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Blogger Tag: Writing Habits

  • Posted on August 11, 2017 at 2:22 pm

My lovely friend Briana Herr has tagged me in her Writing Habits Blogger Tag. This means that I’m forced to reveal to the world the things that make me tick! Things like what faces I make while writing and what coffee I drink! How scandalous!

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Where do you go write and what does it look like?

Most often I write in my room. I have a basement room with walls painted lavender, and my bed is right next to my desk. I have a large TV with a Roku that plays wonderful music, either from Pandora or from Youtube. I sit at my desk, in my rickety rolly-chair that needs to have blankets piled on it for it to be comfortable, and I write. This is the only way I am productive.

Sometimes I write in my bed, which is very comfortable, but I rarely get many words out because I tend to fall asleep.

Snacks or drinks?

Both. I prefer soda to be honest with you. Pepsi if I can afford it, if not Sam’s Cola. I love munching on salted roasted peanuts while writing, or chips. Sometimes I get chips and salsa for while I’m writing. Other times I’ll make a bowl of ramen or some leftovers. Basically, it depends on how hungry I am.

Do you like to write with noise or in total silence?

This depends on my ADD brain. Because of my ADD, I have sensitivity to stimulae. This means that too much of anything becomes distracting. This means that if I have music going, I get distracted. However, on the flipside, if I sit in silence, I become anxious. So I have to find that sweet spot between the two.

I’d love to say that there are rules like “no lyrics” or “drums only” that works for me, but nothing ever works the same two days in a row. So I don’t really have any kind of preference, I just want to find balance.

Paper or computer?

Computer, all the way. I can’t sit still long enough to write on paper anymore.

what do you do before you start to write?

I put the kids to sleep, and then gather up soda, my computer, and anything else I’ve left upstairs. Then I take it all downstairs and sit in my uncomfy chair. After that, I whine a bit to my friend Briana, and after that, I get to writing. Often I manage somewhere between 200-2000 words.

What time of day do you like to write?

I like to write in the late evening. I can’t do early mornings because I have to care for the children as soon as they get up, and I can’t write during the day because there’s too much to do.

what distracts you from writing?

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Video games
  4. Reading
  5. Work
  6. Serial works like this one.
  7. This Discord Channel

anything to help set the mood?

Recently, one of my WIPs has had a theme-song chosen for it. I call the WIP Devil’s Desire, and the theme song is “Hide and Seek”. It sets everything off in a wonderful tone, and I love it.

are you a plotter or pantser?

A little of both. I tend to start with a small outline, and then free-write until I get lost. Then I re-outline, and then I free-write again. I’m a mess when it comes to writing habits.

Any other weird habits?

I jiggle my leg almost constantly. Not only that but I click pens. Oh! And I also tend to write while on voice chat with the Discord Group I mentioned earlier. It helps to know that they’re there.

 

And that’s all! I’ve done what was asked of me, and now it is time to tag others. Muahahahaha!

I tag Tiara Kikyo Giles, Nico H., Caroline Quill Alex Hurwitz. Check out all of their lovely stuff, because each and every one of them is AMAZING. Thank you for your time, and consider yourself tagged as well!

IWSG – 03/02/16

  • Posted on March 2, 2016 at 3:52 pm

A lot of writers will discuss ‘finding your niche’ as if this is some magical journey. As if that mythical ‘niche’ for which you search will set you on the track for results. As if that long-awaited niche will answer all your questions, and make it easier to understand yourself. A lot of authors attribute their success to finding their niche, and sticking to it, learning the trade entirely and devoting themselves to that long-awaited god named Niche.

I’m here to tell you that’s bullshit. It’s a lot like in real life. A lot of the problems that people have is that we’re all pressured to find that one thing we’re good at. That one ‘passion’ we have, that one great joy in our lives, is what we’re expected to cultivate and then unleash upon the world like an unholy tide of pleasantness. The thing is, and a lot of people are beginning to learn that now, that’s all a crock of horseshit.

There is no one end all, be all, of your creativity. You may never find that one job that you love forever. You may never find that one calling that you were ‘put on this earth for’. Your calling might be sitting in your pjs and making diagrams of buildings out of toothpicks. No one is really going to recognise you for your ability to eat an entire bag of potato chips without having to take a sip of something because of how salty they are. And I know for a fact that my odd ability to find and then binge watch anime and manga is not even remotely going to earn me money.

Or is it?

See that’s another thing a lot of people don’t tell you. Often times, niches, callings, and that one great passion, come out of a lot of practice and thought. It comes from writing those BILLION articles that mean almost nothing, and sound like an incoherent child’s scrawlings. It comes with time, and effort and energy. And yeah, you may never realize what your niche is. You may never realize that when you put those words to paper and out comes YET ANOTHER STUPID FAIRY TALE, that that is in fact your niche.

I recently had a sort of revelation. You see, ever since middle school, I had the uncanny ability to pick out interesting things to read out of the school library. And then, in highschool, I managed to find one interesting manga, or anime, or book, after another. I had, for a long while, lapsed in that talent. I focused on work, on trying to maintain school, on trying to focus. I focused on everything but this one talent that makes me happy. This consumption of stories. This absorption of plots and characters.

Recently, however, I have found a way to turn that odd talent, into something that motivates me to write here on this blog. That motivates me to do more with my life. I started my Writing Anime series. I meant it just to explore some of the lessons of writing that Anime have taught ME over the years. I meant it as a way to make use of the hundreds of hours I spend watching cartoons as a grown adult.

So it’s not an instantaneous thing, realizing that you’ve found your one thing. It’s not something that comes immediately. It’s honestly not even something I can see coming with thought or contemplation. I can only see the finding of your niche happening with massive work and effort. With a natural move that you barely even think about, that pushes you to work harder. So keep writing. You’ll find it eventually.

And when you do, it’ll feel like coming home, changing into sweats and putting on fuzzy socks after a long hard day. Difficult to do, but oh, so, worth it.

Pet Peeves

  • Posted on July 16, 2015 at 1:47 pm

“Stop, stop stop. You’re doing it wrong.” The spoon was snatched out of his hand, and Dirk blinked, frowning up at the interloper. The silver spoon balanced from Yumil’s fingers like a cigarette from a 1950s audrey hepburn. “you stir without clanking. Otherwise it’s annoying.”

“Does it really matter?” Dirk asked, “It’s stirring. With a spoon. In coffee.” He made sure to raise an eyebrow to emphasize just how stupid Yumil was acting.

“Just… Do it right, alright. You gently scrape the bottom.” Yumil’s brows furrowed, and he gave the spoon back. “It’s one of my pet peeves.”

“A pet peeve?” Dirk demanded.

“Yeah. A pet peeve. Like when I pick at those lumpy little bits on the socks you knit.” The derision in his tone was matched by the sarcastic tilt of his body as he plopped into the other, matching, floral-print armchair they’d bought at some or other garage sale.

“That’s completely natural. It’s not nice to pick at things made for you. I work hard on those damned socks.” Dirk’s eyes strayed to the lumpy, soft yarn sitting in the bin he used to hold it while he was knitting.

“Just accept it.” Yumil sighed. “Everyone’s got their pet peeves.” He started poking off fingers as he counted their friends. “Eamon’s hair getting in her eyes. Anelace being cut off in traffic. Lette hates being interupted in conversation. Espin can’t stand the sound of a dripping faucet, and Jorgan’s always getting annoyed when he finds hair in his food.”

“That’s natural too. Your hair gets everywhere.” Dirk’s nose crinkled in annoyance. It was true. His partner’s long hair shed like a husky, and it always ended up in some form or another in the food they ate. “You really should tie it up before you cook.”

“Oh shut up.” Yumil answered, good-naturedly. He changed the channel on the tv to the home and gardening network.

“I was watching that.”

“Sure you were. Just like you were stirring your coffee properly.”

One Year Anniversary

  • Posted on March 23, 2015 at 3:56 am

You know, when a year goes by, and you realize that you’ve had something great going, you want to celebrate it, don’t you? There are only a few things I’ve ever actually managed to hold on to for a full year. I can only remember a few, anyway. A job. Once, a boyfriend. And now, this blog. This wonderful repository for everything I’ve worked so hard for.

To be honest, this blind sided me, so I didn’t have time to prepare something awesome for my one year. Instead, I’m going to plagarise a bit of what Chris Votey did for his, which is essentially the same as a christmas letter! I get one of those every year from a good friend of mine, and it’s always an interesting read.

First, some milestones. This past 365 days, I have received a total of 59 comments on this blog. Thank you all so much for keeping the conversation going. You’ve all been a huge inspiration to me, and I know I’ve learned a lot from the words we’ve shared. Thank you all for the 1448 views too! That breaks down to a little under four views per day! And even if at least one of those views per day was me, checking up on everything, that’ s still AMAZING.

To think, this all started with a post called “Hello World”, in which I introduce a little about myself. From there, I’ve grown to the point that I have a regular series of works called my “Weekly Writing Update”s In which I post my weekly writing goals, successes, failures, word counts, and reading goals.

I haven’t yet published any of the books I’ve spoken about, but I’ve been working on them for quite a while. Too long a while to quit now. This year will be much more favorable, and I’ll be able to actually get them published, I have NO doubt! <3

So thank you again, for your support, and for your continued watchful enjoyment, and I hope to see you again soon! <3

Researching Mystery

  • Posted on August 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Today, I have a guest blog published over on Cindy Grigg’s website. We’ve swapped guestblogs, and her post, 9 ways to fix your Stereotyped Character is informative and fun to read! Go take a look at it! Also, take a look at the article, Researching mystery which you can find here:

If you’re curious, here’s the first two paragraphs of the article, for your perusal.

To begin with, I’m not normally a mystery author. To be specific, when I was younger, I only ever wrote fantasy novels, or romance. Now, however, I’m trying my hand at mystery novels, which means quite a bit of strife. I have a natural instinct when it comes to fantasy, so I find it easy to fall into. With Romance, I have my years as a fanfiction writer and fandom roleplayer to fall back on, which can both enhance and detract from my writing. (No one likes reading author’s notes, I’ve since learned.)

I came to mystery as a genre because I love the tense atmosphere. Maybe it’s less mystery and more suspense that I enjoy. But recently, I’ve found that I want a challenge. And the best way to challenge yourself is to write something you’ve never in a million years written before. But how can you write something you’ve never written before? How can you make sure that you don’t slip back into writing what you know? And worst of all, how do you manage to make it a GOOD manuscript when you know nothing about your genre?

Read More

9 Ways to Fix your Stereotyped Character – A guestpost by Cindy Grigg

  • Posted on August 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm

So You Wrote a Stereotyped Character…9 Ways to Fix Your Story

 

I’ve recently been doing a blog post series on How to Write Well-Rounded Female Characters, which included a list of 19 Female Character Stereotypes to Avoid.

Since Nicohle and I are swapping blog posts today, I would love to take that list one step further and show how I would fix a stereotyped female character (but the same concepts apply to any character).

Why You Don’t Have to Start Over

If your female character falls into a stereotype, it’s not so much that you’ve written her wrong as that you’re just not done writing her.

Writers revert to stereotypes or tropes rather than fully articulating what makes a character unique. It’s tricky because you may not feel lazy as you write a stereotypical character. You’re still sitting in the writer’s chair fulfilling your daily word count or time quota, but essentially you’re being creatively lazy about who you are writing about.

1. Rearrange what you’ve got. A lot of creativity is a matter of how you arrange the disparate parts of something to make a whole. Which aspect of your character is the focal point? By restructuring which personality traits are pivotal, you could create a more fresh character.

2. Add something to the character that scares, stretches, or otherwise challenges you. If writing about a certain characteristic your character possesses makes you think about the world in a new way, it likely will do the same for many readers.

3. Change how long your character stays a stereotype. Maybe your character can start out as a character but be changed by a new event. Maybe reveal they were hiding their true nature for some good reason. Think: Scarlet Pimpernel.

4. Look around you. Think of the most unique people you know and add some part of their personality to your character.

Rarity gives you an example reaction.

5. Add more weaknesses, flaws,  fears, and losses! I like the trick of thinking, What is the worst thing that could happen to my character? Then consider adding that to your plot so your character has to really solve and struggle.

6. Put your character in strange situations. Brainstorm several seemingly unrelated scenes and put your character in them. Consider crossing genres with this exercise. Put your fantasy heroine in a murder mystery and see how she behaves, etc. You may stumble upon an interesting nuance to add to your story.

7. Change your character’s past or future. If the character seems flat or one-dimensional, hook the audience into caring based on something terrible or wonderful they went through or will go through.

8. Give your character a unique motivation. Most of humanity is motivated to some degree by love of family, romance, personal gain, or moral/spiritual paradigms, for example. But what if you made your character also motivated by something kooky like a love of snails, and wanting to save those snails from extinction, for example?

9. Create personality contradictions. I love giving a character two characteristics that seem paradoxical or at odds with one another, then showing why they are this way.

Both fixing characters or scrapping them will require a lot of editing, so I figure you might as well refurbish your stereotyped character rather than starting from square one.

While it takes more effort, it’s more fun and interesting to write well-rounded characters. For me, this comes down to asking, But who else is she/he?! By consciously steering clear of stereotypes, writing becomes more adventure. More fun.

Cindy Grigg

Cindy Grigg writes speculative fiction and instructional non-fiction. She is the author of the HULDUSNOOPS series, a middle grade mystery and fantasy adventure about Icelandic Huldufolk or “hidden people”. As About.com’s Office Software Expert, Cindy also writes about technology and productivity (www.Office.About.com). Find her writing advice, blog, and other projects she’s working on at www.CindyGrigg.com.

Four Important Questions to Ask Yourself (A WDS Reflection) | Live All of You

  • Posted on July 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Four Important Questions to Ask Yourself (A WDS Reflection) | Live All of You.

 

This actually is a very good article. I like the way it’s paced, and I also like the questions it makes us ask ourselves. Part of what it goes into is that Blogs are read to get to know the blogger. So, of course, I’ve taken that under consideration.

Another thing that definately makes it interesting, is the idea of a statement explaining your world view. I have thought about it, and I realised that my worldview is quite simple.

Everyone should have the right to define themselves.

I think it’s nice. Please, reply in the comments with your world view!

Hello, World!

  • Posted on March 20, 2014 at 11:10 pm

IMG_20121216_101043As the Llama appears, so do I! For those of you who are new to my little blog, which was set up by my LOVELY friend Chris, I’m Nicohle Christopherson. A pleasure to meet you all!

To give a little bit of information about me, I am an aspiring Author, a Nanowrimo winner, an artist, a technical support agent, a girlfriend, and a blogger. Occasionally. When I’m not online, I’m gardening, writing, reading, drinking coffee, or hanging out with my friends.

With luck, my first published work will be a Novella entitled Princess of Dolls. Followed by the first in a series, The Sorcerer and the Swordsman. Please look forward to it!

Due to some interesting turns of event, you’ll see that my URL here isn’t nchristopherson.com, which is probably what you typed in to get here. The reason for this is because Chris, my friend, helped me set this blog up on his own server, for which I am eternally grateful. So, the URL is his website, followed by mine! Please favorites this page, not nchristopherson.com, as that doesn’t currently lead anywhere.

I hope you all intend to watch diligently, as my goal is to put out works at least once a week, preferably more. Some things I will refer you to my tumblr for, as they are just too amusing! I’ll be posting reviews, ideas, various snippets of my works, and also various life-stories.

I hope you enjoy, and it’s a pleasure to meet you all! <3

 

P.S. Go see Chris’ blog, which is full of amazingly informative articles

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