Warming Up for Writing

Some writers (specifically, college students) don’t have time to write every day. Whether you have five papers to write, a VBS skit and three new songs to memorize in the next four hours, a house to clean before your sister’s birthday party (because no one cleans for their own birthday party… or so they say…), or working dawn to dusk, some days are made for collapsing in exhaustion instead of forcing yourself to stay up an extra half hour and write.

The above will be disputed by some writers with more steel in their adenosine receptors and less kittens than I have. They are entitled to their methods. I accept that I am lazy and overly fond of sleeping on couches and in my sister’s sleeping bag. I am also fond of air conditioning.

To return to the yet-to-be-manifested point, some of us write in waves. In between waves of words, we may fall out of touch with our characters’ voices, our narrative style, or our story in general.

Just like warming up your violin or vocal cords, sometimes you need to warm up your writing.

Lots of writers do little exercises or warm-ups to get them into their writing for the day… I just can’t remember any names. Here are a few different exercises to try.

1) Write a poem around a visual or emotional theme from your story.

2) Write a diary entry about a previous event in your story from the perspective of a minor character.

3) Write a descriptive paragraph using only adjectives that start with B.

You get the picture. In my case, I write little poems or maxims to get me in the right groove (thinking of records, here). I have a gorgeous little diary with gold sakura blossoms stamped on it, and I use it for my poems and sayings. I love journals… I use different journals for everything, and I always ask for “cute journals” for Christmas and my birthday.

How do you get in the groove for writing? Do you read through the previous scene or two? Do an exercise or warm-up? Listen to specific music? How do you find your story zone?



Progress Report

The Reporter
Also known as the boy with the quiff!



I’m on track. So far. XD I have yet to get my wordcount for today, but I am going to! There is no stopping me! Lol, whatever. How is everyone else doing on this months novel?





Enter June

In an hour and a half, the month of June will dawn (er…midnight?) on my timezone. So tomorrow, after I finish taking the online practice SAT (I’m taking the real one Saturday) I get to start writing. I know where I’m going to start. I have a playground to prompt me when I’m uninspired. I have questions to ask myself when I’m stuck, and plenty of fireballs to juice up the action. 😉 Most of all, I have a mother who has agreed to try this intimidating task with me. Poor Mom…heheh.


Meanwhile, we suffer. We suffer. We suffer in silence!


Because, around the world, people are already started, and I have to wait at least twelve more hours before I can start. I’m going to cry!


Not really. I am going to go to bed though. Ooh, and I found a new form of proctrastination. It’s called Virtual Villagers. I could literally spend hours scrolling around my screen, looking for wind flute tops and pieces of mausoleum while my villagers keep the stream clear of debris and accumulate tech points.


Also, I am planning on using yWriter as a tool for organizing all the little details I come up with as I write. It has a place for everything. Literally! Everyone who doesn’t want to spend money on writing software should download it.



The Imminent Onset of Inscribing Narratives at Expeditious Velocities

Camp Nanowrimo is less than a month away! I am really scared, and super excited. I also found a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip that reveals the heart of NaNoWriMo.

Okay, not really. NaNoWriMo is all about overcoming your reservations, story spectres, and inner editors, and churning out 50k in 30 days. You have fun, you write crap, you have an excuse to stay up ridiculously late and buy lots of writing books and drink all the cappuchino yourself…in short, it is a month long holiday from procrastination.

Y’all know procrastination is a writer’s bff, right?

Anyway. So, at the suggestion of ElectricBubbles from http://aquamarinedreams.wordpress.com/, I purchased Ready, Set, Novel! It’s a writing workbook by some of the awesome people behind NaNoWriMo. I can’t wait to get started! First, I should finish at least one more school subject…and I also got two more Tintin books and The Art of Watercolor…but I must work on novel stuff, because!!!!!!!!!!!!

You know why. 😉



I don’t plan on posting more than once a day very often, but I need to be kept accountable by something, even if it is only my blog. So today, despite many distractions, I have managed to reel out some terrible prose which shall, I hope, one day be polished into a piece of beauty.

Day 1 of 74

Daily Wordcount: 1280

Total Wordcount: 1280


And, for added fun/interest/humiliation–

First five words: Tayanna clambered onto the ledge….

Last five words: …and collapsed in the entryway.


Who worries about excellence the first time around, right? Already, my inner editor is telling me all about gripping first lines and showing instead of telling, and deep POV. Well, shoot. I’m just going to have to write a first draft the first time! I can write the final draft the final time, so there, me!

Dear, dear.

How are you feeling about the excellence (or lack thereof) of your scintillating prose?

Is your main character such a stubborn, impulsive idiot that she flings herself off a cliff because she thinks there’s a ledge about ten yards down?




Well, today is the day. Today we shall plunge into the storyworld, and hope we don’t get stuck there permanently.

I wouldn’t have to worry about that if I had managed to finish my outline. Of course, my outlines are somewhere between outlines and really rough first drafts, because they’re more detailed than the common story outline. As it is, I have only a very small portion of my story planned, although I have lots of ideas.

The main thing to keep in mind is that, although the story is about Tayanna, the plot hinges around Tes. He is the mystery, the goal and the motivation. He is the want and the need. He is the key to an empire’s worth of secrets. He will not just unlock Tayanna’s heart. He will unleash her soul.

Heh. How melodramatic.

I meant it quite literally, though.

So, if I want to write a rough 50k first draft by May 31, I need to write 676 words a day. For 80k, 1082 words. For 100k, 1352 words. Since I’m shooting for between 80k and 100k, I have to write at least a thousand words a day.

Piece of pie.

Pies are harder to make than cakes.

As the Doctor said:






Character Interview: Tayanna (and Lazota)

I was browsing through the blog of the lovely Allison Perdue (http://allisonsbookishlife.blogspot.com/) and I came across a post that made me think. It was about the things every main character should have. You know, things like a bff, a hobby, and a major fault! So I decided to ask my main character, Tayanna Zeli, a few questions to help me get to know her. Her guard, Lazota, may insert a few thoughts as well, since she is in charge of Tay.

Welcome, Tayanna! And Lazota…so, I’m going to ask you a few questions, to see if you have what every main character needs. You can fill in on all the complicated stuff, Zo.

Zo: I thank you, Lady Author.


Tay: (raises eyebrows) I’m listening.

Alright! Now, if these sound very authory and ridiculous, just answer them anyway. I need them. Okay? First Question. What is the goal you are working toward?

Zo: She is a rebel and the spawn of rebels. Her goal is to cause dissention and discontent among the people of the empire.

Tay: My goal is to find out what happened to my best friend, Tes Cuati. If he is alive, I will search until I am at his side. If he is dead, I will avenge him and burn his body so that the priests can’t get to it.

Zo: The priests will take the ashes.

Tay: Not if I dump them in the ocean!

Hey! Be nice, you two. For those of our audience who are confused, Lazota is a priestess. A very beautiful priestess.

Tay: Not that you can tell, with all those veils she walks around in.

Second Question. Who is your best friend? Your BFF?

Tay: I believe I already mentioned my best friend is Tes. Besides him, I am very good friends with his sister, Malinashi.

What about your other two companions? Citil and Sihaut?

Tay: Sihaut is very old and very wise. One does not consider such people friends.

Zo: And Citil is an idiot. The precious jaguar could not possibly be friends with an idiot!

Tay: The precious jaguar will tear out the throat of anyone who calls Citil an idiot!

I really don’t want to have to sit between you.

Tay: No, you don’t.

You are obviously very protective of your friends, and very loyal. What do you think is your worst fault?

Zo: She is stubborn as the sun. Once she has made up her mind, nothing will move her! She also does not take advice very well.

Tay: You mean orders.

Zo: Can you order the sun to rise early or to stand still in the sky?

Tay: Not without burning your tongue.

Zo: She has a wicked tongue. That is another fault. And she is quick to let it loose.

Tay: Especially on you.

Zo: She also goes into rages where she turns into a jaguar and slays all who oppose her…

Tay: …I do? Author! Do I!?!

Of course not. She’s just trying to rile you. (Closes manuscript and hides it under papers) What do you do to relax, when you aren’t searching for Tes? What is your hobby?

Tay: Umm….

Zo: Does staring at stone and swaying and singing queer songs in an ancient, arcane language count?

Tay: I listen to the songs of the stones and the fire and the air and the stars. It helps me relax. And think.

Zo: This is why you enjoy the walls of your cell.

Tay: (shudders) What are hobbies?

Things you do for fun.

Tay: I like to sing and dance. Lazota is a very good dancer.

Zo: A dancer of a different dance than she dances.

Tay: Definitely….

Last question. What is your greatest fear?

Tay:…I’m afraid to be alone.

Zo: I shall always be close by.

Tay: I don’t consider you a companion.

Too bad you’re stuck with her. Hmmm…well, that’s it. Back to the Astani Empire you go! Good luck finding your best friend, Tay! And Lazota…remember to latch the roof when you shut her in her cell, got it? She won’t remember, because she didn’t hear me….

What do you think are essential things a writer should know about their main characters? Oh, and what sort of footwear do your characters wear?