Writer's Sketchbook 9

on Wednesday, December 31, 2014
    As I said in my last post, I'm taking a break from my work on Rose.  Trying to balance all the different characters and all their different plots became overwhelming and upsetting.  I'm definitely going to keep working on the Magique Trilogy, but I needed a break so badly.  I was dying for some traditional fantasy writing.  I tried reading some of my old favorite books, but it wasn't enough.
    So I switched focus for a brief period of time to Powerful.  I posted the first chapter here, but it's clearly not going to be the first chapter of the novel.  As I sat down to write the next chapter (which will most likely become the actual first chapter), I realized I hadn't done character sketches, and this book has a lot of characters.  I will be working on developing all the characters over the next little while, and posting them here for you to see.  Here is the first of those sketches.


Crown Princess Kylanore (Kyla) Tykranne



A Brief Update About My Hiatus

on Sunday, December 28, 2014
    Sorry I've been gone for a while.  Life has been crazy.
    First, my computer has been out of commission for a week and a half, making it very difficult to blog.  I can post from my phone, but it's a lot more complicated and I don't like doing it, so I haven't.
    Second, happy holidays!  I spent 10 hours in the car driving home for the holidays (I'm still back in good old California!) and being around so much family has taken up a lot of my time, so I haven't been able to blog.
    Third, I'm taking a pause from writing Rose.  It has become very difficult and overwhelming to write.  The stress led to a lot of writer's block, so after a few weeks, I decided to dedicate some of my brain power to working on Powerful.  I've been saving the idea to work on so that I could focus on Rose, but I'm in desperate need of some traditional fantasy writing, so I'm giving myself a break.  (Also, I spent the majority of the past week working on my wedding scrapbook which never got finished.  But now it is finished and I don't have that hanging over my head anymore!  Whoo!)
    That's pretty much the extent of my update.  Here's a random writing quote.

    ~Alyson

It's Up!

on Monday, December 15, 2014
    My very first author interview was posted this morning!  Here's the link!  Thank you to Chanel Blake for taking the time to interview me!  Here you can check out her other author interviews.  The one right before mine is H. L. Burke, who I mentioned previously on my blog twice, in this post, and this post.  There's plenty of fun things to look at.  Now enjoy this picture of my book nerdy adorableness when I was little.


    ~Alyson

Writer's Sketchbook 7 & 8

on Monday, December 8, 2014
    That's right, I've got two more character sketches for you.  I should have done all these months ago (because they've all appeared in Rose multiple times), but I'm lame and lazy and my writing suffered because of my laziness.
    I'm back to rewriting.  I got like 3 chapters farther this time.  Yay.  But at least the changes are minor and shouldn't take too long to get through.
    But I'm not here to talk about rewrites.  I'm here to introduce Dahlia and Florian.  Who my readers have already met.  But not formally, because I'm lazy and tried to skip my way through my writing.  But not anymore.  
    And in case you're wondering, that flower is a Dahlia.  The snow white Dahlia.  The flower Dahlia was named after.  You're welcome.

Writer's Sketchbook 5 & 6

on Sunday, December 7, 2014
    This sketchbook will be different than the ones I did for Rose. Now that I have Scrivener, there's actually a character sheet for me to fill out.  I used it with Rose so all my information would be in one place (because if I have to switch my screen it's very easy for me to get distracted by things like Facebook and Pinterest), but I originally just copied and pasted my character sketches into the page.  It was very unorganized.  Now that I'm starting fresh with new writing in Scrivener, I decided to use the Scrivener template for my character sketches.  
    Today I'm going to post two character sketches because I'm really excited about it.  I spent all week working on these sketches because they are really important for the next chapter of Rose, and I felt really uncomfortable moving forward until I had all this information figured out.  Now it's figured out, and I'm super excited to present to you Ella and Henrie for the next installment of the Magique Trilogy.


Ten Days

on Friday, December 5, 2014
    Just a quick tidbit of information-
    I had to write my very first author bio yesterday (which was totally surreal) because my very first author interview is coming out in ten days!  Keep your eyes open for it on December 15th!


    I'm really excited to share it with everyone, so of course I'll post it here once it gets published.  Anyway, I figured I'd talk about my author bio today.  Having never written one before, it was quite the challenge.  I had to try and balance professional with personal, and not having a ton of professional experience made it difficult, so I had to present myself in a way that would attract positive attention.  It was hard.

Best Day Ever

on Tuesday, December 2, 2014
    Christmas of 2007, my grandma gave me a book called The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale.  I fell in love with the book and begged for the rest of the series.  The second book, Enna Burning, is still my favorite book to this day.
    Over the years I've had to buy newer versions of The Goose Girl and Enna Burning because they've been worn down and destroyed in my backpack and purse.  The original 2007 copy of The Goose Girl got destroyed by a leaky water bottle too, so in 2011 my grandma bought me a new hardback copy that I've somehow managed to keep in perfect condition.  
    Enna Burning got lost along the way when I left for college,
 and I couldn't find it anywhere.  It was heartbreaking to lose my favorite book, so my grandma bought me a new hardback copy of that one too, completing my collection (because the last two I originally owned in hardback).  Eventually my original copy was found (one of my sisters borrowed it and didn't return it), so I have two copies of it.


NaNoWriMo 2014 The End

on Monday, December 1, 2014
    Today is December 1st, 2014. NaNoWriMo is officially over. It ended at 11:59 pm last night. My word count for November is 20,226. That's right, I hit made it to my 20,000 word goal. Here's the official week by week tally:

    Week 1- 6,255 words - 20,372 words total
    Week 2- 9,273 words - 15,528 words so far - 29,645 words total
    Week 3- 4,435 words - 19,963 words so far - 34,080 words total
    Week 4- 263 words - 20,226 words so far - 34,343 words total

    Yeah, this past week wasn't very awesome. I was crazy busy with my family here, and I only focused on my writing on Monday.  I didn't even get another chapter written, so technically I still can't claim that I'm halfway through my novel.  The only reason I hit my goal was because when I rewrote chapter 14 from first person, I cut out a lot of Phillippe's thoughts and forgot to put them back in.  So I added them into chapter 15 because they were really important to the story line and his part was only a few lines.

NaNoWriMo 2014 Week 4

on Monday, November 24, 2014
    So this week was not as successful as last week.  My NaNoWriMo so far look like this:

    Week 1- 6,255 words - 20,372 words total
    Week 2- 9,273 words - 15,528 words so far - 29,645 words total
    Week 3- 4,435 words - 19,963 words so far - 34,080 words total

    I am 37 words away from hitting my goal.  Now most of you will look at that and think how easy that is and how I'll definitely reach my goal.
    I get to spend my week cleaning, organizing, and prepping for my family to come for Thanksgiving.  They come on Thursday and leave on Monday.  That means if I don't want to spend all my time with my family writing, then I have two days to get it done.  I just have one chapter to write.  That one chapter (chapter 17) is the official halfway point of Rose.  



    I'm starting to feel a lot of panic and pressure, and with panic and pressure comes writer's block.

Pep Talk #4

on Thursday, November 20, 2014
    Again, this post isn't actually a pep talk, but I figured it would be easier to group all the NaNoWriMo inspiration together.  This post is actually based off of Stephanie Perkins' 5 Tips for NaNoWriMo survival.  It's focused on being stuck.  
    At this point in NaNoWriMo, you're about 3/4th of the way through the novel, which basically means you're at the boring part. Think about it.  When you read a novel, the most exciting parts are the beginning and the ending.  The middle is really important.  It's where EVERYTHING happens.  But compared to the rest of the novel, it's not as exciting to read or write.  It's not like an oreo.


    You get stuck in a rut.  Your writing becomes routine.  Every chapter has its exposition, its rising action, its climax, and its falling action.  Each chapter is its own story, yet you have to end on a note that will push the reader to move on to the next chapter. And when the action isn't the climax of the overall story, it gets to be rather boring.

Pep Talk #3

on Tuesday, November 18, 2014
    Okay, so I'm not going to go crazy with this blog post since I'm feeling under the weather and I'm probably going to ramble a lot more than I want to.  I've had the remains of a sore throat for weeks, but then it settled into a full on cold, complete with a headache.  But that's not what I'm here to talk about.
    Thing 1- check out my word count!  I figured out today that I'm two chapters away from being halfway done.  Hopefully I can hit that point this week! Whoo-hoo!



    Thing 2- I was going to share another NaNoWriMo pep talk, but then I found this other article on Pinterest.  Yay Pinterest!  Speaking of Pinterest, you can follow Hypergraphia on Pinterest for more inspiration.  I know, shameless advertising.
    Anyway, the article I'm sharing is called How to Write Better Fiction.  There are a few different parts to the article, but I wanted to focus on the suggestions on how to write better fiction.  It was interesting because it's primarily focused on the reader, and not the actual writing.

NaNoWriMo 2014 Week 3

on Sunday, November 16, 2014
    It has been 14 days since I set a goal for myself to write 5,000 words a week (20,000 words by the end of the month).  If you take a look at the word counter off to the right, you'll see that I'm now at 29,645 words for Rose.  14 days ago I had only 14,117 words written.  Sticking exactly to my goal, that would mean I should be at 24,117 words today.  Well, I'm a little past that.
    I've officially written 15,528 words in 14 days.  At the end of week 1, I had 6,255 words written.  That means I wrote 9,273 words during week 2.  I can't believe how much I've written.
    I've got 14 days left to write 5,000 more words and to reach my goal.  Remember how I thought I could never write this much in a month?  It's amazing how much harder I've worked with goals in mind.



    Now, for another announcement about Rose-  I posted what I thought would be the halfway point of Rose on August 12 (3 months and 4 days ago).  Since then, I used Scrivener to plan out the entire novel (which will be 34 chapters, so it wasn't exactly halfway), and I used the super awesome dual screen mode to rewrite the first 14 chapters in first person.  That's right, I've finished all my rewrites (as of yesterday!) and now I'm back to the pen and notebook to write chapter 15 (and the other 19 chapters that remain).

Pep Talk #2

on Tuesday, November 11, 2014
    I've written another chapter since my last post.  That means I'm  at 22,238 words total and 8,121 words since November started.  I'm almost halfway to my goal.  I really hope that I can stay motivated for the rest of the month.
    After looking at the rest of my week, I've got high hopes of what I can accomplish this week.  I have tomorrow and Wednesday off of work, so I'm really hoping I can a write a chapter each of those days.  My average chapter is 1,600 words.  That'll get me up to my 5,000 word weekly goal on top of the 6,255 words I wrote last week. Now, one of those chapters should be more than 2,000 words, and I'm hoping that I can write an extra chapter or two this week.  I'm planning to take a trip to Barnes & Noble tomorrow afternoon and just sit with my computer to write.
    When I set my NaNoWriMo goal, I was pretty skeptical of how much I could write, but planning it out day by day is much easier.  I've got to get ahead this week because I'm going to lose a few days around Thanksgiving, and I don't want that to put me behind.  
    Anyway, that's not the reason I'm writing this post.  I found another NaNoWriMo pep talk that I liked and wanted to share.



NaNoWriMo 2014 Week 2

on Sunday, November 9, 2014
    Since my last post, I've been doing some major writing.  In case you didn't see the new word counter I added a few days ago (it's underneath the Subscribe and Share buttons on the right), I'm here to give a brief update on my work with Rose.  



    When I did my first NaNoWriMo post, seven days ago, I noted my goals.  By 11:59 pm on November 30th, I wanted to have written 20,000 words of Rose.  Dividing that up into the four weeks I had left, that meant I had to write 5,000 words a week.
    I started at 14,117 words.  And yes, the counter on the right is accurate.  I updated it last night after I wrote my third (yes THIRD) chapter for the week.  I'm now at 20,372 words.  And for those of you playing at home, that means I wrote 6,255 words this week!  Whoo-hoo!
    The last time I've written three chapters in one week has to be back when I was in middle school and I was writing a book for my friend.  I was actually really close to finishing that book.  The thing that stopped me was the fact that I went into high school and no longer had any free time to write.  And that is exactly why I love NaNoWriMo.  It's forcing me to make writing a high priority.

What Makes a Writer?

on Wednesday, November 5, 2014
    I have a really fun announcement to make!
    I am currently being interviewed for a series of "up-and-coming" author interviews put on by Chanel Blake.  If you check out her website, you can see all of the interviews that have already been released.  
    I think it's very interesting to read about these authors and to see not only why people write, but why they write what they write.  She also gets into some finer details about how everyone writes, like which writing software you prefer.  You can learn a lot about individual authors from these interviews, but I also think you can learn a lot about writers in general.  



    What makes a writer?  That question can probably be asked about all artists.  There are some pretty basic things that drive us to our art, we just channel ourselves in different ways.  I write because I have Hypergraphia.  I can't not write.  But I do a lot of other artsy things too.  

Pep Talk

on Tuesday, November 4, 2014
    As I promised in my last post, I'm going to post NaNoWriMo and other writing inspiration talks from the NaNoWriMo site.  I think the NaNoWriMo pep talks are really cool because they get so many different types of authors to write letters directly to the participants.  Famous authors are talking to people like me.  Brandon Sanderson has done this multiple times.  James Patterson, Kate DiCamillo, Scott Westerfeld, Lois Lowry, Ally Condie, John Green, Gail Carson Levine, and Lemony Snicket have all given pep talks.  Here's the collection of previous pep talks if you want to take a look and read through them.


NaNoWriMo

on Sunday, November 2, 2014
    In my last post, I talked a lot about Halloween and how that season inspires me.  The best part about Halloween is that the inspiration and creativity leads right into NaNoWriMo. 


    For those who don't know what NaNoWriMo is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month.  Anyone can do NaNoWriMo.  It starts at midnight after Halloween, and using the resources available on the NaNoWriMo website, write a 50,000 word novel by 11:59 pm on November 30.  You create an account on the website, and get to work writing.  You're allowed to plan out what you want to write beforehand, but you're not allowed to use something that you've already started writing.  Oh, and you get some cool prizes for participation and for completing the 50,000 words.

Halloween

on Friday, October 31, 2014
    Yay!  Halloween!  It's the holiday of candy and costumes.
    As an author, I like to think that I'm a kid at heart.  I'm creative and I like to have fun.  I write because I like to pretend.  And because I love to pretend, I love dressing up for Halloween.
    When I was in high school, I would dress up as my book characters for Halloween.  I dressed up as Jen, a fairy from a story that I'm planning on tweaking and eventually publishing.  


    The next year I dressed up as Moxanna, the sorceress from Misunderstood, and I've shared parts of that story here on my blog. I have no idea what the fate of this story will be.  I'll love to finish it and write it, but I never took the time to fully plan out this novel and it came back to bite me.

Quick Update

on Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    Once again, life is crazy busy.  I've got so many different things going on.  Between making Halloween costumes (pictures will come later this week, that is, if I can get buttons to replace the missing one on my dress and I actually have a costume to wear), writing, working, and finding a new job, my head is no longer screwed on straight.
    Halloween costumes- This year I'm getting craftier than I have before.  I've got a lot of minor alterations to make to clothes we already have, and then I have to make a duct tape prop for Husband of Mine.  It's going to be so awesome, if I survive.  As I said, my costume is missing a button, a very important button that holds part of my skirt on.  If I can't get a new one, then I don't know what I'm going to do for my costume.
    Writing- I'm halfway done with the edits to Rose.  In addition to that, I know for a fact that Rose will have 33 chapters (thanks Scrivener!), so I'm not quite halfway done like I had hoped.  It feels good to have the entire story planned out though, so writing the rest will be much easier.
    Working- My job has become incredibly hectic.  The kids are so cute, and I absolutely love them, but they don't fit in my small apartment, plus I have no toys for them.  My puppy isn't allowed over at their house either, which has created some problems, but I'm pushing through.  Puppy is finally fully vaccinated so she is allowed outside, so at some point soon, we'll be able to leash her up outside their house which will make my job easier.  I was going to do it this week, but between halloween costume crafting and the mom working from home, we're still stuck over in my non-kid-proofed apartment.

Writing Group

on Friday, October 24, 2014
    This past week has been insane.  I apologize for the lack of blog posts.  I feel so lame that I can't even keep up with 2 a week, but at least I have some reasons why-
    I've been sick and I was totally out of commission for a while. I couldn't get out of bed until noon for probably 5 days in a row.  My head was in no condition to write, blog, or communicate with the outside world in any form.  Today is the first day I've actually put on normal pants in over a week.
    I started looking for a new job this week.  I've really loved my job as a nanny.  I've been watching the same kids for almost a year (I've got just over a week left until I hit the year mark).  I love the kids so much, but there are a lot of other things that have become too complicated in the past few months.  


    I've been creating a new résumé and a cover letter to apply for the job.  I'm submitting them in an email tonight and I'm going to stop by tomorrow to drop them off while I'm out running errands.  I'll update you wonderful readers if anything happens.

Perspective Prompt

on Sunday, October 12, 2014
    Yes, the day has finally come.  I will finally show you the reaction that came from the perspective prompt.  
    This prompt is the one that started the craze of writing I have been battling with for the past 45 days.  I have made major modifications to Rose because this prompt sparked an idea, something that has seriously changed my book.  Here's a link to my original blog post to see some of my thoughts on perspective-
http://alysonbowen.blogspot.com/2014/08/perspective.html?m=0#.VDridb7uXp4


    After thinking heavily about perspective and POV in writing, I realized the the POV in Rose is convoluted and unclear.  It randomly and unnecessarily switches from person to person, distracting the reader from what is happening in the story.  It also lent me a writing crutch of telling what people are thinking, rather than using body language to communicate.  So, I reevaluated what I was writing, and now I'm ready to show what perspective does to a story.

READING

on Tuesday, October 7, 2014
    GUYS GUESS WHAT JUST CAME IN THE MAIL!!!!!!!!



    I am going crazy right now.  I have been dying to read this book since we got left with that horrible Mark of Athena cliffhanger.  But now that I'm holding it in my hands, I feel my heart breaking.  The anxiety is overwhelming me.  This is the end.  The very end.

Genre

on Monday, October 6, 2014
    I've spent a lot of time thinking about book genres recently.  Why?  Because as I've been on Scribophile critiquing works, I discovered that I won't look at anything unless it's fantasy.  Why? Because I'm a total geek and I love fantasy.  If you didn't know that fantasy was my favorite genre, then you should probably go back through my blog and read my writing.  It's pretty much always fantasy. 



    But why am I only looking at fantasy books to critique?  I read other genres besides fantasy.  I love reading mysteries (especially Mary Higgins Clark!), action/adventure, dystopians (as long as it's got true dystopian elements), historical fiction (WWII primarily, but I'm not too picky), and sometimes a good sic-fi.  I guess I am looking for fantasy because I love to write fantasy, and I think I can give the best feedback and writing tips on a genre I'm good at writing.  
    I struggle brainstorming and writing anything that's not fantasy.  I'm not a mystery writer.  Not in the slightest bit.  I will never be Richard Castle (which is my favorite tv show that's still airing new episodes.  I just can't wrap my mind around creating complicated plots like that, which is probably why I enjoy reading them so much.  I love to guess who the murderer is before I get to the end.  I can brainstorm ideas about dystopian societies, but when it comes to actually putting together a story, I just can't do it.  I can't figure out all the fine details and comments about the society to make it a good dystopian.  I've never really attempted historical fiction because I'm too much of a stickler for details being accurate (like in Rose, where I picked an actual town with actual stores, and an actual château with actual pear trees, and actual restaurants and tourist attractions).  I have attempted sci-fi, but nothing I've written has been that great.  I'll just stick to fangirling over other people's sic-fi (Doctor Who & Star Wars!)
    I've seen a lot of writers who specifically have a genre they write it.  Mary Higgins Clark writes mysteries.  Rick Riordan writes YA mythology novels.  Stephen King writes horror/thrillers.  I write fantasy.  Why do authors have a specific genre?

Beggar Magic

on Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    This is some super exciting news for me and for a fellow writer.  Beggar Magic by H. L. Burke has a cover and a release date!  I was a kind of beta-reader for this book through Scribophile.  I was the first person to read it all the way through (because it was that riveting for me), and she really developed the plot a lot because of comments that I (and a handful of others) made on it.  It's a cool experience for me because this is the first time my comments led to major changes in someone's writing.  She added a whole extra chapter just to address some of my concerns, and snuck in an underlying subplot because I said I thought it would be cool.  It's a really well thought out book, and it's so cool.


Puppies and Pens

on Monday, September 29, 2014
    So I know this is a writing blog, but it's also my blog and I like to talk about what I'm doing week by week.  Last week was Banned Books Week.  This week is, "Hey look everyone!  I got a puppy!" Week.  So because I've had a bit of a distraction the past few days, I figured I'd share these pictures with you instead of some writing.  Because who doesn't love puppies?!?!
    Her name is Astrid (yes, after the character from How To Train Your Dragon, it's my favorite movie), and she is 9 weeks old.  She was born the day after my birthday.  Her favorite things are sleeping, her tug-o-war rope, and sleeping.  I can't really tell what color she is.  She's brown and black in the same spots, and looks kind of ashy.  She's got spots all over her nose, chin, tummy, and paws.  And her favorite spot is under the coffee table.



Another Banned Book

on Thursday, September 25, 2014
    I was not planning on doing another blog post this week (since I've already surpassed my weekly quota and you people are probably sick of hearing from me about banned books), but then I found out about another book that's been banned and I knew I needed to post this since it's banned books week.
    I'm sure everyone has heard of John Green's bestselling book (and now a movie), The Fault In Our Stars, or TFIOS as it has been nicknamed.  If for some reason you've been living under a rock in Antarctica and haven't heard of TFIOS, here's the blurb.

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

"Just Like Everybody Else"

on Wednesday, September 24, 2014
    After my first post this week about my third grade teacher, I talked to my mom about my elementary school teachers.  I don't really remember much before third grade, but my mom told me some stories about the different types of teachers I had.


    (No, that is not me, but I'm sure my mom has a bunch of pictures of me similar to this one.)
    In Kindergarten, my teacher was Mrs. Friedrich.  I knew how to read and write long before I went into Kindergarten, so the regular assignments were boring and repetitive for me.  After a few days of school, she pulled me and my mom aside after class and opened up her special classroom closet and pulled out a book.  I don't remember exactly what she said, but basically she said that my learning level was above that of the rest of the class and I shouldn't do the regular homework assignments anymore.  She handed me a book, I don't remember what it was, but she said that reading that book was my homework for the night.  My mom told me yesterday that for the rest of the year she made me specific homework assignments to help with my mental development.

Banned Books Week Facts

on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Just some random facts I compiled about Banned Books.


1.) The most challenged book of 2013 is the Captain Underpants Series.  It was also the most challenged book of 2012.

2.) Anne Frank : The Diary of A Young Girl was banned simply because it was "too depressing".

3.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which has been challenged countless times for "Satanism" and "religious views", is the fourth most popular book of all time with over 107 million copies sold since it was released in 1997.

4.) Parents are the most common challenger of books at 6,103 challenges between 1990 and 2010, with Patrons in second place at only 1,450 challenges during the same period of time.

Banned Books Week

on Monday, September 22, 2014
    In honor of Banned Books Week (September 21-27th), I decided to do a blog post about banning and challenging books.
    There are many reasons parents challenge and attempt to ban books from schools, the most common being "unsuited to age group" (989 challenges), "offensive language" (1,291 challenges), and "sexually explicit material" (1,577 challenges).  While I do not personally enjoy reading books with bad language and explicit material, I do not agree with the idea of banning books.






    A few days ago, this City Weekly article was brought to my attention.  Shannon Hale's books were banned from a number of Elementary Schools simply because they were "unsuited to age group", the reading level recommended for 6th-8th graders.  Shannon's Hales Books of Bayern are my favorite books, but that isn't why this article made me upset.

Scrivener

on Thursday, September 18, 2014
    Scrivener is my new best friend.  

    Now, I've only been using it for two days so I haven't had time to really go through everything and experience any troubles (the only trouble I'm having is changing the standard font color from red to black, because I'm so computer oriented).  It's got some mixed reviews, but I have discovered I love the set up of it.
    It breaks down bigger texts (novels, scripts, longer school papers, etc.) into smaller chunks.  I'll show you a picture.

Rose Ch. 1 (Rewritten)

on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
    I know, all my readers are like, "What?  You've already posted the first chapter of Rose, silly Alyson."  But this is not the old first chapter of Rose.  This is a much better version of the first chapter.  I love the new perspective much better.  It adds so much more than the old one had.  I've had a lot of struggles with perspective in writing Rose, so I'm trying to sort those out before I get any farther in the writing.  Yes, perspective, just like that double perspective prompt I promised I'd write like two weeks ago.  Don't worry, that's coming very soon.




Rose

Chapter 1

     For a while after it was all over, Rose struggled to cope with her new life.  Everything she ever thought she knew about her family, her life, and herself was shaken up and tossed around.  It took almost a year for the nightmares to stop.  She would scream in her sleep until I woke her.  Then she would cry until the morning light streaked through the embroidered curtains and burned away the image of those haunting green eyes.
     I tried to be there for her as best I could.  I didn’t sleep well either, so it was easy for me to stay up in one of the large red chairs next to her bed, and rub her back while she slept.  I was plagued with nightmares too, but they weren’t of malicious green eyes and never waking up.  They were of losing her.  I stayed awake and rubbed her back while she slept because I needed to know she was still breathing and that she would wake up again.  It was my fault she had these nightmares.  I was the one who dragged her out of ignorant bliss in Domfront because I was stupid and in love, so selfishly in love.

Modern Day Fairy Tales

on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
    As I'm working on the rewrite of Rose, I've discovered some struggles with my characters and the Point of View of the story.  Searching for inspiration on Pinterest, I found this fun little article from missliterati.com that talks about how to approach writing a modern day fairy tale.



    The first step, obviously, is to pick a modern day setting.  That should be one of the first steps to writing anything.  The setting is very important because it affects how the characters are and how the plot plays out.  It doesn't have to be in our world though, because I'm currently helping someone edit their fantasy that takes place in a made up world where they have planes and photographs, and many other fairly modern elements in it.  In Rose, the setting is vital to the personalities of all the different characters.  If Rose wasn't raised in a tiny town where everyone knew everyone else, then she wouldn't have this quiet personality that Phillippe could come and uproot.  If Phillippe wasn't raised as a super wealthy son of a businessman, then he wouldn't have such a desire to get away from his father so often and he wouldn't have run into Rose.  He also most likely wouldn't have learned fencing, and *spoiler* that comes into play in the end. 

Powerful Ch. 1

on Saturday, September 13, 2014
    It took me a lot longer than I thought to type up, but I finally finished the first chapter of Powerful, my new story idea.  I'm going to occasionally write more, but I'm still heavily focusing on Rose.  I just wanted to give you guys a peek at what I have been working on all week.  Originally it was in third person, but after a lot of thought I decided first person was better so I had to completely transcribe it.  It's been an adventure.  Anyway, here's the first look at Powerful.



Powerful

Chapter 1


         The problems all started back when I was barely seven years old.
         That was when Mother and Father began to speak only in whispers, and their grown-up friend, Nodah, stopped coming to play with my brother, Elion, and me.  I was much too young to understand why everything had suddenly changed; all I knew was that I hated the sick feeling that sat in my stomach whenever I was inside the castle.  The few times I asked why everything was so strange, Mother shushed me with her usual, “Not now, Kylanore,” and sent me outside.
         As King and Queen of the Northwest Kingdom of Tykra, Mother and Father had always kept to themselves and out of the critical eye of the public, primarily the ever-watchful Council of Four who maintained balance between the Four Kingdoms.  I never would’ve noticed things had actually changed, except Eli began to copy their reclusive behaviors.

Loss

on Tuesday, September 9, 2014
    This weekend was crazy.  We moved and completely unpacked.  Whoo-hoo!  Also, I gave myself a black eye and broke my phone.  Not Whoo-hoo.  But I also had enough time to get back to my writing.  Whoo-hoo!  I'm hoping tomorrow I can post the first chapter of my new novel idea.
    Yesterday I was writing and I took a break to go on Facebook where I received some bad news.  A dear friend of mine, someone I mentioned in a previous post as one of the few people who encouraged me to write in high school, lost her husband to cancer yesterday.  It always pains me to see when bad things happen to good people, and she is the best person I know.  In honor of her, I wrote a poem.


Busy

on Thursday, September 4, 2014
    This is just a very very brief update about my life and why I haven't posted at all this week.  We found out Tuesday that we have to move, and we have to move out on Saturday.  You can only imagine the chaos we are dealing with right now.  BOXES EVERYWHERE.  It's completely ludicrous.  We are so lucky that we found a place to live as quickly as we did.  I have been too busy to write or to post and it's killing me because I have so much that I want to write.  I even figured out what I want to write for the double perspective prompt from last week.  
    I promise that next week will bring lots of writing (intermixed with lots of unpacking, of course).  I will post the double perspective prompt.  I will introduce the new book idea I'm working on (but won't be focusing on until after Rose is done).  I will make up for neglecting you, my wonderful readers, as soon as we are moved into our new apartment.  
    For now I will impart on you these words of wisdom that remind me that it's okay if I'm going insane.


    I'll be back soon with lots more for you.
    ~Alyson

Another Author

on Saturday, August 30, 2014
    I know I said I was going to write that double perspective short story, but I encountered one minor problem.  If you can count brainstorming another story idea as a problem.  
    As a writer, you'd think getting new ideas would be the greatest thing ever.  The problem with getting ideas is that you have to write down everything you can think of for the story as soon as possible, otherwise you'll forget.  And if you're like me and you forget an idea, it will probably haunt you until you die.  I've been busy and preoccupied, hence why I haven't been able to address the double perspective prompt yet.
    The other problem with getting a new idea, is that I haven't finished my old ideas yet.  I still have two and a half books left to write from my old idea, but now I want to get this new idea written too.  Oh, the chaos in my brain right now, but that's not what this blog post is about.
    In my little bit of time on Scribophile, I have read and critiqued the work of an author whose writing I have fallen in love with.  The author's name is H. L. Burke.  She has 6 books published on Amazon, and her 7th one will be released September 19th.  I helped critique one of her works, Beggar Magic, which will be available by the beginning of 2015.  Her writing is very clean and easily read.  It's meant for anyone like 10 and up.  Her ideas are brilliant, and I can't wait to read more of her work.  The series I'm dying to read is called The Dragon and the Scholar, and the first book is Dragon's Curse.

Perspective

on Thursday, August 28, 2014
    So I was flipping through pages of prompts in my new favorite book, 642 Things to Write About, when I found this prompt.


    And this got me thinking.  I was thinking of rehashing old high school drama to tell a story about how I thought someone else was the villain, when they thought I was the villain.  We don't normally view ourselves as a villain, because in our lives we are the protagonist working hard to overcome obstacles to get to our goals. However, in someone else's story we may be the antagonist or obstacle in the way of their goals.  

Discern

on Wednesday, August 27, 2014
    Sorry I've kind of vanished for a while but life has been busy. Very busy.  But hey, the laundry is done and the apartment is clean.  And quite possibly a puppy may be on its way, but more about that later.
    I'm doing a quick post to tell you about the email I received today if anyone is interested.  Discern is the first book in the Katon University Series.  It was the novel that I beta read at the beginning of the month.  I talked about it in this post:
http://alysonbowen.blogspot.com/2014/08/reading-and-writing.html?m=0#.U_5-xEvuUpA
    For those readers who like fantasy and magic, I highly recommend this book.  It is clean, interesting, intense, and very different from anything I've read before.  So far it's only available as an ebook, but it is coming out in print very soon (I don't know exactly when).  Here's a link to order it on Amazon-
http://www.amazon.com/Discern-Katon-University-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00N1NZIKA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409186822&sr=8-1&keywords=discern+by+andrea+pearson

Free Write #4

on Tuesday, August 19, 2014
    After a few days of a break from writing Rose, I started to slip back into my old EVIL habits of not focusing on writing at all.  Even though I was spending most of my time editing, my writing became incredibly rusty.  BAD ALYSON!!!!!  I started this blog so I wouldn't encounter these problems!!!  So in an effort to try and break out of my foggy laziness, I am doing a Free Write to try and get words flowing again.  This was incredibly hard to write.  I'm hoping to do one Free Write a week to keep me from slipping back into my bad habits of not writing.  So here is today's prompt:


    And here is what the sky looked like today:

Write, Write, Write.

on Friday, August 15, 2014
    I realized I haven't posted any writing inspiration in a while, so for a quick post I decided to collect and post a bunch of quotes.  Life has been very different now that I'm officially halfway through Rose.  I've been sorting through lost of feedback and I've made definite improvements.  Tomorrow I'm going to take a break from anything writing because I get to spend the day in Salt Lake with Husband of Mine to celebrate our first anniversary.  We're going to see Wicked!  Anyway, I figured I should post one more time before the week is over, so here are some quotes to keep you writing.



Editing

on Thursday, August 14, 2014
    I figured I'd give a quick update.  I've been working at my computer like crazy the past few days sorting through ideas for edits on Rose.  Between my followers on Scribophile and Husband of Mine who finally decided to read it, I've made quite a few changes. Nothing major to the story line, but I've seriously altered how information is delivered.
    Let me tell you, editing is psychotic.  It's so ridiculously confusing.  Your mind is everywhere because you've thought up so many different ways to write things and you don't remember what you wrote and where you wrote it and you're piecing together all these ideas, unsure if you've repeated yourself a hundred times or if that information got cut.


    A friend told me, "Editing is like putting together a puzzle that somehow has both extra and missing pieces".  Never have I heard a truer statement.  Wow.  I'd probably add that you're also putting together this puzzle upside-down and with one eye closed.

Rose Ch. 14

on Tuesday, August 12, 2014
    This is officially the last time I will post a chapter of Rose here.  I have hit the halfway point in the plot.  This chapter is a huge turning point for both characters.  Phillippe has already admitted to himself that he is in love with Rose, but she refuses to let herself have feelings for him.  In this chapter she has to make a decision about whether to put herself or her family first.  
    In other random news, it has officially been three months since I started this blog.  So far, I have written 24,332 words of Rose.  A novel is typically 50,000-100,000 words.  If this chapter is the halfway point, then I am right where I want to be for my novel.  But 24,332 words in just three months?  That is insane.
    I can't wait to continue with this book.  It has been so fun to share my writing with you.  I'll keep you readers updated on how my writing is going, and where I am with the book.  
    I also thought you might enjoy seeing how I worked on my descriptions for Rose and Phillippe's trip this chapter.  Now, for this chapter I had previously written a rough draft to get some help with some legality questions I had, and when everything got unofficially approved, I knew this chapter would need much more to give it the effect I wanted.  Then, I found this in my wonderful book 642 Things to Write About.



    Seriously, this book is amazing.  It has so many creativity boosting prompts.  If I can find the first draft of this chapter, I'll post it on here so you can spot the differences and understand why description is so vital to writing.  It made such a huge difference.  Anyway, here's the chapter.

Rose Ch. 13

on Saturday, August 9, 2014
    I am so excited to post this chapter because it means I can write the next one.  The next one is going to be AWESOME and it'll be the last chapter I post on here.  I hope my readers enjoy it because I am SO excited to write it.  I have been waiting for this chapter since I started the book almost three months ago.  I can't wait.  Although, I do feel bad that it will be the last chapter I post.  Anyway, you can all look forward to this chapter and the next.  Enjoy!

Forgot the translations link again!  Here it is!
http://alysonbowen.blogspot.com/2014/05/french-to-english-translations.html#.U-bO61ZcMpA


Rose
Chapter 13

     As the wineries eased their way into a brisk December, temperaments dropped with the temperature.  Attempting to relieve some tension, Phillippe had called up his fencing instructor so he finally had a reason to stay out of the house.  He was sweaty and exhausted.  Everything was becoming too much.  How had it all escalated so quickly?  Oh yeah, apparently it was his fault. 
     Then he got jabbed in the chest.
“Phillippe, are you even trying anymore?  I know you’re tired, but you need to focus!”
“I’m trying, Gilles.”

Scribophile

on Thursday, August 7, 2014
    So this week as I was writing and realizing that I don't get to share much more of Rose with you guys, I started to feel lonely.  I need a writer buddy who I can share all my stuff with and who will share their writing with me too.  
    I started Hypergraphia as a way to do that, but with no one really sharing their writing back, it's not working the same way it would if I had an actual group of writers, or even just a friend here in Provo to share with.  
    In an effort to fight off the loneliness, I started google searching to find writers in the area.  I didn't really find anything, but I did find this website called Scribophile.


    http://www.scribophile.com is a resource for writers everywhere to connect and share their writing for the purpose of getting feedback.  It works based on Karma points, where you earn Karma by critiquing writing, and you spend it by posting your own writing for feedback.  

Free Write #3

on Wednesday, August 6, 2014
    As I said yesterday, I have been searching through prompt after prompt from my new book, 642 Things to Write About.  Some of the prompts are more specific while others are incredibly vague.  Here's one of the prompts I found and at first didn't think anything of it, but later as I was trying to find prompts specifically for Rose it jumped out at me.


    How completely vague.  But it got the wheels turning and I started planning a scene.  A scene I knew I needed to include somewhere, but I had no idea how I wanted to do it until I read that one word.  I thought I'd give you guys a look into my convoluted writing process by showing you the notes I took before I wrote the scene.  I had so many ideas to sort through as to how the scene would play out, but I hope it turns out just right to help the storyline progress.

Reading and Writing

on Tuesday, August 5, 2014
    I spent the past couple of days working on a fun project.  I was asked to Beta read an upcoming book and offer feedback before it gets published next month.  Now, I haven't read any other books written by this author, but I was really excited for this opportunity and how it would help me with my writing.
    The author is Andrea Pearson (http://www.andreapearsonbooks.com) and she has self-published one series (The Kilenya Series) that consists of six books, one bestiary, and one additional story that takes place in the same world.  She has started work on her new series, Katon University, which consists of three novelettes and the  first book in the series that I was able to Beta read.  It is set to be published in early September.


    Now, this is an experience that I really appreciated and I would recommend to other aspiring authors to search for opportunities like this.  I learned so much about my own writing from reading what someone else is going to publish.  How I reacted to the reading not only showed how I read something, but how I write as well.  The advice I gave is something that I need to feed into my own writing.  I search for detail a lot more when I read, but I don't write it as well as I'd like.  I can't wait until Rose is to the point that I get to sort through feedback from my own Beta readers.

Rose Ch. 12

on Sunday, August 3, 2014
    It has been quite a while since I've written a chapter for Rose.  I don't know why this chapter was so difficult to write, but I finally finished and I am very happy with how it turned out.  I hope you guys enjoy it too.  The next two chapters will be the last I post until the book is finished.  That is where I'm assuming the halfway point is, but I won't know that until the book is finished. I will post updates about the book as it gets written, but hopefully it will get finished and published soon for those who want to know what happens to Phillippe and Rose.  For now, here's the next chapter.

Here's the link to the translations!
http://alysonbowen.blogspot.com/2014/05/french-to-english-translations.html#.U97yAVZcMpA



Rose

Chapter 12

After an uneventful Wednesday, Rose was laying in bed reading Le Collier de la Reine when her cell phone rang.  Because she rarely used it, she had to dig it out of her purse.  When she found it, she didn’t recognize the number but answered it anyway.  “Allô?”
Excusez-moi, mademoiselle, but can you tell me what happened on 6 Juin, 1944?”
“Phillippe?”
“Just answer the question.”
She couldn’t hold back a laugh.  Je suis désolée.  C’est le jour J.  Pourquoi?”

My Favorite Writer

on Monday, July 28, 2014
    I found one of these images the other day and I decided to compile a collection of the struggles of my favorite writer.  I hope you enjoy!
    ~Alyson