Thursday, December 20, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Help? Just More Insults Towards Characters and Difficulty Writing.

I have blogged about writers attacking others before. Once again, I have found more of this happening. Some writers have voiced their opinion on this matter. Instead of copying and pasting what is being said, I am going to do a spin-off of what was asked and answer it in a better manner.

1. Character Development

One writer asked for some help in regards to their main character. The writer provided the name and wanted to get some feelers for what people thought of when hearing the name.

This s the constant response:

“Character's come from the author, and really needs to be the author's job to create them. As a wise woman once told me, writing is a solitary endeavour for a reason. The more people get their fingers into the pudding, the more it'll be messed up.”

I am not going to lie, sometimes I have problems with my characters. Most are based off a bunch of my friends and acquaintances, but mashed together. Putting out feelers helps me make sure my character is right for my book or for the name.

Yes, they are created by the author, but if your future readers cannot imagine them then there is no point of writing that person. Instead of saying make them whomever you want, one should ask what is already known to see if you can help.

I start with a basic character and develop them as they go. Characters are important to my novels, but I want them to grow with me as I write. My advice then is:

  • start with a basic idea.
  • look to your close friends for advice, traits, behaviours and looks.
  • names can always wait unless the name is essential to the story.
  • go with your gut.
  • remember, how you envision them is not always how readers do.
  • let your character grow and show you who they are.

Hope that helps with that. My advice is from my own experience and may not work for all.

 

2. Writers’ Block/Difficulty Writing

Every writer has this problem. If they  don’t they are lying. For once, I can say that I am happy how this thread turned out on the page. The original person said they were having a hard time writing because they edited as they wrote.

I always tell people that do that to stop. Write the entire story in one shot, take a break and then go through to edit it as many times as you want. You cannot edit it before you even know the entire story/plot.

One person’s responses that started an attack against them:

“I find it interesting that you say it went well, but only wrote two pages. I'm not sure what to tell you -- you either have the desire or you don't. Writing should be enjoyable. If it's not enjoyable for you, maybe you shouldn't do it.”

Some days I have issues writing two pages because writing seems so hard, other times I can write a lot. It happens. People have lives and cannot always write. Telling someone not to write is the worst thing to do to a person.

People say don’t push your writing, but at times you will need to do that in order to regain interest. How people gave advice made me smile. By far, this is the nicest response and one I can support because I agree 100% with it:

“But the good news is that in the case of writing, practice makes perfect. The more you do it, the better you get. And that's kind of a cliché line that people tend to throw out about a lot of hobbies and it isn't always true. But you definitely get better the more you do it. Again, I look back at the previous things I've done and I can note a clear line of improvement from work to work.”

Most of my work is crap, and I know that because I read it and laugh. I have gotten better, and that is from practice. To this person, it is their first novel. To those that loose interest or have issues, it is a learning curve. My advice when it comes to writing the first novel:

  • write first, edit second.
  • write as much as you can, when you can.
  • if struggling wait it out. If it has been a long time (more than 3 days) sit down and try to write a paragraph or two.
  • think about your novel whenever you can. This helps keep your interest.
  • writing will be frustrating, sad, happy, pretty much any emotion you can think of, but that doesn’t mean to stop.
  • lastly, NEVER stop writing. You will never know if you like it until you have finished a novel. If someone tells you to stop, laugh at them and keep writing.

Sorry about my rant again. I find it hard to check this forum site without finding some problems with people. Hope this helps others.

If any writer has advice, comment away so other writers can read about how you handle these situations and what other viewpoint can be offered.

Back to typing up ‘Control Me’. Over 45, 000 words and counting!

Friday, December 7, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Control Me Preview

I haven’t had much happen in my life in almost a month. I have been busy working, Christmas shopping and preparing to go to two football games. One game involves me dying my hair bright green and blue, and painting my face. Will post some of those pictures.

Instead of ranting I figured I would post some of the book I am working on typing up, Control Me. Be warned, this is the typing up of the rough draft, I haven’t gone through to edit or make sense out of most of the novel.

Hope some people enjoy it, this is one of my favourite parts that I have typed up so far.

Cpt. Anderson saluted his superiors before he guided me to the chair next to where he sat down. His face was serious and he stayed quiet. Technically, he was not forced to attend this meeting, but he chose to for my sake or the sake of his superiors for he was unknowledgeable with how much power I acquire.

When I sat down I glanced at each officer before looking back at Cpt. Anderson. No one looked pleased to be here.

“Well, Miss Clemmons have you been briefed as to why we asked to meet with you?” the officer directly across from me said. His tone made me feel like I was less intelligent than them.

“Yes, I have,” I replied. For first introductions, this was the worst. It felt like each of the six officers were trying to see through me

“before we proceed with making a decision and meriting your proof, we need to see evidence.”

What type of evidence? I said to each of the people’s minds in the room. I had enough of their attitude.

“I’m sorry. What did you just say? The officer sitting beside me said.

Cpt. Anderson tried not to laugh. Since yesterday he had adjusted to me talking to him through his mind.

I asked you gentlemen, how you would like me to prove my abilities.

“Your lips are not moving,” the officer sitting at the head of the table stated.

I know. I am not using my mouth to speak. For being superiors they lacked imagination and intelligence towards something other than literature and facts.

“But, how?”

Cpt. Anderson put his left hand over his mouth to help disguise and resist laughing more. He felt my frustration that I was feeling because he was sitting directly next to me.

I am speaking to you through your mind. I can say anything to you this way.

All six officers stared at me in awe and confusion.

“Nope. I don’t believe you,” the officer that addressed me first said.

I sighed. It’s true. It would be best if you realized it now before I show you the next part. I assure you it will not be pleasant for you. Not that I was complaining about potentially causing harm to them. This was what I feared: disbelief. All I wanted to do was scream out of frustration. If I became angry it would spread to everyone. I had not properly worked on my powers to handle too many people, or designate each person a different reaction.

“Was that a threat?”

Yes, it was. I do not like when people do not believe me.

“And what could you possibly do to make that threat a reality Miss Clemmons?”

Glancing over at Cpt. Anderson I smiled. “Sad or angry?” I said to Cpt. Anderson.

“Sad, I guess,” Cpt. Anderson responded. Although, it was humorous to think of the men in charge of him getting angry for no reason, sadness was more of a proof of my abilities.

“Excuse me Cpt. Anderson and Miss Clemmons, what are you two discussing?” the officer beside me said.

You will see. I focused my eyes on the six of them and began to send out the emotion of extreme sadness. My body did not react as I pushed the feeling onto them. If I was using my ability correctly, Cpt. Anderson was not to be affected by the feeling.

Each officer’s eyes began to tear up before they started to cry.

Believe me now?

“How? Why? I feel so sad right now,” the officer across from me said. His eyes were red and puffy from crying.

I am making you feel sad. It’s a way to prove to you my abilities.

“Enough! I can say that we believe you now.” He wiped his cheeks with the back of his left hand. His cheeks were damp from tears he did not know why they were shed.

Within seconds I stopped sending them the feeling of sadness. My point was proven my abilities existed.

“Do you know how much danger you are in with a third of the countries trying to find you?”

“As you have seen and experienced, I am more dangerous than any of them,” I said. Instead of speaking to them through their minds I opted to speak aloud. “Emotions are only one aspect of what I can control.”

“You are a commodity that people will do anything to get a hold of. As you have analyzed, people have ideas with the use of you.”

It felt like I was to be disposed of like I was a threat to the country and world. Fear set in as I saw their faces. It was a mixture of concern, anger and no emotion. This was business, and I was their business. “So, what am I to do?” as the officers discussed me, I sat in silence and waited for a response. No other option but waiting existed for me.

After seven minutes all the officers returned their attention to me. “For now you are to remain here and monitor any new messages received from these countries involved. You no longer need to look at previous documents,” the officer across from me told me. “You will be supervised and escorted at all times. You are to keep your abilities a secret. Only the people in this room are permitted to have knowledge of your abilities and the full extent of them.”

What he told me was not difficult. The supervising and escorting aspect bothered me though. “Anything else?” The tone of annoyance was strong in my voice and I didn’t bother to try and hide it.

“You are to not use your abilities.”

That statement bothered me the most. My abilities were a part of me. There was no switch to turn them on and off. “I’m sorry, but that one I will not agree with.”

“You have no say, we are telling you that you are not allowed to use them.”

“I do have a say.” I clenched my hands into fists to try to suppress my anger.

Cpt. Anderson put his left hand on my right forearm. He gave my forearm a light squeeze. “Sirs, you cannot ask her to not use what is a part of her,” he said to his superiors in defense of me. He chose to remain silent throughout the meeting, but now he intervened for my sake. The majority of the rules were able to be respected. The last one was not.

“Did we ask for your opinion for Cpt. Anderson?” the officer across from me said. He was displeased with Cpt. Anderson for speaking out.

“No, sir, you did not. You are making a terrible decision assuming Miss Clemmons will agree to the rules.” Cpt. Anderson knew that I was able to leave at anytime, and then they would be unable to control me.

“No offence, gentlemen, but if you want me to stay then I get to deal with all the rules except for the last one. I had the decency and respect to inform you of my abilities. I could have let the people try to find me and invade Canada,” I said. What I said was the truth. How they came to have knowledge of my abilities was from me informing Cpt. Anderson. They were not in charge, I was.

“We will have to discuss this,” the officer beside me said.

“You have till lunch. If you do not agree to my use of abilities I plant to pack, leave and return home this afternoon.”

“Another threat?”

“No. As you should have realized by now I do not threaten. I warn before I act.”

“We will notify Cpt. Anderson of our decision at 1100. Dismissed.”

Cpt. Anderson saluted as he led me out of the room and down to his office. Once we were out of earshot of his superiors he looked at me. “Well played, Janet,” he said. It sounded like congratulation. As we entered the stairwell he held the door open for me.

“I did my best. They were difficult to convince.” I walked down the stairs beside Cpt. Anderson without him the meeting may not have gone as well. In my defence he stood-up for me, not wanting me to be taken advantage of. Thank you for helping me in the meeting. It was nice having support. Support was not a concept I embraced often.

He smiled, knowing I was able to decipher what it was about. Once we reached his officer’s floor he stopped me outside the entrance. “Even if they told you that you were not allowed to use your abilities, would you have listened?”

“No.” I smiled. My rebellious nature made me unsuitable for the army. Taking orders was difficult for me.

“Come, we’ll keep you occupied as we wait for the decision.” He held open the door for me before he began to lead me to his office. Even after several days of me working in the building, the people in uniform still gave me awkward looks. Most of them he caught and gave a look back. Civilian workers were not uncommon, but it was rare to see a new one without a connection to a person already working on base.

 

Keep writing everyone! Never give up on it!

Thursday, November 15, 2012 | By: Megan Held

When I Want to do Other Work

My mind is a pain in the ass sometimes. A couple days ago I was typing up Control Me and working on the sequel to The Selected and my mind had to distract me.

My mind decided to distract me with a new book idea. I only typed up two pages and am still trying to get a feel for it. I figured I would share my really rough draft of it to decide if I want to continue or not.

Here it is:

The lights flickered in the hospital hallway I stood in. Alarms, sirens, beeps and shouting surrounded me. As people ran past me they shoved me to rush to rooms. Paramedics wheeled people in covered in blood, burns or other severe injuries. Everything seemed to be a blur. No one took notice of me as I searched the halls.

“Anna! What are you doing here?” my mother came out of a room. Her scrubs were coated with blood. She was coated in sweat, her ponytail now frizzy and falling out. She took off her gloves and placed both of her hands on my cheeks.

“Dad called. Why is he telling me to go to Denver?” I said to my mom while I looked at her. This was my mom on a rough night at the hospital. She was an ER doctor and the occasional surgeon if needed. “He said I had to leave tonight. I packed what I could and came here to get you.”

My mother led me around the nurses and doctors station and into a small break room to talk. The commotion in the hospital and the power on the brink of going out was too distracting and loud. “Oh, honey. My sweet baby girl.”

Whenever she said that I knew that she was going to refuse and follow it by an explanation that will not be favourable by me. “Mom, you have to come with me!” I protested.

“I have to stay here and help.”

“Dad said he wasn’t going and now you! What am I to do?”

“You can do this baby. Dad and I have obligations. He is in the military, he has to fight and I cannot leave the hospital with all the wounded.”

“Then why are people not leaving if the threat has publically announced?”

“Most people think we are safe here in Canada because only the States have been attacked. Your father and I don’t want to risk your life like that. You must go. Denver only suffered a little damage from a nuclear bomb far away from it.”

“How am I to get there?”

“The car sweetheart. Now, getting going.” Her eyes were tearing up.

The door opened and a male wearing scrubs entered the room. “Diane, thank god you are here. Well, hello Anna,” the male doctor said to me.

“Hello Dr. Schmidt. How are you?” I said. However hectic and depressing the situation was I never forgot my formalities.

“Glad to see that you have not left. Are you going to Denver?”

“Yes, she is,” my mother said with a stern voice.

“Good. My son, Devon, is on his way here. I was going to give him my car, but if you are going I would like it if he could go with you.”

“Devon, as in the sophomore U of T student?” I said to Dr. Schmidt.

“Yes. He will be here shortly. I, too, want you both to leave as soon as he arrives.”

“Why don’t you go with him?”

“I am obligated to stay here, just like your mother is. He is all I have left and I want to make sure he makes it to the refugee camp in Denver. If nothing happens here, I am sure we will all make our way down there to meet you and him. I will tell him to meet you out by your car once he arrives.” Dr. Schmidt left without saying another word. He sensed that my mother and I needed more time alone.

“Mom, you have to come with me.”

My mom pulled me into her arms and started to cry. Her entire upper body was heaving up and down as she cried. “No, baby. I need to stay here. Dad knows I am here and I have to wait for him.”

I started to cry against her shoulder, not wanting to let go. I had turned 18 on May 8th 2016, only two weeks ago, and now we were preparing for a nuclear war. A war that was started between the United States and North Korea, and Canada was getting stuck in the mix because of being allies with the United States.

“The longer you stay, the harder it gets. Did you grab the photo album I told you to grab?”

“Yes, why?”

“I made it for you.” She pushed me away from her so she could look at me.

I realized she had known about this potential event longer than I did. “How long have you known about this?”

“Only a few days. Now go!” She let go of me, crossing her arms at her chest like she often did.

I nodded, knowing that stance and look, even through her puffy, red eyes and tears on her cheeks. I left the room, crying hard, and ran towards the entrance/exit that I was to meet Devon at. My whole body hurt from the crying that wouldn’t stop.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Finished ‘The Selected’ Now What?

It felt strange finishing ‘The Selected’ because I didn’t want to finish, if that makes any sense. I wasn’t ready to let go of the characters; which I assume is a good thing if I want to write a sequel (at the least). I haven’t written a YA in a long time, so this was a nice change. Mind you, this YA is not like a typical Ya because that is not like me.

Well, I just started the sequel. Not too sure on where I want to take it, but I am positive it will go where it wants to go.

Now that I have finished that novel I can do my typical break from writing where I type up my next book. I have already typed up 38 pages of ‘Control Me’. My oh my, the writing is poor. I am surprised I even understand what I am writing. Nonetheless, I will figure it out like I normally do.

‘Control Me’ is one of my favourite novels I have written so far. It is more action packed and exciting and the two protagonists are some, if not, the strongest I have written yet.

I am hoping to get it typed up by January. I want to make sure I have plenty of time to edit and work on the cover art. I am not good at that, so I need all the time I can.

Instead of doing Nanowrimo, I will just try to type up 50k of the novel. Figured it works the same to me. Handwriting that much is just too hard.

Now I will go and start typing up a little bit before resting for bed. I am very old and need my sleep. Here is a little bit of the novel for your enjoyment:

 

Within seconds I stopped sending them the feeling of sadness. My point was proven my abilities existed.

“Do you know how much danger you are in with a third of the countries trying to find you?”

“As you have seen and experienced, I am more dangerous than any of them,” I said. Instead of speaking to them through their minds I opted to speak aloud. “Emotions are only one aspect of what I can control.”

“You are a commodity that people will do anything to get a hold of. As you have analyzed, people have ideas with the use of you.”

Friday, October 19, 2012 | By: Megan Held

My Problem With Nanowrimo

Well, my problem with any type of thing that requires you to write a novel in a small amount of days. Don’t get me wrong, I did partake in this last year, but I wouldn’t call my finished product a novel.

Problem #1:

Setting a high word count number to reach expecting every person to reach it.

Sure, if you wasted every free waking moment to writing, or most of your free nights you could do this. There is the slight problem of going grocery shopping, spending time with family, eating, cooking food and any other things that need to get done. Even working is a challenge.

I worked 40 hours a week and spent the majority of my free time writing just to complete the challenge a few days early. It was tough to do on top of everything else.

Problem #2

Letting your brain process what to write.

Sure, you want to write the first thing you think of, but this could make the editing process much longer than it has to be. Your train of thought could work in your favour because it could flow, other times it could be terrible.

You may need  to take a couple hours to days off to let your mind breathe and process. Overworking your brain is what creates writers’ block and exhaustion.

Problem #3

People only write during Nanowrimo.

I understand you want to focus on revising and editing that novel, but you won’t get faster at writing a novel without more practice. Practice helps and only doing it once a year is not helpful.

I find that I write more during the spring/summer where the days are longer versus the winter time. A novel is not 50k, it is more, normally. To be honest, I spend a couple months after the last Nanowrimo to finish my book because of how much more I had to add to make it close, if not over 80k.

If people focused on writing half as much as they do during that month, they would be surprised at what type of work they could accomplish. People find that writing during Nanowrimo makes them an author, but I think authors write year round, not during a challenge-yourself month.

 

I am sure there are more problems, but this was all I could think of. I don’t know if I plan to participate this year because I will be just finishing a novel before it and want to type up another one.

If you are doing this, be realistic. Write for the sake of writing and not because you think Nanowrimo is what everyone is doing. It is not a fad.

Some writers do a great job doing it. I, on the other hand, like to not push myself too hard while working full-time. Hope this doesn’t offend any loyal Nanowrimo writers.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Pushing Limits

I have this weird conception where pushing limits is a great thing. Not in every day life, but in my books. I am not always a mystery writer…I dabble in other styles too.

My books contain violence. Some of it is overdone, others it is just right. What I mean by overdone  is 1440. That book is straight violence. It is hard to read because well, it’s gory. It was a riot to write because it was something so outside my normal way of life and thinking. An escape to a place so much worse than here.

Not saying all my novels are like that. Most do have a strong-willed, tough protagonist. No, that is not me. Strong-willed, maybe, but not tough, or as brave as most of my characters.

Pushing limits in novels is what makes them interesting. Most banned books push limits by containing information that some people find controversial. Not every novel can please every reader. The world would be so boring and generic if novels did do that.

All right, the main reason behind this post is about the next novel I plan to self-publish and the one I am hoping to finish writing soon. Both these books are a little different than I am used to writing, and tend to push a lot of limits; which I tend to do with my writing. I will start with Control Me. No, it is not sexual, start off with that. It’s a little out of my writing comfort zone. That’s right, I have one of those. This particular novel is about a girl born with a certain skills most humans do not have. She can control people with her mind, change their emotions and talk to their minds. She is wanted by all different governments/people wanting power to use as a weapon. She basically is forced to flee the country and hide with a highly trained guy. That is basically the gist of it. Lot’s of fighting, evil people and arguing. Yes, there is sex, but if there wasn’t I would be beaten my friend Shawna…with my own writing book. She is good at knocking that type of sense into me when it comes to my books. I cannot say any more because I am typing up the rough draft and will still need to edit it. As you can see, not exactly for everyone.

Now, The Selected. This one is about 14 year olds that get selected to pretty much become assassins/spies. They train to kill and will train to seduce. I am nearing the end of the novel, and there will be bloodshed and changing of the main characters mentality. I am waiting to hear uproars when I do self-publish it next year. No one is safe because in training people will die. Can’t really prevent people dying when they have to train with real weapons, or I am little sick.

Now that I have told you what my two current works are about you can understand why people may not like them. Some people should, but who knows. To end my blog, I will tell everyone something funny my co-worker told some of our new coworkers. He told people I am crazy because I write novels and like to murder lots of people in them. Outcome, most of them avoid me, but still piss me off. Now I wonder if I yelled if they would be terrified of me. Hmm…time to ponder scary writing mind.

Off to be productive, or think about being productive.

Monday, October 1, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Guest Post by Dean E Smith-Richard

guest post Hello everyone! This is my first time having a guest blogger. I am excited and it will be a nice change from my normal posts. About the blogger and author: Dean E Smith-Richard is the author of the 3024AD series, a science fiction series, with the emphasis on science over fiction. The Kickstarter for the first series of short stories is going on now. You can follow him on twitter for more scifi and crowdsourcing geekery.

Here is what he had to say:

I am writing this about 13 hours after I launched the Kickstarter for my first short story collection. I have been a fun bundle of nerves to be around, believe me. But it's off to a great start and I'm feeling pretty good. When I announced there would be a Kickstarter campaign for it, a self-published author I have a lot of respect for asked why I needed a Kickstarter.

Why, indeed. After all, with the advent of e-publishing as a viable means of self-publishing, the rules have changed. Up until recently, self-publishing was tantamount to giving up- it meant you weren't good enough to get published and marketed. Now with the reach of ereaders and the decline in traditional publishing budgets, it is fairly easy to publish a book to Kindle and the like.

So why a crowdfunding campaign before the book is even out? For one thing, it allows some of the biggest problems with self-published books to be mitigated- namely, editing, formatting and artwork. These can cost thousands of dollars professionally, and that's money most aspiring authors don't have lying around. Crowdfunding those costs can allow you to have your work formatted and edited professionally- thus giving you a more polished product to offer for sale when it is released to the general public, increasing its likelihood of success. It may also allow you to afford cover art that would otherwise be out of your price range, giving it more eye appeal as readers browse.

Another huge advantage- and a fun one, in my opinion- is the buzz it can build around your release. You might be able to have cool promotional, limited edition items that would otherwise be to expensive or just impractical. But by getting your readers involved before the book is even out, they are going to be that much more likely to spread the word once your book is actually out.

Are there risks? Certainly. There is always the risk of failing in meeting your goal, but that carries little financial risk (only whatever you put into promotion). However, the crowdfunding campaigns I have seen fail are not so much due to content as due to planning and execution. How can you avoid failing in your campaign?

First, do your homework. There is a wealth of information on successful and unsuccessful campaigns just a Google search away. Read all you can find. Most whose campaigns failed are candid with what they could have improved- take that to heart. Emulate what made campaigns succeed.

Along with that, you need a base you can count on. This may be hard if this is your first published work, but it's not impossible. If you are active on social media, that is a start right there. Keep a blog where you talk about your writing. Let people know well in advance of any campaign, and tease it with excerpts or quotes. Relying on people to find you via Kickstarter is unreliable- at best.

As to the campaign itself, set realistic goals. There is a lot to take into account- the actual costs, the costs of rewards, the costs of shipping said rewards, the variable number of backers. Your goal needs to be the least it can be while covering all your costs in a variety of scenarios (I have a excel template that I happy to share; drop me an email if you would like a copy). Take a look at other projects that got funded that are similar to yours- what was their goal? Their rewards? Your reward structure is huge- are they inviting? The last thing you want to do is take away opportunities for people to pledge- but people do it all the time, leaving massive gaps in their reward structure with little incentive to pledge more. Kickstarter advises “offer value”- if you do that, you should be in good shape.

Is this is the only way to go about it? Hardly. But it's a start, and signals a wonderful shift in publishing- connecting author to reader more directly and I, for one, couldn't be happier about it.

Take a look at his websites and read some of the work he has written. It’s one of the main reasons I check my blog website as often as I do. Fantastic work. On his one website he has more information about Kickstarter. Thank you again Dean for being my first ever guest post. You are welcome on my blog any time. For the public, find him, follow him and support him!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Nearing an end

As always, well, not so much as always, but I am getting close to finishing The Selected. It is going to be a much shorter book, probably just over 200 pages typed up. I know, I know, clearly I have not rambled enough. I just feel like this book doesn’t need to be that long. I may add more, but I won’t be typing this book up till next year.

With nearing the end with this book I am thinking of the sequel. I know, bad, terrible, etc. I like these characters, and know that this book cannot be it. I want to do more with them, if I can do it. If not, the book is just fine on it’s own.

Also, I am back to work, so my writing amount has decreased. It is to be expected with the first few weeks because my body needs to adjust to working. It’s tough. I am exhausted every day I come home and am in pain. Soon, I plan to write to distract me and to prolong when I go to sleep.

Some people say finishing a novel is easy. I find it a little bit of both: easy and hard. It’s easy because I know where I want to take it; hard because I don’t like letting go of a book. You get attached to the characters. It’s weird because in real life, I don’t get clingy, just with my writing. The only difference between this book and any other one is that I probably won’t take a break between writing this one and the next one. I don’t know how many books will follow this one, but I doubt I will really take much of a break between writing them. Only time may be to type up another novel…which I should be kind of doing now. Ultimate procrastination.

Oh! This is what happens when you get writers block and want to procrastinate:

New novel

 

Not that great, but it works for me. It shows the basis of where the novel takes place in 2065. I am not good with graphics, but the logo works for me. It’s supposed to be a patch worn on a uniform. Don’t criticize me for my lack of skill to create this.

Time to go back to writing it. I am thinking I have about 10-20 pages left, depending how fast I want this to happen. Knowing myself, the action parts will happen fast. I hate too much filler. I admit, I sound like a broken writer. All right, enough rambling. Must write, then bed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012 | By: Megan Held

It’s My 100th Post!

justwrite2 That is right everyone! I have rambled for 99 posts already, and here is my 100th. Most people are exhausted about me talking about my writing, but this is why I created this blog. I don’t want to keep forcing my writing hobby upon others, so I let those that want to read about it the option to.

I love that picture. It is great and should help other writers…I hope.

What better way to celebrate my 100th post with the advice people have given me, without my wanting of it:

1. Get published. We need someone rich and talented in this family.

2. Why write? It’s boring and lonely.

3. If you don’t want to get published, what’s the point?

4. There must be something better to do with your time.

5. Your writing needs to improve greatly, but I don’t know why.

6. I’ve always wanted to write a novel, but I don’t want to be like you.

7. Go ahead and keep writing your novels. My one, great novel will get me somewhere some day.

8. Just shut up already.

That is all I can remember that isn’t too insulting. Writers get so much crap for what we do. I still have a job, so I am not one that parents tell their kids not to be. I am okay with people telling me to shut up. I understand. Growing up it was what I did and I never forced it upon people. With the technology out now my hobby is in everyone’s face.

I honestly suck with advice. I can encourage and explain things, but giving other writers advice I am terrible with. Who am I to offer that? My education never touched on Creative Writing. I wish it did.

For this blog post, I will keep it short and sweet. I want to know if you could offer any advice to a writer, what would it be? I  want only positivity people. Nothing negative.

My advice: Write what you want despite what other people think. Writing is for yourself. The readers will come later on.

justwrite

justwrite1

Monday, September 3, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Writing a Sequel/Trilogy/Series

Untitled1 Seeing as the last post about writers attacking writers, this was the main reason people got attacked. For a recap, here are two of the responses that people have given:

  • “If you try to sell the first of a trilogy, and you are not an experienced writer, I can practically guarantee you will do a poorer job than if put as much work into a truly stand alone book. Why? Because for one thing, you'll be holding back for books two and three. Second, you'll leave dangling plots to bootstrap your second book -- bad idea.”
  • “Forget sequels until you are published. Thinking of sequels will corrupt your writing, if you start leaving loose ends to carry into a sequel. Publishers balk at any mention of series or sequels by unpublished writers. They want to see writers with more than one idea, not ones trying to capitalize on the same characters and setting. And if you leave little coupling points in your story, they WILL notice. It makes your story look ragged.”

There were other responses, but these two were ones that got attacked for being rude. Now, my take on this.

You want to write more than one book that relates to a novel then go right ahead. What is the harm? Why should we as writers hinder other writers from doing this? Most of us cannot even begin to think of getting published yet because novels need to be written and edited first.

I, as a writer, have written a sequel to a novel and plan to write a 4-novel YA series. Is it set in stone? No, because I am trying to finish the first novel and get a feel for that. The first novel must be great because it has to set the scene for the rest of the novels, and it has to be good enough that if the rest of the series is not that great it can be a stand-alone novel.

Writing a novel is hard enough, why be assholes and bitches and try to stop people from writing? I want more people to write novels. It is a fantastic feelings and something to be proud about. I am proud of writing a novel. I am proud after every novel I have completed. So, in order to see what I could find about writing a second book or series I found a lot of mixed reviews. A lot of people say that this will not get you published.

Here is one comment that is confusing that I found:

  • Now don't get me wrong. If your primary writing goal is to have fun: more power to you! Write a fifteen book interconnected series and don't let anyone tell you your front lawn swallowed a neighbourhood dog. If, however, your goal is to be published, writing a sequel to an unpublished, self-published, or under-published book is probably not your best strategy. Placing a book these days is really really hard. Placing a sequel to an un/self/under-published novel is virtually impossible, no matter how good it is.Unless, of course, the sequel can stand on its own. And I don't mean squint your eyes, fudge some plotlines, and nudge nudge sure thing it can stand alone. I mean it can completely and utterly stand alone and you can credibly pitch it as the first book in a possible series. In that case, well, just pitch it as the first book in a possible series and don't mention the one in the drawer.

Going back to my “publishable” rant. I hate writers that go: “I am writing a novel to get published and that be my job”.

Hold up, wait a second. First of all, writing should be something you want to do for yourself. You want to write a series and spend all this time in that world, it has to be more for you than for anyone else. You are going to build those attachments and have the same feelings as your characters. Second, it is so hard to get published nowadays you may end up self-publishing at first, or in general. Lastly, thinking that a series will be the only way to get you published you are wrong. Publishers do like a series, more money if it is good, but you must write it first.

I do have faith that people can do it, I just don’t appreciate when people think novel-writing is just a way to earn a living and then attack others. Write for yourself. If you have such a great idea that can lead to a sequel or more novels, go for it. Don’t get self-conscious when people tell you not to. And don’t think: “Wow! This will so get me published.” Instead think, “I have to write another novel because I love these characters and want them to go through this.”

Okay, okay. I am done ranting. To some this up: Write whatever you want as long as you put yourself as the main reason for writing. This is for your enjoyment and should be something you like to do. Writing is not easy, other writers can be down-right nasty and publishing is well, tough. Never give up hope that your novels are/will be great.

Friday, August 24, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Writers Attacking Other Writers

First, let me be frank. I am a writer. Now, more honesty:
  • Is my writing amazing?
    • No.
  • Perfect?
    • No.
  • Good?
    • No.
  • Does it make sense?
    • Sometimes.
  • Will I ever be good at writing?
    • Probably Not.
  • Do I think writing as much as I have gives me a reason to be judgemental?
    • No, and even if I had only written one book I would still not be that way.
  • Do I attack other writers about their writing?
    • NEVER!
  • Will I stop writing?
    • Probably not. It’s been a part of my life for almost 12 years. Hard to say goodbye.
I have mentioned several times now that I get easily frustrated with writers attacking other writers. When I mean attack, I mean trying to get them to stop writing. Most of these people involve indie writers, or people just starting out writing a novel. And one person has written a novel or a few and goes all egotistical on the newbie's. No, I am serious, some of these people I see “offering help” think they have some big-ass ego. Don’t mind my swearing, I do it when I get angry, frustrated, annoyed and hormonal.
Now I shall search this forum site for the rude comments that make my blood boil and I turn into the Mr. Hyde form of me.
Examples:
  • Someone asked if other people find when writing in first person if ‘I’ appearing often was a common thing.
    • Egotistical response: “If your first person story has more I's than a colony of Beholders, it's a sure sign that your narrator is too self-absorbed.”
    • My thinking: Um…wait a second here. I thought the who point of using first person was to see the world through the narrator’s point-of-view. Guess I screwed up that one. Of course, no need to use it every sentence, but still, it is going to appear often.
  • “I just feel that this would be both fun and a helpful tool to have as another reference point, just like the world map. So, my question is: Does anybody else do the same?” (Create a world map to visualize a fantasy novel and a small background of the history of the places, like Game of Thrones of Lord of the Rings.)
    • Egotistical response: “It's a great way to avoid ever starting on your actual writing.”
    • My thinking: Well then, guess most fantasy writers that are famous are completely wrong and should never have been writers.
  • “I don't even know where i should start to get the ball rolling on my plot. How do you guys do it?”
    • Egotistical response: “I don't. I work out a plot, and then work on writing it in an engaging and interesting way.
      It's not the plot or the storyline, it's how you execute it.”
    • My thinking: Not what the person asked. The person asked for tips on how to combine ideas into a plot, not getting told to write well.
  • “I am wondering if there is an active verb that defines someone looking someone in the eyes? Or is there another word that has a similar effect for someone looking at some really seriously? Usually I would go look around for a word, but I am really busy with my novel (I need the word for a short story) and I can't find time between writing, social time with friends, and sports.”
    • Egotistical response (one of the best to get my blood boiling): “I do express my opinion, a very similar one, in such cases. And I catch crap for it, because, in fact, people who ask these things are asking for others to think for them.Worse than that, they feel they are entitled to an answer.Maybe I will give an answer in some of these, especially a hunt for an elusive word, if I happen to have one that I feel works. To be honest, no such word leaped into my head. So I would instead settle for a phrase or a sentence.
      However, my primary point remains. Writers don't go running to others to solve these kinds of problems. They use the resources available to them, and they use their imagination to find some way to express themselves. Sometimes they fail, but they learn something in the process. Sometimes they succeed, and learning again ensues. It isn't the answer to the question that will make you a better writer. How you go about finding the answer makes you a better writer. And that truly is the point.”
    • My thinking: Sometimes I cannot think of a word, and searching the thesaurus and dictionary do not help. I may think of a word that just doesn’t suit the characters. Getting outside help can provide more information about what other people think and use to describe something.
  • A person asked if mixing writing styles into one novel would be a wise idea. The person discussed how they would go about it and explained their reasoning.
    • Egotistical response: “Mixing writing styles will generally result in a very murky, disorganized-looking piece of writing. A master writer might succeed with it if there is a good reason behind it. However, if you have to ask, I would say it is probably doomed to failure.”
    • My response: Well, crap. I guess all the genres created through mixing writing styles are a failure too.
  • Someone asked for answers or ideas on why a spy would want to protect a person. They posted what they had so far and asked if it worked or if other people had other suggestions.
    • Egotistical response: “Brainstorming? Exercise your own imagination, and trust in your ability to do so. Leaning on others to provide you with ideas will not help you grow as a writer. Quite the contrary, in fact.”
    • Me: I knew it! I am a failed writer! Alas, the truth has been discovered when I ask for help with an idea. Finally, I can give up a hobby I love because I ask people for their opinion once in a while. (100% sarcasm)
  • Sequels. People always ask about writing trilogies and sequels because they like an idea or set of characters.
    • Egotistical response 1: “If you try to sell the first of a trilogy, and you are not an experienced writer, I can practically guarantee you will do a poorer job than if put as much work into a truly stand alone book. Why? Because for one thing, you'll be holding back for books two and three. Second, you'll leave dangling plots to bootstrap your second book -- bad idea.”
    • Egotistical response 2: “Forget sequels until you are published. Thinking of sequels will corrupt your writing, if you start leaving loose ends to carry into a sequel. Publishers balk at any mention of series or sequels by unpublished writers. They want to see writers with more than one idea, not ones trying to capitalize on the same characters and setting. And if you leave little coupling points in your story, they WILL notice. It makes your story look ragged.”
    • Me: Let the people write what they want! Who cares if you are jealous or hate trilogies and sequels. If people want to write them then stop discouraging them. Not once did people mention going to publishers. Guess I better toss out my sequels and the one I am working on. 
I am sorry about this long post, but I am frustrated! I cannot wrap my head around people saying some of this. The people responding call it constructive-criticism; I call it destructive-criticism. There is no need to attack people because they are trying to write a novel. We should be encouraging other writers, not hindering them. Writing is an art form and people have the freedom to express themselves. Those that want to destroy it should be silenced.
Reading some of the responses makes me wonder how much of a failure as a writer I would be to them. I encourage people, not criticize. I ask for help when I cannot decide between an idea or a few. I use ‘I’ often in my novels. Lastly, I am a writer and I write for myself. Not the need to get published and brag and hurt other aspiring writers. Here is what I find amusing, the people that do the critiquing have written 0-3 novels. I have written 17 books and my ego is nowhere near theirs.
For all those writers out there: Help people. Encourage people. Don’t let people make them not want to write. People should get to experience the array of emotions while writing and the pride of being able to do so. No one is perfect, or gifted, or amazing right away…or at all in my case. Please yourself first before others. Writing is a private manner in which you allow those close to you in first. Dream big and never be discouraged. Enjoy your talent. And never get a big ego and think you are better than everyone…unless you are famous like Stephen King, J.K Rowling, Nora Roberts of Iris Johansen.
Writer
Friday, August 17, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Things I Found and Want to Reblog!

THE THREE PHASES OF WRITER’S BLOCK.

I am mainly the Stitch one.

characters quote

tumblr_m7b8o061Fn1rnvzfwo1_500 

tumblr_m5ius5zLyw1rqk2w6o1_500

quote

crazy writer

tumblr_m5na96p6uL1qbukoeo1_500

There will probably be more, but most of what I found are on sites I don’t have access to reblogging. If anyone has anything writing funny, interesting, or inspiring, let me know so I can try to find it. Hope this made some people laugh and understand writers a little better. Writers  are always misunderstood until they get published and rich.

Thursday, August 16, 2012 | By: Megan Held

My Music Motivation

I mentioned last post I would list the songs that motivate me for my current novel. I find music is a great help. This is always debatable, as I have seen on many forums. Some people have even snapped at me saying that using music is stealing it…don’t ask me how seeing as I don’t write about what the songs are. Alas, I don’t get why people critique what other people do to help them write. I hate writing in silence and for those who can, how can you do it?

I am hoping this post will help motivate me to write. I am nearing the end of my first draft. Everything is in my head, just writing it out is the problem. Plus, there will be a few sad parts, and that is always difficult to write. See how side-tracked I get?

All right, down to what this blog post is about. My music playlist. I have several songs, so I will rank them. No clue if they relate at all to my book, but they at least help motivate me to write it and are partially my muse. Here is the main influencing list:

  1. Eyes Open by Taylor Swift.
  2. Titanium by David Guetta ft. Sia.
  3. Both of us by B.O.B. ft. Taylor Swift.
  4. Some Nights by Fun.
  5. Wide Awake by Katy Perry.
  6. Hope & Ruin by The Trews.
  7. The Fighter by Gym Class Heroes ft. Ryan Tedder.
  8. Safe & Sound by Taylor Swift ft. The Civic Wars.

Some other songs do help, but these are the main ones that set the mood for me. Does anyone else use music to help? If so, what songs?

Thursday, August 9, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Sometimes Being Strong Makes me a Better Writer

Recently my health has gone all weird on me. Two experiments failed, go figure. For now I am taking a break before I try the next one. Hopefully no allergic reaction to this.

To pass the time I have been listening to my writing playlist for my current novel. Yes people, I make playlists of songs directly for each of my different novels. Powerful lyrics are a must and they must be able to be sung really loud. No point in just writing to quiet music. The songs not only have to appeal to my books but how I am currently. These songs make me stronger because they motivate me, I relate to them and they just make me smile. Another post I will post my playlist.

Oh! With my current health situation I found someone I can relate to. Never been so happy to have someone else to talk to that understands me. She also has a blog about it. I may mention her later on in my blog! Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all the support both spoken or silent. I just am tired of burdening everyone with it.

What I am going through is a pain in the ass. Sorry for swearing, but that is what it is. I am stubborn as hell so I am not letting it hinder me. I am writing more than ever and I know why. I have something to forget, ignore, banish, etc. Without working I need a good distraction, and writing is it.

For now, I will let my strength show in my writing. For everyone else, here are quotes I find inspirational and I can relate to.

me

me1

me2

me3

me4

me5

me6

me7

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 | By: Megan Held

How I Self-Published and why

Someone asked me to talk about what I did in regards to the title. I chose to self-publish because I don’t want to spend hours working on query letters, reworking my manuscript over and over just to be told ‘No’. Instead, I chose to self-publish for myself, family and friends.
When it came to deciding if I wanted a paperback copy of my novel I chose LULU. A friend from university recommended it to me. I had to do all the formatting and cover design. This takes time. They do tell you suggestions, trust me, for those considering it, take it. This site also puts the novels up on Amazon.com and Amazon in the UK. Handy. Not many people will actually buy them or I just fail at properly marketing them.
These books were more for me to order in bulk and have family and friends buy them from me. It’s really nice to see my work in an actual novel.
Obviously with how the world is advancing today I chose to use a site for ereaders. I know a lot of people chose to use KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), but that contract is just terrible. You can only publish through there for 3 months. Not my thing. I am from Canada and our main ereader company is Kobo. I decided to go with Smashwords. They have a larger range and so far I have done quite well. Not well enough to quite my day job, but enough to make myself feel like a real author.
I do still dream of being professionally published someday, but this way I feel more comfortable. Unfortunately, some people will review it and be rude about the work because it is not “professionally done”. To me I just brush that off. Compliments are nice, but there are bad reviews too. Do not take it to heart. Not everyone likes all the popular novels.
If you chose self-publishing most would suggest that you have to spend more time marketing than anything else. Not my thing. I do join some free promotional periods so readers can read my book for free through Smashwords.
I hope this helped convince people about self-publishing. Another site to consider for paper copies of your novels is Createspace, which is through Amazon as well.
Read up on contracts, copyrights, distribution and fees. Research a lot and find what best suits you. Because of my want to self publish I put 3 novels up on both sites and will put up more as I type them up and write them. Do it more for yourself and those close to you. Be proud of your work. Well, back to writing I go!
three books
Monday, July 23, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Writing Genre: Dystopia

Yes, people, this is what I have been posting about. Why? Why must I torture you with all this? Well, I did because this is my topic for my blog this week.
I absolutely love books that tend to be based around a Dystopia, such as: Hunger Games trilogy, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Divergent series. With you thinking about one, or all of these books, time to define!
Dystopia: a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression,disease, and overcrowding.
Wikipedia explanation of Dystopia: Dystopia is defined as a society characterized by poverty, squalor, or oppression. Most authors of dystopian fiction explore at least one reason why things are that way. Dystopias usually extrapolate elements of contemporary society and are read by many as political warnings. Many purported utopias reveal a dystopian character by suppressing justice, freedom and happiness. Both utopias and dystopias are commonly found in science fiction and other speculative fiction genres, and arguably are by definition a type of speculative fiction.
Enough with the definitions/research. I did enough of that for University. I am quite excited that more popular books are using this genre. The main type of age group attracted is Young Adult. Not surprising seeing as more people read YA than any other age group. If I need to explain why then I am concerned.
Once again, here is the picture I saved from a writing page/website.
IsItDystopia_flowchart
My book is only 135 pgs. in so I am still fine-tuning what exactly I am doing with the world. So far, it is Post-Apocalypse and for Dystopia. Why is this genre so widely popular?
It is popular because it is still based on on our planet, but details are changed. Most change after a war or disaster. Makes sense? There are so many variables of what would happen that people can play, reinvent and change our world. My favourite is 1984. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love The Hunger Games, I just enjoy the other one more. It happens. Both are huge inspirations for my next novel, with the help of music.
How do I know I am writing a dystopian novel? Here is a little bit of the opening. Don’t mind the writing, still working on the 1st draft, so it is fairly rough.
The Selected:
I was fourteen when I was taken. As the government termed it, I was selected. It was an honour to be selected. Families took great pride. The children only had nostalgic images and phrases of what it meant to be selected. It was honour, duty to the new Nation of the North. The kids selected received the best education, training, jobs and if the time came, would represent the nation during a war. 
I should explain how this all came to be. The year is 2065. World War III had occurred in the year 2020 and caused the world to divide into eight new nations. Three were allies: Europe, Australia and its colonies, and us, Nation of the North—comprised of the United States, Canada and Greenland. We joined our nations together after we barely won the war with our allies. We had to rebuild after losing so many men, women and children. It was nasty and everyone learnt about it in grades seven and eight. 

I am from Ontario, the southern part. The only names to remain in the nation were the previous states, provinces and territories. Town and city names no longer existed. The war had ended forty years ago and since then the world changed into what it is now. My grandfather died in the war and my father has never fully gotten over the affects. When I was selected he looked upset, like the world had taken something so precious from him again. I was the eldest of four siblings and the only girl. I was my mother’s favourite by default.  
It was my grade eight graduation. My classmates and I stood in front of our parents and family. We were smiling, all happy to be moving on to our next step. High school was the defining moment. we would find out our trades or schools to go to afterwards. Then, after that, people were permitted to get married and have children.
That is all I am giving because it is still a work-in-progress. Hope this helps prove why Dystopian literature and my constant posting about Dystopias makes sense.
Keep writing everyone, like I am.
Friday, July 13, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Too Hot to do Squat

That is my mom’s line, not mine. Mind you, I do use it quite a bit. I have done some writing and finished knitting my first eReader cover. Yeah for me!

To go along with my writing theme of trying to help others know more about writing techniques I am giving another definition of what I use: flashback. Here is the definition, including more specific ones.Flashback

Flashback: is an interjected scene that takes the narrative back in time from the current point the story has reached. Flashbacks are often used to recount events that happened before the story’s primary sequence of events or to fill in crucial back-story. A character origin flashback shows key events early in a character's development. In the opposite direction, a flashforward (or prolepsis) reveals events that will occur in the future. The technique is used to create suspense in a story, or develop a character. In literature, internal analepsis is a flashback to an earlier point in the narrative; external analepsis is a flashback to before the narrative started.

Trust me, this is handy to use and a lot of writers use it. In my latest novel. Murder Never Dies, I start the novel with a flashback. This part is essential to the back-story and instead of writing another entire novel, or a hundred pages at the least I include some smaller flashbacks. Here is the beginning of my novel as an example:

murder coverBlood; there was lots of it. It was everywhere. It was all over me and the floor beneath me. I looked around the room, trying to recognize where I was. I tried to move my head, but it would not re­spond to my command. Something was wrong beyond my ability to see or comprehend. My eyes were all I had to allow me to figure out where I was. The wall I was facing was dull, except for when the lights which flashed or highlighted it. The colours and patterns of the lights looked like those from emergency vehicles. Red, then white, then blue and it repeated. Not in a set pattern. I knew the pattern: officer down, in need of backup. Worse call to get and whenever the call came through it required the patrol cars full sirens and lights. I knew that call all too well and in this case, the officer was me.

I tried lifting myself off of the concrete floor. My mind seemed to not be able to send these thoughts of movements to my nerves in order to get my body to react. I looked at the ground in front of me and all I could see was blood. Is that all mine? It could not be. I was not alone in the room. There was someone else with me. Someone else that had been hurt or killed. I looked up as much as my eyes would let me without going blurry or crossed-eyed and saw the body of a man. He was not moving. He—too—was surrounded by blood; which I knew was his. His face seemed familiar to me. I looked at his features. The dark, empty eyes; the long black hair tied back in a ponytail, matted with blood, sticking to his cheeks. The expression on his face was not of sorrow or of pain, but of anger: pure hatred. Whoever he was, all I could get a sense of was that I had killed him. Shot him with a gun not belonging to me. My hands seemed to not want to work for me at the moment. The place became even lighter, like spot lights had been aimed at the building to see who was or was not inside it. To see the dead man or me would be hard, unless people were high enough up off the ground and that may not have been enough to see us on the floor.

“Brady Oakes. Come out with your hands up! Release Detective Walden!” a man with a megaphone said slowly, boldly, so that I could hear him with ease inside the building.

Brady Oakes? The name of the dead man came slowly back to my memory. I had been investigating murders and he had been the prime suspect. Had I come here to stop him or had I been taken as his next victim? I looked at the dead man or Brady Oakes as he was known as. Confusion set in, my thoughts and memories were all a mess in my head. The noises outside worried me because I could not remember what was going on or what had transpired. All I could hear was the sounds of vehicles running, no footsteps or voices. I wanted to cry out for help, but my voice would not allow me. Am I dying?

“Detective Walden? Can you hear me?!” the man on the megaphone said.

I tried to yell ‘yes’ in response. It failed. Everything I had tried to do failed. There was a noise, which sounded like a door being broken into. Where? I was unable to see, or tell where it was coming from. The loud thud surprised me. I did not know if my body had reacted to it or if my mind was the only part of me that did.

“Get a paramedic in here! She’s still breathing!” an officer yelled out to the emergency personnel on the other side of the door when he had reached me.

I felt a presence of a small group of people near me. Something unnatural was happening. My body was reacting to the presence of one person in particular: a man. He had to have been out of my range of sight since his presence was barely felt.

“Detective Walden, can you hear me?” a paramedic said to me as he crouched down by my face.

I tried to tell him that I could hear him. Why can’t I respond to him? My mouth was moving to the response that I wanted to say to him. I wanted to tell him, but no sound was generated or moved from my vocal chords.

“She can’t talk! We need to get her to the hospital immediately!”

The paramedics, slowly and carefully, rolled me on to my back, placing a neck brace around my neck. They checked my vital signs and wounds as quick as they could. The total amount of noticeable wounds was seventy: a large and concerning number of wounds for any person to obtain and still be alive and breathing. “Let’s rush her! She’s lost a lot of blood and if she loses any more she won’t be conscious for much longer, let alone alive!” They lifted me onto the stretcher and rushed me out of the building.

“I will be there in a bit,” the man that had spoken on the megaphone informed the paramedics. “I’m all that she has!”

“I’ll let the nurses at the hospital know, Sergeant,” one of the paramedics said before he closed the ambulance doors, allowing my sight of the man to no longer exist.

The following chapter begins with: “Chapter 1: Two Years Later”.  If I did not do this at the beginning I would have to do this at the end. Flashbacks are a major part of this novel because it relies on the connection of a past case with a current one.

Next week I will think of another common writing aspect, unless someone would like to suggest me to explain one. This helps me remember what I learnt when I got BA. in English and Professional Writing.

Saturday, July 7, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Proud of my Mommy

This week I went to my mom’s for a change of scenery. I tend to do this more now that I am off because it helps me in a way. I read several books because my stupid pain pills make me all hyper when I should be sleeping. Only wrote a little; I feel like writing today so I can at least make up some lost time.

Now, no one laugh, but I am helping my mom out with her crafts by knitting again. Yes, I know how to knit, laugh all you want. I re-learnt in less than a day. We went to the little shop that hosts a lot of crafters, maybe to sell some things (we hope), or just to get their stuff out there. Here are a few of what my mom had displayed. She is working on ereader/tablet covers. I kind of am helping knit them. Hence kind of.

Giant stuffed dog modelling a large dog jacket. Market bags (I call them book bags). Book covers (for paperback, trade paperback and hardcover). Anti-depression Kits. Dog coats (on top of rack). Placemats (perfect for the patio or campsite).

While knitting I told mom about my dream I have at least once a week about starting a Creative Arts Summer Camp for kids; primary focus is writing. She wants me to consider trying to do it because it would be something I would love to do and also something no one teaches anymore. To be honest, I learnt to write a novel by myself. Sure, you can get support, but no real lessons on how to start or what to do.

Enough of that idea/dream. Off to do a little bit of writing. Took my time to do this. It is amazing how one can do something to pass the time and turn it into something other people can cherish. That is why I love writing. I will blog again about why I hate writers that just want to write to get professionally published. Writing should never be about money making; if that happens, great, if not, one is still creating a work of art.

Hope everyone likes my mom’s work!

Monday, June 25, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Foreshadowing

If I were to post this topic somewhere else I would get an onslaught of hatred with a few loves. I figured I should blog about it after talking to another writer. foreshadowing

Definition:

Foreshadowing: An indication of events that are to come. In fiction and drama, hints of forthcoming events prepare the reader or spectator for the eventual outcome of the action.

I don’t care what some writers say, I love it! Of course, you cannot use it all the time because it will loose it’s lustre. Some writers can pull this off well, while some do too much. To me, if you want to use this only put in a small section. If you give away too much then the reader knows what to expect. Mind you, I have only done this with one book: 1440. Okay, I am not fully experienced but I have done it before.

How I used it:

Sometimes, I wonder how I got here. Why did I deserve this? I have wondered a lot during the past day. It was all I could do. I have been alone most of the day. I spent most of the time in silence. Now I lie here, silent, and alone with my thoughts. I listen closely, and jump at the sound of gunshots, outside of the room I was locked in. I can hear the screaming and more gunshots. I turn my head and look at the empty doorway. I desperately want to know what is happening outside. Who is dying, and who is being injured. I cough up blood and spit what was left in my mouth on to the floor. I continued to listen to everything happening outside of the room I was in. I wished I could just get up and unlock the door to see the horror outside. My body will not move, except for turning my head. I cough up more blood and my eyes began to tear up. I know that this is not good. I know that I am dying. I look up at the door and watch it slowly darken. First at the edges, then the darkness swallows the door. The last thing I comprehended is the sound of a single gunshot and then utter silence.

This paragraph is the only thing in my prologue. I did not feel like it was necessary to put in more from the later chapter this comes from: second last chapter in my book. Oh yes, I do use prologues. Only in 2 books, so no need to yell at me.

I suggest that if people cannot think of a first chapter and want to write mainly the action or climatic scenes to use foreshadowing. It is a great way to draw in readers if done properly. Use it wisely and not for every book. I think it worked quite well for 1440.

Hope this helped other writers. My goals have always included helping other writers and never judging.

Back to reading I go…for now!

Monday, June 18, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Nothing and Need More Books to Read

Absolutely nothing has been written in a few weeks. Damn health…I have been reading more, but also sleeping more. The pills I am taking are such a low dose that sleep helps with the pain, and gives me nightmares.

I did have a really vivid dream that I could tie into my book later on it. Too early to have such a highly action packed part, despite what my friend thinks. This happens quite often to me. I get started with a book, then lose my feeling for it. Trust me, once I get the feeling back for it I will write a lot. I just need some extra motivation.

I hope with all the blogs I am reading, and my writing friends on Facebook that are doing so well with their books, I can become motivated again by them. Or hope my emotions get in check and let me.

Also, anyone have any good books they have read? I am doing the Bentz & Montoya series and  the Necroscope series. I am looking for more reads. My sick leave length is now unknown until I get a surgery date. Plus, I just love to read. I am trying to read slower because I tend to read a book in a sitting.

Back to reading…not writing. I suck at being a writer and being so distracted.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Don’t Know Where to go

Ugh! I hate being a writer…sometimes!

I’ve been so distracted by everything that seems cool and well, my health. So what has happened to my writing? Pushed aside!

Not good. My goal is to try and write more when I go on sick leave. Why? Because I have been slacking. I have no clue where I want to take my story or what to do with it. I have gotten over 80 pages in and now am kind-of stuck. It doesn’t help that when I am in pain I do not want to write. For some reason I feel like my  writing is worse when in pain…or just in general.

Hopefully I can write. Most people are having success.

On another note, I am doing a free ebook giveaway for my newest book. Giving out 5 copies. Only thing to keep me entertained right now it seems. Back to playing video games until I force myself to write something, anything. This is just sad. Amazing what an organ can do to you. Love writing, but unable to.

On another note, another great writer has died. I loved Fahrenheit 451. Fantastic read.

Here is the ebook giveaway link. Anyone can join. Just be nice to me if you give me a review. I’m not intending to be the next James Patterson.

https://www.facebook.com/events/407215529322487/

Friday, May 25, 2012 | By: Megan Held

So Many Distractions

It happens, right? The hubby left Monday and I have written, oh, maybe 10 pages. Everything is so distracting! I have had two girl date nights, so that took up time.Diablo-3

And, well, Diablo 3 has become my new thing. For those that don’t know me, I am terrible with video games. I generally suck and get addicted to playing.

Well, it doesn’t help that I am still getting a feel for this story. It’s tough for me to write something so new. I have done a fair chunk of introducing and training to the characters. I am just not sure what to do after that. I am sure one day it will just appear to me and I will have no problem writing it. This problem is why I always have two book son the go, one I am experimenting with, the other I can easily rely on writing for a bit. It will be written; it will just take some time.

It’s summer too! I hide inside when it is hot and go outside when it is cooler and I can sit in shade so I won’t burn. I love writing in the summer, but it is tough. I am having a writing struggle. I actually have to struggle to write. Stupid tumour is on my mind no matter how much I try to push it out of my head. No worries, not cancer, just a giant pest. When I am in pain I don’t want to write and the pain has been around a lot lately. Maybe I will learn how to write while in pain…hmm…must think of how to do that.

On another health note, I have decided that if the Docs approve, I want to go on sick leave June 11th. I see the surgeon the 15th, so if I get an appointment booked I am fine. My not glamorous at all job is becoming a little too tough on me. Hoping for a surgery soon. I am tired of waiting, especially over 7 months. Alas, Ontario healthcare is terrible.

Soon I will show people what is wrong with me, but for now off to eat breakfast, have a cup of coffee and write for a bit. Write first, video games later….but before 2 because I work at 3. Well, I best get going, I am even procrastinating on this blog. Five pages is my goal. I think I can manage that.

Sunday, May 13, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Picasso’s Work & Inspiration

DSCF2266Come on people, that one should have been obvious.

Yesterday, the hubby and I took my mom to the AGO to see Picasso’s work for Mother’s Day. Fantastic to see! We all enjoyed it, more so my mother and me. We grew up with my Uncle and Grandpa interested in art, both quite good too. It was only natural for us to want to see it and enjoy it. Plus, once in a lifetime thing.

What we discovered was how you had to look at each picture differently in order to see the pictures. It was fantastic. My mother and I would angle our heads opposite of each other to see what we could see. Each angle brought out something different in the pictures.

We ended up with two favourites. Viola! Here they are! One on the left is called Two Landscapes and the other I cannot remember for the life of me, it involves a guitar.

DSCF2268  DSCF2269

All this made me think. He started becoming noticed when he was 14. Now, I am not saying I should have been recognized at that age for me books. I look at how things have changed. When we wandered the contemporary exhibits we did not like much at all, well….we maybe liked one or two things and really disliked the rest.

I am picky about art and I will admit, I prefer paintings more than anything else. I remember knowing some people that went to Brock and enjoying their paintings. They were unique and beautiful to look at. Not some backyard looking things.

As you can tell, I am not cut out for art, I am cut out for writing. I found this trip to be helpful, more of a “stick to your roots” when it comes to my writing lesson. Sure, I dabble here and there. Everyone has to. I am sticking with my roots because it is my better style of writing. I just think back to what inspired me. My inspiration is not so visual as in Picasso’s works. I have to mould the inspirations to make them work for my writing.

All right, enough rambling about me! I best try to write a little before I fall asleep. Long days and not enough sleep for my liking.

I will say one thing, the show was fantastic and very inspirational. Happy I went and happy that it has helped inspire me to keep writing. Oh, and I got a writing book from there. Hehe, got the mom and hubby annoyed. I needed to keep a little memory of the trip!

Thursday, May 3, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Murder Never Dies Completed and Ordered

murder cover It is finally done. Took long enough. I have ordered a bunch of copies and that’s that. I should be more ecstatic, but that will be once I get the copies. Even if it is self-published it is still so nice to see a book with my name on it and knowing that I wrote it.  Plus, that’s 80,000 words handwritten and then typed up. Brain=mush.

I have done the same thing I have done with my other two books: publish through lulu and smashwords. It’s nice having a print copy, but eBooks are everywhere and are now becoming a very popular medium. Took so much work to format them, but now I have set templates so that will make a little easier when I decide to do it for another book.

The book blurb can be found in my Books page. That way I do not have to paste it here when it is already on my blog. I updated it early this morning when I ordered copies.

All I know is it is nice that I can write freely and not force myself to edit. Now that it is done I can focus on writing my new book. Hopefully more inspirational blog posts will arise from this. For now it is just pure happiness that my brain can rest and no more typing is really needed to be done.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 | By: Megan Held

Such Good News That Other Authors Would not

Today my blog has reached 2500 views. For most, I know, it is small, but for an unknown blogger it is a a big deal. Mind you, I don’t know if people are actually reading my blog. Who cares! Still views.

Also, I have sold a few eBooks now and am content. Not a tonne, but enough to make me smile. And my free 10 chapter preview has done well. Barnes & Noble has had 184 downloads of it. Excitement. Maybe people will actually read it once it is officially complete.

Talking about that, the brother is getting the last chunk of editing today. Lot’s left for him, but then I can get a chunk done of the final revising. Ugh, almost done the painful part of completing a book to self-publish. So I hope by the middle of May to be at the end of revising, that way it can be out by June. I like to have books out for the summer, best reading time because people like to lie out in the sun. Also I can ignore the idea of having to type up another book.

Oh yes, so the YA novel is going well. Over 40 pages in. Fantastic. Thinking of the name “The Selected”, but knowing me, that will change. I suck at titles and I think one is great and the odds are never for me. I have named two books by myself out of 17.  Not a very reassuring number. I am not lying though, I like this book idea. It has been so long since I have been this dedicated to two books right in a row. This must feel like most writers when writing a new story…or I hope so.

Plus, I cannot understand how I am failing at my two hours of writing a night. I can do a chunk on my days off, but right after work when I should be relaxing and writing would be nice, I cannot do it. I get distracted, even with the hubby having to use my computer because his died. So sad.

One day I will get over my phobia of telling the world about my new book once I get over halfway through. Sorry, my only bad news of this blog posting.

All right, rambling aside, I must get back to writing before the doctor’s appointment. All I do is do the whole wait and see game with doctors. For those that know me, six months of this is not good. I have now lost all patience and am getting pretty moody. Due to that, I am off to write. Helps me vent and relax.