Spare Time and a Notebook

Today I had some free time, waiting on something.  I didn't have my laptop or anything with me, just notebook paper and a pencil.  What did I do?  I planned.  I dreamed.  I brainstormed.

At the time, I was thinking about the two new story ideas that were brewing in my head.  So I started rambling about them.  I didn't worry about being neat, I just rambled.  And some brilliant thoughts came to me.  What if I combined the stories?  If I tweaked just a couple of things...  And off I went!

I also dreamed.  I attempted to draw a couple of covers, putting it under a drawn Barnes and Noble sign.  :)  I thought about being published...  *sigh*  I do tend to do things like that a lot.

What do you do when you have spare time and a notebook?

Camp NaNoWriMo begins TOMORROW!  I may be less frequent in my posts in usual.  Please forgive me.  


Share the Love Challenge Tag

Audrey at https://themeasureofabook.wordpress.com started the Share the Love Challenge Tag.  I was tagged by Ally at 
The Scribbling Sprite.  Thank you so much, Ally!

About Ally (copied from her blog): Ally loves to read and review books, while always keeping a Christian perspective. In her spare time, she likes to write, draw, and eat ice cream frozen yogurt. Some of her favorite books include the Harry Potter series, the Mark of the Lion trilogy, Jane Eyre, the River of Time series, and the Anne of Green Gables books. Ask for one book recommendation and she'll give you at least four. She thinks she's a mythical creature. Let her think that. It makes her feel unique.

What I love about her blog: 
-She has awesome book reviews.  :)
-She supported other bloggers by doing a fan month.
-She encourages other writers.
-She replies back to comments, which is really neat.  :)
-She is very positive.
-I love her writing style!
I highly encourage you to check out her blog!

My favorite blog post of her's is probably http://thescribblingsprite.blogspot.com/2015/02/writer-struggles-you-know-that.html Writer Struggles: You Know That Place...With That Thing.  It puts this struggle in such tangible words.  Thanks, Ally!

So, I now tag...
Athelas at Red Lettering

"What do I do?" you say.
-Post these instructions and the tag in your post
-Include a link to the blogger who tagged you somewhere in the post.
-If possible, put the biography of the blogger who tagged you in the post.
-List some of the things that you love about their blog.
-Mention their favorite post-Tag as many bloggers as you can! Share the love! (And remember, the more you tag, the more people will hear about you and your blog.)
-Don’t forget to let the bloggers know you’ve tagged them.


Screenwriting vs. Novelling

I have written a post about the format of a screenplay, but how does writing a screenplay differ from writing a novel?  There are many differences, but here are some of the main ones I have noticed.

1. Screenplays focus on dialogue.  In a novel, dialogue is important, but action must be described very well to create a movie in the reader's head.  For example, if you are writing a book and are describing a black telephone, you might write a paragraph about write it tooks like.  In a movie, it will be there, on the screen.  

2.  In a screenplay, description is used as a guide for the directors to create the action with actors.  

3. A screenplay length is based on page numbers, not on word count.  In the world of novellests, word count is always talked about.  "My novel is 90k words!" or "I want my book to be at least 50,000 words."  In screenwriting, pages are the focus because when properly formatted, a page equals one minute of screen time.

I would like to take this time to thank my followers for putting up with the crazy posts here at Elvish Pens, Fantastical Writings!  Thank you!


The Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever

Yes, I know this is a writing blog, but this is by far the best cake I have ever had.  My dad made this cake for my birthday (which is tomorrow) and I just ate a piece.  Wow.  It.  Was.  Amazing.  So, here is the recipe.

15.25 oz devil food chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
8 oz sour cream
5.9 oz instant pudding mix
1 cup Reese's peanut butter morsels
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup HOT tap water
Heat oven to 350
Use whisk attachment on Kitchen-Aid mixer. Stir cake mix and pudding mix. While mixer is set to stir, sour cream, pour in oil then hot water. Increase to speed 4 for 20-30 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape sides. Turn mixer to stir (2) and incorporate the chocolate & peanut butter morsels. 
Spray two 9" cake round pans (silicone work best). Spread cake batter evenly between pans. Bake for about 45 minutes until spongy and toothpick or knife blade releases clean. Cool cake rounds completely before removing from pans. Level cakes with a cake wire cutter if necessary. Wrap in saran wrap and place in freezer to freeze the cakes for up to 7 days. 
Remove cakes from freezer and frost with Peanut Butter frosting. Pipe flowers on cake and place Reese's peanut butter cups in frosting flowers. Pipe smaller frosting dots around base of cake and top frosting dots with chocolate morsels. 

• 2 sticks butter
• Jar Reese's Peanut Butter
• 2 cups confectioner sugar
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 2 pinch salt
• 1 TSP Vanilla
• maybe 1 TBSP Heavy Cream
= stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat butter and peanut butter until smooth (about 20-30 seconds). Add sugar and salt; beat until sugar is 1/2 moistened. Stop, Scrape bowl and continue until fully combined. Scrape bowl then add Vanilla and and enough Milk to get spreading consistency. Beat until incorporated (about 10 seconds). Increase speed to medium high and whip until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes) scraping bowl each minute.

Doesn't that look absolutely incredible?  It is, in case you are still wondering.  :)

A Reader's Skim Button

The best way to learn the craft of writing is to read.  Shocker, right? (note the sarcasm)  I tend to write what I want to read!  So, when writing (actually this happens moreso in the editing process), I think about what presses my skim button as a reader.  For me, this happens when there is a long paragraph.

How do I avoid paragraphs that press a reader's skim button?

1. Use as few words as possible.  Cut out any unnecessary words.  This will cut down on the length of the paragraph.

2. See if you can split the paragraph.

3. Revise.  Revise.  Revise.  I cannot stress this enough.  Editing and revising is critical.


The Book Lover's Questionnaire Tag Post

I was tagged by Katie over at http://awritersfaith.blogspot.com .  Thanks so much Katie!  This is very appropriate for me since I love books.  Seriously, if I am asked for gift ideas, I have a long list of books to ask for.  :) I think it is driving my mom insane.  :)

Do you have a specific place for reading?

Not really.  I will read just about anywhere.  :) I read in a car on a road trip I took this summer and made myself car sick.  No, it didn't stop me from reading (I think I was reading either A Captain's Heart or The Giver at the time I am thinking of).  I think I read 3 books on that trip!

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I would love to get into the habit of using bookmarks.  I even have one that I want to use.  It just isn't always convenient.  I have used just about everything there is to use.  I was reading certain books of the Go Teen Writers book this week and wanted several pages bookmarked.  I used a pack of tissues for one.  Sometimes it is the library receipt thingy that is used.  :)

Can you stop anywhere in a book or do you have to finish the chapter?

I can stop anywhere except the middle of the paragraph, but if I am very close to the end of a chapter I will finish it.

Music or TV while reading?

If I am in the car with my family, there is usually Christian music on.  Sometimes it irritates me when I am reading, but other times I can deal with it.  I haven't mastered reading with the TV on.  Can anybody even do that?

Do you eat or drink while reading?

I must confess that I have done it.  :)  Nothing can stop me from finishing a suspenseful part...

One book at a time or several?

I prefer one book at a time.  I read so fast anyway that I can read one and then another in a couple of days.

Reading at home or elsewhere?

Honestly, I don't care.  I will read just about anywhere.

Read out loud or silently?  

I definitely prefer to read silently.  But I enjoy someone reading a book to me every once in a while.

Do you read ahead or skip pages?

Sometimes I read the end first, then read the book in chronological order...  People hate it when I do that.  I don't skip pages though.  Sometimes I will skim, if it is an extremely long paragraph of dull description.

Breaking the Spine or keeping it like new?

Like new.  Always.  Especially if it is one of my precious signed books.  :D Mmyyy preciousss booksss. (I meant to sound like Gollum.)

Do you write in your books?

People write in their books???  I would never write in my books.  I hesisitate to even write in journals.  I will highlight in a textbook (if it's mine) though.  I think that's a little different though.

Sorry for the silliness, my dear readers.  I must let you know that I am in a happy mood right now, that is why the answers seem like an insane fangirl hacked into my Blogger account.  (Sometimes I can be an insane fangirl however...)

As I am supposed to do, I now tag...

Anna at http://truthofthelens.blogspot.com

Jessica at http://throughtherealemofdreams.blogspot.com

Enjoy the rest of your day!


How to Encourage A Writer

I realize that not all of my readers are writers *cough* my family *cough*.  :) But, whether you write or not, this post is for you.  Us writers are typically sensative (and sometimes overdramatic) about our writing.  But, for someone who doesn't understand, the conversation might look something like this:

Other Person: You're writing a book?

You: Yes *grins*

Other Person: What's it about?

You: Umm...well...uh...it's about a whole bunch of complicated stuff and (inserts a whole bunch of nonsense only the writer understands) and...so yeah...

Other Person: Can I read it?

Sometimes other people just don't understand us writers.  So, here are some tips on encouraging the writer in your life.  :)

1. Do not ask to read their book.  Yes, you probably want to read it sometime, and the writer may want you to read it eventually, but this sentance means you want to read it now.  Depending on what stage in the writing process the writer is in, their book may not be ready to read, or even close to being ready.  Something better to say is, "I would love to read your book when it is finished."  This doesn't put the writer in an awkward position and says that you are willing to wait.  It also shows your interest which is encouraging.

2. When you like their writing, tell them.  Writers (at least I do) love to hear that people like their writing. It boosts their confidence!  If there is something that needs fixed, such as a spelling or grammar error, you may want to politely tell them that there is a typo.  :) Oh, and remember to be honest when giving feedback.

3. Don't critique their work unless they ask you to.  It is okay to say how you liked it, but don't give details unless they specifically ask for it.

4. When they are writing the book, ask them how it is going.  This shows you care about their writing!  Again, don't ask to read it now.  :)

5. When they hit a wall, encourage them to keep going.  Sometimes a little encouragement is all someone needs!

6. Be there for them.  This is true for anyone, not just writers.  Just having support helps them in their journey.

Writing is harder than you might think.  Encouragement is always needed.  If you are a writer, why don't you call, text, or whatever else right now and encourage them.  If you aren't a writer and you know someone who is a writer, do the same thing!

(Just a tip: April, July, and November are especially great months to encourage other writers, seeing as it is NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo!)