Jan. 3rd, 2013 08:23 pm
cat_rood: (Rules)
This has popped up on several blogs that I follow. Most notably on [personal profile] kay_brooke's. So, I'm going to do this too:

Creative Goals:


- Finish NaNo '12
- Edit half of NaNo '10
- Plot out One Wing Angel
- Write one prompt for [community profile] darkfantasybingo
- Work on Wizard cross stitch 2 hours a week.

These are just my writing goals. I have other personal goals but those are for my personal blog. Now, to work on them.
cat_rood: (PORN!)
This is more for me than anyone else. Feel free to skip or ignore at will.

Writing Project outlines )

So, those are the writing projects. There might be more waiting in the wings, but... for right now, that's it.

Creative projects )

I want to find another knitting project, and I'll definitely be adding smaller cross stitching projects throughout the year.

That's my outlines. Any questions? Feel free to ask!
cat_rood: (Rules)
So, I was looking around, trying to find some sort of inspiration to write today. It's football and normally, I just knit, but maybe I should put words down, or do something? Maybe I should edit or... Well, the brain went into so many things that I should be doing that I'm losing sight of what needs to be done.

And trolling around the internet during a commercial break, I found a blog post, via several other blog posts that makes sense:

Just Make the Bed.

Sarah Ockler makes the point that making resolutions and having huge goals can be a good thing, but it can also be overwhelming and paralyzing. Don't stop making them, but if you do get overwhelmed, step back and just make the damned bed. A single, simple, little thing like sketching out a scene, writing a single sentence, editing a single paragraph can start taking out the overwhelmingness of the task before you.

I usually use this theory in other things in my life, but applying it to writing/creativity? For some reason it never occurred to me.

When I clean, I say "I'm going to fold this basket" and that inspires me to fold the next basket, to do the one side of the sink full of dishes, to sweep one thing. However, when I write or I work any of my hand crafts, I tend to only take the project as a whole rather than one small step at a time.

Meaning, I look at my shawl, I see everything not knitting a single row. I don't look at the Geisha and see stitching a single color, but the whole pattern. Which makes them very overwhelming. I do the same thing with writing. I look at the whole story, not the single plot point, or the single scene or the single character voice.

I need to work on that. I need to just write that single plot point, that single scene. Eventually, the whole will come, but doing the single one is the way to start.
cat_rood: (Rules)
I don't have a trouble sitting my butt down and sitting at my computer. I get up, get a drink, and sit my butt down in the morning.

Where do I trouble? I have trouble in actually working on the writing.

That's right. Even though I put together about 280k words last year, I have a huge problem with getting the words onto the screen when I'm sitting in the chair. First there's procrastination - games, checking websites, reading of various f-lists, and checking my RP tags. Then, there's running around and getting the kids ready to go to school (when they have it) which usually means that my attention is on everything but writing.

I try to turn on music in the morning to get my brain working into the 'writing' mindset. It doesn't always work. However, I do try.

Then, once the kids are gone, I can do anything I want! Hurray! Freedom! Except... that usually overwhelms me with choices and thoughts of what I should be doing. Which means that I sit and procrastinate until OMG it's noon! How did that happen?

Sometimes, I actually do get some writing done, though not a lot.

So, to motivate myself, I generally join challenges. NaNoWriMo is probably the most well known. This year (for the second year) I've joined [community profile] getyourwordsout on LJ. Here on DW I joined [community profile] inkingitout. Both of them are year long challenges and I'm hoping that the competition will make me really get working.

So far this year? Nope not working. Which isn't a good thing. I have projects to finish and things to work on. I have got to get motivated.

This is me giving myself a peptalk and trying to get things straight in my own head. (Probably doesn't help that I'm exhausted.)

Once the kids go back to school, maybe it'll be better. I certainly have hope for it.

Today hasn't been a total wash. I did get something written. I'm not happy with it, but that's just in general, not necessarily because of the writing itself.

Ever notice how your writing ebbs and flows sometimes? I think I'm in a major ebb. Soon I'll get i flowing though. Flow writing flow!
cat_rood: (Rules)
I don't know about anyone else, but when I write, I have music going. Music has become such an important part of my writing that when I hear certain songs, my mind immediately flips to the story they're associated with. (Which is a problem when I'm just playing my musical library, and trying to clean, rather than think about writing.)

I do this as a focus and because not having background noise bothers me to the point that I can't write.

Today, I reclaimed my writing space from the layers of clutter and detritus that always seems to spring up around any space where you spend a lot of time. (You should see my portion of the couch. I am ashamed.)

Now, I have the song that flips my brain into writing mode on. It's not working as well, hence this entry. I'm relaxing into the music and want to see where my brain goes.

One thing that's stuck with me, since I wanted to really write was an interview with George Lucas. He once said that he has music (usually classical) on in the background as he writes. I finally felt a little vindicated, because I'd always been told that I couldn't write if I was listening to music. "You can do one or the other, but not both."

Well phooey on them! I can so do both and do do both. It's an awesome thing to see how the music effects my writing.

Now, to admit something:

I failed, completely and totally at NaNoEdMo. Why? Well, many reasons.

1) Steampunk wasn't done. I just couldn't finish it in February.
2) Personal issues reared up and smacked me around, refusing to let me destress and concentrate on the important things (like writing!)
3) New medications. Now, anyone's who ever switched/started medications for any medical condition knows that when you do there's a period of adjustment. Sometimes that period is longer than others. I'm still not adjusted to them, but I'm getting there.

Those are the main reasons. For now, though, I think my brain has settled into steampunk mode and that means that maybe I can finish it before March is over. I'm hoping to anyway.
cat_rood: (Rules)
I've decided I'm doing writing/creative challenges for 2011. So, this is going to be my master list of just what I've signed up for:


Creative Every Day (thanks to [personal profile] finch for pointing it out!)

Now the rules state it doesn't have to be writing, but that's usually my outlet of choice. I'm going to try knitting this year, so, it's time to see about getting that done. Plus, part of my resolutions this year is to finish some cross stitch. Meaning, that I'm going to have to work on things. Plus, with a challenge, I tend to do better. I need to have something to work for. And people to beat. IDEK.

2: 750 words! I actually like this one. It's a small, reasonable goal that pretty much everyone can do. It's only 750 words a day, and that's less than an hour's work, unless I'm really struggling and I'm generally not. It's something to work for, and I have to keep going to get the badges that are offered as accomplishment, you see.

3: Get Your Words Out is a challenge where you sign up for a number (I signed up for 250k) to write over the course of the year. I have a lot of writing ahead of me, but it's possible. There's stories to be written and I need to be writing them. (thanks to [personal profile] kay_brooke!) The info post is here

4: I'll be doing NaNoWriMo again this November. Just like I do every year, because I'm a big old bunch of fail.

5: [community profile] origfic_bingo. Seriously, this helps with backstory and fleshing things out a bit and working around and through things. It's great for cleaning the brain pan out a little. And for getting the creative juices flowing.

I think that's all I'm doing. But gods only know. I might end up signing up for more. I know I'm going to be doing NaNoEdMo in March too. But that's not a challenge so much as a "dear god EDIT that thing!" for me.

Anyone have any others to suggest? I do better with challenges and reasons to be prodded in the Word Processor direction.
cat_rood: (Default)
So, 2011 is about 24 hours away. There are stories to be written and thoughts to have and editing to do.

I've got my Schedule all set and ready to go. I need to print it out and put it on my board.

I'm also working on some society stuff for a hidden society story. I'm not sure what the story will be about, but I've worked a little on it during December's Orig-Fic Bingo. Because that's the way my brain rolls.

I don't know what the new year will bring, but I'm determined to get KoO out to someone who might possibly see about publishing it. I know that sounds amazing doesn't it?

I also signed up for a writing challenge Get Your Words Out. I signed up for 250k because I know I can do that. That's actually pretty easy.

For now, I'm going to go live RP, and then maybe get some sleep. Doubt it though.

2010 wasn't bad. I'm ready for 2011.
cat_rood: (Rules)
So, I've got plots bouncing around in my brain. Considering NaNo was "fandom with the serial numbers filed off" I'm not real worried about that aspect of it.

However, I know that the plots are really contrived and cliché. Meaning that I'd have to work with them through some reworkings to get them to something that might be of interest for people to read.

Considering that I've spent the last two days writing Bleach/X-Men fic, I really have no room to talk.

Well, let's talk about contrived plots:

- Long lost noble - FOUND! Seriously, this has been done so many times that it's really a trope. It's how noblemen/heroes in fandom get surprise!kids, and how unsavory nobles are deposed, by the triumphant return of their neglected offspring. (Chris Paolini anyone?)
- Ostracized noble family regains honor Do I have to explain this one? It'll be something about the last heir going undercover/on an epic journey and reclaiming that which was taken from them by an evil rival or something.
- Baby adopted in, but ousted by natural born child Again, do I have to explain? This is such a joke that I'm not sure I could even finish a story with this even as a subplot.

I had a few others, but mostly it's the first one that's caught my attention recently. I'm thinking of maybe doing that one for next year's NaNo. Since I'm pretty sure my schedule won't allow for it. Next year's pretty well mapped out. I really do wanna work on the Moon stuff. That'll get that out of the way.

I need to work out my plot for it, like I did for NaNo. It'll help me keep the story moving along. At the end, it'll be ugly as hell, but... hey, stories almost always are the first time through.

I can maybe work in another thing for April, since that's mostly looking at my NaNo ago - even though I'm doing that in March for NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month) - so that month might have something that I can nudge in, if I can get a decent outline/characters.

Who knows, maybe I'll work on the Jenith/Bear stuff, or the Kenny/Max stuff. Both of those kinda fascinate me, so we'll have to see.

I know the Jenith stuff could be turned into the first trope, especially.


I really need to do an outline/something of the Moon!Fic. Even though that's scheduled for next month, I'm thinking I need to get to it. I have characters to outline, and a plot to think of. That's probably going to wait until after the kids are back in school, though. Kids around = writing time cut short, unfortunately.

For now, I'm going to go see if I can find my book.
cat_rood: (Orion)
I finished NaNo again this year. 56k or there abouts and have a whole story. I'm rather glad of it. I know it needs edited out the wazoo, but, really, right now, I'm just glad that it's done.

This month, I have two writing goals:

- Take a writing class (waiting on the email to be sent)
- Work in Dream sequences for KoO.

Now that is going to be the big one. It's already 93k long. I do not want to add 50k to that. But 30k or so, with the dream sequences would be okay. I'm going to start tonight with the fleshing out of thoughts that need to be done.

I'm actually thinking of doing the dream POVs as the minor characters that don't get a scene in KoO. That way, they get introduced and you know who they are a little.

That may change, though.

The day is young and there are ideas percolating. I know I have to rewrite one scene to reflect the dreams a little, but that won't be too hard.

New Year, I'm really working on my writing. I mean, the goals are pretty self explanatory. And I keep them on notecards on my corkboard right above my comp. That way, I can look at them and have them drilled into my brain.

Frankly, I'm looking forward to a lot of things this month and the coming year.

For now, I'm going to go poke KoO and see what shakes loose.
cat_rood: (PORN!)
I decided to put this up. Feel free to kick my ass all year long, if needed:

- Double check the writing classes
- Sit on KoO
- Outline possible Moon!fic revamp

- Send out KoO (find someone)
- Sit on DB
- Write Moon!fic?

- More writing classes
- Writing classes (find some that are NOT HRRW)
- Edit DB (NaNoEdMo)

- Save money for BIG writing classes
- Look at DB again
- Sit on Moon!fic

- Look at KoO one more time
- Rewrite
- Possible querying?

- Whatever happens, happens. Last summer was a WASH and sometimes, no pressure is good. Plan on things with the kids, rather than writing.

- Writing classes (A theme has appeared!)
- Plan something for NaNo
- Edit Moon!Fic

- Short stories!
- Writing classes
- NaNo planning


- Maybe KoO2?
- Rewrite KoO1 if needed
- Edit shorts
- Writing classes.

Does it look like a lot? Possibly, but dammit, I need a schedule or everything goes to shit. For now, this looks like it. It'll probably get revised. I might take whole months to outline stories. Maybe it'll work better.
cat_rood: (Rules)
I tend to read through books about writing. I like reading them. However, sometimes, they just boggle me. Following is an excerpt from the book The Elements of Storytelling by Peter Rubie:

An idea, however, is not a story. Shaping an idea into a story is the difficult part. In the same way that an artist needs a pencil sketch to begin an oil painting, or a chef a recipe to begin cooking a meal, a writer needs a synopsis that broadly sketches out in coherent terms the essential elements of his or her story from beginning to end.

The reason some writers affect disdain for such barebones plotting is that it's very hard to do. They seem to forget that, beyond style, what makes the great novelists and short story writers of the past great is their storytelling abilities. Writers who insist they just "let the muse take them where she will" are being intellectually lazy.

It goes on from there, but seriously "intellectually lazy"? What?

So, I write by the seat of my pants, mostly. But, I'll take being intellectually lazy. This book is a wash for me.
cat_rood: (Rules)
Eventually, I'm going to have something intelligent to put here.

Eventually, there will be more posts here about writing and what I am/am not doing.

Eventually, I will get off my butt and get things done about this blog.

Eventually, I might show everyone a brain process.

Eventually, it will be NaNo and the counters will begin again.

Eventually, I'm going to rewrite KoO (September) and then all my frustration will vomit onto the screen again.

Eventually... I'll actually be the writer I keep claiming to be.
cat_rood: (Arissia)
So, I put up a schedule at the beginning of the month.

Tomorrow, the first begins a new month of writing. After the first of month running around, I'll be retreating to my room to do some writing. School ends on Friday, but I'm prepared for that. Kids know about The Writing Time.

I'm going to be spending tonight reading things so I can see where I want to go with each of the two that I might be working on. Both are in rewrites, but I'm actually going to go back and finish the original versions.

Or at least in theory I am. Maybe I'll work on both rewrite and original. Just to see what shakes loose.

For now, I'm going to go open Mira and Ari and see what happens. Maybe something spectacular will shake loose.
cat_rood: (Rules)
Okay... so...

May: Finish the edit on KoO
June: Write something (Possibly Mira, or Ari)
August: Rewrite KoO
September: Research/writing
October: Outline Dragon Voices
November: THE DREADED NANO - Dragon Voices
December: Send out second set of "PLEASE EDIT THIS" of KoO.

... That actually looks doable. Pondering this as I go along.

I'm hoping that nothing too much comes along to screw this up. Like, ya know, LIFE. But I'm going to attempt it.
cat_rood: (Rules)
Hello fair flisters! It is May, and the flowers are springing, and school is winding to a close, and life is beginning to reappear in my part of the world.

This is, of course, the perfect time to begin banging out the edits on my one work of d00m, and start working on things to finish a damned WIP.

I need to finish the last 90 pages of editing and finish several works in progress.

But, I also have books to read. Normally, I don't talk - unless I review - about what books I'm reading but having just bought several, I'm going to actually be a bit excited about them.

The one I'm most excited about is The Atlas of Sacred and Spiritual Sites. It's beautifully illustrated, and has a lot of information about sacred sites all over the world. I love it not only for that, but because it sparked ideas about things yet again.

That, however, is not what this post is about.

For the month of May, I have some creative goals, and as this is my creative journal, I'm posting them here.

- Finish editing Changes (the work of d00m) I'm at page 63/153. So, 90 left.
- Read! A lot! Reading is good! I like reading. (I miss reading)
- Maybe work on a WIP. This isn't a definite, because I don't know what's going to happen.

So, those are the goals. Let's see how badly I fail.

[For those on the personal journal f-list, I swear my mood didn't change that fast. Just I like this one to be a bit more upbeat than the other.]


Aug. 31st, 2009 09:56 am
cat_rood: (Hyst)
Up until about three hours ago - I get up early no matter if I have to or not - I was severely undecided about participating in NaNoWriMo.

But, as the fog of waking up cleared, I realised that I had several stories that could be used and needed to be worked on anyway. I'm not in the proper headplace to write just yet, but World Building! That I can do.

So, yes, I'm joining NaNo - possibly for my last year. Next year I plan on being in school. Hopefully anyway.

For now, though, I'm going to go get started on my world building, and see where that takes me.


Aug. 30th, 2009 07:23 pm
cat_rood: (Rules)
I've been thinking lately, about returning to my old routines. I need to write, in ways I cannot explain.

But, I need a routine to do it in.

That may sound strange, but there you have it. I need a set time every day, set aside for nothing but writing.

These last few weeks have had me caught up in so much other stuff that I couldn't write.

There was too much external stuff going on.

There still is a lot of external things going on. Kids are back in school though, and that should give me time to actually work on my writing.

Frankly, I hate to be mean, but my new room mate is going to have to respect the headphones, as well as all the kids. My kids are trained to respect the headphones and know what they mean. They mean Mom Is Working.

I know my new room mate will though. She understands how important the writing is to me. And I won't totally cut myself off. We have the lounge to clean tomorrow, and then we'll see what happens. I plan on putting on my headphones on my head, with my MP3 player and seeing if that helps.

I haven't decided just who I'm going to be writing yet. But it's definitely between Ari and Mira/Hyst. I might look through tonight to see what jumps out at me.

I want to finish up a couple old ideas, before I start worrying about new ones.

See, I have some world building to do. A lot of world building. I'm going to be putting some of it up here, but a lot will be going up on my IJ, under the writing tag/group.

I'll be putting up links here, to whatever it is I use that's an online resource.

I do however want to give a good resource. See, writing doesn't mean that you have lots of money. I've been using AbeBooks to search online used book stores! C'mon used books! That's awesome.

Tomorrow, I'm returning to routine and starting to write again.

Just need to figure out who.
cat_rood: (Rules)
One of the most important tools - in my mind - that a writer can have is a personal library. That personal library doesn't have to be huge (though most end up being so, in my experience) but I think you'll find as time goes on, you'll find more and more books to add to that collection that really are needed.

And, if you've chosen genre writing, you're going to find that your collection contains not only your chosen genre but many, many others that seemingly have no connection to your own chosen genre.

Why? Because no genre is exclusive. They all draw elements from each other. Westerns, romances, mysteries, thrillers, all of it takes elements from each other and twists it in different ways.

So, reading all other genres can actually enrich your writing, no matter what you want to write.

I, personally, like fantasy. But to write it, I need to understand military movements, how horses move, and their limitations. I need to understand everything from guns to swords, to armour, to catapults, castle defences, and... Well, I'm sure you get the idea.

Which means, I need to read a lot of history books. Reading fiction gives me inspiration. Reading... Again, I'm sure you understand.

Today, I got a new book in my library. I'm planning on sitting here, for at least part of the night, and reading some of it, while I enjoy Lara Croft, and maybe something to munch on.

Think about what books belong in your library, and try to think outside the box.
cat_rood: (Orion)
Friday, I finally finished the monstrosity that's been with me for the past several years. KoO's third draft is completely done. I'm working on the theory of leaving it be for a couple months and then I'll see about having it professionally edited.

It couldn't have been done at a better time. The next 3 weeks is massively busy with moving, packing, cleaning, and setting things up on the other end.

This time I've got is also going to be devoted to decide where to go from here.

According to this post there are two other stories I could touch, but right now, I'm not sure I want to touch either. I think I'm going to concentrate on Real Life for a while and get that straight.

Then, I'll decide. I have a lot of research and world building to do on another project lurking around the edges, and maybe I can work on that as something that's Not Writing, when I feel the urge.

So, the next few weeks look to be amazingly busy, and nerve racking. I'm not worried though. Not right now. That'll come next Sunday.


Jun. 25th, 2009 10:31 am
cat_rood: (Rules)
I have to say, for the majority of my stories, I fly by the seat of my pants. Most of them, are on fantasy worlds, and while they require world building, I always just sorta roll with the 'pseudo-European' model.

However, the next story I'm writing requires enough research that I've got a stack of library books about China, Mongols, Egypt, Rome, the Tsars of Russia and so on and so forth.

I've got notes, on my personal diary (linked in the side bar) about the thoughts I've had about where my research needs to go next.

It's best for me to put it online, so that I can find it all with the use of my tags. Of course, the poor f-list gets inundated with those thoughts, especially when I get them multiple times per day.

A lot of the time the research is always a bit extraneous to the writing.

No matter how much you research, there are going to be things in it that you can't fit into the writing. And you're going to want to. There are going to be bits and pieces that you know you can just fit in, if you just tweak here and there...

Except then, your writing reads like a text book, and that is almost never fun.

Research and writing have to be carefully balanced. If I want a society based off of Ivan IV's (the Terrible) reign in Tsarist Russia, I can't just start dumping in every detail about his attempted social reforms.

Unless they start becoming relevant to the plot, there are things that you need to know, that the reader probably doesn't.

I'm involved in my research and love the way it's going. I hope I can bring it across in my writing, and hope that my research makes my writing better.


cat_rood: (Default)
Cat Rood

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