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Georgette Heyer Novels | Recommendation Thursday

Guten Tag, Leute! Today I thought that I’d contribute to Gabby over at www.gabbythewriter.wordpress.com‘s Recommendation Thursday!

“I owe her many happy hours.” – Mary Drabble about Georgette Heyer

Since this April, Georgette Heyer has quickly become one of my favorite authors of all time. Heyer is particularly well known for her Regency Romances and is often considered the creator of the genre. While her Regency Romances are by far her most well known works, she also wrote historical romances that took place in the Georgian/Victorian eras and she also wrote several mysteries. 

I’ve heard many people tell me that they have tried reading Jane Austen’s novels only to find that the writing style was difficult for them to get into. If that’s the case with you, Georgette Heyer might be a good alternative to try. Heyer took a lot of inspiration from Austen and wrote in a somewhat similar style. While Austen generally wrote about the every day Georgian person, Heyer tended to write about the flamboyant side of life. Both are very entertaining authors to read from.

Heyer’s novels always have this uncanny ability to make me laugh and smile and I truly believe that this is one of the main reasons she has become one of my favorite authors in such a short amount of time. Her characters are ever fun and sweet and I don’t think that I’ll ever tire of reading about them!

So, which Heyer novels would I recommend? Well… here are a few!

  • Friday’s Child – This was the first Heyer novel I read and it is definitely my favorite! It’s a super cute, sweet story and I just love it so much! 
  • The Convenient Marriage – Since April, I’ve already read this one twice. That’s how good this book is! This book’s characters are very endearing and I’ve found that this book gets better each time I reread it!
  • These Old Shades – Some of the dialogue in this book was so hilarious that I had a few laughing fits while reading it! The characters in this book (especially the Duke of Avon) are rather flamboyant and are quite a bit of fun to read about! If you like morally grey characters, then I’d highly recommend this book!
  • Faro’s Daughter – If you like a good hate-to-love story, then you’ll really like this one! This book is full of hilarious scenarios and I absolutely adore it!

Anyways, those are some of my Georgette Heyer recommendations for y’all! Danke und tschüss!

Being A Fan of Musical Theatre Has Improved My Writing

Guten Morgen, Leute! Wie geht’s?

I’m a firm believer that musicals use songs to their advantage and are able to express emotions that simply cannot be expressed in such a way in any other art form. This deeper expression of emotion has, beyond just comtributing to an art form that I love, made my understanding of emotion better and has, in this way, affected my writing.

Writing is something that I’ve done for pretty much as long as I can remember. I started out writing emotionless picture books about dinosaurs full of spelling errors. Now, I would like to think that my writing is a little more sophisticated. But, to really assess how musicals have affected my writing style, we need to go back to approximately my 7th grade year. 

Back in 7th grade, I only wrote tragedy. And it wasn’t even particularly good tragey either. I didn’t understand the fact that there has to be some sort of satisfaction for the audience if you want a tragedy to work. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand this. I didn’t even really know how to put real emotion into my writing. The emotions I put in were put in at extreme levels. It was either all happy or all sad, all funny or all serious. 

Sometime after 7th grade, however, I grew to be more critical of things. I became more critical of literature, musicals, and my own writing. Through being more critical of art forms all around me, I began to see what works and what doesn’t. And, when it came to really figuring out  emotions, musicals were easily the most important.

As I mentioned in my intro, musicals utilize songs to make a truly astonishing connection between the audience and the characters by laying all of their emotions bare before the audience. Of course, in my writing, I will never be able to quite emulate the intense emotional power that songs hold. But musicals did teach me how emotions need to work with one another to make the audience really feel something. Musicals did teach me how the emotions should never be the character but that the character should be filled with many emotions. Because real people are not just the personification of one emotion. 

What have musicals taught you? Vielen Dank und tschüss!

Attempting to Outline My Next Novel + Planning For NaNoWriMo 2017? | Writer Rambles

Guten Morgen, Leute! Ich hoffe das alles ist gut!

NaNoWriMo 2017 is still well over two months away and yet I’m already preparing. Last year, my experience with NaNoWriMo was extremely encouraging and I was very successful in meeting my goal of writing 50,000 words in one month. Still, this year, my schedule is looking a lot different in November than it did last year and I’m beginning to believe that I might want to change my approach this year.

This past year, I did absolutely no planning for Clemency: This is No Nation of Gods other than knowing the basic idea of what I wanted to happen in my novel. In other words, I knew the characters, the beginning and end of my story. The middle kind of just came naturally. Which worked for me. All the same, though, last year, I had plenty of time to write and ramble on and on. This year that’s not the case. So what am I planning for this year’s NaNoWriMo?

Outlining my novel.

I know, I know…. Multiple times on this blog I’ve talked about my belief that planning is more or less a waste of time for some people like myself. And I still hold that opinion… somewhat. So why am I planning on outlining my novel? A few reasons:

  1. It’ll save me time to know exactly what’s going to happen instead of tinkering around with the story as I go and this November, time is going to be a lot more important to me than it was last year.
  2.  I’m writing a kind of unfamiliar genre. Clemency is historical fiction, telling the story of a few journalists during the French Revolution. I’m a history nerd so writing historical fiction kind of comes naturally to me. While the novel that I have in mind for this year still has a historical setting, it’s not a time period I’m particularly an expert in and the main focus of this novel is going to be mystery. Not only do I not read a lot of mystery but mystery is a genre that definitely require lots of planning.
  3. I figure that I should give planning a little bit of a chance. I’ve said many times that planning and outlining doesn’t work for me. Truth is, I never get very far with it so I don’t know for a fact if that’s true or not. So I’m going to give it a chance. At least this once.
  4. I’ve got time to do outlining before Fall Quarter starts. I go back to school on September 25th and, supposing that I work diligently at my outlining, I figure that that gives me enough time to get a somewhat decent outline down.

To tell you all the truth, I’m dreading this outlining thing a little bit. I know that there are many, many ways of making an outline so I’m definitely a little reassured that I will be able to find a method that works for me. The problem is that when it comes to writing, I have very, very little patience. I like to jump right into whatever I’m planning on writing. So outlining and not writing the actual story is probably going to be very difficult for me. At least I can work on editing Clemency to take my mind off of writing the novel that I have in mind for November.

I know that a lot of writers out there swear by outlining and believe that if you don’t have an outline, the novel is going to be an absolute wreck. I don’t personally believe this at all but I am willing to try my hand at this whole outlining thing. I don’t think that I’m alone in this fear of (or at least aversion to) outlining. If you think that you’re in a similar situation (or even if you just like planning and are interested) let me know and maybe we can set up a group where we support each other through the planning process! If you want to contact me, you can always leave a comment down below (I do my best to respond to comments) or you can add me as a writing buddy on NaNoWriMo’s website! My username is CB_Writes. I’m all about supporting other writers so if you ever want to chat about writing or just life in general, feel free to try and get in touch with me.

Anyways, guys, that’s all I’ve got for y’all today! What are your plans for NaNoWriMo 2017? Do you plan on participating? Do you outline for your novels? Vielen Dank und tschüss!

Writing Sarcasm and Sarcastic Characters?

Guten Morgen, Leute!

I love sarcasm and I love sarcastic characters. One of the reasons why I fell so in love with Oscar Wilde’s writing style was that he was so good at sarcasm. Believe me, he really was. I’ve stated a few times that I think that writing sarcasm is a bit of a dying art. Am I claiming to be good at writing sarcasm?

Goodness, gracious, no. 

In fact, the fact that I’m not particularly good at it is my whole basis for writing this post in the first place! I was working on a WIP a few months ago and one of my characters is very sarcastic and some of it came out really well. A majority of it? Not so much. What was the issue? The issue was found in this: my character came off as rude and even mean at times. Which was never, ever my intention!

You see, I strive to get to that point at which I can write sarcasm like Oscar Wilde. I want to be able to write sarcasm that is obviously sarcasm without having to tell my audience that it is sarcasm. Unrealistic? Definitely. Am I still going to try my best? You bet.

I struggle to understand why writing sarcasm is so difficult for me because I am a rather sarcastic person most of the time. For some reason, though, on paper, it seems to come out all wrong for some reason! 

So… do I have tips for writing sarcasm?

Well, I have a few that have worked for me:

  • Describe your character to your audience as being a generally sarcastic. This can be done by other characters observing the sarcasti nature of this particular character or in pretty much any way you wish, really!
  • Steer clear of being sarcastic about (overly) serious topics. Unless you want to directly describe this portion of dialogue as being sarcastic, I’d avoid being sarcastic about serious issues unless you’re absolutely sure that it’ll be alright. 
  • Have someone else read the portion to themselves and have them tell you what they think. Oftentimes other people perceive the tone of our words differently than we intended. Most of the time it’s not that big of a deal but if you think that there’s a possibility that it might come off wrong, you might want to run it by a few other people.
  • Follow your gut. If you think something would be better to leave alone, you probably should follow that gut feeling.

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What are your tips on writing sarcasm? Danke und tschüss!

Songs That ALWAYS Seem To Be On My Writing Playlists?

Guten Morgen, Leute! Wie geht’s?
I’m a writer. I love music. So writing playlists are always a pleasure for me to assemble. Personally, I like to have a different writing playlist tailored for every WIP that I work on but there are several songs that always seem to make their way onto my lists! Today, I thought that I’d share some of them with y’all and reflect on why they always seem to pop up on my writing playlists! Los geht’s!

  • “I Know Things Now” from INTO THE WOODS – I’m all about my characters taking risks and sometimes doing things that are uncomfortable for them because these sorts of scenarios really present perfect opportunities for character development. This song really seems to embody that and so this song appears on most of my writing playlists.
  • “Das Beste” [The Best] by Silbermond – I’ve always loved writing romantic subplots and this song from my favorite German band really fits the sort of mood/feeling that I try to put into my stories.
  • “I Need to Know” from JEKYLL & HYDE – A good “I Want” song is always awesome to have on a writing playlist but this one is definitely one of those songs that seems to fit with my writing style. I’ve always loved the mood that this song kind of sets up!
  • “Der Schleier fällt” [The Veil Descends] from ELISABETH – The lyrics of this song always have seemed to really align with my characters. I like my characters to be strong and yet human. I like them to be true to themselves and I like for them to have something they’re fighting for.
  • “Du bist meine Welt“ [You Are My World] from RUDOLF: AFFAIRE MAYERLING – On this list, this song is kinda unique in that I don’t typically find that there is any reason for my to have this song on my writing playlists other than for the fact that I really love this song and that it makes me happy. However, this song is always helpful to me when writing a final scene. This song actually really seemed to fit the ending for my novel Clemency!
  • “Overture” from THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA – PHANTOM’s overture is one of the most dramatic pieces of music that I have ever heard and always gets me in a writing mood!
  • “Home” from WONDERLAND – The bittersweet nature of this song makes it one that fits nicely with my writing. I always am happy when it shows up on a playlist!
  • “Draußen ist Freiheit” [Out There is Freedom] from TANZ DER VAMPIRE – I’ve found that oftentimes my characters are seeking some sort of adventure whether that be a big adventure or a small one. This song definitely makes writing those sorts of emotions easier!
  • “Träum groß” [Dream Big] from SCHIKANEDER – I love it when characters have ambitions and when they have some sort of big goal in mind. This song is perfect for channeling that positive, ambitious attitude!
  • “Finale/Do You Hear the People Sing (Reprise)” from LES MISÉRABLES – I’ve always loved writing tragedy. However, tragedy is something that one really needs to be careful with. This song manages that balance between a sad and satisfactory ending perfectly.
  • “Irgendwas bleibt” [Something (That) Remains] by Silbermond – This song really is perfect for the types of novels that I enjoy writing. The lyrics are pretty much perfect!

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What songs always seem to fnd their way into your writing playlists? Do you like writing while listening to music? Danke und tschüss!

Picking An Idea And Sticking With It?

Guten Tag, Leute! 

As a writer, I know that it can be really difficult to actually sit down and get your ideas down on paper. One of the biggest struggles for me is to see a project through to its end. Oftentimes, I’ll start up on a new manuscript, commit to it for a few days and then a new idea will pop up and I’ll end up abandoning the old idea. Due to this, I have many, many started, yet never finished manuscripts lying around on my flash drive. Of course, I intend to get these manuscripts finished… eventually. The tough thing is to choose which one I want to sit down and dedicate months of work to. Anf even tougher than that is actually doing it.

For me, goals have always been helpful when I’m really wanting to get something done. Goals give me something to work towards. Goals give me an end result that I keep in mind practically all of the time. The best part of making goals? That they can be literally anything you want them to be. They can be large, hefty goals, or smaller yet still equally important goals. The important thing is that you push yourself but keep the goal realistic. And to go at your own pace. 

NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo have alwys been lifesavers for me when it comes to making goals. The 50,000 word goal that NaNoWriMo provides every November always pushes me to make really good progress with my manuscript. Plus, during NaNoWriMo, there are tons of other writers out there facing the highs and lows of National Novel Writing Month and so many of them are willing to offer their support.

For me, NaNoWriMo is the perfect way to commit to an idea and get stuff done. Believe me, if I managed to get Clemency: This is No Nation of Gods written in a month, then you can do it too! NaNoWriMo isn’t something that everyone will want to do. But I do recommend trying it at least once!

Best of luck with your writing endeavors! Danke und tschüss!

Tropes That I (Generally) Dislike

Guten Abend, Leute! Tropes are everywhere and while there are definitely some tropes that I enjoy, there are also those that I usually dislike. Of course, I’m not saying that I always dislike these tropes, I’m just saying that I’ve found that I usually dislike. Anyways, here’s a quick list of tropes that I (generally) dislike! Los geht’s!

  • Love triangles. There are a few huge exceptions to this (mainly from musicals) but I usually find love triangles to be kind of frustrating. 
  • The “chosen one.” Again, there are exceptions to this but usually I find the idea of a “chosen one” to be kind of ridiculous.
  • Self-insert characters. This is something that just in general kind of irks me. I think that it’s okay to have tiny self-inserted bits but that when it goes too far it’s a bit unsettling.
  • The “I-am-relatable-to-everyone” character. If this is done well, it can actually be a great thing. But when it’s so obvious that the author is trying to make a character super-duper relatable, it’s a little annoying and super unrealistic.

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What are your least favorite tropes? Danke und tschüss!