Tag Archives: story

Writing Life: “This Sucks, I Suck, Why-the-Eff-am-I-Bothering-Itus”

Today’s Writing Life post topic is courtesy my friend Rei.  HI, REI!

We all get there.  We get to that point, especially during the revision process, where we look over our manuscript and think “What the hell is this?”  We sigh and put it down, and some of us don’t come back to it for months.  We feel weighed down, helpless, listless… We don’t know what to change and we don’t know what to keep, because, let’s face it, it’s all freaking terrible and we never want to look at it again.

You’re just overwhelmed!  I’ve made the mistake of deleting and destroying every copy of a manuscript I have in my possession, and, believe me, the regret is twice as overwhelming as the listlessness.  You try to rewrite and recapture all that you loved about the story, but it’s just gone.  It’s not the same.  The characters have moved on to other stories and mystical events that only imaginary people can take part in.  (Those characters may want to revisit the story with you about five years later, I should note.  Frost Moon punched me in the face again about six months ago, as if my main character was saying “You couldn’t do it right the first time, so let’s try this again.  Now pay attention.”)

First off?

Your story does not suck.  You fell in love with the journey and the characters for a reason.  You just need to recapture that reason.   What about the story struck you to begin with?  What songs remind you of your characters?  Take a walk.  Enjoy a few deep breaths.  Think about your characters the way you did when they started begging for their story to be penned.  Don’t touch you manuscript for a few days to a week, and let the romance with your story rekindle itself.

You do not suck.  Everyone needs a breather now and then.  That does not make you less of a writer or less of a person.  Even the strongest people need a few minutes now and again to just breathe.  You are a writer.  You are a story teller.  The stories inside you won’t die while you’re taking a vacation.  I promise, in this case, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and before long, your characters will be screaming to get out again.  Just breathe.

Why the eff are you bothering?  Because you love what you do.  Because you’re filled with more than just the base need to exist.  Your purpose is to pen a story that people will fall in love with, that they’ll learn from, that will change them.  You create souls from nothing and put them on a page, parts of yourself, and you let people share in that with you.

Why are you bothering?  Because what you do is important.  It’s important to you, and it’s important to someone else out there, maybe hundreds of someones.  Thousands.  People who need a story to relate to.

Don’t sell yourself short, and always remember to breathe.

If there is anything you’d like to see covered in Writing Life, please feel free to message me.  My information is in the contact page, and my Tumblr is located in the sidebar.  Don’t be shy!

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Busy few weeks (also, I need your opinions)

So, I’ve been working 6 days a week recently, and thought that I would have the motivation to complete June’s edition of Camp NaNoWriMo.  That was a wash.  I’ll try again in August.  The exhaustion is ruining my writing process.

Then there’s the homesickness I have to contend with.  As much as I hated Webster, I liked it better than Florida.  This place is a hellhole, Jacksonville especially. (Apologies to anyone who lives here.)  Being away from most of the people that I love, in a place that is so completely inhospitable and, frankly, weird, has taken its toll.  I’m a New England kind of girl, and the mindset that Florida is putting me in has brought me down hard.

I’m trying to get a handle on it, though.  It’s hard to run a blog about writing when you can’t get any done, right?

I do, however, have ample plotting material for a piece of fiction that I’m trying like hell to get rolling on.  I put Muse on the back burner for the time being.  I’m not executing it as well as I’d like, and I need to go back and see where I went wrong and where I can improve.  The piece I’m working on has been mentioned on G&L a few times, and still has no title.  The main character is Kadri, the clone.  She’s spiffy.  I love her.

Which brings me to the point of this post:  I’ve already gotten a physician’s take on this situation, but I need the opinions of the readers of science fiction.  Ready?

If a certain group of people are genetically engineered, would they pass their alterations down to their offspring?  If those genetically engineered people only breed with one another (taking incest out of the equation), are they more likely to pass down those alterations than if they produced offspring with a normal human being?

Thoughts?

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5 Essential Actions to Take Before You Write Your Novel (via kristin nador writes anywhere)

Wednesdays are “Writing Life” day, I know, but Kristen Nador’s post on the 5 Essential Actions to Take Before You Write Your Novel is a MUST READ. No joke. I love you guys, and I want you to succeed and love what you do. So, while this isn’t my own original post… it’s advice you all deserve. <3

I really hope you enjoy it, and subscribe to Kristin Nador’s blog!

5 Essential Actions to Take Before You Write Your Novel Last week I attended the monthly meeting of my local writers group. I love being around writers who are serious about writing and improving their skills. Experienced professionals and those working to get there, all there to mix and mingle and encourage one another. There’s that faint singed smell of creative combustion in the air. Each month the group hosts different speakers who share their expertise. Some subjects covered since I started atten … Read More

via kristin nador writes anywhere

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Training to Be a Career Author–Writing is More than the Writing (via Kristen Lamb’s Blog)

My writer friends could do with this sage advice. I know it changed my views on my writing methods. Give it a read, you won’t be sorry. =]

Training to Be a Career Author--Writing is More than the Writing Many of you who read this blog desire to be career authors, and kudos to you. It is a fun job and a great time. I used to be in sales. I literally hated my job so much I would throw up on the way to work. Every day I died a little more. This might be shocking, but selling cardboard had little outlet for being creative. I just knew that writing was the life for me. Ah….but how little I really knew. I now have had two successful best-selling books, … Read More

via Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Featured Blog: A BA in BS

For my ‘Featured Blog’ post every Wednesday, I decided that I only wanted to feature blogs that offer tools or insight to budding writers.  And after two solid days of scouring WordPress, going through my blog roll (and there are quite a few of you that are on my list to be featured, by the way), and agonizing over who I would choose for my first blog post, I decided on… *drumroll*

A BA in BS by Jessi Peterson

I know, I know, it looks like I’m playing favorites, but I swear I’m not.  =P  Jessi’s blog includes a new series of posts called “The Writer’s Toolbox” and also a whole string of webinars related to the content presented at our Inkwell Imaginings (a weekly workshop and critique circle) meetings.  Along with useful tidbits like the aforementioned, you’ll also catch her posting fantastic tidbits of flash fiction and character studies.  Definitely worth a look (and a place on your blogroll) so get to it!

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A Question from a Friend

So, recently, an unnamed friend of mine sent me an email asking about writing.  I thought it would be beneficial to share the question and my answer, for everyone out there who has serious self-confidence problems when it comes to their writing.  (It’s not so uncommon as you might think!)

Dear Katie,

I want to write weird interesting stories but do you think I lack the talent? Also how many days a week should I write if I don’t have alot of time? Just curious I know I asked before lol but need your opinion. I want to write about faeries in an asylum but that’s all I can think of. lol Is any idea to weird?
Your friend [xxxxx]
My response (which incidentally sounds a bit harsher than I expected it to):
Rule #1:  Stop questioning whether you have the talent.  People may have a way with words, but writing skill is built through practice.  Write or don’t write.  That’s all there is to it.  If you want to write weird stories, write them.

Rule #2: Write whenever you feel like writing.  Ideally, every day.  But we all know that ‘every day’ just doesn’t happen all the time.  Write when you feel like writing. If you never feel like writing, but you still want to ‘at some point’ then procrastination is your problem, and you have to make yourself do it if you really want it.  When you have the time, write.  Even the busiest person on the planet has ten minutes here and there where there’s nothing to do.  Jot ideas down, or something.

Rule #3:  If you think about it, you can write it.  Who cares if someone might think the idea is too weird?  Someone else might love the subject matter.  For as many people as there are on this planet, there are just as many points of interest.  Not everyone will love it.  Not everyone will hate it.  What matters is that YOU love writing it.

So, there you have it.  That’s my opinion on the matter.  I’m no authority on the subject, and my way isn’t the “only way,” so do what feels right to you.

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Exercise 1: “Dear Diary”

Very first writing exercise for G&L! Keep in mind that there are no rules, really. Tweak the exercise as you need to tweak it. If you participate, but don’t feel like sharing, that’s just fine, too.

We all have characters that we don’t know as deeply as we should, and as a result they come across as flat and drab in our fiction. In a night class I took several years ago, my teacher insisted that those of us having a hard time hearing our characters’ voices try writing a diary entry from their perspective. It doesn’t matter if the character is your hero, your villain, or a side character whose purpose seems lost but you know belongs in your story. Even if you come up with multiple entries, as long as you provide a link (if you plan to share) you’re welcome to share as many as you like. Remember, you have from Friday until the following Thursday to send me your links to include on that exercise’s post.

To recap!

Exercise for February 18, 2011: Write a diary entry for a character you don’t know very well, detailing the bits about him/her you’re unsure about. Use his/her voice. Don’t edit, let it come naturally, and you might be surprised what your character has to say. =]

Good luck!

Entries

Jessi at A BA in BS  – An entry by George

Chris at Expiscor ex iter itineris

Moi! – A letter from Felix

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