Writing Goals

Goals ConceptIt’s important to set goals for writing a book; otherwise, it can be an overwhelming process. I get overwhelmed easily so it’s beneficial for me to break my goals down into obtainable parts. This is why I write all my dialogue first and then go back to incorporate dialogue tags, narration, and if need be, more dialogue. I’m at this point right now. My scenes (chapters) are written, but they are getting fleshed out with these things during the next few months.

When people find out that I’m writing a book they want to know how many pages I have written so far. Well, I can’t really give a true account of this because I don’t write from beginning to end, not even when I’m writing all the dialogue first. I can only answer how many pages of dialogue I currently have written. With that being said, I roughly have 50 pages. It may not seem like a lot but considering that I’m aiming for my book to be between 180-200 pages, I believe that I’m right on track. My idea is to have 20 chapters that are 8-10 pages per chapter. I think that is reasonable. Breaking it down like this provide me mini-goals to keep me on target.

A book has a beginning and an end. How it gets written is up to the writer, as long as it gets written…and that starts with setting goals.

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Getting to…The End

The EndI’m excited to say that I have all my scenes written for my book, Reconciled. I’ll be spending the next few months transitioning them to one another and then editing. My story is developing into a book and soon I’ll be publishing!

This book will actually be the first one in a series. I’m not sure how many books in the series there will be, but I intend to start working on the next one in early 2018 after publication of Reconciled. It will be called, Unleashed.

The feeling of being close to finishing is phenomenal. It’s been a long journey and at times it seemed like I couldn’t see the end. However, little by little I have persevered and pressed on. I’m really going to be a published author! I won’t celebrate just yet…not until I’m truly at The End.

Who Am I Writing For?

Question marksI ultimately write for myself. That’s the reality of it. I also would like to think that others find what I write interesting. I’m writing my first book and my target audience are those who generally read urban fantasy books. However, the thought does cross my mind: Are people going to like what I publish? I think many writers get so caught up in whether they think their target audience will like what they write that they don’t get anything written, or they get stuck in the never ending cycle of revision. I’m trying not to fall into that, but it has got me thinking lately since I’m nearing the end of writing my book. As writers, we aspire to get something published to where we become authors. That is the goal. It doesn’t stop there, though. We want to get something published that others want to read. The only advice I can give (and take myself) is to write a story you want to read. No doubt there will be others out there who will want to read it, too.

Moving ~ Thinking ~ Writing

YogaDanceBeachMy writing involves movement. I think in a dance step, a yoga pose, or a tai chi move. These modes of movement help provide clarity of thought when I write. Some people can just sit and write, but I find it hard if I can’t get up and move around.

I have practiced lyrical dance most of my life, started yoga about ten years ago, and recently discovered tai chi within the last year. I incorporate all of these in my life so, it is quite natural for me to include them while I’m writing. The meditative nature of lyrical dance, yoga, and tai chi is what enables me to think and tap into my creativity from the flow of movement joined with holding a finished step, pose, or move.

Exercise while learning and studying has proven to be beneficial so, it only makes sense that it can be that way for writing, too. It’s amazing how more focused I get from exercising while I write!

 

 

 

Let the Music Play

MusicMusic moves us in a lot of ways. For me, music helps me write. Just as many have playlists for when they exercise, I have a playlist for when I’m writing. It changes over time and is largely influenced by the content I’m writing about. Certain songs trigger me into a writing mode, much like muscle memory in exercising.

I listen to Contemporary Christian music and lately, I’ve attributed most of the writing I’m getting done on my novel by Rend Collective, a Northern Irish Christian band. Their music is presently moving my pen, which I find both inspirational and enlightening.

Rend-Collective

I love all their songs, but these are the top ten that I listen to the most:

“Build Your Kingdom Here” – Campfire (2013)

“My Lighthouse” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/The Art of Celebration (2014)

“Every Giant Will Fall” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/As Family We Go (2015)

“More Than Conquerors” – The Art of Celebration (2014)

“Boldly I Approach” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/The Art of Celebration (2014)

“Strength of My Heart” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/The Art of Celebration (2014)

“All That I Am” – The Art of Celebration (2014)

“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)

“10,000 Reasons” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/Campfire (2013)

“Joy of the Lord” – Campfire II: Simplicity (2016)/As Family We Go (2015)

Ultimately, music has a way of motivating and inspiring me. It helps to organize my thoughts and ideas into something that I am proud to put on paper. And, it will continue to be an important part in my writing process.

Hail to the Women Heroes!

wp-image-661354345The rise of the female hero has moved rampantly in our culture. Wonder Woman is a prime example. Growing up she was one of my role models and it was creator William Moulton Marston (Charles Marston) who gave us Wonder Woman over 75 years ago. She was created to stand for equality; feminist ideals based off of Margaret Sanger who was a notable feminist of the time. The unconventional liberated woman is what Marston was aiming to portray. She never was meant to be a sex symbol, but somehow she has been morphed into that. However, Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot who have played Wonder Woman in television and film have done an outstanding job in keeping her close to what Marston envisioned. Wonder Woman gives strength to women everywhere and she continues to be my role model.

Being a woman, it has been incredibly hard to prove myself in this man-driven world or to be taken seriously. I’m still seeking this, even after everything I have accomplished. It’s a continuous battle. I spent nearly thirteen years in the Army and personally felt the inequality next to my male counterparts. I feel this way in the workplace, too. Inequality still exists today whether or not people want to believe it. Wonder Woman tackled inequality, giving women like me hope and inspiration. Therefore, I do know my worth no matter if others acknowledge it.

Like many, I’m writing about a woman who is a hero. In Reconciled, Marie is not charged with saving the world or even humans. She is saving fallen angels. In God’s eyes they have value, even though they sinned against Him. She is a hero because she is doing something that not just anyone can do. God chose Marie to be the advocate for the fallen angels, just like He chose Jesus to be the advocate for humankind. However, Marie’s mission to accomplish what God charged her to do is a lot different than what Jesus did on the cross. No one is crucifying Marie, but there are those who are trying to stop her. Reconciling fallen angels takes time and Marie has found that not all of them want to be back with God. She is faced with all kinds of challenges, both physically and spiritually. Also, some of the angels who are helping here don’t have confidence in her abilities. She has to continuously prove herself as the hero she was meant to be.

Making Geeky & Nerdy References

geekyandnerdyBecause I enjoy many geeky and nerdy things, they have found their way into my book. I think it works well, considering the content. It just makes sense to reference Dungeons & Dragons, Supernatural, The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Legend of Zelda, and even Star Wars since my story has elements from these fandoms. It adds comic relief and many readers can identify with most of the references I use. I know when I’m reading a book and my favorite fandoms are identified, the story becomes more interesting and it brings me closer to the characters. Isn’t that the goal? You want readers to engage and be able to relate to the characters. I believe this is a fun way to do that.

Dungeons & Dragons

Alexander picked up a book off Marie’s bookshelf. It was the D&D Monster Manual.

“You might want to acquaint yourself with this book.”

“D&D monsters are real?”

“Where do you think these ideas came from?”

“Great. It’s bad enough these monsters get me in the game. Now, I may be dealing with them for real.”

Supernatural

Marie grabbed some salt and threw it at the creature, which appeared to anger it more. Vincent gave her a strange look.

“What? It works on Supernatural!”

The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings

“You know, he can easily pass as Stryder from Lord of the Rings,” Katherine remarked.

“Just tell everyone you are hunting orcs and you should fit in.”

Nathaniel grumbled, “Let’s keep moving.”

“See…he is already in character.”

I even make references to fun scientific facts that people don’t generally know, but I don’t pull a Jules Verne on the reader. For anyone who doesn’t know what I’m referring to, read Mysterious Island or Journey to the Center of the Earth. Really, any Jules Verne book. Am I right? I understand back in the day this was how people learned about things, but we now live in the land of Google. I’m not an encyclopedia, but I do know a lot of information that probably earns me the title, Encyclopedia BriTanyaca. After all, I do have five degrees. More than anything, I want to put things in my story that are fun, entertaining, and relatable to readers. The geeky and nerdy stuff works, but if it doesn’t…then, I edit.