Wanting to Write Again

I want to start writing again. The problem is I have so many thoughts in my head and nothing on paper. I have used every excuse in the book for not writing and I think I have run out of them. This is a synopsis latest that I want to write:

The young German boys name is Max. He was a courier for Hitler’s High Command post. Max was on a courier run with orders for the soldiers guarding the main road leading into Berlin. The bombs from Russia were falling all around. Max gets buried in debris from a fallen building and sustains serious injuries. Suddenly, he is pulled from the rubble and taken to a safe place where the man that saved him nurses him back to health. That man was Bruno.

With the Russian army closing in on Berlin Max and Bruno struggle to escape Berlin. Once safely in the county side they try to figure out where best to go to escape the Russian army. Both being in the German army if captured they would be imprisoned or worst killed on the spot. At one point Bruno gets sick with fever and Max does all he can to nurse him back. At one point he grabs Bruno’s coat to wrap him in and feels something in the lining. Cutting it open Max finds a crinkled photo of an elderly man and woman. He realizes that the couple is Bruno’s father and mother. Then Max spots the yellow Star of David on the woman’s coat and realizes that Bruno is half Jew… his sworn enemies.

It needs a lot of work but I think it would be fine if I find the time and dedicate myself to writing it. I would love to be able to write with my writing buddy.

Working on novels late at night in Minnesota.

Working on novels late at night in Minnesota.

 

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Writing Goals for 2015

I have never done this before but I am going to give it a try this new year. I have set some Writing Goals for 2015. They are…

  1. I will set aside 1-2 hours each day to write.
  2. I will write 3,000 words a week (500 words per day / Mon-Sat).
  3. I will complete my (approx. 60,000 word) novel by May 1.
  4. I will revise my novel by June 30.
  5. I will query three agents on July 20.
  6. I will self-publish my novel on September 1.

I feel that I can make time to write 1-2 hours a day 6 days a week. In doing so by May I would have completed a 60,000 word novel. Where I really have heartburn is #4…revise my novel by June 30th. Revision is the most difficult for me. A few years back I completed a 50,000 word novel for NaNoWriMo and it is yet to be revised, polished or much else.

We will see how this one goes. I will blog my progress periodically.

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2 Days to go…NaNoWriMo 2014. Are you ready???

NaNoWriMo 2014

Well, it’s that wonderfully dreadful time of the year. November and another NaNoWriMo. This Saturday is day one and I still don’t have a story outline, but that’s how I usually work. What I do know is that I will be writing in the 1st person this time and my main character will be a boy about 15-16 years old. Great start, right? I guess I will fill in the blanks as I go. That was how I did it in 2012. I started with an opening scene in my mind and a main character and just kept running, adding plot & characters as I went along. It was the only year that I completed NaNoWriMo.

Good luck to all who participate and I will see you at the Finish Line.

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Z is for Z-END

finish line

Yes, the finish line is ahead. This is the last letter of the alphabet and I could think of no better word for Z than Z-End. This has been a very rewarding challenge for me. I have a problem sitting my butt down and writing daily. The A to Z Blogging Challenge has put me in my seat in front of my computer daily this month. I have truly enjoyed the experience and want to thank my wife, DeeDee and my daughter, Dustin and all who posted comments on my posts for their support during the challenge.

Thought the A to Z Challenge is over till next April, I intend to use this as a spring board to a daily writing habit. This is one of many finish lines I plan to cross. Ray Bradbury’s words ring true: “You fail only if you stop writing.” Never stop writing.

Finish line Keep Writing                            Ray Bradbury Quote 2

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Y is for YES

Wrestling_yes

Yes, I am almost to the finish line of the A to Z Alphabet Blogging Challenge. So today I am jumping up and down, pumping both index fingers in the air, screaming, “YES, YES, YES”, like Daniel Bryant. It has been an exciting month of posting and I have gotten a lot out of it. I have enjoyed it greatly. What I have learned from it is “Yes” I can do anything I put my mind to.

Yes, this is the first time that I have taken this challenge and look forward to next April. I will add this challenge to my NaNoWriMo and use both experiences to continue and better my writing. Looking forward to tomorrow and Z is for ????

Yes baby

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X is for XYLOPYROGRAPHY

Wood burning

Xylopyrography is describedas the art of burning pictures on wood with a hot iron. The word Xylopyrography contains six syllables: xy-lo-py-rog-ra-phy.

But to make this easier it is also called Pyrography for short. The term means “writing with fire” from the Greek pur (fire) and graphos (writing).With is also the process of drawing pictures on a piece of wood with a hot brass tip, which is just a little more civilized and easier than a hot iron. You can buy kits with the wood burning tool at any art supply store. Taking a sanded piece of wood you would trace or draw the art work onto the wood then using the wood burning tool burn the drawing into the wood.

wood burnig 2

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W is for WORDS COUNT

Word count 2

Words count not word count. Gustave Flaubert coined the phrase correctly in the 19th century when he said, “Le Mot Juste” which is French for, “The Right Word”. Flaubert was such a perfectionist when writing it is said that he would spend a whole day going over a single sentence until he got the words just right.

I’m sorry, but, I have neither the time nor the patience to spend a whole day on the word structure of one sentence. I do agree that when you read back a sentence that you have written and it doesn’t sound right and just doesn’t flow, you need to examine it and rewrite it till it does. I know that there are times when a scene just doesn’t flow and just changing the sentence here or there or changing a verb or adjective makes all the difference.

Flaubert wasn’t the only author who felt choosing the right word was important. Mark Twain said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” We all know that there is a “whole lot” of difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

I feel that writers must always be conscious of choosing the right word when writing and I feel that it comes instinctively. When you read what you have written you will know if something is wrong and needs to be changed. The right word needs to be found and that’s when you go searching for it. Never settle for the “almost right word.”

word count

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V is for VOICE

writers voice

Voice in writing is that uniqueness that the author beings to storytelling that makes it theirs and theirs only. The voice conveys the writer’s attitude, personality and character. It is like telling the difference between a Hemingway writing and a Stephan King writing. Both have their own special voice, rhythm and cadence when you read them. Finding your voice can be a challenge. Most writers stay that the only way to find your voice is to read and write. Read everything you can get your hands on and write every day.

When you are reading be conscious of the rhythm and the tone of the story. Does it have a smooth cadence or is it choppy and hard to follow? The story should flow like water down a stream.

Have you found your voice? I know when I read my work back out loud there are times when I will stop and say, “That’s not you. You wouldn’t have said it like that.” And I will go back and rewrite that particular section. The problem is I am trying to write what I think the reader would want. I am learning that I can’t do that I have to write what is in my heart and leave it up to the reader to decide.

Louise Brown says, “Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in.”

Barbara Kingsolver says, “Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”

What is your perspective on voice? Have you found yours?

voice 1

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U is for UNDERESTIMATE

underestimate

People are always underestimating something. We seem to think that if something is small then it has no power. Tell that to those in Afghanistan who have been drone targets. In other words, it doesn’t have to be a B-52 to do serious damage. And, there are plenty of other examples of underestimating, but the one that really upsets me, and mainly because I am a victim of it, is the when writers underestimate there ability as a writer or their ability to produce work good enough for the reading public. Let’s face it, if we only wanted to write for our own pleasure then if what we wrote was crap that would be ok. But most of us want to write something that other people will relate to, enjoy, have a good laugh and a good cry, and at the end really appreciate what we wrote.

I write this because I suffer from “self-underestimating”. I feel at times that I don’t have what it takes to write a good story. I can’t tell you how many times I have told myself, “You’ll never be a writer. You don’t have the talent. Your just dreaming.” When this “self-underestimating” comes on me I have to denounce it, push it back, and tell myself that I can do what Stephen King and Ernest Hemingway, and Ray Bradbury have done. I can write a novel that readers will read from beginning to end, tell their friends about it, and then reread it again,it will just take me a whole lot longer. I will not give up.

“Never underestimate what you can accomplish when you believe in yourself.” – Unknown

 

davidgoliath

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Tis for Theme

moby-dick

Novels have Major and Minor Themes in them. The major theme is what the author continues through the novel to highlight. The theme could be Love, War, Friendship, or in the case of Melville’s Moby Dick, Revenge. You see on a previous voyage the great White Whale, Moby Dick, destroyed Captain Ahab’s ship and severed his leg at the knee. Ahab wanted revenge…major theme. There are also minor themes in the novel. Minor themes in the novel are religion, friendship, and race.

The major and minor theme in a novel tells the reader what the story is about. The theme is the vehicle that the writer uses to let the reader know what he thinks of the world and of humanity.  The main characters problems, emotions and experiences are what drive the theme in a novel. What is your favorite novel and what is are the major and minor themes in it?

captain ahab

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