Tag Archives: writing experiments

Some Wednesday Random

It’s Wednesday, and I can’t think of a thing to blog about – so I’m falling back on the old tried and true. Random!

I’m a Happy Information Junkie This Week.

I finally figured out a way to keep an eye on all the links and fun things I find interesting online, without feeling information overload! And it’s all due to my iPad. Last week I spent a bit of time testing out various apps and I’ve now settled on some essential ones that have made my info-surfing life so much easier.

On the agenda: I’ll be writing up a post about the apps I’m now using. (Always nice to know what I’ll be writing about!).

And I’m Sharing My Finds on Twitter.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (and … ahem … if you’re not, here’s the link to my Twitter profile) might have noticed I’m doing something a little differently these days. I’ve been tweeting links to all the stuff I find terribly amusing or interesting or just plain mind-boggling.

I can’t help it. Seriously, some of this stuff is just too good not to share!

Sniff … Reamde Has to Go Back to the Library.

So I’ve had that big brick of a book, Reamde, by Neal Stephenson, for almost three weeks now. And I haven’t touched it. It’s just such a BIG book, so every time I look at it, I think to myself, I really need to make sure I have a nice chunk of time to curl up with it.

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And of course, that never happened. And since this is a relatively new book, I can’t renew it, because there are lots of other eager readers just waiting to get their hot little hands on it.

Sigh. I hate when this kind of thing happens. I actually have it in audio, too, but I already know it will take me even longer to listen to it than it would for me to read it so I might as well just add myself back to the “hold” queue at the library.

The Art of Letter Writing

Okay, so no-one’s going to be too surprised that I wasn’t able to stick to writing a letter a day last month. No, not even though it was a short month (although with that leap day, it really wasn’t that much shorter …).

But I had some good excuses. Like the flu going through the family, which just about wiped out two weeks of the month.

Despite not writing a letter a day last month, I’ve been well and truly bitten by the handwritten letter bug. I’ve enjoyed getting letters from people, and I’ve enjoyed writing the letters I did write. So I’ve decided to just keep on doing this indefinitely.

Not, of course, a letter a day. But several a month. It’s going to be fun!

The Everyday Writer

Last bit of random for now. I’ve been having a hard time getting back into a writing routine. And then yesterday, I came across this blog post by Seth Godin.

Writer’s block isn’t hard to cure.

Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.

(The emphasis is mine.)

I decided to take this advice to heart, and last night, I created The Everyday Writer. And this morning, I wrote my first post. My plan is to choose a different writing prompt generator every day (if you click through, you’ll see I have several of them in the sidebar), and then write a little something. Something short, that’s fictional, but Not of the Utmost Importance (the very opposite of the way I think of my writing-in-progress as Being of the Utmost Importance – which, by the way, is one sure-fire way to drum up a bad case of writer’s block).

And I’m adding this into my Wednesday Random because I’ve got to fulfill the “in public” part of the whole shebang.

So those are my latest bits of random! What random bits and pieces do you have going on these days?

The Day Before NaNoWriMo Starts

I know. Most people think of October 31 as Halloween. I have a seven-year-old, so you’d think I’d be sitting here thinking about Halloween and taking him out trick-or-treating tonight too.

But no, not me. All I can think is this: today’s the last day before NaNoWriMo starts!

I haven’t done that much prepping, partly because my NaNoWriMo novel (ELEMENTAL) is one that I’ve already started; I’ve written about 10,000 words of it (which won’t, of course, be counted in my November word count!).

I also haven’t prepped much because I’m a pantser, rather than a plotter (other names for this style of writing are discovery writing, and, yes, plunger!)

It’s not that I write blindly without knowing where I’m going; what I tend to do is end each writing session knowing what the next scene or handful of scenes will be, but that’s about it.

In other words, I write like this:

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E.L. Doctorow

I’m doing an “unofficial” NaNoWriMo novel as well, which will really take the driving at night in the fog metaphor to a whole new level for me; I’ll be starting a middle grade WIP, FORTUNE, tomorrow. I plan to write this one in long hand, in a non-linear fashion; I’ll just add scenes as they visually come to me. It will definitely be an experiment!

I also have a “secret” goal when it comes to NaNoWriMo this year, only I’m not going to say what it is, because I’m not exactly super confident I’ll be able to meet this goal! But it’s one of the reasons why NaNoWriMo feels so exciting to me this year, even more than it did last year.

Another reason I’m so excited is because I’ve gotten more involved in the online writing community this year; there’s something about the energy of knowing a lot of other writers all playing the same NaNo game in November that’s really motivating.

And I’m also excited about November for a non-NaNoWriMo-related reason. I’ve decided to participate in PiBoIdMo 2010! Yes, that’s right – in addition to Novel Writing Month, November is also Picture Book Ideas Month! The goal? To come up with 30 picture book ideas in 30 days.

Yesterday, I even bought a lovely little blank journal to play PiBoIdMo with, so now I’m all set!

So anyway, back to today being the day before NaNoWriMo starts.

Since I expect to be super busy in November, I’m going to relax a bit today. Work a bit on one of my upcoming indexing deadlines (which don’t stop existing because of NaNoWriMo, unfortunately for my time but very fortunate for my pocketbook). And maybe read a cookbook or two (we picked up a couple of new ones yesterday). Not to mention tonight’s trick-or-treating.

Oh, and I’ve been bugging my husband to make this scrumptious sounding Pumpkin Seed Toffee. He was looking for bittersweet chocolate, so I think I might have succeeded!

What are you doing on this day before NaNoWriMo starts? Are you participating this year? Or just planning to have a real blast with Halloween tonight? Or both?

My NaNoWriMo Experiment

imageNaNoWriMo is a week away, and today, with a little help from a friend, I came up with a great idea for an experiment.

You see, I had this really epic dream last night. I have really vivid dreams all the time, and my dreams are usually either “oh, what a beautiful, beautiful life” dreams, or what I call the epic story dream. Both are quite wonderful. The beautiful life ones make me feel really good when I wake up; the epic story ones are thrilling, like a great novel that I just happen to be in.

So in this epic story dream of mine, the setting for the last scene was a really vivid one, vivid and wonderfully strange. And when I woke up, my first thought was, that’s the kind of setting I want to use in my writing.

When I write, it’s usually from a movie in my head. I get characters, dialogue and action, and I try to capture it all in words. But the setting is usually never more than a faint blur, which probably explains why my first drafts are short on description.

So I want access to the stuff that comes to me in my dreams. After a few email exchanges with a friend of mine, who has written fiction in this way herself, I’ve decided to experiment with one of my NaNoWriMo projects (I’m going to work on two this year, in keeping with my new multi-focused approach).

I’m already a “discovery writer”, in that I don’t plot and prefer instead to write by the seat of my pants, discovering the story myself as I write. Having said that, I usually know in what general direction I’m writing; I just don’t know the details of the journey there, and of course, the direction itself is flexible and changes as the details emerge.

My WIP ELEMENTAL is a quest tale, and I have a vague idea what the quest is. So I’ll continue writing that one out with that general direction in mind.

But I’m going to play around with my other WIP, experiment with different “meditative states” while I’m writing it. Kind of like lucid dreaming while awake. I’m not going to write this one chronologically, either; I’ll get down the scenes as they (hopefully) come to me, and afterwards I’ll figure out what the sequence is. I already know what one of the scenes will be: the one I dreamt about last night.

So it’s going to be a complete experiment, from beginning to end. I’ll do this one both on the computer and in longhand. I’ll go wherever it takes me, however it goes, and then at the end of 30 days, I’ll see what I have.

It sounds like great fun to me!

Have any of you ever written like this? Investigating other states of being while writing? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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