When We Struggle

photo credit: Hello I’m Nik

good afternoon, cyberspace!

You guys, I’m going to be blatantly honest with you. I’ve been having a really hard time getting posts written up lately. As I believe I briefly mentioned last week, it’s not that I have a creative block when it comes to blogging. I’m actually more excited about being a blogger right now than I have been in quite some time. But for some reason, every time I go to write one of the many posts I want to get scheduled, I just sort of. . .fizzle out of inspiration and drive.

Lately, my writing has been feeling sub-par at best. Every word I write feels wrong or forced somehow, and each time I think I’ve finally hit the right track, I end up backing over myself and deleting the paragraphs I’d spent the last fifteen minutes working on.

In fact, as I’m writing this right now, it’s Monday night. Mere hours before the deadline for this week’s blog post. And yet, even though I’ve been working on a blog post all day for tomorrow — a delightful little romp about what it’s like having a bird bean as a friend — something in my heart is telling me that that is not the post I should be writing.

Something is telling me that I need to be writing about the struggle I’m currently facing.

So guess what, peasants? Today we are going to talk about the struggle

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Villain School 101 — The One About Clichés

good morning, cyberspace!

With all the story excitement buzzing around me lately — what with me actually finishing the second draft of everlost (and also having a real live human actually read it hahahahahahahaha #help) and already diving straight into some minor-ish revisions (someone please help me.) — I’ve been finding myself thinking a lot about the craft of building a story.

Relatable heroes, witty (and at times slightly corny) dialogue, vivid storyworlds, understandable and heart-wrenching character arcs. . . These are but a few of the necessary ingredients in the delicious cherry pie that is a good book. But above all these things — sitting high and proud upon the perfectly blended crust — is my personal, completely unbiased favorite — the ice cream.

Or, as it is more commonly known to the average mortal man — VILLAINS.Read More »

How To Survive When Your Muse Decides To Abandon You (and does not leave any cookies)

Good afternoon, Cyberspace!

As most of you are currently oblivious to, probably aware, I am currently in the process of writing–and finishing up–the first draft of my novel, which I began way back in November.

Well, the First Draft 2.0. (because obviously this makes all the difference in the world)

Either way, it has been 5 months since then, and–wouldn’t you know it–I’m still not done with this first draft (ahem, First Draft 2.0). Since NaNoWriMo, I have witnessed numerous posts from happy writers all over the blogosphere about how practically everyone who has been blessed with a nose has finished their first draft, and I’m just sitting over here like a cold turkey leg that got dropped on a hairy dust bunny.

Without a nose.

So basically I’m Voldemort.

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Murdering Mary Sue (and other annoying stereotypes)

Happy Valentine’s Day, Cyberspace!

I spent over two hours yesterday writing this blog post before finally realizing that today is Valentine’s Day, which means that, like any sane blogger, I should probably do something about Valentine’s Day.

I am not a sane blogger.

So today I’d like to completely disregard that it is Valentine’s day for a few moments and go over something that has been on my mind lately.

Murdering Mary Sue.

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How To (sort of) Get Away With Murder: 13 Fun and Easy Ways To Kill Off That Character

Good morning, Cyberspace! I’ve been thinking lately, and it seems like I am constantly talking about how I’m secretly plotting the demise of my characters and/or the human race in general, yet I never once wrote a post on how to actually kill them off. (My characters, not the human race [I’m a writer, not a psychopath {actually I am a psychopath, but that is currently irrelevant.}])

Odds are, you’ve already killed a couple people characters in your illustrious writing career. Killing characters isn’t new to you. You don’t need a refresher on how to murder them. In fact, you’ve probably gotten so good at it that you have trouble not killing them off.

But, as with everything, there needs to be diversity. You can’t just shoot everyone in the chest and expect people to not get bored. Guns? Those are so 1,000 years from now. No, you need something different. Something new. Something no one has seen before.

And that, dear cyborg, is what I am here for.

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I Am No Longer A Writer.

I have a confession to make, Cyberspace.

I am no longer a writer.

*GASP*

I know, I know. How dare I, the Smudgiest Thought, type those words in that precise order? How could I even think that I was not a writer? I’ve got the blog, I’ve got the notebooks, I’ve got the pens and pencils and all the office supplies needed for writing. I have every single thing necessary to be a writer.

Everything except the time to actually sit down and do it.

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How To Keep Writing (when you really really really don’t want to) In Four Easy Steps…

Good morning, Cyberspace! Now that November is quickly receding into the dust of the past, I find myself facing off with a monstrous, evil force that cannot be reckoned with.

Writing slumps.

November was a serious writing high for me. The words came quickly, the characters morphed into individual beings with personalities and motives, and the plot was, if I may say so myself, absolutely magical.

And now, as we tromp forward triumphantly into the pits of December, I realize one thing…

My story is awful.

That’s right, Cyberspace. I wrote a junky story. My characters are just balls of sludge, my once magical plot is the crumbling ashes of a burnt out security torch, and WHY ARE THERE SO MANY SECURITY CAMERAS???

Seriously, my characters are absolutely lucky they haven’t been discovered yet. In fact, it’s almost UNREALISTIC with the amount of cameras I’ve placed all over the building.Read More »

NaNoWriMo Day One: The Race Begins

Happy Tuesday, Cyberspace!!! Today is a very important day in all the days of Writerdom, and if you’ve been following my blog (or any other writing blog for that matter), then you’ll know exactly what today is.

NaNoWriMo.

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The Official (Unofficial) Guide to Losing NaNoWriMo

Good morning, Cyberspace!!!

Today I’d like to talk to y’all about one of the most soul-shattering wonderful, most depressing magical, most time-consuming amazing things in the world:

NaNoWriMo!!!

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How NOT To Write A Short Story (in five easy steps)

Good afternoon, Cyberspace!

Today’s late Smudge is on the most articulate form of writing: short stories. And most importantly, how NOT to write them. Because we’ve all been in the shoes of the idiot who thinks, “Oh! This is a pretty good idea… I’ll just write a short story real quick.” And then–

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