25 July 2011


Research by Lady Lyre
Research, a photo by Lady Lyre on Flickr.
I would much rather be writing than researching and trying to chart. What possible research could be doing to create family trees, do you ask?

Why, names. Common given names, common surnames. English names, Irish names, German names. Male names, female names. GAH. SO MANY NAMES. And I need a list of a bunch with which to populate my town and have a frame of reference for what some of the characters are talking about. I really wish this had occurred to me earlier. Of course, if my characters hadn't hijacked so much, I wouldn't have ended up here. Sigh. I hate research.

ROW80 Update

So, on one hand, I am progressing quite nicely in my writing efforts. I have new scenes marked to be written (to include necessary pieces from 3rd person perspective so that I can write other, later scenes) and have actually done some good writing in a current, albeit longer than expected scene.

On the other hand, I am in so much trouble. You know how when you're writing and just plugging along and you see a character in a certain way, because that's who the character is, and then you hit a point where, to maintain the truth of that character, you have to do more work?

Right. So, I now have to create geneologies for some of the characters (because it actually is important) so I can keep them straight, for 3 specific conversations that one character is going to have. I realized this while talking with my mom about a way that my grandmother talks about locals in her small town, an element that fits beautifully with a particular character. As my mom and I talked about how my grandma does this, we both realized that, in order for me to keep everyone straight, I'm going to need family trees. Well, hell. So, during tonight's overnight shift, I will not be so much 'writing' as I will be 'charting.' Family tree charting, that is. Doh.

24 July 2011

Book Review: Knightfall

Berinn Rae developed an interesting and fresh new paranormal world in Knightfall, from its varied mythological and supernatural creatures to a very clever nod to Arthurian legend. The pace was quick, but not dizzying, and the characters sharp and defined. Perhaps my only real frustration regarding the content of the novel was that it seemed almost too short, in the sense that I could have delved more into the characters (and not just the main two). I was sad when the book ended!  The interplay between Gareth and Kerra was interesting and very true to the core characteristics of who each of them is, which is always a pleasure to see. This world, the realm of the Hidden, is a fascinating one and I am very much looking forward to the next book to learn more about it and its characters.

However, I have serious complaints about the editor. There are a significant number of grammatical errors, missing words, and sentence structure issues that Rae's editor should have caught. It made reading the book a struggle at times, because you couldn't not notice the issues.  If you can get yourself to look past those problems, the content is well worth the read. Hopefully, Rae will have a new editor for the next book so we will not be distracted from the well-crafted content.

20 July 2011

ROW80 Update

Okay, so I definitely am only getting writing done 5 days a week. My 2 12.5 hour days are just not possible for writing. I am too tired when I get home and my brain does not want to do anything. Otherwise, things are going pretty well.

Except for the realization the other day that I'm going to have to shift from 1st person to 3rd person. CRAP. That's for the editing. Once I finish the scene I'm in, I'm going to have everything be in 3rd person and I can fix the stuff that's already been written when I get to the editing phase.

I would like to know, oh Muse, why did you not clue me into this earlier? Do you have any idea how much work this is going to cause me later on? Of course you do. You just don't care, do you? Damn.

On a positive note, I do have some really clever scenes coming up that I'm really looking forward to writing, so they should go relatively smoothly.

06 July 2011

A Round of Words in 80 Days

So, I have been called out by one of my sibs, Jen. And, if I'm being honest, rightfully so. I've only owed her and Sam the end of my 2009 NaNoWriMo for months now. And, as I mentioned a few posts ago, I had hit a wall and was struggling to get past it. I guess I'm going to have to figure out how to do that, because here I am starting a new goal and a new adventure with this A Round of Words in 80 days.

The idea is to set an achievable, workable goal to last 80 days. I'm a few days late starting this round (there are apparently 4 rounds in a year), as it started on 4 July. So, I have some catching up to do.

My goal is going to be to write 30 minutes every day. The two days that this will be hardest are Thursdays and Fridays because I work 12.5 hours those days, but I'm going to do my best to get that time in those two days. So, Jen, your challenge has been met!

Oh boy. This should be interesting.

04 July 2011

Responsibilites of an Author

So, I am currently reading The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide because I am a huge dork who loves these behind-the-scenes things and what better way to pass an overnight shift. I mean, I have a boxed set of Tolkien's The Lost Tales, which I absolutely love. I've watched all the special features in all of the LOTR Extended Edition Boxed Sets. All of them. Love them to pieces. Anyway, back to what triggered this blog.

In the beginning, there is an in-depth interview of Stephanie Meyer conducted by  her friend and fellow author, Shannon Hale. As they are discussing Meyer's process and influences for Eclipse, they move into morals and messages that can be construed while reading a piece of fiction. They discuss the potential for walking away with a positive message/moral/impression and the potential for walking way with a negative one. Hale raises the question, "I'm always trying to figure out where the line is with author responsibility. What we write and then send out there is going to affect people's lives. But I have absolutely no control about how people will interpret what I write. If readers need to find a moral, or a lesson, in it, they teach it to themselves. And I don't think I can control what it is that the readers teach themselves. Do you think that reading does more for you than just provide entertainment?"   And the beginning of Meyer's answer is, "It does a lot for me - but I don't hold the writer responsible for what I get out of it."

The idea of author responsibility struck me, as it is not something that I've given a great deal of thought, to be honest. As a writer, I craft a story or a poem. I suppose, as a writer, that my inherent responsibility is to make it as authentic as possible, develop easy-to-relate-to characters, and hone the content as good as I am able to do so. But beyond that, what is my responsibility as an author? Does a story need to have a message? Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes it is just a story that needs telling and any message or impression or moral can be ascribed by the reader.

What do you think the responsibility of an author is as they are relating a story? What expectations do you have for your favorite authors?