Behind the Scenes Blogging Tag

I was scrolling through my WordPress reader one typical morning and found this blogging tag on Sophie Dishman’s The Journey Begins. I thought, “This would be an interesting post to do” but never did it because of…you know, procrastination.

Since I’m bogged down with my writing projects (hence why there wasn’t a post last week…oops), I figured writing a fun post wouldn’t hurt.

The way this tag works is that I have to answer the twelve questions below and then “tag” another blogger.

Alright, so here’s the questions:

 

1. Where do you blog?

On my laptop (sometimes on my kindle). I don’t have a place dedicated to blogging—or writing for that matter. Simply put, I write wherever I’m comfortable which may be at my computer desk, living room couch (or floor), garage, and etc.

 

2. Where do you find inspiration for your posts?

That’s a question that not even I know the answer to.

Sometimes I get ideas from other writers and writing communities that I follow via social networking sites (that’s how I got the idea for the post you’re reading and this Bookshelf Tag!).

If I see something online that I think is interesting, than I’ll dedicate a post to it (for example: Is YA Fiction Becoming Repetitive? or Basing Your Reading Habits off of Reviews is so…Grade School!).

Honestly, I think the biggest inspiration is my life. If I’m having troubles with something or have something to share, then I’ll write a blog post about it (for example: Backhanding Procrastination When Camp NaNo isn’t Motivational Enough and Fight the Monday Blahs!).

I don’t get blogging ideas as easily as I do fictional ones unfortunately :(.

 

3. How long does it take you to write a blog post?

It depends on how busy I am. Sometimes it can take me an hour to a week.

 

4. Do you plan your blog posts? How?

I use to! I stopped recently in favor of focusing on my fiction (which is why things have been a bit haphazard lately).

I use to plan out five posts for the month and outline what I wanted to write. Then, I’d spend each week getting one post ready (writing, editing, and formatting) for a set due date.

 

5. What kind of Camera do you use?

If I ever decided to take my own pictures, I’d probably use my kindle, laptop, or Nintendo DS camera. Nothing fancy.

 

6. What editing programs do you use?

Inkscape or Canva.

 

7. Do you use a notebook to track your ideas?

I put my ideas in a dedicated folder on Scrivener or OneNote. Sometimes I jot them down on whatever I can find. It’s not a pretty process and I can loose most of my ideas if I’m not careful.

 

8. Do you take your pictures?

I use royalty free stock photos for my blog.

 

9. What’s your favorite type of blog post to write?

Two types: motivational posts because I like to help people and personal updates because they don’t take a lot of research or preparation (you just write!).

 

10. Who knows about your blog?

My family knows. They may browse around every so often. Oh, and you guys!

 

11. Are you an organized or messy blogger?

Messy. Very very very very messy. I’m not organized and I don’t plan them.

But that’s the beauty of blogging! You get the real, imperfect, me.

 

12. Biggest blogging pet peeve?

I read my posts over multiple times before I publish them to make sure there’s no typos or silly errors. Problem is, I usually find some seconds after publishing a post! It’s so irritating.

Sometimes I edit them, but most of the time I get into the “screw it” mood.

 

And that’s my messy blogging life!

I don’t want to impose anything on anyone, so if you feel like doing this tag—go ahead. Don’t forget to link your post back to this one so I can check it out.

Small announcement: Inky Tavern is now on Bloglovin! Yay 🙂

*Picture Credit

If We Were Having Coffee On July 23, 2016

It’s Saturday?! When the heck did that happen? I thought for sure today was Thursday until Cortana kindly corrected me. Whoops! Anyway, if we were having coffee, I’d tell you that…

 

I’ve spent a good chunk of the week working on Ruin.

Okay, maybe not “a good chunk of the week” since I lost track of time. I probably spent three or four (?) days filling in plot holes.

Ruin and I have an unhealthy love-hate relationship. One moment I’m smitten, thrity minutes later I’m pulling my hair out thinking, “this is the worst thing I’ve EVER written!” That’s why I decided to let it rest for a few days which somehow turned into two weeks.

A family member got wind of this and pointed out that I was slacking (it’s kinda hard to get upset over a piece of criticism that’s true). I went back to work and made a ton of progress because of them.

I guess you can say I needed rest, but I think I needed the encouragement more.

 

As expected, I didn’t win that flash fiction contest.

I’m not going to lie to you and say that I wasn’t a tad bit disappointed. At the same time, I felt an odd sense of triumph.

Writers, like you and I, work in a very subjective field and subjectivity isn’t all that bad. It means that at least one person is going to like what we do! We just have to find them. This is why I wasn’t too disappointed.

I’m thinking of editing (once I get the critique) and submitting my piece somewhere else. OR I’ll turn it into a short story and self publish it on Amazon.

Haven’t decided yet, but I’m gitty over the possibilities!

 

I’ve won two scholarships and the ceremony is in August.

I’m excited(!) and freaked out at the same time.

I mean…do I have to dress up for this? I hate dressing up.

 

I’m looking for guest posters for the fall quarter.

The Fall semester is starting back earlier than I thought (it’s in August). College and writing have always vied for my time and it’s an intense competition. I’ll attempt to blog once a week but don’t expect a stellar track record (especially during midterms and finals).

I don’t want Inky Tavern to be inactive for too long and I want to give back to those who have given to me (thanks for following and commenting 😇). With that said, I’m offering guest posting opportunities. You can talk about anything that enriches someone’s life so long as it follows these guidelines.

You can write your post in a blogging fashion (like you see here) or as a piece of creative non-fiction. Let me know if you’re interested or have questions!

 

That’s my life right now, how’s yours?

Also, if you want to participate in the “If we were having coffee…” community you can do so by simply writing one and tagging it #weekendcoffeeshare on twitter. Go to Part-Time Monster’s blog for more information.

Stay Motivated to Write with these Four Tips

If you’re one of the many writers competing in Camp NaNo, good luck because NaNo will challenge your commitment. Wait, sorry, that’s not entirely true.

Writing will challenge your commitment — period. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a novel, screenplay, comic script, or term paper you will reach a point where you’re motivation goes POOF! Gone.

It’s totally natural, but here’s four ways you can keep yourself motivated to write:

 

Make yourself accountable by telling others your writing goals

Letting others know about your writing goals is probably the most effective way to stay motivated. Why? Because it’s uncomfortable to tell those same people you gave up.

You can tell a writing buddy, family member, spouse or friend so long as they hold you to your goals and give you moral support.

Some bloggers, myself included, share their goals with their blog subscribers.

 

Diarize your writing journey

Writing down your problems can reduce the control they have on your emotions. 

Journaling brings you into that state of mindfulness; past frustrations and future anxieties lose their edge in the present moment.

Thai Nguyen

If something emotional is keeping you from focusing on your writing, journaling (keeping a diary) can help you evaluate or purge those negative feelings.

Maybe you thought you had writers block but you’re really suffering from impostor syndrome. Maybe you can’t focus on your writing because you had a nasty argument with your spouse. Whatever your problems are, try writing it down so that it doesn’t bother you as much.

You can journal your writing journey on your blog if you’re comfortable with that. Just be mindful about what you put on the Internet, okay?

 

Have a reward system

Pair a goal with a gift and you have a reward system.

During 2015’s NaNoWriMo I had a bunch of left over Halloween candy (no one was trick-or-treating where I lived). I set up a reward system where I got to eat candy only if I wrote 1700 words that day (it totally worked).

I think it’s only fair to warn you that reward systems require a ton of self-control. So, yeah, keep that in mind.

 

Time Travel

You read that right. No, I’m not crazy.

Well…not legally.

You can “time travel” by sending an email to your future self via futureme.org.

Pick a due date, write yourself a congratulatory email, and send it. You’ll feel uber special because you’ve not only completed your goal, but you also received a well deserved pat on the back from your past self. And, lets face it, sometimes all you have is yourself to count on.

Seeking validation from others is a waste of time. All you need is determination and grit.

Tweet This!

What if you don’t meet your goal? Well, then you’ll feel like crap which will turn into determination for next time. No one likes feeling like crap.

 

I’m not saying any of these tips are foolproof, but they can help reduce discouragement. Motivation is a battle we writers face daily so maybe give one or two a try?

If you want more tips about keeping yourself motivated to write, I suggest reading this post I wrote during 2014’s NaNoWriMo.

Good luck out there!

Make Your Writing Goals S.M.A.R.T.E.R.!

Hey writers: is there a writing goal that plagues your to-do list? Do you repetitively set it but can never seem to finish it?

I know I do. Good news: it may not be your fault! Flawed writing goals are always difficult to do, but you can fix this my making them S.M.A.R.T.E.R.

Note: While this post is centered on writing goals, it can be re-purposed for any goal type.

 

What does S.M.A.R.T.E.R mean?

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound, Evaluate, and Re-do (whew!). It’s a variant of “S.M.A.R.T.” which is a criteria that helps make your goals accomplishable. The “E.R.” (Evaluate and Re-do) is what you do after putting your goals into action.

 

To make a goal S.M.A.R.T.E.R., you need a general goal.

General goals get a bad rep for putting too much focus on the end result. They seem harder than they really are and we feel like crap when we haven’t completed them. They’re just too darn broad.

But…you need a general goal before you can make it S.M.A.R.T.E.R.. Just make sure that your general goal isn’t focused on the end result. How? Break it down into increments.

My goal:

I want to be an author (too broad).

I want to finish a manuscript (better).

I want to write a 5k word short story (Great!).

 

Specific

A specifically stated goal mentions what you plan to do, how you’ll do it, and the due date. We can’t do much at this point since all we have is a general goal so the first order of business is to make it S.M.A.R.T.. Then we’ll make it S.M.A.R.T.E.R..

I promise this will all make sense.

 

Measurable

How do you know when you’re done? How can you track your progress?

You can track the progress of your writing project by word count, page count, chapters, and so on. Just make sure you have a number in mind!

My goal: I want to write 5,000 words.

 

Achievable

Do you have the resources necessary to achieve your goal?

A resource could be something tangible like a USB flash drive, notebook, or organizer. It can also be something non-tangible like a word processing software, commitment, or time.

Also, take into account every responsibility or distraction that could impact your goal (work, family obligations, school) and decide if it’s still achievable. If it’s not, you may need to adjust something.

My goal: I write in Scrivener, back up my work via a USB flashdrive, and use a planner to track my progress. That’s pretty much all I need for writing. I always write in the morning when I’m not too busy so time isn’t a problem. Writer’s block may wear down my commitment, but I can fight against it by outlining my short story ahead of time or relying on good ol’ fashioned grit.

 

Realistic

Why did you make this goal? Is it relevant to the life you have or want?

There needs to be a point to your goal or else its just valuable time wasted.

My goal: I want to be an author and writing something, like a short story, will help me get there. Balancing cups on my head or chugging ten gallons of maple syrup won’t help me (unless it’s for the sake of research).

 

Time-bound

When do you want your goal to be completed?

Set a due date! This keeps you motivated and prevents procrastination (hopefully).

My goal: I want to write my novel during July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. That’s 161 words a day–easy! In case life decides to be a jerk, I can stick to my original plan of getting it done by the end of the summer but I’m aiming for July 31st.

 

Revisit Specific

Now you can specifically state your S.M.A.R.T. goal.

My General Goal: Write a 5k word short story.

My S.M.A.R.T. Goal: Write a 5,000 word rough draft during July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m going to do this by writing 161 words a day and keep track of my progress via Scrivener and my planner. The due date is July 31st (or September 1st) at midnight.

Do you see the difference? The reason why I did the “Specific” step last is because I wanted to flesh out my original goal first.

 

Evaluate

This step only happens after you’ve tried your S.M.A.R.T. goal. Take some time to analyze what’s working and what’s not. Check your performance. What did you struggle with? Do you need to lower the stakes or increase them?

For example, you may want to decrease your word count goal or extend the due date if you’re having trouble keeping up. Or maybe the hours in your job has changed and you have to adjust something.

 

Re-do

Detect a problem? Go back through the S.M.A.R.T. criteria and make a new goal. Put it into action and then evaluate how things are working for you. Going bad? Re-do it. Going good? You’re golden.

WARNING! You may be tempted to use the Evaluate and Re-do steps as excuses for procrastination. DO NOT DO THIS EVER! Only do it if you really really really need to. I suggest limiting yourself to one (OK, two) re-tries.

Writing Dare #1: Make ‘Em Feel Something in One (short) Sentence

tumblr_noryaglJ8I1ted1sho1_1280Sure, we writers have to do a lot to “sell” our work—but that doesn’t discount the power of the first sentence. The first set of words in your work determines if a potential reader will invest in you art or click away.

No pressure, right? Right. Lets have some fun with this.

This post is the first in a long series of “Writing Dares” meant to challenge you or (at least) encourage you to have some fun. I’ll present a dare every other week and then you complete it. But remember: you have to stick to the rules.

(If you’re a regular to my blog, you’d know that I post “Freewriting” prompts every so often. “Writing Dares” are not like my “Freewriting” prompts. These are for folks who want a little challenge.)

The Challenge!

Your goal is to construct five sentences that captures each of these emotions:

  1. Urgency
  2. Romance
  3. Wonder
  4. Confusion
  5. Sadness

The Rules!

  • Write one sentence for each emotion.
  • Your sentences can be no longer than 12 words.
  • Tell me how it went for you in the comments.
  • Post them on your blog or online space with a link to this post (optional)

Inspiration!

Need inspiration? Here’s some short first sentences from the authors in my Kindle library.

Nefertiti’s Heart by A.W. Exley:

“There was something cathartic about wielding a crowbar.”

Ash by Jason Brant:

“I couldn’t get the blood off my hands.”

Strange Magic by James A. Hunter

“The piano keys bobbed and danced under the pressure of my fingers.”

 

Good luck.

 


Quick Announcement: I embedded a “Buy me a Coffee” button onto the blog (and below this post)! It’s for creatives who support through micro donations. Check out my page:

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Okay, that’s it. Later! 🙂

 

My Summer Goals and (my sorta borrowed) Accountability Method

Have you ever set a goal but didn’t do it because of procrastination or discouragement? Did you feel like total crap, too? I know your pain.

I think that this behavior stems from a lack of accountability. So I decided to change all that by making some summer goals for myself. The whole point of this challenge is to make my goals public so that I feel more responsible in completing all or half of them by the deadline (September).

I got this idea from Jenna Moreci, a YouTuber and author, who’s productivity increased thanks to this method. According to her:

 

“The risk of public humiliation is a very effective motivator.”

Jenna Moreci

With that said, my goals are to…

 

1. Finish Editing Ruin

For those of you who don’t know, Ruin is a fantasy comic that I’m working on. I just finished the third draft four weeks ago and plan to spend the entire summer editing the crap out of it. Then I’ll let go of it for the sake of production.

2. Outline the sequel to Ruin

The idea is to be able to write five books in the series. I’ve already wrote a rough synopsis for the sequel—I just have to flesh it out.

3. Finish Editing Retaliation

Retaliation is a science fiction novel that I’m working on. I’m currently fixing some issues that I hope I can finish sometime this quarter.

4. Start Drafting Retaliation

After I’m done “editing” (see #3), I’ll implement my notes into another draft.

5. Read 2 (or 4) Books

I’ve only read critical texts, college anthologies, and pricey textbooks this past semester. I need some aliens, ray guns, magic, espionage, and whatever other fiction I can get my hands before I go NUTS.

Since I’m a slow reader, I’m making this one flexible. I’m looking forward to reading Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan and Strange Magic by James A. Hunter.

6. Write a (or 2) Short Stories

Another flexible one. I want more writing in my life, but I don’t want this to overshadow my other larger projects. I’ve already started writing a murder thriller that’s so dark and gruesome it scares me.

7. Write a (or 3) Guest Posts

After my blogging hiatus last year, I want to be more involved in the blogging community. The hope is that a blogger (or three) will be willing to allow me to post something on their sites.

I’m actually already ahead in this one (no…I’m not cheating!). Again, it’s flexible because I don’t want this to overshadow my larger projects.

8. Post Once a Week

If guest posting doesn’t satisfy my need to rejoin the blogosphere, posting once a week sure will. That’s 14 posts total!

9. Be more active on social media (Twitter/Facebook/Pintrist/etc).

I feel like my social media feeds are lacking something: Me. Don’t get me wrong! I retweet, like, and comment (sometimes). I just think I should be a little more active—not spammy active—just mellow active.

10. Get Podcasting Equipment

Yep, I’m planning on launching a podcast! I pretty much have all of the equipment save for the intro/outro music, media host, and editing software. You’ll hear more about this in the future so keep an eye out!

 

And there’s my ten goals for this summer quarter. Although I’m aiming to get all of these done, I need to complete a minimum of five goals to win the challenge. Should be fun.

You can use the same accountability method to help with your productivity too. Don’t forget to link back to this post!

I’ll let you guys know how I did in September!

Later! 🙂

Trying To Be A Poet: Five Tips To Writing Better Poems (Guest Post)

MeHello, Desiree here! I have a special guest post for all of you poets and aspiring poets out there. It was written by Carol Forrester, an amazing poet in my opinion. Enjoy the post and take some time to visit her blog!

Can you remember the first time you were asked to write a poem? Most of us have written one at some point, be it because the teacher set it as class task or we wanted to find a way to express ourselves in anger or joy. Poetry is one of the most versatile forms of writing, and even if you don’t like poetry very much, it finds a way into your life no matter what.

Honestly? I don’t remember the first poem I wrote. It was probably awful, it was probably clichéd, and if I read it back now, I would probably cringe. That isn’t saying much though since I cringe at poems I wrote only three years ago.

As with any other form of writing, we all improve over time. We learn new ways of putting words down on paper and we hear new poets who completely flip our perspectives over on their heads. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve heard people say to me that they don’t like poetry that doesn’t rhyme or that they don’t ‘get it’. That’s fine. Different people like different things and not everything that you write will be liked. However, since writing that first poem I have learnt a few things about how to write better ones and that is what I want to share with you today. So without further ado, here are my five tips for writing better poems.

 

1. Read and listen to every type of poetry that you can get your hands on. 

On my shelves are poems by authors such as Sarah Kay, Carol Ann Duffy, Jim Clarkson, Maya Angelou, Sylvia Plath, Shakespeare, T S Elliot, and Megan Falley. I have poems from hundreds of years ago and I have collections published months ago. They all write differently and about different topics. Some you will have heard of, some you won’t. The point is that different is good and if you’re writing poetry then you need to read it as well as the best way to find out what works for you is to read as much as you can and to try out as many styles as you can. Poetry BlogHops also provide an amazing space for this as you have numerous poets all responding to same prompt in a different way. When I first started writing poetry, I thought poems had to rhyme or they weren’t really poems. I have written fixed form, I have written free verse. I have written about what I know and sometimes, about stuff I didn’t have a clue about. Some poems were good and some weren’t. I learnt what my strengths were and where I found weakness I also found way to improve.

2. Redrafting is your friend.

I hate sitting down to redraft a piece of poetry. At times it makes my skin crawl and makes me want to throw my poems out of the nearest window. It is important thought and over time I have learnt that it makes me a better writer. A week ago, I pulled all my poems from the last three years off of my blog, off of half-forgotten pen drives and external hard drives and stuck them into one single word document. I am now working through all of them and redrafting them one by one to create a stronger collection of work. I am not perfect and I certainly don’t write a perfect poem on the first attempt. Everything takes work and I need to be prepared to put that work in.

3. Rejections are not the end of the world, and take compliments with a pinch of salt.

There will always be those that tell you your writing is horrible and there will always be those who tell you it is fantastic. Both sets of people must be handled with care. Those who tell you that the work is not good enough? Take them as a challenge to do better. To the other side of the spectrum, be grateful but don’t let it go to your head. Positive comments are great but they can make you lazy. I know this from personal experience. If some says a poem is good then yay! That’s lovely to hear. It doesn’t mean you can’t make it better though. Remember that you are your own goal setter and you can always strive for better because you are never done learning. Everything you hear should be able to drive you forward.

4. Always hold something back.

It’s very easy to hit that publish button and not think anything of it when you’re blogging. Unfortunately, quite a lot of competitions will not take entries that have already been published online or elsewhere. I publish a lot of stuff online but more recently I’ve tried keeping some back to use as the basis for works to be entered into competitions or as submissions for anthologies. This is a balance you will need to find for yourself but it is important to keep in mind when you’re writing.

5. Step away from the computer every now and again.

Now I am one of the worst people for spending most of my time on the internet or typing away at my laptop. However, it is important you get out and see the world as a writer and as a human being. Go to poetry nights in your local area; take a walk in the countryside. It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as you are away from your screen and taking in the world around you. It will help fuel your creativity and meeting up with people at poetry events can open doors you never expected. Reading open mic nights can really help with getting poems right. You can gauge an audience’s reaction for yourself instead of waiting for someone to hit the comment sections.

It will also help you from going too insane. Staring at a screen all the time is not good for you and your health should always come first.

 

So there we have my top five tips for writing poetry. If you have anything to add then please do. You can also find me on my site Writing and Works, twitter, facebook and tumblr.

Twitter: @caroljforrester

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarolJForrester/

Tumblr: http://caroljforrester.tumblr.com/

 

Bio: Carol Forrester is a twenty-two year old writer trying to be a better one. Don’t ask her what her hobbies are because the list doesn’t get much beyond, reading, writing and talking about the same.

She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University and various poems and stories scattered across the net. 

Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry’s. Most recently, her poem ‘Sunsets’ was featured on Eyes Plus Words, and her personal blog Writing and Works hosts a mass of writing from across the last five years.

With hopes of publishing a novel in the next five years and perhaps a collection or two of smaller works, Carol Forrester is nothing if not ambitious. Her writing tries to cover every theme in human life and a lot of her work pulls inspiration from her own eccentric family in the rural wonders of Shropshire life.  

Keep These Things in Mind this NaNoWriMo

It’s only a day away until the start of NaNoWriMo, are you excited? Nervous? NaNoWriMoParticipant-2014-Square-Button can be a fun experience but also a stressful one. Trust me. But don’t fear! Here are eight things to keep in mind during your noveling quest:

 

1. Reading is like Oil

This is a sure fire way to keep your imagination rolling! Read your favorite author’s books and get sucked into their world. Some writers don’t agree with reading and writing at the same time because they feel that the author’s style may seep into their own. However, reading before writing isn’t a matter of imitating the craft of another writer, it’s about keeping your imagination on standby. Read for enjoyment!

2. Keep a Journal Handy

There’s nothing more frustrating than forgetting a perfect scenario, idea, or conflict that would’ve brought your novel to life. Unfortunately, ideas have a way of popping up when you aren’t near a pen or paper. You can eliminate this frustration by keeping an idea journal nearby. It may also be a good idea to keep a second journal around for freewriting in order to shake off the cobwebs before delving into your manuscript.

3. Be Open

It’s a wise idea to be in a receptive mindset in order to cultivate ideas for both current and future manuscripts. Also, try to be open to new ideas that pop up during the drafting phase. Forcing your novel in these new directions could be just the thing your story needs.

4. Be Closed, Too

Negativity can appear from anywhere: from the lips of our loved ones, from our bosses, from our supervisors, from the world, or even from a complete stranger. However, the wellspring of negativity is strongest within us. Heck, writers have even given it a fancy name: the inner critic.

The critic is a major “fun sponge.”  It will find reasons to tell you why every idea you come up with is stupid. Not only that, but it will find ways to make you hesitate or doubt yourself. It’s your job to tell it “no.”

Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.

-Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

Don’t get me wrong, the critic is a necessary force when it comes to editing but not with creating.

5. Claim Your Kingdom

When you sit down to write, make sure that it’s at a time and place that is comfortable to you. If you’re a morning person and you love to feel the rays of the sun kiss your cheek when you write—write then! If you like the feel of the carpet under your toes and a nice cup of java in your hands—write then. If you like to write in the dark with the sound of your spouse snoring—write then. Claim you spot and write like Kings/Queens.

6. Be a Time Thief!!

Always use any freetime given to you to write your quota of words. Write during your half hour breaks or as you wait for your kid in the school parking lot. If it seems like you don’t have time to write, try making a point of getting something written in the morning before starting your day. There’s always time…you just gotta seize it.

7. Follow the North Star

What got you into writing? Was it because you hoped you could make money? Become rich and famous? Was it for a loved one? Yourself? Maybe you have something to say or prove?

Whatever it is, make sure that it makes you feel like crap when you quit. Keep it in mind as you write your way through November and let it be your determination. Let it force you to the finish line and, when November is over, let it remind you that this is just the beginning.

8. Lastly, Have fun

Write what tickles your fancy and have devilish fun with it! (I don’t think I can explain that any simpler, do you? 🙂 )

 

Good luck out there, WriMos!

A New Tag…A Social Media Tag!!

About a month(?) or so ago, Kate Jane created this interesting Social Media Tag that I think will catch on (or have already caught on). It creatively uses a number of social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, as a frame for writers to talk about their current (or past) WIP. I’m going to use Burwood Murder, a short story, for this tag. 🙂

Here’s how it works:

The Rules:

Copy the questions below and answer them. Then, tag five people to do the tag and notify them; make sure to leave a comment including your post’s URL for the person who tagged you, so that they can go read your post!

The Questions:

  1. Twitter: Describe your plot in 140 characters or less.
  2. Facebook: With the parents/grandparents flooding this site, who is your oldest character?
  3. Instagram: What does one of your characters look like? #selfie (find the closest picture you can!)
  4. WordPress: Designing your theme is the funnest part, so how would/did you design your book cover?
  5. Tumblr: Naming your blog is so difficult! What did you name your book?
  6. Spring.me: Get your weirdest questions answered. Ask your main character one weird question, and have that character answer.
  7. Pandora/Spotify: What kind of music are you playing whilst writing? If you don’t listen to music, what do you think your main character would listen to?
  8. Myspace: All good things must come to an end! What is one book idea that you were really into, but lost interest in?

My Answers:

1. Twitter: Describe your Plot in 140 characters or less.

He was chasing down a murder story…until he became one of the victims.

2. Facebook: With the parents/grandparents flooding this site, who is your oldest character?

There are a lot of older people in this story, but the oldest is Walter who runs a junkyard.

3. Instagram: What does one of your characters look like? #selfie (find the closest that you can):

Let me tell you something: You’ll be surprised of the type of pictures you can find browsing the Internet. (*shudders*)

Anyway, if anyone could look like my MC, Drew, I think it would be this guy:

mechanic-electoronics-431x300

4. WordPress: Designing your theme is the funnest part, so how would you design your book cover?

I think if I could make a book cover for Burwood it would have a murder object, like a hammer, smashing something off screen (or off-cover I should say) with blood forming the title.

Gnarly, right? I thought so to. I don’t think its very original though, lol!

5. Tumblr: Naming your blog is so difficult! What did you name your book?

To be honest with you, I never settle on a particular title. I usually just name my drafts after a symbol/idea that came to mind when I was drafting/outlining the story. The “symbol/idea” for Burwood is murder in a small town.

6. Spring.me: Get your weirdest questions answered. Ask your main character one weird question, and have that character answer.

ME: Have you ever wished you could fly?

Mysterious Murderer: I think this would be a different story if I could do that.

7. Pandora/Spotify: What kind of music are you playing whilst writing? If you don’t listen to music, what do you think your main character would listen to?

I didn’t listen to anything while I wrote this, but Drew may listen to heavy metal or techno.

8. Myspace: All good things must come to an end! What is one book idea that you were really into, but lost interest in?

I tried to pen a romance novel a few years back…but the thrill quickly dissipated and I lost interest. Heck, I can’t even remember what it was about! I guess it’s germinating somewhere in my unconscious…somewhere

Tag, You’re It:

  1. Luther Siler
  2. Miska Jenkins
  3. Taylor Grace
  4. Nirvana
  5. You want to try? Knock yourself out.

Create like a Child and Plot Without Structure

NaNoWriMo forces us to remember what writing is about: having fun, unleashing our creativity, and coloring outside the lines. It’s the perfect opportunity to break away from plot structure and rekindle our passion for pure imaginative storytelling.

How? By keeping it simple.

Centuries ago, Aristotle noted in his book Poetics that while a story does have a beginning, a middle and an ending, the beginning is not simply the first event in a series of three, but rather the emotionally engaging originating event. The middle is the natural and causally related consequence, and the end is the inevitable conclusive event.

In other words, stories have an origination, an escalation of conflict, and a resolution.

Steven James

I’m no genius; however, I think Aristotle may have been referring to this guy:

fiction

Keep it in mind as you sketch your story these next few weeks. Try to loosen up and plot without following rigid structures. Harness the spirit of NaNoWriMo and create like a child.

Besides, you can always edit it later…