Writer’s block?

So it took me a long time to finish writing the first draft of my novel. Like, years. Why did it take me so long? Well, some of it was life. Things happened and pulled me in a direction where I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to write. And we all need to be in the right frame of mind to write. Otherwise, it’s probably going to be crap.

But there were other times where I had legit writer’s block. Where I was stuck and couldn’t write a word for months. I’m glad I had these moments as I learned how to manage my blocks and how to get past them.

I’ll be honest, I have bad habits. I don’t outline. I don’t brain storm very much. What I do is let the characters live in my head for a few years, and when I feel like I have a good idea of who they are, what their purpose is, who their adversaries are, what the climax of my story will be, and how my story will end–that is when I start writing. I don’t have diagrams or flo-charts or any of that stuff. Maybe some notes I’ve written here and there, but they’re flimsy, because I’m probably the laziest writer you’ll ever meet.

But I do have three parts to my story. A: the beginning, B: the climax, and C: the resolution. And the block comes in when I’ve written myself into a corner, and I can’t see how I’m going to get to from point A to B, or B to C. This is when I have legit writer’s block. The first few times it happened, I let weeks go by as I tried to figure out how I was going to proceed. After awhile, I realized that the best thing to do was to cut. Cut those last few paragraphs or pages and write something else, take my story in a different direction–because it doesn’t matter how I get to point B, as long as I get there.

And that’s something I recommend writers doing if they ever find themselves with writer’s block. Try putting the car in reverse and taking a different road to your destination. And enjoy the ride. I know I do.

 

Fantasy Football – it’s coming…

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I’m a middle child. I have two brothers, one older and one younger. We’re all pretty close, and the one thing we need to participate in every year is fantasy football.

Now fantasy football is one of those things that you either understand or you don’t. I’ve met so many people that are in love with it, that their need to play is as strong as my own. And yet, I meet others that believe it’s a colossal waste of time. Well I’m here to tell those people: It is a waste of time–a delightful waste of time. I mean, what are you going to do on a Sunday and Monday anyway? And Thursday is a throw-away day too. It’s not like it’s a Friday.

Now I only play NFL Fantasy Football. Some folks play NCAA Fantasy Football too. That’s some hardcore stuff, because the games are held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So if you are married to someone who plays fantasy for both the NFL and NCAA, well, I’m sorry for you. Go with God. He will hear your prayers about your absent spouse.

But to be fair, if you’re playing fantasy football you don’t have to watch the games your players are playing in. But you will. Oh yes, you will.

You will be flipping the channels back and forth between CBS, Fox, and the NFL channel trying to stay current with all your players that are playing simultaneously, annoying everyone watching TV with you until the remote control is forced out of your hand. You will be relegated to trying to watch the games on your phone or eyeballing the live update on you ESPN Fantasy app. Wanting, praying, desiring your players to score. And when they do, it’s pure elation. The purest.

So that brings me to last aspect of fantasy football. It’s addicting. Winning is addicting. Blowing out your opponent on a Sunday so much you know they have no chance of winning even though they have two players playing on Monday. Or bragging to the losers after winning a prop bet. Going to work or the gym the day after and tormenting your league-mates with your winning score–all of it, it’s addicting. It will make you crazy. Crazy for football.

I hope some of you join me in the craziness. Let’s have fun and enjoy ourselves. Cause fantasy football is coming. As a matter of fact, it’s almost here.

How much is too much?

As a writer, a question that I’m always asking myself is: How much information is too much?

Especially with a genre like fantasy, I think writers like to give the reader a lot of info. It makes sense, because a lot of the time we’re world building, and it takes a lot of text to introduce a new world to the reader. Personally, I want a reader to be able to imagine my world as I see it. What I’ve realized is that a lot of the time that is not the case. It’s not a bad thing. If anything, I’m pleasantly surprised when someone reads my fiction and has imagined my settings in a larger scale than I intended. Because really, sometimes bigger is better.

But there are other situations, like the motives of a character or even the plot of a story, where I’ve had readers that understand what is happening and one that doesn’t. In this situation, I’m always a little confused as to what to do. Obviously my writing isn’t so confusing that the plot can’t be followed because some readers were able to do so without question. But what about the reader that didn’t? Why are they struggling? The only thing I can think of is that some people prefer to read stories that have an abundant amount of information and want the instant gratification of their questions answered in one sitting.

Personally speaking, I’m not a reader that needs to have everything given to them at one time. I like to be spoon fed small amounts throughout a story. The best thing is finding subtle little clues that end up being major factors in the future. It keeps me hooked wanting to know if the story is going to work out the way I think it will. And when it does, the feeling is so satisfying.

At the moment, the story that has most of us in its clutches is A Song of Ice and Fire. Does it make me crazy that the show has surpassed the novels? Yes it does. Do I wish that I didn’t know that Daenerys is going to lead the Dothraki back to Meereen? Well, I’m kinda leaning that way since Game of Thrones has already portrayed it. But one plot point that wasn’t portrayed in the show is Victarion Greyjoy and his magic dragon horn. Is anyone else predicting him presenting the horn to Daenerys whereas she uses it to control her dragons to train for battle? After ordering Drogon to eat Victarion of course, squashing his intentions to marry. Permanently.

Yes, yes, it can happen. I’m looking forward to see if it does. I’ll even wait another five years for Martin to publish The Winds of Winter just to see if I’m right.

And that’s what I want for my writing. For people to read and get hooked. I want to keep them interested for years to come.

So, sorry to the one beta reader that didn’t like my story, I’m not changing the plot. Not drastically at least. You’ll just have to wait along with everyone else to get your questions answered. Or not. It’s completely up to you.

Let me introduce myself…

Hello!

I’m not sure if anyone is reading this, but if you are, let me give you some info on who I am.

I’m a writer–I’ve completed my first adult contemporary fantasy novel that I plan to self publish in the spring of next year. I’m hoping this website will help drum up some buzz and grow my readership by the time it’s published.

I’m actually happy to say that the novel has been edited and is in the process of being proof-read. After that, it’s on to finalizing the title and book cover design–which I hope to get some audience participation with narrowing down the options.

You will be hearing a lot about my book. I’m pretty proud of it! It features a Latinx character. Growing up, I always wished I had gay super heroes to read about, so I went ahead and created my own. At the moment, you can take a look at the blurb for Book 1 by clicking on the My Books link.

Other than my ambition to get my novel out into the mass public, this blog will also focus on my other interests. You can expect some random topics focusing on sports and my opinions on TV shows and books. You might even get introduced to a friend or two along the way. I hope you follow me to see what sort of nonsense I get up to.

And… I think that’s pretty much everything. I hope you enjoy.

You have to let people see what you wrote. It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring. —  Tina Fey

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