Sunday, October 23, 2011

I am a writer.... I wrote today.

I don't know if I read it somewhere recently, or if I heard it on a great WD webinar I've recently attended, but the statement went something like this... "If you call our self a writer, then that means you have written today." 

I have tried for years to get into a writing habit where I was writing at least 30 minutes a day.  (Key word there is TRIED.)  Needless to say, I failed.  I allowed one thing or another to get in the way of my writing time.  Easy to let happen with a full time job, five kids, a hubby, and other work requirements that are meant to be handled while I'm off work.  Yet, I realize all these are excuses so when I say, "I didn't write today because..." I can feel like I let myself off the hook.  As the English would say, "Bullocks!"

I know I read somewhere of a man who made an effort to write every day... even if it was one word.  That way, even if the absolute minimum was the case in point, he at least had written 365 more words toward the end of his novel.  (At least that's something!  Better than the nothing I've dealt with sometimes!)

So today, I can call myself a writer.  And I hope you can, too.  Because writers actually "WRITE".
Lisa Adams

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Preparing for NaNo- Pantser becomes Plotter

For years I have been a mixture of these two characters.  "How can that be?" you ask.  Well, let me explain.   When I come up with an idea for a novel, I do a quick sketch so to say, beginning, middle end.  This usually only takes about half a page in hand written format.  Then, I take that sketch and turn it into a chapter by chapter VERY loose draft.  This may take a page or a page and a half.  Then, I start to write.  Once I begin though, I find that by chapter 4 my characters are doing something different and leading off of the original path.  So, I go with it.  Unfortunately, within about 3 or 4 chapters after the side step, I cannot complete my novel.  Things just seemed to mixed up and confused.  Obviously this doesn't work. 

So, this year I've been reading a lot about how others have completed NaNoWriMo, and I read a great idea.  One particular participant claims that they have written out their novel into 30 specific scenes and she writes only one scene per day, allowing her to complete her novel and the WriMo contest in exactly one month.  This sounds like a novel idea to me, if you'll excuse the pun. 

So in the next week, my plan is to not only sketch out my novel, but actually do a 30 scene plot roller coaster to keep me on schedule.  If anyone else does this, or has tried in the past... let me know how it works out.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Hook to Story... Am I cheating on NaNoWriMo?

Okay, so I think I have a great idea for my hook on NaNoWriMo, or at least a good one.  So I decided during soccer practice today, I would try writing some plot points into an outline to better prepare myself.  After about 10 minutes of that, I started character sketches.  Two minutes into it, and WHAM!  I'm slapped upside my head with a scene.  Instead of just writing down notes, I flesh it all out.   Completed writing in my journal of the whole scene.  Only about 400 words, but man do I feel guilty.  I'm not supposed to be writing on this project yet, just brainstorming.  Some will say it's not fair, it's against the rules of NaNo and call me a cheat.  And undoubtedly, some will tell me they've written their whole novel before Nov. 1 and just feed it into the program sometime on November so they can claim their prizes and web badges. 

So, I'm actually feeling guilty over this, but I'm not willing to scrap what I have or to make something new.  What can I do?  Maybe, I can force myself to only write 1,266 words the first day.  That would at least keep me on track with the program and not feel so guilty I guess.  But then again, I'm conflicted because I feel like I've opened up that world and now so much wants to be let out and typed out on page. 

Does anyone else feel like this?
Lisa Adams

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Problem solved, and I've got a WORD WAR Buddy!

So the aforementioned banned problem has been anonymously solved.  There was no e-mail stating what they had found, but I now have complete access to the forums again.  I couldn't be more relieved.  I'm not really sure what happened, and don't care at this point.  I'm extremely impressed with the speediness of this issue being resolved and I just want to thank the administrator at the site.  (Though I won't mention any names as that would be too unprofessional.)  But, thank you kind administator for looking into the issue and resolving it quickly.  I will forever be a fan of the site and your other media. 

Now, on to greener pastures as one would say.  I have a NaNo Word War buddy!  I spoke with her briefly today through e-mail and we will be getting together sometime this week online to sit down and do some planning together.  I'm so excited.  I have someone, other than myself to be accountable to.  For everyone out there, I suggest you get a buddy to write with for this maddening month of mayham.  I think hitting our goals will be easier when there is someone their pushing us forward and supporting us when we need it. 

Happy Writing all, back to laundry... boo.  But, I'll be writing at 9:00 tonight!

Lisa Adams


In a world of the digital age, community forums become a lifeline for writers who need that socialization.  I personally, am not an avid forum poster... in fact I'm quite the opposite.  I'm the lurker.  I run around the forum boards, learning everything I can.  Not that I'm not a social creature, but with my day job, I am constantly engaged in  conversation. 

However, I tried to log onto my favorite forum, and received a message that my account had been permanently banned for spamming!  I find this extremely funny as I can't remember the last time I actually posted anything on the site.  (I know it's been at least over a year, and I think my total post number was 3 in the five years I've been a member, all on topic.) 

I've currently written the administrator and am patiently awaiting the response.  I will be quite upset if I can't get back to these forums, as they are invaluable in the information they provide for writers.  Along side of that, I have entered into a contest on the forums and now cannot see if the finals have been chosen and if I could be one of those.  (It's all very frustrating.)

I do hope the problem is addressed and resolved swiftly.  My only worry is that they said they had registered the spam from my IP Address.  So, I have my husband upping the security on my wireless to make sure that no one else is using our network to post anything.

Has this ever happened to anyone else?

Thanks for listening to the rant...
Lisa Adams  

NaNoWriMo is just around the bend

So, I've half attempted a NaNoWriMo before, but let life get in the way after about three days.  I know, lame on my part. But this year, I have jumped the gun.  I've signed up for NaNoWriMo this year and have already written my hook.  This I'm sure will help me on my writing path, along with the outline that I plan to work up in the next 16 days. 

The goal is 50,000 words of course, but I'm actually striving for around 60-85,000.  It will be hard, but I'm sure that if I have the target in mind, I'll hit my mark. 

I can write about 1600 words in an hour.  So If I write for about an hour and a half a day, I should be able to write 2400 words a day.  24000 times 30 and I'm looking at 72,000.  I think that's a safe number for my YA romance.  (Read more about it on my "Works in Progress" page.)

Good luck to all my WriMo friends and may we all supersede our goals.
Lisa Adams

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Welcome to Pen the Dream!

"And this above all, to thine own self be true."  Shakespeare knew his stuff, you have to give him that.  As a writer, we pen what we believe to be a story worth telling.  Then very quickly, we realize that our stories must be cut, hacked, sawed in half and pieced back together to make them perfect.  I'm talking about editing. 

As I'm sure most of you writers out there are aware, the creative process seems simple.  We find an idea.  We expand upon it.  We write about it for days or even months, and just when we think we have produced something that the whole of the world will absolutely adore, we send it to our editors or agents who yell back at us, "Good job, but now let's change this, drop that chapter, and switch the middle to the end."  It's heartbreaking really. 

So why do we continue to create?  Because we are true to ourselves, true to our passions, and true to our craft.  We dream of writing.  We dream of seeing our name on a book, seeing our names on checks coming in because of our books, and dream of someone (other than our significant others) recognizing us as true authors. 

So here's to us!  To our dedication!  To our ambition!  To our passion!  May we all live up to our dreams and become successful in our own way.

Lisa Adams