Enveloped in the Story

Ever since I finished up college, I’ve been engrossed in writing, revising, editing, critiquing, and reading. Like nearly all day.

I’ve barely had time to stop in here and write anything.

I’m enjoying the world of my characters. 

I’ve got three stories which I’m working on. I alternate from one to the other. It’s very satisfying. 

For a couple of months, I’d been working on my novel, Passage of Promise. The last half of the story is still waiting to run through the critique online group. It’ll be the end of January before submitting it is done.

But several days ago, I flipped over to my WIP, What She Didn’t Know, and reread, revised, and added a few scenes. 

Then I returned to my novella, Mourning Dove. I’ve been working on this for the past few days and am loving it. Using the feedback from the critters when I ran the story through around last spring, I’ve been strengthening those chapters.

I asked my husband questions on police procedures and medical issues a couple of days back, which opened up new ideas, new scenes to implement into this amazing story. I’ve only received positive feedback on this piece because of its wonderful message, decent plot, and likable characters. 

Here are the two blurbs I’ve been working on with my novel and novella.

Passage of Promise:

Marina waited all her life for someone like him. But failure is Marina’s middle name. Sent by her family to the Greek island of Santorini to fetch her great grandmother’s wonder-working icon for her sick nephew, Marina finds it has been stolen. She meets and falls in love with attractive Joel, a history teacher and art collector. He helps her to search for the icon. As time sprints by in the week-long search, perpetual pressure and ridicule from her mother leaves Marina on the brink of defeat. When she finds out who took the icon, the realization nearly sends her spiraling out of control. Personal, devastating failure hits her hard, and she’s left hollow. With icon in hand and lost love stinging her heart, Marina returns home to face battles with her mother and her nephew’s waning health. Clinging to a last shred of hope, will it be enough for Marina to overcome her failures and find love and healing?

Mourning Dove:

Gabby lost her husband, Andrew, in a car accident six months ago.  In the midst of struggling to emerge from her grief, she discovers Andrew’s cousin, Jordan, is homeless. With strong determination, Gabby strives to help Jordan in any way she can.  While sifting through clothes in her closet, Gabby discovers notes by Andrew and Jordan discussing a special gift for her a month before Andrew’s death. Can Jordan be the key to unlocking Andrew’s gift to her?  But amid this good will stands a belligerent homeless man hunting down Jordan for a past wrong. Although frightened by this vagabond seen creeping around her property, Gabby swallows her fear and focuses on aiding Jordan, giving her a new purpose in her life. But will Gabby take that new purpose too far?

I’ll probably publish Mourning Dove first, as I am still not totally satisfied with Passage of Promise

I’ll send it to a couple publishers and see if either accepts it. If not, I’ll go another route.

Tell me what you think. Your thoughts and opinions are important to me. You’re potentially my future readers. God willing! 

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The Soaring Heights of Living in the Writing Realm

book with green background sparkle

Do you know that feeling you get when you’re in the zone? You’ve stepped inside your main character’s world and swam through its tumultuous and rhythmic waves, quenching your thirst in the emotions and conflicts, joys and discoveries of your characters.

Your fingers agilely stamp the keys, and the words soar across the page like a plane boasting its fluttering banner streaking through a clear, azure sky.

sparkling rainbow gif

Ideas, colors, imagination, romance, twists, banter, sensations, explosive climaxes, and redemptive resolutions fall like confetti inside your depthless mind. You sweep them all into a bundle of joy and sprinkle them on the white pages on your story.

Nothing outside this make believe world exists while you’re in the zone.  You saver this moment of complete dedication, imagination, and concentration.  Little more than a nuclear bomb could shake you out of this realm.

But when you emerge smiling, mind clear as glass and heart swelled twice its size, you know writing fiction is your destiny.

Capture this moment again and again by reading over your work in progress’s chapters. It fuels the creative flame inside of you.

 

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Centering on Character

woman writing in notebook

On Tuesday, March 13, I submitted the synopsis and first three chapters of my novel, Passage of Promise, to a publisher for which I felt my genre and style of writing would be a good fit.  According to their website’s submission guidelines, I should hear something within one to two weeks.  So I am in the nervous and excited waiting mode.  I also realize rejection is a normal and somewhat expected outcome in the process of submitting your manuscript to publishers/editors/agents, but I will deal with that at that time.

Meanwhile, I’ve delved back into my work in progress the past three days, and it feels good to be back in the lives of my characters, watching what they do, how they handle situations, and learning how to make them more developed.

Speaking of characters, what makes them interesting?  Are there several components that connect you to the characters?  Perhaps you relate to one of them, and the challenges they have mirror your own.  Is it that they are well-crafted, three-dimensional, and real to you?  Maybe you like one of the characters because they’re broken, clumsy, and endearing that way?

Well, for me, those elements are part of what I like about characters in the books I read.  I especially like characters with quirky personalities and unusual habits.  This particular trait is what I’d like to incorporate into my characters in my stories.

Do you need a lot of physical details describing how the characters look, or are a few basic features with maybe one unusual one sufficient?  It’s the latter for me.  I suppose the detailed descriptions depend upon the genre in which you read.

Characters drive the plot/storyline, and because of this, they are very important.  Through the fiction and creative writing workshops of my university courses, I’ve learned this vital fact, and carving out a well-defined and well-developed character takes practice.  For some authors, it’s not too difficult, but for others, it is quite a challenge.  I’m somewhere between not too difficult and a little bit of a challenge.  When I first started writing in my teen years, my characters were pretty much one or two-dimensional and lacked depth.  I’d like to think I’ve gotten a bit better since picking up writing again in 2014.

Therefore, in creating characters, you might want to:

  1. Have them possess quirky personalities with perhaps some type of pesky habit.
  2. Give ’em flaws.  Nobody can relate to someone who’s perfect inside and out.
  3. Produce words that come from their mouths that are natural, realistic, and perhaps echo a dialect in the area in which they live.
  4. Make sure each character is distinct to a certain degree.  If you can get to the epic point of writing dialogue with no tags and the reader knows the people speaking because of the way they talk, their language, and voice, you’re a star!
  5. Describe their looks with enough detail to give the reader at least a general idea of the appearance of the character, unless you’re writing in a genre like Romance where it seems that the more detail there is, the better.

These recommendations came from my memory through studying material and books I’ve read for my classes.  I hope they are helpful to my fellow writers as they have been for me.  It takes some practice, some work to create believable and relatable characters, but we can do it! Happy writing!

 

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