2011 Writing Exercise

I’ve already blogged about one goal I have for 2011- to write another book.  I’m going to write another book this year, I’m going to write another book this year!

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But I have another goal, and one that will hopefully help me reach the goal above.  I’m going to spend at least one hour a week doing nothing but writing.  No laptop and internet, no phone, no ipod, just a pen and a notebook.  I did it this past Saturday and it was amazing.  I’m hoping that eventually I’ll be able to commit to one hour a day, but I know that while I have 2 1/2 jobs, that’s probably not possible.  Eventually, the writing will be all story/novel focused, but this past weekend, and probably for the next several, it will be free-writing, plotting, and character sketching.  Saturday’s hour really helped me tap into the idea I have for my next book and the time produce 12 notebook pages of notes, questions, thoughts, and chronology.

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I’m determined that I’ll be focused and prepared when I actually start writing this book.  I want to be in a place where I want to write every moment of the day, a place where I cannot get the story or the characters out of my head.  If this method works, maybe I’ll be able to go back to one of my earlier, unfinished ideas to revamp and finish it.

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I’m not going to include any notes about the concept I’m working on right now, because I don’t want to jinx myself, but I found the exercise so cathartic, that I want to share some of what I wrote during the exercise.

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I’m sitting in B&N and I’ve decided that for 1 hour, I’m going to write.  It doesn’t have to be fiction, or a story or a poem.  I just need to write to practice.  To get back in the habit.

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I’ve set my alarm,  So here we go.

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I just checked my spot on the shelf and came across a book only a few authors over called “29.”  The blurb sounded interesting.  I need to add it to my goodreads list.  It’s almost fate-like that I’d see a book with such a similar title in a spot so close to where my book would be if it were published.  But I don’t believe in fate, really.  Because that would mean my sucky life was on purpose or something.

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Thinking about the book I’m going to write this year, I feel really connected to MDMD (title withheld for now- sorry!  and no- it has nothing to do with doctors) even though I thought UN (sorry again!) would speak more to me.  I think MDMD just has more plot and character opportunities.  I hope so because I’m about to take the plunge.

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I’ve been reading The Weekend Novelist and when it gives tips or advice, sometimes I think about how I would use them on MDMD.  I think I should just go for it.  But I’m going to be prepared.  I can’t just write willy nilly without knowing where the characters are going and who they are.  I think the biggest problem I’ve had in the past is that I didn’t know who the characters were or I had too many of them for them to be unique and real.  Not this time.  I’m going to focus the story on 2 individuals again, but flesh out the personalities and back story of the secondary characters as well so I know who I’m working with.

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I need to get a timer so I can shut my phone off while doing writing exercises.

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(4 1/2 pages of story-centered notes skipped)

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Yay!  another pen just ran out! (I know that seems weird, but I love writing with a pen until it runs out of ink.)

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I think the purpose of today’s exercise is to ask all the questions but not come to conclusions.  I’ll make conclusions the nest time I spend an hour doing this.  I wonder if I should share this exercise on my blog.  I wonder how long it will be typed up or if anyone will be interested in reading it.  Should I not give information on the book I’m working on until it’s ready for edit phase?

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(and the rest of the pages were all story and character centered)

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Does anyone have any suggestions for helpful writing exercises for me?


8 thoughts on “2011 Writing Exercise

  1. Look at me! Two comments in one night! I used to do an exercise in college when I was taking a lot of writing classes that I think might fit you since you like to go to coffee shops and write. I’d sit down somewhere where there would be a lot of people and then I’d pick a random person and start a story about who they are and where they’re going and what else they have going on in their life.

    This is also a fun game to play in a bar while drinking with friends. 🙂

  2. That’s awesome, Rach. I’m just getting into journaling too, and it does help — the ‘no pressure’ thing, especially. The schedule, to sit down and get it down.

    No suggestions from me! (I’m more a reader these days than a writer.)

    Well, no suggestions, except to introduce you to this lady:

    http://365-days-of-novel-writing.blogspot.com

    She knows ALL about writing exercises. 🙂

    (And is very nice.)

  3. Loved coming along with you on the ride for your writing exercise, and I think any kind of regular writing will be just great for you in terms of routine and in terms of capturing all that great stuff in your imagination, write on! 🙂

  4. I don’t know about your phone, but the iPhone has a feature called “airplane mode” that shuts off the cellular radio (i.e. turning off what makes it a phone) without turning off it’s ability to run other apps (like the timer).

    I use this frequently.

    I don’t talk about what I’m writing while I’m writing it, my brain runs in wild places and discussing those places and ideas before I’ve marshaled them into something less spastic is counter-productive.

    I do find reading your writing exercises interesting, so that’s at least one vote for “yes, keep posting.”

    1. I have a Blackberry. My options are Loud, Vibrate, Quiet, Normal, Phone Only, and Off. Hmmm….

      It’s probably still a better idea for me to get a timer because no matter what function I put my phone on, if it’s sitting in front of me I’ll be checking it every 5 minutes. Stupid technology. Stupid pathological need to be needed/wanted at all times!

      One of the problems with having this blog is that I want to post EVERYTHING, even if it is something I really shouldn’t post. Like today I worked hard core on a character profile for my next project and I so badly want to post it, but I really don’t want to share anything about my new project because I know the second I do I’ll lose interest in it.

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