Among the millions of blogs on Tumblr, only a small number are contributors of original content: “the world’s creators”
And if you’ve ever looked at Tumblr’s Explore Page you might notice that Photography is oddly absent.
There’s #design, #art, #architecture and even #artists on tumblr — but no mention of anything related to the art of taking pictures with a camera. Even #film is a trap — it’s for movies, not analog photography!
We don’t think this situation is acceptable. So let’s Fight it.
We’d like to ask all original photographers on Tumblr to start putting the #photographers on tumblr tag on every single photo you post.
Photographers deserve more recognition among the Creators on Tumblr. Hopefully, by using this tag we’ll help the entire community of Tumblr photographers get noticed — and maybe one day we will see that tag on the Tumblr Explore page too.
Reblog this post and spread the word.
Photographers on Tumblr
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Self discipline - I wish I could say it was overrated, but it’s not. My moods often conflict with it, and I doubt I’m alone in this quandary.
Obviously, I don’t want to do the things I need to do today, but that problem is opposite the issue I’m discussing. I just want to stop everything I’m doing, and write. No editing, marketing, reading, or anything else. But that’s not my agenda. <—The Drama Queen is on the airwaves.
So twisting the issue the opposite direction. When do you get your writing done? Here are a couple of quotes from teachers that have stuck with me:
"Writer’s Write." I know, you’ve heard this one before. The goal is to plan a specific time to sit down and get that piece moving forward, whether it’s a memoir, short story, novel, journal, or screenplay. It’s good advice so it gets past on.
I’ve recently seen some quotes that indicate we aren’t writers if we don’t constantly write. I don’t agree with that. Life isn’t a recipe, and the formulas often change. Some people have families that need their attention, others are simply burnt out. It happens sometimes, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t a writer.
Here’s another quote:
"If you only wrote a paragraph a day, your story would eventually be finished." I could never stop at a paragraph. I usually work by chapters, or scenes, and when I freewrite my way through a chapter or scene, I just roll with it until my muse tires, that can take days. But I get the gist of what the lecturer was saying, as well you you do. I think for the person that is extremely busy, or struggles to write at all, this is a great way to keep yourself moving forward. I think this is true of any sort of art.
I’m sorry that I don’t remember who gave these quotes. I’ve held onto them for a long time, and they are simply a part of me now.
So push yourself forward. Get the pictures in your head onto the paper or screen you’re facing. Make a plan if you need to. I think you’ll soon be glad you did. If you’re having trouble getting what you want on the paper, there’s always freewriting.
I’ve been thinking a lot about characterization lately, and about some of the characters I’ve loved in the stories I’ve read. I’m questioning why I like them, and what the writer did to make them special.
I’m not an expert, and writing has a lot of ways to sculpt a great character. I’ll probably do another post on this since I have a book someone recommended that I’ll soon be reading. But I think with Nano ahead, it’s a good topic right now.
Like a lot of people, I use a character sheet. It’s a mix of other people’s sheets, with things that are important to me added to the mix. But I’m digressing here. I’m one of those people whose minds tend to wander, and my favorite characters pull me in. That’s what I expect out of my own characters though, to pull the reader in.
No one needs to be told to describe their characters, that’s a given. My character sheet is more than that. Here are some of the questions I ask about them:
- How old are they?
- What siblings do they have? Is the relation good, or bad? What were the incidents that made them that way? If I know of a interaction or subplot with the sibling or parents, it goes here. Here is an example:
In my backburner story Misty Haven, my main character Khayrie’s parents are dead. He takes care of his little sister, Cantara. He’s an over-protective Witch, who hates her Vampire boyfriend. Cantara is a willful teenager, and she doesn’t care what he thinks, even though she is close to her brothers. Khayrie doesn’t worry much about Cantara because his pet panther adores, and follows her everywhere.
Khayrie, the rules Misty Haven, and he’s quiet, powerful, and dark in nature. He rarely misses anything. He has a brother, who is jealous of him, and a secret he can’t tell.
I usually have all my characters in my head, but you can see some of this story and the inspiration driving it on my Pinterest board. I’m doing an experiment to see if the images help me cut the characters out better.
- Does your character have a secret?
- What do they want?
- What drives them, and why?
- How do they feel about the individual characters around them?
An example here would be Khayri’s feelings about Cantara’s actions, and the brother who seems to undermine what he does, as well as the subplots that will effect his life.
- What is his style? Does he like to dress formally, or in shabby clothes? We can tell a lot about someone by the way they dress.
- Mannerism’s that identify the character. What makes him unique? We all have different personalities.
- How does he talk? I don’t get crazy with this, but I want my character to have his or her own voice.
An example would be Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels characters; Daemon, and Lucivar. Two brothers; one is smooth and formal, the other has a raspy edge, and appears more threatening. Both are deadly, and the less threatening one, is in fact the cruelest, and most dangerous, but they each have a distinct voice that is their’s alone.
There are many questions you can place on your character sheets, but for me, these are the most important. They tell me what my character will do in any given situation.
Most of you know I recently attended a writer’s conference and stayed on the fourteenth floor of a hotel. The missing thirteenth floor drove my writer’s muse crazy. So I have two prompts for you this time. The first doesn’t have to be Halloween at all, but it could be.
"Where is the missing floor?"
What happened to it? Did it ever exist? If it did, who was on it when it disappeared, and where are they now?
And you know I can’t resist a photo prompt.
How in the world did that witch get into the cauldren?
Did someone push her? Or maybe its a witchy sort of bubble bath.
Is she so drunk she fell there?
Or is it something else entirely?
This is a longer post than usual, but I felt like it was better posted intact, rather than split into parts.
Since I mentioned Nanowrimo in my last post, I thought a planning strategy might be a good post. I’ve shared this system with a few people, and they seemed to find it helpful. Everyone tweaks it into a system that works for them. Feel free to do the same. Lately, I’ve been jotting down notes, and planning my characters first, because the scope of my story changes with characterization. I end up with subplots and themes to blend into the main plot. Even if you only use your plan as a graph to keep you focused on the plot, and where you’re going, I have found it to be advantageous. Your story will most likely change as your muse blossoms further when you’re writing.
Here are three advantages to planning:
- Fewer writing blocks
- Fewer holes
- More refined characters.
- It enables you to go from beginning to end without the ‘what do I do now’ problem.
I also plan my backburner stories like this now, so I don’t forget them, or any of the details swimming in my head. Too many ideas were falling by the wayside. So here is the plan.
1 - I take my idea and write a terrible short story with lines for the things I haven’t figured out yet. This shows me the characters that are central, and gives me an idea of what I want them to be. You’ll usually know who the most important characters are by this time.
2 - I look at my characters from the MC down to the least that I’m aware of, and ask myself these questions.
- What do they want?
- Why do they want it?
- How does their part/subplot link with the main plot?
- What are they going to do to make it happen?
- Everything has consequences, so what is the outcome?
- What do they look like?
- I write down a skeleton of what their specific story is.
Most people plan backstory here. I don’t usually need to, or at least, not a lot of it. They say the more you have the better, but I’m beginning to think the more you have, the more you’ll dump into the story, that isn’t necessary. (Not you specifically, but people in general of course). If you feel strongly about having a detailed written backstory, this is the time to do it.
3 - I work on putting together the most important characters. If I have a smartass, I define him or her, how do they show that. If they are sensitive, how sensitive? How do I show that in her/his personality, and what’s his/her eruption point? I do this with all the characters that are formed in my head enough to do it, and the rest sit out until they form better as I write or plan. There will be more on characterization in my next post.
4 - After that, I plan three to five scenes for the beginning, three to five scenes for the middle, and three to five scenes for the end. This has to include your opening scene and your end scene. Then I roughly plan them. (Sometimes I only write information I don’t want to forget and map the chapters and scenes, and write them as I go. But I have the titles, and point of the scenes at this point).
The one rule I don’t break. I always have a solid plan for the first scene, and what feels solid for the end. I say this because stories change as you write them, and you may come up with a better beginning or end, but I write what I plan to do down anyway, to avoid any blocks.
5 - Now I have the beginning and end of my story, I write a synopsis. It’s not a synopsis you would send to an agent, but a breakdown of the entire story, (leave nothing out). This is to find any holes before I start. I look it over, and ask my critiquer’s to go over it as well.
This step helps to find errors and holes in your story, before you begin. Critter’s often find holes I don’t see. I don’t move forward until I can answer all of the questions that need to be addressed. People will often give you more ideas too.
This type of synopsis is not so bad to write. It’s for you, your story, and your friends, but the closer you stick to it, the easier it will be to write the synopsis you’ll submit lat
er. If you really don’t think this is a necessary step, think about how frustrating it will be to have to go back and fix errors that could have been avoided later. Also, remember the time you found lose ends, errors, or contrived bits in a book you were reading when an author couldn’t find a way around their own rules, or to tie a lose end? This can be avoided; the synopsis is worth the effort.
6 - After I have that much of a plan I start filling in the holes from my synopsis and putting scenes where I think they belong with my original planned scenes, You’ll add to these as your story unfolds, but I like to leave room for a little freewriting on my way from A to B. While there’s a lot of thought, this is simply connecting the dots of your story’s journey.
From that point I go wherever I feel the need to. If I’m confident the story is tight, I’ll start writing. If not, I’ll work on what I think it’s missing. If I can’t figure out a problem, I ask someone I trust to look over the synopsis, or I talk to my favorite plotters about it.
Even the best planning will run into bumps, and things will change because you’ll get new ideas as you journey through your first draft, but usually this is solid enough to prevent any walls, and it’s the walls that blow things out of the water. I’ve still had new ideas that required me to go back and fix structure, and most often, my timeline.
I know this sounds like a lot of work, but it’s not as bad as it looks and its fun. If I have a firm idea of what I want, it might only take a few days to plan. Most stories take me a week or so.
In classes we wrote summaries too. If you look at the Nanowrimo page, one of the things you’re asked to fill in is a synopsis and summary.
I know some writers like to freewrite as they go, but personally, I wouldn’t start without at least knowing the beginning and end. If freewriting works better for you, that’s great, but if having something more solid is better for you, this plan should take you from the beginning, to the end of your story. Good luck!
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It’s time for the holidays, so let’s have some fun
Witches are cooking their potions, and wizards scheme in dark corners. Werewolves await the full moon. While visiting a friend, a young woman watches a magical portal open. What will happen if she enters a world no one knew existed, until now?
I mentioned Nanowrimo on a recent prompt post, so it seems appropriate to write more about it.
Nanowrimo is a program that takes place in November, where writers from all over the world connect and support each other in the process of completing a novel in a month. Obviously, this is a rugged first draft, and tends to require an intensive rewrite, but two of my novels were written during Nanowrimo, and my novella was written in that style.
So, if it takes place in November, why am I bringing it up now? Because while many people freewrite their way through stories, and there is nothing wrong with that, I believe that the intensity of coming up with sixteen-hundred plus words per day is much smoother with planning. Because of that, my next couple of posts will be on planning, outlining, and characterization.
The first thing you will need is an idea. You can find writing prompts online, or you can use an image that inspires you, a quote that speaks to you, or an idea you may have been pondering for some time. I love playing a ‘what if’ game with my friends when an idea is new.
I’ve included a link to the website for your convenience. There are forums to help with any obstacle you might face. I believe they send out writing prompts as well, and I’ll be sending more of them in the weeks to come.
If you’re a Screenwriter, a screenplay can be written in a month too, although I’ll admit that my screenplays are more intensely planned before I begin. I know many screenwriters participated in Script Frenzy, but when I visited the website, I found that they have ended the program. The time, effort, and financial strain is tremendous for these programs, so consider participation and sponsorship if you can afford to help them out.
I had a hard time deciding on the writer’s prompt this week. Nanowrimo is just around the corner, and the holidays will soon be upon us. I chose the burning city because it can easily span any genre. Check out Pinterest for additional images, or another website with images. Whatever you need to get your muse working.
I love Nanowrimo. For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, Nanowrimo is a challenge for writers to stop procrastinating and get their novel written. The goal is to write the entire first draft in a month. Reflections, and One with the Dragon, were both Nanowrimo stories, although I planned them in advance to avoid as many challenges as possible.
I’ll be writing more on Nanowrimo on my writer’s blog. In the meantime, I hope this image will spark some interesting stories.
I was chatting with a friend recently who was having trouble moving his story forward. He knew where he wanted to go, the problem was getting there. The good news is that he worked his way past the problem, but after weeks of contemplation.
My suggestion for him was to practice freewriting.
It sounds strange, but Writers can train their muse by freewriting. Although, what works for one doesn’t always work for another, I’ve met people who have done it.
So what is freewriting?
It can be any kind of writing you want it to be. You could sit down and write a flash fiction, a scene or poem, or you can simply write about the first thing that comes to your mind. I prefer to go outdoors and write about things I see because it gives me ideas for the setting of scenes in my stories. Yesterday, it was about small birds chirping and bouncing around our lemon tree. I know, that’s not very profound, but it doesn’t need to be.
Freewriting will not only help the flow of your prose, but it can give you ideas for new stories, and it only takes a few minutes a day. Try it, and see what it will do for you.
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