Saturday, August 28, 2010

102.7 Fresh Concert

So last Saturday I went to the 102.7 Fresh Concert at Eisenhower Park. It was awesome!
They featured Tyler Hilton, Five for Fighting, and KT Tunstall:

Tyler Hilton - I Believe in You

Five for Fighting - 100 Years

KT Tunstall - Black Horse & The Cherry Tree

*My camera is mainly for taking pictures, so the video isn't high quality and the zoom sucks. But the audio is surprisingly better than I thought it would be.

If you can't see any of the videos, click here

Youtube Channel !!!

Hey blog readers,

I have recently been watching book trailers. If I publish my novel, I plan to make my own book trailer (once I learn how), and it'll be awesome. But I'm going to need a site to host my book trailer (someday...) and what better place than Youtube. So I decided to create a youtube channel.

Here it is: thelazywriter youtube channel.

* The channel names for "John Smith" and "Bow ties are cool" have already been taken. If you're not a Doctor Who fan, then you probably don't understand what I just said.

I hope that you enjoy my channel, and please SUBSCRIBE.

John Smith

P.S. -- When I read The Hunger Games trilogy, I think that I'm going to review it on video.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Finally, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins comes out today!

To be honest, I haven't even read The Hunger Games or Catching Fire yet. I first heard about these books awhile ago, but when I found out that they were dystopian type novels, I was a little turned off by them.

Ever since high school forced me to read books like 1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, I kind of started to not like dystopian novels.

But I keep hearing all this good stuff about The Hunger Games trilogy that I now want to read these books. So I waited until Mockingjay comes out so I can buy all three of them at the same time.

If you haven't ordered this book yet, go stop by your local Borders or Barnes & Noble. Or if your eyes are glued to your computer, order it here at Amazon

Once I get my copy of these books, I'll post a review of all three.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Character Development

If you've been reading my blog, then by now you've already learned how to create characters. If you don't know how to create characters, just click here for my blog post on the subject.

Now that you made your characters, you will now need to know how to develop them. Before, I used to think that the most important thing in a story is the plot. But that's wrong. Great characters are just as important as a great plot (and if you're writing in first person perspective, characters are definitely more important than a good plot). So be sure to develop and make your characters real.

Here are some methods that I use to help develop my characters so that they won't turn out to be flat and boring:

1) I fill out the Nanowrimo character questionnaire. They ask you questions about your characters, such as their fondest memory, their quirks, their insecurities, etc.... (they will also ask you questions about your characters that you will never mention in your book. You should answer those questions anyway because those answers will make the character more real in your mind, so you'll write them in a more dynamic way in your book). If you fill out this character sheet, your characters will become more real.

2) There should be flashbacks about the characters in your story. If one of your characters has a flashback, then that means that the character has a past history. This history will make your characters seem more real. For example, a husband and wife is talking about having children. In the next paragraph, there will be a flashback of that husband as a young boy playing by himself in the backyard. The flashback ends, and the husband tells his wife that he wants a lot of children. This shows that the husband is someone that wants a big family and doesn't want his children to grow up lonely like he did.

3) Write about your character in different situations. If you write a scene where your character is in a birthday party, or a maze, or sent into the future, or etc... then you get to see how your character will react outside of your story. A character shouldn't be a puppet used just to move the plot along. You've got to see how the character will react in different scenarios.

4) Create a short biography of your character from his/her point of view. Make your character describe the important moments in his/her life. Write it so that it seems that your character wrote it in their own grammer, dialogue, and tone that they would use. This develops the character's speaking voice, while at the same time gives you the character's history.

5) Keep in mind that if your character were to die, would your readers care if he/she died? (I recently wrote a short story in which the main character dies. I got someone to read it, and she cared more about what's for dinner than the death of that poor boy). To be honest, my best advice to teach you how to make readers care more about your character... is to read Harry Potter by JK Rowling. Those books can teach you a thing or two about creating characters that readers will care about.

So that's all the advice I can give you about character development. There are probably other tips out there on how to make your characters more real, but I can't keep procrastinating and look over every single article about developing characters. Sometimes the best way to develop your character is to just write down your story.

Happy writing to you all,
John Smith

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Quit!

Last week, a woman named Jenny announced that she was quitting her job through a series of messages written on dry erase boards, which she photographed and e-mailed out to her entire office of roughly 20 employees. Those photos — and a wildly amusing supposed backstory — have since found their way to the Internet.

Here are those photos:

If any of you here thought that this was real, I apologize. This is a hoax created by the Chive.

I found this post on Rockin Rita and I thought that it was hilarious! So I decided to share it with you as well. For proof that this is a hoax, click here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award!

Hi readers!

I would like to thank The Fighter Writer for my second blog award! It's the One Lovely Blog Award!

Thanks for thinking that my blog is... lovely. Weird.
I would have called my blog fantastic, stupendous, life changing, and modest. But I guess lovely is a good description for it too.

Anyway, the rules for this award states that I need to do the following:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here are the 15 other blogs that I'm passing the award to:

The Wormhole
In Which A Girl Reads
The Thoughts of A Book Junky
Musings of A Reader Happy
Stir Your Tea
Ted Cross
Constant Revision
Smash Attack Reads
Reading Teen
Blog with Bite
Small Town Book Nerd
Writing Jewels
My Writing Journey
Raquel Byrnes

Congratulations to you all!

John Smith

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Bold Faced Liar Creative Writer award!

Hey Readers,

Guess what? I just got an award! Yay!
It's The Bold Faced Liar Creative Writer award!

And it's all thanks to RaShelle for giving it to me. Who is RaShelle you might ask?
RaShelle is a gourmet chef that can make Gordon Ramsay cry in defeat.
RaShelle is a negotiator that can convince bank robbers to free their hostages in exchange for a pack of chewing gum.
RaShelle is someone who never needs an umbrella because it's against the laws of physics for rain to fall on her.

But seriously, RaShelle is a creative writer with an awesome blog:

...and she can tame dragons with the sound of her voice.

Thank you for the award, RaShelle!

To be able to accept this award, one must now do the following:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link to them.
2. Add the award to your blog.
3. Tell six outrageous lies about yourself and one truth.
4. Nominate four creative liars–I mean writers–and post links to them.
5. Let your nominees know that they have been nominated.

Here are my six lies and one truth about myself. Can you spot the truth?

1) I hate coffee

2) Danger is my middle name

3) I once met the Old Spice guy

4) I've seen every episode of Star Trek

5) Dogs bark at me when I wear purple

6) I once went to Stonehenge

7) I have a pet chinchilla

Now to pass this award on to 4 other people:
T.S. Bazelli
J.C. Martin


Thank you to all who read my blog,
John Smith

P.S. - To be able to write fiction, you must be able to tell a lie.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Thirteenth Chime!

The Thirteenth Chime

Finally, it's Friday the 13th (Aug 13, 2010). Today is the day that "The Thirteenth Chime" by Emma Michaels is officially released! Yay!

Right now, you can hop on over to Amazon and buy a copy of the book. Plus, if you enter the code (before Sept 1st), you can get $1 off the price.

To find out more about this book, click here

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Creating Characters

Every plot needs a good character to move the story along. But how do writers create characters? Well, I don't know about other writers, but my style is more plot oriented. I come up with a plot to the story, and then I create a character afterwards to make that plot move along.

For example, if your plot has to deal with killing monsters and vampires, then a kick ass slayer type of character is what you need.
If your plot is about a war of wizards, then maybe an ordinary kid who later becomes a powerful wizard will be the right character for your book.

!Alert! : Creating characters just to move a plot along can make your characters really passive. Readers want to read about a character that takes an active role in the story. So you must develop your characters until they can move around on their own, even if you take the plot away. (This is one of my weak points as a writer. My characters tend to be on the passive side. But I'm learning).

Another way to create characters is to just use a stereotype. There is nothing wrong with using stereotypes in a story. I know that it's a cliche, but some authors do it all the time, especially if they have to write about tons of characters.

For example, a few of JK Rowling's characters in her series, "Harry Potter", are stereotypes. Like, the gentle giant, the wise old man, the comic relief, the friend who would betray, etc... Those types of characters could be found in many other books.
However, I'm not saying that Rowling's characters are just stereotypes. They might have started out that way, but since Rowling is a master at character development, her characters have grown out of the old cliches and become so much more. So a good starting point in creating characters are by using stereotypes.

These are the two methods that I use to create characters. The characters in my novels were created after I made my plot. And some of my characters are just stereotypes, like the goth, the jock, the spoiled rich girl, the comic book geek, etc... (this sounds like the setting of my story is in a high school, but it's not). However, my characters have evolved over the months and years since I first thought of them. And I think that they're great characters, except for the one that I'm going to kill.

So happy writing to all you writers out there,
John Smith

P.S. - After awhile, the characters kind of come to life on their own. Their personality starts to evolve and break out of the stereotype, little by little. But that's okay. Sometimes this could make your character more real and dynamic. So don't try to restrain and force them into the image in your head. You'll be fighting a losing battle.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Flying Monkeys, Please?

My birthday is today! I'm now 21! And the only thing that I want for my birthday is over 123 flying monkeys (and by flying monkeys, I mean followers) to join my army. Is that too much to ask?

"Fly, Fly, Fly"
-the Wicked Witch of the West

Thanks to all my flying monkeys!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mockingjay tour

Are you excited as I am about "Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins? The book is set to be released on Aug 24, 2010, and she's doing a tour for her book.

Scholastic has revealed the dates of her tour here.

Is she going to be at a city near you?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Horcruxes

If you've read Harry Potter, you'll know that a horcrux is something you put a part of your soul into so that you can never completely die. He who must not be named managed to split his soul and put it into 7 things.

So I'm going to ask you. If you could pick any 7 things in the entire world to make your own horcruxes, what would they be? Mine would be:

1) My laptop

2) One of my Harry Potter books

3) My black/yellow spider hat

4) My left shoe

5) My Ipod

6) Starry Night painting by Van Gogh (because it's surrounded by security, making it hard for my enemies to get their hands on it).

7) A copy of my novel (if I ever get it published)

What would your 7 horcruxes be?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Placeholder Names

I haven't really been working on my novel much lately. It's not because I have writer's block. I just decided to go back to my outline and change things a little to make the story more consistent. And when I looked over my outline, I came across something I learned awhile back but never blogged about.

So let's talk about character names.

When you write an outline for your novel, you describe scenes and the things that happen. You write about how your main character does this, then he chops off this guy's head, then he goes to have a tea party, etc... You write about many things that happen to the main character.

And your main character is important. Not only that, but all of your characters are important. And so each and every one of them has to have the perfect name for your novel. And what do you do? You spend weeks and weeks thinking of the perfect name. The name that absolutely fits your character's personality.

Let me tell you... this is a waste of time. You might think that you're making progress on your novel, but you're just being lazy. For example, in my novel, I have 6 or 7 important characters. And before I even started writing the novel, I wasted about 2 months looking up names for my characters. During those 2 months, I didn't make any progress on the story at all. And the story is the most important thing.

So don't make the same mistake as me. Focus on the story. But in the mean time, just use placeholder names for your characters. Placeholder names are just any old name you use for your characters. For example, just call your characters "John" or "Sarah" etc.... Any name would do. The point is to not waste time worrying about the names of your characters.

The only time you should worry about those names are when you're doing the final draft for your novel. Otherwise, it's just an excuse to be lazy (which I'm guilty of).

So that's my advice. Focus on the story, and not the character names. Just use a placeholder name in the mean time. Also, don't procrastinate.

By the way, for any future novels I might write, my placeholder name for my main character is going to be "main". Seriously, I'm just going to call him "main" while I write about him.

Happy writing to you all,
John Smith

P.S. - If you want to know the names I've come up with for my characters while I was being lazy, check out my "Works in Progress" tab.