Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Love Halloween... or Do I?

So the other day I was thinking - I love Halloween! I love dressing up and candy - don't get me started on the candy. Yum :)

Then later that day I was sitting watching TV and noticing how many scary movies are being shown in October. I thought to myself, I can't wait until November - I hate Halloween.

The irony kind of struck me.

That actually happens to me a lot.

Anyway, so I love/hate Halloween. See I am not into scary movies. I have very vivid nightmares. I blame my over active imagination. Let me see if I can give you an idea here - ET gave me nightmares. Yep.

I also am not into paranormal at all. Don't think vampire's or zombies are cool.

So basically I like Halloween because I get candy and I could break out my StarFleet uniform (if I had one) without being ridiculed. Everything else about Halloween - I don't like.

So what is your favorite part of Halloween

Friday, October 19, 2012

Learning to be Brief, and Loving It

As many of you know - I am jumping into the Middle Grade jungle with my current WIP. One thing I have noticed about MG is that it is more... brief. More too the point. Unlike the epic fantasy novels that I have read in abundance.

So I am of course attempting to be brief and too the point in my current WIP. And I am loving it!

Just finished writing chapter two - it came it at 1,030 words. I was like - gosh that is short. I need to add more, need to show more so that the reader can get to know the characters and blah blah blah.

Then I looked over the chapter again. And you know what - I don't need more. In a short amount of words - and in one single scene - I got a lot of character development.

Ah-Hah Moment:
You don't have to use a lot of words to say a lot.

-Side note: Also been working on showing vs. telling - sure I don't have it down perfectly but I think it is going well. At least it is a challenge.

The challenge of showing and being brief is really inspiring me to write. Go figure!

Do you get down to the point in your writing? Or do you like to lead the reader their slowly? What do you prefer to read? (I think I like both actually.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Back in the Saddle

So today I am finally getting back into the saddle. I am trying out StoryBook (the free version) with my current WIP. After I have used it for a little while I will review it here.

I am working on outlining and hope to get to putting down some words soon. I have a start for the first chapter - but it needs a little polish.

Since this is my first ever middle grade project I am also doing some research. I checked out some books from the library that would interest my target audience. Check out may currently reading shelf of GoodReads to keep track of what I am reading.

I have also had a few idea's for blog posts. Hopefully I will have a chance to get those written soon. But for now it is on to writing fiction.

What are you working on today?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wisdom From a Writing Conference: Kevin's Elevan

Kevin J. Anderson spoke on 11 tips for increasing productivity at the LDSStoryMakers Conference.

What I Learned:

There are three essential elements to being a productive writer:
1. Write
2. Keep Writing
3. Find what works for you

How I Plan to Apply It:

I have always wanted to have a writing schedule and to write everyday. But that has never really fit into my life. So what I plan to do is try to write every day, at different times, in different situations and so on - until I strike on the best environment for me to write in. Then I will build my schedule around that.

Also, Kevin talked about the first draft requiring momentum. I am going to try to avoid doing things that would slow down my momentum when I am writing the first draft.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Write. Be. - Failure

Write. Be.

Benjamin Franklin was said to say that he did not fail 1000 times. He just found 1000 ways to not make a light bulb. (Or something to that affect).

Failure is a necessary part of learning, or shaping your craft.

Let's do an exercise... Take a moment to think back about all the good things people have said about your writing. Of all the praise you have received. Of all the things you just instinctively do right.

Keep thinking.

Yep, you should still be thinking.

Give it one more minute.

Okay - how much did your writing improve from that praise? I am betting not a whole lot - because if you do it right there is no need to fix it.

Now I am not saying praise is bad. Praise is good! Getting positive feedback about our writing gives us a boost - makes us want to move forward. Energizes us and gives us the drive to keep working toward our dreams.

So it is good. But we don't learn from it.

We learn from being told what we did wrong and working to correct it. Developing our skills as a writer to fill in the gaps and make up for our weaknesses.

So, my encouraging thought is this:

Failure is necessary. So every time you fail - celebrate. Then get back to work!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Never Give Up - Never Surrender.... or I'm Back!

So finally - after a long break I am ready to bust back onto the blogging scene. But I am going to do things a little differently this time.

Gone are the days where I can schedule my life enough to blog every day and in fact having a regular blogging schedule probably won't work at all. So here is what I plan to do:

- I want to blog about three times a week
- I will keep one regular post - A monthly post for Write. Be. which will start next Friday.
- I want to finish up what I started with the wisdom from a writing conference series. Probably will do one entry a month on a regular day until I finish up.
- I want the rest of my blog posts to be more... raw. More me. So be prepared!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Surfacing for Air

Just wanted to surface for air. Life is starting to align a little better for me. I am planning on busting back on the blogging scene by the end of the year. Just need to decide a few things first.

In the mean time I have been working on a top 5 (or maybe 10) list of books. Basically these books are the ones that I have (or plan to) read over and over again. The books that have most influenced my life and just not in a writing sense. So far I have three that are definitely on the list because I have read them more than three times. They are:

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinely
Beauty by Robin McKinely
Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander

Others that I am considering for my list - but still not sure about are:
The Meeting Place by Janette Oke and T. Davis Bunn
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah
Redwall by Brain Jacques
Persuasion by Jane Austen

Anyway - that is my list. Heavy toward the fantasy end of things - which shows you where my tastes are :)

Question: Do you have a list of top books? If so what are they?