Category Archives: Exercises

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

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

Monday, Rainy Monday

Three Things to Help You if You’re Staggering Along with NaNoWriMo.

I’m behind, but I’m writing. Trying to every day unless something comes up (like last week’s headache).  Here are a few somethings that might help you as you try to keep writing this crazy number of words. All this brainstorming can be counted in your words for the day.

  1. We’ve done this exercise before. It’s a good one. Set your timer for, say, thirty minutes. In that time, write EVERYTHING that could happen to your character. EVERYTHING. He blows up. He dies. He changes into an alligator. He fights his best friend. His best friend wins the fight. He kisses his best friend’s girlfriend. He kisses his best friend. As you’re writing anything and everything, think about what’s happened so far in the book. What crazy things could go along with that? Write out of that box of This Must Be and go for things you didn’t expect. Think of moving the story forward with plot or dialog.
  2. Write a list of all the scenes that you know must come still. Add these things two things to your notes–sense of place and emotion. You don’t need to go in depth, but how do you feel as you’re writing? What emotions are stirred up? Put those on the page. Who will be in these scenes? Write their names down. Write these ideas a little more slowly and, if you feel like it, complete the scene. Scenes will make your novel.
  3. Skip one hour of TV, of using your phone, of being online–whatever. Give that up every day for just one hour and write as fast as you can during those moments. What’s your word count now? Was it worth missing Grey’s Anatomy? Of course! You’re closer to that 50,000 words! Woot!

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Filed under CLW, Exercises, Uncategorized

Tomorrow . . .

we begin.

How many of you will participate in NaNoWriMo?

Once again, I shall try. And we’ll see if I make it past week one. Or day two. Ha!

I have lots of questions for you to consider for tomorrow and I have this awesome quote from a NaNo leader here in UT.

Gatanathoa says, “Every word you write counts unless you delete it. Make the planning part of your writing. Have two docs, one for your musings and one for the outline. Every thought you have put in the musings doc and everything that makes it into the story put in the outline. In no time you will have your novel all planned out and you will be able to start the full story.”

I’d never considered this. But I will use it in my writing over the next month.

Now, a few questions to consider as you brainstorm.

Can a free write help you get started?

How can that free write play toward your novel, so that it not only counts as numbers totaled, but is a useable scene?

Who is your main character?

Who is her enemy?

Write a scene between the two.

Do you know the climax of your novel yet? Do you have an idea? If so, can the scene play toward that?

What does your character really want?

Name ten ways you’ll stop her from getting that ‘thing’ she wants.

Can any be expanded into a scene?

What is your first great line?

Who is the love interest?

Write a scene with him/her.

That should get you started.

Good luck!

Oh, and here’s this: WIFYR will be hosting a reward party! Our group goal is 400,000 words OR, if you’re in the middle of a masterpiece, a second group is editing 2000 pages (8 pages a day per person). All who meet their goals are invited to come to the reward party. Whether your goal is 20,000 words or the full 50,000, or you’re editing 8 pages a day or 15, this month is a good time to reach your goalsClick here to join the group or email us at wifyrdoesnano@gmail.com.

 

 

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Filed under Exercises, First Line, writing process

Three Thing Thursday on Friday. Again.

CHERYL SAYS: I remember the story of a speaker at a conference I attended. She related the tale of a man who had married an incredibly beautiful woman. A few months into the marriage, he came to his mother, feeling like he was at his wit’s end.
“She doesn’t work, she doesn’t cook, she doesn’t clean, she doesn’t do anything, Mom. What should I do?”
His mother responded, “You married her for her looks. Go home and look at her.”
Do you have sentences and paragraphs like this beautiful wife? If they aren’t pulling their weight, you have to cut them loose. Every sentence needs to move the story forward. Never, ever, alter your story to make your prose fit. The story is king. Everything supports the story, or it has to go.
For me, it’s easier to save these little darlings in another folder, telling myself that someday I’ll find a home for them. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. But I know that my story is stronger for having dumped them.
I think part of the reason that it’s so hard to cut these sections stems from fear. What if I never write anything this beautiful again? What if this is the best sentence in the entire novel? What if I’ve already peaked?
Get rid of these thoughts. Every time you write, you become better. You are stronger, you are wiser, and your words will reflect that. Not only will you write something as good as the lost prose, you’ll write something better.
CAROL SAYS: So that idea of planning for NaNo? For sure, I am a pantser. (WordPress wants me to be a panther. My girls want me to be a cougar. But I am a lowly writer who never plans.) It’s hard to plan out what I’m going to write. I just don’t want to. The thought of deciding what goes in chapter one and being smart like Caitlin Shirts?
So here’s what I am doing. A Carol Plan. Easy and not restrictive.
I’m jotting down every idea of what COULD happen in my books.
Everything.
Night before last I couldn’t sleep.
Wrote thought after thought of what could happen to my Wrasseling Gals. The more I thought about it, the more possibilities came to me.
The truth is, I know I won’t make it in NaNo without forethought.
We’ll see if this helps.
AND:
Martine Leavitt‘s YA novel CALVIN has won the Governor General’s Literary Award of Canada in the category of literature for young people.

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Filed under Exercises, Family, Life, Uncategorized