Monthly Archives October 2014

9 Things I’m doing to Prep for NaNoWriMo, Part 2

 (Back to Part 1) 4. Cleaning up Desktops and Inboxes Don’t know about you, but it’s amazing how many email lists I manage to get myself on over the months, and how many files accumulate on both my physical & PC desktops. So I’ve sorted through my Inbox. I’ve unsubscribed from the advert lists that distract rather than aid, and promised myself not to check email, during NaNoWriMo, until after my daily quota is logged. I thought about setting an email autoresponder, but I don’t like getting those myself. Once a day email processing seems like the wiser compromise. And I’m letting fam, friends, and
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9 Things I’m doing to prep for NaNoWriMo, Part 1

As you may have read on my post about Pantsing vs. Plotting, I am a fervent outliner. The literary journey of my epic-in-progress is just too big to navigate by the seat of my pants. For that reason, I embark on my November NaNoWriMo experience with a well-developed outline of the novel already intact. My prep this year has mostly to do with revving up creative juices and clearing the decks before I set sail on the writing adventure that will, I hope, land me on the far shore of November 30 with the better part of a completed first draft. A first draft, mind you, that will be
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Pantsing vs. Plotting: My Road to Damascus

The Terrors of that crappy First Draft I have always hated first-draft writing. A year or so ago I came to understand why. After a quarter of a century in the writing game, I had made a habit of sitting down to the keyboard with insufficient preparation. Specifically, with mega-bundles of notes but an outline that amounted to little more than a handful of key ideas and scenes in my head. Really. The upshot: after a variety of missteps and false starts, it always took me w-a-y too long to finish a fracking first draft. Of almost anything. Case in point, my Freshman effort as a novelist. That
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Walls and Ramps on the Way to Chartres

Commentator David Brooks recently gave a speech to a gathering of Christian philanthropists. A significant portion of the thoughtful talk was about the longing of non-religious people for the transcendent, about Christian interaction with others in the Public Square, and how the attitudes and actions of Christians can help or hinder that quest for the transcendent. My favorite passage: Everyone’s on a walk to Chartres. On a walk toward something transcendent, even if they don’t know what it is. Are you building ramps on the way to Chartres or are you building walls? It’s a wonderful speech. But if seemed to me,
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