30 April, 2013
I've heard that sometimes authors release extra information on their websites to compliment the stories, but I wonder is it ever enough? I really enjoy Pottermore, but it's slow-going. Only the first two and a half books have been released, and while I enjoy the games and pictures and histories of the characters, I still find myself craving more.
Do you ever find yourself in the same scenario? And if you're an author, have you considered elevating the iceberg of your research up for everyone to see?
26 April, 2013
24 April, 2013
Now it becomes crucial for me to take time off from staring at the manuscript, and instead do research, plot out ideas, and get some much needed shuteye. At the moment, I'm glancing at my novel scene by scene, and summarizing what's there and making changes in my notes to apply during the second draft. I confess, I have one scene that has changed -- hopefully for the better.
Aside from that, I'm doing research (here, have some zeppelins!) and using some realism and some fantasy to construct the layout for a standard passenger airship in my novel. Maybe I'll even take the time to make a layout and post the sketches.
23 April, 2013
22 April, 2013
What I mean is this: When I set a goal for a new story, I shoot for 80,000 words for the first round -- but! I set smaller milestones within that goal to keep myself motivated. First I shoot for 500 words, then 1,000, then 2,000, and 5,000, and 10,000, next 15,000, so on and so on. I celebrate each one because they are commitments to my greater word goal, and they're short and frequent enough to keep myself engaged with the writing.
Is this something you do? Do you set your milestones and celebrate each one as they come to pass?
18 April, 2013
I've done this with coffee mugs, cutlery, stuffed animals, bodily injury (I didn't harm myself! I just pretended to be injured in a room, alone, with no one to see me so I could pretend to go from Point A to Point B in the way a maimed character might.), and recently purchased a marbleised tobacco pipe to have on hand while I write scenes where my characters are using one.
What about you? Do you have physical objects associated with your characters that you use to promote your writing experience?
16 April, 2013
Even though I stumble while writing, I pick myself up and carry on. And that's because I aspire to be great like my favourite authors, but I know better than to compare my starting work to their seasoned résumé.
Now that I have a epitomical mantra to tack above my desk, I'd like to hear what inspirational quotes you have to keep you motivated, whether it's your own or something you heard/read that stuck with you.
15 April, 2013
*hides those party decorations and sweeps up the preemptive confetti*
I still have one chapter scene and another chapter to write before the first draft is completed, so I'm going to do something unexpected: I'm pushing my Camp NaNo goal up to 35K.
That's right, folks! It's the middle of Camp NaNo and I've still a ways to go, so I'm upping my goal. Overall, my novel is at approximately 88,000 words, which may sound like a lot but is actually on the low-end of typical fantasy novels. We'll see how things turn out by the end.
In the meanwhile, I wanna know how everyone else is doing that's participating. Have you reached your goal and kept going? Still on course? Taking a mid-month break? Let's hear! :)
07 April, 2013
For anyone who may not know, this is in-line with the average count of most novels. If any of you are curious, there's a wonderful diagram courtesy of the Book Genome Project that gives breakdowns by genre and answers questions about the frequency of first or third person use within those genres.
03 April, 2013
Given the human condition, the remaining senses will compensate. This is true when reading a novel. A line of text will mention that the teenagers went to a house party -- we automatically imagine the cacophony of rampant teens yelling to be heard above a stereo cranked to the max. A different line of text mentions a group of teenagers going to a debutantes' ball -- our imagination shifts from chaos to refinement, lovely gowns and tuxedoed men, and elegant dances.
It depends upon the skill of the author of how well they can control their readers' perceptions. Going back to the house party, they could add the details of a section of manicured bushes recently replaced and growing to fill the space left void by the last house party drunkard who'd collapsed into them.
The debutantes' ball could tell us more about the people -- dandelion and daisy bouquets instead of roses, quilted tablecloths made from sundresses past, and water pitchers give us a drastically different picture than the one we originally had. We might now think instead that this is a low-budget imitation of a ball put on by a small town, or alternatively we might imagine not a debutantes' ball, but a church social or fundraiser meant to emulate the style.
These descriptions shape our imagination, or at least give direction. Think of what you could do with a well-placed onomatopoeia. You could go back to the house party and add the oppressive untz untz untz that beats arrhythmic to a person's heart and makes it too uncomfortable for them to stand anywhere near the speakers. Go add a tootle-to-to-to-tootle-tooo to the debutantes' ball, and that reed becomes enchanted, hinting that this is instead a party of the Fair Folk.
01 April, 2013
Well, I still have 3 chapters to complete of Uncertain Heirs, so I'm participating in Camp NaNo to finish those. I'm taking Neil Gaiman's and Joss Whedon's advice -- I'm finishing what I write.
And because I love you guys so much, I'm going to let you see a snippet of dialog. Just a snippet, of course. ;)
But I do want to wish everyone good luck, should they be undertaking the Camp NaNo challenge!
Ash Litton is a writer and lover of sci-fi, fantasy, and all things fictional. She is the author of No Signal, Thoroughbred, Evening Hallow, Comeuppance, and Cabover Cabaret, and works on other Appalachian Dream Tales between her ongoing novel projects.
When she's not writing, she's drawing, and when she's not doing either of those, she's dreaming up new projects to work on. Born and raised in rural West Virginia, Ash has always wondered what things lay hidden in the hills around her. She attended West Virginia University, where she studied the English language before returning home to her family in rural West Virginia.