Thursday, March 24, 2011

Publishing in various genres under one name? Okay or not?

Publishing in various genres under one name? Okay or not? That is the question that has sparked much debate.

According to the 2009 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market (Novel and Short Story Writer's Market), one should use different names for publishing in different genres to avoid needlessly confusing readers or ruining your sales record with a less than stellar publication in a secondary genre.

There are the success stories of writers who transcend different genres underneath one name, but that doesn't seem to be the norm.

I dabble in multiple genres and like any other writer out there I dream of one day publishing a novel. I have written a wide variety of novels: literary, mainstream, romance, fantasy, and even christian literature.

In each of these genres that I think are not even remotely close to being publishable, but then there are novels in each genre that I think are close to being ready.

That leaves the question of using a pseudonym or not. It's an interesting question and one that I will have to continue to think about.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Outrunning the storm.

This week has been a very hard week with a lot of terrible things happening. It's been tough. Grief is unique and something that everybody deals with in their own way. To help cope with this week, I wrote a lot--more in this week alone, then I have in a very long time.

One of my characters, who shall remain nameless, has dealt with more grief than I can even imagine and so I dug into her mind and just started writing as if I were her. (I've been focusing on characterization lately). This is what I wrote. It's rough and raw--but I want to post this anyway.

Just when you think you have found the strength to stand, the storm hits. You are finally able to stand and breathe and then the waves come and knock you off your feet. You find yourself being tossed by the waves and pulled under.

You fight to break the surface and breathe only to be tossed back under. Then that dark moment comes when you wonder if it’s really worth resisting. Is it worth living in this cruel world? Is it worth fighting against the inevitable? You wonder if it would just be better to give in and slowly sink away.

And then you feel an all too-familiar hand fiercely pulling you out of the darkness.

Gently, but firmly he says, “Don’t you dare give up on me. Don’t ever scare me like that again.”

You nod even though deep inside you know that you want to give up, because that would be the easy way out.
--
Alright, the truth is that I’m talking about myself. Somehow it’s easier to talk about myself in the second person using you instead of I. That gives me the distance I crave and so desperately need. The truth is without my brother, I would have given up. I would have let the storm win. I haven’t let myself grief over my past. My whole first thirteen years of life I have forcefully blocked from my mind.

But every now and then the storm hits and I find myself facing more than I can bear. I purposely shut everybody out until I’m in way over my head and then I see my brother reaching down to grab me and pull me to safety.

It’s not healthy, but it’s how I cope. I’m not the type do discuss my feelings—instead I suppress them and then run away as fast I can. The past always manages to catch up with me. And the cycle continues.

It’s not healthy, but it’s the only way to avoid the flashbacks and to ease the pain. It’s the only way I can survive.

--

You know the storm will strike again. You can see the luminous crowds, but instead of confronting the problem. You remain in denial and pray that somehow you can outrun the storm. It’s futile, it’s foolish, but you do it anyway. Because that’s the only way you can find the strength to keep living after he pulls you out of the storm.

That's what I wrote and somehow digging in the head of somebody else and writing this short piece helped me.

Just a personal note about this piece: Life is tough, but don't give up. Just keep pushing along and never give into the storm. It's always worth finding the strength to keep breathing.

Monday, March 7, 2011

NWOC Post Six -- Ianna

Ianna is a cutie pie. There’s really nothing more I care to say about her than I did in my last post.

Hello Ianna, I’d like to ask you a few questions. Would you mind answering a few questions for me?

You want to talk to me.

Yes I do.

Alright, what do you want to know?

Can you tell me what it was like growing up as an elf in a fairy city?

I was adopted into the fairy culture and immediately befriended me. They treated me like I was one of them. They adopted me and I have never felt out of place.

Tell me more about Bellona.

It is simply breathtakingly beautiful and awe-inspiring. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I simply love it here.

So you don’t want to travel outside of Bellona?

No, I love it here. I wouldn’t ever want to venture outside Bellona’s walls. It’s safe here and I know what’s expected of me. I’m content to stay here. I love my friends and my life. I don’t need to leave.

So you have no desire to discover your elfin roots?

No, I was born an elf, but now I’m more fairy than anything else. I know people are perplexed by my beliefs, but I really just don’t have to desire to go to Alaganda. Bellona is my home. I’m content to stay here.

Do you think you’ll ever have to leave Bellona?

No, I don’t. I plan on staying here with my loved ones. Everything I need is right here. And honestly, I just don’t care for adventure. I much prefer the safety of Bellona.

That right there is Ianna. She simply dreams of staying securely in Bellona. But unfortunately she won’t get what she wants. Tomorrow I’ll introduce you to the last character in the series of my The Chosen One NWOC posts. This has been really fun and I might do similar things in the future. Tomorrow I’ll post from Spiro’s view. Spiro is a unique character. He’s always good for a laugh in a tense situation.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

NWOC Post Five-- Shirina

Shirina is a mentor figure in The Chosen One. While she is an enigma and is never really fully understood, she plays a central role to the plot. She is a critical character and interesting to write. Her past is full of drama and adventure.

Shirina, can I ask you a few questions?

That depends on what you want to ask.

Fair enough. Why are you involved in the rebellion?

Baravan doesn’t rule fairly and shouldn’t be the proper ruler of Adrenda. He’s selfish, manipulative, cruel, and power-hungry. He isn’t good to the people. Adrenda suffers numerous hardships and afflictions because of him. The people deserve better than that. That’s why I’m part of the rebellion. I simply pray that my small contribution can help others.

And you feel the rebellion can help?

I feel that the rebellion is step in the right direction. People can gather there and know that they are safe from Baravan. It’s a refuge for those Baravan wants dead. It’s a safe haven. It’s a place where people can live safely and dare to oppose Baravan. In that regard I definitely think that the rebellion is helpful. But like everything it does have its flaws.

Do you want the rebellion to rule?

No, our goal is to simply overthrow Baravan. We seek only to place Adrenda back in its rightful hands—with Aaralyn’s daughter.

But she’s no even on Adrenda.

No, but she will be.

You seem certain.

I am. I know she’ll return.

Some think that she will be a monster and destroy all of us.

She won’t be and that’s a promise.

How can you be so sure?
I won’t answer that question. But I do want it known that I place my full faith in her abilities. She won’t let us down.

That’s Shirina. Tomorrow I will introduce you to Elaina. Elaina is the character, who I my opinion, grows the most within my novels. Her adventure/quest is very intriguing. I loved writing about her in the novel and watching her grow. She’s easily one of my all time favorites…I know I always say that, but it’s true.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Nwoc Post Four--Emory

Today’s post is an interview with Emory. Background information: Emory is the crown prince of Alaganda, a region within Adrenda (the fantasy world that The Chosen One takes place in). Emory takes his sense of duty quite seriously. He is very thoughtful and responsible.

Hey Emory, I’d like to interview you and ask you a few questions about yourself.

I guess mother put you up to this. She thinks I need to be more open to the public.

Well as next in line to the throne some would say that’s your duty.

I know. I just am not very good at it.

What are you good at? What do you love doing?
I honestly don’t know. I know that’s not the answer you are looking for, but that’s the truth. I don’t love learning about history, politics, etiquette, or other attributes really befitting for a king. Studying is practically all I do, but I don’t love it. I get by and meet my mother’s expectations but I don’t love it. To really be good at something, you have to love it.

An interesting perspective. It seems like you don’t really want to be king.

I don’t really have a choice. It’s expected. I wouldn’t dare let my mother down.

Do you have any other siblings?
Yes, I have an older sister named Shirina. I don’t really know her, but I would love to. I’ve heard stories about her and I’ve dreamed of meeting her for the longest time.

Tell me more about her.

Shirina is brave and intelligent. She doesn’t let anything stop her and she isn’t scared of anything. She lives in Ellnad and works for the resistance against Baravan. She is one of my absolute favorite people.

Why don’t you want to be king?

 I would love to travel. I want to see more of Adrenda. All I have ever seen is Alaganda. I really want to see what waits outside Alaganda’s borders. I’ve studied all of the different cultures and peoples, but I can never actually see any of it.

Why don’t you travel if you want to?

My mother would never forgive me for leaving and I just can’t bear to disappoint her. I can’t leave her. I belong here. She needs me.

You would stay for your mother and ignore your dream of traveling?
My mother needs me. That’s not even a question.

And that is Emory for you. He’s another one of my favorite characters. In NWOC Post Five, I’ll introduce you to Shirina. She’s an interesting character, who has dibs on being Alana’s mentor.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

NWOC Post Three- Telyn Monroe

This is the third post of NWOC and it’s from Telyn Monroe’s view. I guess you could call her one of the villains, I prefer misguided. She’s not evil; she is just a little confused and a little spoiled and it shows.

Telyn Monroe, I would like to ask you a few questions about yourself and interview you, if you wouldn't mind.

I’m a little insulted.

I’m sorry. Why are you insulted?
I think you know why. I was third. Third, as in two people were interviewed before me. That’s simply insulting. I’m clearly superior to them. I should just let you suffer and not say anything at all.

Alright then…

Fine, if you insist then I’ll keep talking, but only because you asked me to. As you know I’m Telyn Monroe. My parent’s pride and jewel. I am gorgeous. I have a perfect complexion, beautiful green eyes, and am five feet and six inches.

You mentioned all your features, why not your hair?

She noticeably stiffens. I just didn’t care to. Anyway, I’m very popular and well-liked by everybody, well except for Alana. But who really cares what that brat thinks. She thinks she’s so superior to me. But let’s not talk about her. She’s worthless anyway.

What interests you?

I love shopping. The way you feel walking with your friends carrying bags full of your stuff. Trying on clothes and knowing you look absolutely perfect. Now that’s an incredible feeling.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Maybe I’ll be a model and wear clothes for a living. Now that sounds like the perfect job. But that would be work and I do hate working. I don’t really know if I plan on ever getting a job. Working is for people like Alana not me. I don’t think I’ll get a job. I’ll just be a professional shopper. Now that sounds like fun.

Speaking of fun, I need to get ready for a party, so I’m going to quickly wrap this up. I can’t believe you picked me third when I’m clearly the most important. That was simply offensive.

And that for you is Telyn in a nutshell. For my fourth post of NWOC I’ll introduce you to Emory.

NWOC Post Two- Eva

Note: Sorry this post is a day late. Let's just say yesterday was hectic.

Today’s post is from Eva. Eva is a complex character whose role in the story is hard to sum up. I don't want to say too much about her, because she's pivotal to  the main story. Just know that Eva is a really important character and also another one of my favorites. (Although, honestly they are all my favorites.)

Eva, hello. I was wondering if you would like to tell me more about yourself and if I could interview you?

Sure, and I’ll start out by answering your real question. Yes, I am an elf in an all human city. Now having said that, I’ll move on. My life is great. I’ve been blessed with amazing friends. Even though I’m an elf, there are people here who have accepted me. We haven’t got into much mischief, but we know how to have fun and that involves sword fighting.

Sword fighting, that sounds interesting.

It is. Ciaron, my best friend, is determined to beat me someday and so I’m naturally determined to beat him. It’s all in good spirits of course.

What about your family?
My family isn’t my birth family. They are all humans…I’m not. Naturally, things get strained at times, but only when the m-word comes up, that is “magic.” The whole town fears magic and as I’m the only one with magical abilities—it makes life interesting.

Does everybody mind that you can do magic?
No, thankfully none of my friends really care. That’s partly why we’re friends. With them I could be anything and it wouldn’t matter.

I know I’ve spent most of my time talking about my friends or family instead of me, but I won’t apologize for that. My friends and family define who I am. So if you want to get to know about me, then you have to know about them.

What about love?

Love? Nope, not in the cards. I’m practically one of the guys anyway. Besides who would want to marry somebody who can beat them in a sword fight. I’m running out of time. Do you really want me to continue, anyway?

If you’d like to.

No, I promise I’m done. There really isn’t much to say. I have to go get ready for Ciaron’s rematch anyway. So nice talking to you and goodbye.


And that right there is Eva for you. For the third post of NWOC, I will introduce you to Cailyn Monroe.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NWOC Post One- Alana Monroe

I have decided to focus on seven characters from The Chosen One. I'll start with Alana Monroe.

A brief intro: Alana is the main character in The Chosen One and just to give her a break. She's right--she isn't crazy. Maybe paranoid yes, but not crazy.

Our interview went something like this:

Alana Monroe, I'd like to interview you. Would you care to tell me about yourself?
You want to interview me? Are you sure you don’t want to interview Cailyn or the Monroes?

I’m positive.

And you aren’t another psychiatrist or something? Because I already have one of those. I’m not paranoid I swear and I don’t have an overactive imagination. I’m not crazy.

I don’t think you are crazy.

I mean I know that I cause very bizarre things to happen when I’m around, but it’s not my fault. I’m not crazy. Things just happen.

I understand that. Would you like to tell me more about yourself?
To be honest, I’m not really sure why you want to know more about me. And since I’m a terrible liar, honesty is simply what people get when it comes to me.  I’d hate to disappoint you since you came out here to talk to me, but what could you possibly want to know though? I mean really there isn’t much to tell.

Let’s start simple, how old are you? Do you like school?

I’m almost eighteen years old and school is well…interesting to say the least.

Interesting? Do you care to expound?
Are you sure you aren’t a psychiatrist? Because like I said I already have one of those. And you certainly sound like one.

I promise I’m not a psychiatrist.

I’m sorry. I guess I just don’t really like talking about myself. I don’t even know much about myself really. I was adopted into the Monroe family when I was eight. I don’t know who my real family is or even why they put me up for adoption. I know I should be grateful that the Monroes put up with me, but I do wonder who my family really is. It hurts to think that from the moment I was born I wasn’t good enough. That for some reason my family didn’t want me.

I know that people say I shouldn’t think like that and they are probably right, but that simple statement doesn’t make anything better. It still hurts to know that my family didn’t think I was good enough for them. It doesn’t seem to bother Cailyn, my foster sister, but it bothers me. She is happy with her life. And well it’s not that I’m unhappy or ungrateful, I’m simply curious. The Monroes say that’s a flaw of mine.
(Pause)
I’m sorry I’ve babbled on for way too long.

No, that’s alright. Anything else you would like to add?

I’m sorry, but I really need to do my chores or else the Monroes won’t be happy.

Alana walks away thinking: Why didn’t I just start with that? “I’m sorry, but I really need to go do my chores.”  That would have been all I needed to say. But she came all this way and I didn’t want to disappoint her and so I started babbling. Why didn't I want to disappoint her though? She’s probably a psychiatrist in disguise. I’m not crazy, yes I know all the evidence leads to the conclusion that I am crazy, but I’m not. I don’t care what they say I’m not crazy. I simply make strange things happen. But that’s not my fault.

That lady is probably going to report back to my psychiatrist now and say I have abandonment issues. Maybe I do, but I don’t need to talk to a psychiatrist about them. Why did I tell her all that stuff about me? Ugh! I'm so stupid.

Alana is one of my favorite characters I've written, simply because the is the protagonist of the novel I started writing forever ago.

Well that's post one of NWOC! I'll see you tomorrow with post two where I'll introduce you to Eva, yep just Eva.

NWOC...National Week of Characterization

Last night, I came up with a fun idea. I wanted to write it on here immediately, but I was too sick to have any desire to blog, so instead I'll just blog twice today. :)

I have decided that this week is the National Week of Characterization....okay not really, but I've decided it's Danica Page's National Week of Characterization. Plus, I googled National Week of Characterization and apparently it doesn't exist, so I guess I can officially declare it at this week.

In order to celebrate, NWOC, a nice acronym  I think, I'm going to post seven posts from different characters' perspectives.

I'm going to write them as if nothing in the novel has happened yet and just start by telling each of them: "I'd like to interview you. Would you care to tell me about yourself?"

Looking back at this post, I realize that before writing it, perhaps I should have warned you that I'm a little loopy on cold medication. Whoops! But after all, I did warn you I was sick at the beginning, remember?

Back to the main point: Seven posts from seven characters. I'm really looking forward to this!
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