533 posts tagged writing
Guess who’s inspired to continue editing this baby? After months of not editing, I’m finally feeling motivated again!!!! #writing #editing #manuscript #writer #novel #write
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I have reader friends but I’d prefer a critical eye going over it before they get it
Do you know of anyone who studied English Literature or Creative Writing?
Also, some readers are naturally critical, so don’t be surprised if some give you editing advice when you finally approach them.
You’d be surprised with how much us English Lit & Creative Writing students learned about editing and how to critically read novels. That’s why I ask, because since we’ve written so many essays and read so many books, and we’re also taught how to critique others’ works, we are able to professionally edit (or close to) manuscripts.
Be wary, while a lot of editors are awesome, some are incredibly expensive. I’ve read pieces that have horrible editing and they were apparently edited.
Hm, when I have a tough time getting out of a plot rut, I usually do one, if not most of the following:
- I jot down what I want to happen—how I want my story to go after I get over the plot issue. This usually helps because then I remind myself of what my protagonist’s goals are.
- Brainstorm how to move my story along—for example, if my character is stuck in one particular spot, I think about how to get that character out of there. This might sound obvious and you might say, “Well, Dayla, if I knew that I wouldn’t be asking you!” But the thing is, when we write, we sometimes just think of going forward until the end, so when you have to pause, you might feel stuck. Just think about the possibilities for your characters in that particular situation or moment, then see how you can put your brainstorming into your writing.
- Give yourself some time. It’s okay to not speed through your first draft. Sometimes we just need time to put our thoughts together about a particular plot.
- Talk to yourself. Voicing your ideas out loud will help you because your thoughts always feel more messy than actually stating your problem out loud. Are you stuck with a certain moment where your characters divulge a secret, but you don’t know how to write it out? Say it out loud!
- Read, watch television, go for a walk—do something to get your mind off your story, so you can go back fresh.
- Sit down in front of your story and re-read the part where you’re stuck. Perhaps the moment happens too soon, too late, or maybe, it’s not a necessary scene to add to your novel.
- Skip that part and move forward—One of the greatest problems with being stuck is that we often leave the story because we feel stressed about the story’s potentially hopeless storyline. If you keep moving forward, you can at least advance the story. Hey, that’s what editing is for, right?
- And the most intense thing you can do (which I know is the very last option)—Abandon the story for greener pastures. I do not advocate this, because you need to fight for your novel—but I will admit that I am an occasional user of this option, sadly enough.
I hope my tips help!
Hey fellow writers, you are also more than welcome to voice your opinions on these questions! :D I welcome all tips!
Once I’ve written a book, what are the next steps I should take if I want to get it published. If step 1 is write a book, what is step 2?
While I’m still working on my book (my first finished novel isn’t ready to see the light of day yet…or ever.), I have been given these little pointers:
- Edit, edit, edit, edit—Until you think it’s the best it’s going to be…then edit some more. The most important part is the many drafts that you will write and edit after the initial novel is complete.
- Make sure you’ve had other people check out your book. Listen to their advice and take note of what you may have missed in editing.
- Consider your options. Thanks to the rise of ebooks and such, the publishing world isn’t as limiting as it once was. You can either self-publish, or go down the traditional publishing route. Check out publishers and their submission guidelines (usually on their websites), or agents and their submission guidelines (also on their websites). If you opt for self-publishing, look for the best website for you (there’re a ton!) and be prepared to do a lot of advertising, though these days, you’ll likely be advertising your own book with a publishing house as well.
- Do you need an agent? A lot of publishers rarely take unsolicited manuscripts, so think about this one.
- Write a query letter—whether it be for a publisher or an agent, this is the most important part of the process. This is basically your book’s resume—why should the publisher print your work? Why should an agent represent you?
- Keep trying. Rejection is a normal part of being an author. You just have to keep going and believe in yourself and work hard on your art!
Things to note:
- Though it’s not 100% necessary, it helps to have an established following when presenting your novel to agents and/or publishers.
- You can never edit enough.
- You are NOT the only writer getting multiple rejection letters—think of J.K. Rowling, who got rejection many, many times.
- Keep writing. It’s a tough world out there, but you must keep writing.
- Always ask for advice when you need it. Query letters, from what I’ve heard, are a hell of an experience to write, don’t be shy to ask for help! If you have any author friends, or have access to anyone who is currently going through, or just recently went through the trials of publishing, then ask for their advice!
I hope that helps!
Happy writing & I wish you the best of luck!
how o you write realistic dialogue?
First off, remember to write dialogue in a way that feels comfortable when spoken aloud. Is your dialogue too antiquated? Or is it too colloquial?
You can check out two posts I made about dialogue here:
I hope that helps!
where do I get an editor?! who wants to read my 3rd draft novel
I honestly have no idea—I usually just edit my own work, until it is time to ask others to read and catch anything I’ve missed.
Do you have any close friends who have studied English literature, or Creative Writing?
Anyone have any editors that they can recommend?
Is it just me, or does the new way of describing falling snow in books include a comparison to feathers in an out of this world “pillow fight”?
What other cliches in today’s literature have you noticed?
I mean, I get that some people have been writing since they learned how to write, while others started just yesterday. I also get that some of us have lived “more” than others who want to be professional writers (What does that even mean?). I especially get that some writers use their exploration of sex, drugs, alcohol, and other such things as guidelines for their next great hit.
But really, isn’t it just important that people want to tell us a story?
Okay, so not everyone’s book is going to be the next great New York Times bestselling novel. But still, we write because we love to—
Think about it: there is so much stress already in the publishing world—things and people are always putting us and our writing down, do we really need fellow writers putting us down?
If you didn’t like a book, okay, cool, don’t read it and/or feel free to share your experience—but don’t say that author doesn’t really write because s/he didn’t experience life; didn’t feel the words come out of their bleeding souls.
Writing is art. Art is creating something from your imagination—however you come about that creative process is up to you.
What these people who judge others based on how a certain author didn’t bleed all over the pages (figuratively…I guess?) forget is that with every story, we are giving away a little piece of our hearts.
We can criticize (because that’s how we grow as artists), we can think a person isn’t a very good writer, or a book isn’t very good (we are entitled to our opinions, after all), but don’t use that whole, “You can’t be a real writer if you don’t put your pain into words”.
Everyone writes differently.
EVERYONE who writes is a writer putting their hopes, dreams, hearts, and souls into their novels.
I’m sorry, but who the crap are you for saying what makes a writer?
We define ourselves as writers. If you are a writer, then I don’t care if you wrote while crying or while laughing, I just care that you let it out on a page.
If you want to write, WRITE.
Screw those who say you can’t do something your own way. None of us are the same, so why should all our writing experiences and stories be the same?
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Leah Konen, the author of The After Girls, has written a pretty awesome guest post for you guys!
Curing Writer’s Block via the Internet
It’s pretty much common knowledge that the Internet is the ultimate procrastinator’s tool. But while there have been lots of times where I’ve used it to distract me from writing, there are also times when I’ve used it to help me. While I was writing The After Girls[http://www.amazon.com/The-After-Girls-Leah-Konen/dp/1440561087], a YA friendship story that follows two teens who try to uncover the mystery of their best friend’s death, I actually relied on it a lot for inspiration. Here are some of my favorite ways to cure writer’s block on the Web.
Create an inspiration board for your story on Pinterest
I saw writer boards start to pop up as I was finishing a first draft of The After Girls, and I decided to make my own Pinterest board for the book [http://pinterest.com/leahkonen/the-after-girls-inspiration/]. My story was all about emotion and tone—I found images of friends, settings, and objects that figure prominently in the book, but most importantly, I found images that hit the tone I was going for spot-on. Ethereal, creepy and just a little surreal, I often went back to these images when I was stuck on a scene. I even used my Pinterest board to find the photographer whose images I’m going to use for my book trailer (coming soon!).
Search for writing quotes
Writing is solitary. It can be frustrating and lonely. And some friends will inevitably tire of hearing you complain about the process. Enter the writing quote. When I’m feeling a little lost, I do a quick Google search for quotes that will help me feel better. I know it’s silly, but it feels like getting a pep talk from F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Play with a plot generator
Archetype [http://www.archetypewriting.com/muse/generators/plot.htm] has a fun one, and this one [http://plot-generator.org.uk/] from the UK lets you choose your genre, then acts as a sort of Mad Libs for plots. While it’s unlikely that you’ll actually use any of the ideas, it does help with thinking of “What ifs?” for your own writing.
Sign up for Figment’s Daily Themes
When I’m stuck, I always find it helpful to set aside my project and free write for a bit. There are lots of places to find writing prompts online, but my favorite place is Figment. They have daily themes from teachers, writers and bigwigs like Aimee Bender and Curtis Sittenfeld. You can sign up here [http://figment.com/dailythemes].
“Leah Konen is a writer living in San Francisco. She is a graduate of The University of North
The After Girls
Release Date: April 18, 2013
Genres: Young adult, contemporary, romance
“Ella, Astrid, and Sydney were planning the perfect summer after high school graduation. But when Astrid commits suicide in a lonely cabin, the other girls’ worlds are shattered. How could their best friend have done this—to herself and to them? They knew everything about Astrid. Shouldn’t they have seen this coming? Couldn’t they have saved her?
As Ella hunts for the truth, and Sydney tries to dull the pain, a chilling message from Astrid leaves them wondering whether their beloved friend is communicating from the after life. The girls embark on a journey to uncover Astrid’s dark secrets. The answers to those questions—questions they never dreamed of asking—will change their lives forever.”
Who else is writing tonight?