Tag Archives: Writers

So. This nanowrimo thing.

I may do this.  It’s crazy, man, crazy.  I have no business even thinking about it.  There’s every reason to believe I won’t be able to finish it.

But I may do this crazy thing.  I’ve churned out words before, but this November looks rough. Looks like a ridiculous time for me to even consider this insanity.

I wonder if I can have the name pooks.  I’m sure somebody else is already there with my name, damn it.  Maybe planetpooks?  I need to go sign up.

So.

Who’s in it with me?

Come on. Do it. Try. Just try. I don’t want to do it alooooone!

November 1st approaches….

NOTE:  I’m there.  My name is (brace yourself) pooks!  Be my buddy!

4 Comments

Filed under nanowrimo, Writers, Writing, Writing daily, Writing Process

“Do [ya] feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

Do you believe in lucky talismans?

I have tried. I have done certain things or collected certain things because they felt lucky, or the idea of them pleased me and felt lucky.  These are almost always around my writing.  Collecting feathers when I first started screenwriting, for example. Every time I found a new feather, it felt significant.  My friend and I taking our usual two-mile walk and having a bluejay feather literally drift to the ground in front of us.  An owl feather, fluffy and beautiful, on the ground by the car when I got out to look at the Rio Grande Gorge in New Mexico. A hawk feather on a desk, and being told by the man who owned that desk, “It’s illegal to own that. If it disappears from my desk and I don’t know what happened to it, I’m fine with that, though.” I mean, it seemed the universe was flinging feathers at me, so, this had to be lucky, right?

However, it was years before I won the Nicholl Fellowship, before the “lucky” things happened, and by then my feathers were dust-collectors that I hadn’t looked at or thought of in, well, years.  Very difficult to connect the dots there.

So, the thing about luck is, it’s fun for me to “play” with, but it doesn’t really seem to mean anything.  The idea of it is magical. The reality? Not so much.

As I continue to ruthlessly mine layers of my office and get rid of Stuff and box books to haul away, I have run across a few remnants of luck.  Some of it I am keeping because I just happen to like it.  I can’t recall why this little brass swan on my desk (a paperclip holder) was supposed to be lucky to me, but now it’s just a pretty thing on my desk and I like it.

(see brass paperclips? used on scripts with brass brads because the silver clashed, yes, I am like that)

The luck thing doesn’t seem to have helped me much, other than the adage that to be lucky, you have to do the work first, and I’ve done a hella lot of luck in my writing life to get lucky, and mostly, it seems the work is more important than the luck.

Do you believe in luck? Do you collect talismans?  Is luck real or just fun?

What do you collect because it makes you feel lucky?

[also should I paint my office or just rearrange it, and if I paint it, dare I use the darker green I love or play it safe with the lighter green that will be darker on the wall? if I paint I will be using green (chemical-odor-free) and green (color) paint, btw]

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Filed under Green, Household, Luck, Office, Organizing, Writers, Writing

"Do [ya] feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

Do you believe in lucky talismans?

I have tried. I have done certain things or collected certain things because they felt lucky, or the idea of them pleased me and felt lucky.  These are almost always around my writing.  Collecting feathers when I first started screenwriting, for example. Every time I found a new feather, it felt significant.  My friend and I taking our usual two-mile walk and having a bluejay feather literally drift to the ground in front of us.  An owl feather, fluffy and beautiful, on the ground by the car when I got out to look at the Rio Grande Gorge in New Mexico. A hawk feather on a desk, and being told by the man who owned that desk, “It’s illegal to own that. If it disappears from my desk and I don’t know what happened to it, I’m fine with that, though.” I mean, it seemed the universe was flinging feathers at me, so, this had to be lucky, right?

However, it was years before I won the Nicholl Fellowship, before the “lucky” things happened, and by then my feathers were dust-collectors that I hadn’t looked at or thought of in, well, years.  Very difficult to connect the dots there.

So, the thing about luck is, it’s fun for me to “play” with, but it doesn’t really seem to mean anything.  The idea of it is magical. The reality? Not so much.

As I continue to ruthlessly mine layers of my office and get rid of Stuff and box books to haul away, I have run across a few remnants of luck.  Some of it I am keeping because I just happen to like it.  I can’t recall why this little brass swan on my desk (a paperclip holder) was supposed to be lucky to me, but now it’s just a pretty thing on my desk and I like it.

(see brass paperclips? used on scripts with brass brads because the silver clashed, yes, I am like that)

The luck thing doesn’t seem to have helped me much, other than the adage that to be lucky, you have to do the work first, and I’ve done a hella lot of luck in my writing life to get lucky, and mostly, it seems the work is more important than the luck.

Do you believe in luck? Do you collect talismans?  Is luck real or just fun?

What do you collect because it makes you feel lucky?

[also should I paint my office or just rearrange it, and if I paint it, dare I use the darker green I love or play it safe with the lighter green that will be darker on the wall? if I paint I will be using green (chemical-odor-free) and green (color) paint, btw]

6 Comments

Filed under Green, Household, Luck, Office, Organizing, Writers, Writing

Publishing 101

There is a new agent in the biz, but she’s not new at all.  I’ve known her for mumbledy-mumble years, as a matter of fact.

She has been a book store manager, a book buyer for a national book store chain, an editor with her own imprint, and now she brings that vast knowledge and experience into her new role of agent. She has created a blog that has some of the most helpful info on publishing I’ve seen together in one spot.

Meet Denise Little.

You might want to check in now, because it seems like every day more great information goes up, whether you’re a published author learning the ins and outs of sell-throughs or just breaking into the business.

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Filed under Publishing, Writers, Writing

Let's start at the very beginning.

Whether I start working on the second book in my trilogy or dive into the new book that just exploded in my head, I am ready to get back to writing. Not writing is eating me from the inside out.

For me, the opening to a new book is a foundation of voice.  If it’s going to be a humorous book, I have to find that right tone that makes me giggle from the very first page and take off, even if that means muttering, stewing, cursing and pulling my hair out for days trying to find it.  Once I’m into the process I can write just to get words down and come back later and fix them, but not the opening to the book.

I have to really nail it.

Even if I come back later and change it anyway.

Also, I am a mood writer. I have to get into that moment, feel it, taste it, experience it.  When I’m lucky (which is quite often) the opening flows out of me because I’m in that moment, even before I know what the story is going to be.  That is how I find the story–the character and situation coming to life and flowing out of me in an ecstatic burst of muse-inspired magic, and I finally get to the end of it, sit back and look and say, “Wow. This is what I’m going to write next.”

But that doesn’t always happen, and right now I have two different books that are both at similar stages–I know characters, situations, at least some world-specifics and am bubbling with urgent need to create.

But they aren’t talking to me yet.

My attempts to begin have been forced and have not turned out the way I want them (even though others have said, this is fine, keep going).  I haven’t tapped into the magic yet, and so I’m in that teeth-gnashing stage.

I’ve taken to creating soundtracks for each screenplay or novel, something I can play in the background and if I’m diligent enough, create a Pavlovian response so that simply plugging in the iPod gets me at least 2/3rds of the way into my world.

I don’t have soundtracks for these books yet.

We all have different processes.  My process has changed through the years and still changes from one project to the next.  So. Tell me your process for writing the first pages.  Throw down words, come back later and fix?  Light a candle and meditate?  Toss back some single malt and growl a lot?

What’s your process?  Maybe you’ll inspire me. Or at least give me something interesting to distract me.

Oh, and any suggestions for Victorian London steampunk soundtrack music would be appreciated!

Image from Steampunk Workshop.

9 Comments

Filed under Music, Steampunk, Writers, Writing, Writing Process

Let’s start at the very beginning.

Whether I start working on the second book in my trilogy or dive into the new book that just exploded in my head, I am ready to get back to writing. Not writing is eating me from the inside out.

For me, the opening to a new book is a foundation of voice.  If it’s going to be a humorous book, I have to find that right tone that makes me giggle from the very first page and take off, even if that means muttering, stewing, cursing and pulling my hair out for days trying to find it.  Once I’m into the process I can write just to get words down and come back later and fix them, but not the opening to the book.

I have to really nail it.

Even if I come back later and change it anyway.

Also, I am a mood writer. I have to get into that moment, feel it, taste it, experience it.  When I’m lucky (which is quite often) the opening flows out of me because I’m in that moment, even before I know what the story is going to be.  That is how I find the story–the character and situation coming to life and flowing out of me in an ecstatic burst of muse-inspired magic, and I finally get to the end of it, sit back and look and say, “Wow. This is what I’m going to write next.”

But that doesn’t always happen, and right now I have two different books that are both at similar stages–I know characters, situations, at least some world-specifics and am bubbling with urgent need to create.

But they aren’t talking to me yet.

My attempts to begin have been forced and have not turned out the way I want them (even though others have said, this is fine, keep going).  I haven’t tapped into the magic yet, and so I’m in that teeth-gnashing stage.

I’ve taken to creating soundtracks for each screenplay or novel, something I can play in the background and if I’m diligent enough, create a Pavlovian response so that simply plugging in the iPod gets me at least 2/3rds of the way into my world.

I don’t have soundtracks for these books yet.

We all have different processes.  My process has changed through the years and still changes from one project to the next.  So. Tell me your process for writing the first pages.  Throw down words, come back later and fix?  Light a candle and meditate?  Toss back some single malt and growl a lot?

What’s your process?  Maybe you’ll inspire me. Or at least give me something interesting to distract me.

Oh, and any suggestions for Victorian London steampunk soundtrack music would be appreciated!

Image from Steampunk Workshop.

9 Comments

Filed under Music, Steampunk, Writers, Writing, Writing Process

Storyboard, Aug 3

This is what my storyboard for book two looked like two days ago. (The part with the green background.)

It had three cards on it when I started writing book one.  While writing book one, I occasionally slapped new cards up on books two and three when I had ideas, in the general area of the books where I thought something would happen or be important. [Book three is on top, but most of its cards are in the first part of the book so not in this pic.]  Post-its tend to fall off eventually but I did have some, and some scribbled notes and some printed.  Now I’m looking at what I have, figuring out what else I need, eliminating those ideas that probably won’t fit.

I am very disorganized. Any kind of analysis requires this kind of thought process is a real shift in gears for me.  So having these physical elements to work with–so fluid and easy to move around, remove, put back–has made all the difference in the world in my ability to visualize and control my story.

I’ve never done this detailed kind of outlining and plotting before, but for this trilogy it’s absolutely necessary.

The storyboard technique is from the aforementioned screenwriting book, Save The Cat, and I wish I’d learned it earlier.  I’d used scene cards before, but never in this way.

I have used color to represent things like “not sure about this” or “R’s pov” but when I have a plot that is getting close to solid, I will make all of this neat and print it out in proper scene cards and then use it to write from.

Also, I had a major spoiler on the board. Not that anybody ever actually reads it but me but… I have removed that spoiler and rewritten so that it is no longer spoilery. (wink)

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Filed under Analog, Index Cards, Novels, Office, Organizing, Save the Cat, Screenwriting, Storyboard, Writers, Writing