Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Freebits with Ginger Simpson #frifreebits #blogshare

Its Friday and time for six paragraphs from Discovery, my short story collection.  I hope you enjoy the ones I've chosen to share with you:

Masked Love

"You want me to what?"  Olivia Wilson stared at Doctor Ray.  The paper on the examining table crinkled with her shocked movement.

"A  lot of people wear one and eventually get used to it."

"But what if I don't want to?"  She eyed the contraption he dangled in the air that looked like something he'd snatched from a scuba diver.

"If you'll recall, when you agreed to the overnight study, we discussed sleep apnea which I suspected caused your constant fatigue, and the tests prove me right.  People who suffer from the disorder often stop breathing for ten seconds or longer during sleep.  The problem can be mild to severe, based on the number of times each hour you fail to take a breath or how often your lungs don't get enough air  This may happen from five to fifty times an hour and can be fatal.  Your results fall within these parameters."

"You mean I could die?  She swallowed hard.

"Possibly, unless you use the CPAP machine and wear this mask.  He extended his arm.  "Here, try it on"


So....what will be the outcome of this opening scene?  Will Olivia wear the mask?  Why is she so worried?  If you want to know, you can find Discovery on my amazon page.

Now, link with my friends and see what they have to share today.

Jamie Hill
Tricia McGill
Juliet Waldron
Taryn Raye
Kathy Fischer-Brown
Rhobin Lee Courtright
Margaret Tanner

Thursday, August 21, 2014

GET STARTED & KEEP WRITING BY RITA KARNOPP

We all want to finish that book – or we wouldn’t be reading articles on writing – I get it.  But there’s always that insecurity that nags at us – can I really write a book, and if I do will anyone want to buy it?

No one can really answer that question until you just do it.  Finish that book, rewrite, have it edited and then sent your baby out in the world.  That’s the only way you’re going to know for sure – right?

So many people have written a book because the one they were reading disappointed them to the point they believed they ‘could do better.’  Whatever motivates you – hang on to it!  Let it drive you to writing the best book you can. 

But, here comes some hard truth.  It’s not all that easy. Once you’re sitting in front of that blank, white screen – reality hits.  There’s more to writing than one could imagine.

You might consider studying the art of writing – come on – I’m serious.  Do you think a dancer gets out on the stage without watching successful dancers, going to dance lessons, and practice …practice…practice?

Do you believe you’ve studied the craft and are ready to start typing?  Well, develop your story plot; give it a tentative beginning, middle, and end.  You’ll never create a well-thought out plot if you don’t do a little planning.  Know you can give your characters license to change things as the story unfolds, but a bit of guidance along the way will give you a great first draft. 

Don’t polish it as you go – don’t second-guess yourself -  right now you want to get that story down on paper, type to the finish as fast as you can.  If you get stuck, that’s okay.  You might ask yourself; ‘What would I do –if I was in this predicament?’  

You might do what I do.  I go to bed and let it workout while I sleep.  Yep, I go to bed and think about my story.  I run it through my mind like a movie.  It may sound strange, but when I sit back down at my desk to write – my fingers fly across the keyboard.  My characters have worked out the problem and have thought of more interesting challenges to face.

Keep your chapters about the same length.  I find my pacing is around fifteen pages per chapter – you’ll find your own pacing the more books you write.  Keep in mind when you end a chapter, it should prompt the reader to keep reading.  You don’t want them to put the book down – even for a night.  End those chapters with cliffhangers and keep them reading.

Whatever you do, treat your writing time with the same respect as you do your full-time job.  You’re in charge of what you do in a day, right?  You’ll never finish your
book unless you set goals and stick to them.  Keep writing – and I promise you’ll be soon typing ‘the end.’ 


The self-gratification you’ll feel - will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced.  You did it!  Celebrate . . . then start the rewrites!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Page Straight From D.G. Driver - #apagestraightfrom

Cry of the Sea
by
D.G. Driver
They must be surfers, was all I could think as I ran toward the three squirming bodies. Who else would be in the water this early in the morning? But even for surfers, this was pretty early. They’d have to have been surfing in the dark. That didn’t make any sense. Were they crazy? I knew some surfers at school, and they were definitely nuts sometimes, but surfing before the sun rose seemed extreme even for them.
Well, crazy or not, they didn’t deserve to be caught in an oil slick. I crashed down to my knees beside the bodies and dropped my gear. I started to reach out my hand to tap them and see if they were all right without even stopping to get a good look at them. But before I touched any of them, my arm recoiled back to my side.
"Dad!" I screamed. "Oh my God! Dad!"
My dad rushed up behind me. "Are they alive?" he asked, trying to catch his breath.
"I… I…"
Words didn’t come. I couldn’t formulate a thought. I was too startled. These three figures lying in the sand in front of me weren’t surfers at all.
They weren’t even people.
From their facial features and upper torsos, they looked kind of like women, but all three of them had silver-colored skin. They were bald, with strange ridges marking their skulls. None of them seemed to have ears, only holes in the sides of their heads. No nose was visible, not even a bone or nostrils filled that space between their eyes and mouths. Although their mouths seemed to be moving, they were actually breathing through what looked like gills in their necks.
And if that wasn’t weird enough, instead of legs, their upper torsos stretched out into long, scale-covered, silver fishtails. If I had to say what these things stranded in front of me, splattered with oil, appeared to be, I’d say mermaids. And no, they didn’t look like they’d start singing songs or granting me wishes. They looked a little bit scary—but fragile too. Most of all, they looked like they were going to die, and no handsome prince was there to kiss them and keep them from turning into sea foam.
"June," my dad whispered. "Do you think they’re real?"
"Yes," I whispered back. "Strange but very real."
"You don’t think they’re costumes?" he suggested. "Maybe some costume party on a yacht last night—they fell off."
Sometimes my dad’s brain worked even more off-kilter than mine. I shook my head. "Those are not costumes, Dad."
Those beings lying there in the sand were not wearing anything that was cut or stitched together. What I saw wasn’t material. It wasn’t a lycra suit like on Catwoman, nor was it some kind of make-up like that chick from X-Men. Make-up would’ve been washed away.

What I saw was real skin. Or some kind of skin, if skin could be silver. And those were real scales, not some kind of pointy sequins. I’d been around enough fish to know the difference. Besides, if these were a couple drunk, rich women in costumes, they’d be dead already. I knew these creatures weren’t dead, because the one closest to me suddenly opened its eyes and focused them right at me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO WRITE? BY RITA KARNOPP

So you’ve received a rejection letter – and you’re in the middle of writing yet another book.  Suddenly you’re in the slumps and wonder if all this work and upset is worth it.  You stop writing – and now you just don’t feel like going back to your office and continue with your work in progress.

Hmmm . . . sound familiar?  It’s not an easy profession, is it?  We have our highs – and oh so many lows.  It’s not easy to receive a rejection letter on one of our books.  It’s deflating.  It’s frustrating.  It’s depressing.  Yet, after you cry, throw a tantrum, crumple the rejection letter and toss it in the trash – you take a deep breath – and ask yourself – “Should I keep writing – or quite?”

I’ll bet everyone who has written a book, whether published or not, has asked themselves that very question.  It’s hard work to be a writer.  Life has a way of pulling at us – whether fun or work – and it take determination, fortitude, self-discipline, and most of all passion to be a writer.

So back to the ultimate question; do you really want to write?  It’s not all that easy to answer when you’re starting at a rejection letter.  Are you willing to give up the movies, TV shows, shopping sprees (great way to save money), and other activities that take up your time.

Having said that, I don’t think you have to give up anything – time management is the key.  But we still haven’t answered the question; do you really want to write? 

You heard me say it before, and I’m going to say it again.  I write for me, no one else.  I’d dream of seeing my name on the cover of my book for years – and it seemed like nothing more than a dream.  When I was brave enough to share that dream with others (besides my husband – who believes I can do anything I set my mind to), most people reacted as though I’d lost my sense of reasoning.  A mother of two, holding down a full-time job and sometimes another part-time job just to make ends meet – had no right to consider the possibility of becoming a published author.

Why?  I really don’t know– but – I would venture to guess many of you don’t find that strange at all, because you can relate – that attitude is familiar to you.

The best advice I can give is, if you really want to see your name on the cover of your book – never give up that dream.  Only you can make it happen.  Take the encouraging, supportive, and positive comments – and ignore the rest.

If you can’t stop the stories from forming in your mind, the plots just keep coming, as do terrific book titles – jot it all down in notebooks and keep the dream alive. 


Whether you get one sentence, one page, or one chapter done in a week or even month – you’re that much closer to ‘the end.’  If you really know this is your destiny- make it happen.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

A CHARACTER’S POV BY RITA KARNOPP

Your primary character’s point of view can only be real if you empathize and understand them inside and out.  You want your reader to see the story through the eyes of your character.

We get to know our characters by asking them questions . . . like you would a new acquaintance or perhaps a new family member you’ve never met.  So what kind of questions can you ask that will give you the understanding you need to get to know your primary characters?

·         Do you believe in marriage?
·         Are you inclined to believe man is destroying the world?
·         Do you have a good relationship with your parents?
·         Were you ever married or have you had a serious boyfriend/girlfriend before?
·         Are you angry about any issue?
·         Find out if your character has a chip on his shoulder.
·         The list goes on and on. . . .

But remember, not everything you know about your character has to go into your story.  You need to know your character so you’ll understand how he’ll answer, act, behave, react, and maybe even defy.

There’s one thing you must always consider when writing . . . and it involves your POV character . . . the five senses; smell, hear, touch, taste, and see.  Which of these senses are your weaknesses and strengths? 

Does your character notice perfume?  That could be important.  Does he hear a certain tone/voice annotation that triggers a clue?  Does the clamminess of skin reveal anything?  Does the bitterness of the wine warn it might be poisoned?  Or did he notice the man slip a piece of paper into the pocket of the man in front of him.  Perception is key in any story.

Your POV character may have strengths and weaknesses of the senses, too.  They could be key to their personality as well.  Think about the blind person and his other heightened senses.  Use sensory focus to create personality in your primary characters. 

What follows in this wheelhouse is intuition – when your character can sense the emotion, anxieties, objective, and fears of others.  It’s an extra sense that can create mood and make your protagonist believable.  Characters such as cops or doctors who must make snap judgments for the good of others display this sense.

Note here that your character’s profession will reveal a type of sensory perception.  Take for instance a teacher will perceive things in a logical, even checklist sort of way.  An electrical engineer perceives things in a planned, even logical way.  A lawyer would be the negotiator, talker, or even judgmental type – he’ll be the one asking questions and hopefully listening.  This character has a sense when someone is lying or hiding the truth . . . or telling the truth.  You can do this several ways and the reader will recognize the trait; his hands grow clammy, his eye twitched, his stomach knots, or maybe goose bumps chill his arm (the old cliché – hair rises on the back of his neck – please don’t use it … but you know what I mean).
You have to decide what your primary character is all about – his traits are vital to a realistic character.  You might have a competitive character – life is but a game – and everyone is out there trying to beat him. 
Maybe your POV character is materialistic and is looking for the richest man she can find – she calculates – no matter who it’s going to hurt – how she can get him to marry her?
There are so many perception types of characters – and it’s worth your time to decide what type of character you're writing about.  As in most cases, less is more.  You can use the five senses, but adding perception will evoke that something extra to your primary character.

Take note that a character using perception strengthens a reader’s investment in the story and reveals information about the character you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to.

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