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NaNoWriMo Spotlight 2014!

  • Posted on October 31, 2014 at 10:33 am

In a change of pace, I’m being interviewed over at The Kelworth Files for my experience with the up-coming-NaNoWriMo. Luckily enough it’s a short read, but it gives some advice for how to power through NaNo, so please, go take a moment to read it! <3

Click to be taken to the interview!

Guest Blog – Let’s Talk about Karma with a Kitchen Witch!

  • Posted on October 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm

The Second in my series of guest posts for Mari Well’s Blog is up! This time, we’re talking all about Karma!

In this post, I explain what Karma and the Three Fold Law are all about, as well as provide you with a trio of interesting spells that anyone can do, even on a budget! No dancing around a bonfire naked required, ladies and gents! Not only do you get to try out Kitchen Witchery for the first time, you can also learn a nifty little blessing to help those you love!

Again, standard disclaimer, ladies and gents. I am not harry potter. These are my real beliefs, and how I live my life. So please, be respectful. Thank you.

So read and enjoy!

Guest Post – A Chat With A Kitchen Witch

  • Posted on October 19, 2014 at 6:16 pm

For those of you who do not know, I’ve been invited to do a series of guest posts over on Mari Well’s Blog in commemoration of Halloween! As every good Halloween’r knows, Halloween starts LONG before the 31rst of October. Pretty much the entire month is dedicated to orange and black scariness, and it’s one of my favorite months! Along with pumpkin spice EVERYTHING and the chance to change out my wardrobe for sweaters and scarves, it gives me the new opportunity, in this case, of writing about my beliefs!

Now, if you wish to remain ignorant about my beliefs, that’s absolutely your right. I do not wish to force my religion upon anyone, nor would I want them to force theirs upon me! So please be aware that I will tag all posts with references to my personal beliefs as Personal and Paganism. If you don’t wish to know, you can definately avoid these tags! Thank you so much, however, if you do decide to expand your personal bubble, and read these blogposts I’ll be sharing!

The First in the series is A Chat With A Kitchen Witch where I explain what it is to be a Kitchen Witch, and how you too can create magic in your everyday life! As always, feel free to leave questions there, or here, in the comments! I’d love to hear your opinion on my words!

The next post will be on Karma, and will include a few cute spells to try out!

Researching Mystery

  • Posted on August 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Today, I have a guest blog published over on Cindy Grigg’s website. We’ve swapped guestblogs, and her post, 9 ways to fix your Stereotyped Character is informative and fun to read! Go take a look at it! Also, take a look at the article, Researching mystery which you can find here:

If you’re curious, here’s the first two paragraphs of the article, for your perusal.

To begin with, I’m not normally a mystery author. To be specific, when I was younger, I only ever wrote fantasy novels, or romance. Now, however, I’m trying my hand at mystery novels, which means quite a bit of strife. I have a natural instinct when it comes to fantasy, so I find it easy to fall into. With Romance, I have my years as a fanfiction writer and fandom roleplayer to fall back on, which can both enhance and detract from my writing. (No one likes reading author’s notes, I’ve since learned.)

I came to mystery as a genre because I love the tense atmosphere. Maybe it’s less mystery and more suspense that I enjoy. But recently, I’ve found that I want a challenge. And the best way to challenge yourself is to write something you’ve never in a million years written before. But how can you write something you’ve never written before? How can you make sure that you don’t slip back into writing what you know? And worst of all, how do you manage to make it a GOOD manuscript when you know nothing about your genre?

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9 Ways to Fix your Stereotyped Character – A guestpost by Cindy Grigg

  • Posted on August 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm

So You Wrote a Stereotyped Character…9 Ways to Fix Your Story

 

I’ve recently been doing a blog post series on How to Write Well-Rounded Female Characters, which included a list of 19 Female Character Stereotypes to Avoid.

Since Nicohle and I are swapping blog posts today, I would love to take that list one step further and show how I would fix a stereotyped female character (but the same concepts apply to any character).

Why You Don’t Have to Start Over

If your female character falls into a stereotype, it’s not so much that you’ve written her wrong as that you’re just not done writing her.

Writers revert to stereotypes or tropes rather than fully articulating what makes a character unique. It’s tricky because you may not feel lazy as you write a stereotypical character. You’re still sitting in the writer’s chair fulfilling your daily word count or time quota, but essentially you’re being creatively lazy about who you are writing about.

1. Rearrange what you’ve got. A lot of creativity is a matter of how you arrange the disparate parts of something to make a whole. Which aspect of your character is the focal point? By restructuring which personality traits are pivotal, you could create a more fresh character.

2. Add something to the character that scares, stretches, or otherwise challenges you. If writing about a certain characteristic your character possesses makes you think about the world in a new way, it likely will do the same for many readers.

3. Change how long your character stays a stereotype. Maybe your character can start out as a character but be changed by a new event. Maybe reveal they were hiding their true nature for some good reason. Think: Scarlet Pimpernel.

4. Look around you. Think of the most unique people you know and add some part of their personality to your character.

Rarity gives you an example reaction.

5. Add more weaknesses, flaws,  fears, and losses! I like the trick of thinking, What is the worst thing that could happen to my character? Then consider adding that to your plot so your character has to really solve and struggle.

6. Put your character in strange situations. Brainstorm several seemingly unrelated scenes and put your character in them. Consider crossing genres with this exercise. Put your fantasy heroine in a murder mystery and see how she behaves, etc. You may stumble upon an interesting nuance to add to your story.

7. Change your character’s past or future. If the character seems flat or one-dimensional, hook the audience into caring based on something terrible or wonderful they went through or will go through.

8. Give your character a unique motivation. Most of humanity is motivated to some degree by love of family, romance, personal gain, or moral/spiritual paradigms, for example. But what if you made your character also motivated by something kooky like a love of snails, and wanting to save those snails from extinction, for example?

9. Create personality contradictions. I love giving a character two characteristics that seem paradoxical or at odds with one another, then showing why they are this way.

Both fixing characters or scrapping them will require a lot of editing, so I figure you might as well refurbish your stereotyped character rather than starting from square one.

While it takes more effort, it’s more fun and interesting to write well-rounded characters. For me, this comes down to asking, But who else is she/he?! By consciously steering clear of stereotypes, writing becomes more adventure. More fun.

Cindy Grigg

Cindy Grigg writes speculative fiction and instructional non-fiction. She is the author of the HULDUSNOOPS series, a middle grade mystery and fantasy adventure about Icelandic Huldufolk or “hidden people”. As About.com’s Office Software Expert, Cindy also writes about technology and productivity (www.Office.About.com). Find her writing advice, blog, and other projects she’s working on at www.CindyGrigg.com.

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