1K a Day Motivational – The Sometimes Anytime

It’s Thursday! Run for the hills! You can never hope to escape the Fires of Inspiration, the Fleeting Muse, the Wave of Desperate Hurry. But you can damn sure try.

It’s time for another Weekly Motivational!

Given that I am writing a thousand words a day at a minimum, I can find myself hurrying along, writing the same or similar words over and over again in short succession. I talked a bit about the power of repetition a couple weeks back, so now I’m tackling a related topic: Using Imprecise Language Creates Imprecise Emotions.

Or as I like to call it, The Sometimes Anytime. Continue reading

Claim Your Writing Space

This article is posted in Brain2Page.

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Where do you like to write? At your home office looking out a big bay window on the sand and surf? Curled up on the couch with a blanket and your laptop, sipping a hot cup of tea? At the library using public computers in near tomblike silence? At a coffee shop with your tablet, a cappafrappalatteccino and your headphones? Continue reading

I Wrote An Epic But Fell Into The Plot Holes

This article is posted in Page2Print.

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There are times when I enter a sort of revision fugue, where I’ve been writing and rewriting the same words, sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters, stories to the point that I can’t reliably tell what’s going on anymore. I come out the other side with a net wash. I may have been editing for three hours straight, but when I look at what I’ve been working on I honestly can’t see the work anymore. All I see are letters mashed together in some semblance of order. Continue reading

Write It Down, Write It All Down.

This article is posted in Brain2Page.

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This one will be pretty short. Probably. Maybe. Just go with me on this.

In a previous post about Maintaining Momentum I spent a lot of time talking about a lot of different things, all of them designed to keep you striding forward confidently and quickly. But one thing I barely mentioned is the concept of Saving Everything, which has nothing whatsoever to do with maintaining momentum, and everything to do with future inspiration.

Doesn’t matter where you are, who you’re doing, why you’re running from the police, when you’ll hit the ground, or what your fortune cookie says. Continue reading

Writing Lessons From Ice Sculpting

This article is posted in Page2Print.

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Imagine a block of ice. You take your chisel and hammer and you go to work, making small nicks and grooves. You know what it looks like, you just have to get there. The first thing you do is knock out the basic shape of the sculpture. We’ll say it’s a banana. You like bananas, right? It’s a damn banana. Continue reading

Big Words Don’t Make Big Ideas

This article is posted in Brain2Page.

Anyone who read my first novel knows I was fond of big words. I went out of my way to use words like “peripatetic” and “eructation” simply because I knew them. It took a while to understand that this was a mistake. I’d artificially raised the bar for people to read and enjoy my novel with absolutely no gain.

When I was younger (and not very much younger) I had this mentality that “I’m writing for people like me” when “people like me” was a flimsy, shifting concept. Also a pretentious asshole.

My misconception was that the ideas would seem bigger and more intelligent if the language I used was bigger and more intelligent. This can be true; my grandmother read part of my first novel and then immediately put it down when she got to some words she didn’t know. The sentence structure was too complex for her. Her perception of the novel was that it was incredibly smart; too smart for her.

I had artificially raised the boundary to exclude people based on just a few words and needlessly complex structures. Continue reading

Grammarian Grumbles – A Good Adverb Is A Dead Adverb

This article is posted in Page2Print and Grammarian Grumbles.

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He groaned audibly as he looked like he was going to vomit. Silently she picked up the knife, hoping he wouldn’t hear it. He said sarcastically, “Of course I’m going to pay you back.”

I write frantically, because I only have so much time tonight.

The adverb. What a misunderstood and overused concept. Is there ever a time when you’re writing and you throw an obvious adverb out there that your first thought is “that was a good idea”? Continue reading

Dreams Should Stay In Your Crazy Head

This article is posted in Brain2Page.

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Being one who is inclined to creativity, even in the less visual form that writing takes, I often have very vivid dreams that tap into whatever the hell is going on inside my weirdo head. I have an entire document – a dream journal if you insist – that chronicles the silliest, the scariest, the downright most awesome, and even the ones that make me question my psychotic profile.

The compulsion to turn these dreams into a story is strong. I have several unfinished manuscripts and even more short stories that started out as dreams. Yet I have never finished one. At some point there’s always this illogical transition that completely interrupts the entire sequence of events, and coincidentally enough it is that illogical transition that makes me want to make it into a story. But how the hell am I supposed to fit a serial killer murder mystery into a slice of life story? How should I make this ridiculous horror monster make logical sense in my court-room drama about getting divorced (when I’m not even married)? Continue reading

The Writing Long Jump vs. The Editing Obstacle Course

This article is posted in Page2Print.

I’ve found, increasingly over the last few years, that there are two completely divergent paths when it comes to “writing” and “editing that writing”. I have written two complete novels that each flowed out of me in a month. I have written two other as-of-yet unpublished novels that also took roughly a month to get the first draft completed. The editing for the first two novels was an uphill struggle with twenty-pound weights attached to my legs. It took five months to properly edit Something More, and it took six months to properly edit Our Crumbling Ivory.

As of this writing I’m gearing up to begin the third draft of Something More’s (untitled) sequel, so called because it doesn’t have a name yet. I spent about a month writing this one, followed by a couple months downtime, followed by another two weeks of writing. Then the second draft took another two months. I expect the third draft to take about a month, and subsequent drafts to take a couple of weeks each. At this rate (with some downtime between drafts to let my mind focus elsewhere and come back fresh) it’ll be the end of summer before I feel like it’s ready to show to other people, and then another couple of months while I go through a final revision using those people’s suggestions. Continue reading

My Brain is a Genie that Grants Everyone Wishes!

This article is posted in Brain2Page.

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I was once an insufferable little prat a teenager, discovering a lot about myself and the world around me in that clumsy way all teens have. I found out that women made me feel funny inside; that I didn’t really like slapstick comedy very much; that there was more than a surface level in books, movies, television, video games, and in people. I found that what I loved as a little boy (reading) wasn’t something a lot of people did (at least a lot of people I would come to know).

I also discovered that it takes a writer to make something a reader can read.

The very first time I can remember having written something that I genuinely enjoyed the process of writing it as opposed to reading the outcome was when I was in sixth grade, before 12-year-olds were considered junior high schoolers. My teacher was Mrs. Gardner, and we were given the assignment to write a short story about our lives thirty years in the future. Specifically we were told to imagine some technologies that might exist thirty years in the future, and to describe who we were as people in this crazy future world. Continue reading