Thursday, January 28, 2016

Things Writers Do

A Post By Jonathan 

Before I kick off my post, I just have to say that I LOVE being part of this blog! There may only be eight of us, but we all seem to be at various stages in our writing journeys. I've gotten so much great advice and inspiration from our more experienced, published contributors, through posts like this one, this one, and this one, and I've gotten a ton of encouragement from my fellow newbes as well.

For me, moving my writing dream forward has been a real struggle lately, and to hear that I'm not the only one having a hard time helps me know that I'm not alone. The fact that we can come here, alongside such successful authors, to write about our worries and insecurities (through posts like this one, this one, and this one)... well, I just think that's what makes Across The Board unique-- and a great place to visit every Monday and Thursday. There's something for everyone! We may not all be experts, but we all share a love and passion for writing, and that has made all the difference.

Okay, I better get going before I start tearing up...

So what am I going to write about today? Well, I have been doing things writers do lately and I just thought I'd share. They may not seem like big deals to you, but they are the ways I've been slowly pumping myself up for the herculean task of editing my MS once and for all. It's what I do every time I've been out of writing for a little while (sadly, it happens). Small little things that will hopefully bring out the storyteller in me.

Writer Thing #1: Joined A Critique Group

Joining a new critique group can seem a bit daunting at first, but when you're not doing a lot writing-wise it can be a real lifesaver. It was like someone up there knew that I needed to find a little help from my writing friends. Out of the blue I got an email from someone who had connected me with an MG writing group previously (that unfortunately didn't work out) and bam, I was a brand new member of a brand new critique group in my genre. I'm hoping this will be a way to get a fire lit under my tookus and get back to ye ol' grindstone. Sometimes reading other peoples' work is a good way to get the juices flowing too, I've found. If nothing else, it'll be a great way to meet some new writers.

Writer Thing #2: Finished Reading A Book

I'm almost done reading The Wise Man's Fear, the second installment in Patrick Rothfuss's amaze-balls Kingkiller Chronicles. This guy's really shown me that you don't have to have huge explosions or breakneck pacing to put a great story together. Following Kvothe The Bloodless as he banters from scene to scene has been a joy and a true clinic in good storytelling. Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration to want to get back on the horse again. And there's just something about the excitement that comes with the ending of a good book that really makes me want to finish my own. Anyone else ever feel that way?

Writer Thing #3: Telling Stories

Lately, I've started telling stories the old fashioned way, without pen, paper, keyboard or ink. This is kind of a new one for me, as I've never really had an audience before. But it turns out my one-year old really loves the sound of my voice. He doesn't seem to want to go to sleep unless I'm talking. So I've taken to telling him stories, since he's still at the age where he'll just tear a book write out of my hands. At first I'd just do a simple retelling of Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, but recently I've been making up my own.

Last night I told him a story about a prince who lived in a silver castle that was so beautiful that everyone wanted to live in it. The prince's family was always fending off attackers from this army or that. The worst of them were the Black Knights who lived in a castle made of coal. Their castle was so dirty that no one would ever dream of living in it. Luckily, the Silver Nights were always there to defend the silver castle from harm, until one fateful night when the Black Knights overpowered them and took over the castle. The prince, who was also a Silver Knight, managed to escape along with the princess, but everyone else was killed. With nowhere else to go they went over hill and dale to the now abandoned castle made of coal. It was gross and dirty at first, but one day in his frustration, the prince hit the wall and discovered that if you hit it hard enough, coal will turn into diamonds. So he and the princess, and more displaced townsfolk, worked tirelessly to turn the coal castle into a diamond castle (but only on the inside so that no one would try to overtake it...), and everyone lived happily ever after. The End.

Definitely not my best work, but not too shabby for being super sleep deprived and making it up off the cuff. Even had a twist ending...

So these are just a few of the things I've been doing to prepare myself to get back into my writing. Thanks for reading! Any other suggestions?



Stephen Kozeniewski said...

"And everyone else was killed?" That's quite a story, George R.R. Schramm.

Jonathan Schramm said...

Yeah, hope I didn't give him nightmares!

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

Writing is a tough vocation. Especially if you have kids. Eesh. Mine have all been sick, carrying some sort of bubonic plague, and I haven't written in days. Keep up the good fight.

Jonathan Schramm said...

Oh man, sick kids are the worst. Totally throws off the life routine, let alone the writing routine. Best of luck to you as well!

Carrie Beckort said...

I've done the first two things, but admit I'm lacking on the third. My daughter seems to be the one telling me stories these days. But I think it's a wonderful idea! Such a wonderful gift you are giving your son - even if he's too young to recognize it right now!

Jonathan Schramm said...

Thanks, Carrie! The past couple of nights he's been so tired that I barely have time to tell him good night, but I'll keep the stories going. Might even write a few of them down.

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