Friday, May 20, 2016

Fun With Quotes

So how, exactly does one have fun with quotes?

Glad you asked! If you’re like me, and you enjoy both quotes and research, you start by exchanging quotes on a daily basis with your best bud. But not just any quotes, writing quotes, to give each other inspiration. And you also like researching stuff. So you pick the two best quotes of the week, research a little about the person being quoted, and then share them with the rest of the world. At least you do if you’re me. :-D

My best bud Jamie sent me a good crop of quotes this week and it was hard to choose a favourite. But I finally settled on this one because I could relate so well:

Most writer zombies don't realize they are the undead, because they do just enough to convince themselves (and others) that they are actual writers. They talk a lot about writing -- boy, are writer zombies great talkers -- going on for hours about the screenplay or pilot they're supposedly writing or will write once they have the time. They also read writing books and blogs and take seminars because that makes them feel like they are in the game. And they take classes, especially those that impose short-term deadlines, because that gets them writing, which makes them feel alive. But once the class is over, they almost always go back to their zombie ways.
~ Corey Mandell

I have to make a confession. Like a lot of people, I started out as a writer zombie. I didn’t talk so much about writing but I spent a lot of money on writing books, took a couple of night school classes, and I took three different correspondence courses. I’d start a story and my interest would wane or the plot would peter out and I’d move on to something else. Finally, one day I realized I was spending all my time rewriting - and by rewriting I mean copying them over and over while changing very little - the first six chapters of a book I'd done incredibly detailed character sketches and maps for instead of actually moving forward with the story.

I guess I had a bit of an epiphany at that point. It was shortly after that when I finished my first story. It was a heady feeling. I may have even sent it out to a few likely places. Then I finished another one. Then I attempted my first NaNoWriMo, losing the challenge by about 10,000 words, but still ending up with a finished novel. I was no longer a writer zombie, I was a writer.

I also have to admit I’d never heard of Corey Mandell before, but I’m sure I’ve probably watched many of his movies. He’s a playwright and screenwriter who also offers professional screenwriting and television writing workshops. No wonder his quote was so intriguing. You can learn more about Corey HERE.

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My own quote of the week sort of dovetails with Jamie’s:

Ideas come at any moment -- except when you demand them. Most ideas come while I'm physically active, at the gym, with friends, gardening, so I always carry pen and paper. My first draft is always written in longhand. But once the first dozen chapters, more like short stories, are written, then momentum builds until I can't leave the project until it's done.
~ Chuck Palahniuk

Ideas can be tricky little things, always popping up when you least expect them. I have not joined the electronic age - I don’t have a cell phone to text myself ideas, or carry a tablet with me. Like Chuck, I carry a notebook and pen.

And when I first started writing I also wrote in long hand. So yes, those six chapters I kept re-writing I was being literal. I was re-writing them long hand.

I would like add the suggestion that you save all these ideas you write down, even the bad ones. You never know when you might see one in a different light. Those six chapters I kept re-writing? They became the basis for my swashbuckling fantasy, Magical Misfire.

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