Posts

Showing posts from October, 2011

Preparing for NaNoWriMo: Schedule Your Writing

Image
The suggested word count to beat NaNoWriMo is 1,667 words per day, every day. November is a short month. If you're in the US, it's even shorter because of things like Thanksgiving and Black Friday. With several days out of commission, you need to be super-focused when it comes to writing and front load your word count. I understand my methods won't work for everyone in The Lurkdom. I'm lucky in having way too much free time, no children, and a husband that's totally on board with me hiding away with a computer and doing nothing else. During the first week of NaNoWriMo, I like to exceed the daily word count goals . Since you're in the honeymoon phase of writing anyway, this shouldn't be difficult. Instead of a daily goal of 1,667 words, round it up to 2,000. Even that small of a bump, gives you five free days. The first few days of NaNoWriMo, I aim to double my daily word count so that way I have more days to play with in case there's a day where my

Create a Story Bible in 6 Easy Steps

Image
You should know what you're writing about by now if you're doing NaNoWriMo. If you don't, then I know what you're doing this weekend and may I suggest you read my posts on plotcards and character/setting deets ? Another tool that I can't live without while prewriting is the story bible. Most writers have a version of this whether it's a bunch of scrawled notes or a highly detailed folder with charts and Word documents. A story bible is a one-stop shop for all of your story related items: plot, characters, settings, notes, pictures, and whatever else applies. Creating a story bible isn't a lot of work. Mine is modeled after an article I read on XtremeLife a few years ago. (The original link is dead, but you can access an archived version here .) At heart, I'm a paper and pen girl and that's how my story bibles come out. For this NaNo, I used my very awesome Circa notebook , which made it much easier for me to move sections around. If you follo

Zombie Pumpkins

Image
Zombie Thur sdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . Four more days until Halloween! I'm excited, what about you guys? I've definitely been enjoying the horror movies on television and specials about things that go bump in the night. In particular, I watched a pretty cool two hour special about zombies on the History Channel, of all stations. It brought up some really interesting points and comparisons of a zombie plague to some other epidemics we've experienced in the history of human civilization. But more on that topic next week! These photos were literally just shared with me, and in the tradition and spirit of Halloween coming up on Monday, they were too good not to share! At the New York Botanical Gardens, right now on display until the 30th, you can view the record holding world's largest pumpkin. But not only that, it has been carved and transformed into a zombie nightmare! Artist Ray Villafane has turned the

October Reviews: Silence & Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Image
Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you link your blog in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday.  Today's topic : What was the best book you in October? Funny thing about today's topic: what I considered the best book I read this month was not the one I rated the highest. Allow me to explain... Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick got the highest rating and there's a two-fold reasoning for this. One, I love paranormal and urban fantasy, so they generally rate higher* than other things. Two, it was leaps and bounds better than Crescendo, which had a shitty cover and a cop out cliffhanger that made me throw the book. So while the highest rated, not the best of the month. That honor goes to Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  Blurb from Goodreads : One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As

Preparing for NaNoWriMo: Character and Some Setting Detail

Image
One week from today will be NaNoWriMo and I completed my preparation last night. My plotcards are written and organized. My characters and settings are in decent shape. By decent I mean enough has been determined to crank out a first draft. That's the key with character and setting: you have to have enough to make it work. Character Detail For years, I subscribed to the character sheet* level of detail where I had to know everything about their schooling from preschool on up, their allergies, favorite pair of earrings, etc. Filling out these multi-page sheets would take up a lot of my time. My first idea for NaNo this year got derailed by these character sheets too. The problem was that with the focus on creating all of this information about my character so they'd be more three dimensional, I was losing out on these things occurring organically through my writing. Talk about a light bulb moment. When you pare your character development to the bare minimum, your inne

Stop! Haiku Time!

Welcome to Monday, Lurkdom. The day job is busy and the interns are chatty. It's also a week from Halloween. 13 Zombies delight me Enlightening my grave thoughts Towards death I go Stay tuned this week for some more NaNoWriMo tips and other things.  ______ Last.fm hit of the day : The Virus of Life by Slipknot

Best Ages! With Pictures!

Image
Today's prompt from Paper Hangover is hard as hell. The 5 best ages of my life? I'm lucky if I can pick one because that's how I roll. Yours truly can't remember much from my single digit days, though I think I had a decent year 5*, and we'll totally overlook the middle school years because that well and truly sucked. That leaves age 14 to present**, which I'll group into different chunks. This will include more than 5 ages, but I had too much fun collaging. Because it's Friday, I'm going to rate the best ages based off of the fun-o-meter, instead of lessons learned. Ages 16-18 Even with the crap that sucked: the huge blowout with Bestie Danielle, the drama of liking the same boy as Bestie Michelle, and not knowing how to deal with hormones, I had a lot of great memories from this time period. I traveled without my family three times: Florida, DC, and NYC. I did a lot of stupid stuff and didn't get caught. I had fantastic hair***. I had thr

Zombies! They're Bacccckkk!

Image
Zombie Thur sdays is a weekly feature with guest blogger, Miranda. You can read more about her here . Zombie Thursday is back! And with a vengeance! I have a few zombie related topics to discuss after my absence, so I hope you will forgive me and that Alicia won't kill me (mostly because I don't want to come back as undead)! First off, let me apologize for my disappearing act. October is normally my favorite month and the best month ever. This October has been particularly trying for me. Beginning on the 1st, I got sick. Again. Horrible cold, coughing, slight fever, all the icky stuff. For the first time ever, I even called out of work. And unfortunately now, I do not have health insurance, so no doctor. I'm still sick and coughing everyday, almost three weeks later. Another major thing going on this month was my flying trapeze class! Despite being ill, I still managed to get to class (well, I missed one and had to make it up from being sick). And last Saturday, I perf

Why I Write

Image
Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you link your blog in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday. Today's topic : What's your numero-uno reason for writing? This is such a great question and oddly one that no one in my life has asked me. I guess it's a good thing some of them lurk here. *waves to The Lurkdom* I write for the prestige, of course. That and the money because we all know that writing is a get rich quick scheme and I know that I need to find a hot pool boy for the house I'm going to be moving into. Don't worry, you're all invited. Best. House. Ever. Source: homeaway.com via Alicia on Pinteres t And while this house is awesomely fantastic*, it's not the reason why I write. I write because there's nothing else I would rather do. I love it and if I go a certain amount of days without it, you better steer clear. W

Review: Fill in the Blank Plotting

Image
I promised to review Fill-in-the-Blank Plotting more than once, but never got around to it for some reason. My apologies for that. Fill-in-the-Blank Plotting by Linda George is the easiest book on writing ever. She explains how to combine The Hero's Journey and the Three Act Structure into a tighter, more cohesive plot. If you're not familiar with either of these plot structures, it's time for a quick breakdown. The Hero's Journey was made famous by Joseph Campbell. The Hero's Journey is universal with myth and folklore. There are 12 big steps within the journey. The story of Hercules, for example, follows the Hero's Journey. Wikipedia gives a good explanation of all the steps if you want to learn more now. The Three Act Structure is what most of us know when we talk about plot structure. It's what we learn when we're in school. Within the Three Act Structure, there are key items that have to happen: inciting incident, climax, turning points. If

Preparing for NaNoWriMo: Plotcards

Image
It's that time of year, not of foliage or way-too-soon Christmas decorations, but of words and words and words. That's right. It's NaNoWriMo time. If you're new on the block, this weird word stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Sounds crazy, right? To quote the Cheshire Cat, "We're all mad here." In order to successfully complete NaNoWriMo, you need an attack plan. There are many ways to achieve this, but since this is my blog real estate, I'm going to share with you what works for me. Plotcards involve index cards and ideas for scenes. If you're a pantser, this is the closest plot method to what you're used to. I first learned about how to use them through Holly Lisle ,* but have modified the process since. Going into the plotcards, you will need to know who your characters are. They don't need to be fleshed out yet, but you should know the basics: name, sex, story role (p

Read It Again, Sam

Image
The day job is breathing down my neck, so I can't get truly dive into today's Friday Fives topic . However, I put together five of the books I couldn't get enough of as Single Digit Alicia. Just looking at these is totally making me want to go read them. Right. Now. What were some of your favorites as a kid? _________ Last.fm hit of the day : Stand up by The Prodigy

I Am the Tortoise

Image
Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you link your blog in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday. This is YA Highway's 100th RTW prompt. How awesome this that!? Today's topic : What has your writing road trip looked like so far? Excitement? Traffic Jams and detours? Where are you going next? Writing has always been an integral part of me, but I've always been too chicken to do anything "more" with it. Sure, I have taken classes, but it wasn't until eight years ago that I drummed up enough courage to put my work out for someone other than for Bestie Danielle to see. I wanted to be a published writer--I should have shown my work much sooner. Sharing something that is such a big part of you is difficult, as I'm sure many of you could attest. The writing workshop I took was my firststep into the indimidating world of workshopping*. After my fi

Where I Will Write

Image
Thanks to all in The Lurkdom who said happy anniversary to Hubby and I. We had a great day filled with waffles, fish, hipsters, and Marty McFly. Even with that, the long weekend wasn't long enough and we're now in another race to Friday. Work is kicking my ass this week with meetings on top of meetings, so today will be short and visual. When I talked about the Great Book Reorg of 2011 , several of you commented on my writing area. I didn't have the heart to tell you then that the "home office" area looked like a bomb zone. There was no room for the office chair, laptop, or myself. Since then, Hubby has been uber-industrious*. He's tidied up our office space, streamlined our DVDs, and created more space in our living room**! This is awesome because NaNoWriMo is hot on my heels and I need more spaces to commute and write. Here's the revised desk area. I've done some extra tinkering around the area which means I've deep-sixed the monitor and

Where Can I Find Some Inspiration??

Image
Today marks 4 years that Hubby and I nixed that "living in sin" thing. We had the world's shortest wedding ceremony and for one day understood how celebrities feel with the paparazzi. We also had cake. So with all of this in mind, I'm blogging ahead of time for once. By the time you read this, we will be stuffed with waffles and watching penguins swim as our anniversary date. Onto business. There's been a lot of talk about inspiration on The Pie as of late*. I've covered images and WIPs, people who've inspired me , and pictures that have inspired my writing as a whole . Now we add a fourth. First, some background: this week I decided to scrap my original NaNo plan because I was too trapped in my head. This meant coming up with a new story. No pressure, right? No. None at all. Thank goodness there are some techniques for getting inspiration when you most need it. Snuggle with the cat. The White One's pliancy makes it too easy to cur

About Co-Starring with a Co-Star*

Image
Every Wednesday, YA Highway asks their readership a simple question to answer on your blog. Once you answer, you link your blog in the comments for other readers to hop on board. This is Road Trip Wednesday. Today's topic : What supporting character from a YA book would you most like to see star in their own novel? Blame it on the day job, but I couldn't get my head wrapped around it. Thank god Bestie Danielle i s chained to her desk as much as me has a desk job like me. With Danielle on board, it was a matter of figuring out what we would like to see. With the truth behind Edward's sparkle denied from my editorial department, it was back to the drawing boards. It's worth mentioning that we were still confused on whether the topic was for the character to star in a novel as a spinoff or as a retelling. Because it's both, we've decided to talk about both. This would be a fantastic time to mention that these conversations are the norm fo

On Anxiety Disorders and the Query Process

Image
For those not in the know, anxiety is a blanket term that covers everything from phobias to generalized anxiety, so a lot of people suffer from it. Not nearly enough get treated for it*. Anyone who suffers from general anxiety knows that functioning on certain days is difficult enough, but if you get a panic attack? You might as well pack it in for the day and take a nap. It's known that stress triggers anxiety, and what is more stressful than querying**? You're waiting to hear if your manuscript is good enough for Agent A, Agent B, and Agent C. You're creative life is on the line. All your friends have gotten requests and deals and everything and-- You get the picture. Just writing that scenario made my heart spasm. Everything you do is under the srutiny of you. Is it good enough? Are you good enough? No one is going to take you on. Everyone is going to hate it. Your crit group was just being nice. If you get an email back, the heart spams start anew: is this good

Cuteness Alert!

Image
Monday is being difficult. So I leave you with a video of corgi puppies playing.