Tag Archives: write


I had heard of NaNoWriMo in the past, but I never participated.  Why?  Because coming up with 50,000 words’ worth of an idea is not easy.  All of my novels had already been started, or even finished.  And I was left fresh out of ideas.  So what did I do this year?  I pulled something out of my ass!  It’s a shaky plot at best, but I’m writing this for fun, because this competition is supposed to be enjoyable.  It’s a nice way to challenge myself.  So I’m trying for 50,000 words, even though I am in the middle of a very busy part of my semester in school.  Also, when I try to write a lot, this inevitably happens:

I am pretty sure that I am not the only one who has ever had this experience.  I’m too easily distracted, it’s true.  I should also probably have never gotten a Tablet, but since I did, I figured I’d put it to good use.  You’ll probably be seeing a lot more of my crappy drawings in the future.  I figured it would spice up the blog a lot.  I do actually have another blog where I get out most of my comic urges http://baconbitscomics.wordpress.com/[EDIT 2/20/2012: I am no longer working on Bacon Bits, but I have left the site up for anyone who wants to go through the old comics.  From now on, all my cartooning energy will be put towards this blog], but my heart and soul really belong to this one, so I wanted to add some color.  Anyway, I’m doing my best in NaNoWriMo.  I feel like I should offer some profound and useful tips, but I don’t really have any.  I mean, anything I write will simply be a repeat of all my previous blog posts up to this one.  This is a blog for writers, right?  Okay, okay.  I’ll try.  Hmmm…

1. Throw your phone out the window…Okay, don’t do that, but try to put yourself in a position where you won’t be disturbed for a decent chunk of time.  And during that time, try not to answer your phone or check Facebook or take over the world…or whatever it is you usually do.

2. Timeline!  I’ve already written a post about this (See Writer’s Block) but it bears repeating.  You need to write a ton of stuff in a very short period of time, so save yourself the agonizing minutes of figuring out what’s going to happen when.  Map it out ahead of time!

3. Make mistakes.  Since there’s a time limit on this contest, you don’t really have the luxury of being anal about every little typo or wording problem.  Get the words down first.  That’s your priority.  Then you can go back and edit.

4. Don’t worry if you don’t make it!  Seriously, I can’t stress this enough.  This contest happens once a year, so it’s not like you’ll never have another chance.  And besides, like I said, it should be fun first.  If you find yourself losing sleep/skipping meals/not bathing over this, then you’re probably doing something wrong.  Just sit back, relax, and enjoy.  Oh, and write.  Can’t forget writing.

5.  Manage your time.  If you’re someone who has trouble making/remembering deadlines, then schedule out your writing time so you make sure to do a little every day.  Keep an eye on your word count, and if you miss a day, don’t sweat it.  All you have to do is tack on a few extra words for the days that follow.

Okay, that’s it!  That’s my advice.  Hope it helps!

Holy crap!  I just realized I forgot to do a Word of the Day for my last post!  Shame on me, letting my rage over bad grammar stop me from teaching you useless vocabulary words!  I’m going to go back and add one in just as soon as I’m done with this post.  So be sure to check!

Word of the Day: Kowtow (v) – to touch the forehead to the ground while kneeling, as an act of worship, reverence, apology, etc., especially in former Chinese custom.



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Between You and Me, People Need to Stop Saying “Between You and I”

Hi everybody.  I’m writing today to update you on my life as a failed writer, and to provide a quick, illustrated rant about proper grammar.  Firstly, I recently sent out about ten query letters for one of my books.  So far I’ve received three rejections, and believe it or not, it doesn’t bother me anymore.  The only way I’m going to get published one day is if I keep trying…or if I meet somebody who works in the business.  That’s plan B.  I’m hoping to get an internship with a publisher or literary agent after I graduate, so that might also be an in.  But for now, I’m sending queries out, and writing as often as I can.

Second, I’m sick and tired of hearing people say “Between you and I.”  I’m pretty sure it happens so much because people have this thought process:  I always want to say things like “Sally and me went to the beach,” but I know that I’m supposed to say “Sally and I went to the beach” even though it doesn’t sound right.  But it does make me sound smarter when I remember to say “I” instead of “me,” so I’ll just keep doing that for every sentence ever, and boy will I sound smartical!

Here’s the thing, people: SOMETIMES IT’S OKAY TO SAY “ME”!!!  The following is a little drawing I made of a conversation between you and I.

So, how can we tell if we are supposed to say “I” or “me”?  It’s simple.  I learned this trick in like…first grade, so it’s probably understandable.  When you have a sentence with “Someone and I/me”  you just take out the “Someone and” part and see if the sentence still makes sense without it.  For example: Sally and I went to the beach = I went to the beach.  YAY!  It works!  Sally and me went to the beach = Me went to the beach.  Oh NO!  That doesn’t work.

Granted this method doesn’t work so well with “Between you and me,” because you just get “Between me.”  But “Between I” doesn’t sound much better.  And you can replace “between” with a different preposition that does work.  Like: Over you and me = Over me.  That works!  For your further education, I have illustrated a conversation between you and me as well.  For the purposes of this exercise, you are a clown.

Now, of course I know that my loyal readers (I have those, right?) would never make such a mistake.  I’m just going off on a little tangent.  I love you guys if you exist!  See you later!

Word of the Day: Effervescent (adj) – vivacious, gay, lively, sparkling

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Writer’s Block

I am back, fellow writers, and I am not dead.  I’ve just been way too lazy to post.  But I’ve got a new one for you today, and it’s one I’ve been thinking about for quite a while, so I hope you like it (run-on sentence).

Writer’s Block is an affliction that cannot be cured with pills, unless you get all your inspiration from drug-induced hallucinations.  I’m really hoping you don’t, though, and if you do then GET HELP!  Stop reading this blog right now and find someone to help you with this problem of yours!

For those of you who aren’t addicts (of the drug variety anyway — mmmm chocolate) I have thought long and hard about Writer’s Block, what causes it, and how to cure it.

First, there is the cause.  Why do you suddenly find yourself with this annoying mental blockage when days, hours, or minutes earlier your mind was a veritable reservoir of….um…That is to say you had a plethora of…ideas!  That’s it!  You were a reservoir of creativity and ideas!  Ha ha lame joke moving ON!  For me, my bouts of blockage have occurred at the worst possible times – when I’m right in the middle of a project, and have been chugging along with a full head of steam up until the point where I hit that figurative brick wall – causing me to wish I could slam my head into a literal brick wall.

Not pictured here: The answer to all your problems.  Pictured here: The cause of a concussion.

This pattern of blockage has occurred so often that…jeez, it sounds like I’m a commercial for constipation meds or something….

Anyway, I’ve derived a pattern, a cause, if you will.  You see, I often have very good ideas for the start, and possibly the end, of my books.  I even have concepts for certain events that I want to happen in the book.  It’s when I reach a moment where one such event has ended that I have my problem, because I’m either not sure what the next event should be, or I know what I want to happen next, but I don’t know how I should lead up to it.  In other words, I have A and C, but I’m not sure what B should be.  And what exactly do I mean by “event”?  Well, it could be anything.  You could also think of it as a “scene” I suppose.  Here’s an example:

Sally Johnson went to the store and bought some milk.  She then returned home and gave the milk to her mother.

To some, there are four “events” in this story: going to the store, buying milk, returning home, and giving the milk to the mother.  To some, there might only be two: The time leading up to and in the store, and the time after the store.  But whatever your definition, if you run out of ideas for these moments, then suddenly you can’t write anymore.  For instance, what if I knew that Sally was ten when she bought the milk, but the next idea I had for her character was when she was thirteen?  How do I fill up the time in between?  What other things happen to her between the buying of the milk and her thirteenth birthday?  I have two solutions for this problem.

NO!  Not that!

Solution 1: Skip past the part I’m unsure about and start writing the next event I’m sure of.  I always put an inch or two of space in between the two sections so I know where I left off in the first part of the story.  In other words, I know what point I have to go back to so I can fill in the gaps.  And that’s exactly what I do.  Sometimes, it’s just the act of writing that gets my creative juices flowing enough to make me think of what should happen in that gap.  Other times, it becomes clearer to me what B should be when I have both A and C fully written out.  I think it has something to do with the fact that, once I have C written, I have a better idea of where my character has ended up emotionally and physically, so I know what kinds of things need to happen to get them to that point.  For instance, if Sally starts out frightened of going to the store by herself, and then I write a later scene where she is no longer frightened of going to the store, then I know that the scene(s) in between need to somehow include Sally getting used to going to the store.  And then I have my jumping-0ff point.

Solution 2: Timeline.  I make a timeline of every “event” I already know I want to have in the story.  Sometimes I just include the big things – car explodes, thirteenth birthday, mother loses arm to rabid badger attack, etc. – and sometimes I need to include smaller details.  This usually happens when I’m making a timeline for just one part of the book, instead of the whole thing.  i.e. go to store, walk through door, look around, find dairy section, find milk, buy milk, walk home.  In the grand scheme of things (the timeline for the whole book, in other words) this would probably be written as one event.  Something like, “Sally buys milk at store.”  Once I have all these events written out, I usually get the same results as I would from Solution 1 – I see what I have, and where my character is going, and can figure out what’s missing.  I can also ask “What if?” a lot using the timeline.  “What if she meets a one-eyed elf in the supermarket in between ‘Car explodes’ and ‘thirteenth birthday’?  Would that further my story?”  And I can keep running through ideas like that until I land on the right one.
The other thing to remember is to JUST KEEP WRITING!  Creativity is a muscle!  Writing well takes time!  You only improve if you keep doing it, and keep making mistakes!  My methods will not work for everyone, and you have the best chance of figuring out your own solution through trial and error.  Note that “Trial” is the most important aspect!  Your only “error” without “trial” is never trying at all.  That makes no sense to anyone but me, I’m sure.  Oh well.  I tried.  I will say that I have multiple projects going on at one time, so if I get stuck on one, I can still keep writing by switching to another.  That way I’m never left without something to work on, so I get to keep working that creativity muscle even if I’m suffering from Writer’s Block with one of my projects.

That’s all for now!  I’ll probably write again one day!

Word of the Day: Proletariat (n) – the class of wage earners, especially those who earn their living by manual labor or who are dependent for support on daily or casual employment; the working class

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