Keep It Real – Research

Location, location, location not only works for real estate values.

apple-class-conference-7102 (1)“Write what you know.”  Mark Twain

This piece of writing advice echoes throughout schools and even in the halls of higher learning. The real challenge is to know what you’re going to write. Yes, we all have a great idea looming in our minds.  We know what we want to say.  Ask yourself, how are you going to place the reader comfortably or uncomfortably into the world you are creating.

If you’re a mystery writer, horror enthusiast, dystopian creator, gothic scribe, or a romance “fictioneer” reaching back in time, you need to research.

I hear the echoes of your resistance!

“Me, I create worlds. I don’t need to research them. 

Once you outlined your novel or if you are a “pantser” ( a person who writes by the seat of his or her  pants), you need research to deepen your characters, enrich your settings, and enhance your dialogue. Research supports your story line. It helps you describe your story’s world.

Research helps you as a writer.

Know your story’s historical era. If you are writing a story even twenty or thirty years in the past, don’t rely on someone’s  memory. Search online for newspapers, towns, cities, or events that happened while your character was alive.

Remember location, location, location not only works for real estate. Use the Internet to search for maps, architecture, clothing, newspapers. Reading and seeing helps you visualize

If you are creating you own world, write out a list of sensory descriptions you want your characters to make your reader feel. Create a cluster of phrases, words, even language particular to the inhabitants of your world. Let your mind build a world, word by word. Use pictures, personal feelings and experiences to expand this list.

As a writer, you need to visualize yourself living, breathing, eating, and wearing your characters’ clothes. You need to see, feel, taste, hear, and live in the world you create for your character,

Samples of sites to help you research your novel.

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/how-to-research-your-novel

https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2017/01/18/research-a-novel/

http://www.well-storied.com/blog/cut-crap-research-novel-effectively

https://mybookcave.com/authorpost/21-ways-to-research-your-novel/

Thank you LUW!

Volunteer View of Conference

My blog’s resurrection starts with a recognition to the organizers of the League of Utah Writers (LUW) 2018 Quills Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.  My original intent was to write about the ‘importance’ of attending writers’ conferences.  My research* inspired me to explore the intent and energy behind a conference.

This year I volunteered for Quills. I wanted to experience a conference from a different point of view.  I wanted to submerge myself in the conference’s energy.  My volunteer assignments did not disappoint me.

The thunderous respect given to the volunteers  and their contributions displayed LUW  members made me feel inclusive, a vital part of a team.  Daily orientation and updates by “Committee Members” assisted in expanding volunteers’ knowledge. The ‘Volunteer Green Room’ furnished us with a variety of energy producing snacks and rehydrating liquids.

What did I get from volunteering at this conference? I networked with writers, presenters, members outside of my chapter. As a reader I listened to editors and agents critique other writers’ works. As timekeepers for presenter, it was easy to get to know the presenters in order to introduce them. As a timekeeper for “pitches,” one got to meet the agents and editors on a personal basis instead of a business basis. These face to face, person to person, encounters offered insights into contributors in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.  I enjoyed running errands to and from.  I want to thank Kelly Olsen who set up and kept watch over my book and the books of presenters and participants. Conference Book Store.

I participated in a new conference activity -‘Kaffekalatsches” (a German word meaning a group of people sitting together sipping liquids and talking).  Participants selected from four sessions a day to talked with an editor or agent about any aspect about writing, publishing, or the business of writing.

When an organization produces a conference on a university campus snuggled in the Rocky Mountains, brings in nationally known authors, editors, agents, and gives their members an opportunity to submerge themselves into three days of writing, the experience —invaluable.

As an observer, it appeared the committee weighed every decision’s against the participants’ best learning experience and the budget.  A plethora of the best and the brightest presenters, editors, agents, and yes, even participants .

If you are truly serious about your writing, attend a conference.  Make time to interact with writers you don’t know.  You’ll be surprise what you’ll learn.

If you think you can’t afford it, save money from your income tax return, skip a few meals out, you’re a writer, you know how to get what you want.

*The links below affirm the reasons for writers to attend writing conferences.  If you  want more options: Google: “Is it worth going to writers conferences?”

http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/2010/09/is-writers-conference-worth-money.html

https://stevelaube.com/attend-writers-conference/

https://stevelaube.com/attend-writers-conference/

 

View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com

 

 

 

A Writer’s Proclivity

via Daily Prompt: Proclivity

Taking on this “Daily Prompt” jolted me out of my plan to ease back into my writing.
The word proclivity made me laugh. It strengthened the image of idiosyncratic writers. No two writers take the same mind trip as they work their craft. Each writer begins and ends using a mind set filled with unique peculiarity.

Some of us languor over dialogue, while others demonstrate an inclination for setting descriptions.  Some scribes show their druther with their fascination and ability to produce new worlds. Tenuous writers dig deep with voracity and mine for emotionalism.

Intuition lives in the psyche of all writers. We fixate on the minuscule and the universe at the same time.  Our lust for action and emotion in our stories elicits our hypersensitivity for surprise.

NOTE: I commanded Siri to find all synonyms for proclivity.  Can you find the proclivity synonyms sprinkled throughout this brief description?

Novel Publication – Phase 3*

 

My proofreader met with me notes in hand  and a two inch thick manuscript with yellow highlighted words and a questions written in the margin. She validated my locations. She felt one of my characters needed  to reveal her fierceness sooner.

Add to this my biggest supporter and critic, my husband, summed up the main character’s frustrations in two sentences. His observation stunned me.  His summation needed to be revealed by the character herself and in the right place in my story.

So, it was  back to the key board. Three days of intense editing and some long thoughts about my main character. I finished, two days before Thanksgiving.

It took three and a half weeks of reading, planning, and a very long conversations with the KDP representative before my book met the Kindle Direct Publishing requirements.* Take a browse through my newly published book Changing Habits.

 

* Phase 2  -My experience on Amazon’s self-publishing product is the topic of my next blog.

Novel Publication – Phase 1

…first draft complete in 30days..five years to consider publication

This week I sent my final re-write of my first novel to my proof reader.  Now, on face value this doesn’t sound like a big deal. It is a big deal because I started the first draft of this story riding across the country by car with my daughter to Maine. I completed the first draft in 30 days during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It took me five years with help from my writers’ critique group, a professional editor, and several beta readers, to get this book in shape for a proof reader.

This is only one step towards the journey to publication. I went to classes on book covers, marketing your book, researched highways of the roads taken by my main character in the mid 1960s. Of course, clothing, automobiles, guns, restaurants, food choices, and hotels needed validation.

Warning: I learned early in my writing venture that even if you get an agent and an agent gets you a publishers, it can take from one to two years before your book is published.

The decision on the method of publication took me two years of agonizing research. The research and reading overwhelmed me:  traditional publishing and self-publishing, so many contracts with very fine print to read, talking to authors who published independently, talking to authors who retained agents, pitching my book, submitting it to publishers.  After much deliberation, I decided to become an ‘Indie Author.’

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Resources:

National Novel Writing Month

 

More than Ugly

Meet Jenica Aimes, a skinny high school redhead with the disposition of a sleep deprived honey badger, but she’s not one of your typical teenagers tired of being harassed.

Chase Raymond ‘s The Ugly Inside introduces Jenica Aimes. While the reader decides if they can relate to Ms. Aimes, they’re blown into an alternate reality known as ‘Leigh.’ The crafted details, descriptions, and settings of this fantasy engulfs the reader. This storyteller leaves you wanting to read the next page. Mr. Raymond’s writing skill immerses the reader into the story: watching the training sessions, experiencing the healing pools, feeling every blow of combat, and struggling to balance destiny.

If you liked Suzanne Collins and James Dashner’s books, you’ll find Raymond’s Jenica bewitching. She mesmerizes the reader. 

CAUTION: This book is addicting. Wow! This is one ‘hell of a read.’
I can’t wait until the next Jenica Aimes book is published.

This book is available in paperback or online or audio on Amazon.com 

Stand Up- Speak Out- Run

Women’s Energy Changes the World’s Energy

Many of us prayed for civility and calm during the transfer of Presidential Power. Symbolically with the exception of a disruption by protest of a small group of anarchists, January 20, 2017 inauguration went on as planned.

As we know, on January 21, 2017,  the ‘Women of the United States” spoke out in multiple locations with voices joined to address the importance of “Human Issues.” Women around the world joined in protest with the U.S. Women.  History reveals when women gather in mass -they are birthing change. Committed women  demonstrate when the world  is skewed. Mothers, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, husbands, sons, walk in unity, and shout ‘no more.’ It is wise for all to listen to those who represent the life of force of the earth. Women’s energy changes the  world’s energy.

Utah, one of the most Conservative States in the Union, conducted seven Women’s Marches. They were joined by the men who love women.  Some of the Utah marches endured blizzard conditiona, icy roads, and cold temperatures to join in solidarity with the women of the world.

In fact, we have a state legislature that meets for 45 days. Utah Women, on January 23, 2017, broke the record for the largest demonstration in the history of the state.  More than 6,000 women and those who care about ‘human rights’  marched to the capital on its first day session.

What is driving these women? You tell me. I can’t speak for the millions of my ‘sisters’ who recognize “Human Rights and Needs” are not being addressed. It is time for us to look around and see if you are pleased by your local and Congressional representation.

Elected officials pay attention. Committed women continue communicating to your Congressional Delegation using http://countable.us  

Voice your concerns and suggestions to your local legislator by using https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

BE BOLD. RUN FOR OFFICE. You don’t have to have to jump into a big political office. Try running for school board or county board, etc.

Americans, we can make a difference. Start by communicating with the individuals placed in office to represent you.