Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Writing Process

There are no right or wrong answers; everyone's writing process is different. The way I write, is just that, mine. I'm sure this post will elicit a few headshakes from fellow writers who are more organized and structured with their plot development than I am. *Shrugs shoulders* I never claimed to be a good writer. I hate order, which is probably why I struggle with grammar so much. I will argue about all things bookish, or not, but I do know one thing beyond a shadow of any doubt. The shower curtain DEFINITLY goes on the inside of the tub.

Bwah hahahahahaha! ha ha...ha...ahem! Now, where was I? Ah, yes, to the Batmobile!

It all starts with a scene in my mind about a couple of interesting characters (usually the MCs). If I like the characters I start thinking about them more, the story builds and gets bigger. More characters get added. I basically plan out the whole story in my mind before I ever write anything down. But it's not a plan. I don't plan. Things change, and I like it like that. The story plays in my head like a movie, if I don't like something I change it. Then I jot down a few important plot points for order. The Male Amendment is going to be a three to four book series, I think. The first book was maybe ten bullet points, and right now I have about thirty. Each point was about five words to a sentence long. I hate too much structure, it's just the way my brain works.

Then I sit down and write out everything from beginning to end, in order, like I saw it in my head, filling in blank spots with scenes I feel are needed. When I write it's totally organic, things change as the characters morph into different people as I write. The characters are all real people in my mind, who talk, and I just write out what they say, or I change what one person does and see how it changes what happens to everyone else. As I write things change, but that works even better. There are times I have to fight through dry patches where I don’t know how to bridge two scenes smoothly. What works for me is having a writing goal everyday, like four or ten pages a day. Sometimes I beat it, sometimes I don't, but I always make up for what I miss on other days. And the revisions! Revisions, revisions, revisions! I'd say revisions take about 80% of the novel writing time, for me. Everyone is different though.

I'm finding that my story is too long right now, I gotta cut stuff out which is hard. I need to cut 15-25% of the words I have now. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but it should be achievable. I am sooooooo repetitive, as you can tell by this post…yes…you guessed it…I like change!

While I’ve been working on The Male Amendment I’ve had other ideas for novel pop into my head. I jot down the stories so that I don’t lose the ideas because for right now I need to see this novel thorough to completion. I am notorious for starting projects and never finishing them. It’s that damn creative part of my brain that goes A.D.D. every five seconds…oh, look, a kitty!

I'm sure people would say that my writing approach is weird, but it works for me. Now you have insight into my madness.

Hopefully this made sense to all you sane people out there. Let me know.

Stella out!

Making it in High Heels

For those of you wondering how to get a copy of the book my short story was published in, go to this link: http://www.burmanbooks.com/node/198 . This link takes you to the publisher's site. Thanks to all the support from my friends who ask me how to get a copy every time I see them. Love you guys! If you get a copy please let me know what you think.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Step inside my office

Some of you who know me know that I travel a lot for work. When I say a lot, I mean 50% of the time. I spend large amounts of time in airports, hotels, Second Cups, and Starbucks. Sometimes I’m stuck in airports for nine hours at a time. What on earth do I do with my time? I read, edit, write, revise, and try to work on my grammar.

This is an example of how I work. I first choose a spot to sit in the airport by scoping out the power outlets, there aren't nearly enough in airports, believe me. Now that I’ve found my office, step inside.I've plugged in my laptop, hopefully there are seats near the available outlets. My Ipod plays, helping me find the mood for the scene I'm working on with music. My Bose sound canceling headphones (a gift from my husband) keeps the noise of the busy airport from distracting me. My notebook--that I always carry with me--is open to random ideas that I scribble down to help with plot, dialog, and flow. There are stacks of critiques from other writers to work through. I try to extract the opinions and thoughts that will improve my novel.

I've been working on this novel for almost two years non-stop, until recently. I wanted to share a little about how I work around my schedule, since I get asked every so often. Recently I've taken a break from my writing, I think I needed to step back. I think it’s like when I paint, the longer I'm working on a part of it I'm not satisfied with, the more I feel I can't fix it. I need to walk away. The next time I return to the painting it is easy to see what wasn't working, what was out of proportion, what colour I wasn't mixing right. I think my month long sabbatical is almost over. I did get a lot of relaxing reading in. Time to get back to work.

Stella out!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Judging a Book by It's Cover

Bad, cover art! Bad!!! I think quite a few people in the marketing departments of some publishers should commit seppuku. Why would anyone want to pick up a book because of these dreadful covers? I would never want to be seen holding one of these eye-soars, I might die of embarrassment if I did. I would be taunted relentlessly; the tasteless art and heckling of others would follow me around for the rest of my life like a criminal record.

My opinions are based on the cover art not on the authors writing. I am simply judging a book by it's cover. HA haha!

The Gathering Storm. Okay, I know this book is a bestseller. How I feel when I see this cover has nothing to do with the author or his work, but damn. This cover is so lame and melodramatic, it might as well be a daytime soap-opera. Even the quality of the drawing is terrible, the proportions are out of whack. Erg! Good thing you can get it in hardcover, so you can take the jacket off and read it in public.

Nauti Deceptions. For real? I know this cover tells us all what's inside, but how can any intelligent woman or man want to be see in public holding this book? It would be like reading Hustler on an airplane or bus. *shudder* What would people think? I don't want the picture to show me how hot the characters are, I want to be attracted to them through the story. Enter female reader's voice of reasoning: "Hmmmm...how should I decide which book to buy? This one sounds good, but, the guy on this book is much hotter. Sold!" Errrrrrrrrg! And women wonder why romance novels are considered cheesy, second rate, and plotless. It's because of cover like these!!!

Dead and Gone, book nine in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I have recently read this entire series, and believe me it's good. But these covers are horrible! They make you think that these are YA novels, and they are NOT! I believe new covers are coming out for all of these books and not a moment too soon, I was about to go septic. 

Old cover. It's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's Dracula dancing up in the sky!

New cover. Ahhhhhhhhh! Much better.

Pleasure Model. Here is why sci-fi is also considered ridiculous. Do you even want to know what this book is about? Probably not, but after I read the jacket out of morbid curiosity, I feel I have to share it with you. You know what the say "curiosity maimed, decapitated, burned, and killed the stupid cat". The jacket reads : Rook Venner is the unlucky cop assigned to a bizarre and vicious murder case. The vic was a high-ranking military officer, making this a political killing—extremely dangerous to everyone involved. The only witness is an illegal pleasure model, a voluptuous gene-grown human with a limited IQ. Plesur’s sole purpose is to satisfy her owner in any way he desires. And her existence makes the case even more difficult. When shadowy assassins destroy his home, Rook takes Plesur into hiding. But as he desperately looks for clues to who wants them dead, Rook may be falling under Plesur’s spell....

Bwah hahahahhahahahahaha! For real? Honestly? Plesur? Oh come on! Stupid, hot, and horney woman in space, space, space. *the announcer's voice echoes off into the abyss* Makes me laugh when guys make fun of romance novels and they're reading this tripe. Makes one wonder how good the plot is when the name of the book focuses on the brain-dead hot chick. Rook may be falling under Plesur's spell? Plesur is weak between the ears, so what does that make Rook?

Bad cover art makes Stella mad! How about you?

Sunday, February 14, 2010


The cover and title for the last book of The Hunger Games series has finally been released. The last book in the series, titled Mockingjay, is slated for release on Aug 24th. I can't wait to see how Suzanne Collins will finish off this captivating story. I squeal in anticipation. I jump with excitement. I cross the days of on my calendar and countdown the sleeps until I can purchase this book.


Friday, February 12, 2010

The Ipad

Look out Kindle and Sony Reader, the Ipad is coming and it's going to rock our world. The Wall Street Journal said "The last time people were this excited about a tablet, there were commandments written on it." Ha hahahahaha!

I am a book reader, I don't know if I'll ever switch over to e-books. There is just something about having a real book in my hands, that speaks to me. You don't have to worry about low batteries, if your at a pool or on the beach, that sand and water are going to get on it. And you don't have to worry about getting mugged for it.

I don't think I would ever buy Kindle or Sony Reader. But now that I've read up on the Ipad, I think I might have to reevaluate my opinion. It is amazing! It is something we have all seen in sci-fi movies and shows, and soon it will be a reality.

My only concern about using this to read books on is that I usually read books for HOURS at a time. Like 11 books in two and a half weeks. I'm afraid that the back-lit screen on the Ipad will prevent me from being able to read for such long periods of time due to the strain involved in looking at a computer screen. Maybe this back lit setting can be adjusted? Maybe it won't be that bad at all. All I know is that I'm going to get one. Oh yeah! Thank goodness I head about the Ipad in the nick of time, I was about five seconds away from buying a 64GB Ipod touch. Whew!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Finding

I have recently had the pleasure of discovering a wonderful Canadian writer. I know, I know, but you read right. A CANADIAN writer, believe me, it was unplanned.

Kelley Armstong should thank Doubleday Publishing, because the cover and jacket both won me over. I had no idea that the author, Armstrong, was even Canadian. I would have stomped all over it like a flaming bag of poo had I known. See my post called "A big poo-poo on most Canadian art forms" for insight into my aversion of Canadiana.

I read two novels in a series of hers that kept me hooked from beginning to end.

Book one was The Summoning. The story begins with a chilling scene where a little girl is sent to the basement by a cruel babysitter to search for something. The little girl finds terror as she sees a dead body hanging from the ceiling. We jump forward to the present and the MC--Chloe--is a teenager now. I like Chloe, for she has aspirations for her future and is not a wuss, unlike some heroines in certain books. As she struggles to fit in to her new school and deal with her distant father she encounters a dead body at school that speaks to her, but no one else can see him. He is burnt, chard, and gruesome. She is terrorized out of her mind and is taken away to an institute called Lyle House. She is told she is hallucinating and that she is scitsofrenic. If she behaves and takes the pills they are giving her she will get better and go home. Chloe wants to get better, she wants to go home, but the visions are becoming worse. Chloe and the reader become so confused about weather or not she is actually crazy, it is interesting to say the least. The other teenagers at the institute are just as confusing at times, and seem even dangerous. The truth is revealed, Chloe is a necromancer, she can see dead people and they come for her because they know she sees them. It also seems that there is more to this institute than meets the eye, and that the teenagers that don't get better, get gone--and Chloe comes to suspect--dead. This book was a good page turner that wasn't as predictable as most YA novels. It had some pretty creep moments too. Giggidy! Giggidy!! The Jacket reads: After years of frequent moves following her mother's death, Chloe Saunders's life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she's not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts-everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe's small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home-charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a "thing" for fire-Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn't your usual "problem kid" behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

The second book was The Awakening. This book felt a little lost at times for me, it didn't really seem to have as much direction as the first book but it was another good read. Chloe and some of her friends are on the run for their lives after escaping the institute. The string of betrayal and horror continues in this installment and has me wondering where the love interests of the MC's truly lie. I doubt they will be were most people expect. Ding! Ding!! The jacket reads: If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl - someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment - not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a group of people who call themselves The Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control: I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends - a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch - and we have to find someone who can help us gain our freedom back before The Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

Book three, the finale, is called The Reckoning. It comes out on April 6th and here's what the jacket says:  Only two weeks ago, life was all too predictable. But that was before I saw my first ghost. Now along with my supernatural friends Tori, Derek, and Simon, I'm on the run from the Edison Group, which genetically altered us as part of their sinister experiment. We're hiding in a safe house that might not be as safe as it seems. We'll be gone soon anyway, back to rescue those we'd left behind and take out the Edison Group . . . or so we hope.

I can't wait to see how the story will end!
If you're looking for a good and distracting read pick up this series and let me know what you think. The discount stickers you see on the pictures are courtesy of http://www.chaptersindigo.ca/ order on line and you get a great deal.

Stella out!

All stories and poems posted are
Copyright © 2009 by Stella Telleria
All rights reserved.