Are You A Plotter or a Pantser?

pantser-or-plotter-writingWowza! Can I just say how super surprised I am this year. My story, Juliet, Missing is going fantabulous. I have just over 11K words already. What is so totally different for me this year is the fact that I’m not using an outline. That is a huge difference. I mean, you have no idea how significant that is for me.

For years I tried churning out novels but I would only begin them, never finding an ending. I always stopped midpoint and gave up. When I began my quest of writing The Prophecy of Three: The Oracle’s Warning, it was the first time I wrote out a long outline. I had something very every single chapter, from start to finish. Yeah, sure, the outline would change frequently as the story progressed but I still had that roadmap to the finish line. Continue reading

A New Year, a New NaNoWriMo!

nanowrimoAll this week I have been sweating bullets, racking my brain, trying to find a story idea for NaNoWriMo. Last year I got an idea just a few days before November 1st. The year before that, I dreamed something that led me to a solid story idea just four days before November 1st. And the year before that I pushed it to October 30th waiting for an idea.

This morning, I woke up from a dream, hoping it would give me something but it was a total dud. Ugh. What was I to do? I’m no longer a fly-by-night pantser who can just write as November speeds along. I HAVE to have some kind of idea. I was freaking out.

So, I decided to go walking. It’s how I got last year’s idea, and it ended up being a good one. I walked up a huge hill (2.2) miles total and ended up coming down with a seriously excellent story. And I had a blast writing it. I didn’t have an ending at the time and by the last week of November I still didn’t know how it would end, but I eventually found it…it just came with the writing. I was pleasantly surprised by it. Continue reading

The TW attacks: Day One

bloom-where-you-are-planted-72The Tortured Writer continues her journey:

Day One:

Upon picking up the book The Sound of Paper by Julia Cameron I observe a few things. The cover is not spectacular. It has trees and birds; a lot of brown. It is somewhat fitting as I don’t feel so spectacular with my writing either. At the bottom of the cover it says Starting from Scratch. This makes me nod my head in agreement. I feel like at this point I have done something to lose my direction, my creativity, my luster for writing. Perhaps I need to start from scratch as well.

Opening the book leads me to another somewhat bland but softer page. It isn’t the regular paper feel. It’s glossy, more artistic in a simple way page. It’s heading begins ‘in order to make art…’

It then states we must live an artful life. We must live a life that is rich enough and diverse enough to fuel us. Continue reading

In Which I Start Anew

torturedThis last week I got to try my hand teaching English to 10th graders. Not the whole class; more like the last 25 minutes or so as the lead teacher had to leave. The students are working on adverbs. UGH! I may be wrong in my assumption but I believe that most of the world loathes adverbs. Writers probably more so. Ha!

And yet, when looking for a title for tonight’s post I purposely used one. Anew. Definition: in a new or different, typically more positive, way.

For quite some time I have been burdened with this inability to do any real writing. No. I think that might be a lie. I’m not sure. I haven’t attempted it with my whole heart so perhaps it isn’t quite an inability. I just can’t find the motivation or inspiration to do so. I have all these ideas and even write down the story ideas but I do nothing with it.

My fantasy book, in which book two needs to be written, is torture for me. I can’t seem to find any umph or mojo to write this. Even with my writing partner, who BTW, has produced three chapters for this book already, and I can edit just fine. Yet my desire and motivation to collaborate by writing my portions…remains empty. It makes me feel so gloomy and dare I say…empty. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo: Chapter Five

beta readerChapter Five

Five weeks and not once had Kamila seen Elizabeth anywhere. Frustration coursed through her as she took a seat in the group therapy session. Twice weekly she came here, sat through sitting to people discussing why they were angry at their cat, how their dad abused them,  and how what the government hid in their electronics was causing cancer. Some of it freaked her out. She’d left the last meeting certain that if the population in just this institution was only one percent of what thrived outside these walls the world was pretty messed up.

Other patients fluttered in and mingled with others, some took extra cookies and hid them in their pants pockets. She glanced towards the door just as Elizabeth entered. Kamila’s mouth dropped and her eyes grew studious. The young woman looked so frail and pale. She was thin, too thin, and her tall blonde hair hanging around her neck was knotted up. The unkempt appearance of the woman baffled Kamila. Where has she been all this time? What have they been doing to her? The wrists were bandaged up and her legs, Kamila guessed, looked just as bruised and beaten as her arms did. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo: Chapter Four

nanoChapter Four

Lying in her tiny bed, Kamila wondered what time it was. She knew it was sometimes after five in the morning as the sun was crisping her salmon-colored blanket. Rubbing at her sore neck she considered asking for another pillow. She closed and reopened her eyes attempting to get away from her medicine-induced sleepiness. It was finally wearing off and her regular insomnia returned to normal. The snores of her roommate was a comfort, which was surprising to her. The young teenage woman across the room muttered something in her sleep and somewhere outside their room a phone was ringing incessantly.

The night had been long and, though she didn’t want to coin it this way, scary. Wasn’t first nights in new territory always that way though? It was worse though because of the dreams that made her toss all night. Maybe I can talk with my new shrink about my nightmare. Kamila smirked inward. She was confident any dream that involved gasping for air and drowning in dirty swamp water would make for good therapy.

The door opened after a quick banging on the outside. “Morning check.” A tech popped his head in and informed them that breakfast was in twenty minutes. Kamila watched her bedmate roll over and mumble something incoherently and then cover her head with the blanket. Continue reading

Nanowrimo: Chapter Three

Chapter Three


Kamila sat at the table and watched Chad place their drink orders. The envelope was still in her back pocket burning through the cloth but she resisted the urge to pull it out again. She had already looked through it a dozen times over the last few hours. None of it made sense to her and she hoped Chad had more answers than what he’d divulged so far. He approached her, holding two drinks, and she pulled his chair out for him.

“Still dirty chai, right?”

She nodded and took it. “How did…”

Chad stopped her. “I know you have lots of questions.” He sat his drink down and pulled his chair in. “Most of the beginning answers will probably make you pissed off though so I’d like to control this conversation right now.”

“That’s not fair Chad. I do have a lot of questions and…”

“And I will tell you what I know. So can I begin?” He waited until she nodded. “Your paper shook the FBI department more than you know. You actually put a big ol’ bullseye on you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Kamila crossed her arms and sat back.

Chad smiled and shook his head. “You were always too smart for your own good.”

She didn’t enjoy in the joke. “I’m waiting for answers.”

“Do you think that nobody else in the force thought that David wasn’t the Gemstone Killer?” He didn’t wait for her answer. “You brought unwanted and unneeded attention to the entire FBI when you turned that paper in.” Continue reading

Nanowrimo: Chapter Two

mirrorChapter Two

Kamila knew what the students at the FBI Academy called her behind her back. Hunter. It never bothered her. It was the truth and she believed the truth should not bother you. It should set you free. Only the truth she sought was still missing in her life. She raised the dirty chai tea (with three shots of vanilla) to her mouth and blew.

“She’s an amateur. I don’t know why Chad put her on the case.”

She smiled as she listened to her new partners. They didn’t know she was listening. She sat in the two-man sofa, right around the corner, in the waiting room. She’d been there for only seven minutes or so. Glancing at her watch she decided if Chad was anything like when they had dated a decade ago he would be right on time.

“We don’t know anything about her, Doug. And Chad has never led us wrong. His ability to sniff out these killers by combining the right minds has him holding an undefeated record.” Analiese replied. “I heard she will probably graduate at the top. That’s gotta mean something.”

“Yeah, whatever. I just don’t want some cadet-in-training stepping on my feet. You and me solved the last case and this one will be ours too.”

“Doug, Chad isn’t even hiring her on. She’s just consulting on the case at his request.”

Kamila sighed, tired of her eavesdropping, and stood up. She walked around the corner. “Good morning.” She welcomed Analiese’s genuine smile and saw right through Doug’s. “Chad here yet?” She didn’t bother looking around.   Continue reading

Nano2014: Meet Elizabeth

Lie Beside Me Still

By Michala Tyann


Some shall be pardoned and some shall be punished – Shakespeare


e005221a8d7e12fae4eb94967bf0e78e.jpg (236×352)Chapter One

Bare feet pounded into deep copper-colored mud as she ran. A hole of the wet, grimy soil vacuumed Elizabeth in  slowing her down. She braced for the fall seeing the tree in front of her a moment too late before slamming her forehead against the trunk. Her forehead scraped down the bark leaving pain and blood in its wake. She fell hard but still looked behind her. She couldn’t see or hear them but she had given up on miracles and wishes a long time ago. He was coming for her. He would lead them to her. She shook her head and tried to fix her vision which was overrun by sparks of light even behind her eyelids. As she rubbed mud on her forehead to stop the blood she tried to gain her balance but fell to the side when she picked up a noise behind her.

Elizabeth pushed herself off the ground. Her long dress tangled around her legs and she fell back down; her knees taking the mud this time. Without a thought she shoved off and up again and made it to her feet. Looking behind her while attempting to get unstuck, a flicker of light caught her eyes. “No.” She whimpered. Her eyes closed instinctively and she almost fell back to her knees as was expected of her. “No. Not anymore.” She screamed inside her head the opposite of the mantra sucking her back towards the void. I am not the child of Rad. I am not the servant of Rad. I will not be his vessel. The words strengthened her and she started running again.

The deepening darkness swallowed her the farther into the forest she moved. Darkness no longer scared her though. Elizabeth’s only terror was behind her. She looked back and knew even though she didn’t see them, they were making their way closer to her. Her chest grew thick and the air refused to move out of her lungs as fast as she needed. She was forced to slow but cursed her body for betraying her at this moment. She wasn’t surprised seeing as how her body had been doing that exact thing for however long she’d suffered at their hands. At the very moment her mind conjured them she heard sounds again behind her. Her head turned and she saw, or thought she saw, white. They found me. Her feet continued to jam into the mud but she picked up speed.   Continue reading