Tag Archives: Writing Advice

Sharing a jewel for #writers. HOW TO BE A WRITER: 10 TIPS FROM REBECCA SOLNIT via @lithub

Thanks to Unsplash and its collaborators for another great image
Thanks to Unsplash and its collaborators for another great image

Hi all:

I’ve just read an article by Rebecca Solnit titled:  HOW TO BE A WRITER: 10 TIPS FROM REBECCA SOLNIT. JOY, SUFFERING, READING, AND LOTS AND LOTS OF WRITING

Although I didn’t know Rebecca Solnit before, after reading this article I will check her out.

Here the link to the article, that I recommend. Advice on writing is a very personal thing, like advice on anything else, but this one is more a philosophy of writing. It might resonate with you or not, but if you have a chance, give it a read.

Just a summary of her points (I couldn’t say it better, so go and read the article, but just in case you need convincing):

How to be a writer. Ten Tips:

  1. Write. I know this one is a shocker, but she makes great points about not worrying too much about how good or bad it is at first.
  2. Remember that writing is not typing. Here her point is that writing is a process and that putting fingers to keyboard is the end of such process (well, the culmination, as we all know about editing), but a lot of things go into writing, including planning, thinking, researching.
  3. Read. And Don’t Read. Read but be selective with your reading. Only read what speaks to you.
  4. Listen. Don’t Listen. Listen to feedback but be your own writer.
  5. Find a vocation. Write because it is your passion.
  6. Time. You’ll need time for it, so prioritise (not your duties, but everything else).
  7. Facts. Get your facts right, as relevant to your genre.
  8. Joy. This I recommend you read her article for. It does not mean write only when you feel like it, but rather, find what writing can bring you.
  9. What we call success is very nice and comes with useful byproducts, but success is not love. Don’t become enamoured with other things than the job at hand and don’t get distracted.
  10. It’s all really up to you. No matter how much advice, how many courses, coaches, etc, you are the one.

Don’t forget to check the original article, here.

And a little bit about Rebecca Solnit from the same site Literary Hub:

Rebecca Solnit
Rebecca Solnit

San Francisco writer, historian, and activist, Rebecca Solnit is the author of seventeen books about geography, community, art, politics, hope, and feminism and the recipient of many awards, including the Lannan Literary Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is a contributing editor to Harper’s, where she is the first woman to regularly write the Easy Chair column (founded in 1851).

Thanks so much to Rebecca Solnit and to Literary Hub for this inspiring article, thanks to all of you for reading, remember to like, share, comment, CLICK, and keep writing!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

“SEX SELLS,” THEY SAY BY @LRWLEE

sexsellsAfter publishing the fifth book in my Andy Smithson coming-of-age, epic fantasy series I noticed something that helped my book sales. “What is it?” you ask, leaning forward, spellbound to learn how you, a fellow author, might exploit this nugget.

I noticed readers consistently report experiencing a roller coaster of emotions as they read the book. In fact, one woman reported she cried…which had her award my book five stars (how strange that seems, we feel hurt and award the author who hurt us with a perfect score…gotta love human psychology, LOL! But I digress).

These responses got me reflecting how earlier books in my series were received. With book two, I remember reviewers commenting on a small portion of the book. Book three had readers sighing and cheering as well but these responses were not as enthusiastic as what I was hearing about my latest release.

I started thinking about the books I enjoy reading…lots of YA fantasy, with a splash of romance thrown in. I love it when an author develops characters who connect with one another in a way that is vulnerable, yet pure and healthy—the characters who experience deep insecurities yet come to a point where they are able to share with one another the depth of their worry and pain without fear of being laughed at, knowing their confession will be respected and held in strict confidence. These are relationships, and in turn books, that get my heart a pumpin’ – I adore them. Put another way, I connect with them.

An example, I think of Air Awakens and Fire Falling. In this series, Elise Kova constructs a relationship between the crown prince and a relative “nobody” who, of course, is not of social status appropriate for him to fall in love with, let alone marry. That relationship is vulnerable and seemingly pure and I find myself rooting for the pair. The Divergent series is another example is Bea and Tobias’s relationship. You feel their pain and cheer their triumphs. And there’s so many more awesome examples I can point to, but I share that to prove my point. We adore these relationships because they touch us deeply, emotionally, many times over.

When I’m writing a particularly vulnerable part of a story, my whole body experiences it. It’s hard to describe the sensations: my heart feels soft, my emotions are raw, and I feel “twitchy” as I approach writing (much like someone before confessing a deep secret). Then once the dialogue begins my whole heart is consumed by an essence of purity for what my characters are truly feeling. Emotion pours out of me until I’ve gotten the scene down on paper. That may sound strange, but I don’t know how else to describe it. Its purity and heart poured out. And these are the scenes my readers have commented specifically about as touching their hearts—they’vealways started this way.

This realization has shifted how I orient as I write, for I see that causing my characters to connect with my readers on this deeply vulnerable and emotional level IS the difference between creating books readers like vs writing a novel readers adore! So, yes, I’m sure the old adage “Sex Sells” is true, but so does the creating of characters who connect with each other on a deeply vulnerable level. Having come to understand this principle I now work to create scenes that tug on my reader’s heart strings like never before.

_______________________________________________________

Final_395x391

Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you thought.

FREE EBOOKS: I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.

5 WAYS TO MOVE AHEAD IN YOUR NOVEL.

It’s the end of the ‘work’ week and I thought before we hit the weekend and more easily accessible writing time, I would do a little bit of NaNoWriMo talk.

As of the writing of this post, I am over 25,000 words on my NaNoWriMo book, Honor Bound: Monsters. Crazy, right? The thing is I wrote 13,000 of that on Wednesday. How?

Actually it took me a while to find that groove. I was stuck in research limbo over wanting a fact to bridge one scene of the book to the next scene. Yes, I hear some of you now, “Dude, that is stoopid!”

And yes, it was not quite intelligent. I got caught in a trap. A trap I knew to look out for and to avoid during a first draft of a work of FICTION.

My advice has been “Just write the freaking story.”

And I was “Stalling on a freaking point.”

Now to the how to get in to your groove.

5 Ways To Move Ahead In Your Novel

  1. Don’t get stuck on the finer details at this point. It is just a first draft.
    • How did I move from stuck to the next scene. I just went to the next scene. I knew where I was going, and I knew all I wanted was a simple dialogue scene with a touch of information in it, but I was too brain tired to get that part done, so I went on to where the ground was fertile, while making a HUGE note there was a need for a scene addition. And the great thing is, by the time I get back to that scene, I will know the characters even better and very likely have the information that I need to use in that scene. Or maybe, I will find I don’t need the bridge at all.
  2. Take a break. If you write and push through exhaustion you end up burning out and for some they end up in pain.  I do this too often, pushing. I did it Wednesday and suffered for it most of Thursday. I finally kicked back into the groove late in the day and put in a good number of words. I think begin half way to the NaNo goal isn’t bad. And when you do take a break what should you do?
  3. Leave your writing in the middle of a sentence or scene. This way you know what to pick up with next time. Walking away at the end of a scene or chapter is one of the worst things you can do.
  4. A big thing that helped me get my word count moving was being part of the facebook group for my NaNoWriMo Region. A bunch of strangers, or some are friends of each other, joining in and doing sprints. Sprints are when you write for 15 minutes as focused as you can and then time is called. You share your word count and people encourage and the like. It seriously helped me late last night. It got to the point my hands were so tired my fingers didn’t want to lift off the keys and move.
  5. A challenge buddy is also pushing me. I have one particular friend that is as competitive if not more so than I am about this. I’m not overly competitive but I like to use competition to help encourage others to push onward, and you get caught up in it.

I find it odd that last year only about 17% of those who signed up for NaNoWriMo actually finished it.  I think most of those not finishing never started, at least that’s my opinion. And if you don’t finish, at least get a habit going of writing.

Writing around 2000 words a day, writing a story that isn’t supposed to be read yet, isn’t that difficult. You keep writing and get yourself out of whatever you got yourself into.

Author and LWI Team Member Jo Robinson has a great article about Writer’s Block called Dodge Around the Blocks. Make sure to check it out for some more advice. Also the other helpful tips in the NaNoWriMo Support section might give you an idea to get you to where you want to be.



Ronovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December of 2015. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

© Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.com 2015

So Just What Does Make A Good Book Good? by @RobertHughes05

I’m guessing everyone will have an answer to this question, but what do you think makes a good book good?  After all, we have all started reading a book which we never finish, usually because we don’t particularly like the story, but what is it that makes us read a book right to its end?

As writers and authors we could all put a list together and, I’m pretty sure, we’d all have lists where many of the answers would match up.   Without a doubt answers such as the cover, the opening paragraph, the way it is written, and the genre would appear, but if I were to ask you to choose just one answer, what would it be?

Eighteen months ago I would have given you a completely different answer to that I am going to give you today, because eighteen months ago I was hardly writing anything apart from the occasional greetings card, shopping list, or message. Back then I would most definitely have given my answer as the genre of the book, because just about every book that was Science Fiction and included time-travel would, in my opinion, be good.  Then, just over twelve months ago, I began writing my own short stories and, over time, my answer has changed.

Simply by putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and writing short stories, I now find myself not considering some books good unless they have cliffhangers at the end of some of the chapters.  The cliffhanger spurs me to read on.  I’ll look at the clock and it may be well beyond midnight and I have an upcoming early appointment in the morning, but if I’ve just finished reading a chapter and there’s a cliffhanger involved, then I’ll read on.

I also like to come away from a book or short story where the author has given me the choice to decide for myself what may have really happened.  Some authors have a wonderful way of letting the reader decide for themselves and I have always been interested with the answers given back by the readers.  They are often very varied with maybe a few crossing paths.  As authors and writers we all have incredible imaginations and most of us will come up with some wonderful imaginative answers, but I wonder how many of us would come up with exactly the same answer?

Hugh Roberts

 

 

 

 

 

@RobertHughes05 (https://twitter.com/RobertHughes05)

Hugh Roberts Google+ (https://plus.google.com/108647661887874692677/posts)

hughsviewsandnews.com (http://hughsviewsandnews.com/about/)

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

2015 © Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com

5 Psychological Blocks that Stop Bloggers (and Writers) Going from Good to Great @OlgaNM7

Hi all:

I was checking through some blogs and found one that I felt spoke to me and I thought I’d share it with you to see if it resonates with you too. The original post was in Problogger and it’s a guest contribution by a psychologist, Dr Alice Boyes. You can read it here. Although the title of the post is: 5 Psychological Blocks that Stop Bloggers Going from Good to Great, I felt those apply to writers in general, and of course, many of us are also bloggers.

X ray photographs of person s skull uid 1171297

To summarise, Dr Boyes mentions five blocks to developing a blogger’s (read writer’s) career:

  1. Imposter Syndrome. You aren’t good enough, you aren’t really a writer, how can you compare with others, who are you trying to fool…This blocks you as you don’t feel you should reach to others whom you view as true… (bloggers, writers, authors…), or you don’t challenge yourself and put yourself to the test. Her suggestions of solutions include looking at the evidence, realising that this is just a thought (a negative thought indeed), asking yourself what would you be doing if you were the real deal and doing that, and understanding and giving yourself self-compassion. On the note of self-compassion, one of the things I used to tell my patients who came up with very negative comments about themselves was: what would you tell a friend, or somebody you knew, who came and told you what you’re telling me? Would you really think they were no good at what they were doing or not as professional…or whatever the issue was? Sometimes we are so much harder on ourselves than we are on others.
  2. Avoidance Coping. When you’re avoiding doing the things that should be your first priority by doing other less important things. I think we can all relate to this. I’m not pointing any fingers other than at myself. She suggests as solutions having a very simple to do list, putting limits on other tasks and being mindful of them (she suggest an App you can check although I’ve seen many advertised), and keeping a balance (80/20 anybody?).
  3. All-or-nothing Thinking. Everything should be done and done to perfection. Therefore as that is impossible, we give up completely on what could be a good idea. Although she doesn’t call it that, I think her suggestion for dealing with this would be ‘embrace the middle ground’ or ‘compromise’. If a task seems overwhelming, try and compromise on something workable you can do or break it in little chunks and do them at your own pace. Remember: Rome wasn’t built in one day.
  4. Running your Willpower Back to Empty. In talking about blogging Dr Boyes suggests that due to the many things one could do to ensure success at blogging, people might end up running round in circles, exhausting themselves and forgetting to take into consideration the big picture (the reason why we started doing something in the first place). And also losing sight of the goal (the doing becomes the end in itself). That’s also the case in writing and promoting/marketing. The amount of information, suggestions and new ideas are mindboggling. You can end up feeling like a hamster running on the wheel. She suggests shorter (microbreaks) and longer breaks, including disconnecting completely from the computer and going away, as that will give you a new perspective (the same most writers recommend doing once you finish your manuscript).
  5. Unwillingness to Tolerate Knockbacks. It doesn’t matter how well you do something, there will be people who don’t like it, or who think that it could/should be done differently. Dr Boyes says it’s important to build a level of tolerance (not insensitivity) to it, particularly if you’re prone to ruminating and overthinking what you could have done wrong. (She here recommends her book, but as I haven’t read it I won’t, although if the post is an example of what she offers, it might be worth a look). There’s much written about negative reviews and I think most of us know that however objective or neutral they might be (and not all are) they tend to feel personal because our books are our creations. As possible solutions she suggests: Expecting a 50% success rate rather than 100% (I guess we could call it redefining success). Also accepting your sensitivity rather than fighting against it and she recommends quick mindfulness meditations to help the negative thoughts pass quickly (with links). I have been meditating for over a year now, and although I’m sure it’s not for everybody (and I was’t very convinced it was for me) I’d say it has helped me. lontree (1)

Thanks so much to Pro Blogger and Dr Bloye for her article and inspiration, thanks to you all for reading, and let me know if you think those apply to writing too. And any tricks to deal with these or other blocks are welcome!

The Rules

Jo Robinson
Jo Robinson

A lot of indie authors are pretty rigid with their writing rules. There’s nothing wrong with this when it’s your style, and self-imposed. You’ll have problems though if rigid rules don’t fit well with your character, and you’ve only inflicted them on yourself because a successful and well known writer said that that’s what you should be doing if you ever want to succeed. “Must” is often the word lurking behind procrastination in any field, and when it comes to creative souls, I believe it could shut down production pretty well.

The minute we’re told we must do something, our subconscious goes into overdrive, bombarding us with all the ways we could fail, and settles like a lump in your mind, effectively blocking all those wonderful sentences that had been champing at the bit to leap onto your pages. This fear can be good in small doses. When you have to do one particular finite job, it can goad you into stepping up to the plate and giving it your best shot, purely so that you can put it behind you and move on. But if it’s a rule that you see looming into your entire future career, it could very well be daunting enough for some to throw in the towel rather than risk failure.

If you are told that in order to be any sort of author worth your salt that you MUST write a minimum of X amount of words every single day, and you MUST avoid adverbs, and you must this or that or the other thing – and you believe it – even though your writing regime and style are miles away from that, you’re pretty much going to knobble yourself. If it is your own personal goal to churn out ten books a year, and your personal writing style is naturally succinct, then apply those rules to yourself without fear. On the other hand, if you like to toss in a couple of flowery or acrimonious adverbs now and then (as I do), and if forcing yourself to write thousands of words every day raises your cortisol levels to terrifying heights, then you really shouldn’t, because even if you do manage to get any words down they’re not likely to be the ones that you would have written under your own steam. Fine for businesslike articles, but not so much for creative fiction or non-fiction.

We have more than enough fear already as writers, whether previously published or not. Thoughts pop up that what we publish will be laughed under tables all over the place, or that readers will guess which bits of our fiction aren’t really fiction at all, and think that we’re just plain weirdoes, and so on, and so on. Write your own book at your own pace, and in whatever style is yours without worrying about what anyone will think, until you’ve written the very last word of it. Then you can worry about grammar while you’re doing your dreaded edits. And just because a particular way of writing is believed by many modern authors to be the most well received, that doesn’t mean that it’s true. There is nothing wrong with a couple of well placed adverbs in any story for instance. They can add feeling and depth to a sentence. We use them in our speech after all, so why should they be excluded from the written word?

So yes, read what other authors say about their own success stories. Read all the advice out there, but think it through first as it would apply to you, and follow your own heart and style when you write your own. Many of the most wildly successful books were written in styles and by writers who conformed to nobody but themselves, and broke so many of the rules that they wouldn’t have stood a chance if they had followed the pack.