Friday, 28 January 2011

Don Quixote Preface: On Writing

"... there is no need for you to go a-begging for aphorisms from philosophers, precepts from Holy Scripture, fables from poets, speeches from orators, or miracles from saints; but merely to take care that your style and diction run musically, pleasantly, and plainly, with clear, proper, and well-placed words, setting forth your purpose to the best of your power, and putting your ideas intelligibly, without confusion or obscurity. Strive, too, that in reading your story the melancholy may be moved to laughter, and the merry made merrier still; that the simple shall not be wearied, that the judicious shall admire the invention, that the grave shall not despise it, nor the wise fail to praise it."

(Apparently the words of a friend to the author. Good advice. For me, anyway. :P)

Thursday, 27 January 2011

ROW update 7: The slowing

The question is 'should I change my goals to fit around my life'? No! My life, while full, is full of daily habits and routines I should learn to get through with more efficiency. I should also learn to stop procrastinating. I never will, but I can try. However, I am slowing under my own expectations as I fall behind.

Here's a little graph of my progress each day. Grey bars are where I should be and purple bars are where I actually am. (This is only a recording of the days I actually write, the travelling days, if included, would make this graph look rather miserable).
I am, unquestionably, slowing down.

A linky to everyone else:

Sunday, 23 January 2011

ROW update 6

Oh my god, another? Already?

Nope. I've been too busy finishing a novel (Pull of the Yew Tree on scribophile. I recommend it, great romance.) and sitting on trains, trying to write and failing.
I have gotten further, but that was last thursday. I'm going to have to write in bouts of 5000 words apiece to get anything done on time. I will. I can. There are some days that are just for me, just not Sundays.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Writing Exercise 6: Picture Prompt

Here's a simple little thing.

1) A character learns to love what they previously hated.
2) The scenery defines their lifestyle and mannerisms... except for one out of place quirk. (Make it clear where they developed it.)
3) Pick a picture and get writing.

Paris by ~somebody3121 on deviantART

Mounts Bay, Cornwall by ~midlander1231 on deviantART

Japanese Street by =fuzzyzebra on deviantART

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Coming up with Names

Where most of my fictional names come from:

Sometimes, when the mood strikes, I sit down with a paper and pen and watch a movie. Once the movie is ending I pick up my pen and start scribbling down names from the credits that my mind latches to. It's the most noticable names that stick and, because I have very little time to think about it, I end up with a strange mix. Then I play around, matching surnames to first names and coming up with variations.

Besides, it's a great poor excuse to watch a movie.

There have been a couple of times where I overhear or see a name elsewhere that just has to be used (like the case of Ms Enguin) but otherwise, movies are my only source.

ROW update 5

I like getting those little check-in messages. If I had more time, I'd love to read everyone else's posts and offer encouragement, as suggested. As it is, the only reason I'm online right now is because my boyfriend is taking a nap. Then we're out to enjoy the city night! A rare treat, really.
I'll try and get around to it on the weekend, as well as some more critiquing. (I find it's helping me see my own writing more clearly. Double win.)
While he's still napping I want to write a couple hundred words on my book, then I can say I've gotten at least 500 done today. 

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

An Almost Forgotten Memory

Walking in the Norwegian woods, where wolf-hunting is restricted and populations are being brought back from the brink, my family and I had gotten about 100 metres from the car. On a little wooden bridge over a creek, where we stopped, the valley suddenly filled with the incredibly loud sound of many dogs or wolves baying, howling continuously. They couldn't have been more than 20 metres away, judging from the deafening volume.
We bolted for the car without looking back.
I'll never know if they were wolves, though I can't imagine someone taking a dozen dogs for a howling session in the woods.

Monday, 17 January 2011

ROW update 4

Quick check in:
When I'm at my little desk (9.99 from ikea!) I can get through a 1000 words a day with little effort. The days when I'm travelling back and forth for hours I get nothing done. I don't feel comfortable writing, squashed up against someone's shoulder, someone who can easily peek at what I'm writing.

While I'm glad not to be alone keeping up with my expectations, I wish everyone else the best of luck.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Surprisingly Catchy!

Everyone at scribophile has been so nice and helpful! I deleted my post about missing fanfiction. I do. But thats a closed chapter in my life. This is a far more adult, constructive community. Must make sure not to spend all my time there! Got to get some novelling done.

This song has been stuck in my head all day, thanks to scribophile:

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

ROW update 3

Little check in for ROW80 and I'm very happy to say that today's word count is over 1000 words and counting. Writing really is about the right environment. I love being back at my little mini-desk!

The Three Things That Stop Me Writing

Imagined Tiredness
 The ugly part of writing is starting, the fear that your writing won't express what you want, or won't match up to the quality you produced yesterday. This is not real, because I have enough energy to play games. No. Don't pretend you're actually tired. Your brain's just looking for excuses not to think. Too tired to lie in bed with a laptop on your lap? I think not.

 Wrong Environment
I can't write when there is anyone else in the house, unless I'm in a library. Silly? Perhaps. Forcing myself produces crap however. If you have a more productive location go to it! If you haven't found it, by all means search. If you're already productive, you could find yourself more so in the right sort of place.

I have to do the dishes first. I haven't written that email. Oh, god! I can't put that off, but I can put off my writing. This is the worst one for me. I have more time than I did when I was younger and at school. How come I don't write as much? I didn't have responsibilities to take care of or stress about. Apart from homework. Instead of setting aside writing time, why not set aside 'responsibility time', where you have an hour or two to take care of everything that's hanging over your head. Then you have the whole night to write. If it will take more than two hours, forget it. It can wait until tomorrow. Important stuff only. Everything else on the 'to do' list.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Two Sentence Story

In the park I told her that I needed to use the loo and she told me to go behind the tree, so I don't know why mum acted surprised when I pooed. She'd told me to.

(Just thought I'd make it clear that it's not a true story, although I think it is for somebody.)

ROW update 2

I've been putting this off since I saw the rss asking for the next update... Nada. I was supposed to start last night but try remembering the details of your own plot with only 3 hours of solid sleep and a brain made of pulp.
I can rest easy now this update is done. I really felt I had to write fast just to have something to talk about, but just changed my mind.
I know this is a bad start, worse than I was expecting, but bouncing back and rushing at the finish line is what I do best. 
Work begins today. 900 words by midnight. (And some extra to catch up.)

:) Nice to know I'm not the only one who's a bit behind:

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Writing Exercise 5: Children's Fiction for Adults

I recently bought a book without being aware that it was a children's book. I suppose that is a risk when buying online and not being able to pick up the book in your hands. But, I'm not complaining, because, like the reviews I took fancy to said, it was a great read. It was The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley. Victorian and gothic with ghosts and strange sounds. I have to say it was certainly better written than the Castle of Otranto (written for adults, can you believe). The events happen rapidly enough to read the story in a few hours and yet it lost none of the atmosphere and scenery. The amount he said in few words impressed me and was a refreshing change from Entropy, good though it was.

Anyway, that was just a little background for why I came up with this prompt:

1)Write a story with an unseen presence, that can be heard and smelt and felt. Invisible man, ghost, rats in the wall, anything.
2) The story must be written with a rapid voice. If you normally meander and describe your characters, don't! Let their actions speak and try and cram as much action into as few words as possible, like children's fiction can.
3) Try and give the colours, the tone of the story, a blueish feel. Subtely mention the blue things in the surroundings to enhance this impression.

Forgotten Fairytales by `zemotion on deviantART

Friday, 7 January 2011

One Cure for Cancer is Prevention

Here's the single most interesting TED talk I've ever seen:

It goes through the latest drugs that increase lifespan in cancer patients but also the most effective means known, so far, to prevent cancer. Unbelievable!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

ROW update

I actually haven't written a thing of my novel this week because I'm visiting family. However, I don't intend to change my goals. I just intend to start next Monday.
Managed to write a short story, though.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Journal Writing

I've started writing a journal. New Year's resolution and all, plus it gives me something to write when I don't feel creative.
However, I've stumbled into a dilemma: what to write on a slow day? The simple answer is waffle.
But I don't know how to write waffle! I struggle to put more than a skeleton of my stories on a page.
So I guess I have to learn to waffle.
It's hard...
A blank diary page awaits.