September 25, 2011

Keep your friends close

You know that saying "Keep you friends close and your enemies closer"?

It means, basically, to keep a close eye on your enemies because you can trust your friends to have your back. Or at least, that's what it means to me. Now, I don't have any serious enemies(that I know of, anyway), but I have some of the most awesome friends ever. Not only do they help me out when I find myself in need of a beta reader, but they even let me base characters off of them. Such a situation doesn't always come up roses, though.

You see, one thing I've noticed during my writting is that even characters based on real life folk still walk their own road. They become truly themselves and no one else. 

It's kinda creepy.

Now, if you friends don't care, that's fine, but some people do. They see the character, so clearly them doing something they would never do and they get mad or hurt. The friend complains to the author who finds themselves between a rock and a hard place trying to accommodate their friend and keep the story in one piece.

A favorite author of mine had someone ask her how she came up with her characters. Not only did she write a very good response and put it in her FAQ on her website, she also responded to the unspoken question there: what do you do when the person on whom you've based a character calls you out on it.

Quoted directly from her website, here is what she had to say....

I often start with a real person--if not someone I know, then an actor or actress I think would fit the part. It's easiest for me to start with what someone looks and sounds like--if I know that, then I know about the character's personality. As a result, I use a lot of photographs of people or performers. Of course, there always comes a point, as I'm working, when the character breaks away from the person I based her/him on to become her or his own self. That's how I know I'm doing it right. A word of warning: tell no one that you based a character on her/him. Even if you think you've written about that person perfectly, s/he may not like what you have to say, or if the character you create starts doing things the person you based the character on doesn't do, they can get quite vexed. If they ask, lie. If you're a bad liar, like me, practice in front of a mirror. Do not tell them.

I love Tamora Pierce's books and I think she gives good advice on being a writer and an author. Now, I didn't read this until I had already told both people (yes, just two characters were based heavily on real folks) that I'd used them in my book. Neither of them minded, thank goodness, but they could have. I still base characters on real people, but now I'm careful to keep just who inspired who behind my teeth.

Remember, no one needs to know they were the inspiration for this character, or that one. After all, they may not like what they see reflected in the words you've put on the page.

Think about it :)

~Sun and Moon

September 18, 2011

Live and Learn

The past few weeks have been kinda draining, but plenty educational.

I've learned that a blog entry is more likely to be read when posted at 2pm then 10pm. That catching up on ones sleep does no good if you insist on staying up till the wee hours of the night, every night running for three days straight. 

I've learned that time off work does me no good at all without my husband to share it with me. That book work is best done while music mingles with the sound of raindrops hitting my window and a mug of hot tea steams gently beside my elbow. 

I've learned that you can never enjoy yogurt alone when you have a cat, and you better be prepared to share or face the consequences. That humor will get you more then a sour attitude, and a smile can work wonders. The fact that leaving one project incomplete will only snowball anything else you want to get done, and procrastination can have painful results.

Most of all....never take anything for granted, and always look for the silver lining lurking in the clouds of your day. You never know what'll turn up, but isn't that the fun of it? A good friend of mine always told me that variety was the spice of life. It can be good, bad, or in between, but at least it's never boring.

~Sun and Moon

September 11, 2011


Have you ever heard of the awesome computer game called Sims 3?

Ok, if you just said no then I have straight jacket in my closet you may want to try on for size.

Seriously though, you should check it out. The game is kinda self explanatory. You spend your time controlling the people you create and making them do various things depending on what expansions you have for the game. It's a lot of fun, oddly enough, and it can eat up hours of your time depending on your level of addiction.

I am most definetly addicted.

Of course, like all games, it has its glitchy moments. However, when I first got the game and installed it, it was mostly smooth sailing. Then we had the whole virus issue in april. Since we didn't know how much damage had been done, I uninstalled and reinstalled the base game with all its expansions.

Which. Took. Forever.

Once I started it up, everything seemed fine. Then I decided to go and get the Grim Reaper off of the Sim Exchange. I downloaded him, tossed him into my game and started playing. Again, everything seemed fine. That is, it did until one of my sims went to china and came back with Pangu's axe.

The problem?

The map loaded, and lo and behold, I suddenly had two identical sims. And then the game crashed.

I have since removed the Grim Reaper from my game.

It reminds me of my writing lately. First drafting was mostly smooth sailing for me, but once editting started, I began to find myself bogged down more often then not. This latest chapter has been especially sticky.

I've created several versions of the middle pages for chapter 27, and none of them fit. Now, unlike with my sims game, I don't think a total reboot is going to fix that. Nor will pulling the ornery characters in question from the chapter. Instead I need to find a smooth path that winds around the potholes without getting everyone splattered with mud.

In other words, I need to let my characters do their thing without interfering so darned much.

So far, I think I may know a way to manage it. That, however, will have to wait for tomorrow. Right now it's way past my bedtime, and this post is late enough as it is. I have my spare notebook by my bed along with a pen for late night notes, so for now I think I'll sleep on it.

~Sun and Moon

September 4, 2011

Lights out

Well, last night I sat down to fiddle around on the internet and do some edits. I spent maybe an hour checking things on my various websites and then got to work just in time for the power in my apartment to go out like a blown candle.


It came back on around 2am thanks to the fact our apartment is on the same grid as the police station next door. I wasn't sure if it would stay on, however, so I went to bed soon after. Thus, I am just now getting to work on said edits.

Anyway, after being up so late my brain is mush. Which is good for getting cleaning done, but not so much for editting. I'm going to try though, because I'd like to go for a bike ride tomorrow and I won't be able to really enjoy myself if I have unfinished edits hanging over my head.

And on that note, I better get my rear in gear. Besides, I have some new goat yogurt and fresh strawberries in the freezer. 

Smoothies, anyone?

~Sun and Moon