All Writers Are Introverts

My answer? Not true!

Picture courtesy of Google.com

First of all, from what I learned, there are very, very few true introverts or extroverts in this world. Most are a mix of both. Yes, we people tend to one side, but in general, we are a quite healthy mix of both.

Also, don’t forget, introverts aren’t eremites. It’s not like these people tend to hide in a cave, locking out everyone and everybody who approaches them. It just means, they usually prefer smaller gatherings before loud parties with dozens or hundreds of people. It doesn’t mean, they never go to a party, it only means, after a while, they will politely say good night or prefer a so-called ‘French farewell’, where they disappear and contact the host the next day to let them know, all is good, and they ‘didn’t feel so well’, but it was a wonderful party and thank you for the invitation! Nobody who knows introverts is going to be angry about that… it happens on a regular basis with them.

Now, who did set the rumor up, writers had to be introverted, because they bury themselves in work, all alone and brooding, separated from society, until they dive up, reborn from the ashes of the paper of their stories, flying high, soaring for a moment, enjoying the immense honor and love their fans shower them with, until the next idea forces them to once more disappear in the undefined cave of their narrow broom shed, where they write, during the night… whiskey and tequila next to them, while sleeping off their hangover for days at the time… (Oh, I love that image… I’m actually trying to picture myself doing that, but I get interrupted by the loud laughing fits I keep having.)

Now, let’s face a little reality here. Writers do their work the best they can. There are as many work processes as there are writers, probably even a few more. Most writers are not drunk while working; Hemingway’s drunk depression might sound like an ideal example of a world-weary genius, but most of us writers prefer to be able to write a coherent sentence that actually makes sense. We prefer to do our work with a minimal chance of typos or grammatical errors. We don’t ‘bury’ ourselves, we just prefer to work in peace and silence without too many interruptions that kill the buzz or interrupt the flow. Most of us set a goal, like 7 – 8 hours a day. (Sometimes only six, to each his/her own)… after that, we have a meal, shower, go to bed and work again the next day. Yes, our story is told in our head, we work alone, but also, the writing is only the smallest part of our work. Marketing, social media presence, public speaking, author visits, book clubs, teaching…? We are busy with many other things, too, that is part of what we do! And most of that part, demands meeting with people, networking, being chatty, open, friendly, and everything else nobody would expect an introvert to master.

There are plenty of articles around, describing introverts and extroverts, none of them describes being one of them as suffering from a personality disorder. It’s just a personality trait. Habits, preference, whatever we want to describe it. Introverts are not sick, they just feel good with their work, the peace and quiet, and the characters in their latest book.

I read a great article about introverts and extroverts on introvertdear.com. They also offer a quiz that goes with the article. Answer 21 questions, and you know if you tend to be more of an intro- or an extrovert.

What do you think, I turned out to be? Oh yes… no surprise there…

What is your experience with either personality? What do you think you are, and were you surprised finding out more about it? Let us know in the comments.

The Best Part Of Telling A Story – Part II

April 14, 2022 I published the first part of this blog post series, about the best part of telling a story. There are so many good parts, to me, each holds its own appeal. Let’s have a look at them again:

1. Drafting the plot

2. Finding a motive

3. Creating the protagonist and antagonist

4. Finding the perfect location

5. Thinking of plot twists

6. Create side characters

[7. Depending on the story, maybe even create a world]


Last time I ‘drafted the plot’, today I’m trying to find a motive.

I’m not sure, should I tell you, to me that’s more difficult or easier, than drafting the plot, since technically you can’t have one without the other.

Let’s find an example: you’re reading a crime story; the killer strangles a woman, when the police identifies and confronts him, he jumps off a bridge and you’ll never know why he did it. Wouldn’t you be disappointed? I know I would be.

In the case of a crime story, the motive of the killer is basically what drives the book. Why does the murderer what he does?

When we look at the ‘The Council of Twelve’ series, I have to find the motive for the actions of ‘both sides’, Good and Evil. Clearly expressed: Why does the Evil side what they do, how does the Good side react, and what is the outcome? We got the ‘why’, and that results in the ‘how’ – hence, the motive and the plot, which belong together.

The motive is the ‘why’ and with that in mind, we want to ask ‘how’, which leads us to the plot. One leads to the other, and we’re already in ‘the middle’ of story-telling.

What would you say to a criminal story without a motive, or a story without recognizable reason? Wouldn’t it just be empty? What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Blogging vacation – And Waiting

Picture courtesy of Google.com

As you might have realized, I took a week off from blogging. I’m still in transition to a new place, and a new life situation…

I have been busy with so many things, including trying to adjust to my new situation, working on book five some more, but when it comes to that, I’m in a waiting position right now.

1. My copyright lawyer is supposed to file it, I’m waiting for his information on that

2. The editor is looking over my book Blurb, I’m waiting for him to get that done and get back to me

3. My cover designer is desperately waiting for the blurb to finalize the cover

4. And I’m waiting for an information (good news) I’ve been waiting for since Tuesday night… The wait is killing me, and the ones who know me, are probably laughing now. Patience and I aren’t on best terms. I hate it to wait, even more since I am in a hurry.

What does that mean now? That I’m waiting for everything, and it seems I’m not progressing in any direction, which drives me up the walls. I’m unhappy if I’m stuck, no matter, if it’s within a book, or in real life. I wish, things would go on…

What do you wish for? What is the thorn in your flesh? Let us know in the comments.

The Best Part Of Telling A Story – Part I

I have been asked numerous times what the best part of being a writer is… I usually reply that it is the start, when the page is still blank and waits for the words to show up on the monitor. But, to be honest, I’m not really sure that’s true. In fact, I think, there are several steps that are just as much fun than starting to type…

1. Drafting the plot

2. Finding a motive

3. Creating the protagonist and antagonist

4. Finding the perfect location

5. Thinking of plot twists

6. Create side characters

[7. Depending on the story, maybe even create a world]


Of course, crime story writers work differently than fantasy writers do. Now, since I write fantasy, but wrote a crime story out of my fantasy series, let me start with the fun part on both…

Part I – Drafting A Plot

‘The Council of Twelve’ series generally starts with a new charkacter being introduced to the readers. Since I just started to draft a new book, I would like to be careful not to give away too much. But imagine my thoughts are going into the following direction:

A New Consort

What Is She?

How Does She Meet The Council Of Twelve?

Why Does She Meet Them?

What Complicates The Situation?

Who Is Her Consort?

How Are The Problems Going To Show Up?

What Does The Council Of Twelve Do To Solve The Problem?

What Is The New Consort’s Part In The Fight Good Vs. Evil?

How Is This Story Going To Open A Spot For The Next Story?


When it comes to drafting a new crime story, my first draft was lighter and only contained a few questions:

Who Is The Victim?

Who Is The Perpetrator?

What Is The Motive?

Who Are The Suspects?

Who Is The Investigator?


Before these questions are not answered, I won’t start to write. There are a whole lot of notes to take, and during the plot draft, more questions will inevitably show up. A book rises and falls with the plot, and it has to be worked out very carefully. If the reader at the end is left with too many lose ends, the book is either no good, or it’s part of a series and the questions are supposed to be answered in the next part.

Saving time on the plot draft is not the best time saved. Of course, I can only talk about myself and what is fun for me, but this is the first fun step of telling a new story for me.

If you’re a writer and have something to add, or if you’re a reader and would like to ask questions, the post is open to comments.

Unicorn – Written By Juliette Kings

James saw the woman across the room and imagined her in another time. In that time she wore a dress with a bustle, corseted up, in brilliant peacock colors, her hair up with a diamond comb.

Now she stood in straight legged jeans, black sandals, and a white button down shirt. Her brown hair wasn’t up, but down around her shoulders.

She turned towards James and mouthed out the words, “come closer.”

James was feeling lucky. The jeans and button down shirt would come off a lot quicker than layers of a bustle dress and a tightly laced corset. Of course, she’d want him. Of course, she’d have him. How could she resist?

Up close she was even more intriguing than she had been from a distance. Freckles scattered across her face. Out of nowhere she pulled out a pair of blue framed glasses and looked at him with bright hazel eyes. She really looked as if she was looking at an ancient artifact or a perplexing work of art.

“I’m James,” he said.

“I’m Isolde,” she told him. “So, what is your pickup line tonight?”

“Before we get to that, I know you’re a Vampire.”

“Just like you.”

“Maybe.”

“What are you doing here?”

“It’s a party. I knew the place would be full of nice warm people. After the past two years it is good to finally get out and be somewhere with plenty of donors.”

“Is that what you call them?”

CONTINUE READING HERE

The Benefits Of Smiling

The benefits of smiling

Smiling does not only improve the quality of our face, it also benefits us in different other ways. We are more likable. Also, smiling allows us to share our humanity, in sociable settings as well as the work environment, and it also, surprisingly, improves our health. As we age, we smile less often. According to studies, a child smiles up to 400 times a day, as compared to the average adult who smiles only about 20 times within 24 hours. Considering we are truly improving our family and work-life by smiling, we need to learn how to smile and laugh again.

Smiling releases cortisol and endorphins, which improve our well-being by:

  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Increasing endurance
  • Reducing pain
  • Reducing stress
  • Strengthening immune system

If we take all the advantages into account that smiling gives us, and the only con would be a few laughing lines around the lips, I would like to highly recommend: ‘Live your life and smile away’.

Picture courtesy of Google.com

What is it that makes you smile? Tell us about it in the comments.

(Sources: Smiling: Why It’s Important in Your Personal Life and Workplace | Psychology Today & Surprising Health Benefits Of Smiling | Henry Ford LiveWell)

A New Home For The Writer Beware Blog

I got the news this week that the ‘Writer Beware’ blog, which I keep re-posting here, on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’, moved to WordPress.

Victoria Strauss, who does so much for us writers by warning us from scams, foul play, screw-overs, phonies, and more, took the Writer’s Beware blog from Blogspot to WordPress, which is going to make re-blogging a lot easier. I’m sure, she’ll feel home here quite quickly!

Good Luck to Victoria, and we’re looking forward to her very helpful posts! Way to go!


Welcome to the new home of the Writer Beware blog!

After many years on the Blogger platform, we have finally transitioned to WordPress, which offers much greater flexibility in terms of design, control, and ease of use.

We also have a new, easy to remember web address: writerbeware.blog.

I’ve been dissatisfied with Blogger for a while now. I’m not a web developer, but I’m not helpless, either; I maintain the Writer Beware website on the SFWA site, and I built and maintain two additional websites, my own and another for an organization my husband is part of. But every time I thought about moving to a new platform, the size of the challenge just seemed too daunting. How would I transfer hundreds of posts, not to mention the thousands of comments and images that go with them? What about all the non-working inbound links the move would create? Links wouldn’t be a problem if I just started fresh on a brand-new WordPress site–but then the blog would exist on two platforms, with two different web addresses. And what about WB’s thousands of followers and subscribers?

CONTINUE READING HERE

Writer’s Tools – Fountain Pens

How many times have I mentioned, that I love beautiful pens, all kinds of pens, ballpoint pens, special pens, light pens, exclusive pens, unique pens… I’m like so many other writers. One of the bestestest sentences a man can tell me is: “I saw this beautiful pen and knew, it is for you.” (And, of course, hand me an exclusive Cartier Ballpoint pen, nicely surrounded by gift wrap and a bow!)

But today, I’m not talking about ‘regular’ pens, I’m talking about Fountain Pens… they’re the most elegant writer’s tools, in my opinion (not exactly counting the quill, since that one got out of style quite some time ago – considering how many birds had to sacrifice their feathers for those, that development wasn’t that bad, I assume).

As many of you know, I write the first draft of my books by hand. I use some scrapbook or paper notebook, a cheap pen, and start scribbling. Considering I have so many great pens, it’s actually a pity I don’t use those, but, of course, they have to be saved for special occasions; also, I’m scared to death to take them anywhere with me to avoid losing them. That makes me a pen-hoarder (or collector, if you will, but the expression doesn’t change anything on the fact that I’m irrational when it comes to pens).

My writing process already takes quite a while, and I’m certainly not stupid enough to believe writing the first draft with a fountain pen would speed up that process in any kind of way! But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to write with one occasionally…

It took me a moment to return to reality, after this blog post, since my writer’s fantasy ran wild circles when I saw the beautiful fountain pens… Just a small selection here… these are modern, stylish, fun… but not particularly elegant though… (I picked them from the Gouletpens.com website)

A few of them have true potential, I have to say. Check out these three, Two Pilot Fountain pens, and a Visconti, Homo Sapiens… how beautiful!

But the truly breathtaking fountain pens I found on a website The Gentlemen Stationer. The owner of the blog, Joe, writes about his experiences with different pens – and Fountain pens, and describes in detail what to expect, weight and measures, and shows pictures. I’m not going to re-write, of course, Joe did the work. He even describes the prices, and doesn’t forget one of my favorites, the ‘Montblanc’, an exclusive, status-symbol-like Swiss brand in excellent quality.

However, I will add a Fountain pen I had the unbelievable luck to write with a couple times: A Cartier Fountain pen, very exclusive, absolutely stunning, but it was still an exquisite feeling to write with it. The pen is heavy, but feels like home, even in my slightly smaller hand, even though it’s obviously made for a man.

And the price? Yes… that’s another thing… Well, if you must know: You won’t get it below $1200. Is it worth it? In my heart and collection? Yes… – In my head? No way… I would be so scared to break or lose it, I’d never use it… But I still can admire – and dream, right?

What’s your dream? Let us know in the comments.

Preparing For More ‘Council Of Twelve’ Adventures


Last week, as of Tuesday, I surprisingly found myself in a situation when I suddenly had a lot of time at my hands, but unfortunately, my books were as far away from me, you could have counted the distance in lightyears…

What do you do, when you’re a writer, you cannot stare into your phone all the time, you have certain limitations in movement, pen, and paper – and feel the need to continue your work? Right, you ask for pen and paper and start drafting.

  1. Make a list of the published, written, and WIP titles of ‘The Council of Twelve’ series
  2. Plan the two last books in the series
  3. plan the second and third of the collected ‘The Council of Twelve’ novelette books
  4. Start drafting character sheets for the two last books in the series’ new consort characters
  5. Find names for the very same two consort characters
  6. Draft a character description of one of the most unusual novelettes that will be part of the collections.

I did all that by hand, considering to type it into my OneNotes at a later time – and then decided I wouldn’t. Why should I do that? I wrote it once, and I got the notes. I would have to work out the characters eventually, but at this time these are new ideas, which means, they go into the OneNotes ‘New Ideas’ folder and will stay there, until I’m ready to take on the challenge to start writing these books.

So I took pictures of my notes and moved them into the app.

And once more I’m grateful for today’s helpful and supportive technology. Remember typewriters? Oh yes, we could type there, with ‘blue sheets’ in between, and if you permitted yourself one typo, everybody could see it. And we could use copy machines. But then we still had to keep the paper. Now I can take a picture and move it to wherever it’s needed. I’m lucky. I’m happy, I’m relieved…

The Council of Twelve series is still progressing… but I also permit myself the thought to develop ideas outside of the series. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I don’t want to ‘end up’ only to be defined by one style, by one genre, or by one series. I know I can do more than that, and that’s what I’m working on.

When you’re writing in your genre and feel like peeking into another one, which one would that be – and why? Let us know in the comments, we’re curious.

The Power Of Your Nose – Writing Improvement

Writers (and other humans) tend to suffer from insomnia, fatigue, depression, headaches, digestion problems, anxieties and other ailments, due to sitting too long, constant overflowing of their brain and thinking, and for other reasons, basically too many to count.

However, there is a possibility to help with some of these ailments in a natural healing way. My experience showed me some improvement in my general well-being, which helped me to better writing as well. I’m talking about essential oils. We breathe, and the smell of some essential oils help us with some of our ailments.

We just need to remember: Too much of a good thing can be bad.

Let’s have a look at what I found:

CITRUS

These light oils often have fruity scents that are characteristic of the rinds from which they are extracted. They can be described as tangy or tart, fresh, clean, vibrant, invigorating, exciting, energizing, and uplifting.

Lemon

Orange

Grapefruit Bergamot

Lime

Tangerine

Citronella

Lemongrass

Mandarin

Litsea Cubeba

Tagetes

Most often top notes

  • Energizing
  • Uplifting
  • Emotionally balancing to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Deodorizing
  • Cleansing; popular addition to antibacterial oil blends
  • Refreshing
  • Stimulating for mental and spiritual vigor

FLORAL

These scents are often reminiscent of the flowers from which they are extracted and can be described as being feminine, powdery, subtle, modest, romantic, and even poetic. They are often sweet-smelling and create a feeling of cheerfulness. Floral scents are considered to be classic and timeless.

Chamomile

Geranium

Jasmine

Lavender

Neroli

Rose

Rosewood

Ylang-Ylang

Petitgrain

Most often middle notes

  • Comforting
  • Promotes rest
  • Sometimes sleep-inducing
  • Mood balancing

HERBACEOUS

Essential Oils that have herbaceous scents can be further described as smelling green or grassy. These Essential Oils often have mild floral yet invigorating spring-like scents that are associated with lush, wet foliage. They are reminiscent of the aroma of fresh leaves, moss, mown grass, herbs, and trees.

Chamomile

Angelica Root

Clary Sage

Eucalyptus Radiata

Fennel

Hyssop

Marjoram 

Melissa

Rosemary

Thyme

Oregano

Bay Laurel

Catnip

Sage Dalmatian

Parsley

Tea Tree

Yarrow

Most often middle notes

  • Calming
  • Promotes positivity
  • Encouraging
  • Emotionally balancing
  • Grounding

CAMPHORACEOUS

These Essential Oils have strong scents and are known to be beneficial for clearing the respiratory system due to their clarifying, penetrating, energizing, purifying, and almost medicinal aromas.

Camphor

Cajeput

Eucalyptus

Pennyroyal

Laurel Leaf

Lavandin

Most often middle notes

  • Stimulating
  • Refreshing
  • Focus-enhancing

MINTY

Essential Oils with a minty scent are strong-scented and are distinctly known for their bracing, fresh fragrances. They are reputed to be clearing and cooling when used in aromatherapy and topical applications.

Spearmint

Wintergreen

Peppermint

Can be top, middle, or base Notes

  • Motivating
  • Cooling
  • Invigorating
  • Mentally clarifying

SPICY

These Essential Oils have exotic, warm, intense aromas that are often reminiscent of baking and other warm memories. With strong scents, they are commonly used to stimulate energy and focus.

Aniseed

Basil

Black Pepper

Cardamom

Cinnamon

Coriander

Cumin

Ginger

Nutmeg

Allspice

Cassia

Clove Bud

Middle or base notes

  • Bracing
  • Rousing
  • Crisp and penetrating
  • Lively

RESINOUS/MUSKY

These Essential Oils exude deep, rich scents that are smoky, woody, earthy, sweet, leather-like, and warm. Their mellow, alluring, and long-lasting fragrances lend a reassuring quality that makes them ideal for use in spiritual practices.

Benzoin 

Elemi

Frankincense

Myrrh

Peru Balsam

Middle or base notes

  • Grounding  
  • Promotes relaxation and sense of inner calm
  • Emotionally balancing
  • Uplifting
  • Known to be commonly used for intimacy enhancement
  • Tend to be associated with a casual feeling

WOODY/EARTHY

These Essential Oils have deep, warm, lingering scents.

Often described as smelling “brown,” these oils are reminiscent of the scents of a forest floor or damp soil. Their fragrances are soft, masculine, musky, and sensual. Their alluring, seductive, and hypnotic qualities create an atmosphere of mystery.

Cypress

Juniper Berry

Pine

Sandalwood

Fir

Cedarwood

(Atlas & Virginian)

Palo Santo

Rosewood

Patchouli

Vetiver

Valerian

Carrot Seed

Most often middle or base notes

  • Grounding
  • Uplifting
  • Emotionally balancing  
  • Promote feelings of comfort, security, and well-being
  • Often considered to be aphrodisiacs

I copied the above mentioned information from a website I consider an excellent source for beginners.

https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/blog/products/categories-of-essential-oils-their-benefits.html

But please, read about how to use them, the disclaimer, and the side effects. Essential oils are a wonderful addition to our life and can help us, not only with our writing, but they shouldn’t be used thoughtlessly or without limits.

Picture courtesy of https://health.clevelandclinic.org/essential-oils-101-do-they-work-how-do-you-use-them/