Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TFA Teaser!

Here is another Teaser from TFA, since I got such good responses to it last week. This is right away in the beginning, the first time Grace and Reece see each again.

While he read down the names of students, Grace quickly jotted down a few notes about the class. All freshman had to sign up for a freshman seminar and Grace had chosen the one that immediately jumped off the paper. She knew this class would give her all the college, and life, skills she would ever need. “Zombies: Advice for College.” Even thinking the name of the class brought a trace of a smile to her lips.

“Brooks, Reece.” Grace’s head snapped up with recognition. Did he really just say…

“Here,” a deep, familiar voice called from the back of the room. Grace practically knocked her desk over when she swirled around to look. The two people next to her eyed her cautiously but she forgot all about them, about everyone, when she located the face that went with the voice.

There he was, Reece. Her Reece. If she hadn’t been staring right at his ridiculously handsome face she never would have believed it. It had been about six years since she had seen her childhood sweetheart, but she knew it was him. His had grown up, but she could still see the boy she used to know. A small smile grazed her lips. Reece was here.

They still do roll call in college? Reece thought idly to himself. I thought they grew out of that. He sighed aloud and responded automatically when his name was called. Guess not. He stopped paying attention again so the teacher read through his large list. When he had read the name of this class, Reece thought it would be a popular choice so it would be easy to fade into the background, grade wise that is. In everything else, Reece had always and would always love attention. He thrived on it. He had been the star point guard on his high school basketball team as long as he could remember. Liking attention sort of came with the territory.

His hand moved without thought across the sheet of paper in front of him, doodling nonsense. His thoughts drifted to his plans with the team tonight, but two words yanked him back to reality abruptly.

“Reynolds, Grace.”

A smooth, silky voice rang out from a few rows in front of him, “Here.” Reece gazed frantically around the room, searching for that voice. He knew he heard right, but he wouldn’t believe it until he saw her. Grace Reynolds wasn’t that uncommon of a name. Just because there was a girl with the same name, and voice, didn’t mean it was really….

Then he found her, and realized she found him too. When Reece met those blue-gray eyes, he knew there was no mistake. It was Grace Robin Reynolds, better known to him as Gracie Lou.

They looked at each other for a solid minute, then Grace smiled slightly, almost shyly, before waving and turning back around. Reece’s eyebrows crinkled. Was that it? Was that all he got? Just a smile and a wave? He shook his head. It didn’t make sense. Here he was, practically jumping out of his skin, and she just turns around, perfectly unaffected by the fact that they had just seen each other for the first time in six years?

Reece crossed his arms and sank down into his seat, completely unable to even fain interest in the lecture about zombies. Memories from the past bombarded his thoughts and long forgotten feelings came flooding back. His breath escaped him in a sigh. Gracie.

And yes, the Zombie class is a real thing. One of my best friends took it her first year in college and I fell in love with the idea. Hope you liked it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Teaser! Finally.

I was going to post a new scene I wrote for VDGP, but after Hands Down by Dashboard Confessional came on in the car, I needed to work on The Freshman Affair. The song is perfect for Grace and Reece's story. Perrrrfect. I came home and wrote the following scene (and a bit more) in all of fifteen minutes. The words just flew out. I love when a song can inspire you like that. It's a great feeling.

Alright, enough talk. Here is said scene.

Grace and Reece were doing more talking than studying, no matter how hard Grace tried to force him to concentrate. Their Psychology books lay all but forgotten in front of them.

“Reece, shut up already. You’re already falling behind in school and I’m trying to help you,” She stabbed his book dramatically. “Let’s get to work already!”

“Pssht. I don’t need school. I plan on getting by on my looks, thank you.”

She tossed her pencil at him and frowns. Reece quickly pocketed it. “There. Now we can’t study. You seem to have lost your pencil.” His grin was cocky and triumphant.

Before he could react, Grace threw the book from her lap and launched herself at him. She tried to pin him to the ground and wrestle the pencil back from him, but he easily rolled her over, pinning her instead.

“Bad move, Reynolds,” Reece declared, then started to tickle her. Grace shrieked, struggled, and laughed loudly all at the same time. She was insanely ticklish, and Reece hadn’t forgotten.

Happy laughter bubbled out of Grace’s mouth as she tried to speak, “Puh… Please,” she giggled harder, “I surrender!” She practically shouted at him. “You win, stop! Stop!”

Reece nodded happily and stopped his assault on her. Grace met his eyes, tears in hers from laughing so much. Reece’s smile faded and a look of intensity replaced it. He was still on top of her, impossible warm and close. For a moment, she forgot herself and Tristan. She let herself be the girl in seventh grade who had been so in love with him. She let herself get lost in those beautiful hazel eyes that brought back such wonderful memories from her childhood.

Then he started to bring his lips to hers.

Grace scrambled out from under him. Standing up, she kept backing away until her back hit the wall. Reece sank back on his heels and wouldn’t meet her eye.

“Reece,” she began, “I can’t. Tristan,” Reece’s hand shot up in the air to stop her.

“I’ve got to go.” He packed up his things and left without saying another word.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lessons in writing

I used to think I had to start my story from the beginning and write straight through to the end. So when I would get stuck, I just gave up. If one scene wouldn't come to me, the whole novel would end up getting trunked.

Thank God I grew out of that.

I used to think I could only wing it. Planning and outlining were not for me. And yet, I couldn't finish a draft. I would get to about the 20k mark, and lose the story completely because I didn't have a plan about where it was going. (I knew how it would start and how I wanted it to end. The middle was a mystery to me)

But I now know that doesn't work for me either.

I came to a realization today that I wanted to share with you all:

I am growing as a writer.

I'm slowly but surely learning what works for me and what doesn't. My writing is getting better the more I do it. I am even getting more disciplined when it comes to a writing schedule. I am actually working at achieving my dream.

I know that I have a long way to go. I know that no one ever stops growing as a writer (hopefully anyways). But I'm on the right track. And it feels good.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Putting faces to names

This is something that we're fond of over at the YA forum on Absolute Write, finding celebrities that look like our characters! It's fun and inspirational. Looking at someone and thinking, "That's so [insert character's name here]!" can, and has for me, refresh your desire to get their stories on paper.

You've heard me whine about them and read some of the hell I've put them through, and now ladies and gentlemen, I give you the characters from VDGP!!!

First off, Gwen. One of the main weapons Gwen has is that her appearance is incredibly deceiving. She looks soft, harmless, and even helpless. Hell, she looks downright innocence. Although, as many of her foes have learned, she's anything but.

Natalie Dormer is perfect for Gwen. She's the last person you'd expect to chop off your head, right? Well, she can. And has.

Next up is Jaiden, nickname Jay. Jay has a more mature look to him and could be described as ruggedly handsome. He knows what he wants and he goes after it. A man of little words with a shady past. He turns heads and knows it. Only one man came to mind for Jay,
Gerard Butler. He fits perfectly in my brain for Jay. I think he would play the strong, silent type beautifully. Now, Gwen and Jay might not look like they fit together, but they are both what the other person needs and that's all that matters to them.

Chris is rebellious, hot-headed, and a major pain in Gwen's ass. Once again, I found a man who just fit.

If VDGP was ever made into a movie, I would insist on Jensen Ackles. He is absolutely perfect.

And finally, Riley is Gwen's only family. He was the only thing that kept her sane when she lost her parents. He's loving, outgoing, and extremely open. Riley is probably my favorite character I've ever written. I've always had a thing for the best friend character and Riley does it better than anyone.

A young Heath Ledger, happy and carefree, is a perfect fit. When he was young, Heath looked like nothing bad had ever happened to him, and Riley is the same way.

So there they are. My characters. Aside from Jensen Ackles/Chris, they all have little things I would change (eye color, hair length, etc.) but other than that, they are what I see when I'm writing. From the teasers I've posted, do they make sense to you or are you sitting there like, "What is she on?"

Anyone else do this? If so, you should do a blog post and leave me a link! I'd love to see what your characters look like to you.

(Look! Two posts in two days!!! I really am trying harder!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Character CPR

VDGP (Which may have a new title soon) has been dying a slow, painful death. I've almost lost Gwen's voice completely. Hence the blog silence lately. No new writing means no new teasers.

Thankfully, I've thought of a way to hopefully revive this story. I'm going through and writing some Character worksheets (which is probably something I should have done in the first place). So far, I've only done Gwen's but this her voice is already starting to fill my head again. It's a great feeling.

Since I'm still new at 'seriously' writing (meaning trying to make money from it some day), I am still trying to find a way that works for me. I've read blog after blog about other people's methods, and have found one thing in common: ACTUALLY WRITING. Which is surprisingly harder than it sounds. I hope you will all stick with me through this insanely difficult journey that is writing.

So my faithful readers (even though I'm a less then faithful blogger), I am back in the game. Reviving my characters, my voice, and my motivation. Wish me luck. Because Jake Gyllenhaal says so.
And you can't say no to that face.
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