Writing

Spewing Bad Writing Advice

I spew plenty of advice all the time, especially when it comes to writing.

So here goes nothing.

The first sentence of your story should make readers want to read the second. So on and so forth.

Try to establish a conflict or some kind of tension as early as possible. If you can do so in the first paragraph, fantastic. If the conflict arises on page one hundred and ninety-nine, you may want to revisit everything before it.

What's necessary? What isn't?

Clean up your messes. It's fine to info dump everything in your head on the page the first time around, but take care of them when you come back to edit.

If you listen to nothing else I say, for which I don't blame you, hear me out on this: you are not obligated to follow anyone's writing advice. Listen. Learn. But you are your own writer.

What works for you may not work for someone else. Similarly, what works for others might not work for you. So you should do what works best for your own writing.

Make your reader care. Give them a reason to. Many even.

Dare to say something different. Think about what others are saying and say the complete opposite. Play devil's advocate.

Never neglect any element of storytelling. Create a compelling character or twenty. Throw them into a messy situation with conflict. Advance your story's plot at a good pace. Establish setting, location. Think about themes.

When you're stuck, consider the five senses. What can your protagonist see or hear? How do they feel? Does he or she smell something strange? Don't forget about taste.

Be unpredictable. Do the unexpected. Surprise yourself and subsequently your readers as well.

Take writing one word at a time, one day at a time.

Writing an entire novel or 100,000 words can seem daunting.

But writing 1,000 words or one page every day for a year isn't so bad.

I'm a broken record, aren't I?

Quotes · Writing

Three Days, Three Quotes: Challenge (Part 2)

Thank you Charles, GalitHannah, and Amy for the nomination.

If you missed part one, check it out here.

Rules:

  • Post one quote a day for three days (from others or your own).
  • Nominate three other bloggers to participate per post.
  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.

I’m taking some old writing tips from myself so it isn’t really stealing. It’s recycling. The environment loves me.

You can find daily (if I don’t forget to post) writing tips on my Facebook and my Twitter.

In keeping with the focus of my blog, my quote/tip/advice for today is:

In life, you avoid conflict. In fiction, you embrace it.

Nominations: 

Again, no rush and no obligation.

They are lovely bloggers and incredible people so show them some love.

Ready for part three or are you bored of me already?

Writing

Why I Have To Write

I write so I don’t get arrested and thrown in jail.

There are a ton of things you can’t or shouldn’t do in real life. Many illegal acts in most countries deter regular, normal people like me from becoming a criminal.

I mean no harm. I really don’t. I avoid conflict like bees, but some people in my life like starting conflict. Let’s just say I have a solution to my problems. It starts with the person creating the problem. *Insert my best impression of an evil laugh right here.*

Writing

Characters Over Plot

Every single time I sit down to write a new story, I remind myself that characters drive the story. Therefore, they drive the plot.

Following that logic, the plot of a story—any story for that matter—is not primary. Characters are not secondary.

It’s the other way around. Characters are primary; plot is secondary.

This is my approach when writing stories:

I come up with a character first. Or characters.

The plot, the problem, the conflict, everything else comes after.

Blogging · Writing

Meet My Character Blog Tour

First off, thank you to the one and only phantomwriter143. If you aren’t following her or reading her blog posts, there’s something wrong with you.

Secondly, bear with me as my new work in progress is so new that I only have two lines written so far. Therefore, this post is somewhat like my character sketch/novel brainstorm all in one.

Here goes nothing.

What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

I have a hard time with choosing character names, especially when said person is the main character. More so when the MC is female. Don’t ask me why. I don’t even have a name for my main character yet. I do, however, know her initials. It’s either CJP or JCP. That’s all I’m going to say. I’m afraid if I divulge the reason why I chose those letters, I will be laughed at. Especially because I’m sure some bloggers will.

She is completely fictional.

When and where is the story set?

2014. Somewhere in Canada. It’s a contemporary story. I don’t use that word enough, even though it is indeed one of my favourites in the English language. Contemporary. Contemporary. Contemporary.

What should we know about him/her?

She’s broken, imperfect, flawed (like all characters should be). It’s a result of her tragic past, but she keeps fighting and there’s a strength within her that keeps her going, pushes her forward. Also, she grows up in a dysfunctional family. I’m thinking mine but 100 times worse and 1000 times exaggerated.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

I’ll be awfully vague like I always am when I talk about the main story-line. She loses two people who are close to her. That’s part of the conflict. The deaths messes up her life and then some.

What is the personal goal of the character?

Ultimately, to be happy. To do that she has to learn to move on and let go. She has to accept the hand she’s dealt in life and make the most out of it. She needs to come to terms with the injustices in the world and learn that people don’t always apologize for the pain they have caused or the mistakes they have made. Um…that sounds a lot like my goal in life. Whoops.

Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The Call. Whenever I have a title, I stick with it about 75 percent of the time. Why? Because after using it/seeing it/saying it over a time of many months or possibly years, it sticks. It works. Hence under normal circumstances, I have no intention to change it and possibly make the title worse than it already is.

The answer to the second part of the question: no. If and when I’m ready to share more information, you will be the first to know.

When can we expect the book to be published?

Never.

Now for my nominations.

I’m going to be a bit of a rebel and not mention to any of my nominees that I nominated them. So I hope all of you read/see this because if you don’t, then you may never know I nominated you mainly for your awesomeness, mostly for your wonderfulness, and partly so I can read your answers.