This has been a craptastic week. I’ve been having nightmares about being in a car accident, so I took my car into the shop just to check it out. The car needs major repairs. It’s drivable, but only until the parts break off. The repairs cost the price of the car. So now I have no car, and there isn’t public transportation to my job.
Dearest Reader, I try not to ask for much. Just your love and adoration.
Heh, kidding. Kind of.
Seriously though, I need your help. The money I’m spending on the replacement car is the money I would have spent to hire a copy editor and publish Haunting Miss Trentwood. Never fear, I have a plan. And you, Reader, are a part of it. If you wish to be, that is.
I submitted an application to Kickstarter. According to the website, Kickstarter is…
A new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors. We believe that a good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide. We believe that a large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.
Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.
Get this: I was accepted! This gives me thirty days (once I launch the project) to drum up some excitement and raise $1,200 (or more!). This is money that I intend to spend on hiring a professional copy editor ($$?), buying a pack of ISBNs ($500+), registering a sole proprietorship, buying marketing materials, etc.
My Kickstarter award system will be the following:
- Pledge $1 or more
Do I shout how awesome you are to Facebook or Twitter?
- Pledge $3 or more
Not only do you get to pick where I shout how awesome you are (Facebook or Twitter), but you also get a PDF copy of Haunting Miss Trentwood.
- Pledge $5 or more
PDF of Haunting Miss Trentwood as well as a permanent place on my website stating how amazing you are.
- Pledge $10 or more
PDFs of Haunting Miss Trentwood and Catching the Rose; a permanent place on my website stating how amazing you are; a handwritten note from moi.
- Pledge $15 or more
Print copy of Haunting Miss Trentwood; PDF copy of Catching the Rose; a place in the acknowledgment section of the book; a handwritten note from moi. Canada + $3; Europe + $10.
- Pledge $25 or more
Signed print copy of Haunting Miss Trentwood; PDF copy of Catching the Rose; a place in the acknowledgment section of the book; a handwritten note from moi; a surprise. Canada + $3; Europe + $10.
- Pledge $50 or more
Signed print copy of Haunting Miss Trentwood; two extra books for your friends/library (you pick the combination of Haunting Miss Trentwood and/or Catching the Rose); a place in the acknowledgment section of the book; a handwritten note from moi; a surprise. Canada + $10; Europe + $20.
I’m not asking that you help me out by pledging. I’d rather you help me by spreading the word that I need help; that I am happy to accept the smallest pledge possible, one dollar. Plus, how cool is it to say that you helped an author make her book happen?
Think of me as your resident artiste, and I’ll think of you as my lovely, lovely patron(s).
I’ll post more details once everything is up and ready to go. I have to post a video and make sure my bank account is verified, which takes time. Thanks so much for the help, whatever you’re able to give.
In the meantime, would you mind helping me get a buzz going?
All the best,
After giving you a taste of Haunting Miss Trentwood, I thought it would be nice if I showed you one of the many ways I keep track of who I’m writing about, how they relate to one another, etc.
That said, I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise you to hear that I adore Post-it notes. The image in this post shows how I visualize the love triangle(s) from Haunting Miss Trentwood. I would make the image bigger but then it might spoil some of the plot twists!
You see, dear Reader, this is a sort of map for me. I use this to remind me where tensions occur between characters. I’m color code so I know which character is part of which plot or subplot, and then I draw arrows with visuals to tell me the generics about the relationships.
I was thrilled to read Deanna Raybourn’s blog when she said she does something similar: a collage of images that help inspire her current work-in-progress. I love learning other types of writing exercises that don’t—shock!—require you to write. I need to make things because I am a Maker. I need to use my hands while I’m figuring something out, even something as cerebral as a plot twist. And then after I’ve made the thing, I want to share how I did it. Like this.
How to make a Character Map
- Have a crummy day at work.
- Have an awesome conversation on Facebook.
- Grab a tabloid-sized sheet of paper, multiple colors of small sticky notes, a pen, and a pencil.
- Write the names of the main characters on different colors of the sticky notes. Try to group the characters based on their primary plot lines.
- Play around with the configuration of the character sticky notes on the page until you can get them to fit, and represent the relationships.
- Draw arrows from one sticky note to the other to show direct connections.
- Use dotted lines to show indirect connections.
- Use a pencil because you might make a mistake and try to draw one arrow over another.
- To keep the character map legible, try to arrange the stick notes so you won’t have to cross arrows.
- Have fun with it! I drew a funny angry face to show antagonists, hearts to show love interests, and broken hearts to show tragedy.
- Put the character map somewhere you can glance at when you need inspiration.
I had so much fun with this, I might do it for the relationships I have in my life, and use it as a sort of art piece in my apartment. Or as a way for me to remember who is who at work. Learning the organizational scheme of a new workplace is always so stressful…
All the best,
I am ashamed to admit it has been, according to 750words.com, five days since I last wrote a word for Haunting Miss Trentwood. Thank goodness for blogfests! I almost forgot I agreed to be a part of the Rainy Day blogfest, held by The Writer’s Hole.
Below is my submission, a first-draft snippet of Chapter 24 from my work-in-progress, Haunting Miss Trentwood. To give you an idea of the story, it is set in 1887 England, and the tagline is “Father knows best… even after death.” Enjoy!
By the time they reached Wayland’s Smithy, it had begun to rain. It was the kind of loud rain which spoke of the end of winter and the coming of spring. Mary had been forced to jog that last one hundred yards to the black opening of the Saxon tomb. She had slid on the slick rock floor covered with decaying leaves. Trentwood’s tight grasp on her arm righted her. She jerked away from his unnatural touch.
Mary huddled beneath the sheltering rocks of the sarsen stones that made the ceiling, her arms wrapped tightly around her waist. I haven’t anything left to vomit. “Tell me what happened back there.”
Trentwood stood in the shadows beside her. She could feel his white eyes watching her, and fought the wave of nausea that shuddered through her body. Those white eyes had, for a brief moment, looked at her through Hartwell’s eyes. Certainly she hadn’t imagined that? Trentwood had, for a time, stepped into Hartwell’s body so he could land a devastating punch to Sedgwick’s jaw. One couldn’t imagine that. Just as one couldn’t imagine one’s father haunting one.
I’m not mad. Please, tell me I’m not mad.
Outside, the rain plummeted to the ground more furiously than Mary had ever seen. It was as if the sky vomited on her behalf. She closed her eyes and leaned her forehead into the moss that clung to the vertical stone walls. She sighed as the cool rock soothed the pounding at her temples.
“What would you like to know?”
She wasn’t sure where to begin. “How did you do it?”
Trentwood shrugged. “One minute I was watching you thrash about in bed, and I heard you scream that terrifying scream of yours, and the next minute, I was in your dream. I haven’t the slightest clue how it happened.”
Mary blinked. Wait, what? Her tongue felt heavy in her mouth. “I was talking about when you possessed Mr. Hartwell, Father.”
Again, Trentwood shrugged. “I’m as new to this being dead folderol as you are in watching it.”
Wiping beads of sweat from her brow, Mary whispered, “You will limit such… jaunts… in the future, I hope?”
“Indeed,” he said with a short laugh. “It pains me to do it as much as it seems to pain you to watch it. Do you know how difficult it is to be dead, hopping around from one mind or body to the next, not knowing how you got there, or how you’ll get out?” He stepped closer, and she could smell his death-stench.
“No, I don’t. I never thought it was a skill I would need to learn.”
He grunted. “Inherited your mother’s morbid sense of humor, I see.”
“Given the circumstances, I think I’m glad of it.”
Suddenly seeming sheepish, Trentwood took yet another step closer. “Mary, we must talk about your dream. We must talk about your mother’s death.”
Definitely make sure you check out the other submissions. Thanks for reading!
All the best,