Amanda Lewis

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Archive for the category “Wednesdays”

Eureka! (a personal a-ha moment)

A-Ha!

 

I think I have a cold. One that makes me sneeze when I should be yawning, and for the past week I’ve been awake til all hours of the night. So last night I started thinking about why I’m stuck within the first chapter of my W.I.P., and by the time my eyes were finally closing, I figured it out; my protag doesn’t have the proper motivation to propel the story forward with conviction.

A sizable issue to be sure.

When I originally mapped the character I said her motivation is “to live up to her name, to find her strength, spirit and own mind.” and her goal is “to be world-renowned (within the business) photographer.” But I’ve since realized that both of these are goals. Goals in a story are concrete, achievable things, a motivation, however, is much more abstract. For example: the result is murder, the goal is to get away with murder, the motivation is because the victim was dating the girl the killer wanted for himself, thus making the girl the surprise victim in the end to help piece together the killer’s motive. (I know I did that kind of backwards, but that’s how investigators see it; and now how I am forced to find my own character’s motivation.)

So the main character’s motivation is to find a man her father would be proud to call son or more abstractly; approval. A simple enough thing I guess, but will it carry a whole story… we’ll just have to see.

Send me your thoughts on the subject… Even in school I had trouble with the motivation of characters in books… I suppose it’s not something you grow out of, but must learn out of…

Thanks for the listening ear as always…

Happy Hump Day.

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The Missing Link

How do we get more out of life? We get ready for it!  A big part of the way people perceive us is the way we dress and our general body language. For instance; what does the picture above say?

My S.O. hates it when I don’t get out of my p.j.’s all day because he perceives it as apathy. Also there is a lot to be said for what a suit or a fancy dress says about someone. The really cool part is that the perception of these is personal to the one perceiving it.

Ideally the way we perceive others and ourselves is fair and unbiased and that the clothes without reflect the personality (and possibly the intentions) of the person within. Lets face it, many things do that; body hygiene, music choice, accessories, pets (or lack thereof), the state of our homes… etc.

Now as to the body language, an excellent book on body language is Superflirt by Tracy Cox. In it, among other things, she discusses in just the first chapter titled, The Basics “…Get what you want without saying a word. Plus tips on how to talk to strangers, invade someone’s space, eye up the talent, and turn someone on-in a mere 10 seconds,” all based on body language… Impossible you say? Drop me a comment and perhaps you may borrow the book from me. Lol subtle? I think not!

Also this book is semi-interactive making it really distinctive (and awesome in my books). What’s your flirting style? uses 3 basic types a) The Auditory b) The Kinesthetic and c) The Visual. Also included is how to spot them based on (yup you guessed it) body language, as well as, each type’s unique possessions.

The best part about this book is learning that even if you’re not a natural flirt, you can still learn it like a pro because knowing what messages you’re sending is half the battle in controlling them.

Now the missing link is harder because writers have to do all this without ever having the reader able to see any of it. This is where the psychic connection comes in… for further clarity on this phenomenon read Stephen King’s book On Writing in which he writes, “Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.”

I know it is kind of subliminal, but has there ever been a time where you noticed that the way you looked, dressed, flirted, ect made a difference to the one precieving you (other than the obvious job interview or bar pickup)?

xoxo I love hearing from you guys.

Happy Wednesday!

Poetry in Lit

Poetry… It’s a beautiful thing when done right, even sometimes when it’s done ‘wrong’. It can paint pictures of places, feeling, and any other thing the author requires; it’s versatility is unquestionable, while always sustaining an air of mystery.

Sometimes you won’t find it in a poetry book or at a reading; sometimes you’ll find it as the inspirational basis for a fiction novel (Nora Roberts is notorious for them); but the place where poetry is the most prolific, and to be honest lucrative, is  music. Musical quotes litter our lives, get stuck in our head, and if you’re a writer, permeate your work too.

I’ve seen a little rhyming quote at the beginning of a book do more for setting up the feel of an entire book than a prologue on occasion. Aswell, some only serve to confuse until much late in the story when the reader realises that the author meant it as a clue to the final outcome. I find the best clues can stand on their own, be hidden in the background, and make perfect sense of their purpose at the end, all without confusing the reader along the way with seemingly useless information.

I wish to use poetry in my most recent WIP as part of the important as well as mysterious dialogue. I don’t know if it’s wise for the overall feel, or subtle (I have a feeling someone will call it contrived) but I feel it fits, and with the beauty of my work, I can tweak it until I’m happy with it. Or if it won’t fit no matter what, then I’ll scrap the idea for fresh. lol 🙂

Sounds simple I know, but I am not a pantser in the traditional sense, but I would consider myself a pantser in the area of ideas; I like story ideas that hit me at the weirdest times and the oddest hours because they’re anything but contrived. I’ve woken up at 3am before from a dream scene that totally clicked and worked for my story.

(Probably why I have so many story threads, come to think of it… well that and I hate mysteries in life and in fiction.)

Poetry can be really cool too. Even though it’s in a language that I can’t read the imagery that Meer Taqi Meer ephass (hope that’s right) creates with Shahnawaz Alam Ahmed is clear in any language.

With that image I’ll leave off until Friday. So happy Wednesday everybody!

Are there any books that any of you can recall with poetry, or one that didn’t have it that might have benefitted from its use? Drop me a comment anytime. 🙂

My Top 10 Ways to Silence the Monsters in My Head

 

For some, monsters are fictional creatures, for others they are evil offenders in prisons; but for me they are people I’ve met in my life whom I’ve had to overcome (like an antagonist). To be honest, they started out ordinary people, and it’s been years since I got over them, but I realised that I still hear their voices in my head… but some time ago their voices turned into mine; the doubting voice in my head that tells me I can’t accomplish something or that I’m not good enough or even questioning my abilities. “My monster still walks, but I can’t tell anymore if it’s still the monster it started out as or the monster I created and carry with me.”

The hardest part is silencing that voice. I’m certain that it’ll always be there, but I have figured out some tactics for to fight it.

1) Playing with my 2-year-old daughter.

The funny thing about playing with your kids is it allows you to get out of your own head for a while. The sound of their laughter makes the world feel just a bit brighter. (For those of you that don’t have kids; pets work too.)

2) Reading a book

I feel sorry for people who don’t read because it allows you to leave your own life for a while and just relax. I’m an avid reader, and for me it’s not because I have a horrible life, but because I love the imagination; like dreaming while you’re awake.

3) Take a shower

Getting clean is symbolic as well as literal. You get to wash away the dirt of the day and your self-depreciating attitude along with it.

4) Clean your house

This has the same effect as taking a shower, only it’s scrubbing the dirt away from your environment. Cleansing.

5) Get a massage

Self explanatory. If you’ve never had one, get one, you’ll understand.

6) Have coffee with your friends (a beer works too)

Company who loves you is a wonderful thing to be valued and cherished.

7) Go for a walk

A bit of nature goes a long way. I much prefer summer walks to winter ones because of the warmth.

8) Do something you loved as a child

For me it’s swings. Find out what yours is and do it.

9) Get a chocolate fix

This one seems silly but chocolate has an enzyme in it that creates an effect like happiness in your body. (A good thing.)

10) Write in a journal

Writing down your bad feeling allows you to acknowledge them and then let them go.

I hope this list helped, and please let me know of any methods I missed that work for you. xoxo Have a great Wednesday! 🙂

Bad Words

Get your mind out of the gutter!

No, I am not here to talk about curses. Although, George Carlin is always a good ice breaker. Even Stephen King mentions him in his book ‘On Writing’, “And do feel free to take appropriateness into account; …in some company it’s perfectly all right to prick your finger, but very bad form to finger your prick.”

No, the bad words I wish to discuss today are words I strictly leave out of my (mental toolbox Mr. King) vocabulary.

#1. Perfect

per·fect adj\ˈpər-fikt\

1. a : being entirely without fault or defect : flawless <a perfect diamond> b : satisfying all requirements : accurate c : corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept <a perfect gentleman> d : faithfully reproducing the original; specifically : letter-perfect e : legally valid
 
2. : expert, proficient <practice makes perfect>
 
3. a : pure, total b : lacking in no essential detail : complete c obsolete : sane d : absolute, unequivocal <enjoys perfect happiness> e : of an extreme kind : unmitigated <a perfect brat> <an act of perfect foolishness>
 
4. obsolete : mature
 
5. : of, relating to, or constituting a verb form or verbal that expresses an action or state completed at the time of speaking or at a time spoken of
 
6. obsolete a : certain, sure b : contented, satisfied
 
7. of a musical interval : belonging to the consonances unison, fourth, fifth, and octave which retain their character when inverted and when raised or lowered by a half step become augmented or diminished
 
8. a : sexually mature and fully differentiated <a perfect insect> b : having both stamens and pistils in the same flower <a perfect flower>

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not perfect; I make mistakes (sometimes bad ones, sometimes detrimental ones that mask themselves at first). I really hate messing up. Like a mouse that can collapse its body, this word tries to squish its way in under the closed-door of my consciousness. But, also like a sneaky little mouse, you don’t realise it’s in until you find it’s droppings along the baseboard. (Not that I have any personal experience with mice.)

The pursuit of perfection isn’t really a bad thing. It’s only when you get the slap of reality that you realise it was taking over at all. The pursuit of perfection is the seed of doubt. If you actively pursue it you won’t get anywhere. How many writers don’t finish their book because “it’s not perfect yet”? How many times has a woman looked in the mirror and decided that she wasn’t good enough because “she didn’t look like a perfect model or actress”? How many….?

You get the point. When you let go of the pursuit of perfection you allow yourself permission to be human. To make mistakes and accept them for the opportunity for growth that they are. (Still working on that one, Mom.)

#2 Normal

  /ˈnɔrməl/ Show Spelled[nawr-muhl] Show IPA
adjective

 
1. conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.
 
2. serving to establish a standard.
 
3. Psychology .

a. approximately average in any psychological trait, as intelligence, personality, or emotional adjustment.
b. free from any mental disorder; sane.
 
4. Biology, Medicine/Medical .

a. free from any infection or other form of disease or malformation, or from experimental therapy or manipulation.
b. of natural occurrence.
 
5. Mathematics .

a. being at right angles, as a line; perpendicular.
b. of the nature of or pertaining to a mathematical normal.
c. (of an orthogonal system of real functions) defined so that the integral of the square of the absolute value of any function is 1.
d. (of a topological space) having the property that corresponding to every pair of disjoint closed sets are two disjoint open sets, each containing one of the closed sets.
e. (of a subgroup) having the property that the same set of elements results when all the elements of the subgroup are operated on consistently on the left and consistently on the right by any element of the group; invariant.
 
(And that’s just the short list.)
I am not ‘normal’. There are many writers who would claim the same, but I think that when you’re standing in the shower, home alone, and hear a strange noise and create a whole scenario with an axe-murderer and what you might do in the event, and your imagination takes over until you simply must investigate like those idiots that die in the b-movie horror flicks… Then I think I have every right to face the truth that I’ll never be ‘normal’.
 
🙂 Thank goodness!
 
I firmly believe that normal is boring. And I think many of you are with me; considering the success of the Harry Potter franchise. The entertainment industry is built upon the average wanting to be special. 🙂 Hip, hip hooray! for variety. Who was it that said, “Variety is the spice of life”?
 
So, what are some bad words you try to avoid? Some advice in keeping the monster words at bay? I love to hear from you guys!
 
Happy Hump Day!
 
 

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