Tag Archives: YA Fiction

Making Changes

Hello, everyone!

I’m sorry I haven’t posted my monthly journal series since September, and so sorry that I haven’t let you know why, until today.  

When I planned my monthly journal series, I had no idea we were going to build a new pottery workshop. When I started my monthly journal series in January of 2018, I still had no idea. Then I got my miracle on January 15, 2018. I will never forget that day, not ever!

We started construction on my workshop the last week of February of 2018 (I really shouldn’t say we, I didn’t do any of the work, my husband did) So, I thought I could continue doing my monthly journal series and I did, until it got to be too much for me. Once my husband was done with most of the work, it was my turn to work in my workshop. I had to unpack a bazillion boxes, twenty-eight years worth of pottery stuff, inventory and equipment. OMG…there were so many boxes. Sometimes, it was overwhelming. I started unpacking my workshop around August 28th I think. There were times when I over did it, and ended up paying for it. That’s because I live with chronic pain and several autoimmune diseases. I also have a herniated disc in my back, between L3 & L4. So, basically, I take two or three steps forward, then one of two steps back. When I over do it or have lots of stress, it’s four or five steps back. That’s when I have to stop and rest for a while. I’m always doing this dance that I don’t want to do and it drives me nuts sometimes! I have so much to do, and my body just won’t let me do what I want to do.

I seriously wish I had a time machine, so I could go back to October 25, 2000 and tell myself not to go to the Chiropractor on October 26, 2000. That day, my life changed forever, because the Chiropractor herniated my disc, and shortly after that I developed Fibromyalgia. My life is broken up into before October 26, 2000 when I had a normal life and after October 26, 2000.

So, by the middle of September I realized that unpacking and organizing my workshop, plotting my book series and doing a monthly journal was too much for me. So, I stopped posting my monthly journal. I also stopped plotting for a few months, and just focused on my workshop and my new pottery designs. Then it was the Holidays, and I found out that shopping at the last minute is not good for Fibromyalgia!!! I’ve been going into Fibro flare-ups over and over again for the last seven months.

There are times when I feel lost, and stranded on a rock with miles and miles of ocean in front of me, with no way of getting to where I want to go. 

It’s been a difficult year and a few months for me. So busy, so much stress, so much work! But my workshop is getting there. I still have a few things to organize before I can start working with clay again. I can’t wait!

After taking some time off from plotting, I realized that The Snowflake Method was just not working for me. I’m back to plotting and I think I found just what I need.  I’m reading Save The Cat Writes A Novel by Jessica Brody and it’s helping me. Every time I read a few pages I get ideas, things are starting to fall into place, something magical is happening. Over the weekend I wrote a new beginning for chapter one and I really like it. I’ll just place it right before, my original chapter one beginning. My first plot point needed to be pushed back a little. So, now my book opens in Maine, a week or two earlier than it originally opened.

I found a life boat!

So, I’m no longer going to be doing a monthly journal. I just want to focus on plotting my book series and not putting any pressure on myself. I need to find a healthy balance of working with clay during the day (once my workshop is finished), writing at night, and getting enough sleep. And most of all, not over doing it! I also want to start on my character name blog series. That won’t be a monthly thing though. I’ll just post when I can. I just have to keep reminding myself to take baby steps…I’m not wonder woman anymore.

I’ll let you know how things are going with Save The Cat Writes A Novel

Thanks for stopping by!

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Monthly Journal – March 2018

Oh my Ears & Whiskers…I’m late!

Alice in Wonderland quote

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get

Alice in Wonderland quote

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to my new blog series…Monthly Journal

Sorry, this blog post is late.

This month has been a roller coaster ride, full of ups and downs…and up again. I started out so good too. I worked on my series bible. I actually changed the name of my town, I like the new name so much better!  But, then I had to changed the name of the town on all of my character profiles and print new ones. But, that’s okay…the new name was worth it.

I purchased my new kiln…Yay!

My new pottery workshop is coming along very nicely. The electrical outlets, track lighting, ceiling fan and some of the shelves are done.

I’ve been so preoccupied with my new pottery workshop, I haven’t had that much time for writing and plotting. My head is full of pottery designs and I’m getting excited about working with clay again. Three years, has been a long time to be without a workshop.

On March 23rd, I started reading…How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method. I’m so glad I bought this book. I’ve put lots of removable index tabs on the pages, and highlighted the important stuff. I think, this just might be the method I need to plot my series. I’ve been looking for the right fit… the right way to plot for me…for so long. I’ve tried so many things, so many ways of plotting and nothing seems to stick for very long.

I finally wrote my tagline…my one sentence summary for the first book, before I was even finished with the book. This is so huge for me! I’ve been avoiding this, for so long. It just seemed so difficult. How in the world do you summarize a whole book in one sentence? I didn’t even try to do it…until last week. It really wasn’t that bad, actually. I don’t know why I was avoiding it. I guess I thought I needed to know my ending, before I could write my tagline. My ending is still very fluid. Things keep changing in my book, my characters seem to be taking over. While reading this book, I realized that I don’t need to know my ending, and my tagline doesn’t have to be perfect. I can always change it, whenever I want to.

It doesn’t matter which way you choose to plot a book. You just have to find the right method that works for you. Fingers crossed, that this is the right method for me. I’m very methodical when I do things, so I think the step by step instructions will work for me. It’s like baking, you have to follow the recipe. So, if you’re having problems plotting like me, check out this book. It might just work for you too. I’ll let you know how step 2, in the snowflake method works out for me in my next blog post.

Hopefully, April will be a much smoother ride for me.

Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

Character Development: Zodiac Traits – Capricorn

Hello!

Well, it’s finally here, the last blog post in my series…

Character Development using Zodiac Traits.

It’s one of my favorite writing tools…to create living, breathing characters that jump off the page and it helps me know my characters…so much better. After giving my characters a name and finding images of what my characters look like (not necessarily in that order all the time.) I give them a birthday.

Then I start searching for Zodiac Traits. Pinterest is a great place to get information on Zodiac Traits. Check out my board…

Writing Tips: CAPRICORN Character Development – Zodiac Traits

https://www.pinterest.com/MMAlexander15/writing-tips-capricorn-character-development-zodia/

I start with negative and positive keywords for each Zodiac sign. 

These negative keywords are very helpful for character development. Especially for developing your antagonist or a character that’s not so nice. You can use several of these negative keywords or all of them, sprinkled with a few positive keywords to create a living, breathing antagonist. People are complex, no one is all bad or all good. Creating an antagonist that has some good qualities makes them scarier…in my opinion.  

Characters need layers, depth…that’s what makes them real.

These positive keywords are very helpful in developing your protagonist, side kicks and mentors, sprinkled with a few negative keywords and you have a living, breathing character with flaws. Someone people can relate to.

Then I dig deeper with this book  “The Power of Birthdays, Stars & Numbers – The Complete Personology Reference Guide by Saffi Crawford and Geraldine Sullivan.” 

I love this book!

It has information, on every single birthday.

Hope this series helped you with your Character Development.

Thanks for stopping by!

My next series will be Character Names

And I think I’ll do a series on Character Development using Myers Briggs

See you soon! 

 

Super Cute Notebooks

I love these notebooks!

These notebooks are super cute! I’ve been using legal pads for years…for everything. Legal pads are great, but they all look-alike ( unless you get different colors ), they have different colors on Amazon. I just use the yellow or white ones. I end up having piles and piles of white and yellow legal pads…in my office, downstairs, and in my bedroom…just in case I get an idea while I’m getting ready for bed, which happens often. But, I end up spending valuable time looking for information I need, which ends up taking me forever to find. So, I purchased these cute notebooks. Each book in the series will have its own ( different ) notebook.

I picked “Let Your Imagination Take Flight” for book one. Last night, I started filling it with the information I need. I have to say that the quality of the paper is wonderful. I can write on both sides of the page without the ink bleeding through. I love it!

Each book will be filled with the info I need quickly. Whenever I get an idea, I’ll be able to write it down in the appropriate notebook and then I’ll able to find it fast…Yay!

I think I like getting organized. Hmmm…Why didn’t I do this sooner?

I think I need to buy more of these, just in case I run out of room.

P.S. I purchased these on Amazon

The other day, I had an idea!

The other day, I had an idea!

After my last blog post, It’s all a blur…I realized, that I needed to do something to motivate me to blog more often. If left to my own devises, I will procrastinate. I alternate between procrastination and perfectionism all the time…another ENFP personality trait.

https://melindamariealexander.com/2017/12/19/its-all-a-blur/

So, I’m kicking off a new blog endeavor

My goal is to blog more often, be more organized and disciplined, and to let you know what I’ll be working on…while I pull apart my first book and nail down my ending. Then put it back together and plot out the other books in the series. I’ll share what’s working for me, and what’s not working for me. I hope whatever I find…will help writers who are struggling like me.

I still feel quite lost. My ideas and thoughts are all mixed up right now. This one little flame, is the only light…guiding me in the direction I want to go in.

I am way out of my comfort zone!

There’s only one way I want to go, there’s no turning back now. I need to find this elusive ending I’ve been struggling with in book one. It’s been just beyond my fingertips, I haven’t been able to grab hold of it yet, and I don’t know why? Maybe I just don’t like endings, or maybe I’m just not good at endings…I don’t know?

All I can do right now, is take one step at a time and keep working.

My new blog endeavor is…a Monthly Journal

It’s starting in January. Hope you take this trip into the unknown with me. Together, maybe we might learn something that will help us Plotser’s (somewhere between a plotter and a pantser), become more like a plotter.

If it goes well, maybe it will become a weekly journal? 

Typography ~ Lines from my book

hide-it-from-raven-hill-by-melinda-marie-alexander

I made these, so I could pin them on my storyboard

https://www.pinterest.com/MMAlexander15/storyboard-raven-hill/

i-shivered-again-from-raven-hill-by-melinda-marie-alexander

i-turned-toward-him-from-raven-hill-by-melinda-marie-alexander i-think-she-knows-from-raven-hill-by-melinda-marie-alexander

i-could-feel-him-looking-at-me-from-raven-hill-by-melinda-marie-alexander

What do you think?