I will flat out tell you that I’m not a writer to emulate. Granted, I think I’ve shared a few worthy tips throughout this blog. But as far as my own process, I’d never suggest it. (I’ve been working on the same WIP for 10+ years and have only written two short stories in the meantime. #goals) Thing is, it has worked for me. That’s what I tell myself.
Previous Writing Advice Some May Deem Impractical:
-don’t set word count goals. ever.
-don’t set writing goals
-stay far away from NaNoWriMo
-don’t write when you don’t feel like it
-adverbs are absolutely necessary
-never give up on a project
Which leads me to my most impractical writing advice to date.
There is no such thing as spending too long on a single project.
If you’re already saying, “Yes, there is” hear me out. Continue reading
Hello, writers! A writing post? But it’s not Wednesday. Yes, I’m aware. I’m late, as usual.
I’m back with another unpopular opinion that I’m currently embracing. Much like the “don’t write when you don’t want to” mentality, this topic might be seen as horribly unproductive advice. But hear me out.
As the title suggests, I’ve decided to have writing wishes this month. No goals for me. Nope. Maybe it’s self preservation. I’m not sure.
The problem with goals is that they come with overwhelming feelings of failure when you don’t meet them. You start the month with these grandiose ideas of all the writing you’re going to do, knocking out the revisions you’ve been putting off, diving back into the Twitterness of it all. But the first week goes by. Then the second. And when you hit day 15 or thereabouts, you think, well, I can’t start now. I’ll try again next month. You failed. (This may have something to do with the lack of a panic monster in this situation. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Go here –>Procrastination Explained. But not (perfectly) solved.)
But imagine if you had made wishes instead. If you fail to make a wish come true, well, that’s to be expected, right? It’s not a failure at all, and you can approach the next month without feeling like you’re an unsuccessful, lazy wannabe. And just think. If you do happen to finish a writing wish, then you, my friend, are doing amazingly well this month. Wishes rarely come true, after all.
Not sure if I’ve lost you yet. It all makes sense to me. Continue reading
Wondering what this is all about? Start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise
It’s back to the 80s this week. Anna likes to stay busy, so she really doesn’t have time for music. But on the off-chance she has a spare minute, she’ll put on some 80s. While Hunter is more of the cheesy 80s pop fan, Anna likes a little more 80s variety. Not much though! 😀 And definitely some girl power.
“The 80s Rocker”
1) “Livin On a Prayer” Bon Jovi
3) “What You Need” INXS
Time for another character playlist. As before, I’ll post the list with a few video samples and give you the link for the Spotify playlist if you’re on Lily’s wavelength. Music pun. And a bad one at that. Sometimes I can’t help myself.
Since Lily tends to dwell in the past, it’s only fitting her music preferences would be from another time.
What’s all this about anyway? Start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise
Here’s Tyler’s: Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #1: Tyler
“The Classic Rocker”
1) “Let It Be” The Beatles
2) “Comfortably Numb” Pink Floyd
If you missed my suggestion about creating playlists, start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise. I’ll just wait for you…
Now that you’re up to speed, let’s continue.
So, I’ve chosen Tyler to start with, because he’s definitely the easiest. Two words: Bob Dylan. And some Pink Floyd too, but Bob Dylan.
I wanted to also expand my explanation for the reason behind this exercise. Not only does creating a playlist help to round out your character, but it also serves as inspiration for writing any scene that character is in. Listening to what your character would be listening to is highly recommended either before or during your writing time. Or both! Since I have a hard time writing with music on (other than instrumentals), I would actually mostly listen after, in the editing process. While I would read the scenes back, I’d have whatever music on, and it just helps to get in the right space. I don’t know how else to explain it, but you should definitely give it a try.
If you’ve spent any time here, you know music is my absolute favorite part of life. While the blog is ultimately dedicated to writing related topics, if and when I’m able to combine writing AND music, you bet I will.
I’ve made a soundtrack to my novel. If you haven’t done this, what are you waiting for? My novel tends to play like a movie in my head when I read it. So it only made sense the scenes would have accompanying music. You can listen to the soundtrack and check out my other novel related posts in the I’m Only Me tab above.
I’m getting to the point, promise. So I decided, why not take this one step further? I have a novel soundtrack, but what about a character soundtrack? Think of it like, What Would Be on your Characters’ iPod?
You may be thinking, who cares? Well, you should, for one. You can learn a lot about a person based on the music they listen to–I truly believe that. And it’s no different for your characters. There are always exceptions, (me, for example) but take a moment and picture this: someone who listens to Five Finger Death Punch, Slipknot, and Mudvayne. Now picture someone who listens to Taylor Swift, One Direction, and Ed Sheeran. They’re most likely pretty different, no? I’m not trying to stereotype people, but the audience at a Beyonce concert would look nothing like a Manson one, know what I mean?
Whether you’re just meeting some new characters, wanting to dive deeper into your current characters, or you just miss your old characters and will find any excuse to hang out with them again, you should try this!
I’ve bookmarked more websites than I realized in the 5+ years I’ve owned this laptop. I have quite a collection of writing resources I’ve saved, and I came across one I’d forgotten: Writing Excuses.
If you don’t know, Writing Excuses is a weekly podcast made up of a panel of authors: Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Taylor, Mary Robinette Kowal, among others. The tagline of their show is “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” Love it.
Each podcast is devoted to a certain writing related topic, and there are twelve seasons worth of material if you feel like diving in. Although short, they give you valuable information. They know what they’re talking about. And they’re fun to listen to, because the authors are so comfortable with one another. That makes all the difference if you’ve ever listened to panel discussions.
1) Something with Keys
Maybe I’m just old and my fingers don’t move as they once did. But writing by hand takes forever, and it’s totally unnecessary. I don’t know how people can write longhand. Typing is faster, more efficient, and hitting backspace is a helluva lot easier than crossing out or erasing.
Wait, erasing? You don’t actually write with a pencil, do you? Tell me you’re at least using a mechanical pencil so I can sleep at night.
I used to have a desktop computer for all my writing needs. Now, I strictly use a laptop, because I like the portability. And my desktop died, so.
2) Background Noise
There’s a lovely space somewhere between the clacking of keys (or scrawling pens, if you’re one of those people) and a full-on desk concert. Yes, that’s a thing. Now, in this space, I live and thrive.
I highly recommend Rainy Mood, and I’ve recently discovered Soundrown, thanks to BookTuber Alexa Donne. In addition to rain, Soundrown has sounds of a coffee shop, birds, fire, and more. I love how you can overlap sounds to create your own atmosphere. My personal favorite is a mixture of Rain, Night, Train. Because what could be a more natural writing setting? Uh, nothing.
You can’t go wrong with instrumentals either. I’ve actually talked about this in a previous post, so click here for a list of some of my favorites. Go ahead. I’ll wait…
How to Make 2018 Suck Less than 2017
with a little help from Michael Scott
This list is tailored to me, but some of these might just apply to you as well.
1) WRITE MORE!
Seriously. I need to write something. I miss that feeling of creating something out of nothing. Since I’ve finished my novel I’m Only Me (it’s about time!), I hope to start a new novel in 2018. While I do have the opening few chapters of one, I’m not sure if it has novel potential. Maybe I’ll write some short stories.
My January writing goal is to edit my YA short story, decide on a title, and find it a forever home.
Writing used to be my outlet, and I’d like to utilize it again.
Two more Wednesdays of Ze May. I find this video pretty inspiring. Maybe you will too.
If you want to be a writer, you should be writing. Not tomorrow, but today. -Ze Frank