Writing Can Be Murder

August 29, 2007

Squiggle

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 11:23 am

I once took a personality test that defined me as a squiggle (you know, a curvy line that goes in no particular direction). My secondary personality “trait” was a circle, which basically means I can’t think in a straight line like a triangle, square, rectangle type of person can.  

 My latest moment of squiggledom is evidenced by my legal pad that I started using on Sunday night. (I like to write by hand, which is a whole other post.) I flipped through it this morning and this is what it looks like:

Pages 1 & 2 — Story “M”

Pages 3,4&5 — Story “E”

Pages 6 &7 — Story “G”

Page 8 — Back to story E

Page 9 — Back to story G

Pages 10,11&12 — Story “S”

Pages 13&14 — Back again to Story G

Page 15 — Back to Story S

Pages 17 & 18 — Once again back to Story G

Page 19 — Back again to Story S

 And that’s just the legal pad. It doesn’t show the hopping around I’ve done on my alpha smart and computer.

Do you squiggle too?

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August 28, 2007

Virtually Annoying

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 8:32 am

I post/regularly read a few message boards and I swear that every board has their resident Annoying Person. I’m actually of the opinion that no group is complete without their Annoying Person.

 The Annoying Person is the one who has to chime into a post to tell everyone that they’re wrong. It seems to be the Annoying Person’s mission in life to prove how superior she/he is.

 I once belonged to a screenwriting critique group. We’d sit around in a circle and read someone’s script aloud. Then we’d go around the circle and critique the piece. I would cringe every time that group’s Annoying Person opened his mouth (except when he would critique my stuff, then I just heard “blah blah blah”). The man lived to put people down and while he may have thought he couched his nastiness in an “intelligent critique” I knew better.

The Annoying People out there pretend to be “helpful” but in reality they can be quite discouraging and destructive.

So the next time someone critiques you, corrects you or attempts to “help” you, consider the source!

August 27, 2007

Forests and trees

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 3:30 pm

One day last week I went hiking instead of my usual marathon training walk (yeah, it sounds weird to say “usual marathon training walk”). Anyway, I went hiking at a State Park and while there I finally got the whole “can’t see the forest through the trees” thing.

 The path was so windy and the trees so thick, that I couldn’t see more than a few yards ahead of me, which got me to thinking about a current WIP I’m struggling with — one that I can’t see the story through the details.

I realized I’ve been so focused on getting the details right that I’ve lost sight of the story I want to tell.

I finally reached a clearing in the park and was able to get my bearings, I think I’ve reached a clearing in the writing process too.

 When you’re writing do you concentrate on the trees or the forest? And which are you more focused on as a reader?

August 22, 2007

How many WIPs?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 9:44 am

This morning over breakfast, my DH and I were counting how many WIPs I’ve got going. Want to take a guess?

 10!

 and those are just my fiction WIPs. I’ve also got 2 non-fiction works I’m plugging away at.

 How many WIPs do you juggle at one time?

August 21, 2007

“How to” books

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 9:15 am

I’ve got a bunch of marathon training books and none of them advocate the same exact training program, but most of them regurgitate the same advice: build base mileage.

Basically, in order to reach your goal, you’ve got to walk (or, if you must, run) ALOT.

I’ve got a favorite marathon book. “The NonRunner’s Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On With Your Training” by Dawn Dais. This is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read & I’d recommend  reading it even if you have no interest in completing a marathon.

 I’ve read a bunch of writing books and, like the marathon books, they all give the same advice: study your craft, study the market and develop your voice.

 In order to reach your writing goal, you’ve got to read and write ALOT.

What is your favorite writing book?

August 20, 2007

75 days to go

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 2:36 pm

This post may seem to have nothing to do with writing, but please stick with it.

The NYC Marathon will be held in 75 days. I know to most people, that means zilch, but I’m becoming a bit obsessed with the countdown. You see, in 75 days, I’ll be walking the NYC Marathon. (Not running, I hate running, blech to running — WALKING.)

 In case you don’t know, and why should you unless you’re among the insane few who are “marathoners”, a marathon is 26.2 miles.

Obviously, to walk (or run, or crawl…) that far, some training is required. Structured training. Training that requires you to increase your mileage almost every single week. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes dedication. And like I said, it takes a bit of insanity.

 Last week on my “long” day I walked 10 miles (an increase from 7 miles the week before). This week (today!) I walked 13 miles. Yup, I walked half the marathon distance! (And I practically did a happy dance when I reached my finish line — okay, so it wasn’t a finish line, just two posts that were just beyond my 13 miles, so I pretended that they were a finish line, lol.)

A month ago I had serious doubts (“maybe I should give up this dream” kind of doubts) that I could ever cover 26.2 miles. Today, I believe that I can.

Writing (see I told ya I’d get around to it) is a lot like training. You’ve got to have discipline. You’ve got to stick with it. It helps to be a tad bit crazy about your passion. And you MUST believe.

Where’s your finish line?

August 7, 2007

Deathly Hallows — No spoilers, I promise

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 10:33 am

I don’t usually blog about the books I read, because quite frankly, if I’m disappointed in a book, I don’t feel like it’s my place to slam an author, but JK Rowling has enough money that I don’t really think I’ll be ruining her career.

 I read the latest Harry Potter book and I was…disappointed. (Yes, I know I seem to be in a minority.  So far, I’ve only spoken with people who thought it was great.)

It wasn’t a bad book. It just wasn’t one of her best books imho.

I’d pretty much already guessed who would die. I knew where the story would end. I’d guessed what the “revelation” about a certain character would be. I could care less about the revelations made about another character (beat a dead horse, why don’t you JK?)

And quite frankly I’m fairly pissed that my pet peeve with the books was never addressed.

So after all this time waiting, I’m feeling rather let down. 😦

August 6, 2007

Glitch, glitch

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 5:33 pm

Grrrrr!

 Really, that’s all I have to say. It’s all I’ve been saying for days. Grrrrrrr!!!!!!!

I tried to open a file that  contained one of my novels. The disk is corrupt or something. It took over an hour to open and even then a bunch of pages were lost. I really hate those little boxes that make up code.

 My printer is on the fritz too. I can print one page, but ask it to print two and the cartridge becomes jammed for no apparent reason.

 Grrrrr!

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