Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How much research should I do?

With "how much" I mean "to what extent" and this is something I am currently dealing with so I don't have a clear-cut answer. But I hope to give you some insight, and maybe some reassurance with research in worldbuilding.

Spellcheck is telling me "worldbuilding" isn't one word but I think it should be so let's roll with that.

How much research should I do?

I ask myself this a lot, and more so recently since I'm aiming for publication. The point of research is

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Write this Story: 5 Inspirational Covers for Prompts

Here are some random covers I made using random pics which you can use as writing prompts. I had ideas behind the covers but you are not pressured to use them.

Maybe they can inspire you out of Writer'sblockitis.

My idea: The MC meets a girl who is a heavy smoker. Later they find out in the news of a terrible serial killer on the loose. The descriptions by one survivor sounds just like the girl they met. The MC only knows that she smoked but they did meet her. They eventually get caught up in this murder mystery.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Conquering Writer'sblockitis: Ask IF

Often we writers suffer from Writer'sblockitis. Here is something you can do that might help.

If...if is good.

Let me demonstrate:

What is "Writer'sblockitis"?

Writer'sblockitis. If you frequent my blog, you might find this word appear in many places. It's my own little word, or it could've been someone else's but for all I know it's my own little word.

Anyway, I say "writer'sblockitis" as a sort of joke for writer's block. "Itis", pronounced EYE-TISS is typically put at the end of a sickness name.

Writer's block sometimes feels like a sickness. So...Writer'sblockitis which is sometimes written as Writersblockitis cuz it looks more disease-ish that way, is a sickness which I define as...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Types of Beginnings: The First Line

You walk up to the center of the square. Thousands of people walk by everyday. You need to grab their attention from the first line.

What do you say?

Creative writers, academic writers, play-writes, journalists, all struggle with the beginning. The first sentence. The hook.

You hope to grab the reader from the beginning and hold them there, and make them want more.

But it's always hard. For my own novel, I have rewritten that first line so many times I've lost count. Nothing seemed right. I've looked up first lines and even gone back to my favorite books to see how the pros do it.

What then, do published first lines look like?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

How to: Start Fiction? Like...how???

So, I thought this question was pretty interesting considering, well, I had never thought about it really. Fiction writing has just been my natural style of things. Maybe it's because I read a lot of fiction, perhaps that influenced the kind of writing I eventually plunged myself into. I also loved playing make-believe when I was little so maybe that came into play, as well.

I asked on Whisper, of all places, what questions they (other writers) had about writing fiction.

One was, how to start fiction.

Nothing else. Just, how to start fiction.

Well, I would have to imagine myself in their shoes for a moment. Perhaps, say, some of you have NEVER really read a good fiction story. All you have read are non-fiction stories, magazine articles, or some very heavy philosophical, political, or religious books. Maybe when you read books for class they were just FOR CLASS and you were never interested in the sequel. Maybe you have never even read any of the famous books. Nothing's wrong with that. Of course not :)

But then one day you are intrigued by fiction and want to start writing it. You have been writing memoirs, non-fiction stories, articles...but never true fiction. You never made up a whole entire story.

What do you do?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

How to: Write the First Chapter of Your Book

I'd say Writer's Digest article on first chapters says it quite nicely and if I may I would like to add a few points from my own experience and talk a bit about what worked for me and give some comments and stuff.

Comments on number one: Resist the fear you feel from those agents, editors...
or even workshop acquaintances. I have been to writers' workshops in writing classes. Let me tell ya, for those who have never been in one,

Friday, August 5, 2016

How to: Worldbuilding - Use Wikipedia, I'm Not Kidding

My novel was born like this.

Since I just jumped into it, I already had a basic world, a basic image typed up. All I needed to do was to expand that.

It might be different from the typical worldbuilding style where you might plan things out more before getting into the grit. I just dove into the mess and just added things here or deleted things there and just tried to sort out what I was imagining in my mind.

Worldbuilding is so frickin hard! Good heckish goddish heck! :0 Oh mah gawd! I used the Internet a lot, looking up how to build a fantasy world, trying those tips and drawing a makeshift map, looking up "fantasy village" in Google Image Search, reading the first book of Lord of the Rings to see how the big guys do it...

THEN I had an idea...the perfect GOLDEN solution! ... ... Wait for it...

Showing or Telling: Don't bore the reader, entertain them

I have said that description is magic.

I have said that here.

But don't be too descriptive within the same paragraph where a character has said something otherwise it just gets so lengthy and you don't feel like reading it.

Such as,

Character Crisis: Same-gender characters talking together

(This post is based on personal experience. Take away from it whatever you can.)

OMG! The same-gender characters have to talk to each other! How the heck am I going to distinguish one from the other?

I have trouble with that in my novel. My MC is a guy, his best friend is an old guy, his neighborhood enemy is a guy, he has an older brother, he has lots of guy friends and they all have a drink together in the village they live in!


I have to distinguish them without having to say,

"How are you?" asked Belome (my MC).

"I'm fine," answered Velodis (his best friend).

"Me, too!" said Iyar (his drinking friend).

"It's a good day today," remarked Belome looking up at the sky.

"Sure is," said Iyar.

"Great day," nodded Velodis.

SOUNDS LIKE a children's book.

How do I make it not sound like a children's book?

How much should I worry about grammar?

Writers' workshops have at least one of them. But sometimes it can get ugly and we can be outnumbered.
Just realized there's some grammar errors in this meme :P
Wonder if it's on purpose...hmm

But then, do we grammar Nazi or grammar not-zi?

I hear many views about grammar in writing.

Such as,

Grammar is important.

It's okay for it to be messed up because that's the way the character speaks.

As long as it isn't so heavy that it takes the reader away from the writing then a little here and there is okay.

Word Spellcheck system doesn't always correct everything. So then it must be sort of okay.

Well then, how much should we worry about grammar?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Should I worry about chapter length?

Some of you might be wondering this and the answer is no, not really.

I say "not really" because you do need to think about it if wordcount is important (NaNoWriMo).

For NaNoWriMo, I usually aim for 8-10 pages in the Word Document A4 size, single space.

For my novel, I also aim for the same amount but if it happens that when I'm writing, I feel a finish coming up and it's only 6 pages in or I'm not done yet and it's over 12 pages, it's completely fine :)

I have seen chapters in books only a few pages long and others that go on for a big humongous chunk. But as long as "Each chapter in your book tells a mini-story that forwards your overall plot" then it's gonna be completely utterly okay (quote from Writer's Digest, 2015, Brian A. Klems).

So unless it's for NaNo, DO NOT worry about the chapter length. That is the LEAST of your problems, trust me (says me).

Story Outline Template

I used this for NaNoWriMo but you can definitely use it for any fiction story.
Title(s): Name of Title for story. If you have several ideas, write them all down. If you're unsatisfied with what you have come up with, just keep it there for now or just don't write anything.

Main Character Name and Character Description/Profile: Such as Age, Color of Hair, Height, Fashion, Hairstyle, Personality, What their face looks like (e.g., old for his/her age, freckles, blue eyes, gray eyes, short nose, unibrow...etc.), Occupation, Species (if it's important to make a point about this, otherwise you can let yourself assume most of your characters are human so you don't need to keep mentioning it)

Secondary Character(s) Name and Description/Profile: If you don't know the details yet, just list up some names you want to use and keep it as that.

Chapter 1: Basically write what is going to happen in this chapter. Doesn't have to be complete sentences. This is just for you to look at and reference to.

Chapter 2: Do the same for this chapter. Let me give you an example from a Camp NaNoWriMo I did in 2013.

Chapter 2
Calico goes into the city.  Gets lost.  Finds a place to keep dry as it has started raining though there is no cloud in the sky and the stars are shining.  He is there for quite a while when he feels a scruffy hand on his arm.  It is Jonnie the Janitor.  Jonnie takes Calico to his house.  Calico meets three other kids who have been taken under Jonnie’s wing.  Calico talks to them.  The eldest suggests they go out to find the shards.  Calico agrees.  Jonnie suggests they visit the gypsy woman because she might know something with her power. (copyrighted 2013 N. J. Folettia).

See? Just nice and simple. Like a memo to yourself.

Chapter 3 and so on: Do the same thing for all the chapters.

Continue on with this until you come to a sort of ending. Just write in short sentences and don't even bother with the details, you'll deal with those when you actually write.

How to: Begin Writing a New Story (5 Tips)

If you've already been to my blog and already looked at all the articles you might think,

NVM about that stuff, how should I even frickin start writing this ish? (iiSuperwomanii reference)

So, let me give you some tips so you can write your ish.

These tips will be very very VERY helpful IF you have a basic plot line. I'll show you one of my NaNoWriMo plot lines later in the blog label "Editorial Details". Keep in mind, as long as you get everything in that is important to your story, then it is okay to drive completely off your plot line road.

Okay now that we've established that,

Tip 1: Just write. Even if it sounds stupid just write. I mentioned this same tip in "How to: Start Writing Again" and I think it's a pretty good start. You'll start writing and then you'll be "AH! I know how this should go."

Tip 2: If that doesn't work,