Sunday, January 20, 2013

16 Personalities Fit what 9 Uglies

I don't know why I didn't think of using Myers-Briggs 16 Personalities before. I sketched out my Ugly Fool Characters and I think an added touch of making them one of the sixteen would make it easier to wrangle them.

I have "Please Understand Me II" by David Keirsey and I read the hell out of that book. I went to highlighting heaven. It's one of the few books I couldn't put down. I gobbled it up. During 2004 and 2005 I made any and everyone I knew take that test so I could give them their personality, and it was so much fun.

How many people took the test? I kept totals. Yes, yes I did. 73 people.

Reading the personality I scored as made me laugh. I nodded a lot. I even pointed out where I'm similar with Jeremiah Jericho. I did model him after a few of my traits, but overall I wanted him to be different and he is. He's more confident than I ever was as a teenager and comfortable being different. Not totally comfortable. I guess it's an odd combination of wanting to be comfortable and exuding enough of it to seem comfortable. Inside of his own head he's not comfortable. He's rather uncomfortable. It's getting a bit deep.

With my 9 little Uglies I need to separate them from me. It's easier with them than it is with Jeremiah Jericho. I put so much connection with me and him that it's easier to write him. I sometimes wonder if anyone who reads it gets what's actually going on. Jeremiah Jericho has his voice, Christopher's voice and Jeffrey's voice housed in his head. That's not normal. Even in character world's, it's not normal. Characters have their own space when they're inside their own head. They don't share. That's their retreat. Jeremiah has to share. There's a rich reason for that.

The 9 Uglies (as I've now coined as their nickname. I like it.) are nothing like me. These are people I don't think would ever choose to hang out with me. Even if I fit their idea candidate for their club's helping. I asked a question on a website that a few writers frequent, Would you be friends with your characters? How would you get along with them? I got some interesting answers, but I thought that I would get along fine with Jeremiah Jericho. The 9 Uglies would be a different story. Maybe they wouldn't mind me and I'd mind them more. Most of them, I believe, would rub me the wrong way and I couldn't be in the same room as them. I think Laleh, Lalana, Fallon, Grayson and Sanford would be the most difficult for me to relate to. Unity and Yannis I would connect with. Oliver and Olivia would be a hit and miss kind of deal. Maybe with Olivia but not Oliver.

I love them. They're my characters. I just don't think we'd hang out and go clubbing or whatever.

I'm going to work on the 9 Uglies' personalities tomorrow and hammer out a new episode.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ugly Week

I'm mad because I didn't get started on my episode of Ugly Fools earlier this week and now I have nothing to work with. I had held off until Saturday, but that didn't work out. I hate going places on Saturday it screws up everything. I had fun, which makes me mad stupid with a sweet does of inconsistancy. I wanted to write but I had so much fun that I didn't get home until I was ready to sleep. That didn't happen, though. My mind slept while I vegged out on a bit of TV and my addiction to documentaries on Netflix.

I didn't have time to write during the week. Maybe my issue is that I don't just do what I tell others to do, which is to set a timer and write every single day. I suck at stuff like scheduling. I'm also not great at being on time. I find things to do as I'm getting ready and they're all important things I need to do at that moment.

Ugly Fools won't be updated tonight. Along the lines of Ugly Fools I need to decide if I'm going to do all 9 in an episode or do the entire three character an episode until the fourth in the series of episodes and that one will have all 9. I sort of like that idea.

Nine characters presents its own kind of problem and that is 9 different personalities. I have to keep them straight and not confuse them. That's one reason why I decided to do this. It's another exercise for me to work on. I'll be creating an Ugly Fools Bible so that I can keep up with everything I writing.

It makes me sad when I don't get to write every single day. It makes me feel like a full person to write. Again, I'll have to do that timer thing. Even if (as I tell others) it's just for five minutes. I'm fearful of how long I'd go. I was never good with timers when my brothers and I used one to dictate when our turn was up when we played video games. None of us were. We always wanted to go a few more seconds. Which turned into minutes and then tattletaling. Good times.

As for Jeremiah Jericho: Forty Two, I'm really close to finishing the first draft. I did what I wanted with the section of writing last week, but I went a little overboard on the narration. I have to find a happy medium. I have plans to take Shawn and move him to the first book more.

The thing is, the more I write this second book the more I see what I need to have in the first and what I could possibly remove.

I had enough brain power to write this, but not enough to focus on Ugly Fools. Sad, but true.

Friday, January 4, 2013

What I Gotta Work On

It's been hinted at that my narrative needs to be a little stronger. I didn't really grasp what that meant until Wednesday night at my writing group. Which was more like a writing trio than group. Whatever.

Jeremiah (my main character) has to give more input on the situations he's in. I grasped that in first person the character needs to be more involved. In my head I over complicated it because of there being two additional voices that he contends with for inner thoughts. When he actually thinks in present moment for the story there is a great chance that Christopher or Jeffrey will respond. I can't have him think normally like any other first person character could get away with in their story. 

It can't be: 

I can't believe this is happening. 

Because in reality it would be ( < > = Christopher talking and + + = Jeffrey talking and without either is shown above)

I can't believe this is happening. 

<Shocking that you can't see past the problems you've created.>

+You can mend this. Hear the waves and think.+

And then a conversation would continue with Jeremiah addressing the positive spin of Jeffrey or the in-your-face reality of Christopher. 

I've avoided him giving comments that can't be turned into conversation because ignoring isn't something Christopher is capable of doing without purpose. 

On Wednesday it was just pointed out again. Nothing new, it just hit me what I need to do. What I need to work on. It was an oh, I see! kind of moment. I don't know why it took this long to grasp this, but it did. Jeremiah has to filter (and he does already, but not enough) the story through his idea of what's going on. Yes, Christopher is keeping him in the dark and he doesn't understand why. I have to give him the floor to predict either correctly or wrongly what's going to happen so that he can either fool or hint at what is going to come to pass by the end of the book. 

I finished the first book and I'm about twenty pages from finishing the second book...this is something that when I read back over what I've written I can add it in. It didn't click and it did that day, so I'm glad I went. I was wondering why I bothered going since not many people were there, but it worked out this time. 

I'm watched "Soul Eater"  yesterday and for the past few episodes Death the Kid and Maka have been questioning what the Academy was doing. They questioned it with their thoughts and their actions. They colored the viewer's view of what was going on with their doubt. I'm a story teller so I knew what their characters were up to, but still it is a way to get the viewer to feel the character's problem with what's going on and give the viewer an idea of what the character thinks is going to happen. In all my story weaving I have been failing on this with Jeremiah. I have to strengthen that. And once I do, I will feel way better about how I'm telling the story than I do at this moment. 

With Ugly Fools I'm able to do that with ease. I can give the view of the character and their expectations and allow those things to taint the narration for better or for worse. It's easier to do so with only one voice in the head. I can do it and I have done it. It's another thing I have to contend with writing Jeremiah Jericho. It's so heavy and as I'm writing Ugly Fools I realize how thick Jeremiah Jericho is. It's fun, but it so complicated to maneuver. 

I know my ending for each book of the Trilogy. Jeremiah doesn't know those endings. Christopher could very well know. It's Jeremiah telling the story. With each revelation of what's going on it should cause him to speculate what's happening and in essence help the reader understand what's going on. 

I have to make it where Jeremiah is talking more to the reader. Not breaking the fourth wall (though I don't have a problem with that) but breaking free of Christopher and Jeffrey who will cause him to have tangentidious. 

It's really great to have these kinds of moments. When one hears that a book took so many years to write, they wonder why? Or if they could even bare that length of time. Right now Jeremiah Jericho has taken three years to write, including edits. Which I'm not done with edits. I think back to when I first finished the first edition of Jeremiah Jericho: Allowance and how proud I was and how it just HAD to be picked up by someone. I hadn't sent it out to anyone, I just knew it was great as is. Several edits later and after sending it to five agents and it being rejected four times (so far), I'm glad it wasn't ready that first time. I have so much to work on, to get right. What I've put into this is nothing short of epic and I can't just let it go and it fail so bad that it would never be picked up and read again. I have to get it right. 

It's like an invention that I know is life changing. But the battery power isn't working as well as it should, however when it does work it's amazing. I have to fix the glitches so that when it's released there is minor issues to contend with. Minor so much so that when someone complains about a plot hole somewhere I will go, "Oh you have no idea what a plot hole is." Because I'll be thinking of all the massive plot holes I fixed because of the many moons it took to make this trilogy astonishing. 

I understand that it'll never be perfect and I'm not aiming for perfect. I'm aiming for satisfied. I'm aiming for that feeling of accomplishment that will send shivers of wow down my spine when I think about the overall trilogy. I understand that I will leave something out or that there will be questions I don't fully answer, but as long as I can sit back and smile and feel fine when the complaints rings over the internet...I'd have accomplished what I wanted. I don't want to grumble and defend the book. I want the book to defend itself by how good it is despite the snags. I hate defending my writing. I don't really do that very often. Not everyone's going to like it and that's just how it is. 

As long as I like it despite the nitpicking, there will be nothing anyone can say that'll ruffle my feathers. 

I will work on my narrative and get that much closer to feeling satisfied. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


The word count, so far, for Jeremiah Jericho: Forty-Two. Book two of my trilogy.

It's a YA (young adult), urban fantasy (fantasy in an urban setting) novel. The word count is high and I expect to finish Forty-Two at 100,000 words. Why? because I like thick books. I've read YAs that I didn't want to end and thought could be a little meatier.

Agents might be turned off by that and that's fine, but I can't trim what I feel is necessary for the story to function as awesome. I'm of the mindset that a story takes as many words as needed to be told. One agent told me maybe I should make it more books.

Uh, no.

I don't want a series. I want a trilogy. I want it to stay that way. After I finish this trilogy, I have my mind set on a second trilogy with Jeremiah Jericho.

I don't mind books with big word counts. I read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and that's 500+ thousand. (Word counts I mention are found here.) Joseph Heller's Catch-22 is 174,269 and that's one of my favorite books. As long as the words are used wisely, I don't think the word count matters.

I'm aiming for that idea with my word count. I'm not aiming for the general idea that bigger is better. I want the quantity of my words to be high quality through and through.

Forty-Two sits at a lower word count than the first book. Which is my goal. 

Funny thing about Allowance, I finished it 130,000+ and after a year of edits (and that sounds long, but it's not 365 days of straight editing, it's just a time frame from when I started to when I finished...sort of) I'm down to 106,000ish. I'm very proud of losing 25,000 words. My word count goal had been about 100,000. I'm doing good. I'm proud of this accomplishment. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How Do You Pronounce That?

Forvo knows. 

A website geared toward audio pronunciations of words from douchebag to porphyrophobia. Since people can upload their version of the pronunciation you get a lot of varying accents and infections. It's a bit addicting to hear words pronounced. Or I'm just weird.

I needed to know how to pronounce Burj Kahlifa and I Googled and found an answer on a different website than Forvo. On Farvo the person that pronounced it didn't do it right. TOO fast. After hearing it from the Pronounce Names website I understood her, but if I heard hers first, I'd have been lost. 

Another website to waste precious time searching for funny words, dirty words and words you just have trouble pronouncing and really want to do your intelligence justice. 

On a different note it would be nice to have a sign off phrase on my blog posts, but I don't have anything right now. I'll just say....whatever. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What I won't write about...

I've disagreed with the importance of sex in stories. Is it necessary to share that characters have sex to the extent that the reader gets a glimpse of what actually transpired? The only purpose in that is for titillation, not for revelation. That and I don't plan on having a need for sex to be integral in any of my stories. It's a messy addition that really only adds...mess. The only exception I can think of is a romance novel...but then again romance is more relationship than physical and if there's too much heavy petting and not enough conversating (yeah not really a word, but it worked for context and, yes, rhyming) teeters on a boring precipice.

And for the most part I think it's added in a desperation to save a boring story line. Excitement garnered through arousal is best done in private not in public...for one by another. Romance novels are not my interest. Never will be.

This brings me to my reason for adding a post about it. I got on the conversation with workmates about my novel and the topic of sex popped up. Popped-up probably happened during that conversation, which is why I don't care for such discussions. I don't want to be the reason someone else gets that excited. They asked if there was sex because my character is sixteen. I said no. That sparked a discussion on how one did this and that when he was sixteen because he was so full of sexual need (I don't want to say that word).

I didn't and don't care. Jeremiah Jericho is sixteen. If someone who's NOT sixteen reads it and gears up for some sort of sexual moment...that'll be disturbing. If you're the same age, that's disturbing as well, but not as much as if you're twenty-something and wondering when he'll have sex. What kind of person is infatuated with when someone else is going to have sex? Are they going to ask to watch once they find out it'll happen?

Unless one is interested in having sex in front of others (which is essentially what Jeremiah Jericho would have to do), one wouldn't bother since they're under watch most of every second. Once you introduce sex in that context, it changes the story dynamic to something that I don't want. The focus becomes more when will the next time be than the actual story. Just like girls and women are far more than talking about boys and men, so I believe (and have lived) boys and men are more than their over exaggeration about their adventures with women. They're all women. Girls are what you don't like when you're in kindergarten.

"But sex is natural." So is crapping and peeing. I don't go into grave detail with either. Would you read a book that (and wasn't mentioned on the back cover it was even going to, nor is it part of the theme of the story) went into detail about each time the character went to the restroom? So why would I write about sex when sex isn't a theme or an important part of my story?

If you want something sexual, don't read my book. Or any of them. I'm not going to be that kind of writer.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Writing Laws

I don't know how others react, but when I read about writing it creates an interesting dynamic. If I agree with what I've read, it turns into law. I'm going to share a few examples and in doing so I'm not stating the examples are perfect. I only hope they show my point.

For example I read how it's poor form to use "as" sentences. Such as (not in that way): Bob hit Bill as he laughed.

I understand that people can punch and laugh at the same time, but that's not point. It feels like a crutch. I'd rather say: Bob hit Bill, laughing with each connection.

The other thing that I read and turned to law was nix ly-adverbs. It's better to show the action than state He cautiously picked up the mug. I like...He picked up the mug with both hands and stepped toward his seat one for every two a normal human would take.

The examples I provided are most likely not awesome. I know that. Not the point. I've ingrained these as laws in my writing. I don't use "as" sentences nor ly-adverbs endlessly (ha). On occasion I find it useful to use either, but I've seen writers use them like a crutch and it makes me cringe.

When I help others with their writing I don't use my laws to lord over their writing. It's only for my writing. So someone else's "as" sentences will stay if it reads well.

I am not, however, someone that thinks that there are strict writing laws.

What things you've read about writing that turned into laws you abide?