Embark on the Adventure that is Writing

Every day as we sit at our writing desks, we should accept that we are going on an adventure. We should do accept the adventure whether we are writing fantasy or some other genre of fiction. Going on the adventure ensures that we are learning about the fantasy world that we are creating. Going on the adventure means that we are being shown things by the characters that we have taken the time to create. We should greet these characters like old friends.

When we work on character sketches of these characters, we should have some sort of conversation with them, after all, we are playing God with their lives, whether they know it or not. Them not knowing what we are doing to them or how we met is sort of the fun part of going on the adventure.

When we go on the adventure with our writing, we should accept that the world that we created is not all good and not all bad, but in part, we should learn about the fate that we have put our characters into. Granted, the last part that we want to experience on this adventure is losing our head. Now that would be terribly dreadful for how would we finish the story if we lose our heads.

Embarking on the adventure allows for us to see the escapism that we are working on to create for our readers. For we can easily escape into our fantasy worlds our readers should be able to do the same thing. Granted, embarking on the adventure also allows us to know things that we may or may not include in our manuscripts. Furthermore, it gives us the freedom to enter the castles of our world, the churches, houses, and other such places. Granted, we will get caught up when you are come up some sort of excuse like I smelled you making a pie. Something to where they feel comfortable with you being in their home. This also allows you to add things that they might be missing, like a clock or a nice fireplace. These things could have been missing. But think about what is important about these things to the story. Such as the clock can tell time, but what if the clock was able to show the future in the fireplace when a stranger glances at the clock. (What I great idea, I must write that one down).

This how we can add some playtime into our work, and give us a glance into what we are creating. Allow yourself to become part of your world, but don’t go crazy just a little bit of what you need to see to move the story forward. Granted, every time that I work on the Raven Prophecy, I picture them as I write, and talking or drinking but I try to add something to the image every time so that it is fresh. But I also know that sooner or later the book will be completed and I don’t need to add anything else at that point. However, when your work is still a work in progress you can add as much as you like, but just keep in mind that you need to have the balance or there should be a point for adding something to your story.

I hope that you have an adventurous day in our story world.

Finding the Balance in our Writing Lives

In anything that we try to take on, we are told that we need to find the balance, such as in the case of work versus play. Think of the old adage, “All work and no play makes John a dull boy.” The same can be said with our writing. In writing, we have to find the balance between reading, writing, planning, and having a life outside of writing. We also need to find the balance of learning new things and taking on new or finding time for our other hobbies.

In my case, it had been a while since I loom knitted and I on Saturday morning, as I was sitting on my bed, I started my day with some loom knitting. So far the current project on one of my round looms is going nicely. Granted, I don’t do it all the time, but every once in a while I have a desire to pick it up and work on it. Does this mean that I’m not going to be writing for a while, heck no! It just means that I need to find the balance in my life to add that desire to loom knit, as well as write, and do everything else that I have in my life right now. This is also the case that we find ourselves in with the holidays.

We have to find the time between the shopping, making time for family and friends, reading and writing. When we find the time to make it all work in a day or even a week, we are much happier to be doing the things that we enjoy, such as writing. We also need to keep this balance in mind when we start editing as well. Granted, what we do with edits may be different from one else’s but we just need to find the balance or the happy middle ground on the writing and the editing. The same can be true when we rewrite as well. This means that as part of the balance that yes we need to kill our little darlings. Do we want to kill them? No, but at the same time, it might be necessary to achieve our end result for what we want in a given project.

When we feel that the balance has shifted, this tends to open up our writing to writer’s block, for we feel that we have so much on our plates or that we are juggling so many things at once. But once you find the balance the writer’s block that comes from being unbalanced should go away. Granted, there are many things that bring on writer’s block but being unbalanced should not be one of them.

I hope that you have a wonderful writing day!

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Bookstore Finds

After a long day of seeing my alpacas and llamas, I thought that I would invoke a trip to the bookstore, ie, Barnes and Nobel (or what my sister and I call the “law firm”). While I was there, I went into the reference section and I would a couple of good finds.

The first is dyiMFA by Gabriela Pereira, who is the founder of DIYMFA.com. I thought that I would read it and see if it has some helpful insights on creating a good MFA program. The other good find is the Weekend Book Proposal: How to write a Winning Proposal in 48 hours and sell your book by Ryan G. Van Cleave. Granted, I’m into self-publishing, but I thought that it would be a good idea to read it and see how to go about organizing my thoughts and the story of the Raven Prophecy. Then my third and final find, was the latest issue of Writer’s Digest since it had the tagline on the cover: Write Your Novel! I always enjoy reading Writer’s Digest to see what new insights they have for writers.

So overall the trip to the bookstore was a great success.

Updates from Faerie Rose Press

I thought that since this week has been going so good here at Faerie Rose Press, that I would give an update on how what is happening. First off, I have some new followers on this website, on my twitter account, and on Facebook with both my author page and the page for this business. I would like to say thank you and welcome. Every time, that I receive new followers, I am so grateful for the fellowship for it means that I’m gaining support for what I’m trying to do with my business. As for getting new followers on Twitter, a couple of my posts have been re-twitted and that is a huge boost for me this week. Again, I say thank you and it is most appreciated.

Now for news on the Raven Prophecy. Yesterday, I completed the first fifty pages (front matter not included)! Last week, I created a new front cover for the Raven Prophecy, which I post down below, in case you have not seen it. My goal is to get the first 100 pages completed before the end of the year. So far I am happy with the progress that has been over the course of the year on the Raven Prophecy. Furthermore, I created a private cover for the book, which I was excited to create and if you would like to see a copy of it just email me at: faerierosepress@gmail.com.

Last up not least, Happy Star Wars Day! Yes, I saw the latest film in the franchise and no I will not put up spoilers as I’m not going to be one of those that spoil the film for others. But all I can say is that it was awesome and so worth the money to see in IMAX. It added some great knowledge for fans of the Star Wars saga. I was not disappointed at all in the film.

I was just featured on the following facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/refiction.page

I hope that you have a great weekend and happy writing. May the force be with You!

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Tips for that work in Progress

I thought that today, I would put out there some helpful tips for that writing project that you are currently working on. This is whether you are on a roll with your project or if you have hit a bit of a slump. The first thing that I would recommend is to create a cover. Yes, a cover, there are many helpful tips out there on how to create one in Microsoft Word. I have created several covers of my own and so far I feel that I’m getting better and better with each one. I even created a private cover the other day, this is one that I have for my personal use, and then I have the one that I have shared with everyone else. This is a great way to keep that goal that you want your work to be published.

I also ran across the idea of writing either a book treatment/book proposal. Granted, it does not have to be fancy or set in stone. This is a living, breathing document that will change as you work on your novel. Basically, this gives you a detail of what the book is about, and what is in each chapter. This way if you ever need to go back for a reference you will have it in your document. There are many templates for this on the web. I’m starting to work on one for the Raven Prophecy.

The other times that you can work on is your back and front matter. These items are like your copyright page, your dedication page, your acknowledge page or even your about author page. You can even create the back cover too. I have not yet done this part in the creation phase.

Another idea that you might try is to write the first 50 or 100 pages (depending on how long your novel is) and try to find someone that will read it and give you feedback. I’m thinking of giving the first 100 pages as a gift for Christmas, like of it as you are giving those lucky few an exclusive sneak peek to your book. It doesn’t have to be completed, but the pages should be edited.

All of these ideas are to get you to feel that you have a goal to complete your novel or your writing project. If you have some other suggestions, please, comment down below.

How should we as writers think about our Novels?

Lately, as I’ve been working on the Raven Prophecy, some ideas have come to mind about what sort of posts should I write on here, and this has been one that has been toying in the back of my mind. When we sit down to write, we think about what words we should use or how a character might say something at a current moment, but we should be thinking more deeply about our work. I’m saying that our novel should be political but thinking about how our work will be analyzed in the future. Furthermore, how do we add depth to our writing and add those hidden meanings?

If you want a great example of this, look at Wicked by Gregory Macguire. Yes, Wicked in its soul is an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, but when you really start to read the book or even the series you start to notice that the Wicked series is heavily political. This Oz is hugely political and the biggest point of contention in this Oz is the idea of Animals versus animals. Animals are the ones that can talk, such as is the case with the Couderly Lion. The other more latter, animals are the ones that don’t talk. In the heart of this political contention is the point that Animals are being treated just like regular animals, and furthermore, due to this fact, a civil war of such is brewing against the Wizard of Oz. Now you can take this can compare it to other times when civil liberties have been discriminated against other races. This is a bigger meaning that has been adding to the subtext of a novel.

How do we do this as writers? Very carefully, for we can make it a subpoint or a main point of the book. It is the course of the novel the point is there and it either helps drive the character on the actions that he/she will take or it will be a small driving force for the character. A great example of this is the Hunger Games. When looking at the Hunger Games Katniss main driving force is to protect Prim, however, as we go further into the books we realize that the there is a war brewing within the smaller districts against President Snow and the bigger, more powerful districts. Katniss sees that Snow is a threat to her and as she goes on the victory tour to the other districts she starts to notice the seeds of the war and destruction. But still, one thing is her main driving force, and that is to protect her sister, Prim. Yes, she becomes a symbol for the war but she never really wanted it but she becomes it in order to end Snow’s reign, but when she sees that the seeds of what Snow started will continue with the new regime she puts a stop to it by shooting it with an arrow. But of course, this is when her main driving force is no longer there and the only thing that she has left is to become a tool for the war.

Yes, we should tell stories, but when we add subplots to our stories we are giving them both depth and life. I’m not saying that you have to be political unless that is what your story needs but just add a bit more to it to give it flavor. If you want another great example of this you can use a tool, like the ring of power in the Lord of the Rings. The ring is not only a magic ring, but it can be seen as a drug. A good, for nothing drug. It is an addiction that must be destroyed by fire. The ring represents the thing that everyone wants, it can also be looked as money and power, but deep down when you have tasted that addiction, you want more and you keep going back for more. In the case of the ring, it allows the holder of the ring to have a naturally long life, furthermore, it also makes the holder of the ring a target for the dark lord. There are so many ways that you can look at the ring but that is what adds depth to the story.

I say look at your writing and look at how you can add depth and subplots to your story to make it breathe and make your readers think. That should be how we look at our writing, our novels, and the stories that we tell.

How to invite children into the world of story?

This past weekend, I was talking to a set of parents, since next week I will be babysitting their children for a couple of days. This was a first time meet up and if you are going to work well with our needs, sort of thing. One of the first points that I brought up is that there are two camps on how children are being raised, there is the camp that says children need to be put in front of an electronic device and that is what stimulates them, and then there is the camp that is no electronic devices and we want them to see the world and use their imagination. They are in the second camp, for their children really do not watch television a whole lot. So I’m like that is fantastic, for this means that for the days that I am watching them I can show them, or rather invite them into the world of story and getting them to use their imagination.

Before, I get too far the children are ages 5 and 4. This is the age when I was young when I was first introduced to stories like fairy tales and nursery rhymes. This is also when you start the building blocks of what needs to be in a story, such as character, setting, plot, the light versus the dark, good and evil, and how do you get to the happily ever after. They should be at this age listening to stories that are either told to them or read to them, furthermore, they should be able to orally tell a story but they may not be writing the story down. So with all this in mind, how do you invite children into the world or stories?

There are many answers to this, the best that I have found from seeing this is that you get them to close their eyes and you tell them that they are going to a magical place, you describe the place that you want them to be at, either a forest or a beach somewhere where the magic of story can be experienced. You ask them what do they see? If they say a castle or a cottage then you have them open their eyes and you they may say that we are still at home but you try to convince them that yes were are still in the house but we together moved the house. It’s first getting them to use their imagination. While they are still using their imagination, you tell a story. As you tell the story you ask them to add things of their own creation. They might struggle at first and that’s fine but once you get them to engage you really start getting into the story and they do too. Then you have a fun activity like you get them to retell the story or you have them draw a scene from the story. Remember, imagination and creativity is the key for right now. Once you are done, you get them to close your eyes and move the house and their minds back to where you originally started. Then when they open their eyes and see that the house is back and they are back where they started and this is when they are excited about the magic, for it worked.

Granted, you will have a harder time pulling this off when the kids get older but when they are young they will go for it. The other idea that you can do is make a list and everyone takes turns adding to the list like a bear, chair, black, and so forth once you have a good list you make a story out of that list and that is another way to get them to see how you tell stories. The other great thing that you can do is have the kids act the story out, once they are familiar with the story. You are the narrator and they are the characters of the story. These are all great things to get them to embark into the world of story.

Once they have entered the world of story, they will want to come back for more. I hope that you found these suggestions helpful. Also, this can work whether they are being put in front of a mobile device or not.

Need help shopping for the writer you know?

With the holidays fast approaching, you might know a writer or two, or even yourself is a writer and are probably having a problem coming with something to get them that will make their holiday just as special. Never fear, for we at Faerie Rose Press have come up with a few suggestions on what to get writers this holiday season. It doesn’t matter what your skill level is as a writer these suggestions will go far.

Let’s start talking kids, for they are probably on the borderline that I want to start writing stories.  A spiral notebook with a character on it and a set of nice pens or pencils will go very nice. The idea is to start getting them to write and if you tell them that these are tools for them to express that creativity they will be overjoyed with delight. The other helpful gift that you give your young writer is a coupon or something simple that you will take them to the bookstore and let them pick out a book that interests them and that they will want to read and start playing with telling stories for the story. This will give them their first exercise into fanfiction. This way they can write without using an electronic device. The other idea that you can do is put together a writing kit.

In the kit, you will include a small notebook, a pen or pencil, a strip of paper that has a prompt in it, and a picture that you find in a magazine or newspaper and you also include in there that they are to write a prompt off of the picture. You can also add some chocolate or a little trinket that you can label as their writing companion. It is an easy kit to put together and it will more than likely help get the ball running on their writing.

Now for the teenagers that are writers, you can get them the journal or a set of nice pens or pencils as well. You can also get them a laptop if you would like and buy them a subscription/license of Scrivener. Scrivener is a fantastic tool and it will get its use daily if not weekly. Furthermore, on the laptop, you might want to also get them a word processor program like Microsoft Word. They will need Word for their homework and in any future endeavors that they might pursue. Think of it as you are killing two birds with one stone. The other thing that your teen will want is music, and we as writers find music just as helpful.

The college-age kids, that are writers, you will have the same suggestions as above but I’m going to up the ante a bit with writing guides. Writing guides are very helpful when it comes writing. You will also need to do your homework by asking them what genre do you like writing or is there something that you need help with your writing. This makes you the smart Christmas giver. If nothing else I would suggest the most fantastic writing guide that is out there, Story by Robert McKee. This book is a great go-to for any sort of direction that writers need when they are working on fiction.

Now for adults, the possibilities are endless, and this means that you will really need to do your homework for this one. Still, keep in mind the suggestions above but let’s add some more to your list. If your writer is more of the earthy-type I would suggest either a deck of Tarot cards or a nice pendulum. When picking out pendulums, you want to make sure that they are balanced, if they are not balanced then it is going to work well for your writer. The other suggestion that I have for the earthy-type is candles or incense, for this can help set the mood for the writer. If your writer is not the earthy-type but they are looking for something extra, the tarot cards and the pendulum are nice things to keep in mind but also think of maybe getting them a nice big monitor. I will tell you that looking down at a tiny laptop screen can be heartful to the eyes, but having a big monitor will take that away. You can hook up the monitor to the laptop and they can have either multiple screens going or they can work off the one big monitor. If you need help setting it up, you can ask those tech-savvy kids or you can contact us at Faerie Rose Press, and we can walk you through how to set it up. Other gifts to keep in mind on the electronic side is a nice monitor and mouse as well. The tiny keyboard and be constraining at times, but with a separate keyboard, it can be the greatest blessing ever. My recommendation on the keyboard and mouse is Microsoft wireless ergonomic keyboard and mouse set.

I hope that this list has been helpful, on what to get the writers that are in your lives this holiday season. From all of us at Faerie Rose Press, Happy Holidays!

Latest Cover Design for The Raven Prophecy

Earlier today, I designed the latest front cover for the Raven Prophecy. I felt that the last one was not really setting the tone for the book. I know back last month I said that I wasn’t going to re-design the cover but I thought you know, maybe I should do one more.

So here is the old version of the cover:

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And here is the newest version of the cover:

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Please, let me know what you think in the comment section down below.