Thursday, July 30, 2015

When Writing, Give Yourself A Break!

I did finish CampNaNoWriMo, meeting my goal of 30,000 words. :) :D I'm very proud of myself. It feels good to be writing almost every day.

I learned that like most jobs, I need a break every few days. Once a week I could not write. It wasn't a block, it was that I needed some time away from the work to cultivate new ideas and not grow weary.

It's okay to not feel like writing when you've been diligent in writing every day. Sure, there were days that I did other things, like go to the zoo, or to a theme park. It is summer after all! But there were also days I did not write and did not have a good reason, simply that I didn't feel like it. Allowing myself this time off did not cause me to leave writing forever. If anything, it made me come back stronger.

I read, I listened to music, I colored, all other artistic pursuits in lieu of writing, but keeping myself creatively engaged. I grew jealous of other wonderful authors whose books were great reads. I found new bands to dance or rock out to. I watched some shows while coloring in printed sheets of adult coloring books. I also planned school lessons, made file folder work for independent work stations in my classroom (laminating queen!), and I did research for lesson plans.

Then I went back to writing.

One thing that motivated me was Twitter. I loved tweeting my progress and getting favorites, Re-tweets, or new followers every day. I followed many new writers, myself. I wanted to be able to Tweet my progress to people whom would understand and at least care a little. People understood what Camp Nano was, what writing to a goal felt like, and celebrated with me; which was a great feeling.
Connecting with people is a good thing. Feeling part of the big wide world is a good thing. It keeps us grounded. Having motivation is a great thing. It's all how you use it and how you see it. If you want to get lost in twitter for hours, you can. It's not nearly as bad as opening up pinterest, but you can read tweets or post tweets for an entire day. That is not productive, usually. Using it to motivate you to keep writing is productive.

Measure your breaks. Take them, enjoy them, but when they are over, get back to work! Find what motivates you, even if its a different thing every time, and use it to reach your goals.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Grammar Nazis!! A Confession

I have a confession to make:

I will not share/repost anything on facebook that has bad grammar. It could be the best sentiment, the cutest picture, or something I feel strongly about, but if it has misspellings, errant capital letters, or poor grammar and syntax, it's not going on my wall.

My wall is relatively silent these days.

(And what's with throwing a Minion on EVERYTHING??!! That's annoying.)

Some people need a brush-up on their grammar!

Since all the big blogs with tons of viewers full of "clickbait" and with titles that sometime lie are linking to each other to gain views, I'm going to do it too!

Top 10 Grammar Myths

I enjoyed this article, actually, and feel it needs mentioning. Although I, for one, feel that the apostrophe at the end of a word ending in 's' has a purpose to show possession by one or many things, so I sort of agree with that rule and I sort of don't. Mentally, I'd correct the misuse of s' or 's on the word based on the context of the sentence of paragraph.

Please use correct grammar. Impress me.

I dare you.

In other Grammar news, I am terribly offensive with commas. They are EVERYWHERE! When I edit, I have to cut out so many commas, were they really falling to the floor around me, it would look like a haircut.

But better to have commas, than to not!

And that's all I have to say about that.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Friday, July 10, 2015

How I Outlined My Novel And Why I Love It

I'm distracting myself with writing for Camp Nanowrimo. I have over 10,000 words. I'm pretty pleased with myself. I couldn't have done it without writing up an outline and using Scrivener. 

Here is the basic outline idea.
Scrivener makes this easy.

Love Weiland and Scrivener!

Basically, I made folders for each part of the story structure, as listed in the first link. Then, inside each folder I made two note cards, one for Scene and one for Sequel where I listed the components of each. My Scene card says Goal, Conflict, Disaster and my Sequel card says Reaction, Dilemma, Decision. I typed up the basic notes for each scene and sequel here. Then it's a matter of typing them out. That's the fun part.

I've never used an outline formula like this, never thought about structuring my scenes. I've just written. I've written outlines, but never with this much depth and never before knowing exactly how the story should end. I don't think I will ever write a story again without one. It's much better than having an idea for a few scenes and cobbling them together and finding out you have half a story 30,000 words in.

Don't get me wrong, I could write a scene and have a better idea and change the outcome. This way it is easy to go into my outline and make those changes the new story line idea has made. It may change the ending. That's still okay. Outlines are not set in stone. They are guidelines, and something I desperately needed to stay on track.