If you want to write well, you’re told the best way to do this is to read good books and practice, practice, practice. What you’re not told to do is read the worst books ever written, but that is exactly what you should be doing.
Bad films are also good, especially if you enjoy writing screenplays or even filming and editing your own shorts. Why? Why am I telling you to waste your time on creations that should never have existed in the first place?
Because then you know exactly what NOT to do, which is arguably just as valuable as knowing what you should do. Continue reading
What is a writer? When can you call yourself one? And how do you get the world to?
We live in a world of titles, where the difference of a few words can offend or flatter–fire you or get you a job–make enemies or friends. Finding out who you are is a big part of accepting yourself, and telling others where your strengths lie or what your job is. But often, there’s a line between professional and unprofessional. If you took a summer course in first aid, you cannot call yourself a trauma surgeon–it wouldn’t make sense. But turn to creativity titles like youtuber or photographer, and the lines are very blurred. In many cases, I don’t think they even exist.
I call myself a writer. An author, even. Am I being presumptuous? Do I really “understand” what I’m talking about? Why am I not a bestseller? If I’m a writer, shouldn’t I at least learn how to write regularly scheduled blog posts?
Well… let’s discuss. What does it really mean to be a writer? Continue reading
2019 is right around the corner and the time for the obligatory New Year’s resolution has come. Did you make your’s last year, will you do so this year? Who knows–I hope you succeed–but regardless, life will go on.
This is not true in stories, where resolutions perpetuate everything. Resolutions are the fuel, the driving force–they are the plot. Without them, readers will lose interest. Continue reading
We’re nearly there.
As I’m writing this, it’s half a week before it’s posted, I’m behind, and I feel like I’ve only just scraped past the halfway point. Still technically in week 3, the end seems too close, but at the same time, I’m also looking forward to taking a break from words. I have too many essays with mid-December deadlines that I have not started and I just want it to be Christmas.
I have a semi-formed blob of a novel and I’m proud of it. It’s not really going anywhere and I have yet to have any form of extreme conflict, but I have some really fun characters. You should be proud of what you’ve created too. We’ve done this–we made something amazing, and we can’t quit now that we’re so close to the end. I’ve compiled together some writing dares, some tips, and some sugar-filled baking recipes to help us through these last five days. We can do this!! Continue reading
In the grand scheme of things, 10 is a small number. It’s the number of our fingers. Two bags of custard doughnuts from Co-op (which are surprisingly vegan). And a perfectly acceptable number of zebrafish to own (I was going to say cats, but then I thought about it).
But still. TEN. It’s very exciting to have reached double digits. It also means I’ve been doing these regularly for fifteen weeks (every other Thursday). Writing prompt #1 was actually in May and wasn’t going to be a regular thing. But writing prompt #2 got such an unexpected amount of positive feedback I decided to do it that way! I’ve definitely enjoyed doing a writing prompt every other week, and I definitely think it’s helped my writing. I hope if you’ve tried any of them, that you’ve also found them fun and/or helpful!
So, for this lovely 10th prompt, here’s a new type of writing game! Continue reading
“Look! He’s right on top of us!” There was a pause. “I wonder if he’s using the same wind we are using…”
“Whoever he is, he’s too late. See–the Cliffs of Insanity!!” -Princess Bride (the film)
I’ve found the cliffs. They are tall and awful and there’s no way around them.
It all started last Thursday. I had a deadline for a project write-up about a behavioural study I did with aposematic stick insects. I left it about a day too late and worked so so hard to get it written in time for the Wednesday night deadline. So Thursday, I obviously felt great because I’d finished it in time, but I also just didn’t want to write. Every day since then it’s been an incredible struggle to go anywhere near anything at all that involves words. The worst part is I know I can do it–it’s not that difficult to just carry on and push through. A couple days behind is fine. Except that my whole brain is screaming “I don’t want to!” at me.
Have you also found yourself at the base of the cliffs? If so, hi. Welcome to week 3. Let’s just try to get through this as best we can. We are past the halfway point after all! Here’s my care-pack/box-of-toys for you: Continue reading
First, I would like to thank Sonora for asking me to write a guest NaNo pep talk on her blog. “Thank you.”
Now it’s time for me to say a bunch of encouraging stuff while talking about how amazing I am and give you tips from Me, A Real Author. I have an agent and you don’t. Is this encouraging or does it just make you feel like you suck? You feel like you suck? Well, I guess I just wrote the best pep talk ever! Bye.
P.S. You can do it but you’ll never be a real author.
P.P.S. I’m not actually even doing Nanowrimo.
This pep talk was written by Real Author # 7 of 10
I always hated these pep talks. Maybe they never say that exactly, but I always feel like it’s between the lines. First of all, I am 16 1/2 and definitely don’t have an agent. Second, I don’t really consider myself a real author. I consider myself trying really hard. Third, I am actually doing NaNoWriMo this year (I’m a little bit behind).
NaNoWriMo is hard. Different people find it easier than others. But that is because we are all different. Some people win in the first week. Others write several thousand words on the last day and just barely reach the 50,000 word goal. Then, there are the people who win every year (like Sonora) and the people who win some years and not other years (like me). Whichever one of these you are, it’s fine. Honestly. Continue reading
It is week 2. Day 12. Technically week 2.5. Already, NaNo participants, you have done incredible things. For example, Germany who have a combined total of 31 MILLION words from 3,787 people so far (I didn’t realise this region scoreboard existed–it’s really cool!). Week 2 is all about rolling out from week one with a purpose: you know your characters, you know what they want, you know their world–now you can get down to creating drama; the beautiful snowy hill is in front of you and it’s time to get on that sledge.
If instead of this, you’re still struggling with the actual forming of your snowball story, don’t worry. As the data from the region scoreboard indicates, there are so many people in your shoes. But you’ve started and you’re going to do this thing! I’ve compiled some games, some tips, and some very fun quotes from authors to try and help all of you, struggling or not, to stay motivated. Hope they help! Continue reading
As some of you know, we’re 8 days into NaNoWriMo. So far, I’m just hanging on by the skin of my teeth. And yes, I’m counting every word of this intro as a word because otherwise, this post wouldn’t exist–sometimes you just have to compromise. Now, I usually write whatever comes into my head for these writing prompts, but today I’m going to try to tie in the prompt with my novel and use it to inspire wacky new plot ideas. Feel free to join me in trying to weave in your NaNo novel, or just write whatever you feel like! Continue reading
We’re four days in! Whether you’re thousands of words ahead or haven’t even started yet (that’s right–it’s not too late), here’s my first weekly NaNo post with prompts, tips, fun ideas and hopefully some encouragement!
I’ll be doing this every Monday for the rest of November, so please tell me in the comments what you found useful, what you’d like to see more of, or if you have any ideas or tips of your own to share!
For now, welcome to week one! The land is green and comforting, the birds are singing, and the waters of the unknown plot are warm and inviting–it’s a great time to dive right in and try to figure out what the hell your novel is about. Mine has vampires and a cute grey/blue kitten. Besides that, I still have no idea where it’s going. Continue reading