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A Writer’s New Year’s Resolution:

I will try to people watch every hour

I will try to learn something every day

I will try to write a blog post every week

I will try to send out an email every fortnight

I will try to read a well-written book every month

I will try to speak with an industry professional semiannually

I will try to sell my book this year

I will do it

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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!

Get My Guide to Writing Lovable Characters Here!

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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!

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Characters with dominant emotions

When you look at a character you have written for, do they jump off the page? Do your own little people interest you? If they don’t, you’re not alone.  A lot of people list character traits, and that’s not wrong; Knowing who your characters are and what they stand for is very important. It is, however, quite hard to to come up with entirely new character traits and motives. Dominant emotions are different, it effects how your character thinks and how they look at the world around them. A character could be naturally angry, but how does that effect what they pay attention to? Well they would usually look for the more negative things and their thoughts would linger on what could go wrong. How would a character who is usually relaxed stand differently from one who is scared? If you still have trouble understanding what I mean, take this example.

Jane’s predominate character trait is ‘cleaver’. Stick figure Jane is running after a criminal. She quickly comes up with a trap and uses a stack of crates to jump onto a roof top. She then uses the apples that were inside of said crate to make the criminal run into a dead end by making noise down all the paths Jane does not want the criminal to take. Now infuse an emotion into Jane and see how she changes.  Jane is only pretending to be cleaver, she actually very scared and has to try very hard to do anything useful.  She ends up chasing the criminal to try to prove herself. While running she is constantly listing off things to remember so she doesn’t fail; Quiet breathing, light steps, he’s chosen three left turns so he’ll probably take a right next, darn he kept going left, gun is on the right. Jane then accidentally runs into the crate. Having lost sight of the criminal, she climbs up onto the roof. When an apple fall from her hood and startles the criminal away, she comes up with her plan and goes back to get the apples. Now imagine a whole book where Jane is clumsily doing cool things; not only dose it make her more interesting to read, it adds a plot layer and easily turns her into a dynamic character.

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Should I finish this short story?

Snow and ice make this area almost barren of life. Humans nest near the frozen forest. Only a large stone wall separates the two. On one side, smoke rises into the night air, on the other golden yellow eyes rival the stars. It appears as if it were a blue moon that night. That is, the first night where there were people on both sides of the wall. No, the villagers rarely left the warmth of their sanctuary. There was only one gate at that point, it was wooden and just as high as the wall. We watched the gates open, peering into the light that shined in the dead of night. Two horses pulled a little sleigh.

It is unknown weather we stayed out of curiosity or hunger. There were few reasons why people left the village so all of the golden eyes watched the sleigh. I alone kept watching the gate. Something fascinated me about what lay inside. The scents that traveled to me caused me to creep closer. Few people were still about, but they made much ruckus during the day. The doors were closing as I looked into the area where a few beams of light shown. As the opportunity for food closed before me someone entered the snow.

They cried out and the closing of the gates stopped. Wrapped in cloth but shrouded in darkness she came up to the gate. The woman stumbled as she came closer to where I lay in wait and watch. Those who had been closing the gate tried to grab her and keep her from going outside into the night. She gently pushed past them. By chance she walked towards where I stood. I knew of this person if only by the smell she carried. Every so often, in times when deer and rabbits were thin, something yummy and warm would be thrown over the wall, and I would promptly eat it.

The woman noticed me and approached she carried something wrapped in cloth up to me. Everytime the gates were opened I would see her. When I was a pup, young and naive, I entered the village in search of the source of good smells. I was not rewarded for me snooping around and small barks and my best growl did not help me. As warm blood fell onto cold fur I was scooped up by the woman. That was a while ago.

A small bundle of warmth was set before me by the lady before she turned and walked back into the gates. With all light not from the moon gone, my companions approached, no doubt hoping for a snack. I snarled at them and looked back to the tiny creature wrapped in a bundle for me. This was not a gift. I had been given something to nurture in the same way that I had been cared for as a pup.

That night the pack wrapped themselves around the pups and the human. Ture is was difficult raising the little creature, but he had skills beyond his years. Raised just as any other pup he stood alongside me for many years. A few times the lady came from the gate. Though the little one growled at her she pet him gently every so often, brushing his cheek and speaking human jiboroush.

At one point the lady stopped visiting and the juicy food she had thrown no longer fed us.

When Maria passed away, the whole village was saddened she had always been so kind, even to those who could not reciprocate. I had heard she had been feeding the wolves, keeping them at bay. No one bothered to give them scraps any longer. We didn’t know we needed to. I was to learn first hand what happened when the wolves weren’t given their peace offering. It was the middle of the day. Wolfs are never out during the day, this day must have given way to a blue moon, however. I was just a young girl but I still remember the event very well. Though the walls were high, they were weak with age.

Wolves of white and black and brown tore down the stone. The village went into chaos. Father called me onto the roof where would be the safest, and we watched the attack together. There are many things I could recall about that day. The way the wall right next to our house fell into individual stones or shards of stone. The stench of blood and the way it stained the snow. The cries of others. But the thing I will tell you about was how one young lad was running with the pack.

He stood on four feet and howled with his friends, ripping at meat and devouring anything dead. His ribs shown clearly through his flesh. The chieftain grabbed up the kid and held him tightly until the wolves were drove away. Young wolf boy bit and growled all the way to the hospital. Though everyone had tried to warm him up and dress him, wolf boy broke free and vanished through the gap in the wall.

Our village was never the kind to resort to violence. A gate was built beside my house and a few knives were sharpened. Over time the little village grew into a town, then a city, but I never forgot to feed the wolves from that day forward. Each day just before dusk leftover meat would be given to me and I would put it over the wall. Slipping through the gate and scoping out a hole in the snow to keep it relatively warm, I would place the meat for the beasts.

After a while, when I placed the meat, I could feel eyes watching me, yellow eyes hid in the shadows. There was a night at one point, where a brave wolf came forward from the shadows, leaving the pack. Soon after the wolves stood close to the gate when I opened it. It was around that point when I saw the wolf boy again, he seemed to be just a little younger than me, but much stronger than when I had seen him before.

I bought cooked meat for the boy and would toss it to him. This made me get fairly close to the wolves, however, because wolf boy was always the furthest away. It wasn’t long after that before the first wolf trailed in after me. On a freezing and stormy night the leader of the pack slipped in through the gate. When I tried to lead him back outside with a chunk of meat, more of the pack came in.

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Exciting project!

So I recently began working on a brand new book. I started working on it with out thinking about trying to write it in 30 days. Surprisingly, I have been able to keep up my word count every day I worked on it. During NaNoWriNo I struggled to reach the number of words each and every day. So what changed? I was excited about the work! The characters are funny! I enjoy writing it so the words come easy. Maybe for future projects I need to tweak the idea instead of focus on the word count. What do you think? Would this help you?

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Enough of my long posts

Instead of giving you another 5 pages of text, how about a short book recommendation. I just finished reading Wild Ink (success secrets to writing and publishing in the young adult market) by Victoria Hanley. I really enjoyed the content and writing style. Each section of information was concise and I learned a lot. Not only did it have information on different types of publishing and marketing (along with the usual 3 act structure) but also included information from many authors on a variety of subjects. I have found my self refer to it as a novel three times now because it reads like a story. Please read this amazing literary confection.

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Completion of NaNoWriNo

Well yesterday I got back from my celebration. That’s right. I completed 50,000 words almost 100 pages. This first draft is looking pretty good but the completion of my project has inspired me and my writing career so look out for more stuff by yours truly. I hope you all try to write a draft in a month, it is very rewarding and not terribly hard. I found my typing speed to be around 500 words for half an hour, whats yours?

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First section of My Nanowrino project

The sound of a story is often the little clicking noises that keys make and a story teller’s fingers dance around a keyboard. It could also be the crisp sound of a flowing pencil across paper, or the little breaths that come between each sentence that one may speak. Stories are everywhere. They are in video, audio, picture, text, speech, thought, and action. Your life is a story; a story written by a fun loving and creative deity that orchestrates every occurrence ever since time itself had begun. The work that she writes is written in the skies and acted out by the people, with the other gods directing the film. There are no extras in this masterpiece, every person has their own story, their own background, rising action, climax, falling action and death; and all the characters, whether or not they like it, are working towards a common goal.

Each little action you take causes a ripple effect that can change the course of history. Perhaps this action is finding someone on the street, laying face down on cracked concrete. Perhaps it is you who received the 911 call about a teenager dying on the street in the ghetto. Perhaps you drove the ambulance to save a boy whose hair has been dyed red by his own blood. Perhaps a person scooped this pail human off the ground and watched as his heartbeat flatlined. Perhaps someone took this broken soul to the hospital anyway, not wanting to give up or give in. Perhaps that guy opened his eyes, hearing the rhythm of keys being typed instead of his heart.

Numbness made his skin tingle, it made his eyes not want to open and his body slack. He heard words drifting through his ears, words like tingle, slack, and drifting, but could not piece together a sentence, let alone a thought. His breathing and the clicking of keys served as a constant over the next day and night as other sounds like foot steps or the vents on machines faded in and out of existence. During this time, a lot of things happened, files were searched for this young man’s name, missing person reports were searched through, and many people were questioned, but an identity was not matched to the sleeping face or rhythmic ticking of his soul.

Purple eyes that had seen many things and forgotten most of them, open in the night. Moon light filtered into the room and shone through the blood bag hanging at his side cast a red shadow onto the white sheets and white gown. Though dulled and tired, the eyes darted around the room hearing a noise other than that of the fan and his ticking heart. His breathing was quick as though he had awoken from a nightmare and his heart was beating fast like he had just woken up into a new one. With head spinning, he tried to move one pale arm so he could sit up and look around the room but found himself to be to weak. The noise he heard was was that of a quiet voice.
“Hello?” He called, hoping a nurse would answer.

His tongue felt sore so the young man didn’t bother to call out again. Instead he listened carefully. After the echo of his speech, the voice depicted his speech and then proceeded to remark about how he was feeling and what he did differently. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes again and tried to fall asleep. Soon after, the voice he heard stopped echoing around the vacant room.

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First day of Nanowrino

So today I started my new, month long, project. I 1700 words as of now, 6:47 July first. To tackle this project I have retreated to the local library and gathered more learning materials. I currently have the fallow books:
Fast Fiction: a book in 30 days writing guide.
A book in a month: a fill in the blanks 30 day writing outline.
The author training manual: A book that assess and gives you the skills to be a (best selling) author, not a writer.
Wonderbook: a colorful book dictating writing skills.
The emotion Thesaurus: you find and emotion, it gives you a list of physical traits.
Creating Characters: about… wait for it… Creating Characters!

I am trying to make myself a better writer this round as opposed to actually completing my book. What books do you use to help you in your craft?