nanowrimo starter kit: 10 ideas to get you started
Common Characteristics of Natural Born, Freelance, or Career Writers
- An “odd ball” childhood.
Writers tend to start off as peculiar kids. They never quite fit in with their classmates. Their abstract thinking begins early on, and it causes them to struggle to relate to other children and elementary interests. Future writers commonly start off as either lonesome or socially inept kids.
- They were handed books as toys.
Naturally gifted writers are almost always reading enthusiasts. They have a further developed vocabulary and stronger syntax abilities because their scholastic experience goes beyond traditional curriculum.
- They believe in the “All or nothing” policy.
Writers are often perfectionists that will edit until their eyes bleed or completely scratch an idea off the table. They tend to carry that trait into their other projects as well. The writer will either create something complete or nothing at all.
- They take pride in their work.
Even if they need help, writers like doing their work 100% themselves without contribution. This is seen often in college, when the self-proclaimed writers don’t show up to office hours or ask for tutoring. Writers tend to treat even essays as a personal work of art. It’s their work, and it matters that it’s only theirs.
- They are equally organized and disorganized.
A writer’s mind works in choreographed chaos. With too much chaos comes no productivity. With too much organization comes no passion. The writer has learned how to have the perfect combination of both.
- They have both an ego and self-doubt.
-Enough ego to invest in one’s own thoughts, enough doubt to revise and rethink continuously.
- They enjoy simplicity.
Hot coffee, music, and a sunrise could make their morning flawless.
- They are observant.Writers tend to learn about things from as many angles as they can. They’ll see the same sign for ten years and connect ten-thousand other separate things to the sign in that amount of time. They take in what they can and make a mental map of how things co-exist.
- They recognize the importance of memories.Writers learn how to utilize past moments as criteria for their work. A writer will not forget their first love, or heartache.
This is the fic that’s going NOWHERE.
How to shoot them (or write shooting them):
- Both eyes open—always. Bitches need depth perception.
- Breathe out, slowly, before squeezing the trigger. Holding your breath is just always a bad fucking idea. Also, if the kick (we’ll get to that in a bit) bounces back and you hit yourself in the chest because your hold wasn’t strong enough, YOU’LL KNOCK THE FUCKING BREATH OUT OF YOURSELF, DIPSHIT.
- Use both hands, especially if it’s your character’s first time.
- THE KICK IS ALWAYS A BITCH. Depending on what weapon you’re using, the kick will increase/decrease; this all depends on firepower/caliber/how you’re holding your piece. Remember: for every action, there is an equal and opposite REACTION. This is why snipers are usually shown LAYING THE FUCK DOWN, and also why they have CRAZY FUCKING ARM MUSCLES.
- Did I already say both hands? Yeah? Well LET ME FUCKING SAY IT AGAIN becaue unless you’re motherfucking CLINT FUCKING EASTWOOD, using one hand just makes you look like a FUCKING CUNT.
- KNOW YOUR FUCKING PIECE. And yes, in modern slang, it’s a piece. Piece, or weapon—never a ‘gun.’ Why? Dunno. If you want, you can just use the name of it. BUT BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOUR CALLING YOUR GUN. For example: A GLOCK ISN’T A MOTHERFUCKING SHOTGUN. GOOGLE THAT SHIT, SON!
“Hey, Tommy, do use a Glock to pop a cap in a deer’s ass?”
“NO JERRY YOU FUCKING DOUCHEBAG. I use my handy Remington Model 870, and buckshot.” *
- The adrenaline rush. MOST OF THE TIME, YOUR FIRST TIME (AND A FEW TIMES AFTER) YOU WILL EITHER FEEL SICK OR HIGH AFTER YOUR FIRST TIME, MUCH LIKE PAINT-HUFFING OR SEX (but without the brain cell damage or the massive regret and guilt and guns don’t fucking ask for breakfast the next morning).
- Finally: not everyone is good at this shit. It takes a-fucking-metric-ton of practice to coordinate everything correctly (also like paint-huffing and sex). No character/writer’s gonna get it right the first time. Maybe not after a couple times. Maybe not even after months and months of trying because the bastard won’t just man up and pin you against a fucking wall and—…FUCK YOU I DO WHAT I WANT.
*Note: A Remington is an EXCELLENT FUCKING CHOICE in the case of a motherfucking Zombie Apocalypse. Get on that shit, bro.
Heh heh heh.
I’m brilliant, sometimes.
This is important shit, yo.
- Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind. Cicero
- Words in prose ought to express the intended meaning; if they attract attention to themselves, it is a fault. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say. F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. Thomas Jefferson
- Use familiar words—words that your readers will understand, and not words they will have to look up. No advice is more elementary, and no advice is more difficult to accept. James J. Kilpatrick
- Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. C.S. Lewis
- The letter I have written today is longer than usual because I lacked the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal
- One should aim not at being possible to understand, but at being impossible to misunderstand. Quintilian
- If you would be pungent, be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams—the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. Robert Southey
- Vigorous writing is concise. …. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subject only in outline, but that every word tell. William Strunk and E. B. White
- Writing improves in direct ratio to the things we can keep out of it that shouldn’t be there. William Zinsser
- The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink. George Orwell
- Anybody can have ideas—the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph. Mark Twain
Saw an email notif today from an old post on shkinkmeme that tickled me in places shiny and pink. One line in particular - it referred to feedback as being the coin of the fannish realm.
Oh that is so true it hurts.
Sometimes you’ll see posts about feedback, great long writhing threads that are part bitching, part discussion, treating it like a rare commodity. And invariably some puffed up tit will weigh in with the opinion that a true writer only writes for the craft, in a lovely attempt to shut the conversation down, dismiss people as whiners and mistify the whole writing process as being something those grubby little feedback appreciators couldn’t possibly truly understand.
These people are full of horse shit.
I don’t even know where to begin with this. Feedback is amazing. I love getting it, whether it’s “ZOMG WRITE MOAR” or “I didn’t get this part…” or “I like this, but I don’t like that” or “THIS SUX.” I’ve gotten them all, but I wish more of them were like the middle two. Tell me when I’ve done something you’ve liked and something you haven’t liked. I’m a big girl, I can take it, I swear. Tell me when I’m wrong. I’m human, I screw up (quite a lot).
But I can’t get better if I don’t know what needs fixing.
Welcome to the Storyverse.
I just signed up for this. It’s really nifty. It could be niftier, but that’s the sort of thing that comes with time and participation from users. Let’s see if it sinks or swims.
This looks like it could be a really neat tool for reader’s advisory or for literary themes and motifs, or even just encouraging attention to detail. I want it to swim so I get to see what it becomes.
THESE ARE NOT OUR FACES.
This is not what we look like.
You think Gene Wolfe looks like his photograph in this book? Or Jane Yolen? Or Peter Straub? Or Diana Wynne Jones? Not so. They are wearing play-faces to fool you. But the play-faces come off when the writing begins.
Frozen in black and silver for you now, these are simply masks. We who lie for a living are wearing our liar-faces, false-faces made to deceive the unwary. We must be - for, if you believe these photographs, we look just like everyone else.
Protective coloration, that’s all it is.
Read the books: sometimes you can catch sight of us in there. We look like gods and fools and bards and queens, singing worlds into existence, conjuring something from nothing, juggling words into all the patterns of night.
Read the books. That’s when you see us properly: naked priestesses and priests of forgotten religions, our skins glistening with scented oils, scarlet blood dripping down from our hands, bright birds flying out from our open mouths. Perfect, we are, and beautiful in the fire’s golden light…
There was a story I was told as a child, about a little girl who peeked in through a writer’s window one night, and saw him writing. He had taken his false-face off to write and had hung it behind the door, for he wrote with his real face on. And she saw him; and he saw her. And, from that day to this, nobody has ever seen the little girl again.
Since then, writers have looked like other people even when they write (though sometimes their lips move, and sometimes they stare into space longer, and more intently, than anything that isn’t a cat); but their words describe their real faces: the ones they wear underneath. This is why people who encounter writers of fantasy are rarely satisfied by the wholly inferior person that they meet.
“I thought you’d be taller, or older, or younger, or prettier, or wiser,” they tell us, in words or wordlessly.
“This is not what I look like,” I tell them. “This is not my face.”
Essay by Neil Gaiman from The Faces of Fantasy; as it appears on Here In My Head, Tori Amos’ website.
It’s a weird thing, writing.
Sometimes you can look out across what you’re writing, and it’s like looking out over a landscape on a glorious, clear summer’s day. You can see every leaf on every tree, and hear the birdsong, and you know where you’ll be going on your walk.
And that’s wonderful.
Sometimes it’s like driving through fog. You can’t really see where you’re going. You have just enough of the road in front of you to know that you’re probably still on the road, and if you drive slowly and keep your headlamps lowered you’ll still get where you were going.
And that’s hard while you’re doing it, but satisfying at the end of a day like that, where you look down and you got 1500 words that didn’t exist in that order down on paper, half of what you’d get on a good day, and you drove slowly, but you drove.
And sometimes you come out of the fog into clarity, and you can see just what you’re doing and where you’re going, and you couldn’t see or know any of that five minutes before.
And that’s magic.
Why writing is currently a challenge.
(February 21, 2012)
I should put this over my desk.
I want to, but
Crowdog, this may be too much pressure … or it might help with the writer’s block. *hugs* You are the bomb and you know it. You just needed a break after all the fics you churned out these past weeks.