Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas, Writing, & the New Year

I spent everyday before Christmas writing, revising, and editing and now find that now that Christmas has come to pass I have done nothing in over a week.  This is very strange because it seems like for months all I've been doing is working on one story or another making sure to tweak things every time I turned around.  Now though that the holidays are upon us I seem to have just stopped still.  Nothing has been accomplished which is now driving me crazy!  My husband has even noticed that I mention at least twice a day that I should be working on something but the guilt of not spending time with family & friends prevents me from doing so.

I know Christmas isn't a great time to work on writing because this is the time meant for family, friends, and remembering the reason for the season. (Sorry for the cliche.)  Still I find that I have some great idea that I need to write down with no time to do so.  I'm sure I'm not the only person who feels this way or has this problem & I know I won't be the last.  I've always wondered how writers do it.  How do they find the time during the busy holiday season to work on anything?  I find it hard to find enough time just to write this short blog let alone tweak a chapter or two.  So how do people find enough time to crank out an entire book during this time of year because I know that some do.  Please let me know your secret please?

The new year seemed so far away just a couple of weeks ago but now it's only less than five days away.  Another year has passed and I find myself getting another year older.  My dream of being a published writer is one year older than it was before but now seems closer than ever!  I know that in this new year that there will be great things ahead of me!  I'm not making a resolution because I don't believe in them!  I'm making myself a vow though.  I vow that I will finish at least one of my novel's and I won't rest until I know I've done everything in my power to get it published!  That is something I hope everyone who has a goal will do!  Because if you won't put any effort out to make your dream come true why would anybody else do it for you?

Well I hear someone calling me so I have to go.  I will leave you with this.  If you have a goal make it come true because one day you will look back and regret it if you don't!  Merry Christmas everybody & have a wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My "How To" on writing

My husband mentioned the other day as he does every so often that he too has a story in his head but it has grown to be so large that he doesn't know where to start.  After having him explain what he wants it to be about and who his main characters are I realized that he doesn't have a clue as to where to start.  Then I realized that a lot of people have the exact same problem as he does.

The first piece of advice I gave him was to make a list of characters that are crucial in telling your story.  If a character isn't needed or you could use another already established character to do or say what you want then cut the one you don't need out.  Only keep what you need.  If a character isn't useful then they really shouldn't be there.

Once you've paired down your character list then you should figure out if what you are wanting to say can be summed up in one book or should you break it up into a series.  If you have a large group of characters with back stories that need to be told before you get to the juicy stuff so that the reader isn't lost then a series is your best option.  A series will allow you to tell a large group of characters stories and cut some characters from your list if you still have some hanging on.

The next thing I like to do is I come up with a working title.  It isn't always what I stick with but it does help steer where my story goes.  A title is the most important thing when it comes to a story other than the writing its self.  If the title doesn't grab the readers attention then it really is letting the story down.  My rule of thumb is if I look at the title and think I wouldn't read it then it needs to be changed.

Another tip is to make an outline.  I know that this is something that high school teachers tell students all of the time; but it actually works!  An outline will help keep you focused if you aren't the type of writer who can just see where you left off and jump right in.  It will also keep your story focused and keep it from getting all muddled up.

The most important advice that I gave my husband and I will give to you is to just have fun!  If you yourself can't love and get lost in your story then chances are a reader won't be either.  Put your soul into your writing no matter what genre you're in.  If you aren't invested in it then just move on!

I hope my advice will help my husband or whoever stumbles upon this blog.  I know that what I have said here really helps me when I have a huge idea but I'm not sure where to start.  No matter if it helps or not I hope what someone really takes from this is that writing should be fun and take you on a ride that leaves you wanting more!  Good luck!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

...About the plot bunnies

I find myself sitting here in my little apartment writing my first blog and realizing that I need to explain about my blog's title.  It is a funny story really.  My husband loves reading fan fiction and is always hitting up his favorite site in search of new updates.  When said updates aren't available immediately it is not unheard of for him to go around complaining about those "Dang Plot Bunnies!"

The first time I heard about these plot bunnies I asked the normal question of what he was talking about?  He just looked at me and smiled saying that it was what one of his favorite authors said.  When I inquired further he gave me this explanation:

Picture this in your mind. A ball of dust under your bed that is normally referred to as a dust bunny.  Well if you are a writer those said dust bunnies are little tiny plots waiting under the bed to POP out just to distract you from the story you were currently working on. When these plot bunnies do this you are forced to put down your current project and start working on the new idea that just popped into your head. This causes projects to be delayed or to be never finished.

When I asked him again where he got this he said that the author he was referring to would put this at the end of their updated story as an explanation as to why a story wasn't finished or why they had started a new one when the old one was still incomplete.

After thinking about this for a while and laughing about it every time I pictured little bunnies dressed as Rambo waiting under my bed just to give me another idea I decided that this was a good way to explain things.  My husband loves when I write and always complains when I mention I have a new idea.  Now I know that it is normal for writers to have multiple plots at one time. I also now know who we have to blame for those multiple plots too. Dang you plot bunnies!