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Not Writing As Much

It’s become clear to both Rachel and me that without the NaNoWriMo sessions, we wouldn’t be writing too much.

Of course, we both enjoy writing and have a few novel drafts in the works, but after this past April’s Camp NaNoWriMo session, we both realized that we haven’t written anything original since. Even in regards to our writer’s group, with Rachel submitting parts of her Camp NaNo and me submitting pieces of an older work in progress that I tweak when needed. My Sunday Scribbles lately are stories that I tend to find hidden deep in my writing DropBox folder (on the other hand, it’s nice to be reminded of some older stories that I would love to get back to eventually).

July’s Camp session starts this Saturday and I have no idea what I’m going to do. With my latest NaNo projects, I’ve started with a novel idea that is usually the reoccurring theme in my NaNo, with shorter stories here and there to break up the monotony of just writing one story for me.

Writing is one of my favorite pastimes and needs, but I’ve been slacking in that department. I’m much more interested in writing blog posts and articles, for here, Double Jump, and perhaps a few other places. I suppose it’s a natural step after writing new genres and mediums and figuring out how and why you want to write.

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Posted by on June 28, 2017 in Home

 

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Writing Lessons from Snoopy

snoopy

As writers, I think we could learn a lot from Snoopy.

Here’s this dog — created by Charles Schulz for his famous comic Peanuts — who finds a typewriter and just goes to town with his imagination. There are plenty of comic strips where he’s trying out his stories, showing them to the other characters to get feedback, and sending them out to publishers.

snoopy

Even if, you know, the result isn’t what he wants. Nevertheless, he persists, even when he’s having bad writing days.

snoopy-writers-block1

You could always count on Snoopy breaking out his typewriter again to write, ever with the famous first line, “It was a dark and stormy night.” He took time to experiment with genres, switching it up once in a while to try science fiction, mystery, an autobiography, and even adventure stories with a beginning like, “He was a dark and stormy knight.”

No matter how many rejections from publishers, Snoopy always continued writing. He’d get tips and praise from the other characters — and the occasional snide comment or joke about his writing — doing his best to learn and grow with the critique but always staying true to his own style. To continue writing despite doubt, to continue writing what we want to write, to continue writing because we love it…

It’s why we became writers, isn’t it?

snoopy2

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2017 in Home

 

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First Drafts

dd53ff6f94882fde95239f4e52ae57fdWhat do your first drafts look like? Do they tend to be fat with every little thought about your story that you could fit into the draft? Or are your first drafts skimpier, just using enough words to tell yourself the skeleton of the story so you can embellish it later?

I suppose it comes down to your editing style as well. Perhaps you prefer to rewrite everything, having the first draft as a recipe to follow in terms of plot and character, and using your rewrite to add in all of the details for the flavor. Maybe you’re the type to take a butcher knife to your overloaded first draft, willing to cut out all of the unnecessary parts that may have found their way into the draft for the ride.

I tend to just write my first drafts as a pantser, in all honesty. Going off on tangents, meeting new characters that may take the story in a new direction, not entirely sure where the plot line will take us… I love it. You would think that my first drafts tend to be wordy with tons of detours, but there are plenty of times when my first drafts don’t seem long enough to tell the story I want to hear.

Perhaps my subconscious knows more about my work-in-progress drafts than I do.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2017 in Home

 

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Scribble Sunday – “Static”

Continuation of last week.

Static

The machines were talking to me again. Hooked up to them, I couldn’t get away. Instead, I curled into a ball on the hospital table and closed my eyes tightly, imagining my normal life from before the fire. I was alone in the room, but the doors were not as thick as the staff thought.

“…the trauma awakened some mutation in her genome,” some doctor was telling the Fosters outside of the exam room. “I have a theory that many genomes have the ability to be mutated, granting people with extraordinary talents, such as Ms. Parker’s ability to hear electronics.”

“How did the trauma of a fire mutate her?” Mr. Foster asked.

“The fire was started from the lightning storm that night,” the doctor said. “Perhaps the electricity is what links Ms. Parker to the electronics, not the fire.”

“How can we help her?” Mrs. Foster asked.

“I don’t believe there is a cure,” the doctor said. “It’s quite a scientific breakthrough, actually. Imagine others with the ability to communicate with electronics. We could send robots to join the army with soldiers controlling them from a safe point–”

“We’re talking about a young girl, not a robot,” Mrs. Foster interrupted. “She just lost her parents–”

“Yes, yes, I apologize.” The doctor’s tone didn’t sound that sorry. “You may be doing all you can to help her now. Giving her a roof over her head, people she can rely on…”

But they’re not my family.

“…However, we would like you to continue bringing her here for testing,” the doctor continued. “We’ll do our best to find a way to alleviate these… uncomfortable sensations that she’s going through, perhaps learn more about it.”

“What about school?” Mr. Foster asked. “We’re still giving her some time off, but eventually she will have to go back. Will she be safe enough to continue at the high school?”

“That is to be determined, unfortunately,” the doctor said. “She’ll have to practice shutting out the electronics in order to function properly.”

Never thought I would want to go back to school, but if it meant getting rid of this damned mutation, then I’d do anything.

“Any suggestions on how she should practice?” Mrs. Foster asked.

The doctor paused before saying, “Just try to ignore them? Meditate? I’m sorry, but this is new to us as well.”

Thanks for nothing, Doc.

The door swung open again and I looked up at Mrs. Foster’s smiling face. I sat up without a word and let her pat my shoulder, resting her hand there while guiding me out of the hospital. My head was low, avoiding the other patrons of the place as we left.

Willow greeted me with homework once we returned to their house.

“I told the teachers you really weren’t up for it,” she said, “but they insisted that I bring this to you so you won’t fall too far behind. Mrs. Davis was pretty nice about it, actually, she said if you could just skim over this stuff, maybe read a bit of A Tale of Two Cities if you’re bored, then that’d be great. If not, don’t worry about it, she’ll get you caught up whenever you get back to school.”

“Thanks,” I said, and abandoned the pile of homework beside my desk and flopped onto my bed.

The mattress dipped down as Willow took a seat. “How are you feeling?”

“Like shit,” I said. I rolled over to look at her. “It’s just… It’s all so weird. At first, being back here, it was like the sleepovers we used to have during middle school. Now, though…” Hot tears prickled at the corner of my eyes. “I’ll never see them again… God, Will, my parents are–!”

My words crumbled with the hiccups and ragged breaths I took while trying to control my crying. Willow moved around the bed, coming closer.

“I’m sorry, Si,” she murmured. “I know that we can’t replace your family… but we’re here for you. You are one of us, okay? We won’t let you go–”

Willow’s hands touched my shoulders and she screamed. I shrieked as static sizzled between my friend and I, and she collapsed off of the bed, electricity dancing in her thick hair.

“What happened—Willow?” Basil was suddenly there, kneeling down by his baby sister. He looked up at me.

“I don’t know!” I had retreated to the very corner of my room, my face soaked with tears. “I don’t know, she tried to put her arm around me, and there was lightning, and I didn’t mean to…!”

My babbling became incoherent as their parents came into the room, and we rushed to the hospital for the second time that day.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2017 in Scribbles

 

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“Have a Prompt!” Saturday #101

prompt101

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2017 in Prompts

 

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July Camp NaNo

The next session of Camp NaNoWriMo is around the corner — a week from tomorrow, in fact!

I absolutely love it when the start of a NaNo session falls on the weekend. It really helps when getting ahead in word count! At the end of July the family and I will be going away, so I’m aiming to get my 50k words in before we leave.

I finally got placed in a cabin about a day or two ago after Rachel reminded me to do so about three times. I didn’t do it in time to get placed in a cabin with my sister (oops), but it should be interesting seeing how all the people in each of our cabins do. She’s upping her goal to 100k words instead of the normal 50k words like I am, and she got placed in a cabin with some other folks with similar goals. My cabin consists entirely of people trying to reach 50k.

I’m not sure what I’m doing for camp exactly. I claimed the genre of my project as “short stories,” figuring that I would at least get some Sunday Scribbles prepped with this session. It’s on par for how I write, anyway, haha!

Anyone else gearing up for Camp next month? What are your projects going to be about?

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2017 in Home

 

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Pick One: Reader’s Edition

I’m pretty sure I’ve done something like this before on my blog, but I like making up these little games. Be sure to tell me your responses if you answer these!

  • Series or Stand-alone?
  • Physical book or eBook?
  • Reading outside on a sunny day or inside on a rainy day?
  • Reading quietly or with an audiobook?
  • Romance or horror?
  • Fantasy or mystery?
  • Slow start or a rough ending?
  • Having all day to read or small chunks of time throughout the day?
  • Hard cover or paperback?
  • Meet Cute or Meet Ugly?
 
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Posted by on June 22, 2017 in Home

 

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