The Fancy Deep

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Making Sense – Contest! FREE Skullcandy Headphones!

When reading, writing or watching a good story, the more senses I use, the better. Today’s contest will help you do just that.

I’m giving away a pair of Skullcandy FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) Audiophile earbuds (a $70 value) in lime green – when you read The Fancy Deep, you’ll know why lime green is important (*Easter egg alert*). : )


1) Follow this blog.
2) Invite your friends to follow this blog through facebook (post about it at least once).
3) Comment on one of the questions below.

That’s it! Easy! Contest ends on Friday, June 3rd at 5:00 pm MST. I will pull a name randomly from qualifying Followers.

Music often helps me find my “tone” and enhances my character's voices in my writing. It can also help me with pacing. If I’m writing action and it doesn’t work with a fast-paced rock song, I know it’s too slow. I also love it when authors tell me which songs inspired their work. I like to listen to those songs before, during or after I read their story. Music adds a whole new layer to the world they are painting.

WRITERS: What is your best writing song? Is it different for each story?

READERS: Do you like to listen to music when you read? If so, what?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Do You Have a "Calling"? Does Everyone?

So, this is something I’m frankly, not sure about. But it's FIND YOUR TRUTH FRIDAY, so I want to know what you think . . .

On Oprah’s final show this week, she talked about how she believed that everyone has a “Calling” in life and it’s our job to find it.

Do we? All of us? And if so,what does that mean? Is a Calling just a talent or a passion or is it something bigger, and with a more specific purpose?

What do you think?

Does everyone have a Calling (big C)? If so, what is your Calling? How did you know? How does one find their Calling?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What No One Tells You - Part 1 - Conflict is The "Easy Button"

When you are new to the world of writing and publishing, there is no single "How To" source. Many things you just have to pick up as you go. This is the first in a series of posts where I'm going to share the nuggets I wish someone had told me when I sat down to write, or edit, or sell my novel. Here goes:


If your plot isn't working, or you don't know where to take your character next, or you consistently struggle with writer's block, chances are, your conflict is mushy.

How to strengthen your conflict:

Conflict Should be Primal: What is at stake should matter on a deep level to both your main character and the reader = family, love, power, intergalactic annihilation. If you're struggling (especially with plot), your conflict may not be primal enough.

Conflict Should Frustrate What Your Main Character Wants Most: Is your MC a doctor who wants to cure the disease killing his mother? Frustrate him with people, funding, world events or another bigger, more deadly disease that not only attacks his family, but the entire world.

Ramp It Up: Once your main conflict is in place, add scope (like going from effecting one person to an entire society) or complexity (Your MC learns that the villain is not only entirely unbeatable, but he's his F-A-T-H-E-R *insert Darth Vader voice here*).

Use Your World: Are there elements unique to your fictional world that can introduce relevant and fresh conflict? = societal rules, flora, fauna, people, laws, natural disaster, etc.

Once you have a rocking conflict, I PROMISE, the writing comes easier, faster, smoother. Stephenie Meyer said, "Once you have the characters and the conflict, the book pretty much writes itself." Yes, she's exaggerating, but the principle is true.

So if you don't know where to start, or you're stuck - push the button.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fiction Quizzes – Guilty Pleasure or Genius Marketing?

Admit it.

You’ve been sitting at work or at home with the door closed and a Pied Piper of a link jumps out at you from the WWW asking, “Gryffindor or Slytherin? – take the quiz now.” Like a junkie, you close the office door, turn off your phone, check for witnesses, then open the quiz.

Suddenly you’re engaged with the author, the story, the characters and you can’t wait to read the book.

This happened to me . . . just today! When I visited my friend Elana Johnson’s blog, I was reading her review for Divergent by Veronica Roth which offered a "Which Faction Are You?" quiz, and gosh-darn-it-all, but didn’t I have to click through and take the bleeding thing. I'm a "Candor" BTW. That was kinda obvious if you've read my manuscript. (*Spoiler alert* - It's about seeing the TRUTH.)

READERS: Are you the same? Do you love taking quizzes to see what category you fit into? What are some of your favorites?

AUTHORS: Do you have a quiz in the works? Share your link and I will post it. : )