stgulik: default icon (Default)
I want to write, but I just can't hear Their Voices.

On reddit recently, writers and students shared their favorite websites for producing ambient sounds. Here are some of my favorites:
Rain, rain, rain )
stgulik: default icon (calm page 394)
I want to write, but I just can't hear Their Voices.

On reddit today, writers and students shared their favorite websites for producing ambient sounds. Here are some of my favorites:
Rain, rain, rain )


Mar. 2nd, 2013 09:08 am
stgulik: default icon (want a new harry potter book)
Last week when we were down to our last $50, I did a very short but very strategic grocery shopping. Now that we're flush, we still have the remains from my last trip. Am wondering how long we could really go without another trip to the store.

I think we could get along on spaghetti noodles and cans of sauce and green beans for some time. But without coffee and toilet paper? Let's not get crazy.

Oh, well. I'm off to see, and be fed by, my mother today. So the refrigerator situation will be somebody else's problem.

Found this yesterday on Reddit's writing forum: How to write a scene in 11 steps. Now, I am in no way endorsing the steps, nor am I saying you must take the internet's advice on writing scenes. Please do not take offense in your comments. I just got a lot of brain energy out of the exercise, and I thought you might, too.

Thinking back on the scene I told you I was trying to write, the one with the uncooperative secondary character, it may be time to show some tough love.

Down, boy

Feb. 26th, 2013 07:14 am
stgulik: default icon (avada kedavra)
I've been writing a short story that is supposed to include a modicum of adventure, involving a shady character who wears black all the time and is renowned for his bad temper.

But I have hit a roadblock. A secondary character, who is Not What He Seems, will not do what he's told in the third act and become the antagonist.

Me: ..... Now in this scene, you try and kill Severus Snape.

Secondary character: [Looks Snape up and down] Who, me? Fight that guy? I'm just a punk kid in an ironic t-shirt.

Me: No, I know that's how you seem, but underneath, you are a trained wizarding assassin! It's all set up!

Secondary character: [Embarrassed to be witnessing my meltdown] Sorry, lady, I have a bus to catch.

Secondary characters are like dogs. You get really mad there are muddy pawprints all over your sofa, but when you trace the problem back to puppyhood, you realize you're the one who neglected to whack it with a newspaper.
stgulik: default icon (avada kedavra)
I saw these tonight and thought of all of you!

To keep himself focused on his writing, the novelist Henry Miller devised eleven commandments for success.


  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
Even though my writing assignments are nonfic, I feel inspired to adapt these commandments for government work. My favorite commandment is "When you can't create you can work." There are so many days when the inspiration it takes to get narrative to flow in one of my papers is hard to come by. I tend to hate myself on days I can't even get one paragraph on paper. But on those days, at least I can work - I can fix a chart, I can research a chronology, I can polish up my endless endnotes. Just because I'm not a genius most days doesn't mean I'm not still good.

Based on your own writing experience, what would you add to or subtract from these rules?
stgulik: default icon (Default)
Last fall, I was in the midst of finishing a long-delayed - and I mean seriously delayed - graduate thesis. My major was Public Policy. I am here to tell you, there are few majors in the world less funny than Public Policy. And with my stock-in-trade being funny, the thesis was going nowhere fast. I was classically burned-out.

In an effort to regulate my time on the project, I promised myself if I worked x number of hours on the thesis, I would let myself read frivolous things afterward, with impunity, as a reward. But what? Well, I had finished all the Harry Potter books, had read Book 7 about five times through, and was wishing at the back of my mind I could revisit all the characters I loved.

So I went searching for Harry Potter fan fiction. The first place I landed was I quickly learned how to weed out the good from the bad just by reading the introductions! I'd have to say, 95 percent of what's on ff.n is just dross. But, oh, that other 5 percent is just what I was looking for.

Did my compromise with myself over thesis time really work? Not usually. But I still managed to get my thesis done and accepted by the deadline!


stgulik: default icon (Default)

April 2017

1617 1819202122


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 03:55 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios