One of the things that I've found helps me in my editing (particularly dialogue) is when I assign a specific voice to my characters. This may be a celebrity or a person I know from life, but no matter where the voice comes from, it's always distinctive to me. Someone I've heard talk a lot. Someone who I've seen and heard express a wide range of emotions.
I'm betting it's safe to assume that the average American is looking forward to Tuesday night/Wednesday morning when the midterm elections will finally be over and political advertisements will cease for a while. I certainly won't miss the influx of junk mail and robo-calls. However, I doubt that things will calm down once the results are in and the winners announced. A month ago I posted an entry entitled “Us Versus Them” Helps No One. The feelings behind that post are still strong, but the results of these elections I feel will continue to divide us.
So with the start of November on Thursday, we will once again see the start of NaNoWriMo. I have yet to decide if I'm participating formally or not, but I do see a number of writers on social media gearing up for their projects. I love the encouragement and community that NaNoWriMo and its additional camps creates for writers both new and old, but the writing process itself, pushing to hit daily word count goals, doesn't work well for me.
I think all of us who write fiction will agree that most of us have things we will not write into stories. The obvious topics or scenes would be things we find to be boring or tedious to read, those things that make us skip ahead in books or put them down altogether. No one wants to find their own works boring, correct? Other omitted items may include those things we find fascinating but don't lend themselves to our preferred writing genres...
I spent most of last week feeling pretty lousy. Between humid nights, stressful days, and a stomach bug that left me unable to finish my meals, I had a hard time sleeping at night. Work kicked my butt in ways I didn't even notice; I started training a new employee, making my office hours fly by, and I clearly was not drinking enough to stay properly hydrated. Then on Thursday evening, I drove to Cleveland straight from work. I had spent most of the day feeling half-sick, but once I got to my hotel room, I finally started to relax and unwind. I knew it would be a great weekend, because I was attending my third Supernatural convention.
So for anyone who frequents social media, the past few weeks have probably been rough. Now, I will not downplay the trauma any person has felt as a result of assaults or honest discrimination, but there is a major problem if someone decides to demonize half the human race due to the actions of one or several individual(s). Not only is it unjust to hold someone accountable for something that they did not even bare witness to, but you will exhaust yourself doing it.
This past week, I began editing the abandoned novel manuscript I mentioned in last Monday's post, and for the first time in several months, I feel like I am making progress on a worthwhile project. While this feels amazing after so many weeks of struggle and frustration, I also want to keep in mind the other goals I set while on vacation. It's easy to get distracted by my old habits and to fall back into my routines, but these won't allow me to move forward.
I haven't talked much about the progress I've made on my writing during the past month because it's been a struggle. I love my current project's characters; I can hear their voices and I know their personalities. But what I can't seem to see is their actual story. Yes, I know the general plot points, the details of the setting, the characters' goals and motivations, and the solutions and final ending, but how all of these things interlace continues to escape me.
This week has had a vicious cycle of ups and downs so far. Over the course of my days, I have gone from sorrow to overwhelmed to empowered to frustrated and back to the beginning again. What makes it harder is that a person I know is being demonized. I admit that he's made mistakes, … Continue reading Attribute Nothing to Malice
To my regular watchers... I am postponing my normal blog post for this week due to events that are affecting my work life. I hope to have something written and posted on Wednesday at the earliest. Right now it is difficult to come up with anything positive or encouraging to say, so I feel it … Continue reading My Apologies