Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Overhaul Of Everything

So, it's been a few months since I last updated! A lot has changed, and boy does that sound weird. I last updated in July and it's halfway through October now!

That shouldn't feel like a lifetime.

Well, let's get started:

Since July, I quit my job, got a new one, and quit that one. That makes me sound like a total flake. In my defense, I left the second one for a better one, and I start that one on the 27th! I'm excited -- it's something completely new and will, gods willing, be a far better situation for me, financially speaking.

Since July, I have cut my hair twice.

The final result...


Straight up, this is the shortest my hair has been since infancy. I love it beyond words. Granted, I'll probably regret it once the cold weather really kicks in but for right now, it's amazing.

How's the book coming you ask? Um. That, dear reader, is an amazing question and I would love to answer that but unfortunately the connection is rather static-y and we're going through a tunnELLLLL----

okay so I haven't been working on it much. I've made progress but the past few weeks have been filled with work and personal stuff, so writing has been much like the dishes.


But this week has been the week of Clean and Cleanse and Productivity! We're kicking procrastination to the curb (I say this while on the computer and the vacuum sits in the corner, taunting me) and I intend to finish up the book during November.

However! I must introduce you all to the newest member of my household....

Aengus Dog!
Aengus was rescued by a friend of mine -- he was anemic from so many fleas, malnourished, and he would whimper every time she went to touch him. He's been here for a week as of tomorrow, and I hardly recognize this dog. When he first came to me, he was still very shy and withdrawn, pretty much only wanting to deal with other animals rather than humans.

He is now a happy, bounding puppy that, while still incredibly cautious, comes to me when called, and is eager to play. I can't begin to express my delight that he seems to be so happy.

And now, speaking of my dear Aengus, it's time to take him outside for potty time...I don't need any messes on my carpet!!

Until next time. Hopefully it won't be so long before my next update.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Demolition Of The Block

So, the past few weeks, it's been a toss up between being very productive and screwing around. I spent my birthday out of town, hanging out with an amazing group of people. I came back and had to jump right into the day job, which wasn't the most fun I've ever had.

This past week and a half, I've been juggling regular work, writing work, and dealing with my own brain being kind of dumb. I won't get into the details of that, except to say it kept me from being able to deal with the chapters I needed to.

The last two nights, I finally managed to bust past that block and finish two whole chapters! I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about that, because we're finally starting to hit real plot now.

So I'm now thinking about how my real life emotions are making it into my book. The chapter I had such an issue with concerned my main character seeing someone she hadn't seen in many years--the other person didn't recognize her, and it hurt my MC a lot. All she wanted was for this person to see her for who she was and understand that her outsides didn't match her insides anymore. Not like they used to.

In order to do the scene justice, I had to channel my own personal issues and feelings into this scene and put myself in my character's shoes. It was hard. Really hard. It actually kind of hurt to do it.

But in doing this, I wonder if I'm making a mistake in doing that--am I using the character to work through my own problems? Is it genuine from the character or am I just self-inserting? They're different situations, but oh so similar emotions. Does this bring my character another layer of realism or does it feel forced?

It's something I think about sometimes...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review: Uriel's Fall by Loralie Hall

Uriel's Fall (Ubiquity) (Volume 1)
Loralie Hall  (Facebook) (Twitter) (Blog)
Urban Fantasy
Acelette Press
ARC  from Author (EPub Edition)

What's a corporate demon to do when the voice in her head is devouring her sanity from the inside out, and the hosts of heaven and hell would rather see her destroyed than surrender a power no one should possess? 
Ronnie has the job any entry-level angel or demon would sell their soul for--she's a retrieval analyst for the largest search engine in the world. Ubiquity is a joint initiative between heaven and hell. Because what better way to track all of humanity's secrets, both good and bad, than direct access to their web browsing habits.
She might appreciate the position a little more if a) she could remember anything about her life before she started working at Ubiquity, b) the damn voice in her head would just shut up already, and c) her boss wasn't a complete control freak. 
As she searches for solutions to the first two issues, and hopes the third will work itself out in performance reviews, she uncovers more petty backstabbing than an episode of Real Housewives, and a conspiracy as old as Lucifer's descent from heaven. 
Now Ronnie's struggling to keep her sanity and job, while stopping the voice in her head from stealing her life. She almost misses the boredom of retrieval analysis at Ubiquity. Almost.

So, in the interests of full disclosure, make sure you read the following:

1. All links go to Amazon unless otherwise specified. If you follow that link and buy the book, I get a small percentage, as outlined in my Disclaimers page. 
2. I've known Loralie for nearly seven years (and that makes me feel really strange. I've known her since I was sixteen.). We're pretty good buddies. She has not bribed me for this review, however. 
3. I've read several incarnations of this story. I actually squealed when she announced it was getting published! 

The first thing I loved about this book is that the "romance," while an integral part of the story, was not the focus. Normally, I'm all about the romance, but I really enjoyed the fact that the issues Ronnie was having with this extra voice in her head was her #1 priority, not her feelings for Hot Stud and Sexy Manmeat. (My nicknames for them, obviously.)

When I began reading, I was initially worried that the Inner Voice and Ronnie/Uriel's voice would get confusing and I wouldn't be able to tell them apart. Well, that concern died pretty quickly. The difference, not only in tone, but attitude and flow between the two characters was easily defined and I always knew who was "talking."

The interactions between Ronnie and Lucifer were a pleasure to read, in my opinion, but I'm a sucker for Lucifer in general. The fact that you can tell that Lucifer does genuinely care for her warmed my heart.

Michael...I had a hard liking him, but I think maybe that was on purpose? You're supposed to initially like Gabriel; he's cute and relaxed and he's like the Guy Best Friend...until he's not. Michael is reserved and hard to pin down, devoted to his sense of duty as any Original Angel should be.

As someone who has never worked in an office in her life, I can say that I no longer want to. The company of Ubiquity -- the Cherub-Hunting Search Engine our dear Main Character works for -- has a nefarious undertone and an asshole boss. (and it's not Lucifer! Go figure!) The way Loralie weaves the main plot with the secondary issues of the company is really well done and I actually didn't see the connections until the last second. The mythology and the bureaucratic way that Heaven and Hell work was beautifully inspired, and never felt forced or awkward.

While I was pretty sure that it would end as it did, I had a few moments thinking, "Is she going to--nah. No. She wouldn' looks like she is...oh thank gods, she didn't." So, congrats, Loralie, you kept me on my toes!

All in all, I love Loralie's work (you should check out her work under pseudonym Allyson Lindt) and she has not disappointed me with this long awaited book. It's entertaining and filled with action and politics and sexiness. The conflict between Ronnie and her Mental Roommate is perfectly balanced, and I can't wait to read the next books in the Ubiquity series!

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Unfortunate Misuse Of Words

You keep using that phrase and I do not think it means what you think it does.

So, while scrolling through my facebook dash this afternoon, I came across this article (I've since lost the link, sorry) about "Strong Female Characters" -- I'm sure if you googled, you'd find it amid many others of its ilk.

It's one of the plethora of articles lamenting the "Strong Female Character" and how it's detrimental to feminism, etc and so on. Now, before anyone starts yelling, I will tell you I am a staunch feminist. Not man-hating or a rad-fem. I simply believe strongly in equal rights and responsibilities across the gender identities.

But every time I see these articles, I cringe. Because when I think or say "Strong ___ Character" (male, female, etc) I don't think of a physically or emotionally "strong" person.

A Strong Character does not equal a Strong Person.

A Strong Character can mean a Weak Person. A Weak Character can be a Strong Person.

For me, a strong character is a character within a creative setting (movie, tv, book, etc) that is integral in relation to plot, or characterization of others within the story; or a character that grows and changes within the setting of the story.

I consider Peter Pettigrew to be a Strong Character, if a Weak Person. You cannot sit there and tell me that Peter was a strong person. He was easily manipulated, happy to fall in line with those he saw as authoritative or "better" than him. He was greedy for what little power he could rummage from the crumbs of his master, selfish  in many ways but also selfless for whoever was taking care of him. See: the sacrifice of his hand to return Voldemort to his body.

Peter Pettigrew changes, through the series. It really may not look like it, but he does. If you look at his story arc, in the order of his life's events, he changes significantly. As a young boy, Peter was the weakest of the Marauders; physically smaller, quieter, prone to disappearing behind the brains of Remus, the rebelliousness of Sirius, and the charm of James. As an adult, he not only joins Voldemort, but he retains the trust of his friends even as he betrays them to the one person who has the most reason to kill them. Unlike Severus Snape, Peter is never seen as a threat. After the death of the Potters, Sirius hunts Peter down, and Peter fakes his own death. He cuts off his own finger in order to make it believable that he was murdered by Sirius. This lands Sirius Black in the dreaded Azkaban, wizard prison.

Sirius spends twelve years in Azkaban. Peter spends twelve years as a rat. In a way, they were both imprisoned because of Peter's actions.

Later on, when Peter is revealed as Ron Weasley's pet rat, he attempts to emotionally manipulate, first Harry, and then Ron. It doesn't work, but it shows that he knows how. I wonder how differently that scene might have went without the presence of Remus Lupin as something of a calming influence and bolster to the children's courage.

Strong Character; Weak Person.

This next bit may garner me a bit of hate, but I think I'll deal.

An example of a Weak Character who is a Strong Person is Anita Blake, from the same-named series by Laurell K. Hamilton. Now, full disclosure: I once loved and devoured this series.

It was around BULLET that I stopped reading. Because at that point, the main character had grown so powerful, it no longer felt like she was ever actually in the danger that she was supposed to be.

Anita Blake is a short, curvy, half-Hispanic, Necromancer with ties to Vampires, Werewolves, Wereleopards, Wererats, Wereswans, Werelions, Werebears, Weartigers, oh my gods please stop. 

And I'm pretty sure that list has probably expanded. She begins as your stereotypical heroine--self-confident, full of brass and sass, with a chip on her shoulder the size of Cleveland. She works with cops, so she learns how to walk with the men and talk like the men. She embraces her sexuality in a big bad way throughout the series. (no shaming here, like, totally, go get 'em, gurl, but, damn, can we make it feel a little less like a bukkake scene?) (if you don't know what that is, do. not. google. it.)

Anita Blake is a strong person. She gets a lot of shit thrown at her and always manages to save the day. But she doesn't really grow as a person. She still has the same issues with her appearance--her former fiance apparently ruined her for her own beauty and no matter how many people in her life tell her she's gorgeous, and how many of those people she sleeps with, she just can't believe it. She still wrestles with her feelings for the harem of lovers she has managed to accumulate over the course of the series. She fights against her own rapidly disintegrating morality in regards to, not just sex, but also the ease with which she kills.

Frankly, Anita Blake "grows" into a sociopath.

It's bad when the actual sociopath, Edward aka "Death", is pretty sure he'll eventually have to put her down--and he's not sure he'll succeed.

I find it very disappointing when a character doesn't grow in any real way. Anita (as far as the last book I read, and that was several ago) never really changes much.

I consider that the definition of a weak character who is a strong person.

When I say, "I want a strong female character" I do not mean "carnival strong men with tits" -- I want real women. Women who cry, women who faint at the sight of blood, women who yell when they're frightened, women who throw things when someone pisses them off, women who present a poker face when, in reality, they are cowering children inside.

I want these things because they do not make a female character weak; it makes her human. These are characteristics that everyone can identify with--feeling frightened but pretending to be brave. Being sad but smiling at your family. Being violent when angry, without thought or reason. Because that's real, regardless of their gender.

Does gender play a role in how a character is developed? Of course. It's part of who they are. But it is not the Be All End All of who they are. It is one aspect, and it is not the pivotal aspect.

I want realistic people who happen to be female. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Incredible Reveal

I have a desk!!!!

So, since I moved into my apartment back in October, I've had my work-area generally located on the dining room table, or on a table in front of the couch.

This meant I had a tendency to spread out, lounge and be overall unproductive. The area around my desk would be littered with trash, notes, plates and cups, and it was legit the messiest spot in my house.

One of my friends here in town was doing a bit of a purge and this desk (pictured) was one of the things she wanted to get rid of. Naturally, I was all about grabby hands with this.

isn't it GORGEOUS?

So now I've got a dedicated work area and I'm determined to keep it clean and organized. I'm particularly fond of my brand-new Gryffindor banner above the computer. I got that today and I can't stop staring at it. It's beautiful.

But setting up the desk got me thinking about productive atmosphere. Jenna recently found an app called Coffitivity, which puts on the sounds of a Coffee Shop in an effort to create a productive atmosphere. I love the idea, but I haven't really tried to use it yet.

I generally write to music that relates to my WIP, either in mood or lyrics, though lately I've been trying more instrumental music. At the moment, I'm listening to Coffitivity mixed with Rainymood to see how well it works for me. (It's lovely to listen to but I want to see if it actually increases my productivity at all.)

If I get really good momentum with my writing, I won't notice any noise at all--I'll start off listening to a playlist in a particular order and come out of my writing-daze half-way through the list without having noticed.

How about y'all? What do you listen to/not listen to when you're trying to be productive?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Fear Of New Things

I've been trying new things lately.

how i imagine you're reacting to this thrilling update!

I've been playing with plotting, listening to instrumental music when I write, and new ways of playing with POV, as well as timeline.

I usually write in a very linear fashion. Point A to Point B and so on, so forth. It always appeared confusing when other writers would talk about writing the end before the middle, etc. But I also scoffed at plotting in general, so what do I know? I'm still learning. (Who isn't?)

The other night, I tried two new things at once.

I wrote a scene that the main body of work has not reached yet, and I broke away from the POV I generally use. Both of these things actually worked out better than I'd hoped for. I'm rather proud of it, in fact.

I'm going to use a video game reference now. If you've ever played Skyrim (or watched someone play), you know that you can play one of two ways. First Person, where you have a limited viewpoint and you see only what the character sees, or Third Person, where you have a more broad view, and you see more of the surroundings.

In writing, it's more complicated--there are subsets of each POV, and that's ignoring Second Person completely.

But I'm going to focus on the ones I mentioned before. I prefer First Person narrow viewpoint in most of my writing--rarely venturing into Third because I personally find it harder to pinpoint my character's personality in that POV. When I write, I imagine that I am my character--it's all her brain, her eyes, and I see what she sees. This may be why my drafts tend to be rather limited in settings description. So when I was writing the other night, I decided to try something new.

I decided to write the scene as if my character had broken away from herself, and became a shadow on the wall. It ended up being an...educational...shift in perspective. For the scene I was writing, it was necessary that she become emotionally compromised, and this actually aided in showing just how far down the hole her stability had gone. Because it was in her own voice, still First Person POV, but it was a sharper, less biased description. Rather than keeping the blinders on, I took them off and I could see further out beyond my character.

I ended up writing nearly a thousand words just for this scene and it had me nearly in tears because it was so intense.

So today's point is...don't be afraid to try new things. It might help you figure out how to handle a particular plot point, and it may put you more in touch with the character's state of mind as well. (It can also help with your weak points. Like it helped me with my setting descriptions.)

Alright guys! Time for a sexy party! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Accidental Plotting

I've always been a pantser. I've always gone with the flow with my writing -- wherever it decides to take me is where I go. I struggle with plotting, not because I've never tried, but because I've never understood the techniques that so many writers use.

I've also never finished writing a book.

I'm not saying these two things will correlate for all pantsers (there are plenty of us out there that don't struggle to finish their books.). But for me, I think they do. I have some pretty amazing ideas that I can't seem to follow through on because I can never figure out how it all ties together.

I was talking this over with Jenn recently and she's letting me borrow her copy of Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell, a writing book put out by Writer's Digest. Even just the little bit she told me about the techniques she learned from it gave me some light bulbs over the top of my head.

So I picked up some index cards, and started brain-vomiting plot points on them, stuck them on my wall and now I have something of an actual plot. Trying new things does not always result in the Cone of Shame. 

One other thing that has really helped is Making a pinterest board dedicated to my WIP has been amazing.  I love looking for things -- headcasts are my favorite, honestly -- that fit and help guide my brain into that particular mood. 

Plotting has never been my thing, but's all I think about. Do my readers have any plotting suggestions that may help? How do you get your book rolling? 

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Acceptance of Reality

We all have this idea of what our writing is like -- funny, dark, sexy, etc, etc-- and sometimes, we read our work and wonder where the disconnect between our brains and the paper happened.

I had one of those days today. See, in my writing, my stories, are dark and fraught with monsters that reach out from the dark to snatch the light from your eyes. You know those songs that are slow and slinky, the melody you wouldn't want to listen to at night? That's what I always imagine my writing to be.

Reading the couple chapters I've written of my current story had me curled on the couch, gut-punched by reality. My writing isn't like that at all. It's not as if Edgar Allen Poe and Karen Marie Moning had a book baby in my head. All I could think was that it was terrible and why did I bother?

Reality is harsh and doesn't care about your self-expectations. Reality doesn't pull its punches or respect a desperately called for time out.

This is another reason why having someone else read your work is important. Every writer has those moments of this sucks, I need to give up, throw it out and find some other hobby. When you've got someone who has read your work and won't lie to you, they can take reality and show you how you fit into it.

Today, that person was my mom.

I've always let my mom read what I write. Because she's never lied to me, and sometimes she has really good suggestions -- she's the average reader, and she is who I would be marketing for if I got published. I'm not looking to impress literary professors -- I want the average person that picks up a book for an escape. So, when I need technical advice--plot progression, character arcs, etc--I go to my CPs. I go to my fellow writers. But when I need, does this jar you out of the story? How do you like this character? I go to my mom. Because she's the average reader.

Just so happened that my mom was here today when I had my little writer-freak out. I'd just reread my work and I curled up on my couch under a fluffy blanket (guys, my dog attacked my face like she knew I was upset. The entire scene was pathetic.) and moaned. And mom gave me possibly the biggest compliment I could've gotten at that point.

"You are never going to be Stephen King or E.A Poe. Your book is not Bram Stoker's Dracula or the Lost Boys. Your work is Buffy. You have the potential to be Joss Whedon with boobs. You are not emo or goth-- and your writing does not reflect that point of view. You are a happy person with a whole lot of snark. Just like your characters. Embrace that." 

Like, damn, mom.

But she's right. I'm never going to be E.A Poe, no matter how much I'd love it. I do need to embrace the fact that my writing is not as dark as I'd like to think. That doesn't make it bad. It's just not what my expectations were. So I'm going to make an effort to embrace what my writing is, rather than bemoaning what it is not.

Have any of y'all had that Reality Gut Punch? How did you deal with it? Did someone help you through it?

Til next time,

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Difference Between Appreciation And Desire

I'm a big fan of romance -- the genre in general, the subplots; the angst, the tension, the love scenes, etc. I've devoured the majority of that section in the library of my home town. Because I love it, I always add that element to my stories; generally with enough kink to make things interesting. But I'm having an issue with my current Work In Progress.

My MC is bisexual. (That's not the issue.) She is surrounded by pretty attractive people, 90% of whom are completely valid possibilities for a romantic relationship of some kind. She's aware of that and pretty happy about it.

I usually go into a story knowing who my character is into, who they would be happy to be with. In this case, it could be anyone. She has chemistry with several characters and I could easily write a love scene for them. She could conceivably end up with Character L, R, or B...maybe even S which would both delight and concern me.

I'm tired of love triangles. They're overdone, played out, and ultimately disappointing. I'm generally the first to yell out, Polyamorous Relationship!!! But in this particular story, it won't work.

And then I realized that she could...just not end up with anyone.

It's completely possible for her to admire someone's attractive qualities and not want to bone them.

It is, in fact, a legit option for her to say, "Yes, R is really really pretty. I appreciate his aesthetic but he's a total bro. I can't bone my bro. We're not Lannisters, here." 

I wish more authors--and readers, as well--would realize that a character can have a superficial attraction to someone and not want to have a sexual or even romantic relationship with them.

Alternatively, let's start bringing in canonical polyamorous relationships into the mainstream! Then no one has to choose!

What an odd concept...

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Delightful Drill Sergeants

The past six months have been...interesting. There's been a lot of personal drama, but at the same time, I've had so many changes happen, my head is still reeling.

Back in October, I moved out of my parents' home and into my own apartment. I moved away from my home state and into a new one. I quit my job and moved without a new one in place (not my brightest idea.). I'm still very much getting settled in my new home. 95% of my stuff is here, and I'm slowly making it mine. Most importantly, I'm writing again. 

I used to write every day--blog posts, tweets, short stories, poems, novels in progress...etc, etc. I wrote all the time. When I started working, everything fell apart. I didn't know how to get my gears to keep rotating after I punched off the clock. I'm still learning how to do it, and here we are 4 years into the workforce. 

I'm working on a new project. It's a new incarnation of old ideas, new characters and new viewpoints. It's a new voice, and I'm in love with it. Every scene is holding my attention, and, even though it's not coming as fast as I'd like it too, I feel like it's just gathering momentum. 

Jenn and I have been having writing parties--talking about characters and plot points, headcasts and playlists, agents and publishers, everything from A-to-Purple-- and it's been incredibly helpful. 

I feel that it's important to have writing buddies -- they keep your brain on track, constantly thinking about writing in one way or another. They make amazing sounding boards when you're stuck, and they rarely hesitate to tell you to get your butt back in the chair and get to work. But at the same time, they're the first to tell you to take a break and play a game, watch a movie, etc. Writing buddies are your cheerleaders and your drill sergeants. (And sometimes, your partner in crime...)

I'm so grateful to have the writer friends that I do -- talented and a little bit scary. Make some cookies for your writer friends today, they deserve them. 

(No, I'm not making you guys cookies. I suck at baking. I'll make you grilled cheese though.) 

~~back to work, 

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Definition And Inspiration

These days, writing is on my mind a lot. Maybe it's because I decided this year would be the one where I actually finish writing a book. Maybe it's because I've actually started writing and working toward that goal.

Whatever the reason, I like it.

I spent the evening yesterday--and well into this morning--visiting Jenna, and one of the topics that came up was about the books that helped us define our writing style. Not just the genres we write, but the overall voice and flow of our stories.

For Jenna, JK Rowling's Harry Potter and Suzanne Collins' Gregor the Overlander series were integral to the development of her style. She still holds a great love for those series, and if you asked her would happily gush over them even now, despite having not read them for a while.

In direct contrast, I can no longer say that I love the stories that define my voice.

As a child, I hated reading. I got bored easily. Now, I can say that I was never given a chance to choose stories for myself, to decide what I found interesting. Books were thrust at me and I was to accept them one way or another. So I simply didn't read.

Until my mother began reading Elfquest to me every night before bed. Age nine and I fell in love with this series of graphic novels; the world building, the art, the characters, everything about it.

I can definitively say that Elfquest made me want to write. It made me want to read.

But I can't say it helped me pin down my style. It simply inspired me to find it.

Ultimately, Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series is what defined my style. I still see the evidence in everything I write. I won't go in-depth on why I've fallen out of love with that series. The list is long and somewhat depressing. But I accept that I will always owe something to LKH, though. If she hadn't written those books, it would've been several more years before I found my own style. (I wish I could think of a word that fit better than "style" because I've used it so many times in this post, it's losing all meaning for me.)

My style is not your style, and that's a good thing. No one should mimic exactly what another does. It's only through experimenting with different methods that you find one that fits for you. Anyone who reads my work can see the influence of LKH--also of Karen Marie Moning, Patricia Briggs, even of Elfquest. But no one can say it is not distinctly my own voice, my own flair with words, in every piece of my work.

In short, my thoughts are this:

Don't forget who inspired you. Don't forget the roots of your voice. Appreciate it. It may inspire you again.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Rules Of Publishing Are Not Gospel

Due to some unfortunate circumstances involving old URLs that were taken by other people, and spam bloggers, etc, and my own growing frustration, I was forced to completely start over with blogger. Completely new account, new set up, with a proper URL.

So, welcome to the new den, my loves. Gods willing, this will be a good thing rather than a source of great annoyance for me.

We're more than halfway through the first month of the year, and I am no longer sure what kind of year it's going to be. On one hand, I'm horribly behind on my personal goal of reading one book a day, but on the other, I've actually been writing. So, it's kind of a toss up.

I've been trying to get myself caught up on the things I've missed from the publishing world, without letting it influence me too much. I remember when I first started blogging--y'know, five years ago--and I read agent and editor blogs like every post was the Word of God. I still kind of have a wide-eyed enthusiasm when it comes to agents and editors, but I like to think that, for the most part, I've lost the Take Every Word As Gospel mentality that I once had.

Jenn actually made a post recently about Rules and Regs and it really hit a cord with me. There are a lot of things that I know I still wince at in my own writing purely because I've read so many blog posts and tweets from agents and editors that say Don't You Do That Silly. (Don't use dialogue tags, don't use adverbs, etc etc) But, let's be honest, you're going to do those things. I absolutely (adverb!!!11!!) still do those things. It's nothing to panic about.

I know from personal experience that, when you worry too much about the "rules," you freeze up. You obsess about what you're doing wrong and if So And So will reject you based on This Rule or That Rule--Stop. 

Stop that right now. 

The fact of the matter is, it's not that big of a deal. Tell a good story. Tell the story you care about, in a way that will bring others to care about it too. If you're so stressed about not breaking the rules, you won't be doing any writing anyway, so what's the point?

Write first for yourself.

Edit for the readers.

And this isn't just advice for you, dear reader. This is advice for me, too. Because I still freeze up every time I go to put in a dialogue tag. (Said is so boring how can you know what kind of tone they're using goddamnit???)

(I'm okay, I swear.)

This has been a post.