Monthly Archives: February 2011

Writing Sprint

  Author Bonnie Paulson recently introduced something amazingly effective to me- the writer’s sprint.  When she first invited me to one I was praying it didn’t involve running shoes (because mine are all old and dingy).  But she explained we, and a few other writer’s, would get together (away from our houses)  and write for a solid hour, aiming for a high word count.  I told her she was going to crush me because her fingers are like lightning across the keyboard.  Then she further explained that it wasn’t a race.

  I had never made so much progress so quickly.  Usually when I go to the coffee-house to write I stare off into space, nibble on my pumpkin bread, or sip my herbal tea.  But I suddenly didn’t have time for that.  I had to put up respectable numbers with my friends sitting there.  So I dove in, not turning back for mis-spells, or any other editing.  I won’t tell you how many words I usually do during these one-hour sprints (because you probably type faster than me, too). But, I will tell you that my numbers were comparable to my acquaintances. Except for Bonnie.  Hers were double. 

  This is an excellent way to spur yourself to work through those difficult scenes you just don’t want to linger on.  If you don’t know what to write, sometimes this method is great to get the words on the paper. I’ve often heard “stories write themselves.” However, I highly recommend you have a general idea of what you’re working toward, or in your haste you might start veering of course just for a high word count.  Also, this is always best done with a friend.  If you can’t get out, then call a friend and ask them to do it with you.  Then call them back after an hour and share with each other how you did.  It really is fun, and if you are the competitive type this  just might be the thing to keep you pushing on toward that finish line.  Happy writing!

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Japanese Vampires?

  Vampire fever has not only attacked the U.S. and Europe, it has reached the far east as well.  When it comes to the anime (Japanese cartoons) world, I can remember a show called “Vampire Hunter D” coming out in the mid- 1980’s.  It was one of the first anime ever to be released outside Japan. 

  When I checked out my favorite streaming anime site I counted no less than 10 vampire anime, many which have been adapted from manga(Japanese comic book).  While Vampire Hunter D is on the more violent side of the fence, many of the other’s portray sweet teenage girls as vampires. The latter almost always has a great deal of comedy and are very light-hearted.

  My favorite?  Vampire Knight.  Hands down.  In short, an ex-vampire hunter, and a prince vampire desire peace between the two races, so they open a combined school.  The day class consists of humans, clueless to their classmates true identities.  And the night class, the vampires.  The Headmaster has two adopted children. The younger girl was rescued from an evil vampire by the prince, and now she’s in love with him.  The older is a boy’s  parents were killed by vampires, and he wants nothing more than to kill every vampire he crosses.

   It’s two seasons long, but the manga continues on.  This one sits comfortably on the fence, with a fantastic mix of mystery, drama, romance and suspense.  There are even parts which make you laugh out loud.  The first season has recently been dubbed into english, though I highly recommend watching it in Japanese with subtitles.  The original voices match the characters perfectly.  If you’ve exhausted all the american vampire tales and are looking for another vampire fix, I highly recommend you take a peek at –http://www.animefreak.tv/watch/vampire-knight-english-dubbed-online-free.  It’s free, and I promise by the third episode you’ll be hooked!

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A Taste of Vampires

  I love vampires.  I’ve loved the legend since the age of 12 years old.  I remember reading Ann Rice’s vampire series, devouring every book at the age of 13.  I wanted to be a vampire!  I would say it didn’t matter what version of vampire story, I loved it all.  And I do.  But, I tend to lean a little toward the more romanticized version.  Though I find the film “Blade” very entertaining, I’d prefer to be lost in a story through the pale cold eyes of a blood-drinker.

  There are so many tales out there right now it’s a feast for vampire lovers.  I’ll read adult and young adult titles.  Hey, if it’s cute I’ll even dive into a middle-grade chapter book with my daughter. 

  There are so many versions with just the teeth alone- from Ann Rice’s “out all the time,” to Jeaniene Frost’s “grow when you need them,”  and Stephanie Meyer’s “no fangs at all.”   Then there’s how one can be “turned.”  Some it’s an accident, while other’s it’s a choice.

  Any way you write vampires, I love it.  Of course, most of you have heard the phrase “The market is saturated with vampires,” when it comes to the book world.  Have you noticed that most vampire tales out there right now are a series?  If you are writing a vampire story and are hoping to break into the market it needs to be two things for it to even have a chance.  One- it need’s to be a series.  The longer, the better.  And two- it has to be unique, original and fresh. 

   There are a few books about my cold-skinned beauties that are still being accepted for publication.  One of them is Rebecca Zenetti’s “Fated” series.  Like Laurell K. Hamilton, Rebecca weaves creatures other than just the vampires into her tales.  It makes fo an electric combination where you can sample other paranormal goodies.  Then, if you like it, you might look around for witches, succubui or demons when you finish. And that’s what this blog is all about! 

  Have a great day everyone!

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To Smell Beyond the Pages

  A dear friend of mine read one of my works in progress and had only one comment that stood out.  “I want to smell your hero.”  Then it hit me, I’d forgotten to describe his scent.  I’ve always been told by other authors, agents and publishers you have to get all five senses in a scene to make it really great.  Describing a smell is the most difficult of all the senses, but a scent is more memorable to our mind than the others.

  When describing your protagonist, or their lover, you should be mindful of your adjectives.  The word “oder” evokes a more unpleasant smell as opposed to “scent.”  The word “wafted” should be reserved to describe food, unless the leading love is wearing their dinner.  “Drifted” or “swirled around the air” would work better in place of wafted.  And, for a person, don’t just say; “he smelled of spices.”  (Guilty of this)  Try using two or three specific spices.  Far a male try cinnamon, sage and current.  For a female something lighter.  Any flower will do.  Honey and milk are two of my favorites as well.

  Check the back of your favorite cologne or perfume bottle to see individual ingredients.  Even wine bottles work.  You could also go to http://thesaurus.com/ and enter “spices.”  It should give you plenty yummy scents to dig through until you find the perfect one you’re looking for.

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Angels of Non-Fiction

  When writing on non-fiction one can’t write about angels without bringing op the Bible.  The Bible mentions several different kinds of jobs and abilities angels possess from being ministers (Heb. 1: 13-14), protectors ( Gen. 19:10-22)and guardians (Matt. 18:10) , to keeping scrolls (Rev. 10:1-2), being solders (Josh. 5:13-14)and messengers. The name angel in greek is translated to “messenger.” The wonderous thing about angels, for those of us who have faith, is that they are in fact among us. Right now.  Hebrews 13: 2 (NLT) says “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.” So writing about these beings doesn’t feel quite as fanciful as it might with other “paranormal” beings.

  Angels have been mentioned in tales and paintings, sculptures and other works since before the Bible was created.  But, what of fallen angels, since they seem to be so popular.  And why not?  To see that such a heavenly being is capable of making mistakes; of sinning, brings many of us comfort in a strange way.  We are all sinners, and children of God.  But they are our enemy at the same time.  Tempting us. Luring us. Whispering sweet things in our ear that we want to believe is true and right.  

  You can find these angels mentioned in Rev. 12 7-9, Where Archangel Michael fights against Satan and casts him out, along with his angels.  They are also described as being devils or demons, and their job is clear.  To tempt us away from what’s right and good.  That’s what makes fiction so fun.  We can read about others dealing with these awesome characters without dipping our feet into their world. Oh wait, these guys might be standing next to you in line at the  grocery store.  Guess we’re in their world whether we like it or not!

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Filed under Non-Fiction Paranormal

Angels in Fiction; Fans Are Heating Up, While the Market Cools Down

  About a year ago publishers were asking for books with an angel theme; fallen or otherwise. It’s no surprise really.  A good fallen angel read can be just as smokey hot as any vampire with a heart-of-gold story.  

  Back in 2009 Publisher Weekly’s Karen Springen posted this article on “An Angelic Autum”-  “Move over, Edward Cullen. Bad-boy angels are the new hotties. Like modern vampires, they can be gorgeous, immortal and otherworldly heartthrobs, unlike, say, zombies. “With all that rotting-off, they’re not very sexy,” said Justin Chanda, v-p and publisher of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, who calls angels “safe gothic” and “romantic.” 

  And now, publishers are already saying “Stop! No more angels.” But why?  There aren’t floods of books gracing feathery wings the likes of the vampiric market, yet.  Remember, the market runs slow.  While the smaller publishing houses are turning out Angel books already, the larger houses are delayed by years sometimes.  And many of them are working off of cut-backs, which makes them run slower.

  So, if you’ve been working on an other worldly tale about angels, submit it now! It might look like the market is just heating up, but waiting in line are many halo-toting hero’s waiting to win our hearts.

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