Friday, October 21, 2011

In Which I Am Not Sure What to Say

Greetings and hallucinations, readers!  I'm back!

(In an all new adventure...)

Don't you just love it that I blog only when I've exhausted all the other things I need/want to do on the internet?

The thing is, I'm not sure what to blog about.  I keep "updating", and I really hate doing the same thing over and over.  It gets old.  And it probably gets old for you.

So what to do?  Let's mix it up.  To the side is a picture that I am very fond of - the Doctor, tipping his Stetson.

And now for updates: as of right now, I'm still planning on doing NaNoWriMo.  We haven't left for Africa yet, but it's looking likely that we'll be off before the month is up.  But we'll see what God has planned, aye?

The novel in question is the Prophecy of Einarr (the title of The Prophecies, Book #2).  So far, I've got a hazy direction for it, and possibly a prologue idea, which is likewise hazy.  Ah, the life of a SOP writer...

I plan to do a lot of brainstorming at the farm this week, however.  It'll be a quiet week, away from civilization (and internet :P), with only school and yardwork to contend with.  Hopefully I can spray some cleaner on this novel and make it shiny instead of hazy.

In the meantime, I'm hoping for snow before we leave for Africa.  It was actually below 30 two nights ago - I can always hope!  A lot of weatherly change can happen in a week.

This turned into an update, didn't it?  Sticklebacks...

So, those of you who are doing NaNoWriMo, what're you doing?  How's the brainstorming/outlining going?  Are you prepared for a month of literary abandon?

If the answer to the latter is no, then you're ready.  It's called "abandon" for a reason.

And, to get this post meaningful in some way or form, here's a little writing tip:


Action beats are extremely useful in dialogue.  In fact, if you use them often enough, it becomes habit and saves you the trouble of editing your dialogue to make it interesting.

Here's a few lines without beats:

"How're you doing?" Joe asked.
"All right," Tom replied.  "You?"
"Well, I'm surviving," he said.

(As a side note, I'd recommend using basic words like "said" in dialogue.  Words like "expostulated" and "screeched" (etc.) distract the reader.  There are purposes for such words, however, if used sparingly in your novel; i.e. "'Forward!' he thundered")

Action beats are basically actions that are used to indicate who is talking in a conversation.  After all, that's why we use phrases like "he said", right?  And it provides a visual of what's happening during the conversation, making the dialogue much more interesting to read.

Here's what action beats are like, used in prose.

Joe plopped himself down beside Tom.  "How're you doing?
"All right." Tom shrugged.  "You?"
"Well..." Joe grimaced. "I'm surviving."

Not the best of writing quality, but it'll do.

So, have you written anything good lately?

With that, I have books to read and more to brainstorm.  Au revior, readers!



The Director said...

Updates are just dandy, Jake. And Stetsons are epic :D

Anyway, thank you for the writing tip- however, I do that almost too much, funnily enough :P When I write, I either purposefully DON'T add action beats and thus end up wooden or I do it too much and then the dialog is forgotten amongst all that grimacing and shrugging. *sighs* Oh well, balance I will learn :P

As far as writing goes: I'm not doing NaNo BUT I have a wondrously epic novel looming on the near horizon. Cleaner has been sprayed on it consistently all day and it has become very shiny and defined. Except for the still-hazy parts XD (i.e., the beginning.... I hates those. -_- )

As well, I'm still finishing last year's NaNovel, which is going fine. I hate the story right now but I just want to get it behind me, so I just keep plugging away......

Excited to hear more about your hazy project! :D Update (pfft!) us when it becomes clear and shiny, eh?

Son of the King said...

Yessss!!! Back on blogger again! It is totally awesome to hear your wring once more, it just makes it sound like the old times. :P Are you going to be doing the NaNoWriMo again this year? (lol isn't that funny that it is my main question XD).


Son of the King said...

One second...something seems have already been making a ton of posts for a while so I assume you started up a while ago...*face-palm* must have been myself that was gone for so long.

New post up at the CWH

Eldra said...

Ah, and Jake has officially been confirmed as a ninja. Did you see him *poof* away? No? Good. You know, there's no such thing as electric doors -- only gentlemen ninja.

Yes, I'm doing NaNo, no I have absolutely no idea what on earth (or beyond) I'm doing with it, and I'm beginning to freak out about it.

Action beats: Same as The Director -- either I use none, or I use far too many. Balance is hard to come by, is it not?

Cosette said...

You have no idea how happy that made me... I am in no way prepared for next month!! XD

And btw, updates are cool.

Pathfinder said...

Loved the pun!

"I can always hope!"

That made my day.

Christopher said...

I'm doing my NaNo novel on...well...that information is classified. But I have planned it out. And updates are just fine. A question, when are you leaving for Africa?

Jake said...

Good to hear from you all. ^_^ I'm glad to know that updates passed the "coolness" factor.

Hopefully, we'll leave in a couple weeks.

Ninja Tim said...

Don't think I've ever been greeted with hallucinations before... o_O

Action beats! (makes me think of Brian Jacques; he was SO good at using them... *a moment of respectful silence*)

I appreciate your comment. =)

(whoops, forgot to poof... eh, I'll take the stairs this time *opens stairwell door*)