Re-Post: Should You Write What You Know? (By: Alicia H.)

Should it be a general rule to write what you know? For informational writing, yes, of course, you write what you know. You research, you learn and you share this knowledge with others. What about …

Source: Should You Write What You Know?

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Special Post: A Creative Intermission

Today I will be doing something a little different.

An important part of being the writer is breathing. Sometimes we need to soak in nature, take a break and eat a donut, or take a stroll through an art gallery.

Today I shall spotlight a person I admire. She is a friend who has had many trials in her young life, and yet she has always found  reasons to smile and laugh.

She has always inspired me with her tenacity.

My friend Kaylissa (@kays_crafty_creations) has recently taken the leap and decided to display and put up for sale her own art and photography.

Her art has a lightness to it, that will always bring a smile to anyone’s face.

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(“Harold the Giraffe”, Photo credit to: Kaylissa, via Instagram)

Her photography transports you. She has a way of looking through the lens and taking photos of familiar places and breathing new life into them.

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(Photo  credit to: Kaylissa, via Instagram)
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(Photo credit to: Kaylissa, Via Instagram)
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(Photo credit to: Kaylissa, via Instagram)

I hope you will enjoy these captures and I hope it will give you a small breather from the busy life as a writer.

Never forget the power of a little bit of inspiration from those around us.

Bookworm: The Tales I Am Reading

I thought I would let you all know what I am reading right now.

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(Photo credit to: me, via my Instagram)

“Beyond the Red” is the debut novel for one of my favorite bloggers, Ava Jae.

I’m only a couple of chapters in but the world-building is amazing and the character development has you caring from the very beginning.

The Goodreads Summary:

A story of betrayal, love, and loss—all on a technologically advanced alien planet where monarchy reigns, but lies rule.Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. But that doesn’t stop him from defending his people—at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He is given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him.When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.

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“Infatuation of a Merman” by: Scarlel

The 2nd tale that has made the top of my list is, “Infatuation of a Merman” on Wattpad.

It truly surprised me and taught me to not always judge a book by its title. The author has done quite a good job at world building. It’s set on a planet where the water is feared for within its depths the man-eating mer-people reside. But there is one girl that is not afraid of the water, for that’s where her friends the fish swim and play. She can speak to the sea creatures and she feels safe with them. One day though her gift betrays her and that’s when everything changes.

The Wattpad summary:

They lure you into the waters, twisting their haunted melody. 
You don't feel a thing as you drown into the sea, 
unaware of your new deathbed. 
Only once they sink their teeth into your soft skin will you feel the agony 
and realize your mistake. 
They are mermaids, the ones who leave nothing but bones in their wake. 
They're the reason everyone abides by the unwritten rule: 
Never go near the ocean. 
Everyone except Nyx, a human with the ability to talk to fish, 
who ignores all these warnings. 
But her peace is shattered when she encounters a merman, 
the flesh eating fish of the sea. 
Soon she's about to realize that there are no such thing as allies; 
only enemies. 
And this flesh eater will do anything to ensure that he stays 
the only threat to her heart.

A Write Confession

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(Photo credit to: dryhead, on Flickr)

I have a confession.

I am terrified.

I am terrified of failing. Not just a little, horribly….

That is why I have not submitted my 1st draft of “A Victorian Tale” into the foray of publishers or agents yet.

Now let’s be fair a first draft is hardly prepared enough to enter that underworld of crazy rejections and spontaneous successes.

I give myself credit in knowing that it’s not ready yet, but that is also an excuse.

I’ve been holding back from editing it.

I edited perhaps the first 3 chapters, but then after NANOWRIMO hit it was put on the back burner. Then for health reasons, going back and forth between a computer screen and a typed out/edited manuscript was torture. So I took a break, a long break.
The guilt of keeping it frozen in its toddler stage haunts me.

It has so much potential I can feel it and yet I have it stuck.

Part of me, I suppose, is terrified for another reason.

You see, “The Land of Fear” was the first time I truly allowed the darkness out as a writer. My previous writings had hints, but not the whole shebang.

I had held myself back a couple of times in “The Victorian Tale” and although it filtered through sometimes I think I held back the novel as well.

If I edit it this time, I know I will not be able to hold back and that terrifies me.

I am scared of what non-writer friends might think, and yet at the same time I know it will feel like a weight off my soul if I do do it.

All and all my resolution is not to allow any of the above to hold me back anymore, I miss my toddler and I’m going to go back and nurture it to grow once more.

Moral of this tale: If you have a fear that is holding you back, confront it, battle it and defeat it; so that you can move forward and grow. 

 
Do you have writerly fears, as well? If so what helps you combat them?

The 2 Cs in Storytelling, Part Two: Climax

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(Photo credit to: Donnie Nunley, on Flickr)

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of “climax” is:

the most exciting and important part of a story, play, or movie that occurs usually at or near the end

: the most interesting and exciting part of something : the high point
To some the climax comes when the resolution or answer to a quest occurs; while to others it is when the apex of the action occurs.

I’ve learned that whichever it ends up being, everything else in the book has to prepare for that moment. Each chapter needs to be one step towards it. Each scene needs have to an importance to that climax. It is kind of like the compass of the book, the characters are on a journey but they still must stay on course.

The center of the tale is a perilous place where many writers can feel like they’ve lost their way. But if they remember the motivation behind their characters or their end goal, it can help them to get back on track.

When this happens to me I try to ask myself questions, for example:

~Has So&So gotten what they wanted in the beginning?

If not then I ask, what needs to happen before they do?

~Has their problem been resolved yet?

If not then I ask, what events need to occur before that happens?
What do you do to direct your characters towards the climax of their tale? 

The 2 Cs in Storytelling, Part 1: Conflict

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(Photo credit to: Jack Fussell, on Flickr)
I’ve been reading a lot of Wattpad stories lately and while doing so I’ve been learning a lot of lessons as a writer.
I’ve learned about what certain audiences crave. Thus, I’ve come to think more about what kind of audience I’m hoping my book will have.
I’ve also learned more about conflict and climaxes. I’ve found that although a story might be cute or “fluffy” with no conflict, without a defining moment or climax I can quickly lose interest.
I’ve read several stories that seem to drag on, and never actually go anywhere.
Whereas there have been other tales that have had all their chapters and scenes leading up to one defining moment; and I find I tend to eat those stories up more than the other kind.
What is it about the element of conflict that makes a story more interesting?
For me it’s all about the characters, because its often in the face of conflict that a character’s development truly shines. Conflict will force a character to act and they will show what they are made of. In the face of conflict they will show both their weaknesses and strengths. Fiction often mimics life in this way and that’s why I think we draw strength from reading about characters battling their own conflicts.
What about the defining moment of the tale? Next week my blog post will cover the other “C” in storytelling, the Climax.
As a reader how do you feel about conflict? As a writer how do you incorporate conflict in your work?

Writer’s Wall: The Power of Music

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(Photo credit to: Petras Gagilas, on Flickr)

Today I’d like to talk about the nearly magical cure for a writer’s wall.

Music.

Sometimes nothing seems to work to absolve a writer’s block.

You’ve gone outside, experienced new things, soaked in nature, made awesome mood boards and even tried your hand at vignettes.

The one thing you haven’t tried is getting lost into some magnificent instrumentals.

The wonderful thing about music is that it takes you away. You will be one moment listening and the next you are WITHIN the music itself. You are soaked into the lines of melody. You become one with it.

Music has the power to transport you to a place between dreams and the corners of your imagination.

This can happen with really any kind of music, but when you are writing a fiction novel sometimes it is best to stick to a theme.

Here are a couple of examples:

For my novel “A Victorian Tale” I found that music from and inspired by the Victorian era was very helpful when writing. I also added some steam-punk music and some sprinkling of sci-fi.

  • My Youtube playlist had music from various soundtracks and orchestrations made from users that fit to different thematic plots within my story.
  • My itunes playlist holds music from the soundtracks of “Becoming Jane”, “Pride & Prejudice”, and even “Doctor Who”. One of favorite finds on itunes was an album called “Tales of Steampunk London” by composer Jason Cullimore. The album perfectly portrays so many of the different elements in my novel.

For my Wattpad novel “The Land of Fear” I found music that reminded me of arid desert lands, ancient kings and lost worlds.

  • One of my go-to places for story inspiration through  music for TLoF is Pandora, there I have a station called “Marco Polo” (song by: Loreena Mckennitt) that has a good mix of music that is quite inspiring for my story.
  • My other source is my itunes playlist that has a mixture of soundtracks from “The Mummy”, “Faith” (kdrama) and plenty of soundtracks composed by Two Steps From Hell.

 

Do you use music to cure your writer’s block/wall? What kind of music do you listen to?

 

“The Land of Fear”

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Cover made by: xXArachnidXx

On March 27th of this year I took a leap that I had been debating upon seriously for a little less than a month, but had thought about for over a year.

I published my chapter of my current MS, “The Land of Fear.”

As my husband put nicely, “It’s a risk, but I think it’s worth it.”

The risk being my fear of someone stealing my story. But that’s the thing, they would not have my voice and they don’t have the world in their mind. I realized it wouldn’t be impossible for someone to steal it but I thought of something more important than that.

I want to know what readers around the world would think about my writing. Wattpad gives me the chance to find out. I’m willing to take the risk if that means I get people to read my work. Isn’t that why most of us write?

It’s not for the money…no that’s unrealistic…No it’s for the rush we get when our fingers speed across a paper our pen grasped tightly between our digits. We write to explore new worlds and new minds. We write so that other’s can see a different point of you. We write to make a change, even if its to the smallest degree.

Are you a writer on Wattpad? Have you ever given your writing out for free? What are your thoughts on this?

How to Write When You Are Sick…

 

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(Photo credit: Melanie Hayes, on Flickr)

I’ve been dealing with various illnesses for quite some time now. I feel as if I’ve become pretty adept at finding ways to write even when the world feels like it is turning on its head. And when I say that I mean it literally; among other things something I suffer from regularly is vertigo.

It can be really hard to formulate thoughts, write them down or even type when it feels as if you are doing everything sideways.

Here’s the key though: I write whatever I can.

I write whatever comes to mind. I write a vignette of my day, or even sometimes whatever comes off the top of my head. I write about what I’m feeling, my symptoms and how my day has been.

It’s important that no matter what happens you don’t allow guilt overwhelm you. As a writer you will feel as if you should be writing something else; your MS, your poetry, ect. But sometimes all you can do is eke out those few sentences, and THAT IS OK.

The important thing is for you to keep writing.

Have you ever felt this way? How do you keep writing even when you are “under the weather”?