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For this blog fest, I’m sitting down to interview the two main characters of the zombie apocalyptic book I’m working on (currently untitled)….

Dallas: She better find a title soon….

Thanks, Dallas. Let me introduce to you, Joshua and Dallas. Welcome guys. Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me today.

Joshua: It’s not like I had much of a choice.
Dallas: Just ignore him. He’s just cranky that he’s not out shooting zombies in the face right now. If he’s not shooting something, he’s Mr. Cranky Pants.

Me: I’ve figured that out.  Let’s get this started.  Why don’t you guys introduce yourselves to the readers out there?

Dallas: I’ll start! My name is Dallas and I’m pretty awesome. I’ve been called a southern girl with a New York attitude. We’ll just leave it at that.
Joshua: I’m Joshua Miller. I’m just a farmer in Eastern Kansas who has  had to fight zombies invading my farm every day.
Dallas: He likes to put up this Mr. Mysterious character when he doesn’t have his cranky pants on.

Me: Great. So why do you think Joshua puts up that kind of front, Dallas?

Dallas: Because he doesn’t want people to see who he is.

Me: You’ve stayed with him for awhile now? Who is he?

Dallas: He’s a good guy with a sensitive side. That and he’s a zombie killing superhero. Minus the spandex.  Thank goodness. Nobody wants to see that.

Me: Joshua, why don’t you describe Dallas?

Joshua: Besides being an annoying brat that I seem to have to watch over, she’s not bad. She’s fiercely loyal and I appreciate that about her.
Dallas: You’re too kind, Mr. Miller.

Me: You’ve been fighting this zombie apocalypse for a year now.  How do you think it started?

Joshua: Some scientist experimented with the wrong crap and it exploded in their face.
Dallas: Maybe literally, we don’t know. Maybe the dude is wandering around as a zombie right now. That’d be weird.
Joshua: I’d shoot him in the head
Dallas: You’d shoot any zombie in the head though.
Me: How are you two surviving the apocalypse? What’s the secret?

Dallas: I don’t think there’s a secret. You just have to use your head.
Joshua: You need to use some common sense. Don’t use electricity if you don’t have to because that attracts the zombies. Always listen inside a room for movement before you go inside. Check your surroundings at all times and make sure you have an exit clear. Also carry a weapon.
Dallas: He carries like three of them.

Me:  What’s your favorite method of killing a zombie?

Dallas: I’ve become a fan of the crowbar. It’s helped me out a lot. But it’s not for everyone. You have to get up close to one and that’s scary. I’m also a fan of the pistol.
Joshua:  I love my machete and my bow and arrows. I make my own arrows so I never run out.

Me: That’s pretty handy. What have you learned since the zombies have invaded?

Dallas: Always keep your guard up, but don’t take anything for granted either.  Protect the ones you love.
Joshua: Mmhmm.
Dallas: And don’t be afraid to shoot those flesh eating bastards in the head! Nobody wants to be some gross thing’s dinner. I’m not meant to be a steak dinner, you know. I’m too pretty for that.
Joshua: Here we go again.

Me:  Have you encountered anyone you know as a zombie?

Dallas: Nope. I got out of my city so I don’t know anyone here in the middle of nowhere Ville, Kansas.
Joshua: Yeah, I’ve seen a few. The mechanic in town, one of my children’s former kindergarten teacher.

Me: If you could give out one tip to killing zombies, what would it be?
Dallas: Aim for the head. That simple.
Joshua: Never hesitate. Hesitation leads to disaster.
Dallas: And your face being eaten off.  What? I saw it happen the other day! Poor guy hesitated with the baseball bat and bam! He was zombie food.

Me: Dallas, you’ve experienced this apocalypse in both urban and rural settings. Which is better?
Dallas: Oh man, they both have their pros and cons, I guess. There are more zombies clustered together in cities because they are more populated, but here in the rural setting, they’re more spread out but sometimes they’re so spread out, you don’t see them coming. So it depends.
Me: I know you guys have more zombies to take care of so just one last question. If you had to choose between fighting off zombie hordes or some vampires, what would it be?

Joshua: Why is that even a question?

Me: Just answer it.

Joshua: Zombies. I’m sure they are more fun to kill.
Dallas: Well, are we talking about the cool Dracula vampires or those awful sparkly emo vampires with the bad hair?
Joshua: Does it matter?
Dallas: Yeah!  I like the cool, mysterious Dracula/Lestat ones. I would make out Lestat in a heartbeat. Vampires don’t sparkle, dude.  Have you ever seen a zombie sparkle?
Joshua: Oh my God. Can I go now and shoot something before I end up strangling her?

Me: Yes you can. Thanks, guys, for stopping by.

Dallas: You’re welcome! And figure out a title for this book soon. I feel like I have no identity. It can be something cool like… Dallas and Joshua: Zombie Killers.
Joshua: That’s the dumbest title I’ve ever heard in my life.
Dallas: You’re such a negative Nancy.

Check out the participants interviews here:

Patricia

Christopher

Angie

Nina

Some may not blog as early as I do, so if they don’t have theirs up yet, keep checking back!

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While on Twitter the other night (Shameless plug time: you can add me on twitter here) and I updated saying that I had written over 4,000 words that day. A fellow writer complimented me by saying that’s amazing progress and mentioned I could do nanowrimo in my sleep.  If you don’t know what nanowrimo is, it’s National Novel Writing Month. It’s held over the span of November. People sign up and attempt to write a whole book in a month. I remember signing up last year, but it didn’t happen haha.  Like I’ve said before, I’m not really someone who can write under pressure.

Although hearing that another writer thinks I could do it is nice to know. Of course this year, I won’t have the time to even think about doing Nanowrimo. Even if I have finished writing my book, I’ll have to work on edits and researching different types of publishing.  I’ll have to find someone to design the cover of the book. All that fun stuff, right? Right? No? Damn.

If I keep up the progress I’ve been making, I think I can get this book done by the end of October. Maybe…just maybe… I can have this book out to the public by Spring 2012. I hope. That’s the plan anyways.

So for all of those planning on facing Nanowrimo this year, I wish you luck! I hope you’re successful. Unfortunately, I wish I had the time, but my book awaits. 🙂

Oh, just to mention this, I made a goal of hitting 20,000 words by Sunday and I’ve already hit that goal! So I’m getting there. Slowly but surely, you guys will be reading this zombie book. At least I hope you will haha

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In previous posts, I have mentioned how I enjoy creating character “sketches” before I start the actual writing process.  It doesn’t really involve any sort of drawing (which is good because I’m no artist..), but it’s more of a written outline of who each character is.

For this post, I am going to include an example of a character sketch. Feel free to use it for your next writing project and hopefully, it will help you!

  1. Full name:
  2. Age:
  3. Occupation:
  4. Family:
  5. Pets:
  6. Address:

Physical Characteristics (color and length of hair, eye color, any scars, anything unusual):

Personality (quirks, introvert or extrovert, etc.):

Relationships:

Favorites (if any):

  1. Food:
  2. Music:
  3. Books:
  4. TV show:
  5. Movie

What does he/she like to do in their free time?

What is one past experience that has affected them the most?

Do they have anyone they look up to?

What is their role in the novel?

How do they react in an emergency?

Are they viewed more as weak or strong?

 

This is just a rough version of what I use.  Again, you are more than welcome to use it for your characters if you feel it will help you. If you think of something else to include in it that I have listed, please do! Let me know how it works for you!

 

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Today I have been working pretty hard and getting some writing done. Sometimes it can be hard to ignore the distractions and sit down to write. I find myself having to hide the computer games (Sims 3 is my weakness haha) and turn off the television, but I was pretty successful today.

As most of you may know, not only have I been working on a novel, but I’ve also been writing a couple of serial stories. My first story, The Painter, turned out to be one of my most favorite stories I have written. My current one, Hello From Mexico, never really caught on as much as the first. That’s okay. Sometimes, some stories don’t always pan out like you hope. There were moments where I got pretty frustrated with it and wanted to quit. But, I didn’t. I never quit.

The story will end on Tuesday.  I told myself I was going to take a break from serial story writing, but thanks to a great conversation I had with a friend, I got an idea for a new story. It was too hard to ignore so I’m going to go ahead and write it.

BUT……(there’s always a but, isn’t there?)

I will not be posting this story on Serial Central this time around. I’ll be back to that blog if they want me back, but I feel like this story needs to be posted on here. So, this blog will host my next serial story. That way, there is no confusion on where to go and when.  Every time you come to this blog on Tuesdays (that’s right, it’ll still be Tuesdays), you will see the next installment for my newest serial story.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make. I went back and forth on it, but I feel like this is the right decision right now.  With that said, I am very excited to be sharing this story with you. It will be starting up on Tuesday, February 22, so make sure to check it out! It’s going to be a bit different than the past two.

How is everyone else doing with their writing projects? Are you finding success or is distraction winning at the moment?

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Back in high school, I wasn’t very organized (As I look around my bedroom, I probably still have some issues..).  My notes for the stories I was working on were cluttered with my school notebooks or strewn across my room on loose leaf paper.  See, I told you I wasn’t organized..

Somehow, I still got said stories finished despite my lack of organizational skills. I managed to learn a few tricks along the way in order to clean all that up.  I think the most important tip I have ever received was carry a writer’s notebook EVERYWHERE. And I do. Whenever I leave the house, I stick that notebook in my purse (thankfully it’s a rather large bag..) and if inspiration strikes,  I can just take it out and start writing. Some of my handwriting may not be too legible for some, but at least I can read it.

I highly suggest every aspiring writer to learn to use one of these and take them wherever you go. It doesn’t have to be a certain type. Just a small notepad will do. I actually use a hardcover journal I received as a gift one year. It’s small and I was able to decorate the cover as I liked. I do enjoy being creative.

How you use it can be up to you. I tend to separate each story I’m working on in their own sections, never mixing them up with others. I jot down notes as I go, writing down the character sketches for each character first, then the plot outline, some dialogue notes, etc. Again, it can vary for each person.

Just have fun with it. It’s great to know that my notes are there for when I may get stuck and need to refer back to what I originally thought. Sometimes I need a potential dialogue scene in case I can’t think of anything. Sometimes I need to see where my plot is supposed to go and compare it to where it is going.

A side note: I did name my notebook just to make sure it had its own personality. I named him Billy… why? Because I like that name haha. And it seems to fit it well. That’s not a necessity. I’m just kooky like that, I guess. 🙂

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With Christmas coming up,  I decided to get this blog into the holiday spirit and give it a little “holiday make over”. 🙂  There’s always something great about the holidays that really inspires me. Maybe it’s all the festive cheer or the Christmas songs. Maybe it’s all of the pretty decorations that you can find everywhere you look. Whatever it is, I’m okay with it helping my writing.

There’s something really special about the holidays. I enjoy decorating the house and making everything look festive. Getting into the spirit of what it really means is important.  I also really enjoy writing holiday scenes into my stories. It’s interesting to really see how my characters interact during this time of year. It can change a lot whether anyone realizes it or not.

I really hope this month is also an inspiration to you. I hope that it goes as stress free as possible (although I know you can’t go completely without it..it wouldn’t be the holidays without some stress ha ha). Take the time to sit back and think about how your year went. I’m really going to try to not linger on the bad things. It’s time to focus on the good instead. That’s how I become inspired, by all the good that has happened.

I know that I won’t finish my novel by the end of the year like I wanted to, but I am okay with that now. Sometimes you don’t always meet the goal and you have to keep pushing for it. It’ll happen. I just have to keep working toward it to make  it happen.

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Sometimes I think I need a sign on my door that says: “Do not disturb. Writing in progress.” I could tell people that I’m going to go work on my book, but I don’t think they really understand what that means. When I say I’m going to go work that means don’t interrupt.

I try not to be mean about it though.  Sometimes things come up and I have to let interruptions happen.  I have to let my muse walk away for a little bit while I go attend to other things. Am I happy about that? No, but that’s life. You have to roll with the punches in order to accomplish things.

My writing means a lot to me and I usually need my own space in order to create these worlds. I need some quiet “Me” time where I can think and let my mind wander.  That’s when that sign would come in handy. My family would know that I’m busy trying to use my creativity and to come back later. These books don’t write themselves, you know… 🙂

Do you feel the need to have “Me” time when you write? How do you manage to accomplish this? Is there a certain room you go to when you want to write?

Well, it’s that time again. It’s time for another Writing Prompt Wednesday!

  • Imagine that you have found a way to travel to another world that has never been traveled to before.  Describe that world and whatever (or whoever) you may encounter.  Do you stay there or do you try to find a way to get back home?

 

 

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