Even the tallest tower started from the ground.

I finally wrote another scene. I have been putting it off, unsure mostly, of how to do the scene. I’ve already written the core of it twice. Each time, I’ve created a new setting, trying to develop the scene properly. I had to rework it this time because I changed the scenes before it (switching from 1 pov to 3 and changing scenes to be a little believable). It is another scene of dialogue (which I feel is overpopulating my novel thus far) to develop my girl-hero character. I really like the dialogue this time, it works.

What I did differently was take my time. Sometimes I try to rush it to get the things into the scene that need said instead of thinking of the way the conversation would actually progress or how people might respond to each other. Truthfully, I think the scene needs some more flesh, it’s mostly dialogue so I’d like to add more of the setting in, some non-verbal communication, etc.

Another thing that I did is to incorporate some Mandarin words into the conversation. I hope that it’s not overly much BUT one of my characters is Chinese so I think it adds to her character to bring in certain nouns that her native culture would use. Luckily, one of my husband’s friend is being trained by the Air Force to speak Mandarin so I might bug him when I’m done with the novel to make sure the usages are correct. I can only do the typical, “Help me Google” kind of translation, so I hope I’m not butchering the language.

And last, I tried to emulate/incorporate some Chinese wisdom into the discussion. This does something really fun for these two characters–it establishes a repertoire that they use only with each other which means they know each other really well and works with the idea that you are different based on who you are around.

One thing I’m still thinking about is developing a system for swearing. I don’t want to be inappropriate and I’d like to avoid use of the f-bomb, but I want the characters to have something to say when stuff goes wrong.

 

And then my writing lesson/advice/opinion of the day is: don’t lose your momentum. I didn’t write for a day and then two and then it was over a week before I got anything out of me. It doesn’t help to do that because you loose the flow in your work. For me, once the flow is gone, I have a hard time getting it back because whatever I write just feels wrong until you sit down and get the crap out.

 

PS I blame my new television. If you haven’t watched Lord of the Rings in 1080p, you haven’t watched Lord of the Rings. The same goes for 300.

Oh man, I have another thing. Consider the above PS a timeout. I’ve been thinking lately of a way to help develop my story or characters and it starts with assessing it as a reader, not a writer. So, I haven’t thought it out too much, but here’s my idea with the series I’m reading now:

Codex Alera (Furies of Calderon, Academ’s Fury, Cursor’s Fury, Captain’s Fury, Princep’s Fury, First Lord’s Fury) by Jim Butcher

Likes:
The world is really well developed.
The use of magic is interesting.
The different races are really unique and well developed.
The plot line has really taken advantage of the above likes.

Dislikes:
The characters started out as really boring and only repeated exposure has formed a bond with them.
The author is really bad at writing romantic pairings.
The characters don’t grow.
The author uses the same phrases TOO MUCH. TOO MUCH. WAY TOO MUCH.

Now, it’s a high/epic fantasy so the plot line IS slightly predictable but… you know what, you tell me the last time you read something and you didn’t guess what was going to happen? I mean, the bottom line is there are two plots: someone new comes to town, someone leaves town on an adventure.

ANYWHO this list is very general for the sake of brevity but that gives me eight things right off the bat to work on–do the likes, avoid the dislikes.

I think it’s a really interesting way to use your favorite work to inspire you and help you. Or, if you end up reading something completely crappy, write down what made it crappy so you can avoid it. The nice part is that at least half the things of my list has cross-genre capabilities.

The bottom line is what we read influences us everyday. What are you reading now and how is it influencing you?

Scene Word Count: 1116 | Total Word Count: 6796

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