Thursday, March 13, 2014

Now here comes the hard part

Aside from a newly bipolar disposition – I go from crying along to Adventure Time songs to gritting my teeth into my pillow and wishing an asteroid would wipe you off the face of the planet -- my floundering self-confidence, my ever-present and currently validated self-loathing, I am okay.
This is not the truth, but hey we’re all liars here.
I have difficulty emoting, regulating my thoughts and words, corralling everything into legible speech. So I write. And I may or may not post this somewhere that others may or may not see, but that’s not really the point. The point is I need to get out of my head. I need to put this down so it doesn’t drive me mad, because this is what I do. I obsess over the why of every situation. What started as entertainment, creating stories in my head, putting myself in the shoes of some other character fictional or factual, had the unsavoury effect of making me constantly suspicious. Hyper-aware and intuitive. My brain works through observations, minuscule details that mean nothing in the real world, but could quite possibly mean everything. This is why I’m so good at figuring you out. I got your number, babe. I got everyone’s number.
Which leads me to the hardest part of all of this. Why do I keep doing this to myself?
I cannot claim that I am entirely moral or flawless, but guilt doesn’t eat me up inside at the thought of all the wrongs I’ve committed. And I have committed wrongs. But as proficient as I am at figuring everyone else out, I’m terrible at understanding myself. I am my own enigma, and I take full responsibility for all of my pain and suffering.
You’re a shitty person, and I deserve better. ß This is a lie.

I am a shitty person, I just don’t lie.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Beta Reading, proceed with caution.

Welcome to the wonderful world of beta-reading, where one goes about critiquing another's much loved masterpiece of a MS, while they try to make sense of your chicken scratch piece of *beep. (Or at least this is how I feel every time I add a new beta to my repertoire.) And it's rainbows and butterflies and everyone lives happily ever after. The end.

It most often does not end like this.

Now, don't me wrong, I luv readin'. Been doing it since I first picked up that, 'I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always', book. But critiquing someone else's work, that they've put time, sweat, money and tears into... it's intimidating. I never know if I'm being too harsh, or too soft, or too repetitive ;)

I try to be honest. But honestly, my honesty is not something everyone wants to hear. I know what I like, punchy dialogue, dark themes, high concepts, plot twist after plot twist, and most importantly real-feeling characters. Characters who jump off the page because they are so like that *sshole lifeguard you worked with during your summer job at 'Ragin' Rapids'. Or that ridiculously peppy barista who serves your coffee every morning with a complimentary life story snippet.

You know, Real People.

Real people swear.
Real people blurt things without thinking whether or not it's insulting.
Real people think/talk/do sexy time, and it's not always glamorized.
Real people are obnoxious.
Real people sometimes make you hate people.

This is my biggest thing when I'm beta-ing someone else's work, and the biggest issue other beta's have had with my work. I'm not the expert when it comes to prose, grammar, technical sh*t, but I do know people. Teenagers specifically. I live in a house full of them, and 'twas not too long ago I was a part of their ranks. So when I advise a beta that a particular scene doesn't feel real to me, it's because they are wading in the shallow waters of teenage hell, too afraid to dive down into the total depravity it really is. (Okay so I'm exaggerating... slightly.)

In summary, Beta Reader etiquette is this: If my advice seems sh*tty to you, just let me know and we can part ways. No hard feelings.

If I'm coming across as a jerk on twitter... still let me know. No hard feelings.

I really don't have feelings. :)

End rant.

PS. To all my beta-readers past and present I love you, even when you're mean.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


This is from the now defunct 'A', which I've reworked into AR. I just rewrote this scene a couple days ago for AR, it's much more tense/higher stakes now. The relationship between these characters is complicated, and in AR it's even more so. 

I never like to let a cut scene go to waste, if I can recycle some small part of it then I feel like it has some purpose. 'A' helped me get a feel for all my characters which I carried on over to AR.

Anyone else recycle past work?


Cue good song.

Friday, October 19, 2012


BA... BA... BA
(My attempt at ominous background music)

I've hit the dreaded 'plateau', in my WIP. The point where I've climbed an emotional peak that I cannot rappel down from (might as well jump off that cliff). It involves two characters who's relationship is altered, dramatically by a single event.

Does anyone else have this problem?

I feel like I've written myself in a corner, and I don't know how to write myself out.

In other news, one of my writing buddies received a harsh crit after I'd already given her my crit. She's writing a very trendy, cool YA Steampunk.

Check out her blog HERE.

It got me thinking of how different everyone's pov is. One man's diamond is another man's rock... I guess. I just don't see the point in being unnecessarily cruel when critiquing someone else's work. Pointing out a flaw and offering no way of fixing said flaw is not helpful. Offering helpful insight is the whole purpose of a Beta reader.

Also, I think I single-handedly keep my local Starbucks in business. MMMM Americano.
Which reminds me, I've been meaning to try this.


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