After consulting multiple dictionaries and word guides, it was difficult to find an English word that suited my purposes and started with X. (No joke, there is not one word that starts with X on Merriam-Webster’s list of 3,000 English core words.)
No matter how hard I looked, I kept coming back to “xylophone” — the X word most of us learned as children from our alphabet books.
And the ubiquity of xylophone led me to think of a related topic: clichés.
Much like the prevalence of xylophones in our childhood memories, clichés are everywhere. And that’s why we have to avoid them. Continue reading “X is for Xylophone, and Avoiding Clichés”
Ever since I was old enough to use a dictionary, I have loved words. Even before I loved writing, I appreciated the mechanics of it, and words were the first way I came to be interested in writing. Continue reading “W is for Words”
Lately, even though I mostly write novels, I’ve been playing around with short stories. I’ve been doing this:
- For the challenge of it. It’s fun to shake things up and develop new skills.
- For improving my writing. Condensing a story into just a few pages or paragraphs takes discipline and subtlety, and I’m hoping this close examination of short stories will improve my longer ones.
- For the sake of submission. Is it just me, or are there more contests out there for shorter works? With society’s growing inclination for shorter things, I think it makes sense to learn how to write well in a short space, especially if you want to publish.
Continue reading “S is for Short Stories”
Definitions for “quotidian” range from “daily” to “usual or customary” to “ordinary or commonplace.”
I chose this word because its varying definitions highlight an ongoing debate in the writing community: should you write every day?
Continue reading “Q is for Quotidian: What’s Your Writing Habit?”
I was recently asked the question: what are your writing fears? And the answer wasn’t quite what I expected. It was just something I wrote down as the first idea that came into my head, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it’s probably my biggest one.
I fear that I write too much for myself. That what I write is really just for me and won’t resonate with others. Continue reading “F is for Fears”
The last stage of writing is one that I have yet to complete, at least for a novel, anyway. But editing and proofing have always been integral parts of my work, so out of all the parts of the writing process, this is one place that I feel within my element.
Editing is not glamorous. It’s tedious and nitty-gritty, and it takes a careful repetitiveness, but I’m OCD enough that I really like it.
So how do I go about editing? Continue reading “E is for Edit”
Drafting might be one of my favorite steps in the process of writing.
There is so much possibility in the first couple of drafts. While stories have the ability to surprise you at any point in the process, I think the drafting stage is when they are most alive and untamed. No matter how much time you spend in the previous stage of creating the plot many things can change when actually writing. Continue reading “D is for Draft”
Today begins a mini-series within this month-long series of the A-Z Challenge. I’ll be posting on three parts of the writing process: creating, drafting, and editing. Each post will be short, offering three insights into that stage of the process. It will by no means be comprehensive, but hopefully it will be fun and informative.
So, C is for create. Continue reading “C is for Create”
A love of adventure is something that drives many endeavors, and it’s the motivation and joy behind the two things this blog is about: writing and traveling. Each of my posts from A-Z will explore some aspect of how writing or travel (or both) is an adventure. Continue reading A-Z Challenge Theme Reveal
For the month of April, I will be participating in the A-Z Blog Challenge, and I invite you to join me! What is the A-Z Challenge, you ask? To quote the website: “…you would start beginning April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until … Continue reading A-Z Challenge: Coming Soon!
I wrestled with this question leading up to NaNoWriMo this year. Should I attempt to write my story in chronological order, even in the first draft?
You see, until the story I wrote for NaNo, I had not yet written any fictional story in chronological order. In fact, it’s rare that I write much of anything in order, including essays for school or documents for work. I tend to start with what I know or what seems like the most fun part to write, and then I rearrange later as I shape the work and figure out what I want it to be.
Continue reading “Should You Write Your Story in Chronological Order?”
NaNoWriMo conveniently sent me a list of questions to answer now that NaNo is over, and as they make for an excellent recap, I’m just going to “stick to the script” if you will.
- What are you most proud of achieving this month?
- What did you learn about yourself as a writer?
- What excites you about this draft of your NaNo-novel?
Continue reading “NaNoWriMo 2014: A Recap”
I did it. I won NaNoWriMo!
I wrote 50,035 words, and I did it in the span of 30 days. And honestly, it doesn’t feel real yet. Even though I’ve scrolled through all of that text — all the good and the bad, the parts I love and hate. Even though I know that quite a few hours of my November were spent writing, I’m still in awe. Me? The procrastinator? The “I don’t write fiction” girl? The one who used to say “I don’t have time to write”? The same person who frantically wrote 15K just this weekend because I wanted to win? Yep. That girl. Somewhere, somehow, and quite possibly by magic, I did it.
Continue reading “Winning NaNoWriMo”
It’s hard to believe one week of November, and thus, one full week of NaNo is already behind us. I can’t believe it. Next thing I know, it will be over and I’ll be putting up a Christmas tree!
So, how’d week one go? Well, for me, it went better than expected, all things considered. This week was busier than I thought it would be. (I thought this was going to be my “quiet” week in November. Oh, how wrong I was.) Thus, with not anywhere near as much time on my hands as I had hoped, and only two dedicated writing sessions this week, I’m happy to report that my word count is not abysmally off par.
Continue reading “NaNoWriMo 2014: Week One Check-In”
Throughout the month of October, I’ll be posting a few blogs about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which is in November. As I had such a positive experience last year, I’ll be talking about why I recommend it and how to survive it. #WhyNaNo
Now that I’ve talked about why you should do NaNoWriMo and how to survive it, what are my personal plans for NaNoWriMo this November?
Before I answer that, let’s take a moment to examine what’s led up to now in the past year.
Continue reading “My Plans for NaNoWriMo This Year”