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Prophecy Six Blog

Sharing My Unedited Writing Experiences & Life Experiences.

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writing problems

Trying to get out of a writing funk…

So… yeah… I haven’t stuck to the promise I made to post more. I know… I’m terrible… but life happens and sometimes you get pulled away from what you want to do to deal with what you need to do.

The last year has been one of those years where the second I want to do something another thing has gotten in the way. First it was moving into a new place, then I got two new kittens (which if you ever tried writing with kittens it is a challenge), and then I started a new job that took my focus away from what I wanted to do when I got home. In summary – being an adult sucks and don’t ever grow up. XD

But, in all seriousness I also was suffering from a lacking desire to write. For the longest time I had used writing as an escape, something I did for fun… but after writing two books and focusing so much on sales I realized that my passion was turning into another job. For some that is great. Becoming a writer that just does that for their job is a lot of peoples goals, but as I was working towards that goal that I thought I wanted I realized it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. I burned out and that little fire that I had turned into coals.

It has been almost a year since I seriously wrote something on here. It has been even longer since I started working on a story or planning out a book. I have book three planned out and it will be written… but it has taken some time to find the motivation to do so. I don’t know when I will post next. I have all these ideas and plans but it is the matter of motivation that gets in the way. The only reason I’m writing this now is more out of trying to get what I’ve been feeling out than anything else.

Anyways, that’s enough rambling for today. I think I’ll leave you all to your weekends. 🙂

Toodles for now.

I’m Back – With An Update!!!

Oh my Gods!

What has it been… a month? Two Months? It feels like a lifetime since I last posted on this blog. Don’t worry, I have my reasons…

I was suffering from a bought of creative burnout. Yes, that is a thing and I’ll tell you how/ why it happened.

After getting a creative intensive job focused towards blogging, social media, and marketing I didn’t have the energy to come home to do that for my own projects (bad I know). I was used to having jobs focused towards accounting and administration work that focused more on number crunching, allowing for my evenings to be the time I could be creative. With a job that focused on thinking outside the box and finding ways to work creatively to promote various businesses I couldn’t find the power to go home and do the same.

Now, that overload of creative usage is coming to an end!!

With a new job on the horizon I will be able to focus my time between math during the day and creative expression in the evenings. This means posting on this blog more often and working on building my author/ book platforms. I will not be posting every day on this blog like I had in the past, but instead focusing on Dialogue Prompts, short stories, and post updates for my other platforms.

So, to break down the plans on what I’ll be doing for what sites here is a list:

Prophecy Six Blog (this site) is going to be focused towards sharing posts from my other platforms, poems/ photography/ recipes, dialogue prompts, and important updates. (Monday and Friday)

Prophecy Six Series Official Site is focused towards world building for my book series, fun updates about the world or books, my store, and any lovely P6 creations my readers may want to share with the online community. (Wednesday)

Deanna Wiltshire Official Site is focused towards fun facts about me (the author), other writing projects I have in the works (fairy tale retelling, paranormal fiction, children’s book, etc.), tips and tricks when it comes to writing, my store, and book reviews of indie-authors/ Canadian Authors. (Tuesday and Thursday)

Getting these up and running will take some time but I appreciate the patience you have given me so far. I miss writing for all of you and hopefully soon, I’ll be back to my regular writing mood.

Toodles for now!

Deanna

 

 

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Hello Internet Friends,

This week we are talking about writing Kryptonite and for those that don’t know what that is… basically what is your writing weakness. I was trying to be all smart with wanting to do a comparison between my green kryptonite and my red kryptonite but for the sake of my readers who aren’t Superman fans… I will just focus on my weakness (green kryptonite).

With that said, my writing weakness is the internet.

The internet can be useful with research but man it ruins any motivation I have to write. I may start off wanting to research about medical practices of the medieval age (or lack there of) and eight hours later be watching YouTube videos of cats saying ‘no’. The internet is not only the place I do research but also where I sell my books and connect with my readership. So, as much as I want to disconnect I am tied to it.

The worst part – I know I should be doing something else but I get distracted by so many people online or information online that I never get back to my intended purpose for opening up my browser in the first place. I know I’m not alone with this problem. Many of you have told me that the internet hinders your writing drive.

What is your writing krytonite? Is it the internet or something else? Let me know in the comment section down below, and until next time remember to stay safe, be creative, and as always toodles!! ^.^

Diary of a Socially Awkward Introvert: Compliments

The other day when I was sitting on the bus, heading home from a long day of work and a short stint of shopping, I noticed something bright blue out of the corner of my eye. As I turned I could see it was a young woman – probably close to my age – in a hijab sipping her coffee. The bright blue material matched her outfit really well and a part of my felt like I wanted to compliment her.

As I was about to open my mouth to say something, there came a voice, very faint in the back of my mind, “Don’t do it. She might think there’s something wrong with you.”

No, I think she would really like a compliment. Everybody likes compliments,” I retorted my own internal police but that didn’t stop them.

What if you stumble your words like you usually do with strangers, huh? Maybe she will take your compliment in a wrong way. Think about her position. She’s sipping her tea and relaxing… then you break that peace by talking to her. Don’t do it… it isn’t worth this list I prepared to deter you.” At that point my brain – being the jerk that it is – listed off a hundred scenarios making me settle back down into my seat.

I was given a second chance to complete the Compliment Quest when I reached my stop. It turned out the young woman in the beautiful blue hijab was getting off at the same stop. We were standing beside each other at the door, perfect time for me to say something but instead my mind was running hundreds of things I should say… rewording the compliment, figuring out ways to not come across as weird, preparing come-backs if the girl got upset.

We got off the bus and I crossed the street by 124d2gthe time my brain was satisfied with what I was going to say to her… but the opportunity was miss. She crossed the street and I was left cursing myself for being afraid to say anything while being plagued with the worry that she had noticed me staring at her and being given all the thoughts she may have been thinking about me staring.

Looking back at it now, I feel stupid for even overthinking that situation. Who would get angry at a compliment? No one, that’s who! Yet my brain decided to work overtime like it was the Enigma Machine trying to decode Nazi bombing coordinates.

The problem is I’m an amiable person… which means I’m not only a friendly person but I hate conflicts of all kinds. That means if there is potential for conflict I avoid it or try to help others avoid it at all cost. This also means that my brain considers the possibility of everything being a conflict and tries to come up with solutions to solving these possible, unrealistic, nonexistent conflicts… which sucks!

This problem doesn’t just occur when I want to say anything nice to someone but also when someone says something nice to me. First, I stiffen up because now someone is giving me attention and I hate being centred out. This engages my brain who is reminding me of my unnatural stance and it tells me that the person I’m talking to thinks I’m
strange for reacting that way… which makes me try to be calm which only makes me act weirder. Second, I have no idea what I’m supposed to say when given a compliment – which I’m trying to find an answer for while trying to act natural while trying to avoid upsetting the person that complimented me. My brain starts asking itself questions like: do I say thank you? And before I get the chance to say thank you my words are choked out by my brain’s answer: Wouldn’t thank you be too basic? And these thoughts just continue on facepalm-meme-17and on making a silence grow to an awkward length but I’m not paying attention to time because my brain is continuing it’s useless debate with itself. If I say no problem that would sound narcissistic or belittling to the person giving me the compliment. No reply would just be rude and smiling/nodding would just be weird. It is only after catching onto my complimenters body language do I realise I’ve made the situation awkward and from that point I spout out a very uncomfortable and not confident, ‘Thank you’. And if that’s just not cringe worthy enough I end it with a nervous laugh.

Be happy you aren’t in my brain. Be happy you don’t over analyse every social interaction you have with people. This is why introverts are tired after hanging out with a group and also why it takes something really important for them to leave the comfort of their home. Be glad you aren’t a socially awkward introvert… and if you are at least now you know you aren’t alone. 🙂

 

 

Thinking Thursdays: 1st or 3rd Person?

Hello World Out There World!

Today’s Thinking Thursday is about 1st or 3rd person, which one do I prefer to write in.

When I first started getting into creative writing I found writing in 1st person the easiest way to get out my ideas. I would be able to imagine myself as the main character and write what I felt or saw. This was what was taught to us in school in regards to approaching creative writing. All I knew was 1st person and nothing else.

It was after doing some more research and reading books that weren’t for my age level that I discovered the amazing tense of 3rd person. I loved how the writer could explore a variety of views within one book and make the story deeper, or just write in one person’s point of view for the whole book. It was something new and exciting, which pushed me to practice writing in 3rd person.

As time went on I shied away from 1st person and started writing in 3rd person. Child of the Light (Book 1) is written in 3rd person and so is Children of Sirphan (Book 2). I found 3rd person the best style to use for this series since it follows a large group of people. It has been only recently, as I work on another side project – Too Much Jinn – that I’ve begun exploring 1st person again.

To me I don’t prefer writing in just one style. It depends on the characters and the book I’m working on as to what point of view works for the atmosphere I’m trying to portray.

When it comes to reading books I would much rather read in 3rd person than first. I like to be disconnected from the characters that I’m reading about and that is easier to do with 3rd person than 1st person. I also find a lot of young books are 1st person focused, which I don’t enjoy reading either. 1st person has a lot of I did this, I wanted to do that. With 3rd person the author is forced to explore the world more to capture the reader than just write from one view point.

Anyways… that’s just what I prefer…

What about you? Is there a point of view that you prefer to write in or does it just depend on the story you’re writing?

Leave your answers in the comment section down below and until next time – toodles!! :3

Writing Superpowers

Hello world out there world!

When it comes to writing we all have our specialties. Some of us are better at character development, others are great at world building. Just like the Justice League or the Avengers have a variety of superheroes that keep their teams together us writers have our communities to go to for support.

Recently I’ve been going to a writers group and it still amazes me how much talent is out there. There are people in my group that have never written a story but have so much know-how that they could teach a class. There are those – like myself – who have written and published works that share what we’ve learnt about the self-publishing/ traditional-publishing world. We all have something to share, something to learn, and something we are really good at.

I like to think my writing superpowers are character development and foreshadowing. I love creating relationships between characters and love writing pieces that you come to discover are way more important than I originally let on. I think that is due to what I love about reading. I don’t read for the world – one reason I don’t read fantasy books – but I read for the people. Mitch Albom is a great example of an author I will never stop loving. His superpower is to take normal life and make it amazing. He takes pieces like death, mortality, growing up, and purpose and turns it into this epic emotional roller-coaster.

I try my hardest to do that with my books. I know in the fantasy genre it is hard to make it feel real but I hope through my characters I can make the world relatable and the things that happen to them believable.

I think that’s why it is so important to have others read your stories before publishing or self-publishing. Other people have had different life experiences or may have a superpower to contribute to your work.

For example:

My editor loves fantasy and has read fantasy for as long as I’ve known him. I am also lucky enough to have grown up with him, so he knows me outside of writing and understands what I want out of my books. When he reads my books he has that background to help establish a more believable fantasy background in my work. He also has a better knowledge of writing rules – that I am slowly starting to grasp – which helps make my writing come across smoother or better written than if I published it without his review.

I have beta-readers who all have strengths in a variety of things. I have a beta-reader that is passionate about description and has amazing skill with showing rather than telling. This helps me immensely since I am a regular teller of stories and rarely show in my work. Their suggestions help me build a work full of visual details that may help the reader see the world than just read about it.

Lastly, I have another set of readers that help with portraying certain information or certain characters correctly. I do not have a background in medicine or herbal healing, so these people are there to make sure I am not writing bull and sending false facts to my readership. This goes with characters with certain backgrounds. I am an ally to the LGBTQ community but I don’t have too many negative experiences of being LGBTQ. My family and friends have been accepting of my choices, my partner is comfortable with my sexuality, I identify with the gender I was born with, and so when I am writing a character who is queer I don’t wish to misrepresent them. That’s why I’m thankful for having readers with a variety of backgrounds willing to help me shape my queer characters appropriately, insuring I don’t perpetuate negative stereotypes that we hear about in other media sources.

It is all right to not be perfect at everything.

Tony Stark isn’t perfect, neither is Batman… and their short comings are easily made up for with other members of their team. So when it comes to your writing your books, short stories, poetry, what-have-you – it is all right to lean on others in your community. It is all right to ask for help when you need it because at the end of the day you have a writing superpower that those people may need you to use for their work one day.

The Real Steps You’ll Go Through When Writing A Story

There are plenty of posts about the steps to writing a story but very few of them tell you what you’ll actually go through/ feel when writing something. These of course are subjective. Not everyone is going to feel all of these or any of these when approaching their story writing, but I just wanted to share these steps just in case one of you are going through the same thing I have.

So, without further delay here are The Real Steps You’ll Go Through When Writing A Story:

OVERWHELMING EXCITEMENT:

You got this amazing idea! No worries we’ve all got one in our heads. You grad the closest 96781-Anna-excited-gif-Imgur-Frozen-j9Hv.gifthing – let it be your phone or a note book – and begin to write furiously. You have characters lined up and a plot. You imagine being on a popular television show being interviewed by the host that found this idea of yours just as amazing.

Don’t worry, you’re not delusional, you’re a writer. 🙂

When you are done writing down this idea you close the notebook or app on your phone to continue with your day. You will think about the idea, try working out the kinks to your story, and figure out other key factors that you may have not thought about when this idea had taken hold.

REVIEWING THE IDEA:

Now you’re home from the store, work, what-have-you and you sit down in front of your computer or type writers to explore this AMAZING idea further. You pull out your notes and start typing them out on a larger screen. You no longer have that excitement the idea once brought you… actually now that you’re reading this idea it isn’t that AMAZING at all.

You’ll push through, making changes here and there. The ideas flow and you discover this idea is actually growing into something. You are able to write a draft or at least something you believe resembles a first draft. You know the start, are muddy on the middle, but you really like the end. You’ve also started liking one of the characters – it could be something you made them say or do that pulls at your heartstrings but you now vow that nothing will happen to them.

WHAT ARE WERDS?

You are fixing up your draft and hate the middle bit for some reason. It isn’t flowing with the rest of the story… it feels like you were forced to put those scenes together – or worse – you didn’t know what to put in the middle so you just through that part together. That’s fine… the story isn’t published yet… you have time to fix all these growing problems to create the “Perfect Story”. You know perfect is a strong word but you use it anyway because to you, you want this to be perfect.

So, you sit there staring at the screen for a moment reviewing the draft. You change two words, remove one word… but asides that you can’t think how to change it. You get up from your work area and go make something to eat. The second you get to the fridge and are in the middle of working on the sandwich when the curtains rise and you have this idea on how to fix the middle of your book.

Now, you’re in a predicament. You can stop making your sandwich to write down the idea but you don’t know how long this thought train is going to go for. You could write the idea down on the whiteboard you have in the fridge but there wouldn’t be enough space to make this idea clear. You settle on the third idea. Finish making the sandwich and then write the idea down on the computer. That way you are sure to at least one thing that day and you can spend all the time you want writing this idea down without worry of forgetting the half-made sandwich on the counter.

tumblr_ngjzdtpqw41sn03clo2_400You run this idea over and over in your head so you don’t forget. The sandwich is done and you grab a drink from the fridge. Everything is tidy and you go to sit down at the computer. Fingers raised above the keys ready to type the first word and you hesitate. Not for suspense but because the idea has sat so long in your brain that it is stuck in there like quicksand and you can’t figure a way to pull it out. Questions start running through your head like: how are you supposed to start this idea? How do you connect the original with this? Are there other changes in this story you need to make because of this idea?

Soon your mind is so filled with these questions that the idea is now just a faint whisper barely audible to be noticed in this fray your mind is now in. You stare at the screen, watching the flashing black text line beat to the same rate as your heart before your head falls forward to rest on the key board in defeat. The only thought going through your head now is: “Urg this is hard!”

DOUBT & APATHY:

These two are the worst and always come together as a pair. Doubt will creep in first at the darkest moments of your writing. You will sit there staring blankly at the screen or once you have completed everything to your liking and are reviewing the drafts. This is where you will start to think that maybe your idea is terrible. Maybe you are a terrible writer. Maybe this story you’ve written isn’t worth all this hard work. Maybe writing isn’t a job you should look at doing.

When all of these thoughts pull you down and turn you into grey sludge apathy comes in, where you feel like nothing matters. This story doesn’t matter. Your writing is too predictable. Your writing doesn’t matter. No one is going to read this stuff. No one will care about what you’ve written.

You’re a hack! You’re a loser! You’re a failure!mtahhav

These thoughts are normal. Every writer will have them at least once and if not then they aren’t normal… This doubt and apathy only become a problem if you start to believe it. So, instead of filling your head with all these negative thoughts try thinking these instead.

Maybe you are a terrible writer – but your writing improves with everything you write. Maybe this story you’ve written isn’t worth all this hard-work – but it will feel so good when it’s done and at least one person reads it. Maybe writing isn’t a job for you – but it can be a hobby that you enjoy and it helps you escape. This story doesn’t matter – to you but maybe someone out there needs your story. You’re writing is too predictable – because you wrote it! You’re writing doesn’t matter – it lowers your stress and helps you develop ways to mentally coup with outer stress… so yeah… it does matter. No one is going to read this stuff – if you’re too afraid to put it out there. No one will care about what you’ve written – only if you don’t take the chance to see.

If you are strong enough to counter all of your own arguments and work through your doubt demons than you are a writer. It is doubt that kills ideas… so don’t let it kill yours.

COMPLETION… OR SO YOU THINK:

Once you are out of that funk and everything appears to be bright/ shiny again you will realize that the finished product was worth it. That excitement you felt when this idea first came to mind will be back and you’ll want to share it with the world. You will realize all the hard work was worth it. All those nights staring up at the ceiling was worth it.

7drhiqrYou post your story online or whatever form of publication you choose, and you get your first reader. You may not be on a talk-show or a national bestseller (yet) but not giving up on this project was an award all on its own. You sit back in your chair, read a couple of comments, and then poof! Another AMAZING IDEA pops into your head.

Back to work you go!

 

Writing Tip: Make Sure the Character Feels It

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I cannot stress how important this is.

If I’m reading a book and the main character or even support characters aren’t affected by the death of a group mate/ close character I lose interest. Not because it is bad writing… just because it doesn’t reflect the main characters relationship. If you spent the majority of the book  or books building a relationship with a character that is then killed off that main character – if they had been a real person – would react.

This doesn’t just cover killed off characters. A character can be badly hurt, captured… what have you and if the main character doesn’t react to the situation you’ve lost me. Sorry but unless your main character is a heartless robot who doesn’t give two bulls about anything, then your character must show some emotions.

A good example of using a death to motivate the main character is Katniss and Rue from the Hunger Games. My Gods that was a great way to use death to motivate and Katniss’s reaction was natural. Rue’s death pushed Katniss to beat the game, defy Snow, and in the end led to the whole rebellion. Rue set the fire and Katniss let it burn until it couldn’t be contained by the Capital any longer.

I’m sure there are other great examples of death and motivation out there but KatRue just stood out in my mind.

So, yeah… moral of this rant – make sure your main character reacts to the death of an innocent character…

 

5 People I Discovered at a Writers’ Conferences

Last weekend I spent my time in Ajax, Ontario at the last OWC (Ontario Writers Conference). It was my first conference and won’t be my last. I met a lot of people, and it was wonderful getting to talk with those equally passionate about the written word as I am. I took workshops and networked. I even won something – which I will talk about in a later post.

What I wanted to share with all of you is what I learned from this short two day conference and how it has changed the way I approach my blogging/ writing.

Firstly, there are four types of people who you will run into at this sort of conference. You will have the fledgling, the braggers, the supporters, the downers, and the chosen.

The fledgling is the very young writer who is likely in high school. They are bright eyed and bushy tailed with little to no knowledge about what the writing world is like. They have fantasized on becoming the next J.K Rowling and have written in their journals about what they are going to do when they become famous. They are the quiet conference goers that hang out by the wall or nervously bring up how they are in high school when people ask what they do for a living.

Everyone as one time – no matter who you are in this list – has been a fledgling. You’re passion is driven by something inside you that makes you want to improve. You want to learn all you can from people more experienced or skilled that you are. You want to become better and be better from learning what you can from the conference you saved up for from your min wage job and birthday cash.

This conference is where you realize there are others like you and that you aren’t alone in your drive or desire to share your ideas/ world/ writing with anyone who will listen.

They – of course- aren’t to be confused with the braggers.

The braggers are those that will not shut up about their book/ writing project. They are the ones that aren’t asked about what they are writing but choose to talk about it anyway. They are either recently published and excited to share what they have accomplished or they are just wanting to tell you how great they are.

I admit – there were a couple of times I caught myself being a bragger. The difference though, I didn’t bring up my book. People asked what I wrote and if I’ve published anything, which opened the flood gates for me and I have a hard time stopping myself. I can’t help it… I want the whole world to know about P6. I’m sorry if you were one of my victims… and most of those were the people who supported me that weekend.

The supporters are those that will listen and support you. The majority of the people at the OWC were supporters. They would share their contacts and direct you to useful information regarding certain subjects. There were graphic designers and literary agents. There were other writers looking for other writers to compare notes with.

These are the people you want to surround yourself with and with luck I did. I met many people of all ages that were supportive in all sorts of ways. I’ve made contacts that will help improve my writing and networking too.

I hope I was a supporter throughout the OWC. I know I shared my self-publishing experience with people and gave them tips on how to approach different online formats. I also helped them understand the uses of blogging and how it could help their brand. I’m even sharing my notes I took through my classes in hopes of spreading more helpful knowledge to my writing group. The last thing I want to be is a downer after all…

The downers… ugh… as much as I don’t want to say these people exist – they do.

Now I don’t want to talk about these people much but they were there and it sucked when I ran into them. They are the types that will treat you like you aren’t worthy of their time. They will judge you by age, gender, genre, and consider what you’re working on not worthy of the written word.

I ran into one woman that didn’t consider YA fantasy a real form of writing. She believed that anyone could write YA fantasy because ‘it is just made up’. I’m sure she isn’t wrong but it is one of the more popular genres for a reason… so we YA writers must be doing something right.

Her choice was non-fiction and I’ll admit she is skilled but she had no right in pulling others down. The writing business is already cut throat, we writers shouldn’t be attacking one another or bring each other down.

Downers are those that consider your accomplishments worthless and your style juvenile. They will say nice things to your face and when your back is turned talk about how terrible they think your writing/ project ideas are.

I found this more to be aligned with age rather than anything else. I was the minority at the OWC. Most who were there were older or retired individuals while I am – well – not. Many older individuals changed quickly from supporters to downers when they discovered I had published something. They changed their tune from speaking to me to speaking down at me, which made me focus my attention to those supporters that still treated me as an equal.

Now, the chosen – these are the people we want to be. They are the best-sellers or world renowned authors that grace the event with their guru knowledge. They are talented and their words are like honey when we listen to them read pieces from their latest work.

Yes, these chosen are people just like us, but they are our celebrities. They are those that made it and those we want to become. They are the people we work to be and want to learn from. They are the names whispered in the hallway or the classes stuffed to the brim to learn their secrets.

There are only a few of them at each event but their presence makes a big impact.

 

 

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