I just finished Sherrilyn Kenyon’s first Chronicles of Nick novel, Infinity.  This story is set in New Orleans, which is in the South, and as such is ripe for stereotypes.  Everything from clothes to accent are on the target.  Now, I get some of it–the accent in particular.  I’m “country.”  When I talk, I have an accent–to my own ears, I don’t–but when I hear myself on a recording or anything like that, it’s there.  No denying.  And I’ve heard many accents that are more pronounced than mine.  There’s also a difference between my regular accent, and what comes out of my mouth when I’m angry.  Big difference.  There’s also the automatic assumption that “Southern” equates “redneck” equates dumb-as-dirt.  Thankfully, Infinity left out that part.  The characters she described as “redneck” were near-genius level, even if they didn’t talk that way.  Some people think that the term “redneck” is synonymous with “idiot.”  Am I Southern?  Yes, I’m a girl from Mississippi.  Can I shoot a gun?  Yes, I even own one, and target practice is about as fun as it gets.  How “smart” am I?  Well, I’ve got two college degrees, so what do you think?

So, my question to you is this: How do you combat stereotypes, like the one I talked about, in your writing?  Any and all of them?  The majority of Southerners are played dumb hicks.  London (Brenda Song) from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody is anti-stereotype (one of the few I’ve seen played that way), as was the character Maddie (Ashley Tisdale).  Chloe Sullivan from Smallville was in the same group as Maddie, a smart blonde girl.

Personally, I try to keep everything even in my writing.  Sure, there are some super-smart characters, just like there are some that aren’t.  The color and ethnicity of the character doesn’t really mater to me, as long as that person fills that role, and I’ve been known to switch out characters so that just for that purpose.  I try to keep everything as diverse as I can, so that I’m not highlighting something or someone as worse or better than anything else.

What do you do?


New Story Idea!

Hey all!

So, as you can probably see from the title, I’ve got a new story idea.  I’m calling it Valor at the moment, but I’m sure that’ll change once I get more into the story.  Right now I just have a few bits and pieces, places mostly, that I really like and want to piece together.

Where did I get this idea from, you ask.  Well, I got them from other people’s ideas, if I’m being honest.  I finally sat down and watched Deepwater Horizon a few days ago.  This movie stars Mark Wahlberg and Dylan O’Brien, along with a lot of other big name celebrities.  Or people I think are big name celebrities.  This story in particular is a true event, following the crew onboard the offshore oilrig, of the same name, that blew up in the Gulf in April of 2010.  I remember this happening, the news stories, the interviews, the trials.  In the beginning of the movie, the characters are at a heliport, getting ready to fly out to the rig, located 40-some miles off the coast of Louisiana.  This heliport is impressive.  It’s not huge.  It’s not stories-high.  But it can probably hold two dozen helicopters at any given time.

That’s one of the things I see when I think of Valor.

I don’t know who’s going to be in the story yet.  Names, dates, and stories are all nonexistent at this point, but I know Valor Heliport.

Which is why I would really like to be able to see it.  Like, drawn out so I can pick it up, study it, all that stuff.  My drawing skills aren’t that good, so I have set to cutting up old notecards.  I have no glue at the moment, so it just looks like I went scissor-happy on my desk.  I really need to get some glue during lunch.

Anyway.  There are a few other places that I’d like to talk about when it comes to Valor, but I think I’ll save them for next time.

How are your projects going?

See y’all!

I Suck at Making Priorities

Am I the only one like this?  I don’t think I am.

I have actually managed to write some, though.  I’ve added around 3,000 words in the past month, but 3,000 words a month isn’t that great considering I did that in two days when I wrote my first draft.

I just…There’s so much stuff!  There are TV shows that I have to watch online because I lost the CW channel (thanks a lot Dish Network).  We’ve already talked about my procrastination issues, so you understand that I wait until the day before the episodes I need to watch to keep up are going to be taken down and then I have to binge those episodes.  Took me a week to catch up, and of course I’m falling behind again.

Then, I’ve been reading a lot.  I’ve gone through 3 books in about 4 days.  Reading for 7 hours instead of writing for 7 hours.  I guess I can say that it’s research–I’m reading other books in my genre (kind of) and it’s helping me with my own writing.  I’m going to keep telling myself that.

At the moment, though, I’m on a bit of a writing kick.  And I told myself that I can’t read any of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater until I finish a chapter of  writing.  Preferably two.

I hope you guys are doing well with your own reading and writing goals!  If you are, then yay for you.  If not, you’ll get there eventually.

My “eventually” is creeping closer, so I’d better get to it.  See y’all!