Friday, June 21, 2013

101 Ways to Avoid Writing

  1. Outline a new shiny idea
  2. Look for stock photos for the cover
  3. Make a cover
  4. Build a book website
  5. Build an author website
  6. Revamp your blog
  7. Make a post about ways to avoid writing
  8. Do beta reading
  9. Check Facebook
  10. Make another cover
  11. Draw a map
  12. Make a name generator
  13. Check Facebook again
  14. Make a glossary 
  15. Write character bio's for any and all characters mentioned in your book
  16. Day dream about book two
  17. Make another cover
  18. Check Facebook again
  19. Log into twitter
  20. Make a quiz
  21. Update your to be read list on Goodreads
  22. Make a book trailer
  23. Vote on lists on Goodreads
  24. Look at covers on Goodreads
  25. Make another cover
  26. Outline another shiny new idea
  27. Check Facebook again
  28. Tweak your book trailer
  29. Look up agents
  30. Write a short story to submit to an anthology or magazine
  31. Talk with writerly friends
  32. Brainstorm ideas for writerly friends' projects
  33. Start a list of shiny new ideas
  34. Make a book cover for your shiny new idea
  35. Make a title page
  36. Research making your own font
  37. Try to make your own font
  38. Check Facebook again
  39. Read a book
  40. Watch lectures on YouTube about writing
  41. Look up old writer friends on Facebook
  42. Research stuff on Google related to a different project
  43. Research self publishing
  44. Look up publishers
  45. Celebrate a fellow authors success (happy dances may be required)
  46. Read a book to your kids
  47. Draw a picture of a dragon
  48. Check Facebook again
  49. Revamp your Facebook author page
  50. Change your online profile picture
  51. Make another book cover
  52. Start writing a children's book series
  53. Research cover artists online
  54. Look for a professional editor
  55. Do more beta reading
  56. Join another critique group
  57. Look into writing conferences
  58. Attend a writing conference
  59. Stair at your keyboard
  60. Make a list of steps you need to take to finish your book
  61. Write your "About the Author" page
  62. Write your book blurb
  63. Write a query
  64. Compose your dedication page
  65. Make another cover
  66. Browse the covers on
  67. Check Facebook again
  68. Tweet something about writing
  69. Think up a new idea for a blog about dragons
  70. Design your blog about dragons
  71. Write a blog post about something writing related, like critique groups
  72. Make cupcakes
  73. Eat cupcakes
  74. Check Facebook again
  75. Make a plan to get the next chapter done
  76. Stair at keyboard
  77. Finish the obligations that keep distracting you from writing
  78. Do more beta reading
  79. Discuss what you have been writing with your spouse
  80. Discuss what you have been reading with your spouse
  81. Make up a character based on someone you know
  82. Make pen names from anagrams
  83. Play around with story and name generators you find on the internet
  84. Plan out blog posts for the next year
  85. Avoid writing blog posts by checking Facebook again
  86. Take a nap
  87. Research medieval weapons of war
  88. Figure out how to make the dream you had last night into a book
  89. Look for pictures of your main characters
  90. Look up a place you would like to visit on Google Earth
  91. Turn off your computer and search for your note book
  92. Turn the computer back on so you can check Facebook
  93. And you might as well check Twitter too
  94. Make a Pintrest board for your book
  95. Make a Pintrest board of book covers
  96. Make another book cover
  97. Decide to do your own cover art
  98. Research cover artists online
  99. Reorganize or rearrange your writing work space
  100. Make a wish list of books on Amazon
  101. Check Facebook one more time

Friday, June 7, 2013

My thoughts on Critique Partnerships

Lately I have been searching for good critique partners. The search is going well but has had its ups and downs and frustrations. So critiquing has been on my mind lately and of course around the web-verse. (See Brandon Sanderson's thoughts on writing groups and this great post about critiques.

So here are some of my personal thoughts. I phrased them as if I am talking to "you" - the potential, current, or past critique partner.

Please understand that I have drawn this list from personal experiences as well as research and the experiences of others. Also it is my personal requirements for critique partners. Not everyone is looking for the same thing.

8 Reasons I want to be your CP

  1. You don't take it personally. You listen to everything I have to say, even the stupid irrelevant stuff, and don't take it personally. You appreciate my honesty.
  2. You recognize that my suggestions are just that - suggestions. You discard at least some of what I say because it is not my story - it is yours.
  3. Our opinions differ on some things. And I should add that we are okay with it and still get along. Differences of opinion can spark many an idea and highlight areas that need improvement (or clarification).
  4. I enjoy reading your work. your voice, your style, or the stories you tell. It makes critiquing less of a chore and looking for the little details easier. When I am in a better mood - my comments are not as snarky.
  5. You like what I write. In the basics - not like - ooooo it is so ready to publish right now! But overall you like reading what I write.
  6. You realize that you can learn as much from me, as I can from you. Learning from each other is one of my favorite benefits of critique partnerships.
  7. Reading through your comments gets me excited to write. After reading your feedback (good and bad) I can't wait to get back to work on my project. I itch to fix that problem, and glow over that prose you found so engrossing.
  8. Reading your work gets me excited to write. Reading something that sparks my imagination always gets me thinking about my own writing. No matter if the works are related or not, reading good writing makes me want to produce good writing.

8 Reasons I won't be your Critique Partner

  1. You can't handle the truth. In order for me to help you, I have to tell you the truth. Sometimes I won't like something. Or I will get confused. Or my opinion of a certain passage or character will not match yours. I am telling you my honest opinion. I won't sugar coat it for you.
  2. You think everything I say is gospel. I am no more qualified to identify what makes great writing then you are. Just because I make a suggestion or a comment - doesn't mean you have to do it. I am just offering ideas and suggestions. I won't be offended if you totally disregard what I say. After all it is your story.
  3. You think everything you say is gospel. Basically ditto to number 2 - just in reverse.
  4. You feel the need to respond to my comments. This can either be defensively, or in an attempt to explain. If you are getting defensive please read number 2. If you are trying to explain - don't explain it to me. Explain it to the reader. I like the Brandon Sanderson says that the writer can't speak when others are giving feedback.
  5. You take more then you give. I don't mean that equal give and take needs to be the case all the time. We all are at different points in our lives. I mean from the perspective of attitude. Are you going into this partnership only looking at what you can get out of it? Or what you can give as well?
  6. You are afraid to be brutal. Trust me, I can take it. I want you to be brutal. That is how I learn and grow as a writer. Give it to me straight and I will sort though everything and decide what is best for my story.
  7. You don't read my genre. There is some wiggle room on this one. But mostly, I find the most helpful suggestions come from people who read my genre. Especially since I write fantasy. This is because people who read fantasy have certain expectations (or lack there of). We are just kind of like that and it is hard to explain to non-fantasy readers.
  8. I don't read your genre. Chances are if I don't read your genre - it is probably because I don't like it. And so I will be slanted that way from the beginning - just because I don't usually read your genre. This can also go for point of view and writing style, but on a lesser degree. It's nothing personal. It's just my preference as a reader.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Some Randomness about Numbers

I have this little quirk. I am weird about numbers. I like certain numbers and hate other numbers.

Numbers I like

  • Even Numbers
  • 5
  • Multiples of 5
  • Numbers with 8 in them
  • 3
  • Multiples of 3

Numbers I don't Like

  • Any number that does not fall into the above parameters
  • Numbers that have all the same digit. Like 22, 33, 444 and so on
  • Numbers that end with 3
  • Any other number I decide not to like

So now that you know this totally random and inconsequential (although hopefully interesting) tidbit about myself -

Do you have any little quirks?