I got this and so do you

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My current novel will be finished in two weeks.

That’s a bold statement. And I stand behind it. And I’ll tell you why.

This has been an exciting last few weeks since my last post. I’ll try to encapsulate it all and hope that you’ll find these tools useful as well.

  • Use an outline
    • This has been instrumental in helping me define my story. After completing the course Masterclass with James Patterson, I knew that I could either have spent $90 with no follow through or spent $90 with new skills/techniques that would move my writing forward. I opted for the 2nd option.
    • A huge key for productivity for James is using an outline to write his stories.
    • So dammit, I wrote an outline. Felt like being in 3rd grade again but the impact to seeing the whole story laid out has made writing it that much simpler.
  • Dictation software
    • I mentioned previously that I was going to use Dragon Naturally Speaking which I have but wasn’t using to its best advantage. And I have read a slew of non-fiction writers lately who swear by the software.
    • It doesn’t always capture as clearly as I’d like yet, but that doesn’t affect the work, it can be used as an excuse. And I’m not allowing it. The reason I’m saying that is I know that the software will improve for me with more usage. So I’m not planning on using an excuse and just keep moving forward.
  • Sprints and moments in between
    • I read “5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter” By Chris Fox and he talked about doing 5-minute sprints. His is not the first book that suggested it but it was the first time I actually decided to follow through. I usually can only do these type of exercise for about a week before I get bored. This time, it was different because I also had to track my word count. And I did the sprints with pen and paper and also by recording into word documents or OneNote.
    • I copy and paste each sprint into my Scrivener document.
    • The absolute key to all this is Do not edit anything. And that means absolutely nothing. I don’t fix missing commas, grammar, punctuation. I will do all that once I have the story on paper.
  • Talk about it
    • Put your timeline out there if you are a habitual procrastinator. Have someone read your outline (if you choose) for holes before you start writing. If this feels like it will dilute your process than don’t do it. I had 2 people read mine and the questions only help me write a clearer story.
    • After you are finished, then clean it up. You can have beta readers do a clean read with a solid checklist of what you want them to look for or read for pleasure and tell you what doesn’t make sense. I think a clear direction helps so that you get solid information about what needs to be fixed.

5 Tips to beat Procrastination.pdf

Can’t wait to see how this all turns out.

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5 stories completed

I’m making serious headway with my flash fiction stories. I have five of them completed so far. I don’t like the ending on any of them…yet. I am glad I have the rest of the month to work them to the best state I can possible put them in, along with trying to work on the other five.

I want to put ten together. But I’m not punishing myself if I don’t.

How has your work been going? Are you working or just thinking about it and putting words on paper later?

I have noticed by taking this break to write these stories, I have a renewed outlook on where my story “The Coven” is going. There are a lot of scenes that need more detail and not non-essential details but real layers that enhance the experience for readers.

So as always, continue to see the world through words.

Story 1

Deep Sigh.

Shoulders slumped.

What the hell was I thinking – a mother who kills her kids and herself – as if there aren’t enough tragic real stories in the news. Flash fiction has been the hardest things I’ve ever tried to write. Get in, get out, but make an impact and make the story in 500 words or less, meaningful. That’s a huge task.

So I’ve started this story and the mom and children are on the roof having a make believe picnic with oatmeal and hot dogs. She has four children, she’s at the end of her rope. Did she intentionally think suicide and murder, I don’t know yet.  Will she go through with it, I don’t know yet. I know it’s hot, maybe the hottest day in months, and the heat in her apartment is what created the additional stress to her over burdened life and going up to the roof was a way to have fun. No air conditioner in her apartment, no fan or maybe a fan with only one blade working. I don’t know, I’m making this up as I type. The children are 5, 4, 3, 2 not too old that they know what is going on.

Okay, this is all pretty dismal so I want to switch it up. Oh, just now, I found a way to turn it around. I can’t tell you because that would ruin the surprise. But think about what you know about me and what I blog about. So it will be something supernatural. Can’t help it. It’s where my mind naturally goes. So I hope my brainstorming on the computer helps you to just track and go with your story. Don’t over think it.

Continue to see the world through words.


What I’m working with for my 30 day challenge

Okay, I have to say upfront; even I don’t know where I’m going with these yet. But, my ideas are these:

  1. A mother kills herself and her children using LSD before they jump off the roof of her apartment. (yes, this seems morbid but we’ll see where it goes)
  2. Convicted murderer astral projects to a new planet to have her baby. (okay, magic, science fiction(ish), not sure yet)
  3. A couple of trapped co-workers fight over giant sunflower beds. (I don’t know, it popped in my head, so I’m going with it)
  4. Drunken service men on a reality show vie for the quiet room. (this is the only one that seems sane)
  5. A hung-over teenager manipulates the weather to escape job responsibilities. (magic for sure and yes teens do get drunk, stop kidding yourself)
  6. Perri and Cassidy’s first meeting involving a boat cruise. (character from series)
  7. Perri and Kim’s first encounter in a frat house. (character from series)
  8. A pregnant woman gives her doctor a prescription in patients. (sounds too timid but my mind is racing on how I can flip this)
  9. A teenager girl discovers a magical purse. (I looked at my bulletin board and this jumped out at me)
  10. An abuser suddenly finds him/herself on a deserted island with a machete and fire. (pretty clueless about where this will go)

So there you have it. My 10…may they all survive the 30 days,  because I don’t have any idea where these are going to take me.

Continue seeing the world through words.


30 day Halloween Challenge

Let’s kick October off with a 30 day challenge.

Why should you do this 30 day challenge? First response, why not!

Why not give yourself permission to write and potentially have a salable product at the end of 30 days. Why not figure out how much fun this could be. I’m using a flash fiction course that I tried this summer to work on mine but I want you to work on whatever short stories you want to populate your product with that can be ready in 30 days. Maybe you write three 2500 words to have a 7500 word novelette (something or other). This is just for fun since Halloween is my favorite holiday.

1st week: Start writing or formulating your ideas for ten 500 words flash fiction stories.

2nd week: Type up those stories (if you are a hand-writer like me) and see where you can make them POP.

3rd week: Share with a trusted writing partner or someone who can see the flaws and that you will listen to.

4th week: Finish revisions, make or purchase an eye-catching cover and prepare for day 31.

Halloween day – 31st day.  And if you are super lucky, publish it on Amazon (why not, they’re good flash fiction and you can earn a little cash).

So there we have it – the challenge. Share your output or drawbacks. I’d love to hear from you, I’ll do the same.