2.19.2011

catharsis (and a song)

It is SO hard to make Super Shiny Idea go away when it comes around. This monster battles stories in progress for a writer's sparkly attention, and all the attempted ignoring can get to be kind of tedious. And when I say "kind of" I mean "super-extra-holy-kjajkncku."

What do YOU do when an idea catches your attention? Do you stop your current project "just for now" and move on to that freaking idea that JUST WON'T GO AWAY? Or do you keep writing the first story until it comes to its victorious end, knowing there WILL come a time when you can *edit* all of that distracted rubbish you just wrote?

Okay, now I feel better.

And just so this post wasn't completely useless, here's an Inspiration Song, complete with VH1 pop-ups:



You're welcome. Especially for that delightful screen-cap you get before pushing play. So hit play and MAKE IT GO AWAY.

2.17.2011

avoidance redux

You may be thinking: Is there a legit reason glittery platform heels are the icon for this post? Yes, there is! (But first. Hi, there! It's been a while!)

The avoidance of the day: voiceless over-detailing.

Let's take . . . a pair of high heels, for example.

One character might see the above shoes as "sparkly blue platforms" while another might see them as "hooker shoes" or "Snow White slippers on crack." One character might simply think someone "towers" in the heels and another might think: "If that girl falls on her face in the next two minutes, I won't be surprised." Another character wouldn't even notice the shoes. Descriptions are quite a bit more interesting if they're coming out of the voice of the character – what that particular character would ACTUALLY notice and HOW they'd notice it.

There's also: "eyesore," "adorable," and "how can this girl care about the glittery quality of her shoes and the leg-elongating ratio of the heel height when the rain forest is being desiccated like a downed zombie after the apocalypse?" Okay. That last one packed a rambling punch, but whatever. Now what about: "Her lace eyelet mini-dress perfectly complemented her glittery dark blue heels, which held her aloft from the ground by three inches. . ." Zzz.

*You could say my skills in writing are of the "wannabe professional" type, so do what you will with my "tips" and feel free to leave some of your own in the comments. :)

2.05.2011

to outline or not to outline

A typical drafting occurrence:

Writer: Who needs an outline? I don't. Obviously.

Draft: Really. Outlines are SO lame.

W: You are so smart, Draft! You know just where I need to –

*draft withers*

*writer gapes*

W: Why you gotta be so difficult, Draft? Way to blow yourself up. I can't have a story with nothing but body parts, can I?

D: CAN YOU?

*writer grabs hair*

W: Didn't I have an AWESOME idea last night? One that magically made you come together, Draft? Didn't I? WHY DON'T I REMEMBER IT?

*writer knocks brain against surfaces*

W: I have to write an outline, don't I?

*writer takes chocolate break*

W: You look so pretty, Draft. Did you do something with your hair this morning?

*draft stares*

W: What? Flattery WON'T get you to write yourself?

*writer sips tea* *reads book* *darts glances at Haughty Draft*

W: I am writing the CRAP out of you, Outline. You will BOW to me.

*maniacal tapping sounds*

*outline cowers* *mutters*

W: I'M not a Crazy Writer. YOU are.

*writer sips* *hits keys* *uses many Kanye caps*

W: Wow, Outline. You were so effortless. Why didn't I do this earlier?

*outline stares*

W: You're bullet-pointed, Outline. I'll come back to you tomorrow.

*writer stares* *sips*

W: I have to write you out NOW, don't I?

Repeat 'til finished.

2.01.2011

there's no place like a non-static setting

Something to be conscious of while writing: setting is more than where a story is set.

The arc of any good story is intertwined with its setting. In fantasy, setting is like another character. It should grow and change and adapt just like the people-shaped characters. Even contemporary stories make use of adaptable setting; it can be as simple as the main character developing new views on their unfamiliar location and its traditions.

(A much more informative post on the most important elements of setting can be found here! Read it!)

Examples:
For Harry Potter, at first Hogwarts and the wizarding world (which has its own set of rules and customs) is strange and unknown, but it quickly becomes his home.
In Anna & the French Kiss, Anna grew into Paris as the story progressed, and she might just have fallen in love with the city a little, too.
As Katniss & Peeta work their way around the country on their Hunger Games victory tour, the secret revolution in the Districts becomes even more turbulent.

So what do you think? Is it ever okay for the setting of a story to remain static?

Okay. Now I’m off to make my fantastical setting even more menacing and moody!