I think we’ll all wholeheartedly agree with the truths presented here and be inspired by this video. It’s overflowing with practical advice. If you have a Youtube log in, this is a great channel to follow.
The whole purpose of this blog and most of my work, is to encourage people. Look above you. It says so in my header. So when I am recognised and thanked for doing that, it deeply touches my heart and makes the many hours of work worthwhile. I am proudly wearing this badge on the blog and it will also go onto my web site.
You know something? This is a double blessing, as when I looked at the badge, I realised what a great idea it is for building support. Vicki’s act of recognition is also practical inspiration.
Vicki has been a friend and a follower for a year or two now. I love the work she does and her positive, uplifting Facebook posts. Vicki is challenged with bipolar disorder and does an incredibly good job of coping with it and achieving her goals, regardless of the hurdles the condition flings onto her path. She wrote me a guest post on her journey back in January. You can read it here.
Please stop as you go through the motions of blogging and social media today, and see what you can do to support and encourage someone else. It does take more time and a modest investment of effort, but it’s worth it!
Thank you Vicki.
We work with those recovering from or living with a range of tough personal challenges who struggle with distress, poor quality of life, dissatisfaction, and discouraging health issues, and would like to have a better attitude, enjoy a better quality of life, and be more positive. What makes WRITECOVERY, INC., different is that we are self-guided, private, safe, and secure and because of this, our clients receive an advantage of a safe environment for renewal and transformation to a more joyful life. Read more here.
Finding alternatives to words like said, replied, answered and all the usual cliches has become my current life’s work… as has writing effective place and character descriptions. I have trolled the Internet for inspiration and while these goodies are in my head, I will share them with you.
I seem to be writing in waves, adding in layers over the plot and characterisation. Right now I am into description, including body language. Some of the most helpful resources found are listed below. There are also dozens on my Pinterest board for all genres of writers, so I’ll place that link here as well.
Please add your suggestions in the comments. I highly recommend chasing resources like this down, they have blossomed out my word count! After too many years writing non-fiction, I have learnt to write too tight. This new venture is doing me good.
All clipart used here is from Openclipart.com
“Writer Beware® is the public face of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Committee on Writing Scams. We also receive sponsorship from the Mystery Writers of America. Like many genre-focused writers’ groups, SFWA and MWA are concerned not just with issues that affect professional authors, but with the problems and pitfalls that face aspiring writers. Writer Beware, founded in 1998, reflects that concern.
Although SFWA and MWA are US-based organizations of professional fiction authors, Writer Beware’s efforts aren’t limited by country, genre, or publication history. The Writer Beware website and blog can be used by any writer, new or established, regardless of subject, style, genre, or nationality.”
A few people have been asking me where I source my pretty word count meter from. They are available in multiple colours and come from this blog: http://svenjaliv.com/resources/wordmeter/ Svenja also has themed, word count spreadsheets you can download, which cover all of 2014. She’s a talented lady! Each year, she updates her spreadsheets, so her site is always bookmarked.
Thank you to everyone who weighed in on the word count debate. It’s been interesting to see that nearly everyone said, “do it your way,” or “when it’s finished, it’s finished.” I have nearly hit the 71,000 word mark, which was quite unexpected. On rewriting, I had one of those moments that is more a flash of lightning hitting me, than a lightbulb moment.
Over the years I have worked as a freelance feature writer, course writer and editor. It was drummed into me with each one: write tight. Do not waffle, remove absolutely every extraneous word or sentence and cut everything back to the bone; to the marrow if you can. I can cut and slash pieces written, to get them down to a word limit with cold, hard malice. (Resources on how to do that are below.) The ebooks which I currently sell are very brief. They get straight to the point, because that is how I have been told to write. My blog posts come in under the recommended work limit. Essentially, I have boxed myself in out of habit and I am now learning to be free.
Over the last week I have been reading Victoria Grefer’s book, Writing for You. I have followed Victoria’s blog for a long time and have been enjoying the relaxed, conversational style of her book. It is nothing like mine. All my writing ebooks are quick-read, start from any chapter, writer’s companions. Standing next to other books in their category, they may look anorexic, but they are designed to save the reader time. You can put your finger on the topic: task accomplished! That is beneficial for some, but it is not the best way to write a novel. While we need to write with excellence, dot point detail novels are not good reads.
There is definitely a place for writing tight, by this I mean corset strength tight, not just writing well. To be able to edit your work down to the wire and say what needs saying in a succinct, precise form is a valuable skill, however, don’t let it limit you as I did. I love Kristen Lamb’s Warrior Writers blog posts, they break every blog rule on length, but I don’t care how long they are. They make me feel good and strengthen my craft. If something is worth reading, regardless of how long or short it is, it will be read and appreciated.
This has been a great lesson in breaking free of my self-imposed boxes. I didn’t even know I was in them. I’m enthusiastic about seeing what old habits I can break out of next.
These ebooks are available at the lowest prices I was able to set. You can purchase them through my web site as a .pdf or through Amazon Kindle. Please click on the cover for contents and ordering information.
You don’t have to own a Kindle device to enjoy Amazon’s Kindle e-books. Here are the Support and Download links for the free Kindle Readers for a range of devices: Windows PCs, Windows Phone, Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Andoid Tablet, Android Phone, and Blackberry.
Full-length course titles.
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When I have a story idea that I need to churn over in my head, I will often use a prompt image as a desktop and/or iPad wallpaper. The images engage my subconscious mind. It works well for character costume creation, scene settings and this map of Asgard produced a valuable aha!
It isn’t as clear here, but on my iMac screen, this image shows very clearly where parts of the image (water mainly) have been painted, how the streets were drawn in to form a triquetra… and the coastline looked oddly familiar. Google maps anyone? It has to be a composite of existing land images.
I have been buying graph pads and putting off drawing in coastlines and the more tedious geographical features, but using fragments of Google maps gives me a helping hand and keeps my work true to natural formations such as cliffs, beaches, rivers, sand bars and their location etc. You won’t be able to read the writing on the top right, but someone has marked in wheat fields.
I went into Google maps and bought up part of Ireland’s coast, just the way I wanted it: long beach and then a cliff-faced cove. Problem solved. It won’t be on a cover, so it doesn’t have to be properly Photoshopped together. It is solely for my own use, so I am not breaking copyright. A simple series of screen shots is helpful enough for me. It may also work well for you too.
If you have any other world building tips, I’d love to hear them in the comments. Next, I have eight astronomy DVDs to plough through to ensure my solar system is built correctly. Watching those will be a pleasure though.
This work, created and Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2014 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
If the demands of home, work, writing, social media, marketing and all the ‘shoulds’ that writers are bombarded with are getting to you… then this video will make you feel a whole heap better!
Psychologist Kelly McGonigal, urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others. Stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case.
So take the time to reach out to other writers in the online community. You helping them, will also increase your coping ability and quality of life.