Tag Archives: Write

Point of View

One of the most important things we have to decide when writing is the point-of-view (POV). The most important thing to consider when deciding the POV is deciding your main character and if secondary characters also want to show their point-of-view. This is especially true in romance, many of the stories are written from the viewpoint of the two main love interests usually in third person. Although I have read a few that are in the first person. Just remember to stay consistent throughout the book. (But even then there are exceptions to the rule such as American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis, which starts in first person and ends in third).

First person POV is limited to what the main character can see and feel. This is especially great for emotional connection to a character and individual character growth. The third person POV can be more flexible and doesn’t depend on staying on one character throughout the entire book. For third person try to keep a limit on the number of POVs in one scene because the reader can become confused on who is thinking and doing what in the scene if the POV keeps changing too much.

The character’s POV also has to do with your character’s reveal. The POV can explain characters personality traits such as confidence levels and what is important. Do you want the reader to know everything up front or do you want your reader to slowly learn about your character in phases as the story progresses? I have mixed feelings on this. Honestly, it has to do with the writer.

In my experience, I find I get bored when information is poured into me in the beginning of the story. I just want the story to get started. But remember readers are all different and some prefer the details of the characters and plot placed for them in the beginning. If you can keep your reader interested while you spill out all your character’s information, I say more power to you. Remember this also has to do with your character. If they are the type to lay it all out on the line then do a reveal in the beginning. If they are more the type to get the action started and explain later than start with action.

Remember this is your character’s story and they have a way of telling you how they want their story told. So choose a POV and keep writing.

 

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Writing Inspiration

Inspiration to write can come at anytime, usually when there isn’t a pen & paper or computer to type on. How many times have I been standing in line at the post office or waiting in the doctors office when suddenly a really great story idea hits? I also find myself repeating the idea over and over in my head so I don’t forget it while I find something to write on. Thankfully my phone has a “notes” app on it now so I can easily jot down story ideas as they creep up at the most inopportune times.

I know I like to watch music videos for story inspiration. Music videos can hold some of the greatest visuals while the music musters up feelings of inspiration that may stir ideas for a story. Some of the best story ideas come from a variety of places ranging from artwork to music.

Another great spot for story ideas is dreams. The worst time is always dreams for me, the story idea is usually wonderful but why does it have to be at four in the morning? I can hardly focus to get the idea down and then I’m ridiculously tired the next day for work. But it was worth it…right? Dreams are a tough because you have to get the idea down right away or the story will start to fade. Keep something to write on by the bed and write it down right away so you don’t forget the story.

The best way to fight writers block or get ready to write the next big story is to get away from the blank page and visit websites or blogs that inspire ideas. This does not mean start wasting your time on Facebook. It drives me insane when I hear people complain they don’t have enough time in the day to get what they want done, like finish their story. Especially when I see them posting something on Facebook or Twitter every five minutes. Trust me you have time, you’re just wasting it.

Watching a TV show (one or two episodes not a whole season in one day) or a movie can help inspire ideas. I find that reading a book when I get frustrated with my story is another way to keep me writing. Remember when you read anything that the author also started with a blank page as well.

Don’t plagiarize, these inspirations are here to help you get the story moving not to copy.

So get inspired and keep writing!

 


Writing Wednesday 12/12/12!

Writing Wednesday on 12/12/12! So writing advice for this week is focusing on don’t edit while writing! The best way to get through our stories is to stop editing and just write. Creating the book (right brain) is different from editing the book (left brain). Don’t write and edit.

A great trick for this is making your monitor very simple is turn off the spelling and grammar check. Another great way is to turn off or dim your monitor entirely because you can’t edit if you can’t see the screen.

Challenging yourself to writing sprints is another great way to get the book completed. The idea is to write as many words as possible in usually 30-45 minute increments. Take a break between sprints but challenge yourself to write more each time. These sprints also keep you from editing especially when it’s about getting down as many words as possible.

Even though NaNoWriMo is over it is always a great time to dare yourself into writing so many words a day. This is a great way to set goals and time for yourself to get that book finished. Don’t forget to find time write every day.

I’m not sure if any of you are like me but when I write I like having a basic timeline idea for writing. There are also great books out there on getting your book out in a specific amount of time. My personal favorite is The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within by Alen Watt. Also good books on getting your book done is How to Write a Fiction Novel in 30 Days or Less by Nicholas Black and Write a Novel in Thirty Days by Sara McGrath. These are great books that are about getting the story out so you can concentrate on the editing later.

Don’t forget to challenge yourself and keep writing!

 


Great post on writing emotion! The idea of show, don’t tell is a hard concept for beginning writers to comprehend. Cliches are also an easy mistake to make especially when trying to convey emotions. Using words, specifically abstract nouns, in emotional writing such as “love,” “hate,” “anger,” “fear,” and “guilt” are overused and a different experience for everyone. Using the five senses and description of physical sensations is a much better way to express emotions then telling readers how to feel.

Writing Your Way

Writing about emotion worries writers because it’s so easy to lapse into sentimentality. The secret is restraint at every level. Whatever moved you, artfully conveyed, will move your readers.

We’ve talked about how showing has more power than telling. Showing also allows a precision that telling lacks. The vocabulary of description is huge; the diction of human emotion is limited and limiting.

The first step is to get yourself out of the way. If you narrate in the first person, you will inevitably start adding adjectives about your own feelings. If you show what you saw and heard rather than experienced, you stimulate readers to respond in ways that mean more to them.

Think for a moment about monster stories and movies. The least effective ones, the least scary, show you the creature over and over in close-ups, lots of fangs and claws and red eyes and slobber and blood…

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Drowning in Writing Rain

Wet ManToday, in Colorado, I am surrounded by rain clouds and thunderstorms. I find myself looking out the window more than focusing on my work and my writing. I feel down and drowsy, which the weather fits, and I can’t seem to get motivated. I’m living in my own little world instead of writing about it.

Unfortunately, this entire week has felt like that. I just can’t seem to focus on my book. So what should we do in situations like this? (Especially because I know I need to write everyday.) I call it a reading and learning week. When I have those days were I would rather gaze out lovingly at the weather patterns I try to read from my booklist of favorite authors and/or how to book on writing, editing, and being awesome.

I figure as long as my brain is focused on the idea of writing I won’t lose my momentum when I finally have my freak out that I’m behind. I also like having this blog to keep me on track, it gets me talking and thinking about writing.

To stay focused on those tough days:

1. Put yourself into a schedule so even if you don’t want to write, too bad, it’s on the to do list.

2. Use scented candles and a specific herbal tea to help build the writing setting. THis way when you smell the candle and drink the tea your brain starts associating that with writing times.

If you really can’t focus:

1. Instead start editing some of those older stories or writing projects. I find that even just critiquing my other stories allows me time away from the story I’m avoiding but also helps me look at how my writing has grown, inspiration to keep going.

2. As mentioned before, read a book by a favorite author. This always puts me in the mood to write. After a good book I become determined to put my own stories down on paper.

Sometimes your brain is just telling you to take a break. Even though we may want to push forward with the story, the unfocused days are just your brains way of saying, “Hey, I need a minute to breathe.” So don’t take unfocused days personally, we are only human after all.

So try to focus, breathe, and keep writing!


Believability in Characters

Man with MagicStories need to have believability in the magic created for characters. I don’t like books where characters suddenly realize she or he has a power, such as a character suddenly realizing she always had the power to turn her enemies into toads with just a thought at the end of a book to solve the final conflict. The story is now unbelievable, like the author suddenly realized they put their characters into a situation she couldn’t get out of so the magical wizard suddenly finds her power. I find myself asking, “Where did that just come from?” and scanning back in the book to find what I missed.

On the other hand I don’t mind characters that are growing with their power. If the hero starts with only being able to start a soft breeze and by the end of the book he can create a hurricane, that works too. Just as long as the readers get to see the character grow and change with their new found abilities.

The heroines and heroes of my favorite stories have to have limits, if they don’t why is the antagonist even a threat? I have read a few stories where the heroes or heroines are near impossible to harm or even kill and I found myself wondering, “Why don’t they just rule the world?” I mean obviously no one can even touch them. I like limits, I can relate to characters with limits and people who have to make sacrifices for the things they want. This also creates conflict which is essential to any good story.

A great way to create limits is the source for power and magic. The source needs to be believable such as a genie who can only grant three wishes or blood as the sacrifice for more power. With limits the characters have to think before they leap. Plus this gives us romantics a way to spice up our stories, what better way to say I love you then having the main character sacrifice everything for the man he loves?

Also think about instruments needed for magic such as wands or ingredients like salt or herbs. If a mage needs to have a wand or a dove’s feather to perform magic there is a limit to the power giving him or her a weakness and believability.

So create those rules, make your characters vulnerable, and keep writing!


Script Frenzy in April!

There is 28 days until the Script Frenzy is starting for 2012!

This is a fun contast that takes place every year in April.

You have to write 100 page script in 30 days.

This is very similar to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that takes place in November but is Script Fenzy is for screen writing. This is a great month to blast out that script for a movie you have been thinking of writing or even just a great way to challenge yourself into a new project.

So start putting together those story ideas and outlines so you can start your movie script for April!

This is a free event that works off donations. So check out their link at ScriptFrenzy.org!


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