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So you’re a writer. Welcome to the club, please pick your t-shirt from the pile and have a seat. You’ve probably been around the interwebs and have no doubt found an article or two on the topic of said. You know, dialogue tags.
There are two firm groups of thought here. Okay, okay – two groups of fanatics.
One will tell you Said Is Dead. This group probably started to screw with your mind in high school – I know I was taught that it’s much more descriptive and interesting to use different words than boring, overused said. I remember exercises where we had to complete dialogues by using any words other than said, or we’d be penalised.
It’s already September, I know. I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. 🙂 I certainly didn’t think I’d be doing this with all the insanity going on in my life right now, but I’m happy to report that I’ve been writing something amid the chaos!
My good friend Tallulah and I just finished a short fic for Cullen Appreciation Week. It was my first fan fic and also my first collaboration, so I learned a lot from this exercise. I’ll definitely write some more fan fic soon. 🙂
I’m by no means an expert on the topic, just a noob who’s learned a thing or two from writers much more experienced than I, willing to share their knowledge. These are three little things any writer could use to hone their craft – some so obvious, it’s blinding. Who felt like an idiot after reading her editor’s notes? I did.
This is why I follow senpai’s advice to the letter, and probably why she reckons I’ve levelled up in the writing hierarchy.
Let’s talk about deep point of view (POV). If you’ve never heard this term, you’re in good company. Until my first draft of The Physician’s Apprentice was being edited, I’d never heard it either.
You were supposed to see this post at the end of July, I know. Apologies. I’m more scatterbrained than usual lately and I forgot. But better late than never, right?
The writing has been going exceptionally well. After The Great Word Draught of 2017, I never imagined I’d be writing so much, especially now that The Physician’s Apprentice has been completed (again).
I read an article this morning about why you should write romance novels only in third person point of view. In the past few weeks, a few people made comments on the writer’s groups I belong to about writing in a certain point of view and being criticised for their choice.
I gag a little in my mouth every time I read something along these lines.
A year or so ago, I read a writing exercise idea on a blog that changed the way I view watching TV. The blogger in question would make notes of, then dissect the episode she was watching. She’d figure out which plot points worked, which didn’t, where the dialogue fell flat, where it rocked, and how she would have improved the episode. By doing this, she swore she learned better writing techniques. (I’m sorry I can’t find the link to this article now.)
I’ve never taken an episode apart like that, but I haven’t really viewed anything on the telly in the same way either. This thing about learning better writing from TV has remained in the back of my mind, so my viewing has become more critical.
Here’s an interesting turn of events. I don’t know what to blog about.
At first, I couldn’t understand what the hell this caused this sluggishness. Sure, blogging is difficult sometimes. I’ve been doing this for six years and I know ideas dry up at some point. That’s why the blog changed its direction even before I moved here from the Couch. Still, I was on a roll a while back, so this drought is both unexpected and seriously annoying.
Some days, it’s difficult to get inspired. I’m having one of those days. I talked about this problem on Friday too, so you’ll know about my predicament if you’ve been around the blog.
The recap version? Today, I have no idea what to blog about and I don’t have the drive to put in any real effort. #yayhonesty This is me winging it.
A quick Google search on ‘how to find inspiration’ offers some basic results. Take a walk, read a book, listen to music. You get the general idea.
I’ve been watching Tessa Violet for around two years now and she’s become one of my favourite YouTubers. Why? Well, she’s what I’m not. 🙂 She shares, openly, all of her thoughts and fears, and even rethinks some of her older video topics. If she’s evolved, she’ll explain how she’s learned to accept parts of herself that she previously denied or disliked.
I find that both brave and admirable. Sharing so much of yourself on the internet is (IMO) a scary choice, but it’s also a great way to document growth. And that’s what I’m attempting.
To continue Monday’s tone, I’d like to share some of my thoughts on handling creativity while dealing with angst, in a kind of late reply to a video of Tessa’s. Hers is specifically about creativity and depression, but I find many of the core ideas are totally relatable even when measured against mental issues other than depression.
Nothing feels real in my life anymore until I share it here. ◄ That’s healthy. 😛
I had some awesome news this week and I want to share it with you. You know, so it becomes real.
I belong to a writer’s group and they’re releasing an anthology later this year. Submissions opened November 2016, with the theme ‘elements’. I figured I’d submit – a thing that came loaded with first-timer’s angst. I didn’t believe I’d be selected, but there’s nothing lost in trying, right? What can go wrong when your story is scrutinised and poked at by people with much more experience than you? *Yolandie laughs forever*
When you tell people you’re writing a novel, they’ll probably react in one of three ways. 1) You’re insane. 2) Ooh, that’s cool! 3) You know, I’ve always wanted to write a novel (this, by the way, is said with the greatest frequency). This post is for everyone in the third group.
I’ve been following some authors on YouTube (because what can’t YouTube teach you) and I thought I’d share some of their stuff with you today.
When I first started writing, I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t, but I’m growing. If there’s one thing in life I hate, it’s stagnating. I’ve mentioned this before.
Where writing is concerned, I really think I have grown and I try to learn more with every word squeezed out through my fingertips. All I want to do is share the stories in my mind with you, in such a way that you and I pass something between us telepathically, like Stephen King says. I want the stories that keep me up at night, to keep you up too.
These are my first babies.
It’s been ages since I updated you on any of my obsessions. Today, I’m going to fix that.
As many of you know, I’m currently revising The Physician’s Apprentice. My editor‘s advice was to flesh out some scenes, so I’m adding words. This means a particular kind of madness has come over me. You know how I get. 😛 At this point in time, it looks pretty much like this.
We’re safely back from our trip to London, of which I promise I’ll share some photos this week. I just wanted to let you know I’m still alive, even if I was unsure for a minute there.
We arrived back in Germany last Monday night and on Tuesday, the floodgates opened. Kayla was super ill, straight through the night. All of the laundry I’d brought back from vacation and done so neatly paled in comparison to the mountain of vomit-stained linen I now had to wash.
But still, the laundry was the least of my problems. Seeing that little person so sick is the worst thing ever.
I’ve been following a lot of writing coaches, editors and authors via social media and blogs lately, and I’ve learned a TON about writing. The things to avoid, to embrace and habits to form to become a better writer have really impacted me. It also scares me.
When I sit down to write now, I’m so caught up in what not to do, that I feel like I’ve forgotten how to write. 😛 Even so, I have to admit that there’s a notable improvement, though it still isn’t flawless. I’ll keep working at it. There’s no such thing as a perfect writer, but we can aspire.
One of the most freely floating bits of advice is to write what you know and that’s what I want to talk about today.
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for their condolences and beautiful words concerning my grandmother. If you missed it, my gran passed away last week. It wasn’t a surprise, because she was sick for a long time before she passed. It still hurts though. I wrote a tribute to my grandma here.
Since this is a current chaos post, I want to start you off with the song I’m listening to on repeat at the moment. It’s called ‘Build me up from bones’ by Sarah Jarosz. It’s amazing.
If you’ve been following the blog and had a look at my social media (check it out in the sidebar), you’ll know that my editor, Nerine, suggested I flesh out the world where my new series will take place. This added work is my own fault, sure. I finished The Physician’s Apprentice’s first draft in seven weeks, after all. If I had done all this stuff I’m doing now to begin with, it would have meant a lot less double work. Lesson learnt.
So, for close to two months now, I’ve been focussed on adding details and working out those things that don’t make sense in my world. Paired with my tendency to obsess, it’s been interesting.
So, it’s finally happened. I got the notes back from my editor a while ago and since then, only writing has been on my mind.
Let me first fill you in. I went through a bit of a bad patch last year with an editor. Not because of bad critique, but because of the complete lack of critique (there were only a handful of corrections throughout the entire novel). I don’t want to make a bad situation worse by muddying someone’s name. But I will say that when you pay someone for a service and they don’t provide that service at all, anyone would be angry.
Taking the step to hire an editor is a big one. Anyone in a creative field – or any field where your work will be dissected and scrutinized – will know how difficult it is to trust someone with your creative baby. Editors are there to tell you where you screwed up, whether it concerns grammar to characters acting crazy. It’s their flipping job to pull your work apart and tell you where you can improve it. THAT is what you pay them for.
I’ve been in a weird place for too long now.
I used to adore blogging, but in the last year, I’ve struggled to keep it up. I don’t know what to write about a lot of the time, and the other times I don’t have the drive to sit down and write something here. To be fair, it’s been a weird year for me. 😛 But I realise I need to get my head in the game again.
My interest in makeup has been more personal over the last while, so I haven’t been sure exactly what to blog about when it comes to that topic. Besides, you can only write about the same old trends (*insert no-makeup-makeup or red lips here*) and ways to apply a smoky eye so many times. I did it for three years (or however long it was), every day. You run out of ideas. Haha. Besides, I think there are some amazing blogs to follow about beauty trends for the ‘die hards’ out there; ones that are quite frankly better than mine ever was.
I got some bad feedback last year sometime and I’ve been kind of afraid to blog about things other than my personal life or makeup since. It’s been holding me back and I know I need to build a bridge and get over that one. I’ve always had hoards more interests than just beauty stuff and I love sharing things I enjoy with other people. I still just want to write.
Maybe a change is in order?