Category Archives: writing journals

Preparing for NaNoWriMo: More Great Ways to Procrastinate

I’m still not getting anywhere new, really, with my notes.  Mostly what I’ve been doing is writing down blocks of questions that want answering, but the answers aren’t coming.  I’m not part of this world.  I don’t own this story, and I’m not intimate with these characters.

And because I am Pot, I was talking to Kettle this evening and I was telling her that in the stuff she’s been doing in this first week of Sweat 2, it seems like she’s trying to find her voice and not making it.  She clarified that it was the characters whose voice she couldn’t quite get, and I agreed.  We talked about how, with her heroine, she’s sort of, as I like to say, made from the hero’s rib.  She’s created to be his match, but in only looking at her from that perspective, there are parts of her that weren’t thought through.  Because, let’s face it, a woman’s life does not begin when she meets the man of her dreams, even if it should kind of feel that way for them in a book.

So this is the point at which I opened my big mouth and said [paraphrased of course]:

If we had all the time in the world, it would be great to start blogs for characters.  Because in blogging as them on any sort of regular basis, we’d get a feel for what they’re like and how they express themselves.

This all goes back to that thing about how I think blogging helped me find my voice and made me more comfortable using it.

So after messing around with the idea of where to put such crazy things, I ended up making a blog for my heroine on LiveJournal.  I’m very comfortable with LJ and I love my client that lets me post to a few different journals.  Sadly, I couldn’t get the thing to work for both LJ and WordPress at the same time.  But after wasting a lot of time on the client thing, I set up my heroine’s LJ, had her friend the few people giving me technical advice, and she wrote a 2-line post.

I thought about starting one up for the hero.  And the heroine’s roommate.  And the leader of their organization.  And then I thought about creating a private LJ community where they could all get together and talk to each other.

And this is about the point where I realized that I am insane and that it is 11 days, 21 hours, and 56 minutes to Nano, and how much meaningful conversation are these imaginary people really going to have in that time?

Oh.  The evil evil thought just passed through my head to fire up The Sims instead and making little virtual dolls to play with.

I am so going to bed now.

 ETA: When Kettle got up, because she did not stay up playing on the internet until 2am (not even 2am my time!) she posted about what she did with hers.  Click here for the post.

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Filed under COD, ideas, Kettle chat, NaNoWriMo, progress update, Sweat 2, writing, writing journals

How Blogging Has Helped My Writing

It’s hard to start a blog.  For me, anyway.  It’s not just the idea of talking out loud and not even knowing who’s going to hear it.  It’s also that when you start a new blog, you don’t know that anyone ever will hear it– read it, rather, if you have to be all picky about it.

I have a personal blog that I was writing in for almost a year before I came here and started this one.  I can remember it being very difficult in the beginning, feeling unsure of what to say, wondering what people would be interested in hearing, and so much wanting people to come over and be interested.  I’ve made good friends blogging, I have a few dozen regular readers to my personal journal, and I continue to find that very rewarding.  Then I came over here and started all over again.

So it’s been a rocky sort of start for me because I’ve been overly concerned with what you want to hear and I forgot to just talk.  That’s what I do on my personal blog, my little virtual home where I’m comfortable and my friends drop by dressed in their best avatars to chat with me against the backdrop of pink embossed wallpaper.  I pop in, I say Hey, just a quick note to say that I’m doing this or just heard that, or you would not believe what this child just did, can I just tell you?  I talk, I make up words (yeah, in a Buffy way), I don’t worry about how I sound.

Point?  I was reading the first few chapters of WOTM.  Remember I said that I loved them?  Know why?  It’s me (or I, rather)!  It’s my voice.  No, I don’t make up words all the time– ok, I made up a few words, maybe, but I did put them in dialogue.  But the quality of what I’ve written is fresher and more…individualistic, I suppose, than anything I’ve written before.  And I have to credit that to blogging.  To the daily practice of being myself.

What about you?  Have you had a similar experience?  Was there something different, perhaps, that helped you to find your voice?

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Filed under blogs, ideas, insecurities, me me me, writing, writing journals

What I Want in a Writer Blog

I’ve just spent some serious time perusing various author blogs looking for things I might like to read regularly.  In most cases I scanned not only the most recent post, but everything on the first page and sometimes the next one back, just to give it a fair shot.  And I found just one blog to add to my Blogroll. 

Not surprisingly, this led me to think about just what it was I was looking for and, also, what was turning me off.  I may not be the target audience, but I thought I’d share anyway.

  • I don’t want to read blogs that are nothing but self-promotion.
  • I don’t want to see memes– unless they are in some way bookish, I guess.  I see enough memes via the network on my personal blog.
  • I don’t want to read a series of posts that say: today you can find me [insert link].  I rarely follow those.
  • I do want to read about how your job’s going.  Did you write today/this week?  Did it go well?  Were you happy?  Did anything interesting or surprising come out of it for you?
  • From experienced authors, I love tips and posts about stuff that, as an unpublished writer, I don’t know anything about…Like the publication process, the expectations on things like self-promotion, blah blah, you know.
  • From unpublished writers, I’d like to read posts I can relate to.  How you spent stupid time perfecting the dedication page for your first novel that is, as yet, an unfinished manuscript when you were supposed to be writing.
  • I’d like posts about why you write.  What or who inspires you. 
  • What interesting thing did you see/read/hear that made you think about writing or about a story today?
  • I don’t want a lot of personal/family stuff that you don’t relate to writing in some way.  I follow that kind of stuff through my personal blog and slice of life is not what I’m looking for in writer blogs.  I don’t want to hear a detailed account of your last vacation with tons of pictures–unless it relates to your writing.  I don’t mind an occasional post about your kids or your illness–in fact, I want to hear about your writing life within the context of your actual life– but if that’s all that’s on the page, I just move on to the next blog.
  • I don’t want to read nothing but contests.  If it’s barely more than ads and contests, it’s like listening to the damned radio.
  • Helpful writer toolbox links.  Random generators, a great site to learn about X or Y, a good reference book you found… 
  • Your thoughts on how-to.  What makes a book work?  What helps build tension or suspense?  What makes a great character?  How you work, when you work, why you can’t work.
  • One last request: please make it easier for me to read you regularly.  If you have the power, please syndicate and provide a link for your feed.  (I’m not technically adept enough to know if I said that in a way that makes sense!) 

Ok, seriously, enough.  I’m not telling you how to write your blog– mine certainly isn’t up to snuff.  I’m opinionated, but gawd, I’m not arrogant.  I just thought you might like to know, you know?

Hey, p.s., if your blog fits this description, please comment!

P.P.S. I just read Kettle’s  thoughts on the subject over at her blog.  If you post on this subject, won’t you link me to it in the comments?  (Even if you stumble across it months from now, rarely do things go out of date for me.)

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