Wednesday, August 27, 2014
My Wednesday pick for this week is the blog of Anne R. Allen, author of comic novels and more who puts this blog out there - 'mostly writing about writing'. It's a 101 best websites for writers winner from Writer's Digest and she keeps on posting.
A string of interesting, informative and at times humorous articles. Go visit!
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
A writer writes – right?
And what could be more important to writing than creativity.
So, here are just six tips to being more creative.
1. Keep a journal. Don’t think this is ‘written in stone’. Some people love them, some people hate them, even writers. If it’s something that works for you, jot things down. Doesn’t have to be all the time, every day, every hour. Any time is good. Not at all works as well if you’re the ‘hate it’ kind who’d rather simply be writing a story, an article, a screenplay and not bothering with a journal.
2. Write everything down. Don’t trust your memory when you have a good idea, especially at night. I don’t care who you are, you’re gonna forget. Yes, you are. This kind of follows the journal keeping but it’s different. This is making note of your ideas. You don’t have to get all touchy-feely, just for God’s sakes write it down.
3. Go hang out in nature and allow it to wash simile ideas over you like a wave on a sun-kissed shore. Okay, okay, you get it. Nature is a great resource when you’re looking for ideas to get your idea across. Open your eyes and ears, smell the air and think about the feel of the breeze on your skin. We’ve all heard “slow as a snail”; stale, yes. However there are millions of possibilities out there. Come up with something new and fresh and you’ll suck those readers in. Yes, you need it for your scriptwriting as well. By virtue of it's very tautness a script must be engaging in order to attract what's needed to actually produce it.
4. Look, if you’re writing or creating anything, if you’re in the flow, if everything is clicking along for you, then keep at it. Keep writing. Keep painting. Keep clicking the camera. Keep creating. I will add one thing for writers. Many times it’s best to pause at a peak when break time comes along so you can dive right in when you begin again instead of finding yourself in a valley from which you must crawl upward.
5. Ever try to convey an emotion in a story or for that matter to paint it on a canvas or draw it and you just can’t seem to get a hold of what you need? Can’t quite make it happen. Try listening to music that stirs that emotion within you. Let it flow through you and absorb. If you actually feel the emotion you’re trying to put across odds are it will come through in your creative work. New words and idas will sprout. Trust me on this.
6. Doodle. Haven’t you heard this before? Amazing what doodling can do. The brain seems to take a little vacation, but not a non-productive one. Doodling can accomplish a lot. Don’t believe me? Check out doodling and learn how amazing it can really be. Oh, and you can try writing with your non-dominant hand. The sheer awkwardness of trying this, the difficulty you’ll experience in writing words, then sentences with that hand give you more room to think and spurs those thoughts to flow. It slows you down too which can be a good thing!
That’s it. Six suggestions. Try them out and let me know how they work for you when skipping down the creative path.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Looking for those helpful little widgets - things like translator, character name generator, Title-o-matic, writing prompts and a bunch more? Then run over to Writing Is A Virus and find them all in one place, well a bunch of them anyway.
Check it out now and have fun.
Monday, August 18, 2014
I think we all know the image of the ‘starving writer’ is long gone. The large majority of writers and I mean published and even often published writers are pressed to supplement their writing passion with a day job. Heads up writers, those are the facts of life.
The question then becomes, what kind of day job? There are well known writers such as Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code) who taught school. That can be a great writers’ day job with long breaks in the summer and usually winter and spring as well. There are drawbacks too. Teachers are often overwhelmed with work during the regular school year with class planning, teaching, grading papers and possibly even drawing duty supervising playgrounds and parking lots. It could mean the writer finds time to write only during breaks in teaching. And if you want to teach lower grades and write, say erotic romance novels, that could be a bit tricky. You might need a pen name to say nothing of how you handle book related appearances. Just a thought.
Some other writers choose jobs that call for them to write during the day such as technical writing, resume writing, public relations, catalog description writing. These all give the writer the opportunity to exercise his or her writing muscle. The down side to that job is it could be very hard to work on your great American novel at day’s end after having written all day. Some aren’t the least bit deterred and pound out those thousands of additional words even after a day at such a job and the benefit of that kind of work is the potential for a great information flow that might be used in a novel.
There are journalist novelists such as Ernest Hemingway. He used his talent and experiences as a war correspondent to write about war in some of his novels. And the added benefit of working in journalism is you get a by-line when published. That’s not a bad thing when putting your creative writing out there. If you go the traditional route agents and publishers will know your name. If the digital world calls no doubt getting your identity out there will attract readers who follow your work in the journalistic field.
If you’re into screenwriting you might want to try to find a job associated with the movie industry. Maybe take some ‘extra’ jobs in films or become a ‘reader’ for scripts.
Other writers think a whole different direction is good for their writing and take jobs like William Faulkner who shoveled coal and took advantage of quiet times at the power plant where he worked to write while Stephen King started as a high school janitor (and you wondered where Carrie came from). Could be that as a writer what you’re looking for is a day job that pays the bills but is not very demanding and there might be quiet times when you can slip in some writing. Maybe a desk job that involves reception with times when the people flow is slow. If you think that less demanding job is for you just bear in mind the co-worker who want to go to lunch or wants to hang out at your desk and chat. Don’t know what to tell you about them, you’ll have to find your own solution.
Think about it. Work with it early on so you don’t just ‘fall’ into a job you hate to keep things moving. If you need some training, get it. Then dove-tail that job with your writing until you can break free into full-time writing you love.
Want a few suggestions for job hunts and ideas? Try~
Your local www.Craigslist.org
Keep an open mind and find a good match.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Looking for a site where you can learn? Where you can troll for ideas? Where you can just enlighten yourself?
Then head over to Thinkers Network. They offer links to all kinds of interesting and informative articles. Their motto? "Exploring Beyond The Seen - Fresh Thoughts For The Stale World".
Go ahead, explore - unearth the unexpected -Think!
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Writers and readers have a symbiotic relationship. Each needs the other.
So why, really, do people read? Personally I think most people read to escape, to experience things they might not (or plainly could not) experience in everyday life. They can explore new worlds if science fiction or fantasy, they can feel the adrenaline rush of a car chase, or a race from an exploding volcano or maybe experience a jungle trek astride an elephant in India without actually going there. Fiction offers the opportunity to live another life while remaining safe on the couch.
And that’s just for starters. Readers can also experience the wide range of human emotion and deeply moving experience from the safety of a comfortable chair. Or they can relive an event in their lives via the book in their hands. They can do all this while skipping the boring parts, and they have they opportunity to learn from all this without actually suffering through those experiences first hand.
Think about the emotions you, as a reader, may have experienced. For example, amusement, anger, anxiety, awe, confusion, contentment, curiosity, disgust, grief, adrenalin rush – shall I go on? I could. On and on and on. Those few I mentioned are merely a taste of what a reader can absorb through your written words. Expand your mind and consider the many more emotions such as jealousy, joy, frustration – and bring them to life in your writing. They lend a nuanced richness to any story and hold your reader’s eyes to your page while their palms may sweat or their heart race a bit faster.
Think about how you can entice your reader. Curiosity is in us all. If you use that to your advantage you have a grip on your reader. If he or she is curious about what’s going to happen next then you have them hooked to the next scene, the next paragraph and perhaps even to your next book or script.
And what does the reader give the writer in return? Praise, respect, payment for the writer’s labors, perhaps fame and fulfillment. As a writer, you, too, are a reader, probably a voracious one. Pause and think about a book you’ve read recently, or pick it up again and skim it. What does it stir in you? Emotions? Memories? Desires? Whatever it is, presuming it’s a book you enjoyed, it no doubt delivered an experience you enjoyed.
So, doesn’t that tell you that you, as a writer need to set goals for what you want to stir in your reader? If you want your readers to cry you have to build up to it, prepare them, make the story choices necessary to bring them to that point. There are, of course, the unintended reactions you might stir. Like causing laughter when you’re aiming at solemn. And that might just be okay. The aim is to take the reader along for the ride, to surprise him, present him with a perspective he might not have entertained before. Veering off your intended course could bring more depth, more richness. It will be up to you to decide if that’s the case.
It’s truly a dance between writer and reader. So much to share. What was the latest book you read and how did it move you?
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Yes, gang, it's true, I missed my post yesterday- but never fear, it will appear again next week. Just got side-tracked working with guy who's going to in stall a complete solar system at our home! Yay!
So for today's Writers & Readers Websites Wednesday I bring you 11 Useful Resources For Writers Check 'em out and see how helpful they can be to you.