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Will Write For Money

The second session of Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and guess what? I’m not participating!

What?!

Now, now, it’s not like I’ve totally crumpled in defeat and have refused to write. I will still be writing 1500+ words everyday (have been doing so for the past three days, in fact), but it will not be for a novel. It’s not even my own story, really, thought I almost feel as if it is my own at this point. I’m writing for a client — fiction, finally! — and the idea of taking on that and trying to write a novel? EEK! So, the novel is on the back-burner once more.

Meanwhile, I’ve been writing so magnificently fast in the past few days. After months of working on nothing but articles and edits, I feel light and free. There’s also the added bonus of it NOT being my story. This doesn’t mean that I’m slacking on my work, no-siree. It just means that I’ve finally found that feeling that I need to have when I’m working on my own stories. To put a twist on a popular saying: “Just keep writing, just keep writing”

Many times, because I’m so close to the story that I am working on, I tend to freeze up and fret over every single sentence. It must be perfect. It must be witty and beautiful and rich. This kind of thinking gets you about 100 words after hours of pulling your hair out in front of your computer. Don’t do it!

So, how do you detach yourself from your brain child? Well, I’m still working on that. Finding that metaphorical umbilical cord is a little tricky… And, I may have gone too far with that image.

I’m gonna go do something else now. See ya! Oh, and tell me if you figure the secret out before me. All I’ve got is a scenario involving snacks and sleep deprivation. Anyways… Toodles!

Eat. Sleep. Read. Write.

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Writing

 

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The Fickle Protagonist

Oh dearie me, it’s been forever since I last posted. I got busy writing for Camp NaNo, and then I got interrupted by… more writing. Let’s just say that I did a ton of writing during the Camp NaNoWriMo month, but not all of it was for my story. Thus, I technically reached 50,000 words but didn’t finish the actual writing challenge. A girls gotta pay the bills, so I’m not terribly bummed.

The writing challenge did, however, allow me to better understand my main character who has been elusive and silent for many writing sessions.

Me: Excuse me, but can you please tell me who you are? I’m trying to write a book about you, you see, and it’s really hard to do that when all I know is that you’re female… you are female, right? If you’re not, that’s fine, but I’d really like to know what’s going on in that head of yours. How old are you, what’s your favorite color… Do you prefer Captain Crunch or Fruity Pebbles?

Main Character: ………………….

Perhaps I’m asking too much of them too soon, hmmm? My main character has warmed up to me a little bit more since our first encounter. Thank goodness because they were starting to seem as flat as a generic teen romance’s female protagonist. Meanwhile, the world was building up around my main character into something very interesting, but it could only go so far with a leading lady who refused to do anything.

What really helped me out was to stop worrying about what was going to happen next and to focus more on my MC’s past. You’d think that I would have done this before, but no. Without it, she was an obscure, blah character who had no real reason to be liked by her fellow characters, let alone the audience (*cough* Bella Swan *cough*). Now, I can’t particularly say that I know something as specific as her career at this point but I at least know what careers are out of the question, and which ones are most likely with her personality. And, there is no way she is going to be a depressed, angsty teenager like she was kind of becoming in the beginning. *shudders*

Well, toodles. Until next time.

Do you ever have trouble with your characters? Please share. Rant and give advice. It’s much appreciated.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Life, Writing

 

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Just Keep Going

I thought I’d just drop by the old blog and tell you that I’m still in the game. Write, write, write. I fell a little behind this weekend when my back started hurting — wow, do I sound old and decrepit… — from all the sitting I was doing. I’ve resorted to switching to an exercise ball for a seat and occasionally standing as I type. I also found this someecards card that I felt offered some good advice for times like these.

Well, back to writing. Toodles.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2012 in Writing

 

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All moved in

 

I’m pretty excited. I blew the first day goal out of the water. Boo-yah! *cough*

Anyways…

I have more to write tonight, but I finished a scene and sort of rambled on in other parts in order to figure out certain aspects of the story. I’ve pushed through some awkward moments already, and some embarrassing moments. Yes, I had one of those moments that I talked about recently on this blog. I had to tell myself to just get it all out. No one was going to see it but me — for now — so I didn’t need to worry so much.

And, guess what? My cabin-mates are pretty awesome! We’ve started this little writing game to help us work through our stories. I was worried for a little while that it would just be two of in there, but nope.

That’s all for now, because I have some more writing to do. This was my temporary distraction and, no, it doesn’t count as writing for the challenge. See ya!

Eat. Sleep. Write. Write. Write.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2012 in Writing

 

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Packing for camp

Camping! …. Without the risks.

Sunscreen? Check. Sleeping Bag? Check. S’mores Supplies? Definitely Check.

Laptop?

Yes, I’m bringing my laptop to camp. Why? Because this is no ordinary camp, Kiddies. It’s Camp NaNoWriMo! If you’ve been following my blog, you already know the details. If not, in a nutshell, it’s a writing challenge. 50,000 words in one month– summer edition. This year, I’m in it to win it. There is no stopping me this time. Nuh-Uh.

I’ve checked in on my cabin every once in a while since they opened it and, so far, only one person has posted anything besides myself. And, I’m not sure I understand half of what they’ve said, which is sad considering this is a writing challenge. This might be similar to a chat room/board, people, but that doesn’t mean you have to write like you text. This person is nearly a decade older than me, so there’s no excuse for that teenage text speak.

Wow, I sound old….

The other cabin-mates are still silent. Hopefully they will at least say hello. It’s rather pointless to be placed in a cabin for Camp NaNo only to not talk to anyone. You could choose to do it alone instead, really. There is an option for that. I like having the virtual cabin, however, to turn to when I have questions or find myself in a writing slump. It’s also nice having that connection, especially if you live far from anyone else doing the challenge.

Now, besides “packing” for camp I’m preparing my brain for the road blocks that might be ahead. What do I do when the story just won’t come? What if one of my characters is rebelling? Stuff like that.

First things first, read as much as you can in your free time before the challenge starts. And, just because you’ll be spending several hours of your free time writing for the challenge, doesn’t mean you can’t read during that time either. When you find yourself stuck, go read something from one of your favorite authors. You can even mimic the style of that book to kick-start your own writing again. It’s okay to do that on the first draft.

Other things to do are:

  1. Change the view. Tired of looking for inspiration in the flat paint of your bedroom wall? Go to the kitchen table, a porch chair, a cafe. Anywhere else.
  2. Just go for a walk. Maybe you’ve already changed the scenery and that hasn’t worked, or you’re computer isn’t the portable type. It’s time to get some exercise, take a hike and take in the world around you. Carry some note cards and a pen with you because inspiration might hit while you’re out.
  3. Get elbow deep in another hobby. Take your mind off of your writing for a moment and go cook something or draw something. Do something that takes a different kind of creativity or no creativity at all.
  4. Go chat with fellow writers. In person, online, whichever one you have available.
  5. Participate in camp activities. Hey, it is Camp NaNoWriMo. Why not roast some marshmallows or sing camp songs? If you feel like the fun has disappeared from your writing, this can help bring it back.

So many things to do, hmmm. Anyways, the time is drawing closer and closer. For some, it’s already begun. I’ve still got quite a few hours to go. I mentioned this writing challenge to my young niece just last night — quite the blossoming writer — and she wants to try it as well. She was going to stay up late in order to do it too. Thank goodness she’s on summer vacation, or her mother might never forgive me.

Well….

Eat. Sleep. Camp. Read. Write.

 

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Writing

 

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My Cabin

Camp NaNoWriMo has announced that they fumigated the cabins today, so I decided to check out my cabin. Okay, so it’s not a real cabin and the fumigating was more technical that anything else. But, let’s just go along with it.

I have 5 cabin-mates. We have yet to speak to each other. I wasn’t even aware that they’d already set the cabin message board up until a bit ago, and wouldn’t have known unless I’d decided to check out the website (because I was bored). If you’re participating in Camp NaNo this time round, check out your cabin too! I’ll be sending a hopefully friendly and not hyperactive message to my own cabin-mates shortly. Then, we just have to wait.

Meanwhile, I want to talk about strategy or how-to-get-through-this-alive. Obviously, my “strategy” last year was very, very bad. Just wing it? I don’t think so. Doing that part of the time is OK, but it’s going to drive you into a corner if you do it for the entire story. Instead, I’m going to outline the story a little before I officially start on it. Recently, I learned of something I think will be quite useful, so I want to share it with you:

1. Write out your scenes on note cards.

2. Then, arrange them in front of you to see where the scenes really belong in the story. You might find that a scene you originally placed at the beginning, belongs closer to the end or vice versa.

Got it? Pretty easy, and really helpful if you’re more visual like I am. Other than that, I’ve been preparing by reading in my spare time. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been working on the Hunger Games books — among other things. I book hop like no other. Almost done, and have the disturbing dreams to prove it. Still don’t understand why my friend dislikes Katniss so much. So far, I’ve understood every action Katniss has taken in the story, good and bad. I talked with my friend a little more about the books and it might be a simple matter of her wishing the protagonist was more clever, more heroic. I think that Katniss is exactly who she should be.

Well, back to reading and some work. So many things to do tomorrow…

Eat. Sleep. Read. Write.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Writing

 

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Katniss, the cold-hearted bit-ca?

I’m trying to be very, very patient for NaNoWriMo to start. I’ve been cleaning — you would not believe how many things were expired in my bathroom — and cooking new things to keep me distracted. Also, I’ve started in on the second Hunger Games book. The girly part of me is very curious about the romance aspect of it, but the other part wants to know what’s going to happen next in the land of Panem. I swear, if it’s only about who’s going to be Katniss’ boyfriend, I’m going to be ticked off.

Now, a friend of mine who has already finished all of the books told me the other day that she didn’t like Katniss, that she saw her as too cold-hearted and indifferent. I have to admit that I was a little surprised at this. I’d only read the first book, but I hadn’t really pictured Katniss as such. My friend told me to tell her if I saw anything as I was reading that said otherwise, and so I agreed.

So, I thought about it a little and as I was reading last night I had a few thoughts, the first being that my friend might be believing everything that Katniss says. What does that mean? It means that these books are in first person and therefore the narrator cannot be reliable. The parts that I had been considering to be moments of self-denial and self-editing on Katniss’ part, my friend might have taken at face value. There are moments when she describes how she honestly feels, but her character isn’t the type to fully understand or want to fully understand her own feelings. Her character has many faults, but being cold-hearted is not one of them.

And that’s it for my character analysis. If I say anymore, I might start writing in circles. For those who have read the books, what do you think? For those who hate the books, please make your way to the nearest exit. I admit that it’s not my usual read, but it’s a whole lot better than Twilight. Sorry if I offended any Twilight fans.

Anyway.

Eat. Sleep. Read. Write.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Books, Writing

 

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