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Archive for the ‘Writing tip’ Category

So chapter 27 of The Way Wars Are Won has been kicking my ass for the past 6 (SIX!) months. I’m serious. Since November 17th, I’ve barely written anything and I just couldn’t bring myself to rewrite the whole chapter. Finally, on Tuesday, I grabbed all my papers involving chapter 27, printed out all the different versions (I have 3 versions of this one scene–it’s ridiculous) and spread them out on the floor.

Items needed:

  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Post-its

I used the highlighters to really see the different scenes in the original chap 27. Then I summarized each scene onto a post-it. With that outline, I compared versions and picked which pieces I’d be using. Kinda like a puzzle. Now I just (ha–JUST) need to type it all up. Of course it’ll still be a mess, but it won’t be as much of a mess as it was. So it’ll be an improvement.

Word count: Who the hell knows? Maybe I will tomorrow.

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This will be short and to the point because I need to get some sleep. We’re leaving early tomorrow for England, where I shall buy all the books I want. *sigh* Giant bookshop=my personal heaven.

Movies I’ve seen recently:

  • Pandorum: Fairly good.
  • The Wicker Man–original: Good, strange, sad ending…
  • The Wicker Man–remake: Shit. Absolute shit.
  • Minority Report: Very good. Loved it.
  • 1408: Freaked the hell out of me. So much so I had to stop watching it. But I finished it today and wow. I loved it. Regarding the ending, however… Apparently what I saw is the theatrical ending.

*****SPOILERS*****

When I saw the ending, I thought maybe he had died, because how could the recorder record Katie’s voice if she wasn’t really there? Then I found out that’s the ending where he lives, and Katie’s voice on the recorder is EVP, proof for Lily that Mike wasn’t lying. I prefer my interpretation.

In the director’s cut ending, Mike dies. Then the manage of the hotel sees him in the backseat of his car, then we see Mike in the hotel room and he fades away or something. (I didn’t actually see it.)

*****END OF SPOILERS*****

Writing

Since I last blogged, I ended up writing a total of 501 words on Saturday and Sunday I wrote the same amount. Monday was a failure. Tuesday I wrote 480 words. I was stuck, but got unstuck. How did I do this? I used a variation of “When in doubt, kill a character” and introduced a new character. (Well, not really a new character…)

Adding conflict solves writer’s block. Most of the time.

But today I have written zero, zilch, nil words. I’m hoping I’ll manage to write at least 150 words before going to sleep–which I should be doing NOW.

Tomorrow, I won’t be able to write on my laptop until we get to the hotel. Then on Friday same deal. But Saturday, there will be TWO hours on a ferry–with internet access! Which might harm my productivity, but whatever.

Now I’m off to write 150 words in chapter 18 and then print said chapter so I can at least try to write in the car.

First: I overpack. Scratch that–my family overpacks. This time, we vowed to use smaller suitcases. And yet I end up with:

  • small suitcase of clothes
  • vanity box of bathroom things
  • handbag for the car trip: notebooks, pens, books, iPod, phone…
  • huge bag with more books, DVDs, iPod dock, phone charger…
  • laptop bag

And that’s it. Yup: We don’t travel light. And yet, that’s us traveling light.

That means exactly what you think it means: we used to travel with a LOTTA shit. How much? Well… *said in the manner of Samantha Stephens*

The car would be filled up.

To the ceiling.

Will update Saturday. And Courtney‘s post about how she writes will be posted Tuesday the 20th of July.

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Quote from Charmed episode “Chick Flick.”

Yesterday, I wrote 761 words. Today I haven’t written anything. Yet. But I intend to, don’t worry.

Dreaming

I’m the kind of person who remembers her dreams quite often. Some people haven’t remembered a dream in years. (Maybe you don’t know this, but we always dream. We just don’t always remember our dreams.) As I near the end of a holiday, I dream of school in a “I do NOT want to go back” way and I hate it. Basically, they’re nightmares. I wanted to say more about dreaming, but I started writing this an hour ago, so now I’m going to talk about something else.

Creating Characters

Some writers create their characters in great detail before writing a single word of their 1st draft. Some have a vague sketch, name, age, hobbies, a few characteristics. Me? The way I start writing a story is that I get an idea or the beginning or a sentence and I write. Then I write more and more and more. Eventually, maybe only five hundred words later, maybe a thousand, I stop. No idea what to write next. That’s when I develop my characters. I decide what they look like, how old they are, but I don’t fill in a questionnaire or write a biography or interview them. I then keep writing and between 5000 and 10 000 words in I think of what could have happened in the main character’s past.

Mainly though, I don’t “create” the characters. I just write. The characters don’t come fully formed, but their dialogue is different enough from one another right from the start.

Half an hour later: I have done my 250 words. Man, it just gets easier and easier to write. I highly recommend the ___words a day Challenge if you’ve had trouble writing consistently. Start out small, like I did. 250 words is very doable. Also, I started during a holiday, so I had time to get used to it and enough time to write:

  • Thursday 15th: 1st day. Goal achieved (GA) 250 words
  • Friday 16th: GA 255 words
  • Saturday 17th: GA 255 words
  • Sunday 18th: GA 255 words
  • Monday 19th: GA 300 words
  • Tuesday 20th: GA 761 words
  • Wednesday 21st: GA 333 words

I’m actually not certain how many words I wrote from the 15th to the 18th, but notice how the days I had school I wrote more? That’s because it got easier. I was worried going to school would slow me down or I wouldn’t write ANYTHING. Ha! I underestimated myself big time. Maybe next week I’ll be doing the 500 words a day Challenge. (See the right side of this page by the way for the Challenge.)

I recommend starting small though, if you’re young like me or very busy, that way you won’t disappoint yourself, but if you go over the goal you feel good.

Word count: 16 528/75000 = 22%

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Complete quote courtesy of Wikiquote:

[Spike is in the process of moving out of Xander’s basement.]
Xander: You own nothing. This shouldn’t be taking so long.
Spike: Hang on. Let a fella get organized. [picks up radio.]
Xander: That’s my radio!
Spike: And you’re what? Shocked and disappointed? I’m evil!

Writing

I made yesterday’s goal and with what I’ve written today I’ve got 14 483 words. Once I’ve reached today’s goal, I’ll have 14 691.

Now I’m trying to find a new title for my novel instead of writing my novel. Just 208 words left to write. Ugh. You know what, I’m gonna try writing this scene in 1st person, which is what I’m best at, and then rewrite it in 3rd person. I did this once when I was stuck in Kenna’s Choice, which I wrote in the 1st person POV. Anyway, I didn’t know what a character would do, so I started writing in 1st person from that character’s point of view and immediately I knew what he was going to do.

[Some time later] I made today’s goal and I’ve got 14 705 words. I’m so happy for giving myself a goal and sticking to it. I usually give up.

Other

Earlier on my brother and sister were violently throwing balloons filled with sugar at each other. Surprise, surprise, my sister got hurt and ended up storming off.

Movies, Books and TV shows

Movies: I haven’t watched any lately, but I really want to see “Repo! The Genetic Opera” and “Terminator Salvation” and “Push” and “Clash of the Titans” and– Well you get the point: The list of movies I want to see is reaaaally long.

Books: Well I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read anything these past two weeks, when I actually had the TIME to read. I want to kill myself. I could have finished reading the four books I’ve been reading for the past couple of MONTHS!

TV shows: Well I’m finally caught up on Desperate Housewives. TV shows I’m not caught up on: Heroes, Supernatural, Lost, True Blood, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory.

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