I hate writing, I love having written. – Dorothy Parker
Do you know what the single most important characteristic of a writer is? Determination. Determination translates to the discipline that sees you to writing even when you don’t feel like it, into perseverance to keep submitting in the face of rejection and through the writer’s blocks and headaches and heartaches that are the process of stringing words together.
You can be buoyed by a number of things – scenes swirling in your head, the dream of seeing your name in print, or others in your writer’s group who ask when you’re going to submit again. Nevermind the fact that you’ve always been a writer, that’s always been the plan, and if you aren’t a writer… then who are you? All of these things might push you in the right direction, but it’s your own self-determination that brings you back to the keyboard over and over and over again.
You did that; take a moment to enjoy it. But know that the dark reality is that if you continue on in this back and forth pattern, undisciplined, unorganized, someday that determination will be whittled down. And it won’t be enough. It won’t bring you back to your stories, and then one day you’ll realize you’ve truly fallen away from being a writer.
Be determined, and be dedicated. Be the writer you were born to be. Remember that someone out there needs your story.
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This year is getting away from me, and somehow despite that I’m always keenly aware of April. My year does not run January to December, it runs April to April – the closing and beginning of new cycles. There are days quickly approaching that I count down to all year, caught in pointless thoughts and memories that I couldn’t let go of even if I wanted to.
There’s already so much about to happen in the next 30 days, and here I am adding more. But this is my year. That’s something I’ve been promising myself since 12:01am January 1st. 2014 I was broken. 2015 I was a little less broken. 2016 I recovered. 2017 is where I’m going to discover a new me.
So here’s to the new year, still rotating around the days that have shaped me the most – the ones that happened to me and the ones that I make happen.
Let’s write. ❤
Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on creating a master worldbuilding worksheet. It’s taken so long because the list is so extensive – I hope to have it ready for both you and me in the coming weeks, but it occurred to me this morning as I began worldbuilding for a new story that an abbreviated checklist might be useful. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed when you sit down to write and realize you have to build a world from the ground up. Where do you start? How detailed do you need to be? Where should you focus your attention initially? Are you writing a story or an encyclopedia?
There’s no need to go all Tolkien with worldbuilding, at least not at the first stage. So, here are the things that I develop first:
Draw a rough map. I’m really bad at drawing. Like, really bad. But there’s something gratifying and unbelievably helpful about having a map on hand as you write. So take a deep breath, look up some tutorials and sketch out your world. No one except you ever has to see it, and it doesn’t have to have anything except the barest of geographical features and markers for towns and cities. Even if your mountains and forests and cities are all just shapes. You need a map. Trust me on this one. Continue reading
Posted in Writing Posts
Tagged character sketches, fantasy, fantasy worldbuilding, fiction, fictional animals, fictional culture, fictional plants, how to create a character sketch, magic, mapmaking, new world essentials, system of magic, worldbuilding, writing, writing fantasy, writing fantasy characters, writing how tos, writing tips and tricks
“Wait for me under the third lamppost,” he begged her. “I’ll meet you there at midnight and we’ll start a new life. Just you and me.”
He was late, bruised ribs trying to cripple him, but he was there. She just wasn’t.
The minutes ticked by, etched into his soul like the cuts were on his skin. One hour, two. He burned through an entire pack, growing gray and bitter, kept rooted by dimming hope.
A voice startled him, amused and chilling. Not the one he was waiting for. “You shouldn’t have waited,” she stayed just out of the lamp light. “I don’t blame you, but you shouldn’t have.”
Find more microfiction on my Instagram!
Posted in Whitney's Stories
Tagged amwriting, fiction, flash fiction, instagram story, microfiction, mystery, reading, reading material, short short story, short story, writing
Something I’ve found myself wrestling with a lot lately is which perspective to write from. I’m not just talking about when I start new pieces either, but some of my long-standing WIPs have fallen into this speculation as well. I find myself wondering, often to the point of not writing, whether or not a story would be more impactful from a different POV, whether information shared would be more or less obvious, whether readers will connect with characters well enough with the current setup.
I never used to have these kinds of questions. I used to make a choice and run with it, and while I might second guess plot points, character development and sentence structure… Some parts of my writing simply were. I choose to look at this change as a positive though – I know more, therefore I contemplate more, in an effort to make more informed choices, and therefore create more masterful pieces.
In response to this, I’ve developed steps to help identify which perspective is best for any given story. But first, as a refresher, here are your POV options:
Posted in Writing Posts
Tagged 1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person, amwriting, fiction writing, how to choose the best perspective for your story, POV, POV discussion, writer, writing, writing articles, writing how tos, writing tips, writing tips and tricks
I found this on Pinterest while searching for content for my writing board. My normal rhythm is to skim large amounts of content, pin or heart what catches my attention depending on how the content needs to be evaluated and move on.
That’s what happened here. Except, there was a little spark of intrigue that brought me back later to read it again. Really read it. Whether or not you write well, write bravely. Write bravely.
The more I mulled over the words, the more I realized the sentiment spoke to me, and the more inspired I became.
Writing well is subjective. What you and I consider excellent writing might be different. Where we find ourselves, and others, on this beautiful path is likely to be different. There’s no judging in such a unique understanding; there’s only simple acceptance.
But bravely written stories? Stories that take endless hours, soul-wrenching agony, perseverance, blood, sweat and tears to write? Stories that spill our hearts out on the page and transform readers into people they never knew they could be? That kind of writing is worthy of admiration, no matter its caliber.
So write bravely, my friends.