I Totally Forgot How To Character

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Lately, in lieu of any larger projects to work on, I’ve been working on a few short stories. (I’m sure some people have noticed that as a recurring theme of my blog posts for a while.) My most recent piece of fiction has been dead on arrival, however. Not because of writer’s block (although maybe a little bit because of lack of time). Mainly I’m stumped because I made the mistake of going back to an old character. Continue reading

Letting Someone Else Take a Look (Sucks)

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Letting an outside perspective take a look at my work is not my idea of fun. I recently sent out some work to be critiqued. They’re lovely people, and fantastic writers, but it’s still hard to watch one’s work be revealed as anything less than perfect. Like bubbles, writing feels kind of fragile sometimes.

Of course, no one says it’s easy to edit. Ever. And it’s easier to have these people look at it than try to find all the problems on my own, and it’s definitely easier than sending it out to publishers and agents and have them spot the errors. Just remember that it’s not perfect, but that’s okay.

It’s important to not be too sensitive about it, which is kind of hard to do because after spending so many hours on it a book becomes a kind of baby. Edits and critiques aren’t personal attacks (and if they actually are they can probably be ignored out of hand). They’re the opinion of someone else, and they don’t know the whole of the story or the intent behind a particular passage so you don’t even have to do everything they say.

But they also point out weak areas and missing details and typos and all those things that are a little hard to see sometimes. Kudos to all you critiquers and beta readers and editors and proofreaders, who contribute to make the written word the best it can be. I can’t do this without you.

Writing is hard. The important thing to remember is you wrote a book. That’s amazing. There wouldn’t be anything for anyone to read without that, good or bad.

Dialing Back on Blogging (A Little)

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This is an announcement of a change of pace.

I’m not sure what I’m doing with this blog exactly. I have yet to find my niche, both in terms of what I can write about and what people will read about. Also, I’m not good at SEO or any of that, and it’s something I need to work on. On top of that, I’m tired and I’m not getting my writing done and something’s got to change before I burn out.

To that end, I’ll be lowering my posting schedule to once a week for the near future. This will give me more time to write each post, which should in turn improve the quality of said posts, and should give me more time to devote to learning how to blog. There’s also updating the site and making that better, which has fallen by the wayside because, hey, I’m putting up posts and that’s all I’ve had the energy for anyway. This gives extra energy and time I can use to that.

There are basically two items on my to-do list for figuring out this blog. First is working out a posting schedule, and figuring out which days to blog about which topics. (This in turn involves figuring out what topics I want to blog about in general, which is a whole other pain in the neck but it’s important so it’s happening.) Second is reorganizing the categories. One thing successful blogs do is link back to previous (relevant) content, which I can’t presently do because I don’t have an organizational system that actually allows me to find things (and this can’t be great for people trying to look at my posts either, such as they are). This has to come second since the system will depend in part on what I post.

In the meantime, I’ll post once a week about some writing-related topic (this does tend to consume my brain, so it’s not hard to find something to babble about). I hope I can figure out what I’m doing, but even if I don’t I’ll still at least post updates of my work and a few occasional musings. Ideally it’s a lot more than that, but we’ll see where I’m at after this brain overhaul.

Anyone have advice for figuring this out?

Life Needs Happy Things

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Ever so often, in the middle of a busy schedule, it is important to stop, let go of the stress and remember where to find the good things in life. (Like, for example, when rebooting one’s computer for the fourth time in an hour. That’s a good time to think of all the stories and fun games on said computer rather than thinking about where to find the nearest hammer or high window.) Continue reading

Sometimes a Week is a Fail

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This week was a little frustrating because I totally failed at accomplishing my goals for the week, and when I did my end-of-month tally I was confronted by the fact that I also failed at my monthly goals. On one hand, this was because my day job picked up a little bit and I was reading a lot more helpful blog posts and working on my limited networking skills. So no time. On the other hand, I hate not finishing my to-do lists. Gah!

But Continue reading

Five Things that Come Up When Editing a Short Story

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I’ve mentioned that I’m writing a short story. Well, it’s all written, and now I’m on the critique stage. This is surprisingly less painful than I thought. Granted, there’s any number of things that need to be fixed, but the people who have read it thus far seem to think that it’s at least a solid base. I am okay with that. I can fix anything as long as I know the core is solid. Continue reading

So Many Writing Blogs

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There are so many writing blogs out there, and so many helpful people full of great advice that is well written and readily available for perusal. Sometimes it feels like too many. I get overwhelmed by the information available, or else I fall down a rabbit hole and spend hours searching around for the next post. This is not all that practical for getting my own writing done, so in recent months I’ve had to severely curtail my blog reading habits. But there are still a few that I read regularly. Continue reading