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Being a confident writer

20 Oct

It’s funny. We live in a world that demands perfection, but when we seem proud of our achievements we’re arrogant. Arrogance is bad. Perfection is good. Well, what if that so-called arrogance is in fact confidence? Confidence is good, right?

It’s important in life to have faith in yourself, because if you don’t, who will? It’s also important to know your strenghts and weaknesses and work on whatever it is you need to work on in order to improve and have a fighting chance. Before any of that, though, give yourself a fighting chance by believing in yourself and acknowledging what you’re good at! Focussing on your strengths is also a big part of improvement. thUEYPWFZX

So writers, please. Be a confident writer and go for it. Your novel is more afraid of you than you are of it. Face the world with your characters right behind you and know that you are good…

…and getting better.

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The Power Of Daydreaming

8 Oct

As a child, and I suppose as an adult as well, daydreaming is kind of frowned upon. It is a sign of being frivolous and it is encouraged that one is always firmly set in this world. Well, I never got that. This world can be pretty boring, or annoying, or stressful. There are so many other worlds that are for more interesting, which is also why we turn to books.

Not only that, but daydreaming has always been the first step of writing a novel for me. It is very rare that a character just stumbles into my mind. Usually I have to crack open the door first. Some people also get inspired by actual dreams, which I think is amazing and only happened to me once. Most of the time when I’m working on a novel it helps to take a while and lie on bed or sit on the sofa and daydream about the next events and usually all I have to do is write them down next. It helps to work out possible problems (plotholes, for example) in advance, as well.

If you’re a writer, and even if your not, it’s good to daydream because it restores brain cells. So next time somebody comments on your daydreaming, inform them that you’re restoring your brain and plotting your novel at the same time. And if they’re not careful, they might end up as a victim in your book.

Motivation, Where Are You?

5 Oct

The Writer sits behind her laptop, biting her nails and compulsively checking her email. It has been a few weeks since she queried two agents. When will they get back at her? And there it is, the ping of DREAD. Because the ping could be the doorway that leads to all her dreams, or it can extend the journey even more.

And there it is. A NO. Again. It’s not a harh no, it’s a not a no that informs you that you’re completely rubbish. Yet, that makes it even harder. To be so close and yet so far removed from The Dream.

We all go through it, and yet we go on. How can we not? We are writers. At the same time, though, it’s extremely hard to stay motivated enough to pour your soul out onto the pages and build a bond with new characters. Especially when your dayjob already demands a certain level of perfection from you. So how can you keep firing at every novel with all you’ve got when you’re covered in cuts and bruises and really just want to go to bed?

Google is your friend. Other than actual humans who NEED to give you peptalks, Google will help you next. If you look for brilliant authors whose works were initially rejected, or famous novels that were rejected A LOT, then you actually find plenty examples. Examples that will give you hope and make you realise that when you stick to your guns and you believe in your novels, you can make it. And keep in mind that with each novel that you write and receive feedback on, you grow as an author. So if you don’t get your bookdeal with this novel, then maybe with the next one. Keep writing, keep improving and especially KEEP ENJOYING the process. If you’re going to be in the spotlight some day, you might as well make sure that you have enough experience to SHINE.

Shine-for-progress

 

New Story High

10 Jun

That first tingle of excitement you get when a new story falls onto your keyboard. With trembling fingers you write the words, excited by these new characters, the thrilling story. Like an obsession, you keep writing deep into the night until you realise you have to get up early in the morning. But…you have to finish this sentence, just one. No, wait, just this paragraph. This page. And before you know it you’ve written three versions and you’re a ghost now, because you forgot to eat, sleep, and drink water.

Slight exaggeration perhaps, but that’s what it feels like when you’ve fallen in love with a new story. It’s much like falling in love with a person. Except in this case you don’t have to worry about whether or not it’s too soon to call, or other social boundaries. You are in full control, the story is at your fingertips and sometimes that means sleep is left tapping on the window of your imagination, trying to remind you that you need it.

Still, despite the fact that sunlight will be your enemy in the next few weeks, it’s worth it when you can finish the first draft as soon as possible. Your characters will earn a break, while you reread the draft and they’ll be all bright-eyed and bushy tailed for round two.

Stories need a lot of attention in the beginning, much like a baby, and especially your passion. You need to be excited and thrilled, because that’s what keeps the momentum going and that’s how you’ll finish this first draft. Speed is of the essence or you’ll find that your characters have taken up residence somewhere other than your head and it will be even harder to write.

Be in love with your story. Be an addict. Just remember, you know, to live a little bit on the side as well. 😉

 

Writing Prompts: Secrets

5 Jun

#1

Your character discovers a secret. It can either kill her or help her. But if your character chooses the latter, people will get hurt. Write a scene about what your character decides.

#2

Your character comes home from a trip to find that their significant other, whom they love very much, is digging a hole in the garden…for the body in the living room. Write what happens next.

#3

One of your characters is driving home with a bloody weapon in the car. Another character is a police officer who has a load of drugs in the car. Write the scene where they get into a car crash.

Hey Sunshine

18 May

The sun is shining again! Birds are chirping, children are playing, and writers are retreating further into their writing caves. Characters are tumbling over the pages as we look up and blink at the sunlight streaming through our windows. Even though not all of our writing happens behind a laptop, it still means that we are usually stationed in front of one.

So this is your reminder that Mother Earth is in full bloom and us writers need our daily dose of sunshine. Go out, take a walk, talk to human beings (I know, they’re scary) and dust yourself off. Okay, I might be projecting my own hermit-ness on you, but I figure I’m not the only writer. It’s easy to go from work to sleep, to work, to sleep and forget that in order to fuel our creativity, we might actually have to turn off our brain and enjoy The Outside. *cue horror music*

We can do it! Provided we’re not too tired from our day jobs and the characters that are running around when they’re not being written. Ugh, could we have a thirteen-month holiday, just for a little eternity?

The Message

2 Apr

Every novel has a message. No matter what it is about, there is always something that the writer wants to say. That is what makes a story even more interesting to read, and as a writer, it makes the story even more interesting to write.

I highly recommend thinking about what you want to say before you grace the page with even a single word. Only because it saves time when editing. With the regular visits of new characters, saved time is a good thing.

The main thing you should ask yourself is: what do I want people to think about once they’ve put down my book? Then it’s just a matter of contemplating what events and characters you want to use to make people think about that. So the coming up with a message is actually the easy part. However, it is a lot easier now that you know what you’re working towards. And it’s also easier for your characters. Considering how we torture them already, it’s only the kind thing to do.

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