I have been failing miserably at writing everyday. Sometimes I only get 200 words, and today I didn't get any at all... I did, however, update my Looking Back series in my Phlog. I feel somewhat productive, but I need to get some writing in. I've thought a lot about the story I'm working on. I'm excited to find out where the story will lead me, but for the moment, I am failing at my resolution. Tomorrow I will write. Tomorrow I will have something to show.
I win! Today I did it! 1,034 words today. This has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. You see, there is this wonderful new-fangled thing called "the internet". It is a distraction. I spent so much time talking to friends on gchat and checking fbook when I was supposed to be writing that I didn't actually write. I have an idea. I want to write this story, but it's a motivation issue. Gosh, it's not even the new year. I figure if I can stick with this for 3 weeks, it will be a habit. So far it's been a few days. Maybe it will get easier. I told one of my friends today that 90% or so of what I write in a day is total crap. It's that 10% that makes me want to try again the next day.
Wish me luck tomorrow. When I finish a story, I'll post it to get opinions!
From the title of this post, you may think this has to do with a picture. It doesn't.
I made a pre-New-Year's resolution to write 1,000 words a day. Yesterday was wicked busy, and I haven't slept well. I only managed 350. Now, I'm not going to say I need to make it up. That would be ridiculous. I feel like that would be the exact way to burn me out on writing. I go from a busy day with little sleep to having to write 1700 words the next. That's not fair.
This is the reason I generally don't make New Year's resolutions. It's not even New Year's and I've already failed. I'm not ready to give up though. Today, I will make 1,000 words happen!
Today is my second day of writing 1,000 words. I managed to split it into two different sittings. Man alive, this is harder than I thought it would be. At least I've been running with an idea. I'm not really sure how to progress the story, but I've been playing with first person and third person. So, yesterday I wrote part of the story from first person, and then today I wrote the same part of the story in third person, but it took a whole different turn. It actually helped me expand my story a little and think about it in a whole different way.
My total for today was around 1,050 words.
Once upon a time, I wrote stories. Most of them were creative non-fiction… stories from my childhood where my sister and I are the heroes and we battle such menacing foes as fish, boredom and misclassified birds. The point of all these ramblings is that I enjoy writing. I also enjoy reading. I mainly read fantasy and fiction. My theory is that it would be difficult to write in those genres without blatantly copying the authors I like. I feel like I would be totally stealing ideas from other authors. This is why I write creative non-fiction. I already know the stories, and I know that no one else has written them.
This last November, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Austin’s Comic Convention. Gosh, I love that place. Anyway, one of the artists in attendance was Peter S. Beagle. Now, some of you may not know who that is. He is one of the authors that piqued my interest in fantasy books. That particular day, I got to the Con fairly early and was able to have a good chat with him about several things that I’ve always wanted to ask authors I admire. He gave me a lot of good advice and was extremely conversational and easy to talk to. I’m going to share with you something he told me.
I told him my theory about writing in the genres that I enjoy reading. He laughed at me, not in derision, but how someone laughs at an innocent misunderstanding. He picked up a copy of “The Last Unicorn” (the book that first hooked me) and said, “I can tell you all of the authors I was thinking of while I wrote this book.” For the life of me, I can’t remember any of them, but he told me that authors mimic the styles they enjoy and that is a wonderful place to start. After that, when you finally get into the groove of writing, your own style starts to show itself.
With this sage advice in mind, we come to my Pre-New-Year’s Resolution. I really need to get back into the habit of writing. I have written anything (besides blogs) in a long, long time. So, my goal is to write 1,000 words a day. This doesn’t include my blog entries which will let you know how horribly I am doing at this endeavor. For the record, this is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I’ve written a lot, and I feel like the thoughts in my head are finally coming together in a way that makes sense. At the moment, I am struggling at 963 words. That’s mostly because I was supposed to be in bed 3 hours ago. Fail.
Alright, I made it to 1,014 words. Need to go to bed. We’ll see how tomorrow goes. Wish me luck in my insanity!
I occasionally publish things at Associated Content, and one particular instance, they had a flash fiction contest. For those of you that don't know, flash fiction is different from regular fiction in that it has a specific word or page limit. Sometimes it's really hard, like when they give you 90 words to work with. This particular assignment was:
Select one of the three sentences below, and begin your story with that sentence -- the rest is up to you. The winning entry will be chosen by the AC editing staff.
**Choose one of the following sentences to begin your story:1. He had not been expecting a letter.
2. Someone was knocking at the door.
3. She still couldn't shake the previous night's dream.
Note: Feel free to change the genders in these sentences, however, everything else should be the same.
Additional Guidelines-No more than 800 words.
-All entries must be 100% original, in English and cannot be previously published.
This was my entry... Enjoy!:
He had not been expecting a letter. In fact, he had been avoiding letters of any kind. The sound of approaching hoof beats caused all of his muscles to tense. It wasn’t until the innkeeper approached that he realized his fingernails had gouged the wooden table. With a furtive glance at the new divots, she gently laid the letter down beside the grizzly, one-eyed old man. Her escape was thwarted by the man’s lightening-quick reflexes. Her wrist was ensnared before she realized he had even moved. His movements slowed as he brought her to a whispering distance.
His voice was like gravel being crushed under a carriage. “Open it.” The severity of his tone prodded her to act without protestation. The letter had not been securely sealed and she opened it with ease. The closer she came to its contents, the more resigned to his fate he became.
“It’s naught but an old playin’ card, sir.” At this unsurprising and unwelcome news, the old man closed his eye, exhaled, and leaned back into his chair. Seeing it as an opportunity to escape, the innkeeper dropped the letter and scurried away.
Though he had never received the Ace of Spades, he knew that it meant death. A death reserved for traitors. He flushed with shame at the sudden memory. It was a death that could take a thousand forms: his food poisoned, a riding accident, a shot in the dark, a knife in the back. He feared each option equally.
He didn’t eat in the common room of the inn with the other patrons that night. Instead, he sat in the corner of his room with one candle lit and his pistol drawn.
The next morning, sleep-deprived and surly, he, with pistol in hand, went in search of breakfast. The innkeeper shrieked when she saw the unkempt old sailor with a pistol in the hallway. He mumbled something incoherent at her and slowly made his way downstairs. He was the last one to eat, making sure no one died from the food. His stomach rumbled its approval as he ate. The moment he finished breaking his fast, he moved with unearthly speed back to his room.
Rarely leaving his room except to eat, his suspicion of others grew. The cleaning woman knocked on his door and nearly lost her hand to a bullet.
The days passed in a similar fashion with the old man getting more trigger-friendly with every sound. Almost a week had gone by with no sign of his assailant.
Late one night, when even the sound of insects has ceased, a rider approached. Dragged from his sleepless stupor, fear seized him. Death was coming for him, and it was riding a dark horse.
In a final act of defiance, he cocked the pistol and put it to his head. He heard the knock at the inn door. Death was knocking. The hinges whined as the door opened. He felt the weight of the gun in his hand as if it was the first time he held it and pulled the trigger.
Well, I like to write. Hence the reason why I have 3 blogs, a journal etc. Well, I keep forgetting, but I occasionally publish articles as well. I am always reminded when I get an email saying $.80 was just deposited into my PayPal account. I get paid for the amount of views I get for my articles. I know I'm not the best writer ever, but if it tickles your fancy, take a look at some of the stuff. I'd appreciate it. You have to look at the individual articles, looking at my profile is not enough.
Any help would be appreciated... who knows, someday I might have enough for a cup of coffee! No no... Musn't dream too big.
Here's the link: http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/80470/niki_tungren.html
I found this as I was packing my stuff up to move, and it made me laugh. It's a story I wrote about one of my professors.
When he smiles, he opens his mouth wide and squints his eyes tight, like a monkey. He lets his arms hang low which makes him more ape-like. His grey, wispy hair occasionally catches a draft and moves. Sometimes it moves against his motions and it looks like an animal trying to escape his head. With long skinny legs and a pot belly, his proportions are slightly odd. His hand shakes often, and I am saddened by the thought that he might not teach much longer. I like his teaching style, but his facts could use some credence. His conspiracy theories get old quickly. He is not a particularly animated person, and, even as I write this, I am in his class. I look around and everyone is intently staring at their notebooks. The pages are blank, no notes have been taken. The more I come to this class, the more I am amused by his technological illiteracy. He once asked if we should rewind a DVD. At least 5 minutes of every class is spent turning things on the right way, including the lights. I have to admire that he tries. Today, he drew on the wall instead of the dry erase board. Oh well.
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