When it comes to finding the next great story idea, many writers seem to agree on how they find theirs—it often happens when you’re doing something else. Whether it strikes during a stroll around the block or in the shower, not thinking about anything is when an idea comes easily and naturally. For me, story ideas have popped up in places I didn’t think it would.Continue reading “Where Ideas Spring Forth: The Unexpected Places You’ll Find New Story Ideas”
Spending a year in lockdown has done wonders for my creativity. I progress a little more each day with the YA fantasy novel I’m working on, though, I still have a ways to go before I figure out how it will all end. I’ve managed to finish writing one short story as I currently work on another.
Finishing any kind of writing I do is an achievement. In the past I had no problem starting stories. Finishing them? That’s a separate matter. Having a fully written story, and one I feel is fairly decent, is exciting. All that’s left is the editing.Continue reading “Under The Microscope: Editing Your Written Work”
Every writer will say writing is one part joy and one part agony. There’s a drive to commit your character’s story to the page, but seeing it all come together is an arduous undertaking, especially when you’re writing a full-length novel and not a short story. Writing my own story has had its ups and downs. Sometimes the words flow out of me and onto the computer screen, or I’ll have days when writing a scene or tone in my head feels a lot harder than it should be. A writer might not always have a clear path ahead for where a story is going until it’s written, but you begin to develop an instinct for knowing what should be cut out or reworked as you’re writing it.Continue reading “Kill Your Darlings: The Process Of What To Cut Out Doesn’t Always Occur During Editing”
Writing a fantasy world from scratch can be equal parts fun and challenging. Anything is possible and nothing is impossible when you’re building a new world. But trying to decide what the structures look like, who inhabits the world, and what are the laws the denizens of that world abide by can feel like a pretty gargantuan undertaking for any budding writer. While writers may have a clear picture in their heads of the kind of world their main character will be spending most of their time in, it’s also useful to have some visual aids to make the process of world building a bit easier. This is why Pinterest has been largely useful when I’m working on my YA fantasy novel.
Every writer has a spot they have chosen as their writing space. Whether it’s by a window in their favorite cafe or sitting on their bed with a laptop propped on their lap, the location hardly matters as long as you’re getting your story written. Whenever I prepare myself to sit down and write for the day, one of the first things I do is put on some music.
There have been times I wish I didn’t have a lot I was interested in like anime, manga, video games, classic literature, comic books, and writing. I often thought it would be easier if I just had less to focus my attention on during my downtime. I still think that way, but having your hand in so many pots does come in handy when you’re suddenly thrust into a global health crisis no one could have ever saw coming.
I’ve written about how some escapism is necessary right now to cope with the uncertainty we’re living in. It keeps you sane and prevents you from unraveling. The past four months in lockdown has me turning to fantasy as a way of dealing with a world that no longer looks familiar.
Four months into lockdown and monotony can set in. Every day is a never ending loop of waking up to the exact same surroundings and doing the same thing over and over again. Each week hardly looks distinguishable from the next. While staying at home for an extended period of time hasn’t been that difficult for me, we introverts are often thrilled when we aren’t forced to interact, there is a sense of longing to be able to go on trips or hang out with friends without worrying if the big bad C will come and get you. To add a little variety during my weeks, I have taken the initiative to pick up other skills or hobbies when I need a little break from the usual ones I’ve been doing.
One of the reasons why I enjoy writing my own stories is the total control I have over everything. I get to decide if my story takes place in the real world or a fantasy. I choose what my characters look like, what color eyes they have, and how they dress. I can dictate if my main character will be a heroine who lives happily ever after or will have their life end in tragedy. That’s the thing about writing—there’s no limit to what you can do. You’re in the driver seat the entire time. But one of the challenging parts about writing is deciding what to name your characters.
When it comes to appreciating the smaller things in life, especially in this time of upheaval, I’m grateful to have such a wide and varied number of interests to get through this pandemic. If you’re able to stay home during this public health crisis to keep yourself and others safe, one of the things you might be wondering about is what do you do to keep yourself busy and sane until it’s all over? In my case I’m glad I’m able to hop from one hobby to the next without ever really getting bored. I’ve talked about writing, gaming, and watching shows to pass the time. Another thing I’ve been doing to keep my mind occupied, and taking a much needed break from the bleak news out there, is reading.
Writing my current novel has been an on-again, off-again love affair for years. I would have days where I seem committed to it, and I felt nothing could break my momentum. Then a few weeks or months go by and my unfinished draft goes untouched, gathering digital dust in a folder on my computer. Now that I’ve managed to gradually overcome the hurdles stopping me from writing, regardless of how much I still doubt if what I’m doing is still worth the effort of pursuit, I’ve gotten into a writing routine that has worked and helped me immensely in the last few months.