Came across an article by Novel Now and it explained the seven important elements of structuring your novel. I agree with all the elements. When I started writing, I didn't begin with a hook to attract my readers to read my book. Through research and a short writing course I learnt how to write a hook for my novel. To make my book interesting had to have different plot points and climax for my story. The resolution is the ending of the book. Have a great ending to your book don't leave your readers hanging.
Came across this article written by Dan Fries. It looks at the eight ways how writing can help individuals through a though time. I agree with the article because I started writing when I felt depressed and writing my emotions on a piece of paper was helpful. Writing helps you express emotions on a piece of paper and it does make you feel better. Not only is the article talking about people writing down their feeling it also looks at writers blocks and how to overcome it and why writing daily is helpful.
One of the best things I enjoy about writing is creating characters. Here are my tips:
Make then believable
There should have emotions, goals, fears, strengths and weakness. Avoid making your character too perfect. Everyone has a good and bad side.
Describe your characters.
When describing your characters avoid putting a long description. For example. She was tall, blue eyes, brown hair, curvy hips, big lips, big smile, long legs. Try to throw their description around. She tied her long brown hair in a ponytail and started jogging. Give your characters distinctive features or habits, a scar on her arm, a bird tattoo on her necks, rubs hairs when nervous.
Having a leading character.
Who is your leading male or female character. Avoid having too many leading characters. The leading character is the one who is there from beginning to end.
Don't have too many characters. When editing your story make sure the character has a purpose in your story and if they don't, chop them. One character can do more then one thing.
Give your character names that you can pronounce
Don't give your characters names you cannot pronounce. Xenhyophino, if you cannot say it, don't use it. Stick to traditional names. If you are having trouble naming your character combine two people's name or use a phone directory. Same names will come naturally to you.
Give your character a backstory. Everyone has a past, where they grow up, what factors in their life made them what they are now, past relationships, parents, siblings. Not all backstories have to have a tortured past.
Friends and Foes.
Give your characters friends, everyone has a social life or someone they share their life with. Give them enemies, why don't they like a particular person, cause conflict between your characters, it adds the intensity and drama of your story.
I came across this article written by Marianne Richmond. Would you rather for writers. I decided to answer the question.
Would you rather read your writings to an audience of ten people who love you or to 10,000 people you don’t know?
I think I rather read it in front of people I don't know. I will get an honest feedback and get different opinions.
Would you rather publish one insanely great-selling book and never write again … or publish a string of 15 average-selling books over a 20-year period?
I want to continue writing after I publish my book. I don't know what I would do if I can never write again so I will go with the latter.
Would you rather be recognized wherever you go… or live a quiet (monetarily successful) life of anonymity?
A quiet life is best and you can do whatever you want.
Would you rather be rich and loathed or poor and well-loved?
Can't I be rich and well-loved
Would you rather do a cross-country book store tour or blog tour?
A cross country book store tour is better. You get to meet your readers, talk to people and enjoy the food and sightseeing.
Would you rather write in a rooftop garden surrounded by city noises — or in a quiet studio with cows as your neighbors?
I like writing at a quiet place, so I don't mind having the cows as my neighbours
Would you rather teach writing in a high school or go back to grad school for a Creative Writing degree?
I will go back to grad school for a creative writing degree, I guess I may learn something new.
Would you rather bravely share your writing or sit on the writing sidelines forever?
I will share my writing one day.
Wring is the easy bit. You write, write and write until you finish your first draft. Then the hard part comes. EDITING.
Tips on editing:
What a year, I have done a writing marathon, done a novel writing challenge, wrote more short stories and enjoyed the journey. If you have not started writing, here is a way to get started. Make 2017 the year you write.
Keep a journal on what happened that day. I did one for my running, een though I ran the same route, there was always something different.
Start a blog, it dosent have to be a writing blog, it can be cooking, travelling, fishing or whatever your interest is. It will motivate you to write.
Write about your experience, the day you went to Aruba, sky diving, first time you ate crickets or life in university. Everyone has a moment in their life, share yours.
Motivate yourself to write a short story, or challenge yourself to write a novel. You don't have to spend your whoe day writing. An hour is good to start. Use writing prompts to get you started if you are stuck.
Here are four writing quotes to get you started.
Quotes for Writinng
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
Writing is the painting of the voice
To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music that words make.
Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.
E. L. Doctorow
I know I have been quiet on my blog. Lat month I took the novel writing challenge. November was"National Writing Novel month," So last month I rose to the challenge and attempted to write a novel. I had taken a short Novella (a book longer then a short story but smaller than a novel.) that I wrote sometime back and tried to exttend it. Yes finished my first novel draft but still working on it.
So what did I learn
There are good and bad writing days
(A good day will write 2000 words a bad day 500 words.)
You have to write everyday or atleast five days a week
(The first day is the hardest but if you countinue everyday, it becomes easier.)
You will have scenes which you love and sceneces you hate.
(If there is a scene you hate try changing it or put it aside never throw it. It may come handy for another story)
Write first edit later.
(Write, write , write forget about the spelling mistakes, sentences, and chapters just write. When you are done writing edit, change the sentences, spellings and rearrange your paragraphs.)
Your story will change as you write your first draft.
(New characters, new scenes, your leading character in your intial draft will become your supporting character. Accept the changes.)
If you hit a writer's block do something different.
(I started painting again afterr ten years. Doing something different really helps. Painting helped me to focus om something else other than writing.)
One of the lessons I have learnt when I started writing is that I should show not tell. Show how one feels, not tell how one is feeling.
Tell: she was angry
Show: she entered the house slammed the door, walked towards the red glass vase with red roses. Hit the vase with her bare hands. It fell on the floor shattering in many pieces.
You can sense that she is angry by describing it.
I came across this article written by Erin from Daily writing tips. She explains the art of showing and not telling. Do you remember when you were in school you had a class called composition and would describe a place as beautiful or a person as tall, long hair, or in a dialogue you would use, she said or he said. that is all showing. According to the article you have to be descriptive, be specific, describe dialogue and use all your senses and colour to describe a place.
Here Is another example describing all your senses, colour and place.
Telling: Sally is at the beach
Sally felt exhausted but happy the beautiful clear turquoise ocean stretched for miles touching the blue sky, white waves flowed back and forth leaving seashells and seaweeds behind. Dark green coconut trees stretched for miles along the beach, some tall, short or slanted on the side. White seagulls screeched as they flew around while children laugh from a distance. The hot white fine sand under her bare feet as she walked towards the water wearing a blue and white shelves sundress as the hot wind blows her dress and blond hair. The warm waves embrace her feet as her lips felt salty and the aroma of fried fish filled the air. Picked a white and purple seashell. Walked along the beach enjoying the warm water and the muddy sand leaving footprints.
We know Sally is at the beach without saying she is at the beach by describing where she is
I have described:
the place: the beach
the colours:, blue green, purple
the senses: the waves, coconut trees (sight), the children, seagull (hear), white sand under her feet, shell (touch), fried fish (smell), salty (taste),
Shapes: long tall,
Person description: blond hair, walking bare foot.
Read the article below for more tips on showing with more examples.
Today I got a shock. Write to Done sent an email with the heading. Warning, you could be sued for plagiarism. I was taken aback and wondered did I plagiarise a story or something than I opened the email. It was an article written by Megan Krause called "How to avoid being sued for plagiarism." I was relieved and read the article. It looked on ways on how to take creditability of other people work. Just like university when you do a research paper you had to credit the author and the article where you got the information from. The article looks at tips on how to avoid being sued such as avoiding using other peoples works and images and the right way to quote their work. This is not like university where you get a warning or suspension for using someone's work, you are more likely to be sued.
I came across this article called "10 mistake (Almost) every rookie writer makes Part 1 and 2". Written by Susan Defrietas on Lit Reactor. I am guilty of doing some of these things like changing my tense from past to present in a paragraph. Stressing about someone stealing you idea. I do not know why I stress about it, no two fiction stories are the same. Dialogue is important but make sure it is not flat. Using of overused words is a no no according to this article. For example overusing saw, was, or even I or she. I learnt a lot from this article and it helps you watch out for mistakes.
When you start writing there are tools that a first timer should use. Every person is different. These are my five tools.
This program helps you with your sentence structure, grammar, it picks up overused words, clichés and vague words in your writing.
The element of style by Strunk White Kalman
There are many writing book out there. The element of style is a grammar rule book which explains all the grammar issues such as dialogue, verbs, commas and many more.
Another good program. It helps you plan your ideas, your characters and scenes for your book. They also have templates to follow if you want to write a short story,
Your imagination is an import tool. Let your imagination run loss. Be inspired to create a story, find your inspiration from things you see or hear. Use your imagination to create a person, place or story.
You have the programs, you have the imagination now get your pen and paper or open the laptop and start writing. Let the story flow.
Attend a short writing class whether online or in person. There are book authors, editors or publishers who can help you with improving your writing. You get feedback from your peers and tutors. Make sure you do your homework on the courses you choose.
One day you are filled with ideas the next day you have run out of ideas. When coming across a writer's block you need to get inspired to write a new idea or chapter or scene. Here are a few pointers.
Take a stroll outside
A small walk to the park or a shop can help you form an idea take your characters with you for a walk. An idea will usually pop up for example Mary and Mark decided to meet at the park and you continua walking towards the park.... what happens next .....a black car passes by and Mark gets shot.....continue walking what happens next .....Mary screams as the car speeds away. ....and you continue walking as an a scene is played in your mind,
Do something different
Go to the museum or art exhibition or cook or paint just do not write on that day but create a story in your mind when you are looking at a painting or cooking for example.....Stefano paintings had a hidden secret each of his painting represented something a strange secret displayed five paintings.....each painting tells a story.....what is Stefano hiding.
Take a short holiday
Go on a holiday and create a story describe your surrounding in a note book and try and incorporate it in your book maybe you never thought of your characters taking a holiday and now you characters have taking on example...they landed on the beautiful islands the water was clear blue with coconut trees everyway.....but the Island looked deserted where is everyone.
Clear your mind
Take a break and clear your mind and relax do not think of your book or your characters just RELAX and do some yoga.
Write to Done had an article today called 101 tips to improve your writing, this article was written by Bryan Collins a writing coach. This article looks at tips from writing blog posts to writing company reports to emails and fiction writing. The tips are quiet handy and agree with all of them. There are short and straight forward tips. Enjoy the article and do not forget to do the grammar quiz in #92, Happy reading.
No two minds think alike when it comes to writing. A blogger will tell it's followers to write a short story on a dialogue or picture they placed on the website and that one story or image creates many stories from different writers. For example one blogger had put a picture of a man sleeping on the floor and the blogger encouraged its followers to create a story. I wrote a story about a drunk person who had party all night long, someone else wrote a story about a dead person, another story was about a bachelor's party and another story was about someone who accidently slipped on the floor. Even if there is a story about a party, it is not the same party, Everyone creates a different story on what they perceive.
Another thing I learnt is that writing from a dialogue is much easier because a conversation flows easily but writing a story from a image is much harder because you have to consider the situation and think for awhile before you write, Other people will differ and find a dialogue harder to write and an image easy to write.
Every conversation, story and writing differs differently from writer to writer, we all have a creative mind, what is your story.
I came across an article on Write to Done where they spoke about creating a website for Authors. I learnt a lot from this website. This are my top six points.
Sometimes ideas pop up when you are not writing or staring at your screen, it is when you decide to shut down your computer and do something else and pop an idea comes to mind and you go argh. Here are places where ideas pop
When you are washing dishes
Yes, this has happened to me. I need a new idea for my writing and I saw the dishes and I decided to wash them and when I was washing them an idea came to mind and I had to write it down immediately.
Taking a shower
This has happened so many times I have lost count. Whenever I am enjoying a nice warm shower an Idea pops in my mind. Why when I am having a shower I have no idea.
Why dose this always happen when you go bed and waiting to doze of an idea creeps into your mind and wish your mind had a recorder to record the story playing in our mind.
Yes cooking, your imagination creates a scenario for you when you are chopping something or cutting something.
I write because
The morning is the best time for me to write, I tend to be more creative in the morning and have more ideas as well as editing my story. In the morning my hands types away while my conscious tells the story, my imagination paints a picture in front of my eyes when I describe a character or place. My emotions and feelings are true when I write.
When the day spills to the afternoon I continue writing, sometimes taking a break between the morning and afternoon gives you more ideas. A one hour break can make you change your story and helps you think on how to make your story better.
By four o'clock I am exhausted from writing, rarely write at night but when I do it is not a lot a few ideas here and there that pop in my head.
Writing to me is the number one cure of depression. You can go crazy with a bad state of mind writing helps you release all the emotions you have inside you. So how did this all start.
I had finished high school and was waiting to start college I had a three months break the weekend past but then the days started getting longer no more studying no homework nothing to do I started to learn how to cook and bake but that only took no more than two hours. I was filled with boredom and depression came as well you start worrying about the future and fill down when everyone has something to do.
Then one Sunday I came across this article called beating depression, "one has to find their creative side to keep their mind active from painting, photographing, writing or a new hobby." I remembered how I used to enjoy creative writing in high school so I decided to write a short story and I did.
My short story was based on my teenage life I wrote a book called Alison high my characters were based on people who I met through out primary and high school all the things that happen, From the crush, who like who, the gossips and rumours the prom and some made up stuff just to give the book a little spice.
The days got shorter and went faster, I felt happier and I continued writing until I started college. Making up a story was a great pastime for me. I beat depression by making my mind active and I still do that.