Friday, June 29, 2012

My Random though for this Month

Are there too many writers?

I read a blog post or something somewhere once that asked if there was such thing as too many writers or too many books. I believe at the core of the question was if the market for books would ever be over saturated with books. If too many authors meant not enough wealth or readers to go around.

My response. Ahem... movies? TV?

Can you imagine if people stopped making new movies or new tv shows? It has all been done on the screen after all. Won't people get board? No. Why? Because although we love to revisit old favorites - we also like to see something new. Even if we have already seen the story before. For example remakes. If people were likely to get board - there would be no such thing as remakes.

We all see the world differently. Each writer has in them an hundred different stories - combine all the stories in all the writers that ever have, are, or will live and no two are exactly the same. They may be similar - but not the same. I would love to read every single story - every single book.

What do you think?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wisdom from a Writer's Conference: Keynote

Kevin J. Anderson gave the keynote address at the LDStoryMakers conferences was:

What I learned:

Kevin J. Anderson is awesome! Okay - I already knew that since I read his Star Wars books when I was a teenager.

He talked about two ways of making popcorn. One was long and elaborate and involved popping one kernel at a time. The other was put a bunch of oil in the pan and a bunch of popcorn. The point was you never know where your opportunities for success will come from. Do a lot. Do everything. Always answer with: "I can do that!"

How I Plan to Apply it:

I focused for ten years on one project. That was way to long. Now I have decided to try and do either multiple things at once - or only spend a little of time on every project. The important thing is to be doing something.

Friday, June 22, 2012

I Challenge You to Mix up a Story

And the last of my new experiments is going to be:

I Challenge You!

I which I will put forth a challenge designed to get the juices flowing and make you think. Often I will participate in the challenge.

Story Mix Up

1. List three books you have read.
2. List two elements that you enjoyed from each of those books.
3. Write a short piece that incorporates each of those elements.

To make it more fun try mixing up genre's. Make is serious or fun!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wisdom from a Writer's Conference: Problem

The next class I attending at the LDStoryMakers conferences was:

Problem: The Core of the Story by John Brown

What I learned:

My thoughts: There are like a hundred different ways to structure a story. John Brown's way is just one. I think we all need to find our own system that works and stick too it.

From the class: If there is no problem. There is no story. Problems generate scenes. The structure of a story follows the problem solving structure. Problem -> Reaction -> Action -> Trouble -> Problem. This cycle starts with the inciting incident and ends with the resolution.

How I Plan to Apply it:

I found John Brown's problem based story structure interesting. And I took a way a few nuggets of wisdom to integrate in my writing style. I do plan to make problem more prominent in my stories. I already know that my characters usually don't encounter enough obstacles. But I find that there are other story structures that are more natural for me to use then this one.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ask the Question: Why do you write in your genre?

And my next experiment is... Ask the Question!

On the third Friday of every month I will pose a question. I will then answer it for myself and wait to hear about your responses the same question.

Why do you write in your genre?

My Genre: Science Fiction and Fantasy (aka Speculative Fiction)

Real life is boring. I like to read about the impossible because it sparks my imagination and takes me away from the real world. Sci-fi and fantasy are what I like to read, watch, play, dream. Yes I have other interests in these areas. For example - I really like to read historical fiction and I love watching crime dramas on TV. But I don't write in these genre's because they don't capture my imagination. They just entertain me.

How about you?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wisdom from a Writer's Conference: Writing a Series

The next class I attending at the LDStoryMakers conferences was:

Writing a Series: Telling the Same Story Again, and Better, and Totally Different by Dan

What I learned:

Repeat what readers like - but in a new way. Make sure you correctly identify what the readers liked in the first one. Use a different story/character arc for each book in the series but use similar elements.

There will be one character arc for each book in the series - and then one over all arc that covers the whole series. It is not necessary to know the overall arc before beginning to write the series - but it helps a lot. Each individuals book character arc will contribute and bring you closer to the over all arc.

Dan Wells also talked about his seven plot points and that you can have either an up or down character arc.

How I Plan to Apply it:

My current WIP (and the one I shelved in favor of it) is a series. I am planning out my character arcs and my overall arc. But I won't be outlining all the books. I have a general idea of the overall story but I am going to focus on one book at a time. I read/learned elsewhere that it is important for each book in a series to be self contained and be able to stand on its own. Especially the first one.

I am excited to try my hand at writing a series.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Write. Be. June 2012

Are you ready for the very first of my experiments. May I introduce....

Write. Be.

Checkout the blog and/or the page above for more information.

Basically I am starting a group designed to inspire confidence in writers and here is my very first post for the group:

Why Confidence?

Have you ever met a confident person? How it seems that nothing can daunt them? Their confidence lends them strength in the face of adversity - but that does not mean that they are unafraid or even truly sure of them selves. It means that they know themselves and want to push themselves to the next level.

I have confidence in who I am as a writer. Even though over the past year I have learned a lot about my writing self - I still feel comfortable in my skin. Each new revelation requires and adjustment period, but because I am confident in who I am as a writer I can keep moving forward.


Slowly after the past year I have realized something. I write because it is part of who I am. I write because it is like breathing or praying to me, essential, natural. I would love to publish a book and maybe even have someone buy a copy. But I don't want to be a famous millionaire writer. And in case there is anyone out there who thinks that I am just saying that to lower my expectations let me put it this way:

I won't be a famous millionaire writer because it is not what I want. So I will never push for it or work towards it.

So the new focus for my writing? Enjoy it. Submit or self publish as I feel like it. And let what is to be, be.

Realizing this has set me free from a lot of worry and stress. The strain to live up to - to accomplish - some goal that is not even important to me.

I write. I am. That is enough for me.

What revelations have set you free?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Wisdom from a Writer's Conference: World Building

The next class I attending at the LDStoryMakers conferences was:

World Building: Wrapping Your Head Around a World, so You Can Wrap that World
Around Your Story by Howard Taylor.

What I learned:

Every story - no matter what the genre - required you to set up the world for the reader.

There are two kinds of world building: Top down (story then build world), Bottom up (build world then story). You only need as much world building as is required to make the story make sense. When world building poke holes in it by asking why - make sure it always makes sense.

Taylor's First Rule: Is it cheaper to let the donkey do it? If it is, then donkey's die out.
Otherwise - magic dies out.

How I Plan to Apply it:

I do a lot of world building around my story. It often sparks new ideas and is a lot of fun for me. But I find that once the world is built I have a hard time launching into the story. And I spend too much time world building. So for my next project (an MG Fantasy) I am going to do just a little world building - just enough to understand the world my characters live in and start writing.

I also plan to apply this concept to character building and outlining. At least as far as finishing the first draft. I don't draft very fast. The upside to that is I have to do much less revision - but I think that writing a quick first draft and then revising my actually be short then my usual method. We will see how this goes.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Blog Birthday and Some Changes

Okay - so it is not the actual birth "day" of my blog - but is the birth month. And in honor of making it a whole year of blogging (*yikes*) I would like to change things up.

First of all I am going to change things up. I am going down to posting two - two times a week. On Mondays I will post general thoughts and gabbering. Friday's will be... a surprise :) I am going to try a series of experiments, so be sure to tune in to see what I have planned.

You may be asking yourself why I am cutting back. Well I have two reasons - one is I need more time to work on my actual writing. Two is that I just like change.

Well - that is all have to say for now. Tune in on Monday for more wisdom from the writing conference I attended in May. And next Friday will be the first surprise!