I’ve always admired Stevie’s ‘Creativity Sessions’ for their purity of endeavor; I don’t think about writing so much as I feel burdened by the drive to write or by the procrastination instead of writing. I’ve accepted this lack in my self – always more emotion than logic, always more flailing than finesse. In an effort to find some middle ground, I thought I’d craft one of these for myself and see how it feels, you know? So tell me how I do in this, my personal step-by-step process of character building:
That’s right, I said it. My semi-pantser model of writing the early drafts of WoEM has become a bit of an annoyance. I think I have been converted to a planner.
Now that I’m well into of my revisions — in the final third of my story — my somewhat free-wheeling outline style has come back to bite me.
Luckily, I found a somewhat easy way to fix it… and avoid it in the future. Continue reading How Pantsing Makes Revising Harder than It Needs to Be
Last Friday, I touched on the changes that were beginning to manifest in the third draft of The Warden of Everfeld: Memento.
As one of two leading protagonists in the novel, I knew that Jaed’s characterization was paramount to both a well-balanced story, and an enjoyable read. Achieving that has been easier said than done.
Throughout my revision process for The Warden of Everfeld: Memento, I have continually questioned the information I am presenting in my story. Is this detail pertinent to the scene? Does the reader care/need to know this? How does this trait affect the character’s personality?
These questions are vital for building real, lifelike characters while also maintaining a fluid and natural story arc. However, at times I have wondered if the trauma or suffering I put my characters through is necessary to tell the larger story. Continue reading Creativity Sessions: Writing Social Issues into Your Story
NaNo 2016 got off to a less-than-stellar start for me. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the shock induced by the presidential election, I was not focused on writing my second novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy. Part of me feels like I’m jumping ahead too much, considering my first significant round of revisions looms for part one, The Warden of EVerfeld: Memento.
I tend to second-guess myself in such ways. The point is, I haven’t advanced WoEL much beyond the 5,000 words I covered over the first eight days or so. Instead of wallowing in my own thought process, I decided to change focus. Continue reading Writing Lesson #64: World-Building Offers Many Avenues of Storytelling — Use Them
I published an earlier version of this article, “The Little People Matter Too!”, way back in 2014, but since it only has 15 total views, I’ve decided to revisit it and update it a bit. This was among my first “Creativity Sessions” pieces, and I think its themes still ring true as I begin exploring a new story this November. I wil post more of these re-hashes through NaNo 2016 (and likely beyond) with some new insights and thoughts to share.
As I discussed last Friday, I have entered NaNoWriMo 2016 with a much more solid foundation to begin a new novel. While WoE: Memento was largely experimental, with ideas and narrative points coming to me as I wrote, I have been much more structured in my approach to the follow-up novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy. Continue reading NaNo Re-Hash: The Little People Still Matter!
I’ve been discussing the revision process for Manuscript: Alpha of The Warden of Everfeld: Memento since completing the first draft way back in July. (That really does feel so much longer ago than two months…)
Since my alpha readers are nearly finished with their reviews, and I am (basically) finished with my own first read-through, I thought I would share the actual questions I typed up for my alpha readers to answer. Continue reading Creativity Sessions: Questions to Ask Your Alpha Readers
So I’m pretty sure I mentioned last week that I’m working on a short story to submit to an online litmag contest this month. Right? Yes, here!
Five on the Fifth‘s submission deadline for their short fiction contest is looming rather large on August 31. I currently have about 1,500 words of a first draft, with a pretty clear idea of how I will set up the final act and conclude the story. I think my submission will end up finishing around 2,500 words, but I’ve been known to miscalculate projected word counts in the past. Continue reading Short Story Update – The Deadline is Coming!
Lesson #37 from finishing my first manuscript: Try to find that balance.
Accomplishing anything effectively is about balance. Finishing the first draft of The Warden of Everfeld: Memento over the last few months was a bit tiresome. I had not met my monthly writing goals since the end of NaNoWriMo 2015, and I was constantly falling behind – according to my own exceedingly high standards. I just wanted it done, but I didn’t always have the motivation or the willpower to just sit down and write.
I forget sometimes that others can help pull you out of creative ruts. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to finish Manuscript: Alpha of “Jaed and Aston” this week, mostly by telling my alpha readers that I was almost done.
Then, I hit a narrative point that felt messy and too drawn out. I fussed over wording, I tried to find a shortcut (which I do not like admitting), I brainstormed a whole bunch. And then I happened upon an interview that gave me the jolt I needed. Continue reading Creativity Sessions: Let Your Characters Write the Story