NaNo Blurb

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NaNo Sponsor

Thanks to Blurb, NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty and producer Grant Faulker had a live webinar last night. They touched upon what NaNoWriMo is, tips to complete the event, tips to write in general, and about their own personal writing habits and ideas.

It was free and only an hour long. Since it was live, there were people typing away on the chat box and Chris and Grant took questions from that and answered them.

I have to admit, I ended up paying more attention to the chat box than I did to the speakers. Some of the people who attended were interesting. Plus, there was over 1,600 people so the chat box was updating constantly. It was pretty distracting.

Yet, Chris and Grant had some interesting tales to tell and tips to share. For those of you who missed it, feel free to watch a recording here. For those of you who love to write and especially to the ones who participate in NaNo, I would watch it.

Blurb is also a sponsor of NaNo this year. Upon hitting the 50,000 word mark, Blurb will give you a code to have your novel in a softcover trade format book. So it’s like getting a copy of your published novel, except it’s not actually published. I think they’ll give you an ebook copy as well, which you can sell. You’ll have to look at it for yourselves.

There are ten days left until NaNo begins. Are you ready?

I’m not.

How To Write Good

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B0J5cVZCAAAoA6m

 

I found this picture while scrolling through Twitter. I found it to be amusing, so I figured I would share it with all of you.

In other news, I am currently preparing for my sister’s wedding tomorrow. I have the rehearsal dinner tonight, the actual wedding tomorrow, and then Sunday… I will most likely be sleeping all day.

I will not be posting again until Monday.

What about Short Story Sunday? I didn’t write one. I didn’t have the time to this week… or last week for that matter. Sorry about that, guys. I’ll get back into that habit next week.

Until then… have a good weekend everyone!

David Congalton

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Everyone remember me discussing the movie Authors Anonymous? Well, welcome to day three of discussing it… even though I technically just mentioned it in yesterday’s post.

Anyway… after posting the first time about my watching the movie, I got a pretty big surprise in my e-mail the following morning. David Congalton had somehow come across my blog. David is the screenwriter to the movie Authors Anonymous. Pretty cool, huh?

If you read my post, you would know that I didn’t “love” the movie and didn’t exactly “rave” about it. So, when I realized who he was I felt a bit anxiety coming on. I felt guilty for not loving the movie and… well, what are the odds of the screenwriter coming across my blog? Then I said to myself, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. What I like, others dislike and what I dislike, others like.” So, the movie wasn’t my cup of tea. You win some, you lose some.

Despite all that, David is really nice and I’m flattered he read my blog let alone taking the time to write to me. He sent me a link to read the actual script for the movie, which is pretty cool.

I’ve always thought about writing scripts. I used to when Script Frenzy (a sister site of NaNoWriMo, for those of you who do not know) was around, but when it got shut down I started focusing more on my novels. I had two scripts completed, but lost both of them when my flash drive died almost two years ago. The ideas are still in my head and I plan on writing them again eventually. They just might be in novel format instead of script. Either way, if I ever do get back into script writing, I have a real life example of how to format it and what it’s supposed to look like.

I e-mailed him back and from there he sent me another reply explaining his inspiration for the movie and the characters as well as some background about the movie and how it came to be. He also sent me a link to an interview he had about the movie which gives a little more insight as well as the hardships of writing and creating a movie. The article was published in the magazine Psychology Today. I encourage you all to read it whether you write scripts, write novels, or are just reading this blog because you might be lost (if that’s the case, thanks for reading this much!).

Apparently the Authors Anonymous idea formed in David’s mind eight years ago originally calling itself Scribble. Even though David is discussing his script, the same rules go for novel writing. Except… we’re not dealing with directors and actors, but close enough.

My point is David spent eight years on this idea and didn’t give up. I have been writing for 11 years now with five unpublished manuscripts… some aren’t even edited yet, I’m ashamed to admit. I think it’s about time I get moving and start seriously thinking about publishing.

I’ve sent a few things to agents and publishers and even submitted to magazines and such, but no dice. I know nothing is going to happen over night, but I tend to take extremely long breaks in between sending stuff out. It’s hard between working full time and school full time among other life happenings, but it’s just something I have to do. I want this as a career, which means I have to actually work for it… just like the characters in the movie. Who knew a movie I wasn’t totally into would end up being so inspirational?

Thanks, David!

Movie Inspiration

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Participant-2014-Web-Banner

Even though the Authors Anonymous movie I discussed in my last post wasn’t my cup of tea, it still inspired me. You know how when you hear about someone getting published or you see a movie about writing or you just read a book, you tend to get into an overdrive to write?

Well, remember I had that idea called The Writer’s Group? It was about three unpublished authors getting together after meeting on a writer’s group website and together they go through all the stages of writing. I never finished it; I don’t think I got very far with it. I tried different variations of the story and nothing ever really sparked. I do hope to write it someday, but it won’t be anytime soon.

With that being said, I think I decided what to write for NaNoWriMo next month. I know I said I was going to finish Far Away, but I think I’m in the mood to write something completely new.

Kris told me I should be a pantser this year because I’m always stressing myself out with outlines and such. Starting a brand new idea I know nothing about will help with that. I have the two main character names and the basic gist of the plot down, but that’s about it. Before the start of NaNo, there are a few more things I want to figure out, but I’m not going to outline. I want to have at least a decent summary to post by November first, anyway.

The two main characters are college students who meet in their creative writing class, but neither one of them have plans to be a writer. That’s all I have so far… I don’t even have a title (despite what my NaNo profile says). I noticed that whenever I lose motivation to write, I end up writing about writing. Ironic, huh?

So there you have it. After going back and forth so much, I finally decided on a project. Here’s to hoping for another win.

Authors Anonymous

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Authors Anonymous

Today my friend Nickie came over for a visit. A while ago we discovered a movie titled Authors Anonymous. Since Kris, Nickie, and I all like to write we decided to give the movie a shot. When we first discovered it, we realized Kaley Cuoco (Penny from The Big Bang Theory) was in it. So, how bad could it be? As we watched the movie we recognized a few other people we knew as well. It just recently came onto Netflix, so we made a lunch date to watch it together. Well, it has two out of five stars on Netflix and it has 4.4 out of ten stars on IMDB. We figured we’d give it a try anyway and at the very least we could all have a good laugh making fun of it if we didn’t actually enjoy the movie.

You can look it up yourself, but basically the movie is about a group of five unpublished writers who get together once a week for a writing group to share and critique their work. One of them gets signed by an agent and then all hell breaks loose. Jealousy grows in a few of the other group members and everything spirals out of control from there.

The movie was alright. I can’t exactly say I “recommend” it. The movie itself and even some of the acting was “blech.” However, there were some great lessons to be learned from the movie.

There was the one who got signed by an agent because she actually sat down at her computer and wrote. She did the work and put her heart and soul into writing.

Then there was the one who was the “pretend writer.” He edited as he wrote and wanted nothing more than perfection.

There was the “idea” guy who only came up with ideas, but never actually wrote anything. He was a pretty good character, though.

There was the two most jealous ones in the group once the other member got signed. One self-published without any research; therefore, none of his books sold as he never advertised and some things in his novel got messed up. The other one personally went up to agents and basically said, “I’m a great writer! Publish my book!” as she tried to speed up the process.

Then there was the good guy who, like the published one in the group, did everything right; however, he claimed he always had “writer’s block” because he was so focused on everything else going on in his life and… well, maybe he was a bit nervous, too. He had a whole wall with rejection letters taped to it.

That description lacks and is probably a bit confusing, but I don’t want to say too much just in case any of you will actually want to watch the movie. If you do, it’ll be a long hour and a half. But… as you can see, the characters vary when it comes to different kinds of writers. In that sense, the movie was good. If anything, it shows you what not to do when it comes to writing.

Oh, and how not to act when one of your writer friends gets published before you.

Growing As A Writer

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Kris quit her job a couple weeks ago. She was constantly working and hasn’t really had a vacation in a long time, so she decided to take a month or two off before finding something new. In the meantime, she’s going to focus on her future writing career.

Due to this wonderful decision, she and I are able to have our writing dates at Barnes and Noble again. Starting this past Saturday, she and I are going to spend every Saturday morning at B&N for a few hours to write or edit or whatever we need to get done. This is great because I’m always so busy with homework and such that I can never guarantee myself that I will get writing done every day. Saturday will be like a catch-up day for me.

So, as we all know, I decided to outline Far Away this month so I could finish writing it for NaNoWriMo in November. Well, my laptop was dead because I forgot to charge it the night before, so I brought my hard copy of Take Over to B&N with me this past Saturday. Kris and I were there for at least three hours and I only got six pages done. Part of that was my getting distracted at nothing, but also because the first draft is a little bit… well, terrible.

On the first page, I rewrote two paragraphs and cut out the rest of the page.

wpid-20141006_061240.jpg

The second page looked a little bit better, but again… it didn’t make much sense.

wpid-20141006_061249.jpg

Needless to say, it took me a while to get through the first couple of pages.

Kris was proud because she said, “Look! You’re growing as a writer.”

You know that feeling you get when you finish writing something whether it be a full length novel, a short story, or even a poem? You get a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. You feel successful. It doesn’t matter whether it came out good or not, you completed something. Well, that’s how I felt when I finished writing this manuscript.

I wrote Take Over for Camp NaNoWriMo way back in April 2013. When I finished writing this novel (this was before I started writing Detective Florence), I thought to myself: This has got to be the best first draft I’ve ever written!

A year and a half later and I’m realizing just how wrong I was. I read the first sentence of the novel, turned to Kris with a look of disgust on my face and said, “I already don’t like this.”

I even considered re-writing Take Over for NaNo this year and let Far Away wait a little bit longer. However, it’s going to take me a while to re-read and edit through the first draft of Take Over, so I think I’m going to just stick with editing it for now. I’m most likely going to be re-writing it as I edit anyway. When NaNo is all said and done, I’ll worry about re-writing Take Over.

Out of all the pieces I’ve written between April 2013 and now… who knew I was actually learning along the way? It doesn’t feel like I’ve been learning, but I must be doing something right.

 

Short Story Sunday #27

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The title lies. I didn’t have a short story written for today. I’m not going to be home today to write a story, either. But… I did find a notebook with haikus in it that I wrote a long time ago. So here’s three haikus picked out from that lot that I thought were the most interesting. Enjoy.

The beginning starts
Middle is most important
Finally the end

Writing is not just
Words on a piece of paper
It is a passion

Painting on the wall
It shows creativity
Never wash away

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