Planning My Story Bible

Standard

What’s a story bible? Something to help keep your universe and characters in order, especially when writing a series or epic fantasy. All your important info at your fingertips for when you need to find the name of your hero’s first cousin or how your magick system works.

I started making one for my Lily and Quinn series, but I have recently decided to start fresh. The biggest problem for me is that I am a total journal junkie, so now I have to figure out what to use for it. (Word docs or something on your comp works too! I just like having something I can hold in my hand.)

I also want to break mine down a bit more then I did originally. Is that what I should do or is that the planner/journal junkie inside of me? Hopefully it will all work out so that the series bible I make will be helpful and not one big mess. 😉

This is how I plan to break mine down. If you have made one, or plan to make one, I would love to hear what other sections you have in yours! 🙂

Characters-A) My writing buddies know I am a huge fan of visual character sketches. I am going to put a photo or two per page of what my characters look like. (I have some from magazines and those I printed). I will also make bullet point notes on physical appearance, so that if I just want to double check on my hero’s eye color, I will open to the first few ages of my notebook and find it.

Characters-B) The character sketch. Bullet points on my characters and notes.  I will be sure to leave extra space. My fictional best friends tell me something new about them on a regular basis.

Timeline- I have four short stories published with this world, and a fifth on the way. Not to mention novels I have started/written. I will have a section to timeline for linking important events, plus bullet points on what happened in each story.

Vampire/supernatural lore- One big thing I had to come up with in my stories are my vampires. What kills them, how a person turns, abilities, etc… On top of that I have other supernatural creatures and a magick system, so I need to have sections devoted to that. I almost wrote myself in a corner once with how the vampire system works in my universe. I don’t want to do that again.

The Bad Guys- Some of my villains have been killed off, while others are still (possibly) at large. Each one of them, dead or alive, will have their own page of notes. Even the dead ones might come back, since I plan to write a prequel or two.

Setting- My universe is pretty much where I live, but with changes. I need to make notes on certain places, such as where characters live, favorite places to go, etc… If my world was in a sci-fi setting or alternate universe, my notes would be way more in depth.

Maps/photos- As with my characters, I like having a visual as well as written notes to look back on for my setting. I will use my own drawn maps for some of it, as well as sections of real world maps.

Notes- A section for other story ideas and things I want to include. This will be in the back section. Sometimes when I am out, I make notes in my phone, or on scraps of paper. I need to keep my ideas together in one spot for a change, so my series bible will be the best spot for them.

Every writer has their own tools, and for me, a series bible will be a valuable tool.

 

Advertisements

10 Minute Con-Guest Blogger

Standard

I am very pleased to welcome my very first guest blogger, Pam Humphrey! Pam is a part of 10 Minute Novelists, a group on Facebook for writers of all genres. I joined the group late last year, and I am really enjoying it! Pam, welcome to my little corner of the universe, and thank you for being here!

By Pam Humphrey
As writers, some days we struggle to find ten minutes in a day to dedicate to our writing. We scrape together small snippets of time each day, adding words to our work-in-progress. Those words add up.Our small things, brought together, can make something great.
The writers of the Facebook group 10 Minute Novelists believe that this is true. Started by Katharine Grubb, who wrote the book, Write A Novel in Ten Minutes A Day, the Facebook group offers tips,encouragement, and community for time-crunched writers worldwide.

August 9-11, 10 Minute Novelists will be hosting their first ever conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. The theme is fitting: Small Things Brought Together. The conference hopes to bring this online community of hard-working writers together for learning, support, and fun. Through the speakers and learning opportunities, they hope writers can make connections, amplify writing energy, and add tools to their writing toolbelt.
Their speakers include:
James Scott Bell, bestselling author of Plot & Structure, and award-winning thrillers like Final Witness,Romeo’s Rules, Don’t Leave Me, Blind Justice, Deceived, Try Dying, Watch Your Back, and One More Lie,will give the keynote.
Donald Maass, founder of the Donald Maass Literary Agency and author of The Career Novelist (1996),Writing the Breakout Novel (2001), Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (2004), The Fire in Fiction(2009), The Breakout Novelist (2011) and Writing 21st Century Fiction (2012), will speak on The Fire InFiction. This hands-on presentation will reveal how master contemporary novelists make every book great—and how participants can use the techniques of greatness in their current manuscripts.
Janice Hardy, founder and owner of FICTION UNIVERSITY, is the award-winning author of The Healing Wars trilogy, including The Shifter, Blue Fire, Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins, and of multiple books on writing, including the bestselling,Understanding Show, Don’t Tell (And Really Getting It). She’ll be speaking twice on Saturday: Planning Your Novel in Ten Easy Steps: 10 Surefire Steps to Planning a
Bestseller! and (later that day) on Revision Readiness: How to Revise.

10mincon

For more information go to http://www.10MinCon.com The conference price is $329, but will go up to $379 after March 1, 2018. Price does not include travel, airfare, or hotel accommodation. Price does include lunch for Friday, August 10 and Saturday, August 11. Hotel accommodation information is also available at http://www.10MinCon.com.

Make time for your writing this summer. Join us at 10MinCon!

Pamela Humphrey, author of Finding Claire and Finding Kate, has been a member of 10 Minute Novelists since March 2016. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, sons, black cats, and a leopard gecko.

Hopes and Plans for 2018

Standard

I’m spending my New Years Eve home, in my pj’s with snacks. A perfect night in. After a hectic few weeks with work and the holidays, I am more then happy to stay at home tonight. I am about to have a marathon of The Strain. Love me some vampires!

I have been thinking all day of the things I want to do. I want to make 2018 a great year. I want to continue my personal growth, create some habits and have as much fun and laughs as possible.

I believe that telling people your plans makes you accountable, so I thought I would make my last blog post of the year about my plans (so far) for the new one. Hopefully this time next year my post won’t be about how all my plans went to crap haha. So, here are a few things I would like to do in 2018!

#1: Do at least two 100 day challenges.  I have been watching a lot of videos the last few days on Facebook about different challenges people have done, and I love the idea. Some people go to the gym, while others conquer their fears. Mine are not that fun haha, so no videos about them. I will start my first one in the next day or two, which will be no Pepsi or Coke. With the holidays I have been drinking a lot of it and I feel gross. My second one which I will start the end of March will be to write a page a day for 100 days. I have other writing goals, as well, but this will help me if I start to slack.

#2: Go to Toronto Comic Con. I found out the other day that Mr. C is flying me out to see him in March for a few days (hence not starting my writing challenge til spring…I won’t be writing a word those days), and while I am with him we are going to go to Comic Con! I can’t wait! I haven’t been to that con and I hope to see my friend Laura there as well. (Who I first met at Fan Expo 🙂 ) I hope to get to three comic cons this year. They are my favorite places to be. ❤

#3: Commit more time to writing. I am going to work on my writing three evenings a week. Some nights it might be editing, while others it might be working on new projects. I figure three nights isn’t too much pressure, and if I write more then that, bonus! Plus, I really want to blog at least once a week.

#4: Read. I have so many books on my TBR pile. I didn’t do much reading this year, and I hate that. I bought a lot so that has to count for something, right? 😉 I will review each one on here, even if it is just a few words.

#5: Savor every day. I am cracking out one of my journals and each day I will write one good thing about that day. I said in my last post that I want to have a lot more positivity in my life, and I want to keep track of that. It might be feeling good, a chat with a good friend or the feeling of spring sunshine on my face. Life is too short to let the days whiz by and not focus on the little things.

Well, that is my list. What do you hope to do this new year? Whatever you are doing tonight be safe and have fun!

Now if you will excuse me, vampires are calling my name. 😉

 

 

 

Nanowrimo Wrap Up

Standard

Hello fellow writers and wrimos!

I had good intentions-as usual- to write a post before Nanowrimo started, and to update during the month.

However, life was a little hectic in October. Mr. C was prepping to go away for work, so we were spending time together, mentally prepping and doing laundry…so much laundry. (We had no clue what he should pack or how much for his six month stint away).

After he left, I jumped right into Nanowrimo mode and was writing and focusing on it as much as I could.

I was a Nano Rebel this year. I decided to write short stories instead of a novel. I haven’t decided yet if that was a good idea or bad, haha.

I failed to hit 50k. However, instead of hating myself for “failing”, I am looking at the positives.

I wrote more in November then I would have if it wasn’t for Nanowrimo. I also have three…maybe four…short stories in progress. One is mostly done. (Although I realized the other day I need to change a lot at the beginning but it is for the best).

I attempted Nano and in my own way, I won. If you didn’t get to 50k, don’t beat yourself up about it. You didn’t fail. You started something, and now have something to work with in the coming months.

It also helped me get back to my writer brain. I have ideas for other stories, plus I want to get back to unfinished works and edit first drafts. I have also been reading articles and tips to write better fiction.

I lost my writing mojo for awhile. I think I might have found it again.

How did you do in November? Did you crack that magic number or fall short of your goal?

Writing Problems and Coffee

Standard

One of my very good friends, Jo-Anne from Inspiration Pie, and I had our weekly (or at least it seems like that 😉 ) coffee date this evening.

Jo-Anne and I met a few years ago at a Nanowrimo write-in. I instantly liked her and I am so pleased that she is now one of my closest friends. Our dates are a must especially when life is crazy or when we have writing brainstorms bubbling under the surface.

A little while back she borrowed the books that my short stories are published in. (You can find them over here.) I was eager to hear her feedback, and to tell me what she thought of my characters. The four of them are stand alone reads but deal with the same characters and an expanding world.

She told me some positive things that gave me a boost. I don’t just mean a “I feel great” kinda way (although I did). It sparked something in my writer brain. And with the way I have been feeling, I am in good need of a spark or two.

It also helped me realize a mental block that I have been having.

My main characters are Quinn and Lily, and I love writing them. I love being in their world. The last few times I have sat down to work on a new short story or novel, I didn’t get very far. I get frustrated. And therefore I don’t want to write. This world no longer makes me happy. It makes me stressed. So, what is this block?

I have too many ideas for them. TOO. MANY.

When I start writing, I start to second guess myself. Is this plot good enough? Should I have went with the other story idea I wanted to start? Should I combine Plot A And Plot C, or should B and C go better together?

Once I am in this train of thought, that’s it. Game over.

Jo-Anne gave me a great idea that I am going to try. Basically write out a big ol’ mind map. I plan to dig out my bristol board, tack it to a wall and start writing down my plots, story ideas and see which ones I can connect well and which should be stand alone. I am excited to get on this and see where it will take me. 🙂

There is always a solution to every writing problem. You just can’t give up on it.

When Your Novel Isn’t Going According to Plan

Standard

When we sit and jot down notes about our novels or sit down and plan them at some point we generally get a feel for what we hope/want/think will happen.

Sometimes when the day comes to actually sit and write it, everything is going fine and then suddenly-BAM! All of a sudden there’s things happening that you didn’t expect. Or the general feel for your novel has changed. And sometime those characters sound wimpy when they are supposed to be strong. Or sound like a cardboard cut out, when, in your head you SWORE they had a personality.

Right now I am taking part in NaNoWriMo. I decided to do something fun. Something for me. I wanted to get creative and have a world where I could have a free for all.

After a talk with a friend, I decided to write a twist to a classic fairy tale. During the creative process I decided it would be a dark fairy tale. I decided that there would be other fairy tale characters after all. I made my map and figure out what magic and creatures would potentially be in my story.

On day six of NaNo, my dark fairy tale isn’t that dark. It is way more on the…romantic end that I wanted it to be. And my heroine isn’t as…kick ass as I wanted her to be. My villain is more like a cardboard cut out then a person.

So what do you do when things aren’t as you’d wanted?

Roll with it. This is a first draft. You won’t finish a first draft if you keep going back to change it, edit it, alter it in some manner. Take some notes and keep on going. I will work on making my heroine more kick ass, so now that will be part of her character development in the novel. As for making it dark, I will keep it in my mind as I write and when edits come, I will change what I have written to suit the rest of the novel. As for my villain, well, she needs improving. At least I know that.

Even when your character does something unexpected, roll with it. The characters are telling this after all, not you. (This is where Mr.C would look at me funny.) I have written novels where my basic outline got thrown out half way through writing. They just weren’t relevant anymore.

So, don’t get too upset. Don’t get mad or frustrated. Words can be erased or deleted. Have fun and roll with the punches. 🙂

NaNoWrimo: Day 4

Standard

Last night I went to our first Nano write-in and managed to get my word count of the day plus a little extra. It was a small group with about seven of us but we had a great time and everyone made progress! 🙂

I felt like the pace was a bit slow. I had been planning so many action scenes and events in October, and I kind of forgot the fact I had to introduce my characters. And I wasn’t sure how long it would take for the action to pick up.

Today while at work I had some time to write. Well, it was a slow day so lots of time. I wrote almost 3000 words, bringing my grand total to just over 10,000!!! AND the pace is changing now. I am where I wanted to be. There is upset in my FMC’s life. Things are just going to get even better from here.

How is your progress? No matter if you write a few words or lots of them so far, the main thing is this: you wrote. You created. Keep it going. We got this! 🙂