Tag: writing class

Sundays are for Writing #7

This week wasn’t a good writing week. I did get some writing done twice…but probably only about 500 words total. Stress seems to make writing nearly impossible for me, so I’m floundering. I’ll try to gain some focus next week.

The good news is my characters are talking to me, so yay!

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Sundays are for Writing #6

Rough week at work, so I planned to do no writing until the weekend. I started yesterday morning with a 10-minute session—I find that if I try to write for longer than that, my brain wanders, but I can focus for 10 minutes—re-doing the first scene of my story (since my hard drive died the week before last, taking everything with it.

I’ve had an online backup program, Mozy, for years, but I didn’t realize it stopped working 6 or 8 months ago. My file download took two days to finish, but when it did finish yesterday morning, there was the first 3k of my story draft!

Do I wish it had been more? Absolutely. Will I be better about keeping an eye on the program to make sure it keeps working? You better believe it! But, it’s better than nothing.

I only recently wrote the other 5k words, so it’s pretty fresh in my mind. My goal is to get back to where I was over the next two weeks, and to work through Lessons 7 and 8 of HTWAN. I did get another 500 or so words added on to my recovered file, so there’s that.

Happy writing!

Sundays are for Writing #4

Four straight weeks talking about writing on Sunday! I’m really proud of that streak. Really. It seems that for the past couple of years, all I’ve talked about here is books and book reviews, without time or room for anything else. But writing is where my heart truly lies. I’ve made it a priority this year, and the affirmation of that is in these weekly posts.

This week was an excellent writing week:  I wrote four different days (I don’t write on my three long work days—we’re talking 12+ hours—because I’m just mentally and physically exhausted after those early, long days) this week, and my goal is 750 words in each writing session.

Nailed it. Which means I wrote 3,000 words this week! This makes me very happy. Years ago, I remember writing 10k in a single day—more than once—for NaNo, but that was years ago, pre-stroke. So, very happy with my 750 words a day…and they are just flowing, which is even better!

I haven’t been able to work on my HTWAN lessons this week, but I’m about to go do that right now. So:  3,000 words for the week!

Happy writitng!

Sundays are for Writing #3

I think the accountability of posting here ever week is keeping me motivated to make progress of some sort in my writing ever week. At least…it’s worked for three weeks straight now, so I’ll take it.

Tuesday, I worked my way through lesson 5 of HTWAN. I completed the worksheets, but I wasn’t super happy with my answers. I wrote 1,000 words or so on the accompanying draft, but the world just wasn’t working for me. It wasn’t making me happy.

Thursday, I opened the 3,000 words I had written for the original story idea and read through it. I was much, much happier with that draft. The flow felt more natural. Less stilted. So, I decided to return to my original story idea, and the Muse was happy with that plan.

Yesterday and today I wrote an easy 500 words both days. I still have only the fuzziest of ideas where the story is going—and I could easily be wrong—but the easy Southern fiction voice feels right.

Sundays are for Writing #2

Look at me:  for the second Sunday in a row I’m talking about writing! Yay for New Year’s goals that last longer than a week…

The truth is, I haven’t started actually writing this story yet. But I’ve completed five weeks’ worth of worksheets for Holly Lisle’s How to Write a Novel Class, and now I have an actual idea (or three) of what this story is about, in addition to knowing more about my characters and the conflicts. (To be fair, what I knew about them before this class was basically zero.)

And I know what my first scene is—along with my second. This story is not about quite what I thought it was, and it will be interesting to see how it develops. I’ll be starting the first draft this week, so here’s to hitting my writing goals…the same week my semester starts.

 

 

 

Things All Writers Understand

Just a few things from my Writing Pinterest board that all writers will understand. (I don’t own any of these images, but bless their creators, for totally understanding the struggle.)

block
At this point, it could be either one…
coming-together
I LOVE this feeling!
dory-writing
It’s sad how accurate this is <looks at list of 4 planned novels for this year, including the shiny new one that happened two weeks ago>.
first-draft
…one of which planned novels is the full re-write of the first thing I ever started writing…
inspiration
Motivation comes in many forms.
old
Actually, I’m too afraid to look at my VERY first draft.
plotting
If I only I could be the first one.
writer
Wait, I thought everyone hung upside down. You mean they don’t?
writing
I might resemble the last picture…
youre-a-writer
Guilty.

 

Avoiding Cliché

So, I got feedback from my other essay yesterday, the one I was wondering about while waiting for feedback from the first free-form essay. It was highly favorable. The professor loved it, except for my next-to-last-sentence, which was, he said, the only one he would change. That sentence was a cliché, which slip into my writing without me even noticing.

Should I have caught it? Definitely. Was he right? Absolutely. Am I upset about the feedback? Are you kidding me? I’ve learned a lot from this class, especially from his comments. I got very detailed feedback, several paragraphs long, on this essay. He took the time to tell me how much and why he liked my voice, my setting, my characters…and what I did at the very end that erased all of that hard work. Knowing the positives about the essay, and what negated them, allows me to actually learn this lesson, instead of just getting the grade.

The point of his feedback:  cliché= laziness. Laziness is bad and undoes all of your hard work. So….don’t be lazy:  avoid cliché!

Two is Better than One

Good morning. I’m just working through Holly Lisle’s How to Motivate Yourself workshop a bit this morning. She always has such interesting videos, like the one I just watched about communication between the right and left brains (and what happens when that connection is severed). I think my right brain influences me a lot. That would be my instinctive reactions, my desires, my hunches. My more introspective side, if you will.

Two people I’m close to are strongly left-brained, though. One of them…I don’t think his right brain gets much say in his life at all. The other, well, I think her right brain holds some sway. It’s interesting, actually, considering the differences. It’s like having two different people in your head.

I’ve always said I had two personalities.

Now I’m off to ponder my results from this morning’s exercises. And see if I can strengthen that connection between my brains.

Re-thinking this whole writing thing

…okay, not really re-thinking. Let’s just say I’m going to try something new (or, actually, old). Confused yet? Let me explain. Have you heard of Holly Lisle? If you haven’t, well, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Holly is a rarity: a mid-list author who actually makes a living with her writing. She’s smart, she’s a great writer, she knows what she’s doing, and, more importantly, she’s really big on paying it forward (she did start Forward Motion, after all). She spends a lot of her time helping her fellow writers out. To that end, she has created lots of helpful things, from the smaller workshops like How to Create a Language, How to Create a Character, How to Write Page-Turning Scenes…and she has also created huge, incredibly detailed classes Like How To Revise Your Novel and How To Think Sideways.

I was in the original HTTS class, as well as the original HTRYN class, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much difference these two classes made in my writing. The way Holly thinks, the way she breaks things down using plain language, worksheets, examples…well, it got me thinking in ways I’d never thought before (which was the point, right?). Since I don’t have much done on The Fall–in reality, I have only a handful of pages written, basically no pre-work, and haven’t touched it in weeks–I’ve decided that I’m going to take it through HTTS. I know the end result will be much closer to the story I have in my head, much more true to the vision I can see for the story. It will just be better. Yeah, it’ll be a lot of work and it will take me a while, but in the end, it’ll be worth it.

I’m a huge fan of Holly’s writing in general, and I know her courses can really get results–if you’re willing to do the work. I am. I haven’t been published, but I’ve gotten some partial manuscript requests because of her courses, and I want to give everything I can to The Fall. I’ve also decided to become one of Holly’s affiliates. I do believe whole-heartedly in her methods, her teaching, and her results, and if you have any interest in checking it out for yourself, go here. If you aren’t a writer, but you’d like to read a great book, you can check those out as well.