Monday, February 16, 2015

A Writer's Life: Knowing Your Characters

Getting to Know Your Characters 

Sometimes plot can overtake your writing life. What's the biggest plot twist you can come up with? When should the inciting incident happen? Should you have a big fight scene at the end where everyone dies...but not really? 

That's cool, you know, because plot is awesome.

But there are times when plot can overshadow character, and you don't want to sacrifice those characters in the process! A good character can write a plot all by his or herself. That's why it's always good to get to know your character as much as possible before you get started. Here are a few ways to do that: 

1. Ask Her (or Him) Questions 

What would your character say? This might sound insane, but asking them questions will help you get to know your protagonist! What's her favorite food? Her fondest memory? Soon you'll begin to compile moments in time that your character remembers and cherishes, which is awesome writing material.

2.  Get Into Her Head  

Try to dedicate a few minutes out of the day to really get into your character's head. Make a solid effort to see the world the way she sees it, and maybe that can help with your characterization. Thoughts translate to words, and if you try to sift through your character's thoughts, writing her will be so much easier! 

3. Let Your Character Speak for His or Herself

While you are writing, make sure to let your protagonist speak for herself. It's easy for us to get in our own heads and stay there, but if you push yourself to keep your character's voice at the forefront of your mind, writing will be easier! 

That's it--a few good ways to keep your protagonist at the front of your brain! Have fun getting to know your characters, and, as always, if you have tips or trick so of your own, post them below!

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Writer's Life: How to Handle Stress

How to Handle Writing Stress

As writers, we've all been there--that manuscript that just won't finish itself but is due at midnight, and you're about 20,000 words short. Or maybe you're neck-deep in edits, and you just can't figure out why those plot holes won't fix themselves. Whatever the case, we writers tend to get really worked up, and sometimes it's downright maddening! So here are a few tips, sites, and images to help you keep your cool and inspire your inner writer.

1. Stress Reduction Kit

This one is just plain hilarious. Now I'm not condoning violence (especially of the self-inflicted variety), but sometimes you just have those days where your protagonist won't cooperate and you can't get your thoughts under control. 

2. Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief 

These are awesome! This article hits the nail on the head when it says that stress is necessary for creativity. But when it becomes overwhelming these techniques come in handy:

3. How to Write While Under Stress 

Another great set of steps! These are from wikihow, and they take you through writing while under stress. Not a bad process, and you'll get a lot accomplished! 

4. And, Finally, a Little Motivation 

Here is an article with some great motivational tips! Any time you're under a lot of stress or can't seem to get past your own writer's block, just remember: stress is hard, but when you finish whatever you're working on, it will all have been worth it! 

I hope those helped! Here's to pushing forward and writing a little every day, no matter what life throws at you. Remember- when life gives you lemons, write a book about it.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Writer's Life: Writing Resources

Writing Resources 

As writers we sometimes get a little frustrated with our own brains, which is completely normal! Most days there are just way too many ideas flying around in there to focus, and it's easy to get side-tracked or even completely overwhelmed. So here are four sites that I've found that can help with keeping on track, including tips, ideas, and even some cool prompts!

1. Fiction Writing Prompts for YA: 

This site has a few fun prompts that you can try out on your own! They're pretty helpful and simple, just getting back to the basics of contemporary YA. If you like realistic prompts, these will help! 

2. How to Write Young Adult Horror: 6 Tips

Here's something a little different- how to write YA horror! This is a great list of tips for any of you out there who want to try your hand at a young adult horror novel. Yikes! 

3. The Key Differences Between Middle Grade and Young Adult

If you're struggling with what audience you want to reach, this is a great article! It touches on some of the main differences between MG and YA. 

4. Inspiration: 6 Wise and Beautiful Quotes from YA Literature 

Looking for a little inspiration? These YA quotes are sure to inspire! If you're feeling a little dejected or in a writing slump, these will surely help :) 

I hope that these sites helped! If you have any tips or have had a particularly productive day of writing, give a shout out below!