Welcome to the place where I rant, rave and discuss books, writing, the town of Cobourg Ontario and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Friday, December 31, 2010

New site, New friends!

I spent a large part of my day yesterday checking out different blogs. I even entered a writing contest which involved a real challenge: 150 words, no more no less (and for a very long-winded person like myself, you can imagine it was a toughie) and it must contain the 5 random words that were chosen.
For this specific challenge the words were: Yellow, Dying, Contrary, Draw and Preliminary. You can check the contest out here
So what I thought would be a fun little exercise in creativity turned into so much more. I found a community of other writers blogging right along with me. What an unexpected treat!
If you happen to know of any other writer’s blogs worth joining, please leave a note with a link to their site.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Writing Exercise: Metaphors and Similes

Writing Exercise: Metaphors and Similes

I was scrolling through the internet looking for some writing exercised to get my creative juices flowing when I came upon this exercise: http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/writingexercises/qt/metaphorex.htm

At first it seemed a little odd, but it was fun to try to come up with strange and interesting answers. Though I copied it to Microsoft Word and saved my answers, I’m sure it’s something I will come back to again and again when I need a little creative boost.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 27, 2010

To Love, Faith and Hope

It's been a long time since I even opened this blog. The idea of writing anything has been inhibited by super-duper amounts of stress and surreal horror over the last 6 months. A story of horror so intense that I hope to write about it someday. If it were a book, the final chapters would have been finished as of this month, the anti-climax will continue until probably May or June, the scars will last forever.
Though I mentioned the last 6 months, the true horror of the story started almost 3 years ago, and that agony and terror has played the largest role in my life, trumping all else.
Now that the end has come, the book is closing and it's time to move on to join the land of the living again and to ask "who am I?" without this torture ruling my life, a sign was giving. My sister gave me a gift for Christmas. It was a simple gift really, a couple of magazines on writing techniques... What mattered was on the Christmas card attached to the magazines were written the simple words of "Love, Faith and Hope".
My sister has walked through the hell I have walked through the past 3 years and still had it within her to have the love, the faith and the hope that I pursue with my writing.
If she can have the love, faith and hope in me for success, by all means so should I. So here's to having a little "faith" and a lot of "hope" to continue writing and turning out things that I "love"

Monday, July 5, 2010

Blocking your Chapters

Ok ok, I did learn some things from How-To books. I learned about chapter blocking and now that I'm doing it I find it actually does help.

Here's how I do it:

- Open a word document and save it as "Chapter Blocking"
- Decide on the who, what, where's and how's on that chapter
- Leave room for what the reader needs to find out in that chapter

Here is an example of my way of chapter blocking:

Chapter #1 - introduces main character
Where: The Airport
When: Early evening, mid-summer, present time
How: 1st person narrative through main characters eyes - present tense
Narrator's mood: Anxious with underlying anger
Who: Main character, various passerby's, security guards
What do we need to find out in this chapter: Main character going on a trip, that he has falsified documents, that he's a widower, he is in disguise

You can add and remove any information in this section. This is a good time to plan the scene of the "where" since it won't be coming up too often in the story.


Where: The airport Grey and cold, bustling, loud.
And then add more
Where: The airport Grey and cold, bustling, loud.
and then add more
Example: The airport Grey and cold bustling and loud. Hard marble floors and the smell of cleaner in the air.
And so on...

By the time you go to write the chapter you already know the scene in front of you. Plus you can jump around scenes as well. You might know how the novel is going to end and you can work on the final chapter in the same manner adding or changing as your story develops.

Slowly progressing,
Nina Powers

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Re-reading crisis

As per my last post, I tried just writing. I just started writing whatever came to mind at the moment. I ran into another wall... with all these walls I'm hitting, I'll either wind up with a stone labyrinth or a really big welt on my forehead.

Moods tend to shift my writing style. For example, (and yes I'm still on the same project which is a good thing) my first chapter all written out was in a very comical and sassy style. I was in a comical and sassy mood when I wrote it. The problem? The story isn't really comical or sassy, and my heroine doesn't really fit the comical or sassy air that I've given her.

So it's back to the drawing board yet again, and a chapter going to the trash can. Maybe the experts were right and a little more planning needs to be involved. We will see.

The ever-trying,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Throwing the Experts out the Window and Getting Past the Block

As mentioned before I have a habit of working on a story until I hit block when I don't know where a strand of the story will go. If I'm not satisfied with where I've gotten I move on...
As I've also mentioned, I've been inside and out "How to write a novel" books to the point of dissection...
Still - I found myself going nowhere in actual progress on any novel.
The Solution? Throwing the experts out the window and just write. I don't need charts and graphs and pictures and zodiac books surrounding me at all times. Perhaps I haven't found my niche yet, but it doesn't mean that someone else's ways should necessarily be mine.
SO my new method? Write - write whatever I think about the subject. If I hit a wall - write about a different part of the novel. Could this amount in many many many many ad nauseum wasted hours of re-writes and self-loathing? Well it's possible, but it's also possible that this may be the way to get to a finished product. We'll see how it goes.
Anyone else out there going against the grain these days?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New idea in the brainstorming phase

I finally have a new idea that seems to be sticking. Well so far anyway. I'm in the brainstorming phase and I haven't quite figured out the details yet, but the story is starting to take shape in my head.

I have a tendency to like an idea until I hit a block where the story doesn't hit one of my criteria.

For me, the main storyline has to be:

#1 - Something I know about
#2 - Something very different
#3 - Something with meaning
#4 - I need to already know how it begins and how it ends, and the ending has to be awesome.
#5 - There has to be at least one character that is super different
#6 - There has to be a major twist even I wouldn't see coming

So far I'm 5 out of 6. We will see where it goes!
Wish me luck:)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

New tool: Storybook

I found a new writer's tool online (well new to me at least) called storybook. It's free to download. I haven't had much use for it yet, as no ideas seem to be sticking, but it looks pretty handy.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

When nothing seems to stick...

No ideas for a novel seem to be sticking. Does anyone else ever have this issue? Is there a super glue for writer's out there that I haven't heard about? If I don't stick to a novel idea and theme, I'm afraid one won't be written (well duh!). Is this what they call "writer's block" or is it "writer's wall" because the ideas seem to pile on top of each other though none of them come to completion. My thoughts run crazily into each other and I can't seem to focus on one. Oh how I long for a nice warm sunny day to walk along the beach and be alone with my brainstorming little mind.

Any ideas on how to get past this?

For now i'm just jotting down any and all ideas that come to mind that mean something to me...

In desperation, I move on towards the glimmer of light I call hope... or madness ;)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Starting on a new idea

It's been over 6 months since I have even peeked at my last project. It had nowhere to go as far as my thought process was concerned. So it took a few months to finally say, "Ok, it's not the time to write this novel". Then it took a couple of months on top of that to have a lovely little brainstorm about a new project. That brainstorm hit about 2 nights ago when I was trying to sleep.

The idea came to me while I was reflecting on my life, and my death really. No I'm not dying, that I know of... but my mortality has come into view lately, as well as the mortality of those I love and the idea just built on itself.

So here I go on a new project, no fancy notebooks and binders, cutesy sticky-notes or colour co-ordinated pens. Just a plain old composition book, a pen, my laptop and some ideas... well maybe a few cutesy sticky notes for good measure ;)