Monday, July 20, 2009

Discovery...Writing Big Ideas


After four days of a different level of being absorbed into my craft (attending the Romance Writers of America -RWA- national conference in DC), I am a bit exhausted, fearful, and just plain excited. So much to think about, but sorting through it all is an amazing process of self-awareness.

With that said, what am I talking about? No matter what you write about -- be it the wildest sexual adventures, or the most serene glimpses into ordinary life that explode into drama - the basic ingredients of good writing is how well the writer infuses themselves (their beliefs, their morals, their ideas of what is and what isn't) into their craft.

I may be a girl who is attracted to high concept pieces or whatever you'd like to call them - but fundamentally the story I'm telling is about girl meets boy, girl fights her way through the forest, despite the trees and the thickets, and ends up as happy as her soul will allow. In other words, the forces of nature play a role in the outcome of my urban fantasy/erotic romance tale. Happiness is layered, and defined by circumstance and conflict. (Or from which way the wind blows).

I'm busy revising a few scenes in my book (okay a lot of scenes in the book). However, it's gratifying to have a manuscript to dissect and perfect - but I tell you, it's never easy.

Here's a shout out to all of the fabulous writers and personalities I had a chance to hang out with a RWA. It was good times.

Check out photo of Lafayette from True Blood. Also check out article called "Rough Sex with Vampires: What Does True Blood Tell Us About Women & Sexuality?" I got the heads up on it from a friend.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Goals - Is Your Heroine the Bear or the Fish?


What's the difference between ambition and a goal? Do you remember your goals? Is there a point in life when you forget about goals and start thinking about 'what if'?

Writing-wise - I'm trying to pin down my main character's goal - in the sense of what drives her to make decisions and choices that propel the action. Sounds textbook, but if I can get crass - I need to know what this bitch wants?

Let's explore the word goal: Goal: 1) the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end. 2) the terminal point in a race.

What's next?

I have a vampire cop who is struggling to regain her sanity so that she can continue her simple, basic lifestyle - feed, hunt, solve crimes (that don't involve human beings). She's the queen of avoiding emotion, relationship and angst. She's had her fill of that and since the death of her partner - she just wants the easy life. Of course, the book wouldn't be a book without conflict. No easy life for her - sorry guys - she gets thrust right back into the middle of mayhem and she has to deal or die.

So my question is - will my heroine be a bear or a salmon - both have clear goals. One path could lead to death but it's a goal that is ruled by blood and lineage. It's the path that must be followed and if it leads to destruction - so be it.

Or will she be the bear that waits for her goal to arrive and then pounces -- success achieved only through patience and perseverance.

Anyway, Goal, Motivation, Conflict, the heart and soul of story telling, and I'm worried about bears and fish.

RWA:

Two days until RWA. I'm anxious and semi-focused. But I need to get my brain right. I keep letting opportunity pass me by. That has to end now!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What Would It Take for You To Feel Immortal?


(Relatives? - In 1882 and 1892, some native families from French Guiana and Suriname were brought to Paris, to be shown as specimens of "savage humanity" - My grandfather was born in 1893)

Spent the weekend with my Mom and gave her the third degree about her parents. Sometimes this can be a really, really good thing. Other times - not so good. With my Mom it bordered on the 'not' side of good.

And it wasn't because she had a bad childhood. She's 75 years old and her parents were immigrants from Jamaica and French Guinea, mother and father, respectively. They ended up living in one of the smallest towns in Ohio from 1923 until their deaths in 1989 and 1976, respectively.

My Mom was the baby of five children and she loved her parents and had a fabulous time, being the bell of the ball in many ways even though she was Negro and the only black family of stature in the town of 2000 clay miners.

According to my Mom, her parents were 'saints'. No, seriously, she said the word saints - and meant it. She also said the word perfect. I knew her parents. I lived with my grandparents from the age of 4 until I was 8. I visited my grandparents every summer for nearly three months from the age of 8 until I was 17. I knew them. They were cool. Okay, my grandmother was cool. My grandfather was silent - I swear he said less than a thousand words in the twenty years I remember him being on this Earth. So when I say they weren't perfect. I know of which I speak.

But my resistance to my Mom's tale about her perfect, god-fearing childhood? Well, it's strong. But is it me, or does the story beg - I mean scream and beg - to be pulled apart?

Shit, it might just be me. But I don't think so.

All of this leads to a central theme. In addition to examining the peaks and valleys of an immortal existence (my vampire story). I'm also examining the loose ties that bind generations.

Memories - They are a bitch if you want them to be.

Hey, if you happen across this blog - I'm just finding my way to informative bits and pieces about writing, memory and vampires (think about it...there is a symmetry to this, I swear.)

Don't hesitate to drop me line. Share a memory, and answer the question:

What would it take for you to feel immortal? (As much as I love children, you can't mention your babies in response, okay?:)!

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