This is my last post before the crazy of National Novel Writing Month - aka NaNoWriMo - hits us. I decided that, as everyone else posts their tips for the upcoming month of writing (translation: stock up on chocolate) I would chime in with some quick tips on things writers should remember going into November.
Think back to when you first began to write: is your writing process different now from what is used to be? Mine certainly is. In fact, I've been spending the last couple months trying to nail down my own personal writing process (which is definitely a post all of its own). I've had the chance to know several different writers as they began writing their own stories. Something I noticed - both from my own experience from when I began as a writer and from hearing about theirs - is that new writers seem to like to edit. A lot. As I've been doing a couple of posts recently with tips for newer writers, I thought that today I would tackle this question for them: is this editing while you write a good way to go about writing? And for you seasoned writers, don't leave just yet. Believe me, this post is about to get interesting. 😉
In case you didn't know, I'm an introvert. It's not that I hate being around people, exactly; in fact, I quite enjoy some specific people's company. But after being around them for a while, I can get very drained. I'm pretty lucky, in that I'm actually an online homeschooler. I get to go to activities, like sports, but I don't have to be physically around people and talk to them all day. Even though I'm around my own family all the time, I'm not talking to them 24/7, and that allows me to be a rather pleasant person when I do interact with them (in my oh-so-humble opinion 😝) The fact that I'm an introvert kind of shines through my writing. Looking back over most of my more recent projects, I've found that a lot of my characters are actually introverted. That's probably because they come out of my brain, and that's just the easiest thing for me to write as I'm already one. So, when my sister, Mary, proposed that we write posts on writing introverted and extroverted characters - the personality types that each of us are - I thought it sounded like a pretty good idea. Make sure you check out her blog, Wild Writing Dreams, here, and read her post on writing extroverts, since that's a subject all of its own!
Have you ever written a scene and been frustrated that it just doesn't seem to convey the feeling that you want? Same. I think we've all been there before. But, over thee years, I've found 3 sure-fire ways to help nail that mood that you want to convey in a scene. 😉
In my post two weeks ago, I covered different types of flashbacks (using only one, several, or telling a whole story through them - a revolutionary way of telling a story, in my opinion). Today, we're taking a look at actually writing these things. If you haven't read Part 1 in the series, I'd highly recommend checking that out here first. Now that that's out of the way, let's dive right in!
Have you ever read a book where you're suddenly taken back in time to see something that happened to the character in the past? That's called a flashback. We're going back in time in a flash to see something that happened to the character, also in a flash. It usually only lasts a single moment in real-time, as the character is just having a memory flash through their mind. But, as a reader, we get to see the whole scene play out. Flashbacks are a great way to insert backstory, or a character's ghost. There are other ways to do that, of course, but sometimes the best way is to completely immerse the reader into the scene to get the full impact of the emotion of the character. Flashbacks are generally reserved for important scenes; no reader wants to leave the storyline just for random thing that happened in the past. Those are the sort of things conveyed in passing, as a line of dialogue or a mention in the story. They don't need a full-on scene of their own. Most people know at least that much about flashbacks. Today, I'm diving in a little deeper than that general description to see the meat and bones of a flashback: what they are, when they should be used, and if there's even such a thing as over-using them.
"Julia, how do I make my story longer?" I look up from my book, a mug of coffee resting at my hand. "Longer?" I repeat. My younger sister, Christina, nods. "I'm almost at the end, but I"m not sure if it should be longer or not." She heads over to the computer, popping it open. I trail after her, coffee in hand. "How long is it? In words," I add. "It's about six thousand." "What's it about?" "It's about this girl who has to defeat a dark overlord." "And where are you at?" "I'm almost at the climax. It's my best story idea yet, so I want it to be good." I pause, mulling over this information while taking a sip of coffee. Finally, I say, "I'm going to tell you something. It's one thing that, by adding it, will instantly improve your entire story and revolutionize your writing." Christina stares. "Length doesn't matter," I tell her. "It's all about the character motive." This was a conversation I had with my sister a week ago. After it happened, I knew that I had to write a blog post on the subject. Let's dive right in.
Have you ever just had your jaw drop while reading a book when a plot twist was thrown at you? And then, as you continued to try and process it, things just clicked in your mind as you realize that the author actually had been leading up to this the whole time without you knowing? … Continue reading Foreshadowing: The Art of Being A Ninja
Have you ever struggled to find time to write? You have all the right (I wrote that as 'write' 😂) intentions, and really, you meant to sit down and write today... but then life crowded in, and good intentions took a bit of a hike. Or you actually did sit down to write, but then people came along, and the next thing you know they've sucked up all your time in doing something else. How do you find writing time when there doesn't seem to be any other place for it in your day? And is it actually as hard as you think?
Foreshadowing. It's something we've all wondered how to pull off at some point. It also is something that doesn't seem to be written about very much. So, I decided to write up a post on it. (the obvious choice)