Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fantastic Contest!!

If you want to check out a fantastic contest, click on the link below. Literary Rambles has hit 3000 followers!!! And they are celebrating in a great way, giving back to their followers!! Seriously, click on the link, there are some amazing prizes up for grabs!

Literary Rambles: 3000 FOLLWERS MEGA, MEGA GIVEAWAY:

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cross Our Hearts

I don't know if I say this often enough, but my friend Jessi Webb, is a genius.

She mentioned a new story idea that she had, but it wasn't just a plot outline that she had. No, my brilliant friend also had a very cool idea for the format of the story. She explained her ideas to me and I immediately jumped on the bandwagon. At first, I was just being supportive and helping her suss out plots and character ideas and eventually, I was like... "umm, can I help?" The gracious girl accepted and suddenly our creativity exploded.

We sat on MSN for hours talking about this amazing plot idea and these fun,unique characters. And we sorted out what exactly we wanted to do.

That's when we created Cross Our Hearts. (There is a link on my side bar ----> over there) but here it is again.

Cross Our Hearts is a story about a group of seven childhood friends, who've now grown and are trying to find their way in life. Despite their differences in age and personality, they've remained close. They've had to. Five years ago, they experienced the type of loss that left their group reeling. The death of a friend.  An oath was sworn and they had to deal with the guilt and consequences of that ever since.

Sound good? We hope it does!

Each blog post is a chapter and each one is written from one of the seven friend's point of view. There are tags on the left of the page with each character's posts. Eventually we hope that you can read it in several ways. You can read the traditional way - each post as we post it. Or you can choose your favourite character and read through their posts first them move onto the next.

However you decide to read it, we truly hope you enjoy it. We are having so much fun writing this story and we'd love to hear what you think. Please leave us your thoughts in the comments of each chapter or you can email Jessi or I from the contacts page linked at the top.

Friday, November 16, 2012

SuperZero - a tiny excerpt

Chapter 1

Her fingers moved deftly over the small electronic device in her hands. The mustached plumber jumped at her command and caught the green and white mushroom that fell from the brick block above. Then running faster than his little legs should have allowed, he jumped for the brick castle as her score tallied.

“Yes!” Ava did a small victorious fist pump as she turned to grin cockily at her opponent. She reached up to tuck a pink lock of hair behind her ear as the slender man beside her grumbled.

“You’ve been practicing.” He commented. The way his eyes crinkled slightly at the corners was the only hint at the amusement he was feeling.

“Of course. You thumped me in Mario last time I was here.” Ava laughed as she reached for the can of soda off the steel table beside her.  “Can’t let that happen again.”

With a chuckle, Miles stood up and stretched his lean frame. His vibrant yellow and black spandex suit was just this side of indecent in the detail  that it revealed. 

Ava carefully averted her eyes.

“Your mom’ll be here soon. I should get ready. Brush up on Zelda for next time.” Miles said as he plucked the black mask from the table and fixed it over his dark eyes. He was The Bee - sidekick to one of the most mysterious super villains that Acyra City had seen in the last decade. Chaos. No one was sure of exactly  what his end game was. At the moment, his only goal seemed to be to create havoc.  His only obstacle so far was The Crimson Cape.

She was the sweetheart and savior of Acyra City. Not to mention president of the North-Eastern US chapter of the International Coalition of Superheroes or the ICS.

Oh, yeah… and she was Ava’s mom.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

When my friend and fellow writer, Jessi, suggested that we do some short stories to enter into a couple of contests, my first thought was 'Wow, she's brilliant' (it's a thought I have frequently) and the next thought to enter my mind was 'I can look through my folder of half started stories and see if anything there is usable.'

See, I have a folder. I'm sure most writers have one similar to it. It's filled with story ideas that I have started but for one reason or another, I don't finish them. Sometimes, I'm not sure of the plot. Other times it's the characters that aren't working for me. And then once in a while there is a story that just has too many possibilities and you aren't sure where to go with it. Not sure which path is the right one for that story.

And that is where I found SuperZero. Sitting patiently in that folder just waiting for me to figure out where to take it.

I had only written a thousand words of it and I truly loved it. Ava, my MC, was fun and she had a very distinctive voice. The premise of the story was solid. A fresh take on an old idea. Yet I had never done anything with it. So I pulled it out and read it over. I mulled over it for a full day and then it was like a floodgate had opened up in my mind and I could see exactly what I needed to do to make this story every thing I knew it could be.

I spent about two days writing it and it came out at about 5000 words. I loved the story. I loved how the characters interacted. I was quite happy with it. (and from a neurotic writer... that's saying something)

The problem? The contest I wanted to enter had a maximum of 4000. I had to trim a fifth of the story away. So the editing process took over a week to do and eventually came down to Jessi and I talking over the mics and pulling the story apart word by word. Finding any and all unnecessary words to cut. It took about an hour and half of intensive editing to remove the final 300 words but we did it. And it's a story that is tight, purposeful and a lot of fun. Every word works toward pushing the story forward and I am actually proud of it.

I sent it off to several friends and fellow writers to read over and have received positive feedback. In fact, I've actually developed my own cheering section for this story.

And now I have a book planned. And when I say planned, I mean I have a 2000 word synopsis of the plot written and details completely thought out. I also have a rough outline of a potential sequel (or series if it ever sold). I have to say, I am more excited about this book than I have been for anything in a very very long time. I am starting a 4 day weekend and I cannot wait to start writing it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

One step forward, three steps back.

No one can ever say the life of a struggling author is boring. I suppose, to the outside observer, it might appear that way. I mean, at first glance,  sitting alone in a room with a computer with nothing but the strains of Adele or Damien Rice playing in the background, may not appear to be the most exciting evening ever. Hell, written down like that, it sounds almost relaxing.

Yet as any writer will tell you, appearances can be decieving.

That scene above? That's how I spend my writing nights. Gentle sounds of music, the quiet clicking of the keyboard but I am usually wired on highly caffienated beverages, I'm possibly in the midst of a really good sugar buzz, I'm figuring out details on a rather tricky scene, and I've actually tuned out the soothing music and I'm engaging in a huge debate with several very vocal and very opinionated people at that very moment. And the best part of it all... those people are inventions of  my own imagination.

Yup, I'm apparently insane.

As absurd as it sounds, I love every second of it! I may sound certifiable when I talk about the arguments with my characters but I have them all the time. They may not be verbal discussions but there are struggles. I can plot a scene and think 'This character is going to react this way and then do this' but as I write I realise that it isn't right. The character guides how it should go. It's then that I realize that I have two options - I can write the scene the way I had it plotted or I can go with this new direction. And I can guarantee you, if I write it according to plan... I will be going back to rewrite it in the new direction before the story is finished.

So no, my characters don't start yelling "Hey dummy, you are writing it wrong!" but they do guide the writing. And it's those moments that I love. Why? Because at that moment I realize that my character have become more than just the sketch of a character I thought of. They have their own way of handling things, they have their own voice and they've developed in my mind the way I'd hoped they would.

To me, characters make or break a story. I love a good plot as much as the next person, but if the characters in that story feel flat or lack a voice, I will lose interest quickly. I can read a book with a less than stellar plot, but give me boring characters that I don't care about and I'll drop the book before I get to the midway point.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Amazing Contest!!

It's not often that I post about contests (actually, if you want to get technical, I've never written a post about any contest) but this one is different. I've been following Shannon's blog for ages now and she just announced recently that she has a book deal. (YAY SHANNON!) And to celebrate that fact, she has put together the contest to shame all other contests.

Check it out! There are some seriously kick ass prizes! Tell her Angie sent you (not that she'll have any idea who the hell that is... I just thought it sounded cool. )

Friday, October 14, 2011

Nanowrimo Prep

Well, it's almost that time of year again. Nanowrimo. 50,000 words in 30 days. Sounds like something only a crazy person would attempt, right? Right. That's why I've begun preparation for it now.

A few months ago I posted about a new world that I was creating and how it had all been inspired by a beer commercial (of all things). That's the world I am going to work on for this year's Nano. And right now I am working on the plot for it. I already have what I refer to as the bible for Hallow City (the working title). In the bible, I have detailed, but poorly drawn maps, character sketches, creatures, notes on the different groups of people and a few vague notes about the plot.

But the plot is the part that is being most difficult for me. I can see the world, I can almost hear the characters and I can envision the creatures, but I need a plot to propel the story forward. So the last few days I worked on figuring out the details.

I grabbed my bible of Hallow City and a pen and I sat down to figure things out. I had good intentions. Yet somehow, instead of working on the plot for Sophie, Em and Bea... I wrote out a fantastic plot for Ellie (Em's grandmother). That's right. I wrote 3 pages of backstory plot but nothing for the plot of this story. I still have  a lot of work to do but you know what? I kinda love it. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I really have fantastic friends.

These pictures were drawn by David Webb. They are so incredibly accurate with my vision of Will and Victoria, I had to share them with you.

Thank you again to David! You are my favourite person!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beyond annoyed.

So as I was on Twitter earlier I found a link through Nathan Bransford. It was an article about how the Harry Potter movies were better than the books.


I rarely comment on such garbage, but this article annoyed me to no end. Below is my response.

This was obviously a great attempt at trying to generate traffic by inciting Harry Potter fans only days before the final movie is released. Congratulations! You succeeded.  And as much as I wanted to just ignore this article and not comment, it has annoyed me since I first read it, so I am back to add in my two cents.

I am a fan of the movies because I love the books. I overlook the giant plot holes in the movies because as a fan of the series, I know the things that are being missed. The movies are visually stunning and lots of fun to watch, but they can't even begin to compare to the heart that drives the books forward.

This comment "Harry himself remained stuck in the whiny, adolescent act two of his story, storming away from the Order of the Phoenix because he can’t come to terms with being important." made me laugh out loud. Do you remember being a teenager?

At the time of Order of the Phoenix, Harry is 15 years old and he'd just lost his godfather. The man who was best friends with his father. The man who could have helped him escape the horrors of his Aunt's house. With the loss of Sirius, Harry lost yet another connection to his parents who he never had a chance to know. And you thought a normal 15 year old grieving boy would just accept the fact that he is important? That he'd accept the fact that if Sirius weren't protecting him, he never would have been killed? Really? His reaction may not have been right but it was one of the many things that made me adore these stories. She made us feel his pain with that temper tantrum of his, she made us care that much more about him. She made him seem even more real.

And despite what you suggested, he does grow through the stories. By the end, he gives his life willingly in order to defeat Voldemort. It was a selfless and mature reaction, one that he likely wouldn't have done if he'd not gone through the loss of Sirius and the loss of Dumbledore. He gave his life in order to save so many others. Not exactly the reaction of a whiny adolescent, is it?

The movies were wonderful, but they were wonderful because they had a brilliant series as their basis. The books were the heart. They were what captured the hearts and imaginations of millions and the movies cashed in on that.

Edit: My friend, Jessi has a fantastic rebuttal to this article on her blog

Monday, July 11, 2011

I should be sleeping.

But instead, I am busy creating my new world. I am obsessed at the moment. Maps, descriptions, rules and just general tidbits of information are flowing onto the page. My characters are beginning to take shape in my head and the plot (though still just a basic outline) is starting to take form. Right now, it's the world that I am focusing on.

Originally it was going to be Earth, a few hundred years after a nuclear war had completely decimated the planet, but the more I worked on the world, the more I realized that it had to be a new world all together. And once I made that decision, the floodgates opened and I have so many pages of information. Most I will likely never need, but I have this intense need to write it all down in case I do need it some day. I have never done anything of this scale before so I am kind of going overboard, I'm sure.

One thing that I've done that I'm actually quite proud of is that I am actually creating what I refer to as my 'bible' for this world. I have it all sectioned off into different areas - world, characters, plots, etc. And I have everything (even the post it note map I made when this all came to me) tucked in there. What I am hoping is, that as I write this story - which is tentatively being called Hallow City, I will have any info I need right at my fingertips.

Like I said, this is all new to me, so I figure it's better to be over prepared for this story. The best part of it though, is that the world is feeling more and more real to me as I work on this. I can see the cities, the forests, the creatures, everything is coming together that will, hopefully, make it easy to slip into this world once I start working.

Fingers crossed that that is true.