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High Concept Ideas: Cool? or Not Worth It.

Hi Everyone!

Wow. It’s been a while. I sure hope you are all doing well! I’m knee-deep in NaNo Feva. So far it’s going really well. I just made it over 21K! AND with the help of my uber-awesome CP, Brenda Drake I finally know where this story is going. BONUS!

When plotting for said NaNo idea I started to think about High Concept ideas/premises since my current NaNo and my last year’s NaNo are those types of ideas.

So what is a high concept idea?

Wiki says:
High concept narratives are typically characterized by an over-arching “what if?” scenario that acts as a catalyst for the following events. Often, the most popular summer blockbuster movies are built on a high concept idea, such as “what if we could clone dinosaurs?” (Jurassic Park), and so on. 

Side note: I love INCEPTION. Still. Yes, I know it’s old news, but talk about high concept. Damn.

Personally, I’m drawn to writing these ideas. There’s something about taking that what-if scenario and putting your own spin to it. High concept premises make me think, they challenge my beliefs and what I perceive to be true. I have to admit I’m drawn to reading these types of books, too.

That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy non high-concept books. I LOVE a good contemporary. In fact, many of my favorite books are contemporary romance (Anna and the French Kiss, anyone?). A well-executed idea sells me every time — high concept or not. That, and hot boys. LOL 

Although, high concept ideas are big and exciting, done poorly they can be a nightmare. I’ve found (in my limited vision of what this is) that a CRAP-TON of research needs to be done in these books. In order to build a new idea/premise or spin-off one, you need to know what you’re talking about. You can make up everything you want, but it needs to be believable. There’s nothing worse than a high concept idea that fails to execute. What a waste.

Also, there is usually a lot of world-building and action and twists. Not the easiest thing to come up with, but really the only limitation is your imagination.

So, what can stimulate these ideas?

Watch Documentaries – science, history whatever works. You’d be amazed how much you can pick up. Both my NaNo’s have come from documentaries. Yeah, for real.

Google the Idea – I usually come up with others from that. For example, if you’re writing about something having to do with space. You google space, and you find out there’s a moon by Saturn that has characteristics of Earth, or did at some point… hmmm. What if? 

Ask Your Friends or Strangers – No, really. My husband knows a lot (too much most of the time, if you know what I mean… LOL) he watches and reads about some interesting stuff. ALSO, last night I was working at a women’s expo for work and got in a conversation with a cinematographer about stem cells. I learned a lot. Who knew?

Read Books About the Subject You’re Researching – There is always someone who has written some version of your high concept idea. It may not be the exact idea, but rest assured, the world is big and the odds that no one else has written it, is as slim as a hollywood actress.

What do you think of high concepts? Do you write them yourself? Do you like reading them?

Have a great week!!!!

<3 Er

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The Fun ‘o NaNo & An Anomaly

Hi Everyone!
Oh wow, it’s been forever! I’m so sorry. I sure did miss you all! I hope all my American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and I hope everyone else had a fabulous week ;o)

As you can see from the banner to my left over there, I have completed my second NaNoWriMo. It was pretty friggen awesome. In fact, I completed it 8 days early… I know. I couldn’t believe it either. Ha.

I have to give super awesome shout outs to my writing buddies on twitter that kept me sane and on task. They are all AWESOME. @ShelleyWaters, @CA_Marshall @brendadrake @jabrockmole @AMWernke @flamingo1325. I could NOT have reached my goal without them, and they made it so very much fun! Also to @lkgg, for her daily words of encouragement. If you’re on twitter, follow these awesome peeps!

So. I learned a lot this year, a lot more than last, I think… Wanna know what?

Okay. I’ll make a list. I know you like those ;o)

  1. Even with an outline, I will still end up pantsing about 80% of the story.
  2. If I’m not shoving my characters in a closet (as in my first NaNo) I’m having them kidnapped and injured
  3. I will always have a character that doesn’t like bugs
  4. Also, at least one character will talk to a spider at some point
  5. No matter how dreary the situation, my characters will find a way to make a joke
  6. I love writing the evil side of a character, sometimes more than the good side
  7. I suck at endings
  8. I try to put too many twists into a story, need to figure out a few and maximize them.
  9. I love NaNo and will always do it
  10. I’m lucky to have such wonderful friends and family who support my dream

So. There ya have it. Oh, you wanna a little taste of ANOMALY? Okay ;o)

Excerpt from CH 3

The ocean’s white tips curled around the blue water with ease. Like it had always been that way, like the world had always had sprawling waters. I felt stupid for worrying about him and what he may do to me in a dark alley.
He crouched down and took some of the small rocks in his hands. He tossed them around in his hand before throwing them into the sea.

“I come up here every time I come to town. It’s so peaceful. I almost forget what my future will hold.” His face looked contemplative, like he was searching for an answer to a question no one knew.

But he did know. So did I. We were stuck here.


Living amongst killers and thieves. But that’s what we would have become, right? The scans are supposed to determine who’s going to be bad, who’s going to kill someone someday. And apparently the two of us were destined for that, somehow.

Excerpt from CH. 26

“Are you kidding me?”

“I have a slinky dress in my bag, if you put it on and act lost, we might have a chance.” She paused, tapping her finger on her lip. I’d never noticed how plump they were naturally. “Act drunk too.”

I shook my head. “Nuh uh. I’m not doing this.”

She grabbed a black dress from her bag that looked like underwear and threw it at my face. “Here,” she said.

I grabbed it and held it up. There was nothing to it. “This isn’t a dress. It’s a bra with wings.” I lowered it to glare at her. “Why can’t you do it?”

So. All you NaNoers out there! How’d it go? Did you love it, hate it. What did you learn? And for the non-NaNoers, whatcha been up to?

I’ll try to get back to a more normal schedule for blogging. I know I’ve been supremely awful as of late. I hope you are all doing well!

Have a fantastic week ;o)

<3 Er

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NaNo Gonna Stop!

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are all doing great!

I know it has been a while since I posted, but I’ve been writing!! I know, crazy right? Last night I just passed 20K in my NaNo novel! At least one of my buddies on NaNo has already won! I hope all you NaNoWriMos are getting lots of fabulous words!

I’ve learned a few things already this year during NaNo! So, I thought I’d share ;o)

  1. Word Wars (#NaNoWordWars on twitter) are da bomb and I wouldn’t be nearly as far without them. Which leads me to….
  2. Twitter and Facebook. I have some fantastic friends and they are the best cheering team! In fact, all the NaNo participants/non-NaNo tweeps on twitter and facebook have been highly encouraging!
  3. I like the word, “was,” and the word “look,” and the characters’ eyes. *sigh* that’s what revisions for, eh?
  4. My outline is more of a suggestion than anything and when it comes down to it, I write what I feel at the moment. I’ve used a little of what’s in the outline, but this story has taken its own path ;o)
  5. iTunes rocks
  6. I like bad 80’s movies running in the background when I write. Every once in a while I can look up and laugh.
  7. SCRIVENER is the BEST thing for my writing EVER. I just downloaded 2.0 and I love it!
  8. I love the friendship and networking that NaNo brings! I just met Melanie from Hoosblog for the first time and we had a great time at the local Write-In and we’re meeting again next Saturday!

So. How are you all doing? If you’re not NaNoing, how’s the writing coming along?

Hope you have a wonderful week ;o)

Photo Credit

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From Revision to NaNo Feva… You got it?

Hi Everyone!
I hope you had a nice weekend. I’m recovering from a frustrating football downer.. sigh. Hope your teams fared better than mine!

So. I’ve been revising *ahem* rewriting my WIP (the one from last NaNo) almost there, only a few more chapters (sure, Ha). I’ve come to realize that I may not query this story anytime soon or ever, and that’s okay. Maybe I’ll come back to it when I’m a better writer so I can give it the attention and good writing it deserves ;o)

I’ve most certainly found my weaknesses in writing novels. If you’re curious, it’s movements (he walked, he looked, lifted his hand to…,) descriptions, scenery, world building. I do have some strengths too, dialogue, plot, pacing… so I think I need to read some more books with my weaknesses. I’ve been reading Cassandra Clare’s books (OMG I love her books) and that has helped a bit since she is really great at making me feel like I’m there. If you haven’t read any of her books, go now. Seriously. Her characters are totally swoonworthy.

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year (Yay!) since I had a great time doing it last year, and frankly, I need to write something new. I’m kinda goin’ wonky over here… LOL

Pss. I’m EriCanWrite over there, in case you wanna buddy up ;o)

I wanted to share my idea for NaNo this year. Keep in mind, this is very rough, as nothing has been written yet ;o)

YA, Sci-Fi.

It’s 2025 and the government has perfected the criminal brain scan system. If you’re brain passes the sociopath test (as it is commonly referred to) you are sent to The Haven, if you don’t, even before you kill or harm anyone you are sent to The Desolate.

Amara and Shane, lifelong friends were born after the system. They both get scanned and one goes to Desolate and the other Haven. Separated by false accusations and lies, Amara sets out to find Shane.

Amara knows there’s a chink in the system’s armor. They made a terrible mistake. And she’s going to find out how to fix it. Can they find each other before time runs out and the system takes out one of them forever?

Are you doing NaNo this year? What’cha workin’ on? Have a great rest of the week!

Rock on,

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50,004 words, roughly 225 pages!

Whew– what a long month that was. But as the cool orange, black and white pic indicates. I did indeed win. Actually I won a couple of days early, which was something I didn’t think would happen!

So– in honor of this momentous occasion. I would like to list the ten things I’ve learned about this most awesome of contests.

1. I can write faster than I thought.

2. I use the word, “had” a lot– need to nip that one in the bud (butt?) though.

3. I like action and dialogue the most. You will find nae a description in this draft.

4. One can survive on 4 hours of sleep and a 40 an hour week job.

5. I’ve learned how to pad words and dialogue to make it stretch out. (not necessarily a good thing, but came in handy this time.)

6. I am able to write every day, even if it’s with words I wouldn’t wipe my butt with.

7. The writing community has some of the nicest people in it. I got a lot of encouragement every step of the way :o)

8. Editing is a great thing and my story needs a lot of it!

9. Music helps me write better and Genius on itunes is well– genius.

10. I am a writer. I will try my darnedest to make this work!

I’ve probably learned a lot more, but that’s the just of it. So– how did you all fellow NaNoers fare? Did ya learn anything valuable? And for those that did not participate– how is your WIP going?

This blog has gained a few followers these past couple weeks. Just wanted to give a– what’s up to the newbies. Also a big thanks to the regulars, semi-regulars and the visitors for stickin’ with me. Glad you’re here.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

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