Sunday, July 18, 2010

Me on Writing Distractions

so, to be a total nerd, i'm going to make a list of things that have distracted me from writing. these are all possible reasons why it's taken me this long to get to... (checking the Word file) 66,517 words and 268 pages.

wow, that sure is a lot.

okay, distractions, cause i meant to write this thing about half an hour ago. crap.

#1: the Internet

i love the internet. ever since i first experienced it in the fall of 1999, i've been entranced by its ability to feed me useless information. over those 11 years, it's evolved, as has my way of accessing the Internet (i love you, new laptop), but now it's become overwhelming. you can do everything over the Internet (mostly, as far as i know), and it has the ability of sucking my will to write straight out of me.

the subsections of Internet distractions are: e-mail, news websites, weather websites, Wikipedia, Twitter, Google, webcomics, and the list could go on for days.

#2: TV

this is a big distraction when i haul my laptop down to write in front of the TV, because then the bright flashy pictures grab my attention away from a white page with black text.

#3: Books

now, i love books. i recently bought a lot of books to read because i love reading books, but reading and writing can't necessarily happen at the same time (unless it's an audiobook, and even then it's tricksy). usually i'll use my awake time for writing, then read for a bit before i go to bed. sometimes i'll write and then conk out and the reading has to wait. sometimes, like today when i read Maggie Stiefvater's 'Linger' in the span of a few hours, reading takes over.

i'm not against reading, it's actually quite helpful, but you have to share time.

#4: Music

i lied, music isn't a distraction. searching for music to write to, however, is.

#5: Life in general

i used to loathe going to class, because that meant i had a bunch of the day ripped away from me, leaving me with fewer hours in which to write. now, it's more like housework and general house upkeep, but that time (used properly) is good for totally zoning out and thinking about what you want to write next, so keep a notebook handy when you're vacuuming the living room.

#6: ... ummm, is there a number 6?? Twitter could be number 6 all on its own.

oh, Twitter. how I love yet hate you so.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Me on How I Write

i don't mean like a schedule thing, like from 9am to 11:30am i write, then i eat lunch, then at 1pm i get back to it until dinner, then again at 7pm until i go to bed and so on.

i mean the process i use, and my thoughts on outlining versus discovery writing (or, as i always thought of it, writing by the seat of your pants).

when i first got the idea during a YA fiction creative writing class last October/November (thank you to Cathy Stonehouse and the other 4 girls in that class), i went out and bought a little notebook to write down all my ideas in (why i was in a YA fiction class is a whole other story).

in the beginning all i had was a standard family feud idea, which turned into a werewolf pack family feud idea.

i have this issue with reality and why i wish we did have vampires and werewolves and shapeshifters and the like wandering around. some days, reality seems a bit boring. i get that people have interesting lives, and that i have to actually leave the house to have an interesting life, but it's that extra pop of the abnormal and the unexpected that draws me in.

once i wrote something about shifters that ran a bar, but then there was an electrical fire and they had to deal with the aftermath. it was normal, but there was that splash of the paranormal.

(end mini-rant) ;)

so, back to last fall. i started writing down a bunch of ideas in this little notebook, like character descriptions, setting/location/time period info, and a rough outline of plot ideas. now, it's about half-full and it's become a catch-all of plot point ideas, edit ideas, fine-tuning characterization, writing music suggestions, and possible sequel book rough outlines.

i'm wary of writing a totally detailed outline with fiction. when i wrote lit papers in university, i really needed outlines. with fiction, as long as i know vaguely where i want to go, i stick my headphones in and write. if i stray in the little fiddly details, it's because a better idea popped up. if i stray in a big idea, then i really have to think about why i strayed.

i know where i want the story to go, that's so important. as long as i know the destination, the journey can be as fast-paced or twisty and confusing as it wants to be.

now, as i've been working on this WIP over the last few months, and especially the last few weeks (thanks to Patrick Alan, Tawna Fenske, and #1k1hr on Twitter), i've had some good edit ideas. i've worked them in to what i'm doing now, and it kills me to keep from going back and editing before i've finished but it has to wait.

i watched a friend of mine get stuck in the revision loop, where she wrote something, got into it, then went back to edit, then went back to edit, and so on. i don't want to get stuck in that.

for the moment, my process involves writing when i can, writing to music as often as i can, and editing and revising once the first draft is done.

plus enjoying the day long plot epiphany i had yesterday. :D