D. F. Krieger

Monday, February 28, 2011

Inspiration Strikes

I have become obsessed. I want it wild, I want it loud, I want it rough and overwhelming. I don't want it soft and gentle. I don't want it to last for hours, or even days. I want it fast and hard, but done in an hour. I want it to build up before it surrounds me, then leave me astonished and awe inspired in it's wake.

I want a real thunderstorm! "Thunder" being the key part of that.

I started a new WIP last night, and the prologue is set with a storm raging outside. It was so vivid in my head that when I looked out to see the clear, cloudless night I felt confused and disappointed. I was disheartened. I wanted it to storm *whining voice*.

The gods must have heard me. Whatever they sent to thrash Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, etc with; they are sending it here. The day has been warm, clouds have been progressively moving in, and I couldn't be happier. It's only 4:30 in the afternoon and I've already had to turn on lights in the house to see well. I'm so excited that, though I've found it difficult to pick up a pencil or form a sentence at a keyboard lately, I'm just itching to write now.

I'm definitely making dinner and forcing my five year old to watch Twister with me while we eat. As for my writing, I'll get plenty of that done, I'm sure!

So what inspires you all to write? Is it a weather? Music? Or do you just have to wait for inspiration to sizzle your soul? ~ D. F. Krieger

Friday, February 25, 2011

Take By Take

"Do you suffer from long term memory loss?
I don't remember..." - Chumbawamba

I can't quite remember what I was doing yesterday, or what I was even wearing. Heck, often I don't remember what I cooked for dinner last night. It's hard to have memory issues, especially for a woman who used to be able to recall every detail from an event that happened five years ago. The doctors say there isn't really anything they can do about the amnesia I incurred during the wreck, or anything to make my memory better day to day.

That being said, I've always been a stubborn person. Independant (cause groups scare me), self-controlled (if I don't move much, you can't tell I'm shaking from social anxiety), and witty (sarcasm as a defense mechanism is my friend!). I wasn't going to let something like memory affect my greatest dream: Being a writer. Okay so my real dream is being a published writer, but one step at a time.

I had to learn how to adapt. I was never a note taker, I scoffed at planners. Now my planner lays across my keyboard at night so it's the first thing I see when I get up in the morning. I post a weeks worth of preplanned nightly dinners on my fridge so I know what I'm cooking for dinner that night. I keep my bottle of vitamins on the table at my place so when I sit down to eat, I see and remember to take them.

I've also had to make adaptations in my writing. I talked Wednesday about Character Bibles. That's great for keeping track of a characters personal stats. But what about story line. I mean, it's been three days, has my hero showered recently? My character had a dinner with his king in chapter 3, but who all sat with them? I don't want to flip through the entire chapter for just that info. Or an entire book. That's why I use *cue dramatic music* Chapter by Chapter Synopsis.

It's much easier when you have something that highlights events in each chapter than to hunt them down. Not only are CCS's good for keeping track of what your characters are doing; they also help when you need to write that submission synopsis. I...had a thought here, but a moving van just pulled up at my neighbors house and distracted me. Maybe the new neighbors will be nice? ~ D. F. Krieger

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thumping My Bibles

Warning: This is not a religious post. If you came here expecting a religious post, and are now disappointed, you may be excused and leave quietly. If, however, you are curious, I welcome you to read further.

Yes, I know, horrible me for making you wait. If I didn't, though, I'd have nothing to talk about today. Character Bibles. I keep them religiously (ahaha, I crack myself up some times). It has come to my attention that some people don't keep CB's. Other people don't even know what a CB is. This makes me sad and, as a good samaritan, I feel it is my duty to instruct you. What you do with the knowledge I'm about to give you is your choice. I pray you choose well.

What is a Character Bible?

A character bible is a reference, usually in the form of a journal (crazy collecting obsessions? Yep, that's mine), in which you keep a detailed description of characters from your works. Often this includes a characters name, age, species, hair/eye color, and (if applicable) social status. I usually list physical descriptions like height/body type. If they can shape shift, I will list their creature appearance as well, under a label like: "Dragon Form".

Why keep a CB?

Character Bibles are a wonderful way to keep up with little details about your characters. I tend to keep one for each story I write and include every character who makes any form of an appearance, regardless of how brief their part is. It makes it far less likely for you to lose track of the fact that in chapter one you named the bartender Carl, but when he shows up again in chapter ten you've forgotten and renamed him Lyle.

Before I conclude this post, I'd like to make a quick side note: it is a good idea to put each story your character has appeared in at the bottom of the page. It especially helps if your character is in a series, but is not the main character for the first x amount of books.

Alright, I'll give the soap box up and leave the floor open to your comments. Do you guys keep a CB? ~ D. F. Krieger

Monday, February 21, 2011

Keep Your Story Straight

Okay, hiatus is officially over. My planner gave me a thorough talking to and I'm back on the bandwagon. Not that I have much choice. I mean, have you heard the profanities that my planner can use? Geesh! Apparently, to put it in more delicate terms, I'm a thoughtless slacker. But enough about my butt chewing from Hctib Yenihw (read it very carefully people).

Some of you may remember the direction I was taking in the post Death In the Details. If not, I'll give you a quick overview. I pointed out that a writer, regardless of all the major plot points we have to synchronize and create, must always remember to pay attention to the smaller details. Your hero's eye color, for instance. The clothing your heroine was wearing last scene.

But I have villains to conquer and eternal love to create!

Yes, yes, I know. Don't we all? *Sigh* I mean, look at me. In Wings of Obsidian, I have an entire race to save. But that doesn't change the fact we must always remember our heroines shoulder length hair and how it brushes her hips. Ah! See?

But...that's so much to remember. Can't I just skip details like that?

Nope, sorry. But if you want that book to be read, people must know your characters. People can't know your characters unless they feel like they're real. And no one will feel Mr. Blank Face with the *Insert* Hair that wears ~Description~ clothes is a man they are going to root for.

Okay, okay. *Grumble sigh* Well then, how do you do it Smarty Pants?!

Ah, I thought you'd never ask! I do it like this: 1) Character Bible and 2) Chapter Synopsis

Character Bible?! What the heck is-

Shhhh! I'll let you in on that secret come Wednesday. Until then ~ D. F. Krieger

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

I'd like to apologize for my lack of commenting last week. I was away from my computer and have been so busy this week I never got a chance to even read anyone else's Six. I WILL be sitting down and reading/commenting on the entire list this time, I do so solemnly swear. Cross my heart and hope to get vampire bit. *Ahem*

For this weeks Six I'd like to give you a section of the free read I posted Friday. Sorry if you've already read it. Not being around my computer means no chance to write anything new. Either way, I hope you enjoy this bit of Comet's Kiss.

Her bronzed skin seemed to swirl and glisten, like live embers threatening to come to life. Her hair fell in yellows and reds, the delicate strands brushing against her hips. Bezeal couldn’t see her eyes from this far back in the room, but knew they would be orange and pupiless.
“Here now, what’s this?” one of the other men from the crowd demanded. “Are you trying to kill us all? This whole place is made of wood. She’ll burn us alive!”

Here's a link back to Six Sentence Sunday. Hope everyone has/had a great weekend! ~ D. F. Krieger

Friday, February 18, 2011

February Free Read

Greetings and salutations everyone. I apologize for my in and out, coming and going this week. It's been a very busy week that has kept me away from my computer far more than I expected.

Regardless, as promised, I do have a new free read available for you. Comet's Kiss has just been added for your reading pleasure. I'd like to add that it is an 'unedited' piece, but I hope you enjoy it anyways. ~ D. F. Krieger

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Sex Day

Let's be realistic, Valentines Day is one of those days. You know, one in which everybody knows that, unless special circumstances occur, couples are going to be intimate today. Hey, I'm all for it. My husband won extra brownie points today. Much to my dismay (read 'secret pleasure') he woke me up with a fresh bouquet of flowers. Okay, awesome! Unexpected and there's my gift, right? Wrong.

We go out to dinner as a family. It's my belief that Valentines is a day in which you celebrate those that you love; regardless of the type of love. I love my children and therefor they are involved with Valentines dinner. We get home from dinner and my husband grabs a package that had been left in the mail and bolts into the kitchen. Okay, I'll let it slide. I know he said he ordered some stuff for my birthday (which is in two days) so I won't press it. Unlike some people, I actually enjoy my gifts being a surprise. Though, between you and me, I'm thinking that my new car is more then enough of a gift.

After all, what he doesn't know is sneaky, sneaky me has a new wedding band for him hidden in my pocket. He had this thin horrible cheap band that I despised, and I was going to do something about it...Today! After all, they say the first year of marriage is the hardest, and ours had been shear hell. We'd been through a deployment, my mother's death, moving half-way across the country, dealing with my memory issues caused by a wreck just before our wedding (did I mention this past year has been hell?)...But we made it through all of that. There were times I thought we were going to crumble and break, but he held on and fought, even when all I wanted to do was sit in a corner and cry. So I bought him a beautiful white gold with black diamonds wedding band to show him my love and gratitude. Our wedding anniversary was in December, but I figured he wouldn't mind.

Just before I get the guts up to propose (I mean, I've never exactly done it before. How do men do it? I was a nervous wreck and we're ALREADY married), he brings me my "Valentines Gift". He'd ordered me the DVD for Kama Sutra. I adore that movie. If you haven't seen it, you really should. It's not a porn, it's a wonderful romance movie set in India.

Alright! Time to propose. I get give him a speech about being my best friend, how I love him, and all that jazz. I even end up on bended knee and show him the ring. He's surprised, he's grinning, he says "Yes" and I'm feeling pretty good. He hugs me and holds me and tells me he completely agrees with everything I just said...

Then he gets on bended knee.  Whaaaaat? Yeah, apparently when I tell people my husband and I are almost identical in thought processes, I'm not kidding. He didn't like my engagement ring, nor (as he says) the crap job he did at proposing. Something about proposing in the back seat of my car while visiting for a three day weekend didn't sit well with him. Don't snicker, it's not what you think when I say 'back seat'! I was busy having contractions because I was nine months pregnant, my brother was driving me around. My husband (then boyfriend) flew in hoping to be there for the delivery of our son.

So now I'm the new owner of a beautiful Tanzanite and Diamond ring. Have I mentioned I'm a sucker for Tanzanite? Or purple-colored stuff?

So here's our new wedding rings. Great minds think alike, and all that jazz. I've never had a good Valentines Day before, and I seriously doubt I'll ever have one this good again. ~ D. F. Krieger

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! Once again, I'd like to thank everyone for stopping by and for the wonderful comments I keep receiving. This week I thought I'd give you the starting paragraph from my current WIP, His Prey.

Nyna kept her head down, her glossy black hair shielding her face, as she walked into the village. She suffered no desire to see the disapproving gazes of the elders. She swore she could already feel them resting on her, raking her skin until it made her soul burn. They would say nothing to her, but the firm press of their lips and the sadness in their eyes would be enough.
Not enough to stop her from doing it again, of course.

Visit Six Sentence Sunday for more exciting/sexy/thrilling writing by other authors! ~ D. F. Krieger

Friday, February 11, 2011

Death In the Details

Gentle reader, as a forewarning, I shall advise you that this post may be erratic and convey a sense of extreme happiness despite the 'sobering subject'. This is not my intention, but an influence from my own environment. (I just got a beautiful new PURPLE PT Cruiser as an early birthday gift!!!)  That being said, let's begin, shall we?

I love my husband. He has the most gorgeous brown eyes. I could just fall into his hazel gaze for-

Wait, what? Brown eyes do not a hazel gaze make. What's going on here?

Hush and let the crazy lady make a point. Ever read a novel where the heroine is wearing a white silk shirt, changes into a crimson corset, but is described later still wearing the silk shirt? I had a crit partner once who caught me doing that very thing. Ouch! Didn't I feel stupid.

The problem is, it's an easy mistake to make. We're writers, we have hearts to break, murders/thieves/evil overlords to motivate, hearts to mend, chance meetings to arrange: we can't be bothered with remembering the small stuff. Oh, but I guarantee you that if you don't, your readers will bring it to attention.

Details are hard to keep in check and remember. I know we all have enough on our plates with grammar checks, spelling checks, show versus tell checks, blah blah blah. We know the dance. But not everyone may think to make sure their hero/ine (or villain, sidekick, store clerk) are sporting the same eye color throughout the book, not to mention wearing what their suppose to be. Please, for the sanity of your reader, make sure your heroine is not staring into the hazel gaze of her brown-eyed lover. ~ D. F. Krieger

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Show, Not Tell

Those words drove me insane when I first started hearing them. What did it mean? How could I change what I was doing? I tried to understand, but the concept completely eluded me. I didn't get lucky enough to find many examples online that were helpful. All I got over and over was, "show us what is going on". Gerblarble!

Then I got lucky. A friend of mine, who is already published, looked over the first page of one of my WIP's. What I got back was a mess of colors, and yet everything finally clicked. I can never express to her how grateful I am that she showed me (not told me) how to fix it. One page will make a lifetime of difference in my writing.

To save everyone from going through the frustration I have, I'm going to show you a couple of examples of show versus tell.

     Tell: Her ship pulled into the port.
     Show: Her ship shuddered and wobbled while it pulled into the pitiful excuse for a planet-side port.

See the imagery now? Can you feel the ship vibrating around you? Can you imagine the run-down looking buildings and docks that make up the port? 

I'll give you another example.
    Tell: People screaming, buildings burning, dead would-be warriors scattered across the streets-
    Show: The human’s screams seemed to echo in the screen of smoke. The acrid smell of smoldering thatch and burning wood assaulted the black dragon’s nostrils. He eyed a couple of corpses, the remains of would-be warriors that lay scattered across the street-

Believe it or not, it's the same thing in both the show and tell sentences. If you show us though, it gives a richer flavor and lets people transport to the moment. I hope others found this helpful in their endeavor to learn. 
I'd also like to give a shout-out to Rachel Firasek! Check out her website. Her awesome book, Piper's Fury, will be coming out soon! ~ D. F. Krieger

Monday, February 7, 2011

What Doesn't Kill You

I received an e-mail this morning from the publishing company I had sent Sail My Oceans to. It read something like this,

Dear Ms Krieger,
We don't like your stuff.
Dream-Crusher's R US

Okay, so it wasn't really like that. But the e-mail was very...unhelpful. All that kept echoing in my head once I read it was, "Why?" Why didn't they want it? Why didn't it suit their needs? I would have liked at least something a little more personal then 'Insert Author Name, Insert Story Name", proceed with standard rejection letter.

So I decided to take it into my own hands. NO! I did not e-mail them a snarky note telling them I couldn't be a better writer if they didn't tell me what was wrong (no matter how badly I wanted to). I did something crazy instead. I opened up my story and read the first two paragraphs. Wow, yuck. 

The problem is, I've learned so much since I wrote that (yes, I understand it's only been a month and a half) that I almost reeled at my writing. I saw a blog recently where a friend posted what she'd had (a book blurb) that was rejected; and what it looked like after she fixed it. I think I'll do something like that so you can see what I saw.

I need to get laid.  The captain of the Tartarus smiled grimly at her thoughts as her ship pulled gracefully into the port of the main city of Dremes, on the planet of Hope.
The planet’s name was a sham, of course, for Hope carried little of its name sake.  It was a place for refugees, rebels, thieves on the run, and runaway slaves.  Dremes had started out as a shanty town, but was growing rapidly into the only major city on the entire planet. The city was a universal haven for any who trafficked in illicit activities.  It was an ideal place for people like Lucy Verr, captain of the Tartarus, to do business.  

And after some tweaking, grumbling, and frustration at my own limited abilities; it turned into:

Lucy Verr smiled grimly as her starship, Tartarus, shuddered and wobbled while it pulled into the pitiful excuse for a planet-side port. Dust, stirred up from her ship’s descent, swirled across the landscape as bouts of wind buffeted the metal hull.
I need to get laid.
The thought came unbidden, and seemingly from nowhere. Lucy let her eyes rove the landscape, until she realized the thought was an echo of her environment. Her sex life, she mused, was undergoing a drought of its own, much like this planet.
Somehow, the weather suited the city it cradled and ravaged. Dremes, the town for thieves, runaways, and pirates; a utopia for bad business, dirty deeds, and disappearing acts. It was an ideal place for someone like Lucy Verr. She happened to have low friends in high places on Dremes, and that often made her life very interesting.

Am I going to let this get me down? No. Okay, maybe some. I'm really needing a good snuggle and whimper session with my husband now. But I'm not going to quit writing. I'm going to finish His Prey. Afterwards I'm going to revamp the rest of Sail My Oceans. I will get this sucker published. After all, Krieger means 'Warrior' in German; that makes me a fighter! ~ D. F. Krieger

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Thank you to everyone who has been stopping by weekly and welcome to those who are visiting the first time. I appreciate all the comments I've been receiving! I still haven't worked on Wings of Obsidian at all, as I've been too busy with a multitude of other things.  I do, however, have an excerpt for you this week from my current WIP; His Prey. I hope you enjoy :)

Nyna bounded through the forest on cloven hooves, her honey colored fur highlighted in mist and moonlight. The air was alive with the ominous crackles of her purser. The wolf hungered, and she was his prey. This was a dance of life; one that her tribe and his had performed for years. It would be performed for years to come.

Tonight she would give herself to him, to ensure his tribe continued protecting hers.

For more wonderful writers and their six, please visit Six Sentence Sunday  
~ D. F. Krieger

Friday, February 4, 2011

One For Many?

So how do you do it? One on one so that all your attention is focused to a finite point? Or do you spread yourself lavishly between many?

Me? I try to be a one on one gal, but I tend to stumble into doing it with many. I don't mean to, I really try to give a single relationship my all, but sometimes I slip. I fall for that shiny promise of new and exciting. Sooner or later, especially after the short spurts, I'm come dragging back to my original -

Wait, what? What are YOU talking about?! I'm talking about writing here, people!

Wow, and I thought my mind was in the gutter. Yeesh. But no, seriously; how do you do it? I try to stick to writing one story, from beginning to finish, at a time. I've noticed lately, however, that isn't the way things are going. I have one story slowly in process as filler between 'major' projects, one going through critiques to be polished for submission, and then there are my 'major' projects. Why major with the emphasis? Because I have to giggle over labeling novellas of 10-28k as being 'major'. *snickers* Don't mind me, it's a personal joke on male anatomy.

So I'm curious; are you "One on One" or "One on Many"? Inquiring minds want to know ~ D. F. Krieger