I’ve had every intention of resuming my efforts here as of late, and today is the day. Once again, my good friend KM Alexander has asked me to fill the gap of his Friday Link Pack whilst he is frolicking with awesome people, doing awesome things. I am more than happy to oblige him. I am more than happy to have additional motivation to continue my writebrained ramblings.
I have not been paying too much attention to the load of writing blogs that I normally frequent, but there are a couple I could never forget to read.
Terribleminds has a “5 Things I Learned” post by one of my very favorite people, Peter Orullian. Peter just went through the release of his newest fantasy novel, Trial of Intentions. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Peter at the Life, the Universe, and Everything (LTUE) symposium this year. I listened to Peter speak previously at Westercon67 and was enamored by the way he spoke – I was also completely intimidated by his brilliance. During LTUE, I was introduced to him via a good friend, and we (in my opinion) hit it off – I spent portions of those three days hanging out with him at and after the convention.
Enough name-dropping though. When it comes to Peter’s writing, I find myself fascinated. A music magic system? Not only does that sound awesome in theory, but Peter’s extensive music training and background offers weight and validity to its usage. I would highly recommend starting the series with The Unremembered, the first book in the Vault of Heaven series. The best piece of writing advice that I received from the article at Terribleminds is that “It’s okay if not everyone is rattling their sabres.” I love the fact that we can have protagonists and antagonists who are working in direct opposition to one another without bloodshed.
Lauren Sapala has returned to the writing world after a very amazing hiatus. I have missed her presence in the Twittersphere and the blogosphere. Lauren has a way to read my mind, on a near weekly basis, and construct amazing posts dealing with issues that I find myself struggling with as a writer. She is my very own proactive, mind-reading twelve step program, and I love her for it. Her writing advice is always sound and actionable. You should be following her blog and her Twitter feed.
Her post this week deals with self-limitation and our innate barriers to not reach for the stars. She talks through a previous career where she was asked to give new-hire employees the workspace of their dreams – new computers, any decorations or furniture they desired, a paint job – only to find them taking second-hand computers and particle board furniture. Of course she relates this back to writing and our inhibitions as writers, but I will let you read the article for yourself.
J. Rushing Writes is another writer blog by another acquaintance of mine. I know, I know, how self-serving of me to take this opportunity to promote writer friends of mine. Well, deal with it – KM approves of these people too. J Rushing’s newest post deals with a wall full of sticky notes and how to digitize that outlining process with a program called Scapple. It is a brief post, more for illustrative purposes than anything, but another tool in the writer’s tool belt is always welcome. It hits home for me right now due to the fact that I am re-outlining my current manuscript and I am very much a visual person. I have stacks of different colored sticky notes sitting on my desk, waiting for the chance to loosely hang on my wall and be rearranged for the umpteenth time.
I attended An Evening with Neil Gaiman in Park City just over a month ago, and it was an awe-inspiring experience. I’m not sure where I heard about the show, but I knew I needed to act quite quickly, so I bought 5 tickets, one for each person in my writing group who was local. Only three of us were able to make it, but it didn’t matter. I probably do not need to ramble on about Gaiman’s mystical qualities and his general brilliance, but I really want to. He is enamouring. He has one of the best speaking voices I have ever heard. His mind works in mysterious ways.
I would highly recommend listening to the entire recording linked above – it might be the most influential hour of your life.
I have created my first Spotify playlist for writing. It was inspired by The Hanging Tree song featured in the newest Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay Part 1. I love folk music, but typically only when I am thinking about, writing about, or playing around in fantasy settings. It stretches out to more interesting choices such as Muse, but this list is still in its infancy. If you have suggestions for similar music you believe I should add, please let me know below.
Finally, since I have been working on my outline and several posts above deal with outlining or the beginning stage of the process, I thought I would share a post and tool I have incorporated in my efforts.
Since I have always held the idealistic belief that pantsing is the only way to write, only to find myself written in to a corner every other day, I decided to swallow my pride and give outlining a try. I’ve already mentioned that I am a visual person, so I wanted a method that would still give me something interesting to look at and have a way to break up information into the relevant sections that I need.
I was introduced to this article from Cindy Grigg, a writing blogger, who created a fantastic outlining template based on the scrap of paper that JK Rowling posted showing how she outlined some of Harry Potter. I have found it immensely useful.
Farewell Gif of the Week