Monday, June 28, 2010

Writing Funny: Do You Have to Be In The Mood to Write Humor?

When I envision myself looking back in 10 years over the library of books I've had published (yes, wishful thinking is key to this post) I'm hoping that there is one constant between them all - humor.

For me, I can't image not having "the funny" as a central part of my writers voice and that should carry across all my work. Besides, my favorite author are the ones who can make me smile like a lunatic while reading in the middle of a group of people - with literal LOL moments.

Lately though, I've had a hard time being in the right mood to write humorous lines to give my characters the sass and quick wit I want them to have. Reading over the last few chapters of my WIP, Jim and Ronnie (short for Veronica) seem flat and way too dramatic. Where are my cute off-handed comments and cheeky remarks? They aren't there.

Realizing that I've had real life issues that haven't had me laughing it up lately, I started thinking about how to kick start my funny bone so that this manuscript doesn't get too far off track.

First, I started with watching a few funny TV shows and movies. Then I hit the mother load, The Comedians of Chelsea Lately were coming to town and I couldn't think of a better way to get my laugh on. It was a great night and I can already feel my funky mood lifting.

So, my challenge to myself this week is to bring the funny back into my writing. I think I've found my inspiration again so I'm ready for some zingers.

What about you? What mood, if any, do you feel the need to be in for your "voice" to come out in your writing? How do you work around not being "in the mood" for a certain type of scene?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Writing Ideas - Where do you keep yours and do you revisit them?

This morning on Twitter Author Marjorie M. Liu linked to a fantastic post she did called "Time Capsules of the Imagination" about her old writing journals and story ideas on her hard drive.

Besides just the lovely title, it's a post that struck a chord with me. You should head over and check it out here. Also be sure to read the blog post she references from Lynn Viehl on a lost story. Both are interesting posts that had me thinking (and dreaming about the day I can look back and just have 49 page manuscripts I've forgotten about!)

As I mentioned in the comments on Marjorie's blog, I keep a moleskin notebook (I love knowing Hemingway used the exact same one) that is always with me for when any story idea, character, plot twist, etc pops into my head. Every so often I find myself flipping through those pages and it does spark my creativity. It also makes me smile to know that my current WIP is not the end - just the beginning of a lifetime of stories I have in me.

How about you - where do you keep your story ideas? Do you have a writing journal or are you hi-tech and keep everything in files on your computer? How often do you read back over your ideas?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend Warrior: Celebrating a Milestone

My day job keeps me pretty busy during the week, so I get very little time to write Monday-Friday. I know I should stay up burning the midnight oil, but somehow at 31 I've become quite the oldie and once it hits 11:00 I can hardly keep my eyes open.

That's why I'm a Weekend Warrior. With my writing at least.

Trying to cram a week's worth of word count goals into my weekend is a daunting task. I feel overwhelmed and keenly aware that everything (meaning my goals) rides on getting those words to flow on those two days.

After a week of the day job, errands, grocery shopping, taking care of my fur-kids, checking on my first ever vegetable garden, etc, etc sometimes all I want to do is relax with a cocktail and read a great book.

As much as I might want it to be, sometimes writing is not part of my dream equation. But even this newbie writer knows that I need to write even if I don't feel like it, even if the inspiration isn't initially there.

And that's how I managed to hit a milestone this weekend. I officially passed 20,000 words on my WIP. As my word count kept creeping up there, I felt my excitement build and yes, I even pumped myself up by talking myself through it. "You can do this. You can do this." Let's just say a fist pump or two might have been seen by the hubby - who would crack up in laughter each time. "I don't think you are allowed to fist pump for yourself," he said.

Well this writer has no problem being her own cheerleader if that's what it takes to write this book! Bring on the mad lady talking to herself and making crazy hand movements. 20,000 might not seem like a lot to more seasoned writers, but this is the most I've ever written and I'm damn proud of myself.