Tag Archives: Insecure Writers Support Group

IWSG 62: I Add Canadian, eh.


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This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

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CO-HOSTS:

Erika Beebe | Natalie Aguirre | Jennifer Lane | MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard | Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

OPTIONAL IWSG DAY QUESTION: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

Whether I mean to or not, all my characters are Canadian, so I guess I bring my country to the table. I don’t think we are much different than anyone else, but some might not agree.

Yeah. We say, ‘eh.’

A lot.

Makes me think back to Bob and Doug McKenzie played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. Clip below if you wanna see… but I warn you its from the ’80s so you might want to pass. 😉

If you’re my age you might remember them.

Some other Canadians you may know:

Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Pamela Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Kim Cattrall, Tommy Chong, Michael J. Fox, Brendan Fraser, Jill Hennessy, Joshua Jackson, Eric McCormack, Howie Mandel, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara, Matthew Perry, Jason Priestley, Christopher Plummer, Keanu Reeves, Ryan Reynolds, Caroline Rhea, Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Meg Tilly, Bryan Adams, k.d. lang, Avril Lavigne, Leslie Nielsen, Corey Haim, Carrie-Anne Moss.

And my most favorite—William Shatner!

Who will always be Captain Kirk of the starship Enterprise.

Canada’s birthday was on July 1st, so I guess I’m a little hyped up. Happy Independence Day (tomorrow) to all my US friends.

Can you tell I’ve been doing my best to avoid thinking about writing? No worries. I figure my mojo can’t stay away forever.

How’ve you done this month? Share some happy with me.

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IWSG 61: Lost and Confused


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This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

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Co-Hosts:

Diane Burton | Kim Lajevardi | Sylvia Ney | Sarah Foster | Jennifer Hawes | Madeline Mora-Summonte

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

I read everything, but have spent most of my writing life trying to figure out what genre I prefer to write in. Everyone that knows me knows I love mysteries. I read them and dabble in them. Sometimes it goes pretty well.

The IWSG question got me thinking about what I’ve been doing.

So far, I’ve jumped from sci-fi, fantasy—even tried magical realism—and mixing up my POV from first-person to third-person omniscient.

I hope I’m not sharing too much, but I have a huge fear of success, and change.

I thought I was rolling with it, but here’s the thing. A while back I started writing a magical realism and had a hard time pinning it down, so I returned to my middle grade. I’ve been working on it for years.

It looked good and I firmed up its middle. Left it to rest and it still needs a read through. Started a fantasy-mystery that with a non-magical detective. It’s fully outlined and I’ve written three chapters.

First chapter went really, really well.

But when put chapter two before my critters at the Grand Forks Writers Guild, it was not so good. The group is always supportive and kind. Chapter two fell flat. The emotion wasn’t there and I was left with trying to figure out how to find it.

I did in chapter one. I know it’s possible.

I feel like someone lost in a labyrinth. There’s a way out, but I just seem to go deeper.

Is the answer more knowledge? Is it facing my fear? I don’t know, but I’m back at reading how-to writing manuals to put the emotion into a scene and yeah—topping it off—I’m using omnipotent POV. Because I need a challenge or because failure is where I want to live.

I know one thing for sure: I’m lost and confused.

Anyone gone through this. What did you do?

 

IWSG 60: Sticks + Stones


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This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

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Co-Hosts:

Lee Lowery | Juneta Key | Yvonne Ventresca | T. Powell Coltrin

“Sticks and stones break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

From: The Christian Recorder of March 1862 (according to wiki)

OPTIONAL Question:

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I hate to admit this but I’ve never been perfect.

*snort* I KNOW! Shocker.

Sometimes I made others angry. Some of their words left scars. Deep scars I carried with me for years. Logically, the source was angry, and I knew it. I understood it. But I also believed what they said. Their words were vicious and cruel. I still think they meant them.

I’d get sad. It haunted me. Time doesn’t heal everything. Sometimes it makes it worse. I’d hear those words over and over again.

It took time, but I learned from this.

To prevent harm:

I understand feeling anger and being cruel are two different things. When I’m angry—still not perfect—I watch my mouth.

I found a solution (for me at any rate).

And to protect myself:

I remember that I’m the one that gives those words power over me. To take the power away, I must not believe them. Sure, everyone has a right to an opinion.

It doesn’t mean it’s true—period. Or that everyone agrees with them. Or that I should accept their opinion as a fact.

I refuse. I’m in control.

With that simple opinion—my opinion which is just as valid as theirs—I take the power of hurtful, thoughtless words and make them disappear.

Behind our good manners and overall respect for others, we don’t know what we do. We all have history. Nics and cuts from long ago. So does everyone else.

One small comment. A teasing joke meant as acceptance. A thought said aloud, normally harmless, can cut to the core. We can’t prevent it. We’re not psychics.

Know this. Feel this.

Be honest if you can and gentle if you can’t.

That said, each reader has a choice to suspend disbelief and dive into a story. I hope each time they do, they have a hell of a ride.

Words are power.

Please add your thoughts on how words work for you. 😉

IWSG 59: Quotes To Keep Me Going


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This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

~~~oOo~~~

Co-Hosts: J.H. Moncrieff | Natalie Aguirre | Patsy Collins | Chemist Ken

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: If you could use a wish to help you write just one scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?

If I could wish for anything it would be to trust myself enough to believe that anything I write is worth reading. The only solace I found is I’m not the only one who faced doubt in their career.

I don’t have your quotes, but I did find some others.

Quotes when searching for the right word:

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”Gustave Flaubert

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”–Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”–Benjamin Franklin

Quotes driven by emotion:

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”–Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”–Anne Frank

about Imagination:

“You can make anything by writing.”–C.S. Lewis

Judgement vs understanding:

“As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”― Ernest Hemingway

To help find joy:

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

― William W. Purkey

I always add : “Write like no one will read it,”

Feel free to add your favorite quotes in the comments. I’d love to read them.  🙂

IWSG 58: Villian’s Motivation


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This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

~~~oOo~~~

This month’s co-hosts:

Fundy Blue | Beverly Stowe McClure | Erika Beebe | Lisa Buie-Collard

Before I begin, I’d like to include a disclaimer: I may understand and share many concepts on the art/craft of writing. Unfortunately for me, I find the execution of some of these ideas very challenging.

Anything I share comes from my deep curiosity and willingness to learn more about the craft. This does not mean I’m able to use what I share with proficient skill. Like everyone else I must practice and make it my own.

‘Nough said. 🙂

Optional Question: Whose perspective do you like to write from best—the hero or villain’s—and why?

Lately I’ve been writing in first person and sticking to the hero’s point of view. As my son would say, “It’s a form of wish fulfillment.”

He’s not wrong when it comes to me. Like many, I do dream of being brave, righteous. Following clues, and proving my great mind (which is not all that) is sharp enough to solve the most confusing of crimes.

Evil act by an evil doer

In reality I find villains especially hard to write. Not so much wish fulfillment there. It turns out I don’t have an intentional mean bone in my body. That causes a problem the moment I try to write some evil act from the point of view of any villain.

I learned to approach the problem from the villains-are-the-hero-of-their-own-story angle. They don’t believe for one minute that anything they do is wrong.

Villainous motivation are based on:

  • The protection/defense of self and/or their loved ones.
  • Grief. The loss of a loved one that may lead to revenge or warped justice.
  • Unresolved family issues and a desperate need for their acceptance. To prove their worth or to earn the love of a family member.
  • Facing a rival and proving they are the best.
  • Greed comes in many forms. A deep need for more. More love, more property, more power. But if the need is only about money, the motive comes across weak to me.
  • Fear. Two ideas are prominent here. (1) The villain’s concern for the future and is willing to do anything (no matter how evil) to change it. (2) Or they see the hero as a threat to humanity because absolute power leads to absolute corruption.
  • The search of knowledge, Which raises the question if they can physically do something (change genetic code, create a cleaner power source, etc), should they? The most innocent creations have been weaponized.
  • Ultimate power over a person, place or nation.
  • Jealousy or envy is also a great motivator.
  • Escaping/achieving their destiny. Think superheroes/villains.
  • In some cases they don’t have motives. I’m thinking of the Joker in the Dark Knight.

Almost all these motivations come from the past. Check out my previous post on timelines if you want to read more.

It’s amazing how much a person can gain over time: a good job, spouse, children, and position in community. Turns out it is a lot to lose.

Add a vile act (best) forgotten and left in the past.

But someone (the antagonist) has a long memory. This memory has been festering and eventually must be acted upon.

The rest evolves into a story.

Where do your antagonist’s motivations come from? In your case, maybe the villain is a rival or an eventual lover; tell us about it.

Gleaned from: