Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What Do Your Characters Carry?

To me, character development is one of the most important parts about fiction. I have filled out charts, made a Power Point, etc.

But today, I thought of another way to define my characters: by what they carry.

My protagonist is a bit of a princess, so she alternates between different designer handbags and often carries a few lip glosses, a notebook, a tiny make up kit, etc.

Her best friend only carries around a hand embroidered wristlet that is bulging from a tube of Chapstick.

The main male character is very environmentally conscious and frugal, so he has a clip (at most) or a thin wad of cash around his I.D.

What do your characters carry? What are your favorite ways to define your characters?

*Picture from weheartit.com

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What Gets You Through the Wee Working Hours?

I am in turbo writing mode this week. (Or least, what I personally consider turbo writing mode.) I've been cranking out around 1500-3000 words a day and am hoping to keep that up.

I've been reading a lot of posts about writing and other work stretches, so I thought I would share some things that keep me motivated and make it more fun. I discovered some of these while I studied for the MCAT and I hope that they are of some help!

1.) Dove chocolate:

2.) Music from YouTube

3.) Amazon reviews and author interviews

(These remind me that everyone has to start somewhere!)

4.) Eucalyptus spearmint hand cream
(Bath and Body Works)

5.) Inspiring videos on Ted.com

(Check out this great one from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love)

All of these help me reach my happy place:

Do you have any go-to things that keep you focused?

Happy Writing!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lists, lists, and more lists

I am a compulsive list maker; one of those I-feel-impaired-without-my-color-coded-planner people. Lists are empowering; they remind us that we are never done, that we are continuously changing and striving....

Last night, I remembered a special list...one that is commonly referred to as a bucket list. It has all of the things I hope to accomplish in my life. Here are some of them:

1.) Send my loved ones "just because" hand written notes every year
2.) Have a Beauty and the Beast inspired library
3.) Finish writing a novel
4.) Learn classical North Indian singing
5.) Write a poetry collection

I realized that many of the elements on the list were simply about enjoying what the world has to offer. There is so much out there, waiting to change us...
if we just let it.

Have you ever made a bucket list? What is on it? Have you already accomplished things that are on it?

*Pictures from weheartit.com

Friday, July 9, 2010

Blog Award and a Simple Thought!

The weekend has arrived and is extra special because of two things:

1.) Having 100 followers!!

I am so grateful for the way blogging helpes me connect with incredible people whom I would not have met otherwise. You all keep me motivated and inspired!!

2.) A blog award from the lovely Miss Ali!

I am passing this on to:


Check out these great blogs if you haven't already :)

Now, a closing thought for the weekend.....

It is so easy to berate yourself for all the things you didn't do in a day: laundry, writing, a phone call, reading....

But maybe it's okay to give yourself credit for what you have done, even if it's something simple, just because it got you through the hours---like watching a funny television show, thanking someone, smiling, laughing...

So many times, we feel guilty for the present: I shouldn't be wasting so much time doing this or that.

But sometimes, those moments can be the most refreshing and relaxing; the ones that add variety to our routines, making even the "in betweens" worthwhile

*Picture from weheartit.com

Monday, July 5, 2010

Oh Plot, Where Art Thou???

How was everyone's Fourth of July?

My 4th weekend changes every year. Since Indian weddings tend to be multiple day affairs, the 4th of July tends to be a popular time for weddings (at least, that's how it has been with our family and friends).

But this year, I got to lay on a blanket next to my closest family friends, and absorb the flashes of color. I never realized how calming it could be to have a relaxed Fourth; to sleep in, eat a lot, watch movies, have an outdoor picnic, and do nothing. (Doing nothing is highly underrated, by the way. It seems to be an art in itself!)

Did you do anything special this weekend?

In Writing News...

I am straddling the awkward line between editing what I have written and moving forward to write more!! My characters feel real and fleshed out and I love my story line,


the plot feels somewhat sluggish. So far, I have been following an amorphous outline, but I do not want the reader to be bored!!

I read the reviews of certain books that are praised for "quickly moving, thick plots" and others that are insulted for "long winded" ones, so how does a writer tell while the work is actually being made??

How do you plot? How do you know when your plot is at the pace you want it to be?

P.S. Here are some elements from a helpful list I found of things that slow the pace of a novel:

-Flashbacks and backstory
-Characters sitting and thinking
-Long chunks of narrative
-Repeating things

*Pictures from weheartit.com