Tag: writing

Writers: How do you name characters?

Writers: How do you name characters?

Is it me, or is one of the hardest parts of starting a new story naming all of the characters? Maybe it’s just me, nitpicking over small details, but it seems like a pretty big responsibility, naming another human (or elf, or dwarf etc.), even if they are only fictional (God forbid if I ever have kids and actually have to choose a name for another human being!). It’s just that once you’ve chosen a name you’re pretty much stuck with it for the entirety of the project, unless you’re willing to put in a lot of effort afterward to… Read more »

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It’s NaNoWriMo time!

It’s NaNoWriMo time!

Well, it’s here! It’s officially the 1st of November, and the first day of National Novel Writing Month 2016, or NaNoWriMo for short. All around the world writers will be starting out their novels with the aim of reaching 50,000 words by the end of November, and this year I’m one of them! My last attempt at NaNo was in 2014, where I managed 42,000 words, so I’m crossing my fingers that this year will be my year, and I’ll finally hit that 50,000 word target! Instead of starting a new novel I’m going to try and add 50,000 words… Read more »

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NaNoWriMo Prep (and WIP Extracts!)

NaNoWriMo Prep (and WIP Extracts!)

November is on the horizon, and this year I’ve decided to try NaNoWriMo again! Hooray! Although to be honest I’m kind of cheating… Rather than starting a brand new novel for NaNoWriMo I’m planning to use it to try and write another 50,000 words of my currently stalled WIP. As I’ve already written about 25,000 words, I think this would take me almost to the end of the first draft (although I guess I don’t know quite how long it’s going to be yet?), and as a serial quitter it would be kind of a big deal for me to… Read more »

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Writers: How do you stick with one idea?

Writers: How do you stick with one idea?

I’ve been writing since I was very young: I can remember sitting at the kitchen table as a child scribbling away in brightly coloured exercise books, inventing my own worlds and imagining strange races of beings (most of which were oddly reminiscent of the Elves from Lord of the Rings). When I got a bit older I carried on, progressing to tapping out my stories on the family computer in the living room, filling up the My Documents folder with my increasingly more varied tales. These days I’m still at it, sitting at my little desk, which has now moved with me three… Read more »

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4 Books I’d Recommend To Writers

4 Books I’d Recommend To Writers

Whilst the art of writing is best learnt through practice, it always pays to get advice from more experienced writers on the craft. Now most of us aren’t personal friends with writers as successful or as experienced as Stephen King, but we can still get advice from him and other successful writers through books they’ve written on the subject. So here’s a quick list of four books I’ve read that I feel are helpful to writers, and if you have any recommendations for me, please leave them in the comments! On Writing by Stephen King This book is generally considered… Read more »

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What To Do When You Think Your Writing Sucks

What To Do When You Think Your Writing Sucks

Recently I’ve been writing a fantasy novel, and for the first few thousand words, it went swimmingly. My hands seemed to dance across the keyboard, pouring out words and crafting a world of magic…until suddenly they stopped. And why did they stop? Because I stupidly read it back, that’s why! I read back what I had written, convinced it was going to be inspired, and it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. I like my characters (although I’ve come to hate their names for some reason!), and a lot of the dialogue, but I started to feel like it… Read more »

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642 Things To Write

642 Things To Write

Last Friday was my birthday (hooray for being 23!), and my parents got me a book I’ve had my eye on in Waterstones for some time: 642 Things To Write by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. This book is full of fun writing prompts with space underneath to write in, so I thought it would be a useful tool for getting those creative juices flowing when I was feeling a little uninspired. And I was right! I’ve tried to do at least one exercise a day so far, and it has not only been really fun, but has definitely got me in the… Read more »

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5 Inspiring Quotes from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

5 Inspiring Quotes from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic is one that has been in my sights for a long time. Aside from having a beautiful, eye-poppingly bright cover, it was also heavily recommended to me by a friend, so I decided it was finally time to get myself a copy! And I am seriously so glad that I did! As a creative person, this book was everything I’d hoped it would be: inspiring, engaging and deeply insightful. I can’t say I was completely sold on every theory within this book, but on the whole I found it to be a really interesting read, and… Read more »

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Can creativity be taught?

Can creativity be taught?

Something I’ve always found interesting in the writing world is the two schools of thought regarding whether or not writing skills can be taught. Many well regarded writers have famously bashed creative writing courses, claiming that writing as a creative medium can’t be taught unless a person has some modicum of natural talent, whereas I know from experience through my time as a Creative Writing student that there are writers and tutors out there who believe most people are capable of learning to write well. This got me thinking about whether or not creativity in general can be taught, or… Read more »

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Life vs. Writing

Life vs. Writing

I don’t know about you, but these days it seems like all I have to do is blink and another day has gone. Life is so fast-paced these days, and it seems like there’s so much to do that I often find I’ve gone days and have hardly written a word. So how do you reconcile a busy life (complete with a job, friends, family and a social life) with the solitary and time-consuming pursuit of writing? Whilst I’m probably not the best person to answer this question (as a master of procrastination!) I do have a few little tips,… Read more »

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