Tag Archives: write

Some Stories Write Themselves

28 Jan

This the dream, right? When writing a novel you want it to be a joyous walk in the park. An adventure that sweeps you away and delivers you home feeling breathless and somewhat in love, like a really good date. You don’t want it to be like labour, pushing the novel out one painful chapter at a time until your fingers start bleeding.

I’ve started writing a novel based on some daydreaming I did and really just wrote it for fun, but I can’t help feeling very excited about it. I’ve been writing for three or four days and am now at 10K words. Basically it feels like this novel is writing itself. And man, what a feeling! I’m sure it’s because I’ve been carrying these characters in my head for a while. That is really always a good idea before writing.

Personally I find that writing also has a lot to do with the headspace I’m in, but in this case, that doesn’t matter. Because I know where I’m going and I know who these people are. All I have to do is follow them around and write about it.

See, it sounds so easy. I wish all novels were like this.



Writing My Characters

21 Jan

Recently I got a question about how I write my characters. Since I write character-driven stories, characters are important. They have to be real, complex, and relatable. I never put pen to paper if I don’t know who they are. If I haven’t had a shrink session with them in my head, then I can’t write them well. It might be that I have them answer questions, but sometimes I get images, scenes that show me who they are. It’s can be a vibe.

The key to transferring this vibe to the reader is by giving them crumbs instead of the entire cookie. My characters have secrets, or things they’d rather not want others to know for some reason and that’s what I hint at. I don’t necessarily share the secrets, maybe not even any of the secrets, but I sure as hell hint at them. Readers are smart. Spelling things out usually annoys rather than helps.

Currently, I’m writing a main character who is also an antagonist. She is bad. I mean really bad. She has power and wants to keep it, if not get more. She kills without blinking. Now it is extra important that the reader UNDERSTANDS her. Otherwise they won’t accept her behaviour or care about what she experiences. This novel is a puzzle of her and slowly but surely the reader gets to know her. Characters need to grip you, otherwise why would you care? That’s why I can’t read plot-driven novels. I lose interest. I don’t care enough to read on.

Basically I write my characters with great interest and as if they are a puzzle that readers need to put together with clues. Subtle clues. The plot allows room for that, in fact, it helps the character show us who she is. There also has to be a contrast. My character is evil, sure, but she is also fragile and can’t stand violence against women even if that makes her a bit of hypocrite. Conflict is in every novel but there should also be conflict in characters if you want them to be interesting, no matter how small that conflict is.

Make things difficult, and let them show you what they’re made of.

Time for Action

20 Jan

Nobody who has ever written thought that writing is easy. When on top of the desire to write, you also have a desire to get published, it’s even harder. It’s like climbing a mountain while being pulled back on an invisible string every now and then. Every finished novel is a personal victory, but life and rejection can pull you back, further away from your dream.

I read about it so many times, it’s part talent, part luck to break into the industry. Well, I think the luck I ordered got lost in the mail. I’ve been taking an unwanted break with publishing because I started a new job two years ago, but now I’m querying a novel that I hadn’t gotten around to querying yet. It’s a novel that’s inspired by the Adams family and is about a woman who can see how everyone dies everytime she touches them. She lives a secluded life, therefore, but then something prompts her to visit a nearby town and she gets entangled in the mysterious house on the hill. Her life is turned upside down and she makes friends and enemies. The novel also has a romance that makes even me swoon. It’s a story I’m very passionate about. I’m so happy I can finally query it.

It’s important to keep writing and keep trying. It’s also important to have hope, but that part gets a bit harder each time. Self-doubt is an ugly monster that you don’t want under your bed. But it also makes me realise it’s time for action. I’ve gotten a hang of my job, so I can afford to focus on my writing now. What a relief, because I hated not having an outlet for my creativity. I ordered a few books on writing (like I don’t have enough) that are bit more motivational and less about technique, as well as on how to try and actually experience success with your novel. It still doesn’t make me lucky, but it will happen one day. I just wish that day was here sooner than later.

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.



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.

Time – Writing Prompts

24 Feb

Let’s dive right in and play with words. Today’s words will involve something that goes by way too fast and that we can almost always use more of. Choose your scene and who knows, it might be spun into a novel.


Your character has suffered a great loss and has hit rock bottom. It is at that moment that a mysterious phone call during which someone describes an object that can give you powers to control time. It will be dangerous to retrieve it, but your character might be willing to risk it. Write this scene.


Your main characters suffers lapses in memory. He thinks he’s crazy, and so does everybody else. This changes when he gets attacked by an intruder and freezes time. The plot thickens when the intruder seems to have been sent by someone who knows about what he can do…and wants him dead. Write this scene.


Someone your character thought was dead, shows up. That’s not even the weird part. He claims to have travelled through time in order to give you an important message. Write this scene.


23 Jan

….is food for the writer. It even has the word ‘feed’ in it. As a writer/author feedback is very important for your growth, but also for the growth of your story. Every draft you write takes you closer to the version that it was meant to be in the first place. It’s like creating a sculpture out of lifeless lump of clay. You can see what it’s supposed to be, and it will take a while to get it there.

After almost two years of being swallowed up by my new work, querying has taken a backseat. But now that I feel like I’ve got the hang of that thing we call Real Life, I’m back in the game. As I’m still querying the first novel in my cosy mystery, I’m already working on the second. At first I thought that was pointless, because I haven’t even published my first novel yet. I have the luxury, however, of being able to work on multiple stories, so it’s not like I can’t query more novels as a plan B. Also, I let a very critical friend read it and her boyfriend heard about the story and wanted to read it too. Now they’re both hooked and he kept asking me when I’d write the second novel. If that isn’t motivational, I don’t know what is. I also considered it a good exercise of my writing muscles without the pressure of knowing I want an agent to look at it. So I put finger to keyboard and mind to page and here I am…I have a murder in a hotel, an emotional mystery writer, and a love interest who is getting closer to making his move. Yay, the excitement.

What’s even more exciting is the feedback. I mean, after not playing with my characters for a while, it’s nice to know I still got it. And hearing that it’s well-written and just drags you in is just the thing you need to hear. Not just as an ego boost but also because it’s important to know when you’re on the right track. That’s equally important to knowing you’re not. Also, because my beta readers are impatient, I send them a few chapters each time so when they pick up on an inconsistency, I can immediately change it. I’m still going to let more beta readers ravage it, but only after I’m done. In the meantime I’m so happy to reconnect to my characters and let them grow even more.

More murders, more fun. Wait, that sounded psycho. I really must be a writer, then.

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