Thursday, February 21, 2013

Roadmapping Your Tales

So next week I am off to the Florida Christian Writers Conference to learn lots, see some old friends. and hopefully get an agent. *crosses fingers* So excited and a little nervous... 

First of all I finished that drawing of Lenerys that was requested some...months ago... I hope you like it, Curious. :)

For the last two months or so I've been reading tons of blog posts and going over old conference notes so I can absorb as much information as I can for prepping for the upcoming conference I'm attending.

My brain was in serious pain with information overload, but I did learn a lot. During massive writer intake, one thing that occurred to me is five questions to ask yourself at the beginning of your book and throughout writing it so you can keep track of your story without having to outline everything or just riding on the seat of your pants.

Don't get me wrong. I know both stated methods are successful, but I find outlining too restraining and pantsing too wild so I'm a planster (panster/plotter) which is a hybrid of the two. I wish I'd known about these kind of questions at the beginning of my writing journey. It would have saved me a lot of time and writer's block. So I hope you can use these questions as a road map for your fantastical tale in the making.

On to those questions... I call them the Four Ws and an H Questions. :)

1.) Who's going on this books journey? - Who are your characters? Who is the main character? Secondary characters? Your villain? How are they all important to the book? Sometimes it's hard to remember all of these so write them down. Make profiles for them. They're just like people just not real. ;)

2.) Where are they? - Are they on planet Niffnee? Earth? A fantastical world of swords and knights of your creation? Do they change location in the book?

3.) When are they doing this? - The future where hamsters have become the dominant race? Victorian Age England? (Heh heh there's my name) Modern day?

So those are the fun ones. You probably already know those and thought about them while doing chores or during walks. I know I do with mine. ;)

4.) What are their goals? - This one always tripped me up when I started out writing. I'd think of these crazy events and cool characters, but then they wouldn't have a goal to tie them together. The characters have to have something to drive them on.

Do the characters have to save the hamsters from making the humans run on hamster wheels to make power? Or does your female character just want be reunited with her true love? Lets go deeper... Do they have personal sub-goals? Do they want to better themselves? Do they want to get that job, but a bigger goal interrupts that?

5.) How are they going to reach their goal? - This is the tough part, but it also is the funnest and this question you'll probably ask yourself the most from chapter to chapter. How are they going to stop the hamsters? How is the female main character going to reunite with her true love? What events in your story are going to drive her/him towards that goal? And what events are going to stop them? You gotta make the road a little rocky. ;)

You may think these are duh questions, but when you get caught up in your story you forget them sometimes and end up deleting a bunch of characters and fluff chapters that slow down your story. An author once told me that "Everything in your story has to be important. Every chapter and every sentence." Make every sentence count in your book to make it an awesome journey not just for you or your characters, but for those eager readers. :)

Using these five questions can help you know where you're going in your story while still giving you the freedom to let the book grow on its own. Asking them to myself has been helping me. I hope they help you! Thanks for reading! :D

What tricks do you use for roadmap your tales? Do these help? Are you a plotter, panster, or a planster?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Liebster Award!

A big thank you to Sarah over at Inklined Writers for nominating me for the Liebster Award!  :) 

The Liebster award is a tag where bloggers nominate other bloggers they like with 200 followers or less. Any type of blog can be nominated. It's a way to get to know new bloggers and to network with them. Here's how it works:

1. List 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger who nominated you left.
3. Ask 11 new questions for those who you nominate.
4. Choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate.
5. Go to each blogger's page and let them know about the award.
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.  (I didn't realize this rule until after I wrote the above intro.)

My 11 facts:

1. I can do a pretty good Scottish accent. I British guy said it was, "Quite good." XD

2. I've been playing piano for twelve years.

3. I've been to Paris, France.

4. As a child, I liked my vegetables and didn't like candy.

5. I used to Fence... like with a sword.

6. I won first place for a Jack Sparrow scarecrow at a fair once.

7. I used to have goats and chickens before I moved.

8. I've been writing since I was 11.

9. I've met authors Bryan Davis, Jill Williamson, and Jerry B. Jenkins in person.

10. I used to live in Miami, Florida.

11. Once I drank tea tree oil... Never do it.

Sarah's 11 Questions:

1. If you could go to one concert for free, who would you see? Taylor Swift

2. If jelly stopped existing, how would you make a PB&J with something else as the J? I don't like PB&J. :P

3. If you could go any one place, where would you go? Narnia ^ ^'

4. What, if any, channels are you subscribed to on Youtube? A lot including the Piano Guys and Lindsey Stomp, and Mark Crilley :)

5. Chemistry or Physics? Chemistry.

6. Do you play in instrument? If so, what? Piano. :)

7. What's your favorite breakfast cereal? I don't like cereal, but I like Cinnamon Toast crunch without milk. XD

8. How do you like your eggs cooked?  (If you're a vegetarian, how do you like your tofu cooked?) Fried, but I don't like eggs much either lol.

9. Do you listen to music while you blog? Yep, I'm listening to "Dirty Paws" by Of Monsters and Men right now. :)

10. What was the title of your first blog post? Interview with Bryce

11. Why did you start blogging?  I started my blog to build a platform for myself to help my chances of getting accepted by an editor or agent, but I find it as a good accountability experience and the encouragement from my readers is great. :)

Alright now for my 11 questions:

1. What's your TV series?
2. Favorite superhero?
3. If you could have any pet whether it is mythical or real, what would it be?
4. If you could live in the world of a book or movie, which one? 
5. Favorite music artist?
6. What is your favorite scent?
7. Hunger Games or Twilight?
8. Motorcycle or car?
9. Favorite cookie?
10. What is a quirk about yourself?
11. Do you have a favorite blog?

I hereby nominate:

3. Leah K. Oxendine at Filmmakers of the Next Generation
4. Rosie at Writings of Rosie
5. Lily Jenness at Lily's Notes in the Margins
6. Giselle Abreu at Mesmerizing Writing
8. Jonathan Maiocco at Jon M. Music
9. S. Alex Martin at Get It Write Tonight
10. Anna Schaeffer at Anna Schaeffer For His Glory
11. Heather Manning at My Writing Desk.

Have you ever done the Liebster Award before? What are some interesting facts about you? Try answering some of these questions in the comments. ^ ^

If you liked this post, come back every Saturday for more writing advice, character interviews, book reviews and more! On Sundays I have Soundtrack Sundays where I post a new score piece, Tuesdays are Tea Tuesdays with tea reviews, Wednesdays I have Wonderful Word Wednesdays where I post a new vocabulary word, and Fridays are Fan Fridays where I post tags and other goodies. To help support my dream to be an author follow this blog, like me on Facebook, watch me on deviantART, and follow me on Pinterest and Twitter. If you want to know more about my books check out them out here. Thank you! :)