The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
Aimée
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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by Aimée » August 5th, 2012, 2:01 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote:
Mark.W.Carson wrote:I don't know. For me, writing is such a weird and intimate thing, that it would be like using a spreadsheet for sex.

On an ENTIRELY different note. Sommer, now that I see you have come back a bit, and don't seem underwater, did you have a chance to look over the PM I sent you outlining my story? I was wondering what you thought, and if you had a general idea about what genre it fell into.
Writing isn't like that for me. It's not mystical or spiritual or anything like that. It's a job. I mean, it's a job I love, but it's a skill I do, if that makes any sense. I keep my writing life as organized as I do my regular every day job, otherwise I'd fear wandering aimlessly and wasting time on chapters and events that aren't meaningful. My biggest pet peeve in writing is actually getting off track and writing something I don't need.

I'm not really underwater, I've just reprioritized the end of my summer to not do online things and to do more writing things. So I've been MIA on Twitter and my blog and I have like three hundred e-mail I haven't answered yet. I will, I promise, I just haven't yet. The main reason I stop by here is because our spam problem is out of control these days.
Oh this makes for a really interesting discussion! I think I lean toward the more intimate side of writing, and I don't use spreadsheets or anything like that, but I do work from an outline of sorts so I know where the story, the plot side of the story is headed.

To me there are the two main sides of the story: plot (the work part) and theme (the spiritual part). I am constantly thinking about the theme part, and that NEVER gets written into the outline or a spreadsheet or anything. It's ALWAYS on my mind, and I'm perpetually working to develop it, and it's the fun part, sometimes agonizing and mentally/emotionally draining, but still the fun part that pulls me back to the laptop to keep my fingers typing.

But the plot-side, like Sommer says, is the "job" part for me. It's the side that takes skill that must be honed, and it's hard too, and usually I really dread having to do it. You know, the actual writing part. I love outlining; it's totally fun to see where the story is heading, but the putting one word in front of the other part can be a painful task. That's the part of writing that I consider work... But the spiritual side that always there, while it can be mentally draining, is definitely the most fulfilling part for me. It makes me feel like I'm doing something important with my words and characters.

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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by trixie » August 5th, 2012, 9:00 pm

I am pleased to report that I've spent most of my Sunday(~7 hours!) wrestling with my story. I successfully moved my ~10K new words into the master document and smoothed out the seams leading in to/out of the new 10K. This was a HUGE ordeal and while it's super exciting, I made the mistake of reading a few pages ahead. Oy. So many things are now out of whack as a result of these new scenes, but it's going to be okay. I started highlighting the passages that need to be moved, and have entered red text where needed as a reminder of how the puzzle pieces are all supposed to fit.

In slightly related news, I've also spent most of the day eating and I now feel like I just ate a huge Thanksgiving Dinner followed by Sunday Mother's Day brunch. Time for me to roll over to the couch...

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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by writersink » August 6th, 2012, 4:52 am

trixie wrote:Sorry, just saw your twitter name in your sig file. Off to find you! (And no, I don't mean that to sound as creepy as it does!)
I think I may have just died of laughter :D

I wasn't around yesterday - something came up and I didn't get anything done :(
trixie wrote:I am pleased to report that I've spent most of my Sunday(~7 hours!) wrestling with my story. I successfully moved my ~10K new words into the master document and smoothed out the seams leading in to/out of the new 10K. This was a HUGE ordeal and while it's super exciting, I made the mistake of reading a few pages ahead. Oy. So many things are now out of whack as a result of these new scenes, but it's going to be okay. I started highlighting the passages that need to be moved, and have entered red text where needed as a reminder of how the puzzle pieces are all supposed to fit.

In slightly related news, I've also spent most of the day eating and I now feel like I just ate a huge Thanksgiving Dinner followed by Sunday Mother's Day brunch. Time for me to roll over to the couch...
Yay! It sounds like awesome progress! Well done! And that news is related... both required you to work hard.

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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by Sommer Leigh » August 6th, 2012, 10:54 am

TRISH. Yay I'm so happy to see you back. Missed you like THIS MUCH ---> <--- which is a lot in text speak.

I didn't write a single word this weekend. And it was awesome.

Not that I often condone epic levels of procrastination, but I've been writing every day for weeks and weeks and my brain was like STOP. Stop. Stop now. Please, for the love of Spiderman, stop for like ten seconds. I need a nap. *naps*

I feel so much better.

Also I watched this movie on Zune on my xbox this weekend, which is not a movie I'd normally watch, but it looked cute in a way that I could stick in the background and do other things. (I have a problem with multi-tasking. I can't enjoy just ONE THING.) So I was going to do some graphic design work for a friend while sort of watching this movie.

The silly movie was called LOL with Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore. I thought it would be a cutsy teen movie, but then it went and surprised me and ended up being really, really, really enjoyable. I didn't even multi-task while watching it. Some of the characters were ridiculous, but there were parts I absolutely adored and is maybe one of the best mother/daughter relationships I've seen in movies/tv/books.

I wish there were more teen-awesome stories that represented great mother/daughter relationships. Writers seem to have issues with the mom character, like, we don't know what to do with her. Demi was A++. I also really enjoyed the teen friend-to-love story. It was sweet, so was the BFF relationship. It seems to me that most stories, no matter the medium, tend to get girl-relationships all wrong. What girl didn't have a sort of BFF crush on their best girl friend in school, where your every waking moment had to be shared or you went a little crazy. We always concentrate on the boy-crush stories, but BFFs are at least as all encompassing, if not more. We become best-friend-jealous, we call each other consantly, we share clothes, secrets, make-up, books, familes. We join ourselves to another girl like sisters and often when the sisterhood implodes, it does so violently. Boys we forget over time, but the beginning and end of best-girl-friendness sticks with us. I can remember every tiny detail I ever learned about my best girl friends, even the ones that had the lifespan of a summer.

Anyway, I wish there were more strong, realistic portrayals of relationships between women in stories. They are some of the most important of a girl's life, and seem to get the least amount or recognition, especially in YA. And I'm rambling. It's monday and I've had several cups of coffee so far. I take no responsibility.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by writersink » August 6th, 2012, 12:03 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote: The silly movie was called LOL with Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore. I thought it would be a cutsy teen movie, but then it went and surprised me and ended up being really, really, really enjoyable. I didn't even multi-task while watching it. Some of the characters were ridiculous, but there were parts I absolutely adored and is maybe one of the best mother/daughter relationships I've seen in movies/tv/books.

I wish there were more teen-awesome stories that represented great mother/daughter relationships. Writers seem to have issues with the mom character, like, we don't know what to do with her. Demi was A++. I also really enjoyed the teen friend-to-love story. It was sweet, so was the BFF relationship. It seems to me that most stories, no matter the medium, tend to get girl-relationships all wrong. What girl didn't have a sort of BFF crush on their best girl friend in school, where your every waking moment had to be shared or you went a little crazy. We always concentrate on the boy-crush stories, but BFFs are at least as all encompassing, if not more. We become best-friend-jealous, we call each other consantly, we share clothes, secrets, make-up, books, familes. We join ourselves to another girl like sisters and often when the sisterhood implodes, it does so violently. Boys we forget over time, but the beginning and end of best-girl-friendness sticks with us. I can remember every tiny detail I ever learned about my best girl friends, even the ones that had the lifespan of a summer.

Anyway, I wish there were more strong, realistic portrayals of relationships between women in stories. They are some of the most important of a girl's life, and seem to get the least amount or recognition, especially in YA. And I'm rambling. It's monday and I've had several cups of coffee so far. I take no responsibility.
I have a copy of this. I never gave it a go but I just might now. I'll let you know what I thought Sommer :)

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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by trixie » August 9th, 2012, 9:16 am

Dropping in to wish our illustrious moderator, Ms Sommer, a beautiful (albeit delayed by one day, oops) birthday!
*tosses confetti and passes cupcakes*

Hope you had a wonderful day!

In the writing world, I've taken the plunge and posted my first 250 words and my first 5 pages over on the WriteOnCon threads. I got my very first "this isn't working for me" comment, moped a bit yesterday, then got over it. Not everyone will like my stuff and really, the person DID give some good comments.

How is everyone else coming on their writing this month?

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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by Sommer Leigh » August 9th, 2012, 9:34 am

trixie wrote:Dropping in to wish our illustrious moderator, Ms Sommer, a beautiful (albeit delayed by one day, oops) birthday!
*tosses confetti and passes cupcakes*

Hope you had a wonderful day!
Thank you! It was good and bad.

Good: My husband woke me up in the morning to give me my birthday present (which he wrapped in christmas paper.) He got me a Keurig coffee maker and 50 sample cups of different stuff. I may never leave my house again. Or sleep.

We also went to the book store and I discovered an awesome book by Margaret Atwood I'd never heard of before, which is weird because I have several bookshelves dedicated to her works. The book is called IN OTHER WORLDS: SF AND HUMAN IMAGINATION. It's an book of essays written by Atwood and there are several on superheros. Woot. I also bought a DVD copy of Nick and Norah's Infinate Playlist.

Not so awesome? Dinner. Every year since I was 21 I've spent my birthday at a local japanese steakhouse. It was wonderfully cliched and the food was awesome. This year they moved to a new location in yuppie-ville in my city where all the stores and restaurants are more expensive just because. All the cliched awesomeness was gone. The food was ok, but later made me sick all night.

I did get to enjoy a cupcake from my fave cupcake store and we watched the movie CLUE with all three endings.

And saturday is the REAL celebration. We're having a zombie-themed all day party at my house. I'm playing LEFT 4 DEAD and LEFT 4 DEAD 2 on the XBox with friends early in the day, then we are going to marathon through a few really bad (by bad I mean awesome) zombie movies. For dinner I'm making my infamous Jack The Zombie Meatloaf Man and then friends are coming over to play Last Night on Earth. Almost everyone will be in costume as a zombie, although I am going dressed as Zoey from LEFT 4 DEAD. I might have just turned 33, but I'm not going to spend it acting anything older than 15.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by dios4vida » August 9th, 2012, 11:18 am

Sommer, that sounds awesome! (Except the being sick part.) <3
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by trixie » August 9th, 2012, 11:49 am

Sommer Leigh wrote: I might have just turned 33, but I'm not going to spend it acting anything older than 15.
And this is why you're my hero. I think this sounds like an absolutely BRILLIANT way to celebrate your birthday--I hope you have a blast! Sorry to hear you were sick from dinner, that's a huge bummer. But YAY FOR ZOMBIES! :)

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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by Beethovenfan » August 9th, 2012, 1:38 pm

Since I missed the actual day, and you are celebrating (in an awesome way!) on Saturday, I wish you a very rowdy, mosh pit, carry-you across-the-audience birthday WEEK!
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."
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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by trixie » August 9th, 2012, 4:23 pm

Those of you who were in Vegas, you recall Margo's session on dialogue, right? Making your conversations have double duty, show characterizations while advancing the plot. Yes? No?

Imaginary Margo smacked me over the head this morning. :) Conflict was missing from my dialogue. Here, I thought I had a good section that conveyed the fun relationship between the mom and the MC. And perhaps it did, but it was also pretty boring because nothing essential to the plot happened.

And in the sections where I used dialogue to move the plot along, it fell flat because it lacked characterization (granted, not as bad as the first example where I didn't advance the plot).

Wow, I have so much work to do and it's likely going to break my brain.

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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by dios4vida » August 9th, 2012, 4:58 pm

trixie wrote:Those of you who were in Vegas, you recall Margo's session on dialogue, right? Making your conversations have double duty, show characterizations while advancing the plot. Yes? No?

Imaginary Margo smacked me over the head this morning. :)
Yes. Oh my gosh, yes. I can hardly write a section of dialogue without imagining Margo telling me to rip it to shreds and make it all insults, or all sentences under seven words. I'd complain, except it's made my dialogue a lot better, so I'm actually happy imaginary Margo keeps smackin' me upside the head. (Though it happens even more for me in description - that's flat! It's passive! You're using 'to be' verbs! It doesn't reflect the character's inner journey! <smack>)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by Margo » August 10th, 2012, 4:56 am

Wow, imaginary me is really violent.

Happy bday, Sommer. No wonder we're so alike. I'm Aug 7; you're Aug 8. Too much awesome in too short a span.

Yes, it is 1:46AM my time, and I'm up working (lest anything think being a fulltime writer is all fun and video games).

A little insight for my fellows. This is an aspect of professional writing that I never considered. When you start hitting bestseller lists, you're going to attract the attention of other writers who are jealous. I've had a ton of bad reviews left by multiple fake accounts on my pen name titles (long story how I know this). And you know what? It totally psyched me out, even though I had three top 100 titles on Amazon for my genre last month. I was making a ton of money, and all I did was worry about when the jealous little jerk was going to strike again. I even stopped writing--not intentionally, I was just too stressed.

So anyway, I'm on my feet again (so to speak) and charging forward, haters be damned.

Anyone got a decaf Americano with steamed non-fat around here for me?

Edit: It was fan mail that really pulled me out of my slump. Thank god for real readers (as opposed to fake reviewers).
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by CharleeVale » August 10th, 2012, 11:08 am

Sommer Leigh wrote: We also went to the book store and I discovered an awesome book by Margaret Atwood I'd never heard of before, which is weird because I have several bookshelves dedicated to her works.
YOU LOVE HER TOO?

It doesn't really count as August (since it was the end of July) But I was on vacation so I didn't really get to squee all over the forums. I finished my draft! YAY! It now rests in Sanderling's capable hands. I'm hoping after I finish this draft of my thesis, that I can go back and revise it before the end of the year.

CV

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Re: The Coffee Shop - AUGUST

Post by Sommer Leigh » August 10th, 2012, 11:29 am

Haha, you all who wondered if Margo and I were related? We're like six chromosomes shy of a doppleganger.

I am getting a submission ready to post on the WriteOnCon boards. It will be the first time I've put my superhero story out there for critique by people who don't already like me. Not that my friends (especially my Bransforumfriends) don't give me great critiques, but I always worry my friends are being too nice. My husband reads as I write and is helpful about telling me when I've started down a boring path, but whenever he's like "Wow this was a great chapter," my first instinct is to snatch it out of his hand and start channeling the "wife" from The Princess Bride, screaming LIAR. LIAAARRRR. So I'm kind of looking forward to seeing what strangers think. I started a WriteOnCon thread here yesterday so I'll post links over there when my sample is up for review.

Thank you all for your birthday wishes :-) So far my week has been pretty good. I'm looking forward to tomorrow a whole bunch. This weekend will probably be very unproductive and lazy.

So spill, what are everyone's weekend goals?
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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