Posts tagged ‘Writing’

November 1, 2011

Writing for cash

I have been writing 2-5 articles per month on Helium.com. It is a great platform to make slow but steady income. So far, the most I have made just in revenue share in one month is 0.52$, but I also don’t have that many articles currently live. Leaving these articles just to stew makes me money, however slowly, and so I continue to add articles to the site every month. My goal is 5-10. Last month I succeeded. This month is NaNoWriMo, so we’ll see!

I enjoy the freedom of writing for Helium.com. It is up to me which subjects I write on, how often I write, and how long my articles are (as long as they are more than 400 words). It is a great way to add some income while still working a full-time desk job.

Anyone have a preferred platform for writing? Please share 🙂

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January 26, 2011

Resolution update

So far this year I have met my goal of 5000 words per week only once. The other two weeks did not quite get there, but one of them was quite close.

Overall, I have an average of writing over 5000 words per week. How is this possible? Basically, that one week that I did meet my goal, I went way over! Over 9000 words that week! Yeah!

So

I am still working hard and writing towards completing one of my stories. I haven’t decided where I want to go with the NaNo novel yet, but it is shaping up to be quite a long story. For now with that I am focusing on narrowing down my character make-ups so that I have a better idea of what their reactions and actions would be like.

How are your New Year’s goals coming about? It’s never too late to try again!

January 12, 2011

Adult drama – Chapter 1 (untitled)

The computer sat in the corner, untouched for who knows how long. The dust that was building up on it’s surface was an indicator that it had been longer than two weeks, but it was hard to tell. A small bundle of fur and dust drifted up into the air as a small gust entered from the hallway. Heavy boots thudded in the background loudly, despite the fact that the man was trying to walk softly. A task near impossible due to his gait as well as the weight of his large work boots. He muttered to himself ‘what a dump’ before letting his large suitcase drop onto the floor and walked into the living room.

The thunderous weight of his steps echoed through the entire loft, and he soon gave up trying to step lightly. The landlord would not be impressed that he was wearing his boots in the main areas of the loft, but he did not care. That matter could be dealt with when it came around, as far as he was concerned. He shifted his eyes to gaze over the whole of the area before him.

The loft was completely empty and void of furniture apart from the solitary computer which sat in the corner. There was no desk or chair around it, or anywhere in that forsaken place, and he became slightly puzzled, ‘why on earth would someone just leave a perfectly good computer in a dump like this?’ He shrugged and walked over to it. He lifted up the keyboard and gave the whole thing a quick inspection. Not being very technologically savvy, he blew the dust off and decided it should function. The power button lit up when he pressed it, and the monitor came to life.

As he waited for the computer to finish loading, he set about retrieving his bag from the hallway and dug a small bar out of one of the side pockets. He grabbed a small handkerchief from the main pocket and wiped his face and hands with it quickly before ripping the packaged food open and digging in. Just as he finished devouring that single snack bar, a loud knock was heard as it echoed through the empty rooms. The man rolled his eyes frustratedly and walked to the door.

Just as he stepped forward to open it, the door swung open and a stocky woman was just putting her hand back to her waist. “I was wondering when you’d get here” the large man said gruffly. “Nice dump you picked out.” she smiled as innocently as she could, which looked like more of a grimace of pain than a smile, and strode confidently into the loft.

Two small and frail looking men stood hunched in fear behind her, dragging her heavy and cumbersome luggage into the loft. The man eyed them oddly and they shied away from his gaze. “Don’t mind them, Aldar. They aren’t worth your attention,” the woman said, a voice surprisingly silky and elegant despite her intimidating appearance. He let the two pathetic looking men drag her belongings into one of the rooms, and watched them as they set about organizing and sorting her things just so. They had been well trained, and they feared her.

Aldar was jealous, but he decided that he didn’t need pathetic followers to do his work when he could do a better job himself. Not to mention that it was easier to stay under the radar when you don’t have lanky creatures following you everywhere. “Elsie, don’t you know how to stay low anywhere you go?” he asked harshly as he walked towards the main room once more. She looked up at him as she was seated comfortably on the floor, rummaging through his bag.

He felt his anger flare up and moved forward to push her away from his stuff. “Damnit, El, get out of my crap!” He snatched his bag up and threw it over his shoulder. Elsie stood up abruptly and glared at him. “What is your problem? I found us a place, didn’t I?” Aldar walked away angrily and slammed the door shut behind him. ‘Women.’ he thought to himself. ‘always fucking up and thinking they did you a favour. How the hell did I manage to get stuck with this one?’ He pulled a rolled up mat out from his bag and rolled it out on the floor. After flattening it out most of the way, he lowered himself onto it and curled up trying to find a comfortable position to fall asleep.

In the other room, Elsie was still frustrated with Aldar for being such a brute. ‘Men.’ she thought to herself, ‘always fucking up and thinking they know better than you. Fucking Barlyn is an asshole for picking me for this run.’ She summoned one of the lackeys she had picked up over to her, and told him to make her a bed. Once he had the bedroll set up and laid out nicely, she sent them both away to sleep in the hallway and squirmed around until she got comfortable enough to fall asleep.

January 11, 2011

First freelancing: A challenge

I had obtained a freelancing gig just two weeks ago. It should have been a simple matter, I was asked to rewrite some promotional articles. I was not given any specifics or guidelines beyond adding my own interpretation and inputting at least 30-35% original content.

I completed the task, 6 articles, a total of around 3200 words. Then I was informed that my writing was not up to snuff because I did not include certain keywords. I had not been asked to include any particular keywords, despite having asked for anything specifics to be included in the articles.

The person who asked this of me also did not give specific timelines and was quite rude. I guess that should have been a red flag from the beginning, but I wanted to try anyways.

I’ve learned from this experience. I should trust my gut instincts, despite wanting to give myself more of a presence among writers and freelancers. I should have faith in my own ability to write, and make sure that I know any specifics. I will try to learn more details the next time this comes up, and I will come out ahead.

January 10, 2011

NaNo Novel: In Telar

Upon hearing the words translated that had come from Pagelle’s gentle mouth, she took in the appearance of the increasingly confident woman that stood, more hunched than stood, before her. Her incredibly dark and full hair was shining the light of the torches from all around, and yet also absorbing the dark of the shadows, despite being filthy and matted together. Eliana gasped in slightly, her eyes opened wider. Pagelle’s eyes, now that they had fully opened, were a bright ice blue that appeared full of renewed life and energy, apart from the dark purple shadows that loomed beneath them. “She’s like me…” She whispered to herself. She cast her eyes downward, and looked at the others who had begun coming forward.

Pagelle stepped forward once more and now stood face to face with Eliana. She stretched her long arms outwards then wrapped them firmly around her. Eliana stood there in shock, she had never experienced any sort of affection towards her, she had always been shoved aside or pushed away, and now did not know how to handle this closeness in proximity to another. Especially not another that was just like her physically. She raised her arms slowly, uncertainly, and wrapped them around the frail looking woman and held her somewhat firmly until she felt the woman let her go.

As she was embracing Pagelle, Eliana noticed that there were quite a few others that were emerging from the corner of the cell. She was shocked to see a larger variety of physical appearances in the few people who had been imprisoned than she had even imagined existed. There was a man and a woman who both had the deep golden skin, brown hair and brown eyes that were of average height. There were two women who were taller than average with full and shiny black hair that curled up like a mat of fluff on top of their heads with golden brown skin and light brown eyes. There were two men who were slightly shorter than average, but not as short as Ignon, with dark brown skin that matched their dark brown eyes and tightly curled black hair. Eliana did not know what to say to them as they each thanked her, in their own language, for freeing them. She did not need Ignon to translate, for she understood what they were trying to say based on their thankful facial expressions and open body language. She simply smiled and nodded to each of them as they walked past her to the upper level of the hall.

Pagelle pulled away from her slightly and looked her straight in the eyes. She spoke a few words, and Ignon translated them quickly, “You look confused. Are you alright? I hope I did not upset you.” Eliana smiled ever so slightly and looked at her and replied, “I am confused, that is for sure, for I have never seen such a variety of physical appearances in people. I myself am an anomaly among the others in my tribe, and always felt that I was the only one. Seeing you forces me to realize and reassess the truths that I was told where I am from. Do not worry, I will be alright.” With that, she released herself from Pagelle’s embrace and walked slowly over towards the door deep in thought.

As Eliana strode slowly over towards the door, she realized that Pagelle was catching up to her. She did not take note of it, she was in a total daze. As she reached the door, she turned slightly to face Ignon. “Thank you for all your help, Ignon, I must be on my way.” Her voice was hazy and unfocused. Ignon looks at her with concern, and pulled a ratty old piece of paper that had been folded and refolded quite a few times. “Here, for your journey.” He handed her the simple looking paper, and scuttled off to lock up the three men that had been terrorizing the village of Telar. Eliana took the folded paper into her left hand and brushed her right hand over it slowly to feel the quality and wear of it. She unfolds it gently, not wanting to risk damaging it somehow, and opens it fully between her hands. It’s a worn map of Telar and the surrounding areas. She sucks in a soft but surprised gasp. She turns once more and starts to say, “Thank yo…” and realizes that he is no longer near enough for her to see in the dim light further into the imprisonment chamber. A small smile dances onto her lips, and she heads up the stairs. Pagelle is still following her silently as she walks back through the great hall and through the auditorium where she first met the three men who had changed their own fates in challenging her.

January 3, 2011

This year’s resolution

This year, I’m going to try and create resolutions (or goals) that can be followed up on and reported on. I will be checking in at least once per month (probably around the beginning of each month) with an update.

This year, my first goal will be:

Write at least 1000 words, 5 days per week.

This is relevant to my writing dreams, and will hopefully push me towards expanding my skills and abilities in the writing field.

Seeing as I write each article in Microsoft Word (or whichever word processor is handy on the computer), it will be very easy to keep track of the number of words I write. By the end of the week, my tally of words should be over 5000.

I believe this is a realistic and attainable goal, but it will also be a challenge in terms of finding time to write as well as inspiration. I will not be confining myself to any particular subject for the writing, so long as the words are written.

I am not permitting myself to ‘word buffer’ or repeat words over and over again unless they are relevant to the subject I’m writing about. I plan on writing 100% original content, no matter what I write.

These 1000 words per day will not include any freelancing jobs that I pick up, they will be fully on my own personal time.

Starting January 1st, I will be putting this goal forward and working towards it each day.

I look forward to pursuing my writing further this year than ever before.

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December 20, 2010

NaNo Novel: Page 3

“Then I started experiencing a feeling of unease, much like a slight discomfort when having eaten something that disagrees. I brushed it off initially, as I thought it was nerves from being so far from the village, despite the fact that I had been farther and experienced no such unease. But I put it out of my mind. All of a sudden, a rush of nausea ran over me, followed quickly by fear. I looked around, and the wind started to blow harder than could be expected. My hair was whipping around my face, and nearly covered my eyes. I could see nothing immediately, but the overwhelming sense of fear and suffering overtook me, and I began to run back to the village. I headed straight for your hut, Elder, as I feared that it was pressing.

“After being turned away, I returned to my home, and tried to keep my mind busy. But try as I might, my mind kept returning to the fleeting fear and mind numbing sense that I had missed something. So I sat on a chair, and began to meditate, to focus my racing thoughts and attempt to make some sense of them. Just when I feared that they would never settle and focus, a Vision came to me of a man. At least I think it was a man. This man, Elder, had the same physical appearances as me! He had the same dark, ebony coloured hair, the pale and almost iridescent skin, and the bright blue eyes that both showed emotion and hid it. Only he held a look of utter contempt and anger, and the air around him permeated evil; an evil of which I had never experienced, and initially did not understand.

“I fear for us, Elder, but at the same time I have begun to question my own existence. How can this strange man, whom I’ve never seen nor heard of anyone like him, have appearances so identical to my own? I have long since accepted that I am different from the others of this tribe, but still felt as though here is where I belong. Now I question that, I question my meaning and my purpose. Am I from a different tribe? Are my parents really my parents? If so, how can I look so different from them, and behave so differently. It is inherent in my personality, I know I’m different, but I do not understand why. I bring to you my Vision in hopes of keeping our village safe and secure.” She finished with the formal closing of the Shroughans.

The Elder sat in silence for a long while, contemplating what Eliana had brought to her. Eliana sat in silence, patient, despite being restless to have answers to her questions. She feared for her village, not for herself. For once, she felt as though there might be somewhere that she belonged that was not in the village of Shrough. That she might find home somewhere that there were others who looked as she looked, who spoke as she spoke, and who Saw as she Saw. She may have accepted that she was an anomaly, but she did not like it or see value in it, for she lived in a village of pragmaticism. The Elders were the only ones who looked at her as though what she Saw was real. The village folk could not accept what they could not understand, and most of them treated her with disdain.

Eliana’s mind often spread among the clouds, and she was most commonly reprimanded for daydreaming and intense imagination. She could not focus on the work of the ground, for she saw little use for it. Gardening she knew was essential, but there were more than enough gardeners for her village, and she avoided taking part in it as much as possible. Her mother was a gardener, and had high hopes that Eliana would also take on gardening as her village purpose. But Eliana had higher sights than that. She wanted to be an Elder. At least she had, before this day’s Vision.

Elder Garande opened her eyes, and Eliana noticed a level of apprehension in them. She feared that she may have upset her. But at the same time she felt the intense need to know about what she saw and felt. Eliana continued to wait patiently, and the Elder began carefully. “What you have Seen will become. The fear is for our people and our village. The pale man is likely the leader or general of this other, offensive village. I fear that you have Seen more than anyone ever expected you to, and your analysis of your own thoughts frightens me more than a little.” She fell silent at that, and closed her eyes again. This was a sign that she did not intend to say any more on the subject.

Eliana wanted to scream out, and she felt her eyes going red. She despised it when her questions were left unanswered, and she felt great anger and disdain for the woman sitting across from her. Her arms began to vibrate, and she felt as though her body might explode. As sure as she was that the Elder could feel her emotions, and knew that she was angry, she sat still with her eyes shut in deep contemplation and ignored Eliana. Standing up briskly, she intentionally neglected to speak the closing phrase of the Elders, and walked out.

Leonin was caught off guard as he noticed Eliana blow past him at a surprisingly quick walking pace. He straightened quickly, and began to follow after her. When Eliana did not even acknowledge him or make any sign to say that she knew he was there, he ran up right next to her. He did not say a word, for he knew that it could cause an emotional explosion right then and there. He would wait patiently for her to reach her destination. For now, he just kept up with her, walking parallel to her. The ground stirred beneath their feet, and the constant quick movement kicked up a trail of dust behind them.

The people in the village who watched the two of them go by paid them barely any mind. It was not uncommon for Eliana to storm out of the Elders’ tent, and even less uncommon for Leonin to follow her. When Leonin was not standing guard outside of the Elder tent, he was almost always with Eliana. He found her strange and unique appearance entrancing, and could not keep himself from thinking of her at any given time. The gossiping women of the village tended to divulge their thoughts, which often mentioned Eliana and Leonin ending up together. Sometimes with upwards of six children, depending on who was asked. Eliana had long since given up on trying to put the birds in their place, and instead chose to ignore them unless she needed to ask them a specific question.

Eliana continued walking through the village, continued on past her own hut, all the way to the edge of the village. Only then did she start to slow down, breath heavy and slightly forced. She kept going, at a normal pace, until sweat began to appear like misting on her face. A small forested alcove was in front of her, one of her favourite places to sit and think, approximately one and a half miles away from the border of the village. It was small and quiet except for the wildlife, and it helped her to relax and process her thoughts with better clarity.

The alcove, which she had dubbed Eli’s Keep, was relatively small clearing, around 50 square feet. It had the appearance of a forest from the outside, and within it was a nearly circular clearing. In the middle of the clearing sat a log from a tree that had been downed. It had taken Eliana several days to move the log to where it now sat, but to her it was worth it. The grassy floor of the clearing was lush and within its expanse grew several different varieties of wildflowers.

 

December 7, 2010

Poetry writing made simple

Writing poetry seems so simple when you first start. Take a strong feeling that you are experiencing and throw it out there. Maybe try to incorporate some rhymes (often awkwardly) and make it sound pretty and obscure.

 However, pretty and obscure is not typically the type of poetry that you can write if you want others to read and enjoy it. Putting personal touch into your writing is always a good idea, but you can’t force your thoughts on others, either with poetry or regular writing.

Try to leave details open to interpretation, and you will have more people interested as they will find their own way to add details based on their own lives and perspectives. That way, your emotion is expressed, and the readers feel that they also have input because it will mean something more to each of them.

You also really want to make sure that there is a main, or primary, image that you are trying to show and put into peoples memories. This image should be the centre point and the main focus when using descriptors and metaphors. The more obscure you make your image the harder it becomes for people to be able to actually see it in their minds. If people can’t see your image, they will not appreciate the words you use or the rhythm of the rhymes.

Carry a small notebook around with you, and jot down any little situation that you notice when you have a moment. Sit at a park bench and write in detail about the scene before you. How the sky looks, and how the sun shines its light on the trees/equipment. Everything. Use every descriptive word you can think of. Practice your writing descriptions with this, and you will have a much easier time when it comes to imagining situations where you have to describe a situation or image in detail for your work.

Whatever you do, keep writing. Keep in mind that you are allowed to write bad poetry, it will give you something to go off of, get the excess thoughts out of your mind, and keep you writing. But when it comes to finishing and publishing (either in a book or on a website) remember to only keep the best lines, and don’t insert irrelevant filler just to make it look bigger. A small but meaningful poem will attract more positive results that a large and redundant one.

Now get writing!

December 2, 2010

Two key reminders when writing

Writing as a craft can be challenging. You need to be able to express your thoughts effectively in two primary ways.

Firstly, you want to feel that the message you are putting out is congruent with the message you intended when you started writing that article/post/story/etc. the words you write should satisfy you own creative nature in some way. Your works should contain some personal expression or personal touch that allows your bias and opinion on the subject to show through. Having this will not only allow you to feel as though you’ have expressed something, but it also makes your writing unique. Only you can have your specific thoughts, beliefs and perspectives.

When inserting your personal bias or opinion, try not to overwhelm the information. Having an overload of one person’s perspective may turn a reader away because they feel that they are being told how to think. Leave it open ended with your opinion sprinkled throughout. If you are trying to prove why your opinion is strong and valid, use facts and information to back it up. Use positive intonations to emphasize important points as opposed to degrading differences in opinion with negativity. Point out why your perspective is positive and avoid pointing out negativities, the reader can determine these for themselves.

Secondly, you want to ensure that your reader will understand the underlying message that you are trying to express. If you are writing about how coffee affects the brain, for example, you want to keep the information on topic and relevant to the effects of coffee on the brain. Going off topic can be very easy to do, but needs to be stopped before it gets too far. The person who is reading your article/post/story/etc. needs to feel as though they can relate and associate with the content, it has to have enough of an open personal touch. Pull people in with words that open up possibilities and create imaginative thoughts and pictures.

By providing open ended thoughts and ideas, you are creating the opportunity for conversation and debate. With the personal touch, you can show that you have thought on this topic as well as researched it.  Be open to constructive criticism and remember that each person will have their own individual view on the information and opinion you have presented. Work with your readers to provide a full spectrum of information and maximize your abilities.

Your writing should satisfy you and your readers at the same time. If you are not satisfied with your writing, take a break and try writing from a different angle or perspective. This can facilitate your brainstorming as well as causing you to look at a subject or issue with new light. By staying open-minded you will create the potential for reader relationship which will only help to improve your own writing abilities.

November 30, 2010

Flash Fiction: 100 words and 3 keywords

So part of last week’s Just Write blog carnival, Nick Daws submitted a Prize Flash Fiction Contest on MyWritersCircle.com

This flash fiction involves writing a defined story, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words. Not only that, but you have to smoothly integrate the words luminous, anniversary and papaya.

Here’s what I submitted:

Timely Reunion

A woman peered out the window and smiled at the luminous aura the moon created. She emitted a gentle sigh and soft smile as the trees nearby began to rustle. After waiting months, she watched hopefully as a strong horse carrying a man to the door. She lifted her dress and ran to the door. Throwing it open, the man looked her in the eyes and said, “Happy Anniversary my love.” She pulled him down to her and kissed him passionately. “Just in time, dinner is ready. Papaya casserole, your favourite.” He smiled and walked into the kitchen with her.