Someone give me a kick in the pants. >.<

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I’m sure everyone has noticed how little I’ve been posting here recently, although in my defense I’ve posted 12-13 new blogs on The Written Connection. I’ll confess to you, it’s because I’m doing something very new and hard on my novel, and even though I haven’t written a single word on the novel itself, I’ve made a lot of progress.

Remember how I said I was trying noveling in reverse? It helped a little bit, but the same issue that has been cropping up over and over again happened even trying to write that way. The last chapter I mentioned writing is still usable, but every time I fill in a plot hole, regardless of which end of the novel I’m working on, it changes something else that I just wrote and I lose yet more words.

I’m tired of chasing my own tail this way. I’ve probably written and deleted 500,000 words just trying to get this paltry 60,000 exactly the way I want it. Enough is enough.

So I’ve been working on something new since my last blog post. Newer than noveling in reverse…I’m outlining. I write down each chapter, what happens, what’s going on in each plot thread, and how to resolve the plot hole in that particular section. So far I’ve gotten 3 chapters done, and yes, I’ve had to go back and make some changes to several chapters to make those changes work.

The difference? It’s a one line sentence of what I’m eventually going to change rather than a full chapter with thousands of words I need to completely rewrite.

I’m also dashing out to the store to get myself a piece of posterboard to graph this bad boy on. If it works, I’ll show it to you. ^^

Happy writing everyone! I’m diving back in for another go.

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Announcement for The Written Connection

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While you can still find The Written Connection at http://www.thewrittenconnection.com/ I am no longer updating it because my computer crashed horribly, and gaining access to that website is a nightmare on my laptop. Since wordpress itself is a lot easier to access on my stoneage hunk o’ junk and my snazzy droid, I’m going to move all the old posts over to…

http://writerblogs.wordpress.com/

and continue adding new writing related links there. ^^ Meanwhile, I’ve got something else to share…

Ta-da!!

Now you too can share the love by linking your fellow writers together with the snazzy button above! ^^ Eventually I’ll get the HTML code all put together too, so you can just be lazy and cut and paste.

That’s it for now. Happy blogging fellow writers!

To a little girl: Thank you!

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Somewhere on this bright sunny day in Washington, there is a little girl who did a big thing for a beginning author. Obviously the odds are quite low that she will read this, but if she does, if she finds this blog, I hope she realizes just how much her simple action means to me.

What great huge thing did she do? What marvelous action of heroic preportions?

Today, I left my notebook in the ladies bathroom of the local library, while carefully remembering my coat and purse. The notebook was precariously close to the sinks, which had suffered from a day of concerned women ridding their hands of germs.

Soap and water are not good for notebooks.

Oblivious to the fact that my notebook was in immediate peril, I strolled out of the library, mind completely submerged in what I’d just spent over 2 hours on sitting in a chair in the library–the ending to my novel. (Not the last chapter mind, but the two chapters or so before that.)

I was getting excited, because these chapters represent a gap in the story I have to date been unable to fill. They represent far more than just a few words in a 90 cent notebook. They represented a very large portion of my heart.

Needless to say when I got home and trotted up the stairs to write all these jewels into my novel…I was not pleased. Where was my notebook?

I thought backwards, and realized just exactly where I’d left it.

Fortunately, when I returned to the library, panicked visions of what might have become of it in my head, I found out the truth.

Some nice little girl had rescued it from the sinks, and carried it to lost and found. I don’t know her name, but I do know she comes to the waist of the library lady, who was tickled by the sweetness of her good deed and wanted me to know about it.

I’m not tickled. It wasn’t just a sweet little act of goodness. It was an outright rescue. I’m so glad someone cared enough about my work (or at least about a 90 cent notebook) to take it to lost and found.

So I thank you little girl. I thank you.

What do writers really need to survive?

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I’ve been thinking about Hawaii rather a lot lately. I’m not sure if it’s the place I miss so much, as the wealth of experiences I absorbed. I drew my first serious picture in Hawaii, waiting for my laundry to finish at the laundromat. I went kayaking for the first time. I went snorkeling for the first time. I had my 7,310th near death experience snorkeling, actually…which lead to a brilliant idea for a story, but never mind that.

I spent all day, every day, for 7 days with my husband. He usually works 7 days a week, so the fact that we had that much time together was priceless. It was such a beautiful time for me, and though I didn’t write a single word while in Hawaii, I’ve written thousands since that have greatly benefited from that trip.

Thinking back on it, I sort of wonder if experiences like these are necessary for the everyday writer. I’m not talking about needing something as grand as a trip to Hawaii, but needing to have new experiences if not daily, than frequently?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one. Are you a writer? Do you have this need? How do you fill it?

Please share. I look forward to your comments.

Noveling in Reverse

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I said I was giving up on novels, but in my defense, I also said I was gonna finish my current manuscripts first. I don’t know what happened yesterday, but it struck me that the obvious way to resolve almost every issue involving A Mage Without Magic is to try writing it backwards.

Yes, that’s right, backwards.

You see, I love getting my characters into trouble, but I’ve never been all that good at getting them out of trouble again. Last night, I woke up around midnight, with the perfect vision of how the last chapter of my story would go, and I wrote all 1,500 words of it the second I had the thought.

Of course, that leaves how she got to the point she’s at, but at least I know who is with her in the end and who isn’t. ^^ Makes the rest of the story a lot easier, since most of my writing involves a whole lot of stumbling around in the dark.

1,500 is also the most I’ve ever written on any story all at once, so no laughing at how little it is. I’m so proud of myself!

Now seeing as that worked, let us see if I can figure out which of my characters wants to control a whole bunch of mages, and how s/he gets stopped.

Hmm…

One of these days I’ll get it right…

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5 replies back for my short stories, 5 of them rejections, all of them fairly positive ones. I seem to be suffering from an inability to send the right story to the right publication, which I suppose is better than suffering from an inability to write well.

So far I’ve been told my pieces are too contemporary, too long, too short, or not quite the right tone. All publications invited me to submit again, or revise and resubmit same piece. None of these rejections hurt my feelings overly much, but invites to resubmit always make me happy. ^^

I hope everyone else is doing good with their writing.

Dialing in your creative mind.

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My loving husband showed me his undying affection yesterday by buying me a gun. It’s a 10/22 Ruger, second-hand, with enough gunpowder residue hiding under the bolt to make me wonder if it has ever been cleaned. Believe it or not, I’ve wanted this gun ever since I found out it could hold a 50 round drum, vs. my .22 bolt action, which I love to shoot, but don’t love to load.

What does this have to do with writing? Well, when he bought me the rifle, he also bought me a scope. And the scope my friend, is not dialed in. This means that when I shoot at the target with my 10/22…I don’t hit the target. We spent all yesterday at the range, shooting endlessly, trying to get it accurate. It now more or less hits the target, and we both agree it needs to go see a gunsmith.

Being the writer that I am, I couldn’t help but compare this to how we authors learn how to write. We hear a lot of complaints in the writing world about writer’s block, and how to deal with it, and I’ve never heard of a single writer on earth who got tired of reading a pro rehash his writing schedule for the umpteen thousandth time.

Why is that?

Well, as my husband was looking through the spotting scope, yelling things like “A little to the left,” and “higher” and seeing his hand reach over every once in awhile to adjust the dial, I realized…that’s why.

I think there is a writer in everybody. I think we all have an equal chance of making it to the bestseller list. The difference between those who have writer’s block, and those who don’t, isn’t how much talent you have, it’s how dialed in you are to that talent. We do writing exercises, try new genres, take new classes, not so much to improve the talent that is already there, but to see if that brings us closer to being the writer that we are.

We’ll never be Nora Roberts, or Stephen King, because that’s not necessarily how we focus. We can be that good, but only if we stop mimicking the greats, and start teasing out what writing style makes us great in our own right.

Anyway, that’s my two cents for the day. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and how you’re coming along in dialing in your writing scope.

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