Wolf & Dragon

Deep within the night

Two forces meet with such might

Both are superior to the other in various ways and yet just as weak.

The wolf runs through the night able to maneuver in and around obstacles all while noticing small details.

The dragon soars over the bigger picture

Some say such companionship is unheard of.

Though they know with respect and a mutual infatuation of the same subject can bring any two monsters together.

 

Writing ‘rules’ and why we have them #amwriting

Something to keep in mind. Editors are helper’s not hurter’s.

Alison Williams Writing

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When editing manuscripts for clients, I honestly don’t sit there with a big list of rules next to me, making sure that the author has stuck religiously to a set of pre-ordained laws that are non-negotiable and that are designed to crush spontaneity or creativity.

Why am I making this assertion?

Well, because some writers seem to think that this is what I do. They rail against these so–called rules that are preventing their genius from shining through. Why do I have to stick to conventions, they ask? Why can’t I do what I want?

Well, because the ‘rules’ aren’t there to suffocate creativity. They aren’t there to restrict or restrain.They bring clarity to a writer’s work. They aren’t a list of things a group of people out there somewhere have come up with out of thin air.

They fall into two groups.

One group aren’t up for discussion. Sorry, but…

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What to do with writer’s block?

What is writer’s block? It is the same for all artist you are stuck on something. Usually, you have a general idea but then have no idea how to get there. The words are not flowing or for the artist, the picture it is not coming together the way you would like. This can be said for literally everything. My husband is a developer and when he has an idea but cannot figure out the right code to use to make it just as he wants he gets frustrated. The same is true for even my son when he plays with his legos and cannot find the right piece to make it look as he wishes. For myself, it is when I can see an end to the tunnel but there is no middle and so many beginnings. But for now, we will stick with writer’s block in general though the solutions are all the same.

Writer’s block is one of the most frustrating things about writing, I think, other than trying to find followers. I call it the Devil’s Snare. Struggle and fight it all you want but it will only kill you faster. No matter how much you beat your head against the block it will not budge unless you have a very thick skull and are able to handle pain and enjoy it for that matter. I cannot so, I follow Hermione’s advice. I stop struggling sit still or go out for a walk in the sunshine. Right now the weather has been very cloudy so that has been hard to do but I still go out for a walk. The world is a wonderful place to find new ideas to work with.  Being still can mean so many things. Literally, it means just be freecking still! This world moves so fast and everyone wants it now,*cough* and we wonder why our children feel so entitled *cough* and pressure others to get it done NOW! Shut them up, turn off your inner editor and just let it come to you. So what if your romantic scene goes down the toilet I promise it will come back in another form. Sit still for at least 5 minutes a day, I know it is hard to,  trust me I have 2 young children sitting down for even a moment is hell. But being still will give your mind a chance to relax and then wander. Daydream, I am a Pisces so I am ALWAYS daydreaming. When I was a child my mother would always ask me, where are you what are you thinking about. I would always say nothing but that was not true I just did not want to share my special world with her. Don’t make that mistake share that special place with your readers.  Sitting still allows the story to come to you. It gives your story a chance to come out of its dark hole, realize everything is calm and it has just your attention. Stories are like small children they need your undivided attention.

Another way to handle writer’s block is to go for a walk, get out of your house and go somewhere else. I personally enjoy the library because I can skim read so many different stories and get wonderful ideas. The coffee shop is nice but can be too loud for me personally. You could also go somewhere popular such as the mall and just people watch. I have very good hearing and it helps me which is a blessing and a curse. My acute hearing helps me with my children I can hear what they are doing at all times, its a curse though because I always pick up on other people’s conversation usually when I am trying to have a conversation myself. The latter is always good for stories though it can be quite useful for dialogue in future stories.

My final piece of advice is to set the story down and walk away from it for a bit, just like you would a child having a temper tantrum. You will be surprised when you come back to it you are both in a better mood and are getting along again. I am sorry for all the child references but they are a big part of my world and I am quite thankful for them, they never leave me wanting for a story idea. Especially my dragon boy.

 

What helps you with your work? Feel free to comment with any more tips and suggestions and let me know what you think of my post so far. Thank you , have a wonderful day.

Nano winner 2016

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Well, I said I would put up my personal experience of doing Nanowrimo and here it is. When I first started I had a completely different story in mind. I even went as far as doing some planning and character sheets. And then it hit me, a simple picture from a scene that grew into something more. I do not want to say too much about the story yet so we will save that for later. But you can imagine how behind I felt because this new story just completely overtook my mind. I did not even have all my people and setting down only my two main characters. My previous planning was not completely wasted though. I plan on finishing the fantasy fiction piece soon.  Southern Comfort, is the title who bullied to the front of my mind. It may change but in all honesty, I do not think it will. It is a simple romance that gets complicated by the past just like everyday life. Our past often makes us who we are but not who we are going to be.

My nano experience started when I took my two children to the library. They ran off to the toys and computers to play. They pick out a ton of books but they enjoy the computers they can do educational games. What caught my eye was all the writing books the librarians had put out front. I LOVE to write, even if I am not good at it. Writing for me is meditation for others, I usually feel much better when I have written for a bit. So you could imagine my excitement when I saw all the books on how to write various things. When you love something you want to know everything about it and do it all the time. So of course I went and checked out what selection they had. Smack dab in the middle of the books were some white and blue papers that said Nanowrimo. They offered information and a writers group that was meeting at the library that night. In all honesty, I eager but apprehensive about Nanowrimo. I had tried the previous year and failed.  I still have bits of the story, but I was all by myself and no one cared about my writing which made me not care about it. I did not want to do that again even though no one knew, I knew I had failed and it disappointed me . But something said to try again and not to give up on that dream. I took the paper with me then proceeded to chase my kids around the library. Trying stopping them from filling their bags with every book they could reach.

I found myself back at the same library wondering if I was going into a completely empty room. I felt like a dork. The first time I went to an actual writers group it was about a handful of old people. Who in all honesty were stuck up and stuffy, it turned my younger and novice self off to writers group. I did not mind proud people or educated people and I was hoping for older people because they can be  wise. But it felt like a closed off group one that did not want new novice members. They did not even bother to bring in more chairs for me or anyone else who showed up. 😦 Now you know why I was unsure about trying this writing group thing again. But I did, I sucked it up and walked in. To my horror, older people, and younger people were there and they had plenty of chairs. There was even an older gentleman wearing a cool leather jacket. I enjoyed listening to them read their work as well as give advice to each other on how to handle their own writing. I got the biggest laugh from a gentleman who wrote non-fiction and had the biggest opinions. I will say he seemed knowledgeable on different topics but he did not have much of a filter and was quite blunt. People seemed interested in me and my writing which felt nice. I did not get information about Nanowrimo until the end. Which was not a big deal, because I got to hear some great stories and some even greater heated discussions. The lady in charge mentioned the first nano planning meeting where the ML would be there. I looked forward to going and something seemed to spark inside of me. Maybe it was because for once there was going to be the best of both worlds. An older person who likes to write and help others with their writing, can’t go wrong there. I must say she is nice and  well educated. She seems to care about people’s writing. Because of her and those around her I was able to finish my zero draft. I enjoyed getting away from the children and getting to know fellow writers and my ML made it all possible.

I have noticed most writers do not get the support they need from those closest to them for whatever reason. This is true for me as well. While my husband supports me he does not get that enthusiastic look when I finish up a chapter or finally a novel! The group I spent time writing with is just awesome about even writing 100 hundred words in 20 minutes. I also enjoyed how they would push me to write more and dig deeper into my writing. I am looking forward to the TGIO party coming up, I will post pictures and let you know how it goes. For now, I will leave you with this; I enjoyed doing NaNoWriMo this year and I owe that all to the regional group I joined. Even writers have to come out of their shell, feel free to crawl out and say hello, I promise to respond quietly.

Nanowrimo

I have to just start out by saying that very few people actually knew about this awesome event. Granted writing is not for everyone, and I understand that it takes a lot of work and patience and not everyone has that, especially in our fast-paced world. But I for one LOVE writing it forces me to slow down and take some time for me. Writing also helps me understand the world a little better and why I feel the way I do about various events in my life.  So enough about me and more about Nanowrimo!!

The first thing I get asked when asking if someone is participating in Nano is, what is Nanowrimo?

It stands for National Novel Writing Month. Basically, you get together with other writers, ( this is essential but not necessary to “win”) and try to write a minimum of 50k words in a month. 50,000 words are considered a small novel BUT it is a novel none the less so do not let anyone tell you otherwise! Sorry about that… Anyways you do not have to get together with other writers but it really is a lot of fun. You go to nanowrimo.org and make an account then find your region. When you find and add a region to your account not only are you helping yourself you are helping to motivate others too! Usually, the region you are in will have a facebook group or free chat room and you can go there for motivational support, help with your novel, or ideas on how to keep your cat off of your labtop. Your regional leader is known as ML and they are very informative on Nanowrimo and on writing period. They usually have done Nanowrimo for a couple of years in a row so they have been around the block a couple of times. My ML worked hard setting up writing events at various places for us to get together. This helped me a lot because I could get away from the kids and family and spend time on just my writing. Personally, I always feel better after writing for a bit. My ML also had swag bags for us and prizes after we won a word war.

What is a word war you ask? It is like crack for a writer no seriously you will write a lot of words just to beat the next guy even if they did not completely make sense… okay maybe that was just me. Word wars are very motivational in writing it can force you to push past a writer’s block but also really get a scene you like flowing in beautiful detail. Basically you set a timer and write as much as you can before time is up, the time period does not matter but usually, people do no go past 20 to 30 minutes. When the time is up you count the words you wrote and then whoever wrote more wins and you get a prize. If it is just you and another person you can do a couple of word wars and then loser buys the winner a coffee or a special treat. In a larger group you usually win smaller prizes because there are a lot more word wars going on. Do not be surprised if you knock out 2 to 3k in words at a regional write up. I know in one day I wrote 7k, I wrote 2 k that morning during my usual writing time and then that night during the write in I wrote another 5k. Going to write-ins are always nice because you are surrounded by people who are doing just what you love. I now understand why there are scrapbooking clubs, which I will admit I found silly but now I do not.

How do you “win” Nanowrimo?

Simple you write! Even if you did not reach 50k you still “win”, you will not be able to get the goodies that those who do reach 50k will get but you still put pen to paper and wrote and to me that is winning. But to win the goodies offered by sponsors you write 50,000 words before or by November 30th. You then go to your account and up at the top update your word count and validate it by copying and pasting it into the box provided. Nanowrimo will not copy or sell your work the words get counted and then scrambled so no one sees it. Once your word count reaches 50k you will be sent to the “winners” page. This time was a pretty cute video from other nano’s saying congratulations and some pretty nifty NaNoWriMo winners gear that you could purchase. I personally am looking forward to the 50% off of the Scrivener program which I used, the free trial,  to help write my novel this month.

Now, what?

Now you get to take a break and sometimes you will not want and other times you will be looking forward to it. But either way, I would personally take a break at least a week from your work. Once your break is over you can go back read through it and start editing it. You repeat this steps as many times as you think is necessary until is polished and all shiny. Then you decide whether or not to publish it or keep it for yourself. Finally, congratulate yourself on writing a book. Many people dream of writing a book but not many have the patience and stamina to go through with finishing it.

I hope my post helped you and I look forward to seeing you just us crazy Nano’s next November. Keep on the look out for my experience with Nanowrimo went this November.