Category - Writing

I’m On Wattpad Now!

Okay, so I already was on Wattpad, but now I actually have something posted!

I’ve been reading a lot of stories lately on Wattpad and I really enjoy the serial style that many Wattpaders (is there an actual name for them? For ME?) use. They post new chapters or scenes once or twice a week on specific days. Soooooo, I decided to start my own serial style story!

The story I have chosen to use is the novel I started for the 2012 NaNoWriMo. I did not get very far that year and gave up pretty quick, so I don’t have much of the story complete, but it has been haunting me ever since I abandoned it. I thought that was a sign that I should get back to it. And what better way than posting updates once a week on Fridays of the first draft!

Without further ado, here is the (temporary) synopsis for Obsession:

Obsession On Wattpad

While on a vacation at West Edmonton Mall with her best friend, Maia, Cheryl discovers that the guy she is trying to avoid has followed them across two provinces. Her ex-boyfriend, Brad, has been stalking her ever since she broke up with him and not even a road trip could dissuade him. While trying to have fun regardless, Cheryl drinks too much and wakes up to find that she has been kidnapped, but not by Brad.

Soon her life turns chaotic as she discovers an underground sect of genetically altered super humans.

Separated from her friend and with no idea how to escape Brad on her own, Cheryl throws her allegiance to the only people who seem to be able to help her. Her kidnappers.

Please give it a read, and vote and comment!

How I Form Habits and Avoid Procrastination

I am amazing at procrastinating. Seriously, I think it is my greatest talent. The dishes need doing? But boooooks! I should be writing? But Twitterrrrr! I haven’t eaten anything today and it’s almost 6PM? But video gaaaaames!

Since I now work at home, and I don’t have a boss looking over my shoulder, I have had to find a way to get past my procrastinating ways. This whole writing for a living thing won’t happen if I cannot focus and get my work done!

First I tried tracking my hours. I made a spreadsheet on Google Drive (I still want to call it Google Docs) and I had different categories (Writing, editing, research, social media, etc…) and I would track how much time I spent each day doing each item on the list. This worked for a while but I began getting lazy with it and my whole system fell apart. Next I tried putting stickers on a calendar for every hour I spent writing. And just like before, it worked at first and then gradually I stopped putting stickers on the calendar and – poof!- this stopped working too.

The next thing I tried was actually something that my husband came across. He showed me and I have been in love with it ever since. It is an app called HabitRPG. Basically I input habits, “dailies”, and to-dos. As I check off the things I have completed, I gain money and experience. If I miss a daily or do one of my negative habits, I lose hit points. It makes daily life seem like an adventure! Okay, slightly exaggerated, but it does make me feel like I am quantifiably completing tasks.

  • HabitRPG
  • Dailies
  • To-Dos
  • Rewards
  • Habits

The experience is then used to level up (and apparently you can go on quests on the web application but I haven’t tried that yet) and the gold is used to buy weapons and armour. You can also buy health potions for if you have been slacking lately. If weapons and armour aren’t your thing, you can create your own rewards that you can use gold to purchase. For example, you could have “watch an episode of Doctor Who” as a reward, or “eat a chocolate bar”.

I love RPG’s, so this has turned out to be the best habit producing and procrastinating killing app for me!

Oh, and it’s free!

What are some of your techniques for avoiding procrastination and forming good habits?

The Importance of Critique Groups

Pencil Shavings

I used to write in a bubble. I wouldn’t let anybody see anything I had written until I was sure it was complete. Complete to me then did not mean the same thing as it does to me now. And that is because I let others read my work, and not only that, I let them pick it apart and scribble red markings all over it (hypothetically, since it is normally over the Internet!). Having another person (or more than one) go over my writing and tell me what is missing, what is over-done, or what makes no sense at all is amazing. It allows for a finished story to be so much better than if I had done it all alone. Art is a community effort.

My experience with critique partners/groups started in college. I took a few creative writing classes and a requirement for each of those classes was to have your work critiqued and critique other student’s work. Some of the students didn’t care as much and only half-ass critiqued my work, but there were a select few that were excellent and those are the people who made me realize that I needed critiques.

Now that I’m no longer in school, I have my husband critique my work. He is amazing at it and sometimes he points out things that would have taken me forever to notice (it’s true what they say about more than one pair of eyes!), but I realized that I needed even more eyes.

In July, I found a website called Inked Voices. It is solely a critique site and you must pay a monthly fee to participate. I joined a few groups on the site and I have now narrowed it down to just one group of dedicated critiquers. I highly recommend Inked Voices if you are serious about the critiques you give as well as the critiques you wish to receive. Because the site is a paid service, I find that it culls out the people who are less likely to give proper/thorough critiques.

Regardless of how you come to have a critique group or partner, remember that they are not just there to give you a critique but for you to do the same for them! The great thing is, usually if you give great critiques, you’ll get great critiques in return!

Now, I need to go sign in to Inked Voices so I can get some critiquing done!

Happy writing!

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