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10 Things to Remember: An Email to Myself

First, an update... NaNoWriMo was a smashing success. I managed to complete my 50,000 word story in the first 15 days, leaving me the rest of the month to work on my "serious" WIP.

Unfortunately....

I've been dealing with some kind of creative block lately. I've hardly written at all since I typed "The End" at the end of my HORRIBLE NaNovel, a zombie story that was confused, to be kind. So, I decided to write myself an email to remind me of a few things. As I was writing it, I realized, hey, this would make a great blog post!

So, here they are. The things I wanted to remind myself. Some of the things I got from other sources and posted about them before. Others I came up with RIGHT NOW.
Perhaps one or more of these things will help you, too!
1. Self-Validate. You don't need external validation. Whenever you want to ask someone what they think would work better, don't. Look inside yourself and give yourself the answer you want. If all else fails, roll…

Happy Halloween!

Image
For your viewing pleasure, me as a nerd zombie:

Oh, and here's the REAL final result:


Keep writing!

Claire L. Fishback

NaNoWriMo 2013

Hi friends!

Remember last year I almost didn't DO NaNoWriMo because I was burned out and blabity blah blah?

This year, I found a new way to approach NaNoWriMo for a little more of a thrill and thus a little more of a challenge. I'm not talking about shooting for 100K instead of 50K. I'm talking about striking out on a balls to the wall crazy first two weeks of keyboard pounding that dwindles down to 1 word on November 30th.

I usually finish my 50K before Thanksgiving.

Here's the breakdown, which I got from the blog linked above and I'll link here again.

Word Quotas using the "Reward System" also known as "Backwards NaNoWriMo" which doesn't really make sense.

Day 1: 3346 (It’s day one! Just do it! And you can and will!)Day 2: 3216Day 3: 3101Day 4: 2986Day 5: 2872Day 6: 2757Day 7: 2642Day 8: 2527 (This is the hard part. Week one is out of the way, but you’ve still got some painful quotas left. Just do it!)Day 9: 2412Day 10: 2298Day 11: 2183Day 1…

Colorado Goooooold!

This week I am recovering from an amazing conference - Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Colorado Gold.
It. Was. Amazing.
Day one - Master Class with the one and only Trai Cartwright. This chick is BRILLIANT. It was a character class called "The Last Character Class You'll Ever Need." I have to admit, I'm pretty sure the title is right.
The rest of the time was spent in and out of seminars, workshops, and classes.
And then, the drinking.
My critique group broke me with red wine.
Here's a tip to those of you out there who A) Don't drink very much, and B) Want to be able to function. DON'T DRINK YOURSELF INTO OBLIVION. or SAVE THE PARTYING FOR THE SECOND NIGHT AFTER THE BANQUET.
Yeah. That is all on that front.
In other news, I was talking to Petty's Creator about my writing. Here's a summary of that conversation:
Petty's Creator: How's your writing going? Me: Meh. I have like 11K on it. I keep getting stuck. In all the rewrites I reach a …

Back in Bizznizz

Hello friends!

After a two week vacation in Europe (Fishubby and I went to Belgium, Amsterdam, and Paris) I came home feeling stuck, yet slightly inspired in my WIP.

The Belgian countryside was glorious. A place in Bruges brought me nearly to tears it was so inspiring. And every morning, I looked out across a field at this group of trees that seemed to have a natural doorway among them, much like how I envision a particular forest in my story world.

Then I got home. And I opened Scrivener. And I realized... I'm still stuck no matter how I look at it.

So, after getting some advice from a Strong, Independent, Redhead (you know who you are! :) ), I started a new POV character. Okay, so her advice was really to skip ahead and write the next thing I envision, but the reason I was stuck was because I thought I needed to keep on with Marietta. In truth, I needed to leave Marietta at a sort of cliff hanger, and bring in another character.

When I started this WIP, I thought, it'll be a…

Steal This

I just finished reading a gem of a little book called Steal Like an Artist. by Austin Kleon. It's a marvelous book that, all in all, reminded me to remember the little things about life. For me it was a combination "this is how you do it" book and a reminder to take time to stop and smell the roses. To notice things. To go and create and make things.

Which brings me to an update on the current WIP.

I have reached A Point.

A Point is a part in the WIP where I don't have a clue what happens next. I even left off with a little tiny cliff hanger - a twig snaps and someone behind Marietta says, "Don't move."

This happens after an escape/flee for her life scene and right at the minute she thinks she is safe from her pursuers.

But... I don't know who this mystery person is!

My friend Smite-Thee told me to just write it out, see where it goes. Discover who this person is as I write, which is the usual way I do things. For some reason, though, I've lost …

Permission to Suck: Granted

I was tooling around Facebook and happened upon a shared blog post that really resonated with me.

It's the blog of Jeff Salyards about a time he took his two-year-old daughter to the Renn Faire. She was enchanted by the fairies.

As anyone who's gone to a Ren Faire knows, the fairies are all animation and facial expressions. They don't speak. I, too, have been enchanted by none other than Twig the Fairy. She reached into a velvet bag and pulled out a stone and dropped it into my palm along with a good sprinkling of glitter. I still have that stone.

I believe it is, as my Twinkie says, my three year old sense of humor (which can also translate to imagination I'm sure).

Anyway, tangent... memories... sigh...

Jeff goes on to write about imagination and writing and all that and this one particular line resonated me on a level I can't even describe:

 I just have to give myself permission to suck and keep on keeping on so I can at least get something on the page to work wi…

Updates

Well, well well, if it isn't me, back from a hiatus (again) with some updates.

So, as you know I adopted this "writing with the door closed" lifestyle and it is really working for me! I did submit my first 20 pages to my critique group - we meet tomorrow *gasp sweat sob squeal fart* - and I read the same pages to my mom a few weekends ago (and gave her a run down of the first "act" as I'm calling it), and Tim read the first 20 and I gave him the run down, too, but other than that, I have not shared much about this new start with anyone. **grin**

I'm really enjoying the writing process now that I'm only writing for me (for now), and I can do whatever I want.

I've also found it extremely helpful to have written the plot narration - the frantic, unorganized synopsis of the first act. However, I'm coming to the end of this plot narration and will need to write another one for the next part of the book, which is exciting and daunting all at the s…

Updates!

Wow has it ever been a long time! I apologize profusely for that. I'm sure this won't be the last time, either. Some day I will have a regular posting schedule.

So, updates. Last we "spoke" I had decided to write with the door closed. I've also decided to change a lot about my story to bring it back to what I originally wanted it to be. A dark fantasy. Or a fantasy with horror elements. Or just something not so light and fluffy.

I've also taken out the portal aspect of it. I know I know... how on earth am I going to do this story without a portal?

Well, that's for you to wonder about, because I have it figured out. It is going to change EVERYTHING. In the beginning. But a lot of the story elements I had in previous versions will come back or stay the same.

I truly believe this story will be a lot stronger and the trilogy is the Five Lands trilogy because in this world there are five different lands. There's the land where the story begins, then there …

Much needed advice

First, a confession. I haven't written in nearly a week. Maybe it has been a week. I honestly don't remember the last time I sat down and wrote. It's horrible. I've run into some kind of block. It could be fear based. It could be lack of planning. It could be I don't know what the hell my story is about or why I'm writing it. All I know is I'm stuck and I don't like it. (looking back at this paragraph it sounds mostly like an inner editor/critique sabatoging me).

Which really sucks because the last time I had a writing session, I remember it going very well. I wrote an actiony scene in which my MC did something she didn't know she had the ability to do, and then she passed out from the exertion/adrenaline.

Now she needs to wake up. Easy, right?

"Marietta woke up." Done. Yeah?

And I know what comes next. They have to go to a certain town and visit a certain person and beg/convince that person to do something for them. This will not be witho…

Finding the (my) Way - Laura Baker's Discovering Story Magic

What is "The Way?"

The Way is a writing method that works for you, and everyone's Way is different. This could be as simple as writing a shitty first draft that goes all over the place with inconsistent characters and plot holes large enough to drive a football stadium through and loose ends that blow in the breeze like underpants on a laundry line (I imagine old timey bloomers when I envision this).

That's how I used to do it.

Or it could look like intricate plot diagrams and scene lists that map out every single detail of the story down to the color of the characters' teeth at any given moment depending on what he or she ate or drank that day.

*YAWN* That's how I would NEVER do it (okay, I can't say never, but I find the passion of writing is in discovering the story as I go. Knowing everything before I begin is a major creativity killer, for me).

As you know, I took Laura Baker's Discovering Story Magic back in January, and for the first time I tru…

Trusting the Process and Self Validation

I've always been a person who needs external validation. I need someone to tell me that my decisions are good, that the things I've done I've done for the right reasons, that everything I do is ok. In other words, I need permission to change my mind.

For example, when I make changes to my WIP, I feel like I need to tell someone about it and get their feedback on my decision.

That's a super simple example. A deeper one would be asking a certain member of my critique group, who I look up to (I think it's because she's a strong, independent woman), if a change I made in one of my characters still works. Or sending her a text message to get validation on a route I decided to take with one of my characters.

The text conversation left me feeling confused and insecure about my WIP. It made me think I needed to think more, which would mean putting off writing.

This is where my blue mug comes in handy. My blue mug has the phrase "trust the process" on one side…

Thankful Thursday - My Critique Group

I am breaking away from my norm and leaving the horror genre. Just for the book I'm currently writing (which is actually a trilogy, so for the next three books I'm writing - unless I can wrap it all up in two books, which would be nice).

I didn't know how I felt about this, because I love to tell people I write horror. The looks on their faces when I say that... it's priceless. If you know me, you know I'm a sweet innocent looking person. But if you REALLY know me, you know there's a dark and twisty person inside there who loves to come out in my writing. Especially when I write horror.

Anyway, as i said, I didn't know how to feel about this because I'm so used to writing the dark and twisty stuff. But the members of my critique group have shown me that it's okay for me to do something different. And honestly? I think fantasy is where I belong.

The first 13 pages of my new WIP were critiqued on Tuesday. My critique partners had great things to say a…

10 minutes

I have ten minutes left to my work day so I thought I'd swing over here to the old blog-a-roo and post a little update.

I have just over 8,000 words written on the new manuscript, tentatively titled Sikati. I'll update my webpage when I get a chance with new information on my current project.

I've come to the first difficult scene in the book. It probably is going to end up not being difficult at all, but I have this silly fear that I won't do it justice.

So what to I say to this fear? I say, to hell with you, fear. I'm gonna write the shit out of this scene and it's going to rock! And even if it doesn't, I can always add to it, take away from it, and flesh it out to make it even better!

So, that's what I'll be doing this evening after making FishHubby dinner (he might be getting sick so I told him I'd take care of him). I'm gonna write the shit out of that scene.

Damn straight.

Peace and Keep Writing!

Claire L. Fishback

Regular Postings

Me again. Wow, two in one week? What kind of crazy is this!?

First an update on the writing front - I have nearly 7,000 words on my current WiP! Woo Hoo! Last night I wrote for about 1.5 hours straight. Some of it was tweaking what I'd written before, but a lot of it was new stuff. I'm super excited about this story and this project.

I also submitted the first 13 pages of my new book to my critique group. We'll see what they think of it. I've already made it better, and actually started reading it myself from a critiquers point of view. It needs work, his I know, but it is also a first draft. It can only get better from here.

So, I've been thinking about incorporating regular posts throughout the week. Like Thankful Thursday would be one of them. I would choose one thing I'm thankful for and write about it.

That's the only one I've come up with though, and, as it is, it's tough enough to post regularly so we'll see where that goes. Maybe I'l…

M.I.A.

Hi Friends,

I know I've been M.I.A. for a while. A lot has happened in that time.

1. I took a class by the amazing Laura Baker called Discovering Story Magic. I'll do a little write up summary of what I learned in the near future.

2. I discovered I am an angry person and have started on the path to healing/forgiving my inner self in order to find peace and calm and a new energy and enjoyment of life and the relationships I have with others.

3. My doctor found glandular cancer cells in my cervix.
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I'm going to talk about items 2 and 3 today because they are at the forefront of my mind.

Starting with 3 because it is the most "serious" of all of them.

It's not a cancer diagnosis, and I am staying positive that it will stay NOT a cancer diagnosis. I haven't told many people because I don't want people freaking out about it. I think my mom, dad, and sister did more freaking out about it than FishHubby and I did.

I ha…