Archive for the 'Bob Mayer.' Category

08
Mar
11

Dig a little deeper

This month I decided to take a on-line class The Essentials of Character, by Bob Mayer, and I’m loving it.  The course is making me “dig a little deeper” into my characters, and let me tell you, it’s not for the weak at heart. I’ve heard similar ideas over the years, but at this stage in my writing journey, what Bob stated is sinking in at a whole new level.

Goals and Motivations. What does it mean to your characters and do they follow their motivations to the goals of the plot the right way?  Do you as the author really know what your character wants and needs? Well, three little sentences have danced through my consciousness and sub-conscious  for the last few days.  I’ve racked my brain over them, trying to dig a little deeper and I’m conflicted on the last  question.

  1. What does your character want?
  2. What does your character really want?
  3. No, what does your character REALLY need?

My darling daughter watched this movie this weekend, and at her age typically, I try to block out the movies. Last week was Miss Congeniality and this week it was Princess and the Frog. As a side note, a few weeks ago, I was at CNYRW listening to Jenni Holbrook speak about a similar topic, internal and external conflict and making it work.  She used  Miss Congeniality as examples of how it works.  It was brilliant.  On some cosmic level, my daughter’s movie choices had me focusing on writing more than entertainment.

So I was in front of my laptop, struggling to get my head around what does my protagonist really really need. Then this song came on, I ran to watch the movie, grabbed the remote (much to my daughter’s complaints) and played the part again.

It doesn’t show you how to write your character’s motivation or goals, but it helped me shine a light on how to find what my characters really really need. So I’m asking myself, Miss Froggy, do ya understand what you need now? I believe I do and now I need to put my fingers to the keyboard and get it typed before I forget it. 🙂

Happy typing.

24
Jan
11

Resolution…WHAT?

New Year, New Month…and new Resolution…What?

It’s not a new resolution, it’s an awaking of the writers life. Ten months from the conference with Bob Mayer on getting my writing butt in gear to be a Warrior Writer. To focus! And how am I doing?!?

Let’s see in the past ten months I finished a rough Draft on a novel and submitted it to SYTYCW Harlequin contest. I went to a Conference and pitched short story, submitted it, and a got a revision request. On those terms… I’m doing 100% more progressed in my writing life then I was ten months ago.

But let’s ask how are my writing habits… they are lost in cyberland. I made a goal… 5000 words a week for 2011. But at this moment I’m looking at 347 words to date from January 2011. So back to basics, I need to focus on the goal. I need to write, read, and edit.

I have started reading for enjoyment about two weeks ago, I’m almost back to my four books a week habit. The amazing thing about writing is, you need to write, read and feel reality all at the same time… but there is hardly any time to achieve all three in one day unless you really plan.

I have a friend,  who does all three really well. Sometimes, in the car she records her ideas for later. Once she told me, on a nine-hour drive she got most of a book spoken, but when she got home she realized half of it was worth anything. But its the same for writing. We have to write until our subconscious works out the kinks in order for the story to really take a breath of its own. Then we need to edit the begeeze out of the story to polish its hardware, and finally hand it over to someone who will hopefully love it.

So I’m ready to start the process all over again, here we go. Editing, writing, outlining and reading. Let’s go 5,000 words a week. Resolution… let’s call it a life change for the better.

09
Apr
10

What’s your orginial idea part 3

What’s your original idea, can you tell it in 25 words or less? Does it have positive action words? At the conference in Syracuse Bob Mayer asked these questions and like most writers there, my mind screamed…. What? 25 words or less impossible.

I have too many components in my story to write it down to one sentence. But after my A-Team workshop I realize this is vital. As writers we need that Original Idea, that one thing that sparked out need to write the story and we need it up front and center to focus our goals on.

Over the last few weeks, I have struggled with different components of my story, questions that can’t be answered. I returned back to the Original Idea, and my Conflict Box. Letting the ideas and questions marinate, I figured out what my answers. Now, I’m going to give the outlining a try and see if the story is workable as is.

What is an original idea?

• It could be about the “what if” it could be a person, setting, plot, an intent.
• It should convey certain aspects within the sentence:
      o Protagonist, What’s at stake? Antagonist and the thing that needs to be achieve.
• It must have positive action verbs. It shouldn’t have negative words.

For instance mine was: A young Sentinel Witch’s powers awaken risking her gate to the vampire prison, to restore the power she must destroy the escaped vampire who stole her family knives.

I know that is over by 4 words, but it has the protagonist,(Witch) the what’s at stake (Vampire Prison entrance) and the antagonist (Vampire) and achieve (Destroy Vamp and restore knives.)

  

This is the original reason to start working on your work. What you need to feel before you really sit down and work on it. Have your original idea in front of you as you write. Have it looking at you as you load yourself into the world of your dreams. Let it help you keep on track, ground you as your finger fly.

Find out more from Pick up Bob Mayer’s Warrior Writer  and Who Dares Wins: The Green Beret Way to Conquer Fear and Succeed and The Novel Writer?s ToolkitThese books help in understanding your writing.  If you can’t make on of the numerous conferences he’s speaking at, these books will help you as a writer tremendously.

23
Mar
10

Notes on Warrior Writing

After the conference, my brain felt like swiss cheese lots of static and air.  One of my writer friends suggested to write down all my notes and see if I can’t free up my thoughts. I did it, and it helped.  Here is the first thing I learned in the weekend taking Bob Mayer”s Warrior Writing Workshop.

One of the first things I learned during the conference in Syracuse was the basic organization of writing. We all have millions of ideas flying in our head, some are on paper, some are on the computer, but most never see the light of day.

If we are going to be true writers dedicated to writing, then it has to be a job. Ask yourself why are you writing? For enjoyment, for the creative release, because you have too? Perhaps as a hobby, a career? If this is what you want to do start out right. Everyone says to write everyday, but can you do that? Give yourself a deadline, maybe it’s a 1000 words a day and no matter what you write at least a 1000 words, maybe it’s two thousands… make it and dedicate your work to that, the worse thing is no never finishing the work.

Make a log of how many words you wrote each day. Don’t look at it as a do list, look at it has a done list. It shouldn’t matter if it was just 200 words, you wrote 200 words. Own it. Own your idea. Own your thoughts. Tell everyone in your household, I have to write x amount of words, don’t open the door, come into the room, look at me crossed eye. Glue your ass into the chair and write. It is the only way to get through the story.

I applied this idea to my writing and have written over my 1000 word goal for five days in a role.  Loving the feeling of achievement.  Also, I joined Twitter and am in open strings dedicated to #amwriting,#writing and #writinggoals.  This gives a sence of accountablity.

15
Mar
10

What I learned at the A-Team Workshop

I need an anomaly to my character. What makes her different? What will set her apart from all the other vampire hunters out there in the world? Some said to give her a handicap…blind, deaf, missing an arm, a disease… but I can’t rein in my thoughts.

On Sunday, can’t believe it was just yesterday. I did the optional A-Team Warrior Writing Workshop presented by Bob Mayer in Syracuse for the CNYRW Mini-con. The weekend was a marathon of writing concepts, trade and inspiration. My brain synapses were firing so rapidly that today, I can see what and how I will change things within my office to run my story frame more efficiently, but all I can do is sit in this chair and write about my experience.

From the Sunday workshop, I have a good foundation for my story, I have the life of it, but what makes it different. My idea has never changed, but my story needs to be taken to the next level.

Several goals need to happen to get there, writing… I will need to write at least 1,000 words a day. Then I can do the fun things in my life. I need to figure out my anomaly is for my main character. Something to make her stand out. So I’ll be hitting the fan sites to check out what everyone is ravening about in the vampire hunting realm. It’s either now or never, and I’m the only one writing my story. I’m going to dare to win.

If you ever get the chance to got to on of Bob Mayer’s workshops jump on it. It will open your eyes to understanding the writing trade. Bring Bob to you, his nonfiction books on how writing are fabulous.

Especailly Warrior Writer, from writer to Published Author, out on kindle right now.

13
Mar
10

Opening Night with Bob Mayer

Excitement in the air, how was Bob mayer going to present himself.  Walking into the CNYRW mini- con’s opening informal discussion was exciting; books everywhere and Mr. Mayer waiting patiently.  After reading his books, images formed in my head of a military starched man. However, last night he was human, funny and carsmatic.  His speach was on The Orginial Idea and Conflict Box, without these you really don’t have a story.  Consepts I had read and heard before, but never truly understood what exactly they meant until he exampled them.  The Orginial Idea is one sentence the main reason why you are writing this novel.  It’s not the life story, but it’s the spark of the reason. It’s what made you get your fingers running on the keyboard.  But as a writer it is so hard to get it done to one sentence, because you have to weed through all the layers you have applied to the novel to get the idea of it.
The Confilict Box shows the Anatgonist and Protagonist goals and conflict and when you cross them, there actions should be conflict each other.  You can do this for each scene, but you must have one for the story, if there is no conflict you have no story.

Now it’s time to get ready for today. Lots to learn.  Can’t wait.

11
Mar
10

Countdown to the Mini-Conference

 Yesterday, I received my master documents for Sunday. I enrolled in extra Writers Workshop on Sunday with Bob Mayer where he critique your novel and so does everyone else.  I had to submitt a query, synopsis, and first then pages of my work.  It didn’t seem real until I got that master document yesterday.  Wow, my first professional critique on my work, now the butterflies are bubbling.
The Mini- Con is in Sryacuse, NY this weekend hosted by the CNYRW. I went last year and learn so much, I know this year the experience will be the same.
My business cards are together, I have my laptop ready.  It all starts tomorrow night, with a informal discussion of Who Dares Wins, then a full day workshop on Saturday of how to be a warrrior writer than the option novel critique. It will be a whirl wind experience, but I am hoping that on the other side of it, I have a better understanding of the craft, and my works will be on the road to publication.




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