Monday, October 10, 2011

3-Day Novel Contest

I guess we've been so busy preparing for NaNoWriMo that we haven't had time to post!

A few of us have been talking about doing another 3-Day Novel Contest, this time over either Thanksgiving weekend or New Year's weekend. Or possibly both. Either way, who wants to do it with us?

If we did it over Thanksgiving weekend, it would give those of us who aren't doing NaNoWriMo and who don't have company coming a chance to write. Also, some of us are to busy to have time to write every day, but can squeeze it in on the weekend.

If we did it over New Year's weekend, the people who are doing NaNoWriMo will probably have time to refuel by then and write a novel. (I think they'll have time. I've never done NaNoWriMo, so I don't know.)

So do you want to do it? If so, which weekend?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

NaNoWriMo - thoughts

(I have just changed my Blogger name, because I felt like it. I'm Tangela-that-was)

Last night I was plagued by insomnia, and one of the things I ended up thinking about was, what am I going to do for NaNo this year? I've thought up and thorwn away several ideas over the past few months, but this time I think I know for sure. And when I checked the blog today and saw Mari's post (it's not that scary and it's really fun, you can do it!) I decided I'd make it blog-official so I don't flake out.

I'm going to have another go at writing the story of my oldest character. She's existed in my writerly brain for at least six years, probably longer, and I've tried to write her story four times during those six years. I never got past the first chapter, but re-reading the attempts - the first one was when I was just starting and I no longer have it, but I have the others - I think each is better than the last. So this time I'm going to start work on a proper novel plan with a decently fleshed-out plot, and write her story.

To be honest, I don't know much about her, even though she's been around so long. Her name is Indri, and she doesn't have a surname because she was abandoned as a baby. She's seventeen, and training to be a Protector, a sort of secret bodyguard for the great and the good. During her final practical exam, things get a bit...out of hand and it is discovered that she has strange powers that only a handful of people in the world possess. From there, it's a case of her learning to use and control these powers, coming to terms with how they affect her life, deciding what it would be best to use them for and trying to find out where they came from - who her parents are.

And that's it, really. I don't even know where her powers come from. Writing this all down properly and getting it exactly right is going to be very important for me, so I guess I'd better get planning!

Monday, August 15, 2011

First NaNoWriMo!

As you can probably tell from the title of this post, I have decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. I'll probably die, but it'll be worth it. I figure that even if I don't make the word quota, I'll have at least gotten a good sta'rt on a new story. Responses to this announcement of mine have ranged from "Awsome, you'll do great!" to "If you think it's a good idea, I guess I can't stop you."

The story I have chosen to work on this November was inspired by a wonderful gift given to me just recently. That gift was a WWII Volunteer Nurse's Aide uniform. The matching cap, upon close inspection, had the owner's initials written inside! Who was 'M.W.?' We will probably never know. But I have chosen the name Mandy Weiman, and decided to tell this girl's story. It should certainly be interesting, if nothing else!

I'll try to post updates on here, but I can't make any promises. Goodness knows I'll be busy. :)


Wednesday, July 6, 2011


                If you’ve been reading writing-related blogs for very long, you’ve seen the many suggestions for how to write better. For example, sit in a comfortable chair, listen to music, eat right, take breaks, etc. This stuff is good, but there’s something better.

                I’m not suggesting that you stay in bed until noon. I mean things like:
                -Go to bed early enough at the same time every night.
                -Try running a fan for white noise.
                -Have a bedtime routine. It’ll help you get to sleep faster.
                -Don’t worry about tomorrow. It’ll take care of itself.
                -Exercise, but not before bed.
                Teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep a night, adults less. When you’re sick or worn out, sleep is one of the best healing agents.

                Besides, you’ll feel better and be able to focus better. Your family will thank you! I didn't get enough sleep last night (we were watching the fireworks) and I can feel it today!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Timewasters. Terrible, aren’t they? You’re going through the day, and suddenly you realize that it’s time to go to bed and you haven’t written a single word.
                Time to do something about it! Here’s a list of the biggest timewasters I’ve found:
                -Reading (yes, read, but not when you should be writing)
                -Busywork (i.e., cleaning off your desk, making phone calls to old friends, etc. that doesn’t have to be done RIGHT NOW)
                -Excuses (“I’ve got a headache!” Well, take something for it and start writing. If you’re well enough to read this, you’re well enough to write. Just don’t remind me I said this the next time I’m sick.)
                Let’s start with the first one. If you write on a computer, see if you can change the settings so that it doesn’t show that any internet is available. (Some laptops have a key for that.) If it doesn’t, exercise restraint and don’t open a browser.
                If someone else is watching TV, go into another room – one where you can’t hear the TV. Or try noise-canceling headphones.
                Reading is good for feeding your brain, but you need to write too. Try reading only before you go to bed. It also helps some people fall asleep. (I am usually reading something exciting and suspenseful, so that doesn’t work here.)

                Everyone has busywork. But you don’t have to do it right now. Does your desk need to be cleaned off right this minute? Do you have to text your friends about sports events right now? If you need to, set aside a day (or hour, or something) for busywork and get it done. Then get back to your writing.

                As for excuses? *yawn* I’m too tired to finish writing this. Besides, I still need to practice piano. The often-spoken advice comes into play here – the only way you’re going to get much writing done is to sit down and just do it. Many people don’t want to WRITE. They want to HAVE WRITTEN. If you want to write a book, you need to apply pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

                Now then…seeing that I have no reason NOT to write, I guess I’d better start working on it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Writing-related sites

I’ve found the following blogs to be helpful ones to read. I don’t know how to make them all an English word that you click on, instead of clicking on the link. So, you get the website address:  When (think positively) you began asking agents to read your work, read everything on this site. It’s the only one I know dedicated to improving queries.  Fantastic site; it has a lot of great articles on improving your writing. The people here post every day!  More great articles on improving writing; this one’s mostly for people who write science fiction and/or fantasy. The archives here are definitely worth reading.  This is one of my favorite sites. It doesn’t have many articles, but the ones it does have are great.  How Not To Write has been around for a eons (or just several years, take your pick). Try reading the archives.

So, what writing-related blogs do you read? Are you a blogger?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I'm at a writing camp, for those of you who don't know and in the workshop this afternoon we discussed critiquing other people's work. There's a method we used, that I really like.

First you go through and make a note of all the words that catch your eye in the piece. This is called pointing. (e.g. 'laughing, sparkling self.')

Then you ask questions. This is for whatever you didn't understand about the poem, story, etc. (e.g. 'Why did Angel think the house was haunted? What clues did she have, because I'm not seeing any.')

And last of all, you do 'Say-back'. This is writing a little note explaining how you interpreted the whole story/poem/script. (e.g. 'This is a really sweet farewell scene between two people who obviously love each other. Very detailed descriptions made me feel like I was there.')

Make sense? I found it to be really nice and I got some great feedback this way.

Disclaimer: i cannot, unfortunately, claim the honor of having come up with this technique, only the example lines. And don't you dare steal those.