Tag Archive | Ali Luke

21 More Days Til NaNoWriMo

It’s coming, folks. Like a freight train. It’s unavoidable!

Well, okay, it really is avoidable. You don’t have to participate. But darn it, it’s just FUN.

Naturally, I’m talking about that November insanity inducing awesomeness, NaNoWriMo.

I’m busily working on my WIP, hoping to slay a huge chunk of it next month. I may not hit the 50k goal, but whatever number I reach, I’ll be  that much closer to the end of my novel. Thus it = win.

We were chatting on the Writer’s Huddle (membership is open for like two more days if you’re interested) about the rules. Many of us view them more as guidelines, than rules. *slaps on an eyepatch* Arrrrr!

I say, don’t get stressed about it. While it’s a GREAT exercise for helping to build writing stamina and discipline (remember, 21 days is all it takes to make a habit), it shouldn’t make you dread writing. That totally defeats the purpose.

With that in mind, I’m sure that any of you out there who are planning to participate are just as intent on preparing yourselves as I am.

So here are some of the resources that I’m using.

How to Write Faster – This is designed for blogs, but it totally applies to anything else!

2,000 to 10,000 Words a Day – I am so not there yet, but I aim to be someday. Also, Rachel has expanded all of her techniques into a short book that is available on Amazon. It is on my list of MUST HAVES.

Holly Lisle – Pretty much anything this woman teaches about writing is pure gold for me. Your mileage may vary.

Daydreaming – Surprisingly effective!

Brandon Sanderson’s Lectures – I have much love for this site. It ranks with cupcakes.

Becca Weston – totally nails it in this post!

Scrivener – It is amazing. Quite possibly the best money I’ve spent on software (this includes games!).

Do you have favourite NaNo prep tools? Share them in the comments.

Also, check back. I’ll be posting my progress through the entire month of November. If you want me to cheer you on, just let me know!


Lycopolis – Ali Luke

Yay, my very first book review!

This isn’t going to be like a book report… So yeah. View the details here. It’s also available on the Kindle, which is the version that I have. But there’s just something about paperbacks!

So. Ali Luke is a writer (duh), she also offers all kinds of advice on writing for blogs, non-fiction, and fiction. She’s a font of helpful information for turning your writing into a living. She also runs an online writer’s group.

Now it’s time for the disclaimer. I am a member of the Writer’s Huddle. This, however, has no bearing on my thoughts on the book and I’m neither being paid or coerced into offering my opinion of Lycopolis. (Besides being unethical in the extreme, no one will pay what I require for a paid review. It’s so sad. I don’t see why $150,000 for a good book review is a bad investment. I mean come on. It would totally pay for itself, people. If I did that sort of thing. Which I don’t. Call me!)

Now that the important ethical stuff is out of the way, on to the fun!

Lycopolis is a very quick and very fun read. It’s fast paced and quite happily doesn’t drag at all. She doesn’t brow beat you with description or character development. It all evolves organically through the story, which is important. Another very important thing for me, she doesn’t over explain how the world works. The rules are just there and it all just works. Which is great, cause if I had to read pages of how magic in her world worked, I’d be cranky. (This is something that J.K. Rowling [pronounced Rolling and not Rowling as I found out watching an interview the other day] got totally right and it made Harry Potter totally awesome.)

The other thing that really speaks to me about this novel is that it deals with gaming. A subject near and dear to my heart!

In a nutshell, a group of online gamers are faced with the realization that it isn’t all just a game. That’s a kind of freaky thought, if you think about it. There’s some scary stuff that happens in games that would skeeve me out if it happened in real life. Which is exactly what happens to these poor kids.

I really don’t want to give away anything else that goes on in the book, cause you really need to read it.

Another thing that Ali really excels at in this novel is the relatability of her characters. What do I mean? I love her main protagonist. I can relate to her. I want her to succeed. I feel sorry for the characters I should feel sorry for, and I dislike the characters that I should dislike. More importantly though, her characters are not flat. As much as I like her protagonist, there are times I want to smack her. Conversely, her big bad (not the biggest bad) is a character I can feel sorry for at the same time that I’m disliking him. There’s depth here, folks, and that’s important.

I don’t analyze symbolism or social commentary hidden in novels. So there won’t be any of that here. That’s what lit classes are for. Like movies and games, what matters to me is whether or not I feel like I got my money’s worth and if I was entertained. The answer to both of these is a resounding yes. I am eagerly awaiting the next book and encourage anyone to give it a read.

I’m always up for chatting about books, movies, tv shows, and games, so feel free to comment to your heart’s content. If you don’t want to comment, feel free to email me at aspoonfulofsnarky@gmail.com.

What to write about?

There are days when the juice just doesn’t flow.

For whatever reason, you just can’t get your brain working and the words on the paper (or screen). Some call it writer’s block, and it’s just plain evil.

All of the writing advice I’ve ever read for this horrible condition stress the need to write anyway.

But how? I don’t know what to write!

There are a few options here:

1) Sit down and write down every random thought that passes through your mind. Free-writing can often lead to actual words that mean something and that you want to keep. Don’t worry, no one needs to know about the gerbil in fishnets, drinking a cosmo.

2) Copy the first couple of pages of a book you like. Or paragraph of an article, blog post, etc. It doesn’t matter what it is, just copy the first bit to get started and then keep going wherever it takes you.

3) Writing prompts. These are my personal favorites and they’re easy to find all over the internet.

Ali Luke posted these in the Wrtier’s Huddle forums. Chuck (NSFW) Wendig posts a weekly prompt for his flash fiction competition. Also, google is your friend and turned up several places to find nuggets of thought to get you back in your muse’s good graces.

So don’t be surprised if familiar looking topics pop up from time to time!