Monthly Archives: October 2016

This Isn’t a Writing Tip!

Hello, everyone!

I know I’m a day late. I had university work to do, I’m sorry. Today’s tip isn’t much a writing tip per say, but more of a tip to manage your time to write.

Do you know about bullet journaling?

If not, trust me, it’s worth it!

Bullet journaling is cheap. You just need to get a blank-paged journal, number the pages, and date it monthly and daily.

Here’s a short video (5 minutes) to show you what it is and how it works:

Once you have your bullet journal, it’s so easy to keep track of your tasks, events, and notes. I’ve been using it myself for the past week and gosh, I have never been this motivated to cross out a task! This also leaves you with a reasonable schedule in which to include some writing time. Thus, you can enjoy it and not be stressed about forgetting what tasks you have and whatnots. Daily life can be exhausting and I wanted a way to keep track of everything including my writing AND university. This way I can do both instead of being upset all the time. Bullet journaling is the best method for task and time managing I have found!

Although, this method is not bulletproof (oh, the pun!). What I mean by that is that you MUST fill in your daily and monthly logs, otherwise it will do you no good. But once you get the hang of it, it totally works.

So simple, yet so worth it (and fun)!

Don’t forget to decorate your bullet journal with pictures and stickers, or even drawings if you like! It makes it even more entertaining and unique.

What do you think of bullet journaling?

Do you want to try it out?

 

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A Year? But It’s Too Short!

Hello, folks!

After much thought, I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo like I was supposed to. It was making me too stressed out – it even made me lose my love for my story! So, this was no good for me (and my studies!). I also decided that my novel Nightshade deserved better.

So, I have found a great alternative: Shaunta Grimes’ A Novel Idea course! It is a year-long novel-writing course and I am so glad to be part of it. Shaunta Grimes is the author of the Viral Nation series, a YA dystopian.

I’ll take the whole year to write and polish my manuscript. This way, I’ll be prouder of my work. I hope you all understand.

With this said, know that tomorrow is Friday: your writing tip day!

P.S.: I’m still working on the surprises I talked to you about and the free ebook and workbook! 😉

 

Ups and Downs and a Workbook Just For You

Hello, people!

I’m writing a short post only to tell you what’s going on. I’m still getting ready for NaNoWriMo, which is taking most of my time (I swear, if I could just—!)

Oh! There’s fun news: Remember that freebie I talked to you about?

Well, guess what? There’s ANOTHER freebie coming your way. Yes! It’s a workbook about how to create a vivid setting for your story. I’ll focus mainly on fantasy and sci-fi, but I guess you could apply it to any story. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

I hope everything’s going well for you. As you can guess, my day has been… rough. But let’s push that aside, shall we?

Now, tell me, what types of workbooks would you be most interested in having? Do you like my idea of giving you a setting workbook?

I’d love to read your thoughts!

Comment below, please. 🙂

P.S.: Remember to stay tuned for Friday’s writing tip!

 

 

How to Choose the Right POV for Your Story

Hello, everyone!

Today, I’ll tackle a difficult topic for aspiring and experienced authors alike:

1

Are you excited? I am!

Let’s start with the basics. There are multiple points of views for you to choose; however, we’ll focus on making a decision between the third person omniscient, limited, and multiple and the first person points of views. Why? Because these four are the most used in novels (that I can see!). Also, they are my favorite, so I can talk about them.

But what are they?

The first person point of view is when we, the readers, experience the story through the character’s eyes. The character uses the pronouns ”I” and ”We” when describing things, people, and events to us. This is a hard one (but not impossible) to accomplish because the author needs to remove any proof of authorship, such as ”he said” and ”my eyes were gleaming with pride”. Why the second one? Simply because the character cannot see his/her own eyes! Unless they are staring at a mirror…

The third person limited point of view is when the narrator knows only what the character we are following knows. The narrator doesn’t give us much information besides what the (let’s call her ”main character”) main character can see, feel, touch, hear, and taste. For example, we cannot read about the other characters’ thoughts (unless the main character is psychic!) because they are out of the main character’s reach. This point of view uses ”he/she” to describe actions, characters, and events. It is also limited to only one character.

The third person omniscient point of view gives the narrator the right to use ”he/she” and to know everything about everyone and everything that’s happening in the story. The narrator is like God (or any deity of your choice), literally. It is infamous for being the ”lazy author’s point of view”, yet it is widely used in fiction.

The third person multiple point of view still uses ”he/she”, but the narrator can now switch between characters. The narrator’s challenge with this one is to make the switch obvious.

How to Choose

But how do you choose one point of view between so many possibilities? Here are my tips:

1- Trust your characters. Imagine them. Does one pop up the most? Does he/she have quite the personality? During the small exercise of imagining them, do you see glimpses of the story through their eyes or do you see your characters as though you were flying over them? If one character seems to always stand out and you have glimpses or scenes through their eyes, I’d say ”believe your character!” and go with that one using the first person point of view (like I did for Nightshade – Rosellia is so feisty!) OR the third person limited point of view. Now, how do you choose between those two? Simple: you write down a scene of your story using both points of views and you can decide which one you think suits the story the most. If you see the scenes or glimpses like you were a bird flying overhead and you know each and every character’s feelings and emotions, well, go with the third person omniscient point of view or the third person multiple point of view. The choice rests on your desire to use more characters more ”intimately” than just one.

2- Read different books with all those points of views. Then, you can settle on your favorite or use the one you think would benefit your story the most. You can also surf the Web to find short stories using those points of views.

3- Trust your guts. This one is a lot like trusting your characters, but this time it comes with the feeling you have inside you. Do you feel challenged enough to try first person or third person limited? Or do you prefer the good feeling using third person omniscient or multiple gives you? It all depends on how YOU feel about your story. What turns does it need to take? When imagining your story, do you see the road? Okay, it might be bumpy, but don’t care about that right now! Just focus on: a) is it going in different directions all the time? If so, try the third person multiple point of view.

b) does it play as though you’re a member of the audience? Try the third person omniscient point of view.

c) do you feel close to one character in particular? If so, can you see the road through their eyes or above their head? Try the first person and the third person limited points of view, respectively.

4- I know what I am going to say is scary, but it is useful as a last resort: tell your story to someone you trust, may it be a family member or a friend. But pay close attention to how you are telling it. If you keep on going back and forth between characters, it’s third person multiple. If you stick to one character only and focus on how they’re experiencing their journey, it’s first person point of view or third person limited (depending on which one suits your story the best!). Now, do you tell everything about everyone populating your story? If so, you have the third person omniscient point of view. The way you tell your story generally dictates how it needs to be written because it’s your subconscious’ means of telling you how you feel about it.

These were my personal tips (I use them in case the point of view didn’t jump at me when I first got the inspiration for my story, which it nearly always does). I hope they are helpful to you. If you also need help with confidence and self-esteem as an author, do click here for another writing tip.

Is it hard for you to find which point of view to use when starting a new story? If so, how come? If not, please do tell your way of making this crucial choice, I’d love to hear it!

 

 

Did You Know?

Hello everyone!

Are you feeling good? I am.

Ideas are brewing.

What I mean with this is: surprises are coming your way!

A Freebie

Indeed, I am working on a free ebook for you, guys and gals. It will feature from 10 to 15 flash fiction. Moreover, I am putting some things in place for special events (I can’t tell you more yet!).

Vlogging: The One Question

I’ve thought about vlogging. Should I? What do you people think? Leave me a comment about it!

Where You Can Find Me

Also, you can now find me on Pinterest: click here

Your Writing Tip

Be at the ready for I will post another writing tip on Friday!

Trust me, you won’t want to miss it if you’re confused or torn about choosing the right POV for your story.

Meanwhile, you can read my last writing tip if you can’t wait for the next. Just click here. It’s about growing your self-esteem and confidence. I’m sure you can find something useful in it.

See you tomorrow!

 

At Writer’s Block and Inspiration’s Beck and Call (A Book Review)

Hello, fellow bloggers and readers!

Today’s book review is about Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration: Learn to Nurture a Lifestyle of Creativity by K.M. Weiland. I devoured this book! It took me only two days to read it thanks to its interesting take on those two (difficult) aspects of any writer’s life.

writersblock

It has many good points. I’ll start with the best aspect of this book: it is uplifting, even inspiring to read! Not only does it give you good tips to try and apply, it also tackles an author’s hardest topics: writer’s block and the ever-so-mysterious inspiration.But Miss Weiland approaches these topics with a dose of humor and a good common sense; there’s no burying your head in the sand to try and avoid reality in this book. It’s as comforting as it is a wake-up call. When I finished the book, all I wanted to do was sit down and write (which I did) – I was so motivated by what she had written! I also greatly appreciated that she talked about author’s depression and the highs and lows of the job. These are never easy topics to go over, but I think she did well. Plus, she ends the book on such a positive note, touching the topic of being born to be a writer and embracing it.

The only negative aspect was the lack of examples. We read about what to apply but with no guidance as to how we can actually do this. I would have liked more detailed instructions about it all, if I can say.

The negative does not outweigh all the positive points of this book, so I give it a 4.5 out of 5 rating. The book was excellent and encouraging, yet down-to-earth. But it lacked some good ole’ examples. That’s why I removed a .5. I strongly suggest you all read this, mostly if you’re an author or an aspiring one. It will help you or at least rekindle that passionate flame called writing. It is genuinely a good book you want to read whether or not you’re struggling with writer’s block and summoning inspiration.

The Woe of Self-Esteem and Confidence (And How to Beat It!)

Hello, everyone!

This week’s writing tip is all about self-esteem and confidence… two hard concepts to keep when they grace you with their magic. However, I have a tip and a real story to share with you about how to get confident and raise your level of self-esteem.

Ready? Let’s get started!

The hardest thing to do when one wishes to write is actually sitting down and writing something. But let me tell you that a) you will NEVER grow your confidence if you don’t write. At all. b) in order for your self-esteem to rise, you need to stop making excuses and find the time to write – you shall feel much better afterwards. You’ll see. It’s a step in the right direction.

I know, I know. Life is crazy fast. So how does one sit down to write when we have to wash the dishes, etc.?

The answer is as simple as it’s hard to apply:

Make writing your priority.

I kid you not. I’ve been reading how-to books on writing and they all say the same thing. Guess what? They’re right. I’ve been trying it the past few days and my NaNo Prep improved. 🙂 I am now into world-building. It’s quite impressive being at that point taking into consideration that I only had a concept for the story two weeks ago.

If you don’t make it your priority, you’ll feel bad and guilty for not writing, which is the exact opposite of how you should feel for your self-esteem to rise!

As for confidence, I have a little story to tell you:

This week, I wrote a flash fiction for a contest and posted it on Scribophile for reviews. For the second time in my life, I received a terribly negative review, which came as a shock to me (I’m not used to receiving poor feedback, my stories usually being great). I was hurt. Sincerely. My confidence in my writing took a step back… but then, something awesome happened. Three other people reviewed it afterwards. Their reviews were good and constructive. It made me feel better and more confident.

Moral of the story? Believe in what you can do and share it. If you don’t share it, how can you know people will actually like it? You can’t grow your confidence by keeping it a secret… Yes, sometimes it hurts like hell, but other times (and those are the important ones) it’s as sweet as honey and crucial (as they give you constructive reviews).

You see, confidence isn’t a straight line. It’s more like a roller coaster. Aim for the climb at the summit, though be aware there will be hurtful going down. When you’re at the top of the roller coaster, analyze what got you there. Then cherish it. Write it down, if necessary. This way, during rough times, you can look back at it and know how to work on your confidence.

Did you know that James Patterson, bestselling author of 76 novels, got rejected 31 times when he was starting out?! It’s not because a certain someone, professional or not, dislikes your writing, that it is bad. Other people will see something good in it; thrive on this! And improve what you can. It’s the only way you will grow your confidence. By sharing your work and becoming vulnerable.

It’s unpleasant, I know. But it’s worth it in the long run.

Self-esteem and confidence are friends of your writing and sharing. It comes hand in hand with them.

I wish you all the best with your writing. If you have questions about today’s tip, ask me in the comments below!

On this:

Just write!