Welcome! I'm Riv Re, teenager and aspiring author. I post Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Tuesdays are for book reviews; Thursdays are for a weekly meme called "Character Dolls," which showcases character depictions I made online; and on Sundays I just wing it.
This blog is for my writing misadventures, my reviews, ramblings, and rants. My favorite genre is fantasy, so expect a lot of the unusual.

Warning: I've got an awful sense of humor. Don't blame me if you keel up and die from reading the jokes I crack.
Notice: I hold no responsibility for any deaths caused by previously mentioned jokes.

Enjoy and happy reading!

Current Book Showcase-Starling by Lesley Livingston Trailer!
(What's Book Showcase? Click HERE!)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Guest Post: Doing Impossible Things

Hey Blogger Buds,
Last year, I sent out a plea for guest posts. Basil Spring answered. He's the author of The Triskaidek, which I reviewed on my blog a few months back. This post is around a year old. Reminder: Anything I have to say will be in red like THIS. Woops, I mean THIS.....Forget it.

I have been doing impossible things all year long, like asking my fairy friends to help me hack into Riv's Blogger account while she's away on vacation. It is easy for fairies. They don't even need a keyboard or mouse. Just make sure they wash their hands before they do it, or they might damage your computer's motherboard. And they might even bring down the whole internet, if you don't make sure they dry them too. (Good to know.)

Doing the impossible has taught me some vital lessons, but I can't share them all with you because then I'd have no secrets. I would, however, like to share with you this one: Always do six impossible things each day before breakfast, even if it means making breakfast your last meal of the day. (A bowl of cereal at 1AM can be a great thing! (Is there any other kind?)
OK, so I'm exaggerating, but I'm doing it to make a point. It's called hyperbole. And if you say that just right, it's called sarcasm, too. (You're starting to sound like me. I should be flattered, but I pity you. What will your friends think if you start acting like me? tsk tsk. GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!)
All of these impossible things are probably not impossible to all of you all of the time. But I'm almost certain that some of them are impossible to all of you some of the time, and all of them impossible to some of you occasionally, and none of them are impossible to all of you all the time. (*scratches head*)

Here's my suggested list, but you may wish to expand or contract it, or stick it in an envelope and mail it to the moon (Can you get me the moon's address?):

Particularly believe in what you are writing. Nobody else is going to believe in it if you don't. I suggest you live it (so long as it isn't too terribly immoral) or at least live some portion of it. Take my fairies, for instance. They live it because I believe it. (I DO believe in fairies!) The bottom line, don't write it if you don't believe in it. Believe passionately in it, if you are going to write it.

Keep on writing, even if you don't have time to write anything down. If you are so greatly disciplined that you write every day, then stretch your writing even beyond that into rewriting. Rewriting can be a lot more work than writing, and trust me, most of the time you can write it better the second or third time. If you can't get to a computer at all on any given day, then at least email yourself some thoughts. Impossible, you say? Try using an old fashioned bit of paper and a number 2 pencil. I suggest Dixon Ticonderoga, but my fairies have something they prefer carved from Sandwood on Aldair 9.

Don't ever lose hope that others will enjoy the stories you have inside you. Some of you may be very lucky (a small minority) and have hit it off with an excellent publishing company and an editor who partners with you, and this helps feed that hope. But most of you have not. Don't let them kill your hope. Share your stories with others even if you have to give them away. Hope will come back to you in the form of fans. One devoted fan can give you a lot of hope. I suggest you write remember the things your fans tell you and write them down, or print them out if they've been emailed to you. And don't kid yourself into believing the TWO LIES. (Sounds ominous...)

The Two Lies are: (1) if one person doesn't love your story, nobody will, so you might as well feel crushed. (2) if you can't find any publishers who loves your story, then it isn't good enough to be heard. (That's probably the toughest lie to disbelieve.) Don't believe these lies. If one person doesn't like your story, then that's just one person who doesn't like your story. There's several billion more left on this planet who might, so don't give up so soon! The same thing can be said for publishers. But you are going to tell me there aren't several billion publishers - wrong! With print-on-demand technology there are several billion publishers now. Anyone can be a publisher. But that doesn't mean you should publish your first draft for the whole world to see. Work on it until it is so good you've got a few believers, but don't ever let a doubter crush your spirit! There are probably some other great lies that it would be good to disbelieve. I know when I first thought of the two lies, back in "C", it was two different lies, and it changed while I wrote it. That's the truth, if you are willing to believe a liar. (Scratches head...again.)

Even if they are both lies. After all, if you write fiction professionally, you are a professional liar. If you write fiction as an amateur, you are an amateur liar. If you write fiction at all, you are a liar. Learn to be a good liar. A good liar has to make sacrifices. That means leaving some important scenes on the cutting-room floor. Sometimes maybe even leaving an important character, or an important bit of dialog, or an important setting - leaving it for a future book, or just junking it entirely. Yes, even when you get to that future book, don't be afraid to leave it behind if it isn't building your story. (I am not a liar. *shifty eyes*)

Remember to include "The Three Things" in what you are writing as much as possible. That's how you build your story. Try for ALL THREE if you can. "The Three Things" come from this simple rule: you should strive to make every paragraph you write accomplish all three things: (1) strengthen the plot, (2) strengthen a character, (3) strengthen a setting/scene. They say that if a paragraph doesn't do at least one of the three things, delete it. It doesn't belong in your story. A good paragraph will do at least two of these. A great paragraph will do all three.

But try to get it into your computer as soon as you can afterward. I do some of my best writing while I am out on a walk, or driving to work with music blaring, or sitting on the.... never mind. When I say "into your computer" I mean, whatever it is you use to write. If you are still writing on yellow notepads, that works too. (NaNoWriMo+tiny junky notebooks=win win! [Even though I lost NaNo]) Maybe you text yourself the next great sentence or idea. Awesome! Maybe you scribble your ideas on the back of your hand, or carve them into your bedposts while you sleep at night (bad idea to sleep with a knife, by the way) (unless you need protection from assassins. In which case, can I interview you for my book?) or email yourself from your blackberry like I do, or make letters out of toothpicks in the sand (at low tide only). The point being: never stop writing (yes, you will lose a few friends, but were they really your friends?) (who needs friends when you have books, anyway?) and never be too far away from something you can jot stuff down on, like a square of toilet paper, or the back of an unused fortune from your fortune cookie. (I'm waiting for the day when mine says "Publishing will cross your path in the form of The Big Six".)

The Chinese don't put those fortunes into fortune cookies for nothing. Use some of the ones you've saved up for a rainy day. After all, that's how they come true. (Spur of the Moment Tip: Use one of the fortunes as a writing prompt. Five hundred words based on "You can always find happiness at work on Friday")

Is that six yet?

I know I'm not a number genius, but isn't that eight? Or I'm just pointing out the obvious...hey look! Something sparkly!

Wait! You know what those six eight spell? BEHONTWU! Which sounds like "behind you!" Like that zombie sneaking up that's about to...never mind, I'll leave it to it's....yeah. Bye-bye Basil!

Thanks guys! Riv, you can have your account back now. Thanks.

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