Posted in Methods, Resources, Writing

Filling in the Blanks

post filling in the blanksRecently, I found a post on Pinterest that I found very interesting. The post goes to say that writing dialogue first makes the scene easier and longer . The author goes to say that this method worked for him/her when he/she wanted to get some work done. Overall, I think that’s some decent advice.

Personally, it hasn’t been something I’ve tried consciously. I’ve done something similar where I write the basic lines of a scene and dialogue and then go back to fill in the blanks. My method made  me feel like I was too lazy to write everything out completely but seeing this post changes that.

Like many, I’ve always tried to put my best work on the page even if that means rewriting the same sentence a few hundred times. It doesn’t help that I know that that’s not how it works but I find myself doing it anyway. I’ve been trying to work on that, and while there has been progress, there are times when I tend to slip.

I (probably) won’t be using this method consciously right off the bat but I’m not going to write if off. It kind of feels like writing an outline more than anything else but that’s just how I feel. In part I believe because I’ve always associated going back and adding things to a manuscript as rewriting or even editing, I can’t immediately jump to using this method.

Overall, I’m always on the look out for advice and tips that will help me become a better writer. I always strive to grow my skills and abilities. Plus, it’s not like I’m opposed to trying new things. If the chance presents itself, I might just end up writing the dialogue first and the filling in the blanks later.

Posted in NaNoWriMo, Writing

Final Preparations

There’s only a week left before the start of NaNoWriMo but I’m not freaking out. Not yet at least. For the next few days, I’ll be outlining and making notes on important scenes that need to happen in the story. The only issue that I see coming up is the fact that the current story is about 74 chapters long but those chapters aren’t that long. They’re about 1k -1.2k words in length. Not much to work with.

With this story (TVPGTHS), I need to have almost everything planned out. There’s not going to be much room for flexibility. It’s troubling because normally, I do leave room for the story to change but this time, I can’t. This mainly has to do with the fact that I am rewriting this story. I guess that means that I’m not exactly ‘participating’ in NaNoWriMo, I just happen to have the same deadline. However, personally, I still think it can work. I’m starting the story from scratch. I’m not using any of what I have already written. I’ll be rewriting every single word.

As of right now, I’m not sure if I’ll be using any writing software. Google Docs has been really good to me so far and I can take it anywhere. I think I’ll stick with that for now until a better option comes along.

I haven’t decided how many posts I’ll be able to publish during November. If anything, they won’t be very long but I’ll keep everyone updated on progress.

Posted in Resources, Writing

Sweek and Contests

As November draws closer, I’ve been busy and productive lately. Not only have I started rewriting a certain story from wattpad that I don’t like, I’ve also entered a screenplay contest on Sweek. I’ve only recently discovered the website and I have yet to draw any conclusions from it. I also haven’t invested a lot of time on there but that might change.

For this screenplay contest, you can follow the link here, I decided to write up one of my little writing exercises I’ve posted on here. Can you guess which one it is? Not to leave anyone in suspense and because it is October, I decided to write ‘Summons‘ as a screenplay. I extended the ending and I changed a few things up. You can find my entry here.

I’ve also decided to enter in a few more contests as well. Thanks to Freelance Writing, I was able to find most of these contests. Some of those include #MicroBlue, ServiceScape Short Story Award 2018, and Beartooth Anthony’s Halloween Campfire Story Contest. I’ll probably not enter in all of them but, for the most part, I’ll enter in a few.

My focus is still preparing for NaNoWriMo. The next step is to write an outline of the story I’ll be working on. I’ve decided that I’m not going to use any of the original work if I can help it. It’s going to be a brand new story with the same characters and story but just told differently. It does help that I have certain scenes and events planned out already so outlining isn’t going to be too bad.

Honestly, I think my outline is more of a synopsis without calling it a synopsis. Outline is more loosely based on what’s going to happen. A synopsis details what does happen. I’ll be writing a mixture of the two so I can stay focused. I’m not really trying to experiment on the story or characters this time around. Everything is set in stone. The story just has to be rewritten.

 

 

Posted in Methods, Writing

Plot and Structure & NaNoWriMo

We’ve reached the first week of October and you know what that means? There’s only about 30 days left until the start of National Novel Writing Month in November. This is a very exciting month for me. Unlike during the summer, I will attempt to write the complete 50,000 words in November.

I don’t consider myself an experience participant of NaNoWriMo because surprises hide behind every corner and I can’t say that I will accomplish the goal. However, I will work really hard to meet that goal despite all the other responsibilities that I have.

Although I don’t call myself  an expert, I do have some wisdom to share – if you can call it that. Whether this is your first time participating or not, I feel like there’s a lingering fear (or maybe it’s just me) that I will come across a wall and have nothing to write about or that my muse packed her bags and left me in the middle of the month. So, in order to avoid that, I have a few tricks that have gotten me through tough writing situations.

A. Who is the story about?

B.What do they want?

C. How are they going to get it?

This is all about the main character. What does s/he want in life? Is it to win a basketball game? Is it to date a friend? Having an idea of what your character wants can lead the writing for quite a while. Plus, knowing what they want and forming an idea of how the character can achieve that goal is a great place to start.

Once these questions are answered – and they might not be answered at the beginning. Sometimes it takes a few chapters – then take a look at what obstacles the character has to face in order to accomplish this goal.

D. What are the obstacles?

E. Who is their rival towards accomplishing this goal?

I use these questions to get me started and then I write it down on a timeline of sorts. This helps me know where the story is headed and how to get there. Even having an idea of how it is going to end helps a lot. If I know that much then, I can work backwards and figure out how the character is going to get there.

Of course, I’m not saying that you need to know what your character likes for breakfast on most days. All I’m saying is that knowing what your character wants is a good lead to figuring out how the story is going to unfold.