Saturday, July 23, 2016

What Writers Do For Their Stories: Friends

It's Saturday again, and I'm completely unprepared. It's not like Saturday comes up out of the blue and surprises me but the last three weeks have been packed full of things I volunteered to do. Today is the first day I really get to sit down, relax, and not worry about forgetting anything. Also, today, we're going to talk about Friends.

Friends, for many people, mean that you have someone to talk to, hang out with, and experience life with. For writers, these are the people that get to hear or story ideas, read our rough drafts, and be our personal sounding board. Our true friends will hear a lot of stupid ideas that never come to fruition and even some good ones that get lost in the shuffle. They will read one of our worst works, turn to us and say something to the effect of: "Wow, this is a good idea and (insert positive part) is good, but you still need to add (things that need work). I liked the overall story but (A) what does the character look like, (B) You didn't really describe where they were or whats going on (C) what happened to the dialogue?"

This is what helps us (Writers) to better our manuscript. It helps us see our book in a new light. If we show you a very rough draft (our first draft) then consider yourself lucky because we're letting you see a piece of our soul. We know it may be rough but we couldn't help sharing it with you and seeing what you thought. We go to our friends for the inspiration to keep moving forward, for positive critique that will encourage us that our book is meaningful and not just words on a page that took us months (if not years) to produce.

To my friends that have been my very first BETA readers: thank you for helping me better my book, sorry that it was so rough, I'll try to make the next manuscript less rough before I send it. To any of you who would like to be a BETA, stay tuned for next week. I'll be talking about Beta readers, what they are, who I'm looking for, and how you can be one of my Beta readers.

That's all I have for today, let me know what you thought and if you have any topics you want to be touched on in the comments or email me at jenn.dale11@gmail.com. Also, it's been an amazing year and I can't believe how many of you read my blog consistently. Thank you for being my supporters. Each and every page view makes me smile and I hope I'm helping each of you or at least making you smile. Now that you've finished reading this, Go be Awesome.

- Jennifer Williams

Saturday, July 16, 2016

What Writers Do For Their Stories: Writing on the Go

It is actually Saturday, which means I didn't write this when I should have but this week has been busy so please forgive the choppy way this will be written. Today's another What Writers Do just like I promised. I'm going to talk about Writing on the Go because this week has been all about that.

I don't know how many countless times that I didn't have a notebook when I needed one, even before I was writing stories, I was drawing and wished for a notebook. Notebooks were my primary on the go writing tool but since I've grown older that has changed. Writing has become simpler because of apps and online storage sites. When I'm at home, I use my computer and store all my stories on Dropbox.com so that when I'm on the go, everything is easily accessible right from my phone.

Yes, you read that right. I use my phone for writing on the go. I have Blogger, Dropbox, Microsoft office, Excell, and OneNote applications (not an advertisement, but I love all these apps and things) on my phone so that no matter where life may take me I have my stories, spreadsheet for my new language, and character compendium on hand. I also need to note that I have an iPhone. I absolutely love it and the fact that I can have all my stories tucked in my pocket without having a pad of paper on me is a huge bonus.

That being said, it does have its drawbacks too. The battery may start to die (but I carry a charger and power bank with me for these instances), People usually think I'm texting (this doesn't bother me too much), but the number one issue I face is that I have my stories everywhere I go.

It means that I have no excuse for missing my writing goal for the day or not writing at all for a day. Don't get me wrong, as I said above, I love having my stories on hand but the fact that I do can be a hindrance and a blessing too. If I find that I'm bored or need to get away at a social gathering, I just pull out my phone find a nice quiet corner and write. When I'm in the car (as a passenger) and I need to relax, I plug in headphones put on a character playlist and write for the duration of the trip.

Sometimes, people think I'm being antisocial and I'm sorry if this is your view. I am a writer, an introvert, and sometimes that means I need to be antisocial. I need that reprieve from the mundane and sometimes, pointless conversations, antics, and drama of people. I've digressed. -clears throat-

Back to the topic, writing on the go isn't the easiest thing to do. I keep multiple pens and notebooks on hand in case I have a new idea or my phone dies, I forgot to charge my power bank, or there are no outlets in sight. This means more stuff that I have to carry but it's a welcome weight. Writing on the go can be as simple or as tough as you make it, so keep a notebook or your phone handy and write wherever life may take you.

With that, I'll let you get back to your day. Stay safe and be alert while you're writing on the go because inspiration and witty one-liners can come from everywhere, but above all: Go be awesome.

Jennifer Williams.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Character Introduction: Lilian Angelica

"Lilith, we've talked about me now let's talk about you. You've clearly changed your name and became a wedding planner, but what else has happened since I left?" Cayleigh asked with a grin as they sat down at the cafe near the college. Lily pushed her long gleaming red hair over her shoulders and her emerald green eyes sparkled with vitality.
"There isn't much to tell Cay. I mean, you know that I snapped out of whatever spell I was under but Lou wasn't the same and I wasn't the same either. We're still friends but it's strictly platonic. We've settled into a friendship and business relationship," she explained to her friend. Cayleigh only waited for more with eager anticipation sparkling in her sapphire eyes. Lily shrugged and Cayleigh's silence forced her to continue. "I had the twins and we took care of them while moving from one large and most prosperous empire to the next. Lucifer sold his inventions and helped the world while staying anonymous. I helped him wherever I could."
Lily paused again and Cayleigh's shoulders slumped. She'd been hoping for stories of grand adventures, loves, and danger but this had taken a disappointing turn. Is that seriously all she's been up to for almost two thousand years?
"Come on Lily! That can't be all you've done. You didn't have any adventures with Lou and the girls? You didn't fall in love with a winsome man or manage to sneak out of town before someone discovered that you all were preternatural?" Cayleigh exasperatedly asked while trying to keep her voice down. A waitress walked up to them and handed them their order before walking back inside. Lily shook her head and shrugged.
"When you're raising daughters as powerful and as stubborn as their father, it's hard to find time to date," she suggested with a gleam in her eye. It told Cayleigh that she wasn't telling her everything. Cayleigh took a sip of her iced coffee and dejectedly glared at her friend hoping that she'd guilt her into talking. "Oh, come off it, Calypso. What do you want me to say? We helped people in need and for a time we even traveled with Findibar from one disaster to the next. I didn't have a life half exciting as yours."
"That's a lie. I usually stayed in one area for twenty to thirty years before having to start over again with someone new. At least you had Lou to help you. I had no one to help me start over," Cayleigh complained hoping her friend would see how dramatically different their lives were. Lily nodded and drank some of her iced tea before deigning to respond.
"You make it sound as if we saved the world on a daily basis. It simply isn't true Calypso. It was mundane even with our frequent travels. The girls enjoyed getting tangled into the worst possible messes and Lou helped me get them out again. It's not a glamorous or adventurous life at all," Lily listed her excuses but Cayleigh was hanging on to every word. She hadn't gotten to live a mundane and normal life. She'd wanted to hear about all the adventures they had raising a family but, to Lily, they weren't adventures were.
"Tell me about raising your girls. There must have been funny days where they made you laugh until your sides were sore and watching them take their firsts steps. That must have been exciting," Cayleigh urged but again Lily shrugged. Cayleigh groaned in exasperation and slumped back into her chair scowling at her friend.
"Why are you all of the sudden so enamored with my life and raising a family? Didn't you ever have kids? You had thirty-five marriages," Lilian burst out in confounded misery. Cayleigh just stared at her from across the table with tears destroying the gleam in her blue eyes. Storm clouds gathered overhead and Lilian hoped that she could get her to smile again soon or it would begin to rain.
"I'm sorry. I didn't realize," she apologized and Cayleigh shook her head. She set her half empty cup down suddenly disinterested in it. Lilian held her breath as Cayleigh's shoulders slumped further.
"Don't worry about it," Cay dismissively forgave her friend before looking at the Apple Watch on her wrist. "I have to get back, my class will be wondering where I am. It was nice to see you and thank you for the coffee," Cayleigh excused herself before hurrying back across the street without a hug or a reply. Lily watched her walk down the sidewalk toward the main lecture hall and a drop of rain hit her cheek. 
She picked up her cup from the table and quickly climbed into her vintage Trans-Am as Cayleigh glanced back. Tears slowly rolled down her face and she felt guilty for leaving the conversation like that but there was nothing more to talk about. They had different veiws. Raising a family was an adventure to Cayleigh and it was an adventure she thought she'd never experience.
"Only a fool would say that raising a family is mundane," Cayleigh muttered to herself as she watched her only friend drive off toward her job. Settling down and raising a family was Cayleigh's deepest wish and it seemed to be Lilian's biggest regret.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Catching Up: A Blog About Me

Hi, y'all. It's Saturday which means I should be doing another What Writers Do blog but my brain has been a pile of much since Tuesday because my body has decided to rebel... again. I'm coming down with a sort of cold slash sinus infection slash upper respiratory infection which isn't good but I'm also helping with the skit for Vacation Bible School in nine days. Argh! This year just seems to be one thing after another. So, please forgive me but again I'm going to postpone my normal blog for another week.

Being sick has allowed me to let my body relax and so I haven't been writing as much as usual. Usually, I write or edit at least three chapters a day but, right now, it's more like one chapter a day because I can't seem to focus for very long. I've been jumping between my favorite video game from childhood (Spyro for PlayStation, the first one), reading The Throne of Glass Novels by Sarah J. Maas (how have I not read these yet?!), cleaning, sleeping, and editing a bit. So let me talk about each of those. 

Spyro, the dragon, was the first console video game that I ever played and oh, my goodness, I've been hooked ever since then. The first ever video game I was introduced to was the GameBoy and not the DS. No, this goes back to the big gray one that had a black and white display. Yes, I know I feel old. I absolutely love video games of all kinds but the franchises I've played the most are Zelda, Pokemon, and Spyro. They are the games I revert back to when I need a pick me up. 

Now, the Throne of Glass novels by Sarah J. Maas are a recent find (I feel like I've been living under a rock!). I bought the first two while on Vacation and gobbled them up. I bought the third one last week and I'm not quite finished with it due to my foggy brain. I just finished buying the set yesterday so I wouldn't have to wait to read more. These books are fantastic and so full of plot twists and all the things I love. From Magic and a hidden past to an epic female main character who doesn't take anything from anyone and a killer plot. Once I picked up the first one, I couldn't put it down! They are fantastic. 

Now, the editing. I always find myself editing when I'm reading over one of my stories for a refresher. I find myself saying "That wasn't a well-constructed sentence" or "No one would ever explain it that way", so I end up editing it. I have to remind myself when I get down about how much I've edited. I was a novice writer when I wrote most of what I'm editing and I wasn't a stickler for grammar. I just wanted to get it all down. Now I have to edit for grammar, realism, dialogue, character building, and structure. It's more like looking everything over it to make sure it flows properly. 

That's been my life for the past week. I'm sorry if I bored you but this is the only thing I could really think about writing. I hope to have a character introduction on Wednesday and another edition of What Writers Do next week but I'm not making any commitments due largely in part to sickness and on a small scale to Vacation Bible School that's going on the 18th-22nd so please forgive me. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Go be Awesome for me because I can only manage mediocre today. 

-Jennifer Williams
Yup. I have to remember if I feel the need to compare myself with those more fortunate than me, I have to also include those less fortunate.:

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Character Introduction : Uriel Angelic (updated)

(Since I forgot to post this on Wednesday, this will be the Character Introduction blog and we'll resume the What Writers Do for Their Stories series next week. Enjoy!)

A News alert sounds and the screen turns from whatever show you may have been watching to an urgent news bulletin. A pale woman with long dark curly hair looks into the camera with a serious expression:

"Good Evening Los Angeles, I'm Anna Water and this is an urgent News Bulletin. The murderer known as the Master is back after five years in hiding," she announced as she looked down at the screen built into the desk for confirmation. She turned back to the camera with wide eyes and tried not to shift in her swivel chair. Her hands moved to the stack of papers in front of her and she tried to stop her own thoughts enough to continue.  

"The Preternatural and Mythical Creatures Agency has gotten the tip, from one of their top Agents, whose granddaughter was attacked in her home by the criminal. This is the second attack on this woman," she read as her eyes grew wider. She knew who the woman was. She needed to go see her and get an eye witness account. She pushed that aside and stared into the camera.

"All other survivors are advised to keep someone with you at all times. Young women between the ages of eight and twenty-two are urged to travel in a group with at least one male friend capable of defending them," She continued before she looked down at the screen again. A picture of a couple popped up on the screen and she gulped down the sudden lump in her throat. The woman had waist length dark brown hair and golden eyes while the male had even longer chestnut hair and dark crimson brown eyes.

"The Master himself has not yet been identified but his known accomplices are Ivanya and Raphael Angelic. Be advised they are highly dangerous. If you see them or have any information as to their whereabouts contact the PMCA at the number on the bottom of the screen. There is also a number you can text if you are unable to call inconspicuously," she ended as the crew ran the advisory again. She took off her lapel mike and hurried offstage. Her boss met her at the edge and wouldn't let her go skirt around him. 

"Anna, you can't go anywhere without an escort," he tried to detain her but she shook her head. He was being a fool. The Master and his goons had no reason to attack her. Her boss had no reason to keep her here and she was going to remind him to whom he was speaking. 

"Hank, I'm not in the age group. I will be fine. I'm going to visit the girl in the hospital," she declared before skirting around him and grabbing her purse from a table on the way by. She was bound and determined to get to Kalista before she forgot any pertinent details or refused to talk about it.

"Her guardians aren't letting reporters talk to her!" he shouted after her but she kept on walking. She wasn't just a reporter. She was a friend of the family and she'd learn everything she could from Kalista in order to save others. 

"Stuff it, Hank. This is personal," she called over her shoulder before disappearing outside. She jogged to her car and quickly climbed in without looking into the back seat. She hit the start button and it roared to life. She looked in her rearview mirror and gasped at the light blue eyes of the man in her backseat. 

"Hello, Anna, it's nice to see you again. How are Avatar and the boys doing?" the man asked with a knowing smirk. Anna gunned out of the parking spot and then slammed on her breaks throwing the man forward. His head connected with the compartment in the middle of the front seat. He grabbed his now bleeding nose and she sped out of the parking lot. 

"They're fine. I don't have time for this Uncle Uriel," She growled, gunning out of the parking lot as the light overhead turned yellow. She raced toward the other end of town, knowing she didn't have time to sit and chat.

"I was coming to give you a unique opportunity. The interview of a lifetime," he purred, his dark voice pulling her in. She slammed on her breaks to keep from running a red light and he braced himself. She looked up at his almost glowing eyes in the rearview mirror with wide eyes, knowing exactly what he implied.

"You... You're the Master?" she stuttered not paying attention to the light. It changed and she continued to stare at him. The car behind her honked and she flipped them off before taking off at top speed, spinning her tires on the asphalt. 

"You seem surprised. You know what I'm the Angel of," he mused voice cold. She shivered and turned into the parking lot of the hospital on two wheels. She parked in the farthest spot that she could and turned to stare at him.
"You're the Angel of Darkness but I thought that Aunt Ariel..."

"You thought that she changed me? Oh, you poor innocent, summer's child," he implied as she turned the engine off. She was suddenly uncomfortable sitting this close to him, knowing the innocent lives he'd taken. He'd killed and raped five girls before letting Kalista go last time. He'd kidnapped about a thousand more who were never found. Why is he doing this?

She stared at his deep set grey blue eyes and pale skin that were a stark contrast to his dark brown hair. He was handsome even for someone that was made before time began. He didn't look a day of forty and his sharp features were striking. A face no one would soo forget.

"You are na├»ve, child. An angel cannot change his ways. I am the Angel of Darkness, therefore I crave it and perform dark deeds where no light touches. My brother, Lucifer, is the Angel of Light and does things to shed a light on wrong; he prefers that the ends justifies the means. It's really not fair when you think about it," he continued his dialogue with a thoughtful expression. Anna stared at him as her hand drifted toward the handle of the door. The doors all locked and she glared at him. 


"You aren't getting out of this Anna. I'm going to give you an exclusive interview, most reporters would jump at the chance," he breathed as her skin crawled with his power. She pulled her phone from her pocket and opened the voice recording application that she used for outside interviews.

"Go ahead," she all but growled at him and he grinned back before giving her a full description of everything he'd done, ending with what he planned on doing now that he was 'out of hiding.'