Writing Everyday Vs. Not

I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. When I was posting on Wattpad I wrote thousands of words and popped out multiple chapters every day.

They weren’t edited and their no longer available, but I did that.
It also caused me burn out so bad that I took a year off. Not that I’m complaining. I watched a ton of really good shows that helped refill that well of inspiration that completely drained when I was doing all that writing though.

Doctor Who and Breaking Bad among some of those greats!
When I did pick up writing again I tried to throw myself back into it. Force myself to write every single day like I used to and found the more I tried to force myself to write the more I seemed to hit that famous brick wall. It would also frustrate me because I felt like I was failing as a writer and put me off of writing for the rest of the week.

Needless to say, it stopped me from being productive in any way shape or form. I’ve learned that whatever motivation burned through me all those years ago literally burned through me. Now I’m lucky if I can push out a good two-thousand a week. That’s if I’m writing every other day, or at least pushing through one good day of writing. Then I usually wind up avoiding any form of writing the next day. (I told you my motivation was shot.)

There’s an incentive to both ways.

If you’ve got multiple responsibilities, then yeah, sometimes it can make sense to only write a bunch of words in one day. Getting through your word count all at once allows you to focus on other things. Which is especially helpful if you’ve got a full-time job, school, kids, or all three. You know. Adult stuff that happens.

I especially got to give props to those people that can manage 10k in one workday. Like wow. Kudos to you.

But working on your MS in bits is just as great. It allows you to focus on smaller bits, work out the details and kinks at a much slower pace, and have a much more put together manuscript at the end of it. Kind of.
I say this only because its recently taking me 4 months to write a 24k novella and I know that if I had buckled down and really focused it would have taken me two. But oh well.

I did have other writing projects, so there was that going on.

All this to say, that there is no right or wrong way to write your story.
Smash it out in a month and edit later. Great!

Take six months to finish that first draft! At that pace, you’ll still beat George R.R. Martin so…Great!!!

You do you and don’t let anyone tell you that needs to be done any other way. As long as the words are getting written and you’re telling the story your way. Whatever works.

Keep writing.

Keep creating worlds

Until next time!

What Goals?

So, it’s a occurred to me that it’s the first full week into 2020 and I’ve yet to actually write down any goals for this new year. Which is odd for me because every year I’ve always written down my goals and have some kind of plan going forward.

This year, I know what I want to do but I’m seem to be freestyling it. And with everything that I want to do this year I know that’s not going to happen. I need to focus and to do that I don’t need some vague idea of how these things are going to happen. I need plans, charts, whole lists of thing that need to happen before other things can happen.

Example. Last year, I put “Get Stop The Raven published.”

Okay.

Fine.

That’s a long term goal that will happen one day. But what about the steps in between? Finding an agent or publisher. Marketing it, even before all of it comes out. Little stepping stones that I completely over looked last year and left me feeling deflated when my main goal didn’t happen. So now I’m taking a few steps back to make sure I’m going through the motions and not just focusing on the end goal.

The end goal is to get Stop The Raven published. The current goals is to continue to query agents/ possibly small publishing house. (I’ll get into all of that later) And focus on continuing to grow my media spaces. Like this blog.

For this year I’m gonna try really hard not to ignore this space. I’ve already gotten a series idea that I could also incorporate into my youtube channel. If I ever get brave enough to film those videos and just put them out there.

At some point, I’m going to just say fuck it and do it anyways. Come what may, at least they’ll be out there. It’s not easy when anxiety and that impostor syndrome starts creeping in. But oh well.

It’s a mute point.

The point is, to grow this blog I have some new ideas. Like a new series that I’m working on called “Authors That Inspire.” I already have the first post written, I may or may not film it, and then I’ll post it sometime in the coming weeks and hopefully continue on with this band wagon.

Other ideas, are of course to keep everyone update on what is actually going on in my writing career. I will make another post on what anthologies I’ve got stories in in the future so that you know what to keep an eye for and what other anthologies I may or may not be working on.

And other random tid-bit blog posts ideas that come at me. (I’ve already gotten another idea while writing this one.)

Another goal of mine is to get into more anthologies. I’ve found that I enjoy writing short stories as much as I do whole novels and I especially find it so much easier when there’s a theme involved. So getting into more anthologies is a definite must for me.

I’ve seen people make some crazy goals of like 100 or 200 stories in different anthologies in a given year…and while it’s possible (Stares at fellow authors in a certain anthology group) I know me. I know my limits and I know at some point in the middle of this year I’m going feel the burn out and I’m going to work my ass off in making sure that doesn’t happen.

So I’m going to say like 10 stories in various anthologies for this year. Not sure if I should count the short stories yet to be published in the upcoming months as part of that goal seeing as I wrote them last year, but we’ll aim for 10 unwritten stories in different anthologies. That’s realistic. ( I think)

There’s also a novella that I’ve been working on for the last half of 2019 that I finally made the first round of edits to. Think IT X Stranger Things. I don’t know. I just threw that out there because its basically like all those 80’s films where the kids are going up against the scary monster. I may have been inspired by those two films at the time and I quite enjoyed working on this particular story.


So, I’m looking to publish that one as well. Probably self published unless I get lucky some where else, Crossing my fingers here it’s going to be good when it does come out.

So yeah. Writing wise those are my goals. That’s what I wish to succeed this year. Personal goals wise.

My husband and I are looking to buy a house. That’s moving forward quite nicely as of right now.


I do wish to lose another 20lbs this year. Last year I managed to lose 15 and though I didn’t brag about it much on social media, I was stoked that I was able to accomplish even that. So this year, I’m raising that bar and going to work twice as hard.

Also wish to have more family time. Something else that we’re already incorporating into our weekly schedules. Watching more movies with kids. Enjoying more television series with the husband and playing some board games as a family.

Small things. Thing that will mean something in the years to come. So those are my goals.

Part of the reason why I couldn’t think of anything was because I was already working on these things in 2019. Their not anything new but I guess their still things I hope to accomplish for the rest of the year.

I hope everyone is having a happy new year so far and remember you won’t accomplish anything this year if you don’t show up and do the work.

Til next time!

The Perfect Writing Day

One thing we all think about when we first start writing is that perfect schedule. How we would run our days if we were to become full time writers. So here’s a run down list of what my ideal schedule could be. (Or would be if I buckled down and actually stuck to this kind of schedule.)

Think of this as an experiment to see how well this would work out.

6:30 AM – Wake up, get kids ready for school.

7 AM – Spend 15 minutes on social media before taking the kids to school.

8 AM – The dog’s gone for a walk, which allows me a stretch, and my coffee is poured. This means WRITING TIME!!!! Well, time to work on my blog anyways. With any luck this won’t take the whole hour, but who knows. (This blog post is currently taking almost two hours. Have I mentioned I’m the procrastination queen?

9:30 AM – Hubby goes to work and when I return home it’s work out time.

10 30 AM – More writing! This time I work on either a short story or edits or another project that I’ve got going at the moment. (So many projects, so little time.)

12 PM – Lunch and probably some time to chill and watch a couple of videos on youtube. (Also the dog is probably bugging me to go outside again.)

2:45 PM – Time has gotten away with me and it’s now time to pick up the kids….

I kid.

Seriously, let’s jet back to fantasy land here for a moment.

12:15 PM – More writing! I’m really hoping with all this writing I can get a good chunk of this short story that I need to write before November finished.

1:15/1:45 PM – At this point I need to stretch and so that means some quick pick up around the house before it’s time to get the kids. Also dog.

2:45 PM – Seriously time to pick up the kids! That means sitting in the car line for 30 minutes and read. My current read is The Shining by Stephen King. This is my second attempt to read this book, I was reading it a couple of months ago and got interested in another story and this got put on the side burner, but I’m back at it and still enjoying it.

3:30 PM – From here my day descends into chaos. Kids are wanting snacks, homework needs to be finished. (Bursts into rendition of NeverEnding Story.)

4:30 PM – Kids are settled, homework is done, and they’re probably already playing their video games. If nothing happens I could write for another 30 to 45 minutes.

5 PM – Cook dinner, eat, clean up.

6:30 – Time to pick up husband, come home. Baths…Dog needs to go out for the 4th or 5th time this day and it’s probably going to be a longer walk to calm him down for the night along with the kids.

7:30/8 PM – More writing? Possibly. At this point it would make sense since everyone is quieted down for the time being.

10 PM – Bedtime / Some mindless TV or reading. Depends. My husband is wanting me to watch an anime called Hunter X Hunger, so probably a couple of episodes of that before bedtime.

So there it is. My perfect writing. Was it all spent writing? No, probably because I find that if I spend exhaustive long moments in front of the computer I get angsty and need to get up and move. Include the kids in that mix with all their needs and after school activities and if I don’t dedicate the morning hours to writing and partial of the evenings I don’t get a lot of writing done. Also, I’m good at procrastinating, as I’ve mentioned, so to achieve this I would have to turn off social media so…

I’m going to attempt this kind of a schedule in a vlog on my youtube channel. If you want to see the results of that, head on over there. Should be going up about the same time as this. And let me know what you think?


What is your ideal writing schedule? Obviously, if I didn’t have kids I would definitely devote whole days to my characters, but alas, I enjoy being a mom and wouldn’t change this schedule for anything.

Also in case you didn’t know. I have another drabble coming out in Black Hare Press Beyond Anthology next week. Sept. 17th. You can pre-order it here . There’s a 100+ stories from various different author’s from all over the  globe. So buy it. Enjoy it. Review it. All that good stuff.

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Until next time!

The Process of Querying: Tools I’ve Used and How It’s Going.

Querying can be tough. Writing a short, maybe three paragraph, explanation of your 500 page book sounds like an impossible tasks. How are you supposed to get all the super cool characters and plot points that made the book worth writing squeezed into three paragraphs?

The problem is, you don’t. You take your main character, maybe one extra side character (Love interest if you have one), your antagonists, and go over the biggest hurdle in your book. That’s it. It’s that easy and that hard.

At least it’s not the elevator pitch. (Don’t get me started on that monster)

Everyone says writing the book is the easiest part. I beg to differ. When I first started looking over the querying process I realized I would need to start writing my query before I even finished my book. So, I worked on it in pieces. I wrote a first draft, because yes this is going to be done in drafts as well, and then I rewrote it.

I wrote down all the notes and possible suggestions for how to make a great query. Hint: look up Jane Friedman’s The complete guide to Query Letters and Query Shark. Both are literary agents that offer some sound advice when it comes to writing queries and sometimes do query critiques in their blogs.

Also feel free to sign up for Query Tracker. It’s a great resource for when you’re in the query trenches and need a way to keep up with your queries, it’s a year subscription that costs $25. Not to shabby for all it provides. Also there’s a great forum that you can join that allows you to post your query for review and fellow writers will give you advice to make it better.

You will have to actually look over other queries and maybe give some opinions of your own to get advice on yours, but it’s still a great community, and plenty of other topics you can look over. Everything from querying etiquette to tips on author platform can be found inside those forums.

Definitely worth a look at if you’re feeling a little loss on the whole process and just want some advice from fellow writers.

My own querying process is feeling a bit stale.

Think

tenor

and

giphy (1)

I’ve done the write, rewrite, have people read it, pay an editor to look over your query and write it again and……giphy

I’m trying a thing….I’m thinking it’s the first chapter so I’m going to try and rewrite it so that the second chapter (?) is the first chapter and see how well this works out. This also means I’ll be looking for people to beta read and tell me if it is actually my original first chapter and if the second chapter works better as my first chapter.

 Though, I’m hesitant because I have so many balls up in the air right now, that going in and rewriting my first chapter and what not in this MS seems a little insane but if there’s no interest it just makes sense to try something different.

Do I really know what I’m doing? No

Does any of us? No.

Why? Because the market is so subjective that what works for one person may not work for another. There’s no concrete formula that will get you that perfect agent and grand publishing deal, so we’re all just rowing down this creek with only one paddle and hoping for the map you were given isn’t completely useless.

For those concerned about rewriting this while I have queries out. Their just queries. Not whole or partial requests that agents are looking over. And if someone does show interest in what I have now I will send them the MS as is without the changes…maybe mention that I was considering the changes but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

So, I’ve gone on long enough about how querying is working out for me. Let me know if you’re going through the same process. How is it working out for you? Has it worked out for you? I want to hear all about your victories, even the smaller ones like you’ve finally gotten it written. Because any small step is still a step closer to your own success!

Until next time!

Giving up isn’t the easy way out (also this isn’t me giving up…)

       

When you’ve put so much time and effort into something and you hit a wall, you can either push through, remind yourself that you can do anything that you put your mind to, and more often than not you do wind up pushing through to the end.

But what happens if you can’t push through?

What happens if you just don’t got the energy or the motivation to keep going?

You’ve put your time, effort, and sometimes your soul into a project only to not see it finished or pushed out into the world and all you want to do is give up. Tuck it away and tell the world, “I tried.”

Most would look at this as a failure. You’ll probably think of it as one long regret some where down the road and wonder what would have happened if you just kept on trying.

That’s the reason giving up isn’t the easy way out. We beat ourselves up about it. We tell ourselves that we can’t live with those failures or they’ll eat us alive later on down the road. And we’re partially right.

It’s why so many of us can’t admit defeat even when it’s staring at us right in the face. We’d rather go back and pick at a problem until its bones are nothing but splinters and dust lying in the ground.

( My own current situation, hence why I’m not giving up.)

Sometimes giving up is the only answer and we just have to take a few days to let that sink in. To hope that this failure is setting us up for our next big success and so we mourn the loss of a dream for a bit and then go back to the drawing board and try something else.

Eased by the fact that we all have our failures tucked away in a drawer somewhere that we either forget about or come back to look over fondly for sometime. Either way, it’s not an easy decision to make.

It’s not something that we just wake up and decide we’re throwing all of our hard work away for nothing. Sometimes it’s telling people that you’ll get back to it some day and then some day never arrives because it’s the little white lie that we told ourselves to make us feel better about giving up.

But (and I’ll repeat this as often as I can) giving up is not the easy way out!

Because if you feel like giving up. If you’re going to lose your sanity over the rejections and criticisms and all the mess that comes with putting yourself and your work out there, know that it’s okay. That not all of us think your looking for an easy out.

We know that it’s long nights tossing and turning in bed, wondering if you’re doing the right thing. The little lie that you may return some day to finish this work. Its endless days of what if’s and maybe’s and no one can really fault you for wanting to give up and focus on what’s best for yourself and your family when all you want to do is work on your dream, but your dream is costing more than you thought, or causing more damage than good. We get it. We’re standing right there with you sometimes and it’s okay to just let it go.

Because we know it’s not an easy decision to make.

You ever given up on something that you really wanted to make happen? That you worked hard on and it just wasn’t happening? Was it an easy decision or did you fight tooth and nail before coming to that conclusion?

Marching Goals

Of course it would in the shortest month of the year that I manage to complete 80% of my to do lists. Especially since most of the time I manage to only check off maybe one or two items and everything else tends to gets pushed forward to the next month.

Maybe. Hopefully.

There in lies my problem. I keep hoping to do stuff and maybe I’ll get to it later.

Here’s a goal for next month, so going to push to try harder and actually get this stuff done. Not let motivations, or lack there-of, get in mine way. Lol

But anyways, I’m here to let you know how exactly did February go for me?

Let’s get started.

February Goals –

Edit & Post short story – complete. It can be found under the shorts tab on my blog/webpage.

Lose 5lbs- Complete!

Start editing sci-fi novel – nope, but I’m starting on this this month. Promise.

2 youtube videos – Yes!

Blog bi-weekly – No, unless you want to count the youtube videos. When I can posts my youtube videos on my page then it’ll start counting, right?

Read 1 book – Yes. I completed Bethany Atazadeh’s Evalene’s Number. Excellent read if you’re looking for something to pick up in the dystopian future type novels.

Clean Closet – Yes! Semi-funny story here. My husband lost a couple of videos games and proceeded to clear and reorganize our closet in his attempt to find his games. Didn’t find them, but the closet got cleaned out so there’s that check mark.

Like I said, I did manage to get a good portion of my goals completed and I’m super proud of everything that I did so I’m looking at March and thinking I can so complete this lists items that are getting added on.

March Goals!

So, March is a bit longer but it’s also my anniversary with my husband and a handful of birthdays, so here we go and I know that by the time that this is posted I’ll be a week in March and should be fully on the way to completing some of these goals but look at who’s blog you’re reading here. Lol

So list of things I’m looking to achieve this month.

Write and Edit another short. – At typically 5,000 words I think this achievable.

Start Edits to Sci-Fi Novel – Again achievable if I start today.

2 youtube videos – not an insane amount and completely doable going by past months.

Read 1 book – I need to either decide on a book I already own or buy a new one first but still.

Lose another 5lbs – Going to achieve this one!

Start streaming on twitch – I know it seems like I’m giving myself another way to procrastinate on writing, but it’s something I wanna try and see I’ll enjoy it.

Blog 2 times this month – Hey, I’ve already got one blog down.

Query more Agents – Since January I’ve been querying 2 or 3 agents a month and tapping my finger for the rest of the month (hence why the streaming is coming in to keep me busier)

How I plan to achieve these goals?
1. Write a thousand words a week. Yep, we’ll get through this somehow.
2. Edit for 2hrs a day (probably at night when kids go to bed)
3. Film 2 videos at beginning of month (With computer currently down editing anything is going to be rough, but filming is still a possibility.)
4. Read 20pgs a day
5. Stream in the mornings Monday through Thursday!

Why I Don’t Worry About Mondays

            Most people find Mondays to be that dreaded time of the week when work and school pick back up. Their weekends are over and now its time to get back to the daily grind. For me, Mondays are a day of rest.

My kids go to school and my husband goes back to work and I spend the rest of the day recouping from the 32hrs I just pulled off in two days at work. That, of course, doesn’t mean I get a full day of rest. I still got kids, husband, and dog that require some form of attention and care and don’t get me started on the housework that built up while I was away.

If your a parent, or ever lived with kids, you know this is a never-ending thing. So, yes, Mondays I will sit and play a video game, maybe watch some TV, and try to do as little as possible. Even if that means crunch out a short blog or retype my query for the hundredth time.

I’m a writer, it’s like being a mom in that the work is never done.
Still, when I don’t do anything but binge-watch Netflix and play several hours of Sims, I don’t beat myself up about it too much.

Not on Monday anyway.

Because we all deserve that one day where we get to feel guilt-free about being a couch potato and after my weekend shift I’m exhausted and need that time to re-energize and prep for the rest of the week that’s sure to be chalked full of something.

What days do you consider to be your do nothing guilt-free days? Weekends or some midpoint of the week? I’m curious to know.

A Slight Update and Possible Mistake

So I’m still in the middle of the revision process. I’ve taken all the beta suggestions that I’ve gotten and have it all listed in Scrivener and as I revise my story, I work through what needs to be changed and what doesn’t.
The problem, I feel like I’m making the story worse. I’m not even sure if this isn’t starting to sound like another half-assed first draft and I honestly thought this was supposed to be the better version. So, I can either keep pushing through, do another round of beta reads and see if it’s gotten better or…
and here’s the real doozy … stop and start over on the revision process with a whole other outline, character arcs plotted out better, etc. etc. and just go from there.
It’s been something that’s been eating at me for some time now and I really feel like that would be the better option, but it feels too much like I’m ripping it apart again and starting from scratch. Which I don’t want to do, because I do like this version of the story. It’s just missing some elements. Not to mention there are still characters that tend to appear and disappear and that’s not going to work so…
Here we go.
I think I’m starting my revisions over. Not sure if I’m deleting all of the fourth draft, or I should just call it 3.5 at this point because I’m fixing to trash what I have. Lord help me this is so much harder than I thought.
Also, I think I need a bigger notebook.

Thanks for listening to my rants and Until next time.

Review and Onward

Past three months have been interesting. Somewhere between wanting/needing to get stuff done and slowly realizing that time is slipping by. I only just realized it’s the end of March and Easter is on Sunday.
Go figure.
That being said, I haven’t been idle. Going through my previous goals I’ve managed to mark off a handful and also added some more.
I tend to keep these goals few and short because I know my attention span and tendency to do nothing.

1. Beta reads/ Revisions (Completed the Beta/CP reads and have started on revisions. I’m only on chapter two and have been sitting on it for a month. Hence why I try to keep things short.)
2. Researching Agents and Publishers (Sort of finished. I’ve looked into websites to find agents, and have made a list of do’s and don’ts for querying.)
3. Blog Regularly (I’ve done this. Admittedly, not the two times a week as I said, but at least once a week. I know I missed a couple of days but I’m getting better.)
4. Buying a camera (Surprisingly, I have a camera being shipped in the mail as I write this and hopefully be able to get back to vlogging.)
5. Staying regular on Social Media. (This could go back with the blogging, but being active on social media. I think I’m getting better at this, probably not, but I’m still trying.)
6. Eating healthier and being more active. (Definitely an off and on thing going on here. I’ve been trying to stay consistent and am doing better.)

Those are the goals that I placed at the beginning of January and you can see that I’ve got most of them at least half-way done. Some of them are going to be put on hold, others are going to be a ‘to be continued’ type thing. So here’s a list of things that I plan to work on work on in the next quarter.
1. Finish revisions on Stop the Raven. ← Yes, still a work in progress.
2. Start finding agents that would be interested in STR.
3. Start Vlog back up. ← with a camera this will be easier.
4. Work on a new series for my blog.
5. Look into making the new series as a hashtag for Twitter. ← we’ll see about this.
6. Save for a trip with the kids. ← Got to make those memories with the kids.
7. Game night with kids. ← We started a game night with some friends and my oldest has been interested in doing the same at home.
8. Read at least three books. ← Considering I haven’t read one book in three months this might be pushing it.
9. Continue eating healthier and being more active.
10. Push husband to start up his own gaming stream, and join him on some games. ← this is something he wants to do and I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out.

 

Those are my goals for the next three months. Again, nothing extremely hard, most of it continuations of what I’ve already been doing. Let’s see if I get more productive. I’ve started keeping a schedule to stay on track and it’s working in other bits of my life, so hopefully, it’ll start working in my writing career as well.
June will be my check-in time, so until then, I’ll continue my regular postings.

Til next time.

A few tips to improve your writing

              Or…what I’m doing to improve my writing. Maybe there’s a thing or two in here that will help you as well.  Who knows.

Now I know what your thinking.

Didn’t you just do a blog like this a couple of weeks ago?

Yes. Yes, I did, but this one is going to get into more specifics. The last one was more of a reminder of how things could get easier.

These blogs are essentially me talking to myself, so you may get some repeats. My apologizes in advance.

Moving on.

When looking over your MS, rather it is the first time or the hundredth it can still feel daunting and you do need that game plan. Hence that last posts, that sounds eerily similar to this one. What people don’t tell you is where to find those game plans. How to improve your writing.

Last week was a lot of google searching for me. Looking up how to’s and re-watching a bunch of different videos. Kind of feels like I wasted a good amount of time I could have been reworking that manuscript, but really it wasn’t. I needed a starting point. A compass of sorts that would point me in the right direction.

A lot of the feedback that I got on my MS was about my grammar and what not. Probably should have slapped a warning label on it and said, “not yet grammarly correct.” That was my own fault but since then, I’ve searched and searched. There’s the obvious choices, Elements of Style, and Self Editing for Fiction Writers, for those that are looking. Both on Amazon and both highly recommended.

Then there’s other options: blogs and websites. SkillShare is a good source for dozens of videos to help freshen up on grammar and sentence structure. There’s also a website called LousyWriter.com that focuses on improving your grammar. If you’re anything like me, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. It really wouldn’t hurt anything but maybe your ego when you finally admit you need help.

Those are just sights I have filed away and saved for later when I decide to go through my manuscript and nitpick the hell out of it.

For now, I’m focusing on the second most mentioned issue with my MS.

My characters.

I knew going into this story, like way back in the first draft, that my MC and the supporting characters were not the good guys. Not really. At first, I struggled with this. Asking myself “aren’t I supposed to be writing the good guys?” But going back through and trying to write my MC and any of the supporting casts as good guys, and turning them into victims to support their decisions didn’t feel right.

So, I embraced it. Watched (what feels like) hundreds of shows with anti-heroes and read up on what makes them lovable and looked into different blogs that talked about making the perfect anti-hero and it worked.

Writer’s Digest, Writers Edit, and the Writepractice.com are some good places to start. Watching some of your favorite bad guys gone good and asking yourself why they do the things they do wouldn’t hurt either if you too want to make that wonderful anti-hero.

For the most part people like my characters. Which is great! I wanted people to like my little villains and question them and wonder just on what track they’re supposed to be on. It’s all good….mostly. What I didn’t expect was for people to say that my MC comes across as heartless and say that she loses focus in the story. I wanted people to question her, not believe she’s a total sociopath, or whatever.

Great. Okay. How to fix that?

Well….I’m basically in a ” you tell me” type of space. I’ve gotten suggestions. The book, Creating Characters Arcs, on Amazon is a good place to start and since then I’ve looked into other ways.

Rachel Stephens on Youtube creates her characters using the plot embryo by Dan Harmon. Basically plotting out each character’s story individually. Not a bad place to start, especially if you’ve got the time. I do. I just feel like I’m going to be lazy on this one and search out another method.

There’s also the Myers-Briggs 16 Personalities that I’ve written down in my bullet journal, along with the plot embryo and a few other things, that I’m going to attempt to use to flush out a few of my minor characters. See where I could take them. Make them more likable and have them take charge of a situation.

If you’re wondering, no I’m not going to do that long ass test for each character. I’ve managed to find an abbreviated route online and I’ll leave the link for you so that you can look at it yourself if you wish.

Myers-Briggs Personality Model Wikipedia

(Hint: It’s the picture box in the corner that gives the shortest explanation.)

There’s also the Emotion Thesaurus, Negative Traits Thesaurus, and a few others that I’ve mentioned before on my blog before that you could use for character and world building. Useful books. I own a couple myself.

The last and final wonderful source to improve your writing.

Feedback.

That’s the right.

The good old fashion form of letting someone else read your work and listening to what they have to say. Doesn’t mean you have to listen to every detail, it falls somewhere between your instinct on what works for the story and knowing when to admit that someone else might have a clearer eye on your work.

It varies, and trust me, it can be rough when you have to admit that the particular line you like doesn’t exactly work to your favor, but you’ll be thankful for those extra pairs of eyes.

I know I very much appreciate each and every person that trudged through my story to help make it better.

Best way to find these people is to head over to your favorite form of social media: Twitter, Tumblr, or even Goodreads and various forums to find Beta readers and Critique Partners. If you’re unsure where to start there’s a ton of videos on Youtube from some well-known authors like Kim Chance and Jenna Moreci that have great tips on finding Beta Readers and Critique Partners.

And remember, while you are doing all this research and crazy non-stop technical reading. Have fun and never stop improving!