Tips and Tricks, WordSmith Musings, writing

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Interested in starting a novel, short story, blog, essay, thesis? But you’re just not quite sure how? Or do you have a few questions about a piece of writing you’re working on? Want to go over title ideas? Writing help of any kind?

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Original Work, writing

Diamonds: A Flash Fiction Romance Story

They slipped out. Those simple words that were never meant to see daylight, let alone parade out in to it. Like a wet glass in a soapy hand, they slipped and shattered into a million pieces. There was no way to ever undo it and there was no way I could ever piece it back together the same as before. 

Those words had been hidden inside, locked and under key for years.  ‘I love you’ was not words you could say to your best friend. Maybe it was just the heat of this warm spring day that made me unaware of what I was saying. The lulling of the whirring fan, the disillusioned words of years gone past spilling from our history books, or how turquoise blue his eyes were as they smiled at me over our now disregarded school books must have put me at such an ease that words came with no accord to what I actually wanted to say. Now, those bright blue eyes had widened in shock.

He stared at me with an expression I couldn’t read. I had never been good at reading his facial expressions, even though I had known his face my whole life. I didn’t even avert my eyes as he stared in amazement, something that was profoundly unlike me.  I was the shy girl that had always blended into the background. Steady and reliable, but never bold. Not the kind of girl who would tell a boy that they loved them like that. Or at all.

We had played in the sandbox between our yards together and he was in every way the boy next door. He was the person I could always talk to and was never hesitant around like I was with others. Though our lives had diverged along different paths, we had always stayed close friends. He went on to be the star quarterback and class president. I was the straight A girl who hung out in the library and quoted corny movies. 

He slowly opened his mouth to say something. My courage failed and I took to the door with a speed that would have made an Olympian proud. I stopped on the front porch and took a deep breath.

I turned back around and opened the door.

Standing in the doorway with his hand out to grab the knob was my blue eyed boy. He was wearing an expression that even I could read clearly. Did you ever notice that shattered glass looks a million diamonds? 

Tips and Tricks, writing

5 Tips for Making and Maintaining a Writing Schedule

Writing isn’t easy. I think most writers will agree with me. Some days, words seem to fly from your fingers and other times, you stare at the screen blankly. I get it. One of the best ways to combat that is to have some sort of writing schedule. Now, this should be extremely customizable to your lifestyle and schedule, but it needs to exist. Or else, you may find next week that you haven’t looked at your writing once in the past seven days.

Here are my five tips for making and then maintaining your schedule.

 

1. Put it on the calendar

This one may seem simple, but it can have a great impact. Sit down with your planner, google calendar, phone, whatever it is and find the times where you have free time. Whether it is for a half hour or three hours, put it in as an event. By making it something physically scheduled, you’ll be less likely to forget or ignore it.

 2. Tell others about it

One of the leading causes of distraction can be other people. And it may just be that they don’t realize what is going on. Make sure the people around you know what you’re doing and that it’s important to you. If they know that from 9-10 am, you’re writing, they won’t bother you (hopefully). But if you don’t tell them, they won’t know! Plus, it’ll create some great accountability on top of being distraction-free.

3. Be realistic

If you haven’t written in a long time, planning to write for five hours straight is probably not feasible. Know your limits. Schedule an hour or two and gauge from that. If you set your goals unrealistically in the beginning, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment which can lead to completely forgoing any schedule. Instead, set your goals conservatively and then you can expand from there as you see your capacity.

4. Outline your time

There should always be flexibility in your writing schedule, but it can be extremely helpful to have a general outline of what you want to do. Every week, I try to write a to-do list of things I want to accomplish. “Write four chapters of The Lightbringer”, “write a short story about Asena“, “journal twice”, “write a story from a prompt“. Things like that can help me have focus and allow me to check things off, which can be extremely motivational!

5. Don’t edit

This can be one of the most detrimental things to a writing schedule. If you are not to the editing stage (completely finished your first draft), editing simply is a rabbit trail that you can get lost down. You’ll spend hours fixing this one thing, that leads to the next and suddenly its been a month since you’ve written anything. Finish writing your first draft before you edit. Editing will be necessary then, but if you don’t have the bones to work with, you’re just rearranging things and not writing! Often times, editing prematurely can end with a half finished book that never sees the light of day or a final chapter.

 

I hope these helped. If you have any ideas, please share them in the comments below. If you’re looking for more Tips and Tricks, check out some of my other articles!

Original Work, WordSmith Musings, writing

Twisted Tales: Writing a Fairy Tale

The classic fairy tales we grew up with have a place inside my heart. I love them and I’ve really come to love the new renditions of them in twisted tales. Some of my favorites include The Lunar Chronicles, Beastly, Spinning Silver, and Ella Enchanted.

They each tell tales we have heard before, but they continue to surprise and delight despite us knowing a vague outline of the plot. That feels even more masterful to me sometimes than normal writing.

In light of this, I’ve recently begun to create my own twisted tale based off from the classic tale of Rapunzel and the less classic version, Tangled. I have a propensity for strong female leads in my stories and Flora, a sweet young girl with hair that grows as she wills, has a strong heart and will have to learn to be more than she ever dreamed possible if she wants to escape the palace holding her prisoner. Caught in an epic battle between two countries, a prophecy, and two cocky princes, Flora and that magical hair of hers will turn the tides of war.

I haven’t gotten too far into the story, just an outline and a few chapters, but already I’m loving Flora. She loves feeling beautiful and yet hates being stared at by the thuggish men of court. She is strong enough to stand up for herself but needs help to learn that she’s strong enough to believe in herself too.

I’m currently still working out who our handsome prince will be. Besides a few quick lines, he’s mostly a vague imprint right now as Flora has yet to meet him. I want him to be fitting for a young, overly-confident prince who rides into danger and wants to rescue the damsel. But he has no idea what rescuing actually entails and that the damsel is a strong woman who isn’t swooning at the thought of his help. I’m sure that will have many great character building moments for me to choose from.

So begins my very own twisted tale. I’ll post excerpts once I have a bit more and I’ll let you know my progress.

Are there any twisted fairy-tales you really love? Or are you writing one of your own? Let me know in the comments below!

Tips and Tricks, writing

Quick Tip #4

If you get stuck in your story, ask yourself three questions.

1) “What does my character want?”

2) “How can I make that difficult to achieve?”

3) ”What are the consequences if they don’t get it?”

Proceed to make each answer more intense than the last time you asked and go from there.

prompts, writing

Story Prompt #6

You are the first person to travel to the moon in fifty years. You arrive and all forms of communication with Earth drop. You step out and you’re greeted by a large group in spacesuits. One steps forward and looks at you curiously. “You escaped, too?”

 

Any stories from this prompt submitted using my contacts page have a chance to be published on my site with a link to your page. Have fun writing!

prompts, writing

Submit Your Short Story Today!

Do you love to write and want to see your work in print? Want to be able to write on your resume that you’ve been published as an author? I would love to help you!

Submit a short story based on any prompt previously posted and you’ll be entered for a chance to be published on my site. I’ll also tag your site or blog so my readers can find more of your great work!

Tips and Tricks, writing

Ten Tools To Help You Write the Next Bestseller

Every writer wants to write the next bestseller but many lack the tools beyond natural talent. Here are the top ten items I’d recommend to help you create a work of art.

 

  1. A lamp to help your eyes

You most likely spend a large amount of time staring at a computer screen. Take care of your eyes and use a lamp that helps your eyes and makes you feel like you’re in the sunshine. It’ll boost productivity if you’re not fighting a headache from eye strain. This lamp has seven brightness levels, five color modes, and is adjustable so you can make it work exactly how you need it.

https://amzn.to/2HKl4Jj

 

  1. A notebook designed for handling the weather

This notebook is perfect when you are ready to explore and research the nitty gritty, but don’t want nature to destroy your notes. It’s waterproof, resistant to tears, flexible, and dependable. Never worry about losing your story again.

https://amzn.to/2OvyJnO

 

  1. A planner to help you be a great writer but also to help you be a good human

My Brilliant Writing Planner wants you to be a phenomenal writer, but also a phenomenal person. It pairs a regular planner, a writing notebook (full of storyboards, habit trackers, and other useful tools), and a personal tracker (which helps you keep track of career goals, life activities, your spiritual life, and reflections).

https://amzn.to/2OvyZTO

 

  1. A character development journal

The journal will help you plot out a truly fleshed out character. Starting off with basic personal characteristics, it pushes deeper, providing prompts and ideas to create a well-rounded and deeply rooted character.

https://amzn.to/2OuVcBN

 

  1. Pens that are classic and stylish

I know, you may spend all your time typing on a keyboard, but picking one of these up will make you feel like you’ve been turned into one of the great authors of old. Plus, they’re stylish and make your desk look great.

Chris-Wang 5Pcs Creative Lovely Artificial Feather Gel Ink Pens Office Supplies Students Staionery, Black Ink, Fine Point 0.5mm

https://amzn.to/2HKenqq

 

  1. Headphones to keep the noise out and the fun going

As a writer, I tend to spend a lot of time listening to music and one of the worst feelings is jumping up for a cup of coffee and forgetting I’m tethered to my computer. These wireless headphones will block out sound so you can write in a busy coffee shop and still have the mobility to move about your home or office without worrying.

https://amzn.to/2CWPLac

 

  1. A water bottle to stay hydrated and read great quotes

Keeping your body running well is important if you plan to pump out a novel. Staying hydrated will make you feel better, prevent headaches, and make your body work like it’s supposed to. It can be way too easy to forget to drink water, especially if you’re dehydrating yourself with coffee or other caffeinated products. Try this water bottle out which you’ll have a blast trying to read your favorite, redacted stories and will keep you in tip-top shape.

https://amzn.to/2U1dLmX

 

  1. An Emotional Wound Thesaurus to make your characters come to life

One of the most important parts of any story is the emotional experiences behind it. But if you don’t hold a degree in psychology or have gone through something personally, often times that emotional trauma can feel unrealistic or stereotyped when written out. This thesaurus gives you a crash course in the most common emotional wounds and helps you write them accurately. Readers will be able to connect much more deeply to characters that feel real and relatable.

https://amzn.to/2I2dUjQ

 

  1. First Lines of Literature Mug

Whether you are a tea, coffee, or hot chocolate drinker, a mug with the first lines of some of the greatest novels of all time will help kick that writer’s block and inspire you to make your own bestseller.

https://amzn.to/2I3eLQZ

 

  1. Writer’s Market

This is one of the most important tools in a writer’s kit. The Writer’s Market gives you a detailed description of publishing presses, magazines, and literary agents. Each entry provides pricing, what they publish, how to reach out to them (with contact information in some cases), the best way and time to send in your manuscripts, and a short description about them. This will save you an exponential amount of time in your publishing process. On top of that, Writer’s Market has a list of writing contests as well as a section on how to write a query letter and reach out to companies. Whether you are a first-time author or a well-seasoned novelist, this book is gold.

https://amzn.to/2JJjwRB

I hope you love the products I list here! Just so you know, I may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Enjoy!