NaNoWriMo: Day 8 (59,787)- The Healthy Edition
NaNoWriMo / November 8, 2016

I kept running into that wall yesterday, so I finally cut myself a little slack. I went and played four miles of Pokémon and watched football (and was quite disappointed that only a couple of players seemed to use their feet) and went to bed early instead of obsessing about word counts. I’m behind… and that’s okay. When I committed myself to crazy word counts for this NaNoWriMo season, I promised I would also practice self-care. I wanted a real body– to be a Real Person– I was certainly going to take care of it. That’s harder than you would think when every instinct you have says to sit in the chair for 12-14 hours a day. But I have mostly been managing it, other than being a little behind on cardio exercise. It helped that I started with a plan: Every morning I get up, make a big cup of tea (I cheated once and had coffee instead and felt less hydrated all day). I take a probiotic, a multi-vitamin high on Omega-3s, and (because I’m a Figment trying to turn real), a special vitamin for skin, hair and nails. (You have no idea how funny you look without…

NaNoWriMo Prep: Step Two, Developing the Plot
Uncategorized / October 13, 2016

You can go into NaNoWriMo cold, with nothing. You can. I can’t. I break out in a cold sweat thinking about staring at that screen, knowing I have to write a minimum of 1,667 words that day, hoping something will come to me. No, thanks. I’m going into NaNo prepped. Those of you hardy souls who do not, I salute you. From far away. With a full CDC virus-protection suit on, just in case the insanity is contagious. Instead, I’ll be doing some exercises over the next few weeks to get my stories into a rough sort of shape. Note that I’m not a hardcore planner. I only get the map set up. I let the story determine where I travel on that map. Yesterday, if you did your homework, you came up with a number of potential plots. Now you need to spend some time developing them into a working thesis, so to speak. Or type. Or… whatever. Let’s move along. There are lots of ways to do this. One is just to take the general idea and plug it into various genres and see what it gives you. Idea: Husband and wife are traveling 2000 miles to get…

Feature Friday: Writing the First Chapter

There are some who find the last chapter to be the most difficult. There are a few who struggle through the middle. For most, however, the first chapter is the hardest to get out there. There’s good reason for this. The first chapter is what draws, drags, or defers. Either it is so clever that the reader must read; it is acceptable enough that the reader chooses to read; or it is so bad that the reader refuses to read. But no pressure. Really. See, the nice things about first chapters (and first lines) is that you have the most time to get them right. You have the entire time you’re writing the book through the editing process through just before publication. That’s a lot of time. (Longer for some, say, whose last name is Martin, than some others.) “I don’t edit while I’m writing.”  Very smart of you. Really. Just try this with me for one work, though. Edit that first chapter. Here’s why: if your first chapter does what it should (set up the story), then you have an easier task ahead of you. Instead of dragging the story uphill to get to the first plot point, your…

How to Write a Book: Getting Ready

How do you write a book? There are as many answers to that as there are books, really, but I’m going to attempt over the course of however long it takes to walk you through the process of writing and publishing an independent book. Your mileage may vary and please do try this at home. NOTE: I believe everyone should write. I’m a huge fan of everyone writing. I do not believe everyone should publish a book, any more than I believe everyone should dance Swan Lake. The advice I’m giving here is for writers who want to publish, although parts can be used by anyone. So what is the very first step to writing a book? Writing, right? Wrong. It’s not even outlining (if you’re a planner) or getting an idea. The very first step to writing a book is learning how to write. This idea may make this my most unpopular blog post. “I’ve been through thirteen years of schooling, plus four years of college where they continued making me take English classes.” (Side note: if anyone had to make you take English classes, why do you want to put yourself through the hell of publishing a book,…

How I Art Greatly (How to Be an Amazing Writer)
Uncategorized / April 15, 2015

Okay, I don’t art greatly. I don’t even art modestly. But I  am a pretty amazing writer. I tend to watch people a lot. For one thing, it’s funny and I like the free entertainment. For another, it gives me more things to write about. I’ve noticed lately, though, that people aren’t very kind to themselves about writing. I want to write, but I always write garbage. I thought I wrote something wonderful, but my readers told me I should keep my day job. I get tempted to go explain the problem to them, but I have nineteen restraining orders in place, so I thought I’d just tell you all here: Everyone starts out writing garbage.  The good writers keep writing anyway. I know, you see my writing and wonder how I got to be an amazing writer in such a short period of time. I’m a Figment! I was created with twenty years of writing experience in my backstory.  You’re human (I could be wrong), so you have to do things the hard way. You have to write words, words, and more words until you get twenty years under your belt the old-fashioned way. Of course, even literary geniuses…