Tuesday, August 31
Tuesday, August 24
I'm very excited to host my very first blogfest. For our theme, I've chosen something we've all loved and hated at some point in our lives. Something we indulge in on a daily basis. Something we cannot live without. Yes, I'm having a BLOGFEAST on September 23, 2010! Not only is it a blogfest of food, but it's also a feast of blogs. Please join me in sharing a post regarding anything *food.*
It can be a scene where food is central or just happens to be in the scene. It could be a poem about food. Heck, it could even be about a character named after food, i.e., Powdered Toast Man or Cheeseboy (might wanna ask them if yer thinking of writing a lil story about these guys, lol). If you end up simply posting a recipe, I'll be sorely disappointed if it's not at least presented in some way resembling creative and literary, something we've not seen before :)
I suggest shooting for around 500 words or so, but if you end up over by a few hundred, we won't beat anyone up over it. With this 'fest, it shouldn't be too difficult to keep it fairly short. Please sign up by September 23 on the linky thing, and if you do sign up, remember to post with a link back here so everyone can find all the blogger links in the Blogfeast. Thanks, all, for reading, and I hope you get a chance to join the fun!
Friday, August 20
Sunday, August 15
I’ve traveled an incredibly long learning curve over the past few months, and what’s helped me the most along the way has been—hands down—the bloggers I follow. It doesn’t matter to me if they’re unpublished or have no agent yet or already have books out or deals made. Even teachers can still be students and vice versa.
This business of getting published is pretty darn tough so to me being unpublished alone says nothing about the writing, although I love to see writers I follow get their agent or their book deal. What counts to me most though is the step up you offer freely to your fellow writers with no signs of backstabby bitchassedness to be found (in public anyway, lol). I’ve improved my writing incredibly because of what you guys give.
I haven’t even begun to talk about what I’ve learned about agents, querying, publishing, synopses, pitching, etc., but I’m out of space for now. What's been most valuable to you? Does a blogger's advice carry more weight if they're published or agented or does it depend on what the advice is? How do you feel about offering writerly advice yourself?
Friday, August 13
While I'm on here, I also want to publicly congratulate Matthew Rush at The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment for winning a major-cool query contest at WriteOnCon. Here's to you getting your stuff out there. *raises drink to you--cough, cough, it's a lil' strong*
For those of you who may have missed WriteOnCon, it was truly amazing. Lots of great stuff. I didn't really get to participate much since I was underway for almost all of it, but I'm still planning on going over the posts now that I'm back in San Dog. Well, also I don't write YA/MG/PB, but what I've read was educational anyway.
If you're interested in attending an online writer's convention, a different one is scheduled for October, but registration is ending very soon for The Muse Online Writer's Conference. Check out my sidebar to get more information.
One more thing: Happy Friday the 13th!
Tuesday, August 10
After a crazy weekend of blogfesting my brains out (and no, I’m still not done reading some of the posts), I’m eager to get roaring on my current WIP so I can get around to finishing the biggest edit ever on my first MS. Yes, I have some great ideas to get myself in a happy place with it. Finally—whew!!
My second WIP seems to be in better shape than my first and I think it may be that I actually incorporated a little—and I mean teensie—bit of outlining this time. The story arc and character arcs are all improved. Now that I’ve worked out this method of plottsing (or is it pantsotting? It all sounds weird.), I know how I want to edit my first MS.
I noticed a few blog posts from writers who were having some trouble finding a system for outlining or organizing their scenes, and though I’m a big fan of the old bullet list, I don’t think anyone else is all that enthusiastic about it. So I thought I’d look at some creative writing tools to try out.
I found plenty of programs to choose from. The most pricey was Dramatica Pro at $200-$220. From what I read, this software could just about write the story—well, if you can figure out how to use it. It asks you about a few hundred questions and then maps out the story for you down to the bitty details. It has just about every feature available in a writing software program including structure templates, brainstorming tools, outlines, reports, conflict, plot and character development tools, and a built-in word processor. I thought I’d laugh when I read it has no spell check or word count capability. Sounds like some geeky engineer student oversight to me.
If you want to save a bit, but still keep most of the features, Power Structure has just about all the same features at $149.95 except it’s reportedly a lot more difficult to use. It doesn’t come with tutorials so you’re on your own with it.
If you want to save even more, $29-$99 or so will buy you WriteWay, Power Writer, or StoryWeaver. These programs give you nearly the same number of features as the other two programs, but for under $100, although the features lean more to the word processing side than to the story development side. They’re also easier to use for the less experienced writers (like me!) as well. On the down side, the first two programs don’t work with Mac. For Mac, Scrivener looks pretty darn good and at such a low price.
If you’re anything like me and flock to anything that’s free, you could try an open source program. I’ve found a couple with some good reviews. Storybook can help with structuring your book with tools to manage chapters, scenes, characters and locations. It offers several different views of your work and instantly saves data as it’s entered. You can also export in a variety of formats, txt, pdf, html, rtf, etc. yWriter is another one developed by a writer and earning positive remarks. Rough Draft is no longer being updated, but the software is still available for download. I personally have Celtx, an open source screenwriting program that allows storyboards, etc., but all I ever do with that is play around with it.
The basic thought behind these programs is that a simple word-processing program is inadequate for longer pieces of fiction and stories with complex plots or characters. After looking at a bunch of the screenshots, I can see how some of the views might be beneficial, but I’m at my best when working simplistically, often with just a pen and paper. Maybe I haven’t found the right program for me yet.
How about you? Do you have a favorite program you use or do you just prefer a basic word-processing program like Word? Or is it pen and paper, too? What’s in your writer’s toolbox?
Saturday, August 7
I had a difficult time choosing a scene. I suppose I chose this because it reminded me of a soap opera, and if anything is high drama, it's a darn soap opera.
Like yesterday's blogfest post, it's from my new WIP, The Paladin. It's a bit longish, but reads quickly because of all the dialogue. Please be gentle as my entire WIP is in infancy and has been written over the last two weeks. Thus it's an unedited, very first rough draft.
Friday, August 6
Poor Sen isn't handling the change very well, and he's taking it out on Rainee. Hope you enjoyed, even if it's not your genre, and thank you for reading!