the wayward owl
Live a life worth writing
I was tagged by the lovely S.J. Henderson to participate in the Liebster Award Blog Hop about my current WIP. I'm working on two novels right now. One is a sequel to my fairy tale (YAY), and the other is a southern gothic that I am having O so much fun with. I chose the gothic.
What is your WIP about?
Sixteen-year-old Ophelia Fisk is an orphan with severe emotional issues. The novel opens with her contemplating committing suicide, but decides against it when she finds that the new town she lives in is much more unique than expected. There are unexplained things happening, and as the mystery unravels, so too does her purpose.
What is your main character's greatest strength?
She's strong. Crazy strong, despite her depression. She faces challenges with a bravery, even I look up to.
What is your main character's greatest flaw?
The world has been cruel to Ophelia and being an orphan in a small town, where outsiders
are always looked at strangely doesn't make it easier. She has a tendency to be bitter and build impenetrable walls.
Name your character's favorite food and drink?
Pizza and coffee. Though, not at the same time.
What animal would your main character be and why?
She'd probably be a stray dog. She's distrusting, takes a while to let people in, and has a tendency to bite with her words. But if you can ever get through to her, she's the most loyal friend one can have.
If you and your main character were in a coffee shop, what would you discuss?
Easy. The utter weirdness of small, southern towns. It's one of her and my most favorite topics.
Who would you main character like to date/marry and why?
Someone who feels like her family. Someone who handles her insecurities delicately and who is strong enough not to be hurt by her sometimes thoughtless tongue.
What superhero does your protagonist act like? Why?
Can I pick a guy? Batman. She wants to save the world, but she struggles heavily with her inner demons.
If you made a music video starring your antagonist, what would be his or her song?
"Demons" by Imagine Dragons. She's afraid to trust or hurt anyone, so she just pushes them away.
What fictional character do you like the most and why?
If you mean ever, I'd have to say Jo March from The Little Women. I wanted to be her when I grew up. Still do. If you mean in my own stories, I'd have to say Rowena from my fairy tale. She's starts off being passive and shy, but by Book 2 she's the firecracker I've always wanted to be.
Now that you know what my WIP is about, it's your turn! :D I tag two fellow writer friends, Tammy Theriault and Sarah Ahiers. Here are your ten questions:
1 Where did you find the inspiration for your WIP?
2 What is the setting and how important is it to the story?
3 What is your MC's most likable quality?
4 Does your MC prefer coffee or tea?
5 If you met your villain in real life, would you run away, slap him (or her), stop for a chat, or ask for his autograph?
6 What are three words that best describe your MC?
7 If your MC could have anything in the world, what would it be?
8 What's your favorite line in the WIP so far?
9 What's the overall tone of the novel?
10 If you had to compare your novel to any fairy tale, what would it be and why? (Because you know I love fairy tales!)
If you decide to take on the challenge too, be sure to leave a link in the comments. I want to read about your WIP too!
So you’ve been chug-a-lugging so far and now you’re stuck. You’re no longer flying through words, and your stamina is fading. So what do you do when you find yourself staring at the screen with no more words to write? Here’s a few tips I've learned over the years to beat the block:
• Create a new character. Sometimes an interesting new person in your novel will push the story forward and add additional interest.
• Browse Pinterest for inspiration. Maybe create a board?
• Skip around. You don't have to write a novel from beginning to end. Don’t know where you're going with this chapter? Move on to the next one.
• Which brings me to scene writing. Sometimes I don't know where I want to go with a novel but certain scenes are vivid in my mind, so I write those. Then I worry about how to put them together later.
• If you're like me, you have several story ideas written in your dozens of pretty notebooks. Try weaving one of those stories into your current WIP.
• Take a break. Sometimes your imagination fairy needs a day off. Do whatever relaxes you.
• Get out of the house. Step away from the distractions of home and find solace in a coffee shop, library, or park.
• And if you still feel uninspired by this WIP, start another project. It’s okay, really. Not every story is meant to be finished, and you can always work on it later. Maybe your heart is simply pushing you to write something different.
Remember, all words are good words in your first draft. Write just to write. There's no pressure. Set realistic goals and forgive yourself if you stray a bit. Writing shouldn't feel like a job as much as a passion.
Write passionately and ignore word counts. You’re the only one who can tell your story, so despite what your stubborn character may try to convince you, he/she will wait.
It's November, and for writers across the land, the craziest month of the year. We will scramble to write pretty words, will consume ungodly amounts of coffee, gain five pounds from stress-eating chocolate, and flutter around in our own lil book worlds for the entire month. Sounds like fun, right?
It is. It truly is. When the whole world around you feels like it's all caught the same book fever you have year-round, it's delightful. There is a downside, though. With 50,000 words to conquer and such little time to do it, sometimes we tend to run instead of sprint when the gun is fired. But we, smart people as we are, know this isn't a race. I mean, it doesn't matter that your best online friend has already written 15,000 words on their supposedly "new" WIP, and you've only written a measly 2,000. It doesn't matter that every time you look on your Twitter feed you're reminded of all the impressively disciplined people who are seemingly #amwriting every hour of the day. You, my dear friend, have a life. And while 15,000 words on day four seems impressive, let's see how well this hare fares by day thirty.
The key to winning is persistence. The hare starts faster, goes further, but eventually gets distracted.
Remember: Distraction is the root of all evil.
The goal and key to being productive anytime, not just in NaNoWriMo, is to be the tortoise. It's slow, yet steady. Determined yet mindful of its hurdles. It just keeps pressing on. So I encourage you whether you are off to a fabulous start, are just barely making headway, or haven't even started at all, just write some everyday you can. Never be ashamed of your word count. All words are good words. (At least during the first draft.)
It's not about how fast you get there. It's not even about getting there by the end of November. It's about the journey, the story, and the characters you meet along the way.
Everything about being a struggling artist boils down to this - How can I pursue my dream and still afford to live? It's no secret that authors, even published ones, rarely make a substantial profit. Most still work 9-5 jobs in order to pay the bills. It's a hard life for any artist. Between the near-constant rejection, bad reviews, countless disappointments, failed manuscripts, and many hours of working without pay, it's a wonder anyone chooses to become a writer. But the truth of the matter is, we don't chose to be writers. It chooses us. Some of us from a very early age.
I've been truly blessed to be able to pursue my dream full-time. I can write to my heart's content and edit my literary journal without the concern of finances. As great and freeing as this is, there are sacrifices that have been made to make this possible. Below is a list of tips on how to become a full-time dreamer.
I hope you've found some of these helpful. It's not impossible to be a full-time dreamer. It just takes a bit of planning and sacrifice. Living below your means can not only help you attain your artistic dreams, it will also help you tackle your financial ones.
Have more money saving ideas? Share with us in the comment section.
After seeing a few of these floating around, I decided to give it a try. Here's my feeble attempt at spine poetry:
Far, far away in Hollow City
on 77 Shadow Street,
under a ghost moon,
in a winter garden,
Emma - drawing in the dust.
Vanessa K. Eccles
Books, life, and travel.
Author of FABLED, RED RIBBONS, and OF LOVE & LEGEND // Founder of The Faithful Creative Magazine
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