Friday, September 11, 2015

Authorly Bucket List

Deborah @ The Road of a Writer ambiguously tagged me for the Authorly Bucket List. Thanks Deborah! Okay, actually I stole the tag. . . but who's talking technicalities?

All you do is list 3-7 things that you're really bad at in writing and then 3-7 things that you want to try in writing. Easy, right?

Ahem. So we'll see.

What I stink at
(because let's just rub it in)

1. Romance

Okay, so I will admit, I'm probably a little better than when I first started. What am I talking about? Everybody should be better at writing than when they first started! Unless you just started an hour ago. . . Even then you have more words written than you did an hour ago, and, sincerely, that is SOMETHING.

But how do you write a kissing scene? Seriously? Just how- Why- I don't understand. I don't think I'll ever do it. Just leave the scene in ambiguity while they're still gazing into each others' eyes or something cheesy like that.

Besides, Oddball would hate me forever if I ever let anybody see him kissing someone. I think he had me sign a privacy contract or something. . .

If I were a character, I'd make my author sign a privacy contract. Ain't nobody going catch me smooching another character. 


2. Spelling

Without spell check I'm rather lost, and it doesn't help that I'm a terrible typist. So sometimes I spell things wrong without even meaning to. I can actually spell my own name wrong (isn't that something to brag about).

3. Organization

When I get an idea, what do I do? I skitter around and grab the first thing available and write. Sometimes it's a good thing. . . . other times, yeah, it's pretty bad.

Sometimes it's my hand and a pen. Then I wash my hand later. You see where this is going, right?
This is the sum of it:

"I know I wrote that scene down somewhere. Now where is it?"

"How could I have lost that guy's name? It was perfect too!"

"Maybe I didn't write that scene after all? Maybe I just mental wrote it while trying to sleep last night."

I mourn even more when I lose a good title idea, because:

4. Titles

Most of my books/ideas are named after the protagonist like Oddball or Sandy. But then there's things like the weird idea, fairytale, the allegory thing. Thing? What? I'm supposed to be an intelligent *cough* wordsmith and I title my book idea "thing"?  

You know, because I'm- smart. You believe that, right?

I've written a first draft, but you know something? I don't even have chapters. It's just a bunch of scenes. I would love for my chapters to have titles, but maybe there needs to be chapters first. Yeah, I would say yes.

5. What does this guy look like anyways?

Describing characters kind of goes out the window. I just forget about it unless it's moves the plot. . . or I need a beat in the dialogue and I finally remember "Hey, why not tell the reader what the character looks like?!" So then the reader gets something like:

"Her brown hair fell into her face."

Great description that.

Eliot & Parker - these two are so funny! AND sarcastic :)

Once a writer friend and I sat beside each other at a seminar. The speaker addressed this particular question and said to never use the mirror trick to describe your protagonist. Because it's cheating (pfft, whatever). We both looked at each other. Oops. So maybe, we had read each others' mirror tricks.

I only had a vague description of Oddball in the book until someone pressed me and really wanted to know what he looked like besides possessing a mess of light brown hair. Hence the mirror. I find the scene quite funny and it shows a different side of Oddball. Personality-wise. So I might keep it. But since then there are now more POV characters who do the job nicely. . . when I think about it.

What I want to try
(now this is the good stuff!)

1. Retellings

Yes so much! I've been thinking of a fantasy realm where all the retellings should take place. What would also be cool is a retelling mash-up. Like two different tales mixed together.

I have been thinking up, maybe, possibly, a Phantom of the Opera retelling. But I don't know when I'll get to it. And- And- I wanted it to be fantasy. But so far it has stubbornly attached itself to the present day setting. It won't let go! Grr.

2. Superpowers

This would be the weird idea series that I mentioned earlier. It's kind of complex. It grew and grew, until it became so big.

I don't know if I'm worthy to write that. My skills- They fall short.

3. Break cliches

I take advantage of blog reading in this. I hear people bemoaning tropes while they review books and I realize that they're right. This particular portrayal/trope is overdone. Why are all these stereotypes running around?

the maintenance closet scene, gif
Let's just say I schemed up some plans. *rubs hands together*

So you know, if there's anything out there you think is cliched, let me know.

4. Diversity

I want to write a gothic character. And I want to write him/her properly and realistically. Not the way most people see gothic people.

But I don't know anyone gothic. I could do all the research in the world and still get this character wrong. So maybe I just need to befriend a gothic person.  Except I think I've only seen a gothic person maybe once in my life and that was ages ago.

5. Mental illnesses in fantasy

I want to do this. I don't know how.

That is all.

6. Fantasy mystery series

Come on, just try to tell me that doesn't sound cool.

It would be the best thing ever! It's fantasy and it's mystery. ALL IN ONE! Mystery would be so amazing with dragons and swords and- 

This totally made my day :)


(I use that word far too much.)

So I'm actually going to tag a few people, because I never tag people. 

Emily @ Emily Etc. 
Anne Marie @ AM Station 
Carmel @ CARMEL
Skye @ Ink Castles

If I didn't tag you, but you want to do it, go for it! It's a ton of fun. It also helped me reassess what I need to work on and where some of my goals are.

So now, what are some writing ambitions of yours? And what are some book cliches/tropes that drive you crazy?


  1. Oh my word, a fantasy mystery series is the BEST IDEA EVER! I have never heard of one before. Usually "mystery" usually goes with "British person in the 20th century" and "fantasy" goes with "epic quest." While they may have elements of each other, I don't know of any book that mixed them together! Do it!

    1. Yay! I'm glad you like the idea. It might be a long time in coming. But it's definitely coming! :D

  2. I love your humour haha! I always feel like I'm in a really awkward situation when I have to write about intimacy between characters. You're not the only one.:)
    Wow you have a great list of things to try writing about. All the best! x

    The Journeys of My Beating Heart

    1. Exactly! It's like I'm eavesdropping on something private and I feel like I should make myself scarce or something.

      Thanks so much! :D

  3. YES to all the things to try, and yes also to the titles and description difficulties. XD Thanks for tagging me! I'll let you know when it goes up. X)

    1. Yay! I'm glad you going to do it. It's a lot of fun. :D
      Ugh, yes. Descriptions, I mean, who needs them. We have imaginations; the characters can look like whatever you want! XD

  4. I KNOW YOU DIDN'T TAG ME BUT I'M GONNA DO A YOU AND STEAL THIS. Because it looks so funnnn. It's familiar though. Maybe I've done it before?!? Is it sad that I have to search my own archives so I don't redo things. hehe. ANYWAY. I love your lists!! :D I suck at romance too, like seriously SUCK. In my poignant moments, someone always ends up laughing at someone else, and in my ACTUAL romance book, the girl confessed that she thought her puppy was cuter then her boyfriend. I mean. Hello, no. I cannot write romance. i can write puppies.
    I love blogging and discussing things around here too because I see SO MANY THINGS that people don't want to read anymore! And I'm like "RIGHT. I AM ON THIS!" XDXD So I think blog reading is a super sneaky and wonderful thing writers can do. ;) Win 'em all over before we've even started writing the book, right?!?!

    1. Really!? I hope you do it! It'd be so awesome!
      Haha! I would read a romance like that though...probably cause I'd say something like that. But hey, people DO like puppies. I would definitely says it's unexpected and breaks cliches. ;)
      YES SO MUCH! I feel like a spy or secret agents sometimes. You are so right. It's like we're specifically targeting our audience. I love it! :D

  5. I love the idea of breaking cliches! There's way to many of them in fiction. And fantasy mysteries sound AMAZING! Those are a couple of my favorite genres.

    I've started writing fiction again, and describing characters is difficult for me, too. I either list off everything about them, down to the date of their last haircut, or say nothing at all about their appearance. And I've used the mirror trick as well!

    1. Thanks!
      All or nothing, I totally feel you. It's just- there's no in between. It's great that you're writing fiction! That is the my meager opinion.

  6. Oh, I was a goth once. Waaaay back. Mostly it involved me being a normal person who was attracted to black things and corsets and loud music. There was kind of peer pressure to see who could do the 'gothiest' things, like who had the most piercings (I won with six) and who could die their hair the most gothic colours (I was only allowed dark brown, so... that was basically a fail). But then, maybe I'm not the best person to base a gothic character on.
    But hey, a Phantom of the Opera retelling sounds AMAZING. And I kind of like the idea of it being set in the present day... sorry!
    Beth x

    1. Really!? That's so cool! That does help though!

      Yes, I rather like it. Phantom of the Opera. Every time I watch it, something new comes to me. And I'm rather comfortable now with it being present day. I think it'll be a new twist. Though I'm near terrified about writing gothic literature. Exploring new things is always cool though. I think an old (castle-like) university will do for a good setting. Yes? ;)

  7. I'm totally with you on romance and character description. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TELL YOU WHAT MY CHARACTER LOOKS LIKE WHEN HE LOOKS COMPLETELY NORMAL TO HIMSELF? It helps I little when I write in 3rd person, but since I do limited, not much.

    Also the superpowers thingummy. I have an MG superhero plot bunny running around in my head, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to try it yet. I do have some experience breaking cliches, though. *cracks knuckles* I love twisting tropes and making them weird and original. And I would love to see someone write a fantasy mystery story involving mental illness. *starry eyes*

    Basically, perfect lists are perfect.

    This tag looks like so much fun! Do you think you'd mind very much if I, you know, *whispers* stole it?

    1. Exactly! How do you write character description without breaking POV? It just. . . doesn't work out so well.

      Superhero books sound so good! I'm just in a small quandary on how to go about it. Fantasy + mystery is definitely going to happen.

      Yes! Steal it, please! I'd love to read your post. :D

  8. I LOVE ALL THE GIFS YOU USED. 10/10! I used to watch Leverage a lot and JUST ALL OF THE FANDOMS. XD

    I can relate to what you said about romance, but that's the genre I usually gravitate towards. XD All of my friends always squeal at my one shots, so... I guess, I'm okay. Haha, spelling is a killer. I always type faster than my brain can spell if that makes any sense at all. I'm absolutely with you on organization. Most of the time I just scribble the random spark of inspiration I have on my hand or in the memo section of my phone... Not the best system to say the least. Ugh, titles are a sore spot for me. I always think of the most generic things and I don't think that's ever going to change. *waves hand*

    Ooo! Your Phantom of the Opera retelling idea sounds really cool! I hope you get to it someday. :) There ARE so many cliches roaming the field of YA these days. It gets annoying after awhile, but I, for one, sometimes enjoy a cutesy cliche romance. Although, that's probably just me.

    1. Do you know how excited I was to finally find a good place for that Spider-Man maintenance closet gif? A ridiculous amount, I assure. XD

      We have all the same problems going on here. :) Especially that romance one, I'm always banging my head thinking, "It is so gushy. Something is wrong." Or "What is happening? Now they get along. Now they fight. Now they hate each other." But when other people see it they're like, "Yep. It's good. Give me more." I don't understand.

      Yay! I'm hoping that Phantom retelling does go well. I'll most certainly be embarking on uncharted territory for myself there.

  9. I guess we have a lot in common because, I am bad at all the same things, and I have used the mirror trick. Love your ideas for new things, we need more of said things in books.

    1. That mirror trick, why does it have to be a "no-no"? It worked just fine for me. *shrugs* Just kidding. I guess it could become cliched. . .

  10. I know the feeling of not knowing whether you're good enough to write a certain project or not--but I always figure, hey, it's my idea, why not just go for it? You'd be surprised by what you can do when you just pretend you know what you're doing.

    I'm not very good with titles either--my most current work in progress went for five years without a title. *hangs head in shame* Yeah...

    1. That's good advice. You're right. It's amazing how far pretending can get you.

      That is basically the status of all my works. No title. :P

  11. I love this! Thanks for tagging. I'll get round to it. Eventually.

    I'm totally putting off romance. Not happening properly -- no kissing, at least -- till trilogy book 3. Sorry, Corrie. You guys have to wait.

    TITLES! Don't even talk to me about titles! Ugh. So much ugh. I'm hooooping one will make itself apparent for the Corrie book ... ?? (Also, I just spelt apparent apparant so apparently (there I go again) I'm bad at spelling too ... )

    Mental illness in fantasy. This must happen. That's one of my biggest regrets RE the Corrie book -- I plunged in, aged 14 -- no concept of tropes in YA or idea that I should be diverse -- and then, because I was doing NaNo and had 9 days before it started when I got my premise, i just dived in without thinking, like, "oh, I should introduce diversity". Sooo all my characters are white and none of them are mentally ill. And obviously there's nothing WRONG with that but I wish I'd thought about it more beforehand.

    Remember Some of the Trees? Lucas from that has Aspergers. I don't know if I'll ever actually write it, though.

    PHANTOM RETELLING! So one of my best friends is obsessed with Phantom and I'm obsessed with Les Mis and in the summer we started planning our musical retellings XD THIS MUST HAPPEN.

    PS That Sherlock gif is the best thing on the internet, period.

  12. It's cool. I know how it is. Life and all. I've been tagged for some things that I've already forgotten about. :/

    I totally get you on the romance thing. Besides making the readers wait is a good excuse. :D Though I do have to admit, Rocky and Skyler do kiss sometimes. But they're a little more. . . impulsive? So I don't bother with going into detail or whatever. :P Maybe I should. I don't know. But I'm not going to. *crosses arms* I refuse.

    Yes, mental illnesses in fantasy! Someone mentioned this (I think it was Cait, but I don't remember). And if you really think about it, fantasy ought to be rampant with mental illness. At least a lot of PTSD. All the war, and the killing, and the questing, the horrific beasty sights and attacks, etc. Fantasy ought to be the place to be for mental illness. I don't have a lot of that in Oddball though (okay, some unintentional, which means, I need to do my research *hangs head*).

    Really?! I like Lucas. He seems so cool. I do hope you get to write it in whole.

    (I must read Les Mis sometime. My mental TBR is going to squash my brain one day.) GO RETELLINGS!! I seriously want to write this Phantom retelling. Why can't I write all the things at the same time? I do I only have two hands?

    PS-- I think you're right. I have the impulse to use it in ever post.


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