Writing 108

Plotting. You need it. I need it and every writer needs it at some point. Not because you can't figure out the story in your head but to get over the boring bits. I love writing all the exciting bits but often the action is choppy because I literally skip the boring bits. I blame my dyslexia for this but I need the plotting to make sure everything is there that is needed. I could tell you how to plot but I've found there is no wrong or right way to plot. I often change the way I plot from book to book. Depending on the problem I'm facing in my book. If I'm plotting out a fight scene I like to use toy soldiers and large pieces of paper to draw out the battle field. There is one clear thing. Y

Writing 107

Time to write your bad book. Okay to this point most of your writing has been about scenes you see and the cool things you want to write but you'll get to a certain point when you lose the drive to finish the story. This is normal. You can continue on with this stage for awhile and I recommend that but the next step is the bad book. Task 7 Start off with a Mary Sue. A character that is just like you but perfect. Put them in a situation where everything in their life is pretty terrible. Now write their story. I find this cathartic. It also needs to be done as you will always write this person until you get them out of your system. Now here is the warning. Never, ever let anyone see this book.

Writing 106

Don't force the issue. Don't try to plot just yet. Like I said before you are still building up muscles. Imagine your character in different situations and write up the scenes. Don't try to thread them together until you have finished a few scenes. Task 6 Write scenes of your character doing different things. These should be the movie trailers you see in your head when you think of your story. The exciting stuff that keeps you awake because you are so buzzed over writing your story. Do this again and again. You are in the training phase of your writing. You need a lot of experience under your belt. So go through task 5 and 6 over and over.

Writing 105

Now that you can write a scene without being completely boring you can start writing a story. Now before you get excited I will tell you now this will not be a story you will finish. You are still building up your writing muscles. But let us start with a character in a place doing something. I don't care who they are or where they are or what they are doing. You don't have to figure out the story yet because what they are doing should lead to the story. Here is an example of what I mean. The man broke up the pieces of bread to feed to the ducks. They swam up to him in a feathery crowd. Now ask these questions: Why are they there? Why are they doing what they are doing? He looked up when his

Writing 104

Biology. Most of our life is automatic. We breath without thinking. Our heart beats and we blink without a second thought but when it comes to writing don't forget the body. Task 4 Physiologically we react to certain things in a very physical way. Describe what a persons body would do under these circumstance (and I suggest cheating and googling it) Fear Anger Excitement Worry Tired Love Pain Exercise Cold Crying Surprising isn't it how our body reacts to all these things. You can use these in all sorts of other situations. The next time you write something wonder how the body reacts. You can add in things like depression and giving birth or dozens of other things we go through in our life t

Writing 103

Task 3 Dialogue is essential to making a story seem real. When was the last time you went hours without talking to the other people in the room. We are social creatures so we are always talking. Small talk mostly but if you wrote small talk that would get boring. Leave out the hi, hello part of the conversation. We know how that works so don't repeat it. In this task you are going to use dialogue to start a story. Have two people talking. Have the first character ask a question. Any question. Don't worry about what they are doing, just write the dialogue. Then add in another character and another after that. Have them talking for awhile. Then go back and see if each of your characters have s

Writing 102

Check out the first post in this series but if you have it is clear you have now mastered the showing vs telling that is essential to writing. Task 2 Setting the scene It is really boring when someone describes a setting and it is pretty but nothing much is happening. It is better to experience a scene through the eyes of your main character so this is the task I also get students to do to start a story. Have a person in a place doing something. Let me explain the beauty of this simple task. First of all you start with action so instantly more interesting. Putting them in a place you can use your showing skills and describe the place but now it has a context. But the real beauty is this can

Writing 101

I recently tried a free online class for writing. I was rather disappointed. I was hoping for activities that would push my writing. Unfortunately it was too generic to challenge me but then it was free and I really shouldn't complain. But I thought I can put up my own writing tasks for people who want to improve their writing. I'm completely self taught but I'm also a teacher so I've taken what I've taught myself and broken them down into lessons. Task 1 How to show not tell We are often told we need to show not tell but what does that really mean. You can get countless examples from authors but just how do you figure it out in the first place. Well, here is a task that you can use for ever

Review: SEALS of Honor: Devlin by Dale Meyer

You would think 12 books in they would run out of things to write but SEALS of Honor: Devlin is just as good as the other books in the series. Okay this isn't the height of literature but it delivers exactly what it promises. We have our happy endings. We have cute guys running around being heroes. We have the added bonus that the damsel in distress is super smart and saves herself most of the time. We have some action and the bad guys getting their just desserts. So it doesn't have twists or surprises but when you have have had a long week and you want to escape to another world where there are good guys, that seem to be hens teeth in this world, are running around every where then this boo

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