Saturday, July 14, 2012

What I've learned this year...

Things that I have learned about myself this year as a writer:

  1.  I like to plow through the first draft at warp speed with minimal planning. I need momentum ( the product of the mass and velocity of an object: p = mv ) to keep going.  I can't write everyday feeling like I'm at square one. The bigger and faster the MS, the easier it comes.
  2.  I need an idea strong enough to carry a story, and just enough characters to start.  The rest falls into place as I go.
  3. If I'm bored while writing, I'm writing it wrong. Delete and try again.
  4. I like to sit and play out the scenes in my head, and get a feel for them before I begin typing (or dictating) them.  I play them in my mind, and hear the characters dialogue, it seems to come more naturally this way. After I have that scene, the typing flies by. I feel happiest with the scenes that I wrote this way.
  5. I must love my main characters.
  6. I must understand my antagonist(s), and empathize with how they came to be on that path.
  7. I must love something about each scene, or it needs deleted or changed.
  8.  I can't watch television while first drafting... unless a character on the show/movie, reminds me of one of my characters in my WIP. *then it's research ;)*
  9. I like all types of books, and I want my MS to be a complex blend of genres. Life is not one genre at a time.
  10. I can not read while first drafting.  It pulls me out of my story.
  11. I love word sprints. :)
  12. It usually takes me about a third of the MS to get my characters right.  I cast my MC twice, my villain four times, and my female lead three times.  But when its right... it makes all the difference. 
  13. "Casting" my characters is when I find their voice, mannerisms, and behavior tendencies.
  14. Chemistry is so very important. 
  15. It must not be forced, it must be fluent.
  16. I can not write in public places. I always find myself more engaged in the  people around me, than my story.
  17. Don't write for the market, write what you are personally passionate about.  Marketing is for later, not for composition. I feel it stifles originality and voice.
  18. A character picture (usually an actor), a soundtrack that reminds you of your WIP's tone, and just typing/writing that first sentence is usually all it takes to break through inhibitions.  The first sentence is always the hardest one.  Just type anything.
  19. Coffee helps.
  20. Daily goals, no matter how small are important.
  21. A friend to keep you on track and encouraged is priceless.
  22. It's not how complicated and elaborate your plot is, it's how you unfold the story.  Anticipation is thrilling.
  23. Make the reader want it before they realize its what you're doing.
  24. Everyone likes surprises.
  25. Very few things are more satisfying than completing a manuscript.
  26. Few things are more dis-satisfying than not writing.
  27. I like lists. :)
These are just some of the things I have realized about my own ever-changing writing quirks. What are some of your writing habits/preferences?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wrapping up the first draft...

I am so excited to announce that the first draft of my WIP is complete!

*huge sigh of contentment*

I am going to go back and fill in some of the bigger plot holes, and then set it aside in three weeks to write the sequels first draft during NaNoWriMo 2.0.

So excited!

I'm not sure what happened, but somewhere along the way, my characters (who are completely different people now, from when we set out on the first page of this book, btw!) really worked some magic on me and I'm totally in love with this story, so much so, that I have turned it into a series in my head (something that I had never been interested in writing.) I don't want to leave my world or my characters just yet, so I'm going to let it ride. :)

There is something liberating about the knowledge that you don't have to fit everything into one book that is the end-all-be-all for your beloved characters lives... that there is more that this book for them. 

I wish I had done this sooner. (oh well :)

I'd better get back to work, if I'm gonna be ready for Aug 1st!

Have a great weekend, you guys!! :D

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Post- NaNoWriMo update...

Well, I did it.  I finally finished a NaNoWriMo! :D 

I'm so excited, but I don't have time to stop and celebrate... this story isn't done.  I have a feeling it's going to be a few more weeks of 2k/day writing to have the complete first draft. 

I'm hoping... planning on finishing up with this books first draft just in time to start the sequel on Aug. 1, for Camp NaNoWriMo 2.0!  

By the time I finish the first draft of the sequel, the original novel should have set long enough for editing. :)

As busy as I've been with this work load and writing schedule, as well as regular summer festivities, and that pesky gardening, I hope you all forgive me for not commenting on your blogs as much as I would like!  I am still reading on the go! And loving all your wonderful posts!

Wish me luck, you guys!  And heres a rough clip from my current WIP, just for fun. :D

Melissa woke with a start.  The clock on the night side table read 3:20am.  He left arm  found Jimmy's pillow empty, as it did every night for the last month, bringing her fully  awake.  
 She wasn't sure what exactly had woke her, but found herself being cautious and very quite as she made her way down the stairs.  
 She couldn't shake that feeling of unease.  The front door was locked, the dead bolt engaged.  Brushing aside the curtain, she peered out the side window to see the patrol car still sitting across the street. As much is it irritated her that Evan was the one who ordered them there, it did make her feel a little bit better.

She had never lived alone before, and was starting to consider maybe she should get a pet. There was no telling how long Jimmy was gonna be in the institution, and she desperately needed another personality around the place. The loneliness was palpable.

 When she walked into the kitchen she froze midstride gripping the counter next to her tightly, her eyes wide staring at the floor, but it wasn't what she saw that set her nerves on edge. It was what she smelled. 

P.S. sorry about the formatting... I'm having all kinds of trouble getting Blogger to work right. :(

Grounding the reader using "The Pyramid of Abstraction"

In my geekery on writing education, I have stumbled upon a concept introduced in both of these sources by Brandon Sanderson (whom I have ...