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Dec 032012
 

There are three really tough parts to any writing project.

– The beginning

– The middle

– The end.

Yea, yea, I know that’s pretty much the whole of it. Each part is difficult in their own way, and getting over it is required if you plan to be a professional writer. Actually, you’ll have to get over all three if you want to write for anyone other than yourself. (If you are writing for yourself and you want to skip any one of these, go right ahead.)

So let’s look at these one at a time over the next few days.

Nov 302012
 

It’s November 30, the last day of NaNoWriMo. It was a wonderful run for me and my characters. We started out with a good lead, almost 3000 words on Nov 1. The characters were more than happy to talk to me, including Lord Tromadin – the bad guy slated to die at the end of the book – insisted that this story just couldn’t be told without his viewpoint. Turns out he had some interesting things to say throughout the book.

Nov 262012
 

One of the rules of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – just in case some of you missed it) is that you aren’t supposed to edit as you go. If you just sort of make it up as you go the way that I do, you frequently run into a moment when you realize something about your plot that you need to go back and add so it doesn’t come off as cheesy. For example in my NaNoNovel this year, I’m about 3/4 of the way through the plot and all of sudden I noticed that the side effect of being a telepath is that you can hear when the gods are influencing people’s thoughts. Yeah, the character has been a telepath from the beginning so there should have been some hint of that before now. Maybe, just maybe, I was brilliant enough to hint at it without noticing. Not likely which means I’ll have to go back and add it in. But that’s editing and you aren’t supposed to do that. Aaaack, what’s a writer to do?

Nov 252012
 

“Why do you have to play games like this?” Allay asked the god since he was being so forthcoming.

This time the thoughts that came were far more complex than she was prepared for. Everything was connected in multiple ways so that even the slightest change to one thing could multiply it’s affect until something else far removed was altered beyond recognition. Allay couldn’t follow all the consequences through the web. There were patterns for the world from before and after Kayla arrived and different patterns if Allay had been born with a voice. All of them mixed up and swirling around inside her head until she became dizzy.

Nov 232012
 

 

It’s Black Friday – the national shopping holiday. I’m agoraphobic (afraid of crowds) and have never really liked the fact that the best prices were only had by braving the crowds and fighting your way through hundreds of people to get to the cashier. Then one year, desperate for the great prices and at my wits end, I came up with an idea.

Nov 192012
 

Every year in the Twin Cities our NaNoWriMo group puts on a crazy event called the 28 Hour Writing Tour. As the name suggests, we spend 28 hours roaming from site to site around the city writing our novels. In essence it’s a super long, wandering write-in. A write-in is when writers gather in a library, coffee shop, restaurant or anywhere else for the purposes of writing in each other’s presence.

Nov 162012
 

In case you’ve managed to miss it, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). That is a bit of a misnomer in that there are writers all over the world sitting down in front of their computers, or with notebooks and pens trying to crank out 50,000 words in just 30 days. The “Novel” part is also a bit, shall we say flexible, as some of those writers are composing the first draft of their dissertations or memoirs or even new roll-playing systems. What ever it is that all of us writers are doing, it certainly isn’t hiding in the basement or attic to type away in solitude in the middle of the night.

Nov 142012
 

For every person out there with a goal, there are about ten different measures of success. I’ve discovered this recently as I participated in two blog hops. The first one, Alpha Males, brought over 120 unique page views and 49 comments. The second was Autumn Harvest and just ended on Monday evening which got just over 100 unique page views and 39 comments. So which one was more successful? That depends on how you measure success. That Alpha Male comments were mostly generic, people were commenting only to be entered for the giveaways (which is totally understandable). For Autumn Harvest a much greater percentage of my comments responded to something I had said in my post. In my mind, I reached more people through Autumn Harvest than Alpha Males. My Sweetie (and web designer) was more disappointed by Autumn Harvest though. He sees things in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which doesn’t care if people actually read the stuff, only if they leave links on the site. More comments = more links. More links = higher placement in search results. Or so he tells me.

Nov 022012
 

This weekend, as part of my personal noveling marathon, I will be joining 9 other WriMos (writers who participate in NaNoWriMo) in a writing retreat we like to call the Jump Start Weekend. It will be a weekend full of just writing, writing madly, and getting a tremendous word count right away at the beginning of the month while will are all still totally hyped about our novels. We are leaving our non-writing friends and families behind – because they are distractions from putting words on the page.

Oct 262012
 

In a way, getting characters to cooperate with an outline is like herding cats. Characters are independent minded people who have their own agendas that might not match up with the plot you have in mind. The trick is convincing them to do what you need them to do without making it looked forced. Just like cats are gorgeous creatures until you try to make them do something they don’t want to do – they they are all claws and teeth. I’ll tell you right now, you don’t want to be on the business end of a cat stare (they really can kill). Fighting with your characters has the same effect on your book.