One of my favorite parts of the writing process is getting to know my characters inside and out. I want to know each and every detail about who they are, where they come from, and what their life has been. I’m fascinated by the writer’s ability to create people out of nothing. They reach a level of realism in which not only you, but others care about them as well. An important part of achieving this level of detail is knowing what your characters look like. Some writers prefer to model their characters after celebrities or people they know. I, on the other hand, rarely find someone who looks just like how I imagine the character in my head. This leads me to today’s topic. It’s time to put down the character sketches and start sketching your characters.
This week, I was excited and grateful to be a guest vlogger on one of my favorite YouTube channels, the YA WordNerds. This group of ladies posts videos every day of the week about YA books and writing, and on Sundays, they host a live chat. When they asked if I would guest vlog, I immediately agreed. Yet, when I began thinking about everything that this task would require of me, I started to get a little nervous. The excitement didn’t fade, but I began to realize just how important it is to be asked to guest vlog on someone else’s channel. Here are the things that I kept in mind while I was working on my first ever guest vlog.
Many writers have been given the advice of “keep your day job”. Additionally, writers often start writing at a young age, when school is still a priority. And aside from this, there are friends, family, and homes to tend to. In short, writers are rarely just writers. This means that as much as we want to make writing our first priority, there are times we just can’t. It’s not reasonable for us to blow off our academic or professional responsibilities. And in times when these things are at their most demanding, writing falls by the wayside. My latest experience with this occurred during this semester’s round of finals. One of the biggest challenges I’ve experienced as a writer is getting back into writing after taking a leave of absence. So today I want to take a look at some tactics I use to get back to writing after having to take some time off.
Hello, writer folk! This week I’ve been working on a short story written from a second person point of view. Although it’s been challenging, I’ve loved experimenting with second person and seeing exactly how influential narrative viewpoint is. Today I want to look at different points of view and discuss the effects they have on a story. Viewpoint is one of the first points of entry that a reader has to a piece of writing, so choosing the correct viewpoint for your story is essential. Here’s a brief rundown of the different narrative viewpoints and the impacts they have on the reader’s interaction with the story.
The month of April has begun, Camp NaNoWriMo is in full swing, and there are so many exciting writing things on the horizon! Between Camp NaNo and the end of the semester approaching, I am busy, busy, busy. I expect my blog posts will be a little shorter this month than usual, but never fear, I will be here each week with something new to share with you. Today, I want to share my writing goals for the second quarter of the year which lasts from April to June. The method I use for goal setting is one that I learned from the fabulous Jenna Moreci. A lot of writers across the web have adopted this method because it works so well! Basically, you make a list of 10-20 goals for the quarter, and the aim is to complete at least half. I create two separate lists, one for writing, and one for everything else. I have found that splitting up the lists works well for me because it ensures that I get both writing and personal goals accomplished. So, I separate them out and complete at least half of each list. This coming quarter’s goals are ambitious, but I am confident that I can get them done!
Camp NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow. For those of you who have never heard of Camp Nano, it is essentially a virtual writer’s retreat that happens over the course of the month. Writer’s from all over the world set word count goals and spend the month trying to reach them. This will be my first time participating in Camp NaNo, and I am so excited to see how it goes. Today, I want to talk about why I decided to try out Camp NaNoWriMo as well as what I’ve done to prepare. If you, like me, have never participated before, I hope that you consider giving it a try. I mean really, what do you have to lose?
I would first and foremost like to apologize for missing last week, HOWEVER, I do have something to make up for it. That’s right folks, I, Meg Sill, have burst out of my comfort zone. I have pushed beyond the bounds of sanity. I have made, my first ever vlog. (0_0 this face perfectly describes how I feel). This vlog is in response to a call for auditions put out by one of my favorite groups of writing vloggers, the YAWordNerds (I’ll rave about them more below). If you want to see my audition, you can check it out here. And as if broadcasting this isn’t crazy enough, I want to know what you think! That’s enough about that. Today, I want to turn your attention to those vloggers who are far more experienced and advanced than me. Watching writing vlogs is one of my favorite ways to gain information and tips on writing. It’s also a great way to get me in the head space to write. I encourage you to give it a try, and to help you get started, here is a list of my favorite writing vlogs. They are the vlogs that keep me coming back week after week, because I just can’t get enough!
I’ll be honest, this week I am incredibly busy (college, sigh)! Today I want to talk about something that has helped ease the pressure of my busy week, audiobooks! Again, I have to be honest, I had never listened to an audiobook before, and I was certain that I didn’t like them. The idea of someone else’s voice delivering a story instead of my own was daunting. I thought it would taint the experience in some way. Reading books, as I’m sure all of you know, is a very personal experience. For some reason, I felt that having someone narrate the story for me would be intrusive. Oh, how misguided I was! Listening to an audiobook, although it’s a very different experience from reading the book on your own, was equally enjoyable.
Hello, writers! So, I’m going to dive deeper into the first step I take when planning a writing project, that is the thought dump. Thought dumping is a step that many writers skip over, and those who do participate in it, often do not give it the emphasis it deserves. I find this an essential starting point for any piece of creative writing. As I described last week, the thought dump essentially consists of making a running list of ideas for your project. Everything and anything you think of should be written down right at the beginning so that it isn’t forgotten.
This week I want to give you a brief overview of what my novel’s planning phase looks like. As always, this is simply my take on the planning phase of novel writing. To clarify, when I say planning phase, I am referring to the work that I need to do prior to beginning the first draft of a novel. The novel I am currently working on is a middle-grade fantasy, so much of my planning is tailored to that genre. However, this process can be adapted for many types of writing. Overall, my planning phase consists of gathering all of the information that I need about my story in order to tell it. As I mentioned, the following is meant to be a high-level look at what goes into this first phase of the writing process.