Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Favor?


Guys, I've officially begun the Big Blog Overhaul of 2011!  Which means, the new blog is live at!  YAY!  It's so shiny!

But I need to check and see if you guys are seeing the feed in your Google Readers/Blogger Dashboards/etc to know if everything is working like it should be.

So, check out the shiny new look and let me know if the post from today showed up for you, please!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Technical Issues on the Blog

So that you all know, I'm having some issues with Blogger.  I keep commenting on blogs, and they keep disappearing into the ether.  I have no idea what is wrong with this, but please know I'm not ignoring you all -- I'm just having technical issues.  That's also why my posts are showing up so late in the day in your feeds...stupid Blogger.  They're all posted first thing in the morning, yet they aren't showing up until hours and hours later.

I keep thinking about switching to a different host for my blog, but I haven't done it yet because I don't want to go through the crazyness of figuring out how to change my feed sources and everything (I have no idea how that stuff works).  That may be where we're headed though unless Blogger can get it's stuff straight.

But I love reading all of your blogs, and love that you take the time to visit mine.  And if you have any knowledge of how to fix this issue, I'd be happy to hear it!

Thanks guys!  <3

Road Trip Wednesday - Kick Me Into Shape!

This week on the YAHighway, the topic is:

What kind of writing coach do you need? What kind are you?(This is in relation to Sarah's post on Mentors)

As for me, I think I fit right into the gentle honesty category (and I happen to think Tim Gun is pretty fabulous).  When I critique I'm very honest.  I'm not going to let anything slide, but I'm also going to make my comments and suggestions in the nicest possible way.  I use lots of smiley faces when I crit, just ask my buddies.  ;)  They say it softens the blow, and I have to agree.

As for what kind of coach I need, I think it depends on the day.  Some days I need that gentle honesty -- some days I just need someone to say, "Hmm, I really like the idea of super space raccoons invading the supermarket, but I don't think I quite understand where they came from.  I thought we were in contemporary Kansas?"  lol

Other times, I need some Brutal Honesty.  And I'll ask for it when I'm ready.  I want to know point blank what is weak, and don't worry about my feelings, I can handle it.

Probably most people will agree that having more than one type of coach/feedback on your writing is necessary and preferred even.  Not only does it help improve your writing on multiple levels, but it also thickens your skin and readies you for what's to come down the road.

What kind of coach do you prefer?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's NaNo Time! 

Today is the official kickoff of NaNoWriMo!  Woohoo!  I have no idea how you add writing buddies on the NaNo website, but if you do feel free to add me (or clue me in lol) I'm hddodson.

I was thinking that even though I haven't done NaNo before, I have written a couple of novels in a month, so maybe I could share a few tips with you guys.  Things I've learned the hard way so you don't have to.  ;)

1.  First of all, when you're writing a novel at such a fast pace, you've got to trust yourself.  This may be the hardest part for me, but I feel like it's also the most important one.  I don't know about you guys, but when I get about 1/3 of the way into any story I start getting clammy.  My fingers freeze up and my mind grinds to a halt because OMG this SUCKS.  This will never be a good story, why am I even bothering?  THAT, my friends, is where you've got to put the breaks on.  Everyone has their own way of working through this feeling, but all in all it's about trusting yourself as a storyteller to work out the problems.  Trust that you can fix anything that's wrong with it later and press on.

2.  Know where you're going.  Writing fast is all about passion for me.  You've got this story in you and it NEEDS to come out rightthissecond or you may explode from the force of it!  Again, this is from my perspective, but if I don't have a clear goal for where the story is going, I'll meander my way right out of it.  It can be as simple as a log line or as detailed as a stack of worksheets.  Whatever works for you, but know your path.  For Happily Never After, I started with a log line -- a girl gets trapped in a fairy tale, and has to escape before she loses her memories -- that's it.  For Tate's Hell I used an outline (Boy was that a lot easier too!).  Whatever works.  I'll be using an outline again this time.

3.  Don't find time, make time.  This is true all the time for any kind of writing I think, but especially for NaNo.  You can't just hope you'll find the time to write 2k words a day, because it won't happen.  You've got to search it out, squeeze it in wherever it will fit, even if it's only in ten minute increments.

And because I know you're all just dying for more pics of Super he is as Captain Jack Sparrow last night.  ;)