Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What Is Your Story's Theme Song?

Hi all!

So I don't know about you but when I get a new story idea, more often than not it comes from a song. A song that tells my brain "this concept would make a great story" and so I'd like to share the theme song for my current project. I won't tell you what that project is but this song is the reason I'm writing it. It's where I got the idea. So without further ado, here is Will I from the musical RENT. In the comments or on facebook or twitter or tumblr, whichever you happen to get this link from, tell me if you have a theme song for one of your stories.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Figuring Out the Flaw

Hi all!
 Today I want to talk about character flaw!

So if you're a writer, you know about character flaws. The story can't exist without the inner struggle of the character. Now, believe it or not, I didn't know about this element before I took a creative writing class online. Now I can't imagine developing a character without a flaw, or several. If you want your character to be real, someone that you could imagine talking with, they need flaws. Everyone has them, your characters should too!

It took me a while (and I'm still learning) how to figure out what flaws to give my characters. What I've found works best for me is figuring out their background. Something in their background made them have the inability to trust or make them feel envy or lack of confidence. Now this method make not work for you. You may do it differently and that's fine. As I said in my last post, everyone has their process.

Now the reason I came up with this ideas for a post on this was because I was having a hard time figuring out one of the flaws for my main character in my new book. Her flaw was the inability to trust and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why she had this. She trusted her family, she trusted her close friends.  But then I realized: there are all types of trust. There's trust in others, there's trust in our friends and family, there's trust in strangers, there's trust in ourselves and there's also trust in society as a whole and the world around us. So once I figured that out, it was easy to say "Okay my character has this flaw because..." and then it clicked.

So if you are struggling with finding a reason behind the flaw you have given your character, go back to the basics.  Interview your character if you want (I know it sounds silly but I've done it a few times and it works and its super fun). Pretend you are a reporter interviewing a famous person and asking them about where they grew up, their likes and dislikes. But I digress!

So I hope this has helped you in some small way! I love sharing my writing experiences! We're all in this crazy journey of writing together!

So go forth and write!

Until next time,

RA Odum

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Your Writing Process is Yours

Hi everyone!

So I want to try to catalog experiences and things that happen to me as a writer on this blog. Sometimes that's hard. Sometimes I have nothing to say other than "Hey I wrote 3k today" and other times, something happens to me that I just have to share.

So yesterday I was at the library doing my volunteer work and I came up with this awesome idea for a serial I want to do. Well my original plan was to put it on here and let all you lovely people read it and I was going to just write and not worry about planning and just write whatever came into my head.

Bad plan. Really really bad plan.


Because I'm an author.

Now let me be clear, there are some authors out there who can write "from the seat of their pants" and not plan and not outline and do it very well.

I am not one of those people. Not anymore. I used to be able to think up an idea and sit down and write three hundred pages but that was before I knew about character development and how to write a novel. And you know what, I wouldn't go back even if someone paid me.

But I'm getting off track here. So yesterday when I was writing my new story, I did a quick character sketch of the characters and sat down to write. Four hundred words in and I was struggling. Something felt off. I didn't understand. I had the setting. I had the characters. I had them somewhat outlined. I had the basic plot. But still something wasn't right.

It wasn't right because I hadn't spent time planning things out. I hadn't given my characters the attention they deserved. I hadn't figured out where my story was going to go other than the basics. I had no theme, something that is vital to a story!

I didn't have any of this because I hadn't taken the time to properly plan and process my story!

So, lovelies, my point of this blog is that know what works for you. If you are a planner, plan to your heart's content. If you are a "write by the seat of your pants" type writer, do that. But know what works. And if you want to change up your process, make sure its one that works for you. If you are still figuring out your process, experiment. Try outlining, try just sitting down and writing. Do what works for you and what you feel at peace with.

Your process is your process. No one can take that away from you. 

So that is my experience with planning! What is yours? Are you a planner? Are you a "sit down and see what comes out" kind of writer? Let me know in the comments, either here or on social media.

Until tomorrow my awesome readers,

RA Odum

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I'm Sick! So What? How to Still Be Creative When sick!

I'm Sick! So What?

 Emma stared at her ceiling as the room continued to spin, the room darkened by the cloudy sky, the sound of the rain hitting the windows the only sound. Ugh. Being sick was the worst. She had things to do today! Most of all, she'd set a goal for a thousand words on her novel today. She let out a long, frustrated sigh. It was only nine in the morning. If she continued to lay here she'd go nuts. She sat up. Okay, so the room had stopped spinning. She ran a hand through her dark hair, reaching for her glasses. Okay, she could do this. She'd have to cancel her out-of-the-house activities today but she wasn't going to let her dizziness stop her from writing. No way! Getting out of bed, she ate breakfast, got dressed and got on the computer. She checked tumblr and facebook and twitter but her muse had other ideas. Opening up a word document, she started to write--and four hundred words later had to stop. She let out another sigh as the room continued to spin. Maybe she just needed to take a quick break? Yeah, that was it! At least she'd written SOMETHING! Four hundred words to be exact, with vertigo! She hadn't given up!


So if writing is your passion, do what you can to make it happen! If you can't sit down at a computer, write down ideas on a piece of paper, record them into a recording device, type them on your phone and text them to yourself. Do something to get down those ideas. Your muse will thank you for it later and you'll thank yourself as well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

You Never Know How Your Actions Will Inspire: A story of an Impromptu Performance

(this story you are about to read is based on true events. Names have been changed)

The medium sized drops of rain landed on Emma's dark hair, fogging up her glasses. The water slid down her rain coat, dripping off the sleeves as she stood at her father's booth, bright green tractors all around her. The smell of food hung in the air, everything from funnel cakes to hot dogs and hamburgers. But what caught her attention wasn't the tractors or the food, it was her favorite song Let it Go blasting from speakers a few feet away. She recognized her favorite singer Idina Menzel right away, some kids also singing into the speakers. Emma walked over to the booth as the song finished and the girls left. She bit her lip. This was her chance to sing her favorite song, even if she wasn't warmed up vocally, she could still try.

 "You want to try?" the lady with the microphone asked.

 "Yes," Emma said and took the microphone.

Her heart pounded not only from nerves but also excitement. She was getting to sing her favorite song. The lady pushed play, muttering that she'd be right back and the music started. Emma tried to tune out the talking around her, focusing only on the song and the music coming from the speakers. She breathed in deep and started to sing, getting lost in the moment. The rain and people talking around her seemed to fade away. It wasn't until she sang the last line "the cold never bothered me anyway" that she realized she had an audience. Giving the microphone back, she said thank you and walked out of the tent. Her throat didn't hurt, unusual for an impromptu performance, but boy her abs sure did. The End

 So I wanted to write this little story to show that you should always take a chance and do something that's out of your comfort zone, whether its singing a song or reading a poem, go for it! You never know who you're going to inspire!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

New Look for a New Blog

Wow! It's been a long time since I've blogged! I have revamped this blog and am starting from scratch! I want to try to post everyday but if I can't manage that, once a week! I've grown as an author this past year and I have more to say then I did a year ago! So I'm going to do a blog every Wednesday! I'm going to do a lot of different things. I want to dip my toes into writing a serial and some flash fiction. I have a few ideas bouncing around! So I hope you'll come along with me on this new blogging journey! I'll try to make it as fun and enjoyable as I possibly can! I've added a WIP page to list the books I'm working on and added a Completed Books page as well. Hope ya'll enjoy!

Until next time!

RA Odum