(Yet Another) Year in Review

What is so amazing to me is that I have NOT been writing as I planned!  I have a new short in progress, and I have figured out how to move forward through the middle of my novel — middle muckiness is apparently quite common for novel writers — but I have refocused on my “real” life the as few months.  Reason for lack of new posts as well.

In my real life, I reactivated my real estate license, so I have been focusing on that.  I think I am now ready to divide my time between real estate and writing.

As for a review of my year, I didn’t accomplish half of what I wanted to with my novel, but I have high hopes.  I WILL FINISH THIS NOVEL, just in it’s own time.  I wish you all super success in your writing endeavors also!!

Hau`oli Makahiki Hou!!

P.S. Some shameless advertising here… if you are ready to buy property on Kauai, please visit my site at Homes on Kauai.  You can connect with my writer side through Twitter and Facebook.

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Separating Plot Lines

It’s no big surprise that I am still struggling with the middle of my WIP.  It seems no matter where I go with it, I dislike it, scrap it, then write something else (usually some maudlin poetry) just to keep the fires lit.  This vicious cycle has gone on for a few months now.  Needless to say, I am tired of it.

Angel Orchids

Being the determined person that I am, though, I refuse to give up.  I’m fully invested int his project and I cannot just let it go.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reading and I think I may have come up with a solution.  I generally write in a linear fashion, creating the manuscript as I go. (Even though I have already know the ending, I haven’t written it yet.  It’s only documented in long-hand notes.)  I do this because it gives me a sense of clarity.  One day, I discovered this nice little feature of Scrivener which I never fully utilized before:  You can write out a chapter entirely in scenes.  Okay, admittedly, I have paid more attention to the writing than the finer points of the software I use, but that’s for another post.

This nifty feature, when selected in the compilation, will print the scenes in the chapter AND it allows for easy reorganizing.  Earlier this week, while rewriting a recent scene, the lightbulb went on: write the plot lines separately, then worry about weaving them together later!  What I’ve come up with is simple.  I created a folder called Plots.  Within this folder are the sub folders containing the main plot and the subplots.  Within those will be the scenes that formulate the individual plot lines.

I think, after all is written out, these scenes can be moved into chapters and weaved together more effectively.  I can also fine tune each plot without having to search for it within the chapters.  I’m hoping that this approach will offer me the clarity I need to survive the middle of my WIP and bring the project to fruition.

I have high hopes that this will get me back on track!  I’ll keep you posted.

-AH

Grammar-ease: When to Capitalize a Season

I know many writers think the publisher’s editors will correct all the bad grammar in our writing; but the truth is, they really don’t have time for it. They are busy trying to make you book read and flow well so that it will sell.  They  shouldn’t be bombarded with poor grammar.  Having just been to a writer’s conference with agents, editors and authors, one thing is clear: editing your own work before you get to the agent is crucial.

Then there’s the question of self-publishing. If you don’t have a good grasp of grammar, you are doomed.  Taking personal responsibility for your writing includes at least attempting to spell-check and grammar-check your work!  So, sit back and take a moment to read this wonderful post from Lisa J. Jackson (Live to Write – Write to Live). It will do you a world of good!

Live to Write - Write to Live

So, here in New Hampshire, we had one of the coldest winters (or is it Winters) on record, weeks of single-digit and below zero temps.

Then we had April, definitely labeled spring (or is it Spring) on the calendar. It was filled with temps averaging in the 40s.

daffodils_april_10_03_editedNow it’s May 4th and temps are in the 80s.

To say we had a short spring (or is it Spring) is crazy, but, honestly, 80 degrees after weeks in the 40s? I’d say summer (or is it Summer) is here! It’s definitely shorts and t-shirt weather!

To the topic of this post — it’s a common question: Do you capitalize the seasons when writing about spring, summer, winter, or fall?

The short and simple answer is: no.

You only capitalize the season of spring, summer, winter, or fall when it’s part of a title…

View original post 121 more words

Conundrum: A While vs Awhile

While writing today, I came across a conundrum of word usage.  What’s the difference between “a while” and “awhile”? This type of issue rarely happens to me, since I was an English teacher in a previous life, but I just couldn’t get it, so I looked it up.  QuestionGirl

Here’s what I found on Dictionary.com:

The noun phrase a while can and often does follow a preposition, such as for or in: “He said he would be home in a while.” The adverb awhile cannot follow a preposition, a rule that makes sense if you revisit the definition of the term and drop it into a sentence such as the one above: “He said he would be home in for a short time or period.” However, if we omit the preposition and rewrite it as “He said he would be home awhile,” the sentence works with a slightly altered meaning.

So, when you have that burning need to know the correct usage of a word, look it up.  I went right on writing, satisfied that I was using the proper version!

Write More!

AH

New Year, Refocus

I read a lot of posts about the new year upon us and new resolutions.  For me, 2015 brings a time of reflection and refocus.  I mean, so often we make the same resolutions every year, only to see them dashed by the first week of January.

This year, I am reflecting on the goals I had for last year and refocusing to improve results.  All the wishes in the world won’t make your goals come true.  So I am in for some hard work.

Truth be told, the hard work is the easy part.  After all, I LOVE to write.  It’s what I do.  It’s the time I get to spend on writing that is so difficult to come by.

Last year, I resolved to get up very early (before dawn) and write.  This worked out well for a long period of time and I got a lot of writing done.  I was starting to get up on my own, without the benefit of an alarm clock.  It seemed the characters wanted to tell me their parts of the story!  Unfortunately, after several weeks, this time no was not always my own and the wonderful man to who  am married and share my life with sometimes forgets that interrupting my train of thought when I am writing is a big NO-NO!!!  So, I became less productive.  Then I caught a cold and stopped getting up early.

I have come to the conclusion that I need to be more fierce in my demand for writing time.  Like right now, I am cooking breakfast while writing this post. Yes, I will still get up before dawn to write and, yes, I will still be interrupted on occasion; but maybe, just maybe, the fierceness will overcome the interruptions and I’ll get this darned book finished!

Happy New Year ad happy writing, everyone!!

Computer Creates Conundrum

I am so frustrated because my computer is almost dead after a Windows update during which my computer froze.  It has been nothing but trouble since then.  I finally realized there was no fix unless I reformat the hard drive and re-install the operating system – which I do not know how to do.

I won’t go into the gory details. Suffice it to say that my computer is now limping along. Trouble is, I have spent so much time trying to fix the darned thing that I haven’t written a single word in over a week! UGH!!! Thank goodness I backed up all my files! I decided to switch to a Mac, so now I have to navigate switching from Windows. Still less trouble than trying to refurbish my current computer.

This has created a conundrum, though, because now that I have ordered a new laptop, I am wondering how to proceed with my writing. Do I continue to write on my computer (in Word, cuz Scrivener won’t open anymore), or do I wait for the new one to arrive? Might it be prudent to write on paper, then transcribe when I get the new one up and running?  Writer’s cramp, here I come! I think I remember someone else who had this issue a while back – saw a post on Twitter.  In any case, I will be writing again tomorrow morning. For now, it’s Giants time! LOL!!

-AH

Changes Afoot

You may see double entries of posts on my blog. I have transferred my other domain name (http://andreahunter313.com) to this site and when I imported all the posts, the duplicates I’ve been doing for the past year were included. No worries. Both domains now work to get to my posts! And I only have to put them up once! I will miss the cool theme I had with my self-hosted site but this will be much easier for me to handle. I appreciate your continued support!!

Mahalo nui loa (Thank you very much)!
AH313