Discomfort as a Source of Inspiration

Posted on May 20, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Staying-With-It, Writer-Tools, writing, Writing-Exercises, Writing-Tools |

Nobody seeks out discomfort, but if you have it then why not make it work for you.

Write about it. Describe it. Capture your beliefs, thoughts, feelings, actions, and consequences into words. How many ways can you write it, and re-write it, to describe your misery du jour?

Even if it is temporary, if you “bottle” your discomfort this way, you can capture an essence that can be far more vivid than anything you might possibly write when the air conditioner comes one.

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The Spammer as a Work of Fiction

Posted on May 16, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Writer-Tools, writing, Writing-Exercises, Writing-Tools | Tags: , , , , |

At some point, someone will start writing stories about spammers and trolls and other internet monsters and hobgoblins.

With a bit of ingenuity, they can be interesting characters. After all, as a writer you can paint them in any way you want. Fiction presents a canvas in which you can use broad strokes to produce the picture that you desire.

Imagine a spammers’ club. What picture of words would you paint?

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Working with the Absent Self

Posted on May 3, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Writer-Tools, writing, Writing-Exercises, Writing-Tools | Tags: , , , , , , |

On the Writer Block blog, a wonderful piece was written about working with the absent antagonist.

Consider writing a piece, or several pieces, in which you work with the absent self. In this piece, you write about what people do, and say, when you are not present. What do they say about you? Or, do they think about you at all? Perhaps you are the center of your universe, but you are not the center of theirs.

What happens to the players in the drama of your life when you remove yourself from the equation? Are you as missed as you think you might be?

On the other hand, whose people do you touch that you tend not to notice. What about the person at the post office or people at the shops you frequent? If you were to move 1000 miles away, would your life or theirs be affected in some subtle way.

What happens when you write about your life, working with the absent self?

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Replenish the Grammar and Style Well

Posted on April 24, 2013. Filed under: Blogging, Staying-With-It, Writer-Tools, writing, Writing-Tools | Tags: |

We often hear that we should take time to refill the well. This metaphor speaks of a pause that allows us to reconnect with the source of our creativity.

But consider that we need to refill the well in other ways. Working on grammar and style is often just that: work. But, if you want to “work” as a writer, then you need to tune your process. Emitting words into a medium is not sufficient for most of us.

Consider a purchase of a style guide such as the classic “Elements of Style” by Strunk and White. Consider it a fine meal, and devour it slowly, over days and weeks, so that you may develop mastery in your craft.

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More Transition to KM Tools

Posted on December 14, 2010. Filed under: Blogging, Life After Nano, twitter, Writer-Tools, Writing-Tools | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

First of all, all BOTD:  http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/structure-part-7-understanding-genre/

Found that blog via Twitter, and I thought it was an interesting read.  Not sure which of her three types of writer I belong in.  I think maybe I’m a “born” type, since everything I write is really some kind of variant on the “psychological thriller.”

That said, I have installed the Beta 4 of Scrivener.  No extensive testing, yet, for me as I continue the migration from Scrivener to my KM tools (including Treepad).  However, my plan (now) is to do this: (1) write daily using Scivener and using it as my main tool; (2) export that daily writing to my KM tools, (3) output (daily) from Scivener to Word (the whole enchilada); and (4) backup everything (Scrivener, Word, and KM tools).

Still haven’t written today, and may not restart until I’ve finished moving everything (done so far) into KM tools.  With my unfinished Nano novel, I can tell that I am in the middle of the plot, and I can see several viable endings.  This week, and December, are a bit weird, and I may be away for a week or longer at a time as other projects may pre-empt my writing.

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Scrivener Beta for Windows Expiration

Posted on December 11, 2010. Filed under: Life After Nano, Writer-Tools, Writing-Tools | Tags: , , , , , |

Just finished exporting my unfinished novel from Scrivener into Word 2007.

The Scrivener for Windows Beta claimed an expiration of December 12, 2010, tomorrow.  And, it also said that an upgrade would resolve that problem, with the commercial release to be early in 2011.  2011 is not here, yet, but the new beta has the same expiration date.

I spent yesterday’s “writing time” (my time allocated for writing) on researching this issue and installing the new beta release.  I’ve now spent today’s writing time on exporting the project.  Scrivener does have some excellent features for writers, but this problem does not leave me with much enthusiasm.

At this point, I am a little unsure as to whether or not I will stick with Word or start using one or two KM tools that I know are stable and predictable.  Maybe I’ll write it using Treepad.

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Starting to Pick Up Speed Again

Posted on November 16, 2010. Filed under: Staying-With-It, Writer-Tools, writing, Writing-Tools | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Devoted a fair amount of time to Nano today.  Have been learning a new program for writing: Scrivener.  Mostly just using it to write lately, but spent some of today learning its organizational tools, which are its strength.  Looks good so far.  Using the “full screen mode” seems to help my productivity; cranked out close to 2,000 words today.

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10 Great Resources for Writers

Posted on October 24, 2009. Filed under: Writer-Tools, Writing-Tools | Tags: , , , , |

While nosing around Twitter, #NaNoWriMo and #DFWRhinos, I came across 10 Great Resources for Writers.  Thought I would pass it on.

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WOTD Making Writing a Priority

Posted on April 24, 2009. Filed under: Staying-With-It, Writer-Tools, writing | Tags: , , , , |

Today we examine a website (rather than a blog). Actually, we are focused on a single topic: “make writing a priority.”

First of all, we consider Sandra Miller again. She focuses on schedules and scheduling.

Shane Werlinger at Suite 101 adds the idea of writing goals.

I think that these are the beginning. Depending on how much of a nerd you are, you could also become as sophisticated as a project manager, or you could be as simple as giving yourself a gold star. (Don’t laugh; sometimes that kind of thing works!)

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BOTD: Sandra Miller’s Tips on Character Development

Posted on April 23, 2009. Filed under: Writer-Tools, writing | Tags: , , , , |

BOTD (Blog of the Day) is Sandra Miller’s tips on character development.  From that site:

Remember when you are doing character development work that although your main concern is the parts of that character that are relevant to the story, that isn’t your only concern.  Anything about your character is worth writing down, and you never can tell when the oddest detail from your character sketch will actually show up in the story.

Sandra also provides Character Development Exercises and a Character Development Template.

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