Set Back, Push Back, I’m Back

Greetings friends,

 

I apologize for not checking in before now.  On my main blog Silently Heard Once  I shared that I was in the hospital for a few days.  I posted A Whatever   it explains it all.  I don’t want to go into it on this blog because this blog is for Hidden Temptation not my personal struggle but my struggles with writing.

 

I’ve been in a bit of a funk since my hospitalization.    I sent a query and five pages of Hidden Temptation to an agent I decided to read what I sent.  I should have read it before I sent it because in those five pages I screwed up the tenses, bad.  So I’m editing again.  I have less than 100 pages to go.  But this has caused me to push back my release date.  I’m targeting April 30th.  That really a go day. Sad for me because in 1993 on that date my mother left this earth and my life changed.  Maybe releasing it on that day will be another life changing experience.

 

Dwight my artist who promised me the cover hasn’t started.  I don’t know if he will have something ready by then but it will work out.

 

I started writing a short story I posted on Silently Heard Once.  Please feel free to read and I hope you enjoy.  The Curse.

 

One more thing.  I found this group called meetup it’s finding events in your community that feeds your interest.  I’ve found writers in my area and can’t wait to start meeting and networking.

 

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I Don’t Want to be Influenced

When I started writing Hidden Temptation I wouldn’t read any novels. I didn’t want to be influenced or accidentally plagiarize. I was and still am an avid reader. I thought I was doing the right thing. I still watched TV and movies. I couldn’t be influenced by them right. Yea I’m sure I could have been. At the time, I didn’t think so.

 

 
I wrote the first draft of a novel titled Ruination. I wrote that while I was working a nine to five job. I would come home from work lock myself in the attic and pound on my word processor until two or three o’clock in the morning. Then I would wake up at seven, I got the kids up for school, dropped them off then went to work, where I was able to steal a few naps. Shh!! I would come home and do it all over again. I was free to work on my novel non-stop. My ex, took care of the kids and house. I wasn’t neglecting my kids, well maybe a little.

 

 
Ruination was about a Post-apocalyptic world. The earth was destroyed by world war three and people were looting, hoarding food, and trying to get everything back in order. I never went back to edit. I have a copy maybe someday. However I believed I was influenced by Stephen King’s, The Stand. At the time, the movie had just aired on TV. I read the original book when it first came out and I read the extended version when that came out. I was a fan of Stephen King and I especially liked The Stand. The story was embedded in my head. Ruination was an original story but I’m not sure. I kind of filled in the parts that King overlooked. Maybe it was nothing like The Stand but I thought it was.

 

 
That was why I wouldn’t read anything when I started writing Hidden Temptation. Later I thought since I was writing a love story I’ll just avoid reading love stories. No problem there. I’m not really a love story kind of reader anymore. So why did I write a love story?  I read enough love stories in my lifetime and experienced a few love affairs of my own over the years. Write what you know!

 

 
I realize as I edited Hidden Temptation I was wrong. Reading books while writing may have helped me with my writing skills. I say that because I took a screenwriting class some years ago. The instructor gave us a movie assignment to watch. In the following class, we would evaluate the movie. In doing so we learned what worked and what didn’t. We were learning from watching, we learned what worked and what didn’t. The only influence I had was learning to avoid the mistakes and perfecting what was ingenious about the movies we watched.

 

 

To this day, I still watch the movie critically. When I read books I evaluate what I read. I still enjoy movies and books I read I just do so with a different eye.

 

 
As a result, I wrote two screenplays. One I sent to The Library of Congress to be copyright, I don’t have a copy. The second one was good but I got frustrated and tossed it in the garbage. I did that because the movie Click came out and it was about a remote control that transported Adam Sandler in time. My screenplay was about time travel but it had a different concept. The only thing that mimicked Click was the remote control, my screenplay used a beeper.  It was the 90’s we used beepers, car phones, as they were called back then, were for the rich.  I wanted my idea to be original. It was except for the remote/ beeper thing. Young and dumb.  However, I won’t share particulars because I might write the story again. I think the idea I had would be relevant today.

 

 
Do you avoid reading when you’re working on a writing project?

Do you think reading helps you become a better writer?

You Can Quote Me

I read somewhere that writers should avoid using cliques. I include quotes in that advice. That is unless your character speaks in quotes. That would be an interesting character. If you fancy creating someone like that in your writing feel free.

 

 

I think refraining from using quotes and cliques is a good idea. It’s my novel and I want my talent, my words to shine. One day I want my words to be quoted. Don’t you?

 

 

Before each of my chapters I have quotes that I got off the internet. I’m using them to give my readers an idea of what’s going to happen in that following chapter. I also have a couple of song quotes. Researching on Goggle I need permission to use the quotes and there are many exceptions. I got dizzy trying to figure out what is okay wand what is not. It depends on where you find the quote. Is it from a free domain site? Then it’s okay to use.  It also depends on the date of the quote. I read if the quote is over 75 years old it is safe to use. Another site said if the quote is written before 1923 it is no longer is protected by copyright laws. There is a catch, some old quotes, books, and songs can have updated copyrights. Then you will need permission.

 

 

Digging through 28 chapters of quotes to see if I can use them or where to request permission for all is too much work. I put a lot of work in writing and editing Hidden Temptation. I don’t need to do any extra so I’m deleting the quote and song references. Why don’t I take my chances? Because I hope Hidden Temptation becomes one of The New York Times bestseller’s top 20. If that happens I could be sued. I can’t afford to be sued even if I become a millionaire. Do I sound materialistic? I’m not it will be nice to not have to worry about money.

 

 

I going top try to give each chapter a title or not. Maybe I’ll write a poem with 28 lines or more. This will make it easier to quote me. Yes, I want my words to be famous before I die.  I’ll keep you posted.

 

Do you like using quotes? Why?

 

After reading this will you still use quotes?

 

I hope my experience helps fellow writers create a higher quality of art. I do not presume that Hidden Temptation is perfect or of professional quality but I do believe it is close. Your opinions, thoughts, and feedback are most welcome. Please feel free to create an open thread and share thoughts, and opinions so that we can help each other grow as a community of writers.

 

Disclaimer:  I completed Hidden Temptation, my first completed novel, and this blog is a humble attempt to create interest in its debut. I am not a professional and this is no way an educational guide.  I am merely sharing my writing experience, what I pick up reading other novels, and what I learn in the process of completing Hidden Temptation.

I Pressed Send Too Soon

In an earlier post, I suggested not to underestimate your readers by being redundant. When it comes to vocabulary I think we should try to avoid talking down to readers by overusing words you need a dictionary to help the reader through a paragraph. For me, that takes away from the story. The writer will lose me and I don’t think that’s a good thing. I have an extensive vocabulary and still there are thousands of words I’m not familiar with. I don’t mind being introduced to new words I just don’t want to be bombarded with them.

 

It’s one thing to sprinkle a word not often used here and there. If the sentence is constructed correctly most people will figure out what the word means. A sentence with several ten-gallon words isn’t going to make your story any more impressive. Yes, it’s about the writing and correct grammar but more so it’s the story. When I read I like to be transported into the world the writer creates. If I have to stop and look up words every few minutes I will be frustrated.

 

As writers, we have to keep in mind that most readers only read at a six-grade level. That’s the level of most newspapers are written in. There are words that are pretty and you just have to use them and that’s okay. I just suggest you spread them around a bit.

 

Do you use words that aren’t used in everyday language in your writing?

Do you think it makes your work more impressive?

 

Last week I shared with you guys that I sent an agent five pages of Hidden Temptation. No, I haven’t heard from them and I know I won’t. I decided to read those five pages and found I still have my tenses screwed up. I know I should have read it before I pressed send. However if she gets to the end of page five she’ll want to know what happens next. That’s a good thing I think.

 

Anyway, I’m editing Hidden Temptation again. I asked my friend, the writer to wait until I finish this edit. I decided to change it back to the present tense and keep their thoughts and memories in past tense.

What do you think?

Do you think that will work?

 

Disclaimer:  I completed Hidden Temptation, my first completed novel and this blog is a humble attempt to create interest in its debut. I am not a professional and this is no way an educational guide.  I am merely sharing my writing experience, what I picked up reading other novels, and what I learned in the process of completing Hidden Temptation.

I hope my experience helps fellow writers create a higher quality of art. I do not presume that Hidden Temptation is perfect or of professional quality but I do believe it is close. Your opinions, thoughts, and feedback are most welcome. Please feel free to create an open thread and share thoughts, and opinions so that we can help each other grow as a community of writers.