Posted in Writing

The Chapter of Sludge

Ya know, there always seems to be that one chapter or scene that seems forced. Now, we all know creativity can’t be forced. But, sometimes it just is. So how do you get past that? Sometimes you just can’t. You have to wait. That was my day yesterday. I sat down to continue working on chapter 37. At first I couldn’t think of anything. My characters were standing around getting ready to do a fight scene, but they wouldn’t do anything. This writer’s mind was stumped. To rectify this problem I put on some fantasy music hoping this would stir the creative juice pot. It did to some extent, and I completed 600 words. Am I happy with it? Eh. Maybe. Maybe not.

One has to consider what is going on around them that might be a cause for the creativity rut. Part of our house is being renovated, so there are workers here during the week. I am taking care of the business end of this renovation. You know, phone calls, questions, updates, paperwork, etc… I think this has much to do with throwing monkey wrenches into any creative situation.

The show must go on. Keep writing even if it’s a slow and/or disruptive day. The story must get written.

Posted in Fiction

Word Selection

How picky are you with your words, when you write? Do you have to choose just the right ones in order for you to move on? Or do you belt them out there onto the page and rework them later? The first way can stop you up and prevent you from making headway at a steady pace. Because what happens is this: a creative idea for your story may have popped into your head, and you might forget it by the time you’re finished making your wording what you ultimately want it to be.

Get the words on paper first along with your ideas and worry about making them just perfectly right later. You can also make notes for yourself along the way about what you want to go back and fix. Your draft will still be there waiting for you.

Have a great weekend everyone, and God Bless 🙏

Posted in Poetry

Love’s Breath

Photo by Jill Burrow on Pexels.com

Love is joyful,
Love is pain,
Love, a sweet smelling flower,
Pulls me to its scent,
And kills me with its breath.

Love stabs me with sharp petals,
And lashes, with fiery forest green leaves.

With every torturous gasp I take,
I whither.

Love’s entrancing, enticing entity,
Takes me in,
Holds me,
Stabs me,
Caresses me,
Cuts me.

This seesaw love,
It plagues me,
My head it whirls and twirls about,
Love stalks my smitten soul.

By L. M. Montes

Posted in Fiction, Writing

Atmospheric Emotion Continued

On (April 8, 2021) I posted a photo of a lightning storm and titled the post Atmospheric Emotion. In your writing you will need to convey emotions to your atmosphere/setting. This then creates a connection to your readers because they start to feel these emotions too. Typically, darkness or a dark room conveys foreboding or unease. A warm setting with trees, green grass, a cozy cabin with a small pond depicts serenity. But what if you want that calm serene scene to depict foreboding without the darkness? What can you insert into that scene to create that foreboding? Perhaps it’s too calm. Maybe the friend of yours who lives there is no where to be found. Her belongings and car are there, but she is not. Her cellphone is sitting on the patio table, so calling her won’t do any good. Or, perhaps he/she was there a minute ago and now he/she is not. He/she vanished in the midst of this calm setting.

When it comes to emotions and projecting them onto a setting, you must go beyond narration. Just telling your reader the back yard was creepy or gave your main character a creepy feeling or a sense of foreboding, is not enough. They must FEEL that sense. These emotional projections from a story to its reader(s) is part of what makes for a great book/story.

Example 1:

Bad
I hadn’t been in my friend, Elliot’s, basement before. Elliot had always been so upbeat all the time; full of jokes. But the black walls and purple lights were the opposite of my friend’s personality, so it was creepy.

Good
I hadn’t been in my friend, Elliot’s, basement before. I never understood why until now. In the past Elliot’s upbeat demeanor magnetized others. People drew to him. So, my breath caught in my chest, when I reached the bottom of his basement steps and flicked on the light. A deep purple glow radiated throughout the room in front of me. The color of the walls appeared to be black, but the purple light made it impossible to tell. A kind of mist seeped through a few cracks in the walls. It hit my nostrils and a dank stench reached my stomach, giving me the dry heaves. Peering to the left, a cot stood in the far corner. Was it my imagination, or was there an indentation of a body on the one and a half inch mattress? I inched that way to take a closer look. I came within five feet, and the indentation moved. No body was visible…..

Example 2:

Bad
I took my tea, opened the sliding glass door and stepped onto the back deck. The grass had been freshly mowed the day before and the flower gardens weeded. A well kept yard makes for a relaxing mood. I spotted the lounge chair to my right, walked over to it, and sat down.

Good
I lifted my tea to my nose and inhaled the ginger fragrance, causing me to smile at the sweet scent. The sun peeked out from behind a cloud and shown through the sliding glass door. I opened it and stepped out onto the back deck. A warm breeze whispered by and pushed my shoulder length hair back as I took in the freshly cut lawn and sweet scented flowers. Standing there taking in all of the beauty reminded of a mental massage of sorts. I stepped over to the cushioned lounge chair and sunk in, closing my eyes and relishing the clapping of the leaves on the trees as the breeze moved them.

In Example 1 the bad sample tells us that the character feels creepy, but do you the reader feel it? In don’t. We get that the main character feels creepy, but WE don’t feel as creeped out as he/she does. We don’t even believe he/she feels creeped out because the seriousness of the situation doesn’t come across.

In the good sample of Example 1 we feel the main character’s emotions of fear and apprehension, and we feel his disbelief of a friend who is normally upbeat but has a basement that’s dark and dreary. We are as creeped out as he/she is.

In Example 2 the bad sample is rather mundane and stale. We understand the environment is relaxed in nature but it doesn’t come across in the writing. The environment doesn’t evoke emotion at all.

However, the good sample of Example 2 conveys the imagery needed to evoke the relaxed and warm atmosphere to the reader. We can actually identify with this because most of us have experienced this type of relaxation. But, it wasn’t told to us as in the bad sample. It was SHOWN to us. Did you feel relaxed? I did.

Overall, emotions play a huge role in any story, especially when it comes to atmosphere/setting. They draw your readers into the text and keep them there. That’s where you want them, and you want them there to stay.

Posted in Writing

Why Write?

Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

On Twitter the other day an author I follow asked this question: ‘In four words, why do you write?’ I tried to answer this in four words, and I couldn’t do it. Why? I couldn’t find the right words. My mind went blank. Then later I realized, I couldn’t quite capture the joy writing gives me using any amount of words. It makes me feel that great internally. Inside, when I write, my self-worth heightens, my joy and excitement about creating something heightens. Yes, it may need to be worked on and rewritten later to perfect it, but that’s part of the fun. So, if I had to choose four words to explain why I write, I would choose these:

Heightened self-worth, excitement, joy

In four words, why do YOU write?

Posted in Fiction

Real Life with a Twist

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You are up in the mountains hiking with a friend. Along your path you come across a lone pint size milk carton. You’re a fiction writer, and you’re looking for ideas for another story but coming up with zilch. The hike in the mountains you feel will do you some good and perhaps get the wheels of creativity going. The milk carton accomplishes this goal as soon as you see it. It’s as if an electric spark shocked that story center of the right side of your brain. In an instant, your mind has a ‘What if scenario in place.

What if the milk carton had drops of blood on it, and the blood belonged to someone who vanished without a trace 50 years ago? The blood is fairly fresh too.

In reality, the milk carton is just a milk carton and it most likely belonged to another hiker. They finished the milk and didn’t want to take the carton with them, so they left it there. BOOM. That’s it. BUT, what you did with yourwhat ifscenario is put a twist on reality. That’s what fiction does. I love to put a creative spin on things. It makes life interesting.

Posted in Writing

WarmUp

Do you warm up your writing engine before you start working on your writing project? I guess I would have to say, for me, it’s split 50/50. Sometimes I will warm up and sometimes I won’t. It all depends on whether or not the creative juices are flowing when I sit down to write. If I know what I’m going to write next in my work in progress (WIP), I don’t do a warm up. If I’m stuck, I do a warm up. That will get the ideas flowing again.

Types of Warmup Exercises

  • Writing prompts
  • Journal writing
  • Writing a blog article
  • Write a poem
  • Look at a painting/picture:
    • Describe the setting
    • Describe what’s is going on (Remember, a picture is worth 1000 words)
    • Write a poem using your descriptions (Who knows, you might be able to use it in your WIP)
  • Take a walk in a cemetery. Speculate about the people who once lived. What do you think they looked like? What do you think they did for a living? How do you think they died and/or what’s the story behind it? Come up with scenarios/stories regarding random people. Did they know each other? If so, what was their relationship? You could go on and on with this.
  • Go to the beach. What do you see? What connections can you make with what’s in front of you? Maybe the people you see walking along the beach are sea people. If so, why are they there on the beach? What’s their story? (FEEL FREE TO STEAL THIS IDEA IF YOU LIKE)

Don’t be daunted by the blank page ever again. The only reason the blank page is a stopper is because nothing is there. So put something in your head first before you look at that blank page, then you’ll be able to readily transfer it to the blank page when you look at it.

Posted in Social

Pick Yourself Up

We all have days when we feel less than adequate. It’s a battle we all face at one time or another. When we feel this way, it’s all to easy to slip into that ‘I don’t want to do…’ mode. Yet, there are deadlines we have to keep, whether they are self-imposed deadlines or otherwise. What is one supposed to do when we feel this way? I’m not going be unrealistic; it’s difficult to climb the ladder out of this mode.

I felt like this yesterday (3/17/2021). My creativity was sapped and I couldn’t think up anything that would contribute to my current WIP. Have you felt this way at times? I was full of self-doubt. Have you had these thoughts too at one time or another? On Twitter I read a tweet by another author who wrote about feeling just this way, and she felt like giving up her writing. She went on to say that one of her fans (not knowing she was feeling that way) sent her a tweet telling her how much she enjoyed her books and even included a photo of the newly purchased book this author just released. What a joy that must have been for that author. That simple act from a fan renewed the author’s faith/confidence in herself.

Since we are all different with different interests, jobs, and hobbies; we will get lifted up in other ways. Sometimes we have to lift ourselves back up. That isn’t always easy to do. I think we need to find the source of our doldrums ourselves at times.

What can we try?

  • Talk to someone
  • Meditation
  • Workout and get the blood/endorphins flowing
  • Get off your phone. Yes, this means stop playing the games/scrolling social media, etc…
  • Pray (yes, this really does work). You have to be receptive to this. Spend time with the Lord. He enjoys your company. Sometimes we are the impatient ones and expect results NOW. It doesn’t always work that way.

Even though negating moments such as this don’t feel very good, I firmly believe it keeps us humble and in check. Stay strong. Ask yourself what can be done to turn the negative feelings into positive feelings. You CAN do it. I have faith in you.