Bardic Circle

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
Calling all Bees of the Bardic persuasion: writers of prose, poetry, song and other forms of storytelling: here is a place to check in with your fellow Bardic Bees. Introduce yourself and let us know what you've got going on!

Do you NaNo? Or Camp NaNo? Want to buddy up with fellow Bees on the Wrimo website or put together a DAREBEE cabin for Camp?

Do you have published works out there? An author/artist page on Amazon, Goodreads, or elsewhere? Let us know where we can find your stuff!
(It's not appropriate or permitted to use the DAREBEE forums for spam. But we have a lot of writer-bees and reader-bees here, and if you're part of our community, we'd love to cheer you on!)

What struggles are you facing as a writer?
What successes are you enjoying?
What resources (software, web-sites, etc.) do you find useful?
Sound off here!
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
I write primarily science fiction and fantasy and have a few shorter works published thus far--two novelettes and two zombie-apocalypse-themed choose your own workout adventures--available on Amazon. I also have some older stuff--poetry, children's stories, and scripts--available for free on my personal website.

I've had a lot on my plate and on my mind in recent years and fell away from my writing for a bit, but I'm getting back into it now.
I've been active on both NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo in the past (as well as Script Frenzy, back in the day). I'm not sure yet whether I'll do it this November or not. (NaNoWriMo has been a mixed bag for me: I've gotten some excellent material out of it some years, but written 50K words of junk others. I'm committed now to not doing it unless I'm in a good place to be writing first-draft material for the month of November.)

I have a long list (too long of a list, truth be told) of WIPs in various stages at the moment. But I'm in an exploratory phase at the moment--committed to writing something every day to get back into the habit and polish up my writing chops, but really letting my muse wander where it will for now. I want to spend some time in October getting my personal website fixed up into a proper author website. (It currently doesn't even list the works I have available for sale!) And I need to do a lot of story planning work before diving into writing any project I would consider tackling for NaNo. So that feels like a long shot for this November at the moment. But I haven't decided for certain one way or the other yet. (I'm also currently not writing anything close to 1667 words per day. But I am hoping to improve on this before November.)

Here are my writerly homes on the Web:

Personal Website: http://rainbowdragon.ca
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/rainbowdragon
NaNoWriMo Profile: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/laura-rainbow-dragon
 

Nevetharine

Well-known member
Commando from Prometheus Cloud Galaxy
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 184
I'm not sure where to actually publish my work.

I'm publishing on Wattpad as I go along. I've tried NanoWremo long ago but can't even remember my user (or how it worked)

Maybe I can look into that site again, of course, I prefer to finish writing the whole novel before publishing, whether that's chapter after chapter or not. I'm editing now.

I've also opened a thread in the Playground for specifically posting my current novel (The Leap), for fellow Bees to read and give feedback on. I was kind of hoping to turn it into a discussion forum for the book, since I'm not getting that kind of feedback on Wattpad. Because I have no one following me, LOL! Guys, I'm bad at social media. I really am. Being a hermit is NOT easy sometimes. Darebee is the only place I have something like a real following.

Not too worried about payment for the novel which is why I'm posting it here for free, I actually just want to tell the story and have someone read it!

Also writer of scifi/fantasy, though probably much less experienced. :)
 

Sólveig

Well-known member
Pirate from Cabudare - Venezuela
Pronouns: She/Her
Posts: 250
"Ars longa, vita brevis"
Like Fernando Pessoa, I'm someone who has a lot of heteronyms; neither of them have been published as of yet. I write fiction of all kinds. Started out with cyberpunk, and then branched out to urban fantasy, neon-noir (the type seen in movies like Thief and Drive), surreal detective fiction (Twin Peaks-like), and high fantasy. I'm also a DM at a weekly group of D&D. As a writer, I was heavily influenced by films, videogames and the lore of TTRPGs (mainly Shadowrun and Vampire: The Masquerade), so a lot of my stuff tends to be focused in worldbuilding and character development.

I do NaNo. I've participated in NaNo four times, completed it three. Sadly, one of my novels done in NaNo has been lost, so I need to start it over again.

The main struggle that I face daily is self-doubt and perfectionism. It's hard to shut down my inner critic, and it's what gives me a constant writer's block. The only way I learned past it is to actually take it out as a D&D game that I'm improvising rather than serious writing. So far, it works, even though it slows down my writing. In order to keep myself from writing, I also do flash fiction from time to time. In my log, there's something called Nifty 350, Furious 500 and Nightcap 200. These are methods recommended by James Scott Bell on one of his books (I don't recall which one at the moment), that I prefer to do them any time of the day (except Nightcap 200, which I always attempt to go for before bed) rather than the moments he asks. Nifty 350 is pretty much writing 350 words after waking up. It can be either the project you're working on, or something else. Furious 500 is something that should be done on your current project. It doesn't matter if it's something that's going to be scrapped later or anything; the main purpose is to shut down the noise and get to focus on the task at hand. It doesn't matter if it works or it doesn't work, because the task is to write 500 words. NIghtcap 200, as the name says, it's writing 200 words before bed. This is how I get most of my flash fiction done.

For writing, I really like to use Obsidian. I'm a fan of the Markdown language, and Obsidian is probably the best word processor for it. Not only it doesn't have any of the distractions other software have (like LibreOffice Writer or Microsoft Word), it also keeps everything organized, and I can open multiple documents. For a worldbuilder like me, I do love it because I can cross-reference my entire lore, and be able to recall a piece of canon in a couple of clicks. Manuskript is my alternative. It's less powerful, has more distractions, but also works with Markdown, and the full screen mode is customizeable, even with a locking system that won't let you minimize or get out of full screen unless a certain amount of time has passed, or you've written X amount of words.
 

Sif_Shepard

Well-known member
Fighter from the Normandy SR-2
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 395
"ad astra per aspera"
I've been writing a novel since late 2015; I took the last two years off during the pandemic and my ed recovery, and I started writing again this summer. I write YA/NA urban fantasy and this is my first novel of what I'm hoping will be a trilogy.

I don't participate in NaNoWriMo or any other writing challenges as I'm kind of a slow writer, I only work on one thing at a time, and I find those events to be too much pressure for my writing style. My biggest struggle is consistently finding the desire to sit and write at this point, to slow down my brain enough to focus on my story. I have a great love of editing and I get impatient with writing some days. My new strategy, and I even used Darebee's counting victories challenge to help me with this, is to write at least just one sentence a day during the week. It doesn't sound like much but it's actually helped me make much faster progress than usual. The days I don't want to write I don't have to do much, but then when I get inspired I write a lot more. This way it keeps the story fresh in my mind. I've tried a lot of different approaches over the years and this is my favorite.

The success I'm enjoying is that I feel well enough once again to dedicate myself to writing, and I'm a lot closer to the end of the book than I thought when I started my break. When I came back, one of the first things I did was write out a detailed outline for the remaining chapters I have left until the climatic scene I have in my head for the ending, and it's not as many chapters as I was imagining. It fired me up a lot to finish this. Also at the start of my break I was conflicted about how I wanted to end this book, and I had two very different paths I was considering. That time off let me ruminate over both endings and decide what direction I want this series to go.

I am also inspired by video games, as well as other urban fantasy/sci-fi books and shows, and character development and world building are my favorite parts of writing. Action and combat scenes are a lot of fun to write.

I've been using LibreOffice and it works for me just fine. I have an old notebook I kept a lot of my notes in but I eventually switched to a journal app on my pc and I have very organized notes now lol!


Thanks for starting this thread, it's really interesting to see that there are other writers here. Normally I'm pretty reclusive and I don't share a lot about my book but I'm trying to be better about that now, and working on that challenge helped because I talked about it a lot in my old thread. I am also one who is bad at social media and I don't really engage in much except for here.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
I use Scrivener for planning, drafting, and editing, then import my content into Jutoh to create e-books. Jutoh has features for creating the content entirely within the one app, but I was already familiar and happy with Scrivener long before I tried Jutoh, and the process of transferring content across isn't too onerous, so I've stuck with using the two programs, at least for now.

For anyone who is interested in checking out new writing software, there are a bunch of different options (some online platforms and some downloadable software) that you can get a discount on if you participate in NaNoWriMo. Often there is a one discount for all participants, with a larger discount for NaNo winners. There are also some things which you can try for free for the month of November. See here: https://nanowrimo.org/offers for details.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
Like Fernando Pessoa, I'm someone who has a lot of heteronyms;

I have only published under the one name thus far. I've thought about using different names. Trad publishers probably wouldn't like the name Rainbow Dragon for a writer of sci-fi. But publishing under multiple names means needing to build multiple followings, and I'm still trying to build my first following! My sci-fi and fantasy stories aren't all that different from one another in terms of my writing style, and the themes I explore. Plus, I don't think readers care about the author's name so much as publishers do.

Reader's care that it's a name they know. But they're not going to not buy a sci-fi book because the book's author has a fantasy-sounding name. Also: I think readers these days are more savvy than publishers give them credit for. If there's an author you love who writes both sci-fi and fantasy, but you only like to read sci-fi, you're not going to pick up that author's fantasy books and then slam them in reviews because they're not sci-fi. (A few people might. But most won't. And most readers I think can see through a bad review that is just daft.) There's a lot of fear out there of bad reviews and one-star ratings. And the truth is: they can hurt your sales. But there's no way to entirely avoid them. My plan is to do my best work and hope for the best.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
I'm not sure where to actually publish my work.

I'm publishing on Wattpad as I go along. I've tried NanoWremo long ago but can't even remember my user (or how it worked)

I haven't published fiction anywhere other than through Amazon for pay and on my own site for free. I know there are a bunch of sites out there, but I'm not familiar with any of them. Goodreads is a good place to connect up with readers. Most of the people there offering feedback are looking to post public reviews in exchange for free copies of books they'd otherwise need to pay for. But I have not explored that site too thoroughly, so there may well be other options out there.

NaNo isn't a place to publish fiction. It's a challenge to get you writing it (and writing it fairly quickly--although the "camp" events give you the option to shoot for a smaller wordcount or even a non-wordcount goal such as hours of editing). You'll find people in the forums there talking about where they like to publish their work, so might get some good recommendations that way.

Critique groups are another option for getting feedback on your work too, but it's not always easy to find a group that's a good fit. I tried an online group once hosted by a big-name author. She did not participate in the crit groups herself, just facilitated them through providing private forums on her website. I joined the group there that was the most active with experienced writers. But immediately after I joined, one of the writers I'd been hoping to exchange crits with switched to another group, another stopped participating in the group, and the third was the group leader who had an obligation to critique anyone who's submissions weren't getting critiqued by others. Since people in the group immediately identified me as a person who gave helpful, detailed critiques, newer writers were quick to jump on critiquing my stuff in the hope that I would reciprocate. So the group leader didn't look at my stuff unless she had time to do extra, which she rarely did. I ended up investing way more into the group than I got out of it, typically giving eight or more hours of my time to write a critique of a 2000 word excerpt and receiving in exchange feedback that said things like: "I liked your story. I didn't find any spelling or grammatical errors." (Um.... Of course not! Because I took the time to proofread my work before posting it--something several of the participants in the group did not do.) So I dropped out, and have not participated in any critique groups since. I know people who love them though--but it really needs to be a group of people writing at a similar level, and willing and able to offer critique at a similar level too.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
In my log, there's something called Nifty 350, Furious 500 and Nightcap 200. These are methods recommended by James Scott Bell on one of his books (I don't recall which one at the moment), that I prefer to do them any time of the day (except Nightcap 200, which I always attempt to go for before bed) rather than the moments he asks. Nifty 350 is pretty much writing 350 words after waking up. It can be either the project you're working on, or something else. Furious 500 is something that should be done on your current project. It doesn't matter if it's something that's going to be scrapped later or anything; the main purpose is to shut down the noise and get to focus on the task at hand. It doesn't matter if it works or it doesn't work, because the task is to write 500 words. NIghtcap 200, as the name says, it's writing 200 words before bed. This is how I get most of my flash fiction done.

I like this!

I like to have a solid block of time--2 hours or more--in which I can sit and write without interruptions. My life rarely affords me this. So I need to learn to be more productive with smaller intervals of time.

Currently my goal is to work on my writing in some fashion (could be drafting, planning, editing, formatting, marketing, etc.) for a minimum of 10 hours per week, and to write some new words every day. My everyday commitment is only for a minimum of 10 minutes a day--because that is something I can do every day. But I keep waiting until the end of the day to do it. It's not my most mentally alert time, but it's when I'm least likely to be interrupted. I need to work on finding other times throughout the day when I can write uninterrupted--even if its only for a few minutes at a time.

I also like the Pomodoro Technique (work for 25 minutes, followed by a 5 minute break). I find those 5 minute breaks are great for getting up and moving my body for a bit, so I don't get too stiff from long hours of sitting. They're also useful for grabbing a drink, using the toilet, trimming that ripped cuticle that I've been picking at whenever my words have stalled out, etc. Having a dedicated time in which to do these things means I don't need to break off my writing during the 25 minute writing periods to do them. And I find that the five minute breaks are short enough, I can break off for them mid-sentence and then jump immediately back into my writing when I sit back down again. The Pomodoro Technique works best when I can run 4 or more Poms back-to-back, however, and this isn't often possible for me, as noted above.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
My new strategy, and I even used Darebee's counting victories challenge to help me with this, is to write at least just one sentence a day during the week. It doesn't sound like much but it's actually helped me make much faster progress than usual. The days I don't want to write I don't have to do much, but then when I get inspired I write a lot more. This way it keeps the story fresh in my mind. I've tried a lot of different approaches over the years and this is my favorite.

This is similar to my approach with my new "write every day" commitment. I set the bar low (at 10 minuts/day) so it's achievable, with the knowledge that the option is always there to do more than the minimum. I too am finding it helpful.

The success I'm enjoying is that I feel well enough once again to dedicate myself to writing, and I'm a lot closer to the end of the book than I thought when I started my break.

:welcome:
 

LizardFriend95

Well-known member
Warrior from The Yellow Submarine in the Merry Old Land of Oz
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 127
"I’m so happy, cause today I found my friends. They’re in my head."
I unofficially participated in NaNoWriMo in 2019, during which I wrote 25,291 words before getting major writer’s block. At the time, I felt like working on anything else would be “cheating.” I’m still recovering from it…

I currently have about 44 separate ideas floating around in my head that I’m working on sorting through and building on. I’m using hiveword.com for that. I used to use wordcradle for writing before the website went down, though I think they’re working on getting it back. Recently, I’ve used writingstreak.io and callofwriting.com to get myself in the habit of just writing. I also use pages and the notepad on my phone. Basically, I’m a scattered mess.

In high school, my “system” was purely on paper. I turned a binder into what I dubbed “The Book Book,” and I had three separate “rooms” dedicated for my writing. The Incubator, where all my loose ideas lived; The Hatching Room (it’s redundant, I know :D), where I would work on writing them; and The Preening Room, where I’d edit. I called my stories peacocks. I’m still that weird.

I haven’t come anywhere near to publishing anything. One of my resolutions this year was going to be participating in reedsy’s short story competition just to work on being more comfortable with it. But now it costs to enter. I think I can still post on there for free, but it kind of made me not want to. I think my new thing will be posting short stories to wattpad. Only short stories, though. I’d feel more comfortable getting critiqued on projects that aren’t as “close” to me at the moment. It’s probably counterproductive, but that’s where I am at the moment.

I’ve always known I wanted a pen name because I’m so introverted I don’t like my name attached to anything even when it’s just family and friends. It took me a while to find one I loved because I could kind of connect to my family in a way that honors them without it being too obvious. I remember coming across the whole “choose a name that fits your genre” thing, which made me roll my eyes because as an avid reader, I never look at the name that way. If I’m being totally honest (and this is probably horrible to admit as an aspiring author), I barely look at the name at all, unless I really liked the book and want to continue reading books from that author.

As for goals, right now my word count goal is 50 words. For novel planning, I have a one pomodoro goal each for character development and world building. Most of my writing is going to exist in one world, with the exception of one story, so I just have two worlds to build at the moment. And a buttload of characters to develop. But I haven’t exactly been good at showing up for those goals. I’m still working on it. I think I want to get into the habit of writing after yoga. I definitely want to get back into the habit of listening to music while I write. I discovered in high school that it does help me get into a creative mindset.
 

LizardFriend95

Well-known member
Warrior from The Yellow Submarine in the Merry Old Land of Oz
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 127
"I’m so happy, cause today I found my friends. They’re in my head."
I've also opened a thread in the Playground for specifically posting my current novel (The Leap), for fellow Bees to read and give feedback on. I was kind of hoping to turn it into a discussion forum for the book, since I'm not getting that kind of feedback on Wattpad. Because I have no one following me, LOL! Guys, I'm bad at social media. I really am. Being a hermit is NOT easy sometimes. Darebee is the only place I have something like a real following.
I’m following that thread but haven’t read it yet. I will, though!

If you don’t mind sharing, what’s your wattpad?
 

Sif_Shepard

Well-known member
Fighter from the Normandy SR-2
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 395
"ad astra per aspera"
@LizardFriend95 I am very introverted too and I'm so very torn about using a pen name that I think I'll be plagued with indecision until the very second I'd have to decide :worried: :LOL:

I really wish I could write with music on because I think it would make my writing time more chill, but I struggle too much with focusing that I think it would be too big a distraction. I generally keep the house very quiet when I'm writing. Maybe I'll give it another try though. I do want to make it work for me.
 

Sólveig

Well-known member
Pirate from Cabudare - Venezuela
Pronouns: She/Her
Posts: 250
"Ars longa, vita brevis"
I like this!

I like to have a solid block of time--2 hours or more--in which I can sit and write without interruptions. My life rarely affords me this. So I need to learn to be more productive with smaller intervals of time.

Currently my goal is to work on my writing in some fashion (could be drafting, planning, editing, formatting, marketing, etc.) for a minimum of 10 hours per week, and to write some new words every day. My everyday commitment is only for a minimum of 10 minutes a day--because that is something I can do every day. But I keep waiting until the end of the day to do it. It's not my most mentally alert time, but it's when I'm least likely to be interrupted. I need to work on finding other times throughout the day when I can write uninterrupted--even if its only for a few minutes at a time.

I also like the Pomodoro Technique (work for 25 minutes, followed by a 5 minute break). I find those 5 minute breaks are great for getting up and moving my body for a bit, so I don't get too stiff from long hours of sitting. They're also useful for grabbing a drink, using the toilet, trimming that ripped cuticle that I've been picking at whenever my words have stalled out, etc. Having a dedicated time in which to do these things means I don't need to break off my writing during the 25 minute writing periods to do them. And I find that the five minute breaks are short enough, I can break off for them mid-sentence and then jump immediately back into my writing when I sit back down again. The Pomodoro Technique works best when I can run 4 or more Poms back-to-back, however, and this isn't often possible for me, as noted above.

Due to the random nature of Venezuela being... well, Venezuela, I can't say that I can have X mount of hours in which I can work without any interruptions, so I work on this prison style, which pretty much means whenever I can.

The reason I stay up late nowdays is pretty much due to this, hence I like using wordcounts as goals rather than time. I already experimented with this, and I know I can pull off 2K to 3K in 60 minutes, if I shut down my inner critic, which oddly enough it happens when I'm on a time constrain. That's why Animedoro (40 minutes of work - 20 minutes of break) and Reverse Animedoro (40 minutes of break - 20 minutes of work) are my lifesavers rather than Pomodoro. 25 minutes is not enough time for me, so I end up feeling interrupted when the immersion begins.

That, and rolling the dice also helps. I swear, it sounds like I'm doing this, but I'm not :bigsmile:

 

Nevetharine

Well-known member
Commando from Prometheus Cloud Galaxy
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 184
@LizardFriend95 I am very introverted too and I'm so very torn about using a pen name that I think I'll be plagued with indecision until the very second I'd have to decide :worried: :LOL:

I really wish I could write with music on because I think it would make my writing time more chill, but I struggle too much with focusing that I think it would be too big a distraction. I generally keep the house very quiet when I'm writing. Maybe I'll give it another try though. I do want to make it work for me.
Music is my muse! But it has to be the right kind of music... If I'm writing a scifi, it needs to be epic space opera music. Fantasy? It needs to be something like LOTR battlemusic. And each scene in the novel is inspired by a different piece. It all makes the "movie" of the book come together in my head, especially when I pair it with physical movement. (Darebee is at least 50% responsible for all my creative writing ideas)
 

TopNotch

Well-known member
Ranger from Australia
Posts: 370
"Motivation is temporary. Discipline is forever."
Okay, I'll take the plunge and 'fess up. Only published works have been articles in academic journals because I'm like never publishing my stories!
I once wrote a fantasy story, but some years later I looked at it and decided to make my male protagonist female, just for fun. I haven't really got anywhere with that since I made that decision...
I wrote a spy fiction while I was writing my thesis, and my supervisor was the only one who read each chapter as it came hot off the press, and he liked it, but then, at the time, we drank a lot of beer together so...
Right now, a sort of sci-fi but not the spacey type - more the type that uses real science, psychic abilities, gene technology, nanobots - stuff like that, setting pretty much present-day; location, pretty much any big city.
I write what I like to read (only not so good!). I'm rubbish at description (an ASD thing), so all I have as far as notes is concerned is pages and pages of dialogue. I know what my characters want to say, even though sometimes they surprise me, like when my antagonist decided that the gene replacement therapy was to treat epilepsy when I had thought depression...
I've been having particular fun with this one. It's a first person narrative and I have not described "me", and that character is never referred to in any way other than by surname. That has been a bit of a challenge because you might say "John said this and I said to him..." but if you're not using pronouns but you don't want it to sound clunky... That's where the fun is.
So far I've written 7 chapters and I've tried to keep each chapter between 4,000 and 5,000 words. I think there are about 5 chapters to go.
I'm a cheapskate. I don't even have Word on this tablet. I downloaded the free Polaris Office. It kinda sucks, but hey, it works well enough for my purposes.
 

Nevetharine

Well-known member
Commando from Prometheus Cloud Galaxy
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 184
Okay, I'll take the plunge and 'fess up. Only published works have been articles in academic journals because I'm like never publishing my stories!
I once wrote a fantasy story, but some years later I looked at it and decided to make my male protagonist female, just for fun. I haven't really got anywhere with that since I made that decision...
I wrote a spy fiction while I was writing my thesis, and my supervisor was the only one who read each chapter as it came hot off the press, and he liked it, but then, at the time, we drank a lot of beer together so...
Right now, a sort of sci-fi but not the spacey type - more the type that uses real science, psychic abilities, gene technology, nanobots - stuff like that, setting pretty much present-day; location, pretty much any big city.
I write what I like to read (only not so good!). I'm rubbish at description (an ASD thing), so all I have as far as notes is concerned is pages and pages of dialogue. I know what my characters want to say, even though sometimes they surprise me, like when my antagonist decided that the gene replacement therapy was to treat epilepsy when I had thought depression...
I've been having particular fun with this one. It's a first person narrative and I have not described "me", and that character is never referred to in any way other than by surname. That has been a bit of a challenge because you might say "John said this and I said to him..." but if you're not using pronouns but you don't want it to sound clunky... That's where the fun is.
So far I've written 7 chapters and I've tried to keep each chapter between 4,000 and 5,000 words. I think there are about 5 chapters to go.
I'm a cheapskate. I don't even have Word on this tablet. I downloaded the free Polaris Office. It kinda sucks, but hey, it works well enough for my purposes.
Ah, sounds like your characters also have minds of their own. One of the main protagonists in my novel, Max, was the most outspoken of all the characters (in the novel as well as in my head). He practically gave me his life story on a silver plate. Write this, not that, he would say. I had my ideas too, but he had better ones.

I had trouble fishing out the stories of the others, in the third person narrative.

When I switched to the first person, I really got to dissect their brains.

Sigh. I sound like a schizophrenic.

Edit to add - oh, and as a woman I also like writing through the eyes of a man? Lol. I guess I don't want the women to sound too much like me.
 

LizardFriend95

Well-known member
Warrior from The Yellow Submarine in the Merry Old Land of Oz
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 127
"I’m so happy, cause today I found my friends. They’re in my head."
@Sif_Shepard I think it’s an anxiety thing for me. When I was in my senior year, I kind of checked out because of my anxiety. I ended up listening to music while writing an essay that I did really well on, and ever since I like to write with music. It soothes me. I also noticed it seemed to help me with the one watercolor painting I did, so I guess it works for me in other creative pursuits. But I’m also someone who just hates silence.

@Nevetharine Sometimes I have playlists for different stories, but they usually have a lot of songs in common. I usually go by lyrics and/or mood.
 

Sif_Shepard

Well-known member
Fighter from the Normandy SR-2
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 395
"ad astra per aspera"
@LizardFriend95 I feel you, I struggle with anxiety too; I did online schooling for high school because of it and other issues I had. It's less of a problem for me now that I've gone through ed recovery thankfully. My brain is a little hyperactive too so music ends up just distracting me, but my preferred music is mostly pretty high energy, though I do quite love lofi and chill music too, I just like the more energetic stuff for my mood.

My current writing style is usually pretty short bursts, but I am interested in trying something different on the days where I get more into it. I know lots of writers use music and the idea has always intrigued me for sure.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
I don't think I even encountered the concept of listening to music while writing until I started doing NaNo. There people would talk about their writing "soundtrack" for a particular project, and I was confused. Were they creating book trailers for books they hadn't even written yet? It took me a minute to grok that they were actually talking about listening to the music while they were writing. I know now that a lot of writers find it helpful. But the concept is still incomprehensible to me. I love music! But music drives me to dance and sing--not activities that are conducive to gluing one's buttocks to a chair and one's hands to a keyboard. (I have an adjustable-height table. I can type while standing up. But there'd be tonnes of typos due to all of the dancing, and the only words I'd get out would be the song lyrics.) I'd be happiest writing in a sound-proof room where I could hear nothing but keys clicking on my keyboard and my own breath. Even those background noise generators drive me to distraction.
 

TopNotch

Well-known member
Ranger from Australia
Posts: 370
"Motivation is temporary. Discipline is forever."
While I was writing my thesis (yeah, pretty much the whole five years!) I listened to Gregorian chants. I have since learnt that listening to chanting, particularly Gregorian chants, drops our brains into alpha waves which is when we are at our most creative. But when I'm writing fiction, oftentimes music just bugs me and I have to have silence. Or rather, I'd prefer just to hear the blood rushing past the tympanic membrane because we never really get silence, hey?
 

Nevetharine

Well-known member
Commando from Prometheus Cloud Galaxy
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 184
If The Leap had a soundtrack, it would be this one. It started out as a dream, but this kind of music helped me to actually write it. At least, the very active scenes.


And I like listening to Carbon Based Lifeforms, this song in particular helped me to describe more mundane scenes in the novel, especially where the characters danced in a club.


Edit to add - and they are also part of my workout playlist
 

Sólveig

Well-known member
Pirate from Cabudare - Venezuela
Pronouns: She/Her
Posts: 250
"Ars longa, vita brevis"
@Laura Rainbow Dragon @TopNotch Wow, I'm impressed to find someone who's the exact opposite of mine. Silence is a good thing for many, but I can't stand it. I find it much more distracting than loud noises. I always need something in the background. Could be anything, from cars on the streets, murmurs around the house, or ambient music. If I don't have Internet, I put on the radio, and I'll only switch stations if someone starts talking, because then I get engrossed in the show.

@Nevetharine Carbon Based Lifeforms is amazing for writing all kinds of sci-fi; their stuff can be pretty surreal. I found about them through God is an Astronaut rather than proper ambient music.

 

Redline

DAREBEE Team
DAREBEE Team
Ninja from Marseille, France
Posts: 35
"What is that button for?"
I'm in team "no music and please keep your voices down, everyone" when I write as well. Just like Laura, I see music as something to move, work out (or headbang) to. :hoppy:

My "field of expertise" is comic books. I wrote the script of a two-part sci-fi graphic novel called Rock & Stone a few years ago. I am also translating the Elfquest series by Wendy and Richard Pini into French for an independent publisher called Snorgleux Editions. It's a huge body of work with issues published over 40 years, and I believe we're a little past halfway through.

I have other personal projects on the back burner and still try to write every day. Right now, I'm working on a short story, more to hone and expand my skills than anything else. And I'd like to finalize the script of another sci-fi comic - I'll try to get back to work on it as soon as my short story is finished. :wait:
 

Redline

DAREBEE Team
DAREBEE Team
Ninja from Marseille, France
Posts: 35
"What is that button for?"
I met him myself. At one point in my life, when I had already started working on scripts but didn't know any comic book artists, I was lucky enough to move next to a workshop where several professional illustrators gathered to work together. They each had their own projects but shared the rent and gave one another advice when needed. They also offered evening classes for aspiring artists and writers. That's how I got to meet people working in the medium.

But pitching a script to a publisher and ask for someone to be teamed up with might have worked. The script would have had to be of stellar quality to get noticed on its own, though.
 

LizardFriend95

Well-known member
Warrior from The Yellow Submarine in the Merry Old Land of Oz
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 127
"I’m so happy, cause today I found my friends. They’re in my head."
I do usually “dance” in my seat, but I don’t typically sing along. I’m pretty good at keeping my different music habits separate. I think it’s also because my mind runs a mile a minute and I’m usually so easily distracted that having something that relaxes me and keeps part of my mind busy helps me focus. But other forms of media tend to do the opposite.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
I have done NaNoWriMo a few times, maybe five. I keep meaning to write a query letter, but I never get around to it.
Are you doing NaNo this year?

I am still on the fence about it. I want to do it. I want to get my daily wordcount back up to NaNo levels. But I've committed to not doing it anymore unless I've got a project lined up that's ready to be drafted in November. So far, I do not. But can I get there in a month? I'll be thinking on this question some more this weekend.
 

Sólveig

Well-known member
Pirate from Cabudare - Venezuela
Pronouns: She/Her
Posts: 250
"Ars longa, vita brevis"
@Laura Rainbow Dragon Ooh, I'll listen to that later. The writing prompt is an idea that's going around my table, though. It's a one-shot someone in my group wants to GM.

It was an interesting listen. Some of the points were spot on, like, after DMing, I felt that I understood worldbuilding in a far much deeper way than before. I have to put an asterisk on what they said about not bringing what happened on the table to the text, though. Granted, TTRPGs are a collective storytelling experience, but playing solo is something that has happened long before TTRPGs came to existence (think about 'choose your own adventure' books). I tried writing a story using the Solo Adventurer's Toolbox, and while it is a bit slower than actually writing, it does make the session go fluently without hiccups. After all, if we want to make things good for the market, we can do so in the editing process. It's your own story anyway, so you can retcon as much as you want, and delete as much as you want. Frankly, for perfectionists like myself, viewing writing as a game make us more productive since our inner critic is silenced. Like I said, if we want to make things good, we can do so in the editing stage. Jodi Picoult's advice resonates with this: "You can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page."

E: That brings me to something important, now that I mentioned those books. As a GM, the most powerful advice I've gotten is that you don't write what happens if the players get involved, but what will happen if they don't get involved. This approach actually helped me to not railroad my own characters into something that I want, and it does help me to alternate between Player and GM when I'm playing and writing simultaneously.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
October 1-8 NaNo Prep Progress:

I worked through Writing Excuses episodes 10.1-10.4 as well as 4.11, 4.14, 4.18, 6.21, 15.10, 11.10, 11.12, and 11.13.
Episodes 7.27 and 17.8 provided some good food for thought as well.

I explored a number of different ideas at the beginning of the week, then began to play around with synthesizing several of these ideas together. By the end of the week this work had pointed toward doing a project in a universe I have explored for NaNo once before. I apparently wrote over 68K words on that project at the time, but I know I didn't even get beyond the first act of the story. (At least not writing linearly. As well as the beginning of the story, I did write several "this bit would be cool to include somewhere" scenes.) If I try that story again next month, I will most likely go with a complete re-write. I may also go with writing a different story set in the same universe. (The backstory I gave to the main character in my original story is plenty big enough and interesting enough to carry a novel on its own.)

Hmm... Now I am thinking the best option may be to combine both my original story idea and the backstory into the same novel, with the backstory revealed in a series of flashbacks. That would make for a long book, and a complicated one to plot, but I'm starting to see how that might result in the most satisfying read. I don't need to make a decision on this just yet, however. I've got enough to proceed with the next phase of my planning work: Research, Worldbuilding, and Character Development.
 

TopNotch

Well-known member
Ranger from Australia
Posts: 370
"Motivation is temporary. Discipline is forever."
When does a "story" become a "novel"? I've long just written "stories". I think as a child, when I decided that I would become a famous novelist and write my bestsellers on my own private island that I bought with the income from my phenomenal book sales (!), a "story" was just something I wrote. Anyone could write a story. But a "novel"! That was something special. Perhaps when your "story" got published, it magically then morphed into a "novel". It's just something that somehow got into my head in childhood, and I've always considered everything I write, simply as a story. But I don't write short stories.
So, do you write a novel or do you write a story? When does a story change to a novel?
This is just something that's been bugging me for a while. Like to hear your opinions.
 

Nevetharine

Well-known member
Commando from Prometheus Cloud Galaxy
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 184
When does a "story" become a "novel"? I've long just written "stories". I think as a child, when I decided that I would become a famous novelist and write my bestsellers on my own private island that I bought with the income from my phenomenal book sales (!), a "story" was just something I wrote. Anyone could write a story. But a "novel"! That was something special. Perhaps when your "story" got published, it magically then morphed into a "novel". It's just something that somehow got into my head in childhood, and I've always considered everything I write, simply as a story. But I don't write short stories.
So, do you write a novel or do you write a story? When does a story change to a novel?
This is just something that's been bugging me for a while. Like to hear your opinions.
Well, word wise... When a story exceeds 50,000 words (or is it 80?) then it's a novel.

You become an author once you are published (self- or traditional) ... Otherwise if you are unpublished, you are a writer.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
In the industry, "short story", "novelette", "novella", and "novel" are all defined by word count. Different sources have slightly different benchmarks for delineating the different categories with awards and publishers setting the only standards that matter. In my genres (science fiction & fantasy, and all the sub-genres therein) the rules set by the Hugo Awards and the Nebula Awards are generally taken to be the standard:

Short Story: < 7500 words
Novelette: 7500 - 17,499
Novella: 17,500 - 39,999
Novel: 40,000+

Individual publishers often have different standards for story lengths they're looking to publish, however. Many short story markets will only accept works up to 5000 words. Some have wordcount limits even lower than that. Also: it's not unusual for the wordcount limit to vary, depending on who you are. An anthology that is only accepting works of 3000 words or less from new writers might well publish a significantly longer work from an established writer with a big name that will help to sell the book. Then there's the Writers of the Future contest and anthology, which publishes only new writers. It accepts works up to 17,000 words.

In the publishing world, the novella category is pretty niche, and novelette somewhat is too. There are a lot more markets out there for short stories and novels. (At least in the genres I'm familiar with.) Forty K words is super short for a novel too. There are some category romance lines that publish works that short. Otherwise, 40K is pretty much a mid-grade novel. There are exceptions, of course. But a mainstream publisher of science fiction and fantasy titles is typically looking for works in the 80-100K range (although here again, a big name writer can get away with MUCH longer works). There is also the "flash fiction" category which typically refers to works < 1000 words -- although here again the limit varies depending on the publisher. Markets that accept only up to 500 words are not uncommon. Some have limits even lower.
 
Last edited:

PetiteSheWolf

Well-known member
Alchemist from France
Posts: 158
Isn't it Stephen King who, at the beginning of different seasons (the anthology with Walk by me/ the body, Apt Pupil, the breathing method, and the Shawshank redemption) speaks of the "novella hell", for the difficulty of what to do with stories too long for short story but not quite wordy enough for novels ?
I think NanoWrimo gives a 50,000 words limit because it can either lead to a novella or a novel, depending on the pruning and growing post-November, but it gives you a strong base.
Ah, I miss Nanowrimo...
 

Nevetharine

Well-known member
Commando from Prometheus Cloud Galaxy
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 184
Isn't it Stephen King who, at the beginning of different seasons (the anthology with Walk by me/ the body, Apt Pupil, the breathing method, and the Shawshank redemption) speaks of the "novella hell", for the difficulty of what to do with stories too long for short story but not quite wordy enough for novels ?
I think NanoWrimo gives a 50,000 words limit because it can either lead to a novella or a novel, depending on the pruning and growing post-November, but it gives you a strong base.
Ah, I miss Nanowrimo...
Nice kitty cat:excited::kittens:
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
Isn't it Stephen King who, at the beginning of different seasons (the anthology with Walk by me/ the body, Apt Pupil, the breathing method, and the Shawshank redemption) speaks of the "novella hell", for the difficulty of what to do with stories too long for short story but not quite wordy enough for novels ?

Heh! I haven't read that collection. But the fact that King can get a collection (proper term for Different Seasons, which collects together multiple stories by one author, as opposed to an anthology which generally refers to a book containing stories by multiple different writers) published is evidence that he is an author who doesn't need to worry about his wordcount. (As if there was ever any doubt with King!)
Ah, I miss Nanowrimo...

Join us!
 

Sólveig

Well-known member
Pirate from Cabudare - Venezuela
Pronouns: She/Her
Posts: 250
"Ars longa, vita brevis"
There's also a Nanonovel, which is pretty much a beefed up Novelette. Generally they have 20 chapters, each 500 words long, totalling up to 10K words. The reason it's called as such it's because it has the same depth a Novel can have, but it's much shorter in length. It's pretty much what got me into Flash Fiction, ngl.
 

Laura Rainbow Dragon

Well-known member
Bard from Canada
Posts: 222
"Striving to be the change."
Good luck @Sólveig @Haleth @TopNotch !

@TopNotch depending on where you live there may be organized group "write-ins" happening in coffee shops, libraries, or other venues near you. If you are interested in attending any, go here to find the NaNo region closest to you, join it, and see what they have going on. Note: local NaNoWriMo programming is run entirely by volunteers. Some regions are extremely active. In other cases, people sign up to be Municipal Liaisons (volunteer regional leaders) and then offer no programming at all. Also, where programming does exist, it is sometimes very productive, sometimes just social, and sometimes aims to be productive but then individual writers bring their small children to the events and said small children run around making noise and harassing the other participants in the event. In my area, a person signed up to be the ML and held onto the reigns for 5 or 6 years, during which time she did run programming but did not advertise it to anyone other than her private writing group. Every NaNo region has a forum and a calendar on the NaNo website, and MLs have the ability to send group emails to everyone in their region who asks to receive them. But my region's ML was a technophobe who did not use the website and instead made phone calls to her own writing buddies about things she had planned (all of which she planned for the middle of the day, because all of her friends were retired). Eventually that person stepped down, and another person and myself took over as MLs, and we offered write-ins three times a week (in the evenings when most participants were actually available to attend!) in the boardroom of our region's public library. The original ML's chatty senior buddies rarely showed up, but a lot of other people did, and we got a lot of writing done during those sessions. It can be a real mixed bag.

Also: a number of different writing programs are available at significant discounts to NaNoWriMo participants and even deeper discounts to NaNo winners. Additionally, many offer free trials that run through the month of November. Check out the offers here. If you are interested in any that offer deeper discounts to winners, be sure to set up a writing project under your profile for the NaNoWriMo 2022 event and log your wordcount on the website. You will need to have a verified "win" to receive the deep discount. I got my copy of Scrivener for half price through NaNo, and I love it!
 
Top