Category Archives: Exercises

Merry Christmas Day 5

Ann Dee always makes it snow on our site at this time of year. Have you noticed?

Once, when I was in Florida (which is where I grew up) is got so cold the water dripping from our hose (to keep the pipes from freezing) formed a four-foot icicle. Mom and I were so surprised, and excited, we took a picture by frozen water.

Imagine your character has never seen snow. It’s her very first experience. In 250 words, write about this event, using all the senses. If you only know snow, you are going to have to stretch. If you’ve never touched or walked through snow, or seen 25 foot snow drifts on the side of the road, you’re going to have stretch, too.

Here’s is the second part of the challenge. Think outside the box. No glistening. No freezing. No sparkling (Geez. Am I describing a vampire?). Make this new and original.

 

 

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NaNoWriMo, Lemon Trees and Blossoms

A few weeks ago my youngest and I transplanted my lemon tree into a new pot. Every year we get one HUGE lemon from this tree and I was excited that the one lemon I had-pollinated, still clung to the branch.

Low and behold, when Carolina and I moved our tree, it rejoiced and burst out in blossoms all over!

Yahoo! More hand-pollination for me to do! The promise of more lemons!

But this growth got me to thinking. I take very good care of my southern plants. I have two orange trees, a clementine, a lime and two lemons. I have a couple of hibiscus and I’m even growing ginger (three pots full). Still, my lemon needed more love than I had given it. It needed room to breathe and stretch. And when I gave the tree what it needed, I was rewarded with blossoms.

This is sorta like our stories. Here we are, writing with our heads down, trying to get a specific number of words each day. This is exactly what we should do during NaNoWriMo. And at this point, we should be in the just-after-the-beginning of the middle of our novels. That  horrible awful icky yucky-ducky place that I slog through every time I write a book. We might be feeling a little stuck. Or root-bound.

Why not shake things up a little? Loosen the roots of your book. Allow your story to blossom. How? By asking yourself a few questions. Here are a few that may shake things up for you.

  • Am I allowing my character to move the plot or an I forcing the story to go the way I want it to?
  • Am I adding far too many characters? Too many subplots? Too many useless words just to make word count?
  • Am I feeling a forward movement in the story or have I gotten stuck because of wrong moves made in previous pages?
  • Do I trust myself, my story idea, my creativity, my characters to move the story toward the climax of the novel?
  • Do I know where I am headed? (By now, I think you should know what the climax of the story will be.)
  • For the sake of numbers, am I adding useless bits and pieces that may throw me off course during revision?

Hopefully these questions will give you an idea of how to grow a bit more during this exciting month of NaNoWriMo. And I mean that. This month should be a growing month, an exciting month, a frustrating-but-I-did-it, fun month!

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Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Exercises, Family, Kyra, Life, Uncategorized, Writing Marathon

Preparing for NaNoWriMo

On Thursday I wrote a long list of things we could do to prepare for NaNoWriMo and for some reason, when I went to post, it wouldn’t.

I pitched a fit and stomped off.

Went to the TH evening party and it was a lot of fun.

Never resent.

You have today and tomorrow to think about a few questions so you can jump into NaNo a little more prepared.

BTW, if you want to play with WIFYR, email Bruce here: wifyrdoesnano@gmail.com and make your goals. Bruce will add you to the list. The goal is 1,000,000 words as a group! Woot woot!

Novel questions:

  1. Who is your main character?
  2. What does she want?
  3. Have her write a note to you.
  4. Ask her 25 personal questions and write this interview down.
  5. Who are her friends?
  6. Her enemies?
  7. Her family?
  8. What is she afraid of?
  9. Can she sing?
  10. Dance?
  11. Is she funny?
  12. Snarky?
  13. Does he have a crush?
  14. A true love?
  15. What is the scariest thing that can happen to her?
  16. Will it happen to her?
  17. What do you see as the climax of the story? Do you have a general idea?
  18.  Name three things she will lose during the telling of the story.
  19. Are you trying to teach a lesson?
  20. What are you willing to give up to complete your 50,000 words?

Also, every Thursday evening, from 7-10 pm we will meet at Kyra Leigh’s house, eat and write.

Last year this was a lot of fun. This year it will be even more fun because I won’t have to clean every TH in anticipation of people arriving at my home. YAHOO, KYRA LEIGH! Anyway, if you want to bring potluck (which is what gets you into the house) and write for a few hours with fellow NaNoers, let me know. We have room for about 15 people.

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Filed under Ann Dee, Character, CLW, Exercises, Kyra, Plot, Voice, Writing Marathon, writing process

TWO DAYS LEFT!

Today!

Tomorrow!

How will you finish the challenge?

We hope you’ve been writing.

I know I have tried to write Every. Single. Day.

Hint:

Put your head down.

No need to try and make up lost time. Just WRITE today.

And tomorrow.

Enjoy these last two days.

Love your words.

Love this chance.

Love your story.

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Eight Writing Days Left

How will you spend your last week + one?

Will you write every day?

Have you done well so far?

What is the biggest thing you have learned about yourself during this past writing experience?

My advice today is you can do this. Even if you haven’t written a word this whole time, you can start today and write for one hour. Each morning or each afternoon each evening. Or you can do as a dear friend of mine did and write 15 minutes at time until you have logged your one hour.

Big breath.

We’re  counting down! Eight Writing Days Left!

Can’t wait to hear what you have done!

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We Start Tomorrow! Our Writing Challenge!

August 15 through September 15, 2017

There are 32 writing days (including both fifteens) in our challenge. Have you chosen the time you want to write?

Have you set a goal for yourself?

My goal is 1000 words during that hour. I’ll probably write first thing in the morning, when the house (not including the hounds of the Baskervilles) is mostly quiet. After I’ve helped Mom but before the sun is really too high in the sky.

During the next 32 days (except for Sundays), Ann Dee, Kyra and I will leave you one writing hint or help each day.

So. My friend Trent Reedy (who is one of our teachers at WIFYR next year) organizes his office every time he finishes a novel. I’m not sure if that is from conception to sale and final revisions or what. But there is something cool about that.

My first hint for today is for you to check out your writing space. Do you have everything you’ll need for tomorrow’s start? Are there notecards? Have you already written character descriptions? Ideas of what might happen? Do you need your desk to look neat? The pillows fluffed on the sofa if you’re writing there? Is there a pen handy?

My second hint is to prepare a reward for each day. You decide what it is. Tomorrow I shall lunch with Cheri after the morning festivities. But I can’t do that every day (unless I win the PCH 15,000,000 dollars). The reward might just be writing the day’s word count (I like that kinda stuff!). But I’ll know by tomorrow what my reward will be.

My third hint is to keep a piece of paper, where you can see it, to log in your word count and how the writing day went. Watching those numbers grow will keep you motivated.

Okay, Everyone. Take a deep breath. Have a party, go to bed early, prepare however you must. We’re starting the writing challenge tomorrow!

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One Pound of Gold Hidden Where?

If you were going to hide gold, where would you put it?

I have to admit, I love gold.

A lot.

And our writing, when done well, is as shiny as gold.

That’s my goal: to write as well as possible.

#45

Your writing prompt today is reading.

Read this great article, and maybe even buy the book.

http://www.openculture.com/2015/05/10-writing-tips-from-legendary-writing-teacher-william-zinsser.html

I love William Zinsser. I’ve never read this book, but I know I would love what he says here, as I believe these ten hints are genius.

PS Check out the links below the article for more things to read before you write today.

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