I read a book.
I know; that isn’t a good thing to say as a writer. But with college and my own writing, my fear of not having a good book, and the sad lack of books we have available at the library in South Dakota, I haven’t picked up one in possibly a year.
Wow! I forgot how good it is to just read a good book.
I read Imager, by Modesitt. It sounded pretty good, so I asked to borrow it from a friend. I didn’t start it for almost a week. Once I did though, and I actually got passed page 60, I started finding it incredibly interesting. I almost literally couldn’t put it down and would bribe myself to clean a section of the house, read a chapter, clean, read, clean, read. (I had to clean; I wanted to read.)
Now, don’t mistake this for a review of the book. I actually think it was a little slow and a little confusing, and I wished I had a map. But I’m more focusing on the fact that I read a book and leave my reviews for amazon.
I actually did it based on someone’s advice. I didn’t want to write and all I could think about was reading. I just wanted to be swept away into a story.
And suddenly, I want to write again. It’s like after seeing a beautiful world created and put to right, with fun characters, plots and intrigue, I wanted to put that kind of magic on paper. For really, in many ways, it is magic. Think about it in that we as writers get to sweep someone up in a world of our own creating, and hide them in it for a while.
I’m now ready to write again. In fact, since Saturday night, I wrote 5000 words, which tallies out to about three or four chapters. Yes, I’m writing small chapters. I like doing it better that way.
So now I’m looking for more books to read, and I want to soon modify this website and include a page on my recommended books in sci-fi and fantasy. I don’t have a lot right now, but hopefully they’ll grow.
Apparently, it’s not about knowing; it’s about doing.
Almost always, I find inspiration at bookstores. I walk through one, browsing the numerous titles, thinking about how much I’d love to see my own book(s) there, and eventually end up at the writing books. There, I pick up some books, browse through them, and find some glimmer of wisdom to enhance my writing and motivate me to write on the way home.
For the first time in several months, I finally had a chance to go to the bookstore today. No, it’s not for lack of not trying to; I live an hour away from anything decent. And don’t get me wrong–I found several good books–but I also came out rather depressed. Why?
Because every mistake writers make or every “rule” of writing that I read today, I either know about and follow, or haven’t written anything that requires me to followed them. Basically, I know a lot of it.
Worse, one of the “rules” I wasn’t sure about, the author says she doesn’t need to explain it. Moreover, she skips possibly the most important “rule” in that all chapters should end with a question. (That I consider to be a practical explanation of how to build tension and suspense, but that’s another post all together)
I was reading Thanks but This Isn’t for Us, and as i went through each of the suggestions, I found some interesting things. (Like with romance stories it is good to have at least one character who has some reason why he/she can’t be in love.) But almost all of her common goofs, I sat there and explained to my sister that yeah, I know this is a problem for this and this and this.
So here it comes down to it: I apparently know how to write. I need to just sit down and write. After eight years of skimming writing books (I only own two.), writing a few stories, editing my few stories, working through problems and everything else involved with writing, I realize that I know enough I can practically write a writing book.
So in the end, it all comes back to the fact that to be a writer, a real writer, I need to write. Starting tomorrow.
Unmotivation–the lack of motivation
It’s not that I have no ideas, though I have suffered from that before at the beginning of a semester. I have a zillion ideas actually.
I came up with one that involved a take-off of Cinderella, where although Cinderella does go to the ball, and she is the most beautiful woman, the prince is already in love with someone else. Stuck on whose POV to write it in.
I have a story that I wrote that I’m questioning now, because I can see people having a problem with a man giving up his allegiance to his country so easily. But I wrote it, so I probably should look at editing it. There has to be something good in there.
I have another story that I need to fix up, because I think I’m going to submit it to the writing contest at school. I had doubts, then a lot of the reviews came back positive, so I might.
Lastly, I want to proofread my mermaid story (Just Trust Me), because that one is being submitted to the writing contest for sure. I’m also basing my topic for my giant research paper this semester on that story, so why not?
Oh, and I am suppose to be working on a novel that will be cool but I have serious writer’s block on, because I have to skim. (I hate skimming)
On top of all that, I have to critique someone’s story because I said I would. I pretty much vanished for her off of the face of the planet because of sickness and school so she is probably wondering where I am. That I will do Saturday night.
And I should write some blog posts, so you don’t just get me rambling since I know you didn’t subscribe for that. :)
So I have things to do. And I have a three-day weekend waiting for me. But none of these options appeal to me. They are all just so… blah. Well, not that blah. I really do like the stories. It’s just that I don’t even know what I want to do exactly. Maybe there are just too many options.
On the plus side for me, one of the teachers at my school is saying we might finally have enough people interested in doing a writing group. So I’ll have some accountability soon and hopefully someone to bounce good ideas off of. Then I’ll know without submitting it to a bunch of people who see all the grammar mistakes I didn’t if it might be good.
And I started writing for the newspaper at school. My first article I copied from my post about bus travel that I wrote for this blog. I suppose I could get a lot of articles if I looked here actually, but I don’t think I will.
So I’m hoping my day off tomorrow will help, because I have been kinda looking forward to this three-day weekend and I don’t want to blow it. I’d rather it in February since I have more to do then, but January isn’t all that bad. And who knows? Maybe I’ll be so motivated I’ll tackle one of the rewrites I have planned to do “some day” after I work on my two stories for my writing contest.
What do you all do for motivation?
Why to Practice Writing.
I listened to a speaker recently who gave some tips to success, and, although he spoke at a nursing convention, I found them very practical for writing.
1) Find your gift.
2) Developed your gift, because people don’t pay for average.
That average part caught my ear and yet, it is so true. People, no matter who they are, want to read the best there is out there. People don’t want to read only a mediocre book. Although a few mediocre books do become best sellers, and make people a whole bunch of money, is the teenage audience of twilight going to come back and read the twentieth book she writes, in fifteen years from now? But will the person who loves reading, and who found an excellent book, come back and read that author’s twentieth book?
I can answer most assuredly–yes. Because a good author–a truly good author–is a jewel that someone holds onto for forever, unless that author goes downhill. (I had that happen to me. It’s truly a sad event.)
As writers, remember, people don’t pay for average, so develop your craft.
Ten songs by which to plot
For many people, music and writing go together. I am not one of those, for reasons along the lines of I can’t listen to music with most headphones, so I never learned to write like that. However, some songs are very good for plotting, and these following songs are some of my favorites.
Note, I call these plotting songs, as they seem to have a story that just eludes the mind, and goes along with many characters and yet none of them. This is not my recommended writing playlist
Also, I’m trying to include songs without a video, so as not to influence your view of the song.
1) This is your life by Switchfoot
2) Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Greenday
3) Wake Me Up Inside by Evanescence
4) Sometimes by Skillet
5) Like a Lion by Reliant K (And no, I do not mean for this to be a Christmas song.)
6) Prodigal by Casting Crowns
7) My Last Breath by Evanescence
8) Dare you to Move by Switchfoot
9) Monster by Skillet
10) Let my Love Open the door by numerous people. I am familiar with the Audio Adrenaline version, but when trying to find a video, I found that Pete Townshend actually wrote it first. (Trust me, music is not my forte.) I can’t find any decent video for Audio Adrenaline so I’ll give both a Sondre Lerche version, which is pretty decent, and a Pete Townshend version. It’s your choice which to listen to.
Audio Adrenaline: which I apparently can’t put into the video either. :P
Bonus Song! For all us writers out there.
Bonus: Paperback Writer by the Beatles
This is not a plotting song. It’s just a awesome song about writing. I hadn’t listened much to the Beatles until my dad began playing the Rock Hero version of it. Then I just almost laughed when I heard this song.
So, what are your favorite plotting songs? I’m always in the market for a few good ones.
The Motivation to Kill
Here’s an article I found a while ago about what motivates terrorists to kill. Since it wasn’t that easy to find, thought it might be an interesting read, especially if you’re planning on having a terrorist as a character in a story sometime soon.
What to write when there’s nothing to write.
I had this problem a lot and I’ve talked about it a lot. Nothing is coming out. And the fact is, no matter what I say on here, it’s still not coming. Nothing I do is coming.
So here’s my plan. I’m just going to write whenever I can. I’m not going to try to plot out anything. I’m not going to find anything complex. I’m not going to do anything. I’m just going to write.
See, I think it’ll come out similar to Samuel Brackborn. With this story, I just started writing and I came out with what I came out.
My theory with this is that the more I write, and just keep writing, the more plots I’ll get and the more I’ll keep using that part of my brain that I need to use in order to continue writing.
I honestly don’t know if this’ll work, but that is my plan. I suppose as part of my plan, I also need to not watch as much TV. Even though I watch only an hour of TV a day, by the time I get home from studying, have dinner, do dishes and all, I don’t have much time left to myself. So we’ll see how this works out.
The Summer of Failing the Writing Goals.
I’m disappointed by this summer.
I had all these goals. I was suppose to make some serious headway into my new novel.
I was suppose to work on writing a synopsis for Shad and hopefully try sending that around.
I was suppose to work on editing some of my smaller works.
And I did absolutely nothing.
This is very sad for me, because it shouldn’t have been that easy. And maybe I did lack some motivation, and some time. But school really wasn’t that hard. So maybe I’m slightly depressed. I don’t know. But whatever the reason, I didn’t get it done.
Now how bad is that?
If I was paying you for everything that I said I would write but didn’t, I’d be broke. (Though that’s not saying much, considering that I’m almost broke as it is.) Maybe I’d need to take out a loan.
I think part of my problems is really that I don’t know what to do. I don’t. I think that I need to write a synopsis for Shad and I just stop and think, “What on Earth am I suppose to do here?” Maybe I should ask the english teacher at my school. I’m slowly getting a clue and thinking maybe just writing an outline, and then adding on, and all that would work but I honestly don’t know.
The other problem is all my creative juices are leaving. That quote I posted earlier this week from Orsan Scott Card is pretty much the exact opposite of my life at the moment. I walk through the whole day and get almost no plots.
Or maybe, I’m just walking through the day and I do get plots, but I’m understand all the more that I don’t know how to expand a plot, or do research, or anything like that, so I discard them, because I don’t want to write a bad story.
Anyway it goes, I didn’t write what I wanted to. And I think I sound some like my friend, who said that she’s going to work like frantic this weekend and try to get to her goal of 10,000 words for the summer, when she’s at just 800.
The sad part is, I’m even less than her. 5000 words is all I’ve written this summer.
So maybe I’ll join her on Sunday, when I can write again.
So long as I wake up.
I’m having a hard time writing and for once, I have no excuses.
It’s not that I can’t. I can. I’ve written 7 pages now of my new story. But I can’t get into it. The characters aren’t talking to me much. The world isn’t that alive. And nothing is coming out quite right.
Now, that could be because the last novel I wrote, I had been tossing around the idea for over a year before I started writing. This time, not so much. And maybe it’s because I feel rather blah myself. But whatever it is, creating this world is a lot harder.
Also, the internet is distracting me really badly. I start to write a little bit, and then, “I should go check facebook.” or “I wonder if Alyssa is on” or “I should check blog stats” All this is stupid because I have less than fiftey friends on facebook, and since it’s summer, it’s pretty inactive, Alyssa’s only on for a little bit this past week, and with an average views of less than twenty per day, I don’t even know why I try. Then, I get really distracted and I think I should go check out other sites which I told myself I wouldn’t visit, or try to find games to play or videos to watch. It’s one huge mess.
I really probably should try some kind of motivation but I don’t even know what kind of motivation I would want. Allowing myself to spend money isn’t going to help because I don’t have enough money to spend (not when I spent a hundred dollars on text books last week.) and I don’t know what I’d buy. I’m usually not someone who wants to spend money.
I wish I could make this world real to me. I really want to draw but I’ve drawn at least one picture already and nothing came to me.
Worse, I also want to write a short story. A really good short story. I’m counting on there being another writing contest this year and I want to enter it. I now have two ideas. One is a mermaid story and the other is what happens if we kill English. Random, I know, but I don’t know if I can pull off the 5 pages I must.
Nor do I have the motivation to write these either. *sigh*
So I guess it’s time to just plow thorugh it. I’m hoping by the end that I’ll love the story and the characters. I can’t waste the time if I don’t like it, but I like the concept and i’ve tended to fall in love with almost all the characters I’ve written about.
I just wish the world was more real.
There is No Fiction.
Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there. – Thomas Berger
Though I must add that it isn’t there except in the authors head, and those pesky little characters merely continue to hammer their way out until the only thing that one can do is to write.