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Plotting & Progress Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

I tend to forget how much I like plotting. The adrenaline rush of figuring out the twists and turns, the superior feeling that comes from tying up loose ends, the thrill of realizing the perfect spot to sneak in a red herring: that’s all forgotten about 2 chapters in.

See, once I get into writing the story, plotting starts to feel like a delay. Instead of moving the story forward, it puts the draft on hold while I figure stuff out (if it don’t add to word count, it don’t count [sic.]). Sometimes, I’ll even keep writing when I shouldn’t because the urge to make progress overwhelms my desire to plot my course. That’s when I end up having to re-write – after I do some plotting.

Counter-intuitive as it is, there are times when pausing to plot is a better way to make progress than writing.

And after all the delay tactics, I get into the plotting and suddenly remember, “Hey! This is fun!” There might even be some maniacal laughter as I route the characters through the story. Or as I imagine tricking unsuspecting readers (if I had roommates, I’d probably end up in a cell). How could I forget how entertaining plotting can be? I get to build a story. I get to weave it together, throw in all sorts of complications, and lead characters around by the nose (or whatever).

What’s not to like about that?

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Compound Words As Writing Prompts

Ok, maybe I’ve seen one too many DBZ fusion parodies, but I think this could be a fun writing exercise:

  1. Pick a compound word OR take the idea of compound words (two individual ideas joined into one) OR make up a compound word (that could be interesting)
  2. Use your choice for 1 as inspiration for worldbuilding. It could be a character, a race, an object, a form of magic, part of the setting, or more.

This could make for some really interesting worldbuilding. There are so many possibilities, and the inherent strangeness of a lot of them automatically pulls you in. I can’t wait to see what people come up with.

You guys will share if you come up with something fun, right? Right? (Please?)

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Find Time To Read

ReadWhether you’re doing NaNoWriMo or any other writing project, you’re probably doing your best to write every day. Maybe, you’re aiming for 1,000 words a day. Maybe, you’re working on several different projects. Or maybe, you spend most of your day writing. All of those options are great. If you’re doing any of them, congratulations!

Just don’t forget to take some time to read. It’s easy to forget when you’re caught up with writing, but it’s important. Find the time. Make it. Whatever you have to do.

Besides needing to unwind and relax (and, really, what’s a better way to relax than reading for a bit?), reading is also one of the best ways to learn about writing. Reading will teach you good plots from bad, how to build a character, worldbuilding, and more. As much as I loved many of my teachers and classes, I’ve learned more from reading than from anything but writing itself.

And if you think about it, it’s a pretty good deal – you can learn about writing simply by relaxing for a while with a good book. Something you’d read for fun anyway.

Why wouldn’t you make the time?

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Just for Fun: If Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet Were Performed by an Actor with Malapropism Problems

This is wordplay purely for fun. If you want to play, follow the instructions, and don’t peek ahead!

Shakespeare as you've never heard it before! Maybe, if Romeo were really drunk... or had malapropism problems. (Sorry, Shakespeare!)

Shakespeare as you’ve never heard it before! Maybe, if Romeo were really drunk… or had malapropism problems. (Sorry, Shakespeare!)