Move On To Write Long

We writers have all been there before, the horrifying truth that you are, in fact stuck. You are unable to keep your words flowing, and you can’t seem to think of the next step. Some of us may call this writers block, and most of the time it is. There are other times though, when you just feel dry, like you’re sick of writing the same story over and over again.

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What I’m here to tell you is to MOVE on.

It does us no good to just stare at our computers for hours trying to think of the next big step you or your character must take. What’s important is that you keep writing.

Getting stuck on a certain piece of your writing may make you angry, and impatient to finish, but what I have learned is that when you push yourself to finish a project even though you aren’t feeling it, the story is going to turn out horrible!

Trust me I have done it many times. Staring at the page without a thought in my mind is torture, but what is even more treacherous is reading the end result after bulldozing through. To help you through this, I have something I would like to share.

There’s a secret I’m going to tell you about myself that might frighten you, but could eventually help you along your writing careers.

I am one of those people who have a million thoughts zooming through my head. I have so many ideas for books that I begin to start a few chapters into a new book, but then stop after the first day. At first I thought this was my downfall, because I’m also the type of person who likes to finish what I have started in a timely matter. (In other words I’m impatient and I don’t like a jumbled mess of projects- it distracts me too much). I have realized  over the past few years of my writing that this also helps me.

Let me explain.

To have more than one project to work on isn’t a bad thing. It helps you move along fluidly in your writing life. Yes, it might be a bit of a mess, but it sure helps you write longer.

If you are stuck on a story and it’s the only thing you are writing on, then you can’t do much practice now can you? With more projects its easier to move on from where you’re stuck and continue to write what you love. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, there are certain ways to help you with writers block, or ways to help your creative juices flowing, but this is probably the most important to a writer.

As we all know,

The more you write, the better writer you become.

Isn’t that our ultimate goal, to become the best writer we can be?

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If you need more help on writing, look around at my different posts. If you can’t find what your looking for feel free to ask me a question in the Thoughts box below.

As always, I love listening to everyone, so don’t be shy.

A. Willow

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Should You Judge a Book by its Cover?

I’m sure many of you have heard time and time again to never, EVER, judge a book by its cover. It’s something that’s been drilled into us since the first time we could read, but does it still do us any good to ignore the one thing that catches our eye?

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 I am here to tell you to Stop following this rule and to START judging!

The phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” may truly have  meant something a decade or so ago, but with this new generation of YA books it’s hard not to disagree?

In earlier years I put my heart and soul into this one little phrase, but as the years went by, the more books I read, the more I realized covers in the Young Adult genre are unique for a reason. YA has stepped up to be the boldest genre in the book world, and for that reason publishers are putting more time into their covers. Covers are now providing the readers with more meaning behind the artwork, and beginning to grasp the concept of the book as  a whole. All it takes is to take a  closer look, into the depths of the illustration itself.

Today I will tell you how to judge a book, and why it is significant.

There are 3 specific qualities that will help you:

Step 1. What grabs at your heart?- There are people who believe that artwork is the gateway into one’s soul. So look around and find the cover that speaks out to you.  When skimming through the hundreds of books on the shelf, it’s easier to find a cover you fall in love with a lot faster than reading every single back that you pass.

So, when you find that one book that seems to be screaming out your name, take it!

Step 2. Take a closer look- Glimpsing a magnificent cover isn’t the same as thoroughly inspecting it. There are going to be certain quirks to the cover that tell you what specific sub-genre it is, and little quirks that will tell you the main theme or plot of the story. For instance, it will be pretty easy to tell if it is a contemporary, romance, fantasy, or paranormal book by just looking at the cover. Teens in their swimsuits on a beach is usually contemporary, while a wolf standing next to a girl with odd colored eyes is normally going to be paranormal. After doing this, you’re going to start getting a sense of the book you are holding in your hand, but we must dig deeper to find the actual story within the artwork.

Usually, the cover will hold a certain trait that is very significant for that book. It will be a little hidden symbol that represents the book as a whole. It could be as simple as a phrase on the front, or a discolored star in the sky, or simply a rock on the ground that is glowing from the moonlight. This shows the interesting aspect that makes the book unique.

Step 3. When in doubt, don’t toss it out- If you aren’t sure about the cover, or even if you’re obsessed, you should still read the back before placing it back. YA covers are supposed to help you decide if the book is right for you, but they shouldn’t be the ultimate decision. The back is there to guide you further into the story you have already seen unfolding in the cover-art.  So when I say you should judge a book by its cover, what I’m actually saying is you should judge a book by the front cover first, and then the back .

With such an intense and wide variety of YA, it might seem like you are being bombarded by all these books you could never hope to read in your lifetime. These steps are supposed to help you find the book that YOU love, but if you have a natural knack for adventure, then maybe it would be wise for you to do the opposite.

Enjoy your crazy cover journey, and let me know how it goes!

The Confessions of a Book-aholic

I have always wondered why I have such an odd obsession with YA books. Over the many years of the yearning to read that newest story that will drive me towards excitement, adventure and thrill; I have discovered that, unfortunately, I am a bookaholic. I am, point-blank, ADDICTED! My condition torments me on a day-to-day basis, but my biggest concern is knowing if this is a common problem or if I am completely abnormal. Let me explain my symptoms and allow you to decide for yourself if you have caught this strange fixation.wpid-1367434834953.jpg

When driving by the mall, as if by an incomprehensible instinct, I always park by the big and bold Barnes and Noble.  I honestly don’t see why, considering there is never any parking when I go by, but somehow I can never resist. Once I have fought for a parking spot I immediately dash inside, the doors swing wide open, and I breath in the scent of pages filled with vibrant anticipation.

I wish I could tell you it ended there, but embarrassingly enough the story continues.

As I walk past the stands, moving towards my usual section, my eyes catch the books on display. Everything looks so interesting, and there is always something new and fresh. I wish I had enough time in my life to stop and pick up a few of them just out of curiosity, but I know it is a rarity if I ever find that time in my day. I ignore my adventurous taste as I head towards the section that never slips past my notice.

“Young adult” are the words I hardly glance at anymore as I routinely skim the covers of its shelves.

After skimming through the different covers that scream out at me, I feel the semi heavy weight of the book in my hands. The book is smooth with a hidden electricity that tingles up my palms urging me to decipher this newfound energy into words. As the energy seems to linger at the back of my mind I already know I’m hooked.

This is the part that will be eerily weird to those of you who have never been a book lover before. I open the pages, lift the book to my face, and smell the sweet perfume of freshly pressed paper. It’s strange to think that paper could smell so good, I know, but it leaves the feeling that my next journey is about to begin.

I phase out here. My mind blurs like it has been intoxicated after only reading the first word. I am detached from my body becoming one separate being with my book. Emotions begin blending, my eyes can only visualize this new world of adventure, and my new life has just begun.

This is my obsession. I am addicted to reading, because it feels as though I am living a separate life, experiencing things I never thought imaginable.

This is my curse, my disease,…and my home.

If you can relate to a bookaholic like me write your thoughts down below. I would love to hear your story.

A. Willow

Writers Block And How To Handle It

We have all been there. The page is blank with anticipation. You can seem to feel the vibration of the keys that you  want beneath your fingertips, but have no words to compensate them. Your inspiration is at a loss, your ideas are down the drain, and you are left with the  BIG   WHITE   PAGE.

This my dear friends is writers block.

Many a time have I been through this torture. In fact I have went through this many times within my books. It is a dilemma we must all face as writers, but it doesn’t have to be your way of life. Below I will show you how to overcome this issue through different circumstances.

writers-block[1] (2)Fresh Out of Ideas-

If you are stuck on the imaginative side of any project than you need to read. Reading helps make the creative juices flow, and as soon as you get your ideas back immediately stop the reading and turn your words into a page of wonder.

Other ways you could come up with more ideas is by simply watching a movie, surfing the web, and even just talking to your best friend or next door neighbor about what they think. If you are at a loss of creative ideas than you must look elsewhere for them.

Inspiration has Disapeared-

I have felt this very often. Its not that you lose inspiration for the passion you have with your book, but rather, you lost interest in your writing  at the moment. You feel like “Eh, I can do this tomorrow.” or “I’m not really feeling like writing today.”

My answer to you is follow nature. I have mentioned it better in my other post Nature’s Blessing ( https://a0willow.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/natures-blessing/ ) if you would like to go more in-depth with this section.

Nature gives you a chance to connect with your surroundings. When you connect with things you tend to feel more inspired with them as well. Get outside and breathe in the fresh air.

Don’t Know the Next Step-

If you are currently writing a book or a short story and are clueless as to how the next part is going to go- skip this section! If you have ideas for what comes after that particular part than trudge on through. The more you write your book the easier it is to know what you want to do with it.

Writers Block is one of the most infamous struggles writers must face. If you have writers block at all there are a few key things you can do to help yourself: read, write something different, take a break to get inspired, and brainstorm with friends. If that doesn’t help at all and you still can’t think of anything I would stop working on your project and try to write for something else.

Hope that helps and let me know if you have any Q’s.

A. Willow

Are You A Rebel Writer?

Are you one of those format writing junkies that can’t stray away from a perfectly structured sentence?

OR

Are you the type that says, “I don’t need formality I need Originality”, you stray away from the rules of writing and do your own thing?

I must say if you answered yes to the first one…YOU ARE B-O-R-I-N-G!

The second answer I define as a Rebel Writer, and I highly recommend you write this way, but there is a right way to be a rebel writer and definitely a wrong way.

1. Know Your Bounds-

As a writer you need to know the right way to do things. You must know correct punctuation, structure, formality, and grammar. If you struggle with this either surf the web, pick up a writing guide book, or click on the links below.

http://www.towson.edu/ows/sentencestruct.htm,

http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/effWrite.asp,

Knowing the correct way to do things is important, because if you are being a rebel writer by accident…well then, you aren’t truly a rebel at all but more so an ignorant writer.

Learn the right way to write and your on your way to better writing!

2. Use Formality With A Rebellious Twist-

Balance is the key! People don’t want something completely foreign. They like to know that there is still something familiar within your writing as everything else, but then again, they don’t want something to be like EVERYTHING else.

So what you must do is stretch out your creativity and abuse the steps of the writing rules.

An example of this is through Dialogue.

Formal: “I’m so exited I can’t wait.”

Rebellious: “I’m sooo excited….I can’t wait!!!”

Be unique with your writing to show the audience what is happening instead of just telling. Here is another example for a paragraph.

Formal: I stepped foot into the pond and felt the cool water dance along my toes. I don’t think I have ever felt anything more chilling or more wonderful all at the same time. Suddenly around the bush I heard a crunching noise. I quickly pulled my toes out of the water and ran away in fear it was the ghost.

Rebellious: I stepped foot in the pond and felt the cool water dance along my toes. I don’t think I have ever felt anything more chilling, and yet more gloriously wonderful, all at the same time.

*Crunch

My heart raced, my vision blurred, and I felt frantic. What if….

I quickly pulled my toes out of the water and ran, too fast for my own pleasure, but I needed to. I looked behind me in fear that The GHOST was upon me.

What I have done is change the different sections to be a little more staggered. I try to envision how it would feel if I was in the characters position. At first it was slow, but then everything seemed to jump at you faster as you went. I didn’t completely change the paragraph because this way people will still be familiar reading it.

3. Be Cautious-

You should use your rebellious side, but with caution! You want to use it in your writing to mean something. You can’t just use it every time you get the chance to. Even in my example above I drenched it with too much Rebellious, but I needed to show you something.

Use your rebellious side sparingly and only when you want something to stand out.

Effective rebellious writers use it for uniqueness and to explain their story through their different way of showing. If you use it like I did above (too much of it) then it might appear as poor quality writing.

After what I have shown you today I hope you can stretch out your rebellious side, and use it effectively within your writing. Let me know if you have any questions, thoughts, or would like to ask for help.

See you next time,

A. Willow