Category Archives: Writing

I Am An Author

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I am an author. Did I say that right? I am an author. Hard to believe. Every year I participate in Nanowrimo and write a story. I have written three novels that are all in various drafts. I did that. I am an author. It’s hard to believe that I wrote them. I look at my drafts and smile, reminding myself that it’s achievable.  I have to remind myself because there are times when I believe I suck and that I could not possibly be an author. When I sit to write a new story I am amazed that I can not get the first sentence out. When I sit to write a new story I am frustrated that writer’s block has pushed me in a corner. Then I look at the drafts of novels I have written and remind myself that I am an author. I get back on my keyboard and try again.

I think I can. I think I can…..write.

To get somewhere, you have to start somewhere. Never give up. Be an author.

yodaWhy is it so hard to write the first word? Is it because the mind fights itself even to the very moment of putting the words down? Maybe it’s me. I am  a novice trying to come up with a workable writing schedule. Perhaps my writing constipation will work itself out when I start writing on a regular basis. No pun intended.

I’m dissecting Stephen King’s Misery to learn how a story is put together. Focusing on how a story flows, character developments and scene structures will help better my storytelling. It’s an experiment. So far I’m learning a great deal. And what better way to become a better writer than to learn from the masters. I am currently on chapter 12 of  Stephen King’s Misery and I have to say this process is showing interesting results thus far. The chapters in this novel are very small (so far), about 500 word count, which in my opinion is great for a fast pace thriller. He avoided what I call “flowering a scene” where everything  is described to great detail and provides way too much information. He kept it simple, only mentioning what was important to the story. I also noticed that a scene can take several chapters, unlike my my last novel where I wrote a scene per chapter. I pondered how deep in a scene I can go if I take my time  and tell the whole story. Give it life and make it real.

I’ve decided to write a short story before starting a new novel. It has been years since I’ve written one and I look forward getting started. I have several ideas and will pick one soon. As eager as I am, I still dread writing that first word. Maybe it will come to me in the middle of the night as I dream about my alternate life.

“Dying men rarely scream. They haven’t the energy. I know.” -Anne Wilkes

King, Stephen (1988-06-03). Misery

Shanna

Dissecting A Novel

ImageAs I am trying to write this blog my five year old son as yanking my arm screaming,

“Give me ice cream! I want ice cream!”

So I decided to ignore him and began typing. Magically, it worked and now he is quietly holding on to my arm, silence of a lamb. Or he may be mesmerized by the My Little Pony cartoon on the television. Either way, he is subdued.  And crisis is adverted, for now.

I decided to write a new story. I’m not one for short stories as I have so much to say about certain situations. So, on the way is another novella or novel.

Why is my nose running? I know I am not getting a cold. This is some bullshit.

However, before writing this new novel I’m doing something new and surprisingly fun. I am dissecting Stephen King’s Misery, a story similar to an idea of mine. I’ve read dissecting a novel ( noting scenes, transitions, twists and introductions of characters on cue cards or writing it down) is a way to learn sentence structure and character development. It is a type of literature engineering that I am unexpectedly enjoying. Helps with outlining. I forgot how much I liked taking things apart and seeing how they work then putting it back together as perfectly as possible if not better. Though Stephen King is way out of my league, I love the “self-challenge”.

The excitement makes my toes wiggle. I’m a book whore. Books turn me on.

I am reading the ebook version of the novel and using Scrivener to break it down. Fast and easy. Also, tedious however, my mind runs at 100 miles and hour and fast typing is helpful. It also pays to have OCD. I wonder how long this will take to complete. I will share my experiences as I delve into this project.

Oh I learned “KISS”, Keep It Short and Simple. Or is it Keep It Simple, Stupid? What do you think? Let me know in the comments. And have you ever dissected a novel? Was it helpful?

The five year old is now asleep on my arm. Good grief.

Cheers,

Some Kind of Funky

BTW, you may see me refer to “The Five Year Old” from time to time. He is my adopted son who is my nemesis and my mini me. He is a 37 year old man in a kid’s size six/seven body, explains the gigantism, who thinks he can reason his way through childhood. As a baby I said that he was boring because he didn’t speak. Now he is a nonstop motor. It’s like waking up to a car dealer every morning to making deals between two Pop tarts and a Sponge Bob cartoon to let him eat in the living room or eggs, bacon and oatmeal and he gets my phone in the car to play Need for Speed:  Most Wanted on the way to school. Speaking of car dealership that’s what my living room resembles. Hot Wheels and Match Boxes are everywhere. Littered heavily among them are large dump trucks and ambulances. I have to play Minesweeper on the way to the kitchen and hope I don’t break my neck. He’s a great kid and drives a hard bargain. He makes me a better person and an exhausted one.

Where Are You Sandman?

It’s 1am and I am wide awake. What is keeping me awake? Nanowrimo. I am now obsessed with writing my story. I forced myself to bed to get rest. Terrible headache. I still have it. It makes it hard to write. So I’m under my covers writing a blog post. I think I’m stressing out as well. I have a lot to do tomorrow and all I want to do is write. I’ve ignored the dishes, laundry and bathing my dog. I believe it will get worse by mid November. By the end of the month my house will look like a hoarder’s house and I’ll be sleeping on a cat piss covered mattress on the floor but guess what? I’ll have my novel finished. Or at least hit 50,000 word. Oh my goodness. I think sandman has finally sprinkled sand in my eyes. Is sleep really going to happen? Zzzz. Goodnight writers.