Making Plans Happen

First off, I remember that there is joy in writing.  But, it’s easy for other concerns to overshadow the enjoyment of creating with words, of telling a story that engages me as a writer and and demands to be told. I try not to allow schedules and plans to take precedence over the joy of creativity.

Great plans require great execution.  So do good plans.  I’m happy with my goals and objectives for next year, but I’m apprehensive about whether I will complete them all.  During this final week of 2016 I’m taking the opportunity to think about some how-tos that will put my goals in reach.

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2016 Wrap-up

This year, I self-identified as a writer.  Writing is what I do.  “Writer” is how I introduce myself.  It started small.

The devil is in the details.

Reflections

This year, I self-identified as a writer.  Writing is what I do.  “Writer” is how I introduce myself.  It started small. I chose the variant of my name that I will put on book covers and business cards, bought a domain name, rented some server space and started this blog.  Within a few months, I had duplicated most of my personal social media presence with professional versions using the name M. C. Frye.  A few months later I had ventured into social media avenues where I’d never ventured under my personal name.

But there is more to it than the statistics about where I am active as a writer on social media.   The activity has spawned and nurtured meaningful acquaintanceships and friendships with other writers, both published and unpublished.  I’m learning both practical and philosophical lessons about the craft and the business from people I would never have met without taking those first steps of calling myself a writer.

And the effort has been successful in terms of building a nascent author platform and support network, but it was and is missing one critical ingredient:  a published work.  In a nutshell, that’s how the year went.

The devil is in the details.
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Post-NaNoWriMo Euphoria

Hello, fellow NanoWriMo Blog-hoppers!  I’m excited to make your acquaintance and look forward to reading your blogs and your novels!

The first NaNoWriMo I participated in was a blind leap of faith, but since then I have always known right from the start on November 1 if I will win it or not.  There’s a clearness of purpose and focus that I either have or don’t have before November arrives.  I’m a hybrid writer, somewhere between the extremes of pantsing and obsessive pre-planning.  But, when I have done no planning, had no thoughts or dreams about my stories or characters or settings, I know the month won’t result in 50,000+ words of rough draft.

This year, my setting inspiration struck in early August.  Along with the setting, I had vague ideas for a plot and a handful of characters.  I opened a Scrivener file and created a Pinterest board a few days later, to start capturing information about the characters and the initial setting inspiration.

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REBLOG: A Cooling Mist Of NaNoWriMo-Flavored Novel Writing Advice « terribleminds: chuck wendig

So, you’re going to take part in National Novel Writing Month.

Good for you. Excellent. As John McClane said in Die Hard: “Welcome to the Party, pal.”

Here, then, is a list of quick advice nuggets. You may nibble on these and sample the many tastes. Some of this stuff I’ve said before, some of it is new-ish — whatever helps you, helps you. Whatever doesn’t, just wad it up and throw it into the nearest incinerator. Let’s begin.

Source: A Cooling Mist Of NaNoWriMo-Flavored Novel Writing Advice « terribleminds: chuck wendig

 

I’m reblogging this excellent article about how to write a novel in 30 days because I needed to read it. I’ve successfully completed NaNoWriMo a few times, always writing in the same universe/future about the same characters.

Not this year.

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Where Do My Stories Come From? Strange Places.

When a story idea springs into my mind and takes over my neural pathways for a time, the idea is almost always inspired by a setting – a place.  Before I know anything about the characters, I already have a sense of the sights, sounds, scents and textures of the place where they will act out their lives, meet their challenges, be defeated, be victorious, be in love, be embittered will become real to me.

Why do settings become real first?  For most writers, plot or characters come first.

Usually, the setting becomes real because I find myself walking through it.  Sometimes a particularly arresting dream will inspire the setting.  Sometimes, a photo or painting will spark a setting idea, and before long characters come to inhabit it.  Sometimes the setting becomes real to me because I physically walk about in the place, and suddenly a story takes hold of me and demands to be written.

Today, a tiny hamlet on the Carquinez Strait whispered to me, “There’s a story here.  You should tell it.”

Continue reading “Where Do My Stories Come From? Strange Places.”