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

Posts tagged ‘inspiration’

The Beauty of Writing Sprints


Image via Wikipedia

I love a good writing sprint/word war. It must be the competitive spirit in me or the fact that I thrive on the writing fellowship–whether that’s with one person or a dozen.

I’ve been taking part regularly in the Winter Writing Festival’s writing sprints. Every evening, we enter a chat room where the moderator sets a timer for 20 minutes. Then we write or edit as much as we can in that time frame. It’s amazing because I’m almost always surprised at how fast the time passes. I get so caught up in the scene I’m writing that time doesn’t affect me.

Of course, for me, quantity doesn’t always (or ever in some cases) equal quality. Right now I’m on the first draft of this new project and it’s pretty heinous 😛 There’s going to be A LOT of editing involved…and a great deal more world building as I still haven’t had the chance to develop that too much yet. But I’m focusing on getting the general story out, even if it’s subpar writing. It’ll at least be on paper…er, a Word doc. 😛 The goal is to get this done by June but as I’m already more than 10% done in a week, perhaps I can get it done by the start of spring–or even by the end of the Winter Writing Festival.

I have to admit, I’ll be saddened once this festival is over. I really enjoy this sprints and much of it has to do with I just talking with the other writers. It’s energizing. 🙂

Now, if only I could keep this up on my own…it’s so difficult to start up when it’s all up to you. But that’s what I’m going to have to do as a writer. Unfortunately I can’t rely on other people to get me going. It’s nice to have these sprints though while they last.

So, here’s my question for you: do you enjoy a good writing sprint? Have you ever participated in one? Would it help you or hinder you?

I Am Inspired…Again

Because I am such a history geek, I always have to read up on the latest archeology/history news. I generally do this once a day or once every other day, thanks to author Michelle Moran’s blog History Buff, where she posts links to stories about history in the news.

Well the other day I read a particularly fascinating article. So fascinating, in fact, that I instantly had a vision of another novel.

Here’s the link to the story: Mythological Love Unearthed: Experts dig up chamber used by King Bana to hide his daughter.

I quickly typed up a brief outline of the fantasy world that began to take shape in my head. It’s very rough now and I can’t really focus on it as I’m working on Lady of the Snow and The Scarlet Daughter alternately, but it’s there. It will  be like my Yuki-onna story–only very loosely based off this myth as the world that developed in my head is a mix of Indian, Persian and Chinese culture. The story is also different, although I have my MC, the princess and daughter of a super powerful, tyrannical and paranoid king. That’s all I’m going to say about it now 🙂

Since it’ll be the first world in my head that is a mythical land, it’s going to take a lot of world-building. I will probably work on that here and there while I’m typing away at the other two stories. If anything I at least have a novel to start during NaNo nine months away 😛 .

Now to channel this creative energy into one of my WiPs…

Dreams as Inspiration

I was wondering how many writers out there have actually used their dreams as inspiration.

I’ve had some pretty interesting and complex dreams that often I’ll be thinking (mid-dream!) “this would make for a great story!”

And then I wake up and it fades into the ether.

Some dreams affect me so profoundly that I’ll be in a daze most of the next day, trying to grasp that odd fragment from the night before and understand why I’m feeling so melancholy or incomplete. I may not be able to remember the details but something inevitably will stick with me and then I’m trying my best to figure out what it was.

I’ve tried having a notebook besides my bed to write down what I can remember from the night before, but I’m often so groggy that I don’t remember it’s there; by the time I do, the dream’s been lost.

Maybe if I tell myself over and over subconsiously to write whatever fragments down the moment I wake up, it’ll happen.

But then I wonder how coherent the notes will be for me later on when I review them 😛

Perhaps one day I’ll be able to grasp the elusive dream and not have to endure those feelings of disappointment the following day. 🙂

Awesome Novel Banners and the Inspiration of NaNoWriMo

Banner for my novel, created by a fellow NaNoWriMo Participant

Banner for my novel, created by a fellow NaNoWriMo Participant

Isn’t that the best? August. over on the NaNo forums is taking requests from people (up to November I think) for a banner.

Here’s the link to the thread:

Taking Banner Requests

Anyway, I think it looks great–they even used the singer who I base my MC’s looks off of 🙂 (I suggested it and they found a good picture).

Anyway, I know some don’t see the value in NaNo–I’ve read some comments about how it’s only for “amateur” novelists and those not serious enough to commit all the way. I know others think it’s too much hype.

Though that’s true for many, I know it’s also a falsehood, since without NaNo, unfortunately I don’t think I would have been able to write nearly as much as I have for my book–and not in a month’s time. I suppose I’m not as dedicated in some aspects as I should be…but NaNo helps fuel the dedication. It’s also helped me connect with others in the area and be a part of a critique group (again, something a great many writers say is unnecessary, though I disagree in many aspects…that’s another post though :P)

Besides, writers of NaNo have been published, and by some pretty notable companies too.

Did you know that Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants was written during NaNo? A book that ended up on the Bestseller’s list nonetheless.

NaNoWriMo may not be for everyone–but it’s definitely something that I encourage others who aspire to write a novel to at least look at. 🙂

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