All posts tagged: writing tips

5 Crucial Things to Remember While Writing Your First Draft: #AmWriting #WritingWisdom #writingtips

  First Draft. Those two words wield a whole lot of power, evoking emotions from giddy excitement to brain numbing dread. Some writers stand strong on the side of excitement, ready to throw down words and metaphors like hot fire, while others battle cold sweats and nausea at the single thought of how many words it’s going to take to bring their creative vision to life. I digress for just a moment. If you are one of those who struggles with where to begin with your novel-writing-journey, give this writing prompt I created a try. It’s called Write Your Novel in 365 Days.  With as few as 200 words a day, guided by a single word of the day to inspire you, you can have a complete novel written from start to finish in 365 days! And just remember, your 365 day writing year starts on the day you begin. It could even be today! Back to the original point. No matter where you stand on the first-draft-spectrum, you will more often than not, run …

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 …

Are You Listening?: Why You Should Listen to your Creative Voice

“Are you listening?” It’s a simple question that requires a single word answer, yes or no. As writers, as creative beings, as people, listening is paramount in our quest for honesty and authenticity. (If you have been following along with this blog, you will know that “Authenticity” is an element that often shows up in posts like this one.) What ends up happening when being heard is not an option, is walls begin to show up and communication is utterly broken down and destroyed.” If you want to see the results of failed listening, then just take a peek at how your parents raised you or how you are raising your children. How often do you feel like they listened when you spoke, really listened? Now, before you jump the gun and think that I am condemning anyone, I AM NOT! I am just making a point. Parent’s (many authority figures) are notorious for not taking the time to listen to those who are under their authority. They, in their attempt to show their power, …

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 …

“The Hydra Effect”: 3 Ways to Manage Multiple Plot Conflicts

“When writing, don’t try and figure out every aspect of the story in the beginning. Know where you are, have an idea of where you are going, but for goodness sake, DON’T RUSH AHEAD!” Sage advice? I’d say so. I’ve had to tell myself this many times before. Plots are tricky. A good plot will keep the reader engaged. A great plot will keep the writer on the edge of their own seat. For this reason, it’s important that you take your creative time. Don’t try to solve every problem or knot that presents itself. You are going to have some questions at the beginning of each story that don’t have immediate answers. This is true of our real lives as well. When we jump ahead and start trying to break down conflicts that are not presently relevant in our plot line, we end up causing our own “writer’s blocks.” Not only this but as you answer these plot questions and conflicts, you will find that you have engaged in what I am calling (Insert …

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 …

Remembering Compassion While Fulfilling Your Passion: Guest Post by Phoenix Grey

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal.” This week, I have the pleasure of turning over the pad and pen to a wonderful blogger and writer Phoenix Grey. Bio: “I have been writing seriously for the past three years, though I don’t have anything published beyond what’s on my blog. I write fantasy fiction, and sometimes science fiction. I love to share my stories, and I love to read anything I come across. Words are what I feel comfortable with, they take me to other worlds and inspire me every day.” To find out more about Phoenix Grey you can do so by following her on these social media platforms: Blog: phoenixgrey85.wordpress.com Twitter:  https://twitter.com/phoenixgrey85 Now on to her amazing offering of wisdom! Compassion In Writing by Phoenix Grey One thing I’ve learned about writing is that it requires commitment. Especially for big projects like novels. It takes time. It takes passion. The best advice I’ve received is to write every day, but what when this isn’t possible? What when you’ve set yourself 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 …

Bolstering Your Chances For the Win: Tips for Online Writing Contest Guest Post by Joe Baldwin

Welcome to this week’s edition of Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal. This week I have the pleasure of introducing Joe Baldwin. To find out more about Joe, you can do so by reading his bio that follows this article. Now, here’s Joe! A Number of Behaviors That Will Bolster Your Chances of Bagging That Elusive Online Writing Contest Prize by Joe Baldwin I get it. You had summoned all your might and finesse in furnishing the best draft you turned in on one of the critically acclaimed writing institutions today, but to no avail. You probably received a heart-wrenching email, thanking you for your valiant effort and saying “it’s not what we’re really looking for”. While you cannot always ensure your triumph in online essay writing contests (i.e., having its prize pegged at some thousands of dollars with unlimited online exposure), you always have the power to at least make a good account of your written craft. How do you help yourself to win it all? Below is my personal take. Proper scouting Before you pitch …

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 …