Welcome to Cogito Ergo Scribit

Cogito Ergo Scribit is where I write about writing. I'm a writer with more than a decade of experience, and I'd like to lend my experience to others while I continue to learn myself.

Everything here is copyright Carrie L. Eckles unless otherwise stated.

I enjoy reading comments and welcome the insights and questions of others. Like my blog? Let me know! Think I could do something a little better? Tell me how. I welcome everyone's thoughts.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Excuses...and a Game

Okay, so I haven't blogged in awhile. But I have an excuse! And it's a good one: I've been writing. Yes, I've been actually writing on my novel and I've had so much fun that I haven't been able to put it down.

Per a friend's suggestion, I'm rewriting my novel entirely in first person. It's a big overhaul, because it changes the whole vibe, plus I've found all sorts of other things I want to add now. XD

So, instead of asking a question today, I decided it'd be fun to play a little game. It's called Choose. I think we've all played it at some point in our lives. Essentially, you're faced with two scenarios; both are either equally pleasing or equally displeasing and you have to choose which one you'd rather have/do/see, etc.

And now for the game.

Choose: Writing on your blog/website or writing on your novel/story project?

For many writers, that's a difficult choice. But it's not for me. As much as I love blogging, my writing always has to come first, which explains my absence from the blogosphere for awhile.

And now you're wondering: what does that mean for my readers? Essentially, not much. The quality will always be here. Think of this blog of a database of the own meanderings of my mind. I'm not going to update obsessively -- I could care less about ad revenue, even though it's nice. Instead, I want to focus on content and quality. Period.

I'm never going to abandon this blog -- that's for certain. Even if I go without blogging for a month, it'll still be here. I'll randomly update with something to say.

Because it's all about dedication, isn't it? I'm dedicated to writing; most particularly, my writing, since it's my career and passion. Blogging has to come after that, but this blog is part of my writing journey, so here it stays.

This is just in case anyone was wondering where I went.

Writing Tip of the Day

*Listen to music to help set the tone of your mind while writing. (Do it and you'll see what I mean.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

The X Chromosome Factor: How to Write a Strong Woman

In the above picture, you see the Greek goddess Athena. What does she say to you? What type of feminine air does she invoke in you? Is she timid, fussy, or frightened?

Take a closer look, and you'll see the answers to the questions I'm asking. She may be wearing an elegant gown of gold; however, she's anything but fussy: she's fierce. She holds a spear and a shield. She wears the headdress of a warrior, because that's exactly what she is: she's the goddess of warfare.

But, just like every other woman, she's more than that. And that's the most important thing to understand when writing a strong female character. People tend to make their strong woman stereotypically harsh and cold, lacking all feelings and emotions. And usually, quite frankly, she's a whore. Because that's the biggest stereotype of all, isn't it? The stereotype that women gain power through sex.

Athena didn't. Throughout mythology, she remained a virgin. The Dark Ages are gone, fellow writers! Women in this day and age don't have to rely on sex to gain the benefits of society and power, just as the goddess Athena didn't.

And like Athena, other strong women have countless layers. Athena wasn't only the goddess of war. She was also the goddess of peace, which many would say is the flip-side of war. She was the goddess of wisdom, reason, handicrafts, and strategy; just as well, she was the patroness of heroes.

Athena represented the practical aspects that make women strong. While Hera, Artemis, and Demeter represented the other feminine attributes, Athena represented those which rivaled men. And still, she was revered.

Why is that? Why, in what we call the ancient times, did people -- even men -- worship a goddess who was strong, virtuous, and dynamic? I think we all know the answer to that: it's because she seemed so human.

And that's what you want to convey, above all else, when writing a strong female character: you want to convey her humanity. You want to show all of her layers. A woman might be war, but that same woman might also be peace. And it's not because she contradicts herself; rather, it's because she's real.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Question of the Day

So, I thought that it might be fun, periodically, to ask questions of the readers of this blog. Normally, these will be deeper, thought-provoking questions, but today I want to ask you: who wants to guest blog for me?

Yes, I'm looking for guest bloggers. And if you're so inclined, I will return the favor for you. It's a great way to network and a fun way to make new friends. Anybody who's interested can drop me a comment or an email and I'll get back to you.