Asrai Devin- the Maven of Mischief

Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

Tag Archives: Online Writing

FML: Too much to do


Damn it.

For readers who want more hockey- you are in luck. My brain figured out the next novel. I know it’s YA for everyone. because I get the feeling i”m going to love this one. (I know I say that EVERY TIME).

but at the same time, I have all these other awesome ideas I want to write.

I had this fairytale romance I started writing. It derailed, but I love the idea. The heroine is the daughter of a high ranking noble, set to marry a Prince, whom she’s never met, when she meets his illegitimate half-brother. I’m not sure where it derailed. This was a lesson I did with Holly Lisle‘s How to Think Sideways, I’ll have to pull out my notes and work through it. I love the idea.

I am mostly finished a May-December romance. And now the new hockey novel wants to run that way as well. I’ll try to resist.

I noticed that one thing I love to write about is a rekindled romance from the teenager years.  Maybe I never got over the boys I loved as a teenager. (Also, despite  wishing to write erotica, this last romance I wrote has ONE sex scene and it doesn’t even need to be in the book. I am writing less sex!!)

Back to the May-December, I-loved-you-since-I-was-a-teen that is not quite finished. When I write a novel I do the first draft and then I plot it out and look for holes. I think there may be holes, but now that I wrote the HEA my muse is washing her hands of the project.

I was going to force it a bit more, but I think I shall leave it sit for a few weeks, and I’ll go onto HOCKEY.

While I was looking up hot redheads, I stumbled on some gorgeous pictures of Eddie Redmayne. He’s taken up permanent residence my brain people. I’m sorry that you are tired of hearing about him, I am not tired of thinking about him.

I was trying to work his image into a story, and then my brain managed to morph it into a hockey novel. While you are waiting for that to get onto paper, I am going to release a new Corey Porter story. I forgot about this until I was cleaning up some files. I’ll hopefully run it through the editor and get it out shortly. I think you’ll be surprised. Like Where the Path Leads, it will be free on Smashwords. deets later.

There are a few other projects I’ve abandoned over the last few months, maybe years, that I’d like to see finished. Somedays I wish my brain had an off switch, or I had a nanny. If I had a nanny maybe I could get all this shit done.

Let me know what is up in your life.


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Headhopping is dumbing down

I’ve been pondering “headhopping” or changing viewpoints right in the middle of action and then back, for a little while. It came up on a writer’s list I subscribe to.

When I was learning writing the rule was “NEVER headhop.” I searched “Can headhopping work?” and found out that the prevailing advice is still “No, it’s too confusing.”

At the same time we are urged not to treat readers as if they need their hands held and everything explained to them.

I think it’s a rule writer’s might need to rethink.

The conversation on the writer’s group got me thinking, but a story I am completely obsessed with introduced me to the idea. I talked about the last two Mondays by this point. The viewpoint sometimes switches to another character and then back again.

It didn’t confuse me at all. It startled me at first, because it’s not the usual way stories are written. For me it enhanced the story. I got a flood of emotions in every scene, from all sides.

I’m going to play around with the idea  little bit, maybe write some short stories with some hopping instead of sticking to one character. Just see what comes of it.

What do you think of the rule to stick to one view point? Is it a rule that is not to be broken ever in your opinion? OR do you think it can be done?

Or maybe you don’t follow any rules. Come on rebels, confess.

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Relationship tips from stories

I was writing the post on “Who’s your hero?” and it occurred to me there some tips to learned from a good romance character.

1. Stop trying to fix who they are. We picked our partners because we loved who they were, so many people want to change their partners. We just all need to start accepting people as they are. I’m going to try to do that more.

2. More hot sex. To heck with everything, get down and get dirty with your partner. Do what feels good to them. Then some of what feels good to you. And be open to trying something new.  Repeat until you can’t stand the pleasure.

3. My favorite line in all the Release from the Chains stories is when Bran says ” never apologize for who you are or what you want.” No one should make us feel bad about what we are or what we want. Stop apologizing, and don’t don’t don’t tame your dreams down for someone.

4. Be willing to make an effort. I love angst and drama in fiction, I don’t like it as much in real life, but it`s always there. We always have to make an effort and do some work to have anything worth having. Don’t let our partners forget they are special to us. Make an effort to do something special for them, something they like even if you aren’t fond of it or have never tried it.

5. Seduction. My muse likes smut. And it`s nature that we want to rub against each other. Embrace it and enjoy that part of yourself. Make some noise and throw your whole self into the act.

What has your favorite story taught you about life?

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What’s the hold up: eye colour? srsly?

I was writing along, dropping in bits of backstory while I worked them out. Then realizing i was dropping too much story because I was figuring it out. And then I got stuck.

What did I get stuck on? What crisis to throw at my characters? Where was this scene leading to? Why were my characters taking over MY novel?

No, nothing so interesting. I am stuck on eye colour for my hero.

Really. blue vs brown vs green vs. grey (sometimes). You can do any colour you want if you are writing fantasy, but usually it’s one of the three.

And usually my characters tell me what colour their eyes are

I’ve been playing too many video games because all I want to do si model my characters after certain players. My husband took over my Mass Effect 2 disc, and he’s playing the standard Shepard, short, dark hair and blue eyes. Since I’ve been staring at that mug a lot, it’s become appealing to me and I want to make all my characters the same.

Yeah, HELLO. Still the whole blue eyes, dark hair is very intriguing. I have a “friend” (loose term, I haven’t really spoken to her in several months since we both moved) who has a daughter with dark hair and blue eyes. She’s so beautiful.

I googled “How to choose character eye colour,” and this was the only decent answer I got.

How do you choose your character’s physical characteristics? What colour should i make my heroes eyes?

Or am I just overthinking this and using it as an excuse not to write?

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Who’s your hero?

I’ve fallen in love. With a character.

I have to confess, and if you’ve been around here before  you’ll know, I am obsessed with the Dragon Age storyworld. Both Origins and Two (which they should have given a name, not just a number). The world building,, characters and plot choices just touch me.

And given the amount of Fan Fiction for Dragon Age on, I’m not the only one. But anyway, I found this story, well collection, involving the main character from DA:2, and Seneschal Bran in a angsty, drama filled romance, which some pretty hot scenes. Nearly forgot to add the link to the first part of the story. I haven`t indulged in adding any Fan Fic to the site. Yet.

Anyway, I was pondering this morning why I love Bran in this story so much and why some heroes touch us more than others.

He loves his heroine in spite of, and sometimes because of her flaws. They also drive him crazy and he sometimes argues with her about things, so it’s not all flowers and roses. But, he loves her no matter what, and that’s the kind of thing we’d all like.

Not only does he love her flaws, he encourages her to accept herself for who she is.  He knows her better than she knows herself. But he’s not going to tell her, he’s going to slowly work on her and bring her to the light, and he’s willing to be very patient about it.

And once he’s done convincing her she’s awesome, he seduces her. With really hot sex, a little domination and occasional S&M.

He`s not all good either though. He does use some underhanded tactics to get her to follow his will. And he does on occasion use excessive force to get the truth from her.

These are the types of characters I want to create. The type that readers wind up obsessed with. The type of characters other writers wish they had written.

Which characters have you fallen in love with?

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Conversations with the Muse

So we (the muses and I) came up with this wonderful idea. This wonderful world where people with kind of ESP started a war to take over the world, or the government (it’s not really Earth based) at least. But they lost, at great cost to everyone else. The government is now focused on controlling them and everyone else in the world is kind of left to their own devices.

I have no idea how to write an adventure type novel. I write romance, my brain is stuck there. The Plot Bunnies (muses) complain they can’t see the conflict or the character arc, or anything, because I am so focused on the romance.

I am stuck with this wonderful idea and no place to go with it.  I have this one and another mystery in my idea bank. Stories I’d love to write but have no idea how to plot.

What I need to do is read a few non-romance, action, adventures, fantasy type books. Not only read them, but study them. I’d prefer the books have romances in them, since romance will always be a subplot for me. I can’t not have a romance. So I’m soliciting suggestions. What adventure books have you enjoyed? Preferably a stand alone or not more than a trilogy. I don’t want to read a ten-book series. I loved Louise Bujod’s “Sharing Knife” series, but I didn’t get what she wrote about half the time.

For now, somehow this new book plotted itself, and I’m a pantser, so I have no idea what is going on. I’m blaming Holly Lisle. I full expect at least the last third to change as I go along, already the Plot Bunnies are pushing new ideas toward me “how about we do this?” yes yes, we’ll work it all in my dears.

My lovely beautiful editor, who didn’t tell me my story sucks, is/are, there are two I think, working on my second to last hockey novel. I think, could be the last. If it goes well, I may may may revise the other three with a professional edit. We’ll see. We shall see indeed.

I’m feeling very lovey and at peace with the world. I’m going to go enjoy that feeling. Have a great weekend. See tomorrow with the fun, and Saturday with my link mash up. I got lazy last week. I tweet new links all afternoon, you can follow me on twitter

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I commented on this really great post about the power of diligence when it comes to writing (and anything you pursue).

My comments were about being impatient for the external rewards of “success”. I know success is one of those undefinable things, but here is what I want that will make me feel like I’m successful:

– hundreds of blog visitors. Thousands would blow my mind, but I’ll start with something my brain can comprehend: thousands. I do have a lot of subscribes, and I even have people coming to my blog by searching my name. my name! That gets me excited.

– $500 a month in books sold. I think I need more books out and I need to get what I have out re-written so it comes across better. $500 is my starting goal, as I need to build my novel listings and short stories. I think a consistent paycheck of $500 a month would help convince me (I wrote my family first, but it’s really me that needs the external validation) that this writing thing is going to pan out and be a viable livelihood.

Without that knowledge that this could really work, in those moments of self-doubt, I want to remove all my books, delete my blog and my email accounts and close up shop for writing. Then I’ll just go get a safe job and be safe, secure and slightly unfulfilled for the rest of my life. (I should print that off as a reminder).

In the first link on diligence there is a link to a post by  Cal Newport (he wrote Study Hacks and How to be a College Superstar- both of which are awesome books), the main message is “Get so good, they can’t ignore you.”

It’s hard to get that good, it’s hard to do the repetitive stuff everyday until you can’t be ignored. I just want to be celebrated RIGHT NOW. (I also want to be rich off my writing, starting next week).

But, if I don’t do the work I can never be celebrated. And a lot of people we celebrate were never acknowledged as success during their lifetime (occasionally, it did come in their later years).

So, back to the grindstone it is with these things in mind:

If we keep practicing, we will get good enough that we can’t be ignored.

I really do love writing and will continue to do so, even if I make $500 or have 500 blog hits per year.

Are you the patient type who can easily spend their time putting in their 10,000 hours of practice to reach excellence? Or would you rather find a magic lamp tomorrow and suddenly have success tomorrow?

I wrote story like that once, terrible story, but the girl who had three wishes, didn’t want success to just come, she wanted her own genius to be recognized, because she was talented she just didn’t have the experience put in yet.
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Writing Romance

I have loved love every since I can recall. As a child, pre-teen and teenager I was obsessed with wondering what falling in love felt like. How would I know if I fell in love, dying to fall in love. There were seven girls in my class so we labelled ourselves with the seven deadly sins, and I got lust, even though I never dated in high school and remained a virgin far later than everyone else.

During school we would come across the question on occasion “What do you think about when you fall asleep?” and I would make something up about planning my next day.

Truthfully, I made up romance stories. I was always the heroine and I was always victimized, really badly beat up by whomever was my nemesis that week. And then when I returned to school, my crush du jour would be there, helping me out and generally being nice to me.

Then New Kids on the Block came out and I was _in love_ with Jordan Knight.

Grammy Awards - Back stage during telecast - F...

Image via Wikipedia

So that was my new romance. I would get to tour with them and eventually he’d propose.

I was too young for anything physical beyond kissing. But we always eventually had children.

Then the NKOTB went away and there are some blurry years of who I was interested in. Older boys at school, some younger boys (my younger brother played hockey and there were 3 brothers, one was my brother’s age, one mine and one much older and I had a crush on all three at various points).

So yes, love has always been my first love. Hockey is a close second. I think I wrote sometime ago about having a crush for several years on a hockey player named Corey, which is why I named Corey Porter such. Porter was not his last name. I did use his last name elsewhere. He doesn’t play hockey anymore. I think he still lives where I live, so I fear running into him someday. LOL.

I wrote once, many years ago, and I loved the quote so much I remembered it “I never wanted an extraordinary life, I only wanted extraordinary loves.”

I didn’t date during high school. I grew up in a town of about 400 people, there were sixteen in my graduating class. It’s hard to date in those circumstances, but harder when you are extremely shy and extremely odd. I moved away for a while, and then back, which is when I met my husband. I was working at the grocery store (because that was the only job available) and he came in and I thought “He’s handsome. Hey, he doesn’t know me, I wonder if …” a month or two later, I went to work where he worked, the pig barn.

That’s about as romantic as it sounds. I’ll go into those gory details another time. But we eventually had some time alone one day (you don’t want to know why it was really gross) but he sort of invited me over for a movie and then to sleep there. And, well, being that I had never dated and still being somewhat shy, I didn’t learn about NO very well, so we didn’t know each other very well (or long) before I got pregnant. Which could have been TERRIBLE, but I got very lucky and picked the right man and we’ve been together ten years now and we finally got married almost three years ago. And now we have a very wonderful nine year old daughter and a somewhat destructive two year old, who will get passed his willful stage and become wonderful again.

I still love to daydream about romance, so I’ve tried to turn that into a career, because the fantasy men characters will not leave me alone. So I go and pair them off with their perfect woman, so they will leave me alone and I can have some alone time with the man I choose to stay with and who stays with me.

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Change your habits: dealing with the rational

I recently read the book Switch by Dan Heath and Chip Heath, which gives tips about smoothing change in your life and making them stick (made to stick is their first book).

You can read my introduction from last week.

The first part is dealing with the rational part of yourself. Sometimes this part of us gets bogged down in researching and recording data, there are some ways you can get around this.

1. Look for what works. This could be habits you’ve instilled yourself over the years, how did you manage to keep those habits. But more than likely you need to look outside yourself. Talk to people you know or search the internet. The world wide web is full of blogs by people who have made any number of changes in their lives, and they are dying to help someone make the change.

Not everything everyone else has done will work for you, but you can try out any number of ideas.

2. Think small. Too often we see the big picture when we are making changes. What exact change are you going to make? This step is similar to making goals that are trackable.

In my life, my goal is to write more. That’s a HUGE goal and if I stuck with just that ideal I would write occasionally and generally feel like a failure. So instead my goal is to write 500 words, 5 days a week. That is trackable. At the end of the day I can look at my word count tally sheet and see that I wrote 523 words more than yesterday.

3. What is the end result? Why are you trying to get the end result?

Again with my “write more” goal, that’s not the real result I want. I want to finish a novel, or X number of short stories. Why? Because once I have a novel I can move one step closer to being published, or self-publishing.

I know many of my blog readers and people’s whose blogs I follow are doing Row80 this round. I know Row80 follows many of the ideas in Switch.

How are your resolutions going this year? Could these ideas help you make a big change this year?

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Back to your regularly scheduled ROW80.

I won NaNoWrimo last night. The story has a maybe 10K left in it, so I’ll wrap that up in December.

– Write 5 days a week.

I took one day off, when we went to my dad’s for the day and I was wiped when we got back and got the kids in bed.

– Blog 3 times a week. I only have a few scheduled posts left so I better stock back up now that NaNo is over.

– Working social media. Doing it less everyday. I dunno why. I try to post links every few days and congratulate or encourage people. I am not on daily.

– Routines to keep the house under control.

By Saturday I was done cleaning the house and Sunday DH and I got in a huge fight about it. The house was a disaster, and I admit it. But I spent all week picking up after everyone. I’m trying really hard to apply the Work on this one, but damn it I want to be right on this one.

Play Dragon ages II a lot and dream about Anders.

No wait that wasn’t a goal. But I am obsessed you guys. I need an intervention. Okay my husband has played through once and is at the same point I am on my first play through. IT”S NOT FAIR.

I’m now dying to write a romance with mages in it. Not fan fiction, I want to have magical characters of my own. With nightclubs. I just don’t know if I can write a mystery the way it’s shaping in my head.

Motivator - They Took My Kitty

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