Crafting a Practicable Plan for the Editing Process

Editing is eternally fascinating. When you approach the second draft of your novel, you’re a lioness crouching in the grass, watching her prey, biding her time, and planning the kill. For a successful hunt, you must analyze the situation thoroughly.

In “3 Steps to a Sustainable and Streamlined Editing Process,” I help you start the process of crafting a practicable plan. And to my nerdy glee, I get to dig into three main editing stages over the next two weeks. The editing process is complex, messy, and exhausting–but completely worthwhile.

Stay tuned, and visit StoryForge Productions to keep up!

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Writing What you Know? …Please

I’ve disliked this phrase for a long time. But instead of tossing it away with the rubbish, this week I explored deeper. I delved into its meaning, finding its benefits but also finding precisely what it lacks:

 

“Creative Foundations: The Controversy of Writing What You Know”

‘Write what you know’ is a hackneyed maxim. When people learn that I’m a writer, they grasp onto the one thing they know about writing. They ask, ‘write what you know’—that’s a thing, right? And I tell them yes. Kind of….READ MORE

“Creative Foundations: Multi-Media Inspiration”

Writers don’t need to go into the world to tell their stories, do they? Just as artists are stereotyped as mentally imbalanced—Van Gogh’s ear comes up in that conversation a lot—writers are stereotyped as recluses. We type away at our desks…..READ MORE

 

What has your experience been with this overused advice? Has it helped you or limited you? 

Exciting New Directions

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Rosie always encourages me to keep pressing onward. She’s pretty awesome like that.

About this time last year, I was prepping lesson plans and reviewing notes. But as this school year begins, I’m staying home. My writing projects have doubled. And alongside the ones that I listed in my last post, I’ll also be working on the second draft of my novel. It’s so exciting to be able to do this full time. 

With all of these projects, I have less time for blogging. When I started in 2010, my goal was to foster creativity, help fellow writers, and practice the craft. But my creative energy has many outlets. I write weekly for StoryForge Productions and I love the community there, because I can regularly help fellow creatives with articles like “Micro Pacing: How to Time your Dialogue.” The number of large, long-term projects that I’m working with means that I’m practicing the craft daily. Now that I list everything out like this, it seems that the blog is obsolete. But really?

Where does that leave the blog?

The blog and I have had 4 good years, and I’m not going to ditch it just because I’m entering a new stage in my career. It needs a new direction, a more casual and personal angle. I am going to spend lest time on my posts, but that won’t make them less meaningful. I still want to partner with fellow writers wherever I go and be a helpful resource. Thank you for hanging with me thus far! I hope to enrich the writing community as I share my journey with you. 

From the Forge: Dear Mom, You are the Bravest Storyteller I Know

i_love_u_mom_by_asinevenisa-d5cjo58As a young married woman, I’m barraged with advice. My volunteer advisors fall into two camps: the enjoy-your-honeymoon-while-you-can and the have-kids-now-they’re-amazing.

Many tell me to wait five or more years to ensure that I’ve had all of the fun and travel that I can stomach. They talk as though children are the end of the world, the death of the faerie tale’s happily ever after. In some way they’re right, because my times of complete freedom will be over once I take that step. But according to the pro-children faction, freedom is overrated. They urge me to have kids—the sooner the better—because they know the joy of creating life….

(Click here to read more at StoryForge productions and to discover the artist’s unique and expressive work!)

From the Forge: Interview with Animator Mary Jane Whiting

maryjanewhiting_PortraitThe world needs more storytellers like Mary Jane Whiting. A talented artist, she is excited to share fun stories and encourage others along the way. Instead of spilling everything about her here, I might as well let her speak for herself! Without much prompting, she jumped right into the interview:

I was born in Texas and moved to Florida to major in Computer Animation at Ringling College of Art and Design where I’m a Junior. I’m a chai tea enthusiast, certified workaholic (but it’s more like fun than work) and my passion is visual development artwork for animation. I’m currently working on pre-production for my senior film. The process includes doing all of the concept design, visual development artwork as well as storyboards. At the same time, I’m working on a lip-sync project of myself as an animated character.

Read more to learn how to bravely follow your inspirations and build an online presence!

From the Forge: Key Benefits of Collaboration

People balance us when we go a little crazy: encouraging us when we drag our feet, checking us when we rush into the blue, and critiquing us when our heads get swollen. After dealing with all of our manic behavior, hopefully they are still willing to collaborate with us.

Teamwork enables amazing opportunities, yet risks great hurt. Though I want to address potential cons and how to avoid them, let’s begin with some heartening pros… Read More at StoryForge, and see the fantastic illustrations that accompany!

 

 

 

From the Forge: The Art of Collaboration Part 1

Art can be a lonely endeavor. Your muse spills onto a canvas, a page, a screen—and that intense focus often requires solitude. Your mind delves into invisible worlds, trying to pull slivers of imagination into reality. It takes a lot of work to communicate your original vision but, no matter what, it will be a shadowy simulacra of the original thought. Though solitude can be a helpful meditation to invoke your muse, community remains an essential component both the creative process and your survival in the ever-competitive professional realm.

Symbiotic Networking

Networking is a hive of potentiality, but before I explain, let’s do away with any negative connotations that may buzz around your brain…(Read more at StoryForge and see illustrations from some fantastic artists who were kind enough to collaborate with me!)

From the Forge: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

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Writing today from StoryForge Productions:

Last week, the Club discussed The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. The classic whodunit is light on its toes—the perfect read to offset the longer, heavier texts that we have chosen lately. The only element lacking from our evening of laughter, wine and murder was a round of Clue…

Read more at the Forge!

From the Forge: How Emotional Honesty Empowers Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises

I’m writing from StoryForge Productions today! Here’s a snippet from my last Month-a-Zaki article:

Throughout his career, Hayao Miyazaki changed the realm of storytelling. He had a fruitful “ten years in the sun,” and brought it to a close with one last masterpiece. The Wind Rises is his beautiful farewell to animation, leaving his audiences with the bittersweet tang of achieved dreams.

Differing greatly from Miyazaki’s previous films, The Wind Rises engages silence and sound with increasingly emotive effects. The protagonists, Jiro and Naoko, are older than many of Miyazaki’s characters, such as Sophie, Chihiro, Ponyo and Kiki. With their age comes weightier themes, such as chasing perfection and embracing love, whatever pain each may bring. (Read more at the Forge, and see the fantastic art!)

5 Insights on Writing about Children from My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro is yet another example of Miyazaki’s unusual plots arcs, but this one veers away from the rollercoaster-like style of Spirited Away or Howl’s Moving Castle. Instead, the plot is driven by childlike wonder, joy and grief. The story digs deep into the characters’ psychology and brings out moments that melt viewers into a puddle of fond recognition. Miyazaki reawakes our childlike dreams without condescension. He never looks down on his young characters as childish; he understands their intensity, purity and complexity.

When writing about children, you can…Read More at StoryForge Productions (and see the fantastic art that accompanies!)