If We Weren’t All Crazy

We would all go insane.  Yes, that’s from a Jimmy Buffett song.  I’m not ashamed to say I listen to him.  I grew up in Mobile, AL.  Of course I listened to him.  By the time I was eight, I knew all the words to Why Don’t We Get Drunk.  If you never listened to it, just know that the next line is and screw.  Ha!

Image result for jimmy buffett

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Believe it or not, this post isn’t about Jimmy Buffett, or questionable songs sung by children.  It’s about how I feel a slight bit crazy.  Why?  Well, because I think about made up people and worlds.  A LOT.

It consumes my day.  I do manage to get actual work done while I’m at work, but if I happen to be walking to another building, or have five minutes before my next meeting, I find myself thinking about a story.  Or continuing a story.  It just creeps in.  A character, a line.  Hell, entire scenes cross my mind while I’m at the copy machine.


Does anyone else feel this way?  Do you also think about the stories you hope to write down?  Sometimes I’ll jot down a few sentences, or paragraphs.  That usually happens at lunch.  I’ll shove a sandwich in my mouth and type as fast as I can.  It usually ends up with a page full of spelling errors and a keyboard full of bread crumbs, and possibly peanut butter on the keys.

I’ll let the pages pile up before I ever start to take them seriously.  Why?  Because the scenes that I write on the whim usually are altered as the week goes on.  I’ll tweak what happens, or where.  Or think of a better line for my heroine.  I know you are supposed to wait to edit, but sometimes you just can’t.  Just like sometimes, when you least expect, a story crawls into your head, turning the wheels and forcing you to recognize these imaginary people.

Let me know if you do the same thing, or I am truly crazy.  Until next time

XOXO

Missy Q

 

 

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The Lonely Writer

I watched Passengers the other night. Let me start by saying I love Jennifer Lawrence.  And I really love Chris Pratt.  I loved him in Parks and Rec, Guardians of the Galaxy, Delivery Man.  I will pretty much watch whatever he’s in. 


(I’m swooning. Do people do that? Swoon?)
Back to the movie.  The plot is about 2 people who are all alone on a ship traveling through space.  If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you may want to stop reading.  

SPOILER ALERT

Chris Pratt is a mechanic who wakes up 90 years too soon.  For a year, he wanders around the ship.  He tries, unsuccessfully, to get back in his sleeping pod, to get to the pods where the crew are, and basically keep a sane head while being alone.  

It doesn’t last.  Jennifer Lawrences character wakes up.  As luck would have it, she’s gorgeous, funny, and smart.  Oh, and she’s a writer.  Well, well, well.

So why am I bringing up a movie about space? (Is it a Sci-if Romance?).  Well, because it actually goes hand in hand with writing.  

Writing is a lonely hobby.  Yes, we can join groups, tweet about writing sprints, and share our chapters with friends, followers, and fans.  But the actual part of writing is lonely.  It’s just you and a computer, or notebook if you prefer. 


(I’m sure Hemingway never sang All by Myself, even if he was)

I am usually in sweatpants, headphones on and whatever playlist I need blaring.  And then I write.  And write.  And write.  There is no real interaction with anyone, unless you count the characters that are living a wild life in my head.  They are having the time of their lives.  Me?  I’m just trying to get a sentence down without deleting it for the twentieth time.  

I kind of see where Chris’s character Jim was at.  Lonely.  No one to talk to.  It’s enough to drive you crazy, although I don’t think it’s as bad as Jims life.  I can always take my headphones off and yell at my husband. 

Do you feel lonely when you write?  Do you feel like you maybe on this journey by yourself for the most part?  Or are you living some super Writer life filled with exoctic locations and wild friends?  

Until next time

XOXO

Missy Q

Word Goals

Writers live on word counts.  Ok, I do.  The first draft I wrote for Broken Crown was right around 30,000 words.  I knew that wasn’t good enough for a book.  It had to be longer.  Meatier.  It needed more.  A lot more.

 

It took a lot of time to write that book, and I was constantly worried about my word count.  So now, I’ve decided to have a word goal everyday.  I strive to write 1000 words everyday.  On one of my two stories.  Some days, I don’t make it.  Life gets in the way.  Like dinner.  And laundry.  Apparently my husband wants to eat food and thinks I should have clean socks.  (To be fair, my husband works a 40 hour job and runs his own business as well.  And still helps around the house.  He isn’t a slacker, so don’t get your pitchforks!)

But, everyday I try.  I figure if I can stick to my 1,000 word goal everyday, I’ll be done with a first draft after 2 months.  2 months!  That seems totally doable.  And way less time than my first one.  That one took 18 months.  Mainly because I kept stopping and thinking I was crazy for thinking I could be a writer.

So, if you get overwhelmed about the thought of having to write an entire book, or rewrite an entire book, break it down.  1,000 words.  Or 500 words.  Take it a day at a time.  Take a deep breath.  And remember, you and your family still need to eat.  And have clean socks.  The world won’t end because you didn’t get to your laptop.  Until next time!

Missy Q

Am I Crazy?

I hold conversations in my head all the time.  I’m pretty sure I actually mouth the words when I’m by myself in the car.  I try hard not to, but I’ve had a few weird glances from people out in public before.

Image result for woman talking to herself(I hope I don’t look this angry!)

                I can’t help it.  I’m in the middle of writing a book and I think about all the various scenes at all hours of the day.  And, since I think about it all day, the words eventually spill out.  Especially while I’m driving.  It’s almost like singing along to the radio.  Except I’ve got something from Brand X blaring through my speakers, and instead of singing I’m talking like I’m Leven.  Or Calloway.  Or any number of characters.  Or I’m narrating what is going on between the characters.   (Pss. You can find out about all Leven and her friends by reading Broken Crown, available on Amazon!)

This sounds crazy, and it is, but it helps.  It helps hash out a few of my harder scenes.  The ones where I don’t want the dialog to sound cliché.  And it helps for when I get home and back to my laptop.  Or when I get to my destination and I can pull my notebook out of my mess of a purse and write everything down.  You have a notebook, right?  One where you write down everything about your story, the characters, random passages you want to put in?  If I’m the only one, I’ll share mine and you can see what I’m talking about.

Anyway, I bring this up because I was doing it in the car the other day.  I had to run to town to get food, because remodeling a house and cooking don’t always go hand in hand, and I found myself thinking about the latest chapter.  It’s a sweet, tender moment between Leven and another character, who I’ll leave out just in case you read the first book and want to see where stuff goes in the second.  Anyway, I had the music going, the emotions right, and I just started mouthing the words of what I wanted to say.  It wasn’t a long period.  Only a paragraph or two, but I caught myself and realized how crazy I probably look.  But you know what, when I got home, I had some great material to put down.  And in the end, isn’t that what I want?  A great story?  And if it requires me to make a fool of myself in traffic, then so be it.  It has to be better than my “Concerts at the Red Light.”  If you don’t know what that is, it’s me with the windows rolled down, belting out whatever song strikes my fancy.  Sometimes Adele, sometimes Guns and Roses.  But always me and my own little concert.

Image result for lady singing in car (not me, but I’m sure this is what I look like)

                So if you see me in my car, mouthing something to myself, just know that you are either witnessing a play or a song.  And both are pretty awesome if you ask me.

Until next time

XOXO

Missy Q

They don’t all hate me

    Do you remember writing essays in school?  They were always long, and tedious, and oh so many words!  But you would do it, making sure you followed the template your teacher gave you, putting in all the important information, and turn it knowing you would get an A.  And then you got it back with a big red B on it!  Of course there were also notes in the margins.  “Constructive Criticism” my teacher would say.  She would tell me that I would need this in college.  And she was kind of right.  I did need it, just not in college.  

Image result for college paper

    Ok, so that may be a stretch for me.  I always turned them in hoping I would at least get a B.  And most of the time I did.  But there were always comments on them about how I could make them better.  Well, I got kind of the same thing on Amazon.  It seems a few months back, someone tried to read my book Broken Crown and wasn’t that impressed with the story.  As a matter of fact, they claimed they didn’t finish it because it was too predictable.  

    Now, when I write, I try to let the story flow, but I also like surprises.  I don’t want you to be able to tell what is going to happen next.  Some things have foreshadowing, and you can guess what may happen down the line, but I also like to throw in something you never saw coming.  However, this reader didn’t think I did very a good job.     

    This post isn’t about bashing said reviewer.  It’s actually about thanking them.  Because I am actually flattered.  They said the story was predictable, but that the writing was actually good.  Really?!?  That’s awesome!  Why?  Because when people leave reviews, if they hate something they, they usually hate everything.  The story, the book cover, my name.  They don’t want to like anything because, when you are on the internet, it’s easy to hate everything.  But this person didn’t.  And I’m happy with that.  I can even handle the 1 star they gave me.  

    So the next time someone tells you they don’t like something about your story, but compliment your writing, or the style of writing, or the fact that one of your characters names is the name they wanted to use for their first born child whenever they have said child, take it in stride.  At least they didn’t tell you to go back to your day job!