Monthly Archives: December 2015

Writing characters with Dyslexia

Growing up dyslexic I can confirm that the hardest part is learning to spell dyslexia. For you writers out there, let me condense some of your research and give you a good starting point. Let’s start with the physical changes to the brain.

There are lots of different kinds of dyslexia that effect different parts of the brain. Simply put, there are the people who struggle with writing, reading, math or a combination of the three. Though the idea that the left and right parts of the brain are reserved for analytic skills and art skills respectively, the brain is wired differently for dyslexics. Information is essentially rerouted through different parts of the brain. Dyslexia is currently on the autism spectrum so that’s a good thing to research.

Trouble with reading.

Keep in mind that this is all how I experienced dyslexia. Letters are most often what we get mixed up. Specifically, “B” and “D” whose lowercase forms are almost exactly the same. For me, I only read the first 3 or so letters of a word and the guess the rest based on context. When I was young I would only read the first letter and then one letter later in the word. Another issue is word order. My eyes go faster than my brain can compute so I often read (and even type) the word that comes after the current word. For example: Are there only two cans of paint? Might turn into: Are there two cans of paint, only?

Conjunctions still tripped me up as a teenage and spell check is what taught me how to read them.

Writing with dyslexia.

In addition to the things under the reading section, there are many issues with writing. Capital letters have always confused me.  I still capitalize random letters in a sentence, usually a word I want to put emphasis on.

Where to end a sentence as well as Word order, have always Confused me.

Translation: I’ve always been confused by both word order and where to end a sentence.

The last thing is many, many spelling errors. When in dough, we spell things how they sound. Spellcheck is one of my best friends. The worst thing is when I spell a word so wrong that spell check can’t find it.

My most common errors:

Reallistic should be realistic.

Cowaparate is actually cooperate

Crismas means Christmas

Sean is supposed to be scene

Sighen should be sign

And any name presents trouble

Math. Stupid math.

I have issues with all three of these but none are quite like math. + becomes -. Dividing turns to multiplication. 1205 might be 1502. Checking each line is the only way I get anything right. I do steps out of order, my notes are messy numbers are written backward, I leave out parts of numbers. Oh, by the way, if your dyslexia is introduced to algebra, expect them to start out with y= X*2 and end up with W=z2 (not like that was even a math problem, to begin with).

Some dyslexics are amazing at math. I really like to write but can’t do math to pass a class. Adding in my head is still terribly hard. Telling time is difficult, and you better hope I have a calendar because tomorrow is Thursday the 5th and the day after that is Wednesday the 7th .

A note on our thoughts.

Being dyslexic doesn’t men were dumb, I started college at age 16. We just think differently. I wrote my first books at age six, and entirely in camera angles. Without tutoring, however, we can get the lowest grades in the class. Come up with a redeeming quirky quality for your dyslexic character. Something artsy is most realistic.

Find part 2 Here!

This years writing books

“No Plot No Problem” in now in my top two nonfiction books. I had never picked the book up because I love to plot out me books, but now that I started reading it, I relies that the title is misleading. The book is not about not having a plot, it’s about having fun writing. It truly has inspired me to write, I wish there was more to read.

For Christmas I got two new books, “How to Blog a book” and “Get Know before the Book Deal”. January first will be the first anniversary of my blog, so now I’m going to take it up a notch. Lets see if I can boost the traffic to my sight in year 2!

Increasing writing productivity

It goes by many names, “some day syndrome”, “one day syndrome”, it is a disease that afflicts want-to-be-authors and yet-to-write-novelists. The symptoms include, but are not limited to, slow writing pace, low productivity, abandoned manuscripts, and lack of writing moral. The cause is simple, thinking that maybe, eventually, someday, you will write a novel, and thinking that it is hard to write a first draft. The remedy is supposed to be writing the first draft with a time limit, preferably less than a year. Usually, people will choose 30 days. The key is completing your book so you know you can do it and can destroy any self doubt. I have completed 50,000 words in a month, but not a whole manuscript, that’s why, this month, I’m dedicating myself to finishing my novel. Maybe then, I can fix my abandon manuscripts.

Inspiration from your creative playground

When you were a kid didn’t you enjoy playing in a field or on the monkey bars or even climbing trees? I sure did, and still do, but my playground has changed quite a bit. For writing purposes, I developed a planet where all dreams go once they’re forgotten. As you might imagine, a lot of things could happen in this world, there are kings and dragons and flying cars, but you might want your own playground. If you write realistic fiction, you might want to make your own city or just slightly alter the one you live in, but the most important part is to have fun. Your playground could have crazy buildings, odd parks, roads with funny names and bipolar weather. Whatever you choose make it your own.

But why should you have this city, planet, or time period saved to mind? Easy, to generate ideas for your characters and for new stories. Close your eyes and go play on your creative playground; what kind of people are there? What wonky things are around to be messed with? What do you hear or smell or feel? Just relax and explore as much as you can, maybe you’ll just find something to inspire you.

Remember, Inspiration doesn’t come to those who wait. You can’t sit down and think about your writing problems, you have to do something else. You need to have fun to be inspired.

Fast and Easy Symbols for Fiction Writing

What makes humans different than every other animal on earth? What makes us able to work together and accomplish such big projects? The ability to make and use symbols, like art, music, and most importantly language. Many writers are afraid of symbols, maybe they were scared off by being lectured about them in school, but as writers, we use them all the time. Each word is a symbol for the concept or object it describes. So don’t be afraid.

My friend recently introduced the concept of integrating objects into my story to describe the characters feelings. One you might already use would be the weather. The concept is simple enough, but very effective. Choose an object that relates to your character, a tree a picture, a statue, anything will do. Now come up with different stages that object could go through, cracked, droopy, stiff, faded, any descriptive words that can be related to an emotion. Lastly, put in a few paragraphs where the character looks at said object and sees it differently, either due to a change in their perspective or a physical change in their surroundings. Ta-da! You have integrated a symbol.