Category Archives: Ann Dee

Three Thing Thursday

From Cheryl:

 

From Me:

Following the excerpts above, write either place or description that breathes life into your story.

Feel free to share.

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Filed under Ann Dee, Exercises, Setting, three thing thursday, Voice

Three Thing Thursday

LoriAnne:

For the first time in a year, I’m not in a writing class. And it’s weird.  My writing group is sort of on hiatus since last semester ended. So there isn’t anyone I feel accountable to. I don’t report a wordcount to anyone, or turn in a revised chapter. I’m forced to examine if I’m going to write every day, on my own, without the points tied to grade, like a carrot dangling in front of me. Do I do what I say I love to do?

I’m happy to say yes, I am writing, and enjoying it. I’m having fun watching my characters unfold and surprise me. It’s not as often as I should be writing.  It’s several times a week, but not daily.  I’ve decided to set some personal goals in this season of goal setting — one short-term daily goal, one mid-range goal, and one long-term goal.

1.       Writing is like exercise – it’s better to do even a little bit every day, than to do nothing and atrophy, or try to do a huge marathon session in one day and have a stiff brain and wear yourself out. Just 100 words keeps your creativity muscles toned and ready whenever an idea presents itself. I always feel better about the day ahead of me if I’ve written in the early morning. I’m not looking at writing as a chore anymore, but something I do because there are moments of fun for me. Those moments are coming more often than they used to, so I keep plugging away. My only problem is do I write or do I exercise? Writing is winning hands down – literally. My hands are down on the keyboard instead of on a yoga mat.

2.       My mid-range goal is getting my writing group back together. We miss each other, and I enjoy their stories, and their insights on my story. A once-a-month meeting should not be that hard. Hope they are reading this. I’ll be sending an email today, girls 🙂

3.       Set a long-term goal, like attending a conference, and sign up where possible to meet with an editor or agent. I’ve signed up early and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to do more than sit and enjoy the speakers. This way I can make progress towards my goal of getting published. When you sign up for a workshop or writing conference, plan to have something critiqued, then let your daily writing work towards writing your piece a little every day.

What strategies are you using to set your writing goals this year? See you at the conferences!

Carol:

Last night, Ann Dee Ellis, Kyra Leigh and Kristyn Crow traveled to my class to speak about writing. Each girl has a book coming out this year and they all read from their work. AMAZING!

Carol Again:

Don’t forget Friday’s party!

Go here to register: http://www.wifyr.com/events/

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Filed under Ann Dee, Exercises, First Line, three thing thursday

Frozen Friday

Just a moment to say what I would have said on Monday if I hadn’t had a daughter in the hospital.

This new year?

I have so many hopes for what’s to come.

Last year was so hard.

We started the year off losing our sweet and amazing Debbie and ended the year losing hilarious and wonderful Rick. Before and after those terrible days, more people we loved left this earth life and moved on. It’s been a long, hard time.

Today, though, I’ve been thinking how I’ve already fallen behind with my goals.

But each day is new, right?

Each day I can stretch and reach and hope.

That’s how I hope to treat each moment in this joyous new year.

Ann Dee, Kyra and I hope you have a perfect 2017. Sure, there’s going to be hard times. But there’s going to be a new moment, a new chance, and always we’ll have the opportunity to write for the love of words and kids and ourselves.

Happy weekend!

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Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Kyra

Monday, Monday–Are You Writing? Three Hints.

I mentioned last week Ann Dee and I came up with the 25 words that our story is about. Here’s the thing. Having an idea, knowing what your story is about, makes it easier to write.

Hint–Know what your story is about. Knowing this Major Dramatic Question (which is answered with a yes or no) gives you the direction to take your story. When you know this then character can move the plot.

 

Each morning, I’ve tried to give myself time to complete a project I MUST finish.

Like having the MDQ, I’ve set a specific word count for myself.

Having a word count gives you a concrete goal.

Hours sitting at your computer is NOT the same as putting words on the page.

Hint–What is your concrete goal? Have you reached it each day since you started? Can you see progress?

A few places to land after you have written to see what other people have done with their word counts:

http://writerswrite.co.za/the-daily-word-counts-of-39-famous-authors-1

http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/word_count.htm

FYI–There was a third article for you to read  from someone who jumped up their daily writing word count from reasonable to far too much. I read the first lines of this author’s first pubbed book and it was pretty crummy. So.

(I am not endorsing anyone of these. Just giving you something to read to keep you from writing. Ha! Read AFTER you write!)

 

Don’t rewrite now.

Not yet.

In our new book, Ann Dee and I can already see what will need to be done, but we want that Dirty Draft down.

If we edit and rewrite and fix and change, we won’t be putting down the new words.

Hint: Allow yourself that shitty first draft that Anne Lamott talks about.

Here’s something to read.

Anne Lamott on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity

So keep going.

Are you having fun?

It’s nice to reach goals, huh?

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Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Exercises, Plot, Revision

How are You Doing?

Ann Dee and I completed part of our goal this evening.

I went to her house.

I saw her cute kids and cute husband.

I looked at her library books.

We talked.

She asked questions.

We laughed.

We said, “Good idea,” to each other.

We got too complex.

But now

we sorta know where our newest novel is going.

We have the 25 words (or less) elevator pitch. We have our MDQ.

We know each of our main characters’ wants.

Maybe this means we’ll be able to get our dirty draft done by the end of the month.

What did you do today?

How is your writing coming?

Are you happy with this first real day of of our July Writing Quest?

Let us know!

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Filed under Ann Dee, Plot, Writing Marathon, writing process

Be Very Afraid

So a week plus ago, Ann Dee and I sent in the book we wrote together to our agents. The rewrite. It’s ready for submission. Woot woot!

Before we started our project, way back when, we decided we would write something we had never done before.

We would take some risks.

We had three pages (maybe) of a dark dystopian with elements from history. (That we still need to write. And we will. I think.)

Then Ann Dee sent me a new beginning and we wrote a middle grade novel exactly like the things we would both write on our own.

I love it.

It’s hilarious. And sad. And delicious. There’s lots of talk of food.

(Ann Dee is one of the best writers in America. Yes, I believe that. How did I luck out getting to write with her?)

GingerBelle Co. That’s the title. For now.

For me, it seems perfect for a sequel.

And a sequel to this kind of book is exactly the kind of thing Ann Dee and I write.

We’ve spent plenty of time giggling about how we were going to write something different and how we did exactly what’s comfortable to both us.

 

As we got closer to the end of the novel, I started bugging the lady with the five babies under the age of four, about our next book.

We sent each other ideas.

Brainstormed.

Wondered out loud.

Went for a treat and talked.

“It has to be different than what we’d normally write,” Ann Dee kept saying.

And I kept saying, to every idea, “No. We write that already. We write that already.”

 

Why should it be different?

My dear friend, a writer I love and admire, Matthew J. Kirby, told me that I should write the book I’m afraid of. Matt knows I’m terrified to even think a thought that may include a fantasy element.

He’s right.

Fantasy? I can’t even think a fantastical thought. (And when I shared my one fantasy idea with Ann Dee she said, “My heart’s just not in that.” She wanted to laugh. I could tell.)

Fantasy is different for me.

It’s scary.

 

I’ve done it a few times. Written what I was afraid of: THE CHOSEN ONE.  GLIMPSE. THE HAVEN. Those topics all terrified me.

What happened when I let myself explore these scary ideas?

I ended up writing books in new ways. At least new ways for me.

That meant anguish. Fear. Tears. And some joy. Joy because I succeeded.

 

After going back and forth for about a month, throwing ideas at each other and keeping Matt’s suggestion to be afraid of the next thing we write, Ann Dee and I may have found it.

Our new project.

It’s absolutely terrifying.

Historical. A terrible time in history.

A different culture.

I’ve been thinking of this idea less than 24 hours and I am afraid of it. Really afraid of it.

But if we add a dose of what we love, things Ann Dee and I are comfortable with, we may be able to pull this off. Things like family. Love. Sisters. Humor. Sorrow.

 

So what absolutely frightens you?

I really want to know.

 

 

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Filed under Ann Dee, Character, CLW, Family, Life, Plot

So Last Night

Ann Dee and I went to dinner with a bunch of amazing women and while we were there I said, “I think our book is almost done.”

And Ann Dee said, “No it isn’t.”

And I said, “You don’t think so?”

And she said, “No, I don’t.”

And I said, “Yes it is.”

And she shook her head and the people who were listening to us looked at us like, “Are they gonna fight?”
We weren’t. ‘Cause Ann Dee would win.

 

This conversation shows you how you can work on the same project, for the same amount of time, reading the same words, and see something differently.

“It’s about family,” I said.

“It’s a mystery,” Ann Dee said.

“There’s a sorta mystery in it.”

“You keep saying it’s about fathers.”

“It is.”

(Sigh)

 

In a little bit, I’ll write the next section of our book about families. Before the book comes out, Ann Dee and I will come up with a less-than-25-word explanation of the novel. It may or may not include fathers and a mystery.

 

As you work with your partner–don’t worry.

Write with faith.

Push yourself.

Do things you would never do on your own.

Love it.

Hate it.

Just do it.

 

If anyone has written with someone this week, please feel free to talk about it here.

We wanna know if YOU know what you’re writing.

😀

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Filed under Ann Dee, CLW