Tag Archives: inspiration

Call Me Crazy – NaNoWriMo

So I’ve been living in picture book world for a few years, now.

And while I’m still busy analyzing and perfecting my craft in that arena,

(Mini craft lecture: Great picture books are as compressed as poetry, containing a world in about 500 words or fewer, leave 50% of the story to the illustrator, are paced strategically through language and page turns, evoke emotion through image, active voice, and characterization, and end in way that’s surprising yet inevitable. Easy, right?)

I could no longer ignore that tiny voice in the back of my head that wasn’t a picture book character, but a character from a YA/new adult novel.

She’s been bugging me for years. And now that her whispers have turned to curses, I’ve decided to listen. Five years ago, I tried NaNo as a pantser. I failed. Miserably.

This year, with a little encouragement from another blogger and writing coach, Kate Johnston, I decided to take the plunge again.

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Only this time with a little planning. I know who my characters are, but five years ago I just let them run wild. So that’s what they did. They rambled. They wandered. Aimlessly. They got lost.

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I got lost, then I wadded up my Scrivener file and tossed it in the trash. Failure.

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This year, I’m going to start with a plan. A structure. A beginning, a middle, and an end. How I get there during November will look more like pantsing, but when I’m finished, that pantsing will be contained within October’s plan. Call it plantsing.

We’ll see how it goes. Wish me luck!

Luck

And I’ve gotta tell you, I’m afraid of failing. Gulp. But it’s like that with all challenges, right?

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If you, too, would like to take this on, give Kate’s website a look. I think you may find a tool or two to help you out.

Happy pantsing, planning, or plantsing! Cheers!

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Shakespeare – Sonnet for Writers

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Sonnet LXXVII

“Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind’s imprint will bear,
And of this book this learning may thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show,
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial’s shady stealth mayst know
Time’s thievish progress to eternity.
Look, what thy memory cannot contain,
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find
Those children nurs’d, deliver’d from thy brain,
To take a new acquaintance of thy mind.
These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
Shall profit thee, and much enrich thy book.”
 

—Shakespeare

Those “in the know” believe this sonnet was inscribed in a book with blank leaves. 

Put it at the top of your own blank page for inspiration.

Happy day after the great Shakes Day!!

 

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Waiting for Robin Hood

While I ponder the nature of time, taking the time to find the right word, create the right sentence, and place those right sentences in order until I have a piece that “works”—I am filled with a sense of dread as challenges to write 12 books in 12 months or to write a novel in a month pop up online like prairie dogs. Now I’m not slamming those particular endeavors, no siree. Anyone who can put out that many words deserves respect for their hard work.

And yes, it does light the fire of urgency under writers who are sitting on their thumbs. It gets their hands out from under their butt cheeks and on the keyboard or wrapped around a pen, putting words on the page. But let’s now talk about a little thing like QUALITY. Continue reading

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Maker Faire Revelation

Now, you wouldn’t think that attending a Maker Faire presentation on the world’s longest paper airplane flight would have anything to do with writing. But, surprisingly, it does. Continue reading

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Scavenging for Fuel

What fuels my writing process—aside from caffeine and chocolate? Sometimes I’m tempted to turn to books that are far too familiar or similar to what I’m writing. (And sometimes that is just what my process needs.) But I am often better served by books (or other media) that are “foreign” to me in some way. Whether it’s poetry, essays, science writing, or other nonfiction, books written by authors from another culture or country, new music, or art galleries, I think exploration “shakes things up,” allowing the unexpected to percolate through my subconscious and enrich my work.

For example, this past month or two, I’ve read (or have read portions of) the following: Continue reading

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