Posts Tagged ‘WriYe’

WriYe and Writing

New month, squiders, new blog circle questions over at WriYe.

Why did you start writing?

That is quite the question, if you think about it too hard. What do we count as “writing” in this case? Do we count the very first project I wrote back when I was eight? Do we count my fake atlases of made-up places, or the stories I made up for my cousins and I to role-play?

Or do we count with my grown-up writing, when I decided this was something I wanted to make a priority, that I wanted to improve my craft and perhaps put some stories out for people aside from close friends and family to see?

I wrote as a child because I wanted to copy my mother, because I had games and shows and movies that I loved and wanted more stories from, and since they didn’t exist I had to make them up myself. As an adult, I write because I love stories, and I like to see where they go. There is something very satisfying about coming up with a place and characters and getting them through to an ending.

But as to why I started writing–I can’t recall. Storytelling has always been something I did, though writing was just one avenue until I became an adult and it became harder to get people to play pretend with me. And now it’s so tied to my vision of myself I don’t know what I’d do if I stopped. Tell stories some other way, I guess, maybe through pictures or games.

Bonus:
How has your writing improved since you first started? What would you still like to improve?

I hope I’ve improved in ALL ways since I started (with the Seven Special Princesses when I was 8). I know I’m still not fantastic at tension, and I always have to remember to add in description (so it usually goes in in revision, ah well). But I think there’s always room for improvement, that you can always be a better writer, no matter where you are in your writing journey.

(That being said, I also think there’s some good, even if you’re just starting out. While many of my early projects are pretty cringeworthy, there are some good ideas in there.)

Happy April, squiders! It’s starting to really, truly feel like spring. Got big plans?

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WriYe and Editing

First of all, fantastic news, squiders! They found my journal/workbook class for me! Hallelujah! Words can describe how happy I am about this development. (Now to get on it.)

It’s editing month at WriYe (probably to line up with NaNoEdMo–National Novel Editing Month–is that still a thing? I’ve been in the online monthly challenge community for so long I can’t keep track anymore.) and so this month’s blog circle questions have to do with that.

(While, technically, revision is the process of changing story elements–writing new scenes, removing old ones, changing character arcs, etc.–and editing is technically stuff like fixing punctuation, grammar, and the fact that the character’s eye color went from hazel to brown on page 15, we’re going to follow general convention and equate editing to “the act of changing a story, hopefully for the better.”)

Describe your editing process. What is your biggest challenge in editing? 

I think I’ve talked about my editing process in great detail before here on the blog, but if I haven’t, essentially I do several months of analytical work, looking at plot and character arcs, which scenes are essential and which are not working, if there’s characters that should be removed or combined, if there’s confusing parts or if a prop comes out of nowhere or if some aspect of worldbuilding is falling apart.

And THEN I outline the story, put each scene on a color-coded note card, and start the revision/rewriting process.

That typically gets rid of the major issues, and if the story still needs some work, it’s mostly minor things.

Bonus:
Tell us about your ideal critique partner. What do you look for in a critique partner?

Ha! If we’re going for ideal, someone who reads the chapter/story quickly, who points out things that are good along with the things that are bad, and someone who can look at a chapter as part of a larger story and make insightful comments on character and story arcs. Oh, and someone who is into your writing and loves to get it.

But I’ll take what I can get. If I get feedback eventually and it’s at all insightful, I consider it a win. 😛

Happy Thursday, squiders! I hope you didn’t get bomb cycloned yesterday like I did. (But all the trees are still upright and we didn’t go without power overnight, so it wasn’t terrible.)

WriYe and Romance

Afternoon, squiders. WriYe’s going well so far. I’m still remembering to check in, and through the challenges I’ve finished my serial story (which I’ve worked on almost every month since January 2009! It’s insane to think that it’s done), wrote a 4K short story, and started revisiting some of my universes which will help with longer projects moving forward (I wrote a Shards verse drabble this morning, which was very enjoyable and came really easily).

But now it’s February, which means there’s a new prompt up for the blog circle, so let’s get to it.

Is romance necessary in all fiction? Why or why not?

I wouldn’t say romance is a necessity. It can be nice, or it can be terrible (in the case where it’s forced in, or comes out of nowhere, or is just really badly written). I don’t mind romance, but I do think it needs to be done well and serve a purpose.

But a necessity? Nah. I’m perfectly happy to read about a group of friends, or siblings, or cousins, or any other relationship. It doesn’t need to be romantic in nature. And to have all stories rely on romance is, frankly, a little unrealistic and uninteresting. Some people don’t like romance, and plenty of people get through life without it showing up every time something exciting happens.

Bonus:

If you do have romance in your fiction, tell us about your favorite pairings. Why are they your favorite?

I am not great at romance (I suspect because I’m not a romantic person myself), but if I had to pick, I think Syvil/Chism from my story For Justice in the To Rule the Stars anthology (which you guys might remember me mentioning under its working premise, which was space princesses) is probably my favorite romantic couple that I’ve written.

Don’t tell any of the other couples, I guess.

Despite including romance in a lot of my stories, it doesn’t come naturally to me in most cases. I often have to go back through in the editing stage and add in things like significant looks, and feelings, and things along those lines. It’s a known issue.

What do you think about romance, squiders? Essential to a well-rounded story?

WriYe and 2019

So, in December, I got an email letting me know that the WriYe boards were being refreshed for 2019, and it was a weird blast from the past. Do they send these emails out every year and I’ve just ignored them? Did they do something different this year? Who knows!

WriYe (at some point it was NaNoWriYe) stands for Writing Year, and it is a year-long writing challenge where you pick a total word count for the year. Each month has a number of individual challenges (new moon and full moon challenges where you try to get a certain word count on those days, genre stretches were you write stories outside your comfort zone, etc.) to help you stay focused.

Back in 2006 I joined a ton of writing communities/challenges, one of which was WriYe. (This was because I graduated from college in Dec 2005 and then moved to a new state in Jan 2006 with my then-boyfriend–now husband, so it wasn’t a totally bad idea–where I had no job and knew no one and was generally going completely stir-crazy. So I decided to focus on writing more than I had been in an attempt to save my own mental health.)

I did well that year–I won, and I became a mod-of-sorts closer to the end of the year. I think I was in charge of making up challenges. But I haven’t really done it much since then. The last time I tried was 2013, and I didn’t check in past August.

But, for whatever reason, WriYe sounded like a good idea this year, so I signed back up and here we are.

They’ve got a blog circle, so you may see periodic posts relating to WriYe throughout the year. This is the prompt for January’s:

What’s your WriYe Word Count goal for 2019? Why did you chose it? 
What are your plans for the year? What do you want to accomplish with your writing?

I picked a 75,000 word count goal for 2019. This is one of the lowest tiers (there’s 50K and 60K underneath it) which I feel comfortable with because I haven’t been terribly prolific recently (see: small, mobile ones) and so it should be doable.

(Also, I believe I can change it later if things are going really well.)

My plans are a bit up in the air. We did discuss things that I wanted to work on at the beginning of the month, but aside from the anthology and the sequel to City of Hope and Ruin everything is more or less an option. But I would like to do something new this year. And get some things done. So many things are in revision limbo and I’ve got to get them either polished and ready to go or give up on them.

Bonus: What are you most looking forward to in 2019?

I love the possibility that comes with a new year. Of course, this is completely arbitrary, since one can start a new thing at any old time, but there’s so much possibility right now.

But I am going to write something new this year, and gosh darn it, I am going to enjoy the hell out of it.

Also, they’ve got a complicated prompt system over at WriYe, and it’s been forever since I’ve done prompts, but they actually make sense with some of the things on my list this year, so I’m going to go for it. As soon as I figure out how it works.

Got any year-long goals this year, squiders? Tips on helping me focus? I’m in that weird state where there’s so much possibility it’s hard to pick something and settle down with it.