May The Words Be With You…

It’s no coincidence that I’m making this post today, as it is after all May 4th, better known as Star Wars Day to some, or if you’re misinformed about one particular culture, the day before Cinco De Mayo, to others. As I am not the latter, I choose to identify with the former, and celebrate my spouse’s favorite fandom instead.

So, yesterday I talked about consistency, and making an effort to include writing into our everyday lives. Sometimes that can be hard to do, depending on what’s going on in your day to day activities. Still, to reach your goals, it is a must. Even if it’s only a meager couple hundred, as I’ve heard before, writing begets writing.

It’s as if the act of placing one word after the other and creating something tangible for others to see, becomes like oxygen to a flame. It breathes new life into a person’s mind, and inspires more to develop than before, when thoughts were allowed to remain more stagnant than not. I’ve noticed this in my own life, as well as others. If you’re having trouble scrounging up the barest of word counts, then here are some tips that may help igniting the catalyst of your own  imagination:

1. Keep a journal.

Everyone needs a place to spill their thoughts. While some prefer divulging their most intimate secrets onto social media, I prefer to have a place that I can explore the inner workings of my mind, without everyone and their canary chiming in. Like with Facebook, I can go look back at what I’ve written. Unlike Facebook, I don’t need to worry about my next employer or a hacker getting a hold of my private convictions.

2. Consider different points of view.

Personally, I can’t stand reading or writing in first person. It feels so constraining to me, and does not allow the reader an accurate scope of the whole story. There are a few books I have read that are exceptions, but they are rare. Most of the time, the novel merely ends up being a contrived version of what it could have been, had another point of view been utilized. This brings me to my next point.

If you’re stuck at a certain spot in your project, attempt to write from a point of view.  Even if you never include this bit into the actual completed work, at least allow yourself to see from a different perspective. Maybe, this could help you see where the plot needs to go next, or perhaps, it will help illuminate where a character needs more development. Either way, sometimes, all a person needs to move forward is a new vantage point.

3. Think of your characters as real people, rather than merely vehicles for their actions.

One thing that bothers me infinitely about certain books, is that the characters feel so contrived. Reading them is never any fun, because it seems as if their sole purpose is to keep the narrative moving. This, of course, should not be the case.

Real human beings have thoughts, ideas, fears, passions, and the list goes on. So too then, should the characters. Even though characters are not in fact real, they are meant to mimic those that are. Meaning, a writer needs to be aware of all of the qualities that their character possesses, even if one is rarely mentioned, these attributes will affect their actions at some point, in some way.

Therefore, when I’m going through my usual routines, I think about how my character would react to this or to that. I wonder, would they enjoy doing this, or would it irk them endlessly? These are the types of questions that should be answered while creating a role in a project, because it is vital to understand the character that you are trying to fabricate.

Well, that about wraps it up, for now. I hope at least one of my points will help you at some point down theΒ road.Β Good luck in your writing, today and everyday. May the force be with you.

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Consistency Is Key

So it’s been a while. Almost a year, to be exact. It seems that’s been the norm for me, up until now at least. In spite of what I have managed with this blog, I actually have developed consistency in other areas of my life. Namely, with my writing, as of late. Yes, I still do that, even if I’m terrible about the upkeep of this blog.

If I’ve learned anything, especially if I want to continue this venture, it’s that I need to foster a schedule that will allow me to incorporate it into the rest of my life. Therefore, I am going to attempt a post once a week. *gasp* I can hear naysayers already, my inner conscience being one of them. Hah. Well, buckle up you negative Nellies, because this is happening.

Now, moving on. The whole point of this blog was to talk and/or vent where applicable about my experiences as a writer. Over the course of the last three years that this blog has been published on the open internet, I’ve done very little writing about writing. Mainly because, I spent a good deal of time procrastinating and/or waiting until the Muse decided they were ready to make an appearance in my daily routine. Well you see, as much as I am terrible about consistency, my Muse is even more so. Which brings me to my next point.

As a writer, or artist of any kind really, you CANNOT wait until inspiration strikes. If you mean to make it a career, it means working on your latest project (s) with the same intensity daily, regardless if it strikes your fancy or not. Because writing or any other form of art is work, no matter what anyone else tells you. It is not easy, and if you got into it because that’s what you wanted, then you may as well tuck tail and run, because this is not the career for you.

In regards to my own writing, I’m still working on the novel I started now eleven summers ago. It has gone through so many different outlines and drafts, that I have lost count at this point. There’s no telling how many versions I’ve made, because as the years have gone on the story has evolved to the point where I changed my main characters entirely, different characters have been scrapped and/or added, the point of view has been swapped from first to a version of third person, and the main overall plot has been changed. If I were to see the very first version of this draft, I might weep out of sheer embarrassment. Yes, it was really that bad, if memory serves me correctly. Which, knowing who I was at roughly 13 years old, I’m sure it does.

My goal for this year is to finish the first and second drafts of the novel, depending on how well I keep to the schedule I’ve set for myself. Where I’m at in life now affords me more time to work on it, if I manage my time wisely. I no longer have a newborn who needs every ounce of my attention, so that does wonders for productivity. So, I should *fingers crossed*, be able to do this.

As I write, I will update this blog on my progress. It keeps me accountable, and talking about it bolsters my excitement to continue. So, that will be the bulk of my posting as I start getting back into it the swing of things. However, there may be some posts here and there, discussing the process of writing, publishing, etc., depending where I’m at with it all. Overall though, I’m glad to be back, and I look forward to producing more blog posts, filled with writerly content for all of those searching just for that.

Until next time,

T.J.