NaNoWriMo Project 2018: The Bird that Sings

Since the last time that I was on here, I have been busy working away on the planning phase for my project that I’m going to be working on during the course of NaNoWrimo. Granted, I mentioned my project in the latest update blog for Faerie Rose Press, which not may ready. That’s fine, I get it, who want’s to read or talk about updates when there is so much more to talk about in the world of writing. But I feel that I should give my new project a presence and a proper post of it’s own by its own right.


The project that I have declared formally to take on for NaNoWriMo this year, is called The Bird that Sings. The Bird that Sings, is set about fifty years in the future, after a great war and as a result of the war girls are now known as “Birds.” Some birds are more special than others and one of these special birds is a girl, Sarah. Sarah is being groomed to become the next high priestess. Being high priestess means that you are a powerful figure that you take on for as long as you life.

Sarah as she is being groomed to become high priestess, cannot talk or even be touched. Her skin is basically not allowed to be touched my anyone or anything. If someone touches her, then they are sentenced to death. A price that Sarah feels is unjust, and she wants to be touched and to touch. She wants to speak or sing what is not right about the world, and the only way that she can do that is to kill the current high priestess. But is she willing to take that chance to get what she wants?


That is what I have so far, granted there are other ideas that I’m currently working on for this project, and I can’t wait to get started. So far I have the premise, the characters, the scope of the word that Sarah lives in on page one and before page one. I have also in the course of planning this project I have designed a cover as well. Here is the cover for The Bird that Sings:

The Bird that Sings cover.docx-page-001

Granted, this is just a draft of the cover and it is one that I have also designed. It’s not as flashy as some of the over covers that I have designed, but for now it will do but as the project continues I may redo the cover or I may keep with this cover. We shall see.

I hope that when you declare your project for NaNoWriMo, that you take the time to drill out or think writing a synopsis and thinking about what a possible outcome for the story, and a possible cover. When you drill out some if not all of the information for your novel, then you have a greater chance of making what you want a reality.

Thank you for reading this post and I hope that it gives you some ideas of what you can put out when thinking about NaNoWriMo project for this year.

 

 

Latest Updates from Faerie Rose Press

Today I wanted to give an update on all things Faerie Rose Press, Elderwood Publications, and Moonspinner3 Books. It’s been a while since I have written up one of these type of posts and while I’m in the middle of getting things ready for NaNoWriMo 2018, I thought that I would give updates on what things have been going on for Faerie Rose Press.

Let’s start with I’ve updated the look and feel of the site. Let’s start off with the header. Yes, the header is one that I designed myself, which encompasses Faerie Rose Press and Elderwood Publications on the outside and Moonspinner3 Books (the parent company in the middle) and below that my photo. I designed this header in mind so that it shows the world that I have created from the very beginning and to include over the past year. I have put this same header on the Faerie Rose Press (@FaerieRPress) twitter page, and the Facebook pages for Faerie Rose Press and Moonspinner3 Books, as well as my author page (Tiffany M Dew).

Granted, I have not made a page for Elderwood Publications and the reason for that is that I have not gotten around to it and I’m still deciding on that, but for now all updates for the most part are being put on the Facebook pages for Faerie Rose Press, Moonspinner3 Books and my author page.

The second and most noticeable change to the website is the look and the color scheme. Yes, it has a black background, with a hint of green. This does not meant that I’m getting away from my purple headings on some of the posts, it was just that I wanted to change up the look of the website. The number one reason why I made the change was due to I wanted something that could show that each day that I take on this adventure, the site is maturing a bit while the content is still the unusual looks at some of the topics.

Now one last update on the site that I want to give is that I also updated the Welcome to Faerie Rose post. I thought that since the site has been up for over a year and while I was sprucing things up, I felt that I would update the Welcome address for this page also. This update is a reflection of where this page has been over the course of the year and where it is going into the future.

Granted, now that I’m done talking about the site and the changes, lets get on to the most exciting part, the writing.

First off let me start my saying that I’m ready to go into what I’m doing for NaNoWriMo this year. I have a title, a draft covered designed and ideas. Oh the ideas are just pouring over me like water in a shower. I’m so happy and excited to take on this new project and to share some of what is going into this project.

Although, the title might be considered a working title, so far the title is (drum roll if you please)….The Bird that Sings!!!

Yes, it is called The Bird that Sings, and here is the cover that I have designed:

The Bird that Sings cover.docx-page-001

What I have so far for The Bird that Sings, is that it is set in the future. There is a war that took place and like there are results in every war there are results of this war as well. One of the biggest results is that the females are now known as “birds.” The boys are really non-existent in this word. Any ways, certain birds are deemed far more worthy than others, and one such bird is Sarah.

Sarah before the war had originally been given the name, Heather, but she is forced to ignore this name and forced to answer to Sarah. Sarah is worthy in that she is chosen to become the next high priestess. The role of high priestess means you get to rule over everything and every body. Also it means that you can never touch anything or anybody for that matter as well. If someone touches Sarah’s skin, that person even if it’s her handmaiden will be sentenced to death. Also Sarah has taken a forever vow of silence, which can only be broken upon her becoming the next high priestess.

So far I have in my notes that Sarah knows what she will become and there is nothing stopping it or at least she thinks. But further Sarah wants to be touched, for she wants to have that connection with someone, even though it is forbidden.

This is what I have so far for The Bird that Sings, and I can’t wait to get started writing it. Please, let me know what you think about the cover or the idea that I have for the story. Granted, right now I’m writing down this continuous list of ideas that are coming to me for this story.

As for the other stories, yes, unfortunately they have been put on the shelf due to NaNoWriMo and will get done at some point. But I will try to finish one book at a time and hopefully with the energy that I have for The Bird that Sings, it will be finished. First draft and taken through the hole process.

I fully know that I have a writing ADHD problem and it needs to be dealt with. But in someways I know that I can’t help it for ideas just come to me, and when ideas come to me, I just want to grab on, but I don’t seem to get them past the first draft. So I need to get there and I’m really, really going to try that with this project.

This is something that I must grow upon and mature so that I can put out some books.

Now granted I wanted to give one more update and that is in the last couple of weeks, this site has more than 100 followers, and as I said thank you then, I’m going to say thank you again. I mean your support means the world to me and I could not continue on without your support. I thank you a million times over for you finding this site and finding something on here that you enjoy and that you are finding helpful on your writing journey.

hand-lettering-thank-you-vector

This thank you, goes out to anyone and everyone that continues to find this site and I hope that you keep coming back for more. I’m not done giving out advice, suggestions or helping others along their writing journey. Whatever your reason for coming, thank you and that means the world to me. Also don’t forget as a gift that I have posted on here is my Prepotober Work Book.

This workbook is coming quite handy for my own prepwork for The Bird that Sings. I hope that you are also finding it handy as well.

Well that is all for the updates, I hope that you all have a fantastic writing day!

Trying to Ignore Certain Drama

I recently talked about tips that I have for writing, let alone that I use for NaNoWriMo and any writing project that I have. While this is all good that I like to share some out of the box ideas, which are different from other writers in the community. If you look up any writer or author on YouTube, you will find that they pretty much share the same general information. Granted, they do diverse from time to time talking about their projects but when they give tips its the same for the most part.

In some ways I feel that when the events of the summer took place, ie #cockygate, I thought that these same authors would have gone over this topic or give their opinion. But they didn’t. I really want to say shame on them, but on the other hand I understand why the probably didn’t and it could have been because they didn’t want to deal with the drama.

Let’s face it, in the real world outside of our writing or story worlds, there is a lot of ugly, disgusting drama. This is mainly political but it’s also that time of year when we want to be over the drama. But let’s face it the drama llama is going to be around for a while and it doesn’t matter, who is charge of a certain house or the majority. This is going to be the world that we have to deal with for quite a while.

dramallama

Yes, I certainly pulled out the drama llama. 

But with all the drama going on, it is certainly one of the reasons why I’m so excited for NaNoWriMo to becoming, for it gives an escape from the drama and allow us to melt into our words so that we can further tell the stories that we want to tell.

I have mentioned on here before that it is not only our readers that need a chance to escape but we as writers need to escape as well. Granted we have multiple job responsibilities as writers, and one of those is to take of ourselves. This means body, soul, and mind.

It might sound cliche but as I said yesterday, if we don’t take care of ourselves as the writer then we cannot put our best words to the page. Also we don’t put words down one the page then we cannot entertain our audience past the first page. If we cannot carry the story past the first page then there is no use in writing fifty thousand words or more since we are not taking care of us.

So the question that I want to put out to you is give the drama llama the ugly boot and show them the door and to limit the drama that are outside forces that will keep you from writing what you want you want or have the will to write. If you need to print out the drama llama and post it somewhere so that it’s a reminder that you want to focus on the good stuff and not the bad stuff.

I hope that you have found this post helpful on this writing day!

Tips for Engaging to NaNoWriMo

Well, we are one week down on the prep work for NaNoWriMo and discuss some tips that have helped me in the past that you might find helpful as well. The first tip that I would like to share maybe simple and that is to take out a piece of paper and jot down any ideas that I have had for my novel ideas.

I have done this tip a lot, I have done this since I was about nine or ten and have continued to do to this today. The main reason why I do this is so that I can make a list of the ideas that have in mind. This way also I can go back to the list if I ever get stuck. Granted, for The Raven Prophecy, I have made like a hundred or so of these lists. The two times that I have strayed from making the list is with Ravages of Time and The Zodiac Tower.

I can tell you that when it came to Ravages of Time, I so had the story in mind, that I didn’t need to make the list, for I knew what I wanted in the story, who was in the story and where I was going with the story. As for The Zodiac Tower it was similar to Ravages of Time, but only I didn’t have a lot of time to write the story, for it was

written for a class. Now for The Zodiac Tower, I wish that I had more time so that I could make a list of ideas. Here is the beautiful thing with the re-write of The Zodiac Tower, I’m starting to make a list and I’m thinking of doing the same thing with Ravages of Time. The reason for this is since I have written the first drafts, and moving on the to the second drafts there are some things that I want to improve on so that I can make them stronger novels.

My second tip that I have is to get a folder and in that folder I put everything that is for that novel in that folder. The reason may simple but for me I find it helps keep it organized and it doesn’t get mixed up with another story that I might be working on. Also getting stories mixed up is not a good thing either. Now you can put them in one folder if that is what you want, just make sure that you label on the top of your pages which story that page belongs to.

My third tip is to find an image that will inspire you or keep you focused on the project. I find this very helpful when looking at where I want to go with the story that I’m currently working on. Just as an example, with Ravages of Time my focus point was a house. The reason for a house, was the story starts with the house and it ends with the house or more focused on the word home. If you can find a focus image that works for your project, stick with that image, even if the meaning of the image changes, for it will be a focus point.

My fourth tip, which has helped me in the past is to picture if your novel was to be published what would you want the cover to look like. Yes, just draft up a cover so that you have something to hold onto of what a possible goal might be for your novels. I have drafted several covers as you well know for The Raven Prophecy and Ravages of Time. I recently worked on the cover for The Zodiac Tower and my new project for NaNoWriMo, which I will discuss my project in another post.

Granted, I don’t have fancy software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, for what I do have is Microsoft Word, and I think that my covers are turning out quite well. Just as an example, here is the latest cover for The Zodiac Tower:

The Zodiac Tower- Front Cover Design 2-page-001

I love making covers, and each time that I make a cover, I learn something new about the process and what is even possible. But that is something that you can do to with just a little bit of time and patience you can craft covers just as easily.

My last tip for NaNoWriMo is don’t ignore yourself or what you need. If you ignore yourself during the NaNoWriMo then you can’t complete your best work. You can’t focus on the story that you want to write or tell. This is making sure that you are eating, drinking, talking walks, breathing and anything else that you need to make sure that you are being taken care of. Yes, we all know that as writers we tend to eat, drink, sleep, and think primarily on our stories. While that is all good, if we don’t take of us the creators then the story is not going to be written let alone told. So taking care of the creator is key.

These are five tips that have helped me with NaNoWriMo or any writing project that I happen to be working on at least for the first or second drafts.

I hope that you have found these tips to be helpful. I hope that you all of have a lovely writing day.

The Root of Your Tree

Yesterday, I wrote about backstory and how it can be used in story. I want to take it a step further by adding, that we need to find the root of our character’s tree. In part this goes back to the old adage about writing what you know. This includes what grounds our characters or where they come from.

But writing what you know, does not mean that you can’t write about what you don’t know. Think about it, as writers academic, nonfiction or fiction, part of our process no matter the genre we all have to do a good amount of research so that we can become experts and to write about what we know.

But going back to knowing the root of your tree, there is a reason why we as writers tell or write the stories that we want to tell. There is a drive that we have to tell particular stories. When we have that drive, we have the will to be strong and to be able to survive. This can also be put in the bucket of, ‘what kills us only makes us stronger.’

Just as we make our characters struggle when we break them down and traumatize them, we as writers also struggle and are traumatize. But knowing where the roots you can also give them a sense of where the solution for your character’s problems or the solution of the plot will be driven from. This is where choices are also made and come from.

All of this comes from the character’s backstory, which means full knowing what that backstory is so vital to the characters. It is also where writing what you know is also key. Let’s face it, if you don’t know your character’s backstory, how can you write it?

We also can make up our own clues on what roots our characters, through people that are or have been in their lives and the roles that those people have been to our characters. Think in terms of family, friends, acquaintances, politicians, famous, and none-famous. Whoever it is they had some influence on your character’s backstory, and that influence is also who makes your character’s personality on page one.

I hope that this piece of advice will help you with your writing session today! I also hope that you have a great writing day!

Who has a Backstory?

As we go through our prep work for NaNoWriMo, and take the time of creating our characters that will inhabit our story world, we need to make them not just two dimensional figures but also three dimensional. When I say three dimensional, I’m talking about their physical attributes as well as their identity attributes as well.

These attributes includes, their quirks, their relationships, what make them be them. Furthermore, what past event shaped to be who they are on page one. This is past event is part of their backstory. Now backstory is different from a flash back in that we should use backstory as a sprinkle to give clues as to who they are. If it is essential later on, to give a flash back scene then write it. But backstory should be used effectively to say this is who the character is on that first page of the novel.

Look at Harry Potter, for example, we know that within the first chapter of the story, Harry is an orphan due to his parents being killed. We know that due to this event, that he has to not only live with his aunt and uncle but that he at some point must face the evil villain that took his parent’s life. When we look at The Hunger Games, for example we know that Katniss has trust issues with the leaders of Panam and that her father was killed during a mining accident, and that for the most part she is the caretaker for her family.

However, the main character should not be the only one with a backstory that is reflected in the story, but setting as well. The setting that is on page one of the story, was also effected by a past event. Take Game of Thrones for example, we know that in the world of Westeros, we have had a long summer and now we are heading into a long winter, none that has ever been scene before. In The Hunger Games, we are aware that we are coming in on the day of the latest reaping and how that came about. We know in the world of Batman, that Gotham is an unsafe place due to jokers, and other villains being allowed to roam the streets free. Let’s face it in the world of Batman, there are too many villains and not enough police officers to put away the villains.

When you are writing or planning our your story, there are two essential elements that need to have a backstory, setting and character. If these two do not have the backstory, then the complexity that may be needed in the story is going to be missing. Remember, that today’s characters that are created and the worlds that we create need to be complex and allow for readers to get hooked on to them from the very first page.

When looking at the backstory that you are looking to create, look at the milestones that are part of the character or setting, such as the world was created or the character went to school. Then dive into further by asking, did anything particular take place when the world was created or at that first day of school? If you answer no, then you should brainstorm as to what could have been the worst possible outcome that came out of those two events.

By looking at the worst possible outcomes that could take place, you are bringing in trauma. Trauma is where growth begins to occur and you are damaging the psyche. This damage should not just be to the character. Keep in mind there will be outside influences that will play apart of the story but those influences, should also reflect in someway back to the character’s backstory.

The best advice that I can give on using backstory is to be hard on your character, for when you are harder on your character you will allow them to grow and to take shape. If you don’t allow them to grow, then the reader will not want to see what happens to them through out the book or how they overcome the ordeals that they have to deal with.

Furthermore, when coming up with backstory write it out during your planning phase, and when you use it in the story, just sprinkle it in for effect. Remember, we are not going for flashback, we want to give a hint of who they are on that first page. We only need to include info that the reader needs to know, if we give too much detail then we lose our edge and our secrets and our effectiveness to tell the story.

Backstory, can be challenging for some writers for they confuse it will flashbacks, but I suggest during this month to learn from masters that have used this convention effectively, the following examples, listed above should be looked at. But I will add another one, if you have never seen past episodes of NCIS: New Orleans, don’t. Watch the latest episode, and pay attention to the character of Dwayne Pride, for in that episode, they splash some backstory in there. Now my other suggestion, is don’t use Google to find out what has recently effected the character either, for that would be cheating.

If that is not your thing, then I would suggest watch an episode or movie with a really complex character and on a piece of paper, write down anything that hints to the character or setting backstory. Then re-watched that episode or movie and see if you catch anymore details that you might have missed. Don’t pay attention to clothing, colors, just what is shown clearly and dialog. If you catch on to those hints about backstory, then you have an example of how it is done.

I hope that you have found today’s topic helpful on backstory. I hope that you have a great planning or writing day!

Preptober Step Logging in to NaNoWriMo.org

Well, we are on day two of Preptober and if you haven’t you can declare you novel/ project on the official NaNoWriMo website. If you’ve been on there before you can use the same profile as you have in years past. But if you haven’t and this is first time on the site, creating a profile is quick and easy.

I have started working on the process of creating or rather declaring my project on the website. Also keep in mind when you’re declaring your project it is part of the planning or prep work that some may consider necessary to get ready for NaNoWriMo.

When declaring your project or novel on the site, I would suggest typing a title for the project, picking the genre and putting in a general synopsis. The synopsis will probably change as you get further in the planning or drafting of the project. Therefore, keep in mind that anything that you put out there in the planning phase is not necessarily forever in stone, but some of what is written should probably be so that you can keep focused on the project that you have in mind.

So as part of my prep work for today, I declared my project on the official NaNoWriMo website. Furthermore, yesterday, I published on this site a prep workbook on this website. If you are looking for help and guidance as you are working through your prep-work you can download it off the site.

 

Preptober WorkBook is Ready!!!

This year, for Preptober, I have created a workbook that you can all use. Granted, it is only 9 pages, and it is only my first year and first attempt at making a workbook like this one. I have made it also easy to where if you need to print out additional pages you are able to do so. I hope that you all enjoy.

preptoberworkbookcover

Prepotober Work Book

If you decided to use the workbook this year, and want to see any additions, please, let me know so that I can make the adjustments for next year!

Thank you and have a wonderful writing day!

 

 

Hello October or is it Preptober?

Hello and welcome to the month of October, or should I say Preptober. If you are asking yourself what is Preptober? I’m glad that you asked, for it is the start of getting ready for NaNoWriMo and planning on the project that you are going to focus on or work during NaNoWriMo.

However, before I get fully into Preptober and taking about all the things that should be thought of for that next writing project. I first want to talk about the Castle Rock Writer’s Conference. I learned a lot about writing during my time at the conference. The topics include voice, use of backstory, and how to write a great first page for your novel. So I thought I would start today’s writing tip with talking about voice.

When it comes to voice, we as writers should not only think about the voice of the character(s) but also the voice of the story. Voice is what hooks readers into the story and wanting to keep on reading. If the voice that use is not strong or starts to fall flat then you will lose the reader. Remember, we need to keep the reader engaged for the full length of the book. More so we should voice not only as a tool but as a writing convention that should be kept in mind and in check while we are writing. Furthermore, voice is defined as:

            Voice is the author’s style, the quality that makes his or her writing unique and which conveys the author’s attitude, personality, and character; or, voice is the characteristic speech and thought patterns of the narrator of a work of fiction.

or

It’s a little bit about what you say, but mostly it’s about how you say it.

When we use, voice we do need to go out on a limb and be a bit wild and crazy. Just not to crazy. Furthermore, when we are thinking about voice in terms of character, we need to think about the personality of the character and what sets them apart from everyone else in the book, such what is their special quirk that plays into their use of their voice.

Now granted, I will say when it comes to using voice, this more looked at when using first person pov, but you can almost do the same thing using third person pov, just don’t use that passive voice, and remember to be careful with the use of certain verbs.

Now as far as Preptober, today should be spent thinking about the genre that you want to write. Granted, most would not start with genre, for they would say that you should have a story idea before drilling down to genre. While, I could agree with them, I would say that genre is very essential to the story and if you have genre in mind when thinking about your story ideas, it will make it a lot easier. You don’t necessarily have to think about sub-genre unless you want to. But for the most part think about the genre that you want to write for your NaNoWriMo project. Right now, for the project that I have in mind I can drill it down as:

Fiction->Young Adult->Fantasy/Dystopian Fiction

So the way that I have drilled it down may different than the way that you might drill it down. But however you look the genre of your project, make sure that you can find other examples of it during your research phase. Remember that this month is also about research. Therefore, finding your genre is about research.

I hope that you all of a wonderful writing/planning day!

 

 

It’s Time for the Castle Rock Writer’s Conference…and other topics

Tonight is the official start of the Castle Rock Writer’s Conference for 2018. I’m so happy to say that at last and to say that I’m ready and glad to be attending the conference once again. This is my fourth time attending the conference and am so happy to be doing so. If you are in the Denver, CO area and want to attend there is still time to register. I have included the link to the conference information. http://castlerockwriters.com/conference-basics-2018/

I will be attending the conference event tonight and then the next day is the start of the actual conference. I know that I’ve mentioned this event on here a lot but it is really a great conference and you learn so much from local writers. If you have registered for the event I will see you there.


Now on to other topics…

This past week, the new television season has kicked off, and I’m so happy to see what stories the shows writers have in store for all of us. Granted, there is not so much fantasy in the lineup for it all realistic dramas. I can live for towards the end of the television cycle year, there should be Game of Thrones coming back (I hope).

In other gears for us writers, we are starting to get ready for NaNoWriMo, for most of us we use the month of October to plan and to get prepared for the 50 thousand word challenged for 30 days. While most of us tackle new projects, there are also a few of us that take on the working with a continuing project. This year, I’m taking one a new project. I know that I probably shouldn’t but I’m learning with each new project, I learn something new about what is possible about the writing process and what is possible with the usage of words.

Granted, as I was doing research for this post I’m finding that there is a lot of prep that writers are doing for this month to include making personal workbooks. While others put so much pressure onto themselves about trying to complete their NaNoWriMo projects, I feel that it should be taken just like any other writing project. That includes no stress and putting no pressure on oneself when they are working on their project.

Yes, we should take the time to plan and or if flying off the seat of your pants is more your thing, then due a little pit of planing and have it take off at the stroke of midnight on October 31, which falls on a Wednesday this year.

I can’t wait for the challenge once again, but my motto is not to stress about it. I mean just think about this for a minute, for when we stress we are putting out our best work. Granted, NaNoWriMo is about writing a first draft, but we should still put our best work and our best lines of writing.

Just also keep in mind, when working on NaNoWriMo, we have an election, veteran’s day, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday. There is one in there that is about taking time for family, food and be thankful for all the things that are in our lives. But before, that we have Halloween and must prework that is to be had. But please, take my word for it in that stress should not be part of the equation.

Breath, write and create. Keep that in mind as you are preworking and writing during the challenge. I hope that you have found this helpful when working on your writing on this day.