Category Archives: My Thoughts on Reading / Writing

Camp Nanowrimo Games

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If you follow my other social media, you may know that I just completed Camp Nanowrimo! If you’re unfamiliar, Camp Nano is an online community where writers challenge themselves to write a certain number of words in April. In November (the official Nanowrimo month) the goal is 50K, but for camp you can choose your own. I chose 100K.

After taking a year off since my last editing round, I’m returning to Selected – my fantasy murder mystery. So, as a way to reintroduce myself to the world and the characters, I challenged myself to spend the month writing backstory and scenelettes about them.

To keep things fun and interesting, I came up with a bunch of little games I could play with the characters. Here are some of them…


Pick two of the characters and a random word in the dictionary. Invent a scene. (This is actually something I do all the time, just because it’s a fun exercise and some of them turn out cute. Click Here for examples.)

Put together a group of two to five characters, and give them questions to ask each other. (I normally do these in MetaSpace so they can talk about being characters.)

Choose a page of the book at random and rewrite the scene making one of the following changes:

  • Write from another character’s POV. The whole book is officially from my main guy’s POV, so it’s nice to get that perspective.
  • Swap out one character for a different one. Challenging, and normally they ended in total disaster, but occasionally I could still make the scene work.
  • Change so one character has the exact opposite view from the real scene. This one feels weird. And that’s the point. If I can do a full 180 on a character’s opinion and it doesn’t feel wrong, then that’s a signal that I need to do more work on the character.
  • Change something in the environment – location, weather, time of day, etc. This is less about the characters and more about me training myself to pay attention to the influence of setting.
  • Assign characters to various classifications – Hogwarts Houses, Divergent factions, D&D alignments, etc. It doesn’t get me a lot of words, but it’s great fun.

Write scenes from events before the book started. This was where the bulk of my words came from.

Fill out character surveys. Again, this is something I’ve been doing for a while. Click Here for examples.

Write what other characters were doing ‘off screen’ during the scenes in the book.


Overall, I ended the month exhausted and with VERY sore wrists, but I also really felt like I’d learned a lot about the characters. I’ve only been editing for a few days (technically I started before Camp Nano ended, because I just couldn’t wait any longer) but I’m noticing that it’s a lot easier to pick out the sections where characterization is weak or conflicting.

And honestly, even if I didn’t reap any practical benefits from the month, I’d still say it was worthwhile. I’ve been doing serious stuff for a long time, so taking a month to just frolic around in the playground of my imagination was glorious.

Burn the Boats

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There’s a fantastic quote that says, “If you want to take the island, burn the boats.” It’s most commonly associated with motivational speaker Tony Robbins, but it actually goes back to The Art of War, where it is attributed to Julius Caesar.

This quote has become very important to me in these past few weeks. After six years of employment, I finally quit my full-time job so I could focus more of my energy on writing. Risky? Heck yeah. But I’ve reached a point where I need to be honest with myself about what I really want out of life. And this is it. This has always been it.
So, how will I be using these extra hours? Here’s my plan.

I generally divide writing into two categories: creative and business. My mornings (4am – noon) are for the creative things. These include drafting, editing, outlining, researching, brainstorming… basically anything that gets me from a blank page to a finished manuscript.

12 – 2 is for ‘real life’ things. Cleaning, paying bills, being an adult human (ick.) 2 – 5 is for the business side of things, which means scheduling events, formatting manuscripts, answering emails, and anything else that needs to be done.

And then 5 – 6 is my ‘fill the well’ hour. I’ll be spending more time writing than I’ve ever
had the luxury to do before, and I don’t want to burn out. So, I’m designating an hour every day to do the things that stoke the fire. (Yeah, I know, I’m mixing metaphors.) I’ll be listening to music, crafting, drawing, dancing, or whatever else I feel my soul is hungry for that day.

Also, as I kick things into high gear, I’ll be trying some new things (a lot of new things!) with my social media, so expect to see that. Some ideas on my list are:

  • Weekly Facebook Live events
  • Bookish question of the day
  • Character Takeover weeks
  • A snail-mail newsletter
  • Prompts for other writers

Will they all stick and become regular stuff? I doubt it. But for now I’m just going to keep tossing new and exciting ideas out there and see which ones we all agree are the most fun.

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Oh, and one more thing, as you probably noticed in the picture, I shaved my head. I did it on my first day as a full-time writer. Three reasons: 1.) It’ll be one less distraction. 2.) The #NoHairDontCare look is fierce and I’ve always wanted to try it. 3.) It’s a daily reminder that I have burned the boats.

Time to take the island!

Experimental Fiction – Wittgenstein’s Nephew

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There’s really only one thing that makes me put this book into the ‘experimental’ category. The entire book – every last bit – is written in one long paragraph. No chapters. No scenes. Just a never-ending block of justified text.

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I’ll be honest, I was a little worried about this. When reading, if I see a page-long paragraph, it’s not something I greet with enthusiasm. When working on my own writing, I am constantly looking for ways to split up long paragraphs, feeling sure that it’s easy to get lost without those lovely little indents to show the way.

If it hadn’t been for the book’s subject matter, I might not have attempted it at all. A little backstory: one of my favorite classes was a philosophy course in which I was one of two students. We spent the entire semester working our way through Wittgenstein’s Tractatus.

I certainly can’t claim any level of mastery over the topic, but I can tell you that I fell fiercely in love with Wittgenstein and his life’s story. He is (in my opinion) a blockbuster docudrama waiting to happen (starring Benedict Cumberbatch, please and thank you) and yet no one seems to know about him. Read the rest of this entry

Using dreams in writing

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I’ve read many a whimsical tale about writers who wake up with a really cool story idea still clinging to them from dreamland. I am (regrettably…) not one of those writers, but I’ve learned that there are other ways of using one’s dreams besides simply transcribing them.

Last July, I set a challenge for myself during Camp Nanowrimo. I wanted to write a different short story every day for 31 days. I actually blogged about the whole experience here if you’re curious.

One of those days, I woke up having just finished my ‘running dream.’ I’ve been having this dream for several years, recurring every few months or so, and I love it. It’s very simple: in the dream I’m escaping some unnamed evil by running through the forest, and having an awesome time while doing it. Read the rest of this entry

Analyzing Subplots

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Still working on making sense of the hot mess that is the first book of my Dagger Trilogy. One of the book’s major problems was that I had a lot of different goals and objectives, and they all kind of got tangled together. So, I’ve been untangling these threads and subsequently spending a lot of time thinking about subplots.

Once I finalized my list of what all the different subplots were, I needed to get my head around what was happening in each of the subplots. For this, I turned to my beloved Arc book. (And I don’t say ‘beloved’ lightly. I wrote a whole blog post about this particular book.) This was my set up: Read the rest of this entry

A Writing Challenge: 31 Stories in 31 Days

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About a year ago, I set a challenge for myself: For one month, I wanted to write a new short story each day. Too ambitious? Oh, without a doubt. I didn’t even come close to 31 stories. However, I learned a lot from the endeavor, and I’m still feeling the effects from it.

The challenge was built around a couple of things I’d noticed about my writing ethic.

1.) I seemed to have a tough time finishing stories. I would start off with this great idea, get a few pages in, realize I didn’t have anywhere to go with it, and move onto the next idea. I wanted to break that habit, so I promised myself that even if it’s just in outline form (and even if it is the most ridiculous and contrived ending ever imagined) that I would find an ending for each and every story I began. Read the rest of this entry

Using Pinterest for Writing (And for fun. But mostly for writing)

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I was a late arrival to the Pinterest party. I might have held out forever if I hadn’t attended a very interesting class in the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference which presented Pinterest as a writing tool. With that idea in my mind, my unshakable will power gave way to “Well, if you insist…”

I won’t lie and pretend like I don’t sacrifice large sums of time to ogling adorable crafty things or nail polish designs (Oh man, there are some talented DIY-ers out there…) but I have found Pinterest to be a useful writing tool. Or, I guess more accurately: an inspiration tool.
Read the rest of this entry

Doing What’s Fun

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I was having a talk with my writing friend J. G. Lynn, and we were discussing our goals for the week, and the most frequently used phrase in that conversation was (and you must read this in your head in a very woe-is-me kind of tone) “Well… I should be working on…” Until we realized how miserable we both sounded.

Now, before I get too far into this lackadaisical attitude, let me say that there is certainly a place for pushing through the days where you don’t feel like writing, and there are grunt-work tasks involved in the business of publishing that are simply unavoidable. I’m not downplaying the importance of these things at all.

However, there is also a lot to be said for having fun while writing. And most of the time, it’s nothing more than a mentality shift. I could be working on the same scene and thinking, “Argh, this exposition is so clunky and difficult,” or “Hey, I’m writing the history of my very own world, and that’s freaking cool!” Writing is fun. Creating worlds is fun. Throwing characters into strange situations is reeaaally fun! I let myself forget that sometimes. Read the rest of this entry

Writing Memories

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I don’t consider myself a memoir kind of writer. I’ve read some extremely good memoirs, and I’ve always known that this particular style of writing wasn’t in my talent set, and I’m okay with that. However, up until recently, I’ve made the mistake of thinking that not being a memoir writer meant that there was no benefit in writing down a memory once in a while.

I started doing this recently as a request from my mother, who was collecting memories about my grandmother who passed away a few years ago. I’ve always had some very clear memories of my grandmother, but it hadn’t occurred to me that actually putting those moments into words would let me experience them in a different way. Read the rest of this entry

The 777 Challenge

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I was recently nominated by the enchanting Alex of the blog Valourborn to join in the 777 challenge, and—what can I say?—I’m a sucker for anything involving numbers.

The challenge is:

  • Go to your current work in progress
  • Scroll to page 7
  • Count 7 sentences
  • Share the next 7 sentences after that
  • And of course, tag people to do the same. You can even tag 7 people if you want to really get into the number theme.

  Read the rest of this entry

Writing Without an Audience

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It’s time for the delightful virtual cabins and bonfires of camp Nanowrimo! I’ve never participated in the official November version, but I find the summer camps oddly soothing. This year, I’m pretty solidly in the editing stage of my Dagger Trilogy. I don’t want to switch gears to another world, but I also desperately feel the urge to create something.

Here’s my compromise: for the month of April I’ll be working on a prequel to the Trilogy. It’s not something that I ever plan on publishing, however one of my main characters has a really complicated backstory that dramatically influences his actions in the book. I’ve done my fair share of notes on the topic, but I wanted to really dig in and see these events unfolding.

Friends: I am having SO much fun! Read the rest of this entry

Characters and their blatant disregard for outlines

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I had another lesson this week in why the outline means nothing when characters take over the story. It’s always initially scary, (“but…but… I already planned this, and it was perfect!”) but at the end of the day if I could give the reins to my characters 100% of the time, I would.

In my outline, I had a fight scheduled for this particular scene. It was one of those heart-ripping fights with top of the lungs shouting and storming away and that lingering sense of “I never got to apologize.” I was really excited for it: running through snippets of dialog in my head all day, deciding how my character’s face would contort in fury, trying to find a unique way to say his hands became fists.

And then I got to the scene, and the fight just refused to happen. Refused. Sometimes I can force dialog onto the page even though it isn’t true to the character, but I couldn’t even bring myself to do that. My characters just weren’t angry, and I couldn’t make them angry. They were sad, and eventually I wised up enough to just allow them to be sad and see what the scene looked like through that completely different lens. Read the rest of this entry

Running like a Writer

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Shoe and Pen

Well, it’s finally getting warmer (which is an odd statement considering there’s snow outside my window at the moment…) but that means I’m slowly rekindling my love of running. Long distance running has, for a long time, been an important part of my writing. I gave it some thought and broke it down to three main reasons:

Solidarity with my characters.

Because—let’s face it—the vast majority of my characters are significantly more athletic than I am. If I’m going to write cool swordfight scenes, wild chases through the forests, and week-long journeys on foot, I would have to assume that these people needed to build their endurance somehow. As I’m panting and fighting my way up a hill, it’s nice to remember that there was probably a time when my characters did the same thing.

Lots of time for brainstorming.

This is exactly why I run instead of play volleyball or soccer. Running is the perfect sport for daydreamers. When I lace up the running shoes, I normally pick a plot problem I’ve been struggling with or a character who could use a stronger back story, and I carry that thought with me for the run.

Maybe it’s just the excess of oxygen to the brain, but I tend to be fairly productive during my runs. Once I started with a character so underdeveloped she was practically see-through, and an hour later a sweatier version of me felt like she really understood this woman.

This run is for…

If I have a particularly difficult workout ahead of me, I’ll pick a character and say that this run is for him or her. It sounds a little cheesy (but hey, look at the rest of my blog! Do you really think I’m bothered by a little corniness?) but I find I’m able to push myself to run longer and faster if it’s for one of the characters.

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Whenever I feel tired and tempted to stop, I remember all of the mean things I put that character through, and I push through. So, I guess you could say that my characters help my running as much as my running helps my characters.

 

“Your syntax is yourself!” – My thoughts on translating literature

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I recently heard about Smartling and their new translation software, which got me thinking about the subject of putting books into other languages. It’s one of those topics that keeps getting bigger the longer I think about it, particularly when it comes to books I love. 

As I scanned my bookshelf trying to decide which piece I’d like to focus on, I rediscovered this delightful book called “Things That Are,” written by Amy Leach.

 Things that Are

For those of you who haven’t read this book, it’s very difficult for me categorize. On the cover, it describes the contents as “Essays,” but I prefer to think of them more as prose poems. In these little snapshots of the world, Amy explores through metaphors and reflections different emotions and scenarios. Read the rest of this entry

Attempting to unplug… (SO much harder than it sounded)

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It has come to my attention (and probably should have a long time ago) that I am way too dependent on my computer. Seriously, when my computer breaks down, so do I. Recently, I decided I’d like to change this, so I’ve committed to having one day a week be computer free. To make things fun, at the beginning of the week I literally roll a die to see which day it’s going to be.

I figured this way I could prove to myself that I can still be a functional and productive writer sans technology. So I gathered notebooks and post-its and highlighters and… well, to be honest I failed miserably the first time. It was a lot harder than I expected. Read the rest of this entry

Okay… I shouldn’t be this scared of editing

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I’ve been waiting a long time to get back to the Dagger Trilogy (I know I’ve pined longingly in more that one blog post for this particular set of characters). And now that this magical moment has arrived I feel…well, pretty confused, actually.

The ‘magical moment’ actually arrived a few weeks ago. I read through the Trilogy for the first time in many months and felt so pumped up and ready to dive into revisions. I rearranged my wall of post it notes. I chose a problem area to focus on and outlined a few new scenes.

This is my Post It wall. Isn't it pretty????

This is my Post It wall. Isn’t it pretty????

And then I stared at the computer screen for a couple weeks until I decided it was time to check my e-mail again. Read the rest of this entry

Okay… maybe I’m over dramatic…

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I’ll admit it: I’m addicted to drama. I was giving the Dagger Trilogy a full read-through before I dive into revisions, and a lot of the scenes just seemed dramatic for the sake of being dramatic. So, I devised an exercise to help me get my head around precisely what adds that kind of tension to a scene.

Here’s the exercise, if anyone else wants to try it:

Open the document, choose a random scene.

Rewrite the scene as being completely over the top dramatic.

Rewrite the scene again as being completely underplayed.

Compare the two.

Some things I learned over the week by doing this: Read the rest of this entry

The inner editor: Does anyone know how to turn it off?

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I’ve been editing for a long time. The ‘typos, syntax, and grammar’ kind of editing. I normally don’t have a problem keeping the creative fire well-stoked in the early editing stages (You know, the ones where you’re adding new scenes and clarifying character arcs) but when I get to this point, it gets difficult.

Mostly because I don’t know how to turn it off. I find it so hard to read for pleasure when I’m deep into this final-stage editing phase. I’ll pick up a favorite author, and I can’t stop from diagramming the sentences in my head. I see a word used twice in the same paragraph and my fingers twitch for my green highlighter to mark the repetition. I get the urge to do a fact check on every detail I see, even though I’m sure the real author already did that.

So I haven’t been reading very much lately, and that’s the sort of thing that will really chip away at the creative spirit. I tried to find ways to make the inner editor take a short nap while I read, but came up empty. What I did find was other ways to keep myself inspired by good storytelling without subconsciously dissecting it as I go.

Here are some of the things I’ve been enjoying lately:

  • Graphic Novels / Manga: The fact that you get the emotions and action through pictures is really refreshing, and keeps my inner editor from pulling apart the dialog. Also, I’m discovering some really cool stuff. I read a one shot about Dick Grayson (Here, if anyone’s interested. Which you should be) which was told in reverse chronological order. I’ve never seen that literary maneuver preformed so well. Ever.
  • Poetry: I don’t read as much poetry as I should. It’s been nice to get back into it, and also nice to not have to worry so much about grammar.
  • And speaking of grammar… Yeah, I have some grammar books kicking around my shelves for ‘someday’ reading. It occurred to me that now would be the perfect time to actually curl up with one of these.
  • And NOT speaking of grammar… Ever read Gertrude Stein? Yeah, I won’t get too deep into that topic right now, but she was rather helpful to me these past few weeks. It’s just kind of refreshing after scouring my own documents for overused words to see the same word used over and over and over on purpose. And over. On purpose. Over on purpose. Over and over on purpose. Over. (Okay, I’m done now. On purpose.)

 Candles 010315Well, in short, I did not learn how to silence the inner editor. I just found ways to still feed the creative fire. I’m blissfully out of close editing now, so hopefully I’ll be able to return to my regular diet of fiction.

 I am curious, though, if anyone else has this problem, and if you’ve found any solutions to it? How do you put your inner editor in a time out long enough to enjoy reading?

You see (another) blog post about writing in second person

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Okay, so, I know I already chattered about second person once. (Here’s the original if anyone’s curious.) But then I read a great post by Andrew Knighton (which is Here, and I’d highly recommend giving it a look as it raised some interesting points) so the topic’s been back on my mind recently.

After reading Knighton’s post, I’ve started thinking about second person in two different categories. The first, which is the one I discussed in my own original post, is when the story is actually reaching off the page and addressing the reader as ‘you.’ That’s the style I implemented when I wrote Tasty Tiny Magic.

But what about when ‘you’ just refers to another character who is in no way supposed to be the reader of the story? That’s the second type in my mind, and this has become really interesting to me since I do use some second person narration in Clocks (my current WIP). The character in this writing style is a completely developed and independent character. The narration style is just a narration style in her case. Read the rest of this entry

Starting a New Candle

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Warning: Copious amounts of sappiness ahead. (I’m just in that kind of mood, my friends.)

I recently started this LARGE and glorious candle. I picked it up at a yard sale this past Spring, even though I told myself I had enough candles and didn’t need more. But then I found one that was 10 cents, and bigger than any candle I had ever burned. And I have very little will-power when candles are concerned. Read the rest of this entry

Fun Things I do while waiting for Beta Readers

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Can I just say, first off, that I love beta readers? (Particularly my beta readers. Because they are glorious people.) I truly don’t know what I would do without them.

So, right now I’m in that stage where I’m waiting for feedback, which used to be really frustrating, but I’m actually kind of loving it this time around. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

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Catching up on short story submissions: I always tend to fall behind on these when I’m putting a lot of focus into a novel, so it’s nice to have everything out again. Read the rest of this entry

Editing Out Loud

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My Dad prefers to indulge in fiction via audio books, so that he can read while walking. This fact has become a very important part of my editing process. I started putting my books onto cassette tapes so I could get his feedback on them, and guess what? Reading them out loud is an amazing tool!

I mean, I guess I sort of knew this before; it’s been recommended by several different teachers in my education. But here’s my discovery: there is a fundamental difference between just reading something out loud to myself and creating an audio version of the book. I read out loud as I’m writing to see if a phrase is working, or if the dialog sounds natural, but that’s just reading it. When I’m making the audio book, I’m performing it, and that changes the entire way I look at the words.

Example: I have an addiction to the ellipsis. I throw them in everywhere. When I’m just mumble-reading to myself, yeah, those pauses sound great. But when I put my stage voice on, I realize that I don’t need them. Read the rest of this entry

No Such Thing as a “Simple” Story

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I love Clocks.

Clocks is the code  name I’m using for my current work in progress. I’ve been writing/editing this novella for about seven months now, and I love it. And somehow, in a shameful little corner of my mind, I’m almost surprised by this.

Prior to starting Clocks, I had been working on the Dagger Trilogy (Again, just a code name. I’m super bad at titles, and normally don’t find real ones until the very end. I even blogged about this once, here) for close to two years. The Dagger Trilogy… wow, I can’t even begin to say how much that project owns my soul. But back in April, as much as I adored the Dagger Trilogy, I had to face the reality that I was severely burning out on it. I needed to look at it with fresh eyes, which means *shudder* I actually had to stop working on it. The horror! Read the rest of this entry

My Reading Journal

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This post contains spoilers for The Princess Bride by William Goldman. 

I haven’t kept a reading journal for a long time, and I feel like I really want to start again. So, this’ll be a post for fondly remembering all the things I liked about documenting my reading, and hopefully doing that and hearing new ideas from you guys will properly motivate me to work this particular practice back into my life.

So, here’s my journal 🙂

Journal
Read the rest of this entry

Writing prompts / exercises

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I’ve chattered previously about my craft exercises. It occurs to me that since I have a lot of followers who are also writers, that maybe you guys would find some of these helpful as well, so feel free to use them if you need a little kick-start to get the fingers warmed up in morning 🙂 Read the rest of this entry

The question that shouldn’t be hard, but is

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“Oh, hey! You’re a writer? What do you write?”

Am I the only one who gets totally floored by that question? Because I do. Every time.

It’s been on my mind, because lately a lot of people have been discovering that I write, and that’s normally what they ask. And it’s a wonderful thing for them to ask! Really. Giving a writer the opportunity to talk about her writing is better than cookies. Better than lemon cookies with honey-sweetened green tea! So, why why why, do I flounder around panicking when I get asked? Read the rest of this entry

My Rejection Spike

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Once upon an adventure in procrastination, I found some truly stellar advice on how to deal with rejection: Get a spike.

Rejection letters are a necessary part of life, both in writing and in so many other realms in which we seek acceptance. And let me first say that I really do respect all editors. They have a tough job, and I appreciate the time they take to consider my work. I feel no anger towards them if my story wasn’t a good fit.

However, there is nothing that feels quite so satisfying as taking that symbol of failure and watching a hunk of sharpened metal rip through it. Read the rest of this entry

Microfiction

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This post discusses my story Tasty Tiny Magic
No Spoilers

Don’t get me wrong: there is nothing quite so satisfying as getting lost in hundreds of thousands of words in an epic novel. That being said, over the last few years, I’ve really fallen in love with microfiction as well. Not just short stories or flash fiction: I’m talking about the stories that are a couple hundred words at the most.

 

I try wielding my pen against the challenge of microfiction from time to time, and occasionally I’m happy with the results. It’s hard! Honestly. It’s a rough assignment, and making a periodic attempt at the craft just makes me enjoy pieces I read so much more.

 

To date, the shortest piece I’ve published has been Tasty Tiny Magic, at 243 words. Originally, I thought this piece would be much longer, but sometimes that’s just not a decision the author gets to make. Of course I tried to bulk it up and make it sit in a much larger space than it needed, but within that space the very small story looked out at me and said “When you’re done being silly, please trim me down again.”

 

Microfiction is getting easier to find, and this development in the publishing world makes me do a little happy dance. (Go ahead an imagine my happy dance. Then take whatever you’re imagining my dance skills to be and decrease them by half. And then by half again. And probably a third time.)

 

But while my dancing ability is lacking, my emotions are genuine. I love very short fiction. Some of them are so unbearably clever. Like this one for example: Splat by Richard J Dowling. Just Brilliant! It took sixty seconds to read, and gave me smiles for months.

 

 

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If anyone has any microfiction out there (either your own, or others’) feel free to promote it below! I’m feeling rather flighty at the moment, so I’m particularly in the mood to read more nibble-sized stories.

 

 

Editing: Paper vs. Technology

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Now that Camp Nano is over, I’ve turned my attention back from short stories to a novella I’m editing. (Well, first I slept a lot. Then I went back to editing.)

I am–and always have been–an ‘edit on the computer’ kind of girl. It’s always seemed more practical to me, especially considering what a tangled mess my first drafts tend to be. After all, anything paper can do, computers can do better, right? (Obviously not, or the title of the post would be a bit superfluous, but let me run with this anyway…) I can color large blocks of text that need fixing. I can insert new scenes. I can leave myself little notes right in the text. And I save the unnecessary expense of paper and ink, which can be substantial if you’re printing a double spaced novel.

Read the rest of this entry

Craft Exercises: Lists

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Here’s another of my craft exercises – one that I’m particularly fond of because it’s more of a crazy little sprint than anything else. Nothing matters except ideas. It’s actually one of my repeatable cards, meaning that when I pull it out of the bag, I put it right back in.

The assignment is to choose a topic and list as many things as I can within ten minutes. I actually started doing this one because of a similar exercise in an acting class. (Which, by the way, was all kinds of fun. Mostly for the people I got to hang out with. Theater people just kind of glow with awesome.) The acting exercise was to choose two lines of dialog that sum up the essence of the monologues we were learning. Then we had to repeat those same lines over and over and over until the teacher told us to stop.  Read the rest of this entry