Friday Funny with Goals, NaNoEdMo, and Spiders

When I got out of bed this morning, I felt like doing this:

Yay for Friday! I say we all take a moment to celebrate and dance it up…Come on, dance! Shake that booty, wriggle those hips, and stomp those feet!

…Are you doing it?

Are you?

Well, hopefully you’re at least tapping your feet or bobbing your head.

Okay, okay. Enough dancing…for now. 😉

Overall, my week was calm and productive. On Monday, I received an email that lit a fire under my dragging feet and prompted me to promise someone I’d have a final draft of my manuscript done by January 1st.

Yeah, trying not to panic too much.

It’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of focus, and A LOT of hermit days to meet my self-imposed deadline for a final draft by January 1st. I’ve already started telling people in my life, “I’m sorry, but I need to be selfish the next couple of months to finish my book, so if you don’t hear from me or I have to bail on you, that’s why. Again, sorry.”

I feel horrible, but chopping out all distractions is going to be a necessity if I’m going to do this.

Hey, a writer’s gotta do what a writer’s gotta do, right?

Strangely, right after I made the decision to finish my manuscript by January 1st, one of my best friends text me and said she wants to do NaNoEdMo in November to edit the story she wrote during Camp NaNoWriMo in July. After I finished chuckling, I told her I’d join her. I’m still chewing over what my exact goal for the month will be. I can’t really base edits off a word count, so I’m thinking a certain number of chapters.

Whatever I decide, I need to buckle down and get to work!

I did take a break last night to decorate my house for Halloween–finally. I’ve been putting it off because 1) I’ve been so busy, and 2) I really, really, really did not want to go into my crawl space to get my bins of decorations. You guys, it’s ca-reepy down there! Dark, dirty, spidery.

*shudder*

I despise spiders. Give me snakes or mice any day of the week. Just not spiders. Anything but those vindictive eight-legged monsters!

But, alas, I had to face my fears. So last night I put on my big girl pants, sucked it up, and journeyed into the dreaded crawl space. I saw one spider dangling from a web, but it was dead, so I didn’t panic too much. But then I backed up and got jabbed in the butt by my Christmas tree and freaked out, lol. I swore Shelob had crawled out of the darkness to gobble me up. I know, I know. I’m ridiculous. No need to tell me. I’m fully aware of it, haha.

Anyway, in honor of my focused week and my goal of finishing my manuscript by January 1st, here is today’s Friday funny. Enjoy!

1798100_875822442428382_3463484613586654032_nHow was your week? Have you set any goals for your own work? How many of you are participating in NaNoWriMo?

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

Music Monday – Mornay’s Dream – Braveheart

You Know You’re A Writer When…Favorite Mug

How to Write a Novel Synopsis: 5 Tips

Photo credits: 

http://www.nolanfans.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&p=547915

http://getoffmyinternets.net/thats-quirky-is-a-steaming-pile-of-no/comment-page-3/

http://orbitags.com/the-53-thoughts-every-college-grad-has-immediately-after-moving-home/

http://forums.superherohype.com/showthread.php?t=481237

http://www.tumblr.com/search/disney%20grumpy

http://www.nolanfans.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&p=547915

How to Write a Novel Synopsis: 5 Tips

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! Although I’m still a few months away from finishing my manuscript, I’m always on the lookout for useful tips, dos and don’ts, and lessons about the querying process.

writing_humour_synopsis-scaled500Today’s gem, courtesy of Writer’s Digest and the ever helpful Chuck Sambuchino, focuses on the dreaded synopsis…Oh, come on. Don’t deny it. You’re as “ugh” about this step in the querying process as I am. Thankfully this article makes it a little easier by giving us five tips to use as basic guidelines. So, before you sit down to write yours, check it out!

How to Write a Novel Synopsis: 5 Tips

1. Reveal everything major that happens in your book, including the ending. Heck, revealing the story’s ending is a synopsis’s defining unique characteristic. You shouldn’t find a story’s ending in a query or in-person pitch, but it does leak out in a synopsis. On this note, know that a synopsis is designed to explain everything major that happens, not to tease — so avoid language such as “Krista walks around a corner into a big surprise.” Don’t say “surprise,” but rather just tell us what happens.

To read the entire article, click here!

For more useful advice, follow Writer’s Digest and Chuck Sambuchino on Twitter!

Photo credit: 

http://writerswrite1.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/how-to-write-a-one-page-synopsis/

Music Monday – Mornay’s Dream – Braveheart

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicLast week, while reading and critiquing stories for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge, I found myself explaining to a few writers how I believed a suspense should be written. I couldn’t always find the right words to support my tips and advice, so I decided to send them one of my favorite songs from the Braveheart soundtrack: Mornay’s Dream.

Braveheart-Soundtrack-from-the-Motion-Picture
To me, this song is suspense. It starts with a boom!, and is followed by some tense “dun, dun, dun”s before taking a small breath…and then going! And it builds and builds and builds to a climatic ending.
writing-suspense-michael-regina
As I explained what a great illustration of suspense “Mornay’s Dream” was to my fellow competitors, I found myself listening to it over and over again. After focusing all week on the lighter genre of political satire, I needed a song to get me back in the right frame of mind for my suspenseful manuscript. And this one did it.

So, if you’re looking to listen to a song that’s all about suspense, give “Mornay’s Dream” a listen.

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

Photo credits: 

http://michaelgalvis.com/

http://alexdang.info/2013/01/james-horner-braveheart-ost-itunes-plus-aac-m4a-1995.html

You Know You’re A Writer When…Frustration

YNYAWW - Frustration

Friday Funny with a Side of Wonky and Flash Fiction

Attention, everyone! Attention, attention: It’s Friday!

So, to be perfectly honest, I spent the majority of my week doing this:

Daydreaming. Pondering. Staring off into La-La Land…

I’m not quite sure if I’m so tired I couldn’t focus on anything, or if I’m so focused on everything, I couldn’t focus on anything. Wait, that didn’t make sense. Let’s go with the first thing I said…

Yeah, yeah. I know. I need a vacation. But that isn’t happening, so let’s move on, shall we?

On a positive note, my life was much calmer than last week, and I no longer feel like I’m on the verge of a royal meltdown.

I spent all last weekend hermit-ing it up to regain my footing and get back on track with my manuscript–which I did. Phew! Better yet, I sent my beta reader new chapters, and her feedback was positive. Her exact words were: “All I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!”

I’m hoping to send her one more chapter before tonight, when the 2nd round of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge begins.

Dun, dun, dun…

Yes, yes. It’s time for another round of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. Buckle your seat belts!

So, yesterday I received my results for round 1. I don’t want to bore you with the details of the competition’s point system, so I’ll just say my story, Inevitable, took 11th out of the 40+ writers in my heat. Yeah, not too shabby, though I’d kinda hoped to crack the top ten. But whatever. For me, it’s not really about winning. It’s about challenging myself, improving my writing, and connecting with other writers.

Plus, I have to admit, Inevitable isn’t one of my favorite pieces I’ve produced. I’m proud of it and everything, but I wish I’d dug deeper and pushed myself harder. Suspense is one of my favorite genres to write, so I’m disappointed I didn’t try to take things to the next level.

Oh well, oh well. Onwards and upwards!

Round 2 begins tonight. At midnight, I’ll receive a new assignment (genre, location, object) and have 48-hours to write a 1,000 word story. Since I received suspense in round one, I’m betting I’ll receive comedy, romance, or–God forbid–political satire as my next genre.

Seriously, if I get political satire, I’m doooomed.

Anyway, in honor of my…hmm…I don’t know how to categorize this week. Wonky? Ha! Yeah, let’s go with that. In honor of my wonky week, here are a few random Friday Funnies. Enjoy!

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10257893_288674234658465_2390867437885549490_nHow was your week? Anyone have fun plans for the weekend? If I finish my writing contest early, I might crack out the Halloween decorations and gloom up my house a little. Of course, that means I’ll need to enter the dreaded Crawl Space of Spiders…Nope. Forget it. I’m not decorating this year 😉

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

Music Monday – Set Fire to the Rain – Adele

You Know You’re a Writer When…Dishes

10 Questions Your Readers Shouldn’t Have to Ask

Photo credits:

http://partyofoneblog.com/2013/07/finally-friday-is-funny.html

http://www.rowdychicken.com/media/19-dilemmas-every-book-lover-has-faced-at-least-once/

http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/86751220.html?page=2

http://reactiongif.org/gifs/gif-cry-crying-lose-meltdown-sad-wine-work-gif/

http://www.urbansmoothie.com/2013/10/the-devils-reprise-devils-2-by-karina.html

http://hollygrass.blogspot.com/2014/05/hallelujah-its-friday.html

http://graphitedoll.tumblr.com/post/30306748060/everything-i-do-this-is-no-different

http://www.pinterest.com/slynnk94/i-want-to-be-a-writer/

http://thepeopleproject.com/writers/wine%20quotes

10 Questions Your Readers Shouldn’t Have to Ask

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! So, I’m currently reading a book that has me flummoxed. Yes, flummoxed. Every few paragraphs I have to stop and go back to clarify a fact, or remind myself who’s who, or reground myself in the scene. Worse, I keep finding contradictions that cause even more confusion. Ex: It’s foggy and raining, yet then the sun glints off the windows and blinds the characters…Huh? What?

itchywide-620x349You would think by now I would’ve given up and returned this book to the library. But, nope. Not gonna happen. Sometimes, in my opinion, reading ill-constructed stories improves your own writing. It’s the whole, “What not to do” lesson.

So, with all of that said, I thought this article–courtesy of Rhonda Ryde–was a fitting gem for today. In it, K.M. Weiland discusses basic questions readers should never have to ask.

10 Questions Your Readers Shouldn’t Have to Ask

You want reader’s asking concrete questions. Who stole the Statue of Liberty? How is Westley going to escape the Pit of Despair? Why did Cinderella order glass slippers a size too large?

You don’t want them asking the dreaded four-word question: What’s going on here? Or, worse, the end-of-the-line three-letter question: Huh?

To read the entire article, click here!

For more useful advice, follow Rhonda Ryde and K.M. Weiland on Twitter!

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 11.51.31 AM

Photo credit: 

http://www.essentialkids.com.au/

You Know You’re a Writer When…Dishes

YNYAW Dishes - Resized

Music Monday – Set Fire to the Rain – Adele

Welcome to Music Monday! As many of you know, music contributes a great deal to my writing process. Whether it’s a song’s lyrics, beat, rhythm, or tone, I find myself constantly inspired by it.

writing-to-musicAs I mentioned on Friday, I planned on being a big ol’ hermit this weekend to catch up on my manuscript. Well, I succeeded! After I got home on Friday night, I locked the doors and hunkered down for two straight days of writing.

To be honest, I didn’t listen to much music the past couple of days. When I write, I need absolute silence. And the only time I broke the silence in my house this weekend was to take breaks to eat and watch an episode of The Mindy Project (FYI: Funniest. Show. Ever!).

However, on my way to work this morning, I set my iPod to shuffle and stumbled across Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain”. And I fell in love with it–er, more than I already was. It’s perfect for the chapters I’m currently working on.

adele21To me, this is a cinematic type song. It’s dramatic and grand, and overflowing with emotions. Plus the lyrics are amazing and offer up their own serving of inspiration.

As I listen to “Set Fire to the Rain”, I “see” my characters moving, talking, reacting, and feeling. And the setting around them is there, bold, colorful, and believable.

So, if you’re looking for a powerful song that gives a writer a paintbrush and a thousand colors to create moving, vivid scenes, then check out Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain”.

What song(s) are you in love with right now? Which one(s) offer you inspiration? Let me know! I’m always searching for songs that motivate my writing.

Photo credits: 

http://michaelgalvis.com/

http://reddebtedstepchild.com/blogging-hermit/

http://prettymuchamazing.com/music/stream/adele-set-fire-to-the-rain-lovesong 

https://www.tumblr.com/search/Adele%2021

Friday Funny with Ugh and a Side of Monster

Drop what you’re doing and dance it up. Cause it’s FRIDAY!

Seriously, TGIF! I haven’t needed a weekend this bad since…Well, I can’t remember. In one word, this week was rotten. Things started off great. I had tons of momentum and motivation with my manuscript, I was in a happy mood, and everything seemed perfect in the world.

And then it slooooowly collapsed.

Both work and my personal life were crazy busy. Plus, I hit a couple of emotional speed bumps along the way that transformed me into one giant hot mess.

On top of all that, it seemed everyone and anyone who had their own problems or needed help contacted me: “Hey, Jenna, can you…?”, “Jenna, do you think I should…?”, “SOS! I need you…” I mean, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being there for my friends and family. They are the number one priority in my life. However, when they all strike at once, I start to feel like this:

What makes it all the worse is when my brain is screaming, “WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!” along with all the other chaos, and I can’t–literally. Every spare moment I had this week was interrupted by life.

*deep–deeeep–breath*

I’ve been trying not to have an anxiety attack since Wednesday, but it’s a losing battle. By this point, I feel like there’s a monster inside of me shredding me apart. My stomach is in constant knots and my throat hurts from holding back my tears of frustration.

I’m sure some of you have felt this way before. Or, at least, you can understand how it might feel. Most of the people in my life don’t. They assume writing is something you can turn on and off.

It’s not.

Writing is with you everywhere you go, and the more you ignore it, the more it hurts.

Thank God the weekend is here and I have no plans but to write. I’ll be locking my doors and telling anyone who calls or texts me:

Yeah, I’m ice cold like that.

Okay, not really. But I’m going to try!

Anyway, in honor of my “ugh” week, here are today’s Friday Funnies. Okay, they’re not “ha-ha” funny, but this wasn’t exactly a “ha-ha” post, so I figure they fit. 😉 Plus the second one is great advice for those of us who have a problem saying “No!” to others.

franz-kafka-quotes-sayings-non-writing-writer-insanity

tumblr_mvnvnpw9KI1r5lxuvo2_1280How was your week? I hope not nearly as stressful as mine. Have any fun plans for the weekend? Or will you be hermit-ing it up like me?

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

Music Monday – Back in Black – AC/DC

My Writing: The What, How, and Why

7 Methods for Handling Point-of-View Changes

Photo credits:

http://whenatcamp.tumblr.com/post/37048966204/public-speaking

http://www.reactiongifs.us/building-collapse/

http://fymodernfamily.tumblr.com/post/42058845490

http://prairielights.tumblr.com/post/95112350191/ba-in-bs-click-through-to-awesome-photo-array

http://booksaredelicious.com/

http://www.allgeektome.net/2013/10/28/hope-is-stronger-than-fear-check-out-the-final-catching-fire-trailer/

http://intothewormshole.blogspot.com/2014_05_01_archive.html

http://www.jamspreader.com/2013/05/07/best-looks-of-the-2013-the-met-gala/

7 Methods for Handling Point-of-View Changes

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! In most of my stories, I tend to keep a narrow focus by using only one character’s point of view. However, when I began rewriting my novel last fall, I decided to make a huge change and use multiple POV’s.

AHHH!

Yeah, it’s not the easiest thing to divide a story amongst multiple characters. Not only do you need to make sure you’re maintaining each of their unique voices, but you need to make sure you’re not confusing the reader by making sudden POV leaps.

POV 2

Today’s gem, courtesy of Rhonda Ryde, addresses this topic. In an article written by Jami Gold, we’re offered great tips on how to handle POV transitions, and how to avoid pitfalls that hurt your story and confuse the reader.

7 Methods for Handling Point-of-View Changes

Paragraph Break
The vast majority of agents and editors consider a paragraph break to be an insufficient transition for a POV change, especially for a character-focused story.

In contrast to plot-driven stories, character-focused stories are page-turners because the reader cares about what will happen to the characters. It’s harder to create a sympathetic/empathetic relationship between the reader and characters in one-paragraph chunks. If the characters don’t matter, they might seem little more than puppets to the plot.

To read the entire article, click here!

And for more useful advice, follow Rhonda Ryde on Twitter!

Related Articles

How to choose a point of view for your novel

5 Tips for Writing Multiple POVs

Deadly Sin of Writing #5–P.O.V. Prostitution

Point of View: Choosing Whose Head To Be In

Photo credit: 

http://lydiakang.blogspot.com/2011/03/pov-privately-owned-vehicle.html