Announcements

New Content for 2021!

Good afternoon my friends,

How are you today?

I wanted to start this year off right, and since we’re still in February, I thought it would be a good time to ask you: What do you want to see on this blog more? In the past I’ve had readers respond wanting more book reviews, more of my own writing here, more NaNoWriMo content, etc. I know I still have a lot of those to cover, but in addition, it’s a new year. What would excite you to see on this blog in the near future?

Please take a minute to fill out my poll here. This will be left up and sit to get results; the next new post will be on Wednesday, February 17th:

This poll just has some of my ideas, but YOU might have more ideas for what you’d like to see on this blog soon! Please share in the comments!

Until next time,

Chaitanya

Announcements · Musings

Question to My Readers, Visitors, Followers…Lurkers?

Dear friends, whether you be readers, visitors, followers or lurkers ;),

I have a question for you:

What would you like to see on this blog in the new year?

I see that there’s been a lot of enthusiasm for certain posts, such as my Artist’s Way posts one, two, and three, or my posts about writing our truths. So I get the sense that what writers (or at least those who read this blog) want to hear about, are the whys and hows of our writing, addressing questions such as:

  • Why do we write?
  • What deep, inner feelings that are very personal help each of us to write?
  • How can we tap into those deep, inner truths, in order to help us be better writers?
  • How can we tap into our inner creativity or Muse more?
  • How can we stay inspired?

I love the ideas that are poking at my brain right now, just from getting the niggling sense that these deeper topics are what intrigue you. But I don’t want to make assumptions. I want to know what YOU really would like to see more of here. There’s a lot of writing blogs out there. What do you feel this one contributes, and what could it offer more of?

While I could just steamroll ahead with this blog and write about whatever I want, I’m already writing a LOT about things I want, in my various novels and journal entries, daily. So I’d like this blog to be a chance for you to get something you need or want, about the writing craft, through me. I would like to be a medium that can help, or inspire, or excite you, by something that I’ve shared here.

I know times are busy and may be stressful now, but if any visitor, reader, friend or follower could take just two minutes to think about my questions above and what they’d be really curious or excited to see here, it would help me to make this blog better. It would also help me to be a better blogger. And it would help you get a more satisfying experience here.

[Disclaimer that you don’t have to read unless you really want to: I don’t post these questions in order to seek more popularity for my blog, because I’ve already seen what works and doesn’t. I’d like to see what writers and readers think up that I haven’t seen or thought of. What individual ideas/ thoughts about writing would you like to see addressed, and feel are missing on writers’ blogs? What question might you have for me that I haven’t answered yet? What experience would you like to have more or less of in regards to my book reviewing, and studying writer’s craft books such as The Artist’s Way? And what crazy topics can you think of that I’d never have thought about, that will set us down a wild, flipping fun path of blog posts?]

Please take two minutes in the midst of holiday madness, or once the new year hits, if you can. =D I would be so grateful! Thank you for tolerating the rambly nature of this post.

Until next time,

Chaitanya

How Writers Write · Musings · My Writing

The Internal Story

While my follow up to my post on cliche is coming soon, I wandered into this amazing article on Writer Unboxed. The articles on WU are usually amazing, however, this one particularly struck me, because it spoke to my current struggle in my current WIP 2nd draft.

It was a deeply dark and gloomy night: 'Why don't you create the great American software instead?'

Right now I am working on a 500 page draft of a fantasy (meaning, it’s 500 pages at first draft, but will be shorter, hopefully). It is a baby of mine that I am ashamed to say I’ve been working on for years. I’ve lived with the characters for so long that they feel real to me. But, at the same time, one gets weary of writing the same story for so long. I took a hiatus for a couple years and banged out another novel, but now I’ve returned to my fantasy one.

Even though I have to whittle 500 rough as rough pages down to 300 or so brilliant ones, I feel happy. I recently participated in a writer’s critique group in California and plan to find another one here in Florida. And, Writer Unboxed makes me feel less lonely.

writing1

But it is hard. I started drafting draft 2 only to realize that it was, well…just not working. The revisions felt hollow and phony. So I went back to chapter 1 and started in again. Now I’m on chapter 7 and “draft 3”, as I like to pretend it is, is going better. I’ve been drawing up web with questions in the middle about my villain, villain’s backstory, protagonist’s family — digging deeper into details I already knew, because I realized I needed them. Yet, something still seemed to be missing…my draft still felt a little wooden and strange, like my first attempts at draft 2 did. What was wrong? I’ve been trying to figure it out. Until now.

This article at WU made me realize what I’m missing in my “draft 3”. I may be figuring out what happens, making the plot tighter, less cliche, and fixing problems, but…what I’m not figuring out is how what happens makes my characters feel.

oh-the-feels-begin_o_1818433-5-551b9275c902aWithout knowing how my characters struggle internally, what realizations they make, what disturbs or angers them, etc., then even the exciting-for-me, “ooh” plot changes that I’m making will mean nothing, because without affecting my characters, they won’t affect my readers.

This all connects back to fearing your readers, cliche, The Artist’s Way, The Courage to Write, and other topics I’ve discussed on this blog. They all come back to a central point, in my mind, which is:

How do we write an amazing novel that comes from our hearts, while also keeping in mind practical methods that work and affecting our readers?

book-heart

Or something like that, eheh.

All of this means a lot to me because, of the two novels I’ve written, one came very easily and one came with great difficulty. The one that has more character but less plot and doesn’t always make sense, has a lot of heart, and the one that has better plot, needs some more heart. I think both of my novels have potential to be powerful and say something, and I can’t abandon these characters from my heart, and this is why I must finish them. And I feel that I have to find an answer to that question above, in order to finish both novels well.

Please wish me luck, or give me blessings, so that I can finish them.

Do you have a story you’re working on now that causes you trouble? What’s your trouble? Do you focus on your characters’ internal struggle more in writing, or lean more towards the plotty, what-happens side of things?

Tata for now,

Chaitanya

 

How Writers Write · In the Family

Writing Your Truth(s), Part 1

This is a topic that has been and is greatly intriguing to me, especially since I read Brenda Ueland’s If You Want To Write. I plan to review her book within the next couple of days and to write more about this topic, just thoughts, soon.

For now though, I have this little interview with John Vorhaus, author of The Comic Toolbox: How to be Funny Even if You’re Not, and other works. This was a guest post on Morgen Bailey’s blog. I confess I know neither of these writers, but I’m going to make a point of exploring their websites now.

Guest Post by John Vorhaus on Writing Your Truth

Note that the original post is about emotional truths, not your truth, but…wouldn’t you say everyone writes their own emotional truths? Or tries to? I would so. So I’ve changed it in my post title and the link title to “your truth”, instead.

Part 2 of this topic is here.

Over and out,

Chaitanya

Just For Fun · Musings · My Writing

Dungeons, Dragons, and the Challenges of January

The first week of January has been quite busy for me. Days 1-5, significant other and I had a guest over, an old friend of mine and new friend of SO. SO and I determined to show friend all the local best spots for hiking, hanging out, eating, etc. It was fun!

But it certainly did take up some time. I haven’t been keeping up-to-date with this lil’ blog. Been thinking maybe it needs a new theme to pep it up a bit. I’ve been feeling quite pepped up for this new year! I feel happier, more motivated, and more determined to meet my goals. I haven’t made any strict New Year’s Resolution that I’ve told anyone…I just keep little mental notes to myself. I like it that way, so there’s less pressure and inner anxiety.

One of my challenges to myself is: I joined the Twitter January Writing Challenge! It’s 500 words a day or 1 hour of editing a day. So far, because of guest, I haven’t got much to show. But today I did some work on a new project, and I’m about to do some work on the editing/revising/writing of my fantasy novel (2nd draft, right now).

So epic!!

Another challenge is health. I am not very good at keeping an exercise routine. A drop of yoga here and there is all I do for myself, usually. It’s not enough. I had tendonitis towards the end of 2014 in one ankle, which hurt and made anything past a slow walk painful. I also haven’t had the best digestive history, after a trip to India late 2013. So…something’s got to change. I want to sign up for a gym, or at least a yoga class, and be strict about it. Take a pinch of salt with this, but…I had an Ayurvedic doctor in India, or Kaviraj, check my health. He said I’m prone towards osteoporosis when I get older, unless I exercise. Yikes! Better get cracking. I’m young, but time flies.

My new writing project(s) bring me joy. I’m dabbling at a YA scifi when I get bored with revising my second draft fantasy novel. Guest friend who I’ve been running through the wringer in this post so far, introduced myself and SO to a great bit nerdery: Dungeons & Dragons! I’ve heard of it, seen it played, and pretended to be playing it when I was 10, but this is for real.

Eberron D&D world art, by Wayne Reynolds Credit: Dungeonsmaster.com

You’ve got a set of weird dice, no board, a pre-made or self-made sheet with a character profile, a couple rulebooks and…boom! You, as your character, venture through strange lands and fight with great evils, with your friend’s characters as company, and the mastermind of the adventure’s setting, monsters, and events (aka, the Dungeon Master, or DM, another friend). You don’t have to play with friends, but everyone agrees it’s more fun that way.

It’s great! It reminds me of writing, in a way, except as the DM you can’t control your character (well, sometimes you can’t even as the writer!), and as a character you can’t control your setting, narrative, or villain. So I’ve been developing my D&D characters to play in the games with my friends…who knows? Maybe some of them will become characters in future books.

by Tony DiTerlizzi Credit: Dungeonsmaster.com

What’s new and great with you in the new year?

Next Post: I review The Best Book On Writing Ever! No, Really!!! That’s not the real title, but…it really is, in my humble opinion. It rocks.

Until next time,

– Chaitanya