Category Archives: Writing Craft

Photo Friday: wordle.net

Have you heard of wordle.net? It creates a visual of any piece of text you put in. The size of the words depend on their frequency. Surprise, surprise, Jason is number one!

Wordle of Whirlwind

While this is a very cool app and makes a neat picture, it also is a tool. My eye goes straight to the word just. It’s WAY too big…and so I’ll be working on getting rid of my just habit in book 2. One habit I have been working on is my that obsession. I’m very glad to see that isn’t here! (…at least I haven’t found it yet.)

Have you wordle’d anything? What did you think? Helpful, fun, or meh?

I also wordle’d Concessions, my short story in the Summer Lovin’ Anthology:Heat Wave. You can see the result on the Concessions Fan Page on Facebook.

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Filed under Tips and Tricks, Writing Craft

Summer’s Over?

August in the DeJarnett household means the end of summer – at least for most of us. Band camp started, which is like a full-time job for my daughter, and runs right up to the beginning of high school. As a band mom, I’ve already finished my first project (I do flyers, tickets, and other various paper-related activities for the band), so my summer is over too. My dear husband always works full-time, so no change there. Only my son has a couple more weeks of homework freedom.

But, as a parent, I have to admit, I’m looking forward to the routine of school again. Yes, I’ll miss sleeping in. But I need routine too, and am looking forward to a regular writing schedule. With one rough draft in the works and designs on a couple more, I need to get into a rhythm of writing every day. And blogging more regularly… 🙂

So, while I’m sorry to see the freedom and adventure of summer go, I’m looking forward to the stability of fall.

Remind me I said that when I’m tearing my hair out driving to lessons and band practice, though, okay?

New Facebook Pages

With the release of Concessions as part of the Summer Lovin’ Anthology: Heat Wave, I’ve set up separate pages for my different stories. Check them out – I hope you LIKE them!

Robin DeJarnett Fan page: The place for announcements about appearances, writing, future releases and general discussion. My author page.

Whirlwind by Robin DeJarnett: Everything Whirlwind. Photos, links to sites in the book, Jason and Melissa fun. Liking this page will add Whirlwind under “Books” on your profile.

Concessions by Robin DeJarnett: Currently available in the Summer Lovin’ Anthology:Heat Wave in support of Save the Ta-tas. I’ll be posting an excerpt from this spicy, paranormal short story soon, so click LIKE and get a sneak peak.

Meet an Author Monday

Check out what other authors are chatting about today. Whether you’re a reader or a writer, there’s a lot of great stories out there! Hosted today by Killian McRae.

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop

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Photo Friday: Chipping Away

Wall of IceThis is the Marjerie Glacier, located in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. The face is about 250′ high (over 75m), and is constantly crumbling away as the river of ice pushes down from the ice field above. It’s breathtaking.

And intimidating. Like writing can be.

I’ve been working on the sequel to my first book, and some days, it feels like the screen in front of me is this advancing wall – and all I have is an ice pick. I know the story I want to write, but knowing it and getting it down are two different things. And the wall pushes toward me with other distractions. Email, Twitter, Facebook, and my blog all have legitimate claims on my time, but they also try and hijack it all. As soon as I chip away one, another pushes toward me with more.

It sounds depressing, but on the other hand, I have help. My critique partner may use a whip, rather than a jack hammer, but having someone to force me to focus on writing, and specific issues in my story is invaluable. Today I’m meeting up with another writer for a writing blitz – a no-talking, no-texting, no-internet get together to just write. Oh, did I mention no kids?

Margarita cocktail

Image via Wikipedia

So I continue to chip away. And if things go well today, the only ice I’ll face will be in a margarita!

Happy Friday!

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Daily Double on the Whirlwind Blog Tour

I can’t believe this is the last day of the Whirlwind Blog Tour! We’re going out with a bang – with not one, but two tour stops and giveaways today:

Happily Ever After – Reads is giving away a print copy of Whirlwind along with posting my discussion of how hard it is to keep up with the changing times. Contemporary writers face a real challenge trying to keep up with what’s hot today, especially when it comes to technology. You can also read Kristin’s review of Whirlwind HERE.

COME JOIN THE DISCUSSION AND ENTER TO WIN

Also, Cheeky Reads has reviewed Whirlwind and is giving away an electronic copy:

“What I enjoyed most about this book was the relationship between Melissa and her friends, as well as the one with Jason. I felt like Melissa’s inner monologue about her friendship with Mitch and her insecurities were nicely done and appreciated some well done, but not over the top, sexy scenes!”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REVIEW AND TO ENTER

Come back TOMORROW for the LIVE CHAT  at 8:00pm EDT (5:00pm PDT), moderated by our host, Missie of The Unread Reader. Sign up for a free account at TalkShoe and either call in or type in your questions. No matter which way you choose, you’ll be able to hear my answers through your speakers. We’re celebrating the end of the Whirlwind Blog Tour and partying.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CHAT PARTY!

Previous Blog Tour stops (Many giveaways are still open):

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Filed under Blog Tour, book review, giveaway, Writing Craft

Combining Characters

Cover of "Water for Elephants: A Novel"

Cover of Water for Elephants: A Novel

I have a confession: As I work on the draft of my next book, I’m finding there’s just too many characters. I love them all, don’t get me wrong, but the last thing I want is a reader who has to make a set of crib notes to keep track of all the people who jump in and out of the story. Many in this cast are bit players – they come in, move the plot along, then exit, never to be seen again. So how do I thin down the cast?

One way is to combine similar characters into one persona. This happens a lot when books are converted to movies, and can be a very effective way of keeping the plot elements, and even character traits, but streamline the story. A very recent example of combining characters can be found in the screen adaptation of the book, Water for Elephants. I’ve seen the movie, read the book (loved it), and am now a even bigger fan of the movie. No, the movie is not identical, but it’s very true to the book. But two prominent characters in the book became one in the movie – in what I think was a stroke of genius.

Water for Elephants is primarily a story about a train circus in 1931. There’s danger, love, betrayal, and one fantastic elephant named Rosie. In the book, the main character, Jacob, jumps a circus train and becomes their vet, and eventually their elephant handler. The circus is run by two powerful and evil men, August and Uncle Al. Jacob falls for August’s wife, Marlena, but you’ll have to either read the book or see the movie to hear that part of the story.  It’s August and Uncle Al I want to talk about.

In the book, Uncle Al owns the circus and has a habit of throwing men off his moving train who cross him or are unproductive. His solitary motivation is the dollar. His role is important, but he’s a relatively minor character. August, on the other, is key to the story, the violent, schizophrenic equestrian director. One second he’s kind, the next vicious. Jacob encounters both throughout the book, but it’s August’s wife Jacob falls for.

Now, to the movie. In the movie, there is no Uncle Al (or I didn’t notice him, if he was there). August is both the psychopath and the owner – which blends into a character even more frightening than the two in the book. Is it the same? No. But it is extremely effective, and wow does it convey how dangerous a world Jacob has entered.

So back to my conundrum. Seeing how well the combining was done in Water for Elephants gives me hope that I can thin down my cast a little but keep all the key elements I need in the story. In some cases, it doesn’t matter quite so much who threatens the protagonist, just that they are threatened. I hope to take this to heart, and tighten up my story a bit more.

Readers: If you’ve seen the movie, what do you think? Do you agree that the movie August is as good as the August/Uncle Al in the book? Or did combining those characters compromise the story?

Writers: Have you had to combine characters before? How difficult was it? Were you happy with the results?

Click here to read the interview

Around the Internet: Bookish

The wonderful Evie at Bookish interviewed me over the weekend. She’s also giving away an e-copy of Whirlwind, so be sure and check it out. Thank you, Evie, you’re a sweetheart!

Share the Wealth Giveaway

Can you believe May is almost over? Let me know what you think about this or any of my posts in May and you’re entered to win. Click below for details.

Meet an Author Monday

Check out what other authors are chatting about today. Whether you’re a reader or a writer, there’s a lot of great stories out there!

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop

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