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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-27-2009 12:52 AM
Oriole I drive to work, so I can't be writing during my commute (well, I guess I could, but pedestrians and other drivers will frown on it, for sure.)

I teach until 3PM, wrap up my day at school around 4, and I am back home around 4:30. Between making dinner and correcting papers - I'm worn out. That's why I chose to do only 1,000 words a day in the first place. I wish I could write in the morning...

I'm thinking I might choose to get up earlier than usual, and get to work an hour or so early. That way I can write before I need to be ready for the day.

Thanks for making me take another look at my day, I really hope I can have the discipline to do this.
02-26-2009 09:41 PM
Aufilia Oriole -- What's the rest of your day like?

I take the bus to work and back, and I found that when I was in the midst of the first draft I would take my commute time to just sit and think about whatever plot problem I was facing, or the next scene I needed to write, or whatever was bothering me. I kept a steno pad with me so I could write down whatever ideas or dialogue snippets or whatever came to mind during the day. Often when I get home it's 3 hours or more before I can sit down again, but as long as I'd written down the stuff I wanted to remember I could then sit down and start transcribing my notes onto the computer and get into the writing, even if I wasn't feeling very creative by that time of night.
02-26-2009 10:53 AM
Oriole I am starting to notice a pattern that concerns me... I wake up with ideas, and I have to write them down. It's all fine and dandy, however, next week I am back to work, how and when will I write?

I am a morning person, everything comes easier to me around 8-9 AM. Suggestions?
02-26-2009 01:20 AM
PJsmomma I'm so excited. I sat down tonight and my goal was 200 words. I wrote 1600!

:

It is so true and very funny how the character starts behaving apart from my thoughts! Mine almost had a dog tonight but I thought through things and told her no

But the bane of my existence is past tense and be verbs. HOW do I get past that? Any exercises I can do?
02-26-2009 12:41 AM
flowers Thanks for the welcome Erin!

I am really excited. I usually write non-fiction, so to have this inspiration and the sudden surge of ideas is just almost funny to me!

I spent part of the day today at Barnes & Nobles in the Young Adults section skimming books, seeing what is out there and checking out publishers. Then tonight after yoga I spent some time writing out synopsis just to get the ideas out. I have been writing by hand, but am thinking I should move to the computer for speed purposes.
02-25-2009 07:49 PM
Aufilia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Well, today my character development took an unexpected turn, and listening to the Bangled, completely messed up my plans.
That sounds like fun! I love new discoveries about my characters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowers View Post
Hi! Mind if I join?

I have never written anything novelish before and a few nights ago I was hit with quite an inspiration. Dh is home for the winter so he has the boys and I have three weeks to bang out outlines and a few sample chapters to get things going.

Hi there! You go, girl! You can get a lot done in 3 weeks. It's awesome that your DH is giving you time to write!
02-25-2009 04:07 PM
flowers Hi! Mind if I join?

I have never written anything novelish before and a few nights ago I was hit with quite an inspiration. Dh is home for the winter so he has the boys and I have three weeks to bang out outlines and a few sample chapters to get things going.

02-24-2009 10:48 PM
Oriole Well, today my character development took an unexpected turn, and listening to the Bangled, completely messed up my plans.
02-24-2009 07:31 PM
Aufilia
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyHawk View Post
so you have a writing group, as in a critique group? how did you find yours?
Yes, I have a critique group that meets weekly on Thursday nights. They found me, really. And oddly enough, I had 2 points of contact with the group before I joined:

(1) My group runs a writing workshop at our local science fiction convention. I submitted some short stories to it and so my name and some work had been read by the group several months before I was invited to audition.

(2) At the time I auditioned there was also a member of the weekly group who had gone to a major writing workshop (Viable Paradise) with me the year before. There were only 3 VP graduates in the entire state at the time and the 3rd was also auditioning at the same time as me.
02-24-2009 05:07 PM
MommyHawk
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post
Ugh, I'm not good with questions like this. I never have read through my whole novel in a sitting. I will read through 5-6 chapters at once, though. I've been editing 2-3 chapters a week before sending them to my writing group, then sometimes if I feel sparked by what they say I'll go back and re-edit those same chapters again right away.
so you have a writing group, as in a critique group? how did you find yours?
02-23-2009 04:17 PM
Aufilia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagesgirl View Post
And who knows, perhaps some of those wonderfully vivid pregnancy dreams will help you plot your next novel. I used to get some great story ideas while pregnant.
Hah, I hope! So far I've only had stupid, repetitive dreams about boring crap, like whether or not bus 311 goes through my neighborhood. When I was pregnant with DD I actually stopped reading fiction entirely because I would have vivid yet incredibly stupid, repetative and BORING dreams about whatever I'd read that day. It drove me nuts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Can I join? I'm starting afresh, and would like some company to keep me going. Pretty please?

I'm very impressed with everyone who actually finished their first draft. 133K (!) I hope to get there some day, but I'm taking it 1000 at a time. My goal is to write 1K a day, so hopefully by the end of the year I'll have a finished draft on my hands.
At 1k a day it won't take you that long -- maybe 3 months!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyHawk View Post
I am about halfway through reading my printed out beast of a first draft...I had to go out and get new ink and another reem of paper! I didn't realized just how much 133K was until I had to feed the printer for an entire day...holy cow...anyway...I'm not sure I want to just read it anymore...my itch to start editing is practically stagnating me from reading any further. Should I just start hacking away at it? Or first read it and then hack away?
Ugh, I'm not good with questions like this. I never have read through my whole novel in a sitting. I will read through 5-6 chapters at once, though. I've been editing 2-3 chapters a week before sending them to my writing group, then sometimes if I feel sparked by what they say I'll go back and re-edit those same chapters again right away.
02-22-2009 09:13 PM
MommyHawk
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Can I join? I'm starting afresh, and would like some company to keep me going. Pretty please?

I'm very impressed with everyone who actually finished their first draft. 133K (!) I hope to get there some day, but I'm taking it 1000 at a time. My goal is to write 1K a day, so hopefully by the end of the year I'll have a finished draft on my hands.

*pulling a chair up and joining the club*
Welcome!!! writers write, right?


I am about halfway through reading my printed out beast of a first draft...I had to go out and get new ink and another reem of paper! I didn't realized just how much 133K was until I had to feed the printer for an entire day...holy cow...anyway...I'm not sure I want to just read it anymore...my itch to start editing is practically stagnating me from reading any further. Should I just start hacking away at it? Or first read it and then hack away?
02-22-2009 08:56 PM
Oriole Can I join? I'm starting afresh, and would like some company to keep me going. Pretty please?

I'm very impressed with everyone who actually finished their first draft. 133K (!) I hope to get there some day, but I'm taking it 1000 at a time. My goal is to write 1K a day, so hopefully by the end of the year I'll have a finished draft on my hands.

*pulling a chair up and joining the club*
02-22-2009 03:43 PM
Sagesgirl Congratulations, Aufilia. Make the hubby go buy your envelopes, it's partly his fault you can't stay awake. And who knows, perhaps some of those wonderfully vivid pregnancy dreams will help you plot your next novel. I used to get some great story ideas while pregnant.
02-21-2009 03:23 PM
MommyHawk
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post
It's great to have helpful characters, isn't it?



Go you! That sounds like a great start.


Me: So it turns out I'm sorta pregnant (5w4d) and it's already screwing with my noveling because I am soooooo tired in the evenings, and that's when I usually write. Yesterday I went to bed 1.5 hours early.

I finished the long synopsis (5 pages) and revised the first two chapters and scene 1 of chapter 3, and I'm submitting all of that to the Pacific Northwest Writers Association summer literary contest. I just have to get up the energy to walk over to the drug store and buy a ginormous manilla envelope to mail it all (in triplicate, of course!) off in...
Congratulations!!! :
02-19-2009 04:46 PM
BabyMae09 Thanks Aufilia! I wrote another 10 pages late last night. It's like now that I started, I can't stop

As for the being pregnant thing, I'm about 7 months along, and am a night owl as well. For the first 6 or so months of pregnancy, I was in bed almost every night by ten! Maybe your early to bed phase won't last as long as mine

Congrats on the new baby!
02-19-2009 03:56 PM
Aufilia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagesgirl View Post
I also realized today while scribbling that my heroine just knows one heck of a lot more than most in this genre. She's a professional.
It's great to have helpful characters, isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyMae09 View Post
I started! I wrote five pages the other day and seven more today (in 1.5 hours!) - and it's mostly all pretty dang good! Wow it feels so good to finally start WRITING this sucker instead of just thinking about it! In fact, I have at least the first 3-4 chapters all planned out on paper and in my head yay!
Go you! That sounds like a great start.


Me: So it turns out I'm sorta pregnant (5w4d) and it's already screwing with my noveling because I am soooooo tired in the evenings, and that's when I usually write. Yesterday I went to bed 1.5 hours early.

I finished the long synopsis (5 pages) and revised the first two chapters and scene 1 of chapter 3, and I'm submitting all of that to the Pacific Northwest Writers Association summer literary contest. I just have to get up the energy to walk over to the drug store and buy a ginormous manilla envelope to mail it all (in triplicate, of course!) off in...
02-19-2009 04:02 AM
BabyMae09 I started! I wrote five pages the other day and seven more today (in 1.5 hours!) - and it's mostly all pretty dang good! Wow it feels so good to finally start WRITING this sucker instead of just thinking about it! In fact, I have at least the first 3-4 chapters all planned out on paper and in my head yay!
02-19-2009 01:43 AM
Sagesgirl Well, I got the chromatography thing figured out. Who could have guessed there are so many different forms? I decided to use a take-off of paper chromatography, as that's what I saw in my mind when I decided to use it. It has the bonus of being a simple test to perform & therefore explain.

I also realized today while scribbling that my heroine just knows one heck of a lot more than most in this genre. She's a professional.
02-17-2009 03:27 PM
St. Margaret I think the more people you tell, the more it MAKES you get work done, because they're going to ask you about it sometime and you don't want to feel like a fraud!

I'm pretty surprised at how many people want to join the writing group we're starting up. Everyone is a writer-- it's great!

As for actually noveling...
I've been getting a lot of work done editing my first draft. It slowed down at a certain point and I worried it was just going to get REALLY hard and dreadful... but after a few days of staring at the next section, it started moving again. I think I was just way more familiar with the first chunk of the book and what I needed to do with it. I needed time to mentally move on to the next bit. Whew!

Oh, and thanks, Erin, for the tips... we're casting a wide net right now, but hopefully it'll shake out to a similar group of writers. I figure it might break in two, even, if necessary.

I just desperately want to be working on it... and of course I get a few hours several days a week... during my sleepy time of day. I'm thinking of changing the schedule we've worked out, because I want to be more productive. I go back to work (teaching part time) in August and I really need to have this revision done, and it would be great if I was well into the sequel by then...
02-16-2009 04:17 AM
MommyHawk
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagesgirl View Post
It doesn't happen to me, but it would be wonderful if it did, because I suck at writing those scenes.

And yes, in certain circles everyone is writing a book. Heck, I've been writing one book or another since junior high. I've just never managed to finish any of them. I'm not sure why this time is different, save that a) it just is & b) I have an actual plan for the entire thing. Most people who tell you they're writing a book are like I was for most of the past 18 years--always scribbling something, but never making any headway, and without any real plan to do so.
oh, honey, that was me too for the past 18 years! But I was in a closet about my writing and I probably wouldn't have come out on my own tuition if I hadn't been outed in front of everyone I knew while opening a present at my 30th Birthday party... I guess I'm just blown away at other people NOT being in a writing closet! And I am like "Way to go!" when they tell me, both about writing AND being confident enough to say so...it it only hadn't taken ME that long to feel that way...

eh, C'est la vie...
02-15-2009 03:56 AM
PJsmomma Thank you for the outlining link! I'll take a peek.
I actually wrote 600 words the other day and did research on names.

As well as a bit more and putting the character's info on cards. It's a start!
02-15-2009 02:11 AM
Sagesgirl It doesn't happen to me, but it would be wonderful if it did, because I suck at writing those scenes.

And yes, in certain circles everyone is writing a book. Heck, I've been writing one book or another since junior high. I've just never managed to finish any of them. I'm not sure why this time is different, save that a) it just is & b) I have an actual plan for the entire thing. Most people who tell you they're writing a book are like I was for most of the past 18 years--always scribbling something, but never making any headway, and without any real plan to do so.
02-14-2009 07:31 PM
MommyHawk
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post
(3) Don't let the "I suck"s drag you down. If you finish your first draft, you are ahead of like 99% of everyone else.
You say that, and then now that I'm out of my 'writing closet' all I see are writers! everywhere! Everyone I know is writing a book now, oh and they ALL know an editor...it's hilarious

I am attempting to print out my disastrous 1st draft so I can read it through once, LMAO, and then start to tear it apart...I feel as thought I'm going to love the editing portion, making it all nice and shiny, polishing it up...I edit in my head all the time, no matter what I'm reading or listening too...maybe that's my forte...

oh, and I'm not sure if this happens to anyone else (but I figured HERE I could say it and maybe not be viewed as a nut) but when I'm - you know - with DH, and we're talking and doing our thing...I see it all typed out before my eyes, as if I'm writing the scene while we're - you know - and even the dialogue is typed out, perfectly, with quotation marks and and returns and everything...tell me that doesn't happen to you!
02-13-2009 11:09 PM
Sagesgirl This is the method of outlining/getting started that works best for me: Holly Lisle's "notecarding".

Actually, I loveloveLOVE everything Holly Lisle has in her Workshops section. It's mainly geared toward fantasy, but it's adaptable to any genre.

I was getting nowhere until I plotted this current novel out on notecards. I mean, I'd been ruminating over the gist of the novel for years--I wanted to write an urban fantasy novel with strong Texas ties, featuring our local folklore--and that germ of an idea & her notecarding got me started. I really can't say enough about it; it's marvelous. I adapted it a bit--since I'm writing from the first person POV, I can't have scenes with different characters not the main one, so I arranged mine in terms of plots--main plot, and two sub-plots. I divvied my cards up by that, instead of by characters as she suggests. Otherwise, I've done it pretty much the same as she suggests--except that since I am hand-writing my rough draft, I'm carting the notecards around in my backpack (wrapped up in a ponytail holder, after I had to put them back in order). I love this outline method because it's a snap to re-arrange plot points if they start to make more sense in a different order. But you have to know yourself well enough & make sure you're not just rearranging cards as an excuse not to write (I have tons of excuses!).

As for me, right now...I need to research broad spectrum chromatography. And here I thought I was writing fantasy so I could avoid scientific research!
02-13-2009 08:59 PM
BabyMae09 I've had this book floating around in my head for about three years now. I finally started writing it! My goal is to get it done by the time my DD is born at the end of May... I love to write, and have done so much of the 'pre-planning' in my head that I feel like it's a do-able goal...

My story is about a hippy chick who doesn't know that she is one until she meets some cool people and starts having all kinds of amazing experiences. She finds herself and learns to be happy within herself. Also, she falls in love with a hippy boy

Happy writing!
02-12-2009 03:15 AM
PJsmomma Thanks
The permission to write badly is what I need!:
02-11-2009 06:21 PM
Aufilia
Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Margaret View Post
See, this is helpful! Especially the part where you found the helpful information and shared it, because researching online just about writing eats up way too much time! Thanks :
I hope it's a useful link! Now if I could just find someone who could explain the mini synopsis that goes in the query letter as neatly....

Quote:
Another writer mama and I are seriously talking about starting a little writing group. We both write poetry and have novels in need of editing. I think I might make a new thread in case a mama from the area is right here on this forum and wants to join. I'm hoping that group would keep kicking me in the rear to keep working... and it would be terrifying but helpful, I hope, to get feedback.
I am a big fan of writing groups--I love mine. They have helped a lot in the revision process. I am always a bit terrified when it's my turn to be critiqued, but I get a big kick out of how after everyone's done with their crit, I can actually just discuss the story with people. I love that.

The best advice I've heard for writing groups is that it's critical to put together a group of people with the same goals and level of commitment. It is far less important what they are writing (genre-wise or length) or how well they write.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PJsmomma View Post
I've always thought about writing a book but every time I tried it was just a mess. I didn't have a good enough idea and it wasn't going anywhere.

The other day out of the blue I had a zinger of an idea that works nicely with my life experience--"write what you know" and I've been working on getting started.

I wrote the characters on card and am working on developing them a bit as well as thinking about the story line.

Do you outline your novel? What are your best tips for getting started?
Awesome! I love fresh, beautiful new ideas!

For this novel, I actually started with (and it's a long story, but true) with long synopsis. I was taking a synopsis-writing class back in like 2005. When I started the class I had sort of mapped out the first 2 or 3 chapters and I had the main characters and world in place, and NO CLUE what happened after that. To complete the class assignments I had to make up the rest of the story. After that I got pregnant with DD and dropped the project entirely, and didn't touch it again until last October. At that point I transferred my synopsis into a scene-by-scene outline in an Excel spreadsheet. I just have 2 or 3 sentences reminding myself the main action and possible emotional outcome. I also keep a scene-by-scene wordcount, mostly for my own references.

My best novel-writing advice so far:

(1) Give yourself permission to write badly. It's ok if you end up writing stilted dialog, change your character's hair color every other page, and can't be bothered to figure out where two places are in relation to each other. That's not important in the first draft. You can fix all of it later.

(1.5) Avoid going back and "fixing" your badly written stilted dialogue & etc until you are done with the first draft.

(2) Set yourself a daily goal and stick with it. I did NaNoWriMo last November, so my goal was 1667 words per day. After November I reduced my daily goal to 500 new words + revising whatever my writing group was going to get to read the next week. Accept that to get to your goal, you may have to write some crap. I have a LiveJournal group (thing_in_150) where I report my daily wordcount, which keeps me honest with myself.

(3) Don't let the "I suck"s drag you down. If you finish your first draft, you are ahead of like 99% of everyone else.
02-11-2009 04:21 AM
PJsmomma I've always thought about writing a book but every time I tried it was just a mess. I didn't have a good enough idea and it wasn't going anywhere.

The other day out of the blue I had a zinger of an idea that works nicely with my life experience--"write what you know" and I've been working on getting started.

I wrote the characters on card and am working on developing them a bit as well as thinking about the story line.

Do you outline your novel? What are your best tips for getting started?
02-10-2009 12:19 AM
St. Margaret
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post
I thought I'd share the most helpful thing I found with you girls: 5 steps to writing a synopsis.
See, this is helpful! Especially the part where you found the helpful information and shared it, because researching online just about writing eats up way too much time! Thanks :

I got some serious editing done today, and I even get the laptop again later tonight so I might do more if DD doesn't demand to be sleeping on the boob. Yay! (And seriously? How much would I LOVE a cheapo little netbook these days? Sigh.) Any work at all on a given day is a great thing, lately.

Another writer mama and I are seriously talking about starting a little writing group. We both write poetry and have novels in need of editing. I think I might make a new thread in case a mama from the area is right here on this forum and wants to join. I'm hoping that group would keep kicking me in the rear to keep working... and it would be terrifying but helpful, I hope, to get feedback.

Hooray for writing "the end" and not sucking!
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