The Storyteller Bird

The Trials and Tribulations of a Teenage Writer

The Goal

It is part of having a career (or working towards one) that requires goals. Goals are such nice things when your starting out because they are undeniably possible and you get a giddy feeling, thinking of how soon you can have that done.

Personally, I love goals. I love making them, I love the sound of them, I love how much I make them. However, like most people, I don’t like having to achive them.

One of my most recently made goals was to finish the first part of my story (about 220 pages) by the end of October, a perfectly makeable goal, and while I’m working well there is still the fact that I wont make it, unless I write ten pages a day, which with school and homework is dobtful to happen. I may get close, but in the end I will be at least 30 pages off.*

It is a sad feeling, to realize you aren’ tgoing to reach a goal, and it makes you discouraged as you write.

Have I said how much I love endings? I mean, I didn’t really enjoy it when it got there, but right now, with a deadline looming over my head (a self-made one of course) I am so scared I won’t be able to finish.

I feel like I have forever.

The thing about writing is you have to write endings too. Personally, if I could, I would write the beginning, little snippets here and there and let the rest fill itself in, but I can’t and so I’m stuck here trying to figure out what to do.

Personally, I don’t plan ahead because I like that mystery of the character’s leading me where they want to go, but recently I read Marion Daube’s On Writing, and was severly dissapointed with how horribly close she was to squashing my dreams, becuase in there, she wrote abotu how getting published was a one-in-a-million, and making a living off of writing rarely happened, and talked about how we shouldn’t aim too high.

I can tell you right now that I will never be reading any of her books again.

 

But back to editing, besides her glorious moment of makign everyone feel depressed about themselves, she also wrote about how you had to plan ahead, and how rarely do writers finish without that.

I can think of one, very sucsessful, very published author who never plans ahead (or at least doesn’t know the ending).

 

AND THAT’S ALL RIGHT!

 

Writing is about writing what you love and learning from it and, in the end, being happy with it, it is not about following every rule one writer uses with their writing, and that was what made me not like the book the most. If it hadn’t been for those parts, I may have loved it, but Marion Daube wrote a book that was selfish and stuck-up and had no soul.

At least three months ago I read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and in their she told me everything that she had learned in her writing, and that is a good book on writing, it is the reason why it is one of the most well suggested of self-help writing books.

 

When writing, just remember:

 

 

 

*I actually wrote most of this post a while ago, and I am going to make the goal

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NaNoWriMo

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, hasn’t it. Oh, what I long to bring back of summer, all the time!

But, anyway, I suppose that now is a good of a time as any to tell you about NaNoWriMo. If you don’t know, NaNo is a month-long competition to write 50,000 words. Except it isn’t really a competition against anyone but yourself.

This year will be my first year participating and I am so pumped! I couldn’t have picked a better year either, we have a week for Thanksgiving vacation. A WEEK! Do you know how much writing I can get done in there?

From my approximant counting, I can get at least 215 pages in that month, at least.

I mean, wowza! 50,000 words is about 200 pages, so it’ll be interesting to see if I can (I mean, when) I will make it.

One of the first things that they suggest upon your joining of the site and the competition is to tell lots of people that you can, and will, complete the challenge. That way, when it begins to get hard and you start to think that you can’t, you are reminded of the impending doom of embarrassment, which is great as it is an excellent motivator.

It is exciting that it will be starting so soon, and the idea of getting so much done is a fabulous feeling, one I can’t wait to feel when I do finish.

 

 

Good luck to You!

An Ode to Editing

Oh editing,

How doth I hate you?

As much as the the wind hates the willow?

Or the child the bee?

As much as a mother to her child?

Or an antagonist to thee?

As Doofenshmirtz to Perry?*

Or Ginny to Harry?

As much as I doth hate editing?

Very much! Indeed!

 

 

A little mid-week post for everone.

 

*Phineas and Ferb!

A Cup of Coffee with Your Muse

There are some days when your creative juices come flowing in a rush to the head and all the sudden your writing, your fingers flying faster than you believed possible, and all of the sudden you don’t care if it’s good because it’s coming, and you can edit later.

Your muse has come to visit.

She just wants to have a cup of coffee, to catch up like old friends do when they haven’t seen each other in a long time, and gab over your kitchen table like old friends. She’s worried that she came at the wrong time, you won’t be home, and when she sees you she smiles a wide smile and you do too, because she’s such a nice girl and it’s nice to see her, it really has been too long.

If I have any advice for you, it’s snatch her up. I don’t care if you were just heading out to go grocery shopping or if you need to take your children to school, do something to keep her around and WRITE, because if you don’t she’ll be gone when you find the time and you’ll be left again with the brain-dead feeling of writer’s block.

In a nutshell: when your creative juices start flowing, use them.

These wonderful, wonderful days come quickly in the beginning, you fill your days with brilliant prose. For me, the beginning is beautiful, it’s the middle that pauses me in my stride, and for me, you are faced–all of the sudden–with the fact that I have to WRITE. I have to write things I don’t like that I won’t like and that will linger in my mind, making my mouth curl at the bitterness of their words.

BUT THAT DOESN’T MATTER! Just get it done! Finish! You can edit anything and everything, and in the end, that’s where everything is made nice. Those pretty, flowing sentances authors have that make you green with envy? I bet you twenty bucks they were written in editing. Editing is where to take everything and make it ten-times better. To me, the first draft (and probably every draft after that) is just about pretending you know what you’re doing.

But to the real world.

I’m starting to, maybe, like pintrest. I know, gasp, right?

Also, I’ve been going back over one of my favorite blogs, One in a Million, which hasn’t been updated in some time, and have been going back over the last couple post. I’d forgotten some of the lovely tresures of photos, like this one, which totally represents writing:

I love this blog, because it had so much inspiration, but not the cheesy kind, even I hate that. But while serching this blog (stalking it more likely) I have come across a quote that I love but I had quite forgotten:

I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.

This quote was a turning point for me in the writing of my first draft, becasue it caused me to realize that even if I’d never been there, it may be for the better because I could create that breathless wonder in a character abotu the city. Maybe, one day, I will go there and maybe I will be impressed, but if I’m not, I’ll always be able to look back on this draft and remind myself how beautiful the city is, in your heart.

The thing about being a writer is that we fake alot. We don’t know what it would feel like to watch someone die before our eyes, and so we imagine what it would be like and fake it, put down what we think it would be like and hope we’re close enough.

Crayon Craze

So if you have all been on or even heard of Pintrest (if you haven’t then I strongly suggest you Google this and join ASAP) then you have heard of the new craze of the melted crayon art.  I myself have participated in this craze and I have to say it was a blast!  It all happened one after noon when I was extremely bored.  I was on Pintrest and the crayon arts kept popping up so I decided to give it a try.  I went and picked up one of those jumbo boxes of crayons, a canvas, and glue.  All I did was glue the crayons to the top of the canvas in the desired order and grabbed my hair dryer.  I turned the hair dryer on high and held it close to the crayons until the wax started to melt.  It was so cool to see them melt almost instantly and to watch these rivers of color just stream down the canvas.  It has definitely become one of my favorite crafts to do and I recommend it to really anyone because it was easy, cheap, and fun.

[as taken from “Creative” World of a Theresa]

Guys! Look!

Isn’t it soooooooo cool!

Can’t wait to do this myself, though I’m thinking I’ll get multiple boxes and just use one color, fading in and ou.

Personally, I love fun, easy crafts, and as a non-joiner of Pintrest (okay, I’m on there, I just can’t figure it out) this totally caught my eye. Although, in the couple times I’ve been on there I’ve seen it, this explained it to me in a way that was easy to understand. I’ve also seen it where they get a square canvas and have the crayons in a circle, that looks really cool too.

Also peeps, I’ve joined Blogger! Mostly because I love decorating blogs on there. It’s easy and FREE! (hear that wordpress! FREE!)

It’s been a point of my frustration that just about everything on wordpress costs money, and while I lovelovelovelove the layout, I can’t do anything to my blog (like add pink!) And so I made my wedding cake, as I have affectionently named it (because really guys. Look at it)

[as added by moi]

Pretty Birds, the Moon, and Writing

Pretty Birds!

Flying Birds! Am I the only one who loves this?

Scary Birds!

Cinderella Birds!

And now the moon:

Yes, sparkly moon.

Sorry for being absent for a week, I’ve caught the school bug. What is the school bug?, you ask. It’s the feeling that comes after school starts.

For some people, mostly adults, the school bug is a great thing, a time when all of the sudden, your writing more than usual, but for those in school it’s a time when you suddenly are depressed with your writing because despite the fact that it’s coming, it’s not coming as much as it came over the summer, when we could have twenty-page days.

One of the hardest things about writing is actually writing. As basic as it seems, the getting it down on the page, in real words, is the hardest part.

I don’t know if I’ve said it before, but isn’t it odd how we don’t think in words, but a string of pictures and letter’s and just about everything else, and yet it still makes sense to us.

When we start writing–for me–there is just the basic idea, and it all comes together as I write. I couldn’t handle planning ahead because I would get bored with the writing. This way the story slowly reveals itself to me as if I too am reading it. Sure, this guarantees for times for when ideas don’t come and I’m stuck staring at a blank page, wishing it was yesterday, Sunday, when it all flowed so beautifully.

Ah, the weekend. Those days when, for me, it all comes out. As a young writer, I’m not doing it full-time, and writing is the ‘vacation’ I need on the weekends. People don’t understand how this is fun for me, but it’s relaxing, because I somehow I let out all my emotions in the words that have nothing to do with them.

Writing is a great thing to do, and lots of people do it. Why? Because it gives us an escape.

I think that in the same way some people run to let off steam, we write, people just don’t understand it as well, just as some people (ehm, me) can’t understand how running can mello you out. It’s hard, why would that help you?

But in the same way running is easy for some people, writing is easy for us.

I’ve Been Meaning to Write

The book is done!

…really!

Meg’s (although did we ever really doubt her) was a genius with her idea, and I must admit I will be using it in the future. I woke up with a light feeling in my chest, and I knew it was done.

I’M DONE!

The sad thing, is there seems to be no real euphoria to it, I’m just…done. This is rather  disappointing to me considering the fact that I always thought it would be big and bold and exciting. It was just, there.

However, there is other excitement in the air. THE NEW STORY!

I lied yester day. I love beginnings, to an extent. I have to be passed those first five pages and then it comes brilliantly and I wonder what I was complaining about only seconds before. It helps that I’ve been thinking of this story for at least a month, I’ve been dreaming about what it will be like, how wonderful it will be. I’ve been dreaming about how funny and deep and real and romantic!

Romance, oh how I’ve missed you. You see, of all the things I didn’t like about my last story (and there weren’t many, because come on? Who doesn’t like their own story?) one of the biggest things I hated was that there was no romance. None. Zippo. Sure, there was a guy mooning over a girl and a different girl mooning over that guy, but nothing happened. No kissing. Not even petty words!

But it was the story, and so I stuck to it.

This one, however….

There is a lot to do in starting a story, however I am one of those people who makes it up as they go along. To me, planning it out would make me bored of the book, with this way it’s able to surprise me. However, I do have a basic outline in my head, and the book is divided into three parts, which are summarized in probably about two words, which is great. I know where they’re going, just not how I’m going to get there.

If you do it the other way, great for you. I’ve read a lot of authors blogs, and most of them say that they plan, chapter for chapter, or scene for scene. I don’t like this, because then I start dropping a crazy amount of foreshadow in your face. Like, spelled-out-for-you foreshadow, and I know as a reader you don’t like this. With the way I writer, there are only tiny, little things my subconscious doesn’t even seem to register.

For me, the book writes itself, the way it wants to go. However, towards the end, I get jumpy. Probably ten chapters away, my mind starts gearing towards the ending and what I need to do, and I do plan chapter for chapter.

I speak for all of this through one-time experience. Sure, I’ve written other things, but all of it has been short little twenty pages at most stories, not the real thing, and so I’m crossing my fingers and toes that it wasn’t a one-time trick and it will happen again.

I’ve started a lot of stories over the years (since 1st grade to be exact) and out of all of them, one really finished. There are probably 100 that I’ve dreamed up and put down on paper and 100 more that never got there.

But a story is a lot scenes stringed together and a scene is a lot of paragraphs stringed together and a paragraph is a lot of sentences stringed together and a sentence is a lot of words stringed together. You just take it one step at a time, bird by bird*.

*an Anne Lamott reference. Bird by Bird anyone?