Writer Problems, Writer's Life

Day Two of the New Rule

As you recall, I started a new rule yesterday. And yesterday it worked. I got my words in and then I able to check Facebook whenever I wanted. and it felt great to have my writing done early in the day. And if I was going to pick a day to cheat, yesterday would have been an easy one. I was in for 4 am at my other job. So I could have very easily made the excuse/promise that I would write later. But I didn’t. I spent the time before I punched in reading. 

Today is proving to be a challenge. I’ve got a lot of life things on my mind and I’m having a hard time wanting to crank out 500 words. In the meantime, Facebook is looking at me with pitiful eyes. But, I’m trying to follow the rule and not look at it. So far, I haven’t. Pinterest on the other hand…let’s just say I’m taking baby steps and eliminating one distraction at a time.

I know I shouldn’t wait for inspiration, desire, etc to hit, but I’m having a hard time focusing. My muse is distracted with something else. Any suggestions for tempting her to come back? Maybe coffee would help?

On a side note, my cover artist finished reading my 1st book, and she and I are getting together next Monday to discuss what I want her to do. I should probably figure that out soon. I’ve got a rough idea, and by rough I mean I know what colors I want the background and title to be.

Well, I should get back to staring at my notebook and trying to get some words written. 

Writer's Life

I Went to Visit my Bench

A couple years ago, my husband and I went to Maine to celebrate our anniversary. I would highly recommend going if you have the chance. Anyway, we went on a Stephen King tour, because my husband wanted to. I would also recommend that, but that’s not the point of mentioning it. So on the tour we stopped at this water tower type thing (that’s not what it was, but I can’t remember the actual word) where King wrote the book It. He sat on this bench and wrote. 

Fast forward to the next summer back in Wisconsin. I found my own bench to sit at and write. Actually, it’s more of a dock, but it’s the same idea. Well, I haven’t been to it in a long time, so I decided tok bike over to it and crank out a few hundred words. I packed my notebook and pen in  my backpack and then biked over there. My dock was occupied by a couple people fishing so I sat at a different one. (I can’t get my picture to upload. I’ll try again later).

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for as long as I would have liked. The humidity and the temperature for to me. (Its a whopping 84°  Fahrenheit). I know to some of you, it’s comfortable, but my not that blood likes it about 20 degrees cooler. I did get about 80 words done though, so it wasn’t a wasted trip. Now I’m back home sitting in the air conditioning and talking to you guys. Once I finish I’m going to get back to work.

Writing and Editing

Word Count

​I’ve been writing. I took the advice of jrhandleyblog and I stopped trying to micromanage all of my characters and I just wrote. And it felt amazing! 

I’m going to tell you what I did but first I have to figure out what I want my daily word count to be. (Don’t worry, I won’t tell you everyday how many words I’ve written, maybe I will weekly or once or twice a month I haven’t decided yet). Anyway I could make my goal 500 words, which is about 5 pages in my little notebook, 

My little notebook. I can get about 142 words per page. I am a Star Wars nerd by the way. We can talk about that later if you’d like.
or I can make it 1000, which I’ve been able to do in the past so I know it’s obtainable. However I’m still sort of recovering from wrist surgery (I had carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists, but it was taken care of in May) so I don’t want to push too hard. Maybe I’ll shoot for somewhere in between. 

Anyway, tonight I wrote 808 words. It’s the most I’ve written in one sitting since before May. I knocked out 5 note cards and I decided to move one and add another. 

I know I skipped number 5, I decided to move it. I’m really loving the ease of this kind of “outline,” and I think I’m definitely going to do it again.

So regardless of my word count goal, I’d say tonight was very productive. Now I just have to get back in the habit of writing everyday again. 

What do you like to do to form a new habit? Also, what do you think about my word count? (Keep in mind that I work 40 hours a week also, so it has to be obtainable).

Writing and Editing

Starting my First Draft

​Today is the day. I’m done with all my brainstorm session and I’m finally starting the actual writing.  At least I will on lunch hour. I just need to come up with three names yet, but I have five hours between now and lunch to get that squared away. I might have the heroine’s name, but I’m not 100% sure that I like it yet. So I just have to come up with the hero’s name and the antagonist’s. I’m not worried about the minor characters as of right now.

Anyway,  I’ve got the setting (at least a couple of basic places. I’ll go into more detail as I write, and I know about what time period). the major plot points from beginning to end are figured out, although I’m not sure about a couple of them. I think I just wrote them to fill the note cards, but we’ll see what happens as I go.

My story as indicated by note cards. Now I just have to fill in the details.
I’ve also got my notebook and pen so I’m prepared that way too. In the past I always had to use the same color pen for an entire draft and it was fine, but this time around I might change colors when I change points of view. (It depends on how far I get this afternoon and if I can find another color pen in my purse).

Getting ready to write.

How do you guys come up with character names? Do you have a favorite website or book that you use? 

Writing and Editing

Exciting News!

​It has nothing to do with finding an agent unfortunately,  but it’s still pretty high on the scale. 

This writing journal has proved beneficial already.  I  should have done this years ago. I only wrote two entries and I’ve come up with my next novel idea, not to mention a short story that I’ll revisit at a later time. I don’t want to say what it is just yet in case it doesn’t work out, but I was plotting it out all afternoon yesterday. (By plotting I mean I was trying to come up with character names. I still haven’t figured that out yet but those aren’t high on my priority list at the moment). I have three flashcards done that signify three plot details I’m going to need and I’ll be adding a few more in a little while. 

I created a board on pinterest to help start getting things together, but I got distracted by something (if I tell you what, it will give away a major plot element so you’re going to have to wait). Now I have to go to the library and do some more research because I don’t have the information I need to proceed very far. (That and I have a cd waiting for me there that I’m really looking forward to listening to.)

So over all I’d say my writing journal is doing wonders! Now I just have to keep it up.

What’s new with you guys? I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to lately. 

Writing and Editing

Writing Again

​I found a bunch of writing prompts from Pinterest  (Among other things such as potential characters and settings).Anyway, this is the first one I chose to write about.

The first prompt I was able to write about and make work. Thank you Pinterest.
I had an idea about where I wanted it to go, but my moral compass wouldn’t let me go there. I felt just thinking about it. It’s not like anyone is going to see this anyway, at least not at this stage in the process. The point of this exercise is to just get me writing anything again and to get in the habit of writing everyday and I know this.  How do you guys get past that? (I’m not saying that I want to write x-rated material, but I don’t want my characters to be perfect, goody-goody, one-demnsional either).

Anyway, I wrote a page based on this promt yesterday.  and I feel like it has a lot of potential to be a longer story if I want to pursue it. 

Today however, I’m going to start something else. Maybe I’ll write a page about where this story takes place. Or I’ll write about the two main characters (who still remain nameless.) I kind of like the idea if them not knowing each other’s names though, especially if I can get past my personal issues, so I’m not worried about naming them quite yet. Or I might start something completely different and unrelated to this story, I haven’t decided yet. 

Books and Such, Writing and Editing

Writing Day 1ish

​Well as promised here’s a picture of my new notebook to be used for my writing journal.  It’s nothing special but it has enough sparkle to hopefully entice me to actually use it.

My fancy new writing journal.
I also,as per recommendation, ordered a Bon Iver CD from the library. (It was available so I shouldn’t have to wait too long before I can listen to it.) Thanks again A Road TO Writing for the tip.

Today was a reading day though,  which are also crucial to a writer’s life, so I don’t feel too guilty about it. (Before I read though I did edit my short story, so I did do something productive). Anyway my husband had to mow the lawn and I decided to work on my tan. 5 hours later I finished Me Before You and I got about 70 pages into its sequel, After You. And our lawn looks amazing. 

My husband mowing the lawn and my tanning set up.
Tomorrow will probably be the first day that I actually write in my new notebook. (Unless I find something inspiring tonight yet, which is possible). I just need to figure out what to start with. Maybe I’ll do a character sketch or I’ll create a world. It depends on my mood and if I find something better to do.

Where do you go for inspiration? Do you people watch or do you look up pictures online? Which do you prefer doing? 

Writing and Editing

I’ve Taken Enough Time Off

I haven’t written one word in over a week (it might have been 2 weeks now that I think about it, that’s how long it’s been. I don’t remember.) What I have written is garbage and needs work. The concept is there but the execution isn’t because I haven’t been practicing lately. 

So yesterday I made an important decision. If I want to call myself a writer (and I do) then I better start acting like one. I’m going to start writing everyday no matter what. I’m currently between projects at the moment so I’ll just work on character sketches or short stories until I come up with an idea that I can work with long term. If you see me or think of me ask me how I’m doing. I need the accountability. (Feel free and ask me via Twitter @nicholequade or comment below if you’d rather.)

I’m hoping to get a notebook tonight that will help inspire/motivate this project. (I’ll post a picture when/if I find something that sparks my fancy).

In the meantime I’m in the process of editing my short story. (And by editing I mean staring at it until I hate it). It’s gotten to the point that I don’t even know what to do. 

I’m pretending to edit my story. Spider Man is not going to be my inspiration notebook just so you know. He’s my short story notebook (and yes there is a difference).

Any suggestions for what I should write about. What do you do when you’re between projects? 

Writing and Editing

New Story Idea

​Friday night I started a new story. I had the idea in my head for a couple days but I couldn’t figure out where to go from there until I forced myself to just do it. It wasn’t really going well stylistically (I was writing in first person present tense and I’m not used to writing that way so I had to work harder at it), but the premise was there so I kept it up.

The first page of my story.

Then yesterday on our way back home I worked on it for a little bit moving the plot forward but changing it to 3rd person past tense, which is what I’m used to.  I fell asleep though and didn’t get very far with it. After we got home last night I found an empty notebook (I’m weird like that) and I started the story over.  I got about a page written before my husband and I decided to watch Game of Thrones   (We just started so don’t say anything).

This afternoon I went to the park by our house to catch some Pokemon (yeah, I’m one of those people) but I brought my notebook and pen with me and I worked on my story at the same time. Yay for multitasking.  I wrote about half a page while there, Due to there being no pokestops (Those of you who play know what I’m talking about and those who don’t play probably don’t care) by my bench, I wasn’t able to sit there, but I found a new place to sit. There was a giant spider there too and I’m lucky I got anything done after I saw it. 

One of the pokemon I saw at the park. Yeah, I know I’m a nerd.
It was really windy at the park so I had to hold the piece of paper down with my foot.

So here’s the basic idea of what my story is going to be about. There’s a little girl who has a teddy bear. He defends her against the monster under her bed but she doesn’t know he’s “alive” until he has to tell her so he can prevent the Other One from collecting her. 

I’d post the actual story, but I have hopes of submitting it to literally magazines and they won’t accept something if it has already been published. However if you’d like to read it let me know and I can get you a copy when I finish it.

What are you working on right now? How’s the process treating you? Do you write in a notebook first or do you type it up right away? What’s your rational for writing the way you do?