Monday, April 25, 2016

How To: Start Writing

This video will teach you how to get yourself in the right mindset for you to begin your creative process.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Environment and You

             For those of you who may not be aware, Friday (April 22) was Earth Day. Writers must be conscious of their environment, not just for the one day of the year, but every time they sit down.

            A writer’s environment greatly impacts the way you write. If you are sitting on your couch relaxed and not wanting to do anything but continue writing, your writing will reflect it. A relaxed writer makes imaginative and innovative work.

            Writers may also wish to capitalize upon emotions they might be feeling. If you have a really bad day and a lot of bad stuff happen and it makes you want to lay down and cry capitalize upon your bad day and write a portion of your story you want to be extremely sad.

            Being able to sympathize with a character by experiencing the same emotions they are going to helps you both write the character better and get to know your character better.

            If you aren’t feeling what your character is feeling but you are on a deadline like so many writers are, go out. Get out of wherever your usual writing space is and look around yourself. Search your environment for something or someone you think exemplifies the way your character feels.

            Get yourself in the mood of the person or object you have chosen in your new environment. If you have chosen a person you may wish to have them describe how they are feeling. Go up and talk to them. Search for the little nugget of truth about the emotion they are feeling which will add authenticity to your story.
            There is something to be said for the affect an environment has on the writer’s state of mind. If you are in a well-lit cafĂ© you may find yourself thinking about food or maybe caffeine and meeting someone in a random everyday place.

Be aware where you are affects how you write.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Preparing to edit

One thing that helps you prepare to edit your work is making sure you don’t take yourself too seriously.

            If you read a sentence and it makes you want to bust out laughing upon rereading, and that was not the desired outcome of the sentence, then cut it out of the story and try to rewrite it so it will give the desired reaction.

            It also helps if you go into editing your story pretending you are editing a friend’s work instead of your own.

            If you read the sentence: It was smoky outside, you know the sentence was referring to the temperature and trying to portray it was hot outside. You might not catch the confusion of a reader who wasn’t inside your head while you were writing it and thinks by smoky you mean fire smoke or cigarette smoke.

            Reading from the view of a friend makes rereading your story more pleasurable because you can react as if you have never encountered those sentences before. It also allows you to catch mistakes you may not have thought of as mistakes if you were rereading your story as the writer. 

            The biggest thing to watch out for when editing your piece is sentence coherency.

Everyone is guilty of creating long sentences which sometimes lose people after the first few words.

            It is important while you are editing to make sure the sentence makes sense.

So, if you begin the sentence talking about bacon don’t end your sentence on a completely different topic.
The final thing to remember while editing is to have fun. If you get frustrated with a sentence get up and do something else. Dance, go out with friends, eat a meal anything that will get your mind off the task at hand so you can go back in with fresh ideas and no longer want to pull your hair out.

Don’t get discouraged when you read your work over again. It’s not going to be good the first time.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Basic Nuts and Bolts


There are many literary tools you as a writer can utilize while constructing an intriguing story. 

            Before examining the tools available you should know there is a time and a place to use them.

When you are out to dinner with a friend you don’t stop in the middle of a conversation and begin hammering at the table in a quiet restaurant.
            It is the same with your literary tools. You don’t use alliteration to make words sound softer when a character is in the middle of having a rough conversation.

            Deciding which words to use can be difficult. You may find it helpful to say words aloud to figure out how they sound to your ear before deciding where or if you are going to use them.
            Now diving into a few tools at your disposal:
            Onomatopoeia: You can use this to describe a sound using words such as clash, bang, boom etc. This term would be most useful during a sequence of your story with a lot of action or movement.

            Alliteration: As previously mentioned is when words close together have similar sounds such as stem and stern. You would want to use alliteration when you want to give the characters or the scene you are describing a softer feel.
            Metaphor: Describing one object as if it was another and blurring the lines between the two is a metaphor. It is difficult to put a feeling into words metaphor can help cover the disparity but it can also be used to blur the lines between two separate things and create convergence of an object or character.

Simile: This tool is similar to a metaphor, but it compares two objects using like or as rather than having one object take the place of the other as in metaphor. As with metaphor a simile would be well when describing emotion.
            These are just some of the literary devices you have at the tips of your fingers. If you use them wisely your story will carry even further depth and feeling for the reader.

            Choose your tool wisely. You can’t use a hammer to screw in a bolt.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fast World Fast Writing

In today's world it is difficult to get people to sit down long enough to read an entire book. Short stories are the perfect length for people in today's society to read. Writing short stories can be difficult. This audio clip will help explain some of the ins and outs of short story writing.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

You Can Place It

Finding a place for your characters and plot to play out is extremely complicated. Multiple factors go into finding the perfect setting for the story you wish to tell.

The most important thing to remember when picking your setting is, no matter where you pick you must make sure you have a working knowledge of the place you are describing.

If you are describing a cellar, it would be a good idea to actually visit one first hand.

Hands-on experience with the place you are talking about will provide a more descriptive story for your reader and allow you to have details in your story which can only be known through first-hand experience.

Using the example of the cellar, you do not want to place an object, like a wine rack in the right corner to the side of the wooden staircase and then a few scenes later have a washer and dryer where the wine rack was supposed to be.

When writing setting it sometimes gets complicated. It is hard to keep track of all the objects in the room.

In order to avoid confusion it may be helpful for you to keep a piece of paper and draw a diagram that keeps track of the objects in your setting. 

Creating a realistic setting is not the only challenge that will be faced when writing a story. It is also imperative to choose a setting which fits the story you are trying to create.

Your story may only be set in a single place or you might wish to move the lens to more varied settings.

It all depends on the feel you wish to create for your story.

If you want to create a more intimate feeling setting the story in one place will allow your reader to become closely acquainted to everything and make them feel closer to the story.

Moving the scope of the story around also has the benefit of introducing new experiences for the reader.

As writers you have complete control over everything that happens in your universe and setting is one of the most fundamental components of your universe.