Posted in Writer's Problems

How to Keep on Track With School

School started up for me and for a lot of you too, I’m sure. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s not getting around it. It’s tricky, keeping everything else on track while working on school. Some of you may find that it’s easier to do anything when school’s around because it puts a schedule in your life. Others of you find it harder because school takes up your life. Either way, here are some tips to keep writing while doing school. Continue reading “How to Keep on Track With School”

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Posted in Writer's Problems

Story Beginnings

One of the teams at the wagon train.

The other day, my mom, sisters, and I were the outriders for a wagon train in our part of the state. (It’s funny the wide range of places you can learn about writing!) After our waltz/drive around the neighborhood, we were talking to some of the teamsters. Ya know, swapping cowboy/horse stories and generally being friendly. One of the teamsters told a story that got me thinking about story beginnings.

One thing I’ve noticed about cowboy stories is that they usually start with the teller’s relation to the person in the story. That’s actually what got me thinking about the subject. My grandpa wasn’t there and I thought he’d get a kick out of the story. However, then I realized that it wouldn’t start off very interesting if I said, “so, the teamster that I just met yesterday–Mark, I think–well, his cousin had a farm with some Black Angus cows on it that he wanted to breed.” There had to be a more exciting way to start it than that! After all, it’s a mystery story, where the calves turn up the wrong color, and where a rogue steals the cows from their rightful, princely bull! Continue reading “Story Beginnings”

Posted in Writer's Problems

The Lovely World of Word Counts

Good morning! It was a beautiful day when I woke up at 5 AM. The black darkness… gorgeousness. If for some reason you can’t get up that early to see it, I’d suggest staring at a black piece of construction paper– there’ll be the same soul-enchanting effect. I will admit though, it was gorgeous when the sun started showing its face and flooding the landscape with it’s red rays. Try it sometime. Construction paper will not, unfortunately for some, have the same effect.

Anyways, I was wondering what you all thought of the ever present word count. It seems like sometimes, a huge deal is made out of it, while other times it sits idly on the sidelines. What do you guys think about it? Is it worth the hype? Or should it be tucked away in a box in the attic? Continue reading “The Lovely World of Word Counts”

Posted in Uncategorized, Writer's Problems

Writing Apps

Our balloon being all American-y. 😛

Please excuse all the 4th of July references… this was supposed to be last week’s post.

‘Ello, y’all! How was your Independence Day? It was great for my family: morning balloon flight, relaxing in front of the TV (finally got my sisters to watch Night at the Museum), and then supper at Applebee’s. We were going to go on an evening balloon flight as well, but the winds were a bit too much, and so instead I got to eat Fiesta Lime Chicken! (Definitely try it out, guys. Delicious!)

Anywho. Today I want to talk about the different writing apps. I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys use and what is your favorites.

Word/Pages/Google Docs

I’ve never used Word… I have a Mac and so it’s Pages for me. However, I think the two are pretty close, as is Google Docs. This way is probably as simple as you can get on a computer. There’s a document, you type in it, format your headers however you want (if you want) and bingo. Your story takes form and you can write your heart out without any hassles or any wait.

However, sometimes we want things a little more than that. For example… if you do any research for your writing, you can’t keep it right there with your story. Character spotlights or info… also in another document.

Scrivener

Scrivener is created specifically for writers– awesomeness. That makes it a little more complicated than just Pages or Word. For example, each chapter (or scene if you so choose) is in a different “document” within the document. It makes it amazing for organizing chapters and/or writing chapter 31 before chapter 28. (I’ve never done that before. Huh uh. No way.)

Character sketches? They’ve already got an outline set up for you! (It’s a pretty basic one, but it works). Research? You can download web pages right into the document itself. It even has a subsection for “Places” if you want to use it. (I haven’t yet, but I completely intend to as I do more research into the ‘wheres’ of Death’s Whistle). Another downside… it costs money. Upside… I got it for a Christmas present about two years ago and haven’t stopped using it since then!

I like how it’s flexible, it’s easy enough for me to understand yet complex enough for all the features, and it’s always worked for me. If you don’t mind me saying, ich liebe es.

Storyist

I’ve never used Storyist, but I think it’s a lot like Scrivener, only for Macs. Have any of you bought/used Storyist? What do you think of it? Would you recommend it?

Pen and Notebook

This is most likely the easiest of all of them. Take a pen, take a notebook, write. (I just gave you the secret formula… use it wisely.) It does take longer, sometimes, than working on the computer. And then you have to copy it to the computer most often to edit it.

However… I like the notebook thing. When I pull out a brand new notebook or, as I like to call it, a brand new slate, you know I’m serious about the story. I don’t have a laptop (have you seen the prices for a nice one? I’m not that rich until my books hit New York Times Bestseller list) and so the story in the notebook is portable. I can work on it for a couple minutes while I wait for the rest of my family to get their supper, while I wait for my eyes to droop enough for sleep, while I wait for my toast to… toast. Yes, I do have to copy it into the computer. Yes, that can take a long time. However, copying everything, word for word, helps you to get a good look at your story that I don’t think you would ordinarily get. I find a lot of places to fix, boost, destroy when I do that.

I don’t do this with all stories. Listening to Destiny and Death’s Whistle weren’t written in a notebook, however, several of my other stories were and I think I’m starting to like it better and better.

What do you think?

What do you guys use? What’s your favorite? What would you like to try? Let me know! I’d love to talk about it!

Posted in Writer's Life, Writer's Problems

Making Time for Writing

Making time for writing… that might very well be the hardest part of being a writer. For me, it’s hard to make time simply because so much other stuff is going on around me. Just like the photo, lol. More than that, I also have other things, non-writing things, that take up a lot of my time. With all that going on in my life (and I’m sure your life too… unless I’m the only busy person in the world…), how is anyone supposed to get “non-urgent” things like writing done? Continue reading “Making Time for Writing”

Posted in A to Z 2017, Writer's Problems

U: Unify

Have you ever seen those unification scenes in movies? Where the fighting, bickering main characters finally get it together with their team and you finally know that everything is going to be okay? An example:

Yes. I am using Guardians of the Galaxy as an example cuz Vol. 2 comes out soon. 😉

The fact is… when this scene happens in the movie… everybody knows that everything is going to work out just fine. Ya know what I’m talking about?

Now the question is… how do you do this in writing? And, actually, do you even want to do it?

For example, maybe you’re writing a story where you don’t want everyone to know that it’s going to be okay until… it’s okay. (That is soooo me. Make you think that everyone’s going to die until… everyone dies. Or survives. You gotta wait to the end. :P)

What do you guys think? What is your style of writing?

Posted in A to Z 2017, Writer's Problems

D: Deadlines

Today’s letter is D, and the topic is deadlines. Eeek! Something that everyone just loves. Yeah right. But the fact of the matter is… there are way more funny memes for deadlines than there are for my ex-topic: determinism. I was trying to think of D theme and concluded that determinism would be a better, more inspiring topic, but that deadlines were funnier.

Example:

Have I proven my point? Thank you. *bows*

However much we hate deadlines…  some people (including me) work better under deadlines. I think I might have touched on it slightly in one of my other posts, but here I want to touch on it a bit more. Continue reading “D: Deadlines”

Posted in Writer's Problems

Camp NaNo!

How many of you have heard of/like NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo? Well, guess what I got in my inbox the other day? That’s right. Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up! (*Squeals excitedly* *remembers that I don’t even know what project I should work on* *cowers*)

One thing I’ve noticed about the NaNos is that there is a lot of debate about them. They are amazing! They are terrible. I completed a book with them! They cause hurried, terrible writing! Everyone should do it! It shouldn’t even exist! 

I must admit… I’m somewhere in the middle. Sometimes I think it’s amazing. The next day, I think it’s terrible. There have been some super good points for and against it, but in this post, I’m going to show the good and the bad that I personally have seen in NaNo. Continue reading “Camp NaNo!”

Posted in Writer's Problems

Taking Breaks

The girl sat down at her computer wearily and brushed her dishwater blonde hair out of her eyes. She swiftly logged into her account and pulled up her document. She looked carefully at the last paragraph she’d written and then tried to remember where she wanted to go from there. 

She couldn’t remember. Her brain was dead.

She tried to refresh it by going over the chapter she’d just written. Instead of refreshing her, though, it only served to awaken her inner editor. She groaned and moaned. She looked at inspiring pictures, read inspiring quotes, begged, cajoled, bribed… but to no use.

Not a single word came to her mind.

She moaned again and dropped her weary head to her hands, trying to massage words into her brain and out her fingers. Just one word. Even one word. She was supposed to be a writer, for crying out loud!

Five seconds later, she was fast asleep.

Continue reading “Taking Breaks”

Posted in Writer's Problems

How to Keep on Track With School

This is tricky. Keeping everything else on track while working on school. Some of you may find that it’s easier to do anything when school’s around because it puts a schedule in your life. Others of you find it harder because school takes up your life. Either way, here are some tips to keep writing while doing school. Continue reading “How to Keep on Track With School”