Writing vacation


Me and the hubby took a vacation earlier this week to the Outer Banks. The weather was perfect, clear blue skies, not to hot or cold, just gorgous weather. (FYI: the water at Nags Head is coooooold!)

Anyway after supper the hubby would carve or play a game while I wrote. Mind you I wrote some while I was gone, but mostly I read. I looked with fresh eyes at pages I haven’t poured over in a month or better. (Yes, thank you, I am well aware I write slowly and eraticly. Spelling is also not one of my strong suits.) So imagine my dismay that on page 80 my healer slips two of the main characters a sleeping potion and on page 86 they are having a pow wow. (Do we see the nasty, glaring, plot hole looking at us?)  So it grabbed my attention and now I wonder how many other little holes are dotted in my story. I left the prevous 76 pages home in a small oversight, packed them in the wrong bag. So now when I get a break I can read the whole thing and get back in my story.

So the above quote is quite correct. Cause when the pen wasn’t flowing on the page, I was thinking about the story and how to get it flowing from the current point to the next point.


We saw this sign in a jewerly shop window and the hubby had to see what it was all about. The sign says “Gunz & Glitz, fine jewelry, firearms, and ammo”  promoting Dare Jewelers at Nags Head. Good way to attract men into a jewelry story. Lots of neat little shops and nice beaches up that way. Cheers and have a great weekend. james

NaNoWriMo Nov. 2014

To all of the folks taking part I salute you. I am cheering for each and every writer to suceed with their tales. May your words flow swift and your pen never run out of ink, your fingers fly across the keyboard and always auto save your work. Best of luck to you all. Cheers, james

A Writer’s Journey

Way back in the mists of time, occupations, most but not all, were governed by guilds. And to join a guild you had to have someone recommend or buy your way in via sponsorship. You started out doing all the labor intensive low skill jobs. Taking out the trash, cleaning, you get the idea, then once they had you started they would begin training you under a master.

Ever wonder why writers haven’t developed a writing guild? Seems to me to be a perfectly good way to learn the writerly arts. And it would weed out the ones that lack the bull headed stubbornness needed to make a profession of writing. Reading, editing manuscripts, and being around bad, good, and mediocre material, would teach us by example; the things that work, the things that really don’t work, and the things that kinda work. I forget where I read it but someone said to learn to write, read the bad stuff, not the good stuff. The good stuff will depress you, because you will not feel up to the task of writing that way. The bad stuff that will inspire you because if they could get published then surely you can write better than that.

Funny enough, when I was younger and devoured romance novels like they were going out of print, I just knew I could write better than some of the horrific stories I crossed paths with. In fact I started writing at about ten or elven romance, cowboys and pirates were my favorites. A lady named Virginia Brown wrote “Capture the Wind” that novel for many, many, years was my favorite. Only a few years ago did I read with adult eyes and heavens I read this in fifth grade? No small wonder my mother was mad with my grandmother for letting me read her stash. I am embarrassed to say I couldn’t finish the book. In my memories it was about a headstrong lady running off to the Americas and her ship was captured by the fierce Captain Kit Saber. Then the real fun began as she talks him into tracking her beau down only to find him in relations with a lady of the night.

Anyway I have carried the story I remembered and held it close to my heart. A few others are also hanging out there too. Somewhere along the way I have lost that head strong little Miss Know It All, and the confidence she had that the world was her oyster. On days the words come, I see a tiny spark of her but I can never coax her back into the light of day. It maybe that I have lost my innocence and the world has stolen her from me forever. Or it just maybe time to regain that innocence outlook and realize the world isn’t going to change but maybe, just maybe I can. Cheers on a Thursday night. james

The Hero’s Journey: Part 3, Defining Your Hero

I am sad to say here is part 3 of this awesome series I have been reading and loving. If you stumble across post 3 I beg you gou back and read the other two. The information she includes is very helpful and we as writers need to absorb this material into ourselves. Cheers,

Nina Munteanu Writing Coach

Edge Of Tomorrow - Emily Blunt warriorTo write a truly compelling story is to resonate with the universal truths of metaphor within the consciousness of humanity. According to scholar and mythologist Joseph Campbell this involves an open mind and a certain amount of humility; and giving oneself to the story…not unlike the hero who gives her life to something larger than herself: “Anyone writing a creative work knows that you open, you yield yourself, and the book talks to you and builds itself….you become the carrier of something that is given to you from … the Muses—or God.”

This is no fancy, it is a fact. Since, as Campbell says “the inspiration comes from the unconscious, and since the unconscious minds of the people of any single small society have much in common, what the shaman or seer [or artist] brings forth is something that is waiting to be brought forth in everyone.” I call this…

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The Hero’s Journey: Part 2, Heroes and Other Archetypes

This is part 2 of an awesome 3 post series. The archtype she discusses fits perfectly with my current writing project. Also take a moment to swing by her blog, it is very worthwhile trip. Cheers, james

Nina Munteanu Writing Coach

420px-Edmund_blair_leighton_accoladeThe world of fairy tales and myth is peopled with recurring character types and relationships. Heroes on a quest, heralds and wise old men or women who provide them with “gifts” or motive, shady fellow-travelers—threshold guardians—who “block” the quest, tricksters who confuse things and evil villains who simply want to destroy our hero and her quest.

Jung adopted the term archetypes, which means ancient patterns of personality shared by humanity, to describe these as a collective unconscious. An archetype models a personality or behavior; a mother-figure is an archetype. This is what makes archetypes, or symbols, so important to the storyteller. Archetypes are found in nearly all forms of literature, with their motifs mostly rooted in folklore.

Assigning an archetype to a character lets the writer clarify that character’s role in the story. Archetypes are an important tool in the universal language of storytelling, just as myth serves the…

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The Hero’s Journey: Part 1, The Hero & the Journey

This is the first of a three part post. Take a moment to swing by her blog. It is awesome and full of good posts. Cheers,

Nina Munteanu Writing Coach

hero's journey-boat-moonAll stories consist of … common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams, and movies. They are known collectively as The Hero’s Journey — Christopher Vogler, “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers”

“The Hero’s Journey” myth follows the three-act structure of the ancient Greek play, handed down to us thousands of years ago. Drawn from the depth psychology of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and the scholar and mythologist Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, it duplicates the steps of the “Rite of Passage” and is a process of self-discovery and self-integration.

The Power of Myth & Archetype

Campbell recognized that myths weren’t just abstract theories or quaint ancient beliefs but practical models for understanding how to live. Ultimately, the Hero’s Journey is the soul’s search for “home”. It is a journey of transformation we all take, in some form.This is why the Hero’s Journey model for…

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Calming Chaos

When my mind gets in an uproar I write any and every word that comes to mind. Free writing helps work out whatever is going on. Some words will be printed, some will be illegibly scrawled, some will be in cursive, and some will be no more than the first couple letters and squiggles behind it.

I don’t know if the way the words appear have anything to do with it, but afterwards. I feel calmer, spent in a good way, the bad excess has been dealt with, leaving a fresh new outlook. The only free writing exercise I timed was for writing 101. It lacked the same furious energy that other free writings had. However there were phrases and half formed ideas instead of random words.

The night before last was one of the chaotic nights. My pen scratched furiously at the paper instead of it’s normal smooth flowing glide. At least no paper was torn or harmed during the process. In my haste I have punched holes or ripped my paper in my rush to get it all down. Several themes kept coming up; trapped or confined, running away or breaking free, and self doubt or being unworthy. These tell me a lot about my state of mind but not how to fix it. I have taken a couple of days to pen this post not because you, dear reader need to read it, but I needed it.

Tea and Sympathy

This is the lovely post that got me thinking about my own bad guys and prompted my post “Thoughts about Villians”. I hope you will take a few minutes to swing by her blog. She is an awesome writer and blogger. Cheers,

Julie Allan

I have a problem . . . one I did not anticipate when I began writing my book Pearls of Wisdom.  In my story I have a character, his name is Angelo and he is the villain of my tale.  He can’t help it really, he grew up in a family where crime is the family business. He is a cog in the machinery that runs a syndicate that runs the East Coast of the United States all the way to South America. He does not call the shots, but he hasn’t chosen a more virtuous path either.  He is compassionate towards others, especially senior citizens.  He has a bad boy swagger and charming dimples that I find hard to resist, think Sonny Corinthos from General Hospital.  Of course with that admission you have discovered one of my guilty pleasures: Soap Operas.  Soaps or stories as my Grandmother called them were a family tradition from her…

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Thoughts about Villians

     I just read a post about another writer beginning to like her villian. In the two stories I am working on, my villians don’t seem to have any redeeming qualities.

     In Owl Story, my villian is a demon like enity trying get from the spirit world into the physical world. Power mad and thoughts of destroying the world make him feel warm and fuzzy inside, if that were possible. However, I have not delved very deeply into the character yet. I have the feeling he was part of the guardian group before he decided to be a villian.  And in the previous battle, became the demon like enity he is now. Providing the motivation to take over the world or destroy it trying. Still a very unknown shadowy character.

     The second bad guy character, I haven’t decided what to do with him. According to one of the main characters, he isn’t bad, something happend and he was corupted by the major bad guy. So this will allow me to redeem him, if I can add it in with the story as a blow to the bad guy or maybe send him in as a spy. I like the idea of redeeming him while he is working for the bad guy and realizes just what a sob he’s been. 

     Anyway those are a few thoughts about villians. How do you like your bad guys? Could they just be misunderstood and need a second chance or are they just plan evil? Cheers, james