Tag Archives: in the spotlight

Really taking time to blog…

3 Sep

Slowly, but surely. This past week has been very rough personally. I was let go from my job on Monday and it really threw me for a loop. I’ve tossed myself back into the fray and am actively looking for a new job, but at the same time, I am also looking into going back to school. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for awhile, but never seriously–until now. I have two appointments with school counselors next week and I think I am really excited about it–at least for the possibilities. What scares me is that I am moving home with my parents for awhile to save up some money and to lessen my worries about rent for my apartment. I think I have finally come to the conclusion that this is the best thing for me right now. My parents have been such a great support this week (not that they aren’t every day anyway!) and I have found that I have some amazing friends for support, including some excellent now former co-workers who I now CAN call friends.

In a way, I now think I can write Ryan’s story a little better. He had the rug pulled out from under him with his job and career and I sort of know how he feels. And the last few days I have really dug back into the writing challenge I participate in. I have been doing well with it anyway, but it’s been a bit halfhearted. Now I am diving back into it with a new spirit. I changed up (visually) some of the characters and think their new portrayers fit the characters much, much better. I’ve also created a music mix to kind of definite Ava and Ryan’s relationship, and I plan to make a Lily one, a solo Ryan one, and a Ava/Nathan friendship one.

In the past two days, I’ve written about 1000 words on Spotlight and it really made me feel good about it again. I’ve got a huge paper easel on my wall right now with a list of scenes to write, the album and song titles on Lily, Ryan, AND Nathan’s records, and my character list. Things WILL be accomplished…and I have a really renewed attitude about it all.

And really, maybe not working right now is good in a way. Maybe I was unhappy there…maybe it just wasn’t right…and maybe, just maybe, I’m not doing what I am supposed to be doing. At least not yet, anyway. I will find it eventually, this I know. My mantra right now, to quote Dory in Finding Nemo is “Just keep swimming!” Haha. I will write, and I will dive into this blogging thing and not just make it about my writing, but about music and sports and crafts.

Which brings me to a new link I added to my blogroll. A good friend and her partner have a fantastic Etsy jewelry shop, called The Curious Cupcake. I have several pairs of earrings and two necklaces from these lovely ladies, and the other half of that partnership is Angela. She has started a blog of her own to help talk about the shop and life and things. I added the link to her blog, and am putting it here as well:The Curious Cupcake Blog.

So here’s to diving back in to life as it comes, and enjoying the little things that I can control, and dealing with those things that I cannot control. And here’s also to diving back into my four simple goals from a couple of weeks back. =)

creating a tour…

19 Mar

Boy, I’m beginning to realize that perhaps I haven’t plotted as much as I should have. I keep coming up with more ideas and more things to research and plan!

Currently, I am researching about 30-40 major US cities and their concert venues in order to plan a fictional tour for Lily and Ryan. It’s been fascinating, really, to have this part of the plot come together. I now need to research a bit more on the actual tour front, plus nail down solid job descriptions/duties for Ava and Ryan’s manager Adam. I then have to plot the actual tour route and figure out a time frame of said tour. Exciting stuff!

I’ve got a few more solid scenes worked out lately too…especially when it comes to the plot development for Ryan. It bothers me a bit that I seem to have solidified Nathan’s plat, but he’s not necessarily a main character–or so I thought. Now it’s become not just Lily, Ava and Ryan, but Lily, Ava, Ryan, and Nathan. Huh. It’s amazing how things change so quickly in the writing process–both good AND bad.

a small breakthough!

3 Feb

In the past couple of days, I’ve found myself writing several pivotal scenes for the novel. One of the major plots in the novel has to do with a twist in Ryan Harper’s career. There’s lies and embezzlement, but nothing solid to go on, only Ryan’s sister Natalie’s instincts. Natalie goes to Ava with the concerns, and the business-like Ava sprinigs into action, getting help from her sister Lily’s record label head Rachael. It’s the conversation with Rachael that makes Ava see that instead of thinking of the situation as business, she should be thinking as a friend. Where has that line been since I started this!? Color me pleased, let me tell you!

I think that using the Get Your Words Out! community has been incredibly helpful again. A week or so ago, a moderator posted a prompt challenge type thing about writing a letter to or from a character to boost word counts. I took that challenge up and ended up not doing it as a letter, but more in a freewrite style. I used the idea to almost do journal entries by my characters. And what I learned is that Ava has her worries and stress, and Ryan is terrified to speak up. It made their stories pop out to me a bit more–something I can finally start plotting. I plan to do these for Lily and Nathan too, even though I already know Nathan’s story. Lily is going to be harder, but I think this prompt thing will help me figure out what the heck she is doing in this novel.

The creativity for this single project is finally start to creep back. I think I am settling into a small groove on who the characters are, and what they have to contribute to the plotline. Of course, I have to tie said plot all together, and to be honest, I’m not sure how that is going to happen, but it will!

I’m starting to wonder if maybe I need to learn (or really, to take the time to…) to outline. I hated it as a kid in school, but I wonder if it might help me pull my plot together. Huh. Sounds like a Google search for writing outlines is in order.

hitting roadblocks

20 Jan

I’m finding this year’s writing challenge much more difficult than last year’s. I’m suddenly finding myself stuck in fits of writer’s block, despite having tons of scene and dialogue ideas floating through my head at any given moment.

It’s like I know what I need to be doing, but I don’t know how to get it there. I went to the bookstore a couple of weeks ago and bought a new writing book/guide, called Book In A Month. Of course, I don’t plan on writing a book in a month, but I thought I could take some of the lessons out of it and seeing how I can apply it to this 100k challenge. I have got to get somewhere on this challenge, and I feel sometimes like I am already failing miserably. Last year it was so easy…I could write anything I wanted. I could putter on the novel, work on a fic for a series I’ve been working on for the last two years, or anything I wanted to. Now I have to stick to one project, and I’m rather ashamed to say it’s breaking my spirit a bit. I’m writing every day on In The Spotlight, but I feel at this point that it’s nothing substantial…just little bits and pieces.

But I will prevail. I will stick to this challenge, and to quote the fantastic that is Tim Gunn from Project Runway, I will “make it work”. Haha.

If I can get through the character chart at least once, I think I can do this thing. Once I settle into the whole idea of bringing Spotlight to a true beginning, middle, and end, I will be in a much better spot.

I think my problem right now is that my brain flickers from idea to idea, and I can never settle into one thought to write it out before moving on.  I vow to work on that this year too…as part of the challenge.

Meanwhile, as I’ve been struggling to write something decent, I’ve been working on putting together a better writing playlist on my iPod. I think I finally have a good mix. I have a very eclectic taste in music, from country to rock to alternative to classical to soundtracks. It’s nice to have different tunes that both motivate and inspire. My playlist goes from Keith Urban to John Mayer to selections from Glee to Lady Antebellum and Train to Michael Buble and Josh Groban. Color me eclectic…really. My songs of choice at the moment are “Sara Smile” by Jimmy Wayne, “Need You Now” and “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum, and “‘Til Summer Comes Around” by Keith Urban. All motivating songs for me right now.

Back to actual writing now. I have this tiny little scene in my brain that has stuck with me all day and at this point, if I don’t at least flesh it out a bit, I will be failing for the day. heh.

plugging away!

6 Jan

Now six days into GYWO ’10, and I’ve already written 1600 words or so. Woohoo. Started a character sketch for Ava last night, and while it went well, I discovered I so need a big fill in chart of character traits. It makes things so much easier than freestyling it. Haha. I figure if I can fill the entire thing out, then I will know I have a firm grasp on who my characters really are, so then I can write them properly. I am a big believer in knowing who my characters are, even if I may not start out that way. Eventually I get a grasp on their ways and behaviors and their voices.

I think characters are my favorite thing…has been since I was young. I can remember being in like, 4th grade, coming up with little stories and always making sure that my characters were set first. It’s fun for me, coming up with the character list and their names and their looks. I’m a big nerd and I search for photos that seem to fit the characters.  They rarely become just stock photos, but mostly some celebrity that at least fits the look of the character. For example, my lead character for In The Spotlight (the novel), Ava Bennett–she is “portrayed”, if you will, by Mandy Moore. Ryan Harper, another lead character, is portrayed by Chris Pine. And to be honest, I’ve switched people around too. Ryan originally reminded me of Dave Annable (from the tv show Brothers & Sisters), but something changed in my brain and he suddenly didn’t fit the bill.

But back to the character charts…I have a bookmarks folder full of writing links and in there, I have at least three different sites that have downloadable character trait charts.  So of course, I actually freakin’ downloaded one and vow to fill it out completely for my four main characters. And I am not going to skimp on it and give up on it. I figure maybe it’ll give me more fodder to intertwine their stories into a proper plot!

I never used to love writing challenges…now I do. Well, that’s not completely true either. Perhaps I mean original writing challenges. I did many fanfic challenges in the procedural tv drama department, but doing ti with original stories and characters is a whole other ball game! Eep.

challenge started!

3 Jan

So far, so good. The Get Your Words Out 2010 challenge has begun, and already I’ve been doing well with the writing.  I guess the good part about doing the single project pledge at 100k words means I can really focus on scenes and little things, which is where I tend to struggle. I “only” have to write 274 words per day, but it’s rare when I merely write that. It’s really the point of sticking to one project (In The Spotlight).

On the other hand, I think this week I am really going to work on character sketches for Ava, Ryan, Lily, and Nathan. they are a pretty integral part of the story, and somehow I have to connect all their stories. Ava and Ryana re the focs, of course, but Lily has her little subplot and Nathan has his as well…and they all have to tie together, because Ryan and Ava’s story is the focus of the entire plot, with Ryan’s troubles with Adam and the impact of those troubles on his still rather new career.  And Lily deals with the critical acclaim she’s always wanted, and the focus that comes with it. Ava deals with Lily and with Ryan’s troubles, and then discovers her best friend (Nathan) has a troubled life of his own that he’s never revealed.

Although, the more I think about it, the more I could spin Nathan off into his own story…hmm.

I also have to get the story to a point where Ava does get her own record label, after everyone realizes she needs to be running musical careers, just not one the road all the time. This is after she organizes the benefit concert that goes off perfectly.

Lots to think about, but first, character sketches so I can get a handle on who they are and where they need to go in the story!