My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Connecting with Other Writers

Writing is said to be a lonely business. But I disagree.

True, no one can write your story the way you can. You are the only one who can bring those characters within your head to life on the page. If you’re unpublished and not on deadline, it’s up to you to get that story written.

But I don’t believe we have to live up to the old writer stereotype. You know the one, a recluse writer, living alone next to his or her typewriter, the room filled with smoke from his or her last cigarette, surrounded by a stack of papers and grimy windows.  If anything, we can’t afford to be that kind of writer. Readers expect to connect with the author, which is why the publishing industry pushes their authors to operate blogs, Twitter, Facebook or any other sort of social media. Plus, it makes you more accessible and more likely to sell your book if you get the word out this way.

But beyond all of those old stereotypes and modern expectations, I think it’s important for other writers to connect with other writers.  They understand what it’s like to have those voices in your head at all hours of the day. They feel your pain when you are experiencing a plot hole or a particularly rough day when the words just won’t come.  They can also help you see things in a new light. I know with my critique group, as well as with some of my online writer friends, they’ve helped me reevaluate where my story could use some improvement. I don’t know how many times where I’ve been stuck and a helpful suggestion from one of these writer friends has gotten me out of the hole and taken me down a path I wouldn’t have expected.

And who else can truly understand the accomplishment when you’ve made your word count for the day? 🙂

Remember–you don’t have to go it alone!

It’s So Close…

My first draft is *this close* to being finished.

I have about 9 chapters left. I know, that’s still sounds like a lot–and it is in some ways–but that’s the closest I’ve been to finishing a draft in years.

My writing sprints during the Winter Writing Festival are solely the cause of this. It’s just so much easier to write when I’m “sprinting” with others. I know I can’t always rely on that, but if that is how I get this draft done, so be it!

I’m fighting the urge to go back and edit. So much has changed throughout the course of the draft it’s going to be difficult to make it consistent. I’ve been doing my best to keep notes on it but I’m sure there’s something I’ll miss. Let me tell you, as much as I look forward to editing this thing, I’m dreading it equally.

And the world building. Oy, the world building. I have so much to do on that front I’m already overwhelmed thinking about it 😛 The curse of creating your own world from scratch I suppose.

 

When I Grow Up…

I don’t know where this came from, but the other day, I thought about all the different dreams and ambitions I’ve had over the course of my 27 years. Not counting those childhood dreams of being a ballerina, I think my first true goal in life came from my fascination with weather. At 8 years old, I distinctly remember wanting to be a meteorologist.

Funny, I know. How many eight-year-old kids have even heard of the word? Well, I was a bookish sort of kid (what a surprise, :P) and I wanted to know what you did if you grew up and studied weather. I believe it was my parents who told me and of course I devoured any book on weather. I even remember writing a picture book about it for a school project.

That dream lasted a few years until I realized I wasn’t quite the science type. I think around age 10 or 11 came my interest in history and in writing–both about the same time. I distinctly remember it was my obsession with the American Girl series and loving all the history that was packed into those 70 or 80 page books. Plus, my dad had always been a history and genealogy nut, so some of that rubbed off on me.

I wrote my first “novel” at age 12 about a girl in the 1840s who crossed the ocean with her family to settle in America. It was about 170 pages–front and back, mostly handwritten. The kids in school thought I was crazy for writing that much. I’m not sure I’ve met many sixth graders who have done that myself, so I probably was a little odd 🙂

Throughout junior high and high school, I would write. I never got past the first three chapters of anything until recently. Of course my love of history deepened and I became obsessed with watching documentaries–I still am that way–and part of me wanted to go to school for archeology. I still dream about that sometimes, going on a dig somewhere, brushing off centuries worth of dirt from a chipped piece of pottery.

But honestly, I think the desire to write has always been there, even when I was just learning how. I love to tell a story–my first one my mom transcribed because I just couldn’t spell yet–and that’s still a part of me.  I’ve still got a lot of “growing up” to do, though, in regards to writing. But I think writers always do; we’re always learning, always improving, always maturing in our work.

So, have you always had that desire to write? Were there other ambitions and passions you’ve had that are still a part of you now? 🙂

 

Winter Writing Festival

Second Annual Winter Writing Festival, sponsored by the lovely women at The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, starts on January 11th! It goes until the end of February, so it’s plenty of time to write as well as connect with some of the other participants.

Here’s the official site in case you’re interested. It’s sort of like a personal NaNoWriMo, only you set the goals and give yourself a point each day for completing it. For example, I’m attempting to write 1000 words per day and take part in a live writing sprint on the website’s chat forum at least twice a week. I have found that writing with others helps me get the words out 🙂

Since I’m probably 2/3 done with my first draft, I am hoping I can keep up enough to finish it by the end of the winter. And maybe this year I can actually enter the Golden Heart competition.

Anyway, it’s a great opportunity to start that long-planned novel or edit one you’ve had hiding away for so long. Even if it’s just the planning phase, now is the time to get started!

I forgot to mention that there will be giveaways too 🙂 Ultimately though, the best part has to be joining other writers. Even though writing is said to be a lonely activity, it’s always nice to connect with others. It helps 🙂

Note: I will post a badge up in the corner that will take you straight to their page in case anyone else is interested.

Another New Writing Year

2012 already? Good grief, where does the time go? It’s true; every year goes by faster.

I never updated how I did with NaNo. I didn’t hit 50K–made it to about 30. But I’m not upset; that’s 30K more than I had. Also, my critique group helped me figure out some things within the last month so I have a clearer picture on where it’s going. I just haven’t worked on it yet.

It turned out, as every idea I’ve ever had, much more complicated than I thought. What was originally just going to be a romantic fantasy turned into something else entirely, with the romance being less important than I’d planned in the beginning.

Oh well, that’s how writing goes–it always morphs into something you never envisioned at the beginning.

Halfway!

I know it’s a few days late but I’ve surpassed the halfway point of NaNo. I believe I’m at about 28, 614 now; hopefully crossing 30K today.

Counting the words already written on this WiP before, I’m over 40K. I think this novel’s going to be around 70K, at least in the first draft. It will probably end up being somewhat longer after it’s all edited (assuming I get that far!) and do all the proper world building, etc.

Making up an entirely different world is so much harder than I imagined too. Trying to figure out the history, the religions of the world and the mechanics of what little magic exists here is beyond difficult. Maybe I should’ve stayed with historical fiction–then I could’ve just been up to my ears in cultural research instead. You know, something that already exists rather than making it up on my own.

So, props to fantasy writers today–you all are amazing. Of course, all writers are amazing but coming up with a new world? That takes some serious creative juice. I’m not quite sure I have what it takes but we’ll see. If not, I will always go back to historical, my beloved and recently neglected genre 🙂

 

 

First or Third Person?

NaNo starts in 5 days and I’m trying to decide which POV to go with…again. When I wrote this the first time, I couldn’t decide and kept alternating it depending on the chapter. I’d like it to be consistent this time. 🙂

I was leaning towards first person, since I’ve decided to only write from one character’s POV, but I’m hesitant. Traditionally, my first person writing well, sucks 😛 I know, I know practice makes perfect but I think I’m called more towards being a third person writer, at least now.

Then I thought, I could write first person for the bulk of the story and third person when my character becomes Yuki-onna. But that might get confusing and I’m not entirely sure I’m good enough to pull it off.

But it is NaNo and it’s the perfect time for experimentation right? I guess I just want to come away at the end of this one with something that has even just a shred of promise to it…maybe that’s why I’m stressing about it.

Ugh. 😛 This is supposed to be fun!

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