Organize and Keep Organized

Hey Reader,

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this tip at least once already, but I’m finding that it’s one that I have trouble with. I’m one of the most organized people I know. I’m not bragging or kidding about that either. My book shelf is never out of order and I have my notes and binders for school color coded. I keep up with it. Not because I need to keep up with everything, but because it drives me crazy if I can’t find something.

Continue reading Organize and Keep Organized

Advertisements

Don’t Let Reality Block You.

Hey Reader,

I recently came across a quote that made me stop and think.

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”

― Ray Bradbury

Okay, so you all know that I’m crazy about Ray Bradbury’s writing, but I’m not going to encourage drinking yourself into a good story. Not literally, anyway. But his words are genius. Serious genius.

This quote made me think about why NaNoWriMo is such a great tool for writers.

During NaNoWriMo, I challenged myself to write double the amount of words as the challenge asked, and what came of that is pretty much what Bradbury is talking about. I was sucked into my story so deeply that I wouldn’t have been able to get out even if I wanted to. It was like every book and TV show and movie out there, my common and deadly distractions, just melted away to make way for the 100,000 words I had in mind. That’s what you need to get the good writing out.

Continue reading Don’t Let Reality Block You.

Connotation

Hey Reader,

Today in my English class we had a discussion about connotation and denotation. That and the thought that goes into sentence structure. It’s a lot to explain, but I know that some of this will help you in your writing.

Okay, there are two words that you need to know. Connotation is the meaning behind a word that isn’t included in the dictionary definition. Denotation is the actual dictionary definition of the word. This is important when you are writing… I’ll show you.

Continue reading Connotation

Invest In Your Characters

Hey Reader,

I’m going to give you a great piece of advice. Seriously, this is one of the most important things for a writer to do.

There is a time in the writer’s process where they have to distance themselves emotionally from the story. They have to let go of all of the emotion and search for problems and plot holes and factual errors. Every writer has to do that at some point, but never in the first draft. Here is where that key piece of advice comes in.

No matter why you chose to write this book, the ultimate goal is to have someone become interested enough to read it. Unless, of course, you are only writing it for your eyes. Even then, the same rules still kind of apply.

Continue reading Invest In Your Characters

Imagine the After

Hey Reader,

This is going to be kind of short, but it is something that helps me. I thought I would share it with you. Maybe it can help you, too.

I like to think that there are a few parts to writing and editing a book. There’s the Before, when you are all excited and planning and optimistic. Where you have sticky notes scattered on planning boards and the smell of sharpies in the air. You know, when you are taking every second you have to dive deeper into the backgrounds of the characters and find more about the details of their futures. Plotting chapters and fixing and patching the problems you foresee.

Continue reading Imagine the After

Warnings for New Writers

Hey Newbie Writer,

So you want to write a book.

That’s awesome. That’s great. Writing is rewarding and inspiring and one of the most accomplishing things you can do for yourself. You can share your ideas with the world through writing. You can dream up another world to escape to. You can pretty much go anywhere and do anything and be anyone with writing. So congratulations on wanting to write a book. This is going to be great.

Except there are some things I should warn you about. Writing isn’t all fun. Some people don’t understand it. It doesn’t seem like something that’s hard to wrap your head around, but you’d be surprised. You have ideas and hopes and dreams and ambitions and other people might understand that. But some people won’t.

Continue reading Warnings for New Writers

Tools for Writers

Hey Reader,

Writing is awesome. We all know that already. But sometimes, and kind of a lot of the time, writing can get hard. Right now, I’m trying to figure out how to rewrite the beginning of my novel, rewriting how the characters meet and form their… complicated relationships. That’s really hard. You might be at a point in your writing where it’s getting difficult too, so I’m not alone in this.

But here’s the good thing: there are things we can use to help us get out of this!

I’m going to call these things tools for writers, even though that’s probably the first thing you think of when you hear them.

Let’s start with books.

Continue reading Tools for Writers

Finish What You Started

Hey Reader,

So here’s the thing. I talked a lot on Tuesday about how there isn’t a second to waste when you are writing. About how writing is that thing that fills the cracks and holds us writers together like crazy glue. I talked a lot about that, but it isn’t the only way to go.

A good writer will fill all of the cracks and crevices with their writing. Like glue.

But a good writer also should know when to step back and let all of that glue dry before going back to clean up the mess.

Continue reading Finish What You Started

Not a Second to Waste

Hey Reader,

There was something that came to me today that I thought would really relate to writing. And now that I think about it, it does.

Today I took my last two midterms for the semester (Yay!). For my psychology course, we had 100 minutes to answer 125 questions. The teachers always tell us to use our time wisely because we don’t want to run out in the middle of the test. But we also don’t want to go too fast and make silly mistakes. Do you see where I am going with this?

Continue reading Not a Second to Waste

Picking Your Main Character

Hey Reader,

Is it just me, or do main characters always seem to be the right one to tell the story? I mean, there is a reason for that. You want your reader to like your main character. You want it to be relatable. You want to tell the story through the best eyes possible. But there’s more to it than that.

Today we’ll talk about choosing who will tell your story. Who the main character is. This is something that might take some consideration. I know many writers start out with a story based around a protagonist, someone that is obviously going to be telling the story. Someone who makes a change in the plot. Someone who is essential for the entire story to actually happen.

Continue reading Picking Your Main Character