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Tag: #amwriting

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My Life is a Sitcom

May 10, 2017 by in category Charmed Writer, Writing tagged as , , , , , , ,

Hunky Hubby with tools

Small mobs of kids surrounded our garage every Halloween when my husband carved pumpkins, not because he was especially artistic, but because he used a sawzall to carve them, and pumpkin insides and seeds sprayed everywhere while he worked. Our sprinkler system had “more power”, and when my mixer broke while I was making a birthday cake, Hunky Hubby came to the rescue by inserting a mixer beater into his electric drill. For years our three boys, took turns hiding a large plastic rat…in the dryer, in the pantry, wherever they thought it was most likely to scare me. If I left my phone unattended they would change their brother’s names on my contact list to things like ‘Ugly’ and ‘Creep’ and their own names to things like ‘Mom’s Favorite’ or ‘The Very Best Son’.

If this sounds like a season of Home Improvement, I thought so too. Hunky Hubby and the boys would prefer to eat meat off the grill and watch Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, while I wanted to see manners at the table and watch The Sound of Music.  I could have written several seasons without making anything up.

In fact, of all my writing regrets, I most regret not writing an episode of Home Improvement and submitting it before the show ended.

So what is your biggest writing regret? Do you have one? Have you ever felt like your life was a sitcom, or tv drama and wanted to write a script?

The boys today with Grandma

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Character Flaw(less)

February 16, 2017 by in category The Write Life tagged as ,

 

Recently we celebrate my oldest son and my husband’s birthdays. They are a day apart, much to the chagrin of my husband. Thirty-two years ago he brought home the biggest, spiciest burrito he could find in the hopes of jumpstarting labor so that our son would share his birthday. Needless to say, the burrito story was one of many we told at this year’s birthday dinner. We laughed, we clarified details, and we took tangents and remembered those who had been part of our lives but were no longer with us.
As I listened to all this in the company of my husband, my two sons and my ninety-two year old mother, I realized that my family is key to what readers tell me is my strength as a writer: characterization. After generations of evolving as an extended family, I know what makes each member of my family tick. I know why they are special – and why they aren’t.  I know how they speak, how they think, how they will act and react, what makes them happy and what doesn’t. I know who they love and admire. That means, if they act out of character, I know to dig deeper to find out why; if they act in character, I completely accept their actions and reactions because I know them so well.
If depth of characterization eludes you, try this exercise.
IMAGINE each of your main characters at a family dinner table.
IDENTIFY where that character fits in e.g. the bartender, the perpetual guest, and the lingerer-in-the-kitchen guy.
ESTABLISH where each character came from and whether or not they are permanent family fixtures or a family member who has distanced themselves.
TAKE their coats. Fur? Wool? Blazer? Sweatshirt? Notice what they’re wearing.
DETERMINE their purpose at the table: the joker, the commentator, the peacemaker, the witch, the politician, the philosophe, the put-upon wife or angry husband (or vice-versa).
LISTEN to the conversation around the table. Do not focus on just one character. Rather, close your eyes, hear all their voices, see all their gestures, listen to their words.
What you ‘hear’, what you ‘see’ at your dinner table will help you create fictional characters that are as familiar as family and as unforgettable.
Rebecca

Rebecca Forster

www.rebeccaforster.com

 

 

 

 

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TITLES UNBORN

February 5, 2017 by in category Pink Pad tagged as , , ,

Have you ever been too tired to think or create? That’s how I feel right now, but unfortunately, I can’t relax. Or rather, I tried to take a little time off from writing and creating, but my mind refuses to cooperate.

After the full writing year, I had last year, I figured I’d take some time off from writing and become more of a reader. For the past few years, I’ve been doing the GoodReads Reading Challenge. Last year, I read forty-five books, ten were my own. Not a lot for most romance readers, but for me, it was a lot, and I struggled to get those read because of my production schedule. This year I pledged to read forty-eight and decrease the number of titles I created. Unfortunately, the joke is on me. Instead of relaxing my creative muscle, I’ve been writing. What’s even more bizarre is I don’t know how to turn off my writing muscle or even if I want to.

Like most writers I use or follow a Production Schedule. Last year it was easy to follow or stay motivated with my schedule because I set a challenging goal, 12 Titles in 12 Months. This year, I knew I wasn’t going to set such a lofty goal for myself, so I was able to breathe a little.

When I sat down to do my Production Schedule for this year, I looked at the titles that didn’t make the grade last year. Although I published 12 titles last year, I had actually started and brought close to completion four additional titles. Technically, last year I wrote approximately a half million words. For some that may not seem like a lot, but for someone like me that hasn’t been writing that long, that’s a lot.

Those titles that don’t have 2016 as their birth year have become the stars of my 2017 production schedule. Now the question is, when will they be born? I’m not quite sure. So far, I have one of the titles completed, a non-fiction lifestyle book. I’m very excited and passionate about this title because it deals with a subject that is dear to me…being a fabulous Christian single.

Originally, I wanted this book out in January because that’s when most people are searching for help on how to change their lives. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the book until the end of January after rewriting the last chapter three times and adding an additional chapter. Now I’m waiting to proof it before I send it to my editor.

The other book I’m struggling to finish was originally supposed to be my December 2016 release. What started out as a five book series became a short story which has been reborn again as a novel. In its resurrection, it’s also undergone a name change and protagonist change. And one of the biggest changes about this book is voice.

I started writing this book in third person, but as the protagonist developed, I felt the need to tell his side in first person. So now, the story is being told by both the heroine and protagonist in first person. When I made that simple change…who am I kidding, that was by no means a simple task. Changing the voice meant I had to go back and rewrite and add some chapters after being thirty-thousand plus words into the story. I’m very curious to know how this story ends.

So here I am with a production schedule that’s taunting me because I’ve already missed my first release date. I want to move forward with the stories. However, I’m creatively tired. If you’ve ever experienced that, post or email me [tracyreedwriter@icloud.com] how you worked through it.

As for the other two titles, one is approximately thirty thousand words away from completion. The other story so far is charting the opposite path of the one I’m currently working on. It started out as a short story, but after writing the first three thousand words, I fell in love with the character and see he has more depth than a short or even a novella. His story will definitely be a full-length book, and if he talks to me correctly, he’ll become a series.

Let’s see how my unborn stories turn out.

Happy writing and creating….

Tracy
Tracy Reed

www.readtracyreed.com

Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys

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Zero Calorie Writing

January 20, 2017 by in category A Bit of Magic, Writing tagged as , , ,

So if you’ve read any of my books, you may have noticed that my characters all drink Hazelnut coffee and eat danish, donuts, cinnamon rolls, etc. – almost every day. Oh and they never gain a pound!

So here’s the thing – I love anything from a bakery, but I’ve been really trying to cut back on my sweets for a while now. I’ve gained a few pounds, okay more than a few, and I’ve been trying to not give in to my desire for sweets. So what do I do instead of taking a trip to the closest bakery?

I imagine which bakery treat I would eat today. I think about the bakery I would go to, what I might select and where I would eat it. What would it taste like, how would it feel in my mouth? Then I pop all these thoughts into my story.

I can enjoy the smell, the taste, and the site without gaining even one pound.

Better than Weight Watchers? Almost!

About Meriam Wilhelm:

The one thing I know, after all my years as an elementary school principal, is that there is magic everywhere and in everyone. When I retired after 35 years in education, I longed to share all that I had learned and created several parenting books on topics from bullying to homework strategies. While I miss those enchanting moments with children and their parents, I always wanted to let my imagination run wild as I sought out my own magic and wrote about it. In short, I was lured into the world of fiction writing where I soon created my first series, The Witches of New Moon Beach. The first book, MORNING  MAGIC is currently FREE at amzn.to/2a6fbXN.

Inspiration isn’t hard to find as I have lived in Redondo Beach, California all my life and New Moon Beach might have more than a passing resemblance to my hometown. Every day I walk on the path that runs along the beach, sometimes with my sisters, but most often with my thoughts as I plot out my next book. I am long married and mom to three great grown kids. When I’m not writing or walking on the beach, you’ll find me sewing, reading or traveling and taking pictures.
Feel free to check out my website: www.meriamwilhelm.com or contact me by email: meriamwilhelm@hotmail.com 

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