Posts from the ‘Literary Things’ Category

Story Prep

Have you ever written an outline fora story you were about to write?I remember writing outlines in high school
because they told us to, andI’ve found them helpful for speeches I’ve had to give. I’ve even written outlines for some of my college papers to make sure I had enough information to at least reach the required minimum page length. I was never great at making my papers longer than three to five pages. But I’ve never written an outline for any creative writing.
It isn’t often I get a full-blown story idea in my head. Usually these things come in the form of a character or scene that get’s kicked around my imagination until either more comes to me or I decide to write it down somewhere. A lot of them are still up there.
Of course the question of outlines doesn’t usually matter simply because my pieces fall into the flash fiction range. I do however toy with the idea from time to time of writing a longer piece; one with chapters even. I know, gasp!
Almost every author interview I’ve ever heard always contains the question where did you come up with the idea for x. Another favored question among interviewers is about the author’s writing habits or practices. “How do you write?” “How often do you write?” “When” or “where do you write?”
Different authors give different answers as you’d expect, but most seem to say something along the lines of “write every day.” One author even went so far as to say that waiting for inspiration was lazy.
Now if you’re writing fiction inspired by actual events, or if you’re, for example, Janet Evanovich who has said she knows what is going to happen in each book, writing a page or more a day doesn’t seem as daunting. At that point, it’s probably more about getting the piece written before some self-imposed deadline, or making sure it gets done at all. But I must confess to being a “lazy” writer. I don’t sit around and wait for my muse to speak to me exactly, but it does take some brainstorming before I’ve figured out exactly what I want to happen with the storyline. Once that happens, it’s full spead ahead.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I am curently considering writing a longer piece. The idea I have is a fun one, and I really want it to work. Part of me wants to just start writing now and worry about the details later, but part of me really wants to plan it more carefully to avoid what’s sure to be one heck of a lot of rearanging.
So, outline, or not?

… It’s November?

Any of you out there doing NaNoWriMo this year?
First of all, good luck and patience to you. Secondly, I am not.
Novels and I in general don’t have the most productive history. I usually take forever to write them, and even then I almost never finish one. I did once, and now I really wish I still knew where it was.
So now, cram all this into one month and here’s what it might sound like inside my brain:
Ooh, novel writing month? I want to write a novel! Yes, I will write a novel and it shall be awesome!
ideas ideas ideas ideas–ooh, here’s one. first line. first lines are always important. Yes, I like that one. Ok now … hmm. How do I get from here to that one scene? … Maybe I can … I’ll just write another story until I think of something.
Hmm, amazing how fast three weeks can go by. Wait, what about a novel?

Or:
Oh good, I’ve been waiting for a chance to use these characters forever.
So Scott and Lisa live here … no, here .. or maybe I’ll decide that later. Ooh, and they have a dog because there should always be a dog or a cat. And I should make Lisa’s mom a hair dresser. And Scott should have a niece who doesn’t like her family and runs away a lot. and her mother smokes. And the dogs name is Beans because he’s a Boston Terrier. See what I did there? Oh and there are bunnies.
So Scott and Lisa’s mom don’t get along because Scott’s a police officer and Lisa’s mom–we’ll call her jill–says his job puts Lisa in danger. And even though Scott is a police officer, this isn’t going to be a mystery because I am bad at those, but there will be bunnies! But of course Scott’s parents don’t get along with him either because they wanted him to be a lawyer or a docter, but Scott dropped out of school to join the police force like his grandfather whom he admires, and bunnies!
But I think Lisa’s dad likes Scott though. And bunnies!
Plot? Didn’t you like the characters? and the bunnies?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t have story ideas. In fact half the struggle of sleeping at night is my brain fighting to contain all the ideas, my fingers reaching to tap out that one last story or paragraph or few sentences, my mind playing and replaying that one over heard conversation that gave me an idea that probably has nothing to do with what the people might actually have been talking about. I live story. I breathe story. Anything anyone ever says to me either gets told and retold later or remembered for a potential character. Everyone is a potential character. Everything is a potential story.
My problem is just that I don’t usually have fifty-thousand-word ideas. I much prefer short story. Much like snacking; it is quick, tasty, and you can never quite get enough. Of course I’m glad that not everyone is like me and can write out long and complex story lines. I do need something to read. hee hee.
Maybe someday I will try my hand at this novel writing phenomenon just to say I tried. No promises though.

Reviews For Distaste

I hate book reviews.

Well, I guess I don’t necessarily hate them, and I certainly don’t mind reading what a friend or fellow blogger has to say about a particular book he or she has read. What I really mean is that I find official reviews and rankings and ratings unuseful and annoying. It’s true, they completely get in my way and I can’t stand to read them when I don’t want to.
I’ve often told people that I read too much. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem with the internet and library combining their resources. The problem however is that I don’t do ebooks. It’s not so much that I have something against them; it’s just that I hate the sound of my computer reading to me. This is of course how I would read an ebook, and so if I am going to be read to , I’d rather it be by a human voice. Unfortunately this is where the trouble starts. Even though the library does have plenty of audio books, they really don’t have enough. Or what I find most annoying, they may have books 1, 2, 4, 7 and 9 in a series on audio, but the rest of the books won’t be on audio. Kindle always has the whole series though, but kindle and I do not get along. Also I happen to know for a fact that the companies who make the audio books do not record out of order and if they have book 4 in a series, then they will have books 1, 2 and 3.
I know, by now you’re probably saying to yourself that I should just sign up for something like audible.com, but there’s a problem there too.
beggars? choosers? beggars anyone?
Ahem!
But anyway, the caust just isn’t worth it for the amount of reading I do. I worked out the math once when I was desperate for reading and basically what I found is that I might as well just straight up buy my own audio books. I’ve likely mentioned this before, but there it is.
So, all that to say I am always on the lookout for more books and new authors. So whenever I come across one that sounds interesting, I go to read the synopsis and too often this is what I find:
“New York Times best selling author …The Washington Post raves … Brilliant says the … award-winning …”
And so on and so forth. Quite honestly, I could care less what any of those people have to say about the book. If anything, I’m less likely to read a book if that’s all I can see for the synopsis.
Of course if it’s already a book or author I like, then it’s fine, but I just don’t like being told by someone whose opinion doesn’t hold water with me, that a book is amazing. I’ll decide that for myself thank you very much.
Mostly, I just know what I like.

So Noted

Yes, we still have the tree.
Yes, the air purifier is still loud and annoying.
Yes, she is still being annoyingly unreasonable about it.
And yes, the tree now smells like bleach instead of pine.

So I know I’ve talked about characters before and how much I love them, but I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned yet how much I equally love creating characters. I just love making up people and exploring their lives. Most of all though, I love sharing them. The difference however between being published vs sharing with my friends however, is that when I share with my friends or my readers, I get more of an immediate and personal reaction. With a published work, it’s just a mass of faceless nameless people that I have to act for and really who I can’t ever get to know. With friends or my blog readers, I feel like I am bringing them in to my own little world that I’ve created. There is no room there for a mass audiance.
That being said, I have one friend who probably has some of the best reactions to my characters ever. So far, he has a hit/arrest warrent out for one character; two characters that should either date, or be BFFs; another two characters who must have at least one possibly awkward date; and one character who “obviously” owns guns, even though I’ve never actually said so.
You just can’t get that with a mass croud.

We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled … Life?

Returned have I to the land of blog.
Well, HG is gone, my friend is back home several states away, and I still feel gypped of summer. It’s also been raining a bit again, but it’s been sad bla rain.
A bit of curiousness here; I’m pretty sure HG must have taken my leftovers from Sunday when she left, and somehow I get the feeling Heather doesn’t much like her. She claims otherwise,but I think we all know how much louder actions speak than words. Honestly I liked her fine though. I have no idea, I am just not involved.I don’t entirely exist here if you’ll remember.
I got to go to the library the otherday and pick up some actual books! Of course, this might have been more exciting if the library in question had had more than three books for each of the authors I wanted. And even then the books they did have I had mostly read already. Perhaps I do read too much. But the library did redeem itself some by having a four-week check out period, yeee!
So I checked out three books, but then all the books I had on hold started coming in and since I would have those for a shorter time, I decided to read those first.
Have you ever read a book that needed to end long before it actually did?
One of my books was like that. I honestly should’ve guessed it from the slow and repetetive start it had, but I tried to give it a fair chance. As it turned out, I didn’t even like the ending, though I suppose the way the story went it didn’t have much choice.
So now I’m back to two others and series that I know well. Oh, not at the same time of course.

William

EEEEEEE!I now have a shiny new Shakespeare page! You should totally go check it out!.
Once apon a time I decided that I should read more shakespeare, then I went to college where Shakespeare was required, and then I decided I wanted to read even more Shakespeare. So Now I’ve got a page to sort of keep track of my Shakespeare reading and play going.
Woosh. How many times can I say Shakespeare? hee hee. Anyway I am all giddy and such! I may or May not be able to post tomorrow, but I’ll have stories!

Book Junky In The Rain

I just adore when my roommate leaves our door open in the morning.
I know I’ve told her I don’t like sleeping with the door open; perhaps I wasn’t really clear. I hate sleeping with the door open, and I especially hate waking up to its being open when it was closed the night before. Sigh.
This past Monday, I was on the verge of finishing a book that had me quite in its grips, when I remembered I hadn’t blogged anything yet. So I was like finish the book, then blog. No blog now because you’re not quite at the end.
And on and on. I did post of course, but it’s been awhile since I’ve read something and been that in to it. Mostly I think because I sometimes read so much at one time that stories and plots become numb and I need to take a break and do something nonbook related. I must have checked out almost 20 books over the course of last week and I’ve finished them all. Yeah, sometimes I really am that bad.
They’ve all been pretty good; some newer to me and some old friends from different series I love. Currently I’m reading one about ghosts and so far I’m loving it! I haven’t encountered such delicious prose in quite some time.
Sigh, yum.
I can’t remember when it’s rained for so many days at a time, but it rained again last night. It was mostly distant thunder for awhile, but then it started raining harder and harder and lasted nearly all night.
This time the rain was … comforting. I don’t know that I can say why, but sometimes it is. I feel sort of cocooned.
Well, here’s hoping Summer comes back soon because as far as I’m concerned, I am not done with it.