Four Things Young/New Writers Should Know Before Writing a Book

Four Things Young/New Writers Should Know Before Writing a Book

There’s nothing as exciting as discovering your calling. If you’re anything like me, then you knew from a young age that writing was your deal. Now you’ve decided to get serious about it. You want to take your hobby and turn it into a career, following in the footsteps of your favorite authors. You want to write fiction so compelling, a mass of crazed fans dress up as your fictional characters for Comic Con. Here’s the thing though: some writers enter the game with a skewed vision and find themselves giving up prematurely. So I want to share four things all young, fresh-faced unicorn writers like you must understand about the writing journey before you even begin: Writing is hard You must write for the love of writing It’s not about the finish line, it’s about the journey itself Joining a community of writers is a must   So let’s break this down a little more… 1. Writing is Hard You probably already figured this one out. Writing is never easy, especially when you put pressure on yourself to write your best all the time. Great writing takes time. It also takes patience, perseverance, and repetition. If you aren’t dedicated to the process, you’ll wander with no ultimate goal in view. There are also universal rules to writing great stories that can intimidate and confuse writers. Those rules can potentially leave you feeling inadequate. So can you still do it? Absolutely. You don’t have to write your best work all the time. In fact, you must allow yourself to fail because hey- you’re not perfect- and you can learn...
Flashbacks: When and How to Use them in your Story

Flashbacks: When and How to Use them in your Story

When is the right time to use a flashback in your story? Is a flashback necessary? Is it distracting from the plot? These questions (and more) have got you sweating. Why? Because you don’t know when and how to place flashbacks in your story. But don’t fret- you’re not alone, sweet lil’ Swedish Fish! So how should flashbacks be used in your work of fiction? Ask yourself three questions before you use flashbacks in your story.   Would the use of flashbacks be appropriate considering my story’s narrative voice? How does the flashback add meaning to the current (or upcoming) plot point? Which characters are affected by this flashback?   So let’s break down the first one…   Would Use of Flashbacks be Appropriate Considering my Story’s Narrative Voice/POV?: If you’re not sure what narrative voice you’re using in your novel, have a look-sy at this article here first: If you know what narrative voice you’re using, then it’s time to deduce mon amie. First Person Narrator is the ideal narrative voice for using flashbacks. F.P.N. is the least potentially confusing option for your reader. But before you introduce a flashback with a F.P.N. make sure the flashback: Helps readers understand the character’s choices/fears/limitations Builds upon the character’s personality or relationships Motivates the character arch (AKA emotional changing point)   Now, don’t get me wrong, cuddly Chinchilla, one flashback does not have to cover ALL these bases. It only has to cover one or two at a time. If the flashback isn’t doing any of these things, then it’s useless. Let me repeat myself and use italics for emphasis here:...
How to Write Powerful Scenes that Engage Readers

How to Write Powerful Scenes that Engage Readers

  Every writer faces dead scenes at some point (yes, including John Green and Rainbow Rowell). But your dead scenes still have buttloads of potential. Yes, two cheek loads. So don’t toss ‘em. And having meh scenes doesn’t mean you’re a terrible writer either, sweet flamingo. So let’s talk about how to breathe some life into your scenes. Every single scene has to motivate the plot by either: Building up your main character(s) Creating conflict World building (or doing all three!)       But first, let’s talk about the necessity of a powerful opening paragraph:   The Opening Paragraph: First paragraphs must propose questions to the reader. A powerful first paragraph sets the emotional tone for the rest of the scene. It spotlights the characters involved, offers a setting for the scene to play out in, and throws the reader right into the next plot point. Overwhelmed yet? Lol, don’t panic, baby. Consider these ideal examples of opening scenes:   “Alderaan was known to people throughout the galaxy for its beautiful scenery, its aesthetically pleasing architecture, and its commitment to preserving harmony and tranquility. Those people would have been very surprised by the scene at the Aldera spaceport, when the Tantive IV unexpectedly unloaded a hundred refugees from Wobani.” -Leia Princess of Alderaan Claudia Gray   “Mr. Hindley came home to the funeral; and- a thing that amazed us, and set the neighbours gossiping right and left- he brought a wife with him. What she was, and where she was born, he never informed us: probably, she had neither money nor name to recommend her, or he would...
How to Find Time to Write Every Day

How to Find Time to Write Every Day

You’ve heard the masters say the key to great writing is writing every day. And you’ve tried that before, but you gave up trying. Why? Because writing is hard. And life has this fun little way of getting in the way. Well, I need you to know something: I did the exact same thing you did. I tried writing every day. But life threw some nasty uppercuts. Plus, I believed I just couldn’t write unless I felt inspired to write. So I didn’t. My writing took a hit as a result. And I don’t mean my stories were meh. Nah, I mean, I couldn’t connect to the story and would abandon it as a result.   Do you know what else happened? I felt my desire to write slipping away I grew depressed because I wasn’t achieving my goals   Maybe the same is true for you. But you can avoid it. Not only this, but you can write every day and make it stick. So how do you make time to write every day?: You “sift” for time You focus on the carrot (or the reward)   Sift for Time Time is gold: it’s valuable and it’s the one thing we wish we had more of. Time, though, is much easier to sift for than gold. In fact, all of us do have more time to write. But we don’t think we do because we bury time with one big lie we tell ourselves. The big lie we tell ourselves is that we don’t have time. Now, I’m not suggesting our lives aren’t crazy or that we don’t...
How I Overcame Discouragement and Revived my Passion For Writing (and How You Can too)

How I Overcame Discouragement and Revived my Passion For Writing (and How You Can too)

You and I want nothing more than to write every day, all the time. But in the whirlwind of life’s demands, you lose energy, focus, and determination. You feel it in your gut. That desire for writing is fading. And worse still, no one seems interested in your work anyway. “Why don’t I feel like writing anymore? Does my fiction matter? How do I get my passion back for writing? Can I get it back at all? ” Yes, you can, you sweet little pickled onion. Promise. Because I went through the same thing not too long ago myself. Just a few months ago, life pushed everything I love into the background and plopped health problems and bills and rent and even more adulting onto my lap instead. My passion for writing began slipping away and I felt so helpless against it. Worse still, I saw my peers skyrocketing and I felt even more alone, resentful, and lost. I didn’t write a single word for nearly four months. So what changed? How did I start writing two hours a day for my blog and make book sales along the way?   The Wake Up Call I learned about a free seminar from a successful blogger named Jeff Goins. I downloaded his free eBook “The Writer’s Road Map: 12 Steps to Making a Living Writing” What I read woke me up. Jeff shared advice that, once I fiercely implemented, completely changed the writing game for me. I’ll share just three tips: Write every day even if it isn’t magnificent writing Real artists don’t starve as long as they work consistently...

Pin It on Pinterest