A Writing Journey

Posts tagged ‘practice’

Bowling and Writing 2

On Friday, I talked about being a bowler and being a writer. But did you know that writing and bowling have a lot in common?

First, they both take practice.* It took me an entire season (and a different way of throwing the ball) to learn how to make my bowling ball spin. It has taken years to learn how to write well, and I owe a lot of thanks to college for that. I was writing papers all the time and, even though they were non-fiction, they taught me a lot about writing that I have carried over into my fiction writing.

Second, you have to take it slowly. When you are taught to bowl, you are told that you should feel like you are walking in slow motion. We don’t want to rush to the foul line, because then the throw will be all wrong and you probably won’t get any pins. Take it slow, and you could get a strike. It’s the same with writing. If you rush through the manuscript and edit only a couple of times, chances are that you won’t find a publisher willing to take you on. If you sit back and give it time, put in the effort, you will probably find a publisher more quickly.**

Third, you have to do a lot of waiting. In bowling, you’ve got to wait for your ball to come back, the pins be reset, your teammates take their turns. There is a lot of waiting. Writers wait too. We wait between drafts, we wait to hear back from our beta-readers, we wait to hear back from publishers, we wait wait wait. (And hopefully, in all of this waiting in bowling I’ve learned some patience that I can apply to writing!)

Fourth, you can’t give up. When I joined my high school bowling team, I think I had bowled a total of three times before. And I was horrible. It hadn’t been something I really wanted to do (but a boy was involved and I wanted to spend more time with him).  I was really bad at first. But my teammates encouraged me, my coaches taught me, and I got better. When I look back at my early writing (elementary school, middle school), I am slightly horrified. But I had to go through being an underdeveloped writer to become the writer I am now.*** I wouldn’t change a thing.

Do you have any other activities that you see as like writing?

Take care, fellow travelers.

*Lots of things take practice, so maybe this isn’t exciting, but it’s true.

**I’m hoping, at least. Still, you’ll have a better story if you take your time.

***I did it! I called myself a writer without even thinking about it!

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Ibvailyn Culture: Part 1

In my post before my break, I talked about creating cultures in fiction. By no means am I an expert at doing this, and I am still struggling with making the cultures in my World. I have bits and pieces that don’t always fit together, but are important to my characters. So as I continue on my journey of creating these cultures, I will keep you in the loop with the bigger points and probably many smaller ones too.

Religion is, of course, a huge part of culture. One of my first posts was about the Ibvailyn religion, and you can find it here.

One of the important things about religion in any culture is that it shapes behavior, attitudes, and even every day habits. The same must happen in a story with its own pervasive religion. Many Ibvailyns are pacifists because of their deep belief that to harm someone or something else also harms oneself. Along this same line of thinking, many Ibvailyns are vegetarians. Now, this can be a problem because Ibvail lies so far north. Enter the Famine. I mentioned the Famine in my series of Ibvailyn History and it played a pivotal role not only in politics but also in changing the culture. When crops failed and people were starving, many of them turned to eating animals. It was practical – the animals would have died anyway and the people wanted to go on living. Did this change their belief that they were connected to those animals? No. But humans, whether fictive or not, are great at living with contradiction. We all say things that contradict, and believe them with our whole hearts. So while it seems like the Ibvailyn religion should crumble as soon as people start eating meat, it does not. The culture is sustained by practice and belief, though not always both of them together.

Take care, fellow travelers.

A Summary

On Monday, I posted a practice summary. Here is another that I have been working on. It still needs work, but I like it better than the other.

Lacey Wentwether longs for a simple life. She’s found her place in Ruslaht, the Imperial City, and wants no more than to earn her Cartographers Title. When she is offered a place on an historic voyage through the Edges, she grasps at the chance. She knows that during the journey she will earn her title and come back a full-cartographer. But the voyage is more dangerous than she expects. Soon Lacey is fighting for her life against evils both human and magical, and desperately trying to hold on to the hope that she will return home.

What do you think? Would you pick up the book based on this summary?

Take care, fellow travelers!

Synopsis Practice

Hello, everyone! Yesterday I began writing synopses for my story. One thing that I can say for certain is that I am NOT very good at it. See, I have a problem of giving away spoilers when I try to tell people about ANY book, let alone my own. So this is going to take a lot more practice. Without further ado, my first attempt:

All Lacey Wentwether wants is a simple life. She has struggled to find her place as the apprentice to the High Cartographer of the Ibvailyn Empire, and she wants to keep that place. But when her master is summoned to a not-so-secret council, her dreams of a simple life are swept aside. An evil spirit has been released into the magic of the world and the only person who knows anything about the spirit is a mysterious Seer that refuses to share anything. Lacey and her master set sail for a place no one is sure even exists and Lacey is thrown into a battle for survival with the Prince and his guard at her side.

What do you think I can do better? Have you written synopses for your books? Let me know!

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