Patron Short Story: Sunset [July 2019]

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Writing Is Like… Painting

I’m no artist when it comes to painting or drawing or even coloring sometimes. I tend to stick with doing rainbow patterns when I color unless I’m working on a cartoon character whose colors I know. There’s a lot of work that goes into a painting and the like as is writing. There are a lot of similarities between the two, as far as I can tell.

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The Blank Page Or Canvas

We all get that creative block once in a while. Sometimes we don’t know what to write, don’t know where to go next in our writing, or there are too many things we want to try writing all at once. The problem is, we’re having a lack of vision for a particular project or we have too many visions and don’t know where to start. I feel like painting can be the same way. What do I draw? What colors do I use? What style do I want to choose?

There’s a reason that pencils come with an eraser and keyboards come with a backspace.

It’s Abstract

Bouncing off of that, if you start with a paintbrush and make a mistake, you can either start over, attempt to fix it and turn it into something else, or work with it and make the painting look abstract. No two people view the same painting just as no two people read the same book.

Pictures and writing can be abstract in a way that we all interpret what we see differently from the person before and behind us. Poetry is a good example of this as well. The words flow together like a paintbrush’s stroke on the canvas.

In The End, Something Beautiful Is Created

Whether writing a book or painting a picture, something beautiful is always created in the end. The hard work pays off. This bit of practice will make your next project that much better than the one before it.

What are some ways writing reminds you of painting? Does it remind you of anything else? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Time To Write: Drive [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a General prompt. Check out some stories from fellow writers here:

This week’s writing prompt is:

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Write a story about the word above – Drive.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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Writing Is Like… Dancing

I used to dance when I was in upper elementary school and lower middle school. I had stopped for a couple of reasons and never went back. Though it’s something I do often when no one’s looking and should I ever get the money to spare and find an adult dance class, I wouldn’t mind trying to get back into it – provided my bad knee allows me to.

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The Words Flow

No, don’t tell me you have writer’s block or that you stare at a blank screen for hours on end. Once you start writing, it’s difficult to stop. The words just flow straight from your mind to your fingertips and onto the page or screen. It’s a good feeling when you have a steady stream of words going onto the page. Even when you write a piece of dialogue or connect something to the plot, it’s a great feeling. Writing is hard, but it came sometimes write itself and make a little bit of sense.

Your Fingers Dance

That sounded much better in my head. When I see “your fingers dance” written down now it sounds stupid, but I don’t know how else to say it. It’s true – when you write, especially on the computer – your fingers are dancing. They’re tapping against the various letters on the keyboard and even if you write pen to paper, your hand and wrists are still moving right along.

We Write To Music

Some of us write to actual music. I tend to listen to instrumental or classical while I write. If I have anything with singing or lyrics will I totally get distracted and start singing along and actually start dancing. Then nothing gets done. But still, listening to music while writing isn’t bad and I know a lot of people do it. But also, whether you listen to music or not, the tapping on your keyboard is kind of like music anyway.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll sometimes start singing or rapping in tune with the way I’m typing. I can’t be the only one who does that.

Right?

What are some ways writing reminds you of dancing? Does it remind you of anything else? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Coming Back With A Fresh Mind

Happy Monday, everyone! I feel like it’s been a little while since I’ve posted on here. I skipped two days last week, which is totally unlike me. I usually have my blog posts done in advance, but I got behind due to writing. I was also busy with my Dad’s birthday, Easter, and other things. I’ve been exhausted and blogging definitely got pushed to the back burner.

It’s weird because I haven’t missed a day of blogging in three years. Still, I’d rather post useful content than post just for the sake of posting. I’m coming back for a fresh mind now, so I thought I’d give a quick (which will most likely turn into a long) update.

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Writing

Sunday Morning: A Collection of 52 Flash Fiction

First things first, writing has been kind of crazy lately. I’ve been working on a lot of different projects and officially know what the self-publishing process is like. My debut book, Sunday Morning: A Collection of 52 Flash Fiction is now available on Amazon. It comes out tomorrow, April 23, but you can still pre-order it right now. I’m still working on a few things – such as getting the paperback set up as well as getting the book out there on other platforms. It’s a work in progress, a learning curve, but hey – it’s on Amazon. I did it. So, if you’ve enjoyed my Short Story Sunday feature on the blog, then please grab a copy of Sunday Morning.

Crossroads

I’ve been working on my next Wattpad novella – which has turned into a novel. Which will most likely have a sequel. It was not supposed to be this way. Still, I’m enjoying myself as I write it. I have a long road of editing ahead of me, but that’s okay. I’ve been keeping notes and ideas for when that time comes.

I’ve been using this story as my project for Camp NaNoWriMo and the 85K90 Writing Challenge. As I write this post, I’m sitting at 45,717 words for Camp NaNoWriMo. So, I only have 4,283 words left to right to reach 50K. I’m hoping to do that today once my blogging is done for the day.

I’ve also been using this story to catch up with the 85K90 Writing Challenge. I edited for a good chunk of the “writing” months so I’m using April’s “finish” month to reach the 85K word goal. Right now I have 77,033 words. I need another 7,967 words to complete the writing part of the challenge. If I reach 50K for Camp NaNo today, that’ll knock down 4-5,000 words and I should be able to finish the challenge tomorrow.

George Florence & The Perfect Alibi

I’m getting closer to completing this one. I have a publication goal in mind for 2020, though that’s all I’m going to say for now. I’m still working on it, it’s still happening. It’ll be here soon, I promise.

I don’t have too much else to say about it. I’m in the final self-editing stages. Then it’s off to an editor, which I’m currently shopping around for.

Blogging

Posts

I need to sit down and look at my planner again and really get my posts in order again. I’ve gotten behind in getting them set up in advance. I have plenty of ideas but I haven’t sat down to work on posts in a while. This is definitely on my to-do list for the week.

Admin & Maintenance

I’ve been wanting to go through my old posts for a while now. I need to upgrade most of the pages on this site and there are some new things I want to do with the blog. I’ve had the business plan for WordPress for over a year now and I’m just rediscovering plugins. I didn’t realize the many different things I could do with my blog and also how fancy I could make it look.

I’ve had something in mind for a while and I found a way to do it through my blog without creating a brand new website. If I can, I’ll definitely work on that so I only have to maintain this blog and have everything in one place. It’ll make it easier for all of us.

There are also a lot of simple upgrades I want to do for the blog as well. Of course, this is something I’ll be working on throughout the summer (at least, my goal is to have this all done by September). I won’t sit down and do it all at once – no one wants the blog to change overnight. These changes will be slow and subtle. Well, some may not be as subtle.

Still, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve finally found a way to do all these things I’ve been wanting to do for a while! I feel like I’m creating a brand new blog and it’s a good feeling.

That’s It For Now

I was super busy and totally overwhelmed last week with the launch of Sunday Morning and everything else going on. When I tried to get any work done, nothing happened, but I did brainstorm. Now I’m back and feel ready to continue as well as implement my new ideas and plans.

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Ten Thousand Words

I haven’t missed a day of blogging in a long time. I had a post set up for today, though I didn’t write it.

It’s about 9:30 at night for me as I write this and my posts for the day goes up at midnight the day of.

Kris had the day off from work today, so we decided to give ourselves a 10k-writing day for Camp NaNoWriMo. Not only was I writing 10,000 words for Crossroads, but I was also giving Sunday Morning one final proofread before finally formatting the book and getting it up and ready to publish.

I have been on the computer writing and editing since 6:30 this morning. I took a shower and dinner break and that’s it. Poor Lilah (my laptop, not the character) has been on for 15 straight hours.

She definitely needs a break and so do I.

I was just about to get off when I realized I didn’t publish today’s blog post.

Normally, I don’t like to post just for the sake of posting. However, because I haven’t missed a day in forever, my OCD was flipping out.

So, here’s today’s post nine and a half hours late. Written in an exhausted tone because my fingers are tired. My butt hurts. My brain is mush.

I feel good though, in an odd way. I was super productive.

I hope you all had a lovely day. I’m beat.

Have you done a 10K day before? How’s Camp NaNoWriMo going for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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How Many Drafts Does It Take?

When I first started writing, I often wondered how many drafts it would take me to “complete” my manuscript. Before I could submit it places for publication, how many drafts would I have to write, edit, rewrite, and the like? Of course, the more I wrote, the more I realized there’s no true answer to how many drafts does it take to write a novel?

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My First Manuscript

I completed the first draft of my very first novel back in 2010. It’s been nine years and I don’t even know how long since I last touched it. I still have the manuscript and I’m on the eighth draft. It’s still not done. At this point, it will never be done.

Being the first novel I had ever written, I know it’s not going to see the light of day. I’m not even sure if I like the idea enough to ever go back to it and try to rewrite the story. Maybe someday I’ll share some bits of it, but today is not that day.

I Thought I Needed A Lot Of Drafts

Of course, that particular novel had a lot of drafts because I didn’t know much of what I was doing. I thought it needed to be perfect, which there is no such thing. I also thought that having multiple drafts and a crap ton of ink-filled paper meant that I was a “real writer.” That novel wasn’t a manuscript unless I had a handful of stacks of that same manuscript riddled with black and red ink.

But you don’t need a lot of drafts. You just need as many as you think it will take to tell the story at a polished level. When do you know it’s polished? That’s harder to tell because we all strive for the novel to be as perfect as can be.

It Depends On Style And Genre Too

I write mostly novels. I have written a couple of novellas. I have written short stories and compiled them into a collection. I’ve even written poetry and scripts. I find the longer it is, the more drafts you may have. You can’t catch everything in one sitting.

I was on my second or third draft of George Florence and the Perfect Alibi before I rewrote the whole book with a POV change. Now I’m on the third or fourth draft of that. So, you figure all together I have about six or seven drafts of that manuscript. Meanwhile, my novellas on Wattpad only took one round of edits.

It’s All Up To You

Whatever you think you’re novel needs, do it. Just don’t overdo it.

How many drafts do your novels typically take until they’re complete? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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A Writing Update

Happy Wednesday! I know a did a WIP Wednesday update last week, but I mentioned in that post that I haven’t done a whole lot of writing. I figured some things out over the weekend and I thought it was time for me to do a writing update on that.

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Getting Ahead

I’ve been so focused on trying to get ahead with blogging and other things so that I can focus on writing that I haven’t been focusing on writing… I mean, I’m been making great progress in other things, don’t get me wrong. However, we’re halfway through March and what do I have to show for it when it comes to writing? Not much, to be honest.

Last week was totally up in the air too. We were waiting for my nephew to be born. He came a day earlier than the due date so most of my time was spent visiting them at the hospital and going to their house. Everyone is doing well and we’re all blessed to have another baby in the family!

Over The Weekend

I made a new calendar for myself over the weekend. At the beginning of the year, I listed what projects I had planned on working on each month for all of 2019. Each project has a deadline for every stage of writing all the way to publication. I go in spurts sticking with it so I made a new calendar and assigned projects to each day. Monday through Friday I’ll be working on novels and such while Saturdays will be one-offs, short stories, etc. Sundays will be a break day unless I’m in the mood to work on something writing related.

This Week

With that said, this week I’ve been working on two projects. Sunday Morning – yes, this is still coming. Way later than I originally thought, I know. Once the book is out, I’ll be writing a post about why it took so long. There are a lot of factors to it. However, I have a new release date for it and a solid plan to get it all done by then, pre-orders and all. There will be more on that later.

I’ve also started (I was supposed to work on it all month) outlining my next Wattpad novella. It’s a fantasy, RPG-style. I haven’t really written anything like it before but I’m excited to give it a go. I think it’ll turn out well.

85K90 Writing Challenge

Yeah, about this… we’re supposed to be in the 45,000 range and I have just about 10,000 words. I mean, I still have the month of April, which is also a Camp NaNoWriMo month so I’ll be writing 50,000 words anyway. I’ll catch up no problem. What was hard about this so far is that the majority of my projects are already in the editing stages so I didn’t need to “write” anything. But I’m trying to keep up with it as best as I can. I’m rewriting a couple of stories for Sunday Morning and also rewriting George Florence and the Perfect Alibi, so I’ve been counting those words.

Camp NaNoWriMo

I have this all planned out already (even though I haven’t put it on the website yet). I’ll be writing my Wattpad novella while continuing to rewrite George Florence and the Perfect Alibi. For the last two days, I’m going to prep my next project after Sunday Morning to prepare for the 85K90 Writing Challenge’s editing months while begin in May. But of course, more on that later.

I’m In Good Shape

While I should have had Sunday Morning published a while ago, I think I’m in good shape at this point. Slow and steady wins the race and I’m looking forward to the next couple of months. I’ll stick to these calendars and come May, I’ll make a calendar for the next few months.

How has your writing been going? Do you have a good routine? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Why The First Draft Is Easy

So, I mentioned yesterday that the first draft is probably the easiest part of writing. I mean, it’s hard because the blank page can be mocking and it’s hard to even get started. But I think the first draft is the easiest part of the whole writing process for a few different reasons.

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You’re Telling Yourself The Story

Who else is better to tell your story than you? Everyone has a story – fiction or nonfiction. Yes, it’s hard to get started, but once you do, the words can easily flow from the page. Being able to follow your imagination and letting your creativity go free is one of the easiest things you can do – as long as you allow yourself to let loose. Yes, we all get creative blocks, but those can be easily dealt with.

It’s Supposed To Suck

No one publishes their first draft. If they do, then it either didn’t sell well or they write like a God. So, allow yourself to write awful. Whatever ideas come to your mind, just write them down and use them. They may not stick, but at least you tried and new ideas may come from them. Ideas stem from other ideas, good or bad. When you allow yourself to write bad, the first draft can be so easy because your fingers just keep typing away at the keyboard.

I’d say don’t bother to edit or fix typos either, but… that bothers me too, so…

There Are No Rules

Whatever rules are in place, they were meant to be broken. Yes, there are rules to writing. Grammar is important. However, there are no rules to tell a story. Tell your story how you want. There will be people who tell you you’re doing it “wrong” or they don’t approve. In the end, it’s their opinion. You tell the story you want it be told… just, you know, make sure it makes sense.

Do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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What Exactly Is The First Draft?

The first draft is something everyone seems to dread. How do you start? How long will it take? The blank page can really take a toll on you and your creativity. But what exactly is the first draft? What does it mean? There’s a lot more to first drafts than we give them credit for.

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What is the first draft?

It is, more or less, what it sounds like. It’s the very first draft of an idea. It’s out of your head and now it’s on paper. Except, a lot of people seem to think that the first draft is the hard part. And it is for some, but it all comes down to this: the first draft is just you telling yourself the story.

There’s no right or wrong. There’s no need to edit. There’s no need to get it all perfect the first time. Some elements of the first draft may stay, but most of it may get edited out later. You’re just beginning your journey, getting to know your characters, and getting a feel for your plot. As you write the first draft, you’ll get new ideas. You’ll find plot holes. You may realize one character has a larger purpose than you originally intended.

Do I have to write a first draft?

Uh, yeah? I mean, if you don’t write a first draft, then you’ll never start. Unless you’re a master procrastinator and don’t want to start, then no. Don’t bother writing that first draft.

Does the first draft have to be complete?

No, I don’t think so. I have a few novels on their x-amount of drafts and there are a few of them where the first draft isn’t complete. It definitely helps if the first draft is completed so you have a well thought out plot or novel. Even if it’s all gibberish. However, I sometimes don’t have the inspiration to finish the first draft. By the time I get to the end or even sometimes the middle, the characters are so vastly different and my ideas for the plot no longer make sense with what I originally started off with. So, I leave the first draft as is and start on my second draft without even bothering to edit. It’s like draft 1.5.

The first draft is the best draft.

Why? Because it helps you get started. And I think we all know that getting started is the hardest step of anything.

What do first drafts mean to you? Let me know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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