Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Seven Deadly Sins with Character

Welcome to the November Insecure Writers Support Group! Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh

As long as I blog, I won't miss out on this wonderful event. And today, instead of griping which I very well could do, I'm going to encourage and give out some advice (not that I'm a big authority or anything!)

To fresh, new writers with a story to tell: Write on! Get around those blocks, take short breaks to refresh, and get that story out.

To the editing blues crew: Carry on! Find a good crit partner and then some. Get out of your head and start a new project, then come back and remember what a great story you have that deserves to be polished up. The new project will also be your motivation to finish editing.

To the querulous queriers: Press on! Quick! You have five seconds to tell me what you're book is about, GO! There's your blurb, now expand and tease only a little to write the query. Remember the query is the future back cover of your book - hook an agent/editor/publisher now, hook readers later.

To the modest marketers: Event on! Get out there and sell - yourself. Who's going to promote you better than you? NO ONE. Unless you pay them. And we have no money yet. So bust a move!

Lather. Rinse. Repeat!

Easier said than done, I know. And believe me, it takes years, many, many, too many, rejections, heartaches and backaches and wrist-aches... But it's all worth it!

Now for a couple of BLOG HOPS! I'm so glad Michelle and Tyrean tagged me. I haven't done a hop in a while. Yay!

First Michelle tagged me in the Literary Seven Deadly Sins! (love this pic!)

Here are the questions:

Greed – What is your most inexpensive book?

Besides books I've won, I can't think of any cheap paper books... I do like sales. I've also gotten some free and 99 cent kindle books...

Wrath – Who’s the author with whom you have a love/hate relationship with?

John Grisham - love most of his insanely good story-telling, but don't like that he can publish whatever he wants (a few shouldn't have been...)

Gluttony – What book have you devoured over and over again with no shame?

It takes me a while to read a book through, so reading them a second time? Doesn't usually happen. When I was younger, I read several books in the Xanth series by Piers Anthony at least twice.

Sloth – Which book have you neglected reading due to laziness?

I have a stack... I will say Gone Girl and I've let Cinder sit for too long, half-read as well...

Pride – What books do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?

My pride will not let me announce my deception... ha ha ha!

Lust – What attributes do you find attractive in a male or female character?

Strength, humor, conviction, honesty, faults they work around, depth

Envy – What book would you like to receive most as a gift?

A hard copy of Effigy - really digging MJ's book!

Now, I must tag others to admit their SEVEN DEADLY SINS...

Elizabeth Seckman, Vikki Biram, Christine Rains, Loni Townsend, Beth Ellyn Sumner, Heather Gardner, C. Lee McKenzie (I know that everybody is super-busy, so if you decide not to play along, then that’s fine)

And Tyrean asked if I would do a Meet the Character, so yay! Here are her books. And she introduced us to Clara - a teen swordstress destined for greatness.

Now it's my turn to let you all get to know one of my characters...

What is the name of your character? Is s/he fictional/historical?

Jeremy Monroe, totally fictional

When and where is the story set?

Modern day South Florida

What should we know about your character?

He's been dating his girl, Jess for three years and just found out he has a terminal brain tumor.

What is your character's goal?

To have a lot of fun and take care of his loved ones before he dies.

What is screwing up  your character's life (main conflict in writerly speak?)

Before he dies, he takes a strange potion his girl got from a Shaman Priestess, hoping to extend his life, but he dies anyway and turns into a zombie! That's when the real fun starts.

What is the title?

The Comeback. It's a short story in CQ: CHRONOLOGY, an anthology by a slew of awesome Curiosity Quills authors. Comes out November 24!!

And now I am tagging CD Coffelt - but it's open to anyone who'd like to participate!

CD's books are:
Wilder Mage
Mage Revealed


Jennifer Hawes said...

I agree--get a critique partner or two:) And make every word count in those queries! Fun post!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cool you have a story in that anthology.
I don't re-read books either. I have too many I need to read once.
And event on! Working on that.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Good peppy advice for us all. Like your 7 virtues interview. I love those free and .99 books too.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That Grisham can write in any genre annoys me. So not fair.

Jonathan Schramm said...

New Writer here! Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm definitely in the Write On phase, also in one of the short breaks you talked about. Off to get back to it!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Lots of encouragement here, Tara. Thanks!

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

Fida Islaih said...

I'm under the marketer phase, so thank you for that bit of motivation. I really need it!

Also, cool blog hop!

Tonja Drecker said...

Love your category cheers!
Jeremy sounds like an interesting character.
And that's so true of John Grisham. Just never thought of that way before. :)

Sarah Foster said...

Love the advice. I'm in the editing phase, which is not fun. Not at all. I'm trying to take your advice and find some more CPs, since I feel like I don't know how to fix my book anymore.

Juneta key said...

Great post. Enjoyed the 7 deadly sins blog hop. I did the meet my character one a while back. It was quite fun. I enjoyed yours.

Juneta at Writer's Gambit

Carrie-Anne said...

It's hard to find a critique partner when you write so outside of what everyone else seems to be writing. Everyone else in CP matchups on message boards and blog hops seems to be writing what I'm not, and I'm in such a small minority.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Great advice, and a very big +1 to that whole critique partner thing. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars hiring an editor - just get a few critique partners that you can trust and that you know will thoroughly comb out any errors.

Unknown said...

Jess sounds admirable. I'd be very interested in reading this story.
My biggest pet peeves right now are editing and marketing. I know we have to give it our all but sometimes, I feel like throwing in the towel, especially with marketing. And when I do feel like this, I take a day or two to have "me" time and get back on the horse, full throttle.

Kim Van Sickler said...

I've got Gone Girl on CD and will be "reading" it during my commutes to work and meetings over the next few weeks. Very psyched. A perfect dark novel for this time of year.

dolorah said...

Crit partners are invaluable. This is an encouraging post. Thanks.

Trisha said...

The zombie thing is certainly a plot twist your poor character didn't see coming, Tyrean ;) eek!

Great advice further up there, Tara - so succinct but so on point!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tara - fun post with all the different aspects ... I enjoyed the read, have lots to learn from it .. and as to reading books: I must do it ...

Congratulations re your books .. and then I see you've a podcast interview ... spreading our wings is what we need to do .. and you're definitely doing that .. cheers Hilary

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Nice of you to give advice Tara. Fun reading your seven sins and for me being an intellectual isn't really a priority of mine. So I wouldn't have any books to share. Jeremy that's what you get when you mess with life and death. Ooh, I'm going to check out Tyrean's character hop post. I'm intrigued. Have a great day Tara.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'm event hopping with you!! See you Saturday! More good books to look up!! I downloaded Tyrean's book for Chad. I figure I'm taking forever to get through my reading list, I'm outsourcing some of them.

Robin said...

I am in the midst of rereading something now. I first read it 20 years ago, so I only remember the basic plot of the book. All the details are fresh for me.

LD Masterson said...

Good pep talk. And I have the same complaint about James Patterson.

Rena said...

I love your seven deadly characters! And those are some great choices, and I pretty much agree, especially since I have similar stuff in my stacks.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I used to LOVE Grisham's books but the past few I haven't been a fan of. The Pelican Brief was my all-time fav of his.

Unknown said...

yay thank you for the tag! love doing them :) and I love your advice about marketing. When I get there, I know I will be so shy!

Michelle Wallace said...

Great advice Tara! On point.
Thanks for playing along with the Literary Seven Deadly Sins!

Christine Rains said...

Great post! I'm writing, revising, and marketing. I think I just melted into my chair. And thank you for the tag. I'm filled up for a month, though! So I'll do a quick answer for it here:
Greed - I have several free books, most recently from Creepy Freebies.
Wrath - Gena Showalter.
Gluttony - The Harry Potter series.
Sloth - The Gormenghast series.
Pride - None.
Lust - Intelligence, sense of humor, compassion, strength.
Envy - Any of Christopher Buehlman's.

Nick Wilford said...

Thanks for the pep talk! Yep, as self-marketers no one else is going to do it - not easy for the shyer among us, but our books deserve it!

Congrats on being placed in the anthology. Your story sounds great.

M Pax said...

Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat. Some days it all seems so pointless, then others make it worthwhile.

Unknown said...

Awesome advice Tara :) I love it.. Rinse. Lather. Repeat. You are right. It sure is a lot of work, but worth it all.

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