Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Character Traits and IWSG JULY 2019


To find out more about IWSG, go HERE.

OPTIONAL QUESTION: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

I try to avoid writing personal traits into my characters.
I really do.

However, in my first book, many of my characters (possibly all) had the same way they reacted to irritation, frustration, and anger. They closed their eyes and took a deep breath.
Yes, I do that. 

And no, I didn't intend for nearly every single character to do that in my first novel.
So embarrassing.

The second book in the trilogy gets a bit better. Some characters clench their teeth (okay, I do that sometimes, too) and some grip the pommels of their swords (I don't carry one) or clench their fists (I don't do that either).

A book that has helped me the most with varying my character's reaction to strong emotions is: The Emotion Thesaurus

I have incorporated emotional moments from my life into some my fiction, but I have tried to change the details so much that no one would know. By the time I have written a novel, I've spent a lot of time developing characters and discovering how different they are from me. 

To me, writing is the best way to take a walk in someone else's shoes, to ask "what if" questions about humanity and life within the safe zone of fiction and other realities. 

I've written about heroes, I've written about villains. I've written in fantasy and SF worlds and I've written in the contemporary world. In all of my stories, my characters are developed from the problems they face, the world they live within, and the choices they make. 

While I have fenced foil and saber competitively, I've never killed anyone with a sword like some of my characters have. (Champion in the Darkness)

I believe the best fiction has an element of truth behind it, but the characters and their choices are new to their world and their time.


My insecurity the last few weeks:  my busy family life, other life projects (house, yard, job hunt) have been over-taking my writing time. I have been struggling to commit to writing sessions longer than 10 minutes other than on Tuesday night write-ins (have I mentioned how thankful I am for this group? Super Thankful!!!).

My July plan: 
1. Acceptance. If short spurts of concentration are possible, then I'm going to work with them. 10 minute writing sessions, 4-sentence exercises - bring them on!
2. Building up endurance slowly. I'm going to add a few minutes to some writing sessions at home: 10-12, 12-15, 15-20, etc. Only going up to 25 minutes (other than Tuesdays). 
3. More than one short session a day. I know this is possible, especially since I need physical breaks between yard/house/etc projects.
4. New desk area. I moved my desk into my older daughter's old room. She has a summer internship and she'll only be home for one or two weekends before she takes off again in the fall when I'll be empty nesting since my youngest is going off to college, too. (I'm glad my daughters are soaring on adventures, I'm going to miss them - my emotions are all over the place. Side benefit: more space for a writing area.)
5. Writing calendar revision. I have one, but it was buried under laundry and cat hair. Now, it's time to dust it off. 
6-7. Acceptance and rest. No matter what happens with my writing, I fully intend to spend as much time possible with my family this summer - which means there are going to be days when I don't write at all. And that's not just okay, it's good.

I'm also doing Camp NaNoWriMo at my own pace for July: 

Most importantly though - *Living life fully is important
Between the rough draft of this post and the final draft, I went to a Celebration of Life for the 24-year-old son of a friend and it reminded me of what really matters.



IWSG NEWS

The time is now!
Write and submit stories for the 2019 IWSG Anthology Contest!
Genre: Middle Grade Historical - Adventure/Fantasy
Details of genre: MG means for 9-14 year-old children, not older audiences.
Historical means before the year 2000 and this is the main genre.
It might be Adventure or Fantasy - within the Historical genre.
Theme: Voyagers
Word Count: 6,000

Example of a Historical MG story idea with a fantasy sub-genre:
When Queen Elizabeth made a quick stop in Seattle in 1983, her presence threw off the balance in a D&D game played by pre-teens Sarah and Jason. With an elven mage on the loose, these pre-teens  take a voyage on the ferry from Bainbridge Island to the Seattle Waterfront to find an object that will stop the elven mage before he attacks the Queen on the Seattle Monorail.
Historical elements: Queen Elizabeth stopped in Seattle in 1983. She rode the Seattle Monorail. 
(I saw her and waved along with my Girl Scout Troop and thousands of other people.)
Fantasy element: the Elven mage coming out of a D&D game. 



Enjoy reading the stories from the  2018 Contest Anthology Winners in Masquerade: Oddly Suited.


The next IWSG Twitter Pitch event is January 15, 2020.


The Goodreads Book Club will host events in July for their June/July Book: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. This book was selected as a good example of dialogue.



The Next WEP is in August, but you can write ahead!
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow....so begins the famous poem by William Carlos William - the inspiration behind this prompt. Can be taken in myriad directions. Can be purely a prop. Part of the setting in a garden? A construction site? A factory? What depends upon it?


For the Summer on Instagram, here are our list of dates, days, and announcements!
Feel free to join in on any date, or do your own thing - just add a tag or a hashtag with #theiwsg or #iwsg so we can all encourage one another.

Some guidelines for Instagram:
Hashtags are gold on Instagram. 
Try: #amwriting #writersofinstagram #writingcommunity for writing posts.
For book posts, try: #amreading #bookstagram or specific #readfantasy #fantasy #YA 
Be sure to use your regular feed and don't go "direct" because most Instagram-mers prefer to view the general feed and follow hashtags to find specific posts. 
Don't use direct messages for marketing purposes. (This is considered spam.) 
Follow hashtags like #amwriting to see what other writers post there or to find writing friends.
Share Instagram through Twitter/Facebook to get your posts to go farther and spend less time creating new material for each platform.
And, if you have a picture for your blog posts, share your blog posts via Instagram by sharing the same picture, then asking viewers to click through the link in your Instagram profile - which goes to your site, right?
But, no matter if you forget the rest, always #hashtag your Instagram!



Minor note: Two of my books are in the Smashwords Summer Sale from July through August.
Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry is free for two months. (Reviews appreciated.)
Champion in Flight (The Champion Trilogy, bk. 2) is $1.25 for two months. (Again, reviews appreciated.) 










39 comments:

The Cynical Sailor said...

The Emotional Thesaurus is such a great writerly reference! I use it all the time. Such a time of change for you with your daughters off on their new adventures. You sound like you're an amazing mom and you've prepared them well for this new stage in their life. Cheers - Ellen

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

While your daughters are off on their adventures, you're kind of having your own, too - setting up your writing space, becoming an empty-nester, etc. :)

Good luck with Camp!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good luck with Camp NaNo!
You're sure you don't wield a sword?

Cathrina Constantine said...

Sorry to hear of your friends 24 year old son. Life is precious. And each day matters.

Spending time with family and friends is essential in life. I drop everything for my family, it's a wonder I get anything done for myself, like writing. Those writing sessions I stick in-between grandbabies nappy time.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Aw, thanks, Ellen!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Madeline!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Not every day!
Thanks, Alex!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, life is precious.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Catherina!

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great that you are focusing on your family this summer. It's so important. Me too.

Life gets in the way of me writing for long stretches most days too. I like your idea of very short writing periods on those days.

Liza said...

Sounds like you have a good writing plan and an excellent perspective. Enjoy your summer!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Natalie - short writing moments are what keep me going. I think, sometimes, they are my main mode of operation and the other long writing days are the strange ones.

Liza - thanks!

Erika Beebe said...

I am ordering that resource today. Thank you Tyrean. And thank you for all the wonderful reminders you plan to take on your journey this month. I will send you plenty of good thoughts as you tackle your goals and I love how you still want to live your life and breathe :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It will be weird with your daughters gone. Keep yourself busy writing in your new spot.

Thanks for ordering a book! (I JUST got notification. I LOVE the PayPal app. LOL)

krystal jane said...

I still haven't picked up The Emotion Thesaurus. I'm curious because I see so many people talking about it. Writing about people different from me is the absolute best part of writing. ^_^

10 minute writing sessions can be quite productive. At the end of the week, you've written for over an hour. And you definitely don't have to write everyday either. I've written entire books just on the weekends.

Patricia Lynne said...

Good luck with your plan for July!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Erika - Thank you!

Diane - yes, it will be. And you're welcome. :)

Krystal - I agree with you on writing about different people. :) Yes, short writing sessions definitely work!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Patricia!

M.J. Fifield said...

Best of luck with Camp NaNoWriMo this month! I really wanted to do it, but I had another pressing project that I decided needed all of focus (however much there may be) rather than just part of it.

Short writing sessions can be extremely productive for a lot of writers. May you find success with them, too!

Tyrean Martinson said...

MJ - Thanks you, MJ!

Rachna Chhabria said...

I like the way you gave your characters your traits :) I do that many time without realizing it!

T Drecker said...

It's great that you give your characters a few of your traits - unintentional or not. Summer is harsh on writing time, and family always comes first. I don't think that's a choice you'll ever regret.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Empty nesting is great. I miss having my children around, but I also like having more time and space for my life and my career.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Too bad we don't live closer to each other. I'm suffering the same "stuff". Kids home for the summer, off on their own adventures in the fall. It's wonderful and exhausting and then a bit lonely, but we do have the stories to keep us company.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Rachna - it's interesting how our traits will pop into our fiction.

T Drecker - family definitely comes first.

Susan - it's good to hear that encouragement. :)

Elizabeth - yes, we do. :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Looks like you have a FULL plate this summer. Keep at it though, you're off to a wonderful start. Camp NaNo is going to keep your writing skills sharp. I like this month's question and your honesty in answering it. Most writer's put so much of themselves into their characters, me included. It must be hard to purposely keep yourself out of their personalities.

Thanks for all the IWSG information. I wish I had time to write for these events. Trying to focus on finishing my ms write now. I hope to, soon...

Suzanne Furness said...

Spending time with your family is very important, I hope you have lots of lovely time together. As the children start to fly the nest I think these times become even more precious. Small bursts of writing sounds good, I shall try this to help kick-start my writing this month. Best wishes.

Sarah Foster said...

Good luck with Camp NaNo and your July plan! I like the idea of short writing sessions. I should try something like that since I'm usually so tired after work and don't get any writing done.

Gwen Gardner said...

I have problems scheduling writing too. But now that I've finally finished my outline, I'm going to start writing during the week--so hard to do when you have a day job. Good luck on your job search, btw, and good luck at camp nano!

cleemckenzie said...

Some of the well-published authors repeat their phrases, too. I forget which one I recently read, but I thought that if another character heaved a sigh, I was going to throw the book across the room. Impractical, of course, because I was reading on my Kindle!

Julie Flanders said...

Sounds like you've got a great plan for the month. Best wishes and good luck with Camp NaNo. :)

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Thanks for the tip about the Emotional Thesaurus! I hadn't stumbled on that one. Your reminder to check that characters have their own individual reactions to stress or whatever is a good one.

Hang in there through the stress, and good luck with the job search.

Renee Scattergood said...

Good luck with Camp NaNo! I'm doing it as well.

I tend to go back and forth between writing and doing housework as well. It helps to break it up so I don't burn out too fast. It also helps me get work done around the house. If I didn't stop writing to get it done, I'd work all day and the house would be a wreck...well more of a wreck. LOL

Have a great weekend!

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

Writing groups are more valuable than what most of us give them. They really do help not only to motivate us to keep writing but to write even better.

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Jackson said...

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Jackson said...

Learning to proofread your work yourself is a must-have skill. But, it always helps to have a second pair of eyes review your work to make sure you haven't missed embarassing typos, or grammatical and syntactical errors. I'd suggest WordsRU.com for this. It also saves you a lot of time to have your work formatted according to the right style. Saves you a lot of time and allows you to focus on your work.
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Jackson said...

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Jackson said...


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Thesis Editing Services
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