Final Days Of 2017! #FD2017 Day 1: Creating Achievable Goals

Dancing Boa Santa

For our visual prompts this month, I thought it would be fun to share some of the odd ornaments I’ve been given and some strange things I’ve used as ornaments. If you have some strange or funny ornaments that you would like to share as a visual prompt here on Experience Writing please let me know.

#vss very short story

Santa thought a trip to New Orleans might make him feel more festive. With his new boa and sparkly pants, he couldn’t help but jiggle and jangle. Once he returned to the North Pole, the elves had to scramble to find enough glitter to fill his new demands.

Today’s Poetry Prompt and Poem

Today’s poem is inspired by PAD Chapbook Challenge Day 29

For today’s prompt, write a response poem. The poem can be a response to anything–a piece of news, some art, a famous (or not so famous) quotation, or whatever. However, I thought it might be a cool opportunity to respond to a poem that you’ve written this month. If both poems work, it could make an interesting dynamic to have two (or more) poems that interact with each other.

I went back to the first poem I wrote in November, “I Don’t Write Poetry” from Day 1: The Ordinary World. I chose a couple of lines I really like “Life is a state of constant decay
But hard work helps the end’s delay” that I thought I might use in this response poem. But now, I’m thinking I might use this prompt as an opportunity for one of my other main characters (My MC’s wife) to respond to the first poem.

The Poet Who Won’t Show It

Imagine my surprise
I didn’t realize
He’s a poet
Through his adamant refusal.

He uses lovely words
For the world he observes
As he’s working
Hard on his recusal.

My pride would but offend
Though I know it’s all pretend
His hard edges
Are all a butch facade.

But he’ll never mend his ways
Even getting mad at jays
For being lazy
In the poem he’ll never write.

Editing Focus

I’m going to start this study with Revision And Self-Editing (Write Great Fiction) by James Scott Bell. I have read this before, but not worked through it. I hope to use it as more of a workbook this time around.

Exercise 1: Pick six books in your genre that you think might be comparable to your novel . Look for similar themes. Look at your favorite author in your genre. Look at similar styles to your writing and voice in your genre. Pick six books that you think you might be able to use to say, “My story is like ___________ combined with _______________  in the style of _____________.

You can definitely choose books you’ve read before, but plan to read them a couple more times, studying different aspects.

Exercise 1: My six books
The Hiding Place by David Bell
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Evening News by Marly Swick
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

#FlashFicHive

#FlashFicHiveDay1

graphic by Anjela Curtis http://anjelacurtis.com/

 

I’m excited for #FlashFicHive this month. After spending the month of November working on a novel, writing some flash fiction is going to be fun. I hope you will join us in creating some flash fiction goals for the month. I plan on writing my very short stories every day, but I also want to work on some longer pieces. I have one Christmas-themed flash fiction story that needs work that I hope to look at this month as well.

Don’t Forget To Read!

(made me think, “Don’t forget to breathe!”)

If you’ve been following along for a while, you may have noticed that I read many books at once.

Today, I plan to finish Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace and turn my attention to The Hiding Place by David Bell. These are both books that I picked up thinking they might be comps (comparison novels) for this year’s NaNoWriMo project. Shallow Graves started out well. I was intrigued by the premise and the main character, but then it took a turn and floundered. I’m afraid I’m only getting through it at this point. I hope The Hiding Place turns out to be much more enjoyable.

What are you reading? What are you planning to read this month?

I hope you’ll join me for a month of writing and editing in these Final Days of 2017.

Happy Reading and Writing!

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Twitter #Hashtags That Motivate Revision

Twitter hashtags for writers and bloggers

Create visuals like this at canva.com. It’s quick and easy.

Twitter did not appeal to me at first (or second or third). So why, you ask, would I write this post? Recently,  I find myself enjoying it more and more. There are lots of fun challenges for writers and the character limitation ends up being a great revision tool.

How Twitter can help your revision

One Word Search

Many of the writing challenges have themes. One of the challenges I did had “green” for its theme. I opened my work in progress (WIP) and typed the word green in the find bar. This brought up every instance of the word green in my manuscript. As I searched through, looking for a sentence I would like to share with fellow writers and readers, I found myself editing every single sentence. I also noticed a trend toward shiny green eyes that I probably wouldn’t have noticed otherwise–time for a game of pessimistic moustache with body part eyes. I posted:

(that’s the first time I’ve embedded a tweet. So many firsts recently here at Experience Writing )

Themes and Word Count

The reason twitter is working so well for me as a revision tool is the limited character count. Another theme I participated in was Send/Receive/Give. In my WIP, my main character wrote a poem that fit this theme perfectly. However, I could only use a small part of it within a tweet. I thought it was a great revision exercise to attempt to keep the message and feel of the poems with so few words. Here is what I tweeted:

Finished revision and ready to pitch?

The third line of hashtags in my picture is for you. Writing a pitch for your book that will fit in a tweet is great practice for creating your logline. When you’re ready to start querying agents, or are working on a new story idea #MSWL is great! Agents list stories they are looking for. This can quickly narrow your agent list to agents looking for your work.

Check out Twitter Pitching Like a Pro over at publishingcrawl.com

These are only a few ways that I find Twitter helpful to my #writingprocess. There are many more hashtags to explore and create. Have fun!

For more hashtag suggestions L.M. Pierce has a great list.

There are also many books out there about using twitter for writers. For more tips and tricks check out:
Your Book, Your Brand: The Step-By-Step Guide to Launching Your Book and Boosting Your Sales

Twitter for Writers: The Author’s Guide to Tweeting Success (Writer’s Craft Book 8)
Twitter for Authors Artists and Entrepreneurs: Social Networking for the Creative Mind

Don’t forget to enter the Gator McBumpypants Contest that ends on Friday and come back Thursday for a guest post from author Michael Onofrey.

Revision: Adding Videos to Your Blog

You can see why I put this under the revision topic, I’m revising my post of Gator McBumpypants’ first movie. Why didn’t I think of this yesterday? So, how did I do it? It was much easier than I thought.

When I clicked on Add Media above my draft’s text box, like I usually do to add pictures, I looked around and in the column on the left I clicked on Insert from URL. In a new tab, I went to the Youtube page for Gator’s video and copied the URL. When I pasted it into the box, TADA!, the video is now playable on my blog. So fun.

Now that Gator McBumpypants and his friend Herman have a youtube page, they wanted to find some fun videos to share. First they subscribed to other children’s books about alligators. Hear are a couple fun book videos:

I tried to change the video sizes so they were about half as big in this post, but assigning height and width in the html didn’t work (I turned off mobile in theme settings as per instructions) Any one know how to change the video size?

This morning I had an idea for other content to add to Gator and Herman’s YouTube page: Alligator crafts! First I thought of origami, but to Herman’s happy surprise, the Pterodactyl origami video was WAY cooler.

The best video for alligator crafts (Gator forgives the artist for saying he drew a crocodile) so far was this one:

One thing I have yet to figure out is how to get the videos I’m following to come up in the right hand column of my video. Does anyone have any advice? I’ve made a favorite videos playlist, I’ve picked out kids book channels to follow, but none of these things are showing up when I play my video. If you’d like to see Gator McBumpypants and friends favorite videos playlist, it is a tab on their YouTube channel here. I’ll keep working on this and update when I figure it out.

While I was searching for fun Pterodactyl kids books, I happened upon this great video and learned something I think I don’t want to know– Pterodactyls Aren’t Dinosaurs!

Of course, I had to immediately do some research and if you wanna listen to Science then hears a link

However, if you wanna keep believin’ hears some info here

I’m not facing facts yet, and I’m not ready to share this with Gator and Herman, so sadly the great video did not get in their favorites, yet.

Another thought on revision– Learn from my mistake. Make sure to pay attention to current events before launching your marketing campaign. Planning my big push the same week as the Ferguson decision, could have been avoided if I was paying attention to current events. I had no idea this could be a factor, but it is what people are talking about and paying attention to (as they should). The story of a cute bumpy stuffed alligator is a bit out of place in that discussion, except for the theme of not being afraid of people different from you. Perhaps that could be part of the discussion with children. That said, when planning a marketing campaign, give yourself enough time to see what else is  happening during your time frame that could eclipse your efforts (again, as it should in my case).

Anyone have other video suggestions for Gator and Herman to add to their YouTube Favorites?

Revision: Some great tips on youtube

DSC05771

Finding a spark of motivation

Hi everyone. Last week, gnlong so kindly shared a link to a youtube video about revision, Novel Revision: Craft a Story Readers Can’t Put Down a presentation by James Scott Bell. It had a lot of good information and tips for revising a manuscript. Surprisingly, the tip I took away from the presentation was to create a cover for my novel, just for myself. To even create an imaginary blurb/ glowing review to get myself thinking of my manuscript as a finished novel. It’s time to get my mind set on the finished product, so I’ll push through to that end.

I then searched youtube for other videos on revision and found another one I liked Revising, Rewriting & Overcoming Obstacles:editing

Have any of you found youtube videos that you found helpful to your writing?

P.S. If anyone is looking for 2015 calendars, I’ve made a couple of my photography and have them available at redbubble.com

(P.P.S. I apologize for missing a couple days, I have a bad cold and today is the first day I can keep my eyes open long enough to write a coherent sentence.)