Category Archives: Plot

Freezing Friday

I have no idea if this is true as I haven’t been outside this morning. But yesterday afternoon the wind was blowing and cold and the people at Lowe’s were moving flowers into a heated room in case we had another freezing night. AND it’s supposed to snow.

Sheesh.

#25

In your work, look for ways to trim unnecessary words. Here are three examples of ways to clean up your creative writing.

~ was-ing words can become one word. I was running = I ran

~ that can almost always go as well as well, just, very, ly words, adjectives

~ Cheri Earl taught me no need to use start or begin (unless starting a car or lawn mower etc). I started running = I ran. “Let the action happen,” Cheri says.

Words are power. But you an overdo amazing writing. Many a good novel has been ruined by the words that make it up.

Remember, less is more.

You can read where this phrase came from below (if you can get past all the ads).

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/226400.html

 

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Wednesday and Prompt #23

In free verse, and taking no more than 1000 words, rewrite your novel.

Remember forward movement, characters, and use words with power. Find out what’s most important in your novel and put it in this Spark’s Notes Version.

If you need, take a few days to do this writing.

Then ask yourself, Can I do without certain things that I’ve added? Does everything I write move the story forward? Are there unnecessary characters? Does my character burn time? What can I do without? Do I go off on unnecessary trips with my character? Is my writing too flowery? What words that carry no weight can I throw out?

Really knowing your story can help you write the best novel.

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Tuesday

Hopefully, we’ll hear from Ann Dee Ellis. Her posts always make me so happy. And Ann Dee is a part of my writing prompts/goal today. We work together on novels, we read each other’s novels, visit each other’s classes, share this blog, brainstorm together. We even say ‘Hello!’ to each other in the hallway at church. I’m lucky to have such a fantastic, amazing writer/partner/friend to work with.

#22

Find a friend who you can be accountable to. If that friend is a writer, set goals and challenges for yourself or each other, and make a day and time to discuss goals you’ve set and reached.

Write a scene together, three sentences at a time. You write the first three sentences, she writes the second, back and forth until you are done. Do it for your project and your partner’s project.  Go for 750 words working together. Try to follow the leads and clues left by your partner. Don’t be afraid to have fun, but do move the story forward. And don’t be afraid to surprise your friend with a challenge as you write.

What do you learn about your style? Your story? Your working with another writer?

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Manic Monday?

#21

Nine Questions We May Explore Later

What is the scariest thing your character must do?

How will you prepare him to do it?

How is your main character like the antagonist?

How does that make the main character feel knowing he’s like the antagonist?

Your main character wants to change one thing about you. What is it?

Why?

What one thing has surprised you about this book?

About your main character?

About you as you’ve written this book?

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Filed under Character, CLW, Exercises, Plot, Revision, writing process

Friday–What’re We Gonna Write Today?

#20

You spend 24 hours with your main character.

What do you do?

What do you talk about?

What do you notice as quirks?

How does she make you cry?

What stories about her past does she tell you?

You go shopping. What does she buy?

What does she eat?

Can she cook?

Name three nice things she does for you.

What does she want you to do for her?

What does she read?

How does she surprise you?

Worry you?

How does she sleep? On her back? Curled up? Does she toss and turn? Snore? Talk in her sleep?

Does she want breakfast?

At the end of the day together, does she thank you for telling her story or curse you?

 

 

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Filed under Character, CLW, Exercises, Family, Life, Plot, Uncategorized, Voice, writing process

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