March 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm (Uncategorized)
Tags: goals, inspiration, novel writing, stories, time management
Lots of thinking going on about my writing in the past week. I’m enjoying watching the views add up on my Yahoo! Voices page as people read things I’ve written. I had two items due on Wednesday that proved more difficult than I expected. I wrote a four hundred word entry on Easter memories that took a little time to get started but then the angle became clear as I thought about how my memories center around going to my Grandmother’s for vacation the week after Easter and weeding her flower beds. That became Easter Vacations in the Country. It was my favorite place to be and where I’ve returned to live and raise my own daughter.
The second piece was a bit more difficult. I decided to write a Western. I don’t know what I was thinking. It’s never been my favorite genre but images of Little House on the Prairie flashed through my head and I thought I could do it. Actually, I had a halfway decent idea, about a strong woman who leads the family, but not in time to really write it properly. It turned into something pretty hokey. I’m still trying to decide whether to invest the time to save it or leave it as the hokey western romance it turned into and move on.
Thursday night was our writer’s group meeting and I decided to share a science fiction short story for feedback that I wrote for a contest, (which it didn’t win.) I was surprised at the strong reactions it drew. They generally thought it deserved to be a novel. I’m really considering working on that. If I could write one page a day even, that would be 365 pages in a year’s time. But where to start? I don’t have a big vision for this. It’s going to take some thinking.
March 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm (Uncategorized)
Tags: writing exercises, writing skills
I’d like to challenge you today, to challenge yourself. Step outside your own comfort zone with your writing! Expand your creative mind and try something different. You may not be interested in writing in a different genre, or style, but like a singer who strengthens her voice by singing scales, you can strengthen any writing ability you already have by expanding your range.
There are many different ways to do that. At the beginning of every writer’s group, we pick prompts and write for twenty minutes, usually on a topic we hadn’t been thinking about until we picked up that little slip of paper. It’s a common writing exercise to strengthen our creative skills. If you’ve never done it before, you’re missing out on something really fun. It may not turn into anything useful. On the other hand, it could spark an entire story, article or novel.
You could also try your hand at a genre that you’ve never tried before or that you might even feel a slight aversion for. I’ve never really cared for the horror category but several years back I tried writing a horror story for a web site and it turned out to be very well received. Likewise, poetry is not my first instinct, though they do occasionally pop into my head. For me, it takes a different mental state to write poetry. We’re having a poetry writing workshop at my library on Saturday though and I’ll be there. I think writing poetry is a great way to strength your skills at imagery and playing with words.
One of my favorite self-help gurus, Martha Beck, recommends doing something in a different way every day to challenge your brain. She talks about walking a different way to work or eating with your non-dominant hand. Strengthen your writing muscle today with a new exercise. It may be just what you need to see things in a new light. Follow the adventure, see where it leads you.
March 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm (Uncategorized)
Tags: inspiration, prompts, publishing, Yahoo! Voices
It’s funny how we can write something down, tuck it away then come back to it months later and not even remember writing it. I have a habit of scribbling down little notes and bits of dialogue then tucking them in a pocket in my bag so that they won’t be lost to the recesses of my brain. I just got a new tote bag and pulled all my notes out of the pocket of my old bag to reconsider. Is it worth keeping or should I toss it? A couple notes popped out at me as good prompts. Feel free to see where they lead you.
“Sins of omission, causing pain through what you fail to do.”
“Write the story you’d want to read.”
I’ve published several pieces on Yahoo! Voices in the past month or so, a couple new ones just this week. There’s a little poem based on an image, a science fiction short story, another flash fiction based on the night the tornado hit, and more. I keep hoping another will be featured as the little flash fiction was, but nothing so far. They seem to be going through some changes just at the moment. I’m still waiting to see how things shake out there.
My goal in putting writing up there is two fold. First, I would love to make some money off my writing. (I half jokingly refer to it as my debt reduction plan. Anything I make off my writing goes toward reducing my debt at the moment.) Second, and perhaps most importantly, I am trying to bring my writing to the notice of those who might be out there perusing writers. One of the short stories I published this week, Devolution, is a piece taken out of my science fiction novel in progress. In a post pandemic world, Sarah and her brothers search for civilization. My pie-in-the-sky hope is that a publisher might happen upon the story and ask to see more of it. At least it’s not hiding in a drawer somewhere.
Do you have something lurking in a drawer somewhere that deserves to see light? Why not get it out and find a way to share it?