Worthy of the Week

Last week was the very first Worthy of the Week (check it out here) and I am going to try it again. I am going to keep doing it, until it becomes a thing (it will become a thing, dang it) Feel free to join in, and if you leave a link in the comments, I’ll be sure to stop by! 🙂

Inspiration

As I said in this week’s What’s Up Wednesday, boyfriend and I are looking into mission trips, especially to Nepal or India. I have my heart set on India. I think it is such a beautiful, vibrant place with a rich history, culture, and people. And, elephants! Here are three India-inspired art pieces that caught my eye this week.

Elephants loupgarouMixed Media Portraits by Stéphanie LedouxCS Lawrence: blue eyes - collage -mixed media portrait

Issues

If you haven’t heard of the #YesAllWomen hashtag by now, I don’t even know what to say to you. You need to go look at it right now, especially if you are a man, and spend some time reading through the posts. Though it has received some criticism, I think it is powerful, and beautiful. It has allowed women all over the world to unite, to find the courage to speak up, and to share their stories. It has started a conversation that is long overdue, and I hope all the attention it has gotten will mean some real changes ahead. The recent response tag, #AllMenCan, is also worth checking out. The genders need to work together if change is going to happen.

Words of Wisdom

Maya Angelou was a woman larger than life. She was an inspiration, a role model, and a world changer. The world would be a better place if we could all try to be a little more like her. Out of all her beautiful, wise words, these are some of my favorites:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Maya Angelou

RIP Maya Angelou 1928 – 2014

Advertisements

What’s Up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrowand Erin Funk, to help connect writers on this writing journey. If you’d like to join us, check out the blogs each week, get to know some of the other writers taking part, and spread some writerly love! 

KITE2

What I’m Reading

I’m still reading The Park Service by Ryan Winfield. As much as I’m still loving it, I just haven’t had much time to read lately. But if you haven’t yet, it really is worth buying (I mean, 3 bucks on Kindle? It doesn’t get better than that) He’s a great storyteller and world builder, and I’m taking notes as I go along 🙂

What I’m Writing

Well, I finally broke 80,000 on my manuscript! It sort of felt like there should have been fireworks and cupcakes, but sadly there were neither. When I started writing this book, 50,000 seemed massive and impossible, and I was struggling for word count. But now I’ve done over 80,000 and it feels pretty great 🙂 I finished this round of revisions, and printed the first 100 out for a read-through.

Image

Isn’t she beautiful?? So far, I’ve tackled the first 25, and I have notes for every single page. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes reading through it printed. I mean, I’m noticing typos and missing words, even though I’ve read through it 500 times. And reading it like this makes it feel fresh, so I’ve noticed some questions readers might have or things I never saw before.

What Inspires Me

Right now, I’m really inspired by others. Like I said, Ryan Winfield is a great storyteller, and reading his book has given me a lot of ideas and notes. I also love meeting with my writing group and bouncing ideas off each other, even if it’s not for my own manuscript. I love seeing the process, and that moment when the lightbulb goes off and everything comes together. 🙂

What Else I’m Up To

The Bucket List is still going strong, and has made for some great laughs and memories 🙂 Boyfriend and I are starting to seriously look into some mission trips for either later this year during winter break, or next summer. We’ve more or less narrowed it down to two trips, India and Nepal–though the Nepal trip is physically demanding, and I would have to consult my doctors and create a conditioning plan in order to go. But I’ve been taking it into my own hands and exercising (little bits at a time) and hopefully that will make a difference.

I have been lucky enough to be in good health lately, but I can’t take anything for granted. But we just found out that there is a new prescription for POTS, just approved by the FDA. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but the idea that there might actually be a treatment that works would be a dream come true! In the mean time though, I’m just trying to stay healthy and enjoying it while I can 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

Breaking the Rules

Recently I wrote a post on pushing the boundaries, and being a fearless writer who embraces their inner crazy. Well, consider this part two, or me beating a dead horse, whichever you prefer. 🙂

I’ve learned a lot through the writing community the past couple months. I’ve received advice and wisdom which has been extremely helpful, but  sometimes this can be overwhelming. There’s countless tidbits, do’s and don’ts, and rules. I mean, there’s hundreds and thousands of books filled with this stuff! Before I dove into this process, I’d more or less just figured everything out on my own. I didn’t have any resources or guidance, so I had to learn through trial and error. Which was great, but time-consuming (think 19 years of writing time-consuming). But coming from that, I think it has given me a unique point of view on writer advice.

First of all, it depends who you are and where you’re at in the process. You might be like a friend of mine, who is writing her very first book, and seeks out every single bit of information and advice there is to be found on the craft of writing with the appetite of a teenage boy. Or you might be like me, and you’ve been writing your entire life and things sort of come naturally. You might be somewhere in the middle.

Rules are more like guidelines, than laws. They are like a trail, leading you through the forest so you don’t get lost and starve to death, but you’re not surrounded by a stone wall. You can veer off the path a little bit, and maybe find some pretty awesome things along the way.

For example, two of the major rules I learned when I started this was A: prologues are a sin. And B: Opening a book with a character waking up is also a sin. But, how does Hunger Games start? With Katniss waking up the day of the reaping. And the book I am currently reading, The Park Service by Ryan Winfield, begins with both of these. But it was done so well that by the end of the (short) prologue I was hooked to the point of no return.

I was guilty of A in my current manuscript, and held onto that prologue for dear life, refusing to believe that rules applied to me. But my prologue was amazing so it didn’t matter, right? Well, yes, there were some pretty awesome moments, and some great worldbuilding (if I do say so myself) but ultimately, I realized it wasn’t necessary. I took the choice bits and dispersed them later on, and eventually wrote an entirely new beginning altogether (which you can read under my Weekend Writing Warrior posts). In hindsight, I realized the prologue was only extra words between my reader and my hook, which is something you never want.

So, what’s the moral of the story? Rules are there for a reason, but don’t be afraid to break them. But if you do break the rules, make sure it’s for a reason.

Make sure it serves a purpose, and makes your story better for it (not just because you worked really hard on that prologue and it’s beautiful, dang it) As I said in my last post, jump off the ledge first, and worry about reeling yourself in later. Don’t get caught up in the ten thousand do’s and don’ts and end up trying to navigate a minefield. It’s good to listen to others who are more knowledgeable and experienced than you (read: experienced, not just “experts”) but don’t treat it like gold.

Because really, there is no one way. Whether you’re brand new or a NYT bestseller, writing isn’t an exact science. There’s no secret formula, no How to Write for Dummies guide to becoming the next JK Rowling or Suzanne Collins.

Don’t be afraid to take risks, and take every bit of advice with a grain of salt (even mine). Because at the end of the day, none of us really know what we’re doing, we’re just all trying to figure it out, one word at a time.

Writing, like all art, is messy. Sometimes, the mistakes are the most beautiful part. 🙂

Weekend Writing Warriors #3

This is a continuation of my first chapter, so if you haven’t read the previous posts (or need a reminder) check out the first here and the most recent here. To meet some new authors, read some great writing, or join in the 8-sentence fun, stop by at Weekend Writing Warriors!Image

Asa pressed his lips into a thin line, but turned back to the table, where one of his beloved plants sat in the center. Sludge spores had begun to creep up its stem, its edges browning and tainted with rot. “First, you need to focus, steady your breathing, center your energy.”

He closed his eyes, and both hands reached out for the defiant blot of green. “Find your core, then the sickness–you’ll be able to feel it, reach out for that.”

As I watched, the silver-blue glow of Amaranthine radiated out from his chest, weaving down his arms and into his fingertips. It ventured from his fingertips onto the leaves, enveloping them in blue.

The sludge began to evaporate, wiped clean without a single touch–the plant straightened, and stretched as if waking from a long sleep.

——–

Now we’re finally starting to get somewhere 🙂 This is the first introduction to the world’s magic, and in the next post, you will see what makes magic a conflict for Falcon. With such short snippets, getting through the first chapter is taking longer than I expected, but I do hope you’ll stick around to find out what’s next. Thanks for stopping by, looking forward to all your posts, and Happy 8sunday!

 

Blog Post and Novel Excerpt © Victoria Davenport & the Coffee.Write.Repeat. blog

Worthy of the Week

Hey all, so I have been playing around with this idea for some time, but haven’t figured out quite how to execute it. So, this may fail miserably, but I thought I’d try it out 🙂 I didn’t want this blog to be just about writing, but also life and inspiration, and I wanted to be able to share some of the things that matter.

I decided I’d try sharing a quick breakdown of some things I found during the week, in three categories: Inspiration, Issues, and Words of Wisdom. With so much plain crap on the internet these days, I’d like to take a moment to share some things that are worthy of sharing. And if you like this idea, feel free to join in! Just post your link in the comments, and I’ll stop by 🙂 So here it is, the very first Worthy of the Week!

Inspiration: I am constantly inspired by art, whether for writing or art of my own. I could easily post a hundred different photos for this, but here are three beautifully haunting pieces that stood out to me this week.

collage by Carme Magem,Saatchi Online Artist: Jaeyeol Han; Mixed Media, 2012, Painting "Hidden Violence, Notting hill, London 2011" #artundercover guru.....by M.A. Wakeley ......mixed media on canvas

Issues: You will find that I am mostly passionate about women’s issues (which arguably, are not issues for any gender, but humans as a whole). I will try to switch things up, but I wanted to start with something that really matters to me.

There is undeniable a gender gap in our own country (the US) but it is shocking to realize just how horribly women and girls are treated around the world. They are garbage–less than garbage, less than animals, less than dirt. I had always been aware of this, but it was on the edges of my awareness, distant and far away and it didn’t really affect me. Then I watched the documentary Half the Sky, based on the book of the same name, which highlights major women’s issues around the world, intelligently using celebrities to raise attention. If you haven’t seen it, it is free on Netflix, and you should go watch it. Right now. Seriously, it will change your life, whether you are a woman or not.

Girl Rising 39 (2)              Half the Sky movie poster (2012) poster MOV_da079446

Words of Wisdom: These words really struck me, as I have been trying to live more intentionally, and make the most of my good health. I find myself using my health as an excuse pretty often, instead of challenging and putting myself to go out there and do more. In addition to the Summer Bucket List I mentioned last week (which we’ve already crossed off four things, and had a blast!) I am planning trips this summer (camping in Hill Country, then Huntington Beach to visit cousins) as well as possible mission trips for next year (my heart is set on India).

So I leave you with these two nuggets, from none other than Rumi.

“Run from what’s comfortable. Forget Safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”

Rumi Said...

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”

What’s Up Wednesday

Image

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, to help connect writers on this writing journey. If you’d like to join us, check out the blogs each week, get to know some of the other writers taking part, and spread some writerly love! 

What I’m Reading

Image

The Park Service by Ryan Winfield (Park Service Trilogy #1). I totally happened on this book by accident, I was actually reading another book when I found it and downloaded a sample on my kindle. This book is a perfect example of two things you’re normally not supposed to do (prologue, and opening with MC waking up) and doing them so well it blew my mind (a further blog post to follow regarding rules and how to break them). I was so hooked by the end of the prologue, I put away the other book and haven’t been able to put down this one since. Winfield has created such a vivid, resonating, creative, and yet realistic world. He has done post-apocalyptic society in a unique way that is also entirely believable. I can’t wait to see what’s next 🙂

What I’m Writing

Well, I thought I was done with my MS. Seriously, I had started printing it out for a read-through. But of course my characters wouldn’t let me get off that easily. I already knew I had to change my climax and pacing, but wanted to find that out in the read-through. As part of the pacing, I counted how many scenes each POV had, and found an overwhelming gap. So I went to even that gap, and Crow (one POV) yanked the pen out of my hands and started writing his own story. I’m serious. I’ve added over 6k of purely his POV so far, with more scenes planned. He is even fighting to become the ultimate love interest, instead of the guy I’ve had planned all along. It’s kind of frustrating but amazing all at the same time. As I also talked about in this post, I’ve unbound his restraints, and he’s shown me all new depths of darkness and depravity, but it’s kind of brilliant and exciting 🙂

What Inspires Me

This week I’ve been kind of overwhelmed by support from the writing community. I’ve been a little out of touch with my online presence lately, with so much else going on, that it seemed a lot like a chore. Then I came back, and I remembered why writers and book people are the best people in the world 🙂 It is amazing to me that I can connect to people I’ve never met before, some who are across oceans and continents from me. And I love when I see bookish things trending on twitter, hashtags we created, because it reminds me of the impact and influence we can have when we put our minds to it. I kind of picture us like a little nerd army, wielding books and laptops as weapons 😉

What Else I’m Up To

SUMMER! Sorry, this has been a crazy semester and I am so glad to be done with it. I’ve been enjoying the time off with much needed naps, binge-watching Netflix, and pool time. This summer, boyfriend and I decided to try something different, since we’ve kind of gotten into the lull of just spending time at each others houses, watching Netflix or movies, usually in our PJs. Boyfriend actually came up with the idea, and I was inspired by many similar lists we found on Pinterest.

So, we made our very own Summer Bucket List! The idea is to (at least) once a week do something new or different than our usual. It includes everything from roadtrips to frisby golf to reading a book together, and we have 75 on the list so far. Boyfriend even had the added idea of writing them down, sorting into categories, and drawing randomly (ie places to go, museums, free, restaurants, and whichever we pick, we have to do). What do you think? Do you have any awesome summer ideas for us?

Happy Wednesday! 🙂

On Writing a Novel: Revision is not a Four Letter Word

This post (from my lovely friend Rebekah Faubion) is perfect. For those of you in the revision trenches, read this, and keep fighting!

Rebekah Faubion, Writer

revision

Revision is a bloodbath. It is an assault on words you vomited — eked, spit, sweat — onto the page during drafting. It is where you get to the heart of your story. It sometimes involves massive cuts, sometimes surgical edits. Sometimes it is about character, and others about prose. It is a process, and while there is no one infallible way to revise, there are some truths universally acknowledged.

Write Tip #1: You must read your entire manuscript, from start to finish. There are no exceptions.

As you begin to read your manuscript, you will consider carving out your eyes with a melon baller as an alternative to reading anymore. Push past that and separate yourself from the hope that your first draft isn’t total shit. Even if you are a seasoned and stupendous writer, your first draft will have cringeworthy moments.

This read through is to identify the Global Problems

View original post 486 more words