Tag Archives: plot

What Does ‘Write What you Want to Read’ Really Mean?

I always heard the advice ‘write what you want to read’ whenever I scoured the internet for inspiration. It wasn’t until recently that I really understood what that meant. I was at a writers conference talking with a creative writing teacher and I brought up this idea to him. When I think of writing what I want to read it stressed me out because it would need to be really well done and extraordinarily interesting (I’m quite a picky reader). I could never combine all the things I like into one book. Then he told me the meaning behind that statement.

If You Don’t Write What You Want to Read You Won’t Write Well

Thus the book you write doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to combine your interests. I have tried to write about things I don’t like before and those parts always end up uninteresting, short, or unfinished. So for that reason, I will write what I find most interesting in this world and I there are others out there who are also looking to read it. Knowing this took a lot of stress off my shoulders when developing ideas and I hope it helps you too!

Do I Recommend Lynda.com to Writers?

We’ve all seen the ads for lynda.com where you learn skills for a small fee but I recently had the opportunity to try it out for free. My main goal when reading on there was to learn writing skills. When I went on there for the first time…

I was Initially Disappointed

When I saw the writing classes most of them appeared to be for nonfiction, like for resumes, speeches, and business. Now the ones I have gotten all the way through were very useful!

The Quality of the Videos is Great

There are a lot of good quality editing tips and a few story videos that particularly helped me. But because of the length of the series, I found it hard for me to get through them and often had to do it in more than one sitting. That isn’t the way I learn but…

I DO Recommend Lynda But Not for the Reason You Think

When I was searching for other writing videos I found tons of other resources which I think will help the other aspects of my career such as blogging courses and google analytics tutorials that I wouldn’t have know to seek out if it weren’t for that site. So if you are looking to expand your horizons when it comes to selling your work, then yes I would check out at least the 10-day free trial. If you are going there for the writing specifically, though, I wouldn’t hand over any money.

But That’s Just My Opinion

I am in no way sponsored Lynda.com and made this because I always wondered if I should sign up for the classes. I hope this helped you. Have a great day!

How to use Character Worksheet to its Full Potential

Last week I uploaded a character sheet but let me show you how I took it one step further. You can find all of the elements in this character background sheet. Writing it up in paragraph form will help you link ideas into a flowing format. Below I have a character bio base off of this post: http://wp.me/p5y43M-dd
I hope you find this helpful.

Milo Maxx never had many friends. In first grade, the kids who she thought were her good friends left her calling her crazy for thinking she could time travel by merely meditating with an orange stone. She never quite recovered from that, feeling outcast her entire life. Her parents were her closest friends being that they were quite young when she was born. Both of her parents were almost like is themselves, with her dad being an archaeologist and her mother a museum curator, every day was a wonderful look at the past. She would run home after school, ignoring the other kids so she could learn new stories from her parents.

Just like them, she wanted to be an anthropologist but there was more to her goal. Though their family lived happily, they were always a little tight on money. This developed a strong work ethic in her at a young age and a creative spirit and knack for entrepreneurial enterprises. Her parents taught her many other things too, like `to take risks, try new things, and most of all, learn from history or you are bound to repeat it. So Milo worked very hard and was able to go to a private school on a full scholarship.

But as with every story when it is going remarkably well, disaster struck. Milo’s mom was killed in a suspicious accident when she was still quite young. To support them, Milo’s father had to take on more jobs and steadily grew distant. As an only child, Milo got used to doing things on her own and took fate into her own hands. She used the stone that took her back in time and killed a dinosaur. Returning to her time, she showed her father exactly where it was so he could excavate it.

This brought in a huge amount of money to the family. She was able to do this over and over again until they moved from there little house at the edge of the city to a huge estate on the hilltops far away. But with each new discovery, her dad had to sacrifice more and more of his time to the dig and spend less of it with Milo. A maid and butler were hired to take care of Milo and the house and things started to settle down again. She had just been accepted to a prestigious school not far from home when her life got turned upside down again.

Now 17 and halfway through her senior year in high school someone in the government got suspicious of her father’s archaeological discoveries and detained him for questioning. Milo was then forced to move in with the only other relatives she had, her aunt, uncle and cousin who currently lived in Japan.

She arrives having never really met these people before and has no idea what is happening to her father.  She moves into the house which is much smaller than the one she had gotten so comfortable in but more than that is upset by the time stone having been taken by the government. Her winter break is a crash course in Japanese so that she can spend the last half of her high school year with her cousin at his school.

As she starts the new school year she feels more excluded than ever and is completely uninterested in her schools. She quickly becomes the ‘quiet kid’ in class and does not have the confidence to speak up and be friendly. Her extended family is a constant reminder of what her family used to be like and suddenly Milo is more lonely than ever.

Cue the start of the story.

The Authors Reference Sheet to Fast Draft a Novel

This is how I have outlined and organized the content for my most recent novel, Own Most. It is making the process of writing go much faster and easier than it ever has before. By this I mean 20,000 words in 8 days of work, which is much faster than I ever have before. I hope this helps you too.

1 General Plot

This is where I outline the overarching ideas of the book such as plot twists, high action points, and other need to know information

2 Useful Links

This is where I paste the websites that I used for research as well as location inspiration. In general, things I want to get back to later.

3 Character Inspiration

These are pictures that I have pasted right into the document. They show the some of the way I want the character to come across on the page as well as their physicality so I won’t have to hunt through the entire book to find someone’s eye color.

4 Original Draft

This is any scene I had written out ahead of time no matter where it fell in the book. I might have transcribed it from the written word or I might have twenty pages I typed out when I first got really excited about my idea. This is a good way for me to grab text I might be able to reuse without me having to stop and dig through documents to find it.

5 Big Ideas

I’ll have a short list of things I want to convey over the course of the book written out so that I never lose sight of what is important.

6 Plot Points

And here we have the dreaded plot points. I will set out each huge turning point first. I’ll usually have 10- 12 because that’s the number of chapters I usually have. Each of these high points represents the chapter break where I’ll leave the reader wanting more. Then I fill in bullet points of what needs to come between them to create a cohesive story. The key with this is detail. The more individual points I have, the faster I’ll be able to write.

7 Dull Moment Fixers

These are some ideas that I know I want in the book but don’t know where to put them. If I have any symbolism, themes, or foreshadowing I need to reiterate, I’ll put them here. The idea is, if I don’t know what to put on the page next, I can turn to one of these things and keep my momentum up.

This is just what I have been using. I hope you found something here that will help you write your first draft faster!

Other Art and Writing

One of the reasons why I stop writing is because I don’t feel connected to my characters. This makes it hard for me to see where the plot is going and thus why I’m writing. So today I thought I would tell you what I do to understand my characters more while still encouraging the creative process.

Stick figures

One of my favorite things to do is sketch how the character looks. Now don’t click away. You don’t need to be an artist at all. Try just drawing a couple stick figures whose body language represents your character. If you want something a little more challenging, draw the characters wardrobe, you’ll be surprised how much clothing can tell you about a person.

Music

I’ve mentioned how much music influences my work before but this is a different take. Try coming up with a ‘theme song’ for each character. This doesn’t have to be an album, just a few notes you can hum or some finger drumming. Should it be fast paced or slow? Are the notes all over the scale? Feel free to steal from other songs too, just as long as it fits the person you are creating.

Sculpt

My last suggestion of the day is to make some part of your character 3D. This can be a clay sculpture of the character to paper folded into their house. It doesn’t need to be good as long as you know what you’re going for.

If you are still stumped or think your art is too bad, I do have one last thing I try. I pretend I am the character and make whatever they would. Sometimes it’s a paper airplane, sometimes it’s a little sketch of a snail, sometimes I even get out legos. The most important thing it to have fun!

(I’m pretending I didn’t disappear for such a long time).

Day 43s simple task: Day 30 of a book a month

What’s this all about simple tasks? http://wp.me/p5y43M-3z

You are done! Well, almost. If you are here congratulations, today’s writing should be a breeze. Your probably sick and tired of your work, but who cares, you’re almost done! All you need to do is wrap everything up. Have them go back to their friends. Arrest the criminal. This is what is call “falling action” and it is the only time in your book to have it. Today you will end your book, so put in every little happy moment you can. Good job. YOU MADE IT!

You wrote 50000 words!  You wrote a book!

Day 42s simple task: Day 29 of a book a month

What’s this all about simple tasks? http://wp.me/p5y43M-3z

The climax is now! Have your characters fight at full force. Today you can show all of your character development. Have them strategize and plan. Make them both strong and smart. Have them pull from their weaknesses so that they may be strong. All the hate toward the villain should come out. Show the truth.  At the end of today, your character should win.

You wrote  48343 words! Go ahead to the next day:http://wp.me/p5y43M-6R

Day 41s simple task: Day 28 of a book a month

What’s this all about simple tasks? http://wp.me/p5y43M-3z

Rise up! Make the strong. Your main character should overcome their fear. They need to accept the information throw at them and move forward. Have them throw more information back at the villain. Here is a great place to put in the moral of your story. The character should start fighting back. Maybe weakly at first, but tomorrow they will bloom into a beautiful flower.

You wrote 46676 words! Go ahead to the next day:http://wp.me/p5y43M-6O

Day 40s simple task: Day 27 of a book a month

What’s this all about simple tasks? http://wp.me/p5y43M-3z

Plot twist! Is there anything your main character didn’t know about? Who are their parents? Are their friends really their friends? Is the love of his life really a killer? Throw questions at your reader. What information can your villain give out? Is there no cure? Has your character done something wrong? Don’t be afraid to throw in some fake information too. Everything you wrapped up yesterday should come undone.  This should be the weakest point for your character, but tomorrow they will rise back up.

You wrote 45000 words! Go ahead to the next day:http://wp.me/p5y43M-6L

Day 39s simple task: Day 26 of a book a month

What’s this all about simple tasks? http://wp.me/p5y43M-3z

The trek to the hidden lair can be a long one.  It can scare the bravest of me but it cannot weaken their resolve. Let dough creep in and then start the struggle against the last obstacle. Today is the day your readers have been waiting for. Put in all your drama from now on.  If there is anything left for your character to wrap up, do so now. That includes all the emotional baggage that they have been carrying around.  You should also get ready to wrap up, any scenes you want to put in outside of the climax can only happen now.

You wrote 43342 words! Go ahead to the next day:http://wp.me/p5y43M-6I