ONE YEAR BLOGGING ANNIVERSARY

Hello, It was one year ago today that I posted my very first blog The “Word Count” Down, post.

Happy one year anniversary to myself!

I have come a long way since that first post. It was so short and sweet and the beginning of a lot of progressively better posts.

The “word count” down.

Exactly one year from the day I started:

I have posted 247 posts, not including re-blogs and blogging awards which would make it 256.

I have 763 WordPress followers and 118 followers on other platforms totaling 881.

Since day one I’ve had the honor of 16299 views, 7457 visitors, 6972 likes from awesome visitors and 2236 comments from those who deemed me worthy of a shout out or even criticism, all of which were welcomed and appreciated.

I have had visitors from 117 different countries around the world. This is amazing and fascinating to receive comments from such a variety of people from amazing places.

I don’t mention all this to brag, but to show how one year of hard work can be broken down to statistics. I have learned so much from my year of blogging and I know I have so much more to go. With every post, I write and read I become stronger and more confident as a writer.

I started this blog to strengthen my writer’s platform and in addition, I have strengthened myself in many respects. I know what it means to be rejected repeatedly. I have received praise, congratulations, along with scorn, criticism, and negativity. All of it is a resource to learn from. Nobody is perfect and I shouldn’t expect to be.

When I began this journey, I was in the process of editing and revising BiaAtlas, the very first book that I wrote. I’ve toiled and revisited this book many times and the funny thing is I’m at the same stage all over again one year later. I’m working to bring the word count down even further to make it more appealing to literary agents and in the process, I’m employing all the tips, rules and tricks I’ve learned throughout the year of blogging.

I’m not upset that I’m back at the start because I’m not all the way back at the start. I made fantastic progress to the point I was happy with what I had accomplished. Now I’m back at it and making it even better.

I’ve shared my journey thus far with anyone interested in reading. I am excited for the next 365 days that will hold more information, updates and even some rewrites of old (now substandard blogs) that need updating badly.  I hope to share more of my personal journey and the range of emotions I go through as I struggle and persevere.

I plan to try yet again to get BiaAtlas in the hands of an eager Literary agent all the while I will begin the process of revising my new book that is not yet titled. This is all so very exciting for me and I hope to have some fantastic things to report on throughout this next year of my journey.

I have toyed with the idea of writing a short story and posting chapters regularly as I have seen other bloggers do, but I’m not quite ready for that just yet. I did sort of attempt it previously but they were based on my blog character examples and I had to set that aside as it developed too quickly to a novel.

I’m not sure what this next year of blogging holds for me, but I hope you stick around to see how it goes. As always I’m open to comments and constructive criticism and will give an honest consideration to any legitimate suggestions or post subject requests.

Thank you to everyone that reads and follows, to those that comment and care. You make blogging an experience, not a chore.

My advice about blogging.
Write what means something to you and write for yourself. If you like it others are bound to enjoy it as well. Stay strong and never give up on your dreams.

-Sheryl

Here is a list of all my posts from the start My Posts From The Start

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ONE YEAR BLOGGING ANNIVERSARY new

Substandard

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But I hate that

When I write or shall I say revise, I find ways to polish what I’ve written and employ some or all of the things I have found and learned. One thing I have recently been thinking about are our key character differences. Our differences make us unique from one another, this should also be true to characters of a story. I’ve talked about likes and dislikes and how they can bring about interesting conversation and plot turns. But what about hate?

The hate of a certain food, colour, object, task, job, behavior or even another person. I personally only give my good behaving characters one or two hates and they may or may not ever come up in the story unless they are pertinent or it can inject humor, tension, foreshadows or even comradery into a scenario.

I don’t mean the “Ooh I hate that.” Kind of hate, I mean the deep down, loathing-avoid-it-at-all-costs kind of hate. The sort of thing that Antagonists are riddled with.

A hatred of something or someone can be the entire purpose of a characters drive. Not everyone that hates is a bad person.

Anne’s smile faded as she approached the house. The loathsome sound of a small dog barking behind the door made her toes curl. The door opened before she could knock and the vile creature bounded out at her. Taking a step back, she gave herself points for not punting the yappy monster nipping at her shoes and jumping up at her legs.

Valery waited while her date loaded up his vendor hotdog with condiments. He didn’t know it was a test. If he reached for the bottle of vomit, she would bail on him. Petty, but anyone who ate relish was as vile as they come. You could kick a dog and she’d find a way to forgive, but to willingly consume the slimy, chunky, tangy booger-barf was a no go for her. He squeezed the bottle and it oozed out with small fart noises; she grimaced as her stomach lurched. Too bad, he was a great kisser.

Baylor crouched quietly waiting for his quarry. With each passing minute, his body tensed a little more, the grinding of his teeth his only company in the dark yard. The nearby animals sensing his furious presence wouldn’t resume their night-song or dare approach. His nostrils flared as car headlights approached. Nobody has gotten away before, nobody. Let alone have him arrested. She ruined everything, now he had to become someone else to be happy. A tainted happiness all because of some whore tease who tempted too many men falsely. If she lived through his payback, he didn’t care. It would be a first, he liked them to suffer forever, but this one, oh, this one destroyed his control, she who wasn’t even the real target to begin with, would pay dearly.

When I give a protagonist or supporting character a hatred, I try to make it interesting, against the norm or flat out weird. That way the reader will be shocked or taken aback by the hatred. It makes a person more believable it they If I have an antagonist with bundles of hatred, I would let it out slowly or hide it from the world in which they live. Perhaps the reader would be given glimpses, with a show gesture or two. Or, with an action or conversation that starts to elude to their deep seeded hatred. They are after all the one that throws the protagonist challenge after challenge until one of them wins.

My advice about hatred.
Keep it believable. Unique to the character, but not overwhelming if they are not the villain. If possible work the hatred into the plot as a device for conversation, character building or even the whole point of the story. Have fun with hatred, but remember most people keep such powerful emotions tucked away, deep down and loathe even to talk about it.

-Sheryl

Other posts

Sensible sensation

Did you smell that?

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 Relish

Show and tell

Emotions are something we deal with constantly everyday. When I first started writing I told the emotions instead of showing them. ‘She was angry.’ This was lazy and hard to read. I read blogs, articles and some of the books out there such as Master lists for writers and the Emotion thesaurus. Why? Because showing emotion is a lot harder than saying it. Also because emotion generally fell within conversation and ended up at taglines. I read blogs, books and articles Learning more every time.

Here is a telling emotional conversation from my rough draft.

“Are you calling me stupid?” Erin said angrily.

Sam was glad the beds were between them and felt brave for some strange reason.

“No, but you’re acting it.” Sam said forcefully. She did not want to do this, but she was committed and had had enough of her nasty attitude.

“Insult me again Sam and you’ll be sorry.”

“I won’t be sorry Erin, because I didn’t insult you.”

“You did!” Erin shouted angrily.

“No, I said your actions were stupid.”

“It’s the same dammed thing.” She growled.

 As discussed in Tag you’re it this is a rough draft loaded with taglines and I’m telling the emotion not showing it. This is hard to read. Here is the correction.

 “Are you calling me stupid?” Erin took a step forward curling her lips back.

Sam glanced down at the two beds between them. “No, but you’re acting it.” She squared her feet and locked eyes.

This was not an ideal situation. Exhaustion and stress were wearing them all down. Tolerance for Erin’s rude comments is wearing thin.

“Insult me again and you’ll be sorry.”

“I won’t be sorry, because I didn’t insult you.” Sam took a deep breath exhaling slowly.

“You did!”

“No Erin. I said your actions were stupid.”

“It’s the same dammed thing.” Erin clenched and shook her fist slightly.

Emotions are hard to show, the key is to take a moment to think about how you feel and what do you do when you are excited? Do you jump up and down clapping your hands melodramatically? Does everyone? Not likely. There are those that do, but usually its things such as grinning, smiling, whooping, punching the air or clenching fists under the chin and hunching your shoulders. Everyone reacts differently and it’s important that your characters do too. Sam stays calm and defensive. Erin is prone to aggression and rage. However when Sam gets upset she reacts by walking away or pursing her lips while Erin would insult or lash out. Someone else might strike out physically without provocation.

My advice about emotions.
Like actions, they need to be shown not told. Watch others, ask others how they react to emotions. If you’re stumped try a resource, there are some great books out there that have better ideas.

While tricky, showing emotion draws the reader in and creates empathy. People read to experience a story so give them one to dive into.

-Sheryl

More about taglines
Tag! You’re it.

My thoughts on Filter words
No “Filter Word” Parking Here

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