Trello for Writing Projects

Hey-o! What a fantastic Tuesday. I’ve been super productive the last several days. I’m back in the recording booth. I took an ever-so-slight…um…4-month(?) break, but it is officially game back on. I’m 16 chapters in and that number will continue to climb. I solemnly swear that I will also get back to my mastering responsibilities, probably this weekend.

BUT that isn’t really what I’m writing about today. Today, I’m sharing a free app that I really like. I should add a disclaimer that the way I use this app probably isn’t the intended use, and there are other apps that are more specific to my purpose, but this is the one I like.

It’s called Trello. It’s actually a team project management app. I do use it for projects, but I don’t have an official team and my projects are stories.

Here’s a sample of what it looks like.

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What you get when you first open the app is a list of your boards. The above picture is a board I created just for you! I can’t put my real ones up because they’ve got titles and character names and stuff, and it’s my super secret clubhouse.

The boxes on the board are cards. Basically they’re fancy lists that you can name and move around and add information to. Below is a screenshot of a card with a little note that I added.

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As you can see, there are some options under the note. I don’t really use those but I can see how they might be helpful.

You can also add pictures and stuff, but I haven’t had a use for that function yet. Here’s a pic of just how jazzy it can be.

trello

I was previously keeping track of all my writing bits and pieces in a document file, which can get kind of long and annoying if I want to check something quickly like a character traits or name or whatever. Trello makes for a nice quick reference.

I did find a similar app called Novelist that’s geared more toward story plotting, but when I tried it, it didn’t feel as free-form as Trello. It kinda had this forced organization vibe that I did not dig as much.

Plus, I can put pretty backgrounds on my Trello boards and that is, apparently, very important to me.

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So, it’s a fun time if you have a hundred projects going on and need to keep them straight. I highly recommend it.

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Enneagrams for Character Development

Greetings, internetizens! Soooooo today I have some writing stuff.

In the past, I’ve used worksheets for character development. Basically, you lay out your character traits: name, appearance, stuff they like, stuff they don’t like, tidbits about their past and their family, etc.

Lately, I’ve been looking at personality enneagrams. They give a good idea of how certain personality traits can work together in real life humans, kind of like gears in a machine. There are 9 personality traits according to this system. Here’s a quick peek, courtesy of The Enneagram Institute.

The Nine Enneagram Type Descriptions

1 THE REFORMER
The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic

2 THE HELPER
The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive

3 THE ACHIEVER
The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious

4 THE INDIVIDUALIST
The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental

5 THE INVESTIGATOR
The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated

6 THE LOYALIST
The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious

7 THE ENTHUSIAST
The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

8 THE CHALLENGER
The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational

9 THE PEACEMAKER
The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent

You may notice that not every one of the personality traits is good. That is an excellent thing for writers because that makes it easier to construct a balanced character. Nobody wants to read about Mr. or Ms. Perfect. That’s boring.

A similar option for this kind of info is the Myers Briggs Types. That one offers more types, maybe more in-depth information. Personally, I prefer the relative simplicity of the enneagrams.

If you’d like to read more about the enneagrams, here’s a link to the Enneagram Institute.

For the Myers Briggs Types, here’s a link to The Myers Briggs Foundation.

lady-wiith-typewriter

 

Series Notes

Hey-o! How are things? Well I hope. I’m super excited about Thanksgiving as I’m sure many other people are. I have an avalanche of things to be thankful for, mostly the fam. They’re okay people most of the time.

I’ve been hard at work on the dark fantasy/horror series I have coming out next year. I finally decided how to format the thing.

Every month, I’ll release either a set of three short stories or a long/novelette-lengthish story. Three months will make a season. Seasons will get box set releases that will basically be everything that came out that season lumped together, and they will get audiobooks.

Then, at the end of 3 seasons, which will be a year, I’ll release another box set, which will contain all three seasons worth of stories plus some author notes, etc.

I will probably release at least some of the stories as a podcast.

Why write short fiction? Well, first, I like it. Even as a kid, I had a thing for short stories. Poe. Those Hitchcock collections. Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark. And I think I might be better at writing short fiction. People seem to respond better to my shorter things. I’m okay with that. There are way worse things to be good at.

I think I mentioned this before, but I am writing a year of releases before the first one comes out. That will make this beast much easier to wrangle. Current status: all of season 1 is in some level of edit, and I think the writing for season 2 is about 25% done. Season 3 consists of only notes so far.

I’m shooting for an April release date, but you never know what might happen between now and then.

I have also selected a mascot for the series.

moth

Have a great holiday!!!

Updates

This is my birthday month! YAY! Please give me a moment while I put on my crown.

giphy

 

I have been SO lazy lately. I’m still not writing anything but notes for future projects. I do have a  series in the works that will likely begin in either the tail end of this year or the beginning of next year. There’s a lot involved, so I’ve been busy putting all my thoughts and ideas into some kind of logical order.

The series is going to consist of creepy/dark short stories and novellas, so each “book” will be either 3 short stories or one novella-length story or maybe something close to novella length. I plan to release one book every month, but I’m not releasing any installments of the series until I have at least 9 months of releases ready to go.

This probably seems daunting, but it’s not as crazy as it might sound. I went through a bit of an obsessive writing spurt a few months ago, so significant progress has already been made. I’m going to finish out my notes for the last few bits and then hopefully embark on another obsessive writing spurt. Momentum is easier to keep when the works are shorter.

Other updates: Scifi novel is on hold. Audiobook – I am procrastinating like nobody’s business. I plan to submit another quality check to ACX by the end of the week. I’m getting closer, and that is very exciting. By the time I get that all worked out, audiobook production is going to feel like a superpower.

That’s it for now.

Current Mood+Who I Write Like

Current mood:

sloth

I have been lazy. I am not writing, aside from some notes for future projects. I have not been editing.

I’ve been brushing up on the writing/plotting skills. Future projects are going to be much more exciting, for sure.

I also did do a who-I-write-like text analyzer thing. Apparently, I write like this guy.

cody

 

 

 

I have no idea who that is, but I plan to check him out. I was hoping for someone who specializes in one of my preferred genres, but you know, whatever.

Catch ya later, alligators.

 

 

In which the author was informed of shortcomings

Okay, so apparently, my writing has some somewhat slow patches. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I might improve…well, everything, so this is a good time for the you-kinda-suck meteor to hit.

I’ve officially entered slash and burn mode with my scifi book. There’s too much of it. The feedback I’ve gotten from test readers has been about 95% negative. Most of the complaints were about pacing.

When I think about where I might’ve gone wrong, it was likely in my initial notes. I plot out my novels pretty thoroughly, but then I neglect to read the notes before I start writing. I read them as I write, of course; that’s what they’re for.

But what I need to do is a note edit between the writing of the notes and the writing of the book. That’s definitely happening in the future.

I also need to focus on cutting almost all the scenes that don’t involve people running for their lives. I have grossly underestimated the importance of constant running. There are authors who can get away with a slower pace. I am, apparently, not one of them.

I’ve actually gotten similar feedback on my writing once before during the edit of my first middle grade novel. I ended up halving the word count by the end of it, and the pacing was better after that. Turns out, the thing that was wrong with that book is also a thing that’s wrong with at least some of my other writing.

But those are things I can fix.

I will have to make an effort to keep the action from being repetitive, too. I don’t want to end up at a point in which readers are like oh, good, another shootout. We didn’t have one of those like two pages ago.

This book probably still won’t be constant running, but I can definitely make it more consistent running.

/Takes out red marker/

A Downward Spiral and a Smallish Absence

Greetings! I am currently caught in a downward spiral of perfectionism (which, regrettably, never actually results in perfection).

The bad news: I basically trashed my entire audiobook recording…again. I can’t help myself. Here’s the deal: so I switched out my recording equipment maybe…halfwayish? The new mic was way better than the old mic, which presented 2 problems: inconsistent audio quality and the better mic picked up more room noise, ie a slight echo.

The good news: I revamped my booth with better insulation. Foam is out; mover blankets are in, and that has helped tremendously. I already rerecorded the entire book. I did that in a week plus a weekend, so I guess that tells me how lazy I was previously being. I do need to edit those files, which I’m getting ready to go work on.

Due to a super heavy, self-inflicted workload, I might be absent from the blog for a bit. I have a lot that I want to finish in the next 2-3 months. I will definitely be on during mid-late August and early September for the Wild Spirits of the Hollow release. I will also still be running the Authors Read podcast.

I might pop in here if I just can’t help myself.

Catch ya later, percolator.

word vomit