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Changing your perceptions


I had initially began the first of a long series of books with a male main character. While listening to a writing podcast (I believe it was writing excuses), they talked about switching the sex of your main character in order to alter how you see them and to refine the core of the story.

When I did this, it completely eliminated my writers block. I have since entirely switched that main character to a female, and it has unlocked the story for me nearly entirely.

So now everytime my story starts to lag I look at how I can alter it in a fundamental way, which will so thoroughly change the way I see the story. In order to hopefully unlock the next scene which seems to allude me.

 

Of eggs and baskets


I recently had a scare where my macbook pro got stuck on the startup page. For one reason or another I have not made back-up copies of all the different story pieces. Now, I normally don’t keep all my eggs in one basket. I had originally kept copies of my stories in my email. I’d send a copy from my personal email to my writers email. For some reason I had gotten out of that habit.

That’s why I almost threw up when I got the “white screen of death” as they call it. Apparently this is a fairly common issue with Yosemite and later OSXs, I recently upgraded to El Capitan. I got on the net through my other laptop, and looked into troubleshooting the issue. I tired safe mode, disk utility, resetting the PRAM and SMC, none had any effect.

I contacted a friend and they sent me this link.

https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-5282

I found the solution there. I had to re-install the OSX over itself, luckily it didn’t erase anything. What it really did was kick me in the teeth and warn me of my stupidity. I got complacent, my mac never really had any problems (other than when I spilled coffee on it) so that just became the reality of it. I had to remedy this lack of foresight, so I bought an external where I will keep all my stories, and related stuff, research, writing info, etc.

So in closing, don’t keep your eggs in one basket. Always back up, always make copies, don’t let yourself get complacent thinking it will always be there. Stuff happens…

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Perfection, the Writers Nemesis


I hear this saying a lot in various writing podcasts, “Perfect is the enemy of done”. I’m learning more and more what that fully means. For instance, I keep trying to “get it right the first time” while I’m writing. My perfectionism is fighting my creativity. A few story ideas I just jotted down what I had in my head to keep from thinking about. Those I sent to friends and family and most were well received, continually asking if there was more, when I talked about my writing.

At first, I thought this was just the friends and family writers support group. But as I was going back over those snippets to add things to, or get bits from to organize wikis or start outlines, I realized they weren’t just being supportive, I was wanting to know what happened next, and I wrote them!

So I started looking at this, because I had been having a hard time writing. What was it that made this so easy to write? I thought to myself, then it hit me, it was just imagination. I didn’t have any restrictions on what I could and couldn’t write, it was just my imagination having playtime and that was why it flowed so easily.

So I started thinking about how this should change my writing process so I could be more productive. Will outlines hamper my creative mind right now to the point that I can’t write at all? There are books I want to write that will be in sprawling story lines, how will this effect writing those? So I set out doing experiments.

When I first heard about it, I wondered how people could write bit and pieces of the story and them mix and match them later. But now I’m seeing exactly how they could do that, because that’s what I am doing. It seems to be working, though the perfectionist part of my brain is about to have an aneurysm. It just knows that must be the wrong way to do it, even though it seems to be working a bit.

What I have found myself doing, is wanting to write snippets of every story I want to write…that’s about 15-20. Now, my anti-ADD program in my mind has a fit about this. “You can’t jump around in spurts like that! You have to focus, focus, focus!” I trained it well. But now it looks like I need to alter the coding a bit. While there are many instances where ignoring the ADD wants and making my mind focus is exactly what’s needed, I may have to allow my mind to jump around a bit in order to get my creative mind flowing.

Who knows, after I get used to writing consistently, and I can get my imagination to flow at will, I might be able to alter the program again to focus on one book at a time. I might also be that this is what my writing process needs to be. One thing’s for sure, if I ever get multiple series that readers are waiting for, his jumping around will show progress for them, and keep them engaged.

So…don’t worry about getting it right the first time. Don’t worry about it looking, sounding, or being perfect, ever. It never will be, not for us writers. But there comes a time when you have to look at all you’ve put into it, and hope that when you send it out to the world, it will do good things.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Satisfying endings


Many people want a happy ending, it means closer to them. But there are many was to find closer in a story, many ways to satisfy that need. Sometimes a story is such that a happily ever after would be out of place. Sometimes just surviving at all is the satisfying ending. Sometimes dying for the right cause is the satisfying ending. In stories with an anti-hero, often times the protagonist does so many bad things that them getting off scott free feels wrong, so the protagonist must die in order for the karmic balance of the story to work out to a satisfying ending.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Setting changes everything


Anyone who tells you the same story can be told in multiple settings is only looking at the surface of the story. Don’t agree? How would the story change if it was Dennis the Menace…of Harlem? Sure it could still be a silly kid terrorizing through mistakes, but they would almost surely be different, the culture is different, there are multiple cultures not a mono culture as in the tv show or cartoon. Dennis never had to deal with racism from a young age.

Look at the repo-man of organs that jude law played, it was still a repo man, but the setting of his job was entirely different, which changed the entire story. Quite often you can change the setting of a popular story just to get a different perspective on a common one, and it suddenly changes everything, and a new story blossoms.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Pieces to the puzzle


I have had in mind a slightly different time keeping system based off the sun for my largest project. For some reason I couldn’t see the solution, so I reached out for help from a facebook group I’m in, and the help I got was exactly the piece of the puzzle I had been looking for. Although after I began to play around with using it, something seemed off to me, though I couldn’t place it. My brother in law came over one day to pick up my nieces which were visiting, and I talked to him about it, as I do due to him being interested in this type of stuff and the genre as a whole. He came up with an idea for writing the system I already had, and that’s when the last piece I needed clicked for me.

What that last piece did, was amazing to me. Suddenly things I had been struggling over for months clicked into place, old and new ideas began flowing like crazy, my drive was instantly back. All because of one little idea about a time keeping system. What i realized then, was as my story grew, I had built ideas onto ideas. The time keeping system was one of the first, and my own mental organization set priorities for things to figure out based off chronological fabrication.

I haven’t known this long enough to figure out if I can bypass this priority system that’s been automatically established, but if I figure something out, I’ll make another post about it. Although, it may just possibly be my way of working through such things and I have to adapt my system to it. Time will tell.

 

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World Building vs. Writing


Being new to writing, I’m still learning how to write a full complete structured story, versus snippets of awesome ideas that pop into my head. Trying to find the balance of world building, outlining, creative writing, can be hard. I don’t want to paint myself into a mental corner world building so much so that I can’t creative write when I need to. I thought I had done a lot of world building, so I made myself stop and focus on writing to make sure I didn’t paint myself into that corner.

After trying to write for about a month, with no success, I sat back and went over my recent experiences. What I saw blocking my creative flow was a lack of substance. This confused me at first, so I began looking much more closely at why there was this lack of substance in my minds eye when I had done all the previous world building. That’s when the scope of my story really struck me.

It is going to be an expansive scifi. Epic isn’t really the right word I don’t think, as it doesn’t match the markers which constitute an epic. At least it might not, and there it hit me. I don’t know…all I know is it’s really big, with numerous rich cultures which play off each other in a massive balance.

I couldn’t write the story because I still didn’t know enough about where it takes place. Even though I had what I thought was a lot, there were far too many holes which let the creative mist escape my minds eye. Basically it wasn’t a lot of world building for the scope of the story. So now I’m back at it, making timelines, maps, filling out my wiki, figuring out how the different tech levels effect the cultures the various characters grow up in. How some types of jobs move characters from one culture to the next and how that effects those individuals and the friends they’ve made over the years.

So my lack of knowledge of my world kept my imagination from coalescing into the story I wanted to write. I will still keep an eye on myself to prevent world builders disease, but I’m going to be much less likely to force myself to stop building. I think once I get enough world built I will have so much story that I have to write it. As I am adding more things to my wiki, filling out histories of key organizations, my imagination is going “Oh cool!” and making tiny stories of snippets of time. It’s not enough for me to write, what it is doing is filling those holes where my creative mists were leaking. Once they stop leaking, I’ll start writing.

 

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