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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday Writer Club: Keep up the steam with Nano-Write or Die!

If you're on the NaNo train, you're in your second week.  Hopefully you have a good idea of what your plan is, and have been riding the wave of excitement and inspiration.

For me, the second week was probably the hardest.  I had blown through a ton of extra words, but then the second week, I started having a really hard time keeping up the pace.

One of the things that really helped me was pushing myself through writing sprints (thanks, Twitter!) and using Write or Die by Dr Wicked.

It's a simple and brilliant concept.  You set a goal (either time or word count) and begin typing.  As long as you keep going, you'll be fine.

But bad things happen if you stop.

*Thunderclap and evil laughter*

You can set the level of intensity, from gentle reminders, to the point where your words will slowly be erased if you procrastinate.

If you need a kick in the pants and the coffee just isn't quite strong enough, give it a try.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Geeky Girl Tuesday: Guilty Pleasure Movies

It's time for another edition of Guilty Pleasure Movies!

Today it's another movie from my childhood.  It's one that I'm convinced helped spur my love of books and reading, along with a slightly unhealthy belief that a good portion of what I was reading just might be true.

It's The Neverending Story, a great fantasy movie that celebrates imagination, discovering confidence, and finding your purpose.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday Writer Club: Outlining for Nano?

Congrats to all of you that have jumped into the NaNoWriMo pool!

I have to admit that I'm a little jealous.

Maybe that's why this month, all of my Wednesday Writer Club posts will be NaNo themed.

So lets say you have your idea, but don't know where to go from there?

Don't worry, it's still early in the game, with a few pots of coffee and a couple of late nights you can still catch up!

I really can't encourage you enough to write an outline for NaNo.  It'll give you somewhere to go on those dark times that you've realized you're a hack and should never have tried this experiment (because I'm pretty sure all NaNo-ers have gone through this at least once).

I've tried traditional outlines before, but they lacked the depth that I needed in those times.  Last year when I went through NaNo, I stumbled across the Snowflake Method of outlining.

The method is a bit intense, and may be a bit time consuming, but by the time you finish, you'll have an amazingly detailed outline and understanding of your characters that will make writing your novel that much easier.

(But don't worry, Pantsers, I changed quite a bit from my outline to my draft.  But it all fit well, because I knew the broader strokes of the story and the intricacies of the characters well).

There are 10 steps to the outline (feel free to skip some of the latter ones if you'd like), each one taking your story one level deeper.

You start with a sentence, then move to a paragraph, then develop your character's motivation, etc.

If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, need, or would like to use to procrastinate, check out the more detailed explanation here.

Happy writing everybody, and good luck on your first week of NaNo!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Geeky Girl Tuesday: It's Free! (Sort-of)

You may or may not remember my ravings about DC Universe during the ABC Challenge.  I've been quiet about it for a while, because I stopped playing.

There were some issues that I had with the game: 1) low server population, 2) the monthly fee.

You see, when there aren't many people playing a cooperative game, it makes it very hard to achieve some of the higher level gameplay.

As for the monthly fee...well, let's just say student loans took precedence.

But now, DC Universe has made a couple of great decisions.  They've merged a lot of the servers, so there's a higher population, and

They're free to play!

Sort of.

You still have to buy the game (if you haven't already), but starting today, you can play without a monthly subscription.

There are now three levels of game play:

Free--A entry level view of the game, with limited character slots.
Premium--If you spend $5 on DLC (downloadable content) or inventory slots, you get to create more characters and have more benefits.
Legendary--If you pay the $14.99 a month fee, you get the top tier of gameplay, with all the bells and whistles that came with the original game.

It's a great game for casual players (no hour long raiding nights like with another MMO we all know), and now that it's free to play, I hope that it gets the attention it deserves.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Taking Liberty -- Part 26

Well faithful few, here we go.  I don't think it'll be much longer before we find out what happens to Liberty and Elizabeth.

If you have no idea what exactly is going on, make sure you check out my Taking Liberty page.  It has an explanation, links to all the story parts, and summaries if you're short on time.

Liberty took another step toward me.  With each inch she crossed, I could feel waves of energy ripple toward me.  Each slap of it made me feel a little weaker, a little less substantial. I tried to close my eyes and block it out, make it go away like I could once manage.  I could feel the lids slide closed, but Liberty was still there in front of me.

I was slipping away.

Liberty had stopped stalking me.  Now she was standing, squinting at me.

"What does it feel like for you?  Does it feel empty, lonely?"

I heard a whimpering, and for a moment thought I might have managed to make the sound.   But then I realized that it wasn't just Liberty and I in the room.


Without actually moving, I found myself next to James. Inches from his face.

"You have to help me." I whispered, and knew that nothing audible was said.

His eyes got wider, and he looked up at Liberty.  "I can't."

I could hear Liberty moving quickly behind me.  "Then I'm sorry. I really am."

I pushed myself toward him.  It felt like I was jumping into an icy lake, freezing me to the core.

Then there was darkness.

I opened my eyes and looked up at Liberty.  I pushed myself up with a power I wasn't used to and staggered.

"We're not so different after all, are we Elizabeth?  Both willing to take what isn't ours."

She leaned forward and brushed her hand across my arm.  I could feel the sensation, but it was disconnected in a way. Distant.

I heard James whimpering again.  This time it was louder.

"Don't worry, James.  This part'll be over soon." I whispered to him.  "But I'm afraid it's going to hurt you more than it hurts me."

I clenched my fist, feeling James' muscles ripple, and charged at Liberty.

I think this just might put a damper on the Elizabeth/James romance.  Not sure you can really be with a person after they've been that...close to you.

Hope you enjoyed and you stick around for next week's episode!

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