Tag Archives: Trent Reedy

Good Ol’ Trent Reedy

My friend, Trent Reedy, is going to write one million words this year. A MILLION.

(I have written 3,000 words since the start of January.)

We’ve talked about that million words.

“What if they’re bad?” I said.

“Of course, they’re bad.”

“What about rewriting?”

“Oh, I’ll rewrite.”

“But . . .”

“Look,” Trent said. “I was only writing 800 words a day before. Now I’m getting words on the page. If I don’t write, I have nothing to edit. No books to work on.” (In case Trent reads this post, I have taken our conversation over several days, squished it together, and written the best parts here. All swears have been omitted!)

Trent makes a great point. If you never pen the words, you never have a book to edit, to send to an agent, to sell to an editor, to wind up on a shelf. Just this week a student came to my office and told me she’s had a great idea for a series for several years. No words were written. And when I gave her my advice several times during our thirty minutes together–Just write–I could tell I sorta bugged her.

Don’t dream.

Just write.

Just write.

Just write.

Do you write no matter what? I don’t. But . . . I’m lucky to have a friend like Trent who does just write. He encourages me daily, and has gently prodded me to write, maybe not realizing this is what he’s doing.

This year I had hoped to write four days a week, but I haven’t been able to for whatever reason. However, as I have watched my pal, I’ve taken courage. My new goal is one hour of writing–really writing–four days a week. If things normalize here, then I can increase that. If they don’t, I have four thousand new words a week. And that, as they say, is nothing to sneeze at.

But to do nothing? Well, the days still pass. The weeks do, too. And at the end, if I do no writing, I have nothing to edit.

Just as Trent says.

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Monday, Monday

Every time I start a new semester, I get behind. When you add behind to behind to behind what you get is me. Someone who can’t seem to catch up, no matter what.

Here is a writing exercise for you so you don’t get as far behind as me. You can take this experience of mine, find your own that is similar, and write an incident that can fit in your book.

My best friend’s shoes are in my closet. A pair of his jeans in a drawer. He’s been dead just over a year.

“Do you want me to take these?”I ask him. He’s in a hospital bed. He can’t speak. SO he nods. I gather the shoes, the pants. “I’ll take these until you’re better.”

And here’s this article from my dear friend Trent Reedy. what do you think?

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/how-to-write-100-000-words-per-day-every-day?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email

 

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Three Thing Thursday

1.

Write down ALL the ideas you have for books on 3X5 cards (or full sheets of paper). Hang them ALL where you can see them often. As you work on your current project, can you look up and see your 57 terrific ideas? If not, make it so.

 

2.

I love this quote by Robert Frost. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

 

3.

We have our WIFYR faculty! Mark your calendar for June 11-15, 2018

Heather Flaherty (agent)

Alyson Heller (editor)

Jennifer Adams (editor)

Sharlee Glenn (picture book)

Courtney Alameda (advanced)

Trent Reedy (general)

Heidi Taylor (full novel)

J. Scott Savage (boot camp)

Claudia Mills (getting ready for the full novel)

Stephanie Black (general)

Christian Heidicker (three day)

Heather B Moore (two day)

 

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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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Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Exercises, Kyra, Plot, Writing Marathon

A Crime of Passion?

How are you coming with the writing prompts? Are you giving yourself thirty minutes a day to work on these different ideas? I’ve decided, when Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers (www.wifyr.com) is over this year, I’m gonna go back through all these and do each one.

One per day.

Perhaps I will post some of my results. There seems to be serious interest in this blog and I want to keep this going. (Imagine a gif with people laughing their heads off, literally.)

I keep bugging my friend, Trent Reedy, to write a book with me.

He is a boy.

I am girl.

We would have different points of views. This is good in writing.

But I can tell my friend isn’t interested in the ideas I come up with.

He’s very kind about it but he has no passion for my ideas.

Not too long ago Ann Dee and I brainstormed the next book we want to write together. We have this terrific start that’s a little scary because we’re only sorta sure where it will go. SO we wanted to think of something else.

 

As we went back and forth, the ideas I felt excited about, she was sorta like, “Uuuuummmmm.”

And then when she came up with a new idea, I was like, “Eeeeerrrrr.”

We didn’t share a passion. And without that–Trent Reedy and I or Ann Dee and I–can’t get a good book on the page.

You must care about your work.

# 38

Do you care about your novel?

Why?

Why not?

Is it worth the hours, the sweat, the worry, the writing and rewriting you must do?

Why?

Why not?

Is this book worth sticking though the tough parts?

Why?

Why not?

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Three Thing Thursday

Cheryl:

 

I just finished THIS MONSTROUS THING by Mackenzi Lee. What an absolutely incredible novel. 

It is, above all things, profound. As a reader, I was drawn in to the protagonist’s decision making process, trying to will him into making the choices I would make. Then I was forced to face judgment on my own decisions. It gave me a horrifying glimpse inside my own mind.
After all, am I good or am I clever?
The novel isn’t filled with flowery phrases or expansive vocabulary. It’s clear, concise, and to the point. The characters are not good or evil, simply human.
As I closed the book, all I could think was, “I wish I could write like that. I wish I could make people feel things like that. I wish I could create characters that come to life.”
I don’t know if I ever will be able to. But I feel a renewed determination to try.
Carol:
Mark your calendar!
Steve Fraser (Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency) is coming to town!
Hear his speech at BYU on February 24, 2016. It will be at 6:30 pm.
Room # to come.
Also, only a few morning spots left at Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers. (www.wifyr.com)
We have lots of classes to choose from in the afternoons and we’re excited about our faculty this year, like the AMAZING Trent Reedy.
Some of you may have heard him when he came to WIFYR a few years back. He was our keynote.
He and I were in the same graduating class at Vermont College and I love him. He’s smart, passionate, and he and I had a session or two of slow saunters around campus, talking books.
Brenda:
I’ll call this one “Sisyphus and His Rock”:
I just read a heart-breaking story about a college fellow who decided, finally, to share his novel with a trusted friend and able writing mentor. The student gave him a beautiful, thick, leather binder with tabs for each of many chapters. He sat on the student’s bed and read the first chapter, getting more and more excited, because — though long (34 pages) — it was good: opened well; had great visuals; pacing and language were both accessible. And the reader LOVED the characters.  Excited, he turned, finally, to chapter 2.
Twenty pages of blank paper.  Ditto for the other 18 tabbed sections.
The mentor said he thought this fellow “had been working on his story for rather a long time.” “Eleven years this February,” he answered.
And the entire time was spent writing, revising, rewriting the first chapter until it was “perfect.”  The mentor compared the work to Sisyphus’ trying to push a rock up the mountain only to have it tumble down again,  where he would start over.
I’m neither that good, nor that bad, I suppose: but I’m embarrassed to say I have 13 novels in various stages of “not-done.” Some are quite long. Some, not much more than a chapter or the barest essentials of an MC or two, and a couple of incidents to be fleshed out. I’m not like that college kid: I stop when something else catches my eye (or interest). . . “squirrel!” . . . And I may not get back to “it” (which ever “it” it may be) for months and months. Or even years.
How many “ROCKS” do YOU have? Are our rocks doomed to bury us, bring us down? Fortunately, my most complicated of stories (YEARS old by now, and heavily researched) has finally caught my interest again, and I’m trying to capitalize on the excitement which has re-entered my heart in its behalf.
I’ll go to my “next biggest” rock, as soon as I get through pushing this one to the peak. And I’m wearin’ my runnin’ shoes.

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