Quick FUN before I DIVE back IN!

Photo Credit: Johan Joubert

Photo Credit: Johan Joubert (Check out Johan’s art at his website!)

(Story about picture above: For my 25th birthday my boyfriend did such an amazing thing. It was a gift any writer would love to receive! While, I was still in Australia I finished my novel and printed it out for us to read through. Once I left, he had started reading it. I wasn’t aware that he was actually reading as much as he was. I didn’t know for sure if he’d actually read it all. But then, he told me he was doing something exciting for my birthday gift. I was excited, but I was even more excited when I opened it. Inside the box was a three-ring binder with my edited manuscript. He read it and left his edit marks. He also took a bunch of pictures, playing around with his camera. He loves art and photography. Then he created a cover to inspire me. A small box was also a part of the gift. When I took the lid off, I found this. [below])

Photo Credit: Devin Berglund

Photo Credit: Devin Berglund

It was The Mason of Hearts. My very own… lol…


Title of Book?

The Mason of Hearts

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I got my first idea about this book from a dream where these evil people were not happy with how they were created, that they wanted to change everything about themselves. They heard about this beautiful girl who held many powers and secrets. A rumor was that, if she was killed her powers would give them the ability to change who they were into who they wanted to be.

I got the idea earlier this year, while writing the original book, The Created Ones. When I finished that book, I realized that I didn’t really feel like I knew some of the characters well enough. They were dark shadows in the corners of my mind, so I decided I needed to find out more about these characters before going back over my first book. This book, The Mason of Hearts, is book one of the trilogy and The Created Ones will be book two. It’s just funny I wrote book two, before book 1.

What genre does your book fall under?

Definitely Fantasy Adventure. (It could be placed in either the YA or the NA genres… just haven’t figured that out yet.)

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Since, I have quite a few characters in my book… I will show you three of them. :)

Photo Credit: www.imdb.com

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com

Dustin – Benjamin Stone

Photo Credit: www.imb

Photo Credit: http://www.imdb.com

Sara – Evangeline Lilly (with shoulder length hair)

Photo Credit: Fanshare

Photo Credit: Fanshare

Evangeline – Niomi Watts

What is a short synopsis of your book?

A maleficent witch kills many of the Preventer warriors, throwing the world into a panic. Dustin, one of the last Preventer warriors starts training when the King calls upon him to protect his daughter and unborn grand children. The witch adds hearts to her collection which she stores in her necklace. She uses their gifts and talents as she needs– her necklace The Mason of Hearts, when filled with the most powerful and innocent of hearts would give her unlimited power to manipulate the world. Dustin is captured by a stranger with a dark secret – an affectionate bond forms between the two, and they must enter the witch’s game of hide-n-seek with life and death to protect the king’s grandchildren and to save people’s lives or many will die, including them.

Will your book be self-published, or represented by an agency?

I am shopping for a literary agent to rep me and my book.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 

The Mason of Hearts took about 9 months to write. I am currently in a rewrite/edit stage.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

It would probably be compared to C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia tied with The Hobbit with a touch of Harry Potter.

What else about your book might pique the readers interest?

This book is set in it’s own world, but the extraordinary adventures and situations will be relatable with readers lives. In The Mason of Hearts, My top goal is to  make readers see a little of themselves in my characters. I also want my readers to see how special they, themselves are.

Does it interest you? Would you want to read it? 

How to use your life experience to make real-life-like characters… 2nd Day of Devin’s Writing Routine Exercise

The past few days have been days where I have had issues starting to write. Sometimes it’s a combination of “I don’t feel like writing!” or “I don’t want to write, right now.” or “How am I going to say this in an interesting way.”

Day two of Devin’s Writing Routine Exercise – 

First of all before, I give you the report on my writing. I will let ya know how my weekend went. I went to the Sunshine Coast on the weekend with my boyfriend to spend time with his dad. It was a nice relaxing weekend and a very nice break from the city. On late Satday night I had gone to bed a tad late and then a few hours later, Johan knocked on my door asking if I’d like to go watch the sun rise. I was so lethargic and tired, but I am glad we did, because it was definitely beautiful. :)

This is what it looked like, at first.

A bit later. It was amazing how fast the sun peaked over the horizon. It was so nice, and we listened to “Here comes the sun…” by the Beatles. It totally fit the mood. :)

So, I believe that it was most definitely worth the getting up to go see it.

It was so cold up there. I am so happy that I wore a sweater and sweatpants. Here are Johan’s frozen little fingers from taking so many pictures. But, he had thought ahead before and made Hot Milo. (Which was amazing!!) and warming…

I was so proud of myself because this weekend, I designed my own landing page for the welcome tab on my facebook writing page. :) Check it out and let me know what you think. Also, if you aren’t following me on my facebook page, press like to follow.

This is the picture that you will see on my welcome page if you have “liked” me. :)

When Monday rolled by – I was really tired and didn’t really wake up at 5am. I mean this was expected that there would be days when I didn’t want to wake up to write, right? Well, it happened. But, even though i hadn’t woken up at 5am… I still made sure I got my word count in. I wrote 1,555 words. Another thing I really learned extremely yesterday (Monday) is the pain that my character was suffering.

I was writing and found a song that really connected me to my character Elfria, when I get further into the book I will be sure to share a little bit with you all.
Here is the video, by the 2 Cellos. It is titled: Hurt.

I listened to it and while writing, my fingers started typing faster and my eyes got wider as my character came to life. Her thoughts became mine and her feelings – well, I was feeling them.

My character was dealing with the first time that she was crushed. You know that horrible moment in your life when you like someone and they don’t like you back? Well,  I have experienced both types. The first option is feeling crushed because you like someone and they simply just don’t like you back like that. The second one, is that you like someone and they play on your emotions and cause you more pain – while leading you more astray. They will never love you, but they don’t care about bringing you down a rocky path if they can enjoy playing on your emotions. So, that is what my character was going through. Which reminds me of a quote I came across by Ernest Hemingway just recently. (I want to apologize for his language… but it is true.)

You especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously.
But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don’t cheat with it. -Ernest Hemingway

This is a quote stated like a true writer who experienced some hard times. So, Day 2 of my writing Routine Exercise is being dedicated to pulling from your own experiences to write.

Pulling from your life to write

  1. Remember –
    Think back on emotional (good and bad memories) and write down things like.
    “I remember when my cat died.”
    “I remember when I saw my boyfriend for the first time.”
    “I remember when I lost my best friend.”
    Do- Write down a bunch of “I remembers” and go through them and pick one at a time. Then write the experience out.
    Remember to write about how you felt, who was there, how something happened.
    Maybe it’s not a memory that brings back emotions to you, it could also be a song, smell, or food.
  2. Literally use your own feelings – the book that I am working on is a paranormal/fantasy book, so of course it is set in a different world and there are magical creatures in it as well. But, that doesn’t mean that my “Real Life feelings” can’t help me in my “other-world” writing.
    Do– When you feel happy, sad, depressed, lonely, or any other emotion write about it.
    Sit down and write it.
    Write it to get past it… and you will be amazed at how you will be able to use those distinct emotions and feelings in your writings.
  3. Place yourself in your character’s shoes – what is he/she dealing with?
    Relate to her/him – by thinking back to moments when you also dealt with similar things.
    Do– Read over an area where your character is dealing with an emotional issue. Then think back, to a similar time in your life. Is it realistic? (e.g. Is your character really as sad as they should be about their mother’s death?)

I hope that these tips help you when writing about trials and emotional times that your characters may be going through.

Do you struggle with writing about your character’s problems and emotions? If so what kind of things help you get in the mood of your characters? Music? No Music? Anything else?
 

Here Johan and I are in the sun-rays when we were watching the sun come up on Saturday morning. It was beautiful! :)

Pointers on Post-It-Note Plotting – Devin’s Writing Routine Exercise Day 1 – Turnout :)

“The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.” -Ernest Hemingway

Hello Everyone,

Today was the first day of my writing challenge. And I can imagine you all want to know how it went? I woke up at 5am. Yes, I actually did it. Spent a little while checking emails and updates and then I went straight to work. Outside my window the sky was a dark blue colour – definitely a twilight colour. I find something very magical and intriguing about the dark blue sky. I wrote 2,209 words all before 7:30am. When I saw how fast the words were appearing on the page, I realized that this baby wants to get written. :) Which I am so excited about.

Some pointers for Devin’s Writing Routine Exercise

  1. Stop writing when you know what will happen next – Ernest Hemmingway once said that he stops writing when he knows where he will start up the next day. I have been trying this the last few times I have been writing and it works rather well. You should try it, if you haven’t yet! :) I am excited for my next 5am morning start on Monday and who knows maybe I can get out more than 2,000 words then.
  2. Plot is Purdy Important – Plot has always confused me because some people argue whether their stories are character driven or plot driven. If I would have to choose which one, I think I would be a character drives the story sort of writer. But with this story I have been plotting out ahead of time what I am going to write. What about you? Do you write character driven or plot driven stories? In the picture you will be able to see that I am plotting with post it notes. It’s kind of a nice little break away from the computer/notebook. I write with the word processing program Scrivener and it is also a very, VERY, VERRRRY great program for plotting, character development, and writing your actual novel. I don’t really use Microsoft Word anymore. Many other famous writers use Scrivener now too. If you haven’t checked out Scrivener, do so! I promise it will make a difference in your writing time and organization. (There is a 30-day trial on the website.)

    I decided to use post-it-notes and my open bare wall for plotting. A nice way to get away from the computer and still work on your book plot. I know that some other people use index cards.


  3. Colour– use some colour, it will help your senses and creativity flow. Colour coding topics, characters and much more always helps me keep things straight. :)

    I believe that colour really helps you while being creative. So, when writing why not write in colour. Colour code certain topics, themes, or characters to find them easier! :)

    Colour Coding… :)

    Here is an example of the colour coding and the post-it-note plotting.

    I will be sure to post more hints and ideas next week when I post the next Devin’s Writing Routine Exercise Day 2 turn out on Monday. :)

    There was a part this morning where I was so engrossed in my story; I was writing about an owl and i was in a dark forest at night. Then all of a sudden there was a noise near my window on the clothes line. It was a black crow… he fell off the clothes-line or something. Weird bird, but he gave me a fright. A bit later a bush turkey strolled on by on the fence separating the houses. A bush turkey? I couldn’t believe it. I usually see cats walking on the fence, but a bush turkey? Since, I am telling you a little bit about my neighborhood birds I may as well also throw in that there was another crow on the roof of the house next door and it was carrying a piece of bread – like a full piece. These strange birds. Haha… but yes, that was random. It all started with me getting scared because of a noise and what I was writing.

    Have any of you ever scared yourselves, when writing? Has it ever made you jump?

Who? Me. What? Driving on the opposite side of the car and opposite side of the road…throw a stick shift into the picture and what do you get? Lol…. = it was a success… Haha… I am proud of myself!

I just got done writing a thousand words. I am so happy that I know what is going to happen next in my story. I once interviewed an author and they told me that they love to stop writing each night when they know what they will proceed with the next day. It’s a nice idea to try out next time when you write!! :)

I am going to start working on a surprise for all of you this week. It will be an awesome blogging experience momentum for all of ya! I am excited to offer it to ya all! :)

Today my boyfriend taught me to drive on the left side of the road, right side of the car, and with a stick shift. Let’s just say that, that is a lot to think about coming from driving on the right side of the road, on the left side of a car, and with an automatic. You no longer only have to deal with 2 pedals, but with three pedals and a five geared stick shift and the whole thing with the other side of the car and road thing. I was nervous at first but towards the actually driving without stalling it, it got exciting for me, but I think that Johan enjoyed it even more to give me a driving lesson! And let’s say I only stalled it twice…. And it was on flat ground. So I was proud of myself. It was funny because I drove his mum’s car and it’s a little golden car and one timesee said I could borrow it if I wanted to when in Brisbane and inside I was thinking… Um… No, because I don’t know how to drive a stick shift. But then I said to her one time, ” No, I can’t drive that, Thing. I can drive a bicycle instead!” and from that day and on the little golden nugget of a car has been called and known as the “Thing” by his whole family! Lol… Oh boy…

This week I will start doing a part time job working as an admin for a psychologist. I can’t wait to start! It will be exciting, besides the brain and psychology has always interested me!  That will be fun! :) Then tomorrow I will update you about searching for magazines to send writing into and sending proposals to businesses in the Brisbane area offering my writing and design services. I will also add a tab up above with my services and how you can hire me. My portfolio tab will be edited tomorrow as well! So there are many things to keep your eyes open for! Exciting!

Today was a great day with m boyfriend, Johan! I am so blessed to call him mine! :)

Love ya all,

Devin

A new post for you! :)

Hello all, I am currently on the sunny coast with Johan and his family! Today was a lovely day even if it rained pretty much all day!! I enjoyed every part of it with my boyfriend.

I was extremely sore today though! At the beginning of the day I was wondering why… But I think it’s because of all the walking I did yesterday! I walked to the grocery store and carried bags back! It felt really lovely to walk and be outside! I even got some interesting views and got to experience some interrrrrrresting… People. Like the kinds you would read about in my books… Lol. then later tonight I did some reading over my blog and I realized about how much I have grown and the different things that I have gone through in my life!

This July will be my blogs one and a half year anniversary! So to celebrate, I will be planning something exciting! I can’t tell you yet, but I will let you know soon!! Get ready! :)

So as you all know I have been writing a lot lately. But I need to gt into the sit down and write for an hour every day. It’s my job. I must also find places to submit it to so that I can start getting paid for my words! :)

1,059 words….

It feels so nice to finally have written a nice chunk of words again. It took a little bit of brainstorming and outlining to get this far. I am not really an outliner though. It’s crazy how some people are huge outliners and others just write, write, write and don’t need outlines. While growing up, my dad would edit for farming magazines and for other things. One of the other things would be my school papers. School being high-school and also college papers. He loved it. Sometimes it drove me and my siblings crazy because my dad loved editing and outlining so much that he would help us set up outlining mode in Word and  practically helped us rewrite the paper in outline. :P Now, I look up to him for that… because my outlines are nothing compared to how his were. But I am thankful that he took the time to sit down and explain it all to us. :) So, my outlines were not extremely amazing or anything… then more so end up being a list of points – like a road map… sorta of where I am going and where I will go next. So, then how do you write? Are you an outliner? or a freewriter? (I have heard some people call it pantsing… but I don’t like that saying much! lol!) 

I have pretty much one whole novel written. It’s the Created Ones, which is at about 70,000 words… the goal had been 80,000. I felt like I was pushing too many of my characters into the can and limiting their stories to the point where I felt like I was bored with them. That isn’t a good thing… by the way! lol…
Soon after thinking about one character at a time… I started seeing their past and their issues. I am totally excited about this Fantasy/Paranormal Fictional Novel. It has been trying my patience, and strength in writing as well. But maybe this first story will be easier to write… because I have basically written one novel already.

How have you all been?

I will be putting the WINNER of my Flash Fiction Zombie Contest up soon! Keep your eyes peeled, it’s a good one! :)

Devin Berglund

The Created Ones Character Gallery!

Since this is my 101th Blog Post, I decided to post the characters from my book “The Created Ones”!!! What do you think?
I will post more of the characters on sooner or later. :) Today has been a chill day… which is nice because I have needed one for awhile. I spent a lot of time looking for literary magazines and online magazines to submit my writing to. I found a few actually and am very excited to get to work on them. But first of all, I want to remind you all who are partaking in my writing “Flash-Fiction Contest” you have a few days left to finish it up… Friday the 13th will be the last day! :) I can’t wait to read what you all have written! :)

 

I am thinking about some fun things to do on here for the upcoming months… What do you think?
A.) Guest Blogger Contest (where you will enter and be able to be my guest blogger for a day!)

B.) A Writer’s Interview (I will interview another writer!)
C.) A Blog on Writing (Where you will ask me questions and I will write a nice blog entry on writing and answering your questions)
Please Vote! :) and if you choose one of the three be sure to tell me why and if you choose c. be sure to ask me a question about writing and I will be sure to answer away! :)

 

And here are a few of my characters: