Social Media is a Waste of Time for Writers—Hmmm, Think Again

I have posted about my path to becoming publicized here and how I have battled over the years between plugging in and unplugging. I didn’t have an e-mail until maybe five years ago, and I had my first flip phone only months before that. Strange, I know, especially for someone my age. Most all of my friends started blogs over a decade ago and have a huge following, while I avoided it all, thinking it strange that you’d want complete strangers to see into your life.

That all changed when I began to write seriously. Actually it changed when I went to my first critique and read my query in front of a bunch of strangers. I had completed a novel, written a screenplay, and had boxes full of poetry. Did I want to share it, or keep it to myself? This was a very tough question for me, as I wondered if people even cared what I had to say.

It still surprises me when writers now-a-days don’t embrace social media. I am going to be brutally honest and say that I don’t like it, but I have embraced it. This blog post has really helped me and my approach to social media.
If you have any tricks you use when it comes to social media, I’d love to hear about it.
Thanks,
Tara

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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We’ve been talking a lot about social media lately and I am always grateful for your comments and thoughts. This kind of feedback not only helps me improve my blog, but my also books, because I get a glimpse of your worries, weaknesses, fears, loves, and strengths.

As a teacher/mentor/expert, it’s my job to address those fears and put you at ease or reinforce when you’re headed the right direction and give you tools and tips to take what you’re doing to another level.

There’ve been some comments that have piqued my attention lately. Namely this notion to give up on social media completely to write more books (out of vexation for the medium and the task).

Oh-kay….

Social Media is a TOTAL Waste of Time

Write more books instead of tweeting or blogging. Social media is a giant time-suck better spent writing great books.

I don’t know how to…

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The Eyes are the window to our… P.O.V.

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(drawings are mine)

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(photo found on editing-writing.com)

P.O.V. when writing, stands for Point Of View.

Many years ago when I joined my first critique group, I was lucky and grateful that the amazing Janette Rallison happened to be in my local chapter. She has written over twenty fabulous and award winning novels. Teaching point of view, is her specialty. She is the P.O.V. queen and I remember her saying that P.O.V. issues are the first thing that will get your manuscript nixed. It is the largest area of novel writing that beginners struggle with. Me included! Seriously, she shredded the first draft of my first novel.

I have written in First, Third, and Omniscient Points of view. For some reason in the early conceptual stages, I see what point of view my story should be and my characters begin talking to me. The best way to decide how you are going to write your novel is by noticing how your characters speak to you. Do you feel an intense, close connection with your main character — enough to know how he/she would feel and act and what they would say? Or do you feel connections with all of your characters and want all of them to tell your story?

It helps if you notice what you like to read. I think this will make your story unfold more naturally if you are subconsciously drawn to a specific writing style. It’s kind of how I feel about present tense. My brain doesn’t think in present tense. Some people have passionate views for or against present tense, but it just doesn’t mesh with me and I have a hard time reading it, so why would I write that way?

Also, you could see what books are selling right now and what readers are liking when it comes to POV. Although, I believe that you should not write for mainstream. Write for yourself!

First, you need to decide whose point of view is going to tell your story. Deciding on how and who you want to tell your story, will change the entire outcome. Is it going to be:

First person – The story is narrated by a character, usually the protagonist, and the story will unfold with “I”, “me”, “mine”, or plural “we”. I like this point of view because we can convey the internal and unspoken thoughts through your character. This person takes actions and makes judgements through their eyes. I feel more intimate connections with characters that are written in first person.

Second person – This point of view is rarely used. This type of story is narrated by the character referring to the reader as “you”. It’s like the narrator is telling your story or making you feel like a participant in the story. I don’t have an example that comes to mind and I would love an example if any of you have one. Second person is often used in songwriting or poetry in an attempt to connect with the audience by making the reader feel it is them.

Third person – This point of view is probably the most common and gives the author the most flexibility to tell more of the story. I like writing this way for that reason. The characters are referred by the narrator as “he”, “she”, “it”, or “they”. Never “I” or “we” (first person) or “you” (second person). The narrator is an uninvolved entity who conveys the story, but is not a character.

Omniscient – This point of view is presented by a narrator that has an overall knowledge of everything. I like to think of it as an all-knowing entity, like God. The narrator sees and knows the actions and feelings of all of the characters within the story. This point of view is often used in epic, complicated stories that have many characters or children’s picture books. Although we get to see what is going on with all of the many characters, often times it is hard for the reader to connect or sympathize with the main characters. If not done correctly this P.O.V. can look lazy and is the sure sign of an amateur.

Alternating points of view – This is done by switching between different character points of view whether it be in first-person or third person. I also like writing this way because I can tell a more rounded story by being inside different characters heads. It is very important to switch points of views at a new chapter or page break so the reader is not confused. If you switch points of view without breaks, it is called head hopping, and that is bad.

Those are the bare bones of point of view. I could go into more detail, but I wanted to discect first and third person point of view.

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(photo found on icanhascheeseburger.com)

Thanks to Janette and wonderful editors, I am super sensitive to P.O.V. mistakes now. But sometimes those sneaky devils slip past. I’m going to give some examples… see if you can spot them.

* “He pointed his finger at me, wagging it as he did so. He was frustrated and upset and I began to cry.” — The problem with this example is that we see what someone other than the point of view character is feeling. We do not know exactly what others think. We can guess by their body language or reactions, but we do not know, so your character would not know either. Sometimes you can easily fix this by writing instead: “He pointed his finger at me, wagging it as he did so. His lips formed into a tight line, hinting to me that he was angry. The sting of hot tears formed in my eyes.”

another example:

* “My blue eyes met the steely gaze of his deep, coffee colored eyes.” — Cheesy, I know, but I wanted to illustrate that when in first person, the main character wouldn’t naturally think of her own eye color. Think about it, the reader puts themselves into the main character. When you look at someone, do you think. “Oh, my blue eyes are looking at your brown eyes.” Weird, just weird. And I admit… I used to do that when I wanted to tell or remind the reader about eye color! Ahh! – Bless you Janette.

When you understand P.O.V., most of your writing problems will be fixed.

* It helps with showing and not telling. You describe things as the character would and it comes out more genuine and believable when tied to a solid Point of view.

* It helps with description and pacing. The point of view of your character decides what they choose to see. Also, when the pace is fast (maybe a chase scene), the character won’t notice as many details

* Solid P.O.V. clarifies the goals and motivation. By getting into the characters head, the reader can see into their inner dialogue and desires. We feel what the character feels, and want what the character desires.

* It creates higher stakes. We get into the personality of the character and see what matters internally to the character and why they react the way they do. Therefore creating a stronger drive for the character to achieve their goal.

Point of View is one of those things that once you are aware, it begins to become obvious. When my edits went back and forth between me and my editor, I couldn’t believe what we still caught, even up until the final edits. Little, tiny things like, “your character wouldn’t notice this” or “she wouldn’t think this.”

What are some of your favorite points of view that you like to read or write? I’d love to hear!

— Happy writing and thanks for stopping by!

Tara

Falling for the ‘Bad Boy’ and writing to tell about it.

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Normally, I wouldn’t divulge all of my secrets on how to write a bad boy, but I have had quite a few people contact me personally for information on how to create more attraction between a main character and a ‘bad boy’ character.

I love writing these characters! They are so complex. Their character arc is huge. I am sorry that I am a sucker for these cliche’s, but I can’t help it.

I mean… this is how I picture my bad boy in my work in progress…

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(Photos of Jason Mamoa found on Celebitchy.com and whoandwhom.com)

uh… where was I?…

Oh yes… bad boys. First you need some inspiration. Find some pictures of people you think fit the character and hang them all over your room.

I’m just kidding, that isn’t necessary, but it sure helps! I am on Pinterest and have boards for my books and works in progress. I also have secret boards that no one sees. This is where I dump a lot of images and possibilities while I am still forming my setting and characters. I think most authors have an image in their minds of what their characters look like. The problem that I see with the use of Bad Boys in novels are that they usually don’t go beyond the physical aspects. Don’t make your bad boy only skin deep. I like to write scenes that keep the reader wondering if the Bad Boy has changed or if he is still the same jerk. Decide in the very beginning of writing your novel if he will remain bad or have redeeming qualities and change in the end. You will write him differently based on your decision.

Let’s talk about the standard physical traits for Bad Boys that you see time and time again in novels:

* Black leather jacket, motorcycle, sports car, muscles, sunglasses, scars, guns, muscles, long hair, smoking, alcohol, muscles, and they are usually heart-stopping gorgeous. Why do we see this time and time again?? Because it works and it is hot!

* But, that is also why it has fallen into the cliche category. If you want the reader to connect with this character, you’ve got to go deeper. Peel away those layers of muscle and give him a reason why he is this way.

* They need a reason why they choose what they choose, and why they act the way they do. He must have a motivation. Bad boys don’t just happen. They are molded and brought together by life experiences and his past. Were they bullied or tortured? Give them a unique, unbelievable past — it is fiction, after all. The more crazy his history, the better.

Now, let’s talk about internal character traits that you could add for more depth:

* Add in something they are incredible at: Awesome to the extreme level! Are they super smart, but don’t flaunt it? Are they a gifted swordsman, gunman, karate man? Any fighting skill is good. Let us see his skill in action and show us that he is the very best with this skill. Preferably protecting the protagonist, love interest, or a helpless kitten. 🙂

* Bad Boys don’t follow the rules: They don’t follow convention and don’t care what people think. They are usually broody and moody when it comes to rules. Police chases, detention, and jail are consequences, but he doesn’t care or think about that.

* He acts calm and confident while everything is hitting the fan: When the other characters are beyond hope, the bad boy saves the day with his incredible skills, while acting like it is no big deal.

A Bad Boy must have flaws: 

* Does he battle with depression beneath a tough facade? Does he have an illness? When he skips school, does he actually go to the homeless shelter to serve lunch? What about empathy — that can be a huge internal flaw that goes unseen, but also becomes a redeeming quality in the end.

* Most bad boys have a foul mouth. That usually goes along with the territory. Just make sure the swearing isn’t overkill and distracting. I think it takes much more skill to portray bad boys without all of the smut and curse words. In the future I will write a post about writing language into novels. It is a balancing act to find the right amount. I think the villains and antagonists should be the main people who curse. It takes more wit and brains to convey how you are feeling without cursing all of the time. I think this should reflect in your characters as well.

* Flaws are usually hidden beneath all that leather and muscles. The love interest or protagonist usually is the one to expose the flaws.

Give him one or two details that make him different:

* Give him a contrasting detail opposite of the Bad Boy facade. This is a surface thing, not some deep internal conflict. Something small, like maybe your bad boy collects unusual orchids. Or maybe he loves working in the garden. Maybe he even has a pet goldfish he named fluffy. I don’t know, but this will make your guy stand apart and become memorable.

*In my work in progress I gave him the talent of being an artist. No one knows about it, and he actually hides his gift. Some of my favorite scenes I’ve written is when he is sketching. In the future his artistic talent could turn into an intimate scene like in the movie Titanic! Haha – okay maybe not, but you get my point.

If the Bad Boy is going to be the love interest, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT give him these character traits:

*Physically abusive, sexually abusive, controlling and possessive, sexist, dismissing love interests ideas and wishes, and please don’t make him a crazy stalker.*

The above list makes me hate the Bad Boy. If he has the above flaws, he is not sexy and your readers will not fall in love with your character. You must show a softer side and usually the love interest draws it out of him.

If your bad boy is going to remain a bad boy, then by all means, give him all of the list above, along with murdering, cheating, and whatever else you conjure up. Don’t give him redeeming qualities. Have him act selfishly throughout the entire novel. Have him hurt people just for the fun of it. If you give him too many flaws and awful traits, then he borders becoming the antagonist or villain…

…And here is a post I wrote about Villains.

I will tell you one of my favorite bad boys in film. Tristan (Brad Pitt) from Legends of the Fall. I think he was multilayered, went out to find himself, and came back a better man. Yes, he did this because of a woman, but he found himself all by himself. I like that he didn’t get his first love. His life took on a more meaningful turn because of it.

Who are some of your favorite bad boys in literature and film? What are their strengths and flaws that make you love them? -Happy writing,

Tara

 

Whip It Into Shape

It only took me around eight months to write my novel Broken Smiles.

It took me three years to edit the same novel.

Yes it was my first book that I finished to the end, and part of that was the submission process, but towards the end, before I signed the contract, I was ready to shelf the dang thing. In fact, I did.

It was discovered because I submitted my second book, a Christmas novella, “Eight Birds for Christmas” into a few Christmas competitions. It was rejected by some, but I also had a couple publishers interested. When it came time to sign contracts, I sent in my full novel on a whim and said, “here’s something else I have finished.” Right away the publisher I ended up going with wanted to get started on Broken Smiles first and then release Eight Birds for Christmas during the holidays. So that’s what happened.

I guess the moral to that story is, after you have done all you can do and enlisted the help of others in your circle, if it’s your best possible work with where you are now… don’t give up. I almost did.

With NaNoWriMo (click to find out more) finishing up last week, I want to talk about editing. I have done that crazy, whirlwind writing competition a couple times before. One year I finished, another year, life got too busy and I only ended up with 35,000 words. That type of writing is so fun for me. Turning off the editorial brain thrills me and the words seem to bleed easily. But then comes December and you are left with a mess of a story. For months you revise, edit, and slash those words into something readable.

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Below is my editing process. I am much more faster now, and my circle of people who help me has grown, but I think that this can apply to anyone on their own personal writing path.

* Before you begin the editing process, you need to learn track changes in Word perfect. There is only one person who I print full copies for, and that is because she is fabulous and old school. Other than that, everyone else edits with track changes. It really is a great tool and has sped up the process tremendously. Plus it helps save trees!

* First – I must admit… I have a secret weapon… My mother. I mean, just look at some of the pages she sends back to me!

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She is not your typical mother when it comes to cheering your book baby on. Yes, she is kind and loving, but she is also critical and looks at it with an editorial eye. Whenever I send her pages, I imagine her arming herself with pen as a sword as she prepares for battle. Also, she has written eight books and edits for other authors.

So my first bit of advise is to ask yourself “who is your secret weapon?” Is it a fellow critique partner, neighbor, friend? Someone who owes you a huge favor. (because that is exactly what this is) Who is willing to look at your very first draft after you have done all you can do to whip it into shape? That person is key because they will get you to the next step, which is…

* Second –  Alpha readers. (If you don’t have a secret weapon, this takes place) I feel sorry for these guys, really I do. They are given a mess because they are given your second draft. I say second because the first draft should be all on you. Do not waste your Alpha readers time by giving them a complete piece of junk. Just kind of waste their time by giving them kind of a piece of junk. First drafts have heaps of problems and these poor people who you asked to help, hopefully know what they are getting into. These people find holes in your story and help with content and overall story line. I think they usually catch blaring line edits as well. But mostly they are readers who read a lot and know the basics, not necessarily writers.

* The time I spent between my Alpha and Beta readers spanned over a couple years for my first novel. I am faster now, but it was a huge learning experience for me and I went through the roller coaster of wondering if what I wrote was any good. I bit the bullet and hired a content editor during this time. She helped me slash 30,000 words, moved chapters, and killed many of my darlings. I suggest you hire a content editor before a line editor. Do your research when finding an editor. You want someone thorough and who will almost make you cry, but also will cheer you on. It can be very daunting when opening up track changes and seeing that almost every line, I mean every line, has either a comment or change to accept or delete. Oh, and as a side note, keep track of your different drafts. Hide the past drafts within a folder in a deep dark corner of your computer so you won’t get confused. Rename the drafts back and forth to your editor with numbers or dates.

* Third – Beta readers. These people get your polished draft. Once you have gone over the harsh edits from your Alphas or secret weapons, and the editors (both content and line) it’s time to move to the next level. After you have gotten over the shock of realizing your story might suck, these Betas can help revive hope again. They usually are experienced writers or people who work in the business. After you have gone over the returned suggestions from your Betas, this is when you submit to agents and publishers. Or, I am guessing this is when you self-publish your novel. Although, if I was to self-publish, I think I would hire a different editor to look at the final, final draft before it goes live.

* When you get an agent or a publisher, the process starts all over again. And oh yea, there will be deadlines! Doesn’t that sound like the funnest thing ever! I couldn’t believe the things my publisher and new team of editors, proofers, and readers found. For that very reason, I was glad that I traditionally published first. I now know that you can never be done editing. I think some people jump the gun too early when it comes to self-publishing.

* The final step is releasing it into the wild unknown. By this time you will have become so sick of looking at the words of your manuscript, that you will hardly remember the storyline. It all becomes a blur of punctuation, adjectives, nouns, run-on sentences, point of view issues, etc… By this time and after all that hard work, next you become a marketer. And if you thought editing was fun and relaxing — you just wait!

I don’t want to discourage anyone. I have never learned so much in my life — not in school, or college, or from any book. It is a whirlwind of information that is hard to explain until you go through it. It is an exciting journey that should be enjoyed. Yes it can be stressful at times, but you come out changed and better at the craft.

One of the main things to not change during this process, is to constantly be a humble student. Don’t ever let your head get so big that you are unteachable. There is always something more to learn or another way to see things being done. Just last month I went to a conference and sat through a class that was titled “how to write your first draft.” I learned so much because the presenter shared examples and things I had never heard of before. So now, as I tackle a new work in progress, I am armed with yet another tool of the trade.

Best of luck as you edit your book!

-Tara

Thankful

During this weekend of Thankfulness and full heart, I reflect on what I am most grateful. The things which fill me with immeasurable joy are my husband, children, family, and friends. I know I can be a selfish creature, artists usually are. I have had many discussions at length about how the life of an author is all consuming and can leech from relationships if not placed in check.

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To illustrate my point, here are a couple examples:

While sitting at a restaurant on a long overdue date, my husband was telling me about his day and an exciting new client. Beside us sat a group of women who were obviously on a girls night out to escape from their daily lives. I found myself in the middle of two conversations. Nodding blankly at my husband, while listening to the fascinating dialogue between those women. Their dialogue was snappy, concise, and hilarious. My mind began to file away bits and pieces of their brilliant dialogue to use for future reference for a novel. My poor husband stopped talking and that is when my eyes focused on his grim set mouth.

“You aren’t even listening,” he said.

“I’m so sorry, please start over,” I replied as the women’s conversation vanished in a poof.

“No, the moment is lost now.”

And so it goes…

Another selfish experience was when I asked my husband for a kiss. I never need to ask for kisses, he just does. Anyway, he leaned in and brushed his lips against mine. I pulled back. “Add a bit more passion,” I said. He didn’t need to be asked twice. The kiss deepened and he placed one hand around the small of my back and another behind my head and pulled me in close. Good, I thought. But, hmm… what would happen next in the scene?

Oh I am terrible, I know. I wasn’t kissing my husband, I was recreating a scene for my work in progress. There must be some corner in heaven or hell reserved for people like me. I pulled back again and left my husband short of breath.

“Okay, now, graze your thumb over my lips.”

He lifted an eyebrow, but did as he was told.

“Not like that, maybe slower,” I said. I closed my eyes and my wonderful husband created the scene perfectly and even enhanced a few things. I mean, it was fantastic and exactly how I had imagined the scene in my novel to unfold. “Thanks!” I said, jumping back out of his fervent arms.

“Wait! You can’t just… leave me like this.”

I giggled and ran to my computer to write a scene that involved kissing and grazing a thumb over lips.

And so it goes…

My poor, wonderful husband and family are guinea pigs for my novels. That is so wrong, but the selfish part of me says it’s alright. I gather inspiration for love, joy and happiness from my family and loved ones. I gather inspiration for hate, anger, and hurt from the news, strangers, and painful memories. I grab bits and pieces for character development from people I admire or people I don’t care too much for. Then I place them into the puzzle of my novel along with the pieces of setting, theme, voice, and storyline.

I have really tried to be more thoughtful and conscious in my relationships. It is easy for everyone to get swept away in things that distract us from one another. Everywhere we turn, there are interferences with social media, TV, media, and for an author, it is the writing itself that puts you apart. I find myself constantly nagging my teenager to put down her smart phone and be with the family. I realized I was doing the same thing, only with stories in my head. Sometimes I have to consciously tell my mind to not focus on my fictional story and live my non-fiction life.

Above all, I am thankful for loving kindness from my family.

I am thankful to be a creator of life and art.

I am thankful for inspiring people and in turn, thankful that I may inspire others.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

-Tara

Research Before the Internet – Interviews!

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Often times I circle into a tornado of research. I love it! Hours later, I find my footing again and tackle writing armed with dizzying details to help breathe more life into my story.

I remember as a child interviewing my Grandmother for a school report. As I sat with her for hours and hours talking about her intriguing childhood, I think somewhere deep within me, a spark burst to life. I discovered that I loved stories and I loved to write them down.

For my novel Broken Smiles, I interviewed musicians, music producers, and people who have made it their life’s work to study Chinese history and culture. There is a part of my book where the characters go to Morocco. I have never been to Morocco, but I have been fascinated with that country for quite some time and someday hope to visit. I thought I had done enough research. I was happy with the scenes and details about my characters in Morocco.

That was until I actually interviewed someone who had just returned from living there for years.

As I was sitting in church one day, the speakers introduced themselves as just moving from Rabat, Morocco where they worked in the embassy. My curiosity was piqued because that was the exact city where the setting of my novel takes place. Right away I approached the couple and asked to interview them. I sent the woman my chapters of Morocco for critique and came armed with a million questions.

I absolutely loved thumbing through her photos, touching her hijabs and kaftan (clothing that they wear) and looking at her furniture and decorations. I had questions about the flora and discovered names of local plants that I had not found on google. (Because I am a horticulturist, correct vegetation in setting is a huge deal to me.) She told me about a specific tea that is served with a flourish and production. I learned what people wear at the beaches and I even had to change a few things to get it right. We talked for hours about the many details of the melting pot of cultures that are in Morocco. She was so detailed in her descriptions, that I could almost smell the exotic spices.

As I walked away with a grin on my face, I knew she loved to tell me her story — just like my Grandmother did all those years ago. You see, in the end aren’t we all just stories? Don’t we all want to share our experiences and history with others?

It is our duty as authors to get it right.

It is our responsibility to take the time to add details in our stories. That is what breathes life into them.

I suggest if you do interview someone for your novel, come prepared with specific questions, but also let them talk. Magic happens when their stories come to life — those stories you will never find online. You could never capture that kind of research by simply doing an internet search. With the world at our fingertips, I think us authors have lost a bit of  where research began and that is connecting with others and listening to their stories. I encourage you to reach out and interview people, show interest, and gain information from others experiences so that you can make your own stories stronger.

Have you ever interviewed someone for your work in progress? If so, how did it go? I’d love to hear. 🙂

Happy writing!

Tara

Writing Fact… Mingled With Fiction

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I’m sitting here writing this post on my front porch while the moon turns to blood. October 8th at 5:00 am and my imagination is crawling with ideas looking at the lunar eclipse of the

Blood Moon.

I’ve incorporated the Blood Moon into my YA fantasy novel, Vagabond, which I started years ago. Now I might have to change it up because I worry that it might turn cliche because of the popularity. Anyway, I have done extensive research about the strange celestial phenomenon taking place within this year. Four blood moons have correlated with Jewish holidays. This October moon I’m looking at now, is also the hunter’s moon and I can’t help but think of the movie Predator as my gaze darts into the shifting shadows. 

What is a blood moon and tetrad? 

On April 15, 2014, there was a total lunar eclipse. It was the first of four consecutive eclipses in a series, known as a tetrad. Today, October 8, 2014, was the second one. April 4, and September 28, 2015 are the third and fourth. The red color is caused by Rayleigh scattering of light or electromagnetic radiation through the Earth’s atmosphere, the same effect that causes sunsets to appear red.

Signs of the times, maybe?

The idea of a “blood moon” as an omen to the ushering of the apocalypse, comes from the Book of Joel, where it is written “the sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.” Some believe that something huge is afoot in Israel. I have loved finding heated sermons of gyrating pastors who have flailed their arms, asking for repentance during this ushering in of the end of days.

The four blood moons of 2014 and 2015 have and will appear on Passover and Sukkot, also known as Feast of Tabernacles (Passover celebrates the Jews’ liberation from Egyptian slavery and Sukkot commemorates the Jews’ 40-year wandering in the desert). A strange coincidence, but Jewish holy days are based upon a lunar calendar anyway. Passover is during the first full moon after the spring equinox and the Feast of Tabernacles is usually during the first full moon (harvest moon) after the autumnal equinox. You decide if it is only a coincidence or an omen. I have my opinion, but that is not what this post is about.

I want to talk about writing fact into fiction…

I wrote the Blood Moon into my novel before I even knew about any of these strange occurrences happening this year. I have written on a blog post before that research is one of my favorite parts about writing. My advise is to dig deep. Don’t only focus on one linear thought or what you find in Wikipedia. Find the mythology, the fables, the altered stories.

By digging deep, we unearth all sorts of creepy and interesting things. That is the fun part of being an author. We take those truths and distort them to our will. I love playing God, and so when I wanted a blood moon in my novel, I made up a lunar eclipse called a Lunar Caulum that happens every thousand years and ushers in a new reign of shadow.

Know the truth, so you can write the fiction.

Know the speculation, so you can build upon it.

Know that there will be people who said you got it wrong.

Know that you can smile at those critics, because you created your own history.

Here is a glimpse into my novel Vagabond at a part where I talk about the blood moon:

*****

“The moon is red—blood red,” he said glancing up at me. “The weird this is, this photo was taken two hundred years before the actual Lunar Caulum happened. It’s like they were prophesying that this blood moon was going to be different.”

“Or warning us,” I said with doubt, but then an unpleasant feeling grew inside me, making the hairs on my arms stand up. I looked down at the black and white photo to where the swatch of scarlet in the sky stained the antique page.

“If NASA actually existed anymore, lets just say they’d be geeking out about all of this,” he said.

“Since when did you become our resident astronomer?” I asked, teasing him as I sat up.

He stared at me intently. “Living up here has turned me into one. Don’t you think that the remaining survivors have used the knowledge of land and stars, and that’s the only reason why we are alive and most everyone else is dead?”

*****

Now go create some fiction based off of some fact! Thanks for stopping by and I’d love to hear if you have similar ways you’ve written fact into fiction. 🙂

Tara