The Red Leaves that Change

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What is it that makes nature so unique to the writing world. We can write for hours and hours just about a simple leaf lying on the dirt pressed road. Today this question pondered in my mind. There was a moment when a scatter of red crinkled leaves blew across my feet. They were seeming to dance around one another, half floating half on the ground.

In nature, everything brings a different feel to the rhythm around them, and those little red leaves were showing me this:

Although they have fallen they are not lost. They still play with one another finding joy of a change in their lives. Before they were stuck in the tree where they lived, but down here they can dance and thrive in the wind. The red brightened their being showing me they were meant to be loved.

I felt the energy of their essence, and I began to mold my soul with theirs.  They were so small like a baby crying. All you can do is come up and stop their crying. As you approach the little leaves of wonder. You begin to smile, because they see you there asunder. Their pleas for help have stopped with the sight of you, for all they wanted was to be noticed too. Nature calls our souls to come out and play, and today I did just that as I molded in this spiritual way.

Fall is a time to remember that change isn’t always bad, its a new beginning for all of us. Please feel free to remark on any changes you saw today, whether it be because of fall or your own life’s change.

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NaNoWriMo Tips- How to finish your novel

Good Day Everyone,

Today I will be giving you a few tips on how to finish your book. It’s NaNoWriMo season and everyone is struggling to keep pace in this very timely race. So look for examples below and I hope you find an answer to the difficulty you are  facing.

1. I can’t seem to get past chapter 5 because I don’t know if the first few chapters are good enough.

Leave it up to the girl who changed her beginning 10 times before I perfected it. Listen carefully and closely, you must move on my friend. I never would have finished my book if I was only dwelling on the first few pages, because in reality you don’t actually know where your story is going at this point. Sure you might have a rough idea, and it may not be fitting into your image. But you have to move on. Writing takes on a life of its own, and stories make up their own minds as you write. If you don’t move on you won’t actually know the heart of your story. And remember, its easier to create a beginning once you already have a middle and end. You know everything about your book at this point and that will help you find the “perfect” beginning.

2. I have writer’s block. I don’t care what others say, it exists and I have it.

Well my dear friend I am in agreement with you, and trust me this is a very hard road to travel. For pointers it really just depends on your own style of getting back into it, and how you inspire yourself to continue. Here are a few pointers that I have learned work for me on occasions like this.

If I’m feeling uninspired and can’t think of what comes next, I will watch a movie that reminds me of my book. When the actors are playing out the scene that is the most dramatic, I feel my heart lifting and my hands are suddenly ready to type again. Its that surge of adrenaline that helps me find my writers focus again.

If I have no idea how to create the part that’s next there are two things you can do. You can either skip that part for now and hope it comes back to you or you can get out into the world and explore. Tell you friends and family about your book, and ask them for ideas. I’m sure they would be more then willing to help (but don’t go to a dramatic person that would say you stole their idea, or would rub it in your face 24/7 and humiliate you). If that doesn’t  work go out and just watch people, listen to their conversations, just feel the world around you. The only reason you may be missing a piece in your work is because you haven’t experienced it yourself. Like for my story I had no clue what to put in the middle of the book when a new character came in. Now, after meeting a boy (blush), I finally figured out he was the type of character I was missing. I had never been close with someone like him, and he really helped me see that character I’ve been secretly hoping for. So get out in the world, do things you never would do and experience.

3. Okay I’ll admit it. I’m scatter brained, but that’s the cost of being a wonderful author. Your mind is zooming and you can’t finish one work to another.

I have issues personally with finishing one book at a time. I start so many ideas and stories, but to be honest I never seem to be able to finish them. Yes I now have two books down my belt, but for how much I write I should have ten! My brain scatters and I can’t focus on one series. So I picked up a few tips that may help.

If you have an idea write it down. Yes even go a little further and imagine it. Suddenly, as if lightning hit you and gave you a wonderful idea, you keep finding yourself going along with the story unable to stop. This is good. Great even, but tell me, is this  the story you want to send out to publishers and agents? What book do you want to finish? You need to push yourself to finish one book at a time, just one. You need to force yourself to think about the book, and be apart of that book in order to stay focused. Becuase if you get a new idea every night that is just going to cause chaos in the mind and you won’t ever be able to be an author. So I want to tell you to respect the new ideas, and to fold them and put them in their designated drawers neatly, but don’t get carried away if you want to finish something else. You need to be able to think reasonably and make sacrifices if you want to finish a book this November.

Okay, I’ll admit it. All of these were issues I’ve had in the past. I don’t know what you are going through, and I don’t know if you need more help. So please leave a comment below if you need help with something and I can certainly leave you with a wonderful tip that can hope fully help you along your way.

A. Willow

Made the Quota of 10,000 Words, Finished a Book: Thanks NaNoWriMo!

By day 6 we should have done about 10,000 words for NaNoWriMo. Now that’s hard when you think about it.

I didn’t start off too great, maybe clocking in at about 250 words by the third day. But I am going to tell you now, that if you are slacking you can still catch up. I clocked in today at 10,772 words because I am making it my goal to succeed.

You see, I have a lot of book ideas, and about three unfinished books in total. Well today I accomplished more than just word count, I finally can limit those three books to two. I finished a first book to a trilogy, and feeling ecstatic and impatient  to edit, I know I must wait, because as of right now the second book of that series is at 19,000 words. ….Lets put this together shall we. So if I finish up on my 40,000 words that are due then I will certainly have that other book done!

It’s about time I have had this change. I’ve been slacking with my goals as of late. I just write what I feel and lately that hasn’t been enough. You need to push yourself to write the parts that you may not necessarily like in your book, but are necessary for the plot.

Thanks to everyone for participating in NaNoWriMo, you have given me inspiration to finish what I started!

 

NaNoWriMo: No More Excuses!

I know how your feeling at this moment when people mention National November Writers Month (NaNoWriMo). You were at first all in about a month ago, but now, a few days into November, you don’t know where to start.  This is what happened to me for the past two years and I get stressed, and upset that I haven’t started, so I put up a block and don’t start at all. crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafb

Being a writer means that you have to get used to setting goals for yourself. This month is just a national set up to help all of us writers stay on track. I find it to be a very strong community, and once November hits there is so much help on thousands of blogs that you can’t say you didn’t know how.

This October I visited a site that made me think of something. All my life as a writer I have only accomplished to finish one book. although there have been many close reads, and many ideas for stories, all I am left with is a jumbled mess of unfinished stories. So I thought that if someone can finish a manuscript in less than a month then why can’t I finish what I’ve already started?

Writing is hard because goals are a necessity. We brush it off saying “Yeah, I don’t have time to write today”, but when you do that you are limiting your time to finish anything. The less time you spend to write, the more likely you will NOT be successful for your career as a writer. Sure, there are a few wild exceptions, but those lucky few were only lucky or had a REALLY good platform.

Most of us aren’t so lucky, and we must work to achieve our goals. So I want every aspiring writer to take out their keyboard, pen, or pencil and write until your arm feels like its going to fall off. We have to celebrate this month for the respect of our writing community as well as for the respect you have for yourself.

So when you have friends nagging at you to come out, and no matter how tempting it is to sneak off into the night use this excuse,  “I have a goal set for myself that I respect, and NaNoWriMo isn’t going to wait around for me. ”

Say this to yourself while your in the shower, at work, playing a board game, and as soon as you get free time you need to write write write. There is no waiting around for this, because soon it will be the end of November and the outcome is either you have a full manuscript or you don’t.

Thanks for reading and I hope you find the inspiration to keep writing away.

A. Willow

(Feel free to leave comments, questions, or concerns down below and I would be happy to get back to you.)

Struggling Through the Abyss of Time

Hello Fellow Writers,

Today I will share with you a problem I have been facing over the last six months. I have bashed myself down time and time again because I simply tell myself, “I don’t have any time to write.”

Is this statement true for me as well as for you? Do you feel that time is your enemy with your studies, work, family, and friends that you are unable to make time for your writing?

For some this is a daily struggle, others a few times a month, and a few that hardly have to worry about time. To those of you who don’t worry about timing Hurray to you! but for the rest of us time-crunchers, here are a few of my thoughts that may help you as well as me.

imageThe way we writers must view things no matter how busy we are is that time doesn’t stop just because you’ve stopped writing. You may want to be a big famous author or poet one day, but here’s the thing, if you aren’t writing you are stuck in time. The literary world isn’t going to stop the busy route it’s taking and slab you on the best sellers list.

You have to work for that all on your own.

You won’t be handed your accomplishments, instead you will have to work for what you want in life. We as writers must MAKE time everyday to write, we must make time to market ourselves every week, and we most certainly have to send out our works at least once a month. You need to start being that annoying writer who never takes no for an answer. Get your name out to the public, the publishers, and the literary agents. You need to imagine yourself as a persistent hornet, striking at every opportunity you are given.

Praying to God, talking to your friends, and writing when you simply feel like it isn’t going to be enough.

In america we have this sort of motto, that you can do anything you put your heart to, AS LONG AS YOU WORK YOUR TAIL OFF!

There are no tomorrows without the beginning of today, so start getting off the “another day” train and begin writing today!

Write, write, write.

Work, work, work.

And Advertise yourself.

I know that time might seem like it’s out to get you, but honestly only you can take time by the shirt collar and hold it down to go in the direction you want. Time is not completely our enemy, it just takes the courage to becomes friends with it and make it a frenemy.

Does Word Count Matter?

Does word count matter?

This is a question every author must face while writing their book. I wish it weren’t true, but I think that may be the case.  With my book reaching 100,000 words, it can be lengthy for someone who has never been published before. This truly isn’t very large, but when you look at the young adult genre they recommend around 60 or 80 thousand…not 10! Young readers like quick reads, and if they don’t know the author they may not pick up a large book.

Personally I love large books. The BIGGER they are the BETTER!!!

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while writing your books. The things you should be thinking about before and after.

1. Focus on writing-

While writing your book, DO NOT think about the word count at all! Right now I am writing the first novel to a trilogy I am working on and I keep repeating to myself, “I need to keep it short, I only want 60,000 words.” But I’ve realized that while that is going through my head I am missing some very important conversations between my characters.

Sure I can try to slim my book down a little, but the truth is-  the less you write the more likely you will skip over a really important part.

So the moral is to FOCUS on your writing and not on how long it should be.

2. Editing the rough draft-

Your all done with your book! You feel great like you had just climbed Mount Everest or finished a Marathon. The problem is…now comes the hard part.

Writing your book was easier then editing.

When you go back and edit your book you may notice that some of the great ideas you had before didn’t work out so well. In the process of editing you need to first take out everything you don’t need, and add in the things you do need. After rereading through the book several times you should be getting a feel of how long your book is actually going to be.

3. Final Changes-

Now is the time to fully embrace the length of your book. Is it too long, too short? If your new to publishing you should really consider not having your word count stand out. Most agents don’t like unique lengths by unpublished authors. The more subtle the word count the better.

So if its too long, you need to say good bye to a few of your pages/chapters. You’ve already reduced the amount of things you absolutely don’t want in your story, but now you need to realize some parts need to be pulled for the sake of selling.

I hope this helps those thinking about word count. And remember,  if you don’t have a strong writer’s platform you might want to think of what your genre requires on length.

As Always,

A. Willow

A Scene’s Complexity

imageWhat makes your writing unique?

Is it the way you spill it onto a page or could it possibly be the types of things you focus on?

Everyone is unique in their own way, and when it comes to the image inside your head, nobody else is going to have the same thing.

The landscape falls with just enough sunlight to stretch across the grass. The flowers, blooming red, symbolize the new beginning to my life. Stress has overcome all the senses, but soon a tranquil breath will wash over and release me from this heavy burden. 

Seeing an image like this one in your head is all your own, and something you might want to share with the world. But how do we effectively put a strong image into words? No matter how hard you try, you probably won’t give every person the same exact picture that’s inside your own mind, but you can try to get close.

Here are the things you should be thinking about while writing a scene.

1. The mood-

You must insinuate the mood you are feeling while you see this image. Does it seem to lift your spirits when you do see that sunrise. Can you feel the taste of freedom in the soft flowing air?

OR- Is it a drastic change where darkness sets in and you feel lost. Its feels as though your trapped in a dark cave with no light around you. You can only feel the course dank walls of your tormented enclosure?

Try to make your audience feel the way you do. Once you’ve achieved that you are getting closer to showing your audience the essence of your scene.

2. Vivid Description-

Now the question is what do you want to focus on? Is the narrator focusing on one object?

The coffee cup was still dripping with condensation. Letting the water slide down the side, and drip off the edge of the table. It’s as if the cup knew he felt the stress of his job beginning already without even taking a sip of his black bitter coffee. The cup was white, like his pale face, and resembled the staleness of life he had possessed over his many years of greed. The cup was a symbol of his life, and he knew that eventually the cup would drain down his throat dry without any comfort from the outside world. 

Or

Is the narrator unable to focus strictly on one thing, where everything is in a blur?

I heard the phone ringing, but could only focus on the people around me. There was a girl talking so fast it was as though her red lips puffed out in a blur, the man next to her eyeing her goods on his way to his lower end table, the lady in purple drummed her fingernails against the counter impatiently, the man chomping on his gum so loudly it made my stomach twist in nausea …

“Excuse me, you gonna get that or what?” 

I heard the snarky comment from a flimsy girl, but my head grew fuzzy and everyone began turning into one big blur of solid movement. I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time, but instead of answering the bar’s phone like I was supposed to, I bolted out of the spinning room and coughed up my lunch from earlier. 

What was it with me and large impatient crowds?

By looking at these examples you can see a drastic difference when you focus on one main object or too many at one time.   Whether it be a really quick glance of a description, or a long enduring eye for everything in the room.

My last piece of advice on the matter is you should be able to feel the writing being soaked up by your story and not disturbing it. Even if the paragraph is phenomenally written, if it isn’t flowing with the story you might have to save it for a later date.

3. What Feels Right-

When writing out your scenes, don’t focus on anyone else’s opinion but your own. It’s hard enough to write everything by yourself, but when you have more than one voice in your head it can get stressful. All you need to do is close your eyes and visualize what you think you should focus on in your heart. If the writing is rough, and you don’t know how to fully describe whats in your head, just write down random words that make sense to you and the scene. Come back to it later, and fully edit in the sentences. Writing isn’t supposed to be perfect, its supposed to be an expression of thought.

If you want to share, I would love to see hear how it helped you and even share what you came up with.

Enjoy your scene writing,

A. Willow