100 in 100

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Quick post here before I dash off to work.
Work has been Very Demanding.  Last week was all 10-12hr days because I was covering for someone on vacation as well as doing my own work. Prior to that, I had been helping various peeps here and there because they were overwhelmed due to others being on vacation, and I was probably working 9-10hrs per day while dealing with a pesky summer cold.

Anywho, not much writing was happening. Even when I had a small window of time I just wanted to give my brain a rest. But resting isn’t going to get this book written! 
So I decided on a new mandate: 100 words a day for 100 days. 
Hopefully at some point before the hundred days are up, I’ll be writing well more than 100 words a day, and of course I’ll keep writing beyond the 100 days to get this damn book done.  At some point I’ll take the temperature of the book and get a better idea of how long it’s going to be and how much I have to write per day to get it done by a certain date.

Stay tuned….

That voice

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Just had a weird erotic moment where a commercial came on with Sam Elliot doing the voice-over, while Michael McDonald was cooning on the iPod and I had just came across a picture of Benedict Cummerbatch on Pinterest, which immediately made me think of his voice. Holy Smokes. Imagination into overdrive.

*brain & panty-meltdown in 5,4,3,2...*

All I needed was for Vin Diesl to call and leave a voice message at that percise moment for me to stroke out due to intensive aural orgasm. (there is too such a thing!)


So what male voice really does it for you?

My dragons be draggin'

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My dragons be draggin’

Verdict on the post title? #lame. lol. Whatevs

So some writing updates for ya, I'm kinda stuck on whether to do a prologue or not with the dragon book. At this point the single scene prologue is turning into a multi-scene/pov 1st chapter that takes place years before the main/current story action. I think this stuff is needed and won't work as flash-back, but maybe that's becuase I'm in the thick of writing it. I may change my mind when I finished the manuscript and decide it's all backstory, or my crit partners/beta-readers may say keep it.

One thing fun thing about this book are some of the names: Balthazar, Vesper, Archimedes. It's a contemporary/alternative world, where dragons, fae, and shapeshifters exist out in the open with humans but be because some of these creatures are ancient, the old-fashioned/archaic names are perfect. :)

I’m going to nip out the gym for a bit and think about the scene I’m stuck on at the moment. If I don’t come up with a solution by the time I get back, I’ll either skip over it and come back later to write the details, or it may become clear that I’m stuck because I’m going in the wrong direction with the scene/story. We’ll see.

Lastly, I know some readers hate when authors refer to certain actor/model as the basis (in looks at least) for their heroes/heroines, but Imma gonna do it anyhow. Lol

Jason Momoa is just about perfect for my dissipated, brooding and almost feral Dragon King, Balthazar,

and Charlize Theron is great as the beautiful, cool as ice but vengeful, Vesper Goode, daughter of the assassinated Grand Wizard of the Greater Toronto Area and his lovely fae wife.

To be honest, no photograph of any model/actor has ever been exactly as I envision my hero/heroine, but these two come pretty close and serve as visual inspirations. ;)

 pps – I also need to get cracking on Jack Frost’s book so I can have it out in time for Xmas. The Werewolf who Stole Christmas is still getting steady interest and I feel pretty confident peeps who liked that story would check out Jack’s (who is a secondary character in TWWSC)

ppps – It feels good to be posting on my blog again. :D
Later gators.

Old Home Week in My Reading

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Series are really big right now. Many readers love them to bits—they’ve invested time, emotion and dollars, and want to revisit the world/setting and cast of characters that the author created.

I’m not really one of those readers. lol.  
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate series, especially when it comes to TV shows or movies. Then I get just as invested in the cast interaction and growth, and overall story arc as the next fan.

But with books? Not so much.
I’m more interested in *this* particular story and what’s at stake for *this* particular hero and heroine.  If it’s a trilogy or series, I can/will get invested in the over-all world-building/setting but my main thing is the main story/romance.  Even then, I rarely stick around beyond book 4 or 5 (if I even get that far) in a series. *shrug*

I accept I’m in the minority this with. Fine, I can deal.  But I’ve come up against something in my reading lately, with certain series that are made up of stand-alone books. What I call Old Home Reunion books.  There are a several authors I’ll buy at full price. They’re worth it. They write well and I like the character types and tropes they use. They also write series, but in a way that you don’t have to read every book (and read them in sequence). It’s more about a familiar world and/or a group of characters.
The problem is that for a few of these authors, their writing has become bloated, for want of a better word.  With their recent releases, the story focuses on the current couple for maybe 50% of the book. The rest of the book is stuffed with scenes where ALL the heroes/heroines from the previous 3-7 books show up.
And it kinda feels like this picture. Who is primary couple here? Everyone's vying for attention
Usually there’s some justification for them ALL being there: the scene takes place at mutual workplace, an annual fair, or popular hangout (ie bar/club) or someone’s wedding, etc. 
Sometimes, though, that justification is paper thin. 
The heroes all own a business together? Makes sense you’ll have work scenes with all of them present. It’s the work scenes where you have all of them at work and then the previous heroines show up for an impromptu visit complete with the twins of one couple—and descriptions of how cute/rascally the twins are and what a marshmallow the previous alpha-hero from book 2 is for his kids, etc., while the other heroine, from book 4) is pregnant and what a blessing it was because the couple had trouble conceiving, but they don’t want to find out the sex of the baby, they want it to be a surprise—which is causing the heroine some problems in how to decorate the nursery and…. Where was I? 
Exactly! What happens to the plot development between the current hero and heroine while we enjoy (endure) these multiple catch up scenes?

And trust me, these scene do come in multiples.
Then author compounds this by throwing in some rampant sequel baiting scenes, and pov scenes between one of the previous couples—including detailed sexxoring—and… where the heck did my romance go? You know the one in the blurb? The one I paid for and was looking forward to reading?

I just read a book that had all the above crap plus two subplots—a subplot to the main romance which included scenes in the pov of the heroine’s ex-boyfriend, and a subplot of the main series arc, which included the pov of the arc villain. Then to make matters worse(!!) we get an epilogue that focuses on one of the previous couples talking about the current couple, *side-eye* before a fade-to-black love scene, followed by more sequel baiting/set-up of the next book from the villain’s pov.  This is the worse Old Home Week read I’ve come across, but I’m coming across too many for my reading enjoyment.
Of course authors want to please as significant a sector of their readership as possible,  so absolutely revisit previous couples if it’s going to make the fans go crazy, but please balance that with *primary* needs of the current couple. Don’t sell them, and their story/romance, short.  

I’ve got a litmus test. Not fool-proof, but I think it can pinpoint whether or these types of scenes are superfluous.  Assuming that the big ‘reunion/gathering’ scenes are not just an excuse to catch up on the previous couples but are relevant to the grow in plot, conflict, and character of the current *story*: 
If you were to switch all the pervious heroes/heroines with new secondary/tertiary characters, would their presence in the scene still be warranted? Is their dialogue needed? Is there a reason to even note that their presence/demeanor?

Yes? Then you’ve got a strong scene that contributes, enhances and advances your *current* story (or hints at the set-up of the next book without distracting from this one).
No? Then what you’ve got there, my friend, is the literary equivalent of Old Home Week.  You’ve got the tail (the readership) wagging the dog (*your* story). 

Please your readers but do justice to the relationship of your current couple and their story foremost.    

Six Months Later....

Friday, June 06, 2014

Has it been that long?! Crap.

So I'm trying something new, starting today. I checked my email and all my online/social sites this morning. 

And that's it.
I won't check in online again till this evening because I *need* to get shit done. Particularly with my writing-- I've got several partial first chapters on my hard-drive. This blog has been dormant for months. I've slagged off on going to the gym, and I have a couple of Learn A Second Language CDs hanging around that I've been meaning to get.  And yes, I do have to check email in the morning because I’ve signed up for several new job notifications/emails.
 Speaking of which….

The temp/contract position I landed late last year, which had the possibility of turning into permanent gig at one point,ended in April. Needless to say I was big-time bummed, and watching my savings dwindle/facing having to sell my house hasn't been fun, but I can't continue to wallow/dwell on the situation. I'll eventually get another job, I can only keep looking. And if I have to sell, I know I'll buy again. at some point 
In the meantime, I can accomplish some goals rather than let anxiety/depression rule me. Easier said than done, of course, as anyone who has had to wrestle with these issues, knows; plus, yeah, I'm one of "those" writers whose creative dries up when I'm stressed out of my mind. lol. Considering my stress levels may not be changing any time too soon, just gotta put my head down and git-er done. One thing for sure, I can't keep trying to 'self-medicate' via online distractions. 

So, I've got a sci-fi cyborg hero idea, sci-fi/time-traveller heroine idea, a dragon-shifters series idea, a werewolf/secret baby(ack!!) idea and a succubus heroine idea, all with several pages written for each manuscript. I also have the first chapter of Mitch's story (follow up to Hunter of the Heart) just about done, nevermind the two story excerpts posted on my coming soon (ack!!) book page, each with several chapters already written and collecting on my hard-drive collecting dust. Oh yeah, every year I promise myself I'll write Jack Frost's story since my freebie, The Werewolf who Stole Christmas, 'visually' remains my most popular book in terms of the number of reviews it generates.  And of course poor Robert from Felicity Stripped Bare still needs his own book.

Yeah, I'd say I have more than enough to distract me from my problems. :-P

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

It was a close one here at Casa Jaye.

Because of the recent ice storm that sweep through southern ontario last Saturday, we were without heat and electricity since Sunday evening right up to this morning. *phew*

But here I am in the count down to get dinner on the table and I just realized I haven't posted a Christmas greeting on my blog yet!

*clears throat* :

Wishing you and yours all the best over this holiday season. Enjoy the food and company and may health, love and laughter be yours in the upcoming year, with just enough sorrow that you never take the rest for granted but find continued joy, peace, and gratitude in every moment you've been gifted with. :)

Merry Christmas!

Vanessa Jaye

Consider, It Might Be Better Not To Know

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I just skimmed a review of a book where someone noted in the comments that overall they loved the series, even though they felt a little lost at times.  The comment struck me because the reviewer noted that there were some things they loved in this latest addition to the series, some things they  though were meh and others they didn’t get, yet the rating they gave was still pretty high (4 out 5).

I contrasted this with other reviews (or feedback/critiques) I’ve seen for other works online.  There’s a lot of ‘why this, why that, make this clear’ and it's posited as if any questions raised that don't make sense to the reader right away, are a very negative thing, when technically, the opposite may not be.
As a reader, you don’t really need to know everything on the first read through.  I’d even go as far to say as you really don’t want to.  You should know/understand enough that the flow of the story and suspension of disbelief is uninterrupted. You should be able to fill in some gaps with a few theories and guesses that make sense to the characters, world-building and plot.  But you really don’t have to know everything, right now.

Why would you want that? Where’s the fun and the intrigue? Often books resonate with you well after the story on the page is done because there are a few little niggles in your mind.  Sometimes those niggles are enough for you to write the author; sometimes they are the very thing that pulls you into the next book.
You know what one of my greatest joys is as a reader?: re-reading a story later and discovering something new—some nuance I missed the first time, or having a new interpretation of something because I might be reading it in a different mindset now, or with new knowledge gleaned from elsewhere. That delight in discovery would have been lost if the author had pedantically laid every mystery in the text wide open.  Not only that, but when the author fills in every nook and cranny of explanation it robs you the reader the experience of making that book uniquely yours based on your life experiences or what you may need from that story emotionally at that time.

Granted, if what’s missing from the text is causing frustration and confusion, then, yes, perhaps the author should have provided more clarity.  The take away is: enjoy not knowing for awhile, and accept maybe never knowing except for what your own imagination might supply.

On another note, yup, been absent again.  So the progress report is: the job hunt continues, it's no fun and prettymuch is a drain on any creative energy.
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