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How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day

How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day
When I started writing The Spirit War (Eli novel #4), I had a bit of a problem. I had a brand new baby and my life (like every new mother's life) was constantly on the verge of shambles. I paid for a sitter four times a week so I could get some writing time, and I guarded these hours like a mama bear guards her cubs - with ferocity and hiker-mauling violence. To keep my schedule and make my deadlines, I needed to write 4000 words during each of these carefully arranged sessions. I thought this would be simple. But (of course), things didn't work out like that. Needless to say, I felt like a failure. When I told people at ConCarolinas that I'd gone from writing 2k to 10k per day, I got a huge response. So, once and for all, here's the story of how I went from writing 500 words an hour to over 1500, and (hopefully) how you can too: A quick note: There are many fine, successful writers out there who equate writing quickly with being a hack. Update! As soon as I realized this, I stopped. Related:  How To

20 Tips For Writing a Captivating Short Story (Part 1) by Mindy Halleck Today, as I edit, trim, cut, and otherwise obliterate a short story I wrote that ended up to be 8,000 words, but needs to be 5,000 words, I am reminded of this quote: “Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.” Wise man. I thought I’d share some editing tips this morning, not so much for you as for me. I will share these tips in three concurring post over the next two weeks. Anyway . . . drum roll . . . . Writing short stories is a great way to investigate diverse genres, characters, settings, and voices. Here are some editing tips that hopefully will keep you from banging your head on the editing desk. Watch your word count. Check out part 2 for the rest of the tips! Mindy Halleck is an award winning author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. Like this: Like Loading...

Lifewriting Classes Steven Barnes' Free Writing Class! What follows is, in slightly modified form, the complete text of the 9-week writing class I've taught for years at UCLA. To my knowledge it is the only completely free program of its depth and scope available on the WWW. I would suggest that you download it all, and take the lessons one week at a time, writing your butts off. Why am I giving this away? If you like it, tell your friends where to find it. And if you want more when you're done with this class, take a look at my Lifewriting for Writers program! Steven Barnes Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six Week Seven Week Eight Week Nine

How I Plan a Book, Part 4: Coaxing Out the Magical Cookies | Susan Dennard Read Part 1 in this series: Of Plotters and Pantsers. Read Part 2 in this series: Before I Start Drafting. Read Part 3 in this series: Scene-Level Planning. Read Part 5 in this series: Writing Journals. Today’s post on “coaxing out the magical cookies” might be more aptly titled “What to do when you get stuck drafting.” Disclaimer: This is how I operate. So to recap from last week: what is a “magical cookie” and why do we want to coax it out? As mentioned last Friday, Magical cookies are those scenes or snippets or relationships or feelings that make you want to write a story. Now, I will repeat this because it bears repeating a bajillion times…because it’s seriously that important and will help you maintain passion for your project throughout. Every scene in your story must be a magical cookie scene. If you don’t have any interest in writing a scene, then that scene DOES NOT NEED TO BE WRITTEN. But SOOZ, that’s easier said than done!! Ah, but you do, my dear friends. QUICK! QUICK!

The Office of Measurement Services In late 2006 and early 2007 a University subcommittee was charged by the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP) and the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs (SCFA) to revise the Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) form. The new form, now called the Student Rating of Teaching (SRT) form, was pilot tested in Spring 2007 with approximately 50 courses and included specific teacher and student input. After some further revision, the new SRT was unanimously approved by the Faculty Senate in December 2007. Starting with Spring Semester 2008, the new SRT replaces all previous forms of the SET. With the new form, teaching is more holistically assessed and results are relevant to the classroom experience and linked to the new student learning outcomes. University policy requires that each course taught by an instructor be rated by students once each year. OMS provides a variety of services to help instructors evaluate their teaching.

Truths About Fiction The following essay was previewed in the class that Stephen Graham Jones taught for LitReactor, Your Life Story Is Five Pages Long. 1. The reader should never have to work to figure out the basics of your story. Who’s whose wife or husband, what the time period is if that matters, why these people have broken into this house, and on and on, just the basic, ground-level facts about your story. 2. Meaning you don’t have to lay every last detail of every last thing out. The best writers are the ones who can cover the most distance with the fewest words. 3. It can be as simple as if the story opens with what feels like a dramatic frame—two people sitting by a fireplace, talking over brandy—then we already expect the story to circle back to that fireplace. 4. You open with a hook, of course—the title—then you hook with the first line, then, usually at the end of the first paragraph, you set that hook. 5. They’re not reading so you can render for them their already quotidian lives. 6. 7. 8. 9.

25 Things You Should Know About Character Previous iterations of the “25 Things” series: 25 Things Every Writer Should Know 25 Things You Should Know About Storytelling And now… Here you’ll find the many things I believe — at this moment! — about characters: 1. Without character, you have nothing. 2. A great character can be the line between narrative life and story death. 3. Don’t believe that all those other aspects are separate from the character. 4. The audience will do anything to spend time with a great character. 5. It is critical to know what a character wants from the start. 6. It doesn’t matter if we “like” your character, or in the parlance of junior high whether we even “like-like” your character. 7. It is critical to smack the audience in the crotchal region with an undeniable reason to give a fuck. 8. You must prove this thesis: “This character is worth the audience’s time.” 9. Don’t let the character be a dingleberry stuck to the ass of a toad as he floats downriver on a bumpy log. 10. 11. 12. 13. The law of threes.

How I Plan a Book, Part 3: Scene-Level Planning | Susan Dennard Note: If you need information on WHAT a scene is, I will direct you to these resources: my own very basic breakdown of scenes, this post by my fave author who talks about writing, and this post by another amazingly helpful writing teacher. Okay! Onwards to today’s post! In case you missed the previous parts of this series, they are: Now, as all writers must, there eventually comes a point at which I need to actually start WRITING MY DARN BOOK. This is the point at which the “headlights outlining” comes into play. My headlights go just far enough to cover the next scene that needs writing, and for that scene, I craft detailed plan for what needs to happen. Now, I’ll admit I don’t ALWAYS know what needs to happen in a scene. Also, I should point out that I totally learned this from Rachel Aaron’s amazingly helpful book 2K to 10K (you’ll notice I loved it so much, I even blurbed it). And I learned from 2K to 10K just how important the “magical cookies” really are. Well, to you I say, Wrong!

All about raising chickens and eggs Our furry-footed gal, Sprinkles. I often get questions about raising chickens, so I thought I would create a post to point people to. We love having chickens. More about raising chickens after the break! How to care for baby chicks: Most backyard chicken owners buy chicks from feed stores or have them shipped to their home. Supplies you will need for baby chicks: You should be able to find these supplies at your local feed store. chick waterer chick feeder chick starter feed brooder: a large box or tub to keep chicks in (you will quickly need to increase the size as chicks grow) proper absorbent bedding. 1" of pine shavings is recommendedheat lamp thermometer that won't melt (been there) chicken coop for when they are ready to go outside What if I don't want to raise chicks and want adult hens? Some chicken farmers will sell older chickens that can go right into a coop. When do chickens start laying eggs? At around 6 months of age. Do you need a rooster to lay eggs? No! What about predators?