Friday, November 30, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
I don't care if it's the biggest Internet sales day of the year, you still have five days left to hit your goal (including today) so hit it. NOW.
1) Where are you in your story? First, second, third act?
2) Jump ahead in your story if there's another part you're more excited to write. Try it.
3) What cancelled TV show would you put back on the air? Besides Firefly.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Friday, November 23, 2012
Editing your NaNo WiP is no easy chore. So do the American thing and put it off until you have to do it!
Right now you are merely planting and growing the sapling that will later become an overgrown elm, spewing sludge onto your front lawn and busting the foundation of your home with its unruly roots.
The important thing to realize is this: you can't prune a tree that isn't there. Neither can you burn it to the ground. You have to create something before you can fix/destroy it as necessary.
So DO NOT EDIT. This is NaNo-WRI-Mo.
1) How many words have you not edited today? This month?
2) Can you name the character in the above photo?
3) How big a sword will you need to edit your WiP?
Thursday, November 22, 2012
1) Take a moment to be thankful for your blessings. If you so desire to count them here in the comments, you are more than welcome to do so.
2) Did you write at all today? It could technically be a day off, given that most of us will have to cook, but if you can write anything, you're the hero.
3) What is your MC most thankful for?
I personally am grateful to the Inkers for being my friends all these years, for the encouraging words and the confidence you engender. You're all wonderful people and I'm blessed to have you as friends. Keep on keeping on.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
(That's the lyric, right?)
2) Yesterday you gave your character a weapon that wouldn't normally have. What happens when you put one of your characters in a vehicle that is removed from their time? (See display above.)
3) Look back on your career as a writer. What has been your greatest moment? (Best thing written, maybe you won an award, your favorite writing piece, etc.)
Monday, November 19, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
3) What have you learned about NaNo thus far? What have you learned about yourself as a writer?
You guys can do this. It's a day-to-day thing, and if some days aren't that great, you can make it up later. But there are less than two weeks to go, so manage your efforts wisely.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
1) Do you feel like you've got downhill momentum yet?
2) What's your word count looking like?
3) What has distracted you this week?
Take an awesome picture of yourself. Send it to the group. I'll post it to the blog. Like this:
Friday, November 16, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
1) Daily and month word count. (Double this number. Is it your goal?)
2) Are you injecting any of your own personal life anecdotes into your WiP? Tell us more.
3) Have you learned any cool tricks for writing when you feel blocked?
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
2) Have you gotten any new book ideas along the way?
3) Would you write your book from the POV of one of your side characters? Why or why not?
First word that comes to mind when you see this:
Monday, November 12, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Keep it up. You got this.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
2) Daily word count, montly total
3) If you're short of your goal average, what sort of drastic measures will you take to make up ground over the next twenty days?
Friday, November 9, 2012
1) Did you reach your goal today?
2) Give a big hug to your fam & friends for supporting you throughout this endeavor.
3) I recommend checking out the NaNoWriMo Twitter feed for more motivation.
4) Is there a book to which you would compare your current WiP?
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Why, you ask?
Well, because I'm crazy.
I'm also a huge fan of MST3K. All of the names I've used are from this episode:
Anyway, to the important stuff: Sharing Time!
1) How much did you write today?
2) Are you satisfied with where you're at thus far?
3) If not, how will you remedy that over the next 22 days?
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
1) Report your daily count and total count.
2) What's the biggest/most obvious/best thing you've learned in the first week?
3) If you could eliminate one distraction, what would it be?
If you need to find a place without distractions, don't rule out the option of sitting in your car with the laptop, guys. It's totally valid. I studied in a closet for a while when I had trouble focusing.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
1) Never delete anything that you've already written! Just go back and
2) Create a new document called "NaNo 2012 Dump." After you're done writing for the day, copy and paste what you've written into the Dump document. I do this because my outline and my draft are two different documents, but I often write a more detailed outline of the chapter before I write the actual chapter, and I want my effort to count. This helps me track it more accurately.
I suspect that you Wrimos might have higher word counts than you've been reporting (not that you haven't been doing a stellar job thus far!)
Now for the standard stuff.
1) Word count today?
2) Word count total?
3) Would you like to live in the place where your book is set?
That's all, folks! Back to work!
Monday, November 5, 2012
1) How much did you write today?
2) Word count so far?
3) How can we encourage you to do better?
And some inspiring words: "The Internet is a big distraction. It's distracting, it's meaningless, it's not real. It's in the air somewhere." --Ray Bradbury
Less Internet, more write!
Sunday, November 4, 2012
1) What are you writing on your "day off?"
2) What's your total word count for NaNoWriMo as of today?
3) Are you having any trouble with your current WiP? If you are, let us know in the comments!
Keep at it, you guys. We're only 4 days in. Even if you're a little bit behind where you wanted to be, you can still make progress.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012
Post your word counts:
3) Your most amazing moment of the day!!
Thursday, November 1, 2012
So Wrimos, how'd your first day go? I want to know three things:
1) Your daily word count
2) Your total word count
3) Your favorite part of what you wrote for today.
Have at it!
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
We can easily give up. Say things are just too hard and its time to end this fun journey. But we are made of tougher stuff than that.
As things go, life has become even busier. Sir-Kirk-A-Lot moved away and started on a Law Degree. And the rest of us are trying to manage family, sports, jobs, and our dream of a writing career.
We are celebrating our 4th year together. That is remarkable in my humble opinion. We've managed to stay together and stay focused.
But like I said at the beginning, things change. Right now our format is no long a monthly get together laden with rich foods. Currently we are getting together via Google Hangout. It is great for seeing everyone (though the web cam angle is terrible for one's self esteem--so not flattering) and using the screen share feature allows us to put our work up so everyone can read along as we share our writing.
So over the years we've changed and we've adapted. And we are still going strong.
Keep writing, keep adapting, and keep smiling.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
A few years ago I completed a manuscript of about 100k words. Long yes, but super cool...or so I thought. Then my writers group worked it over and gave me great feedback, so many places to tighten the plot and cinch the story into shape. Please note that I was more than willing to 'kill my darling sentences', chop subplots, and had cut it back to 80K words before these edits began. This was not a first round issue. The problem I faced with all the great feedback was HOW to implement it. I took all the ideas and totally Frankensteined my story into a monsterous mess. Fitting all the chopped bits together without leaving gross scars in the story posed a problem.
The good news is, I recognized my best efforts weren't working. So I shelved it and started on something else. The starting on something else here is key. Keep writing.
Recently in helping a friend work through her manuscript I was able to explain that a great edit will bring the pieces of your story together like a mosaic. Fitting interesting new bits into the context of the larger picture, or taking out the ones that confuse the image.
How do you know when you are editing the right aspects of your story?
Well this is what we came up with:
Much like this mosaic of fish all swimming in the same direction, a good edit, addition or cut, will help all the elements of the story "swim together" instead of being forced into a stitched mess. Working with Inker Debbie the other day, she suggested a change to her finished manuscript. As we discussed the change, other plot elements suddenly became more relevant. It added to the motivation of her characters in subsequent scenes and it brought a WOW factor to a lot of what she had already written. This is a mosaic change, one small piece that makes the other pieces of her story look better and feel more real.
A Frankenstein edit is one that puts a strain on the other elements or causes you to dissect what is working and stitch something else in to keep it consistent.
Let's put it in a practical situation:
Imagine Cinderella without her ugly stepsisters-an interesting idea that would put major holes in the plot and create a dilemma for the author who has to invent new ways for Cinderella to suffer so that we can sympathize with her. (Potential Monster edit)
Now imagine Cinderella with one evil selfish stepsister and one kind sister-both more beautiful than she is...this opens new avenues of suffering and character development where the future princess can show compassion and sisterhood but might find she feels insecure in her beauty when compared to her sisters. This works within the elements that already work in the story. The sisty uglies already work as antagonists we're just making them more interesting bad guys.(Potential Mosaic)
Monday, May 7, 2012
Today I was talking to Inker Donna about cloning and a question came to mind:
If you had an exact clone of yourself, would you be friends? Why or why not?
I came to the conclusion that I wouldn't be great friends with myself. Luckily I have surrounded myself with patient and long suffering friends...if it were me, I'd drive myself crazy :)
How about you?
Saturday, May 5, 2012
However, I keep wondering if first person wouldn't be better, and I think it's mostly because I tend to like to read stories written in first person. I like getting inside the head of the main character and taking the journey with them. But, since third person is the most commonly used POV, I'm thinking there must be good reason for that, leaving me questioning if I'm leaning toward first person because it is easier for me.
So, rather than continue my internal debate and going in circles, I'd love to hear from you about your POV preferences. Perhaps your feedback can help me to make a choice and get going with it already. Because, to be honest, I'm beginning to wonder if this struggle isn't an excuse to procrastinate digging in to the new story. ;)
Thursday, May 3, 2012
The stages of a race are much like the stages of writing a novel. You need to know the course, but no matter how well you know the map it will not be the same when you hit the road.
Then there is the hard middle when the enthusiasm of the start line is far behind and the glory of the finish line is still out of sight. This is the time when both writers and runners have to dig deep and it is also the easiest time to quit, tap out, or start walking and hope to pick up some momentum after catching their breath.
Those who push through and chisel away at the distance will eventually close the gap to the finish line and then it is a matter of mind over body. The Final Sprint. In the end, scores are tallied and performance is measured but in the moment of crossing the finish there is a split second of pure joy in accomplishment. The END. The Finish Line. The applause and the crowd. That second of time is why runners run and writers write. Why they suffer the hard middle and worse the gut wrenching, nauseating, lung twisting final sprint. If it were easy everyone would do it, but its not and they don't.
For anyone caught in the hard middle or the dizzying challenge of the final sprint on any goal in life, especially in writing. Keep your word. Keep your promise to yourself that you will at least cross the finish line.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
He talked about setting a scene in your writing. We start zoomed way out, surveying the setting, catching a few glimpses of the world we're in, what life is like. Then the camera zooms in and we catch a few specifics, and as the camera narrows in more, we get to the point of the scene and that is our focus.
Something I have a tendency to do is once I get to the focus of the scene, I can inadvertently veer away. In analyzing several scenes I've written, I've found that this is a common problem for me. Right when you get to the good stuff, you don't want to diverge to a less important conversation, or wax poetic about the color of the sky. Imagining the scene as a camera lens slowly focusing in really helps me to stay the course.
Great advice from a great writer. Hope it helps!
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I love the term "Growing Pains." We all suffer through them, whether physically, emotionally, spiritually...it's a part of life. It can be a five-year-old child waking in the middle of the night, clutching his ankles with tears in his eyes, or an adult waking in the middle of the night, clutching their tear-stained pillow. The good news is that on the other side of the pain, you'll come out a little taller, perhaps a little wiser.
Growing pains are so essential to the characters we create, not necessarily the hurdles that need to be overcome, but those internal struggles, the quietest of battles that determine who they become.
One novel that completely succeeds in this (in my opinion) is Catcher in The Rye. I remember reading it in high school and feeling connected in a way that I never had before.
So let's offer a rousing favorite Princess Bride cheer:
TO THE PAIN!
Monday, April 2, 2012
The second is the Beauty and the Beast romance, where the man is in love with the woman and trying to catch her attention. (See also Aladdin).
Monday, March 19, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Monday night my sweet hubby took me to see the musical Xanadu. I was so excited until I realized that its a spoof. Then I read the program. It made me question my taste:
"Fans of the 1980 movie Xanadu, (all ten of you) and haters (many, many of you) . . ."
I was feeling rather embarrassed. (Now truth be told, its been at least 10 years since I've seen it and I think I was a little disheartened when I did see it.) I wish I had known going into it that it was a spoof. I would have enjoyed it from the beginning.
Now, that was a really long intro to get to the meat of what I want to say to you. Again I quote the handbill:
PS I am listening to the original Olivia/ELO soundtrack as I type this. Sometimes music transcends crappy story-telling.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
The Academy Awards ceremony will air tomorrow night,and one of the nominees for Best Original Screenplay is The Artist, a movie with no spoken dialogue. I have not seen the film,but the nomination gave me pause and spiked my curiosity regarding what a screenplay for a "silent" movie is like.
Friday, February 17, 2012
To those of you who are new to this blog. Welcome. You will notice that Blush aka Linda has been carrying us for quite a while. We love her posts and would like to invite you to visit some of the archived posts. Someday I might even do my top ten from last year. There were some good ones.
So what is new this week? Well, if you were at LTUE last weekend then no doubt you have heard James A Owen's keynote address about "The Power of Choice." It was fabulous. Meeting James and having dinner with him and our awesome writing group was even cooler as I was able to discover that he is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. He cares about his readers and he is a crafty marketing guru. Most of all he doesn't sweat the small stuff.
This week on his blog he has made his book "Drawing Out the Dragons..." available on ebook for free for five days. He said to share the link with someone we love. I must say that I would like to share it with everyone I know. My 10 year old read it and he said, "It changed my perspective on the world." He has been drawing dragons every day since.
Here is the link. Go and download the book and read it with your family this weekend.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Dear Young Writers,
I started writing my first novel when I was in tenth grade. It was a fantasy time-travel book and I sent it out to one publisher. It was rejected with a nice note encouraging me, but saying that the book didn’t fit the publisher’s “list.” I worked on other things on and off, but I think that first experience gave me a good look at the reality of publishing and it frightened me. You could write well, but be rejected by some reason that you had never thought of. You could spend hours working on a book and get nothing but experience out of it. And clearly, as I listened to the adult writers struggling with the business, even if you were published, this was not exactly a career that you could depend on for day-to-day living expenses. So I listened to my father and to all the other sensible voices around me and moved on to what I thought was a more “stable” career.
The only problem is, it turned out that everything else I ever tried to do, I was telegraphing to people that what I “really” wanted to do was to be a writer, and that other things were only “bread and butter” in comparison, until I got up the courage and invested the time necessary to do what I was meant to do. It was a very painful experience for me to finally recognize that it is impossible to hide from yourself and that there is nothing worse than giving up what you really love for something “stable” and ordinary. So I made a leap, admittedly with the help and encouragement of my husband who now supports our family largely, and quit my job. I do not necessarily recommend this route for everyone, but for me at the time it seemed there was no other choice.
I see now, from the inside of the business, that there are many ways to make a living as a writer. There are always publishers who are looking for writers to work on series that have been pitched by someone else and are already selling well. There are Christian publishers, workbook publishers, craft publishers. There are people looking for technical writers, for writers to write newsletters or software manuals, and on and on. But it is also true that working part-time, for two hours a day five days a week, I make as much as I did at my other job. And there are a lot of perks. I write what I want to write. I write stories that I wish I could read. I write fantastic stuff that even I can’t believe, and I write contemporary fiction or picture books or mystery novels, whatever strikes my fancy at the time. I have what I think of as my dream life, the life I never believed I could have when I first tried and failed. My advice—don’t give up on the dream. There is a way to do it. You just have to find the way.
Mette Ivie Harrison
Just the encouragement that I need. Write On!
Saturday, February 4, 2012
|An unpleasant or harmful odor, secretion, or discharge.|
Then Inker Kirk shared another:
1: having the hand on the hip and the elbow turned outward
2: set in a bent position <a tailor sitting with legs akimbo>
Since I've been neglectful of purposely expanding my vocabulary lately, I thought I would share and issue a challenge to use these words in a sentence or share another interesting word here.
So far I have failed in my commitment to manage to use both in conversation at the office, but I'm still keeping them in mind for just the right moment.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Saturday, January 7, 2012
What is the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
My biggest distraction from writing any book is my own lack of confidence or fear. It takes different forms; my family, my house, the internet, my own to-be-read list, whatever. What I’ve learned (and am relearning all the time) is that distraction is another word for fear. As a writer, I get distracted most when I’m afraid to move forward. What if this doesn’t work? What if I spend all this time and it’s is no good? What should I be doing instead of writing? What if I’m wasting my time? (This thought is usually followed by a couple of hours on Twitter or Facebook, looking for some self-affirmation.) Finishing a book (no matter how rough) is a triumph over distractions and fear.
To read the whole interview, click here.