Author has written 21 stories for Supernatural, Family, Humor, General, School, Religion, Work, Friendship, and Romance.
Hey everybody! My name is Sara (Sara Bella to my Mom). I am a teacher and mother of three from Oklahoma. I love reading and writing both fiction and poetry. I have very eclectic taste in music and reading material and that tends to manifest in my writing. If there's anything else you want to know about me, you're pretty much going to have to ask, because I have absolutely no idea what is appropriate to put in a profile and what crosses the line into "what the hell?"
I have several stories going right now, but only one is developed enough for me to actually post it. If the others ever get to the point that I feel like they are actually going somewhere, I'll put those up, too. Other than that, I mainly post poetry, but like I said, I'm eclectic. ("Poor people are insane, Jack. I'm eccentric.")
I am a total sucker for compliments so all good reviews are welcome. (I also want to be a better writer so constructive criticism is welcome too, just be nice or you'll get my Irish up!) Drop me a line and let me know what you think and thanks for reading my work! Have a peachy day!
March 21, 2011
This is so depressing. Why doesn't anyone review anymore? The hit counter spins faster than a taxi cab meter, but no reviews. Suck that bad or just lazy? Come on, people! I need some actual feedback! I need to know what people are thinking when they read. That's one of the benefits of online archive. Otherwise, I might as well just save it all on my computer and keep it to myself! Okay, I'm done whining now.
I have two new(ish) stories, one is a one-shot vignette, the other the beginnings of a story I am quite fond of. I have more written than posted (which I always try to do) so if it seems like posting is slow, it's because I'm busily working out the kinks. I hate to put something up, only to have to pull it because I find some glaring error. I've already found a huge problem with my math, but luckily I think I can fix it relatively easily. Wish me luck.
Still not giving up on Consequences, but I am in dire need of some divine inspiration. Anyone got any extra, send it my way. I'm running on low.
October 5, 2010
I just got on here to poke around and thought I'd look through my profile page for anything that needs to be updated. I started reading my "Update" from April 15, 2009 and - low and behold!- I found some typographical errors in my rant about grammar and editing! I love irony!
Still plugging away, although I have to admit that the zest for a story tends to wane without the inspiration of reviews. I know, I know! It's not about the reviews and if I want reviews, I should post a new chapter for people to read! I get it! Really. I'm really struggling with a major transition in "Consequences". I know what needs to happen, I'm just stuck on how to get there. I just don't want it to be slapped together, you know?
Anyroad, I've got two other stories going right now and they're progressing much more fluidly, so for the time being I'm concentrating on those. I mentioned them before, but they still don't have titles. I really hate that part. Everything seems either too boring or too pretentious. I'm stuck with "Meet in bar story" and "Work in Progress" and "Becca and Ian". Ergh! I suppose I could think about posting some of what I have if I could figure out what the heck to call the stupid things.
April 15, 2009
Okay, not so much an update, but a way to keep from driving myself insane. I read a lot of fiction and fan fiction on this site and ffn and there are some piddly little things that really bug me, but if I put it in a review every time it happened I would do nothing but critique all day and never get to praise. So, being the clever and industrious creature that I am, I decided I would just put it here for anyone who really cares. Also, this way it doesn't feel like I am "picking on" anyone.
1. There is no apostrophe in a possessive pronoun. "It's" means "it is." "Its" means something belongs to "it." "Who's" means "who is." "Whose" means something belongs to an unknown person.
2. There is no "s" on the word "anyway." "Anyways, like I was saying." Nine times out of ten the word "anyway" is completely pointless and/or redundant (at least the way it's being used.) Just leave it out.
3. Text speak. Cut it out. If you can't bring yourself to write it out then do something besides writing. Find a new hobby.
4. If your character thinks something as opposed to "saying" something, it is helpful to the reader if you put the thoughts in italics. Why on earth did she do that, I wondered. Also, remember that there are a variety of ways to say "said." (Murmured, whispered, gasped, choked, sobbed, asked, demanded, accused, whimpered, wailed, beseeched, wondered, laughed, replied, answered, hedged, begged, etc.) They are NOT interchangeable. They each have a very specific denotation as well as connotation. Don't just throw a word in. Think about what feeling it evokes and make conscious choices about which creates the right mood for the conversation. Hint: Most word processing programs come with a built in thesaurus. If yours doesn't have one, invest in a thesaurus. Spend some time learning about and appreciating words. If you want to be a writer, you need to develop your vocabulary, but you also need to use it correctly.
5. Try to avoid using the same trite expressions over and over again. If you can't think of a semi-normal word for eyes, just say eyes. A face can be just a face. Don't try to rename colors. When you try to cram in a whole bunch of five-dollar-words, you tend to use them incorrectly and then the reader is confused- or annoyed. And please, for the love of all that is decent and holy, stop saying "quite" and "tis." That is part of the vernacular in very few cultures. If it is part of yours, more power to you. If you grew up in the United States and learned grammar and composition in America it's pretentious. (Besides, "tis" is just a lazy way of saying "it is," which would more correctly be contracted as "it's.") On the other hand, don't avoid contractions in dialogue, especially in contemporary fiction. People speaking to each other use a more informal register than you as the writer, strive for. People use contractions, slang, and colloquialisms that you would not write as a part of your narrative, but warrant a raised eyebrow when absent from dialogue.
6. Parenthetical author notes, see "Text speak." Don't break the flow of the story and distract the reader with your own personal commentary. Put it before or after the chapter or start a blog. You really shouldn't need many author notes at all. If it is important for the reader to understand, then find a way to explain it within the context of the story. (Have one character explain it to another, for example.) If it is not imperative, leave it out. You should never have "(A/N...)" in the middle of your story.
7. Do some research if you are going to write about a time/place/event/career with which you are not personally and intimately familiar. If you are a teenager and you want to write about a doctor, for example, you need to do A LOT of research on medical procedures and common practices. If your story takes place in a foreign setting, you need to spend some time looking at maps, learning about the customs, language, and laws. Don't ever ever ever make excuses for not knowing your subject. You should know and understand everything about your characters inside and out, backwards, forwards and up-side-down. You need to have a very clear vision for the ways in which they will act and react, because if you just write it without ever thinking about why, then the reader will be confused. (Why are they fighting over this? It doesn't make sense. It's completely out of character. That is a completely irrational way to behave for such a rational character, etc.)
8. Don't publish any chapter with the caveat that "this chapter sucks, but I wanted to hurry up and update." If you wrote it and you think it sucks, then why on earth would we want to read it? I'll wait for the well written chapter any day.
9. Summaries are advertisements for your story. Don't waste your time or ours with summaries that say the story sucks or that you don't know what you're doing. Give a brief intro of your story, nothing too dependent on plot or it will be confusing. Make me WANT to read the story. If all you put is garbled up nonsense or "This is my first story so it probably sucks," or "I suck at summaries," or (God forbid) have a summary rife with typos and a complete disregard for the English language, then I really don't bother to read your story.
10. DO NOT BEG FOR REVIEWS OR HOLD THE STORY HOSTAGE BY SAYING YOU WON'T UPDATE UNTIL YOU GET A CERTAIN NUMBER OF REVIEWS!! It is childish. (My husband thinks that I am being harsh here, but I refuse to relent on this issue.) If that is the only reason you write then you need to find a better way to get your jollies. You write the story because it is inside your head trying to claw its way out. You write the story because you can't not write it. You write it because it NEEDS to be written and you can't rest until it's done. You do NOT write the story because it makes you feel self-important to lord a cliff hanger over the heads of others or because it strokes your ego to get review notices every five minutes. Get over yourself.
11. Have fun. If writing isn't fun for you, then why do it? If you struggle with the "piddly" stuff (as I have dubbed it) then find someone who can read and make corrections for you. If you don't know anyone personally that you trust or who is capable, then ask someone on the site, whose writing is a style that you enjoy and that you would like to emulate, to beta for you. Listen to the advice of your reviewers.
I'm not referring to the idiots whose idea of a review is "That sucks raw eggs! I hate you and your story and I wish I was in the same room as you so that I could unplug my computer monitor and throw it at you." Those people are morons who should not be allowed to procreate, let alone mentor budding writers.
I'm also not talking about the "Great chapter, update soon!" people. While those do make you feel good, they do not improve your writing.
No, I'm talking about those reviews that are sometimes hard to take because you know they're right. The ones that take the time to tell you what you could actually go back and fix if you really want to improve the story. I am absolutely crushed when I get one of those, much more so than if I get a rude "flame," but I am also perversely excited. When I get a really well thought out review that finds an actual error, I know that I could have done better and I am compelled to go back and fix it, even if it's just in my own copy.
Nobody is perfect and avoiding all typos or errors is impossible, but always strive for perfection. You know what they say: If you shoot for the stars, you may miss, but at least you'll land among the clouds. It's cheesy, I know, but it's true.
Okay, I guess that's it for my soap box today. Sorry if it sounded like a bit of a rant, but, like I said, these things just bug me.
I do occasionally get asked to look over the work of others or to give advice. My best advice is to read. A LOT. It is impossible to over-estimate the value of reading a variety of literature. If you want to be exposed to some really amazing language usage, try Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Bram Stoker, Ray Bradbury, Mary Stuart, or anything from the "Classics" section of the library. Also, being a great writer means you need to learn to edit. You need to be willing to re-write and change and think on it, and re-write again. Don't just write it and slap it up and hope people love it. Spend some time tweaking the story. It's okay to make mistakes, but the more time you spend with the story, the more of them you can identify and correct before you post.
Best wishes to everyone and I promise, if I review your work, I will do my best to be helpful. I hope you enjoy my work, but if you do have some constructive criticism, please don't be afraid to share it. I'm a "budding" writer just like everyone else and I still get that little charge out of review notices, even when the review isn't all warm and fuzzy. I also try to respond to my reviews and answer any questions (except about future plot points) or address any concerns. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a few minutes to sample some of my work.
Happy writing (and reading)!
April 2, 2009
For anyone who's been following, I haven't updated "Consequences" in a while. I'm not ignoring it, promise. Right now, it's kind of ignoring me. To keep myself busy I've been working on a couple of other stories, none of which have a title yet because I absolutely hate, abhor, despise, and abominate titling a story.The first is a Lord of the Rings fan fiction that I was inspired to write and that I may eventually post on ffn. The second is a contemporary romance that is set (at least initially) in New York. The heroine has a very unusual encounter in a bar that leads to a series of slightly comical events which throws her repeatedly into the company of a sexy famous actor. The third is a period romance. It is very vaguely set in the 1800's (that could still change) and plays out the romance between a prince of a fictitious country and a young woman he rescues from a near-disastrous incident in a tavern. Sigh, what can I say? I just adore a gentleman. I haven't posted the opening chapters (although I'm very fond of them) because I don't really have enough of the stories mapped out for my satisfaction. I'll let you all know if they progress to the point where I am happy enough to let them go up.
Meanwhile, I could sure use some positive thinking so if you have any to spare, send it my way. Ian and Becca aren't talking to me and I really need to get back in their good graces if the story is going to get anywhere. You'd think they'd be a little bit grateful that I've written them such a nice ending, but nope. I think they're sulking.