Monday, February 20, 2012

Five Ways To Beat WB--By J.S. Wayne

Odds are, with a few seconds' thought, you can work out what WB is. No, it's NOT Warner Brothers! (Please don't sue me, mmm-kay? Thanks , , ,) It's the bane of every author out there, and statements I've made in the past to the contrary, in recent months I've actually had a couple of fairly nasty but mercifully brief interludes with it. But this whole Lesbians Vs. Zombies project got me to thinking about ways to take WB and make it work for you. After all, without the thoroughly outrageous premise and conditions our own Ruby Green attached to this project, "Dead Means Dead" wouldn't even exist . . . and it certainly wouldn't have been the sexy, scary romp it turned into! So, with that in mind, here are five ways to kick WB to the curb!

5) The jumble

When you're really stuck for something to write about, take a bunch of concepts and throw them into a hat or a bowl. Write down a list of possible twosomes, threesomes, or moresomes. Then do another list of occupations or mythical creatures. (Or do one list for each. Hey, go for broke!) Then do a list of times or places you'd like to visit. (Again, you can do this for each if you like.) If you want to get really deep into this (and completely surrender to the hand of Fate to create your plotline) you can also add lists of body characteristics, hair and length, eye color and shape, favorite kinds of clothing, and so on.

An example: I just did this for myself. I came up with an FFM pairing concerning a firefighter in Dublin, Ireland, who's fallen in love with a Siren marine biologist from Ancient Greece and now based out of Columbia University. The complication is her girlfriend, who's a mermaid stripper from Brooklyn. They all wind up going back in time to the Civil War and having to survive traveling the Underground Railroad to Canada. If they make it to Canada, there's a shaman waiting for them to send them back, with (moral lesson here) learned.

Would I actually attempt to write this story? Well . . . at some point, maybe. Right now, the idea of the sheer volume of research involved in learning everything I would need to about Dublin, the Civil War, the Underground Railroad, and marine biology is far too daunting for me to even consider. But, hey, one night I might get bored and find myself with a couple hours to kill, right?

4) Ask a friend

There's nothing saying you can't ask somebody to give you something to write about. In the writing world, we call that a "prompt." You may use any, all, or none of the ideas given, or their ideas may spark some of your own. "What if" followed by "what then?" at its finest. But if you do this, make sure they're not planning to use it in the future, and DO be sure to give them a nod in the acknowledgements! ;)

3) Go to the mall.

Yeah. A card-carrying member of the straight male persuasion just told you to go to the mall. Or the park. Or a busy downtown street. Anywhere you can sit with a pad of paper and a cold beer or a hot cup of coffee and watch the people go by. See that geeky, slightly balding businessman in the two-thousand-dollar suit and the wingtips that cost more than your last car payment? Watch his eyes and his face. What kind of woman does he react to? Or what kind of guy? How does he react? Or how about the woman who walks by him with an upturned nose and a look of disgust. Maybe she knows him. Maybe they had an affair at one point and she still loves him, but doesn't know how to try to get him back.
People-watching is a great way to get ideas, folks! If you're really, truly stuck, getting out of your comfort zone and finding an environment that serves your story while not putting you at personal risk is a good way to shake some of those words loose.

2) Just do it.

A lot of people use programs like "Write Or Die." The entire point of these programs is, you've got to be thinking ten to fifteen words ahead of the cursor. Especially if you use the sprint mode, which prevents you from going back and editing unless you want to watch a half page or more of fresh writing vanish into the Blue Nowhere because you realized you used "lippenschnitzen" fifteen times in three paragraphs and tried to fix it. Your first draft with Write or Die and its clones is likely to look like utter crap, no matter how polished you think you are. But if you can mine out the good stuff and fix the bad, you're going to find you've got a lot more usable material than you think!

1) The Internet

Of course, the Internet! Where else would you look for the entire sum of human knowledge? Find something that's trending on Twitter or blowing up Facebook and write about that!
When doing this, choose your topic carefully. I would suggest, if you're going to attempt something like this, you take your overarching inspiration story and mash up the elements as in #5. This will help you create a story that's uniquely your own, and offers an almost unlimited source of fresh material.

Because we all know truth is always stranger than fiction, right?

Until next time,


J.S. Wayne

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On My Desk

Ever get to a point where you know what you want to say but can't quite figure out how? There are three books I use like a professional juggler to defeat this road block. (hopefully before I decide to take a bite out of my computer)

To find that word that's sitting on the tip of my tongue, mocking me, I often turn to my handy Webster’s Dictionary. Everyone needs a good dictionary and it doesn't have to be anything extensive or fancy. Just a good ol’ worn out dictionary with messed-up bindings.

The second is good for anyone with trouble with homonyms . . . like me. If you’re talking about your lead character, the last thing you want to call her is a heroin . . . that would be heroine. The doctor doesn’t have patience, he has patients. Though, in my opinion doctors should have both. You don’t want to peak someone’s interest, you’d like to pique their interest. And last, it’s not a cue you’re lining up in, it’s a queue. These are just a few examples, but having a book like the NTC’s Guide to Tricky Words is a useful tool.

The last book I keep on my desk, The Romance Writers’ Phrase Book by Jean Kent and Candice Shelton is probably one of my favorite books. It takes a large chunk of the nice little phrases we saucy writers use and puts it at our finger tips. These aren’t the phrases that make you want to gag, these are the ones that have worked out well over time. Like, “his voice echoed her own longings” (pg 66), or “her anguish peaked to shatter the last shreds of her control” (pg 99). This isn’t something that you would use word for word in your writings, but let’s say you get stuck and don’t know how to adequately communicate a flip of the hair being some sort of erotic play. You could flip this book open, see what has worked in the past and then form your own ideas.

What books do you keep on your desk to turn to in times of need?

About R. Renee Vickers:

Born in Florida but raised in various towns in New England, R. Renée Vickers now lives in a small town just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband and children. And although work and family life leave her little free time, she spends every available moment indulging in her favorite passion, writing.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Zapocalypse-The Midnight Special

The Zapocalypse has arrived!

Welcome to Zapocalypse-The Midnight Special

** Available NOW at **


Who knew that two lesbians stuck in the middle of some hick ass town deep in the swamps of southern Georgia would become local legends, heroes in their own right?

Gina and Ginger sure as hell didn’t.

But that’s exactly what they became the night of The Midnight Special.

Stuck battling backwoods, redneck hypocrites on a nightly basis at the diner was bad, but battling those same inbreds that now happened to be zombies was a whole different breed of stupid.

With their iPods jacked up and some Creedence Clearwater Revival on, that’s just what they’re doing.

Kicking some serious zombie ass!

With half the town, looking out their backdoors, and the other half fearing the bad moon rising, Gina realizes she and Ginger are thrust into a fight for the town as well as their lives.

Book Trailer Link:

I'm attaching a question from a posting that was done a few days ago. Truly, I think it sums up Zapocalypse perfectly. It's also something that I believe confuses some.

So tell us, what is Zapocalypse about? It’s a lesbian story right?

No. It’s a story about heroes who just happen to be lesbians. This is a story about zombies and those who brave the battle against such. My heroes, Gina and Ginger are a riot and kick some serious zombie ass. They’re also the type of people you wish lived next door. Serious senses of humor in that old school stand up for neighbor types. They’re the quiet type heroes who on a daily basis just rock out as much as possible.

I loved how my editor explained frolicking good time. I typically don't write dark. Life is nutty enough for me to even contemplate going dark. I need laughter and lots of it! Heck, I'm doing this post right now for the Noble Blog and have no idea if this sucker's gonna end up in the right place. *crosses fingers though*

Zapocalypse is fun tale that can be read by all. (adults) Yes, my heroines happen to be lesbian, but that's not who they are. They are heroines plain and simple. They like to laugh and they take no shit from anyone. They're powerful because unlike most of us that struggle for many years to get comfortable in our skins, they already are.

From that simple acknowledgment, they have more strength, than most could ever hope to obtain.

I hope you'll give Zapocalypse-The Midnight Special a whirl, and please let me know what your thoughts were.

I'll be in and out today should anyone have any questions!

Hope everyone has a great Monday...I know I am!

D. Dye

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