Sunday, August 04, 2013

"I'm getting a sort of banging in my head." "Yeah, I think that's Hitler in the cupboard." "That's not helping."

 A lot of people are in denial, but summer is fast coming to an end. (I know, it technically doesn't end till the calender says so, but I always go by months. June, July, and August are summer, and once August has passed, it is fall as far as I'm concerned.) Actually, it has been raining here almost every afternoon, so it feels like fall already.

 I find it easier to write in the fall and winter. Without the sun out, the warmth, and the lure of green grass and rivers to pull me outside, it is easy to snuggle up under blankets with my space heater and Josh Groban's CDs and spend hours working on my books. The rainy weather has already got me itching for hot tea and fuzzy socks.
 BUT, I refuse to pull out my blankets and writing gloves until summer is officially over.

 I've set out a list of things I want to do during this final month, and I thought it might be fun to share with all of you, and all of you to share with me and each other what things you wish to do before summer says good bye. Then, we can compare notes and see if we've accomplished it all. (I know, this sounds like setting goals, but summer is for tossing goals in the lake. These are just fun things you'd all like to do.)

 For example, I've three books I'm in the middle of reading. I'm determined to finish all three, two will be very easy since I am half way through them at the moment, but one will take a little more time. I'm going to not start anymore until I have all three done.
 They are:
 Courage, Book Two in the Makilien series
 A Hero for WondLa, Book Two in the WondLa series. (YES!!! I own it!!! It is all MINE!!! {And if I've mentioned this before it deserves to be mentioned more than once.} I've waited months for this book and now I won my very own copy!!!!! MAWHAHAHAHAHAHA!)
 The Invaders, Book to in The Brotherband Chronicles. (I really like all the books I've read by this author, but they take me a long time to get through for some reason.)

 I also have some hiking trips planned with a friend of mine, and I'd like to go swimming at least once. It is shocking how little I've gone swimming this summer. I've also been hired to help John find his missing cookies. *Whistles innocently.*

 I'm also going to continue work on The Broken Blade, but will be starting in earnest the end of the month. I've run into a few troubles with it, actually, which I kind of hope to get worked out before I sit down to complete it.

 Book one has always lacked that one something to fill in the middle of the plot, and I've reached that place where I need that missing something. (The fourth or third book - depending on how the story goes - has the same problem.)

 I never really know what to do with these problems. With the Haphazardly Implausible series the biggest issue I had was having too much plot and not enough books. In fact, this is my biggest writing issue. I try and fit too much into too little of a book or series, and have to remove unneeded things or add more books. But how does one solve the opposite problem? How does one fill in the missing bits in the first book to get to the completed plots of the other books?

 I think the hardest part is that book one, at the beginning, doesn't have the bang of action I am so used to starting with. I believe it has enough mystery and interest to keep the reader from getting board and giving up, but there is no base being bombed, there is no prince needing saved, there is really nothing. And I don't know how to start a book without throwing everyone right into the middle of the action.

 I am kind of regretting starting it this way now. I wanted to do something along the lines of The Lord of the Rings. I wanted the reader to see the characters before the danger and battles, while they were still boys living their carefree lives. Unlike with Peter and the Loyalty characters, the reader would get the chance to see some of their day to day life actives.
 I came up with all kinds of things that I thought would be enough to keep the plot moving till I got to the action. School life, work, chores, pranks, I even created a bully. And yet, none of that filled in the missing thing. And this is what I am looking all over for.

 Actually, maybe some of you writers out there would have suggestions? Have you ever started a book out with a lead up to the action rather than right in the middle? What did you do to keep it interesting? Have you read books which don't start in the middle of things? What did you like or dislike about them?

 But enough of that for now. I've other news as well. I've added some more things to my site - including a list of recommended books. You can find the link on my side bar.
 Also, I now feel ready to help with editing, formatting, and other publishing dangers new authors are facing. You can find out more on the Services page which is on the top bar.

 I should end this now, it has got a bit long and I am hoping to get more read before I go to bed.

 I would love to hear about all of your last minute summer schemes! Do you hope to accomplish anything fun before fall appears and you must pull out your blankets and hot chocolate?

 (Also, for all your Whovains out there. What do you think of 12? Personally, I'm just so happy he's a he that I could hug him. I'm rather excited to see him with Clara, since he is older it looks like their relationship will continue more along the lines of father/ daughter which I think will be fun to see since they've done almost every other kind of relationship since the series reboot.)

 Now I am going for real.

 The quote, because we needed a Doctor Who quote after the announcement.




  1. Where I live, summer starts somewhere in April and doesn't leave until September is nearly over. (And sometimes it waits longer than that. Winter is much the same way, which means we get only a few weeks of spring and fall, which is annoying since I LIKE those two seasons.

    My last minute summer plans involve being a counselor at my Aunt's church's medieval-themed Vacation Bible School that starts tomorrow/today and finishing up the final details on the Ankulen. I finally have the cover behaving, now just to get the back to cooperate. I shall be endeavoring to get myself a new author photo sometime this week while I'm in costume. It will be lovely.

    Oh, and yes, you can enter the giveaway multiple times, and one out of three entries can be one of your own worlds. Just talk about the origin of the world, a brief overview of the geography and culture, and what you've learned from the world. It can be a Sci-Fi or distopian world if you like, just have fun!

    I didn't care much for Prince Caspian period, whether it's the original movie, the new movie, or even the book. Not that it's a bad book, it just isn't as amazing as all of the others. And I loved the Silver Chair too. In fact, the fan fiction that I've written is about Rilian and the sister of the Lady of the Green Kirtle. It was a lot of fun. Now I'm working on the sequel which takes place when King Lune was in his teens.

  2. There was quite a bit of rain where I live a couple of weeks ago, but that's pretty much a far-off memory at this stage. Now it's at the point where standing outside for a couple of minutes is enough to make me don a suit of sweat -- and I'm a guy that's not really affected by the heat. Then again, I AM wearing dark-colored pants right now...

    In terms of my writing goals? Besides figuring out how self-promotion works (i.e. actually trying it in earnest), I'm in the process of finishing up a big story arc. I got a little behind on it thanks to working on some other blog posts, but now that I'm back in the groove, I'm in no mood to stop. It certainly helps that I've got quite the soundtrack to help me. Bless you, Ace Attorney series.

    That said, it's my intent to create a slew of new art assets for my blog -- and the future endeavors that are sure to come. I think I've gotten the lion's share of the work done, so assuming the program I use works the way I want it to (and everything goes according to my designs), I'll have the materials ready for some easily-digested but highly-effective new content. Hopefully.

    But enough of that. I've actually run into the same problem as you in my own writing-adventures. In an earlier draft, the "action" didn't come until the late fifth or early sixth chapter. Obviously, that wouldn't fly with readers -- even if I put in a flash-forward at the start to the action coming up, I had to put in "spikes" to keep interest. So I did. So the start of the story has the big game-changing event, then the start of chapter one has a semi-related (and telling) action scene. The rest of the chapter has proper character introductions, and then the end of that chapter has an OMG WHAT THE POOP moment that'll (theoretically) keep the interest. The idea is to keep peppering the story with WHAT THE POOP moments -- short and long -- to keep things interesting even if the main event is a ways away. It's a chance for me to show that the world as the heroes know it is degenerating, and the hero to realize that things are slipping out of his control. Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom -- a mystery to solve, a character to develop, and stakes to emerge. All theoretical, of course, but still full of potential.

    So yeah, I guess that's how I handled it once upon a time. Not sure if that'll help you out, but I'm guessing you'll be able to pull something off soon. Just keep at it, I suppose. Good luck on your end. As for me, I think I need to change pants.

  3. I actually like all of the seasons, and each time one rolls around I think I like it the best. However, I might be just a little more partial to winter.

    In my recently completed first draft of Alicia, the action does not start until the story has been moving along for quite a while. I did not feel that the first part was extremely boring, though, because I was establishing the personalities of the main characters, as well as using a few smaller events to set up the plot. When the action started the story had already been running for a few chapters.

    Also, The Fey Castle is along the same lines. I have a lot of character development, mostly because I am moving my main character from a previous book to a new setting and I have to introduce a whole new set of characters. I like to establish back story, also. I know that we are supposed to slip the back story into the action like some parents sneak vegetables into desserts, but I prefer more straightforward methods. If you put in some very interesting back story, maybe even with a lot of action, that will keep the story moving along until you get to your main plot.

    Happy writing!

  4. Stuff I want to accomplish before September:
    -Finish Grayden's Tale rough draft
    -re-read Ender's Shadow (just finished Ender's Game and now need some time with Bean)
    -read one new book I've never read before (which means I also want to get to the library)
    -get the first 3 weeks of lesson plans done... as I will be starting my foray into Kindergarten homeschool this fall
    -get my house clean and ready to sell (not that we're selling... but I would like it to be clean/tidy enough that we COULD if we WANTED to)

    Advice on starting your book not in the middle of the action:
    Um... lots of books don't start in the middle of the action. I actually had this same problem with my work-in-progress... but ended up cheating and adding in a whole new set of scenes that revolved around a different set of characters and starting the book out with them instead of the characters who were technically supposed to be the "main" characters. But still, there isn't as much action at the front half of this book as in others. I sort of enjoy reading a book that leads up to the action... getting a feel for what the characters are like before they are called upon to be... whatever they are called upon to be in their story.

    Not sure if that helps. I guess my advice is simply that: Maybe there's a character that intersects your story later... and they have something going on (while the rest of your characters are simply living their lives) that you haven't written about yet, and could put them at the beginning to spice it up a bit/contrast with the other characters' more peaceful existence, if you're feeling like the beginning isn't action-y enough.

  5. P.S. Your list of recommended books is not working... :( sadness.

  6. Not sure I could give you a plan of action for establishing the characters. Except to use a slice of their normal life leading up to the first incident to drop hints of things to come.

  7. I'm sort of hanging onto Summer with every bit of my strength right now. :P The wind blows a cold, fall-like wind and I'm like, "No! I do not believe you, wind!" lol. But once September hits, I'll be able to pull myself into an autumn frame of mind.
    I definitely do more reading during the cold months. Summer has other things to steal my time. :D

    I am so excited about the new Doctor, actually! I think he's going to be brilliant. He looks like a Doctor. :D I am starting to get excited about Doctor Who again. I was in denial when Matt Smith said he was leaving and my Doctor Who enthusiasm turned off for a while. *Grin* But this new guys makes me happy.


  8. Oh gosh... I agree that it's so much easier to work in the fall and winter... I wonder why that is! There's more magic in the air or something. Loved this post. And character is my weakness that I'm still working on... phew... And I've never seen Dr. Who!

  9. I've had a list for the whole summer of stuff to do when I feel like doing stuff, as well as a pile of books to read (including yours!) and a handful of legitimate 'events' I have to attend as well. Summer is ending far too fast, if you ask me.
    I'm not so good with the whole lead-up style of beginning. I don't really care for them (most of the time) so I just don't write them, I guess. If you can figure out a good way to pull them off, I'd love to hear the advice you get/give!
    Also, I personally like the new choice for the Doctor, mostly because I think it'll be fun to see a different aspect of him.

  10. Hello!
    I'm new here :) my sister and I have a blog at

    The 12th doctor…. when I first saw who it was, I thought "Wow, he's kind of a big jump in age from Matt Smith" But I too am so glad that he is a he! Changing the Doctor into a women would have been so awkward and wrong, but with our messed up society today, it is something they could have done.
    I am really looking forward to the 50th special (because Ten is my favorite). It's so fun, because they haven't had the doctor meet himself since the old, classic episodes. And even though it's a paradox and all, it's fun to see!

    I like your blog!


Do you want to leave a comment? Come on, it will be fun. I want to get to know you and know why you stopped by my site. Don't worry if you don't know what to say, I will reply with something fun. Do you want to leave a comment? It doesn't have to be a long one.