A Writing Update on Writing Wednesday

Just wanted to check in on the writing front. Where all is quiet. #literarypun #suchadork

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The last query I sent was March 20th.

The last rejection was March 30th.

The last writing other than a blog post? Um…last year? Yeah, I think.


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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #1: Tyler

If you missed my suggestion about creating playlists, start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise. I’ll just wait for you…

Now that you’re up to speed, let’s continue.

So, I’ve chosen Tyler to start with, because he’s definitely the easiest. Two words: Bob Dylan. And some Pink Floyd too, but Bob Dylan.

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I wanted to also expand my explanation for the reason behind this exercise. Not only does creating a playlist help to round out your character, but it also serves as inspiration for writing any scene that character is in. Listening to what your character would be listening to is highly recommended either before or during your writing time. Or both! Since I have a hard time writing with music on (other than instrumentals), I would actually mostly listen after, in the editing process. While I would read the scenes back, I’d have whatever music on, and it just helps to get in the right space. I don’t know how else to explain it, but you should definitely give it a try.

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“What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise

If you’ve spent any time here, you know music is my absolute favorite part of life. While the blog is ultimately dedicated to writing related topics, if and when I’m able to combine writing AND music, you bet I will.

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I’ve made a soundtrack to my novel. If you haven’t done this, what are you waiting for? My novel tends to play like a movie in my head when I read it. So it only made sense the scenes would have accompanying music. You can listen to the soundtrack and check out my other novel related posts in the I’m Only Me tab above.

I’m getting to the point, promise. So I decided, why not take this one step further? I have a novel soundtrack, but what about a character soundtrack? Think of it like, What Would Be on your Characters’ iPod?

You may be thinking, who cares? Well, you should, for one. You can learn a lot about a person based on the music they listen to–I truly believe that. And it’s no different for your characters. There are always exceptions, (me, for example) but take a moment and picture this: someone who listens to Five Finger Death Punch, Slipknot, and Mudvayne. Now picture someone who listens to Taylor Swift, One Direction, and Ed Sheeran. They’re most likely pretty different, no? I’m not trying to stereotype people, but the audience at a Beyonce concert would look nothing like a Manson one, know what I mean?

Whether you’re just meeting some new characters, wanting to dive deeper into your current characters, or you just miss your old characters and will find any excuse to hang out with them again, you should try this!

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Writer Resources: “Writing Excuses”

I’ve bookmarked more websites than I realized in the 5+ years I’ve owned this laptop. I have quite a collection of writing resources I’ve saved, and I came across one I’d forgotten: Writing Excuses.

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If you don’t know, Writing Excuses is a weekly podcast made up of a panel of authors: Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Taylor, Mary Robinette Kowal, among others. The tagline of their show is “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” Love it.

Each podcast is devoted to a certain writing related topic, and there are twelve seasons worth of material if you feel like diving in. Although short, they give you valuable information. They know what they’re talking about. And they’re fun to listen to, because the authors are so comfortable with one another. That makes all the difference if you’ve ever listened to panel discussions.

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18 Items Every Writer Needs

*Needs is strong word, right? Let’s say…

Items Every Writer Should Highly Consider Purchasing to be More Awesome, Motivated & Inspired

Better?

Each image will take you directly to its Amazon product page using my Amazon Affiliate Link.

Category #1: For Your Walls

You can’t possibly be expected to write in a sad, sterile environment. It’s in your best interests to surround yourself in awesome things. To see a picture of where I write and my awesome things, check out my blog post, Lauren’s Writing Space.

Writing Related Art: You need something to look at instead of that blasted blinking cursor. Consider these alternatives, all of which I stare at daily.

I actually bought this poster for my classroom, but I ended up bringing it home with me.


How true, how true.

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Lauren’s Writing Essentials

 

1) Something with Keys

Maybe I’m just old and my fingers don’t move as they once did. But writing by hand takes forever, and it’s totally unnecessary. I don’t know how people can write longhand. Typing is faster, more efficient,Related image and hitting backspace is a helluva lot easier than crossing out or erasing.

Wait, erasing? You don’t actually write with a pencil, do you? Tell me you’re at least using a mechanical pencil so I can sleep at night.

I used to have a desktop computer for all my writing needs. Now, I strictly use a laptop, because I like the portability. And my desktop died, so.

2) Background Noise

There’s a lovely space somewhere between the clacking of keys (or scrawling pens, if you’re one of those people) and a full-on desk concert. Yes, that’s a thing. Now, in this space, I live and thrive.

I highly recommend Rainy Mood, and I’ve recently discovered Soundrown, thanks to BookTuber Alexa Donne. In addition to rain, Soundrown has sounds of a coffee shop, birds, fire, and more. I love how you can overlap sounds to create your own atmosphere. My personal favorite is a mixture of Rain, Night, Train. Because what could be a more natural writing setting? Uh, nothing.

You can’t go wrong with instrumentals either. I’ve actually talked about this in a previous post, so click here for a list of some of my favorites. Go ahead. I’ll wait…

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Goodbye 2017!

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How to Make 2018 Suck Less than 2017

with a little help from Michael Scott

This list is tailored to me, but some of these might just apply to you as well.

1) WRITE MORE!

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Seriously. I need to write something. I miss that feeling of creating something out of nothing. Since I’ve finished my novel I’m Only Me (it’s about time!), I hope to start a new novel in 2018. While I do have the opening few chapters of one, I’m not sure if it has novel potential. Maybe I’ll write some short stories.

My January writing goal is to edit my YA short story, decide on a title, and find it a forever home.

Writing used to be my outlet, and I’d like to utilize it again.

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NaNOWhytheEFF

Let me preface this by saying, do whatever works for you, OK? No hate and no disrespect here.

But I do not and will not understand this NaNoWriMo BS that is basically inescapable for an entire month.

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My #NaNoWriMo face.

I don’t force myself to write. I just don’t. Which is probably why I haven’t written anything new in almost two months. Not the point.

I just don’t get this. At all. Why would you stress yourself out to write x number of words in a given span of time that you ALREADY KNOW aren’t going to be any good? Is that too pessimistic? To me, if I’m “on the clock” I’m likely to churn out a bunch of shit just to reach a certain word count. A word count that I’ve preset for some effing reason. And if I’m the one to set the word count…can’t I just make it whatever I want? 500k? 5k? 5? It doesn’t matter, does it? What’s the limit?

If you know anything about me, you might recall I used to be a teacher. I hated giving a length requirement for essays. Because I KNEW if I said the essay had to be 500 words, let’s say, I’d get 250 of quality material, followed by 250 of the same thoughts reworded. Or 250 words of extraneous detail. Or 250 words of “I think” “I feel” “I believe”. MAKE IT STOP. As a student it was the same thing. Like how I can pad this thing to get to the right number of words? Let me undo all my contractions!

Writers, why do this to yourself?

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Why spend an entire month writing something you ALREADY KNOW you’re going to spend the next month rewriting? December shall be DecDoOver. Yeah, the name ain’t catchy. But it’s about as catchy as NaNoWhyAmIDoingThis?

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Embracing the New WIP

I’m writing again! And it feels fantastic!

Of course, it has no plot. I don’t know if it should be a novel or short story. I’m having continuity issues. Past tense writing is hard!

But I’m writing again!

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*Me. If I had a slinky. And looked like Johnny Depp. So, not me.

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