Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Everything is connected.

Once I cleaned out my negative emotions and figured out what needed to be done, it's amazing how much clearer both my personal and business lives got. Hello, productivity!

We may have a lot of energy, but it is not infinite. A drain in one place will diminish how much you can spend in all the rest.

If I'm furious in my personal life, my writing will suffer.

Which, of course, drives me nuts, but that's the way it is. :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The fire of anger.

I've got a nasty case of premenstrual tension this past week. Feelings that I've ignored or pretended to be healed are coming to the forefront - anger and resentment in particular. The Destructive emotions that are scary and for good reason. After all, who hasn't burned bridges they needed when burning with anger?

But this time, I'm doing something a little different. I'm taking that need to clean my emotional house and applying it to my writing. I'm getting in touch with my characters' wrath as well as my own.

It's not easy. It's not even all that fun. But it is very very necessary.

Sometimes destruction must happen before building.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Revisions

I'm revising Dracula's Secret (again). The first draft was a rambling, shambling monster with no clear plot or idea where I was going. I had some thoughts that I should try working from the seat of my pants.

Which is why I am now on my fourth set of revisions. *grin*

One of the most useful tools in a writer's toolbox is a little exercise called GMC.

For each of your main characters, you determine their Goal, Motivation, and Conflict.

The amazing Debra Dixon came up with this shorthand in her amazing book called (oddly enough), Goal, Motivation & Conflict: The Building Blocks of Good Fiction.

Let me show you one of the GMC charts that Ms. Dixon uses in the book - Rick Blaine from Casablanca.

Rick Blaine
Description: Cynical Loner
Tagline: (lessons he needs to learn)
One person can make a difference in this world
Women in war must make desperate choices (think of the newlywed)

Goals: (what he wants)
External
  1. Keep bar open
  2. Punish Ilsa
  3. Get Ilsa and Victor on that plane
Internal
  1. Regain the love he had in Paris
  2. To do what's right in the world

Motivation: (because)
External
  1. Needs money and people depend on him
  2. Because she left him in Paris
  3. Insure her safety
Internal
  1. The pain of losing Ilsa has never gone away
  2. Daily, he sees what war is doing to people around him
Conflict (but)
External
  1. The French Prefect has all the power
  2. Punishing her puts her in more danger
  3. Victor has been put in jail
Internal
  1. Ilsa is married
  2. He must put aside his own happiness


Looks easy, doesn't it?

It's actually a difficult chart to fill out because you are constantly learning more about your characters and your story. I just did my fifth GMC for my leading characters. *facepalm*

But every time I do it, I learn something more. If I let it, it's exhilarating.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Back in the saddle again...

I've been visiting family and old friends for the past week, so forgive my lack of posting

I often think about the saying, "Travel is so broadening." And it's true.

No, I didn't gain weight. I gained wonderful images, conversations, and settings. I'm not much of a traveler, but I am always thrilled when I do. Kicking myself out of my comfort zone always makes for stronger, hotter, more thrilling writing.

Now, just to get down to it. That's always the hard part. :)