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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.

Oct 102012
 

Part of the work of being a NaNoWriter is to make sure that you and your support system in ready for November. Yup, this whole thing really takes more than one month to pull of properly. In December I’ll tell you all about the recovery process.

In October one of the things that I like to do is make sure that the house if ready. I count the house as part of my support system, because it is there to welcome me back at the end of a long day of work and writing. It gives me the resources to get up and go do it all again the next day. That’s the ideal anyway. Sometimes, if I haven’t done my part, it is anything but welcoming when I come home and has nothing to give the next morning.

Oct 032012
 

I’ve been watching the news lately with a strangely distanced eye. Mostly because I’m so tired of the current debates that I just don’t want to see them anymore and yet there they are so prominent and so full of misinformation on all sides that it’s rather disheartening. But from my writer’s observatory I look out over the issues causing all kinds of consternation today and see parallels with the issues of the past and with issues facing other cultures around our world. I see them reflected in the stories we tell ourselves of other worlds and gods. The patterns are there, even if the issues are different.

Sep 282012
 

Everyone has heard the old adage that “actions speak louder than words” but how many of us have actually taken the time to dig into the meaning of that phrase? It’s something that it just feels like it’s right. Well, it is. Just looking at the literal meaning of the phrase you can imagine plenty of examples where it is literally true.

Sep 262012
 

“I’m such a slacker… I don’t [fill in the blank] as much as [fill in the blank].”

How many of you have said this? I know that I say it all the time, usually to looks that could kill from my co-workers. You see, in their eyes I already do too much and don’t spend any where near enough time just relaxing. By that same measure I don’t do any where near as much writing as some of my writing buddies – interestingly enough, the writers who write more than I do are the ones who have careers that I’m jealous of. So, when I do take the time to relax, I feel like I’m slacking. And those writers that I look up to, insist that they are such slackers because they aren’t living up to the standards they set for themselves based on the writers they are chasing. I can’t say for certain, but I suspect it goes on up the line from there.

Sep 142012
 

Last time, I wrote about the problem of Time Management as it applies to writers. Now it’s time to take on the concept from our characters perspective. This is going to be a little bit of mental gymnastics, so I hope you’ll stay with me.

Sep 122012
 

Here is a topic that I should have been paying more attention to recently. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been as regular about posting to my blog the last couple of weeks. I could tell you honestly that I’ve been working at the MN Renaissance Festival on the weekends and that it’s been the first weeks of a new school year. Both have been taking up time that I’ve been using all summer to write. The real truth however is that I know as well as anyone that it’s my responsibility to make time for these kinds of things because I’ll never just find it lying around.

Sep 052012
 

It’s back to school season. As an interpreter working in public schools, that means for me it is also back to work season and get as many workshops in as school will pay for season. This year’s all day district workshop for interpreters (one of the few days that we actually all get to see each other before we scatter to the four winds to struggle to explain what we do to teachers, administrators and students), we spent the day learning how to learn. It’s an odd concept until you think about it.

Aug 172012
 

I first heard of White Room Syndrome on the OWW (Online Writering Workshop)  to describe the issue many first drafts have of forgetting to describe the environment.

I’m guilty of this in my first drafts, particularly when the action gets wild and I’m really into what the characters are doing. I’ve even heard from some prolific and famous authors that this is a constant struggle in first drafts. “That’s what second drafts and first readers are for” – Mercedes Lackey (CONvergence 2008). Unfortunately for many new writers, it is a problem that persists into later drafts and may be one reason they find their stories hard to sell.

Jul 182012
 

Avoid cliches like the plague. That’s one of the “rules” of writing. I’m going to take a deeper look at this rule today in my periodic series on “the Rules of Writing.”

 

Using cliches is a piece of cake. Over using them is as easy as falling off a log. Poor use of a cliche can really get up your nose in no time flat. But a good one well placed makes everything crystal clear.

 

Let’s take a closer look and why that happens. First a definition of cliche from Dictionary.com: