Friday, July 30, 2010
I thought I would share it again because I would like your thoughts on the topic...what makes you a writer.
Read it (or reread if you were one of my early followers...thanks!) and then share your "writerly traits" with me!
When my old roommate started law school, the school had a special night to prepare the new students for the three years that lay ahead. My roommate came home with a bunch of pamphlets that reminded me of an abridged version of the book WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING that you give to newly pregnant mothers.
After I started working on my manuscript, I realized that pregnancy and law school weren’t the only places that needed information pamphlets. I decided to create my own list of what to expect when starting a manuscript:
*You will protect your external drive like it’s your first born child. In fact, your hard drive may become even more important than your first born child
*You will find the strangest places to write down story ideas: receipts, napkins, parking passes and maybe even texting lines to yourself from your cell phone
*You will act out parts of your story in the car, laughing at something a character may say, and stop when you turn and see the person in the lane next to you staring at you
*You will also find people asking you if you’re okay when you’re deep inside an emotional part of your story. You’ll have to assure them that nothing is wrong with you, but your characters may be another story.
*You will get to know the first names of all the workers at your local office supply store, as you buy mass quantities of printer ink and paper to perfect one single manuscript.
*You will hear somewhere that showers cause positive ionic charges in your brain, and suddenly feel the most creative in the shower. You will start to take long showers just to try to get ideas out.
*You will find yourself scowling at people who have the same name as an antagonist in your story
*You will develop rituals in order to procrastinate about writing. Your writing may depend on that one special pen, the right table in a coffee shop or song on your ipod.
*You will find yourself with a new obsessive compulsive disorder causing you to hit the save button on your computer hundreds of times while you are writing after you lose a piece of your writing for the first time
*You’ll convince yourself that the piece of work you lost was the piece that was going to win you the Printz, Pulitzer or National Book Award
These are just the start of the examples I’d include in my pamphlet. I’m sure you can add more…what else would you add to the list!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
My main squeeze picked the winner...
Thanks for entering and here is all the great writing advice that you shared with me:
*Playlists! I write best when listening to music, especially if certain songs speak to my character.
*Don’t self-edit! Wait until later before you edit otherwise you’ll second guess yourself.
*If the juices aren’t flowing, don’t try and force yourself to write anything serious.
*Dance parties to celebrate victories and really motivating for finishing.
*Brainstorm with a buddy.
*Write what you know
*Give the who, what, where, when and why.
*Adopt a plain writing style
*When stressed out, eat a cookie.
*When editing, read the manuscript from back to front.
*When querying, make sure you’ve got your genre right.
*Grammar—live it, learn it, love it!
*In the time you just spent whining about how you don’t want to revise, you could have revised two pages.
*Spring House Balsam fir candles. If your story is set in a forest and you live in the city, these can take you straight to the woods as soon as you light one. I’m big on scents when I write and have different candles for each story.
*Don’t write what you know…but rather write about what you care about.
*Love your writing like you love your dog; unconditionally. It might not always be perfect, but at the end of the day, you can’t live without it and it makes your soul smile.
*Completely ignore the editor on your should while writing. The little demon isn’t there to improve your writing, he’s there to sidetrack you so you never finish.
*The biggest one is to just sit down and write. Everyone thinks they can write a book, but very few take the time to do it, and that makes all the difference (of course, if they had a pen that smell like watermelon, I think they might be more motivated).
*Go see something artistic and brilliant. I do my best thinking about movies, symphonies, art galleries….I always feel compelled to write after I’ve beheld something triumphant someone else has tossed out into the universe for us to enjoy.
*Write something everyday.
*Read everything (books, blogs, etc.) and apply what inspired you to your writing.
*Spring House candles, Ipod music that fits whatever work you are currently writing and homemade sugar free vanilla lattes!
*Don’t let anyone discourage you from writing. If you want to write, write.
*Read other books
*Finish your novel
*Keep you butt in your chair and write everyday
*Write what you want to read. Forget about everyone else's thoughts/opinions and tell the story you want to tell. Go with your gut.
*Always go for the highest stakes. What is the worse possible thing that could happen?
*Kill those babies (things you love in your writing)...the new ones will be better!
*Read Stephen King's On Writing
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
In case you want to take a break while writing, you'll win a pair of these awesome straw glasses. Your liquid travels around your face before you drink and apparently, they look pretty hot on a date when drinking milkshakes!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
He's OBSESSED with the Kindle and can't really figure out why I have no interest in one (uhm...it might have something to do with the actual physical act of reading a book and all the senses that are involved when you're not just reading uniform words on a computer screen, but who am I to judge!?).
Anyway, I e-mailed him my document of CANARY and it showed up like an actual book (okay, it is an actual book, but it now looks like a published book. You know, like one you can buy through Amazon.com!)...
And it reformatted it all (although there were random times it didn't want to indent throughout the book). If I wanted to, I could sit and read my entire book on the Kindle...
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
They had a lot of old way jets like the one behind me...
And planes were taking off every ten minutes or so (like this big one, which was LOUD)...
Anytime we go anywhere that might possibly involve sitting around, I make sure to pack heat (aka...a book).
I made my main squeeze take a picture of me with my latest read Looking for Alaska.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
I think a lot of my love for the book has to do with my love of traveling and early experiences of leaving the country (which reminded me a lot of Sienna).
I student taught abroad in college and spent a semester in Costa Rica. I had never traveled outside the country alone before this trip and was amazed at how much I grew and matured while there.
Reading Sea inspired me to scan some pictures of my trip, so I could share the country with you through my 22 year old eyes. I traveled there a week after September 11, 2001 and it was a very weird feeling to be outside of your country at a time when it was coming together so closely. That experience alone is a story itself that I need to sit down and write someday.
Here's my host family's house outside of San Jose...
And my host family's kids!
My classroom (I taught English 10, 12 and Drama at an American International school, so they all spook English and used the US curriculum and books. Those are quotes from Macbeth on the wall. Teaching Shakespeare to kids who don't speak English as their native language was a challenge!)...
I directed a production of Grease while there...
The beach that reminded me of The Goonies....