Monthly Archives: April 2012

Planning for May-sanity.

Currently Listening To: Shattered, by Pantera.

So I am behind on my writing. I need a boost.

Why not spend a whole month catching up..and seeing how many words I can write? Sure that usually happens in November, I figure a summer one won’t kill me. It’ll allow me to get fit for the fall.

Fit for writing that is…

Anyway, so this weekend will be spent making sure I have my plot holes plugged in and my characters know what to do.

Why am I choosing to torture myself? It’s because I realize that I spent so much time trying to make just one chapter perfect, I never get to move on. If I ease up on that kind of stuff and just get content down, then I’ll be more than willing to clean it up. I guess it’s just my style.

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How NOT to say hello to an old friend

When you see an old friend on the train, it’s best not to draw attention to yourself. Example: by not dropping your iPod on the ground, breaking its case in half, and have everyone near you look at you as you pick up the pieces with out looking anyone in the eye. That said, it can get your old buddy’s attention.

Now, how does this apply to writing?

This is a way of showing, not telling. I could easily have written:

I was nervous when I saw my best friend on the train this morning.

But that’s not very exciting is it? Show how that character was nervous. It’s a technique that took me a while to become a habit.

And yes, that incident above actually happened this morning!

Productive Weekend (no writing though)

Currently Listening To: An episode of Spongebob Squarepants playing through my iPod.

Ever had any of those weekends where you have a lot to get done, and you actually manage to get all of those chores done?

Chores included:

  • Reorganizing my room.
  • Cleaning out the computer.
  • Car work.
  • Laundry.
  • Vacuuming.
  • Dishes.

I didn’t get much done in terms of writing done though. But since I got these chores out of the way, there will be less distractions!

I’ve been working on my plot though. I have an overall big picture drawn out for the plot, but the details are still hazy. Well, more like two thirds of the plot is pretty solid, but one third is still very shaky.

One method that has been helping me is drawing a cause and effect diagram. Remember that what you include in the story must drive the plot in some way. So any plot point I include in the story must cause a future conflict.

So for example, let’s say I have my MC spend all night playing video games and snacking on junk food, despite knowing there’s a big battle the next day. His arrogance  leads him to believe that it will be a quick fight.

Seems insignificant right? But this causes problems in the next chapter, because the MC isn’t operating at 100% and his opponents are fresh and ready for battle.

Remember, you have to get to Point A to Point B somehow.

50,000 words in May?

Currently Listening To: Martyr, by Fear Factory

Title says it all. I’m in a huge writing freeze and I need a challenge to thaw me out.

I’ll know for sure by the end of the week.

What Happens When You Have No Internet

Currently Listening To: Panic Switch, by Silversun Pickups.

Don’t worry, I’m not panicking…yet.

On Wednesday, I was going to make a post on here. However, my housemate notified me that our internet and TV had been cut…literally! Turns out landscapers accidentally cut right through the fiber optic cables.

So with nothing to do, we went out for burgers. What did I order?

A 1lb turkey burger.

1lb of sheer deliciousness. I regret nothing!

That’s 1lb (after cooking) turkey burger with pepper jack, sauteed onions, bacon and a fried egg. How did I feel afterwards? Let’s just say I had nothing but salad the next day.

It’s funny what you find time to do when the Internet isn’t around to distract you.

Took time to get some writing done. I caught up with an old friend. Enjoyed some delicious food.

How am I posting this you ask? I’m down at my favorite writing spot again and decided to swing by a Starbucks and keep my readers up to date.

Sorry, No April Fools here!

Currently Listening To: Welcome To The Jungle, by Guns N’ Roses

So I’ve probably said this over nine thousand times, but I’m never writing without music playing.

I can’t even work without music playing through my giant headphones. It’s just how I stay focused.

How does music help me write you ask? Well let’s use the current song on my iPod as an example.

Welcome To The Jungle – from the album Appetite for Destruction (1987). Performed by Guns N’ Roses.

The song is not about a literal jungle, but rather the jungle known as the big city. Imagine you’re from a small town or country and you’re moving to New York City or Los Angeles. It truly feels like a jungle in the sense that you are on your own, fighting for your own survival. Drugs, sex, violence, etc. is everywhere.

So how does this song help me?

One of my characters has been mostly sheltered from the city life. You’d have to explain to him that some people pay others to drive them (taxis). Restaurants are unheard of, since he hunts for his own food. His only glimpses of what another world is like is through small items like soda cans and lingerie catalogs.

Eventually, he does escape his isolated prison and ventures to a grand city. I can’t decide if it’s more like an immigrant arriving to New York or more like a college student living on campus for the first time, away from parents.

Listening to Welcome To The Jungle helps me think about how my character would fare in a big city. It may not exactly be like how the song describes it, but it sure gives me ideas.