Revert Back to the Basics of Childhood

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(Photo credit to: Steve Wilson, on Flickr)

Do you remember when you were a kid and school seemed to drag on?

Do you remember allowing your mind to drift so soon you were flying high in the clouds?

Do you remember being able to close your eyes and re-watch your favorite movie beneath your eyelids?

Do you remember how your dreams once were?

No? Perhaps it was only me then.

My daydreams were my greatest friends as a child. They were what entertained me and made my heart giggle with joy.

They were also the very start of my storytelling.

I would weave tales in my mind and reenact them with myself as the only actor but I could see my story’s world around me, I could feel it and I could hear it. I immersed myself in the fantasy.

As writers we can use that same technique a child does freely, we can close our eyes and take a trip down the cobbled, packed dirt or grassy path that weaves its way through our tale’s world. By doing so we can find better ways of describing things because we are thinking about how it would seem to someone who was actually there.

In turn when our readers read our tale they will experience the tale not just read it; which isn’t that what we all want as readers?

Do you daydream your way through a story too? Have you discovered new ways to use this age-old method in storytelling? Perhaps next time you babysit or spend time with your own child see how they tell a story; and maybe you will be able to learn a thing or two from them.

For more daily prompts, check out The Daily Post on wordpress.

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When Fiction Fails….Why Not Journal

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(Photo credit to: Bob, via Flickr)

Just like we all at times need an escape from reality, sometimes we need an escape from fiction.

I know it may be hard to believe that such a thing exists; the need to escape from the worlds within our heads. I know it was hard for me to realize such a thing but even on days like this we can still dream.

At times it’s not so much a need, its more as if we feel as if all our creative energies have been suck dry. Perhaps it was a hard week, or perhaps we’ve written non-stop and we have hit that famous Writer’s Wall. When this happens we can always turn to reality for a brief hiatus.

I have always been the kind of person to start a journal but never really stick to it.

Recently though I started an online diary and suddenly I’m writing more regularly.

On the off days during the week when I have just updated my stories on Wattpad, and my blog is current; its nice to have an outlet to place my stress.

Having an outlet for every day stress helps us to not burn out when we need to get our writing done.

& guess what? It counts towards your daily word count! Isn’t that great?

So on a day when you need to vent, so that you may return to your creative endeavors with renewed vigor, you can journal while still keeping to your daily writing schedule.

Have you journaled before? Or if not what sort of things do you do to vent away the stresses of every day life so that it doesn’t disrupt your writing schedule? 

What Makes Your Character’s Heart Sing?

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(Photo credit to: Fio, on Flickr)

When creating a character sometimes it can be very easy to get lost in just that, creating them. But sometimes the best characters are discovered in the littlest details that make them all the more human.

Today I’d like you to take a break from the research and instead think about the little things that makes our characters’ hearts sing.

Is it a look across a crowded room?

Or is it watching as a little bird perches upon surface and tilt its head up at the character?

Do they smile when music sweeps through the air?

Is their breath taken away when they step into a canopied forest?

Are they rendered speechless when someone smiles at them unexpectedly?

Have you ever thought about what makes your heart sing? If so why don’t you take a moment and find out what makes all your characters hearts lift high into the air like a kite.

For more daily prompts, check out The Daily Post on wordpress.

 

Fanfiction: Good or Bad?

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(Photo credit to: Caitlin ‘Caity’ Tobias, on Flickr)

In the last couple of days original thought both fantastical and realistic have failed me. So instead of editing or continuing to work on WIP, I’ve began to write fanfiction again.

For a while I felt guilty and ashamed that I was writing fanfiction, because for quite some time there’s been a sort of stigma regarding that kind of writing.

But then something odd happened: I noticed how much my writing has improved over time.

Suddenly I had a realization:  who cares if I’m taking a mini-break from my WIP? The important thing is that I’m still writing.

I will get over this dry spell for WIP, and when I do I will be stronger; because I didn’t stop even when the writer’s wall slammed into me.

 

Have you ever had moments of self-doubt like this? Moments when you question what you are writing? What do you think of fanfiction? 

 

Writer’s Wall: Vignettes

Life happens, as the saying goes, and when it does inspiration can sometimes seem to leave us.

This week I’ve learned a very important lesson though:

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This can happen to all of us. Maybe we can’t continue writing our novel that day, but there is something else we can do.

We can write a vignette.

What is a vignette, you may ask?

The definition according to Merriam-Webster’s “Vignette”.

  •  a running ornament (as of vine leaves, tendrils, and grapes) put on or just before a title page or at the beginning or end of a chapter; also :  a small decorative design or picture so placed
    •   a picture (as an engraving or photograph) that shades off gradually into the surrounding paper
    • the pictorial part of a postage stamp design as distinguished from the frame and lettering
  • a short descriptive literary sketch
  • a brief incident or scene (as in a play or movie)

On a day where my chronological writer’s brain has not been functioning, I have written little one-shots from the POV of one of my characters. Sometimes my mind can’t think at all and I’m stuck in reality so I will write vignettes of my life that day.

This week has been a week where reality has struck me cruelly. So in the face of reality, I wrote.

(Photo credit to: me, K.A. Werts)

As follows, “The Waiting Room” (written on Thu 2/25 at 9:41pm):

 
“The floors clash and stripes of varying earth tones fail to hide the grime and scratches upon their surfaces.
Limbs stretch and muscles roll as we try to stay awake in the humid air.
The bitter smell of a tube of hell floats in through the open hallway saturating the room and turning our stomachs.
I swallow the bile that threatens to rise in my throat…
I will not be sick…
I have to stay strong for him.
The fact that this hospital has always held my fears in its bleached white walls cannot overwhelm me now. 
I have conquered this horrid beast before and I shall do it once more!
For love! 
After all, for love anything is possible. 
Great foes shrivel in the face of true love.” 
When the famed Writer’s Wall hits you what tactics have you used to conquer it? Has life ever caught up with you, too? 

Write Experience: "The Mountain"

There is a challenge I face every day, and I believe there are other creatives who suffer from it as well. The tendency to isolate ourselves. As writers we get so lost in the worlds inside our minds.

I know for myself, after working a full time job, I crave to just curl up in bed with a good story and show. But by doing so I end up starving myself of something that is vital for any creative.

Experience.

Every experience we have fuels the realism behind our characters, our worlds, and our plots. The more we learn about the world, the better we can describe it. Our voices grow along with our experience, and our stories ripen.

So I’ve decided to introduce another series for the blog, called: “Write Experience”. Each post will include a poem or vignette that will be based on an adventure of my own. I hope that this series will prove to be something that helps others and encourages them to go out and explore.

(Photo credit to: Jonathan R. Werts, my husband)

Without further ado, here’s “The Mountain”:

“They call it the Serpentine Trail, perhaps because of the sprinkling of emerald stones that weave up the path of the mountain. 
There is so much green, it looks like the grass is laughing and the thistles are chortling with glee.
The wind caresses them, tickling their sides.
If I close my eyes I can feel the joy too.
Goosebumps grace my arms and the rock that has bestowed me a seat slightly digs into me…
and yet I find myself succumbing to the quiet serenity, the peace of these hills where I walked as a child.
Suddenly I remember all the times I ran up these hills, my breaths coming out in gasps, as I tried to reach the highest destination before my family did. 
I remember seeing sly coyotes’ ears disappear in the brush. 
I remember how this place always took my breath away,
How it always made my heart soar. 
My dreams would later be inspired by this place.
Worlds would be created in its honor.”
 
The next time you have a chance to go on an adventure, take it. You never know what you may get in return. 

Writer’s Wall: Inspiration

(Photo credit to Tom Byrne, on Flickr)

I’d like to talk about a problem that faces all creatives at one point or another. The block, the wall, and the dead-end. The bane of writer’s everywhere, known as: “Writer’s Block”.

I have faced this terrible enemy many a time, won some battles and lost others. But over the last couple of years I have refined several war tactics to take down this fearsome opponent.
Today starts the first in a series, “Writer’s Wall”. I will offer up a tactic per segment.
Today’s tactic is inspiration.
I have found that inspiration comes in many forms.
Often an attack will come when we least expect it; thus we must counter with similar measures.
  • We need to surprise our minds. Try something new, maybe change your routine a tad. Perhaps change location of where you normally write, or go on a walk and soak in nature.
    • Our minds are like sponges; soaking in everything around us. Our settings and characters will take those memories and thoughts within our minds and convert them into actions and situations. When we change things up, it gives our minds a chance to breathe and soak in new things.
    • Additionally we gain more experiences that help us create ink splots upon our pages.
    • Another wonderful sort of inspiration comes in the form of an inspiration board.
      • Either created manually in collage format or by using a pin-board on pinterest, we can begin to gather more details for our works.
      • If you would like an example of a pinterest inspiration board, here is the one for my current WIP:
  • The final but no less important inspiration tactic I use are music playlists.
    • You can pick a certain genre of music to fit the setting of your story.
    • Many a musical playlist has helped me keep to a setting or theme of a story.
    • They are marvelous tools that can also be truly enjoyable, as well.
How do you inspire yourself? What kind of inspiration helps you when writing?

Inspiration

(Photo credit: Lex McKee on Flickr)
I’d like to dedicate my 2nd blog post to several very inspiring writers and creators out in the inter-webs.

I think as a writer it can feel as if you are lost in a sea of fantastic raindrops. You will read imaginative tales and be consumed in the lives and stories of the characters others have written. Then, when it comes to your own writing you may feel as if it will never measure up to the stories that have inspired your dreams.

This blog post is for the people that made me realize that this does not have to be so. These people may not have known me personally, but their words and encouragements have resonated truthfully for me. I hope they will do the same for you.

1) Ava Jae at {Writability}
Reason for her amazingness: She has wonderful tips and advice for fellow writers. She has humble beginnings. She has known the pain of a novel not panning out the way one may wish it; and the heartache of having to put it aside. She has felt rejection. She knows how it feels to try to find time in a busy life to write. Foremost she taught me that I am a writer. I write, therefore I’m a writer.

Notable posts and videos she has created:

Ava Jae will be having her debut novel, “Beyond the Red” coming out to bookstores in the March of this year.
 
Reason for her amazingness: She has helped to create another wonderful side of the writer community on Twitter. She’s supportive and encouraging. On days where I reported the my minimum word count and felt guilty for it, she cheered me on and congratulated me on my progress.
You can become part of the writer chain at her website, Writerology.net.

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Reason for his amazingness: He never ceases to put a smile on my face. His witty and creative tweets are insightful as well as fun. He is breath of fresh air that every writer needs.

Brian has written a trilogy, The World of Godsland. The books are available in e-book format on Amazon.

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