RESEARCH? YES. NO.

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Yes, I believe we all do research to a certain point. We need to know the place where our story takes place and the surrounding area. Or do we?
As creative writers, we create, and in fiction we can make our characters our own. But does everything have to be accurate? Our creativity can come alive in a make-believe place. This is the place where our characters will live, love, argue, be torn apart by some event, meet again from our  own creative thoughts.
I enjoy making up my village, town or city.  I can name the streets whatever seems right to me and my characters. It can be in the mountains, by the ocean, a hot desert feel, and the stores are from creative imagination. It is like making a blueprint for your surroundings.
Sometimes, making up the place the characters become alive. Not the cookie-cutter characters. It is like you are giving them freedom to be who they are. Soon they realize this and watch out. Their actions and spontaneity are off the page. They like being unleashed.
They are in a new place, meeting new and different people, and they love the independence you give them. As a writer, you create emotions and your characters show your fingers which keys to hit. Go with them and see your story take twists and turns. The writer has an idea of who, what, when, and where the story/novel should go. When it takes off on another path, our characters run with the story and it is hard to keep the fingers moving so fast over the keys. (Don’t worry. You can edit later.) Let them have free rein to romp, run, and roam. Your story has changed because of the freedom you are giving your characters. You are writing fiction.
On the other side, Non-Fiction research is necessary and important. You need to know all the facts you can, and still give the characters a chance to show themselves as real people in a period unfamiliar to others.
HAPPY WRITING.  HAPPY CREATING.  HAPPY CHARACTERS.
                                            HAPPY YOU.

 

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86,400 WHAT?

YouFirst question, is this money? Maybe mileage on an airline pass? Or a collection of items in a hobby? You have scratched the surface of your life. This is TIME, the amount of seconds you have every day of your life.

Now that you know you have 86,400 seconds each day of your life, how will you use them? As writers, the answer would be writing, but we cannot write every second of every day. Our well would run dry. Our fingers on the keyboard would not be efficient. Ideas would soon become a jumble and certain thoughts drained out of our heads. So what can we do with this precious gift given to us EACH day?

There are quite a few seconds we need to sleep and rejuvenate our mind and body with good healthy practices. Then we would need seconds to feed our family, like cooking, and getting groceries. We would need seconds to run errands and, of course, check the media part of our lives. We would need seconds to visit friends, go to meetings, and share our thoughts with other people/writers. There would be seconds needed to read for pleasure and research.

Now, this gives you something fun to do and see how many things you can consider. Yeah, you hear the word list and this is a great place to start. Analyze your life for one day, or 86,400 seconds and see where you spend your time. Do you spend time or waste time? Do you give your time to someone else and watch transformations on the other person’s face. Do you volunteer and help others?

These 86,400 seconds are worth more than if there were a ‘$” sign in front. Money comes. Money goes. But the seconds are there each and every day. This is a bank that never runs dry. Yet, living a full life, happiness runs all over the place, and time does have a way of racing by quicker than we think.

When you get up each morning, decide how you will spend your 86,400 seconds. Live Life.  Love well. Stay Happy. Your writing will flourish, your friends become many, and the opportunities you may have overlooked, become plentiful. Have fun with your 86,400.

Until next visit,

Happy Writing.

Switch On To Positive

Two friends“Wow! I thought she’d forgotten about us ,” Ethel said .

“No  way. She knows not to be gone for long ’cause we’d make a scene, and it would not be scenic.”

“But here she is with something we need to think about:  a negative scene or a positive scene, and let’s hear her out before we make any scenes of our own.”

Yes, before you get out of bed in the mornings, make certain your body switch is on the positive. You need this close by your bedside table or wear the switch around your wrist. Better yet, set it the night before inside your mind. This is crazy. No it is not, and we need to take a look at the possibilities of hitting the day in a positive mode.

Lately, a lot of people (of all ages) have been commenting about the time change on November 2, 2014. “Hey, we get to have another hour of sleep.” Or, “how can I make up an hour of sleep from six months ago.?”  Just forget it. I look at the clock and if it tells me the time, I go with this. Of course, some people still complain that the time is okay, but their bodies do not agree.

It does not matter what time zone you are in or the spring forward and fall back bit, you can get up in a positive mood with the switch of your thoughts.

Have you ever awakened and thought, “This is going to be a crappy day?” and then it turns out to be a crappy day. What if there is a switch you can adjust in your sleep and wake up to a positive attitude and a positive, productive day? Yeah, just say it and it’s almost there.

We are in tune with the world and the events of the day, BUT, we are writers and we can make any day we want to sing with the sunshine. So get used to the mind switch from negative to positive and try it every day in your writing world. Oh, yeah, we still need conflict to keep out story moving forward and drawing our readers inside the covers.

Sure, you do. It is an important part of your writing life. And note, I said writing life. You can create any area for your protagonist or the antagonist, and that is your job. But, if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, the negative side, you will taint your story with all the wrong feelings. And then there is the possibility you wake up in the best of moods, and your characters become happy-go-lucky, when they should be cautious and suspicious.

So, what should we do as writers? Wake up, be quiet, and feel the day unfold. Do you have a window in your bedroom? Look out through the blinds. Is the sun starting to rise? Or are you too early? Does the taste of anxiety fill your throat? Or does the feel of anticipation of new chances fill your mind? You can control how you look at the new day. You cannot control how it will turn out.  You need to switch to the positive side.

If you go back to the sun rising, you turn yourself over and forget about a new day, you are turning the positive switch off.  You will never get your work done. I’d suggest you let the sunlight into your early morning life, or at least the light clouds, and continue your day with positive thoughts, positive words, and get those fingers to the keyboard. It is the early morning vibrations that propel you and your thoughts forward. Do not let the negative switch have an opportunity to ruin your day.

Remember, only you can move the switches between positive and negative. Think positive . . .and reap the benefits for yourself, your family, and your readers.

May your positive switch hold all of life for you and your writing.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, taste the experiences to the utmost, reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”

Be positive. Be happy. Write with conviction. Write with gratitude to being positive.

“See there, Ethel, she was just on a mind journey to give us something else to think about.”

“Yep, you are right, Edna. She needs to do this more often.”

“Keep positive, Ethel.”

 

What If?

What did you sayHuh? What if what? This is all about imagination, daydreams and fantasy. If you do not use all of these tools, how can you be creative? Let’s take a look at all three categories and see which ones we need to work on a little harder.

IMAGINATION – are you so wrapped up in reality that you must have your information researched and researched before you start writing? Sure, if you write non-fiction, historical romances, yes. You need the details to be correct, but you also need to use your imagination. You don’t, your writing to read like ‘dullsville.’

Remember as a kid, watching the clouds form and float in the sky? You could see dogs, cats, even your mom or dad. Each day the clouds would create a different picture for you. It was exciting to guess what would be next.

Also, imagination is a game of pretend. You pretend to be something you are not and have fun acting out the part. Why can’t you project this type of playground for your writing? Your characters are part of your imagination and you give them the feeling of being so real, the readers can reach out and attach themselves to your characters’ lifestyles. All of a sudden, you notice your writing becomes more creative and energizing to you and your readers.

FANTASY – You need some of this in your writing. Go way back to Cinderella and look for all of the fantasy throughout the whole book. Look at all of the paranormal writings we now encounter. Fantasy is laced into reality, but you do not lead the reader down either path. All these paths are part of the story. The reader is not misled, rather enticed to keep reading more.

DAYDREAMS – these are part of our daily lives. You know the kind where you can sit and dream of a situation you would love to be in,about the job you always wanted, or about the hero you have yet to meet? Don’t stop and recapture these intimate moments and give your characters their own daydreams.

Look at some of your works-in-progress and see where you could add a fantasy or two. Or, let your heroine daydream about her future, and let your hero imagine himself as a completely different person. Throw blocks in to prevent these happenings and see what creative avenues these characters take to climb over the blocks and get what they want.

As a writer, when you can combine reality with any of these items– Imagination, Fantasy, and Daydreams–and still remain true to your story, your characters, and your readers, you are on A ROLL. Do not stop and see where your encounters take you. Just be true to who you are and what you are writing. Let your mind wander and hear what your heart wants to say. Give your creative side the ‘What If’ attitude and let your pen and paper or your fingers and the keyboard bring you happiness and your readers yelling for more.

PLAY WITH YOUR CREATIVE SIDE.  Happy Writing.

T. G. I. F.

9776003-audienceKick back, all of you. Enjoy T.G.I.F. This is your ‘free Friday’ to try something new, fun, interesting, playful, or whatever you choose. Your choice. But, to help you out, here are some starters:

T – try something like a new restaurant, or cook a new and different dish, try a new route to go places, not the same old path. How about trying your day backwards. Yep, backwards. Have dinner for breakfast, go through your every day routine in a backward mode and end up the day with breakfast.

G – get away and hide for an afternoon, any place but home. Give a few hours of your time, yeah I know this is hard, to volunteer with an organization that interests you. Think about animal shelters. These lonely, deserted pets love company and walks. How about a long quiet walk for yourself. Breathe deep, swing your arms, walk, do not run, and feel your body respond to life.

I – Imagine. Use your imagination on anything and see what you can conjure. Invent. With the use of your imagination create a new invention to help others and include yourself. I know computers can enter what you speak, so what if they could enter what you thought. Whoops! Better save that thought. Which comes to ignore. This is your Friday, feel free to ignore the laundry, the dusting, the vacuum. Hey, if you are on your walk…Investigate everything you can see, touch, feel. This can become research for your next book. Ideas are the best prompts to writing.

F – Flowers can give new meaning to your Friday. Stop and look as you walk or go to a flower shop and treat yourself to a new bouquet. Search for your Fairy Godmother. She is out there somewhere waiting to help you, but you have to let her know. She can be silly, someone to laugh with or smart and think of all the things you can learn. Find adventure through a child’s eyes. Sometimes we get so bogged down being an adult, we forget the wonders of the world. Watch your own children, or borrow a child for the afternoon and enjoy visions of the world in a different way. Yes, closer to the ground.

What way your decide on, follow through. Take a day’s vacation in your backyard. It’s YOUR FRIDAY.

Happy Day. Happy Writing

 

A WILD WEDNESDAY

99440ac3-d93e-450b-a356-69420d72c9e5When you see or read “Wild Wednesday” all sorts of images race through your head. When you look at the kittens on this page, wild may give you a different thought.

To some, wild might mean getting groceries on Thursday rather than Wednesday. Anytime the norm is not followed this can create havoc for a lot of people. Wild can be something new you’ve never tried. If it is your writing, maybe you decided to try a different genre, or a make your characters a younger age, one you may have forgotten.

Wild might mean getting a new hair style for the females or growing a mustache for the men. Remember the “wild hair” terminology? People got this title when they acted in an unusual manner and had fun. Writing this brought back some neat memories. One came to me full force. This was when bookstores had areas to study, write, drink your coffee, eat a bagel or whatever. I walked into the lounging area and sat at a table close to a small, silver-haired lady. She had a big book held at an angle and snickered at times and then blushed. I had to interrupt, “Excuse me, it looks like you have found a great book. Would you share the title with me?” I got the look like, how dare you, but she smiled and motioned for me to come closer. Inside her big book was a small book of erotica writings. “My generation would disown me if they saw what I was reading. They may be old, but I’m not.” She stood up and proceeded to do a tap dance, rather part of a tap dance before the manager approached. “Dancing is now allowed here, ma’am.” Without hesitation, she relied. “Sir, this is not a dance, this relieves the cramps in my legs,” and sat back down. “You gotta be fast on your feet these days to outwit the older ones.”

Then today, Wednesday, I stopped to feed my car its expensive liquid diet. I noticed an elderly man going up to the customers at the pumps. He nodded to the women and shook hands with the men. I heard the click and removed the nozzle from my car as he approached. I was startled and apprehensive, but he smiled and handed me a crisp, new one dollar bill. “A free cup of coffee for you,” nodded and walked to the next stranger. I climbed back in my car and sat staring at the dollar. My Wild Wednesday began. I needed to find someone and ‘pay this forward.’ I did this afternoon and what a great wild feeling this gave me. “A free cup of coffee for you.”

Wild can be an action out of the norm. Try this on some of your characters and wait for their responses. You might be surprised.

Do your Wild Thing today and happy writing along the way.

 

SIZZLE SATURDAY

On FireHow did your “Snoop” day go? Did you have a good time?

Snooping to be nosey, is not a good thing. Snooping to gain interesting conversation pieces, thoughts, ideas, this is fun, at least for writers.

I did my snooping while on errands. At the grocery story, the lines were long, the cashier friendly and talkative, so I had plenty of time to listen to the customers around me. Talk of higher prices…no. The weather…no. Kids…no. Then two ladies, apparent friends, had their heads together. Lips moved, eyebrows raised, one held onto the grocery cart like it was about to disappear, the other kept shaking her head. I could not hear the conversation, but their facial expressions, and squeezing the handle of the cart, gave me ammunition.

Next, I had to pick up a few items from a department store. Crowded, no overflowing with people would be a better description. Kids screaming and some pushing their “I’m a little shopper,” carts into anyone and everyone they saw. I kept my distance from these unlicensed drivers, but remembered some of the expressions of the customers. One elderly lady had the courage to walk over to a little kid, “Where are your parents?” The mother ran forward, “Do not scream at my child.” The elderly lady replied in a quiet voice, “You do not have a child, but a monster.” No response. How does one reprimand a little old lady with white hair, a walker, and a beautiful purple dress.

I stopped to give my auto its weekly food allowance. Not the best place for snooping. Yet, while the fill-up took place, I paid attention to the number of people flowing in and out of the establishment’s food court. Gender is not important. What got my attention was the size of the customers, the amount of food they carried in their hands, devouring each morsel as they walked. Was this their only meal?

So, my Sizzle Saturday, is to conquer all of these “snoops” and get some new active movements for my characters. Some language, not so important, but facial expressions-yes, yes, yes. How can any character keep a straight face, when the person next to you is mad, eyes wide, and every word she/he speaks comes out with spittle.

I hope you have found some new ideas to breathe new life into your character.

Take a break. Enjoy your weekend, and we’ll try to find more Magic for Monday.

Happy Writing.