Thursday, December 26, 2013

Goals: Setting and Metting Writing Goals, Big and Small

A week from now we will be in a brand new year, 2014. And as is the tradition with so many of us, we take this time to evaluate what we’ve done in the previous year and make new goals for the New Year. So what better time than now to talk setting and meeting your writing goals?

I have found it best to start big and then work your way down to the more specific goals. Again, I’ll use myself as an example here. A Big Goal looks like this:

I (Kricket) will publish a book by the time I’m 30 (in 3 years).

As you can see, there are two major components to that statement. There is the intention and a parameter. I intend to publish a book and the parameter tells me I want to do that in 3 years. Parameters are extremely important in goal setting and meeting.  Without parameters, without a time limit, we writers can just float in a little Writer’s Cloud and never get any work done.

Now, let’s move on to more specific goals, ones that will help you achieve your Big Goal.

To become published I must:
1.      Complete a manuscript by the end of 2014.
2.      Edit the crap out of that manuscript by mid-2015.
3.      Begin submitting the manuscript by the second half of 2015.

Believe it or not, we can break these goals down into even smaller bites. The smaller the better, you can’t eat an elephant all in one gulp.

To finish a manuscript I must:
1.      Come up with and develop an idea/plot/characters/world etc. by April 2014.
2.      Write at least 1000 words every day until completion.
I could continue with each of the other two goals above, but I think you get the point. 

The main point of setting goals for your writing it to keep you on track. To give you something to look forward to and to aim for. Otherwise, you’re just wasting a lot of ink and paper and time. So set achievable goals for yourself. Give yourself time and don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t meet all your goals when you said you would.

Writing is a long game and it takes time to do it right. Setting goals and meeting those goals will help you build confidence in yourself and your writing. From the tiny goal of: I will write 500 words today! To the Big Goal of: I will be published! Have confidence in You the Writer and go forth and Write.

Again, thank you for reading! Leave a comment, share this blog with your writing friends, and all that jazz and of course, go write something! Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Your Routine: How To Make Writing A Part Of Your Daily Life

So before we get started on the main topic, I wanted to address the title of this series: Writing Tips For Beginners. I read a couple articles the other day about bad tips for teen writers and it got me to thinking, what constitutes a beginner? Who is a Beginning Writer? Well, dear reader, you are.

"But Kricket," you're saying, "I've been writing for X years. I have X books/articles/whatever published. I make enough money off of writing to pay the bills. I'm not a beginner!"

"Well good for you Neil Gaiman (and thanks for dropping by ;) )" says I. But if you're here, then you're looking for something to help you with your writing and I'm here to tell you that we are all beginners no matter how much experience we have. Because sometimes we find ourselves going back to the basics, starting from square one and reevaluating everything we do.

So, whether you just woke up this morning and said, "I want to be a writer!" or you've been doing this for 50+ years, all are welcome here and, hopefully, we can all learn something new.
And now, on to Your Routine!

Humans are creatures of habit. No matter what you do in your life, everyone has some kind of daily routine. Wake up, get dressed, eat food, go do whatever you do most of the day, eat some more, other tasks to further your existence, and then back to sleep. I'm here to tell you that, yes, you can fit writing in there. I don't care how busy you are, you can find time in your day to write.

Wake up an hour early, stay up late at night, sacrifice some of that time you spend watching TV or playing video games and learn to ninja write. We all have 24 hours in a day and we all have things that we want to do that require us to have 48 hours in a day. So the key here is prioritizing. To make writing a part of your daily life, you have to make it a top priority.

Your routine will be just for you. Just like your writing mojo is unlike any others, so is your routine. In fact, to start your routine, go back to your mojo and look at those last three questions, where, when and how. You probably already have an idea of when and where you can fit writing into your daily routine.

But, if you're still not sure how to start with this whole routine business, there are a lot of great books and resources out there that can help you prioritize and organize your time, and if you need one, go find one, they help. But here's some basic tips about starting a routine.

  • Start by writing down your current routine. See where you currently stand.
  • Then see if you have any spare time in there. Either totally empty minutes or if there are some activities (like browsing the internet) that you can trade for writing time.
  • Be flexible. Give yourself time to adjust to your new habit and don't feel like a failure just because you don't write for a day or two.

And finally, always look for opportunities to ninja write. Ninja writing is writing done on the fly, anytime, anywhere, even while you're at work (if you can pull it off). Being able to take advantage of every available minute in your day is a skill and it can be very helpful to learn.

And there you have it! Now go and figure out how you're going to make writing an everyday part of your life. And if you need some motivation, maybe this will help. ;)

Thanks so much for reading! If you like this, please share it and/or leave a comment.

Also, next week's update will happen on Thursday (the day after Christmas), so until then, have a Wonderful Wednesday and a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Writing Mojo: The Why, What, Where, When and How of Writing

Welcome to the first official installment of Kricket's Writing Tips for Beginners! Thanks so much for dropping by and I hope you learn something today.

Let's jump right in. So, you might be wondering, what is Writing Mojo, Kricket? Writing Mojo is the very basic building blocks of your writing. Your mojo is going to be different from every other persons mojo, it is unique and only you can figure out what yours is.

Writing Mojo answers these five questions.
  1. Why do you write?
  2. What do you write?
  3. Where do you write?
  4. When do you write?
  5. How do you write?
The first question is the most important and might be the hardest to answer. Why do YOU write? What is inspiring or motivating you to think, "I want to be a writer"? There are a million answers to this question, unique to every writer.

Some examples are:
  • I want to tell stories
  • I want to share my thought/beliefs with the world
  • I want to get published
  • I want to be famous/rich (not the best reason, but we'll get to that)
  • The voices in my head tell me to
Okay, exercise time! Now, go grab some paper and a pen or open a word document and title it MY WRITING MOJO. Then answer the question: Why do I write?

I (Kricket) write because I want to create worlds and characters that people will fall in love with and enjoy spending their time with.

This is one of the most important sentences you will write, ever. This is the core of your Writing Mojo. This is your mission statement. This is the thought you will fall back on when the writing gets tough. If it helps, print your statement out and tape it to your computer or the inside of your writing notebook, somewhere you will see it as you write.

Okay, now that you know Why you write, lets move on to What you write. This you probably already know. You know what type of writing you want to do, short stories or novels or poetry or some type of non-fiction. You might even have an idea of the genre or subject of your writing, fantasy or mommy issues, or whatever.

Back to your Writing Mojo page: under your Why statement, state what you write.

I (Kricket) write fantasy and/or science fiction novels.

Of course, this can change. Hell, even your Why can change. But if at some point you decide that writing short fantasy stories just isn't doing it for you, then you can try something new. Never be afraid to try something new.

Now, on to the last three: Where, When and How. These are pretty easy questions to answer but still require some consideration. These things might seem super basic and silly, but if you don't think about it now, you might find your self a little lost.

So consider where you will do most of your writing. And yes, "Anywhere" is an answer. When will you do most of your writing? And How will you do the majority of your writing? Write this down with the rest of your mojo.

I (Kricket) write at my kitchen table, all throughout the day (but mostly mornings) and I use my computer and MS Word.

I know, it seems so silly to actually write it down like that, but this will become important for the next part of this series, Your Routine: How To Make Writing A Part Of Your Daily Life. Also, as you begin to write you will find it necessary to refer back to your Writing Mojo to see if there are any adjustments that you need to make.

So, now that you've figured out your Writing Mojo, GO WRITE SOMETHING!

Again, thank you so much for reading. Please leave a comment, or share this post if you liked it. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions, either in the comments, or you can email me using the form in the upper left hand corner. Have a great Wednesday and see you next week!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I Did It! And New Things

Holy Freaking Cow, I actually did it. I finished NaNoWriMo. And my final word count was 57,091. I pumped a lot of words out the last couple days of November. I've done this thing off and on for about 5 years now and this is the first time I've come anywhere close to 50K. So you know, I'm pretty thrilled. :)

Of course, Moon Dragons isn't quiet done yet. I still have 20 scenes to write, but I'm in the home stretch and about 75% done with this sucker. I figure I can finish this first draft by sometime in January, so that's the new goal.

And now, moving on to some exciting announcements! If you turn your attention to the top of the screen, you will notice a new tab called "Writing Resources". In it you will find links to some useful writing related web sites and I'm in the process of compiling a list of writing books that I have found useful.

In the vein of useful writing help, I am also going to be launching a new series here called Kricket's Writing Tips For Beginners. I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time, but just didn't know how.

So, I want to start this series by introducing myself (for those of you who don't know me yet), because I know when I'm looking at someone giving writing advice, I want to know their credentials and their experience, to see if I deem them qualified to give me advice.

I have been writing since I was 13. I have two completed manuscripts under my belt. I worked on the school newspaper in high school. I'm an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction and I'm fascinated with the publishing process. No, I have not published anything, haven't even tried. I'm not at that step in the process, yet. So what am I qualified to tell you about?

Next to nothing.

Honestly. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I know everything because I feel I'm just at the beginning of the path to becoming a serious writer. BUT, I do feel like I've learned a few things on my journey so far and I want to share them, and that's what I intend to do.

So here's a layout of how this series is going to go. I'm going to post every Wednesday and here's a brief overview of what I'm going to talk about.
As this series goes on, please, please feel free to comment with your thoughts and suggestions. Also, if you know of any other resources out there for writers that I haven't mentioned, please share! You can either leave a comment or email me, there's a form just to the left.

Thank you for reading and I hope you come by again in the weeks to come! Happy Wednesday! Go Write Something!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I'm a Writing Masochist

I wasn't sure I was going to do it this year, but my friends over at AW convinced me too.

So, yes, I'm going to do NaNoWriMo, again. And I'll probably fail, as always. And I'm not being pessimistic when I say that. I'm just warning you that there is a very high chance that I won't make the goal this year. But I'll try anyway.

My plan is to finish my current novel. Yes, technically, you should start something fresh. But I have about 80,000 words left to write in that thing, so knocking out 50,000 in a month will be good. And then, once I have Moon Dragons out of the way, I can toy with this new White Crow idea that's been whispering seductively in my ear for the past two months.

So who's with me?! If you are, you can find me at the NaNo website as Kricket. And of course, I'll be doing weekly updates here once November starts.

Thanks for reading and have a great Wednesday and Go Write Something!*

*Yeah, that's more for me than you, but you can take that advice too. :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

More Headdesk Please

Well, it's been a month and how many words have I written? That would be a big fat 0. *sigh*

I'm trying not to get all down on myself but it's hard. I hate even mentioning I'm a writer right now because I haven't written much of anything in the past two months. It's very irritating.

But I have been working on my story in general. I've been typing up all my scene notes into my computer so that I have them safe somewhere besides on note cards, where small children can get to them. This will also be helpful because I can work on my story from my Chrome Book. I've got remote desktop set up between the Book and my laptop. So once I have all the notes in, I can work on writing anytime and anywhere in my house.

Although, in the process of putting those note cards in, I see how much further I sill have to write and it's a little daunting.

Why do I torture myself this way?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What Is This "Writing" You Speak Of?

(I wrote this all up yesterday, but forgot to hit the "Publish" button...)

Seriously, what is it? Because I'm not doing it.

All that fire and drive I've had before is just gone. And it pisses me off. My brain keeps finding "better" things to do with my time, mostly sleeping. If I don't get up early in the morning and jump on writing right away, I'm screwed. I have no other chance to do it during the day. There's too many other things to do.

But you know, I guess this is what makes someone a "real" writer. The people who write because they have to, not just because want to or because they feel inspired. But it's soooo hard!

So I guess all I can do now is to keep trying and commit to doing better. Maybe, one day, I'll get this whole "being a productive human being" thing down.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WUW: Stalled

It's like my brain shut down on Saturday and has refused to do much of anything, including writing, since.

I think it's this next scene. I just don't feel like writing it. That or I'm just at a loss for words. It's a romantic scene and I'm not very experienced with those. I also feel like I have limited real life experience for this. I pretty much married my first boyfriend and things were pretty boring and typical in our relationship.

I want to have this scene in the story, I think it fits and will do a lot to develop characters. I've got it all planned out, it's just the words are lacking. I might be putting too much pressure on my self. Trying to think of the perfect way to write it because this feels like an important scene to me. Plus, I'm terrified it will be boring.

In theory, I could just skip the scene and come back to it later, but it would just nag at me in the back of my head and drive me to distraction. At this point, I think it's important for me to go in order so that I can keep up with the flow of the story.

I just need to get over my self, really, that's what this all comes down too. But it's so hard! I can remind my self over and over again that it doesn't matter how awful it is now, I can just fix it later, but that's not helping. As I've been going over some past scenes I've been surprised that they aren't as terrible as I was afraid they'd be, so you'd think that would comfort me right now, but it's not.

*sigh* Oh well, I'll just plug along and keep on keeping on. I'll take all the advice I've given others, in all my infinite wisdom (snort), and apply it to my self like a good little writer and JUST KEEP WRITING.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

WUW: Progress is Slow

I'm plugging along. It's been slow because I've been lazy and haven't been writing as much as I should. Although I am at an easy part right now. I'm just reading over scenes and making minor adjustments, mostly plot related. I'll be getting to a string of new scenes here soon.

So, in the past few days I've gone from 78 scenes to 74. Mostly it's been combining tiny scenes into whole bigger ones. Nothing has been thrown out except for unneeded note cards. I've completed 10 of those scenes which means I'm about 14% of the way through this thing. And I'm now up to 25,100 words total.

And according to my calculations, I should still have this draft finished by the beginning of October.

And that's all I have for now folks! I hope you have an Awesome Wednesday Full of Writing Win!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WUW: Where the Real Writing Begins

This week I have begun working on my Official Real First Draft. The only difference between this and what I've written before is that I have the complete story all planned out. No big missing spaces filled with "SOMETHING HAPPENS HERE BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT YET". It's a good feeling.

Also, I now get to focus more on the words since I have the story all figured out. Of course, I still stare at the screen blankly a lot because in stead of thinking "What happens now?" I'm thinking, "What's the best way to describe this?"

So my word count out put has been a little bit low. Only 4082 for the past week. But I did get my first scene/chapter done. Opening chapters are the hardest. You have to make sure you're capturing your reader and making them excited for the story ahead as well as giving them all the information they need in a not boring or info dumping manner. It's a lot to think about.

What do you find hard to write, openings, endings, or something in between? Leave a comment!

Thanks for reading and have a Wednesday full of Writing Win!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WUW: Finding The Ending

I didn't post last week on any of my blogs because we had family over and I didn't even touch my computer all week. So not a lot of writing got done either. Thus, I will tell you what I was going to tell you last week.


Ever since I started writing this story I've been searching for an ending, but I could never find one. Even as I was coming up with my climax(es), I still didn't know how everything would end. But it finally hit me last week and it was a joyous occasion. I've got it all wrapped up nice and tidy but with some wiggle room for a second book if need be.

Right now I'm getting these last dozen scenes written out on note cards and then I'm going to start writing my real first draft from scene 1 and on to The End. I'm assuming that this first draft will be close to 120,000 words long. Also, I'm hoping to get this first draft completed by October sometime so that I can do a real NaNoWriMo this year and start working on my new White Crow idea. I'm not going to set a hard and fast deadline on that, because those never work for me, but we'll see how it goes.

So once that first draft gets started I'm going to do updates on here that say how many words I wrote the past week and how many scenes I completed out of the total scene count (which I think is going to be about 80 scenes). I know once I have all of this planned out properly, the writing will become much easier. I won't have to stop and stare at the screen and think, "Now what?".

Thanks for reading! Have a happy Wednesday and I hope you get lots of writing time and good words this week!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What's Up Wednesday? Not Much

Well I'm late, but that's okay. I honestly don't have much to say. I've been very productive this week, but I'm still working with the note cards. I'm almost done outlining the 70,000+ words I have so far and I've come up with 12 new scenes to be inserted into those 70K words. I'm rough guesstimating (that's an actual word?) that those 12 scenes will get me about 16,000 more words. This story is definitely going to be 90K, if not 100K, words long. *passes out* That's a lot of words.

So, yeah, I'm still plugging away. I'd really like to have this whole story plotted out and begin working on the real first draft by the end of July. It would be kind of nice to have the first draft finished and resting by November so that I can do NaNoWriMo this year. But we'll see. My writing plans and deadlines almost never work out. :)

And of course, before I go, I'll share some more Chuck Wendig gold. If you're not following his blog already then you need to fix that. 50 RANTYPANTS SNIDBITS OF RANDOM WRITING & STORYTELLING ADVICE  My favorites are #1, 3, 6, 10, 14, 16, 34, 45, 49 & 50. So, like, all of them. :D

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WUW: Organic Outlining

Outlining my story onto note cards is going really well. I'm coming up with new scenes, filling in plot holes, finding and fixing little inconsistencies, and diving deeper into my characters. I'm anxious to get back to actual writing and have a complete first draft.

While doing all of this I think I've come up with a term for my writing process. I'm an Organic Outliner. I come up with a story idea and then I'll start writing it. That goes for a while until I realize how shallow and weak the story is. Then I'll stop and do some world building and outlining until I'm ready to go back to writing. This spurt of writing goes longer, but it too will eventually grind to a halt and that's when I get out the note cards and break the story down scene by scene. Once I have all the scenes plotted out, I rearrange them and modify them and make sure everything flows well. Then I can get down to actually writing a first draft.

So, see, there's a lot of outlining and planning involved, but I can't really get to know my story, it's characters and the world until I'm writing it. So many awesome things have come up while writing that I could have never thought of while outlining. Most of it is character stuff. I don't get to know them until I have to write as them.

And once that first draft is complete, with Once Upon A Time..... Awesomely Cool Stuff Happens... The End, then I can start the editing process. But we'll save that for another post, *coughbecauseI'mnotreallysurehowthatworksyetcough*.

In the mean time, I have some stuff to share. :)

People like using parentheses in their titles don't they?

Anyway, where do you fall in the outlining vs. pantsing debate? Leave a comment down below and let's have a conversation!

Happy Wednesday!

Snoopy is wise, listen to him.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WUW: Glorified Outlines

You said it Snoopy!

Just the other night I passed 70,000 total words on this first draft of Moon Dragons. But let's be honest here people, this isn't a first draft, it's a glorified outline that I spat out onto the screen. There are soooo many missing bits. Scenes I skipped so I could get to the more "exciting" bits and such. And then, my brain is not happy with a simple plot line told from the point of view of a single character, no! It wants to know what this character is doing over here and it wants to go take a peek at the bad guys over there. And don't even get me started on sub plots. I know they're there, waiting for me to trip over them.

*big deep breaths*

So, here's my plan, I've done this before and it worked pretty well. I'm going to stop where I am and go back to the beginning and do a more formal outline of my story. Find the scenes that I'm missing and write everything out so that I know what the heck I'm doing for my ending.

I've realized over the past couple of days that I've begun to meander in my story and I kind of lost my direction. I know where the end destination is, kind of, it's all kind of foggy. So I figure that if I go back and re-chart my course, maybe explore a few paths I ignored before, I'll have a better idea of how this all ends up.

And so, as it stands right now, I have a 70,000 word, glorified outline that I'm stuck on. Once I get a few more scenes figured out, maybe I can get to the real business of writing this thing.

Do you ever get like this when you write? Have to stop in the middle somewhere and go back to figure out where you were trying to go to begin with? Or do you just press forward and damn the consequences?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WUW: Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Right?

Writing has been slow lately. The words just haven't wanted to come out unless they were just right. It's been very annoying. I just stare at the screen waiting for better words  to come. I know where I want the scene to go and what happens I'm just at a loss for words. But, so far, I think it's going pretty well.

I'm now up to 68,050 words and I can feel the ending in my bones. I'm not totally clear on what that ending is, but it will come to me. I have a few vague idea floating around but nothing is solid yet. It's tough, sometimes I feel like I could end this thing in just a few more chapters but then I worry that won't be enough to wrap things up.

Also, I'm being distracted by ideas and random little scenes for my other project. It keeps quietly jumping up and down in the back of my brain like a kid who really needs to go to the bathroom but is too afraid to interrupt the teacher to ask. I am getting to the point where I really want to just finish Moon Dragons and put it down for it's waiting period so can tinker with yet another version of White Crow.

I pray that the Writing Gods will bestow on me more focus on a single project and more time to write. Amen! :)

And now, here is a bit of something I wrote this week.

He didn’t see the hand flying at him or realize what had happened until he was laying on his back looking through the stars in his eyes to see the blank ceiling. He tasted blood in his mouth and had to turn his head to spit out two teeth. Blinking hard to clear the spots from his vision, he tried not to moan as the throbbing in his face set in.

The Eyon came around beside him and lifted the chair upright with one hand. He came around in front of Alvin, placed his hands on the arm rests and leaned his face close to Alvin’s. “This will only get worse little Human, if you don’t cooperate. Now tell me what I want to know.”

Alvin shook his head. “I don’t know the answers. I don’t know anything. I just do what I’m told.”

“Lies,” the Eyon said as he stood up straight. “We might not have been able to understand what you were saying during the battle, but I recognize a commanding voice when I hear one. You were the one giving the orders.”

Alvin shrugged. Every movement made his head pound. “That doesn’t mean my superiors told me what was really going on. I just do what I’m told.”

The Eyon shook his head. “I don’t believe you. But it doesn’t matter. I’ll get the information I need one way or another. In the meantime,” he said as he began to walk out the door. “I’ll leave these two here with you to teach you about being polite to your host.” He nodded to the two broad guards that had dragged Alvin from his cell to this room.

Alvin raised his head and glared at all three of them.

The Eyon chuckled. “Human’s got spirit. Remove it from him.”

The guards nodded with wide grins on their faces and stepped into the room. The door closed behind their leader.

And now for some writing things I'd like to share. :)

  1. This is a great article I discovered about challenging the roles of women in stories. It's a truth versus what we are being told is the truth sort of thing. Give it a read. 
  2. Felicia Day has created a new channel on YouTube called Geek & Sundry Vlogs. And on there is a vlogger who talks about writing. She gives weekly writing challenges and the like. So if you're looking for more ways to be creative, check it out here. And check out the other vloggers as well, it's all very geeky. 
  3. I'm a girl and most of my main characters are girls, but I do have boy characters and this article has helped me figure out better ways to write men and make them more realistic. 

That's it for now, friends! So tell me, how's your writing week been going?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Shiny New Changes!

Hello Awesome Readers! Thanks for visiting my updated Writing Blog.

You'll notice a few new things, like the background and some new links and things on the side. But the part I'm most excited about is the "Current Projects" tab. In there you'll find a list of what things I'm working on, what stage they're at in the writing process and I've even thrown in some pictures I've made of some of the characters. I can't draw worth beans, but I really like playing with other people's art. There are links on that page that take you to the site were I created all the images.

Beyond that, not much here is changing. I'll still be updating every Wednesday with "What's Up Wednesday" with an added effort to include writing news or advice that I find around the web. That way, we can learn together.

Also, there have been some changes over at my normal blog which you can find here.

So tell me what you think of the changes. I LOVE reading comments, it makes me feel loved. :)

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tiny Little Update

There won't be a What's Up Wednesday this week. I'm doing some work on both my blogs so I'll just put this sign here:

And everything should be back to normal, with a twist, by next week. Maybe sooner. See you around!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What's Up Wednesday? #7

I wrote this on Wednesday, so it still counts. ;P

Hey, I'm back on track! Let's all give a cheer!

So I totally blanked on updating last week because not much writing got done at all in that time. Had family in town and I was busy most of the time.

Yesterday, I passed the 60,000 word mark. I'm pretty sure this story will end somewhere around 80-90K. The next draft will probably be longer because my first round of edits is more about adding to instead of taking from the original draft. I'm just really amazed that I haven't grown tired of the story yet. The Editor Within is getting anxious though. I have so many notes about things I need to go back and fix, my fingers are just itching to do it. But I will finish the story first!

Then, this morning I made a decision to write a few scenes/chapters in another character's point of view. Not much is really happening with my main character at the moment so I thought I'd switch gears. I have no clue if what I'm about to write will stay on into the final drafts, but it will be a good writing exercise nonetheless. It's good to play with the other characters to get a different feel for the over all story.

Question Time: Do you edit as you write the first draft or do you wait until you have the whole thing on paper?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Waz Up Thursday?! (WUW #6)

So last week I didn't update until Friday, now I waited until Thursday. So in theory, I should be back on track next week. You know, pending life and stuff.

This week got me a grand total of 9472 words! It was a very productive week. I passed the 50,000 mark for over all word count, which makes this the longest thing I've ever written and it's still going strong.

Yesterday I wrote the first battle scene. It was short but intense, I made a lot happen in 2200 words. And then last night, my muse, a.k.a. my Husband, gave me a great idea that solves a couple plot problems for me. I figured out how I'm going to move forward in the story as well as an easy fix for my really weak opening scenes.

How's your week been with writing or editing or life? Share with me!

Thanks for reading and have a good Thursday!

Friday, April 26, 2013

What's Up Friday? (WUW #5)

Yeah, it's been a busy week. And all of it has been non-writing life busy. So my total word count since my last update is... 4532. That looks good, but after a week and a half I should have more. :(

I'm hoping to get some words in tonight. I've been dying to write because I'm ramping up for the first big battle scene in which epic things will happen and it will be sad and EPIC. I'm a little scared to write such a big scene. And this will be my first time writing a space battle, but it will be fun.

Also, I believe I've reached the point in this current WIP where I gave up on my last one. That first draft of the first manuscript was about 42K words long and I've passed that mark already in Moon Dragons. And I still have a long way to go. I'm wondering if this is going to end up being a series or something. Well just have to wait and see.

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What's Up Wednesday #4

Wow, I've updated this blog every week for a month. That's a serious record for me. :D

I love these pictures. :)

Anyway, I'm getting better and better at writing everyday. I like getting up early in the morning. My mind is fresh and the house is nice and quiet. This week I wrote a total of 4436 words. I'm almost at 40K total for this first draft. I've kind of set a goal of 70K, but I may go past that. I'm not really sure. Either way, I'm somewhere around the half way point of my story.

I'm getting into a good place with all this writing. At first it seemed like a chore. All I thought about was getting that minimum of 350 words so I could move on, but now I'm writing more everyday and I just don't want to stop. If I had my way I'd write all day long. Unfortunately, kids and chores and stuff get in the way of that.

I wrote a funny little piece of dialogue the other day that I thought I'd share. In this scene, my main character, Sonya, is talking to a scientist about how the general population would react to the knowledge of the existence of aliens.

Carter [says]..."Half think it would be beneficial to make friends with aliens, the other half think that all aliens would want with us is to harvest our brains, or other such nonsense.”

“Those people read too much science fiction,” Sonya laughed. 

 “My thoughts exactly.”

A little breaking of the fourth wall never hurt anyone. ;)

So how is your writing going? Is it flowing or are you hung up on stuff? Tell me in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What's Up Wednesday #3

This has been a much better writing week than last week. I've started getting up at 5 AM to write. The kids don't normally get up until sometime between 6 and 7 so I, generally, get a solid hour to write. That didn't happen today. William got up at 5:30 and has been watching Sesame Street. Elmo is not conducive to Moon Dragons. So I've been writing blog post instead.

So my total word count this week is 3313. I did a little over 1700 words yesterday alone. And I've noticed I don't write much, if at all, on the weekends. Part of it is because of that Chuck Wendig blog I mentioned. His plan has you taking the weekends off, only writing 5 days a week. But that will change this weekend. I'm going to start going to the library again on Saturday mornings. Two hours of childless writing sounds like Heaven.

Anyway, I'm half way through the first meeting between the Humans and the Aliens. I'm really playing this scene by ear. I've already covered some of the major points and now I'm just playing with the characters. I'm sure a lot of it will be cut later, but it's a good way to get to know my Alien MCs.

I forgot to do this last week, but here's some lines I've written recently.

“I make you nervous, don’t I?”

[Sonya] blushed. “I’m sure you have that effect on most people, sir.”
Commander Turner grimaced. “True. But I don’t want you to be afraid of me. I have a feeling we’ll be working together a lot in the near future. Plus, you’re my daughter’s best friend, I want you to be comfortable around me.”
“I’ll try sir,” she said with a smile.

And that's all folks! Have a Happy Wednesday and go write something!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What's Up Wednesday #2

As an interesting side note: This is my 50th post on this blog. So that's kind of cool. My first post was back in June 2010. Two and a half years and the most I've done is finish the first draft of one manuscript. Didn't even finish editing it because the whole thing was just wrong.

BUT, on to happy writing stuff!

So this last week was a little slow with the writing. In total I only added about 1000 words. But I'm on the edge of a very important and, possibly, hard part. The MC is about to meet her first alien in person. I'm pretty sure these aliens are going to come off flat and cardboard at first and I'll have to work hard to make them real, but at this point, I just want to get the scene down on paper. That's what the first draft is all about.

Anyway, I plan on writing a lot this week and hope to have lots of time this weekend, but we'll see. Life has a bad habit of getting in the way of all the fun stuff I want to do.

So, how's your writing going? Starting any new projects now that's it's spring? Share with me!

Have a Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What's Up Wednesday #1

So I've seen a few other writing blogs that do a Writing Wednesday or a WIP Wednesday and I wanted to do something similar but different. So here you have the first What's Up Wednesday!

And what will I talk about in What's Up Wednesday. What's up with my writing of course. This is a writing blog after all. ;)

Well, I've given my current WIP a new working title of Moon Dragons. Sounds a lot better than Dragons in Space space space space! And I'm currently up to over 30,000 words out of about 70,000. I really have no clue how long this is going to be but I'm pretty sure I'm not quiet half way through the story yet.

I was hoping to get a lot more words on the page the last few days but I got caught up in the beginning stages of developing two of my main alien characters. At first I wanted to make them "simply evil" but after reading that character book I reviewed last post I realized that would not be a good idea. So I had to come up with some basic motivations and reasons for why they do what they will eventually do, which I'm not 100% sure of yet. :D

And now for a few lines from Moon Dragons:

Sonya looked over her shoulder at her teacher Master Abdul... “I don’t think I can do it, sir.”

“And why not?”

She swallowed the lump in her throat. “I’m afraid of heights, sir,” she whispered.

Master Abdul let out a belly laugh. “You want to fly in space but you’re afraid of heights?”

Sonya shrugged. “There’s no gravity in space, sir. No falling down.”

Also, some links about writing awesomeness I'd like to share.

First, Chuck Wendig dispenses awesome writing advice. The first I'd like to share is this: 
And this: 

He's a smart man and he writes good books. I just reviewed one this week in fact. :)

And that is all for now friends! Have a Happy Writer's Wednesday!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Something New!

Oh my gosh, this blog does still exist! Haha.

So, if you read my regular blog, you know that I do a fair amount of book reviews. Well, besides loving fiction I also read a lot of writing reference books. I've never taken a creative writing class or anything beyond an English 101 and Business Writing college course. Everything I know about writing (and a tiny bit about publishing) I've learned from books. And I have a fair amount of them.

So I figured, since this is a writing blog I could use this space to review some writing books. As a note, I've gotten like 80% of my writing books from the Writer's Digest Shop*. It's a great resource. :)

And today we will start off with a review of Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress


*Images and book information from Writer's Digest Shop

The indispensable Write Great Fiction series continues with an indepth look at three of the most important tools in the writer's craft: character, emotion and viewpoint. With the tips and techniques in this book, you will learn how to:
Create compelling characters that readers believe in
Write scenes that deliver an unforgettable emotional impact
Distinguish among the many different kinds of viewpoint, and choose the one which is right for your story

Each chapter is filled with examples drawn from the work of successful writers, along with action-and-results excercises that help you take your lessons to the keyboard.

Nancy Kress is the author of 16 novels and three story collections, as well as Writer's Digest'sDynamic Characters. Her short fiction has won three Nebulas and a Hugo. In addition to writing the fiction column for Writer's Digest magazine, Nancy often teaches writing at universities. She lives in Silver Springs, Maryland.


This book is part of the Write Great Fiction series. I bought the whole series a couple years ago at a great price and I've been working my way through them (life makes me a slow reader sometimes). 

As the title states, this book is all about characters. Kress covers a lot of topics in this. From choosing and defining your characters, to properly expressing their emotions, to deciding what kind of point of view is best for your story.

What I love best about this book, and the others in the series, is all the exercises at the end of each chapter. There's at least 5 per chapter and they include activities that have you building your own characters and ones that have you evaluating characters from other books. It really makes you think.

This book is meant to teach and it does a great job of that. And thus, 5 stars. :)

Well I hope you've enjoyed reading this. If you have any suggestions of good books about the art and craft of writing, feel free to leave me a comment here, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Have a Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

750 Words At A Time

So I just wanted to do a quick little post about this cool site I found last week. It's called It's a great tool for those people who have daily word count goals to meet.

It's basically a blank screen where you are supposed to write 750 words a day. There's a point system for how many words you write and how often you write them. And all sorts of fun badges to earn as well. It makes hitting that daily word goal fun and something to look forward too.

And you can write whatever you want and no ones sees it. It's completely private and 100% free. In fact, I'm writing this blog post in there right now. Once I hit my 750 I'll just copy/paste the words into Blogger.

So go check it out and tell me if it helps you meet your writing goals. I know it's helping with mine.

Thanks for reading! Have a Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Writing Resolutions

So in my blog post yesterday I talked about my goals for this new year and of course it included my writing goals. My writing goal for this year is to finish the first draft of Dragons in Space. Alongside that I also want to write at least 1000 words a day. No matter if the words are for my WIP or my blogs or even my journal (although I'd have to count the words I hand write in my journals).

Right now I'm up to over 27,000 words in Dragons but I've gotten into more world building and character development lately. The more I write of this story the more complicated it seems to get. I mean, I've got two alien races I have to develop. That's a lot of freaking work.

And while I'm doing all this I need to brush up on some of my writing basics. So I'll be reading some writing reference books. I still have a few sitting around I bought a year or more ago that I haven't read. If y'all are interested I can review them as I read them here. I like to share knowledge.

So even though I'm not actively adding words to my manuscript I still want to write a little each day. I think 1000 words is reasonable for me. And just today I got handed an assignment for this Secret Story Swap over at the AW Forums. I'm excited and nervous about it because the prompt I was given is pretty broad. I can't go into more detail than that for fear that my giftee will read this. But this is all super exciting because right now, someone is writing a story just for me. :D

So, dear readers, what are some of your writing goals this year? Going to finish that novel or rewrite it? Going to find an agent or a publisher? Or just write 100 words a day? Tell me in the comments and have a Happy New Year!