So, it’s coming up to that time of year again where thousands of hopeful novelists worldwide set themselves the immense task of writing 50,000 words in a month. It’s an incredible and extremely rewarding event, as I know from last year when I did my first National Novel Writing Month, AKA, NaNoWriMo (and you can check out a little excerpt of last year’s novel in this post). I may not have won (I only reached 42,000 words) but I still feel like I achieved a huge amount, and I really can’t recommend it enough as a good way to get into… Read more »
Writers tend to fall into two categories; those who swear by writing by hand (at least for a first draft) and those who almost never do it. Until last week I would have placed myself firmly in the latter category: as a younger writer I’ve always had access to a computer and word-processing software, and seen as I type faster than I can write I’ve always felt like my handwriting can’t keep up with my train of thought. However, when I found myself a little low on inspiration last week I decided it was time to mix things up. Anything… Read more »
I write… …because I’m good at it. I’m not good at a lot of things: I can’t draw, for example, or paint, or make things, and I’m not great at Maths or Science. I can’t speak any other languages beside English and GCSE level German, I can’t play an instrument and I can’t do perfect make-up…but I can write. I can take words and fashion them into what I hope are half-decent sentences, and I can order them so that they have meaning. Sometimes it’s hard – really hard in fact – and I hate every single word that I… Read more »
Characters can without a doubt, make or break a piece of fiction: they are the beating heart of a story. I know from my own experience as a reader that it doesn’t matter how good a concept the story has, or how well plotted it is, if the characters are flat and lifeless. Readers need to care about characters and feel invested in them in order to engage with the story, which is why creating characters can be such a difficult part of writing.
Inspiration is by nature elusive and hard to come by, yet it can make a huge difference to your writing productivity. Any writer knows that it is 100 times easier to sit down and write when your head is buzzing with ideas that you just have to get down, than when your mind is blank and resembles a tumbleweed-strewn desert. But where can you find it? Where does inspiration come from and how can you harness it? These are a few ways I get ideas or get inspired, and I’d be interested to know where other writers and bloggers get… Read more »
‘If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.’ Recently, I finally got round to reading Stephen King’s famous book On Writing. The book is part memoir, with King describing the life events that made him the writer he is, and partly instructional, offering tips and advice about writing. After reading it, I can see why this is a book often considered to be essential reading for writers. It’s inspirational, informative, and infused with enough humour to make it entertaining as well as instructive (and that’s a lot… Read more »
Anyone who has ever done any form of writing will know that ideas can come at any time, and anywhere. Apparently inspiration doesn’t care about convenience, and may elude you when you sit down at your desk to write, yet strike when you’re busy paying for your double cheeseburger meal in McDonalds (true story!). Therefore it’s essential that writers have some way of recording and collecting their ideas, because unfortunately even the most inspired of ideas can disappear just as quickly as it came!
Recently, I’ve been feeling kind of uninspired in regards to my writing. I’ve been just about managing to stump up a couple of blog posts a week, but haven’t really done much in the way of fiction, or any non-blog related project, which considering one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to write more, is not great. So what did I do in order to kick-start my creativity? I did what any bookworm would do and consulted with Amazon! Well, I went on there and bought a couple of books of writing exercises anyway!
In fiction writing, there are a few generally agreed rules that anyone who has ever done any kind of Creative Writing course will have probably had drilled into them. But are these ‘rules’ really set in stone? Or are they more like the Pirate Code (well, the one in Pirates of the Caribbean anyway), and more a set of guidelines really? Well here’s three writing rules that I personally think are more guidelines, and are fine to break sometimes (and I’d love to know what you think!): Write what you know. As much as I’m sure C.S. Lewis was forever… Read more »
I think everyone has read one of those books that in theory, should be great: it has an interesting concept, a good plot, a killer twist, skilful world-building if it’s sci-fi or fantasy… but for some reason, something about it just doesn’t click. Although it should be right up your street, it just doesn’t do it for you. One of the biggest reasons I find for this when it happens is the characters: if they just aren’t convincing then how am I ever going to enjoy reading about them? Even in fantasy and sci-fi where a suspension of belief is required… Read more »