Tag Archives: outline

Working Hard

I have been hard at work lately!  On what you may ask, well that, my friend, is a marvelous question!  I hinted about the workshops that I am attending and all the writerly things I have going on in my life lately.  Those workshops, and of course all of the writerly goodness, have inspired me to really take stock of my life, and make goals of where I want it to go!  And more than that, to actually take steps to make it happen!

The workshops are a series by Springboard for the Arts called Work of Art:  Business Skills for Artists.  I have only been to one, which was Career Planning for Artists, but it has truly inspired me to plan in more areas of my life than just business!

vampprophstoryboardI am also hard at work on my outline for Vampyres Prophecy, and I think… I hope… I am getting somewhere on that!  Camp NaNo is right around the corner!

 

Where are you sitting right now?  Are you ready for camp?  Have you been learning anything new this summer?  Have you been getting out there, getting involved in your community?

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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?

Sadly Remiss and Quick Questions!

So I very obviously have been remiss and fallen behind on one of my biggest goals of the year.  On the bright side I have gotten tons done around my house and we have taken on the job of babysitting my nieces and nephew.  I don’t know how parents do it and get anything else done!

All of that said, please take a moment and help me out. I am prepping for Camp NaNo starting next month and have some very big ideas for a new story that I am going to start.  This one I am hoping to turn into a fully interactive book app! Here is my very short survey:

 

If you have any thoughts or ideas, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments!  More updates soon, I promise!

NaNo Countdown Begins!

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And so it begins for me! The NaNoWriMo countdown! Any who have followed my blog for a while know that I LIVE for NaNo in all its marvelous forms. From Camp NaNo in the summer to full fledged NaNo in November! So please bear with me as I will am planning to write much the next couple months and take you on this journey with me. That said, I am rather excited for NaNo this year. I am once again ML and as I have been struggling with my writing I am hoping that this give it a kick start, and get me back fully in my writing groove. I have to make my 50k with my role as ML, so here is to an exciting idea, and a productive NaNo!!!

 

I have once again found my excitement for writing, now I just have to manage to get back in the habit of writing. With that in mind, I have been neglecting my blog a little as I am trying to plan for my novel this year. I think I have finally decided on what story I am going to write, but now is the hard part of planning some base characters, having them tell me their names, setting up some of the back story so I know a bit about the world they will be taking me to.

 

Now, I am more of a pantser, so this whole planning thing is a little hard. I no longer find it constricting as I have learned much from a few helpful websites and my own trial and error. Every year I participate in NaNo I have learned more about my writing style than I could have ever learned from any amount of books! I have also been reading through my newest copy of Writer’s Digest. It is one of the most helpful things I have found for inspiring my thought process and helping to learn new things for my writing craft. This months copy has been most helpful indeed.

 

 

So with that, what have you found to be helpful? What resources have taught you the most? What has been the most helpful to your writing? Are there websites you return to again and again? Are there books that are full of little flags and notes in the margin? Please share! I love learning of new resources.

Letters of Questioning: Flying a New Flag

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Sailing these waters may be mighty dangerous, after last week’s look at plotting and how we get there, we have sailed on to murkier waters yet.  Taking a closer look at the Writer’s Role…  and without further adieu, here is the latest installment:

 

Dearest Dreamland’s Insurgents,

Of course the journey is never ending. There are of course periods of rest, reflection and learning, but then you move on and make changes. Don’t you know by now I am all about change?!? I thought my name said it all! Not to mention, what about you? Aren’t you all about upsetting status quo? Your name, like mine suggests stepping out of the norm. Not getting boxed in. Becoming a bit of a rebel!
Besides, is it not our job as writers to enlighten the world? As a writer we shape worlds. We affect the minds of others… even in something as simple as a fiction novel that is read for enjoyment. Honestly I think especially in fiction.
I was imminently inspired when I read The Writer’s Role in Society. It is suggested that writers are teachers, they have lessons to share and craft an entire work of art to do so. That writers offer something unique to them, something no one else can. The recreation of worlds.
I think that might just be the tip of the iceberg though! More than just lessons to share, we writers start new ideas. Inspire thoughts, and those cognitive responses move into actions. Like our very thoughts on a new idea in writing being that there are more than just plotters and pantsers, there two could be something new, revolutionary as evolutionists! Those who build upon what has come before!
So, my friend, I entreat you, what do you see when you look at the Writer’s role in society? Teacher, companion, friend, lover, anarchist, rebel… so much more, or maybe less?!? Or is it just a story shared? Are writer’s the rebels that can not be quelled? What say you?

Proudly flying my new pirate flag,
Random

 

Dreamland’s reply:

Ahoy, Random,
Why, I would never dream of upsetting the status quo – why? Who have you been talking to? How much do they know?! *ahem* sorry… anyway….
If by “enlighten,” you mean “set fire,” then yes, I’m all for “enlightening” the world. (I kid, I kid … mostly.) The question of the writer’s position isn’t easy to answer, which is why I also enjoyed the Nicholas Conley’s post The Writer’s Role in Society. He emphasizes that writers are teachers, yet, but another line that spoke to me was this passage:

“The different fiction genres each demonstrate a unique facet of the writer’s society. A horror writer will memorialize the discomforts of his era. A science fiction writer will demonstrate that era’s views on technology. A literary writer, of course, will display what everyday life was really like.

By writing a novel, the writer acts to keep his/her era alive for future generations, so that our children and grandchildren can understand who we really were, and what we stood for.”

Archivist, teacher – and, arguably, mirror. No matter how revolutionary or original we fancy ourselves, we’re also the products of our environment, somehow. So maybe one of the tricks is to show what is familiar in a startling way, or make the unfamiliar accessible?
Lots of writers have been agents of change, for good or bad. We have to have some awareness but we also have to build and burn, or, as one of my favorite bloggers phrases it, “sort, sever, detangle, grasp.”
So my question for you is, what do we do now? As agents of change, as writers, as people comfortable with assuming roles as necessary, fighting where we stand, agitating for change… What do we target? What forms of rebellion do we take and tell? Where exactly should our stories go? Where are we needed most and what for and why?

All dressed up with nowhere to sail,
dreamland’s insurgents

Be sure to check out Nicholas Conley’s Writings, Readings and Coffee Addictions, he has some good stuff over there!

 

 

So… what is your figuring?  Do you have something to add to our letter?  Have either of us missed something?  What are your thoughts on a writer’s role in society?

Do you have some ideas that you would like to see discussed?  Feel free to drop them here as well!

Letters of Questioning: Lost in Plot

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This week’s post shifts directions after we were lost on an adventure with our characters, then it begs to be thought, what about plot?  How does it work?  What brings it all together…

Hey Dreamland’s Insurgents,

I think you may be onto something with one character being more comfortable to tell the tale, or maybe just wants to take control? I am pretty sure I am forever changed by my characters, but then… who isn’t? Are they not just a reflection of ourselves and how we see the world? I think that I never truly find my way back. To what purpose? I am just going to embark on another tale.
Which brings me to something else I have read… I beseech you, what do you think upon reading the words of Laura who was interviewed over on El Space about being neither a plotter or a pantser, but an evolutionist?!?!? I must say I was intrigued by this new idea in writing. What say you? Personally I would have to say it works! But then I fly by the seat of my pants and thought of myself as a pantser, but after reading those words, I must say I found it heartening that another idea could be born.
But I must ask, if new ideas of this caliber can be raised, what then are we missing in life?!? How many other ideas are we losing by staying with the status quo of what is already created? What other writing styles would that then open?

Lost in Plot,
Random

 

Catch his reply here:

Sup Random,
From your perspective it sounds like the journey is never-ending. That’s dedication! But there’s got to be a rest point, a time for reflection and gathering ye rosebuds — or at least contemplating your navel, Admiral! (Then again, I personally waffle more than a Danish prince….)
Laura’s guest post on El Space was, now that you mention it, one such instance where I stopped and paused. I’ve thought for a long time that too much planning was stifling, but also found that not enough of it left me adrift — the opposite of a purposeful journey. Not that I haven’t found a lot of great material roamin’ around, but I rarely find anything I feel I can actually call a narrative, you see? I think a dynamic blend is just what the tailor ordered — plus it’ll keep us from wearing out the seat of our breeches.
Put the calipers down, I beseech you — you might be striking before the iron’s hot, here. Whenever you start throwing the door open on the status quo, you start to invite the Vandals into Rome. Innovation is one thing, but asking what’s missing in life? Dreaming of untapped ideas? That sounds rather like insurrection, or at the very least infection — bringing back weird ideas from off the map might invite more change than people can cope with!

Sewing You a Pirate Flag,
Dreamland’s Insurgents

 

What are your thoughts on this subject?  Have you read the post over on El Space?   If not, I beseech you too, to head that way and tell me what you think!  Join in our endeavor!  Also, don’t forget to take a moment to check out Laura’s blog!  Remember we LOVE to hear your thoughts, or even read YOUR letters…