Category Archives: Tips & Tools

Blog Motivation

So having struggled to really find an idea that spoke to me for a few days now, I asked some friends what it is that they would like to see if they were looking to read a writing blog. One of the topics asked for was How to get and stay motivated to work on my blog. She went on to say, I have lots of posts in my brain, but have yet to find a way to hook my brain to my computer and download the posts.

This is a great topic! I have often found myself floundering. And it also gave me the idea for a couple posts, because in addition to this one, you get to look forward to a piece of fiction from me, dealing with the downloading from the brain! *grins* You know you are all dying to read that one! So, here we go, how to stay motivated:

  1. First off, try to have several posts done ahead. The reason I say this is because it is so much easier to maybe come back to it a little later if you really need to, without the pressure of, Oh My GERD, it is due to post in twenty minutes!!! *grins* and yes I have done that more than a time or two, hehehe.
  2. Secondly, keep an actual written list of your ideas. Update this list any time you have an idea, so that you have a ready place to go when you are not feeling inspired.
  3. Thirdly, write on a topic that actually interests you at the moment. Yes, you have created a marvelous list of ideas, but if they are not inspiring you at the moment, write on something else. Your lack of interest will show! You have thought of the ideas for a reason, so give them all the passion they deserve!

 

There you have it, three easy and quick steps for finding and keeping the motivation to write your blog posts! What do you do to find the motivation for working on your blog when you are feeling less than motivated? Do you keep a list of ideas? Do you just write randomly? Do you work ahead in your blog? Let me know!!!

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Beat Sheets and Writing Helpers

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The writer’s toolbox is a varied thing.  Each and every writer has different ideas of what to put in one.  That is a topic for another time however.  What I wanna talk about today is beat sheets.  You know, those worksheets one can use to help know where your story is going, help create an outline.  Not that I use one of those… I am a pantser, but I do like to have a bit of knowledge of my story, a bit of structure.

I have been doing a ton of looking around the web lately for those wonderful little helpers.  Of course I never find what I like, what I think is the best, but I do take the best of what I find and create my perfect worksheets.

 

 

What about you?  Do you use any prefab worksheets to learn things about your up and coming novel?  Do you use them after you have your WIP up and running?  Or do you create your own outline?  Or pants the heck out of it?  What is your process?

A Great Explanation: Show vs Tell

I have a busy week ahead of me, but I wanted to share this great post I found that talks about show vs tell!  As a writer we hear that alot, probably even say it ourselves, but how do we explain that?  How do we share that with others?  Writers In the Storm have Margie Lawson there sharing that.  It is amazing.

It boils down to paying attention to the words you put around your characters actions.  The words you use to describe the action itself.  By using power words, visuals and things that can make you “feel” the action, you will be showing.  Any time the action feels flat, like you are just hearing about it, or just know it was done that would be telling.

 

I took much from that short article and I hope it helps you as well!  What did it teach you?  Did you better understand show vs tell?  How do you see them now?  Happy writing!

Critiquing the Journey

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This writing journey often involves others. I have to admit one of my favorite parts is reading the work of another and sharing in that joy of discovery! Not only of the creative way their mind works, but also of how I interpret that!

Writing to me is a process, a journey, and an important part of that is the sharing with other writers! That fellow communion of exchanging our writing is what makes us grow, see new ideas and create new ideals.
Without that exchange we would remain stagnant. Never changing. Never growing. What then would the purpose be?
writerstryingtobeoneThere is so much to be learned in the work of another. In the sharing of ideas. In seeing how another works. More than just in how they write, but in how they review what you have written! I think we get just as much out of how they see our works, how we see their works, and how we evaluate it. The doing of all of this makes us, or should make us, look at our own work differently. Through the lens of their mind.
And that too me is really what the journey is about. Looking at the world through a different lens. Sharing and growing on this wild ride we call life.
I should take a moment to say… critiquing to me is not about the grammar, the structure or even the idea… it is an expansion of the mind! It is the realization of what works and how something works. It is deeper than the surface, and if surface is all you are getting, then you have not yet dug deep enough.

 

 

What about you? What does the community of writing mean for you? How do you see the sharing of work with a peer? With a friend or family member that you have braved the sharing of your precious baby that means so much to you?

The Perfect Chair

 

It all started with a quest.  A quest for a perfect chair!  Now, mind you I have been spending my days typing away from one of those little fold up camp chairs, so anything could seem perfect after that!  But, I have since been questing for the perfect chair close to two years now and I think  I have gone and found it!  Isn’t she a beaut?!?

my new chair

 

 

I enlisted the help of my dad to find this chair.  He too has been on a similar mission, having gone through many chairs over the years.  I still don’t know that this one is it, but we both agreed, this had some mighty fine perks.

The back reclines, it has a nice free and easy rocker, of course it is one wheel and swivels all the way around.  Not only does the chair go up and down, but the arms on it do as well, so all around, there are very few complaints I would have made for it.

Now the real test comes about.  I have purchased this amazing chair… will it stand the test of use?!?  That is all I have left to answer.  On the bright side, my dad said if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, if it doesn’t work out for me, he will buy it from me and go in search yet again for that elusive perfect office chair!

 

 

What about you?  What is your perfect office chair?  Do you have the best chair out there?  Are you stuck like I was in a camp chair, a folding chair or something equally horrifying?  Or are you too, still on that quest to find the perfect chair?

Characters, Me and the Journey

I have decided that my Camp NaNo novel is more than just Melody’s journey. It seems to me that it is also a representation of the journey I find myself on. Sure I know who I am, but yet… here I am after the loss of my wife trying to find the essence of who I was and who I became and who I want to be now.

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I write in such a way as I see myself stepping back and the characters filling in and telling me the story. I am just the “tool” they use to share their journey. Might be a strange way of looking at it, but I have found that more often than not this is how some of my best writing comes into play.

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“A little nonsense, now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”   ~Willy Wonka

It is sometimes rather funny to think of it as my characters knowing things I don’t, but that is how it works for me. Some people may decide what their character does for a living, but for me… they tell me. I may wish my characters name is something else, but what do you do when they are rather demanding and busy telling you they are so and so?

This is also how I come to learn of the journey or story I am telling. I know that really it boils down to my subconscious piecing together the tale I am working on, but sometimes… the glamor of letting ourselves believe our characters are “real” and magically sharing their tale with us, lets us look at things in a new light. After all, that is what writing is about, isn’t it? The magic of words. The magic of nothing becoming something. The magic of transporting ourselves to another place, another time, where things are maybe just a little bit different.

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That is just a little glimpse of my journey in writing, what about you? How often do you find yourself relating to your main character? In personality or in the journey they are making? How often do you feel they are just an expression of you on the page?

Creative Spaces

Life has this sneaky way of catching up with us. Camp NaNo allows me to forget all those little things I don’t really want to do on a daily basis, but yarny was down last night for maintenance, and so instead of writing I then decided it was time to clean out my writing space that I had neglected since my wife died.
The creative process, at least for me does not like clutter, and so my writing space is almost always relatively neat, but when life got in the way I let it slide.  Obviously there was clutter everywhere, not just my writing space.

Finding myself with time, and feeling like having that “creative space” back would help me find my “writing groove” once more I set to work. No easy feat, as you can see…

My messy writing space

I did manage to pull it together in short order though, and it is so welcoming! I couldn’t wait to set up the other laptop and get back to my creative space. Here is what it looks like now…

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Now I am ready to get busy working on my Camp NaNo story once more! Of course it could just mean that I can be distracted all the easier, having two screens to really lay out everything I am working on. Or be distracted by facebook, who knows… it’s the journey!

What about you? Do you have a place perfect for writing? Do you like to leave home or curl up somewhere no one can find you? What is your ideal location?