I'm an idiot. I am completely devoid of self-discipline, and I consistently fail to meet my goals.

Quite possibly, it will happen again this time, but maybe if I aim so high as I am now, in the end I will still have something considerable even if I fail.

This December I am going to aim for 30,000 words. That's 1,000 words a day, and thus, absolutely ridiculous. Hell, that's my entire word count right now! But whatever, that's my aim regardless.

I'm starting this PerNoWriMo (or Personal Novel Writing Month) today, the 30th of November, to prepare myself for what's to come. I still have three days left of school before my two month holiday.

Although "systems" don't seem to be my forte, I'm going to try one out here:
- The first thing I will do each morning is write.
- I will reuse the system of "reading-writing / writing-reading" as in my last challenge.
- When I write, my aim for each day will be 1,000 words, but I will not write aiming for word count. Instead, I will aim to complete a number of scenes.
- I may stop once I reach 1,000 words, but no less.

Unfortunately, I won't have the comfort of knowing that people all around the world are also working hard at their novels. However, my friend has agreed to take the plunge as well, so I will have some support.

But now it's time for me to write!

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Writing Challenge: ..."Incomplete"


So let's just say I've got a busy life. Just say.

I didn't write 2,000 words.

But who cares?

I wrote a good 500,
and I think I can write another good 500 tomorrow.

I'm altering my challenge.

I shall write 500 words a day until I am up to date,
and then I shall write something every day until the end of the month.

If I can do that and get to 5,000 this month,
I should easily be able to reach 40,000 by the end of the year.

Or, otherwise be well set-up for any PerNoWriMo challenge I decide on.

Poetry: Haikus Are Easy

Haikus are 5 sylbls, 7 sylbls and 5 sylbls.

I found this little tidbit within a Youtube comment and thought I'd post it here, because I found it quite amusing.

Haikus are easy,
But sometimes they don't make sense.

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Aundes Aura: Chapter Five up for review

The challenge is still on, but it's had to be pushed back till tomorrow due to... repeated parental interruptions. Said parent will be off at work tomorrow, so the day will be mine.

This is just a quick notice to let you guys know that Aundes Aura: Chapter Five is up for review as of right now since Wednesday. So if you're interested in reading or critiquing it, feel free to drop by the fantasy queue.

I'm going to try to get a few words in now just before I go to sleep.

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Writing Challenge: 2,000 Words

Suffices to say, I am well off-track from reaching 5,000 words by the end of this month. After having written today, I am on but 1,557 this month. Truly shameful, but again, you can't expect much amidst the pressure of exams.

However, I do have the next four days off, and I shall make good use of this time.

Tomorrow, I am giving myself a new challenge. An implausable challenge considering my level of perseverance, yet very, very possible.

Upon waking up tomorrow (except for in accordance with the follwing set of rules) I shall not use:
- The internet
- Any electronic device, or

- Any instrument, whether digital or acoustic

Upon waking up tomorrow I shall use:
- Either a laptop, a computer or both
- Raymond E. Feist's Magician and
- Write or Die

Upon reaching 2,000 words, all rules above shall be terminated.

So there, that's my challenge. Reading will be what I use to get my mind moving whenever I'm not writing. When I stop reading, what else will I be able to do than write (and eat) with the above rules in place? It may be a slow day. But I have three afterwards. Hopefully I won't be too burnt out. After tomorrow, I will be pleased with myself if I can just keep writing that something each day.

I don't believe this will put me back on track for the 5,000 words unless I can keep writing consistently afterwards. However, currently being on 31,300 words (*grins*), it should put me well on my way to 40,000 words by the end of December and 2010.

Parting is such sweet sorrow. So let us part not.

It has been yet another dry month at the Dark Corner, and my apologies to those who have kept with me all this time. I have been studying for exams and am now in the midst of them -- however, this does allow me more time.

For the sake of consistency and hopefully to be rid of these dry spells once and for all, I would like to run this blog on a more scheduled basis.

Two days a week I will make a post. One of these days, I will write about Aundes Aura or other aspects of my writing life. On the other day, I will write something to do with the craft of writing itself, whether it's in relation to a short story, a novel, grammar -- anything.

I will also allow myself to write additional posts as they come to me, but those two days when a post is due will come first and foremost.

I love this blog, and I hope you enjoy it too, and I don't want it to disappear into the ether.

Parting is such sweet sorrow. So let us part not.

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Writer's Block: Listing the Possibilities

So you've had a nice pleasant run of easy words. You've managed to make it all the way to that event you've been so excited to write, and you've managed to write yourself all the way through it. And...

Now you're blocked. You know where you want your characters to end up (if you're an outliner). But how do they get there? They can't just walk and talk, can they? Doesn't something more interesting need to happen?

Well, not necessarily.

But if you can get something in there, and make it work well, you've just successfully held a reader's interest for longer.

So: Your characters have just left a village. How do you come up with what happens next, in all that space before the next village is reached?

The easiest option: SKIP IT.
To do so, you can follow these steps.
1. Write in a chapter break or a scene break.
2. Write some narrative summary, summarising the decidedly bland events of the journey.
3. Continue from the arrival of the characters, or the next significant scene.

Sometimes, the easiest option is the best option. If nothing happens that develops the plot, characters or their backstories, consider skipping it and summarising the journey instead.

However, we should not always take the easiest option, otherwise the pacing becomes predictable and bland.

We want to come up with an event that somehow contributes to plot, character development or character backstory.

Now, the idea with the following technique is to write out everything that comes to mind, even the most ridiculous ideas. Once those silly ideas are written down, it frees your mind and the better ideas come to surface.

Here is exactly how I would do it, listing all the possible events that could occur:

- They find a cave that Eoin has heard stories about and they decide to explore it.
- Faine is killed by a snake.
- Saera stabs Faine in the back unexpectedly. She says he was planning to kill them and gives Eoin proof.
- They find a man who has been poisoned.
- A snake attacks and Faine slices it in half.
- A snake attacks and Saera slices it in half.

After having written down all those options, I would choose the last one, as it would contribute well to Saera's character development. 

Since Eoin has been very protective of Saera in the story so far, the fact that she steps up and kills it shows that she is becoming more assertive and tells the reader that she really doesn't need to be looked after. Now Eoin needs to focus on looking after himself.

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Welcome to The Dark Corner of the Mind. My name is Ryan Sullivan and my aim with this blog is to help others with their own writing, as well as to make note of some of my own writing endeavours.

Here at The Dark Corner, Real Life is both our best friend and our worst enemy. Look to him for inspiration, but don't let him get in the way too much.

If he does, bribe him with cookies.

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