Writing Prompt No. 3

Some dialogue starters:

  1. “There are consequences to your actions, you know this – it puts us all….”
  2. “This can’t be any different than when we….”
  3. “You watched me lie there, I would think that….”
  4. “But I am young, so what…”

 

Check out the last writing prompts here!

Advertisements

Writing prompt No. 2

  1. In a rush, your character bumps into someone while not paying attention. Both knock a plethora of items onto the ground, jumbled and mixed together. They gather their things and continue on their way…. by the time your character gets home they notice that there’s something that’s not theirs.
  2. Your character needs to change appearances quickly in order to not get caught. There’s only a few things that they can grab to do so.
  3. Give your character a memory associated with the color maroon.

Here’s a link to the previous prompt.

Managing a looming manuscript

Maybe it’s good to start small. But for some of us, we decided that we would start with  a large manuscript.

Once you finally realize what you’ve done, you’ve already told so many people that you’re working on a novel. You probably feel kind stuck right now.

And to be honest, I’m right there with you. The words used to flow from my fingertips, but my wondering mind makes it difficult; I keep thinking of ways to make it better/ edit before I even finish the book.

I never want to give up on it; Torque is my first novel I wrote when I was younger and finished it. I wrote it out of being inspired by (albeit, I am a bit embarrassed to admit this) Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight.”

And I feel as though if I take a step back that I won’t come back to it. But I am going to push these feelings aside to keep writing it. I’ll do my best to balance it with another manuscript but I’m going to finish Torque.

I think I’ve rambled on for a bit, but I wanted to explore ways for writers to keep going or take a step back without feeling they are abandoning their manuscript.

For fun

I guess the obvious would be to reread what you have, but don’t make any edits.  Realize what you fell in love with when you first started writing. If you start to make edits, it’s possible to become critical of what’s there. There is such as thing as over editing.

 

Fill in the blanks

Write specific scenes — whether you plan to fit it in your manuscript or not. This will keep the brain moving and could add more depth to character. If you are adding the scene to your book, hopefully it will excite you to get to fill in the blanks.  A writing prompt is also a good way.

Plan or pants? 

If you’ve planned things out with an outline — forget it. It may restrict the writing by sticking with the plan.  If there is no plan, create one. Your novel may need some direction — it doesn’t have to be detailed, just mention three important actions you want to happen. ( Three is a good number because there is less of a chance to make the outline too complex or overwhelming.)

Like Nike’s tagline: Just Do It

Put that butt in that chair, or favorite writing spot and just write. Push through the feelings you may have, no matter how rough those sentences, hell, even chapters, are. Don’t give up.

Step back and reflect 

As mentioned in a previous post, Making the most of your time, hop into another project. It may be time to step back completely.  It doesn’t make you a failure. Even if you don’t hop into another project, use that time to reflect on another.

And if any one of those people you’ve told about your novel asks you how it’s going, say it’s fine. Sometimes keeping it to yourself can lessen the pressure of a large manuscript.

Keep writing!

P.S., if you’re not already, follow me on either of my Twitter accounts and Instagram.

Writers, we’ve all been there…

I wrote this thinking about the pressures and anxieties of being a writer. We unintentionally, or purposefully, put so much pressure on ourselves in order to be considered a writer. I guess this is somewhat of letter saying that if you’re struggling writing at this point in time, you’re not alone. You can get through it. We’ve all hit this point before. 

I hope you enjoy a bit of my ramble.  Follow me on my new Twitter and Instagram account. 

The intimidation of a blank page is scary enough, followed by your own doubts and potential self-sabotage. Grabbing a pen and paper or laptop is an escape –creating characters, worlds or simply expressing thoughts in short form.

We may or may not follow grammar rules — or we struggle along the way, never giving up.

This is what we wanted to do. What we tell everyone…

Trying to fit in a few words before or after working nearly eight hours. Either trying to find the drive to do it that day or night, or put it off.

Well, people may say you’re not a writer if you don’t write. I guess that’s true.

We know it’s not easy. We weren’t expecting it to be. We fall into slumps that can last for months on end; during that time we wonder if we can really call ourselves a writer.

And question if we really wanted to write.

Using resources, turning to YouTube/BookTube, walking through a book store can renew that fire…but how long will it kindle before dwindling or spreading like wildfire?

A well-controlled burn that makes it easy to power through. Or a dangerous one that leaves us spent, waiting for the next thing to spark us.

What we write for is a gold mine; gorgeously crafted words strung together like handcrafted beads to become a part of a necklace. It gets the compliments and praise we think it deserves.

Some of us could be dreaming about it. Stuck. Knowing exactly, exactly, what to write but the right words never seem to come when we want, or words are jammed pack together,  ugly.

What then?

Then it’s anxiety or maybe depression.

We keep trying and trying to keep going or stay motivated. Maybe we should stop.

But we should really keep trying. Keep writing. There’s that saying that someone out there needs your book. Don’t forget that it’s you too.

Make the most of your time

When going back and forth between projects, or getting caught up with what life throws at you, you neglect the project that you’ve poured your soul into. And when you return to the beloved project, you can’t seem to find the right words. Sure, you can always plop some words onto the page but it isn’t flowing like it use to. Even when your words weren’t perfect, you kept going.

Well, what now?

Well, I’m not sure honestly, I’m still trying to figure that out myself. But I have passed the time doing things that will be beneficial later:

  • Read books that will develop your craft 

Personally I think this is a no brainer. This will help pass time as you’re trying to think of the next words to say (and may even inspire your next words). And if you’re struggling with adding more to your book in terms of scenes, character development, plot and, hell, even grammar and sentence structure, it will help you in the long run.

It’s also important to be a little selective of the books that are picked up; you can have all of these books about writing but it’s up to you, the writer, to finally apply or adapt what you’ve learned into your project. As well as something you can return to for a source.

  • Research literary agents

If you plan for your book to go to big publishing houses, it’s recommended to get a literary agent. I recently finished Chuck Sambuchino’s “Get a Literary Agent:…” and I found it so helpful and insightful. Literary agents are the writer’s eyes in the industry and your advocate.

Sambuchino suggests in the book to create a list of agents that may be a good fit for the book you’ve finished. He really stresses the researching about the agent you plan to query to; find out what books they’re looking for, see what they’ve sold, etc. If you have multiple projects, creating an Excel sheet may work best with tabs for different projects.

For smaller publishing houses, it’s possible to submit your manuscript without one, but be sure to check submission guidelines.

  • Hop into another project

Sometimes starting a new short story or novel can help. It will take your mind off what you’re struggling with in your main project. This way you’re keeping your mind moving so you don’t get into a slump that can leave you high and dry for months.

If starting a new project doesn’t seem too appealing, maybe what you need to do is create or draft a scene that will be later on in the future. This is a little trick that I like to do, especially if I’ve been thinking about it over a few days (or weeks, and/or months). Letting it stew in upstairs and then writing about it may help get the jitters out.

Even stepping away from the computer to write in a notebook or journal would be helpful.

  • Listen to music that keep you mind moving on ideas

Every writer has that one artist that can spark their imagination. If that’s not the case, then that’s ok too. Maybe instrumental music may work best — it can be anything. As long as it allows you to focus, or zone out, while thinking about your novel.

Hopefully these tips will keep you moving toward your ultimate goal.

Halfway there

 

You guys already know what I’m about to say in this post, right? About me going MIA after a few posts at a time. Hey, it happens — we all have lives to attend to outside of the Internet. But I wanted you let you all know that I am more than halfway* through 50K for NaNoWriMo. And I’m not even close to finishing Torque. I am currently about to wrap up chapter four, but I am having difficultly doing it.

It’s mainly because I switch between two POVs of my main characters, Cori and Ace. I can get caught up in the whirlwind of emotions for Cori that when I switch to Ace, I’m struggling to detach the two characters. But alas, this is something that I will have to fix later. I can’t waste anymore time because I got behind last week, and I am still being for this week.

But to all the writers out there taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge (and those who aren’t), I wish you the best in finishing what you’ve started. Whether it’s the end of this month or even two years from now.

Just write on!

Xo Arisa

*30,705K and counting

Third to First | Progress Update

As some of you may know I am writing a novel, struggling, but I’m moving along. Back in December, toward the end of my end of my winter break, my portfolio director told me to switch my third person to first person.

It would make the readers feel more connected with my main character, Cori. He also noted that it might make it easier to do world building, so the reader doesn’t feel so lost.

But before he suggested first person, he asked me if Torque was in ever written in first person. Funny enough, he was right when he asked. When I first wrote Torque, Cori was eighteen years old and at that time I was way younger. She had a juvenile perspective.

The differences between the beginning in both versions on Torque.

I didn’t want that last draft because I wanted her to seem older, so I wrote the story in third person.  But I guess I when I did that I lost the close connection that Cori could have with the reader.

Currently, I am having a hard time getting back into Cori’s headspace.  I think it’s because it’s been years since I was there and I’ve made so many changes to Cori as a character that it’s hard for me to figure out her voice.

I’m still going to push through this and do my best to finish at least three chapters by the end of March, so my portfolio reader can take a look at it.

I’ll do another post sometime in the next two weeks, depending on how busy I am. Let’s hope I’m not too busy.

New Story Idea!

Hello Readers. If there still are any. (I keep disappearing because of life.)

I am currently was in Italia, studying abroad and taking trips to amazing places. I just recently went to Paris and it was amazing. While I was there it seemed so unreal, that I am studying abroad. There are many people that do not get to do this. But I’m not going to talk about my trips in this post. That’s what my other blog is for. It’s called “In Firenze” and I (will) update those adventures there (eventually). I’m still stuck on the first week because I had been out and about, napping or in class.

A while back (way back), I was writing fanfiction for this anime called “Attack on Titan,” or its actual Japanese name “Shingeki no Kyojin“. I had two ideas that I couldn’t decide on, but I ultimately stuck with the one that would of been a alternate version of what was to come in my version of the storyline.

I didn’t want to scrap the other idea and I felt like I could make a three-part series out of it. I still have some plot holes to fill out, but I have my characters’ name. I wanted the first part to be like a diary entries, the second part will switch to third-person, and the last part will be third-person omniscient (at least for now).

I’ve started writing part one and it’s called The Book of Phaedrus. This part of the series I am planning to set it in the past, either in Greece or Egypt.  The next two parts in the series I am not completely sure, but I do have the main character’s names. Part two will be about a girl named Asha, which will take place in the present and part three will be about a friend/angel named Ariel, which will take place in the future.

If you would like I can put a little piece of the beginning in one of my next posts.

See you next post, which will be in another week. Seriously this time.

XO Arisa

 

Pick that book back up! and NANOWRIMO

Over the summer I had the pleasure of reading for fun. It’s has become increasingly hard to enjoy what I pick up and not close it because I have to do homework. I would never be completely immersed in what I was reading for that simple factor. And it sucks.

But when there is free time, take it and remind yourself why you wanted to write. I’m going to do a little more reading before I start to write. I would suggest something that is not in the genre you’re writing because ideas from the book a could magically make its way into what you’re writing. That’s no good when trying to make your work original as possible.

It’s hard to write what you want when you have projects and homework to do. Hopefully, as the school year goes on I will read for fun before I write.

NANOWRIMO is coming up pretty soon. Every time November rolls around I say I’m going to do it, but school wants to get in the way. I will do my best and I hope to start posting short stories then with summaries of other things I’m working on. Like my novel series, Torque.

Well, until next time, pick up a book. Or books.

Let me know if this is something you do before writing or you do something else to mentally prepare yourself.
XO Arisa