouldn’t be a book, which is the underlying goal at the end of the project.

Granted, every project in how it is handled is different. But the processes that we keep in mind at the end of the day is what makes us keep coming back to the table to tell/write the story that we want to write.

Now if you want someone to tell you and dictate what and how to write something, then by all means your writing process is controlled. Some like having it controlled while others don’t. I am one that feels that I should be able to tell the story the way that I have always done so. I have a process that works for me.

My process is different from others, and that’s fine. Not everyone has to have the same process when it comes to engaging their craft. It’s fine. But as long as you trust your craft, then your craft will see you through till the end of your project(s).

I hope that you have found this topic helpful. I hope that you stay safe and well! I hope that you have a great writing day!

 

Minecraft: Can it be used for writers?

Hello again. I want to go back to a subject that I addressed on here some time ago, and that is video games, or more in particularly a game that I’m sort of obsessed with, and that is Minecraft. Minecraft was first started back in 2009 and has most recently been making a comeback.

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Minecraft is a pixel came where you build things using squares and everything is squares in this game. There are three ways to play the game: survival, creative and adventure mode. My favorite of these three ways is creative mode, because you just get to create without having to forage for things and mining for dirt, minerals and such.

The reason, why I’m talking about this game is that as writers we enjoy the process of creating, and that is essentially what you can do in the game. While you can’t necessarily write as you play, but I have found that while creating my house, my farm, and such that my mind is being engaged in ways that never knew that a game could do.

If you haven’t had an interest in playing, I suggest before you knock it down, give it a try and see what things you feel inspired to create. If you need inspiration, try looking at all the different videos on YouTube that is on the subject.

So while Minecraft may not be for fully writing out stories, but in other ways it can help you create and may even help you achieve that look that you want for a building. But instead of looking up a picture and going off of that for inspiration, you built the inspiration yourself.

Minecraft is available on PC, XBOX, Playstation and the Nintendo Switch.

Minecraft nor any of its creators endorsed this post.

I hope that you have enjoyed finding a new tool that can help you with your writing today.

Thank you again and I hope that you have a happy writing day! Happy writing and happy creating.

 

Homeschooling and Writing for those Children

During this outbreak of COVID-19, also know as the Corona virus, for many that have children, they are not in school but they are home. While there are a lot of resources out there to keep children engaged to their studies. Let’s also bring up one study that can be incorporated into that school work, writing. But not just writing but creative writing.

This one of the greatest things, that I love about my platform is that I get to talk about this subject, for there are many out there going I want to share the gift of stories with my child or further how do you get them to embrace the art and craft that is writing?

While there are different ways that you can go about this, there are some pieces of advice that I will give and for the most part are some of the ways that I learned to write. The first piece of advice, is work on the vocabulary. Don’t over whelm them with big words but use words that are appropriate for their age group. You might remember that when you were in first or second grade and up until seventh grade that you were giving spelling lists that were themed. These themes ranged from Halloween to spring themed and the latter.

Now here are some suggestions that I’m going to barrow if you will from a former teacher of mine. She would have us write the words five times on a sheet of paper, depending on pen-men-ship you could get about 10 or twelve words on a sheet. The second step was that we had to find the definition of the word and write down the definition. Then she would have us draw a picture of the word being used, and for that part of the assignment you picked eight words, and you would fold the piece of paper into four squares so that you would have four pictures on both sides of the paper. Then lastly, we would have to use the words in a sentence or a more cleverly a story. Then next was the spelling test. Now granted, you can do this however you like. My favorite method that we do at my house was spelling baseball.

What is spelling baseball?

You don’t use a ball but you use the same positions that you do in baseball and have four areas so that you have a diamond. If you have more kids this is really fun. But each kid is given a word they spell the word and if they get right they get to take their base, if they get it wrong then they get a strike. You give them three chances to get the word right. Also you can have one kid that goes from being a player to being a score keeper. Everyone’s engaged and they are learning at the same time. You can also use this ticket for having your kids learn their multiplication tables too.

Another thing that you can do, during this time is read to your kids. Reading helps with them developing images in their mind of what is going on in the book. This is handy for when they go from picture books to chapter books. Make them imagine the characters and later on have them draw a picture of an image that they got from the time that you were reading to them. Now take this a step further, if there is a movie based on the book, show them the movie but only after the book is finished.

The other idea, that might help get kids to write is having them write fan-fiction. This method has been used countless times in the classroom, granted its usually done with fairy tales first, but since you are the teacher you can use anything that they like. This might include any movie that they enjoy. But the idea is to get them to write a short story, and depending on age if they are like first or second grade no more than a page or a even half-page. If the children are older than you can be the judge. I know that from middle school to high school the max that we could go was five pages.

So the key takeaways from this is: vocabulary, reading, writing and having fun.

If the child is not having fun writing they are not going to understand why many enjoy it. But not only should it be fun for them but it should be fun for them as well.

I hope that this gives you some ideas on how to engage your children during this time to not only being away from school but to keep their minds engaged.

Also, even though, this outside of the normal things that I talk about on this page, but also find a craft that you can do together with the kids. This idea was an inspiration from one of Facebook Friends, in that her girls have been working on school stuff they take an hour after school is done, to crotchet or knit together as away for distance themselves from the school work that is being done at home to the rest of the evening that is supposed to be their time.

Remember, that right now they are also going through an adjustment period, and that also means that the line between school and home is sort of getting blurred. But if you can find a way to show them that there is a line between the two while at home, you have got it made.

If you have tips of your own on getting children to engage to story and to writing and want to share them, comment down below.

Thank you and I hope that you have found this post helpful during this time. Happy writing and happy creating.

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Let’s switch things up…

Hello again and today I want to change topic from what I have been talking about through the past several posts, which is getting your writing space and the tools that you will probably use in order so that you can spend an hour if not hours on writing and working through your projects. However, today I want to focus on the bland answer of its all up to you.

That’s right, there are times when you will find that when you are asking for guidance on working on your writing career that you will find what works for one person may not work for you. This is where a bulk of the solitary writing life begins, because it all comes down to the style.

One example of this is the initial work, you know planning and outlining. While this may work for some it may not work for all. Case in point, I do not like outlining. Outlining is a pain for me. However, coming up with lists of ideas for what I think will be good ideas for a story, I’m there. This is what works best for me.

I can’t tell you how many times, when working on the initial ideas for The Raven Prophecy, I started with a list of ideas and then worked on that initial paragraph and then from there my work grew from there for then I created my character list.

Now before I get too far ahead of myself, this is not the way that I work through all of my projects. Sometimes, an Idea comes to me based on what information I have and I start writing away. It all depends on that initial spark that you get.

While this also works for some, it doesn’t work for all. It all depends on how you work. It’s also like some like to work straight away on the computer, while others tend to like the old fashion pen and paper. I can honestly say that I like working on the computer, putting my fingers to the keyboard and working that way. Granted, this has changed over time, for I use to be a pencil and paper type. But after looking at the side of my right hand all covered in lead from wiping and smoothing out the writing on the paper, I transitioned to the computer where I don’t have left over pencil on my hand.

But if that is how you prefer to work, then that’s how you work. In this business, every one has their own ideas of how to get organized and practicing their craft. Granted, let’s face it every writer no matter their style has some of the same tools in their arsenal. I can name a few, a good pen, a pencil or two, a journal/notebook, and highlighters and books. Yes, books!

Let’s face it without books, we would not want to be writers. I also can’t tell you how many times you are going to get the advice, if you don’t read then how are you going to learn the mechanics of writing. This is everything from structure, vocabulary to dialog, grammar and most importantly the way to tell a good story.

Sorry, because if you don’t know the mechanics of how to tell a good story you will lose your reader and the point of our job is to engage the reader and sometimes challenge what they know of the world. Granted, there is also entertaining them but a good story will not only entertain but will challenge them. Once you challenge that reader to get to the end of your story then you know that you have touched them and you have done your job.

I have talked about what our job is as a writer before, but mostly in that post I said that it all comes down to crafting our story worlds and working on our craft. However, over time my answer to the question has changed in two fold.

The first part is the job that we need to opt hold ourselves too, which is to practice and work on our craft. The second part is that we need to as I mentioned above is to engage our readers in ways of entertaining them, not only letting them escape from their every day lives but also challenge their thinking. Not only about the world that they know and live in but also the with the world that you created. But also comes back to us as writers, in that we need to also challenge ourselves. Granted, most of what can come up for challenges in some ways come with in the later drafts unless you are crafty enough to work it/ weave it through the first draft.

These are just things to mull over while you are dreaming or thinking about your writing dreams. While you are thinking over these items, keep in mind that things are not set in stone and you can always change your writing preferences all while working on your craft it’s all up to you. Think about it this way, this is were you get to be independent from all the others in the sea of writers.

I hope that you have found today’s post helpful. Until next time I hope that you all have a happy writing day!

How Dry Am I?

When it rains it pours at least that is how the saying goes. Pouring can mean many a good things or it can mean really bad tidings as well. Granted, for us writers when it rains we look at as a chance to stay inside and write. If you haven’t guessed, yes I really enjoy rainy days for it gives me a chance to stay inside and write to my hearts content, which as I mentioned in my last post, I have done much of that.

I guess the reason why you can sat that I haven’t written is due in part to being busy. Let me be frank, for a moment, the true reason is that I have hit what you might call a dry spell, well as a case of writer’s block. But in the latter of things, it really is a dry spell.

This is sometimes another matter that plagues us creative types. This is not to say that I have not had ideas for stories. Goodness knows that I have had plenty of ideas rolling around inside my head, but finding the right ways to get them jotted down is another thing entirely different.

This dry spell for me has been a pain in the butt for I have had many ideas that I have wanted to get jotted down. Some of it has been poetry, some of it has been short stories, and some of it has been thinking of a way to get back into working on my larger projects as well as some new ones as well. But when you get with a dry spell it can be hard to get that creative process to unleash itself and flow through onto the paper.

Granted, I’m still trying to find a way to get that creative flow to come back, for this has been driving me mad. This is not to say that I haven’t tried for I have many a times, but it has not allowed to fully be done. Being stuck in a rut can be a royal pain in the butt. Let me put this on the record, there is nothing more that I would rather do right now than find a quick solution to get me creative juices flowing so that I can get back to what I dearly love to do with my time and that is to write.

I have never thought of writing as a chore, but rather as a creative outlet to let out my stress. Just like there are times when we need to watch something depressing or some terrible business being leashed upon one of our favorite characters on a television show, it is sort of the same thing for us writers, such as let us see what terrible thing we can inflict upon our wonderful characters that we have created.

Yes, it is quite fun and the most appealing thing that we can do to spend our time and our hours. But the only thing that is getting in the way is my freaking dry spell. Just like with writer’s block when you write something you think that it is crap, it is the same when you try to write when you have a dry spell.

This feeling does not help with the confidence that we need as writers when we are telling stories. Yes, confidence is what we truly need as writers to feel that we are getting the job done and so far, my confidence as been down in some major way. This is not a helpful thing to find an outlet for my dry spell writing.

If you have any suggestions on how to fully deal with dry spells, please, let me know and put your suggestions in the comments.

I hope that you have a wonderful writing day! Hope that you are not plagued by either writer’s blocks or dry spells! Thank you, again as always and I hope to see you next time.

What to get Writer Friends this Holiday Season

Image result for Christmas FairyAs November draws to a close, and December opens its arms to the merriment of season greetings, the start of winter, Christmas, any other holiday that you might celebrate, it’s time to talk about what to get that writing friend that is on your list.

Yes, we writers like to have gifts that are essential to our writing goals or wishes. This is also how you prove that you are supporting their goals in life by giving something that will help them with their writing. So without further ado, here is this year’s Christmas list of what to get your writing friends. Let me also preface this as I did this same post last year, so if you need ideas you can also check out that post. Here is the link to last year: Need help shopping for the writer you know?

Let’s start with the kids that have an interest in writing. If the child that you know is interested in writing, give them a notebook or a journal along with a nice pen or pencils so that they can start using these tools to build their arsenal. Granted, this is the same suggestion as last year, but it’s always going to be a goto one at any rate. However, this year I’m also going to let you know who you can make it better. If there is a certain character that they like and they cannot find a notebook with that character plastered all over the front of the notebook, I would suggest check out Vista Print and make a personalized notebook with the said character on it. This way they have something unique that they will cherish and love. You can also do this same idea with Staples, or Office Max.

Now let’s talk teens and preteens that love the art of writing. Again I’m going to the notebook suggestion. You can never go wrong with a notebook or a set of really awesome pens or pencils. If they are into technology and already have a laptop, might I suggest that you purchase for them a licensed copy of Scrivener, or Microsoft Word that way they have a writing software at their lovely fingertips. The other gift that you can give them is a larger monitor with the capability to do HDMI, this way they can look at the bigger screen instead of depending on that tiny little screen. You are not only helping their writing but their eyes also. The other suggestion is a nice keyboard and mouse set so that way their fingers have more room to move than being confined to that keyboard.

Also on the licensing note, you can also give the gift of Adobe Photoshop. Yes, this gift can be helpful to the self-published author when it comes time to put together the book or if they are having someone else do it for them, then help with the deposit. But if they are like me and want to take full control of how that book looks and feels, Photoshop is not a bad investment for their writing career.

Now for the college-aged kids, same suggestions as above and you can never go wrong with Microsoft Word, for they are going to need it for writing those lovely papers. But let’s get into some other useful things that they can use. Planners are big. I mean really big, for there are whole sections now in craft stores just dedicated to the art of making a really awesome planner. If your college-age student is really into detail planning, you can not go wrong by giving them a planner and some of the different options for customizing that planner to suit their needs. Granted, the planner gift can also be a good one for those teens and preteens that are on your list.

Now let’s talk about writing guides as gifts. There are several that have come out this year and there a few that have been around that I have picked up this past year. However, I’m going to say one that every fiction writing is getting and it makes this year top ticket item for writers: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need, by Jessica Brody. Save the Cat! books were originally written for screenwriters and someone has taken the formula and made it accessible for fiction writers. Granted, Save the Cat! has always been a go-to guide for any writer, but now we have one for just as fiction writers. Let me tell you, this is going to make a great Christmas gift, for it will come in handy.

Let’s get into the adult writers in your life, this list can be quite endless for anything is possible, and I mean anything. Notebooks, journals, technology, writing guides, and planners are going to be on the list for any writer. However, on my own personal take, think outside of the box. Really outside of the box. If your writer friend is a coffee drinker, while they write get them either a really nice mug or get a personalized mug from Vista Print, that has a quote about writing on it. Granted, you cannot go wrong with a candle or incense, for most writers like to write with a candle melting in the background. I would also suggest music that will help them relax when the writing can be a little bit too much.

Another handy gift, to give this season to your writing friends is a cork board, this way your writer friends can tack on their writing notes just above their writing area so that they can look up and find notes if they need it. Trust me, some writers can never have too much cork boards even if they have one.

Granted, if you really want to go out on a limb, a nice Tarot deck can be a good tool that writers can have in their arsenal. A deck and show images that can help inspire writers to unleash that creativity that they have built inside and is just waiting to come out. Granted there are so many decks out there and my suggestion would be to pick one that you believe speaks to them and not to you. Unless you want a deck for yourself and that is never a bad idea either.

On that note, I hope that you have a Happy Holidays and have fun shopping for that writer friend that is on your list! From all of us at Moonspinner3 Books, Faerie Rose Press, and Elderwood Publications, Happy Holidays!

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Cutting the Ties that Binds us

Hello again! Yes, you might say that I took a little bit of a break from this page. But not from writing. The reason is simple for the break and that was life getting in the way. I know that it should not be an excuse, but when life comes with stress then its hard to work on anything let alone writing. But life is getting better and the stress is slowly leaving my life. Thank goodness and blessed it be!

Now on to other things…

We are finally in the month of September, which means fall will soon be approaching to us, like at the end of the week. Fall is a time of bright colors and but it also means that we as writers are starting to get ready for NaNoWriMo. But first, conference time. Yes, at the end of this month, if you are in the Denver or Castle Rock area, the Castle Rock Writers Conference will be occurring at the end of this month. If you want to attend there is still time to register. I hope to see you there.

Further more, before we get to NaNoWriMo and the Castle Rock Writers Conference, there is still much writing to be had. Hopefully, I plan to be doing some more of that in the mere future, such as today. I know that I have mentioned it on here before, but when life gets in the way and chaos ensues it’s ugly head, we as writers tend to ignore the fact that writing is to be our escape from the world, from which we know. I know that I tend to ignore it even though I preach about it a lot. But for once I’m taking my own advice and thinking that I have stories to write and I want to write them.

Maybe this feeling might have come that I just had a birthday, or it could be the fact that I’m once again feeling energized but whatever the reason I’m looking forward to getting back in that writer’s chair and to write away.

But while I took this little break, I realized a few things. Realizing things is not bad, unless you start to dwell on them to the point of obsession. First, I realized I have too many stories in the pot. This is a problem, for when this happens, it’s hard to work on one story at a time. Therefore, what I need to do is write down these ideas in a notebook and save them for later while I’m working on one project at time. This is where focus needs to come into play.

Second, I need the drama and the chaos of life to stop interfering in my creative space. This is also where cutting the clutter and getting of rid comes in handy as well. Third, I also need to realize that I can do anything when I fully put my mind and creative efforts in it. Finally, I need to also let somethings go but it does not do well for me or anyone else that I might care about, and this goes for my characters as well.

Therefore, I know that I have not been fair to you, my followers. I will try to make amends by getting back to posting about writing. But let’s face it as well, we in the writing community have dealing with a lot of drama this year. Granted, this is no fault of our own, but members of the community that have not been very good citizens, neighbors and the alike. Therefore, we all need to have a breather from it and for some the drama was too much and we lost members and others have stayed to continue on being members of the writing community. Each member has made the decision that was right for them.

That’s fine for all since we all have to make our own choices in life. I chose to stay for there is a lot that we can still get out of the community as a whole, but we don’t need the necessary drama that comes from others. When that happens its time to cut the ties that binds us and say, “Goodbye, Felicia. Who needs you?”

In recent years, I have been doing that a lot and for the simple reason that it’s not worth it. It’s not worth being stressed and worrying about every little thing. Granted, I worry a lot about things and it’s not healthy. I really know that now, and as I learn from it, I also know that I’m not done learning, talking about it, or growing from it. Either are others until it gets to be too much and that is when we as writers can write about it or to help others find a way to cope or to give them the escape.

Whatever the path that we chose to live by, there is a reason for it. Sometimes we may find the reason and other times we chose to ignore it or even to question it. I challenge all of you that are writers to ask why you chose to be a writer in the first and to write down their own story of being a writer and what it means to them.

I hope while you are thinking about this challenge, you have a happy writing day!

 

 

Girl Meets a World of Chaos

As writers, we tend to look at the bigger picture of things such as the world that we live in and where we have come from and where we want to go in life. Generally, speaking the phrase we must know where we have come from to know where we want to go comes to mind. But so does another phrase, such as we must know our history to know what we want of our future. Does that purely mean that we must give up our dreams or expectations if they do match with our past? The answer is now, it means that what we want and seek is greater than the past that we are learning from. But as the same time we must also keep in mind another phrase, if we don’t learn from our past then we are doom to repeat it.

When we look at us as people, we know what sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom is that we have the ability to tell stories. We are able to tell stories that come from the past, present, and the ideas that we have about the future. But we also have the ability to communicate our findings to one another as well. Seeing our selves as writers, we have the greatest way to pass on our findings and that is to write about them whether they are fiction or nonfiction. This is not take away from the painters or the other artists that can communicate how they see the world through art or music.

We all know at a certain age that we live in a world that is made up different people, different backgrounds, and different lifestyles. We also live in a world that is made up of those that want to do harm to others and do to good. Recently I’ve been revisiting a few episodes of Girl Meets World, the spin-off from Boy Meets World, and there are certain things that come to mind.

These things include, we live in a world where we are taught what is wrong and what is right. But we are also taught that there are many good people in the world that out weigh the bad. While this may be true, we have to uncover our own stories and take ownership of those stories that include our past, our present and what we want of our future.

The reason why this is all coming to find is look at the political landscape that we live in currently. In the United States, its all about the two party system and which is right for this country and which one needs to be diminished or squished currently in the eyes of many. While at the same time there are threats that in other parts of the world that we are currently told about such as in South Africa right now, the Constitution is changing to where white farmers can lose their land for no other reason than they are white. There is the fear of nuclear war that could from countries such as North Korea, Iran, and Russia to name a few. To say that the world is in chaos is understatement. But it is what we face on a daily basis from what we are told on the news, television broadcasts, radio and other sources that we get our information from.

The chaos is sometimes too much to take, and at times it can suck the life out of us for it can be too much to see or hear. But as writers and artists, we look for the escapism that is our art form to help us during these troubling if not difficult times that may lay ahead. We need to brace our art like an old friend and work to see the changes that we want in our futures. Granted, we can see that the chaos or the climate is not going to change anytime soon and that doesn’t matter if you are a conservative or a liberal. We all have to face the challenges that come toward us.

Further more, we may not get the answers right away that we may seek but we can try to find the puzzle pieces that we know and put them together so that we can get some clarity or answers that we might deem possible, for instance, I heard a couple of people talking about a case that has gone for over 20 years and since I overheard them I added some more pieces to their puzzle that they did not have. This is something else that we do as writers, readers, and observers we share what we know to help guide others on their quest for answers.

We all do it, for we have even done it in school, while helping another with their homework such as with math. Not every one understands math, while others do and when we help others it is us doing our part to spread good in the world. There is an ethical representation that we must take as writers and we agree to the basic law of ethics and that is that we will not lie to our readers. Granted, there are authors/writers in the world that have broken this ethical law, but they pay the price for lying and are never heard from again. But getting back to helping others, when we do so we are not lying to them, for we are guiding them down the line of truth so that we can protect them in a way from the lies that come from chaos.

Many of us have voices, but some voices are louder than others. However, in the end we live in a world of chaos, and right now we as writers need to help guide not only ourselves but readers into a world of escapism. This is what I can understand now is why there are so many souls that cannot stand to stay in this world, because it is harsh to them. Does this mean that they want it to end? Probably. Does this mean that we should end it for them? No, but it does mean that we should find away to help so that others can find a way to cope with the situations that are facing others in the world.

I have written on here before, what our job as writers should be. My answer was to create an escape for our readers. Now, I’m going to take it one step further and say create the escape that suites them, while not taking what we want to write for granted. We have a gift and we should share it and do good with it. I’m proud to say that I live in a world of chaos, but I also live in this world so that I can see change, and do create an escape for them when ever I finish my manuscript.

I hope that you have found this post to be helpful and to help navigate the world that you know. I hope that you also have a great writing day and that you take time to create something to help someone escape from the world for a few minutes, hours, days, or even a month.

Thoughts over a cup of Coffee…But is there is something new about the site?

dragon and coffee
Amy Brown

This morning, I woke up to take my nephew to his first day of school. That’s right, school is back in session and for many of us, we take that as the start of a new year. Granted, we are still in August and we have a few more months until the actual start of the new calendar year. But I thought, that I would spruce up the sight. There is a new header on the site, and a new template design that has been given to the site. But I can assure you that the content of the site is still the same.

From the beginning, I have always that stated that Faerie Rose Press, will changing as I learn and grown, and that has been what this site has been about. Growing, learning, evolving, and above all enhancing others when they look at writing. Yes, I have done things and have taken things off and on this site, but I’ve never lost the focus or that drive to help others with achieving their writing goals or go about writing a novel.

While others may see this as something that has been done before on numerous other platforms, but there are always different ways to look at the world or what can be done to solve a problem to gain a solution. That is essentially is writing. There is a phrase that I have heard before, and that is well some one has already written that story before. That may be true, but the other part of the phrase is, it may have been written before but not by you.

Granted, this is where you might have to think about what I have just said, but it’s true no one is going to tell the story the way that you want it to be told unless you write it yourself. Now does this mean, that you should rewrite a story that has already been written before, ie like Harry Potter? No, it means take a story idea and add your flare to it. Be original, and see what you can add to the story or create with that single spark.

Here is another secret that others might not have thought or they have but there is a reason early on when your starting to write, they teach you to write fan fiction. The reason is so that you can understand the concept of taking something and making it grow. I remember being in the fourth grade and we read a book called, “The Chocolate Touch.” If you haven’t figured it out yet this is like “Midas with the Golden Touch”, but instead of gold you’re using chocolate. Well after reading the book, we had to write our own “Chocolate Touch,” story and use most of the elements of the story such as the chocolate touch. That was the first version of fan fiction that I ever wrote. But it stuck with me for years. Granted, do I remember the story that I wrote? I’ll be honest and say no, but I do remember writing it and that I still have a copy of it.

Yes, some may put down fan fiction as copying but I more like to think about it as an exercise in the creative processes of writing. One of the many that we go through over time. But here is another part of fan fiction, it can be start as fan fiction and can grow into something else. Case and point, Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, Fifty Shades of Grey is fan fiction of nothing other than the Twilight Saga. While it may be considered simple fan fiction, it has transformed the genre of erotica romance into where it is a buy able product in your local super market. Before Fifty Shades of Grey, forget it for you would have to go to a Borders or a Barnes and Nobel to purchase such a book and even then it had a disclaimer on it. That’s been deleted from the genre and the answer is pretty simple, the book became very popular and the disclaimer is no longer needed on any erotica romances.

That’s what one sample of what fan fiction has done and it has grown from there for that one genre. Does this mean that every story or novel written has to be fan fiction. Heck no! Trust me when I say, if everything is based on fan fiction nothing original would ever be looked or even considered by publishers or readers. Remember, when we write we need to keep our readers in mind and that is that our readers, just like movie goers want original content. This does not mean that we have re-create the same wheel over and over again. If we are looking to do that, then we might as well talk about formula writing.

I’ll say that some formula writers do really well over time, but after a while the writer’s fan base has an expectation of what is going to be in the pages between the covers, and the writer is stuck writing the same thing over and over again, and cannot do anything new or original. Why? Simple: the readers will be turned off what his or her next book will be and it is not what they are used to reading from that writer. It’s a shame when you think about it, but in the end it’s based on the decision that the writer started with their writing career with and continued to do so. Romance writers sometimes have this difficulty along with mystery and thriller writers too.

But let me describe what I mean by formula writer, we know that there are certain expectations from genres of what needs to be in the story but with formula writers they go one more step above this. It goes like this, writer usually has a female character that has to a problem and is running away from said problem and meets the male character. They fall in love, they get to close, and the female character pushes said male character away and the male character figures out to help female character so that they can have a happily ever after, which may not be the case due to dare I say it a death of a character. One of the great writers, or at least to his fans, even if they do not realize it when they are reading one his novels or watching one of the film adaptation of his novels, is all based on a formula.

The author that I’m talking about is Nicholas Sparks. Yes, he is one of the great formula writers in our time and granted, he is doing it so well that he is make money and the reason is that romance sells. I found a blog post, Hello Giggles, that lists 7 Things that Happen in Every Nicholas Sparks Movie.  Even in another blog called, “Thoroughly Modern,” she even posts about the formula that has been used time and again by Nicholas Sparks. I’m not putting Nicholas under the bus, but I’m just saying that if he wanted to reach out and do something else away from his formula, he may be unable to do so due to the loyal readership of his fans.

While I would never try to persuade a writer not to write what he or she wants, there are just some careful considerations that need to be looked at besides how to publish, genre, and any other topic that goes under the generic umbrella that is about writing, but rather things that need to be thought about is formula, trends, and originality versus fan fiction. There is a reason why there is a category at the Academy Awards for “Best Original Screenplay” versus “Best Adaptive Screenplay.” This is just the many things that we as writers need to think about as we work on our works of fiction.

Well, I’m almost out of coffee and I hope that you have found this post to be an enjoyable read, and I’ve had fun writing it. I hope that you have a great writing day until next time!

 

 

Disconnecting the Network of Possibility

This morning, while I didn’t have any network and while most of us would have died at the thought. But instead, I took the time to create a powerpoint presentation. On that presentation, I really thought about what my vision, my mission, my goals for all things that are for my company. Granted, I was only thinking about my company and this dream that I have to help not only myself but other writers as well with their aspirations for their own works of writing.

My biggest takeaway from this exercise is that, while there were a couple, is that when we take away the connection that we have to the rest of world, we are able to do incredible things. We can use the tools that we have at our fingertips and we can use the tools that we were told that we have since we were children. Not to take things down the road that says we can do anything when we use our imagination. But it’s totally true.

Using your imagination can pave the way for great things to be created and for things to come. As writers, we are told that the biggest tool that can do so many incredible things is our imagination. It is with us for all of our lives. It’s awoken when we get inspired, and it keeps going and going like our heart and our brain. Now granted, there are those that say that there is a muse that feeds our imagination and that is how we know that he or she is there guiding us. I’m not going to say that there is no such thing as a muse, but we don’t find out about the muse until we are older.

If you think about it and concentrate on it, we are told about imagination, dreams, and heart. Then we are older that message continues and then the muse is added to the mix. But if we truly believe in the power of the muse, then wouldn’t it be added to the mix like saying that the muse gives live or feeds our imagination or our dreams and that is what gives both a heart and a soul to everything that we create or write.

While I was working on the powerpoint presentation of nine slides, the one thing that came to find is that I know what my message is and how I want to continue to spread it. The message is simple and it goes back to my logo for Moonspinner3 Books. I want to great magic, I want to use my imagination and I want to be creative. While doing all of this I can great, I can write, I can grow, and I can inspire.

So why don’t we all take a little bit of time to disconnect from the network and think about what we are able to do with one single spark of inspiration. I hope that this helps make you have a great writing day!