Reading Makes for Writing Better

“The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.” — J.K. Rowling

I have always had a deep love of reading. I believe it is what drove me to become a writer, because I realized after reading so many wonderful stories that I had a story to tell too. But unfortunately I have not always be an avid reader.

My story begins as a young girl barricading myself in my room and ignoring the rest of the world as I happily spent hours upon hours traversing the great worlds built by authors likes Lucy Maud Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and later authors like Kevin J. Anderson and Frank Herbert, which then morphed into the likes of Charlaine Harris and Jim Butcher (and yes, one of my favorite authors is J.K. Rowling).

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Fight Scenes Part 5: Psychological Warfare

Whew! We made it to number five! If you missed the other four parts of this fight scene series you can catch up Fight Scenes Part 1: An Introduction, Fight Scenes Part 2: Physical Differences, Fight Scenes Part 3: Hand to Hand Combat, and Fight Scenes Part 4: Weapons. Here is the last, but certainly not the least installment of the series. Check out how to get the upper hand with messing with people’s heads, or how a fight can mess with a your (main/other) characters head.

Something to remember... When you fail to do something in a fight, it can be a serious psychological blow.

The arrogance of power assumes they will always be successful and can’t be stopped. They also feel entitled to seize anything they can take.

Some psychological elements are…

  • Experience
  • Temperament
  • Desire/ intent
  • Mental state
  • Emotional state

Continue reading “Fight Scenes Part 5: Psychological Warfare”

Fight Scenes Part 4: Weapons

Missed the fist three parts? Check out Fight Scenes Part 1: An Introduction, Fight Scenes Part 2: Physical Difference, and Fight Scenes Part 3: Hand to Hand Combat. Now let’s talk a little about weapons. These notes focus mostly on unconventional weapons or what Jonathan Maberry called natural weapons.

Weapons

The more a character knows how to use natural weapons the better he’ll be.

Types of Weapons…

  • Core Body Techniques
  • Surrogate Weapons
  • Actual Weapons

Continue reading “Fight Scenes Part 4: Weapons”

Evoke Strong Emotions with Memories

What makes a great writer? Simple. The ability for a writer to evoke strong emotions in the reader. This is what the writer strives to do as he or she pours words onto a page. It is the second goal of a writer, to evoke a strong emotional response from the reader. The first goal of the writer is to write his or her heart’s desire (not to let others dictate what should be written). And in obtaining the first goal, the second goal can be realized. This happens because the writer truly feels the words and what’s being said, which is passed onto the reader. One of the best ways to write with emotional depth and with true desire is to tap into old memories, letting them loose onto the page.

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Setting Goals and Keeping Busy

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted that’s mostly due to the fact I have been spending all of my time on different writing projects these last few months. In fact, I’ve barely had a chance to catch my breath. This all has transpired, because I’m trying to set realistic goals for myself and reach them.

My goals for March were…

  • Start and finish 2 new short stories
  • Complete the 2nd draft for Part 1 of Blood Feud (prologue- chapter 12)

Which I managed to do. Yay! For me!


My goals for April

  • Start a new short story for June Anthology
  • Complete the 2nd draft for Part 2 of Blood Feud (chapters 13- 29)

So far it’s looking promising. First draft of short story (Ulave) is complete, and I’m currently on chapter 18 on my novel. The rest of the chapters should go much faster since I’ve already added all the new scenes.

My goals for May

  • Complete short story for June Anthology (Ulave)
  • Start and finish short story for a Creature Feature Anthology
  • Complete the 3rd draft of Part 3 of Blood Feud (chapters 30-48)

Tough but doable goals if I stick at it and write everyday. I really enjoy setting these goals and feel a great sense of accomplishment when I reach them, but if I don’t reach them I still feel fulfilled because I made the effort. So what are your goals for April and May?

Writing is More Thinking Than Actual Writing

What is the most frustrating part about being a writer? I don’t know about other writers, but for me its discovering a fabulous idea that I start writing on, and then part way into the story the idea fizzles, or I lose interest- So much for that fabulous idea. It gets tossed on that dusty shelf where all stories usually never get a second glance. After awhile, looking at the cluttered shelf can get more than a little depressing and I wonder, “Why can’t I finish anything? Why can’t I find a story I really want to write?”

Answer… Because I haven’t spent enough time developing any idea to the point where I can really know it to feel it inside and out, up and down, and all the way through to the deepest core of the idea.

I’ve noticed as a writer that the stories I spend more time thinking on always come out clearer and more fully formed. In fact, as a rule now I don’t even put my story to paper unless I have spent a days, weeks, or even months pondering on characters, backstory, emotional motivations, and different possible plot lines. Once I feel like I have a strong connection to the idea, then I begin to write it down. The words flow and I can’t seem to write fast enough. The stories have complete structure beginning, middle, and end. The best part is I feel a much stronger connection to the characters than I ever did just plopping ideas down as soon as they are breathed life.

I recently heard a piece of advice Ray Bradury gave a fellow writer… “Writing is 99% thinking, and the rest is typing.” When I heard that quote I could only think, “Wow, if only someone had told me that years ago it would have saved me a lot of trouble.” But then I doubt I would have understood that as I do now.

Here are some Ways to Get the Mind Thinking.

Writing for Me

I ventured onto my blog today to answer a comment a reader left and realized it’s been nearly a month since I’ve updated. I seem to have fallen into a pattern of ignoring my blog and pouring all my time into my my novel and the several short stories I’ve been working on. So today I’ve decided to do a update about my writing and why I’ve been ignoring my blog.

Since I began the journey of writing with the goal of writing for myself instead of trying to be a published author (late last year), writing has become much more fun and exciting! The ideas flow much easier and I’m just a happier person all around. It doesn’t mean I won’t pursue publication, but I’m no longer writing to fit a certain niche or what I think people want to read. I write what I want to read, and it makes a big different.

I have so many story ideas now I couldn’t possibly write them all out (at least not with the time restraints I have now). And yet, I still continue to have spontaneous ideas popping up at the strangest times. In fact, I was trying to relax in a bath the other day and a whole story just developed in one whole lump from start to finish in a matter of half an hour. After that I got out, got dressed, and sat down to the keyboard. Two hours later I had a full rough draft of a 3,700 words story finished. Yet another example of something happening because I didn’t force it. I wrote because I wanted to and it felt good. Real good.

The novel I’ve been working on since this past spring (Blood Feud) has gone much the same way. It’s a story that I wish I could read, but no one has written it yet, so I am taking it on myself to do the task. It’s been a fun ride so far. Don’t get me wrong, writing is hard work- very hard, but the joy of writing the novel far exceeds the grueling hours and dedication I put into it. Crazy I know, but it’s something I look forward to doing every single morning that I wake up. I might not be able get a chance to write on my novel everyday like I want, but I think about it and hope that I can find the time.

That is what writing should be. Something to look forward to with eagerness. Not something to dread or push until it hurts. I write for me. Sure no one may care to read what I write, but that’s okay. My work may not be what publishers are looking for. I don’t care, I write for me. And yes I’ve been ignoring my blog, because I have been too busy writing for… well, do I really have to say it again??? As long as I write for me, I will enjoy writing. So how about you guys, do you write for you?