March 18, 2016

Writing Tip Tuesday #36: Saggy in the Middle

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And I’m not talking about a physical paunch. The kind that’s hard to get rid of at the gym.

I’m talking a paunch in the literary sense.

If writers considered beginnings and endings to be like torture, then they would probably compare it to being punched in the face. Painful, but bearable. Maybe.

The middle, on the other hand, would be something akin to waterboarding.

You’re drowning, with no rescue in sight.

Scene middles are a challenge for writers and C.S. Lakin’s post provides some insight into What You Might Not Know About Scene Middles:

Scene middles need to be purposeful – You don’t want your middles to show characters aimlessly wandering, doing unimportant things, having mundane conversations. The middle section is not filler. It isn’t the place to stuff in comings and goings and boring activity just to take up space until you get to the key moment.

Middles should be packed with conflict – In each scene, at the key moment near the end, your character is going to learn something, understand something, find something, witness something. Infusing a scene with inner/outer conflict and heightening the tension by keeping the stakes in the forefront are the two best ways to have strong middles.

Middles reinforce what’s at stake – Just showing a character going from one place to another, with some objective, is not going to create a strong, compelling middle section of a scene if it doesn’t have an element of present stakes. This doesn’t mean every scene in a novel has to be action-packed or full of danger. But to some degree, there should be something at risk, something at stake, whether it’s a friendship, self-esteem, or a feeling of accomplishment.

Middles should muddle, not put readers to sleep –  Middles are where you can complicate or exacerbate a situation. You can bring in more problems, a setback, a reversal, a twist. By building expectations in one direction throughout a scene, then having them wrong, you create a building tension in that middle that helps the high moment pack a punch.

So, do you have strong or saggy middles? This inquiring mind wants to know.

Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

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March 14, 2016

Wet Panty Society – A Little Trivia About: Kellan Lutz

~ Favorite place is South Africa.

~ Grew up in Arizona. [I’m curious what school he went to now]
~ Has six brothers and one sister. [Wow. Talk about The Brady Bunch. LOL]
What I love about this dude is that there’s an ABUNDANCE of shirtless pics.
Like this one.
I love this look on a guy.
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March 8, 2016

Writing Tip Tuesday #35: In the Beginning…

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When I was writing my YA trilogy, I had The Best opening line in Book One:

I’m meeting two undercover FBI agents in Central Park today.

Yeah. How’s that for intriguing? I have a great opening line for Book One in my Nemesis Group series, too.

Which I will not put here.

You’ll just have to wait for it, people!!

The beginning isn’t just about the opening line, though. The beginning refers to, well, the beginning of your story. It’s where you’re introducing your characters, setting up your world and the story. Back in the day, when I was thinking about going the traditional publishing route with my YA trilogy, I was querying agents with Book One. The rejection letters were aplenty, let me tell you, but ironically, some of the feedback I was getting was consistent: the action isn’t happening quick enough.

Note to self: action sooner.

Beginnings are difficult to do because you have to hook your reader from the get-go, and Janice Hardy’s post provides tips on 5 Common Problems with Beginnings to keep in mind if your beginnings give you fits:

1. It’s Starting in the Wrong Place

This is probably the most common problem with beginnings, because we’re not always sure how the story unfolds until we write it. What seems like the right start turns out to be general throat clearing and warm up, and our actual beginnings are either several chapters in, or we needed more ramp up to get there.

TAKEAWAY:

Look for scenes where the protagonist is going through a lot of normal daily routines without a goal, conflict, or problem.

Look for a lot of action and characters in dire straits without a clear reason, sense of who they are, or context for what’s going on.

2. It Has Too Much (or Not Enough) Setup

The right amount of setup piques reader curiosity, grounds readers in the scene, and gives them just enough information to understand what’s going on without giving the secrets away.

TAKEAWAY:

~ Look for scenes full of info dumps, backstory, and too much setting the scene to “get readers ready” for the story to start.

~ Look for confusing scenes that lack enough information and ramp up for readers to understand what’s happening and why it matters.

3. It Doesn’t Have Enough Story Questions

A story question makes readers want to know more—a intriguing problem, a fascinating character, a bizarre situation, or maybe a literal question.

TAKEAWAY:
Look for scenes that explain everything and hold no secrets back.

4. It Has an Unclear or Reactive Protagonist

Confusing or slow-to-start beginnings are often the result of an unclear or reactive protagonist. Readers don’t have a guide in the story, so they’re reading a lot of scenes without context or a point.

TAKEAWAY:
~ Look for multiple points of view with characters all doing things, but no one person or problem is standing out as the main character or conflict of the novel.

~ Look for a protagonist who is swept up in events and never makes a decision on what to do. Often, they have no personal stake in the plot, they just happened to be the one who ended up involved. Since no one is actively doing anything, no hero emerges.

5. Its Structure is Out of Whack

Sometimes our beginnings are generally working, but they feel either too slow or too fast for the novel’s overall structure. This is a little different than starting in the wrong place, because the right pieces are there, they’re just out of alignment and throwing off the novel’s pacing.

TAKEAWAY:
~ Look for traditional beginning events (inciting event, act one problem, first plot point etc.) that end past the 30% mark of the novel (from a page count perspective). That’s a good indication that there’s too much unrelated information in the front of the novel.

~ Look for traditional beginning events (inciting event, act one problem, first plot point etc.) that end before the 20% mark of the novel (from a page count perspective). Odds are there’s not enough good setup and the story is starting too fast.

So, do you have a hard time with beginnings or do you have that mastered? This inquiring mind wants to know.

Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

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March 7, 2016

Wet Panty Society – March: Kellan Lutz

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Hello March. Hello warmer weather. Happy St. Patty’s Day (for all you drinkers out there). And Happy Birthday, Daddy (on the 27th). I nearly missed putting this out today and I know how some of you depend on morning eye candy.

My bad.

Welcome to the Wet Panty Society…KELLAN LUTZ

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Name: Kellan Christopher Lutz

DOB: 15 March 1985, Dickinson, ND

Height: 6’1

Where You May Have Seen Him: GENERATION KILL (2008), as vampire Emmet Cullen in TWILIGHT (2008), THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON (2009), THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE (2010), THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1(2011), and THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2, 90210 (2008-2009), portrayed Greek God Poseidon in IMMORTALS (2011) alongside hottie WPS inductee Henry Cavill, portrayed demi-god Hercules in HERCULES (2014), a mercenary alongside Sly Stallone in THE EXPENDABLES 3 (2014), was on Lisa Kudrow’s HBO show THE COMEBACK (2005-2014).

Where You’ll See Him Next: SFv1 (2016), ADI SHANKAR’S GODS AND SECRETS (2016), NEST (2016) and MONEY (2016)

Kellan crossed my radar in the first TWILIGHT movie, to be honest. Other than Taylor Lautner, he was the only other eye candy in that series worth watching. I liked when he came on screen because I lurved his devilish, smirky smile. He has a way of smiling from underneath his eyebrows. You know what I mean? He’ll dip his head a little bit, kind of do the side eye and then as Flynn Ryder from TANGLED  would say “Here comes The Smolder.” LOL. Despite his other TV/movie credits, I hadn’t seen him in/on anything else. A straight-to-video movie of his, JAVA HEAT (2013) was on one of the cable channels late at night a while back and I ended up watching the last half hour of it.

So, here’s to seeing Kellan (I love his name) on the regular. Welcome to the Society, dude!

Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

 

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March 1, 2016

Writing Tip Tuesday #34 – Fiction Series Mistakes

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I have several ideas for fiction series.

A series about six male strippers who work undercover for an organization that runs missions to save children from sex traffickers.

A series about employees who work for a women’s-only club.

A series about employees who work at a Greek-themed day spa.

A series about employees who work at a Greek-themed restaurant.

A series about six siblings sired by the same sperm who search for each other and find love.

To name a few.

Needless to say, when I saw Rachel  Scheller’s article about 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Fiction Series, listed in a newsletter, I definitely clicked on the link. Rachel states that the main concern is consistency and provides 5 red flags of inconsistency to look out for, courtesy of Karen S. Wiesner:

1. Oversights

Oversights are a catchall category for anything in a plotline, character, or setting that concerns illogical, unexplainable, or unrealistic courses of action and plot holes, including coincidence contrivance (writer needs it to work and so creates the groundwork on the spot to patch up a means to force it to work) and convenience justifications (it was the only way to make A fit with B, so I had to do it, didn’t I?). If your character does something that makes no sense in the course of the action or in terms of their internal conflicts and motivations, or if you include a plot point merely for convenience sake, you’ve got yourself a nasty oversight. If you want something to be believable, you need to set it up logically and you need to set it up early enough so it will be readily accepted by the reader. That absolutely requires advance planning.

2. Changed Premise

This category includes information given in one episode that directly contradicts information in another. If your book series has a Changed Premise from one book to the next, readers will lose respect. If anything concerning character, plot, or setting conflicts with something that was previously established, it would fit under the Changed Premise heading. If you alter the structure or foundational facts that were previously set up in the series, even if you do it for a very good reason, you’ve changed the premise for the story, and readers will notice. If you can’t find a way to make something believable within the entire scope of the series, you’ll lose readers, perhaps for the remainder of the series.

3. Technical Problems

While problems with equipment and technical oddities were often an issue in science fiction shows like Star Trek and The X-Files, (and may be in your series, too, if you include a lot of technology that must be realistic), this kind of inconsistency can also deal with inadvertently or indiscriminately jumping into alternate viewpoints or changing descriptions of characters or settings because what was previously mentioned has been forgotten. These are probably minor and simply annoying issues at most, and you probably won’t lose any readers with such blunders, but dotting all your Is and crossing all your Ts will make fans appreciate you that much more.

4. Continuity and Production Issues

If you’re doing anything “halfway” with your series simply because it would be a hassle to find a better, more creative way of handling it, you’re making your own production problems. Readers will feel your impatience and probably wonder why you skimped. If you give a character two birthdays or have him get younger instead of older as a series progresses, these are less crucial issues but nevertheless problems. I call issues like these minor because, unless you have fans who are ravenous and must know and understand every facet of your series, many won’t sit down and figure out timelines or even see a problem.

5. Unanswered Questions

If the author is never going to answer a nagging question, why invest anything, especially time and passion, in the series? Leaving a series arc dangling isn’t something an author can do in a book series unless she sets up the series from the first as an open-ended one that probably won’t have definitive closure. While each book in the series must have satisfactory individual story arc resolutions, all series-arc questions must be answered in the final book of the series or readers will be furious. To write a series is to promise the closure and/or resolution of unanswered series arc questions. Think of it this way: With the first book in your series, you’ve presented a question and asked your readers to be patient as you string out the development of this theme through several books. You’ve promised that an answer will be delivered in the last book. If you don’t deliver it, you’ve stolen time, money, and even reader emotions, all with a careless shrug of purposeful neglect.

So, what are you doing to keep your fiction series consistent? This inquiring mind wants to know.

Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

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February 29, 2016

Wet Panty Society – A Little Trivia About Derek Hough

~ His first professional role was that of Ren McCormick in the musical adaptation of FOOTLOOSE (1984). His sister, Julianne Hough, starred in the remake of said film, FOOTLOOSE (2011), as Ariel Moore.

~ He has English, Dutch, French-Canadian, German, Swiss-German, Scots-Irish, Scottish, Danish, Swedish, and French ancestry. Yow!

And a final quote, which I love:

“You don’t have to be good at something in order to get started. You just have to get started in order to be good at it.”

And now it’s time…to say goodbye…to the hottest ballroom dancer in the universe (my personal opinion, although it could really be true).

Get your final drool on, ladies (and gents, if you swing that way. There’s no diss-crimination ovah herre).

Hope you enjoyed the month of February and the eye candy that was Derek Hough. He inspired me enough to throw him in short story. Looking forward to writing that one.

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February 22, 2016

Wet Panty Society – A Little Trivia About Derek Hough

Did you know that Derek has two uncredited movie roles? He does. As “Hogwarts Schoolboy” in HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE (2001) and as a dancer in ROCK OF AGES (2012). Fucking loved that movie. And his sister, Julianne Hough, was one of the main characters! Way to go sis for hookin’ up your bro with a role.

I’ve seen both movies and now I want to go back and watch both just to see if I can spot him.

Love this shot of his back. Unh!

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February 16, 2016

Writing Tip Tuesday #33 – To Kill a Darling

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And I’m not talking about your significant other here, people.

We’re talkin’ words.

Here’s the thing…if you write long and need to cut a significant amount, Kim Bullock’s post Desperately Seeking Darlings, suggests you write a scene by scene synopsis, and ask the following questions for each scene:

~ Which characters are involved? Which POV is it in?

~ What does the POV character want at the beginning?

~ Does he/she get it?

~ What are the consequences either way?

~ What are the POV character’s emotions at the beginning of the scene? (Name all of them, not just the most obvious.)

~ What is the scene’s turning point?

~ What are the POV character’s emotions at the end?

~ What does the POV character want at the end?

So, have you killed any darlings lately? If so, what’s your process? This inquiring mind wants to know.

Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

 

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February 15, 2016

Wet Panty Society – A Little Trivia About Derek Hough

In case you’re one of those people who’s never watched the show, DANCING WITH THE STARS (raises hand), here’s something that maybe you didn’t know. Derek is a world champion of Latin and ballroom dancing and it shows because he’s been a 6-time Mirror Ball winner:

He and partner Bindi Irwin, Season 21.

He and partner Amber Riley(GLEE), Season 17.

He and partner Kellie Pickler , Season 16.

He and partner Jennifer Grey (DIRTY DANCING), Season 11.

He and partner Nicole Scherzinger (PUSSYCAT DOLLS), Season 10.

He and partner Brooke Burke-Charvet, Season 7.

This dude can teach me to Tango any day. of. The. Week.

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February 9, 2016

Writing Tip Tuesday #32 – First Act Scenes

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Honestly? I’m still trying to get the hang of the story structure thing. As a pantser, I just tend to write what comes to mind and hope it sticks. LOL. The idea of trying to figure out what should go where and when still feels a bit too, well, structured. But I know it’s important to have a guideline.

A tiny guideline.

A wee, itty-bitty…oh shit, you get the gist.

K.M. Weiland offers a great post on How to Take the Guesswork Out of What Scenes Belong In Your First Act. The primary job of the First Act is to introduce:

~ All characters who will be important catalysts within the conflict.

~ As many prominent settings as possible.

~ The protagonist’s personal dilemma and goal.

~ The main conflict and the antagonistic force driving it.

~ A demonstration of what is at stake if the protagonist fails within the conflict.

K.M. says that introducing these things early on is important for three reasons:

1. It prevents the appearance of people, items, places, and events in the Second and Third Acts from seeming random or coincidental.

2. It creates context for the readers’ questions about the conflict, which will prevent unnecessary confusion.

3. It plants the foreshadowing for important revelations later on.

Before adding an important scene/element into your First Act, K.M. suggests you ask yourself two questions: Is this element going to reappear in the second half of the book? If not, is it going to at least be referenced and/or explained in the second half?

So, how’s your First Act? Are you following the guideline or winging it? This inquiring mind wants to know.

Peace, lurve, and wet panties,

Evolet

 

 

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  • The Wet Panty Society

    The Wet Panty Society

    April - Kit Harington

  • Fuck Bucket List

    In no particular order:

    Jason Statham
    Chris O'Donnell
    Eric Balfour
    Christian Kane
    Chris Evans
    Charlie Hunnam - pre SOA
    Channing Tatum
    Zac Efron
    Henry Cavill
    Jason Momoa
    Jay Ryan
    Jesse Metcalf
    Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
    Kit Harrington
    Robbie Amell
    Stephen Amell
    Ryan Reynolds
    Taylor Lautner
    Taylor Kitsch

  • Former Damp Panties