Friday, October 24, 2014

Update On Website

My website designer, Heather, has been working diligently on the site and I have to say, it's looking great! I have to make a decision on the name of the blog and write an introduction for it, and I have to send some more pictures, but other than that, it's ready. 

I sure hope that some of you sign up for the news letter and join in once in a while to the interactive blog. I think it could be a lot of fun getting you readers involved and I plan to have contests and of course, giveaways! Djenworld

The blog will be your ideas and thoughts about the books, and Djenrye. Also, what you would like to see or what you think will happen once Stevie gets there.

I'm looking forward to having people a part of the process and talking about the books. It should be an incredible journey for Stevie and her friends. 

The blog will be linked to my Facebook fan page and interaction can happen on both ends. I'm still conflicted on the name of the blog and I plan to do a contest on my fan page. Whoever comes up with a great name will win a prize and notoriety of course. 

So join in on the fun and be a part of my writing process. I think having my readers a part of everything will benefit not only the books, but the journey itself.

Hope to see you there! 

Next week I will not be posting. I am working as a ballet judge and will be busy all week. I do plan to be back the following week after the elections.

Thanks for all you do! Lisa

Friday, October 17, 2014

Get It Right Before You Bite

I've had such a busy week and trying to sit down and write hasn't happened much. Although, I'm sure my critique partners are sick of seeing the same chapter for the last few weeks. 

It's not for the lack of time they keep getting the same one, but for the lack of confidence on my part. My low self-esteem has kicked in with writing about this side of the portal. When it comes to cop stuff and FBI stuff, I haven't got a clue and trying to make it exciting and to show verses tell has been tough. 

I think it's finally coming along though. I am ready to send it on to Michael and get his take on it. 

I've realized that the voices are different and hard for me to fix it so it's not obvious, but I'm trying. I will conquer this one way or another! I haven't given up.

Which brings me to the topic of this post, don't just settle with your revisions and send it off anyway. 

If you think it's not up to snuff, then work on it until it is. Sometimes you need to set it aside for a bit and move on, but come back to it later and work on it some more. You don't have to give in, as it were, to the need for getting the book finished, it's done when you say it is, and not before.

I think a lot of writers just depend on their editor to fix it, but they are editors, not authors, in most cases, and they can't write your particular voice. Take the time to get it where you want it. You'll find the more you write, the better your writing will become.

I know of a few times in the past where I read something I wrote and was shocked by how far I've come. Don't just settle for the chapter or scene, or even the manuscript as being mediocre, go through it again.

That's my advice, and I hope I will take my own and continue to strive for my novel to be the best I can make it. I have to feel good about hitting that publish button!

Until next week, have a great weekend and don't forget to drop me a line. I know we all lead busy lives but I would love to hear from you!

Love, Lisa

Friday, October 10, 2014

Blurb For Lineage

Happy Friday all! I hope you have wonderful plans this weekend. We are heading up to Buena Vista for another round of hot springs, good friends and relaxing. I am so looking forward to it, I need to relax with all that's happened lately and then settle into cold weather and lots of writing.

I thought since I wouldn't be around much that maybe I would leave you with something to read. I did manage to finish the blurb for Lineage - Book 2 of The Djenrye Chronicles which will be featured on the website and thought I would share. It will hopefully give you a feel for the book and I would relish any comments.

I hope it will help you to look forward to reading it next year! Thanks for all your support and enjoy!

Lineage introduces Delyn, the first Androne born in Djenrye, ten thousand years before Stevie’s time.
His story begins eight summers after Delyn and his family were moved from their hidden arbor community of Elm Toch, to a village the Gods had erected especially for the new race—the Andrones.
A handful of Androne’s and their Wood Elf families live in the town situated between the cities of the Djen. Mayza, the first female Androne, born two years after Delyn, is his only friend. Delyn is now fully grown and over a foot taller than the Wood Elves, his curiosity becomes an obsession. Why is he and the other Andrones different that their elders and siblings? Why did the Gods create them? What was the purpose?
He decides to spy on secret meetings between the God-Soldiers, who police the village, and the Forefathers, a race of beings sent by the Gods to govern all of Djenrye. Mayza warns him that to be caught would bring severe punishment—he could be beaten or worse.  
He doesn’t listen and follows Brom, one of the Forefathers, to the meeting anyway. What he hears creates more questions and strengthens his conviction to find answers.
The clandestine meeting is only a preamble to a great gathering of all leaders. Djen, Mage, and the Forefathers are called to Delyn’s village to discuss matters which concern the Andrones and their role.
It does not go well for Delyn and the others. Rounded up by the God-Soldiers, all Andrones, male and female, are forced to go to Phraile Highlae by order of the Gods.
 The first night of their journey the female Andrones were secreted away while they slept.  No one will tell Delyn where they have been taken. Scared for Mayza, but unable to fight the God-Soldiers, he has no choice but to continue on.
Once in the city he is told he will be trained as a warrior of the Gods. Delyn befriends Claren, a younger Androne from the village. As they begin their combat training, Delyn keeps a solemn promise to himself. He would continue to spy on their leaders for answers to their evolution and where the girls were being kept.
Several moon cycles pass and Delyn decides to escape from Phraile Highlae. He must find Mayza and rescue her, but the journey is short lived when he is caught. His punishment is to be carried out in a place he never knew existed.

He finds himself in an unknown hostile land, locked up like an animal, starved, and is forced to fight for his life. He holds on to an escape plan from this terrible place, but the abuse at the hands of his captors is changing him. His dream of freedom slips away as he becomes what the Forefathers want—a cold, hard, calculating soldier—of the Gods.

I hope that the blurb intrigues you and your ready to read it! Have a nice weekend everyone.
Love, Lisa

Friday, October 3, 2014

Kate Wrath Author of E

Please welcome Kate Wrath, Author of E, the first book in her dystopian series. Although dark, Kate brings to life the emotions of her characters in an unimaginable world.

I'm looking forward to reading her series and I hope you give her novels a try. Don't forget to leave Kate a comment, I'm sure she would be happy to hear from you.

Thanks so much, Lisa, for having me on your blog.

Today I’d like to talk a little about plotting difficulties, and how I handle working through them.

Honestly, plotting has always been the most difficult aspect of storytelling for me.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  Firstly, a long time ago, I heard the old adage that everything’s been done before, and unfortunately, it stuck with me.  My plotting was a happy little ladybug that someone squished with unnecessary force.  Secondly, I have always been about the characters.  I tend to write for myself, and in that respect, I’m perfectly happy if nothing is happening, so long as my characters are growing.  

For many years, I wrote stories that could be considered incredibly long character sketches.

The good news is also twofold:  Nowadays my character-building gets a lot of positive comments.  And beyond that, great plots can evolve out of great characters.  So, in essence, solid character-building is an excellent starting point for plotting.  However, it is just that-- a starting point.  It is vitally important to build in excitement and high emotion.  Things need to be happening.  There’s another old adage about “sending in the guys with guns.”  Rather than take this literally, I prefer to think of it as a reminder to monitor the emotion-levels of my story, and when things start to feel a little flat, add something to spice things up.  This could, literally, be guys with guns, or it could be anything else that will tantalize your reader.  For example a plot twist.

Plot twists are not really easy, especially when you are new to writing.  Detaching yourself from the story is a difficult task, and one that must be done in order to tell if something is surprising.  Oftentimes, things we think are surprising are actually predictable and contrived.  That said, I believe that the best way to get a feel for effective plot twists is to examine stories that you love.  What surprised you?  Why did you like it?  How did it make you feel?  These are all excellent questions to ask and reflect on.

Reflecting on our own stories is equally important.  I am currently polishing Evolution, the second book in the E series, as I prepare for release on November 12th.  As I worked through my edits, I noticed that there was a section in the middle of the novel that, plot-wise, just wasn’t cutting it.  I knew it needed major changes, but for a long time, I didn’t know what to do with it.  So I sat down and pondered on the purpose of that section.  What did I want to show and why?  Then I kept the main elements and trashed the rest.  

With my goal in mind, I worked through a bubble graph. (I don’t usually work this way, but I needed to get it down visually.)  I included important things that were obvious and started charting new ideas off of that.  As things filled out, I connected ideas that worked together and jotted down notes on the connections.  The going was difficult at first.  My creativity just wasn’t feeling it with this section.  But as I got more information down on paper, I had a big breakthrough.  Ideas opened up, and something surprising came out of it.  

Now, I’m really excited about this section and so glad that my process took me through all the difficulties.  The point is, sometimes you have to push through and use methods that are not the most comfortable for you, but persistence and flexibility usually pay off.

Another important point I want to touch on is achieving consistency.  In a story, everything has a reason.  Cause equals effect.  If reason, logic, and motivation are not in place, your readers will notice.  Sometimes reasons and motivations will be hidden, but this is an entirely different thing from the author not knowing them.  As an author, you should always know the reason for everything.

That said, some things will slip through your fingers during the writing phase, and you will have to go back and fix them during editing.  The key to editing-in explanations is to feed the reader the explanation before they need it.  This keeps the reading experience smooth.  Just imagine your reader spending two chapters grumbling about plot inconsistencies because something you wrote didn’t make sense.  Suspension-of-disbelief is broken.  The reader disconnects from the heart of the story.  Then, eventually, an explanation is provided.  But given too late, it cannot undo the disbelief.  Chances are, you’ve lost your reader for good.  

So take the time, think all the plot lines through and make sure they line up.  Fix anything that you suspect might be a stumbling point for your reader.  The result is worth every bit of time and effort you put into it.

All this barely touches on the vast topic of plotting, but hopefully there are a few points that beginning writers will find helpful.  Above all, I encourage you to write for yourself, and to do it because you absolutely love the story.  Happy writing!

You can reach Kate at the following links

Thanks again Kate for your wonderful writing advice and thanks for being on my blog! 

I hope you enjoyed Kate's insightful article and will check out her new book. I don't think you'll be disappointed! 

Until next Friday, have a great weekend!