Tuesday, November 25, 2008
National Novel Writing Month has come to an end for me this year. I’ve written my 50,000 words and very pleased that I’m finished. Have you ever written a novel and wondered why you are putting yourself through this torture? I mean writing should be fun right? It is a profession where we get to decide what we want to do, so would anyone in their right mind write something they are not enjoying?
My answer is I’m obviously not in my right mind. Not that, that is something new to me or anyone that knows me well enough. LOL. You know what I’m looking forward to the most now? It’s getting back to my other characters, the one’s they never behave themselves but at least they tell me things in some sort of order.
Editing is going into full swing in a couple of days. I’m going to be tough, stick to a route, and not let anything or anyone distract me. And if I tell myself that enough I just may believe it too.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Cool picture hey? Yes, well Rhain Cahill and Diane Curran gave me this award which is great, RC is a fellow Aussie living in Singapore and a dear friend, plus one of the three founding Topless Table Dancing Tarts along with Diane Curran these two ladies keep me on the straight and narrow and if I need to vent they are always there ready to listen (okay read) about my complaints. Now I need to nominate some people for the 'I Love Your Blog' Awards. Here's what you have to do:
After receiving the award, if you’d like to participate, you must:
1) Add the logo of your award to your blog. - Done
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you. - Done
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs. - Done
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog. - Done
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs. - Will be done shortly.
#1. Annie Doyle - Annie was one of the first girls I really connected with on ROMAUS. When I need a friend Annie is always there.
#2. Eleni Konstantine - Eleni is another fellow Aussie and member of ROMAUS. Eleni is always there with an encouraging word when ever things get you down.
#3. Rachael Johns - Rachael was the brains behind our 50ks in 30 days challenge in June.
#4. A Dribble of Drivel - Yes the Dribbler is another Aussie who always has something interesting to say on her blog.
#5. Amanda Freeman - Amanda is one of my fellow Endurance Writers. If I ever need to get my word count going all I need to do is log in with Amanda and the girls and I'm off and running.
#6. Tannia Franklin - Tannia is one of my fellow NaNo's and ROMAUS member. Tannia is great she always has helpful little tit bits to help keep you on track.
#7. Monique Wood - Moni is a crack up. When ever I'm feeling down I just have to read a post from Mon and I'm smiling and laughing. Plus she's a girl after my own heart a huge Hugh Jackman fan.
Okay there you have it. Of course there are other's but I don't want to be greedy and add everyone. After all the girls have to have someone to nominate as well. LOL.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Bathe Your Imagination.
Among the weird places where writers find inspiration, the shower is one of the more common. “Your body is totally relaxed and your mind is totally relaxed,” says Ray Bradbury of his trips to the steamy plot chamber, “then the little explosions, the little revelations come.’
Spend some time today investigating those places and situations that allow your mind plenty of room to wander -- a walk, a bike ride, standing in line at the bank – and soak in the literary results.
Hope you writing is progressing well.
Monday, November 10, 2008
The Plot Thickens.
Ah, the start of the second week. Where things get more, um . . . interesting. If Week One was all about character creation, Week Two is about finding something to do with all the people milling around in your book. Yes, we’re talking plot here, a word that sends a lot of writers needlessly running in fear. Just keep prodding your characters and a plot will set itself in motion this week. Know, though, that the decisions of Week Two will make this the most exhausting of all four weeks.
Also, know that the more you write, the more inspired you are going to feel. If you’re feeling a little pokey now, it’s because you’re not writing enough. Push yourself to write every day, and make a point of adding something to your word count any time you’re within striking distance of a keyboard.
No Frogs In This Pond
Today, we take Zsa Zsa Gabor as our literary role model. Her enthusiasm for marriage was so great that she did it nine times. What do Zsa Zsa’s many nuptials have to do with your novel?
Toda, as a number of possible plot directions start offering themselves to you, you may decide to wait coyly for The One to appear. Don’t.
In the world of the monthlong novel, there are no frogs, only princes (or princesses). Take inspiration from the Hungarian actress, and hitch yourself to any likely suitor. You’ll have a great time with any of them, and you can always grab a different one on the next go-round.
Complain, Curse, Crumple.
A friend of mine, who is an EMT, says that people at restaurants choke more often than you’d imagine. According to him, the real danger isn’t the chocking, it’s the bathroom. Because the moment people get a chicken wing lodges in their throats, they do a curious thing: They use the last of their oxygen to politely remove themselves to the bathroom, far away from anyone who might be able to help Heimlich it out.
If at any point you start having difficulty with your novel, the worst thing you can do is suffer silently. Complain in detail to your support team and anyone who will listen.
Curse your characters and their mothers. Crumple up this card and hurl it in the trush. Let the frustration out. You’ll be surprised at how much clearer your writing vision is after a good venting.
Okay this one here is where I’ve been for most of this novel. LOL. Although I am staying within the required word count, so that is a positive. How about you have you hurled anything to let off a little steam yet?
On another note, the writing sprints are starting to pick up and my word count is increasing each time. Gotta love those word sprints.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Over on the 50/30 blog I posted a one of my No Plot? No Problem! Novel Writing Kit cards. Diane suggested I share more cards with everyone so I thought I'd post them here, well the first four days anyway. So here goes. Yes I Know I'm a week late. LOL.
Green Lights, From Here to the Horizon.
The first day. A blank page. And a slight panic about starting the book off on the right foot. But you know what? There are no wrong feet. Take a tip from freewheeling graphic design guru Bruce Mau on the subject of beginnings:
"Not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. Begin anywhere."
Create Your Clay.
Writing a novel is like working with clay. You first create a rough shape, then massage that shape into something beautiful, such as an ashtray or a fearsome army of worms. Unlike potters, though, who can simply buy clay at the art supply store, novelists have to pull off the supernatural feat of creating their clay with their minds. It’s amazing accomplishment, really, and it’s also why postponing judgment of your work until the end of your first draft is so important. What you started producing yesterday is noveling clay – valuable, essential, and invariably lumpy. Its beauty will grow as you work it.
One of my favorite books is called Rules of Thumb 2. The volume offers thousands of guidelines for any number of essential day-to-day activities, such as properly estimating a submerged crocodile's length and surviving a pistol duel. The dueling hint was submitted by historian Jim Barber, who writes: "When dueling with firearms, always aim lower than your opponent's vital area - to pierce the heart, aim at the knees." This is something you'd do well to keep in mind in these early days of Week One.
Abandon the stultifying notion of brilliance and aim instead for the low mark of completion. It'll take the pressure off you, which will allow your writing to become looser and more ambitious, paradoxically raising the quality of your book. It's Barber's law: Aiming low is the best way to succeed.
Let Your Fingers Do The Naming.
Demographers have been noting the decreasing size of families in industrialized nations for decades. They pin it on everything from rising education rates among women to the decrease in family farming. But I know the real culprit: With a skyrocketing number of baby names to pick from, would-be parents avoid having children because they can't decide what to name the things.
As you birth your cast of characters this week, you can reduce your naming stress by simply borrowing monikers from the Great Library of Character Names. It's published annually your by phone company: look for the large white book on your shelf next to the Yellow Pages.
One of the best ways to learn to do something is to emulate those whose work you admire.
The treat (and task) for today is to drop by the bookstore and pick up a novel by an author whose voice you've always loved. Read the first few pages of your purchase before you start writing, and pick out the methods the writer uses to create the mood you find so appealing.
Is it the folksy vocabulary and informal writing style? The electric buzz of clipped, declarative sentence? Or the poetic, lyrical style of flowing sentences and sensual adjectives? Whatever it is, borrow the elements you love and use them throughout today's writing season.
Weird fact: Before Jerry Springer launched his brawling freak show on daytime TV, he was a serious progressive politician and highly respected mayor of Cincinnati. In his heyday, many Ohioans even saw him as a likely candidate for the U.S. presidency. As you begin worrying that you might be pushing the bounds of believability for some characters, remember Jerry and the countless other real-life stories you've heard that make the wildest fiction pale by comparison.
Don't be afraid to leverage the power of unlikely coincidence and unbelievable occurrence. Nothing could be more true to life.
Skeletons In The Closet.
So many of the things we take as a given in everyday life were actually the result of a bitter struggle between two opposing forces. Take, for example, the custom of saying "Hello?" when answering the phone. It seems like a natural extension of a face-to-face conversation, right?
If telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell had had his way, though, we'd be saying "Ahoy, ahoy" when our cell phone rings. He thought that the nautical salutation was more fitting, and he was disgruntled that the plainer "hello" suggested by inventor Thomas Alva Edison caught on instead.
Today, use part of your writing session to explore a given about protagonist's life or personality, and reveal one of the surprising struggles that brought him or her to their current state.
Okay that is week ones handy hits. Did you get anything out of them? I'll try to get the first part of week two up tomorrow and then add a hit each day after that. Right now I need to do some writing on my novel.