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

Posts tagged ‘blogging’

200th Post: Journey Through Time (Contest/Giveaway!)

So, it’s my 200th post! I guess I didn’t realize I was this far until well, now. And since I never celebrated the 100th post, this one will be extra special–complete with a little giveaway 🙂

It’s interesting to see how this blog has developed over the course of time. When I started it, I really had no intention of keeping it up 😛 But then I got drawn into the World of Blogging and the rest is history.

Anyway, in celebration, I’m going to giveaway a little “grab bag” of sorts to one lucky commenter, using a random number generator. The grab bag will consist most assuredly of some form of chocolate and candy AND I’ll be giving away a choice of one my favorite historical books, each from a distinctive time and place (click on the covers to see what each is about):

All you have to do is answer one question in the comments section. Are you ready?

If you could travel anywhere in the world, and in any time period, where and when would it be?

This is an especially hard question for me because I love history and choosing one time is hard. For me, it’s a tie between the first century A.D. in the Holy Land, where I’d see if I could hear Jesus preach, or early-mid Edo period Japan (sometime in the 1700s), where I could see traditional Japan, with the strict caste levels of society–from samurai to farmer, to artisan and merchant–it would be wonderful to see how each class lived.

Anyway, you all have until this Friday, the 11th, at 8PM Eastern Standard Time to answer in the comments below before I close them and choose a winner 🙂

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Writer’s Block: From Blogs to Novels

I’ve been desperately wanting to keep this blog updated at least three or four times a week and so far I’m probably only posting twice a week. That’s not a way to get readers! You’d think with all the blogs I read on writing and publishing, I’d be able to think of something. Especially for a hopeful author-to-be like myself.

It’s important to get that audience, and I do have a few faithful readers (thanks, guys–you know who you are :)). But I don’t want to lose readers because my blog is not updated frequently enough for them. In today’s fast paced world, attention spans are short, and if a blog doesn’t look like it’s being updated with new posts, people will stop visiting.  But how do you keep coming up with ideas? Perhaps I’m still quite a newbie at this writing thing as my brain seems to hardly be able to come up with anything of interest, whether that’s related to the blog or writing in general.

I know I shouldn’t be making excuses–I should just sit down and write–but I have to constantly battle the lazy slob within me. That’s really my biggest flaw I think–I don’t have the motivation or control to overcome the lazy side; I often let it take over. However, I also know that if I have a deadline imposed on me, I’m able to get my butt into gear and write (for example, with NaNo, I was able to reach the 50K goal before the deadline). But if it’s left up to me, the motivation isn’t there.

Sad, isn’t it?

I think it’s changed in a few years too. I used to be able to write all the time. Most of it had to do with passing the time in boring classes in high school and college; I also used to write short stories all the time for a weekly writing challenge at another website. But even that’s stopped.

Part of that may have to do with the novel mindset I’m in; I wasn’t actively working on a novel until late college and that’s when the short story ideas started to dry up. I guess when I’m in “novel mindset” it’s hard for me to come up with anything that’s not related to it. It’s certainly not a family trait; my younger sister is also a writer and she’s able to crank out the short stories like crazy while she’s working on a novel. Perhaps that’s just how my brain is wired.

Anyway, how do you keep the ideas coming? Are you like me, where you have a difficult time with the motivation factor? Or are you able to come up with new ideas all the time? It could be related to updating your blog or writing new stories or poems. I’m just curious  how others are able to do it! 🙂

A Rather Productive Writing Weekend

Well it was a productive weekend for me, at least when it came to writing.

How long has it been since I’ve said that? 😛

I edited and re-wrote the bulk of my chapter for critique, though even after a brief re-write, I realized it still has a TON of work to be done on it (namely in being more descriptive…something I always struggle with). I realized when I first went through editing it that the second half of the chapter didn’t really make sense…it had my MC going to visit the merchant’s area of the small mountain village she lives in for the first time. It was interesting, until I thought how it wasn’t very smart in the scheme of things.

She’s in this tiny and remote mountain village for a reason–she’s being hidden from people who are searching for her. She also stands out quite a bit, being half American in a town that’s all Japanese, and her looks as well as her dress would definitely create a bit of a stir. So, I decided to delete that half of the chapter and change it to something else, something that came spur of the moment and was written as such 😛

After that was done, I ended up jotting down a few notes for the third and final section of the story (these notes were mainly written in the car on the way to the in-laws house for dinner–and no I wasn’t driving :P–as well as written during church…I know, I should have been devoting my full attention to the sermon, but I couldn’t get the story voices to stop talking!)  I also came up with a new beginning, one that eliminates my dull prologue and starts the plot catalyst within the first two chapters or 30 pages. That happened thanks to my blog-reading addiction and coming across Agent Kristin’s blog entry on queries and the importance of the plot catalyst being introduced early on in the manuscript.

I also added a new character to the beginning as well, replacing another character I had in that segment. She will be important as she’s my MC’s only close friend (besides her mother, who dies right before the beginning of the book) and someone she views as a sister. The character just came out of no where really, but she came as subtly and as welcoming as a summer breeze. She’ll also be very important later on in the story.

I often wonder how much more this book will change as I keep moving along. I can’t even remember what the “original” idea was, though the main fragments are still there.

I’m also incredibly thankful to my blog addiction. I’ve learned so much about the publishing world in these short months because of it. I believe it’s helping me craft a better story 🙂 But I have to be careful not to spend too much time researching…something I end up doing too much…

Excuses, Excuses

I realize it’s been too long since I’ve blogged. Unfortunately work has zapped all strength from me this past week. It’s been non-stop busy and generally I’m too tired at the end of the day to want to do anything that requires thinking (or more time in front of the computer).

However I pushed myself today, realizing such habits would NOT do me well during NaNo. So I continued on with my chapter summaries, hoping that I may actually finish them by Friday at midnight and the start of November. Not sure if I’ll make it, but if I don’t I’ll just do my best to write without them–who knows, that may actually end up being better for me.

Anyway, I still promise to keep the blogging up, if not for a daily update on word count and some story progression–that’s what I planned on doing over a month ago when I devoted myself to being a consistent blogger 🙂 And there will be NO EXCUSES to avoid it 🙂

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