Sunday, May 15, 2011

ROW80 Sunday Check In #6

My progress for this week: 0 words

That is all.


Ok, so that's not all. What's wrong with me? Why can't I write?

I love my story, I love my characters and I get great support and advice from friends and family and from my wonderful crit partner, Michelle, who is awesome!

So why can't I actually sit down and work on my story? Does anyone have any advice or thoughts on this? Or any stories on what you did to motivate yourself to write?

I've also decided to change my ROW80 goals. My new goal is to write something, anything. Let's say 1000 words a week...that should be alright.

I hope everyone was more successful than I was this week.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Author Interview with Jennifer Armentrout

Please welcome the lovely Jennifer Armentrout, author of HALF-BLOOD, the first book in the Covenant series. DAIMON, the prequel to the series, comes out on the May 10 and Jennifer has been kind enough to join me for an interview today.

For those unfamiliar with your work, could you tell us a bit about HALF-BLOOD, the first book in the Covenant series?

Sure! Half-Blood takes the Greek demigod myth and changes it around. You're introduced to society that exists hidden within our own.
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure-bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals well, not so much. Half-bloods, like 17 year old Alexandria (Alex) only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. 
Alex is a bit... spunky. She'd rather risk her life fighting than waste it being what is basically an indentured servant to the Hematoi (pure-bloods). There are several rules that all half-bloods must follow, in their society and at the Covenant. The number #1: Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.

But Alex does have a problem following the rules, especially the big one. In Half-Blood, Alex has to face keeping her hormones in check (easier said then done when spending time with the pure-blooded Aiden St. Delphi) and face an obligation that horrific consequences. There's a lot of mystery, action, and ... oh yeah, romance in Half-Blood.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Most definitely. When I was wee little, I used to write poems on my bedroom walls in permanent marker. I wrote my first novel while I was a middle school. It was probably really bad. I also spent the bulk of algebra writing short stories to entertain friends. And that is why I suck at math. Writing has always been a passion of mine.

Do you have any routines or habits which help you get into the writing zone?
I pretty much make sure I write every day, even if it's only 500 words. I CANNOT write when I'm around people. Music is a great way to get into the writing mood for me. Other than that, I don't think I have any weird writing quirks. Well, I do tend to mouth what I'm writing sometimes and I'm sure that looks odd.

Your novella DAIMON is available as a free e-book download on May 10. What made you want to write a prequel to HALF-BLOOD?
I've always had this part in my head of how Alex got into the situation she's in at the beginning of Half-Blood, which helped me write how she behaves, her reactions and emotions that you see from her. One day I pitched the idea to the publisher about doing a short story and offering it a free e novella, and they loved the idea. I'm glad I got to do it, because I think as a reader you'd understand why Alex is the way she is when you see what she had to go through.

I read in your bio that you enjoy watching zombie movies. What are some of your favourites?
Haha! Man, I do love me some zombies. I really like the old school zombies, the ones that move really slow. You could totally outrun those kinds. You could even stand around and make fun of them before you run. The fast moving ones like from Resident Evil or 28 Days Later are super-scary. I also have a soft spot for the cheesy B movie zombies, too. And the funny ones like Shaun of the Dead. I mean, come on, how can you not love a zombie?

When you’re not busy writing are there any books that you enjoy reading?
I do read a lot of YA novels, but when I'm writing, I cannot read anything that is closely related to the genre that I'm writing. I also read Adult romance mixed with contemporary and paranormal/fantasy. I have an epic sized TBR pile at this moment that includes Meg Cabot, Charlaine Harris. Maggie Stiefvater, and then some. Right now I'm devouring Larissa Ione's adult paranormal romance series. The books are cracking me up.

Do you have any writing advice for aspiring writers?
Two things: Never give up and READ. I know aspiring writers hear that all the time, but that is the best advice anyone can give you.
Be sure to pick up DAIMON and find out more about Jennifer's adventures on her site.

ROW80 Sunday Check In #5 and a Shout Out!

This week my life got in the way again but I don't have a good ending to the story this time. I will admit, though, I did enjoy my week. I actually "relaxed" which is a first for me despite having family gatherings, birthdays, work and writing.

The point is I did write. I wrote 1500 words but that's not even close to my usual goals. So let's add 2700 to 7000 and that's 9700 words that I am behind on my overall ROW goals. But you know what? I don't feel too bad about it. I feel like I WILL catch up on those words. I don't know how, but I will!

Hope everyone did better with their goals!

Now, a shout out to my fiance who's celebrating his birthday today! Happy birthday!

And finally, check back for my interview with the awesome Jennifer Armentrout - you won't want to miss it!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Show, Not Tell

As a writer you need to ensure that you are "showing" your story and not simply "telling" it. I have always known this but recently I was quite concerned to discover that my WIP has a lot of telling and not enough showing.

For example:

Kat was angry. They couldn't do that to her. "I haven't done anything wrong!"

This is how I have corrected it:

Kat's hand began shaking uncontrollably and she had to ball them into fists to steady herself. The members of parliament studied her, some in pity and others in disgust, none of them aware that a raging heat was building up inside of her, wanting to lash out at them.

My second version seems to be a lot better than my first one and I think you really get a sense of what Kat is struggling with internally (at least that's what I'm hoping). When I make my changes, I will try and make sure that my characters are using their senses. I want to make sure you feel what they are feeling, whether it is sight, sound or emotion.

It takes some thought to make up original ways to describe what your characters are experiencing. There are certainly some cliches you can fall into like "sweating palms" and "racing heartbeat" to show anxiety or fear. You want your characters to be different but feel familiar to readers and it's definitely a tough job!

Question: Have you experienced any moments of "telling" instead of "showing" in your own work?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

ROW80 Sunday Check In #4

This week, I sabotaged myself.

My saboteur announced, “Two weeks of not writing has been a lot of fun so this week I am going to put my feet up and not write again.” So that’s what I did. I used any excuse I could find so that I wouldn't have to write. I surfed the net, I went out, I watched TV and, in a last ditch effort to waste more time, I even cleaned.

You know that saying: "You are your own worst enemy"? That’s what I had become. I was the only one stopping myself from writing because I didn’t want to focus. I didn’t want to sit down and “work”.

Then the weekend came around and something inside of me snapped. I felt like my Sunday check in for ROW80 was my deadline. I had 4200 words to achieve and, on top of that, I had 7100 words to catch up on. So I told my saboteur to get lost and began writing like there was no tomorrow.

And write I did. Guys, I wrote 4300 words this week! I surpassed my weekly goal by 100 words. Seriously, if I can do it I know all you awesome ROW80 participants can do it too. Never give up, guys!

Now, please bear with me as I go through some technicalities. My goals for the new week will be the same - 4200 words - and to catch up on the 7100 words that I am behind on. However, the number has slightly decreased to 7000 words now.

Good luck with your goals everyone!