A Break Through in My Sleep!

Two days ago I posted about a block on my writing, a barrier placed by my brain on my stories.  I don’t enjoy calling this Writer’s Block because of all of the stereotypical assumptions that come with that term, from a writer’s POV and a critics.

Still, I was stuck.  And as you may have noticed, I was stuck on two stories, not just one.  Now I also have a day job as well as go to school, both are technically full time.  So while I reread the first lesson in the How to Think Sideways course, I didn’t have time to act on it.

Or so I thought – and at least physically I was correct.  My Muse on the other hand jumped at what Holly calls ‘The Shadow Room’.

All of the following concerns ‘TAaTB’ as I have yet to have had time to also do work for ‘Chasing Maggie’.

I dreamed last night and it was on my characters, the artist and the fitness mogul/biker.  They were honestly things I hadn’t had time to think of, but DID weigh on my subconscious.  The dream I had started out in ‘The Shadow Room’ and lead to the first time one character reveals feelings and leaves the other running.  Literally.

This dream was… amazing.  I was in their bodies, both of them, felt everything.  It was like I was writing/living the scene.  I felt so inspired.

So when I had a moment, I clustered today.  First about the dream and then about the two characters.  Set the timer for 15 minutes (I do most things in 15 minute segments) and before I knew it I was done and was looking up at a BUNDLE of new and interesting clusters on what that scene revealed and one cluster for both characters.  Took only 45 minutes, and now I have something to go on.  Especially because there are some bizarre similarities with the male character as the female character, and they weren’t intentional because the visual (I am a far more visual person) stimulus for the words were completely different.  And not all the words have the same feel, but it’s a similarity non-the-less.  Which makes me want to know what my male character is hiding.

My thought barrier took no thinking at all.  It is SAFE.  Absolutely.  With both stories, especially when writing a sequel to ‘Taking Maggie‘, I am stuck in the SAFE box.  And I didn’t have to look at the description but I did.  “SAFE Never Starts” and it’s true.  The two pages I have for ‘Chasing Maggie’ are the two that were written when I was planning on following up with another chapter.

So SAFE never starts.  The damn-dest thing is, I don’t live a SAFE life.  I am an entrepreneur making very little $ selling products I make BY HAND.  Talk about inviting imperfection and complications.  My husband and I are both full time students as well and I am also chasing this dream of being a writer.  I have no business being in the SAFE zone.

My plan is to follow this up with another session like it tomorrow for ‘Chasing Maggie’.  For now I am going to run with what I have found today.  I’m hoping that when I sit down with these a little later tonight I can overcome the last obstacle for ‘TAaTB’: what pulls them to be in each others lives at first.  Because I only have them in each others’ worlds once a month.  That won’t do.

Stuck and Grumpy – but with a Fix in Mind!

I’m working on two different stories right now and I’m getting a bit stuck with them both.  I have three or four others floating around, but I am determined to finish these two first:

Chasing Maggie (the sequel to Taking Maggie)

The Artist and the Biker (horrible working title)

I am flummoxed with both at this moment, and that’s not a good thing.  Sometimes twists and turns can leave you feeling bewildered as well, but those are often good.  I feel like I was writing and writing and BAM!  Opened up the word document to find a big brick wall in my face!

Now, I know this is what most people call ‘Writer’s Block‘ but I don’t believe it’s something that’s gotta last like so many writers.  I believe that we’ve created the problem and we can solve it.  I’ve had this many times before and there are ways around it – scratch that, there are ways to break through writer’s block.  Not ways around it.

My favorites come from running through Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways over again (though she does have a course in just breaking writer’s block).  I’ve been through the HTTS course fully once.  I’ve gone back for fixes and inspiration many, many times.  I keep finding new things in old lessons, but then Holly’s continuously adding to the freaking thing so there’s new stuff in there I haven’t even encountered.  I don’t really use the huge community, I am more of an introvert then someone who likes to share.  Though I did meet Scarlet Darkwood through it!

I figure I’ll be going through it, and it’s a writing thing, so why not share my stuff here?  Obviously I can’t share her lessons but I can at least share my growth and brainstorms and see how I can break through any walls my muse has put in my path.

And at the same time get through my mental blocks on CM and TAaTB.  Because I am stuck in the same place for both of them.  I have CM plotted out (and even more in that series ready to get written) but I am stuck on PAGE 2!!!  And with TAaTB, I’m stuck with the love interest, Brody – who I am seriously thinking of renaming.

Okay, so that’s it for now.  Off to do the first lesson of the course (which is apparently a new first lesson) and to move on to work and homework (still have to keep up with college).

In Writing Sexy Characters – How Do You Get Away from Your Own Type?

First I want to say that I am currently sitting at 7442 out of 8000 for the Biker romance.  I might even knock out the words I need (two sex scenes) tonight but I doubt it.  I have homework, housework and workwork to do.  I’m looking forward to finishing this one.

It is going to need pretty extensive editing before I can get it to my beta readers.  First more description on all 5 senses, more of the female character’s personality and more of the biker theme or else a totally different title.  Once I am done I can put it aside for three days and work on something else until moving on to editing.

So, before I get on to my main point of this post, I did want to pose a question.  With a title like “Beauty and the Biker” is it expected that there would be a LOT of Biker Theme throughout the book?  Like biker bars, motorcycle poker runs, her/him riding on the motorcycle, biker friends, etc?  Or is it enough that the male main character is a biker & tough; dresses like one, talks and acts like one and rides his bike all the time?  I feel as though that’s not enough “biker” to use that title.

Now, to my main point: I have a type.  Looking at all the men that I have had crushes on and the man I married, it’s painfully obvious: I like tall, lean men with dark eyes, dark hair, tattoos.  Sometimes a not-so-perfect past is involved.  Gruff, strong men.  Silent types.

However, I totally get that my readers might not share my tastes.  Or they might like that type but obviously they don’t want the same hero/love interest in every book.

So as a writer, I have to create different looking men for the books.  I’ve read a number of authors who don’t do this and it’s irritating.  Sometimes to the point of not buying another one of their books.  And when they reuse the same description of a four different men in four different books?  Definitely time to get another writer’s work.

So I am just trying to find a good medium.  I’m not going to write about people I would never in a million years find attractive.  It’s not just about what *I* want to write either, but what my readers want to read.  If I don’t like the characters (or want the love interest) I feel as though that will come through in my writing, no matter how hard I try.  No reader wants to read an erotic story with no chemistry, so it’s best to write characters that I feel are sexy.  Characters that have a certain set of convictions and attitudes about life, if not at the beginning, then at the end.  And they don’t always have to be alike.  Take Martin Riggs from the Lethal Weapon series and James Bond.  Very different, and yet sexy.  Or the two antiheroes of Bodhi from Point Blank and Hitman from “Hitman“.  Both of those characters are completely different, but there are attractive features in both.

So I figure as long as I have characters that fit certain perimeters that *I* find attractive, I can fake the looks part.

The only problem I am running into now is remembering what my guy looks like *facepalm*.  This biker guy is a blond (can’t think of one that I’ve had a crush on since I was 4 and fell in love with Heman) with some color eyes that I cannot even NOW remember.  She’s a dark brunette with light blue eyes.  Now why can I remember her, but not him?  I mean, he’s sexy as hell to me, but his looks are a little ambiguous right now, I guess because I picture my husband.

I have been writing and finishing fiction (romance and erotica too) for 16 years now and I never been one that needed the “character description” notes, but I guess I’ll start.  Or download pictures of hot guys to be that character.

What about other writers?  If you’re reading this let me know your thoughts.  What do you find sexy in either looks or personality?  What do you do in your writing to compensation for a difference in tastes but not compromise your personal affection for the characters?