literature

Character Record

I never used to do this, but for the last four or five stories I’ve written I started keeping a booklet of information for each story. I mentioned this a bit in my previous post about resources.

For TAK, I’ve got more than that. Right now I have a booklet with character descriptions for all my major and sometimes minor characters. Basics like eye colour, skin tone, hair colour and length, body type and height are recorded for each character. Their name and age heads the top of the description. That used to be it. As I’ve been writing and honing my craft my resources have grown with me. Now my character descriptions have more information. They contain the types of clothes the character may wear on a regular basis; do they wear boots or shoes? Leggings? Tunics or shirts? Colour preferences? A character in TAK wears glasses. So I’ve recorded the shape and colour of his glasses. Sometimes I’ll put in some information about their background or little blips about their personality. A character in TAK, Gideon, doesn’t speak much. Read that as hardly ever. I made a note of that in his record.

Sometimes when I’m writing if I bring up a character I haven’t used in a while I might forget what they look like. Usually the little details like hair and eye colour. I find these records helpful in that they are separate and keep me from searching back through hundreds of pages just to find the information I’m looking for.

When I would write when I was younger, it was common for characters to change eye colour or hair colour. I would reread what I had written and realize the character had changed personalities somewhere along the line. This is obviously not good.

The book for TAK is way more involved than any other before. Not only do I have character descriptions, I’ve started writing the background of the world within it. In TAK there are four countries: Byrnan, Hieros, Haima and Allos. Each country has a ‘speciality’ and the people from each country are slightly different in terms of mentality, skin colour and talents. For example, Hieros is a country steeped in art. It is one of the southern countries and it’s people have an olive skin tone. They produce magnificent pieces of art such as paintings, fabrics, architecture, music and so on. I’ve also drawn a suuuuuper crude map in my booklet. I am not a cartographer and this will most likely not make it into the book itself. It’s for personal reference so I can remember where the countries are located, where the major cities that are mentioned in the story are located and what the terrain looks like. In keeping with Hieros, it’s very flat. Lots of grass and open plains. Hieros is also known for it’s food production.

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Don’t judge my lack of mapping skills

As you can see, it’s not professional, but it serves it’s purpose.

The problem I sometimes run into is running out of book before I’m done with everything. This means I have to transfer all the information into another book. I write everything by hand in this book and I’m not in the mood to switch to digital. The story itself is being typed on a computer, but I just can’t get behind the idea of writing this information in a word document as well.

What things do you do to keep your writing on track?

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

I Came, I Participated, I Left

If you’ve been following me at all lately you’ll know that I was going to a group therapy meeting last week for people with Depression and Anxiety.

I was hella nervous going because that’s my anxiety and it’s just ‘normal’ nerves at that point.

It was a nice place. It took place in an old house in a library. There were couches, a fireplace, and books. Obscene amounts of books. The people there were really nice. One of them is going to be our facilitator going forward.

Will I go back? I don’t know. I learned that there are those out there struggling with something I can’t even begin to imagine. While I am certain that my issues are very real, I do not have to be on disability. I am not living with any parental figures.

I came to understand that I need more than just a group discussion. I need personalized plans. I work better that way. I was able to go to kick boxing for the first time in a month and I felt absolutely fresh afterwards. I think a lot of my issue was the fact that I was under immense pressure with no outlet. I have managed to convince my husband to allow me to keep my subscription for my kick boxing class. As long as I go at least four times a month it will pay for itself.

So where do I go from here? Perhaps I need to make contact with my employee assistance program and source out a personal counsellor. I don’t think I need intensive therapy like I did in university and I also don’t think I require medication.

The pressure I am under is immense and real. I need real tools to combat the concerns I have and someone external to hold me accountable for completion.

It’s a long and potentially slippery slope that I’m on right now. But I can climb it.

In other news, we’ve taken one of our vehicles off the insurance and I now walk home from work. We’re trying to save money while we wait for the payout to come. As you may also know, I live in Canada. Which means it’s freaking winter right now. Goddamn is it cold! I have to pull my snow pants out this weekend so I don’t freeze on my way home. Good thing I have a tolerance for the cold. It’s not a super high one, but it’s  better than most people.

Also, using a gift card my in-laws gave me for my birthday I got a perm done! It’s already fallen out but the remaining body looks fabulous. I am still happy with it.

In the meantime, work continues to be done on TAK. Just little bits here and there. Puttering along. Keep your eyes peeled for a new short! I should have that one done next week!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Sorry not Sorry

I don’t want to be that annoying person filling up your feeds with the same thing over and over and over, especially if you follow me on different platforms.

If you recall, I entered a writing contest. This contest depends on votes to determine the winner. More and more people are joining it seems and my rank is dropping lower and lower and lower.

If you have a spare five minutes, please head over to: http://t.co/kfYjZZGfx2 and http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12258 to vote on one of my two short stories.

I believe the website requires you to create an account, which is free, which you can also delete once you are finished if you wish.

If you are a writer yourself you may want to keep your account as this seems like a nice platform for promotion.

I have three votes. Just three. Please help me rise up!!!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

I Entered a Contest! Weeee!

Hey guys! I entered a contest through Inkitt! Here you can find the link to my two submissions. I need votes in order to win! Please read and if it strikes your fancy, vote!

http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12258

http://www.inkitt.com/stories/12247

I’ve never done this before so I’m pretty excited! Especially since I was invited to give a submission. Made me feel special 😀

 

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Time Keeps on Keeping On

In my quest to craft my new work I have, admittedly, forgotten about Black & Red. It has been a very long time since I sold any units and most of that is because a) It’s not my best work and I know that plus b) I haven’t been promoting it as much as I probably should.

I’ve been so wrapped up in writing my shorts for TAK as well as my everyday life of being a full-time working mum Black & Red has fallen by the wayside.

I woke up this morning to something interesting, however.

Apparently, in January, I sold 2 units! This caused me to log in to my dashboard with KDP and I realized something.

Black & Red has been out for nearly two years now! Isn’t that amazing? It’s amazing for me!

I have a friend who is anxiously awaiting the release of TAK. In fact, she is probably the only one who looks at my Facebook page and every now and then she will post that she wants the book. She doesn’t come and read the shorts because they are not enough for her, as she’s said.

I can’t stop writing the shorts, however. I am finding myself spread very very thin and I don’t have the time I want to devote to writing the chapters. I am trying to save myself from forgetting about my characters and their lives completely by writing the shorts. I find it is a good way for me to flesh out the characters and their personalities in ways that would maybe take too long to do in the actual story.

Today I will be writing one of the shorts while I am at work during my breaks. I brought my outline so I can look at the maps and remember what my characters look like (because I can forget these things I have descriptions and such written down).

Stay tuned. This short I’m working on is about Aldric, one of the main characters in TAK. I believe it’s the first time I’ve written a short that includes one of my leads; who are surprisingly both male.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Oooooh I want to wriiiiite

I’ve been rereading what I had written so far with TAK and let me just say, it has really sparked the urge to write again.

But I have no time! Seriously. I’m home with my two kidlets all day, I work Monday-Thursday from 6:00pm to 9:00pm but with travel time it’s more like 4:45pm-9:45pm. Friday I try to unwind but since it’s the first night the whole family is together we try to have a good supper and spend time together. Saturday I work from 10:00am-2:00am and then after work I have errands to run since we live out of town. I usually don’t get home until 3:30pm or 4:00pm. And Sunday? Don’t make me laugh. That’s chore day. Laundry, dusting, vacuuming (although I usually do it during the week it usually needs it again on Sunday).

Phew! All this time spent living and I run out of time to be selfish and write. I have a world to create! I have characters to bring to life and characters to destroy. Lives, WORLDS even, lie in the depths of my brain and cry to be let out.

It’s a wonder I don’t go mad…..

Of course……

I could already be there…..

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Lines, lines, dropping lines

Hello!

I know I’ve been away for a long time now. Life kind of gets in the way when you’re a mother of two and you work.

I commemorate my return, I’ve discounted my book permanently. You can now purchase Black & Red for 99 cents! Cool right? I realized it’s not about the money. It never was. I don’t know why I thought I would sell my first book at $2.99. Thank you to those who purchased it at that price! I appreciate it.

I don’t have much time today to write anything too in depth. I just wanted to let all my followers and readers know that I am still around. I’m still working on TAK and I look forward to the day I can publish it. It is a huge step up in terms of development for both the characters and the story. I am really proud of what I have written so far. It’s hard for me not to fall in love with these characters. That’s not to say that I didn’t love all the characters in Black & Red.  I did, and I do, love all of them. That was why I wanted to publish that story because even though it’s rough around the edges and even though there is probably lots of room for development and refinement of my technique and basic skills, it was still a story I wanted to share with the world.

I hope I wasn’t missed too much. I’m back now. I doubt I’ll be able to go back to writing a post every day like I had before, but I will do my best to post more than once a month 😉

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Review

Received a second review over at GoodReads. I highly suggest checking it out! It goes into great depth about what the reader liked and disliked about my book.

Some people may think it’s too honest, but as a new author trying to get my book(s) known out there, I see it as invaluable teaching material.

After all, how can I hope to make my next book, TAK, any better if I can’t build upon the weaknesses of my past? They need to be shown to me so I can do that and this review hits it all.

It’s been updated on my media page, but here is the link as well: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/632616050

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

TAK

So I have decided on the name of my next work and I’ve been reading it over again. I had only written slightly over 100 pages when I went to work editing and dressing up Black & Red.

Now that Black & Red is really out there and there’s not much else I need to do to it, I can focus my attention on TAK. I’ve received some great constructive criticism for my writing style from a few people who have read/are reading Black & Red which will help me make TAK that much better. I know I have a grammar problem and I’m working really hard on fixing that. Since I’m not putting a deadline on TAK I feel like I can take my time and pay more attention to it.

The reason I didn’t do that with Black & Red  is because the fundamental story is something I had written many years ago. The story itself has received amazing feedback and I feel very tickled inside that people like it that much.

I feel I’ve done all I can for Black & Red. Sure, I could go back and fix up the little grammatical things that are nagging, but I just feel like it’s out there now, why do that? Why change something? What about all those people who have bought or read it with those errors? No, I’ve told Kalan’s story and I’ve let the world meet Terentya. They are out there now and I’m not about to change that.

For now, I will focus my writing skills on TAK and the story of Brexton and Aldric. This will be the first time I’ve written a story with two male protagonists. Yes, there were male main characters in Black & Red but TAK focuses mainly on Brexton and Aldric and the adventure they have.

Once it’s out there, I hope you will enjoy it as well! Please look forward to it!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Getting Lost

My favourite part about reading is getting lost in a book.

I love getting lost in the world, in the character’s lives, in the story itself. That’s also my favourite part about writing.

Sure, the characters will share something with me, be it personality, physical appearance, mentality, but they are also separate people. They are separate lives that are vastly different from my own and very much the same all together.

My book has been reviewed again: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18039327-black-red

It’s also on Amazon and Smashwords. The review is the same wherever you look, so you can decide where you’d like to read it. It made me feel really good when I read the review and I am very grateful for it. I’ve started my first book that I will review in exchange for having mine done. It’s a long book, but I am excited for it. I’ve just started the first few pages so we’ll see how it goes.

Ack. If only I didn’t have to work for a living…

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments