Tag Archives: Twisted Writers

Time Perception

I have 15 minutes.

This does not seem like a long period of time. In the grand scheme of things, I guess it is really not. But to me, right now at this very moment, 15 minutes has become an excruciating amount of time. The seconds are ticking by ever so slowly.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Depending on what you were doing or where you’re going, this will greatly determine your perception of time consumption.

10 minutes to go…

For my birthday last month, my family went to see a movie at the theater. It was one that had been much anticipated and we were excited to finally be able to get to see it. We were not concerned with how long the movie was, or what time it was playing because it was this movie.

With our popcorn, sodas, and seats, we were ready!Soon enough it became apparent that our excitement and anticipation was no match for this movie. At  forty minutes in, I glance at my watch sure that two hours had passed. Ninety minutes in, my little one started fidgeting, 120 minutes in, the popcorn was gone, the sodas watered down, and three of us were bursting at the seams and had to take a break.

As we  returned, my husband grumbled that we had not missed anything. And we still had half an hour to go before the ending.

The problem wasn’t that the movie was bad per se. Or that the script was necessarily bad either. No, it was just that the movie was all over the place. It almost felt as if the writer had A.D.D. in some parts. We would be traveling along the storyline and then BAM!, shiny fight scene. Or a mid-action, kick-ass, hear-me-roar type of scenr, then queue violins for the random (and awkward) love scene. There were storylines that felt under developed, that sometimes had you thinking, “huh?”. Then there were subplots that drug on and on and on some more.

Dear Lord, it felt as though it was never going to end!

We found out later that the reason for some of the issues were because the movie/script had gone on too long (ya think) and they had to cut parts just to get it down to the two and a half hours. In my opinion, there were enough plots and subplots, storylines and innuendos to make this in to two movies. They crammed too much information into just one and it made a lot of the experience feel long and borderline unenjoyable.

There is something to be said about keeping it simple, as CJ posted last week. When your storyline has too much going on, your ideas become chaotic and muddled, even difficult for the reader/viewer to really enjoy or understand sometimes.

In the end, make sure that you are making a point, and actually getting there in the end. Being long-winded in your storytelling might have your readers eyeballing the clock.

My 15 minutes are up, that was quick! Or long, depending on who you are.

Till next time,

~AJP

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5 Things I Have Learned From Blogging

I don’t know if you have a blog, or just love to read them (thanks for reading!), but I have found I have learned a lot since the first time I jumped into this crazy world that is blogging.  A friend of mine, Shelley, just did a reflection on her A to Z Challenge in April talking about what she learned about herself from the challenge. Her posts were very open, honest and revealing, not just to her readers, but also to herself. I am so proud of her, because I remember when she first talked about starting a blog and I know I what it feels like when you start a blogging journey.

Reading her reflection got me thinking about what I’ve learned, not just in that crazy and fun challenge, but in my time as a blogger. I have had my personal writing blog, Darling You Should Be Writing, for about a year and a half now. I started it primarily for the purpose of keeping myself accountable in a daily writing challenge I had set for myself, but it’s become such a great adventure. Today I thought I’d share my Top 5 Things I’ve Learned from Blogging.  Even though these are personal for me, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced at least a few of these.

1) Blogging Can Sharpen New Writing Skills

Writing a blog is very different, for me, than writing fiction. While I wrote research papers in college, have written technical writing style work in my non-writing real world job, and did some journalistic writing in college, I’ve focused most of my attention on the creative writing side of things. I’m far more inclined to ink out a possible dialogue between my imaginary people I’m creating in my head than to document a real conversation I’ve had with a friend or family member, but there is a real lesson in capturing a real moment and sharing it with others. I can take a story that has affected me and then put it into a blog post to share with others. I don’t embellish, but I do try to present it in the most interesting light so hopefully someone out there actually cares to read it. Writing a blog is a great way to stretch those writing muscles regularly in a way you might not do otherwise.

2) Having A Forum To Share Your Thoughts Can Be A Beautiful Thing

While there are certainly opportunities to share your thoughts in comments and tweets and letters to the editor, I’ve found it’s been very fulfilling to have an outlet to share what I’ve been feeling about something in as many words as I like, with an audience who has chosen to read what I have to say, and in my own little blog world. I try to stick to writing topics for the most part, but when my kids do something that inspire me, I can write a post about it. When I want to explore some new territory, like poetry, I have a great place to throw it against the wall and see if it sticks. When an actor died unexpectedly, I could write a post about how heartbreaking the loss felt and what I felt could be learned from it. I have loved having a place to express myself and have found it quite therapeutic at times.

3) Blogging Helps To Develop Your Voice

Jumping into the blogging world, I fumbled around at first to find my voice. What did I want to say with my blog? In the very beginning I thought I would just track the writing challenge, but then I started posting more openly and really sharing a glimpse of myself. You could read my work and get an idea of what my writing style is, but you also just get a look at my perspective. I try to keep a relatively positive outlook in all my posts. It is reflective of my nature and I think runs pretty solidly through most any of my posts. A blog is a great way to play with the image you want to put out there to the world.

4) Building A Catalog Of Posts Feels Great

Just like picking up an old journal and re-visiting a moment in your past, it is great to go back into an old post from a year ago and remember where I was when I wrote that post. I can remember the work in progress I happened to be tackling right then. I can remember the first writing workshop I attended. I can remember the challenges I did. I can point to a post I did when writing a new post that touches on the same subject.  And it makes me proud to have a collection of things I’ve written stored up over time.

5) Blogging Can Give You A Great Connection To Others

One of the biggest things I’ve learned blogging is how fantastic it feels when you connect with someone who has read your blog. I’ve had perfect strangers comment on my blog that it affected them, sometimes inspiring them and other times just speaking to them. The idea that someone read something that I’ve written and said, “Oh yeah, that’s me!”, is a great feeling. Having comments that people enjoyed a post is the best. Having someone tell you in person that they read your blog and that it completely went with something they had been thinking, too is super cool. It’s easy to get isolated, but putting yourself out there means having the chance to have someone connect with you. It’s worth blogging every week for those few comments that drift in over a year and a half’s time. I promise.

And then, after learning all of this, I’m given the amazing opportunity to join this cast of Twisted Writers so I can have a whole new journey with them. In the few short months we have done this, it’s already been a great experience.  Hopefully you have enjoyed the ride as well!

Do you have a blog? What have you learned from blogging? Has it been a great experience or a challenging one? Please share with me in the comments. Please visit my blog and others in the blog roll on the right. Leave your blog in the comments and I’ll visit sometime this week!

Have a great week!

~CJS

Twisted Together

Here we are on day three of the Twisted Writers. I do hope that you enjoyed our first two posts, if you are a returned visitor. If not, and this is your first time for stopping by, then Welcome, glad you could make it, you are in for a treat and should stay a while.

Now while Jesi told you a twisted tale and CJ shared with you a bit about our inner twisted side, I want to explore the other side of just how twisted we really are.

Writing is said to be a solitary activity/career/hobby.

In a lot of ways, this is the truth.

However, I have learned over the last decade that my writing thrives when I have other heads to bounce ideas and plot lines back and forth with. No, not actual heads – wait, yes actual heads, but these said heads are still connected to their respectable bodies.

In my hunt for the right head to talk writing with I stumbled across a treasure chest. Not one filled with gold, no, one of those you used to see at the doctor/dentist office when you were a little kid. (Now they give you stickers that get you in trouble when you forget to take it off of your shirt when mom does the laundry.) A chest that was not quite full but the inside held a jumble of strange trinkets, things you weren’t quite sure what to do with.

This is what it was like for me when I found my writing group –a mix of people that I was not quite sure what to do with. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking, just how are any of these people going to help me with my writing and how could I possibly help them with theirs? No one wrote anything remotely similar to what I was trying to do, nor did I have much of a clue in their genres either.

We had a science fiction/paranormal romance writer, a historical writer/cartoonist, a spy thriller writer, a poet, and a steamy romance writer. I mostly write in the Young Adult and New Adult fiction genre and in this room, I was the only one at the time.

But I stayed. And they stayed.

Others came and went, but the six of us kept coming to each meeting. We kept reading each others writing, whether it was a short story, a poem, or a chapter in a novel in progress, and we have learned what we needed in order to help each other out of the muck that is our own self doubt.

Each one of us brings a different view, personality, and genre to the table.

We are as different as night and day, the same as the beginning of each sunrise and sunset, and twisted together to bring you everything we’ve got.

Till next time,

~AJP

On Being a Twisted Writer

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Welcome to the Twisted Writers!  Hopefully you had a chance to see our premier post by Jesi Scott from Lunatic Poet and are coming back for more, but if this is your first visit, thanks for stopping by and be sure to check it out as well.

“Why the Twisted Writers?” – you might ask. It’s a good question. Aren’t all writers a bit twisted?  Quite possibly yes, we all are, but this group is happily embracing our inner moonlight as the quote from Allen Ginsberg says above. We aren’t hiding our madness. We are celebrating it! And probably frequently encouraging you to as well.

While our posts will vary depending on the author and his/her particular call to write that day, our focus will be ultimately on writing.  Maybe you are a writer too, hopefully what we write about speaks to you and you feel part of our Twisted community.  Maybe you are a reader and can’t wait to see what our Twisted world has to offer.  Excellent!  Maybe you are our friend or family member and have been ordered to go read our blog immediately.  Sweet, thanks for the support!  Maybe you saw a tweet or Facebook post and thought “What the Hell, why not give them a look.” Great, thanks for checking us out and we hope you’ll come back.

Whatever the reason you may be stopping by, we hope our Twisted ramblings have you coming back for more. This group is varied in age, gender, writing style, experience level and probably in opinions. Thankfully though, we also have a lot in common.

We all have voices in our head that speak to us, and not only are we okay with that, we are happy about it.  When those voices stop talking to us, that’s when we start to worry.

We all have a shared commitment to our writing, both as individuals and as a group.  Part of our reason to do this blog was to help build on what we have all begun and we’re excited for you to join us in the process.

Perhaps most in keeping with our Twisted theme, we all rock a wicked sense of humor.  We none of us take ourselves too seriously and we know humor is one of the things that keeps us (relatively) sane.

But not too sane – because we all shelter our spark of madness.  As Robin Williams once said:

You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.