*Credit for this image goes to Giphy.com. Source: oh-totoro.com.*
It’s been a while since I've done an image content rich top 5. And so I couldn’t end January 2015 without one now could I? Today’s post features what I believe are the essential tips to finish your novel. And to writing a manuscript draft you can be proud of. So without further ado, here are the “5 Storytelling Tips to Completing Your Novel!”
Write as if you’re in the story. I love the accompanying gif. It’s from one of my favorite scenes from "Howl's Moving Castle" by Studio Ghibli. You have to watch it yourself to appreciate the scene with all its rich details. As if that world was so real you could touch it. You should approach building your novel’s world the same way. Just feel the wind on your face as you’re walking on air and across rooftops. Feel your heart race in excitement. Now break out your daydream superpowers and write it out as if you’re there. Write it like you’re seeing, smelling, touching, hearing and tasting it. Be as descriptive as you can (but without being too wordy).
*Credit for this image goes to Giphy.com. Source: oh-totoro.com.*
*Credit for this images goes to Poets & Writers.*
As a follow up from last week’s post, I’m taking another trip down the writing memory lane. This time into 1997. This latest writing venture happened in the 8th grade. Scream 2 had already released in theaters. Titanic as well (man was I crushing on Leonardo DiCaprio so hard). A time when cute girls were called chula and cute boys were papy chulo.’ And Bill Clinton was president.
But June 1997 would be my most treasured time as I’d graduated from junior high school then. And with my first publication under my belt. My first publication didn’t happen in a literary magazine or journal. No, my work was first published in my junior high school year book. Still seeing my name and poem, in print and immortalized, made me happy. I think I might’ve cried a little. Anyways, it also helped to confirm that I was on the right track. That my path in life was the one of a writer. Of course, I knew that I'd a long way to go.
*Credit for this image goes to imgkid.com.*
I remember it as if it was yesterday. Well almost yesterday, as my memory gets easily muddled, but I began writing between third and fifth grades. I wrote and illustrated a book series out of printing paper, folded horizontally and stapled in the middle. I don’t know why, maybe because it was the influence of my zodiac sign, the twins Castor and Pollux. Maybe because I longed to be a twin as well. Maybe it was because I’d started reading the Sweet Valley Jr High series. Or all the above.
Anyways, the main character of the first book were twins. And they weren’t just ordinary twins. They were princesses. Identical twin princesses bred and raised in the ways of the monarchy, safely within the castle walls. Not once did they ever step outside and their only relations with other people were the same nobles attending the balls. Fed up with their gilded cages, they ran away while the servants and their parents were busy with another ball. They got the adventure they wanted and then some. Even met traveling twin princes who they later married. And in the end the twin royal couple gave birth to two adorable, mischievous twin princesses.
Gladiola Sotomayor, "Writing My Heart Out."
*Credit for this image goes to Fineartamerica.com
Writers write to either express themselves or because they have to. It is their passion or they were influenced by other writers or books they’ve read. Writing is therapeutic. We also write to entertain or to one day sell books worldwide by the millions. And have it turned into a Hollywood production. As you can see there are many necessary reasons about why writers write.
But there’s another important reason why writers write. Something that is more necessary for the reader than the writer. And that is the help it brings. You can argue that in regards to fiction, it does no such thing, when compared to nonfiction books. Nonfiction books approaches varying subjects in memoir like fashion. As well as how-to, guides and historical facts.
Carl Spitzweg, "The Poor Poet." Oil on canvas, 1839
*Credit for this image goes to Pinakothek.de/en*
Unlike the painting above, a garrett isn’t just a closed, cramped and enclosed space below the roof of a building. It isn’t just a musty smelly attic either. It’s an environment where we as writers, with all our writing tools at hand, can achieve our greatest output.
When I first started to outline and write my story, I thought of only two things. Finding the time to write and making my word count goal. But I never wondered why certain days or times, influenced whether I made goal, went below or above it. Until now, as I’m writing this post. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I have a harder time writing sitting on my comfy, beige couch.
It’s like how sports stars like to wear the lucky shorts to every game. It bolsters their belief that they can achieve a win and help boosts their motivation, allowing them to “show up” at every game. But how can a writer figure out what their ‘lucky shorts’ are? Where and when are we the most productive and engaged with our writing?
*Credit for this gif goes to Giphy.com.*
The gif above cannot be further from the truth. Writing is the hardest thing ever. Let me repeat that again. Writing. Is. The. Hardest. Thing. Ever. When I’ve first decided to pursue a writing career, I foolhardily thought it wouldn’t be too difficult. Oh no, I didn’t think it’d be easy either. I’m not that foolish. Yet somehow or another, I thought that just because I had a story outlined, the rest will come naturally. Well let me tell you, there’s nothing natural about sitting your butt in a chair. All to create fictional worlds out of thin air with nothing but your imagination and your pen. Then add a 40+ hour work week and children on top of that, and you just might already be ready to give up.
Yet, if one aspires to a writing career, parking that little tushie of yours in a chair is what you’re going to have to do. But that’s not all. There’s a myriad of things you’d have to do if you truly want to be a published author. Whether you’re a self-published author, traditionally or published by an independent press. And to assure that this long journey of writing leads to a prosperous and productive destination, here are some things I’ve learned not to do. Lessons learned that’ll help you achieve your authorpreneur dreams.
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