Monday, September 30, 2013

The planning commences!

So between football games yesterday, I asked Adam if he would help me get some goals/deadlines down for the month of October in regards to NaNoWirMo planning.  Of course he said yes because that's why he's the most awesome man in the universe.

We got totally off-track.  But good off track.  In explaining kinda-outline method I was going to use for planning, he says, "You know, if I were a book publisher or agent, and you brought me a story that is basically about dealing with vampires, I'd turn you away."

No, he wasn't being overly cockey since his Detroit Lions beat my Chicago Bears yesterday (don't get me started, it was a bad weekend for football in Dara-land).  I at first was like WTF honey, screw you too!  But from a point of view, he's right.  Vampire tales WERE all over the place, and it's petering out now.  Twilight books and movies are over, True Blood got cancelled, everyone and their mom is/has been doing vampirey stories and novels.

Know what's all trendy?  Zombies.  The whole living dead thing.  Yes, I suppose zombies will go the way of vampires as far as literature/TV/movie fodder and open the door to minotaurs or whatever after that.  But he threw me his thought knowing in my what was then current vampire story a massive plot hole that I was going to try and avoid at all costs, he solved it.  Just by dumping Dracula's spawn for Shaun of the Dead.

And it totally works.

I had a dream centered around it (kind of), could barely get to sleep last night, started thinking more about it in the shower this morning.  BLAM!

So being October 1st tomorrow (WHERE THE FUCK HAS 2013 GONE?!), we got back on track after I started wigging out how to re-tool all the scenes I already had in my head, and decided not to fully can the method I was going to do, but to at least get all my thoughts down (because NONE of them are), timeline it all out.  This will help as well because we also developed a huge pre-history of how my MC got to where she's at and how the current society is how it is.  Which I really hope will help me decide on an ending.

Because I have no idea what it will be now.

That, and will it be a series or just one book.  NO, no, nope!  Work on writing it all out THEN split it up if I need to.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Follow Fest aftermath and countdown

In case you're not sure what day it is...

Yup.  I totally just did that.  Good luck getting that song out of your head.

First off, a ginormous THANK YOU to Melissa Maygrove and her brilliant idea of Follow Fest 2013!  I've discovered so many more awesome blogs to which I'll meet so many other writers.  THANK YOU as well for all the folks who stopped by here and dropped me a note and followed me on Tumblr and Twitter.  Now I got some accountability to be sure I stay on top of things here and there.

I feel like I kinda "failed" at this follow fest.  I literally made my post (which was insanely short compared to others I saw), quickly added new blogs to my Feedly every day.... and that was it.  I read most of them, super-duper quickly.  There's seriously so many I follow now where even if I do stay on top of them all, it'll take forEVER to go through!

And like I've said, with a full-time job and trying to write, time's a factor for me.

You're right, I also shouldn't be comparing my blog/post to others.  That's what I do, I always compare myself.  I'm nearly 32 and I'm still floundering around financially and with a career/job, and there go all my friends, being happy doing what they like and aren't working on filing bankruptcy.

Yes, I am VERY HARD on myself.  It's difficult NOT to do.  I can only imagine how my system is going to handle life after writing a novel, i.e. revising and editing and getting someone to publish and whatever the hell else happens.

Wow, that escalated quickly.

At least I didn't stab anyone in the heart with a trident.  Moving on....

So THANK YOU again for the comments, follows, and love and hugs and so forth.

I'll be setting some hardcore goals this weekend for October to be sure I can get down to planning the novel for NaNoWirMo.  Adam rocks at keeping me in check by withholding beer, cheese, potatoes and sex from me if I don't follow through.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Follow Fest 2013

By the way, welcome and thanks for staring at this mess of crap I call a blog!

Dara (the Writer) O'Regan

Fiction or nonfiction?
FICTION! Mostly. Though I'm pondering a psuedo-memoir once I get through what will be my first novel in November.

What genres do you write?
With the few stories I have in mind right now, I'd say fantasy, satire/comedy, historical fiction, biography/memoir. Maybe. Kinda sorta.

Are you published?
Oh, I will be.

Do you do anything in addition to writing?
Currently, I do not. I do want to one day be writing full-time, or at least be in the field. Editing sounds fun.

Where can people connect with you?
EVERYWHERE! No, not really. I have a "contact me" form to the right if you'd like to shoot me an email, as well as....

Blog (choose your favorite follow method to the right)

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Clearly, I am at the beginner level of writing. I'll be participating in NaNoWirMo this year, so expect to see much news of that as we get closer to November. Expect to also see the typical speed bumps and rainbow farts any other new writer would share.... only mine are more awesome because I'm Irish, I'm hilarious, and I will occasionally post after indulging in a few beers. OCCASIONALLY. I want to keep the girlish figure.

Thank you again for stopping by! I shall surely be of a great source of entertainment, at the very least.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

More blogs because I clearly can't read enough of them

Are you like me and want to read more blogs than you have time for?

Lesson that was learned today.... check my feeds and read them on a DAILY basis.  Between football and catching up, took me 3 hours to get through a week's worth of posts.  Oy vey.

So yeah, answer my question.

If so, I highly encourage you to join up for Follow Fest 2013.  It going to be a great way to find new blogs of fellow writers to stalk and commiserate with... I seem to use those two words together a lot.  Melissa Maygrove is the host/creator.  She also reshared a post of hers with some tips on making sure your blog is to the max that it can be as far as social marketing/networking.

You may have noticed a few new tidbits to the right.  :)  Watch for my post this Tuesday!

Outside of writing, I turned into Betty Frickin' Crocker over night and made kick-ass granola bars from scratch on Saturday and we cranked out some awesome turkey chili today.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Writing advice; who, where, when

Over at the Pub(lishing) Crawl blog, which I HIGHLY recommend, there was a recent article written by Julie Eshbaugh that had to do with managing all the writing advice that's available on the internet.  Yes, holy cow, there's a ton.  And that's exactly what Julie was saying, along with her thoughts on getting and following suggestions and opinions of other writers.

As not just a writer, but a newbie writer, here's my two or three cents from that perspective.

I found it as a surprise that the thought of not getting writing tips from a writer was even mentioned.  My first thought was, "Wow, so someone who wants to be a writer is chatting it up with plumbers and financial advisers?  That's odd."  The analogy I used in my comment to Julie's post about a chiropractor at a proctologist convention nailed it.  I thought so at least.  That aspect just seems so obvious, I won't waste your reading time on it.

Hi, I want to learn how best prepare and cook fresh lobster.  I'm meeting with a chef born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming tomorrow.  WTF!?

Okay, ending that rant.

My fellow writing-newbs... holy shit, there's so much advice out there for us!  It's amazing and overwhelming at the same time!  Between getting this new path of mine started and still holding the full-time job to pay the bills (which to remind you, has nothing to do with writing), it will take me a whole week to get through all the info I find regularly.  And even then, I've found 6 more blog posts that each have their own recommendations after that for the next week.  It's the Neverending Story Part IV, and Falcore's luck with finding all these tidbits is getting ridiculous.  I feel like I know so much but have actually written so little.  Oh wait, that's because it's true!

One thing I have stuck with (oh no, more advice!) is researching in order.  There are posts about world-building, character sheets, finding an agent, finding a publisher, ways to plan a novel, ways to plan flash fiction, how to market your novel, designing a cover, software, pens, notebooks, it's insane.  In my case, I am wanting to prepare for NaNoWirMo this year.  I know I want to plan my novel out and not "pants" through it because I know from previous experience, I suck at it.  If I see a blog post in my feeds about how to write a query for the novel I haven't even frickin' written yet, I'm not going to read it.  Sure, I'll flag it to read another day, because I love the information I get from that blogger, but I'm not going to read it when I'm still defining my novel planning approach.

Once I've survived NaNo, because I'm going to, I will focus on the articles I've found about revising and first drafts and that shit storm.  Then I'll work on the confidence to get critiques.  Then I'll do whatever a suggested next step with my novel would be.

This way works for me between the ADHD and the OCD, so it nails my productivity right on the head.

So long story short, never fear, my fellow writing beginners.  There is an endless supply of knowledge out there.  The best way to sort through it is trial and error.  I've felt I've wasted time stalking some blogs after discovering it's nothing but word count updates and no substance, or forums that haven't had a discussion in the past two months.  We'll all find our little nook and cranny that we'll fit into like the Missing Piece and the Big O.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Here's a swift kick in the pants.

I don't have much of an excuse for taking a week off.  BUT.  I have returned with a fun blog post that I'm sure will give my other fellow writer beginners the shove we need.

Chuck Wendig shared last April (2012 April) 25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing.  No, this is a not a grammar, style, publishing, editing, nothing like that.  It's all about mindset.

And my mindset kinda sucks.  Revolves around that whole anxiety and depression issue, too.

Seriously though, I loved this.  I would totally want to build reading this every day of my life into my daily routine.

In other news, I have acquired my most awesome notebook "system" courtesy of Staples, as well as solving my pen problem; I'm too lazy to drive 45 minutes to pen shop, so I just got refills.

I have been putting off my mission to begin a journal-ing routine.  Actually, I'm putting off trying to establish any sort of routine.  I do have a plan that just came to me: ask Adam for help.

No, Adam doesn't write, but he rocks when it comes to helping me plan out things like that.  Finances, things to do over the weekend, etc.  Sticking to the plan, that's different.  That's all me.  And as I mentioned, my mindset kinda sucks.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Surprise! A Saturday post!

I had SO MUCH FUN participating in this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group!  This was my first formal run of it.  Between the new blogs I discovered and all the visits to my own blog here (and I loved comments/support, THANK YOU!) I am so thrilled!  Huzzah!

I shared a goal of mine for the month of September on the NaNoWirmo Forums.  A few goals, actually, and one of them was to post to the blog twice a week.  I want to keep this blog about my trek through the world of writing, but I must share the following personal info.

I am a Notre Dame fan.  HUGE fan.  Since I was 2 years old.  I kid you not.  Adam, the future husband, is a Michigan fan.  Today is the Day of Reckoning in our house.  Two teams enter.  One person sleeps on the couch.

Having shared that, I am a few beers in.  That's happening.

On to writing!

So I had mentioned I found a "method" of novel planning that from reading it over, seems to fit with how I operate.  Rachel Aaron's post on how how she plots a novel in 5 steps really turned me on *giggle* to this approach.  I found it very similar to Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method.  Basically, you start from a short statement on what your novel is, and build from there.  I personally preferred Rachel's method over Randy's, but again, they're both a bit similar.  In my mind at least.

I appreciated the concept of Story Bibles, but it almost seemed that putting one of those together was just as much work, if not more, as writing the novel to begin with.

The Unofficial NaNoWirMo Resource Binder has TONS of info.  Overwhelming at first.  After pillaging through it, I did find some great info (the Snowflake Method being one of them).  I highly recommend it, whether you are participating in NaNo this year or not.

On that note.....


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group

I found this "blog hop" sort of group a month ago, LITERALLY on the first Thursday of the month.  I WOULD find this and have to wait a month to participate next (beyond reading through a few of the blogs involved).

First thing I try to think through on a mere 2 cups of coffee is what do I think "insecure" means.  It's all encompassing.  I feel that any emotion that I am not wanting to be having, particularly anything I deem negative, falls into the "insecure" category.

How does my writing fit in?  Let me count the ways...

Shame: Because it's a horrid thing to not be able to fit in any writing in my busy day.
Guilt: Goes hand-in-hand with the shame.
Paranoia:  OMG, what will people think of me when I start writing shit, let alone READ my shit!?
Confidence: Or lack thereof, also goes with all of the above.
Overwhelmed: 17 tabs open in my Chrome browser with 20 minutes left before I need to get ready for work.
Laziness: More of an action, but hell, that extra 30 minutes laying in bed this morning was wonderful.

I can go on, but like I mentioned.... 20 minutes until I need to get ready for work.

I made some AWESOME progress over the weekend between non-writing errands and to-dos (I finally have clean underwear!), 3-day weekends help with that.  So by the time Monday rolled around, I put a nice dent into the blogs, articles, and guides I have wanted to read regarding planning my writing.  I found a method I am going to try.  Now it's just making myself do it.  Why is that always so hard?!  I'll spend 3 hours screwing around on Kongregate, but I can't sit on the couch and write?  Doesn't help when Adam points out to me that Rift is now free-to-play; by the way, my World of Warcraft subscription finally ended, and I already haven't been on in weeks before that.  I was doing so well!!!

I know, it's practice.  Making the habit.  Just sit and write for 10 minutes a day.  Add 10 more.  Keep going to an hour eventually, or whatever I can fit within the parameters of my full-time job.  What I hate, and I shared this with a friend over the weekend, is planning to write for 10 minutes, or an hour, or whatever, and it ends up taking me that same amount of time to come up with something to write.  Ding!  Time's up!  Need to make something for dinner!  Break's over, time to go back to the job!

Can you tell I over think?  Yes, writing prompts.  Those are nice.  I've posted a few here previously.  But that damn over-thinking is my downfall.  "A guy walks into a Tarot Card reader spot."  I don't know shit about Tarot cards.  So the 10 minutes dedicated to that is just me trying to think of a damn Tarot Card or what the hell the person I have in my head is doing in there.  "Well just write that he thinks that and immediately leaves."  Yeah but then that kinda puts the kabash on that writing prompt.  It said "Tarot Card place," not "bus ride back to the bar."

Add "over think" onto that list above.