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NaNoWriMo Day 6

NaNoWriMo Day 6

Some comments thus far:

  • I this story is darker than its predecessor in this series. I half-expected it to be so, however. 😉
  • This morning I passed the 10k mark. I hope to make 12k by this evening.
  • I wouldn’t be making the progress that I am without Chris Fox’s book 5,000 Words Per Hour. Actually, I probably woudn’t have participated this year had I not adopted this writing method. It has more than doubled my productivity thus far.
  • I have procrastinated other things though—namely housework, and editing Prophecy Revealed. I need to get on that.
  • Unlike previous attempts at nano I am not including filler, and am trying to actually write A GOOD STORY. That’s half the challenge after all. I Remember, Wishful Thinking turned out to be a Novella after I cut out all the filler I inserted during Nano (the only year I’d actually won). 😉
  • NaNoWriMo helps me to take my writing seriously; keeping it top priority and it’s the first thing I do when I get up in the morning (after making coffee of course 😉 ).
  • I plan to blaze ahead this week, so that Thanksgiving weekend I can award myself a “day off” when family is in town, etc.

For those of you who would like to buddy me or follow my progress my name on NaNoWriMo’s official site is Karen_Crumley. http://nanowrimo.org/participants/karen_crumley/

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III. I Will Persist Until I Succeed

Some of you may think I am some “Newbie” author who had just started writing within the past year or so, with the release of Wishful Thinking.  That assumption would be wrong.  

I have been writing for most of my life; and writing has been my career choice for over half of my life.  

Always, I write under the mantra I Will Persist Until I Succeed. 

I have been persisting that long in my ongoing uphill climb to success. And my journey is not over yet. 

Sure, there were times I had to put my writing on the back burner in search of a steady, well-paying “Day Job”.  There were times when I thought I was better off writing as a hobbyist rather than a professional author.  But no more.  

I will persist until I succeed.  

Persistence pays off.  I may not be JK Rowling, or Suzanne Collins,…but I believe I will find my success–my own successs–At the end of this road of hard work, enduring sales slumps, periods where i cannot find an affordable editor and have to shell out more than anticipated or find an affordable alternative, a so-so review of a “just okay” book, and the sneers of others who for now are doing better than me.  But I will succeed.  And my success is my own unique reward for hard work. 

And, I will succeed.  Failure=giving up.  Quitting is for the weak.  I am not weak. 

Don’t ever give up your goals, your dreams, or doing what makes you happy.

Persist until you succeed, and let each day teach you something new in how to achieve those dreams.  

Persist until you succeed. 

~K. Crumley 

 

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II. I Will Greet Each Day With Love in my Heart.

Why do I write?
More specifically why do I pursuit a career in writing fiction?

Am I in it to get rich and famous? Maybe even be dubbed the next J.K. Rowling? Nice dreams…but no. That is not why I write.

Quite simply, I write because I love it. I love to write, and am in love with the whole process of writing and publishing from beginning to end. It is my passion.

A very wise woman who I respect, and fellow writer and poet once told me “You have to love what you do for a living…”
And she is right. I’ve had a lot of unpleasant jobs with bad career decisions, and have learned to steer clear of those. A day job (especially for a writer) is a necessity, but the more pleasant a day job you have the better off you are.
I like retail, and have really enjoyed retail loss prevention…
But more than that, I love writing.

As I focus now (more so than ever) on making writing my full time career, I am writing with a new fervor each day for minimum 2 hours…and before I know it those 2 hours have become 4…then 5.

I Start each day doing something that I love.

And, it has changed my attitude and outlook for the better.
Suddenly, I don’t mind the rest of my tasks so much.

Dishes, laundry, even Algebra homework. 😉

And when I’m all done with my other daily tasks, I just might find time to write again.

Start every day with love in your heart.
Do something that you love,
Spend time with someone that you love…

And the rest of the day will seem that much brighter. 🙂

~K. Crumley

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Filed under authors, creativity, day job, Goals, Goals and Resolutions, Great Reads, schedules, self-confidence, self-discipline, Staying focused, time management, Uncategorized, writing

NaNoWriMo 2012

Going into this full throttle and completely organic. No outline, no character sheets, no maps, just a few things I had jotted down as part of a series of separate stories.

This is going to be a completely liberating creative experience.

Current word count thus far: 2,747.

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Character Connections: Tryna (a Mer-Witch)

While at work the other night, I had a brainstorm for a new character in The Corithian Saga inspired by an image I saw at dreamstime.com (I would post it here, but unfortunately the site is down today.) The picture was of a young girl with long, black hair and a mischievous smile. She was wearing a gold torc around her head, and a long, blue velvet medieval gown.

The character’s name is Tryna, and she is a mermaid. A rebellious, willful teen who is jealous and resentful of her two cousins Raphael and Celyndra.
She runs away to join a coven, “Sisterhood of the Sea.” She lived with the sea witches for nearly two years, before returning back to the castle at her uncle’s request. And, despite her rebellious attitude she uses her gifts of magic to pull through, and help the Royal Family in time of need.

That’s what I have planned so far…
I’m sure that some of these details might be tweaked, and altered…and maybe a few new ones
added. 😉

~K. Crumley

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Writing ADHD (part 1)

I think I have a rare condition known as writers ADHD. Or, simply put “too many good story ideas, to little time.” I tend to have difficulty staying on one project at a time…I kind of bounce around a lot.

For instance, I will be working on something for a while, and then get revisited by the Muse, and have to write some new story ASAP while it’s still fresh in my head. For this reason, a lot of my stories wind up on the back burner…sometimes indefinitely.

I’m try to remedy this situation. What works best for me is to create a spreadsheet with charts for all my current projects.
Divide it up into 2-3 tiers, creating deadlines for “top tier” projects as well as (hopeful) release dates. I find putting that kind of pressure on myself keeps me focused. LOL

Second tier: Older first drafts I really should finish. This tier also includes all the first drafts that I finished and left on the “pre-revision back burner” for far too long…

Third tier: all those new idea brainstorms I have.

So now, I jot down those ideas I get struck by and label them as “future projects.” Then, I go back to my First-tier WIP’s.

Well, that’s just how I get myself off of this “too many projects” never ending treadmill. Feel free to share your own!

~K. Crumley


Disclaimer: This post is in no way meant to offend those who suffer from ADHD, or their families.

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Character Connections: Daughters of Oberia Series dream cast.

Okay, I was totally unprepared for today’s Character Connection post.  I had nothing prepared for today, so I decided to do something a little different.  

I think most writers picture certain people in our heads while we write, or maybe we have characters inspired by certain celebrities.  Maybe even some of us fantasize about who will play our characters in the film versions of our books.  Hey, it’s fun to daydream…what can I say?  In fact, I think most of my stories start out as daydreams.  

Anyhow, here is my dream cast for my Daughters of Oberia series, in video format. (a video I produced just for fun, while fighting writer’s block.) 

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Character Connections: Astrid Armadas.

Character Name: Astrid Armadas
Nickname: “The Blade.” Plus, several Aliases have been used in her lifetime, depending on her mission. Many times she has assumed a new identity and gone “in cognito” even as a male.
Age: 28
Hair Color: Black
Eye color: Brown
Frame: thin, average height.
Featured in: Daddy’s little girl. Short Story to debut Superbowl Sunday.

Astrid’s mother left when she was five years-old. Her mother left her nothing but a glance of pity as she left. The last words Astrid remembers her mother saying was when she called her father “A Killer!” Those words became like a curse word to Astrid, as she prefered to think of Assassins as “Exterminators.”
Daddy's Little Girl cover
Astrid received a rude awakening to the world her father lived in when she was 16. She was kidnapped and brutalized by a rival assassin group, an arch enemy of her father. The leader had tried to rape her, but her father was an expert sniper, and shot the creep at the base of his skull.

Soon after, Astrid would follow in her father footsteps and join the highly trained, skillful team of assassins known as “The Agency.”
Mastery with blades of different makes and designs has earned her the nickname “The Blade,” as her father is known as “The Bullet.”

When their boss Emanuel is approached by his old friend Col. Briggs, to take out the American Football Player that brutally raped his teenage daughter, he knows there’s one person who can carry out the extermination with skilled precision. The Blade.

Superbowl Sunday…be prepared for Daddy’s Little Girl.

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Wedding Dream (WIP) Version 1: Poem

WEDDING DREAM

I have this vision
This premonition
Of myself walking down
A chapel Aisle…
Dressed in white lace, and silver
Like a Princess.

At the end of the Isle,
Next to the minister
Stands a stranger, dark and tanned.
Eyes as green as
Dollar bills.
When I look at him
I feel
No love.
Ice cold.

And, I stand at the altar…
Trembling hands holding roses.
My parents smiling,
Beaming. Dreaming of a future
That I don’t really want.

Then I hear someone screaming
My name.
I turn around
To see your face,
Worried. Panicked expression.
But when I see you…
I feel love.
Hot as flame.

I need not stop.
I need not think.
I know what it is
Who it is that I want.

I drop the roses,
Tear off my veil,
Run
Run to you…
Run with you!
Sweet freedom!

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Book Covers: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. EBOOK GIVE-AWAY!

I’ve seen my share of ugly book covers, and books that say nothing about their content.  I’m not calling anybody out or naming names…But I may reference a few (especially commercially published) titles.  And, if you can figure out which I mean…well you win a prize!  LOL. j/k.

Seriously.  I will “gift you” a copy of Black Widow & Other Tales. However, you do not have to do play a guessing game.  Just post a comment.  Then, I will be picking 3 lucky people to “gift” copies to c/o random.org. The lucky winners will be announced Tomorrow evening. Basically, my whole goal with this post is simply to raise awareness about cover art, design, and keeping your cover “genre friendly.”

I’ve seen my share of bad, boring, and bland book covers.  I’m sure we all have.  Mind you, I’ve seen just as many ugly, blah, and cheesy book covers from traditionally published books as I have SP/Indie books…if not more.

There seems to be a trend towards the bland in traditionally published books; not to mention a trend toward eye-bugging color schemes.  And, yes I know for some of them it doesn’t matter.  A large neon number on a certain mystery author’s books does nothing to make me want to pick it up and peruse the content.  However, as I understand it, it’s just like a “Bat signal” to the author’s fanbase alerting them to the next book in the series.

Another series with neon colored covers and some odd symbol on the front does nothing to indicate that the series is fantasy.  However, it did grant the book some cross-over appeal.

Trust me, my comments aren’t that of “some indie who’s jus jelus.”  I have been researching these things and studying these, in regards to “dos and don’ts” for my own covers.  And, I bring these up as sort of a parent telling a child “If Johnny jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?”

Mind you, I am one that is heeding my own advice as I recently redesigned the book cover for Carousel. I confess that when I originally published the cover I was aiming for “drugstore paperback kitsch.”  Now, I see that’s not the way to go.  Heaven forbid my cover would wind up on “Good Show Sir” or any of those blogs that mock bad cover art.  hahaha! Gotta love those!

* Ultimately, the best option is to hire a cover artist or even barter for one.  However a) I realize it’s not always in one’s budget.  It’s certainly not in mine, however I have artists in my own family that are willing to help me out.  and B) Even so, you should have an idea of what you do or don’t want in a book cover.  You should have your concept in mind to discuss with the artist, and know what works and what doesn’t work. Good sources to find young, talented artists who would probably charge reasonable fees are: Deviant Art, conceptualart.com, and Elfwood.com.

* If you do have artistic talent, and know tricks and tips with Photoshop, Gimp, and other graphics programs that’s great. Stock art can be your best friend (and in some cases, your worse enemy. heheh). The thing with stock art, is you tend to see a lot of the same images (especially with free images from dreamstime.com, etc.) Use images you really do not see a lot of. Yes, sometimes you pay for those…but sometimes you don’t. I prefer Fotolia because you can buy credits, download different sized, and I’ve seen images there that are not on every single stock art site on the web.

* Whether you use deviantart.com or some stock photo site, always follow the licensing requirements for the image you purchased. Spare your self the legal headaches in advance. 😉

* Your content should indicate what readers should expect, and be genre-specific. Fantasy books should use fantasy-themed font, and shouldn’t be bland or generic. Horror elements should have some horror element to it, etc. For a (rather outlandish) example: Don’t use a spaceship on the cover of your pnr/horror story, just because one of your characters mentioned that he had a dream about a spaceship on page three. If it’s part of your plot that’s one thing. But, if it has nothing to do with the Succubus living in his basement, and seducing him as he sleeps… I’d suggest picking a cover image that speaks PNR and succubi rather than spaceships.

* Your cover should not be too busy, or overloaded with too many graphic images. For instance, a background image of a city and then a photo of your protagonist over it, with a bunch of smaller images scattered around him/her. Sometimes, less is more.

* Font should be clear, and legible. And, stay away from fonts that are overdone (like papyrus.) Unless your book is a comic book, stay away from comic sans.

* Your color scheme should not clash, or be so similar that it all blends in together (like gray font on a black background). Black, white, and red is supposedly the most eye-catching color combination. I used this for Black Widow & Other Tales. Neons, in my opinion, are a no-no.

* And, I hate to say it but…Sex sells. Sorry, it’s true. Mind you, I’m not necessarily talking about having dirty or risque pictures on the cover. But, the alluring, beautiful, handsome people on the cover can draw people to your book. This is why I bought Janny Wurst’s Mistwraith books, after all. 😉

I am by no means an expert–but I do have experience in the graphic arts field.  I spent one summer working with my sister, and she helps to advise me on my own cover design.

I admit I’ve made mistakes with my paperback for Wishful Thinking, but now I know more…and can do better.  However, I like the look of my kindle edition cover.

I just wanted to share some of my thoughts, and pass on advice. 😉

Write and publish with pride!
~KC

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