Tag Archives: words

Say What Now?

25 Jan

Dialogue is something a lot of writers fear. The thought of it makes them crawl up the wall or hide in a closet with a mop as a weapon of choice. Why? Because a lot of writers find it difficult and dialogue is a very important part of a story.
I myself don’t have any trouble with it. In fact, I think it’s the one aspect that comes most naturally to me. So, in order to give advice I’ve been questioning my brain as to what would help someone write better dialogues in case that is a weak point of theirs.

The main thing I’ve come up with is this: KNOW YOUR CHARACTERS. I have never filled in a list with all the facts of my character. I don’t need to know what their favourite kind of shoes are or what vegetable they hate. I kind of feel what I need to know, if that makes sense. I catch their vibe like the string of a balloon and let it take me to where it wants to go. Perhaps this is why I’m a good wing-it writer. It could be that this doesn’t work for plotting writers, but either way the point is that you get to know your characters so well that when you write them, you become them. Then it’s just a matter of responding. So if you’re a plotter, fill in that sheet if you want! Fill in as much as you want up until the point that you feel you’re in the character’s head.

Once you’re in your character’s head you put it to the test. Start with a random scene where your character responds to a situation. Then write a scene where your character responds to words from a friend, stranger, or enemy. But my favourite one is the SHRINK SESSION. This can also be done before you get a feel for your character or when you find it difficult to get into your character’s head. YOU are the shrink and your character sits opposite to you. Start by taking note of body language and then start asking him or her questions. Start at the beginning or ask about what’s going on recently in his or her life. Put them in the hot seat or handle them with care…or both! And see what happens. This is a fun and creative way to get the ball of words rolling. Try it and let me know if it helps.

Then it’s just a matter of writing and getting to know your characters through your story. Because even then your characters will still surprise you. Sometimes you think you know someone…Damn those characters. It’s like they’re real people sometimes. 😉

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Summer Holiday, Here You Come!

18 Jun

Finally, after a whole year of continuously being in survival mode, I get to frolic in the garden of the Summer Holiday. It may be a weird metaphor, but I don’t care. My brain needs recharging. It’s been drained of most creativity all this time. I’ve already ordered two cosy mysteries to sprinkle my imagination with new words and I’ve started writing little by little to get into the Writing Zone. Boy, have I missed that zone!

When you’re tired (and I mean REALLY tired) your brain doesn’t really feel that much like working with words, even if your hands are itching to write. So though I still wrote semi-regularly it didn’t really get me anywhere fast except that it did generate a few short stories. That is also what I promised myself I would work on since I knew I’d be too busy to write my daily 2K. Still, my writer brain demanded full-blown novels and now that I’m eager for the holiday I notice that I’m sneaking in writing time where I should be working on my to-do list. Now I’ve got nearly 17K on a story that I wasn’t really planning on writing until later. So that’s basically me hugging the Writing Zone like it’s a puppy coated in chocolate. And I’ve also read two cosy mysteries in two evenings, meaning that my brain is definitely on strike and making up for lost time. Looking forward to the summer holiday where I’ll be a lean, mean writing machine. 🙂  And there will be a lot of cookie casualties.

What about you? Do you have any projects you are not getting enough of? Or maybe you don’t find the time but the characters are tumbling through the door regardless. Let me know in the comments!

 

KEEP WRITING AND STAY AWESOME!

 

Seven Writing Prompts

7 Apr

Hello dear writers,

Here are seven writing prompts for your writing pleasure. Feel free to use them to lure your characters and have fun splashing around in the words.

 

  1. It was not the answer he had expected, but then again, he never thought he’d ask such a question.
  2. I surveyed the stack of mail and one letter stood out. It was because of the ink in which my name was written. It looked like blood.
  3. I should start my story at the beginning, I should start with the day I died.
  4. Nothing was ever simple with me. Not even killing someone.
  5. My mother had been right. My wedding day was the day that everything changed. Still, this was probably not the way she had meant.
  6. Of all the coffee shops in the world, he walked into mine.
  7. Nothing is ever good enough for someone like her, which is why I stopped trying and it’s why I’m hiring you.

 

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Meh-Ness of the Creative Mind

28 Feb

Those days where you want to change the world with your words, whether it’s with your social media or a new story idea. Whatever it is, it gets you all excited and you think about what it will be like when you’ve build up this legacy and quite possibly also have a butler. Or three. Those moments are good because they inspire. They inspire you to be the best and kick some ass.

Or at least, that’s what they’re supposed to do. I mean, they do inspire me, but also they make me feel guilty for when I don’t end up changing the world in one afternoon. Because most of the time it’s daunting to think of all that you want to achieve and to know that it will take long. Not to mention that it takes a lot of effort and luck. It can be paralysing. Which is why I usually end up building a virtual village or raising Sim babies.
When you’re writing just for fun it’s easier because there is no pressure. However, pressure can also be good, so how do you make it so that pressure becomes the same as motivation?

The goals are still important and it would be good to consider those goals every once in a while. Ask yourself what you really want to achieve with your writing and before you write, meditate on those images. If you’re a realist, you might think that it will never happen, and I suppose it’s good not to get your hopes up, but also add that you can eat least TRY. Because the trying part is probably more fun than the actual achievement. If we do achieve our dreams, don’t we want to look back and know we’ve EARNED it? I know I do.

On the other hand it also helps me to just turn on some music, daydream about my story and get excited about it again. It depends on my mood, but sometimes I don’t need to think about the future, I just need to be in the moment and write for my story. After all, I like my characters so I want to do my best for them. The story deserves it, so do its inhabitants.

Which means that my advice today is a bit contradictory. It depends on who you are and what your current mood is, but both result in motivation. But here is one more tip. There’s a difference between the lack of motivation or simply having dust in your creative mind. If the Jar of Words is empty, my advice is simple: READ A DAMN BOOK. I hate to be all cliché, but books make for the best inspiration in the first place.

Hopefully my scattered ramblings all over this post help you, because right now my brain feels all dusty. I am going to refill my Jar with Haruki Murakami and then I’ll play with my characters. After all, I have an agent interested in my work, and if that isn’t a good kind of pressure, I don’t know what is.

 
GOOD LUCK, WRITERS!

 

weird writer

Notebook Shenanigans

15 Jan

As per my resolutions, I am scribbling fiercely in my notebooks. I know, even my pet dragons are surprised. Since I am thoroughly enjoying those moments and proudly told someone about my notebooks and handed out advice about what to write in them, I figured, why not share with you, loyal reader writers.

So here we go, based on my notebook shenanigans: WHAT TO WRITE IN YOUR NOTEBOOKS…

 

  1. You need at least one notebook that must be called Book of Wordiness. This is the notebook that you’ll fill with….well, words. Not just any words, though. See, what makes writing an art is when you use the ‘write’ words. Fill this notebook with words you find beautiful and fill it with the synonyms of everyday and/or simple words. Like walking, smiling or looking. There are many words for the same thing. Use them. Diversity is good. Fancy words are also good, as long as you use them sparingly. Also fill this notebooks with metaphors or similes that you come up with. Or perhaps any interesting descriptions or other sentences that pop into your head. Beautiful crap, basically. 😉
  2. One notebook needs to be filled with writing tips. Just writing tips.
  3. One for outlining stuff and structure. So, drawings of the three-act structure and the character arc. Things like that. You can adapt those to any story you write and add brief outlines or frameworks for your stories.
  4. One for short stories and writing prompts. Fill it with post its and put a mini sticky note after each writing prompt or short story to separate them, but write the name of whatever is on that page on top of the sticky note so that when you need to find a writing prompt or short story, you can immediately find it.
  5. One for your novels. Plot outline, characters, scene descriptions, excerpts. Anything to do with the Big Works.

 

And that’s about it. Depending on what you write, you can also get a notebook for each genre, but hey, I like any excuse to buy MORE notebooks. Basically I could manage with five different notebooks, but I have like ten. Why, you ask? Because notebooks are AWE…wait for it….EPIC!

If you don’t have a notebook, get five. And if you do, tell me what you write in them. I’d like to know about your writerly shenanigans.

 

Happy scribbling.

 

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Writing Prompts: Pain

22 Sep

Today’s writing prompts carry the theme of pain. Pain is something that is hard to describe to someone else unless they’ve experienced it too. But hey, challenge accepted. Pain is also something universal. Everybody has experienced it in some way, whether it’s the pain of giving birth, getting hit by a car or the utter agony of dropping the last cookie.

Let’s go:

1. Write a scene where you character falls. Describe the pain through the senses and with the use of at least one simile. Let someone else read it and if they wince, you know you’ve done your job.

2. Your character just confessed their undying love, or were about to, when they had their heart broken. This time, you can only use symbolism to show this pain. Perhaps something breaks…Feel free to also use metaphors, similes, etc. Play with imagery.

3. I love being subtle and find that with stories, it’s kind of a MUST. Describe a kind of pain, could be physical or emotional and make your guinea pig reader find out what just happened to your character. Is it clear they’re in pain and what kind of pain are they in? How did this happen? Let them discover it and if you’ve done your part well, it means they should have figured it out by the end of your scene. Play around with it, have fun.

4. Now let’s move over to characterisation. How does your character handle the pain you’ve just inflicted upon them? Everybody handles pain differently and HOW someone handles it, says a lot about them. Again, doesn’t matter if it’s physical or emotional, but focus on the character here. HOW does the character handle this pain? Perhaps it’s interesting to do this fun little writercise with two completely different characters.

5. What if your character has to hurt someone? Use dialogue to make this happen, but make the other character, who is hurt by whatever your character has to say, hide his pain with his words and reveal it through subtle body language/facial expressions. Or maybe he’s saying he’s hurt, but doesn’t show any signs. It’s up to you. It’s always fun when characters say one thing, but do another. It’s also a good way to show the reader more about who the character is.

The paper is your playground, have fun!

 

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Metaphors and stuff…

29 Aug

To paint our words with brighter colours a writer has some amazing tools in his or her tool basket. Probably the most important one, is METAPHORS.  They are great figures of speech and blow life into the words we write. They sprinkle them with extra spirit, depth and originality. They say that good metaphors are a sign of genius. Which means that mastering the skill that is writing metaphors is a very good thing if you want to be a good writer.

Just to remind you what metaphors are:
A metaphor is a figure of speech that uses symbolism. It compares two things that are NOT similar and show that they actually do share a similarity. There is an additional meaning to a word, which means it includes symbolism.

Now, what is more powerful? He was overcome with sadness. OR: He was drowning in a sea of sorrow. Exactly…metaphors are your friend. An entire story can be a metaphor, but then it is called an ALLEGORY. Stories like that will show symbolism throughout the entire story.

There are more tools in the tool basket of a writer. There is also this thing called a SIMILE. This is when you compare two things and you use either ‘like’ or ‘as’.
Examples: He was cold as a stone. She laughed like a wounded animal.
I’m a big fan of this tool, they have great impact on the minds of the readers and are easier to write than metaphors. They can also be used more often than metaphors. They differ from a metaphor, because a metaphor compares two unlikely things by saying that the one thing IS the other thing. With similes it’s clear that they’re being compared and are only similar. If you keep mentioning that things are in fact other things, it might take away the power (of the metaphor). With similes that isn’t the case although I would suggest not to use them in every sentence, but at least regularly.

HYPERBOLE, which is an exaggerated statement to give power to what you’re saying. For instance when you’re tired or hungry and you say: I could sleep for an eternity or I could eat a horse.

And two others that should be mentioned are ANTITHESIS and OXYMORON. An antithesis is a figure of speech that brings out contrast in the ideas by an obvious opposition in the words or (parts of) the sentence within a parallel grammatical structure.

So: Many are called, but few are chosen. When one man speaks, another man listens. When you’re single, you want to be in a relationship and when you’re in a relationship, you want to be single.

An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which contradictions are combined. Like: a deafening silence. A silent scream. Turn up missing. Old news. Alone together.

There you have it, a couple of tools you might find handy to liven up the words you carefully display on the pages of your story. Good luck and may the force (of Words) be with you.

 

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