Occam's Razor for Writers

>> Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So I've been fiddling for a while with a bio to include with my story for The Forge. All the while, I kept thinking to myself, "Wow, it's kind of hard to write an author bio." But I left it alone for a couple of weeks, and when I opened the file tonight, I realized that, with the exception of one sentence, it really is a good bio. I deleted the sentence I didn't want, and voila! Now I have a nice little bio. I think, as usual, that I was making things too complicated. I was too busy fretting over the fact that I didn't have many significant writing credentials yet to see that my bio was pretty good. So, the moral of this post is to keep your writing a simple as possible--even when writing a bio.

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Goodbye, Borders

>> Monday, July 18, 2011

It's the end of an era. I used to work for Waldenbooks years ago, which was owned by Borders Group. As such, I've always been very loyal to the company. I'm so upset right now.

And I really just don't want to shop for books at B&N.

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We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Process of Editing

>> Sunday, July 17, 2011

Well, I've returned to annotating Anemone's Song for editing. I'm working on it during little bits of time throughout my day. I wish I could get a solid hour or two of editing for my book, but life is simply too hectic right now. So, I do what I can and try to take comfort in the knowledge that it will add up over time.

After all, something is better than nothing.

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Stop the Madness!

>> Wednesday, June 15, 2011

So I made the mistake of signing onto Twitter this morning. Normally this wouldn't be a problem. This morning, however, I was greeted by a couple of tweets by one of my friends, regarding Camp NaNoWriMo.

Gaaah!

Now I'm tempted to join in the madness all over again. But I need to be editing my book, Anemone's Song. And even more important than that, I need to finish the short story I promised my friend I'd provide for the publication she is editing at, The Forge. I really just do not need this distraction again. I have plenty of my own, thank you.

Willpower! Must...have...willpower. Must...have...

... ... ...

Maybe I could sort of join in by editing along instead of writing? That breaks the rules, but--

*slaps self*

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5 Short Story Tips

>> Saturday, May 28, 2011

Short Story Writing Tips - tips for writing short stories

Today I found a site with excellent tips on writing short stories. I often have trouble writing short stories because I find it difficult to condense a story into such a short length. Looking at the tips on this page, I think this is due to a couple of factors--characters and theme. Too many characters invariably complicates the plot and turns it into a novel-length story. Then, without thinking of the theme I want my short story to embrace, I find that my plot loses focus and falls apart.

I will definitely be keeping these tips in mind as I write my newest short story, The Barefoot Prince. I think it may help tremendously in both writing and editing the piece.

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Taking Shape...

>> Sunday, May 22, 2011

Today I managed to type out some notes for the new short story I'm writing. I think I've fleshed out the storyline in enough detail that I can begin writing it. I have a few details for the initial setting in mind, but I'm trying to do a little research on period appropriate poverty, first. I really want to capture the essence of what life is like for my character when the story begins, so I can show what a contrast his life is by the end of the story--at least externally.

Internally is quite a different matter. Or so I've planned.

Things don't always turn out quite the way we plan, when we write. But the thing about being surprised by characters--at least, I've found this in my experience--is that my story always turns out better when they deviate from the initial plan or outline.

Kind of like life, sometimes.

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Perhaps My Brain Is Finally Waking Up...

After scrapping several ideas, I have finally settled on a plot for my short story, The Barefoot Prince. Now it's a matter of fleshing out the details and sitting down to write it. Of course, with a 3 month old and a 3 year old, that is easier said than done.

Well, suck it up, Buttercup, right? I will get this story done, somehow. Eleanor is counting on me.

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Camp Nanowrimo and Writing Chaos

>> Thursday, May 19, 2011

I can't believe I haven't written in this blog since January. Er...scratch that. Yes, I can. My little boy arrived three weeks early, back in February. He was due in March. The good news is that I finished typing up my book shortly before he decided to arrive. Needless to say, I wasn't doing a lot of writing after he came.

Now that he is 3 months old, however, things are getting a little easier. Or enough easier that I've started potty training my daughter and editing my book.

But alas, the editing must be put on hold. For Camp Nanowrimo, perhaps? No. Although it's tempting. Quite tempting. But I've made my husband promise to slap me silly if I try to take that on; I'm supposed to be concentrating on my editing, after all. I'd like to have this book ready to send out by sometime next year.

So what, then, has forced me to turn my attention away from editing?

A short story.

I'm trying to write a short story at the request of a guest editor, for a publication called The Forge.

So, it's back to writing I go. Hopefully, since I only have about a month to write it, my submission won't totally stink. I had a vague idea for a short story (and I say vague, because, really, it was only a title) recently, so now I'm trying to spin a plot that I think is compelling enough to submit.

Well, we shall see. The worst that can happen is that the editor takes back her offer, right?

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Lucky Number 13

>> Monday, January 17, 2011

I had a very good night last night. I managed to type up three and a half chapters of my book. This means that I only have five more chapters to type up in section three of my book (the longest section). I'm so excited. After section three is finished, I only have one more section of my book to type up, and it's only eight chapters long (the shortest section of my book. So, that means that I have thirteen chapters left before I finish typing up this book. Yay!

This makes me enormously happy. I really think I'll be able to finish this up before the baby comes in March. Then, when things settle down a few months after he arrives, I'll be able to work on a little editing.

Go me!

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Progress by Heartburn

>> Friday, January 14, 2011

Yesterday didn't go quite as I planned. I had intended to work on typing up more of Anemone's Song during my daughter's nap, but I went on a sudden cleaning jag instead. (I guess the nesting phase of this pregnancy has started.) I figured I might then do a little more cleaning later that night after she was in bed, and then do some writing.

Oh, the best laid plans...

The upshot of this is that I accomplished nothing in terms of my writing yesterday. I was too tired to clean or write, last night. Just picking up my daughter's toys off the living room floor is a ton of work at this point in the pregnancy. Everything is so awkward, and I spend all day standing up and down doing things for my daughter, plus all of the trips upstairs to our only bathroom, I just don't feel like messing with much at the end of the day. So I end up crawling around the floor on all fours trying to clean up her toys to put them away, and the entire process takes two or three times as long as it should. By the time I'm done, all I want to do is sink into a comfortable chair and hope that I don't have to climb the stupid stairs to use the bathroom any time soon.

On the bright side, though, I managed to type up one short chapter of my book tonight, despite how exhausted I am. That makes me happy.

Of course, it probably has something to do with the fact that my husband brought home Taco Bell for me, and I'm afraid of going to bed too soon for fear of killer heartburn. I have near constant heartburn in the last three months as it is.

Meh. Whatever. I'll take what I can get, you know? I'm one chapter closer to being finished with all the typing, which means I'm closer to the editing phase. Progress is progress, after all, no matter how you accomplish it.

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Type On, Type On...

>> Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tonight I finished typing up part of one chapter, plus the whole of the next chapter. Not bad. The next two chapters are short, so I think I'll try to do both of those tomorrow.

Minus today's work, that just leaves ten more chapters to type up in part three (and I think seven or eight in part four). I hope they're short chapters like the next two appear to be, but I doubt it. *sigh* I have issues with keeping chapters short. I need to work on that. But what else is new, right?

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A New Year is Fresh, With No Mistakes in It...

>> Saturday, January 1, 2011

Well, I survived the madness that is Nanowrimo--but not without totally scrapping the original story I had been working on during day 3. My mind kept going to the characters from my current work in progress (completely written, but working on typing it up and editing it) so I started Nano all over and began writing the sequel to it. That worked out much better, and I didn't find myself struggling quite so much with scenes.

Oh, I still had tough moments, but nothing like I had been, and certainly nowhere near as horrible as 2009's debacle.

However, starting over put me three days behind on word count, and I had to skip a lot of naps (not easy for a pregnant lady with an active toddler to give up, mind you!) and pull some long sessions in the evening to catch up. But, after a few days, I finally managed to. Yay me! I'm still so proud of myself for catching up and managing to win Nano after all of that!

But on to my writing goals for 2011...

Yes, I am resuming my list of writing goals for the year. I never managed to do it last year, due to circumstances, but I need something clear to strive for, writing-wise, this year--something that I can focus on besides the loved ones that I've lost the last two years, and the general worries and stress of day to day life.

So, in light of that, I've not only decided to resume my writing goals for the year, but I've also decided to keep it (somewhat) simple. My writing goal for this year is to finish typing up my work in progress, Anemone's Song, and edit it. That's it. That's what I want to accomplish writing-wise this year. Anything else is just icing on the cake.

And really, considering that I will have a new baby and a toddler to care for, it will be no small feat if I manage this. But I caught up during Nanowrimo, didn't I? When I get discouraged or need motivation, I will try to remember that

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