All posts tagged: writing advice

NaNoWriMo: Encouragement for the Weeks Ahead #NaNoWriMo #Author #Writer

The first five days of NaNoWriMo are behind us with many more blessedly ahead. Some of you have achieved your daily writing and creative goals while others may have missed your designated marks shy of a few words. No worries. You will achieve your goal if you stick with it. Consider the first five days of NaNo as your glorious warm up. The fact still remains that when we set out with a great goal and miss our intended marks at the very start, we tend to lose momentum or even the courage to continue. Our plans seem not to be as ‘plausible’ as they were before…and then we drift…staring at our computer screens too afraid to make music by clicking the keys of our keyboards. Can we really do this? Can we conquer our vision for NaNoWriMo? Everyone else around us seems to be doing just fine. I would like to take this time to give you a bit of creative advice especially in moments when our creativity seems to get the best of us and …

How to Take NaNoWriMo 5 Day Creative Tip Countdown Begins TOMORROW #NaNoWriMo #Fiction #Writing

Hello, Creatives! We are just FIVE days away from November 1st, which means we are FIVE days from the start of NaNoWriMo! (National Novel Writing Month.) This is the month for NaNo vets and newcomers to put their creative noses to the grind and crank out a 50k word novel in 30 days! Starting tomorrow at 9am EST, I will be giving a daily tip to help you get ready to accomplish your writing goal. Also, for those who are maybe stumped about what to write, I am adding a link to some of my favorite Monday’s Muse Writing Prompts to help you get started should you need a little bit of a boost. Remember, if you do choose to use the writing prompt(s) be sure to omit the opening line from your overall word count. MY ADVICE FOR HOW TO USE THE PROMPTS  Use the pictures as inspiration and create your own opening line that will lead to the start of your 50k word count. Use all 5 suggested prompts and dedicate 10k words to …

Voice of Description: A Writing Exercise

I am certainly not the best at description but like most of us who strive to be the very best writing versions of ourselves, I am a work in progress. Today, for Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal, I want to do an exercise of Description. ‘Description’ is everything when it comes to writing. We as writers do not have the same ‘advantages’ as those who create physical visual art. We do not paint with oils on canvas, we paint with words on the canvas of our reader’s minds. We don’t have the bonus of background music to lead our scenes, letting our readers know the monster is coming around the corner or that the brooding man is about to kiss his love interest. Nope. What we have are words to translate the vibrancy, heart and soul of our stories, and boy can they be the most powerful tool of all especially if they are wielded in the right way. In order for our work to translate with the vibrancy, we intend it to we need to master the art …

What Did You Say?: 4 Steps to Building Up Your Craft with Words

We’ve all done it, said ugly things about our art, found the faults in our craft so much so that we alone have brought ourselves down into the very depths of discouragement’s dumps. (Take a look at Artful Aggression for more on that.) It’s an easy thing to do, really, to see what is wrong with what we’ve created. And let’s face it, nothing is ever really perfect not even your final draft. But even with that being the case there has to be something worth praising in the work that you have accomplished in its pre-polished form. So as an exercise, I am challenging you to create a list to combat all the negatives that you’ve said about your work in the past while giving you some keys to keep you positive in your creative future. STEP ONE: Identify your familiar negatives, the ones you say the most about your work. STEP TWO: For each familiar negative, create a positive response. Here, I’ll share my own top 3 negatives and do some positive combating as …

Write that Book!: 3 Reasons to Write Your Novel

I believe that everyone at some point in their life journey has made the statement, “I think I should write a book.” While many have said it, very few have actually embarked on the task when you think about it in terms of the ratio of said versus done. Now, having completed several tomes myself (two are currently in Beta) I have to admit that writing a novel from start to finish isn’t the easiest thing to do BUT it doesn’t have to be as difficult as many of us make it out to be. Most of what causes the process to be difficult are: Over-thinking Lack of confidence Perfectionism Thinking its already been done before/ Someone took your idea These four are definitely creativity killers not just in the world of writing but in the world of doing just about anything that poses a challenge but holds interests to you. What are the cures to these nasty bugs: Think less, do more Believe that trying is worth it even if you ‘fail.’ (Failure is relative.) Remember …

Writing When Word Weary: Why You shouldn’t Do It

*This is a revised posting from January 26, 2015 You ever have that moment where you have been working on your novel all day, and the writing is so good that it has completely eaten up the reality around you? You are literally in your book. Being word weary is when you have all of the meat of the story ready to be devoured, but no teeth to chew it. Ideas are coming at you faster than bullets from a gun, the story is kicking, the plot is thickening…your eyes…your eyes are getting more tired by the minute, No! second. You are hitting the wrong keys left and right, slowing down your once brilliant pace. What in the world is happening?! You are Word Weary. ( I totally made up this phrase up…Just go with it.) First, what is Word Weary? It is when your imagination is going 200mph, but your brain and cognitive skills are going 5mph and slowing with each key stroke. You are thinking one thing and typing something else. It’s a …

5 Benefits of Participating in Writing Prompts: Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal

Writing prompt: (In my opinion is) The Creative springboard or theme from which a story is directed or born…In less fancy words, it is a writer willingly giving up creative control of their imaginative ideas in order to grow through the ‘prompting’ of someone else’s. I don’t know about you, but I really love writing prompts. Writing prompts do two things simultaneously; they cause us to surrender control while incubating our process in a controlled environment. Writing prompts create boundaries while enabling us to write with inhibition of our previously set creative  ‘boundaries.’ Through them, we sample other flavors of genre and creativity while learning to laugh again, gaining a creative adrenaline boost that comes from facing a challenge, whether it’s through the boundaries of a time-limit, word limit, or even theme or opening lines. If you want to grow your creative writing muscles, keep them toned, participate in a weekly writing prompt. Here are 5 benefits of doing so: 1. You know that you will have something to write about: Sometimes it seems our creative wells run …

3 Simple Rules of Writing Well: Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal

Being a committed writer requires the following of 3 simple rules. Some might think they are related to grammar, or content, or even word count. Although all these things have their precious place, they are NOT the most important rules of writing. Rule Number 1. WRITE: Yes, that’s right. It’s your right to write, so write! It sounds like an easy thing to do, but if you’ve spent any length of time polishing your craft and you realize that you do have other life obligations to attend to, you already know that writing is not as simple as it sounds. Rule number 2. WRITE DAILY: Again with those life obligations like eating, bathing, working…These things are necessary but they eat into our time. Thus, we have to make writing daily a priority if we are ever to finish any project. Rule number 3. WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW: This happens to be my favorite because when you think about it, the concept of ‘writing what you know’ for a fiction writer, especially those of us who focus on …

5 Ways to know You are on the Road to Writing Maturity: Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal

Writing. We don’t just do it because we love it. Most of us do it because we have to. The blessing of this ‘have to’ is that we actually enjoy it. What I find most enjoyable are the moments I realize I’ve gained a greater level of freedom with my craft as I mature into my craft. So how does one know they have achieved greater levels of maturity? Here are 5 helpful hints: 1. You are no longer concerned with the timelines of others: So what your writer friend has successfully published 2 books within the last year and you have yet to dish out your debut novel.  A ‘good-for-them’ is not a ‘bad-for-you’. They aren’t your competition. ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ or for Millennials, the  ‘Kardashians’ is NOT an issue for you. You’ve learned to write at your own pace and respect the flow of your creativity, while celebrating the successes and milestones of others. You realize your only competition is your own potential. Are you achieving it? 2. You no longer …