Category Archives: CLW

Three Thing Thursday

From LoriAnne

I’ve just learned something I need to do, or stop doing, when I’m trying to flesh out my character and find her voice. I need to stop reading British mysteries. It’s doesn’t work well when trying to write a contemporary 17-year-old American girl. The MC in the novel I just finished is alternately a 15-year old girl in Cornwall in 1931, and then an 85-year old woman in London in 2003. The storyline jumps forward and backward in time a lot. Anyway, while I’ve been on vacation, I’ve been writing and reading, and what I’ve been reading is bleeding into my character’s voice, as well as my own.  I used the word “ghastly” to describe the huge ugly cacti that we saw all around this island, as we were on a bus taking us to a beach excursion. I wasn’t trying to sound British, it just came out! My husband looked at me funny, “Ghastly? Since when do you use that word?” I don’t. Normally. And the MC in my novel would never use it.  I realized I’ve been having a harder than normal time writing in a close 3rd person that sounds anything like an American teenage girl. Good thing I also brought a YA book to read. And maybe I need to hang around the cruise ship’s hot tub more. Although, with all those half-naked teenagers packed in there, it’s definitely hormone soup.

Does anyone else have a hard time developing an authentic voice when you are immersed in reading a different genre?

From Me

Every spring I think, This year I’m growing a garden. And I try. Last year? TONS of cherry tomatoes that I picked off the vine for breakfast, a few green beans and peppers and a big mess of potatoes.

Growing a garden is like writing a book–a lot of hard work. But it’s worth it.  Writing just the right word is kinda like eating those warm tomatoes. You can’t believe YOU did that. Well, with help of course.

Right now I am in a hard place in my YA murder mystery. It’s like putting together a puzzle with weird edges. But when I read some of the words I think, Maybe I can do this.

The truth is, most people who want to write books never finish. It IS hard. If we rejoice in the small things, the tasty bits, there will be more joy in the work.

 

And One More Thing

I just made up a word. Slag bottom.

Or so I thought.

http://www.google.com.gt/patents/US2004152

What word did you think YOU made up?

 

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Three Thing Thursday

LoriAnne:

Quality or Quantity?

                In every writing class I’ve taken, the question of quality or quantity comes up. Each of us has to grapple with it.  I tend to go over and over the same first couple chapters, thinking I can’t move forward in the story until the first few on chapters are perfectly polished. Do I do this because I don’t  believe I know where the story is “supposed” to go? That I can’t move on there’s a perfect beginning? Do I not trust myself?

I get in my own way and don’t make enough progress toward finishing the dang draft, and in truth, spinning my wheels on those same pages doesn’t help me become a better writer.

 I came across a writing tip that was linked to a study about a high school pottery teacher’s teaching technique. How could he help his students produce better pottery?

He required half the class to produce one perfect pot. The other half was required to produce fifty pounds of pottery by the end of semester. The pots didn’t have to be perfect, there just needed to be fifty pounds of work.

What this teacher found is that those who had to do just one perfect pot got hung up. They threw the same pot over and over. Those who had to produce the quantity, learned what worked and what didn’t. By the end of the semester, they could throw a perfect pot.

So, the more chapters you write, the better your writing will become.  I’m too close to it right now, but I know that I’ve just got to show up every day and write something new. Soon, I hope, I’ll be able to ‘throw’ a better chapter.

Carol:
Ann Dee has decided to try things that scare her. She is brave. I bet she did a great handstand.
I love this challenge when it comes to writing.
This past year I started a murder mystery. I’ve never done this kind of book before, so that has been scary.
But there’s more about this project that scares me. This is a YA. How much of this raw story should I put on the page? How do I make the murdered character likable (for a while there, she deserved to be killed because she was acting so nasty)? What happens if my editor doesn’t like this book?
What are you working on that scares you?

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Monday, Monday

Things I Have Learned in the Last Month

  1. I have found if you are always cold, your heating bill isn’t as much as when you are warm.
  2. If you make goals and then watch TV all the time, you never reach your goal. Even if you are watching all the Friends episodes. Or all the Sherlock episodes starring Engelbart Humperdinky. Or all the House episodes even when you hate House.
  3. Lots of dogs make lots of dog hair. This does not make you warmer, and yes, you will awaken with a hair in your mouth and or war. I bet even very clean Cheri earl has dog hair somewhere at her house. Maybe not in dinner, but somewhere.
  4. Grief freezes you.
  5. If you write the emotion you’re feeling when you come up with a new book idea then set the book idea aside, later when you come back to it you’ll remember why you love this new idea.
  6. The older you get the more tired you are. Unless you’re eating right and exercising. At least that’s what I’ve heard.
  7. Adult children, and writing partners, are even more naughty than little children.
  8. The more you brain storm, the more you can brain storm. This goes for ideas for new books, plots you’re having trouble with, and where to store your canned corn.
  9. Babies are amazing.
  10. Writing for just five minutes each day keeps a story alive, keeps you interested, means you’re that much closer to publishing success.

 

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Filed under CLW, Exercises, Life, Publication, Writers Block

Catch Up–Freaky Friday

Pretend Monday:

I’ve been missing Rick a lot lately.

Telling everyone I’m missing him.

Wondering why all that crap had to happen.

Wishing so much things could have been different.

I think, at the end, he was in lots of pain. But he couldn’t speak anymore, or even squeeze our hands.

Grief can inspire us to write. Or can immobilize us. I think the latter has happened to me.

 

 

Pretend Wednesday

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee:

This year Kyra will have lots of interviews with upcoming and established authors.

 

Pretend Three Thing Thursday:

1.Come to the party we’re having this month at the Provo library!

Yahoo!

January 20, potluck, lots of prizes to win!

Go here to learn more and register:

http://www.wifyr.com/events/

2. February ERIN HARRIS from FOLIO!!! YAHOOOOO!!!!

Go here (again) to learn more:

http://www.wifyr.com/events/

3. Writing Question:

What is the worst thing you could do as a writer? Take some time to contemplate this question. If you’d like, share.

 

Freaky Friday:

Writing Quotes

http://positivewriter.com/22-of-the-best-quotes-on-writing-ever/

AND

So far I have completed almost two of my three goals I made with you all.

One and one third to go!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under CLW, Depression, Exercises, three thing thursday, writing process

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

HAP-pee New Year!

Yes, I’m late!

As always.

We had an illness in the family that left one of us in the hospital for 6 days and another one of us caring for the sick daughter’s baby for 6 days.

But this is still a New Year! A Yippee, Let’s Go! year. A We Can Do Anything

Each year I write out a million goals. Last year, though, I held back. I made only 70. (I’ve mentioned I’m not one of those gals who feels badly when she fails to reach a destination. I love the way I feel when I set a goal and imagine accomplishing it.) How’s I do? Not so well. It was a tough 366 days.

This year, well, I’m still writing out the things I want to do–but I can safely say I have more hopes and dreams than a human should have. There are house goals, garden goals, personal goals, etc etc.

I found these from 2009:

  1. Read 200 books
  2. Write three novels
  3. Rewrite lost in Peace for St. Martin’s Press
  4. Blog????

And then here were Rick Walton’s goals. Hahahaha! I love him. And miss him.

  1. Read 200 picture books
  2. Pick up three novels
  3. Rewrite *A Million Little Pieces* for St. Martin’s Press
  4. Comment anonymously on Carol’s blog????

It’s been a hard year. A lot of people I love have died. People I’ve loved have lost loved ones.

Here are 3 of my millions of aspirations–just in the writing category!

  1. Finish rewrite with Ann Dee, rewrite for an editor, and draft of mystery before January’s end, and send in for review to Steve.
  2. Write a true NaNoWriMo–meaning, accomplish the 50,000 words. Now, if I am rewriting a novel then, I will set the goal as I did this last year and just do the best I can. (I sent in the partial murder mystery and I’m hoping my editor likes it. I’ll let you know if she bites!)
  3. Write a picture book with my daughter Laura.

 

We know we have at least 3 readers out there. If you’d like, put your goals here. Share as many as you’d like. Unless you’re crazy like I am. Then that means there’s not enough room.

Ann Dee and Kyra? Submit your goals, too. I’ll save them this time.

😉

 

 

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Filed under CLW, Life, Uncategorized

SATURDAY POST!!!

Five Days!

That’s it!

You have five days left!

(I’ve just used my allotment of exclamation points for all the novels I write next year.)

How’s the writing?

Are you going it? Succeeding with NaNo?

The truth is, I’ve done my best.

But I still have several writing days left.

So I’m going for it. ;0)

Here’s what dear Bruce Luck said about making it this last week or so:

Mired in the middle of my story, Carol’s wonderful Throwing Up Words post last week was timely.

Of special significance was her suggestion to list the scenes that still must come. Did that and a zillion ideas floating in the brain gained clarity. Boosted the word count, too, and Carol says that’s legit.
But how to order those scenes? So I took it a step further and created a document titled Writing Backwards. It starts with “the end” and lists events in reverse order. It looks something like this:
TE-1 (the end, minus one) final scene in which the MC reconciles with grandma
TE-2 MC visits grandma in hospital
TE-3 MC locates Angela
TE-4 etcetera, etcetera
That walked me back to where I am now. Well, almost. Middles are notoriously mirky. And mucky. It’s going to take a slog to get to the path toward the end, but at least I know which direction to head.
Thanks, Bruce. A perfect post to help us these last days. As is this one:
Says Gatanathoa (Your slightly rum soaked and piratical ML) who reps Utah County for NaNoWriMo:
You don’t need to have hours alone, you only need 10 minutes. If you can take 5 or 6 ten minute breaks through out each day you can easily get the daily word count. Everyone can manage that.
Good luck, Everyone!

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