When I was brand spanking new to novel writing I entered a local writing contest. Looking back I realize I entered for the wrong reasons. I wanted to win. I wanted a pat on the back. I thought that everyone who read my entry would Oooo and Ahhh. After all, it was a scene I had worked on for years and I thought it was really good. What constituted “really good” for me and now are two different things.
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A few months ago I decided on an exercise challenge. After two years of bi-weekly handstand classes I still could not balance on my own in the center of the room. After asking experts I was told, “you need to practice every single day no matter what, for a minimum of two minutes a day. If you do this, in six months to a year you’ll have your handstands.”
Sometimes writing is like being in a trance. How else can it be explained? When people have experiences, like taking the kids to the zoo for the first time or falling in love; we remember them. We may even remember what our lover was wearing the first time we laid eyes on him or her.
Learning the Hard Way – What NOT to do When Designing Your Own Book Cover Model Shoot – by Raina Schell
I’ve always been one of those people that learns the hard way, by doing. I’m also one of those people that says “I can do it myself”. This is what led me to my most recent pitfall.
Are you trying to edit one novel while writing another? This is what many writers find themselves having to do. Maybe you recently finished a novel, during NaNo perhaps. Or you wrote one awhile back and shelved it. Regardless, unless you edit that manuscript several times over it won’t be ready for prime time.
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Raina Schell as she shares with us “Getting into the Head of Your Antagonists.”
This is the first year in the three years that I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer’s Month) that I didn’t “win”. In case you don’t know, NaNo is where you write 50,000 words in the month of November. I started my fourth novel for NaNo this year and then life got in the way. I’ve been disciplined enough to write a novel outside of November in the past but having that month to completely focus on word count has always been ground breaking. Being competitive with yourself works for some people but not for others. It works for me.
One Writer’s Journey from The Beginning A Step-by-Step Beginner Writers Guide – Part 3 How to Write Your Novel Without Having a Background in Writing by Raina Schell
Here’s where we talk about plotters and pantsers. If you don’t know the definitions – a plotter is a writer who outlines their book before beginning to write it while a pantser writes from “the seat of their pants” with no outline. Kind of like writing from the stream of consciousness. I don’t think a survey has been taken but from what I’ve seen, most writers are plotters. Yet there are many famous pantsers too.
One Writer’s Journey from The Beginning A Step-by-Step Beginner Writers Guide – Part 2 How to Write Your Novel Without Having a Background in Writing by Raina Schell
I’m writing this guide as my journey. I am now a third of the way through my 4th book in two years, and have just started my 5th. When I was thinking about it I though it would have been great to have a little step-by-step guide. A guide of someone else’s process, someone else who knew absolutely nothing… like me.
It is my belief that every writer should go to a writer’s conference at least once, whether it’s in your genre or not. There are plenty of people who go to the RWA Conference who are not “romance writers” per say.
One Writer’s Journey from The Beginning A Step-by-Step Beginner Writers Guide – Part 1 How to Write Your Novel Without Having a Background in Writing by Raina Schell
I was stuck thinking today, as I am most days and I realized that when I began writing I could have really used a tutorial, someone else’s experience – kind of like a step-by-step guide. I had plenty of seasoned writers trying to help and I’m so grateful to all of them but the beginning is just plain hard. So I wanted to write a guide for those of you who are about to start or who have just started or who want to start and are afraid or lost or confused or all of the above….
I’ve been honing my eavesdropping skills as of late, in the spirit that each of our fictional characters speak in a different voice. Whereas one character may sound like a grumbly religious naysayer, another may have the vocal inflections and vocabulary of a “valley girl”. Each character not only uses different verbiage, none speak alike in inflection or tone as well. I pondered this fact of good character development for some time before I decided the best way for me personally to get the “hang” of that was to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations in order to keep all of my characters from sounding exactly like me.
You’ve probably heard utterances of “writing is a lonely job”. I’m here to tell you – it doesn’t have to be.
One day, maybe a year ago, I downloaded one such character. For the purpose of this blog I’ll name him Apollo, because that’s one persistent God, but the character could be anything or anyone. Apollo showed up one afternoon when I was quite literally doing something else entirely. In the spirit of full disclosure I was on Facebook and as often happens on Facebook I read something that annoyed me. But before I could process what I’d read Apollo was there, in my head and he was loud.