Practical Prompt 11-8-17

You finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

When only two people are involved in a conversation, dialogue tags usually aren’t necessary. With that in mind, go through your story and take out all the excess dialogue tags.

I Need Caffeine!

Stacey Kite

Tea, tea, where the *#*%* did I leave my stupid tea?

It’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I need caffeine!

That’s my new, morning (and by morning, I mean 4:00 am) mantra.

You see, last Wednesday, November 1 (that’s important), I was complaining to a writing friend (Megan) that my biggest writing issue is that I’m a slow writer, and by slow, I mean geologic, not sloth-like. Continue reading

Insomniacs Anonymous 11-3-17

You’re awake. Instead of writing the Great American Novel—or even a mediocre one—you’re reading our blog. Okay, then. We offer a topic; you respond. Let your fellow writers inspire you, and return to that manuscript refreshed.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year? Why or why not?

The Aftermath of Discovery Writing

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

A few years ago, I remember reading that Ruta Sepetys did two years of research before she began writing her books.  If she is the sort to keep a planning journal or story/idea wall, I like to imagine how pristinely organized it must all be. I don’t know her, so of course this is all speculation. But I can imagine these novel planning tools and they must be beautiful. Mini works of art.

I have actually attempted the plan-before-you-write method. For me, making story maps and sketching visuals in my journal are enjoyable planning activites. At the recommendation of my fellow WriteOwl, Stacey, I read some of Truby’s book and got excited to take my novel planning up a notch. It’s a great book!, but I confess I got as far as doing the activities in Chapter 1, before I began to feel anxious and had to put Truby down. The planning stage began to  feel less creative to me and I wanted to “discover” my story as I wrote it.

So I did. With general plot prompts and a whole lot of sidebar notes to be dealt with later, I “discovery wrote” the heck out of my first draft. In doing so, I discovered a few things. One, that I have a lot of rewriting to do, because, two, as I wrote I realized new things about my characters and that began to change the course of the plot. I also learned that writing this way made me insanely happy and excited to work on my book.

There is a reason I like the “blank page” and the question “what is possible?” I live for the part of making something that is purely creative, exploratory, imaginative. But any form of art requires tweeking, editing and revision. That is where I am. The backdrop I’ve created, the first notes I’ve written need details, need depth.

In the aftermath of discovery writing, I can see the advantage of thoroughly planning one’s novel; I am sure I wouldn’t have as many notes to sort through. But  I also believe we create in different ways. I need to be guided by whim at first so I can carve out the details later. For another writer, they may need the opposite. To each their own.

What say you? What method do you use to write a first draft?

 

 

 

Practical Prompt 11-1-17

You finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

Today is November 1, the first day of National Novel Writing Month.  The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a novel in a month, but really it’s  to learn how to write faster and train yourself to be a more productive writer.  Give it a try: https://nanowrimo.org/