Many thanks to founder Alex J. Cavanaugh and our co-hosts: Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre, Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!
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.
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.
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.
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.)