Last night, I dreamed I was reading a novel synopsis on the cover of a book. I woke at 2 a.m. with the words of that synopsis echoing in my head. I lay in a half-sleep thinking, “That sounds like a good book, I should really read that one.” Then it occurred to me the synopsis had come from my head, not from any now-published novel, and it hit me: I’d better write that down!
I tapped my tappable bedside lamp for some light, reached for my bedside pen and notebook, and started scribbling the words from that dreamed synopsis before they could dissipate into the night. I filled one notebook page then, thinking I was done, put it aside and shut off my lamp. I thought I would drift back to sleep. (more…)
This morning, I’m typing up a couple of “found” scenes I wrote in a notebook almost four years ago. (I mentioned these scenes in an earlier post.) When I wrote these, I wasn’t really thinking about them in terms of scenes, but was scribbling out a freewrite with some ideas I had for a novel.
Many of my freewrites begin with me telling myself about something I want to do, and then they morph into scenes as I enter “the zone.” So it was no surprise to me when the first few paragraphs I typed up were back-story. But as I was typing, it occurred to me that what I had on the page at this moment was a theme, not a scene or even back-story. (more…)
It’s funny how I write a lot of poetry when I’ve been reading a lot of poetry. I don’t really read much of it at all, unless I have to for school. But this month, several of the blogs I follow have been posting poems as part of the Poem-a-Day Challenge. So, here I am, popping out poems when I should be working on my novel. But I guess I could use the distraction. Who knows, maybe my prose will be the better for it.
Here’s my latest:
Love Long Distance
ever noticed (more…)
Feedback is so depressing because it always means more work. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how good you are, every round of feedback will point out *something* that needs more work.
Unfortunately, I am not yet at the point where I can decide to call it finished and just be done with it. I have yet to finish my complete first draft, so there will be a lot more revisions to come before the work is done. (more…)
My thesis* efforts this week, while I am awaiting feedback on my first draft, are focused on wrapping up all of the loose ends: annotated bibliography, synopsis, cover letter, etc., that must be included in my final portfolio. I finally completed my bibliography, but I am struggling a bit with my synopsis. One of the biggest problems I am having with my synopsis is deciding what genre my novel fits into.
*Thesis Countdown: The final draft of my creative master’s thesis is due in 11 days!
I’ve been referring to my WIP as a “fantasy novel” for a long time, but I’m not completely sure that’s where it fits. Is it fantasy, or is it science fiction? Or is it this other thing I’ve heard of, speculative fiction, which I have no clue exactly what it is but for some reason have an inkling that my novel may fit into it? So, this afternoon, I am on a quest to determine which pigeonhole I should attempt to stick my novel in.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to author, Amanda Martin, from the WriterMummy blog. Amanda is the author of Two-Hundred Steps Home, as well as the following guest blog post. Thanks, Amanda, for sharing your blog with us and for helping to lighten my blog load while I’m writing my Master’s thesis this semester!
The lovely Mandy has let me come to talk about my Daily Blog Challenge on my WriterMummy blog. Thank you Mandy! It’s always nice to get a change of scene.
I decided late in 2012 – on 30th or 31st December – that 2013 needed structure. My husband was made redundant (or laid-off, as one would say in the U.S.) in October and both my kids are still preschool age, so we lurch from day to day with virtually no plan. My ambition for 2013 is to have a novel accepted by an agent and/or self-published via Smashwords, and I hoped forcing myself to write every day would help motivate me. So I had the (crazy) idea to join Post-a-Day 2013. (more…)
“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” ~Flannery O’Connor.
I’m writing to you this morning from Café de Arts in Waukesha, WI. It’s a cute little café in a big, old Victorian house with a huge sunflower painted on the side. I so want to open my own business in an old house in my town and paint the house purple with a huge sunflower on the side. I even have the house picked out. It’s a foreclosure that’s been sitting empty for about three years, just calling me to buy it.
I have a dream of opening my own writer’s studio/café/bookstore where I can hang out with other writers and discuss our craft in a homey setting. I’m picturing fluffy couches with books lining the walls, and a barista conveniently stationed in a cozy corner.
I’d hang out all day, writing in my notebook in between talking story with my customers. Sometimes, I would offer writing classes and workshops for more focused work. Ultimately, I would create my own little writing community where I can plug in to my local writing scene and keep my creative juices flowing while offering the same service to others. (more…)
My writer friend over at SlimeGreen recently shared a post where she discussed how you can tell a lot about a person from what’s on their nightstand. She shared a pic of her end table, along with an analysis of what her end table says about her. I love this idea, so I’m stealing it. Anyway, here’s a picture of my nightstand. I’m opening myself up to my readers. Please tell me (in the comments below,) what do you think my nightstand says about me?
I’ve been zipping through the story line of my novel for the past couple of months in an effort to get the entire story on the page without worrying about revisions. I’ve hit 46,472 words, and I’ve been feeling pretty good about the whole thing. That is, until a few days ago when I got the idea that my story line had somehow veered away from where I wanted it to go.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m open to changing direction when it’s appropriate. However, it seems like this time I have turned down a dead-end. The story train has derailed, and I’m left wondering how to pick up the pieces of the train wreck and put it back on the right track. (more…)
This morning, I came across a cute plot skeleton graphic on Pinterest, and I couldn’t help comparing it to my novel and my own personal life story. It’s funny how every good story seems to follow this same organizational pattern. Luckily, my novel so far has all of the basic parts. As does my life!
I am currently working my way up to the “bleakest moment” of my novel and am finding it harder and harder to write as I draw ever closer to doing some horrible things to my protagonist. I think part of the problem is that some of the horrors I am about to put her through are drawn from certain incidents in my own life. As I am writing these scenes, I’m personally transported to a time in my life that I’d rather not relive. (more…)
Names and titles used to be the bane of my existence.
I can’t begin to tell you how much time I have wasted agonizing over names for characters and titles for stories. I have recently realized that those names and titles will eventually reveal themselves to you once you learn to listen for them.
I’ve had a name for my current novel-in-progress for some time, but I haven’t been entirely happy with it. It’s okay, but it doesn’t really sum up the novel in the way I want it to. But, I hate thinking about titles, so I just went with it and kept writing. After all, there’s no sense agonizing over a title at the expense of writing the story. (more…)
Last night, I sat down to write chapter 10 of my novel, and I just couldn’t get into it. I knew what the chapter was supposed to be about, but I simply could not get excited about it. Then I remembered author Rachel Aaron’s advice on getting excited about what you’re writing.
“If I had scenes that were boring enough that I didn’t want to write them, then there was no way in hell anyone would want to read them.” ~Rachel Aaron
So, I sat down with my notebook and began to scribble my thoughts about why I thought the scene I was about to attack was too tedious to write. (more…)
It’s been some time since I’ve posted for Poetry Friday, but inspiration struck a moment ago, so I decided to pounce. Is it too soon to hope I’ve finally recovered from my bout with writer’s block?
Today’s poem is inspired by my kitten, Zelda, who is turning out to have quite the personality:
My cat thinks I’m her prey.
She stalks me through the house,
Crouching on the stairs
Or behind a curtain,
Just waiting for me to pass
So she can pounce.
~By Amanda L. Webster (more…)
Do you consider yourself a “real” writer? Why or why not? What makes a writer?
Earlier this week, my 12-year-old came home from school with a booklet of poems he’d written for his English class. They’d read the book, Far North, by Will Hobbs, and had to write several poems about the book in a variety of forms.
I was more than just a little impressed with some of the poems my son had written, so I asked him if I could share one on my blog for Poetry Friday, which is sponsored this week by Random Noodling. This is the poem he chose for me to share:
Clint (a name poem)
Could you see that plane fly by
Like a bird
In the sky
Now the plane is going down
The bush pilot Clint was never found
~By Corbin DesJardins
And I wanted to share one more. This place poem was one of my favorites in Corbin’s collection: (more…)
It’s April. The poetic vibes fill the air as our collective minds turn themselves to poetry for National Poetry Month. I haven’t shared anything for Poetry Friday in several weeks, but I’d like to get back in the habit, at least for this month.
I wrote a lot of poetry last fall while taking a course in writing poetry for children and young adults, but I haven’t written much since. I’ve noticed that if I’m reading poetry regularly, the poems flow from my pen (or keyboard) with little effort. But, when I’m not reading poetry regularly, I just get the occasional snippet. And if I don’t sit down right away and work that snippet into a full poem, it just sits in my pretty poetry notebook and goes to waste. (more…)
Today I’m writing a story about something that happened to me about 13 years ago. I don’t know how you feel about the passing of time, but for me, 13 years is a LONG time ago. So, I can remember major details, but some of those minor details have me questioning my memory. In this particular story, there is a nasty fight and an unfortunate incident with an apple pie. But I can’t, for the life of me, remember which happened first. Dilemma, dilemma.
So, what do you do when you’re writing about something that actually happened but can’t remember such important details? And what if you can remember the details, but the story works better if you rearrange events? I’m not writing a memoir, simply using actually happenings as the basis for a short story I’ll pass off as fiction. All names will be changed to protect the identities of those involved, of course. (more…)
- ABaAabAB rhyme scheme.
- Often all lines are in iambic tetrameter: the first, fourth and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines, thereby making the initial and final couplets identical as well.
Solitary Muse (more…)
I’m one course and a thesis paper away from completing my masters degree in professional writing at Mount Mary College, and I’m feeling pressed to decide on a specific career course. So yeah, I’m a writer: but what kind of writer am I? I’ve written poetry, short stories, parts of novels, but for a long time I’ve struggled to find that one niche that I am really passionate about. Until I recently discovered YA.
Okay, so I’m sure I’ve read plenty of YA novels in the past. I’ve occasionally read some of my son’s books, and he’s getting into that age range. And, I’m quite sure I read tons of YA when I was a YA myself. But until recently, I haven’t really studied the genre.
While taking my poetry course this past fall, I read Crossing Stones, a novel in verse by Helen Frost, and I just LOVED that book and form. I then read a few of her other books: The Braid, Diamond Willow, and her latest, Hidden. All great reads. I found a lot of inspiration in these books and began to wonder if I could write something similar myself. (more…)
In my poetry class this semester, we have discussed several different poetry forms, and I even attempted a few different forms myself. I’d like to to approach this week’s Poetry Friday with a discussion of the Cinquain form.
In researching this form, I found that there are a few different acceptable approaches to writing the Cinquain, each with its own benefits and challenges. For my poetry assignment, I researched the various types and wrote three different poems using Cinquain patterns found on the Teacher Webspace website. The following is an explanation of each individual Cinquain pattern, paired with an original poem by myself: (more…)
Every good writer, poet or not, knows that good writers spend the majority of their time on revising and editing. Some experts say it’s 20% writing/80% revising, while others go so far as to spend 90% of their work time in revisions. For this week’s Poetry Friday (sponsored by Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference,) I decided to share a revised version of a poem I wrote a few weeks ago for my poetry class. (more…)
Still too busy with NaNoWriMo to do much else, so for this Poetry Friday, I am sharing two final favorites from I Feel a Little Jumpy Around You: A Book of Her Poems & His Poems Collected in Pairs, collected by Naomi Shihab Nye and Paul B Janeczko. I finally finished the entire collection and must now get it back to the library!
I feel a little jumpy around you.
Like when I think a house has
roaches, and I watch everything
out the corner of my eye to see
if it crawls away.
By Harryette Mullen
And here’s poem #2 by Paul B Janeczko. It’s about a daughter, but I feel it applies also to sons (of which I have 2.) (more…)
This is this writer’s life today on this beautiful Poetry Friday:
- Kids dressed and fed and off to wherever it is they need to be today: Check
- Morning walk and shower: Check
- Breakfast and coffee: Check
- E-mail reviewed and inbox somewhat emptied: Check
- Facebook caught up on for the moment: Check (BTW, go check out my Facebook Fan Page and like me.)
- Morning pages written: Check