Posts Tagged ‘punctuation’

I don’t mean going without sleep for 72 hours straight. (Yeah, you only have to go without sleep for 48 hours anyways.)

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However, I want to talk about exercising your creative muscles. I really don’t exercise my physical muscles as much as I should, but people forget that while writing isn’t really physically demanding, you do need to do a lot of work in it, as well.

So, what do I mean by pushing yourself to the limit? A few examples of how I pushed myself in the past will be in order. The first time was when I was still writing the Line of Corruption. This was maybe late 2011, or early 2012. I was writing a massive battle, and it was honestly the first time I’d written something like it. I’d written huge battles before, but it was the first time where the impact of the results affected the main characters so strongly.

In order to keep up the pace and momentum, I wrote it like a reader would read it. Nonstop. I wrote eight thousand words in one sitting. The next day I wrote four thousand words, and on Saturday, I wrote another four thousand words. That was how I ended Part I of Line of Corruption.

I was creatively drained afterwards. Didn’t write a word for maybe a week. But I was done with Part I. It clocked in at around 53k words. Writing eight thousand words is not as difficult as I assumed before I wrote it. It’s really a question of whether or not you want to persevere. See, the reason why we normally don’t write ten thousand words in one sitting is because you will probably hit a creative wall. And there are two things you can do.

1. Call it a day, and see if you can scale the wall tomorrow with the proper equipment.

2. Channel Jackie Chan, and try to jump over the wall and hope for the best.

That’s how I always saw it. And at times, I really wished I took a few karate lessons. Since the grammar mistakes were ridiculously bad, and I immediately removed those mistakes the next day, but the point is that it is possible if you are willing to throw caution to the wind. That’s how I like to write. Make it risky. I like to think it worked, because the fight scenes had an urgency to them. (Because dinner was in thirty minutes, and I had to wrap it up before then.)

So, there’s your first example of when I pushed myself. Second example is when I wrote Radio Silence. I was preparing for NaNoWriMo, and I had a cool idea for a horror story. So, I just wrote the first four thousand words in one sitting. It’s not as impressive, I guess, as the part with Line of Corruption. But I did push myself because I had no idea what I was going to do with the story.

So, what the next hundred words was going to entail was a mystery to me until I was literally a dozen words away from writing it. That’s how I did it. And it worked out. Then, around January, I pushed myself again with an Urban Fantasy story. I wrote five thousand words in one hour. I was chatting with my friend at the time, and every time I wrote a thousand words, I’d send him a message challenging him to beat it.

I liked the story a lot, but I made a lot of mistakes. Mostly with verb tenses. I’d written it in first person perspective, and I hadn’t written anything like that before. I think I may have deleted it, but I may have it on a forum I made with some of my writer friends where we can post our writings and critique each other’s work even when we’re not online on Skype.

So, tomorrow, I’m going to push myself again with Radio Silence. My goal is to get to Chapter 8 by midnight. I’ve got two big fights planned between Gordon and a prisoner, and it’s going to be a lot of fun writing them. I at least need to finish writing Chapter Six because I held off on posting Chapter Five last friday so I can post two chapters next Friday. (No worries – it’ll still be suspenseful. You’re welcome. -dodges a burning trashcan- )

The point is, pushing yourself as a writer is never really a bad thing. Sure, you make a lot of mistakes along the way, and I certainly wrote some pretty incomprehensible things while I was pushing myself, but it’s at times like that when you can test your determination. You get to see just how stubborn you are. I’ll most likely set out an hour tomorrow so I can write Chapter 6 and 7, and as a bonus, I’ll make a video of myself writing it. A few months ago, I learned how to record my computer screen by using this program, Screenflow.

So, prepare yourself for a video after I post Chapter Five and Six. You’ll see a lot of deleting, terrible punctuation errors, and massive factual errors. I know, sounds like a lot of fun.

It’s really a video for the people that are most interested in how I write things (yes, all ten views will be myself re-watching it to see all my mistakes), and I’ll most likely speed up the video on Final Cut Pro X so it isn’t so dreadfully long. Hope you’re looking forward to it.

When have you pushed yourself as a writer? I’d love to hear your stories down in the comments, and I bet they’re a lot less mistake-filled as mine. Have a cool day.

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