Surviving Writer Purgatory

Sometimes we, as writers, need to take a break from the craft. Whatever it is, embrace it, don’t fight it. Having vacations ever now and then can improve on your long-term productivity. When you return to writing, your stamina will be full steam; this is known as the vacation effect.

Here’s an article from a fellow blogger on the very subject. Enjoy.

Lorraine Ambers

Sometimes life outside of being a writer becomes hectic, and juggling the many demands of life takes its toll. In times like these something has to give, and I’ve already cooked too many oven chips for dinner and stopped walking my dog every day.

While no writer wants to sacrifice their writing time, that precious outlet for their sanity, there comes a time (usually around doing our annual taxes or Christmas) when they simply must take a short break.

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Here’s my four top tips to help you survive writing purgatory.

Stop berating yourself, this is only temporary: By removing the addition stress of unrealistic goals, you’ll actually increase productivity, be better at problem solving and be back on track before you know it. 

Prioritize your responsibilities: Make a list of all that needs to be done and cut out the unessential. Oh how I wish the world were fair, and…

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7 Words You Should Delete From Your Manuscript

A nifty post on words you can avoid in your manuscript or article. Deleting these will give you a more concise, fluid piece. Enjoy.

The Z-Axis

As a professional editor, one of my primary responsibilities is to work with clients to polish the language in their manuscripts. Through the course of editing my own novels and working with clients to shine up their manuscripts, I’ve learned that one of the main goals of a late-stage editorial pass over any manuscript is to prune unnecessary words. In fact, there are a number of specific words I intentionally target for culling. Why? Because they’re overused and often unnecessary.

Scissors Cut.jpeg Time to get out those scissors and start pruning.

Novice writers often rely heavily on these words. Some of them come easily because they’re used often in speech; others make sentences clunky but feel necessary for clarity. But as our writing improves and we learn how to better translate our ideas into written words, it becomes apparent that these words are more of a hindrance than a help.

In this post…

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What To Blog About If You’re Not Published

Writing is a curious activity, especially blogging. To some, blogging comes with difficulty, others it just clicks or flows smoothly.

How do writers churn out their words on blogs? What do they write about? Here’s a fantastic post from a fellow blogger who discusses these questions in depth. Cheers.

K.M. Allan

While June might remind us were already halfway through another year, it is also this blog’s blogiversary month!

I published my first post in June 2017. That kicked off the 117 posts I’ve published since.

I launched my blog to extend my writer platform. I’d already begun querying agents and publishers and had been rejected, but was still two years away from signing the small press contract I was offered in January 2019. I wasn’t published anywhere and didn’t have a book out to plug.

So what does a writer who isn’t published write about?

Writing, of course! My first post was titled Just Start, which was, and still is, a life motto of mine.

While I’m still another 6 months away from being officially published (the first book in my YA series, Blackbirch, is coming early 2020), I’ll continue to practice what I preach and blog about…

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Developing Conflict and Resolution in your stories

Developing conflict is essential to a good story. Often this takes place between protagonist and antagonist. Remember to keep your readers at the edge of their seats, and they’ll keep flipping pages. Here’s an article from a fellow blogger that explains what I mean. Cheers.

Lorraine Ambers

Characters are the heart of a story, the plot is its skeleton, but the blood running through its veins is conflict. Without it, your characters have nothing to fight for, no arc will develop, and your plot will wither and die. In this post, we’ll explore the internal and external conflict to resolution elements that could be evoked to create a truly dynamic novel .

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The protagonists traits need to be carefully selected for each story. Their backstory will colour their personality, and mould their goals. It’s important to understand where their character journey starts, so that you can plan for their reactions by understand their limiting beliefs. You should know what they want, and what needs are hidden beneath.  

Within the protagonist is the delicate balance of their life’s story, and before the plots even started, there might be an internal conflict brewing beneath the surface…

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Four Ways to Structure a Novel

Building a world for your protagonist is no easy task; this is especially the case in high fantasy genres, where the author creates a realm from the ground up. Maintaining that world in a long fantasy epic is even tougher, but some guidelines can significantly help you with the process.

Here’s an article from a fellow blogger. She talks about developing the Hero’s Journey and how it relates to your protagonist. Give it a look. Cheers.

Lorraine Ambers

Every writer has a different process, a different way of creating, and every story is unique in the way it’s told. What all of them have in common are basic structure rules. In this post we’re going to explore four different types of plotting a story structure; it’s then up to you how you use them.

To develop any of these structures it’s important to remember to advance each scene so that the plot and/or character are moving in a forward momentum. You can do this by asking these questions of every scene and/or chapter: How? Who? What? Where? When? And Why? Some other things to consider are what is the Inciting Incident, what kick starts your story? Take a look at one of my earlier posts How to Plan Your Protagonists Journey, where I go into detail about stakes, conflict and their awakening moment.

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The Incredible Power of Writing

The art of writing is a powerful tool for humanity. For good or ill, it is a complicated craft that we often see as an escape or a means to explore our deepest, darkest facets. Some use writing to heal, others to vent frustration or release pent up emotions.

Here’s an interesting perspective from a fellow blogger on the art of writing and how we can use it. Cheers.

Lorraine Ambers

Writing is an art form, and all art forms have the ability to transform, inspire and motivate. It’s much more than conveying a story because woven into the fabric of a novel is the artist’s soul, a gateway to their innermost secrets, fears, and darkest desires.

Have you ever wondered why writing is good therapy? If a novel can transport the reader into another world, another perspective, can writing heal the reader too?

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Journaling is great therapy, it allows the writer to unload emotions, to delve deeper and discover aspects of themselves that they never knew existed. It’s a private, safe place to share the shadow side of themselves without fear of being reprimanded. It releases stress. There is no right or wrong way; pen to paper, on the laptop, or making notes on your smartphone, whatever works for you. The important part is gaining access to the thoughts that…

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Creating Simple Character Profiles

Setting up an archive of your characters’ attributes is an important step for any worldbuilder. Some choose to keep profiles in text documents, while others use excel spreadsheets. If you need a template for character profiles, then here’s an article from a fellow blogger. She has some cool tips on character building and archiving your cast. Cheers.

Lorraine Ambers

We all love things that make our lives a little easier. Especially, when being a writer can sometimes begin to feel like creative chaos:

How many characters do I have?

Where were they born?

Wait!What colour did I say their eyes were?

So many questions, so little time… and how many scraps of paper, notebooks or random computer files have I used to catalogue all this info?

Fear not, to help us all become a little more organised, I’ve created some fun worksheets that can be filled in and filed away to kickstart your WIP bible.

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If you’re confused by what a writers bible looks like, then head on over to Kate’s fantastic blog to find out why you should have a series bible and what to include in them. Her posts are a wonderful resource for any writer, full of insightful, practical writing and editing tips.

Of course…

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How to Write Rich and Vivid Settings

Everyone enjoys a rich, vivid story—but do you know how to paint such a beautiful and immersion tale? It comes down to descriptions, characters, and dialog—to name a few. Here’s an article from a fellow blogger who discusses how to get started and paint the world of your dreams. Enjoy.

Lorraine Ambers

The setting of your novel is just as important as character development and dialogue. It needs to accurately reflect the period or define the world-building making it as vibrating and sensory as possible. It’s much more than painting a picture, its a fine art of evoking the five senses to bring the story alive, immersing the reader into the world you’ve created.

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Whilst it’s tempting to fill your pages with purple prose and lengthy descriptions, be mindful that those approaches tend to bog a story down. Foreshadowing is a great tool that allows the writer to drip feed upcoming events; a carefully placed dagger might elude to a murder or a broken lock might reveal how a derelict house is broken into. However, relevance is vital, if that dagger isn’t going to be used to drive the plot forward don’t use it for the sake of embellishing a scene. Aside…

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Value Your Writing

How do we view our creative work? What is the value of a painting or a novel? Here’s an interesting perspective from a fellow blogger—be sure to check her out.

I’ll have more blog posts to come in the future. Stay tuned and never stop dreaming and believing. Cheers.

(I’m looking for beta readers in my app here. Click it and read about my ebook if you’re interested. My book cover has a green gem on the cover, titled Ethereal Seals: Dragonsblade. Thanks.)

Evie Gaughan

art business close up decor Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was watching a documentary about Christie’s Auction House the other day (more unexpected research!) when they took delivery of a beautiful Constable painting. Three specialists inspected the piece, oohing and aahing over the quick brush strokes and immensity of the sky. Then came the real deliberations… how much was it worth? As they debated over how many tens of millions it might fetch, the documentary maker asked them how they arrived at such a price (£20 million). The specialists said that the price was based on how much previous Constable paintings sold for and how much buyers would be prepared to pay. It was staggering to me – it wasn’t so much to do with the actual artwork itself, but how the art world chose to value it. The artist is long gone and even if he were alive today, could not profit from…

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Make Powerful Intentions and Reach your Goals

Happy New Year, everyone! 2018 was a blast for me, and I can safely say my manuscript has come a long way in this past year alone. I joined a local writer’s group and found more beta readers. Several editing passes have changed my book in magnificent ways. I also co-published some poetry in an ebook. 😀

My goals for this year are to find more beta readers, meet an agent, and save up enough money for an editor. The first book of Ethereal Seals should be published sometime early next year—if I’m lucky, haha. Worst comes to worst, I may self-publish, but getting more beta readers and an editor would help. We’ll see where life takes me, but I’m remaining optimistic—there’s no reason not to.

Anyway, here’s a post from a fellow blogger.; she talks about 2019 and how to hone our creative abilities. I hope you find her post as inspiring as I did. Cheers—and enjoy the new year. 🙂

Lorraine Ambers

Happy New Year!

Hello, my wonderful blogging community, fellow writers and avid readers.

I make vague resolutions at best, that evolve my aspirations into intentions and goals. And the reason why I’m not so hot for resolutions, is because they’re as fragile as glass. Treated like promises, that ultimately shatter into a million fragments and scatter to the wind. Never to be recovered, or fulfilled – leaving only bitter disappointment. It’s how I imagine Cinderella felt, a rich world of wishes and dreams at her fingertips only to vanish at that notorious strike of midnight.

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Instead I promise to honour myself with love and care. To grow in new ways that allow for my writing journey to unfold.  Whatever will be, will be… helped along by my hard work and determination.

Even though I’ve taken a couple of weeks away from blogging, I’ve loved reading everyone’s reflections about last year…

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