27 December 2015

Writing Secrets 101 | things to help you write

Hello! I have been wanting to do a post like this for a while on the little quirky things that help me jam out a handful of pages for my novels. Feel free to experiment with some of them and see if any work for you.

  • Eating while I write is always super helpful to me. Chocolate is the best for writer's block! 
  • A thesaurus! All words have synonyms and I absolutely love learning new words. Having one close by is helpful when you think you might be overusing a word. Just flipping through the pages of a thesaurus is fun too. 
  • I have to force myself to write sometimes. I often (always) have an ache to write, but when the blank paper is thrust in front of me, I 'can't write'. A blank page is the most terrifying thing for a writer. I find that if I just sit down and force myself to write something-- anything, that I can work with it to make it presentable and then, normal good writing.*
  • Though this one is a little strange I admit, another thing that helps me is being is a quiet, secluded place up high. A tree house, loft bed, or roof all work for me. ;) Maybe there's a place where your brain best reels with ideas too!
  • Sometimes a blank page can be good though. Occasionally, I need to write a quick short story to rid my brain of all that gunk and extra stuff that is stopping me from writing well for my real novel. 
  • If you have a style that you are trying to imitate in your own way or even just trying to practice, read the book closest to that style as you can. After you have read about one chapter or a few pages, sit down and write. That style will usually sneakily worm its way through your pencil and onto your paper. 

There are so many other things you can try! Everyone is different, so experiment. 

* I prefer to first draft out my chapter on paper, not worrying about too much detail, and then transfer it to the computer, adding more stuff as it gets transferred. I have two different styles: my on paper one that is a really gappy draft and includes a lot of "thens" and "whens". Upon getting to the computer, I come out with a more humorous and detailed style. It's helpful to recognize your style(s) and so you work with them to your advantage.

One more thing: 

When you write, your body goes onto a different mode. Writing is harder than anyone would think, even me sometimes. You're basically planning out someone else's life if it's a fiction book and that is hardcore! To be able to present your character in a light that is exciting and makes sense is really a great big talent. Charles Dickens is a great example of that. If you have ever read any of his books, you'll know how full of life his characters are and what I am talking about. That is exactly what we writers aim for. For a character that knows his/her place and acts the part well as if it was a play instead of a novel. A quote from an io9 writer's block post: "characters who don't do anything aren't interesting characters."

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