Category Archives: story development

Part five of The Whiteboard

Here it is! Part five! Good day friends! I hope this finds you happy and well. Are you enjoying these tidbits of story? I am having fun writing them.

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If you recall, the last time we met, Anne was frustrated to find the writer had turned her windshield into a new form of whiteboard. This time, she finds that even silence screams loudly when executed aright.

THE WHITEBOARD part five by ©Kim Smith

By the time Anne reached the highway, she’d worked herself into a terrible headache. She’d been having a lot of those lately and wasn’t too happy about it. She’d been a sickly child and headaches seemed to haunt her. Remembering her childhood sicknesses were a quick way to become depressed. They had been the reason her father was never home, she was sure. He couldn’t stand to hear her crying she supposed.

“Oh, for goodness’ sake, think about something else,” she chided aloud. So, she turned up the radio and sang off-key as loud as she could.

That would exorcise any demon.

~@~

The next day, Thursday, when she arrived in her office to prepare for her meeting, she was shocked to find that nothing appeared on the whiteboard. Her question seemed stark, bold.

“Who ARE you?”

The writer had obviously taken the high road and given up. She was a little sad that she didn’t get a reply on the person’s identity. She chuckled as she wiped the board clean.

Her meeting came and went, and she gathered her lunchbag and headed to the kitchen. A strange anticipation filled her. Would the writer strike during the day again?

Did she really want this odd messaging to continue? Wasn’t the writing on her car enough? This person was stalking her in a way. They even knew her car.

As she stood in front of the microwave, she decided she might want to follow Beatrice’s advice and go to someone higher. Someone in authority might be able to stop this. But she shied back, fear of judgment from someone over her at work filling her mind. Wouldn’t do to tell anyone now. There was no evidence–only her words saying so. No way she wanted her superiors to think she was encouraging the writer, and they would because she was not trying to stop it.

She was the one leaving the door open. She had encouraged the behavior of the writer, hadn’t she? If she wanted this to stop, she only had to start locking up. Show the writer that she was not playing anymore.

Her reflection glowed in the stainless of the microwave. Was she that lonely? Desperate for a relationship so that she secretly welcomed the writer’s intrusion?

She took her lunch out of the microwave and headed to her table. She couldn’t focus all of her attention on this. Not now, not ever. It would make her even more mousy and timid. She hated feeling like this. Trapped. Like she didn’t have good choices to pick from.

She sighed as she blew on a hot piece of broccoli.  Maybe the car incident would be the last. Maybe this was just a phase. Maybe one day the writer would come into her office and ask her how she liked his or her activity.

It was just a big joke, wasn’t it?

_____ ~~@~~_______

Welllll… so…there ya go- part five in the can. Check back in a few days for another installment.

 

 

5 Writing Errors You Need to Kill

Have you ever witnessed errors in a book and wondered how on earth that passed through the editing process? I have, and it was not only in a big-time published book, it has been in my own work as well. No matter how you go through editing, revisions, editing, revisions, sometimes typos come up.

errors

It happens.

But there are a few things that SHOULDN’T happen in your work, no matter what genre you write in or how many books you have already put on the shelf. These errors just shouldn’t be allowed to exist. Stab ’em to death.

Here are 5 points to make about writing errors.

  1. Wrong endings-rushed endings. We all know that it is a true gift to be able to write a full-length novel and weave a story worthy of a reader’s time. But why on earth would you go through that whole page count thing only to end up at THE END with an ending that utterly leaves the reader feeling bereft? When the ending feels like the writer just ran out of steam, I want to throw my e-reader out of the window. You cannot give the reader an ending that doesn’t work. The ending is the dot on the end of the sentence, and we want it to feel satisfactory.
  2. Pet words and phrases.  I am a ‘that, very, just’ person. Those pet words crop up in my writing all the time. You probably noted that just reading this blog post. Those pet words that are usually unnecessary can be and should be deleted. Also, if you are a I knew, I felt, I thought, writer, then yes, that too should be examined. Most times if you say “I knew that slamming door meant something” – you can leave off the I knew. It is stronger writing to NOT tell us what you as the first person protag knows, sees, feels, or thinks. We are already in your head.
  3. Neglecting spell-check or grammar-check.  Look, I am from the south. I speak about as disgustingly improper as it gets. But that doesn’t mean I should make my writing sound like I speak. The only one who gets to talk like I talk is a character. Dialog aside, be sure to make everything RIGHT. Be sure to read stuff out loud. You will catch more that way.
  4. Repeat for emphasis, not out of forgetfulness.  It is totally fine to use the rule of three in your books or stories. Dickens even did it. It is not fine to repeat yourself because you were too lazy to go back and check to see if you had said this before only in another way. The readers do not need a two-by-four to the head to get the info you are imparting.
  5. Keep your descriptions relevant. I know, this one is going to get you to raise your eyebrows a little. I know. I am the SPARSEST description writer out there. It’s a problem for me. But there are those who get SO wrapped up in setting and description that readers flip through the pages of it to get to the story. If you have beta readers, they will need to call you on this problem. Description is good, but it can be overdone. No one wants to have to skip over long paragraphs of text about the trees lining the plain.

Well, I guess that does it for me for today. I am going to try to have a few more craft posts on the blog because well, that’s what I like to do. If you have suggestions on subjects you want to see covered, please drop me a line in the comments below.

Happy Error/Errors Checking!

make

Five Actions to Beat Procrastination

I think I have found about five actions you can take to beat procrastination.

Procrastination is the action of putting off doing something, a postponing of a deadline. 

actions

Have you ever procrastinated? I think we all have. Especially in school. We didn’t really WANT to put in the work to finish that science project, or that history project. We didn’t want to work on that speech debate in college either, did we?

Well, procrastination is my favorite friend these days. I mean I have been inching toward the third book in the Shannon Wallace mystery series. I selected a few images over the weekend that might work for a cover. I did a bit of editing. So, it isn’t like I am not doing ANYTHING. But my deadline is today, and it is going to go right by unfinished. Unnoticed. Unaccomplished. In other words, no action.

I have some good excuses. One being that I have a hurt foot. Yeah, too much treadmill time might have been a bad idea.

But while I wait to see if normal activity is going to make it swell again, I have to ask myself–

What can I do to  be more proactive, more productive?

geralt / Pixabay
geralt / Pixabay

Five actions you can take now

  1. Actually do the work. Spending time with other writers can be fun, and the talk between you really enlightening, but getting the writing down is more important. Actually take the actions to move you forward.
  2. Minimize distractions like the games on Facebook. These are the bane of my existence. I have to make myself ignore them. Do not take actions like these.
  3. Time yourself. Set a clock and don’t allow yourself to wander from the job at hand. It’s okay to set timed deadlines. Tell yourself you can go play that game after 20 minutes of work. Then get back to it after 20 minutes of game time! Actions can be fun.
  4. If deadlines shut your creativity down, then don’t do that. Find another way to increase your activity level. Like…a chocolate bar! Actions like these might increase productivity like a dangling carrot. Hehe…only if you are a fitness maniac like me.
  5. Examine what it is that isn’t working. This may be a put-the-earbuds-in activity. Sometimes we need to shut out ALL distractions to be focused on the situation at hand in order to fix what is keeping us from going forward with it. Taking action means being focused.

All in all, it is far more important to be gentle with yourself, especially if you have some injury like I do that is keeping your activity limited. But if you have to be off your foot(feet) then try to make some time to get your writing in. Even two pages or 500 words is an accomplishment you can take pride in.

geralt / Pixabay
geralt / Pixabay

Taking some of these actions will shoo away the blues for most of us.

Heck, this blog post is over 400 words. See, I took my own advice!

 

Seven deadly sins for writers

I like writing thematic stories. The Last Dragyn Slayer is based on one of the seven deadly sins, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth – mostly lust.

You can get that here for a mere 99 cents by clicking the cover:
seven

Considering the seven deadly sins got me to thinking about what those might look like to a writer. Covetousness might be jealousy. Have you ever said, “dang I wish I had written that book.” Yeah, that would be it. Lust, like…”wow, look at that book cover, that man is HAWT.” Uh huh, that’s it. Anger would be “OMG, they rejected me AGAIN??? What idiots!” and well, gluttony would be dining on the bones of another author, I know you have done that! How about envy? Oh yeah. “I wish I was that author!” Of course, sloth would be those who just plain don’t care about the online persona they own. You can’t be dissing people on your sites and have an awful personality and expect readers to respect and trust you. It’s like keeping a dirty house and not caring who knows it.

Seven deadly sins for writers

Jealousy
We have to nip this one in the bud, writers. There are plenty of readers to go around. We do not need to hate on those who are more successful than us. We should glory in their successes because when one writer succeeds it is a win for all books and book writers.

Lust
To me, as a writer, this is the most useless thing you can do. Why do you just surf around and find things to wish after? Why don’t you sit your butt in the chair and do something about it? It’s an easy fix, writer. Just DO it.

Anger
Instead of hating on others for either rejecting you, not buying your book, leaving a bad review, try to find out what it all really means. Maybe you deserved to be rejected, maybe your book isn’t the glowing ruby you think it is. Look for the right answer, writer.

Gluttony
There is something known as “worldbuilder’s disease” in the sci-fi/fantasy world. It is where a writer spends all their time building the world of their story and never get around to writing the story. Yeah. This would be gluttony. You are feasting on the wrong thing. Get on with it, writer.

Envy
Again, like jealousy, there is plenty of readers out there. Don’t spend another moment thinking that someone is getting all the glory and you are being left out in the cold. You aren’t. But if you do not keep going, it is a 100% certainty you will never make it.

Sloth
Please care about how you present yourself online. Don’t be mean, pushy, arrogant or rude. The book world is big but it can become very small when a discordance appears in its ranks. Wouldn’t you rather be known for your kindness instead of the other? There are no small parts as a writer. Only small people.

I know this will make some people think about their writing life. I hope you are the one who smiles and says, that’s true, instead of the one who clicks off the page and says, she’s an idiot–because that would mean you are the very one who needed to read this post.

Writer Groupie Episode 41 YA Fiction with H W Vivian

Welcome, Groupies! This is episode 41 of the podcast, and today I chat with H W Vivian, author of War of Rain, Chasers, and a humor/satire book, Days of Amber, under her pen name, Alex Chu. In my intro, I talk about Disk of Death and what the latest is on that book coming out in February. I also ‘splain what a copy editor is among other fun things, so be sure to check out the audio version of the podcast for my tidbits, or the video version for the interview only.

So, here we go…on with the show!
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episode 41 hwvivian

H W Vivian is full of great information and inspiration for authors, so I am excited to have her on Writer Groupie Podcast.

In this episode, we discuss H W Vivian’s journey as an author of YA contemporary fiction and how writing and marketing her work has led her to find a lot of new friends. This episode is full of information and inspiration, so please enjoy!

SHOW NOTES:

In this episode, we learn about Vivian’s writing journey and:

  • What she’s been doing since we met at Imaginarium in Louisville.
  • How she got started writing and why she added more to her first novel.
  • What she thinks the best part of self-publishing is.
  • Where H W Vivian gets her ideas.
  • Who she goes to for reviews.
  • Insider info on book bloggers and how they can mold an author’s career.
  • Tomoson.com and how it can benefit YOU!
  • Since we all only have 24 hours in a day, what she gives up for her writing.
  • What her goals for 2016 will be.
  • H W Vivian’s best advice for aspiring authors.

writer groupie

Find H W Vivian on these sites:
Author Website: www.H-W-Vivian.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hwvivian7
Twitter: @vhwang7
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8115866.H_W_Vivian?from_search=true&search_version=service
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/H.-W.-Vivian/e/B00JRFBDZU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1445895528&sr=8-1

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You can also subscribe to this podcast in iTunes HERE

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