Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Title Ideas

I am bad with titles.  I don't think I 100% love any of my current titles for either my screenplays or my novels.  So I scrolled through Nanowrimo's Adopt-a-Title thread and jotted down a few (okay, more than a few) that I thought were interesting that I may or may not use to rename some of my screenplay, use for short stories, or use for some of my novels.  The only titles I am stuck to is "All That It Seems," maybe "Sister Circle", and of course my screenplay titled "Freshman Year."  Everything else has always been open for renaming. 

If anyone likes a title for themselves, let me know.  Also, if you have interesting titles for me to add to my list, do so! 

  1. Right Time, Wrong Place
  2. White in a Black World
  3. Lights Out, Party Over
  4. Super Big, Super Hot
  5. Something About This I Really Like
  6. Winning Her Trust
  7. My Brother, My Sister
  8. What Happened to the Girls
  9. Linemaker, Linebreaker
  10. Why Not Love?
  11. What Will Be, Will Be
  12. Maybe, Maybe Not
  13. Lemme Getta Good Look
  14. Say You Do
  15. Time and Time Again
  16. In It To Win It
  17. The More Loved, The Lovelier She Becomes
  18. As Luck Would Have It
  19. More to Life Than This
  20. He Ain't the One For You
  21. Sometimes Isn't Enough
  22. All of My Secrets
  23. Flawless
  24. Nothing is Forever
  25. Sweetest Lie
  26. Not Broken
  27. Still Our Song
  28. Nothing is Real
  29. As I Am
  30. Watching You Watching Me
  31. Newbie on Deck
  32. More Than This
  33. One Truth, A Million Lies
  34. Back to the Beginning
  35. Lil Bit O'Nasty
  36. Kicking and Screaming
  37. Down But Not Out
  38. Love Is Blind
  39. If I Want To
  40. Dreams Don't Come True
  41. I Knew It Was You
  42. Eyes on Me
  43. Every Truth That You Deny
  44. It's a Love/Hate Relationship
  45. Every Girl's Dream . . . Almost
  46. Forgetting How to Love
  47. All The Games You Play
  48. Twisted Web
  49. When Love is Not Enough
  50. Life Is a Crazy Thing
  51. No Tomorrow, Today
  52. Rocking the Boat
I also learned that titles can't be copyrighted.  Well, in the sense that you can name your novel after a song, book, or movie currently made.  I try not to do this, so whenever I have a title, I google it.  In fact "Millionaire Playboy" which is yet untitled but I have considered calling it that, was an old movie back in the 40s/50s.  I googled "ATIS" and it was not out there. 

Most of these titles work for the romantic type novels that I write.  I kind of have a title with my nanowrimo project, but still holding out.  I like to play with the characters names in the titles, and his name is "Hook" and her name is "Angel" so that was pretty easy.  "Hookin' an Angel"  Okay, sappy!  I'm never stuck on a title till somewhere in the editing process, and even then....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting closer to a story idea

I am yo-yoing between ideas for nanowrimo.  I have yet to decide what I will be writing and that is okay.  I wanted to do something totally different than I have before.  Most of my novels deal with romantic relationships of various sorts.  

But this is what I know!  I want to do a chicklit, but having one main character is kind of hard for me, without making it more of a romance.  I like to have everybody putting their two cents in.  Besides, I’d have to make that one main character pretty darn special.

Then I looked through my files of story ideas I jotted down.  Some ideas are simply a sentence or two describing a general plot.  Others could be an outline of the story.  Even others I have done character write-ups for.  It was one that I did character write-ups on that caught my attention.

I actually loved the characters so much I wrote a short story about them—an erotica story.  Oh, it’s spicy!  I wouldn’t use most of that short story for the novel, but it helps me with my characters.  It’s totally different from all my other novels, but still sticks close to the basic premise.  Girl meets boy, boy has issues, they fall for each other, troubles arise, and then it’s happily ever after.  Or so they all start as. 

“Millionaire Playboy” though it is technically “finished,” I have yet to go through with first round edits and I think I am totally killing the happy ending there.  It just ends too nice and sweet.  I have to shake things up over there. 

And I realized something crazy here, but stick with me.  The idea behind “Millionaire Playboy” was actually from a story I wrote in my teens!  Loved the idea of a millionaire falling for a normal every day girl.  AND this new idea, let’s just call it “Hook” (more on that later) was from a story I also wrote in my teens.  Hmmmm…..

It’s almost the opposite of “MP.”  The guy here is so far from “MP” he’s actually an ex-thug/drug dealer trying to stay on the straight and narrow.  Yes, he’s a roughneck.  Do they still call it that?  His name is “Hook” short for “Hook-up” meaning he was the neighborhood hook-up man.  Whatever you wanted, he could hook you up with that.

When I wrote the story in my teens, I was living in the projects, so I know some roughnecks and how the game goes down.  The premise of the story I wrote over two decades ago was, a well-to-do female car stops in the bad part of town and Hook stops to help her.  They are attracted to each other, but the lifestyle differences…..okay, that’s enough of the plot, because it’s not that simple.  Well it was when I was 15, but of course, I have to make it a little deeper than that.  And oh yeah, the whole car breaking down won’t be used either.

I wrote the outline for this current version FIVE years ago.  I only realized that because some of the research I did from the internet was dated.  I’m sure I have even older ideas.  LOTS!  I could do nanowrimo every month for a couple of years without coming up with any new ideas.  But I will make this my last month of writing something new, SERIOUSLY, and work on getting these works out there. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NaNoWriMo

So I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year.  This is my first time ever.  I have to admit, I hadn’t even heard of it till a few months ago.  Seems interesting…but not really a challenge for me. 

I can write 50,000 words in a day.  I’m not bragging, I’m just saying.  I’ve done it before, so I know it’s possible.  Give me one good weekend of nothing but writing and it’s done. 

Well this time I don’t’ even have an idea.  I mean, I have HUNDREDS of possible ideas, but I have not selected one.  I’m tossing a few around, and maybe I will outline a few and see which one has characters that “talk” to me.  I want to go for something totally different for me.  Or maybe not. 

I wanted to connect the NaNoWriMo novel to the “Millionaire Playboy” novel (still untitled) but didn’t have a character that needed a new story told.  I was thinking of a sequel to one of my unfinished novels, but that’s not cool.  FINISH THE ORIGINAL FIRST!!  Doh!  I have to kick myself in the head sometimes for jumping the gun.

So I will start some fresh and new.  It will come to me in the next 10 days.  There’s a whole St. Louis NaNoWriMo group here in St. Louis that will meet up this Sunday and again on October 31.  Wish I could be there, it seems interesting.  I always like hearing other people ideas and their process.

So until then, still finishing up the screenplay, but it’s hard to do without a computer, and so I wait.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Real world versus reality

One of the reasons I love writing so much is because I can make up my own world.  In my world, I believe in the happy ever after.  Sure, I put my characters through a whole heck of a lot of drama, but in the end, I make things simple and easy.  Everyone better smile in the end.

Is this reality?  YES!!  Everyone has a happy ending….maybe you just haven’t gotten to it yet.  You want to become a big, famous actress, singer, writer, (fill in the blank)…. Who said time is up?  If you want it, keep working on it and make it happen!  You want to fall hopelessly in love with the man of your dreams…it could happen!

In novels, we are only reading a snippet of someone’s life anyway.  We’re not starting with their very first relationship and traveling through all their ups and downs to find Mr. Perfect.  A little back story here and there and you can start the character’s growth at the point you begin their story.

I guess I grew up reading too many romance stories where the endings were always happy.  Maybe not as predictable as you thought it would be, but the couple got together in the end.  Even in a mystery/crime story, the crime gets solved at the end, right?  Happy ending.  Well you know, not counting the murder and mayhem throughout the story.

As a reader, reading book after book where the characters die, don’t find love, are still lost, are clueless, still wondering aimless at the end, that’s no fun, right?  I want to either smile, laugh or cry at the end.  Even if the main characters don’t wind up together, or the villain being sought was someone we cared about, there better be an ending that shows some hope. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Haters

I don’t have any right now (well, at least not the for real, mean kind), but I am finding that the more successful you are the BIGGER they are, and the more they are out to get you.  It’s a strange phenomenon.  Wow!

I’m going to use Beyonce haters for my example.  Hate her or like her, there is no denying she is very talented.  You might not like her singing, her voice or the songs she sings, but geez, millions of records sold and awards show somebody appreciates her work.  DON’T HATE!

There are many who are critical of her success, her rise to fame, maybe even her Diva attitude.  SO WHAT??  If you looked like she looked, had the talent she has, the money she has, married to a mogul like she is…how the heck are you supposed to act?  She acts like all of the above because she is all of the above!

You don’t have to like her acting abilities.  She’s not that great there, that’s just me being honest.  I am a BIG Beyonce fan!  I see her faults, I don’t go bam her over the head with them.  Why do people have to publicly diss others?

I see it all the time on my twitter page.  It breaks my heart that these success stories (people who have done it up big in their field) have so many HATERS trying to put me down.  I especially see it done with writers.  Really?  If you don’t like my work or what I write, why are you even acknowledging me with a comment?  DON’T READ IT!!

Actors and singers get it often.  I just thought it was weird that writers have HATERS.  Not only are they so unhappy with their lives, but they are miserable enough to comment on the person’s page negative things.  And I have seen this with non-celebrities that are doing it big.  Hmmm….

If you don’t have anything nice to say….just shut up!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A writer's voice

I did more reading this weekend than writing.  Finished two books this weekend and both of them written by Eric Jerome Dickey.  Guess I have a little fascination with his style.  One of the books was an older book, the other was one of his newer works.  You could see how he evolved as a writer, but I could also see he kept his own voice.

Voice, that is very important for a writer to have.  My voice can’t be similar to EJD or any other writer out there.  Heck, even if I tried I could not capture another writer’s voice.  That’s hard to do.  I think my writing is unlike any others…and that’s a good thing.  I want to be a writer that brings something different to the table.  Not a cookie cutter writer.

I think some of my story lines they are nothing elaborate and have been done before, but my characters and the way I tell the story, my voice, makes each of my novels interesting.  I read Sister, Sister by EJD and it simply reminded me of Waiting to Exhale.  Friends, trying to find happiness and love…which is what I compare my first novel All That it Seems.  So therefore, the story has been told before, many, many times, but it’s the CHARACTERS who make each of these “girl friend” types of novels unique.

Speaking of my characters, one of them was yelling at me again.  It happens a lot, go read I Am Not Crazy.  The thing was, it was not my main character, not the romantic lead, nor the best friend, nor any character that was relevant to the plot of the story.  It was a side character with no major lines and totally not relevant to the story.  Dilemma.  He was telling me his story, and I had to write it, so I did.

Now I don’t know how to fit it in.  Sure there can be several subplots going on, but I’m afraid it will take from the focal characters and their story.  Remember, this is a screenplay I am currently working on, so I have a set amount of pages to tell a story.  If this was a novel, I’d welcome the twist.  And he has a GREAT story worthy of a whole other screenplay.  Hmmmm.

What to do, what to do??  I’m waiting for more characters to talk to me, tell me their story, and get the ball going.  I have about 70 pages and aiming for 100-110.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

No excuses!

Writers can come up with so many excuses why they don’t write. 

“Too busy with the 8 to 5 job.”

“Have no new ideas to write about.”

“I’m too tired.”

"My brain is not functioning right now."

“Who cares about my writing anyway.”

“My computer is busted.”

I have not said any of these by the way, even though that last one applies right now.  I’m not trying to come up with any excuse to not write.  I am making it my habit to write something everyday, even if it is a page of crap.  Who knows, at least a few lines of that may be salvageable. 

And even when I am not physically writing I am thinking of writing, researching writing, reading books about writing, or something to better myself in the field of writing.  As a personal trainer, I HATE excuses as to why
someone doesn't work out.   Oh, but I am guilty of this.  My current fave, "But I'd rather write today!"  LOL!  Right.

Things that we know we NEED to do, we MUST do everyday.  For me, writing and working out are those things I must do every day, no exceptions, no excuses.

Monday, October 4, 2010

How bad do you want it?

Besides working an ordinary 8 to 5 job, and besides trying to make my writing dreams come true, I also am a certified personal trainer and lifestyle coach.  My motto during my weight loss journey has been, “How bad do you want it?”

Anything you want really bad, we musty work hard to achieve!  I really want to become a published author and/or established movie screenwriter.  So what do I do, sit on my heiny and hope luck falls my way?  NO!!!  I write everyday!  I research agents everyday.  I find any place to send my work in.  I visit blogs and talk with other writers, established and not.  I join writers groups.  I hope to go to more conferences soon. 

I should have been this gung ho about it 15 years ago when I finished college.  I should have never let the passion I feel for my writing die down.  Shoulda, coulda, woulda!!  I can’t live in the past, I must live for the future now.  This is no longer “my dream,” I must make this my REALITY.

Just like with my weight loss, there were PLENTY of ups and downs, highs and lows, setbacks, setups, and comebacks.  Heck, I have regained nearly half of my initial weight loss back, but that doesn’t stop me from continuing on.  I am not giving up on my body and I don’t expect to give up on my reality.  I AM A WRITER!  I will achieve my goals I have set for my writing career, just as I achieved my goals in weight loss.

I did not weight till I was at my goal weight to go after my certification as a personal trainer.  I knew it would only push me to reach my goal once I achieve that goal.  Sure enough, it did.  Not only could I coach myself into great shape, I could now help others.  The struggle is hard.  I don’t accept defeat.  We shouldn’t. 

So of course, when I become an established writer, I hope to help others like others have helped me.  But you have to WANT it!  BAD!!  I get many people come to me wanting help to lose 10-20 pounds are whatever, but their heart is not in it.  I can’t make you put down those French fries and pizza!  I can’t make you drink 8+ cups of water a day.  And I can’t make you exercise the amount needed to meet your weekly weight loss.  YOU have to want that just as bad as I want it for you.

Life would be simple if we just laid back, thought of all the things we wanted in life, open our eyes and there we are, thinner, richer, and successful.  It ain’t that easy!!  Hard work pays!!  So therefore, work hard!!