So, my beta reader is my dad. I was worried about admitting that in my first post, but I’ve decided I need to get over embarrassment. I want to be a professional writer, and I plan to use every resource I have in pursuit of that goal. My father is a great resource, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of asking him for advice. How many aspiring authors have an immediate family member who’s written for a living, even in a very specialized capacity?
I’m trying to decide if Pinterest is a boon or a distraction for me as a writer. On the one hand, I love being able to make inspiration boards online. On the other hand, I have a tendency to get far too distracted by pretty pictures that fit into my cultural categories (I’m writing secondary world fantasy) and character ideas. On a third hand (because in SF and fantasy we can have as many hands as the story allows), I’ve actually found it useful for brainstorming. I have a better idea of where one of my characters is going because of the pictures on my Misc. board, which contains inspiring content I think I can find a place for at some point. In the end, the I don’t think Pinterest is either a good or bad thing for me in and of itself. As is often the case, what matters is knowing when I’m avoiding writing for one reason or another, and when I’m allowing myself some mental space.
The Poetry Archive is a collection of English language poetry read by the poets. I’ve found that listening to a poem or two before I write improves the quality of my prose dramatically. Poems are also organized by theme.
Looking back over the poetry I wrote in high school, I’m not sure whether to be sad or not. On the one hand, I only like two of the poems I wrote, both from ninth grade. On the other hand, considering how young I was, they’re pretty good. Here’s my favorite of the two, written in answer to the question of who was to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet:
After it’s done
After the deaths
A pattern in the chaos
A reason for it all
How far back will you go
Before you see
If anyone is at fault
The hand that guides the knife
Is not the hand that strikes
So, I wrote down everything I know about what I’m trying to write, and it comes to about seven pages of increasingly vague, surprisingly helpful, outline. I’ve tried to outline the whole shebang before, but I’ve always gotten distracted by formatting, phrasing, etc. This time I just let myself write, not even stopping to fix it when I noticed I’d shifted tenses. It took me a couple days, which worries me. Hopefully I’ll build endurance. That’s one of the purposes of this blog; to help me write something everyday, even when I can’t wrap my head around fiction. Habit building, ya’ see?
(If anyone is reading this, please let me know if I used that semicolon back there correctly)
Writing Resource of the Day
Rock Your Plot by Cathey Yardley, $2.99 for Kindle: I’ve bought a couple of ebooks on outlining recently, and having finished this pamphlet-sized one, I can say it’s worth the money. It’s more distillation rather than innovation, but I found it a lot clearer than many of the writing books I’ve read, and definitely more succinct.