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Showing posts from October, 2013

Pace Yourself

I just finished reading a book that's gotten rave reviews from writer-friends of mine.  About a third of the way through, I was starting to wonder what was wrong with me.

I didn't like it.

I muscled through the rest, and while there were parts I enjoyed, overall, it just didn't do it for me.  (Nope, I'm not naming names.) Now, a good part of my musing over this book was just me letting myself admit that I didn't care for it, plenty of other people did, and that's ok.

Let's repeat that.

It's ok to not like The Book that everyone is raving about.

Then, being an overanalyzer, I started thinking about what it was that got the pass from me.  It wasn't the characters (loved them) or the plot (the basic concept was great) or the setting/world-building (I want to go to there).  It was the pace.

And isn't that just the worst?  The thing that I hate--HATE--trying to fix in my own manuscripts is pace.  It's hard.  Pacing is hard.  But a pair of little …

NaNoWarmUp Halfway Point

The month is close to half over (where did the time go!), so the big question is--how is this on-the-clock writing experiment working out for me?

Not bad, as it turns out!


The first week I shot out of the gate and surpassed my goals.  That. Was. Awesome.  Everyone talks about how keeping tabs on your word count goals and progress makes you accountable to yourself--in a sort of "Tsk, tsk, Self, you didn't hit your goal yesterday.  Back to the grindstone, now, Self.  Get crackin'."  But I feel like the awesomeness of seeing yourself meet and even surpass your goals isn't talked about enough.  It's a great feeling.  I think I may start keeping a spreadsheet just to see those tallies, because it's inspiration enough to come back tomorrow when you reflect on how well today went.

The second week--not as great.  I had my excuses.  One big one.  It was this little imp's first birthday party:


and that kind of took over my life for the better part of the week. …

Staying Focused (or, Avoiding Shiny Things When You're a Magpie)

Today's NaNoWarmUp community question is a really good one--how to stay on task with the WIP when shiny new ideas crop up at the rate of mushrooms after a spring rainstorm (or in my downstairs bathroom, but that's a different story entirely).

I've touched on this before, and I stand by it--writers are mapgies. Creativity magpies, at any rate, and we're drawn to the shiny things our own minds create.  And create they do!  Because I think most writers are creative, imaginative, layered, interesting people whose minds are constantly churning and probably look a lot more like that shack in A Beautiful Mind than the "after" pictures of an organizing makeover.  I tend to think that ignoring those creative impulses isn't beneficial--bury them too long and they start to atrophy.  But you can't go running after every sparkly new idea and expect to finish everything, either.

What to do?

I give in--but only a little.

When an idea strikes that I can't shake…