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A place for you writers to complain about your writing and the writing process... maybe posting what you got done today to make you feel like less of a writing failure.

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pengwenn
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Postby pengwenn » Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:17 pm

Sometimes I wonder if I'm cut out to write a novel. I've started one (a couple of times) but when I get to about 50 pages things just stop for me. I pushed through to 70 pages on one attempt but it was so hideous that the only thing it was good for was kindling.

In the last convention most of the authors said that within the first 50 pages or so of your book you should have done the following things:

1. introduced all your main characters
2. introduced the main conflict of the whole story
3. introduced at least one conflict for each of your main characters seperate from the main conflict
4. created a believable world (even if everything isn't explained yet it still needs to feel like a real world by giving the reader a sense of time and place)
5. set the mood/tone/style/feeling of the whole story

I don't know if I do all of those things, but maybe I am and once I do all those that's when I stall out because I don't know what to do next. (They said you use to have the first 100 pages to do all those things in but the attitudes/appetites of readers have changed and that's now down to about 50-75 pages.) I got some interesting ideas about outlining (something that I despised) that I might want to try with another attempt at a novel but I'll put that in the conference thread.
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Postby Mlou » Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:25 pm

I think you have to do whatever works for you. Some people can't write without a detailed outline. Others don't use one. I didn't use an outline so much as I used, and needed, a timeline, or I would have had some of my characters in two places at once.
Did you ever think of writing with a collaborator, so that you can bolster each other up over the dry spells and rough spots? It works for some people. Maybe it goes faster with 2 putting words on paper, and getting ideas.
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...


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Postby pengwenn » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:18 pm

Well, it is Anblick's turn at our long dead tag . . . . :-D
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Postby Mlou » Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:28 pm

I didn't mean a tag. Those always seem to peter out because the other people keep changing the direction. I meant a serious collaboration, with at least a marginally thought out focus, characters and direction. Not that I've ever tried it either. But I don't seem to get into dry spells, if I'm writing seriously.
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





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Postby Anblick » Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:11 am

pengwenn wrote:Well, it is Anblick's turn at our long dead tag . . . . :-D


Sure, it's all my fault! :roll: :)
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Postby pengwenn » Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:35 am

Okay this is all true as I felt this way when I got out of the house this morning (along with a little creative emblishment) but I've got to write it in 3rd pov because . . . well . . . I just do things that way (and I hate 1st pov). This all struck me as a very interesting and eerie thing.

The air felt old. Stale. Flat. And . . . well used. She walked out into the summer morning, the humidity still lingering in the air from the monsoon storms that didn't materialize the night before like the weatherman predicted, and headed for her car. It was the same routine she's done every morning 5 days a week but somehow everything felt different.

The air had a flat feel to it. Nothing moved. No wisps of fallen leaves skittering across the parking lot like they so often do in the rainy season. The normally dry air felt humid but not oppressive like it did the night before. More like the humid feel of someone's breath.

She hurried to her car with the sudden image that all the air was used. The cumilation of expelled breath from millions of other lying motionless across the globe. But there was no smell to it. Not the sweet twinge of butterscotch as if someone were sucking on the hard candy. No petrid smell of someone's rotting teeth. Nothing. Just flat. Old. And used.

She started her car, grateful that it did so this time, and pulled out into the rutted path she traveled every day. With the AC on a small breeze, cool and serene, wafted through her small sedan. A sigh of relief escaped between her lips. When she got out onto the road apprehension gripped her in a vise.

Things were not moving. Oh, there were cars that raced by her like formula 1 cars on a race track, but the bushes on the side of the road stood still. They did not bend and sway in the slipstream that the car created. It was almost like nothing anywhere could move if it couldn't move under it's own power. The air. The trees. The flag, left out after the holiday, only to be twisted around the pole like it had been whipped about in a frenzy hours before.
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Postby pengwenn » Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:21 am

I took my magnetic poetry home from work last week and now I'm depressed. I hadn't "made" a poem in a long time but those little black on white words were there waiting for me to manipulate and rearrange them into poetic brilliance (okay maybe poetic mediocracy). But after staring at them day after day and not being able to do more than pretty patterns of black shapes on those little white tiles I decided to take them home. My job is sucking the creative life out of me and I didn't want to be reminded of that day after day . . . after day . . . after day. . . .
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Postby JillStar » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:47 pm

Hey Pen... I liked the post right before your last... good imagery of "no" movement in the air. It was like that here the other day... the flag that usually flies as I go to work every morning was just hanging there like a wet blanket.

As for the magnetic poetry... I know what you mean about the job sucking the creative life out of you. I wrote way more when I wasn't working full time and I don't believe it's just because I had more time; that really doesn't matter. I just get frustrated putting 8 to 9 hours at work Monday thru Friday... and this last Saturday I went in to work because I was sick Wednesday and didn't want to use a sick day... plus I'm behind a little.

Anyway... I've never liked giving up so much of my life to enhance someone else's financial future. I would love to own my own place or... win the lottery. :D
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Postby pengwenn » Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:06 pm

I've been in the same job for almost 6 years and it hasn't been until recently that it's killed my spirit.

With the ineptitude of management I'm amazed sometimes that the company makes any money at all. What they're good at doing is changing things to make my job harder or not be willing to change things to make it better 'cause "we've done it this way for so long and we haven't had a problem with it before". They encourage us to speak out to help make changes for the better but I'm finding the only changes that are being implemented are the ones that are suggested by management. Nobody seems to care what us pions think about doing our jobs.

I was told I wasn't going to be promoted to a Senior Underwriting Assistant because I already make the money that a Senior would so what was the point of promoting me. I found out later that the company has a policy that when you get a promotion it is required that you get some kind of raise. Since I'm already close to the top of a Senior's pay range my boss doesn't think it's a good idea to go through all that paperwork if I'm going to be maxed out for salary advance already.

I'm also the only assistant in our department that has an objective to train any new asts that come in the department. We've had 3 new ones start this year but I have NOT be allowed to train them. Why? Because I'm not a Senior assistant. So there is no way I can meet that objective come review time which will effect my over all evaluation and how much of a bonus I can get (if we get a bonus this year). Go figure. :roll:
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Postby Mlou » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:05 pm

Be firm. Tell them (and they already know this) that the POINT of a promotion is that it shows appreciation and recognition of your abilities and the title is an important part of it. Also that you are eminently capable and experienced to train new assistants and expect this capability to be reflected in a promotion. THE SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS THE GREASE. The one who is meek, gets stepped on.

PS Don't blame me when they fire you for speaking up. :D
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Postby pengwenn » Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:20 pm

Here's the first paragraph a novel I just started (I've written only 1 paragraph so far :roll: ). I have the whole thing outlined in my head and it's something that I've got to get out so I can work on the things that I really want to work on. The story will suck, but that's okay.

I killed three men but it wasn’t murder. My lawyer says I shouldn’t admit things like that but I want you to know the truth. If you don’t know the truth then all you’ve got left to believe in is the stories they put on the evening news. And trust me they’re all lies. I’m not a murderer. And I’m not a hero either. I’ll tell you the truth of what really happened. And it all started with a lottery ticket.
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Postby Mlou » Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:33 pm

Very interesting opener, pengie!
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Postby pengwenn » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:21 pm

I know you've all probably listened to the latest podcast but if you haven't here's the link. It's my interview with Brandon Sanderson and he's got some great advice for writers. I just wish charlesp would have editted out my voice. Please don't let that discourage you. I'm finding myself going back to it every now and then for that little pick-me-up I need to remind myself why I want to write.
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Postby pengwenn » Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:42 am

Okay, I've got a question for all of you. Do you have a journal or notebook that you carry around with you for those spur of the moment writing inspirations? If so what does it look like? How do you use it? I had a small note book that I could stow in my purse but that seems too small. I'm having to condense my ideas so one idea doesn't fill up the entire notebook (I guess I could learn to write smaller then it wouldn't be so bad). I then tried using legal pads but writing only on one side of the page seemed a waste of paper. And if you tear the sheets off you've got to find a way to keep them in order and together. You also end up having lots of little groups of paper scattered around everywhere and you can never find the group you want.
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Postby charlesp » Wed Aug 01, 2007 11:49 am

I carry around a little knock-off of the moleskin (very nice, but sooo pricey) that I got for 3-4 bucks at Staples... has a little pocket in the back big enough for 3x5 cards, elastic "keep it closed" strappy thing, and moderatly durable faux leather cover, and it fits in my back pocket. I use it for all sorts of notes, work stuff, writing ideas, journalish entries... the list goes on.

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Postby pengwenn » Fri Aug 10, 2007 2:59 pm

I got a notebook at Target in the school supply section for cheep. Wide rule because I tend to write bigger the faster my hand goes. Spiral bound so I can write comfortably on both sides of the paper. We'll see how long I carry it around and use it.

How seriously do you blog? I'm not just talking here at Wordtrip. Do you have a blog on one of the many blogging websites? How often do you update? What do you use it for?

I have a gaming blog on blogspot Life of a Gamer Girl that I'm trying to treat seriously, but still have fun with it. The problem is sometimes I forget to do something for it. Sometimes I remember but get too busy with other things. Sometimes I just don't have anything I want to say at the time. And to top it all off the style of writing is something I'm not familiar with. Timber and X would do a better job than me with the style (which I don't even know what it is) but I'm trying. And hopefully getting better.
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Postby pengwenn » Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:34 pm

Okay I'm looking to get a new laptop but I'm not sure what to get. My old laptop's speed is a 256 if that makes you realize why I want to upgrade. I went out looking with my brother (the computer geek) last weekend and I was a little bit overwhelmed. He suggested a Fijitsu but those seem to be a little pricey for what I want to spend. With my eyes I think I might need a 17" screen but that narrows the selections down considerable. What I want to use it for mainly is writing, spreadsheets, other office programs, the internet, maybe watching a video or listening to music and simple gaming. I still need to upgrade my desk top so that one is going to be my designated hardcore gaming machine. I did consider buying a laptop to replace my desk top but I like my split keyboard. I'm not sure how well I'll do with the normal keyboard of a laptop. I could go for something cheaper and basic but will it be completely outdated in a year or two? Or I could spend more money on something fancier that might last longer but knowing I"m only using it for basic stuff. I'm not sure what to do.
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Postby pengwenn » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:37 pm

I think I've got some difinite proof that my job is sucking the creative life out of me. I have a gamer's blog that I'm trying to update semi-regularly and I noticed today that I haven't made any posts later in the week than Wednesdays since March. I don't do all my posting during breaks at work so you would think that sometime I would have something posted on a Friday or Saturday. I think by the time I get to those days of the week I don't want to see a computer screen for a long time. I need to find a "non-sucking-the-creative-life-out-of-me" job. My writing hopes and dreams depend on it.
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Postby pengwenn » Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:32 pm

I think my dream job would be to write for a video game magazine. It's the best of both worlds.
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Postby pengwenn » Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:14 pm

You know, life is funny sometimes. After I made my last post I went to the grocery store on the way home from work. I kept passing by the magazine aisle but I told myself that I'm saving money so I'm not buying anything NOT on my list. And unfortunately I didn't have magazines on my list. I had a bad day at work so I figured it couldn't hurt to at least look. I turned down the aisle and it was packed with people. I turned around and went to finish my shopping. On my way to the check out lines I absently turned up an aisle and found the way blocked. Guess what aisle I was on? You guessed it. I figured that since I was here I might as well look around while the idiot moved his cart. I ended up with 3 magazines by the time I got to the check out.

Well, a couple of days later as I was reading one of them, EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly) that I noticed a sidebar where they were asking for people to apply as interns (if you lived in the San Fran area) and asking for freelancers (if you lived anywhere not too far away). Maybe I'll give it a shot. Even though I don't know how to write an aritcle that would appear in a magazine. I just think it's all funny how all this turned out.
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Postby pengwenn » Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:19 pm

Okay this is not exactly writing on the fun side but I just turned in the rough draft of our procedure manual for my job. 110 pages of dry boring step by step instructions. If I didn't hate my job before (and I did) then I certainly do now. And the sad part is we're getting a new program to issue policies sometime in the next month or two so this procedure manual will be out of date by then and will need to be updated . . . again.
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Postby pengwenn » Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:48 pm

yesh! I tell my mother my Xbox 360 is broken and she starts hounding me that now is the time to write my novel. Like I have a clue how to pace a novel.
Last edited by pengwenn on Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TheMudge » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:37 pm

Pace it like a video game.
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Postby pengwenn » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:15 pm

There's one thing I can't stand about NaNoWriMo. It's all those people who claim to have written 50,000 words in the first week alone. That's over 7,000 words a day. They also claim to have a life (family, work, friends, etc.) so I don't know how they get it done.
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Postby charlesp » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:23 pm

IF they can totally brain-dump for their writing and not agonize over what comes next... that's about 2 hours a day at 60 wpm... I type faster than that, but can't brain dump a story out that fast.

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