Posted on March 23, 2009 by debikm
I’m not getting anywhere with it, I’m neglecting things around the house and my writing is driving me crazy!!! Too much to do with it, don’t know where to start, don’t have the time to devote to it because of work and home and AAARRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!!
Okay. Maybe if I just step back from it and just leave it the hell alone I can get some perspective. Or I’ll just dump it all completely and give up. I have no idea now.
I hate feeling like this.
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Posted on March 21, 2009 by debikm
So, my friend Juli suggested I try this exercise: Write down 20 personality traits for your character. I think it’s an absolutely fantabulous way to get to know your characters better, even if I’m having trouble coming up with twenty.
So far I’ve managed about 15 for one character, Valerie, from my contemporary, romace-ish kind of novel, tentatively titled “Old Dogs”. I knew a lot about her already and some things I haven’t added to her list that I’ve already established in the story, like her suffering from night terrors, evan as an adult. To round out the group, I may add it in just for completion’s sake. But here they are, of absolutely no interest to anyone but me, but I’ve got to play with this stuff somewhere…
Valerie’s Major Personality Traits
- She’s very meticulous and precise at work, but a mess at home.
- She can play the bodhran and she sings well, but she can’t do both at once.
- Despite living in Florida her entire life, she is terrified of snakes. They literally make her heart pound. She can’t even watch them on TV.
- Valerie hates confrontation and will take a lot of abuse before she speaks up. But when she finally speaks up, look out….
- She sings almost constantly, humming under her breath, out loud in the car. She and her siblings played a lot of folk festivals in college to help pay for school. Her family is very musical, but no one pursued it as a career.
- Valerie can mix a mean margarita
- When Valerie’s divorce was final, she burned every letter her husband had ever written to her and every picture with him in it.
- Valerie is a keen amateur photographer, with a preference for nature photography.
- She will sometimes develop an overwhelming urge to smoke a cigarette, usually when stressed out. That one cigarette often cures her desire to smoke for a few years.
- She has a needle phobia. She can use them in her work with veterinary medicine with no trouble, but will get belligerent or get sick to avoid getting stuck. It comes from having had to endure rabies post exposure treatment as a small child. She has no control over her reaction.
- She carries an ugly military green messenger bag everywhere she goes. The flap is covered with pins collected over the years. It contains her wallet, her keys, her iPod, and about a million other things, most of which need to be thrown away.
- Her ex-husband’s family is very wealthy and very controlling, especially his mother. She made Valerie’s life miserable while she and Ben were married.
- She is fiercely independent. She doesn’t ask for help. That doesn’t mean she won’t accept it, but she won’t ask and she resents if someone takes over what she doing.
- Since moving back home, she has become a gardener, reclaiming the flower beds around the house and dabbling in planting vegetables. The flowers are more successful. The only moderate return on her vegetables was in red sweet peppers.
- Valerie trained her German Shepherd herself; tricks, obedience, protection, she did it all with him. It was something to do when she was married since her mother-in-law disapproved of her having a job or pursuing a higher college degree. The dog training pissed the old lady off even more, so Valerie ran with it.
- She’s proud of her Scots/Irish heritage, but doesn’t go crazy with it. She’s equally proud of the fact that one direct line of her father’s family predates the Revolution.
- Valerie loves music but hates crowds. Concerts are a problem.
- She is an avid reader and prefers adventure and historical novels to romances.
- She hates being embarrassed and hates for other people get embarrassed.
- Valerie feels guilty for not having been with her mother when she died. Instead, she was at a social function with her husband he insisted she attend. She didn’t realize her mother was that close to the end and will still have nightmares about missing something of extreme importance over something trivial.
Ugh, that hurt to get out. A lot of this is me, to an extent. I’m trying not to to Mary-Sue this too much. *sigh*
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Posted on March 18, 2009 by debikm
It’s such an ugly word. The feeling isn’t all that pleasant either. None of my stories are grabbing me by the short hairs and screaming “WRITE ABOUT ME!!!” I wish one of them would. I carry my flash drive with me like a tasliman, sitting down with my lunch at work and reading, tweaking a bit. I spend my drives in my usual imaginary world, having conversations with and among my characters, but does much any of this make it out of my brain and through my fingers onto the drive? Not really. I’m getting frustrated. There’s almost too much that I need to get written down that is already established as fact in my stories… in my mind. Not on ‘paper’. I don’t know where to start and so it all slips away until all I remember is that “I had a good idea about this part but… what the hell was it?!”
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Yeah, yeah, “Just write already, what’re you bitching about?” I can hear you.
Maybe I should just write a bloody cookbook.
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Posted on March 2, 2009 by debikm
I don’t know if anyone else has this problem. I have several stories in the works right now. I know my best bet is to concentrate on one of them and get it done, then move on. Trouble is, my charatcers don’t work on schedule. They bug me randomly and whenever the mood moves them, regardless of whether that’s the story I want/need to work on at a given time. The only time I managed to concentrate on a single story was at NaNoWriMo, because I was on a schedule. Yeah, yeah, I know, I should make myself be on a schedule, just like that. I’ve never been good at sticking with one thing over the long run; my hobbies tend to be cyclical. I’ve made soap, done photography, quilting, art, writing, gardening, genealogy and other pasttimes. This stretch of writing in the longest time I’ve stuck with it for.. well, ever. SO these are the things I’ve got going on. Help me flip a coin.
- Windhorses– Set in a fantasy setting, it follows Rayne, 12 years old, trying to rescue her favorite mare, stolen from her family’s farm. It fits into the Young Adult category fairly well.
- untitled sequel to Windhorses– This follows Rayne as an adult, from the time she leaves the farm at 17 and moves to the largest city in the region, through various adventures and misfortunes over a couple of decades. It’ll probably get broken up into multiple volumes, and does NOT fall into the YA catgory anymore. Rayne’s all grown up in this one. This is also the one that refuses to let me end it the way I had intended and I now have two seperate endings, the newest version still under construction.
- Guarding Sheep– My NaNoWriMo project. My takes on werewolves, who are in the business of protecting humans, not stalking them on the moors or mauling livestock.
- Old Dogs– A contemporary novel, not a hint of magic or paranormal activity in it. It is the story of a thirty-something woman, fresh from a nasty divorce who moves back to the family property. She goes to work for her sister and brother-in-law at their veterinary clinic and meets their neighbor, a widower that is still heartbroken over his wide’s death nearly two years prior. They become good friends.
- Various other ideas- Yeah, cool ideas, but if they aren’t talking to me, I’m leaving them alone. I’ve got enough irons in the fire as it is.
So, there’s where I stand. I’d welcome any suggestions, aside from “give up writing.” That’s not going to happen, even if I stopped recording the random thoughts and plotlines that wander into my brain and take up housekeeping. Those thoughts will always be there, I might as well record them.
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