When Your Own Bad Writing Makes You Sick

Ever look back and read work you’ve done in the past to realize it sucks so bad you almost feel physically ill?

Yep, that happened to me in a big way Sunday. The previous week my son started school on Wednesday, so I started working on my new novel with gusto (I’d been waiting all summer to start!), but realized I had some background information and research that needed to be done first. Then I got the bright idea to read the half completed first draft of my second novel (Dark Territories) over the weekend. God, what a horrible, awful, terrible disappointment that turned out to be.

I couldn’t even get all the way through two chapters before I decided I’d had enough, because I was real close to vomiting. Yeah, it was that bad. And I can’t even pinpoint one specific thing that was terrible. There was a well balanced amount of terribleness from stiff and completely out of character dialogue to plot leaps that would make a mountain goat proud. There were tie-ins from one story arc to another that left me wondering exactly how much I had to drink that day. And please don’t even get me started on my long windedness. I could probably make a schooner set sail with all that blustering air moving about in each scene.

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Goals for 2015

As always I like to make a few goals for myself for the new year. I like to cement it here on my blog for accountability, but also I feel when I put something in writing I am more likely to get it done. I try not to go overboard and do unrealistic goals that I couldn’t get done in five years if I tried. In fact, this year I am keeping it simple with just a few things I want to try for, but they are significant to me.

Goal 1… And I know I’ve been saying this for the last two years, but for once I really do see this as a possibility… finish my novel Blood Feud. I’m at the halfway point in the fourth draft. All I have to do is finish the fourth draft and go through and do a quick polish draft and it will be DONE. I think it’s very reasonable to think I can get all that done in 2015.

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Reading Makes for Writing Better

“The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.” — J.K. Rowling

I have always had a deep love of reading. I believe it is what drove me to become a writer, because I realized after reading so many wonderful stories that I had a story to tell too. But unfortunately I have not always be an avid reader.

My story begins as a young girl barricading myself in my room and ignoring the rest of the world as I happily spent hours upon hours traversing the great worlds built by authors likes Lucy Maud Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and later authors like Kevin J. Anderson and Frank Herbert, which then morphed into the likes of Charlaine Harris and Jim Butcher (and yes, one of my favorite authors is J.K. Rowling).

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Fight Scenes Part 5: Psychological Warfare

Whew! We made it to number five! If you missed the other four parts of this fight scene series you can catch up Fight Scenes Part 1: An Introduction, Fight Scenes Part 2: Physical Differences, Fight Scenes Part 3: Hand to Hand Combat, and Fight Scenes Part 4: Weapons. Here is the last, but certainly not the least installment of the series. Check out how to get the upper hand with messing with people’s heads, or how a fight can mess with a your (main/other) characters head.

Something to remember... When you fail to do something in a fight, it can be a serious psychological blow.

The arrogance of power assumes they will always be successful and can’t be stopped. They also feel entitled to seize anything they can take.

Some psychological elements are…

  • Experience
  • Temperament
  • Desire/ intent
  • Mental state
  • Emotional state

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Fight Scenes Part 4: Weapons

Missed the fist three parts? Check out Fight Scenes Part 1: An Introduction, Fight Scenes Part 2: Physical Difference, and Fight Scenes Part 3: Hand to Hand Combat. Now let’s talk a little about weapons. These notes focus mostly on unconventional weapons or what Jonathan Maberry called natural weapons.

Weapons

The more a character knows how to use natural weapons the better he’ll be.

Types of Weapons…

  • Core Body Techniques
  • Surrogate Weapons
  • Actual Weapons

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Evoke Strong Emotions with Memories

What makes a great writer? Simple. The ability for a writer to evoke strong emotions in the reader. This is what the writer strives to do as he or she pours words onto a page. It is the second goal of a writer, to evoke a strong emotional response from the reader. The first goal of the writer is to write his or her heart’s desire (not to let others dictate what should be written). And in obtaining the first goal, the second goal can be realized. This happens because the writer truly feels the words and what’s being said, which is passed onto the reader. One of the best ways to write with emotional depth and with true desire is to tap into old memories, letting them loose onto the page.

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Setting Goals and Keeping Busy

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted that’s mostly due to the fact I have been spending all of my time on different writing projects these last few months. In fact, I’ve barely had a chance to catch my breath. This all has transpired, because I’m trying to set realistic goals for myself and reach them.

My goals for March were…

  • Start and finish 2 new short stories
  • Complete the 2nd draft for Part 1 of Blood Feud (prologue- chapter 12)

Which I managed to do. Yay! For me!


My goals for April

  • Start a new short story for June Anthology
  • Complete the 2nd draft for Part 2 of Blood Feud (chapters 13- 29)

So far it’s looking promising. First draft of short story (Ulave) is complete, and I’m currently on chapter 18 on my novel. The rest of the chapters should go much faster since I’ve already added all the new scenes.

My goals for May

  • Complete short story for June Anthology (Ulave)
  • Start and finish short story for a Creature Feature Anthology
  • Complete the 3rd draft of Part 3 of Blood Feud (chapters 30-48)

Tough but doable goals if I stick at it and write everyday. I really enjoy setting these goals and feel a great sense of accomplishment when I reach them, but if I don’t reach them I still feel fulfilled because I made the effort. So what are your goals for April and May?