#BlogHop – 7 Writing Tools I Use

I’m afraid I missed the first post of the #BlogHop for #Writers (“Writing Goals for 2014”), but I wanted to try out the rest of the series, since I like the topics being presented!  Many thanks to Cate Russell-Cole of CommuniCATE who posted about the Blog Hop!  I hope you’ll find these tools useful.


1.  First thing’s first…

UNPLUG.  Seriously.  The biggest thing keeping me (and probably a lot of other people) from writing regularly is the well of distraction that is the internet.  When I want to get down to some serious writing (which should be all the time), I need to unplug the Ethernet cable, turn off my phone (or put it on silent and hide it in the depths of my purse), and bar the door.  Need to look something up, a fact or a foreign phrase?  Leave a note in the prose and look it up later.  Don’t interrupt the flow because I guarantee that you’ll find yourself scrolling through Facebook statuses for an hour and suddenly realize you still haven’t looked up how to say, “What big horns you have!” in Elvish.


2. Dana, My Darling

Typing is, by far, the fastest and easiest way for me to record my thoughts.  However, some days, especially in the summer, I don’t want to spend my day cooped up inside staring at a monitor.  Or I just might not feel like sitting at my desk.  Maybe I want to curl up on the sofa with my cats or sprawl across the floor, or write at the kitchen table with easy access to the fridge.  But I can’t afford a laptop, they have overheating issues, and, worst of all, the pontificate of procrastination:  internet access.  But handwriting scenes and then transcribing them later is both slow and time consuming.  The solution?  Buying a Dana AlphaSmart:

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“What do you protect?” Storytelling Shifts Focus

A few days ago, I was listening to the song “Hail the Hero” by Celtic Thunder, and something in the lyrics struck me:

“Hail the hero, strong and true,
Who fought the fight, and saw it through,
Who swore he ne’er would be a slave
And gave his life our land to save.”

Do you see it?  No?  Look at this line then:

“And gave his life our land to save.”

There’s been a subtle shift in the focus of what is being protected in a story.  It used to be that the hero was trying to save a land, a world, or a people as a whole rather than being devoted to an individual.  They gave everything “for the land.”  Often, rulers were tied to the land in some way, either through mystical means (having a literal bond with the earth) or through responsibility as a prince or princess, a king or queen.

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New Days, New Design

Welcome to 2014!  I have a couple of announcements for my first post of the New Year:

First, I decided to redesign my website.  I liked the old one, but it felt a little too…bland.  I wanted something a little more dynamic, but still professional, and I’ve always loved black…so here we are!  It makes me want to dance and shout, “LOOK AT ALL THE PRETTY!”  *ahem*  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the new layout.  I’ve also changed the page called “The Mariner Sequence” to “Novels” so I can list other projects that I’m working on.  All the old links to that page have been updated.  If any links are broken, let me know and I’ll fix them ASAP.

Second, from now on I will be posting a new entry every other Monday.  I’ve been posting on Tuesdays for two years and that schedule just doesn’t work for me anymore.  Since I’m already committed to posting a new chapter of fan fiction every other Monday, I thought I would just make Mondays my day to upload new material.  As always, links to new entries will be posted on Twitter.  (This post is just an announcement; a proper entry will be posted next Monday.)

Third, I’ve added a section to the About the Author page showcasing some pictures of my little feline helpers.  I really am a crazy cat lady, and sometimes my baby boys can be so adorable trying to help me write.  Who doesn’t love pictures of cats being cute?

Last, I’ve created a separate blog called the LeNoWriCha Logs.  (Click here for a rundown of LeNoWriCha.)  Each day I will post an update on my Logs, detailing how much I wrote, what daily level I achieved, a summary of what I wrote about, any editing I may have done, and any other special projects or writing-relating events that seem pertinent.  A link to the LeNoWriCha Logs is now posted at the top of “My Sites” if you are interested.

Thank you once again for joining me this year!