Daily Divulge: Three Day Weekend!

Not from writing, of course. That would defeat the purpose of writing every day. Nah, just from the book store. Three days of not sweating to death while throwing around boxes and books and unwrapping 8000 pens (the new season of stationary is coming in. Hurrah.)

Today’s writing was a follow-up scene to yesterday’s genius idea. I did have an smaller idea for a detail to mix in this morning before I sat down to write, and that expanded the word count significantly.

No idea what I’m writing tomorrow.

Anyway, off on errands for me. And then back home for more writing. Article going up on the other blog tomorrow (I hope.)

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Daily Divulge: Sleep Walking

I got my writing done early today!

Yay for the random new scene that popped into my head at 3:30 this morning as I was trying to sleep after a 20+ hour day. Before that, I had no idea what I was going to write today.

But I like the scene. Adds a bit of drama, and affirms the one character’s attraction to the other, and hints a bit at the effect he has on her that neither of them are realizing yet. And it gives me somewhere to start for tomorrow’s work. It’s also Chapter 50, so that’s something of a milestone, right?

But I do have to apologize to Leila and Cillian for making her incredibly vivid dreams turn her into a sleep-walker and creating an incredibly awkward situation for Cillian. It will only happen the once.

I think.

So far.

(No promises about the second half.)

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Daily Divulge: Just One of THOSE Days…

So my daily goal is 1000 words. I managed to eke out 1001 today. Mostly by going back through the chapter and adding to it, because I didn’t feel like starting a new chapter for around 60 words.

Oh, and that book I was almost finished yesterday? Finished it today…so very much not the end of the series.

Inventory at another store tonight. My social anxiety is pushing its limits today, so I’m not looking forward to dealing with a whole host of strangers.

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Daily Divulge: Long Day

Well, I’m glad I had tonight off work, because I’ve been poking at my writing all day. Haven’t got much of anything else done yet, and I doubt I will.

But I’m at the end of a book series, almost at the end of the final climax. So can you blame me?

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Daily Divulge: Milestone!

Today is sort of a big-ish day. It’s Day 50 of my last challenge cycle in prep for NaNo. (I’ll write much more about this next week.) I’ve written 59, 310 words in the last 50 days (not all on the current project, as I floundered about for several days, working on short stories while I struggled to pick a big project to work on.)

And even though I’ve switched back to writing in Word, and I go through phases where I forget to save, I haven’t lost all that many words. Maybe a few hundred total.

Maybe I’ll get around to writing about why I’m not using Novlr. But I don’t want to sound bitter, so maybe I won’t. I don’t know.

What I do know is that inventory at the book store yesterday was killer. Everything hurts, and I just want to curl up and sleep, but the world won’t let me. Late caffeine plus early morning lawn care (when the grass isn’t even that long) plus a pot-smoking neighbour or six equals a sleepy, cranky writer. I may have taken it out on my character (but the scene started yesterday, so maybe not.) And we’re doing the inventory at another store on Wednesday. I am going to be a wreck.

Anyway, off to do other things.

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Daily Divulge: Hiding from the Heat

It’s still stupid-hot. Not quite as bad as yesterday, thanks to a 3am thunder storm. But still hot enough that I’m not leaving the basement unless I have to.

Writing today was a little…torturous. I’m mired in a section of the plot that I haven’t really…plotted. I want to jump ahead and get working on the final lead-up to the climax, but that’s not going to work with where the characters are. They need more time. So I must be patient and slog through.

I did have a flash of an idea for a crime novel. It’s now scribbled down in my lovely notebook so I can come back to it one day. Writing one novel while planning two others takes up too much time as it is. (Okay, one of the novels in the planning stage is part two of the novel I’m currently working on, so it’s not requiring as much work.)

Anyway, on to other things for the day.

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Navigating Through Writing Advice to Find Your Voice

If you’ve ever thought about writing, Facebook is probably popping sponsored posts for various writing programs into your news feed. They’re cycling through three different ones for me. (Or is it four now? I’m not entirely sure.) The current one is offering the kit for free, as long as I pay shipping and handling.

But writing advice, tips, systems, and programs aren’t limited to Facebook ads. They’re everywhere. Most author interviews that I’ve read or skimmed feature some question about the writer’s process. Some of those authors have written entire books on it. Then there are message boards, how-to books, and blogs like this one.

I’ve bought a few books in the past. I’ve read message boards, joined writing groups on Facebook, read online articles. I’ve tried tricks suggested by writer-friends. I haven’t bought into any of these writing systems that “guarantee” to help me finish my book, but it’s gotten to the point where I’m highly suspicious of anyone asking for money (I’m working with a part-time retail income, here.)

Few tips have stuck.

Maybe I’m just ornery. I do tend to like figuring out how to do things the way that works best for me. But here are the three tips I’ve come across that I feel are truly universal for writers of any genre.

The first one that stuck was from R.L. Stine. I was obsessed with his books as a child (and I still have my Goosebumps collection.) In an FAQ at the end of his autobiography, he answered a question seeking advice to kids who wanted to grow up to be writers. His recommendation was to read. Read everything. And I wholeheartedly agree. Not just because reading is a wonderful past time (and reading fiction helps you develop better empathy skills.) Reading across different genres and authors will introduce you to new voices and styles.

The second, I’ve heard from various sources: write every day. Even if you’d rather stick pins through your eyelids, write something. It doesn’t have to be any good, or even coherent. Just write.

And the third was something I’d come to accept, but the first time someone suggested it was last year, when I was at the Guy Gavriel Kay signing. He said: find your own way. By all means, try all the tips and systems you want. Some of them will stick. Some of them, you’ll modify. Or you may make it up entirely. It doesn’t matter. What matters is producing the work.

So keep that last one in mind, especially if you want to try one of those systems or read one of those books. Or if you’re reading my articles. What I’ll write about here is my own experiences. You’re welcome to try anything I suggest, or modify my methods into something that words for you, or to ignore them entirely. The only “writing rules” I will ever say are universal are the three I’ve listed above.

So explore. Have a little fun with it all. You’ll find your way if you keep at it.

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