Monday, August 28, 2017

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

Ay there's the rub, for in this sleep of death what dreams may come...

Shakespeare had it right, (not Hamlet, never could stand that whiny character!), dreams are scary.

I'm a vivid dreamer. Always have been. My parents took me to a few doctors when I was young because they were so concerned about my nightmares. I used to scare the daylights out of my mom when I'd tell her my dreams. One night, when I was about 5, I relayed a dream that had her too scared to put her feet on the floor and go back to her room. I still remember that dream.

The doctors said I just had a vivid imagination.
No kidding.

No one in my family or extended family/friends dreams as vividly or as frequently as I do. I've become extremely skilled at pushing away the dreams when I wake up so that I can function throughout the day and not remain stuck in the nightmares and emotions (they can be overwhelming and sometimes debilitating).

Most family members and friends dream rarely and aren't troubled by dreams. Makes me curious.

Are people who are invested in fiction (readers and writers) more likely to dream and/or dream vividly?

So, do you dream a lot? Do you remember your dreams? Do you have nightmares?
Anyone else still able to quote most of that soliloquy? 

Curious minds want to know. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hold On, Reach Out

Hold on
     to the good
     with the strong

Reach out
     with both hands
     filled with love

Hold on
     to the true
     to hope

Reach out
     to the needy
     to the battered

Hold on
     with everything you have
     with everyone you love

Reach out
     with everything you can
     with all that you are

Hold on
     to love

Reach out
     to love

Hold on
Reach out

Hold on

Monday, August 7, 2017

Nicole Locke & Creating Characters

Please welcome Nicole Locke to the blog today!

It’ll happen to you someday. While creating your latest secondary character, who will eventually become a primary character, you draw a blank. 
Oh, you have the name, and a good idea of what they look like, but what makes them tick? What are their mannerisms?
Now those are two different character traits. One is based on motivation (abandonment issues), the other is a characteristic (hair twirler).
No problem, you’ve lived some years; you can make things up. Except…you can’t. You’ve used up all your own motivations. You can only address that bully in school for so long. You’ve even used all your own characteristics from your love for cake to your twitchy right leg. You’ve got nothing left in you. So it’s time to use your friends and family and reveal their likes/dislikes and their mannerisms.
Except, you’ve already run the gamut of relations and friends. Even your great Aunt Maude, who reportedly had three teeth and chuckled, was used for that hag in book three. You could watch people at airports, but you know from that brief observance you can’t glean the depth your character deserves. 
Something more is needed. Long ago, a fellow writer confessed to using Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs for creating characters. Easy enough, and incredibly helpful. Suddenly character motivations can be determined if you make their birthday in May, and know they are a Taurus. Your character can now be bull-headed and loyal. 
Except Sun Signs, as brilliant and useful as it is, doesn’t address the breadth of mannerisms needed when creating characters. Neither does Love Signs, which explores the different signs in relationships.
To make your character distinct from every character you’ve written, you need even more depth. My tip? Birthday books. 
These books are a wealth of quick information for 365 days of the year. That’s 365 distinct personalities. Some of them are detailed enough to give you motivation and characteristics. Do I recommend one book? No. Because you can’t get the depth you need from only one.
For example, I’ll use the birthday of November 11th.  The astrological sign is a Scorpio. According to one book, it says: If sports isn’t your career, it should be your hobby.  However, another book says: You’re defensive and suspicious. Both those reveals are gold when creating a character. And that character won’t match your other characters because they won’t share the same birthdate (I do recommend marking the birthdays you use).

So what happens when I’ve used up all the dates? I’ve thought of this, but I have no worries. I’ll probably be too doddering to remember, and will gleefully write them again.
Nicole first discovered romance novels hidden in her grandmother's closet. Convinced hidden books must be better, Nicole greedily read them. It was only natural she should start writing them (but now not so secretly). If she isn't working on the next book in the Lovers and Legends historical series, she can be reached at:

The Knight's Scarred Maiden (Lovers and Legends)
A maiden for the mercenary 
Mercenary knight Rhain is living on borrowed time. With a vengeful warlord pursuing him, he has accepted his fate—though first he must get his men to safety. 
When he rescues mysterious and deeply scarred Helissent from her attackers, Rhain soon wishes he wasn't marked for death. He can never be the man she deserves—his scandalous lineage alone dictates that—but Rhain can't resist the temptation to show this innocent maiden how beautiful she truly is… 
Lovers and Legends A clash of Celtic passions

Buy on:
Amazon Kindle          Amazon Paperback           Harlequin US          Amazon UK             

Book Depository        B&N                                   Kobo                         iBooks

Enter to win signed copies on Goodreads!
Thanks Nicole!

I've never heard of birthday books but that'a a great tip! I tend to use mannerisms and quirks of some of the kids I've taught and the adults I've worked with over the years.

How about you? Have you heard of birthday books? Used them? Planning on trying it now? 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

IWSG & Pet Peeves

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

 IWSG Day Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Fun Question!

Reading Pet Peeve 

  • when I come across authors who use "that" instead of "who". When people who earn their living with words make this mistake, it's like nails on the chalkboard!!!

Writing Pet Peeve 

  • Titles! These are so hard. I tend to come up with super cheesy ones first and then they're so hard to get out of my head!

Editing Pet Peeve

  • redundancies!!! My first drafts are littered with them! I'm pretty good at catching them when editing, but I need to learn to eliminate them when writing in the first place!

How about you? Any pet peeves you'd like to share? Do you sprinkle redundancies everywhere as well?