Finding Your Voice

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self”  – Cyril Connolly 

When it comes to fiction writing (or writing in general), you have to find your own voice or your own unique way you write. Writing is not so much imitating your favorite author. It is more about “you” and creating your own writing style. It will be your voice, your tool to reach out to your readers. You have to find within your heart what do you really want to write about. What do you care about? What makes you happy? What makes you sad? What makes your mind go? What message are you trying to convey to your readers? Things like that.

Finding your voice is a life time practice for writers and it will take time to mold it just how you want. Don’t get frustrated if your words don’t sound like the way you want it to or if your sentences aren’t flowing like you want. That is what editing is for.  You have to keep polishing your craft until it feels good to you. Writing will always need editing. It is not going to be perfect the first couple of times. And don’t think it is perfect the first time you write too. There is always room for polishing.  I tend to have a habit whenever I first write a draft of a chapter, that it is perfect the way it is (believe me it is not). I have to remind myself all of the time to revise and keep revising. Trust me it will pay in the long run. Writers, just remember to write for yourself even if you don’t have the audience that you would like to. An audience will come, be patient. Stay true to yourself when you are writing and don’t become someone you are not. The writing world can be scary and can get you lost in it if you are not careful.

I hope this helps! Good Luck my writers!

-Nansi

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Creating Characters: The Basics

Characters are an important aspect to your novel or short story. Characters are the people that keep the plot going, keeps things interesting and they could also be your reader’s best friends as well. You would want your characters to be as detailed as you can so they seem realistic to your readers.

1.  Creating the Skeleton 

This where you create what your characters’ want in the story and how he/she are going to get it. You also need to figure out why does your character(s) want this particular thing(s). This is going to make the readers feel for them. Don’t make the journey easy for your character, put down a few obstacles. This prevents the plot from becoming predictable which makes the story more realistic.

2.  Personality 

Every character in your story should have different personalities from each other if not similar. You don’t want the personalities to be completely the same. They should have a balance of good qualities about them with their bad qualities as well. You don’t want too much of the good qualities and too much of the bad. Treat your characters like human beings as if they are your children. Give them real life problems or issues that stick with them throughout the story such as; anger management, family issues, self-doubt and etc.  Your characters need to have some sort of a struggle in your story. If you have trouble creating personalities and mannerisms, take a look at how your family or friends interact with each other. Personally, I just sit in a public place ( like Starbucks) and watch how people interact with each other while taking some notes. It helps me visualize everything more efficiently in order for my writing to be vivid.

3.  Physical Features 

Here is where you would like to be as descriptive as you can so your character can be memorable to your readers. Your readers may not remember every little aspect of your character’s features, so just focus on a couple of features that will make them seem interesting such as; a deformity, hair color, skin tone, eye color or how tall he/she is.  Don’t overwhelm your reader with twenty features all at once (No one is going to remember all of it). Just give your readers a few physical features at a time. Don’t forget they have other characters to remember too. Give each character a couple of features that makes them stand out and different from each other. For example, your protagonist could have raven black hair and he/she could be as tall as a giant. While your antagonist could have fiery red hair with jade green eyes. Now those examples are quite memorable. The rest of the body features will come soon after that a little bit at a time.

4. Picking a Name 

This should be the last step because picking a simple name that is memorable can be frustrating. You have to find a name that fits nicely with your character. I go though a list of names from my Google searches before I actually pick one for my character. I like to pick names that are easy to pronounce and have a nice meaning behind it that fits my character’s personality such as; strong, beauty, ready for battle or king. Google has plenty of sources for names, so use it to your advantage.

I hope this helps my future writers! Good luck!

-Nansi

A Reminder by Rain

I have an eye for poetry and this poem really hit the spot for me! ❤

SUBDUED FLAMBOYANCE

It was raining last night,
calm, gentle rain,
that tapped against my window pane,
& called me back from unsettled sleep,
to soothe a heart too numb to weep.

I pushed my window open wide,
to let the soothing rain rush inside.
It caressed my cheeks, lips, eyes & hair,
And for a moment I thought,
My beloved you were there.

I was in fact thinking of you today,
and these days, I actually do that a lot it seems.
You’re always in my heart by day,
at night you drift into my dreams.

I want to feel you in my arms,
Even though you’re so miles away.
I hope you still remember me deep in your heart,
Even if we speed on different paths today.

I want to be the music that you listen to,
I’ll be there in every song.
I’ll laugh with you and sing with you,

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Working on your Novel: Just Getting Started

When you are working on your novel (especially if it’s your very first), it can be frustrating and a little uncomfortable. If you don’t know where you are going with it and unsure what characters you are going to create, it okay! This is just the beginning and even I get stumped sometimes when I just started fresh all over again. Also, it is okay to rip out the pages of your notebook and start from scratch. I have thrown away so many crappy ideas in the trash that didn’t make sense to me so it is okay. This is part of the writing process. Here are some steps to at least get your foot on the petal before you start driving.

1. Find a quiet place 

This place is up to you of course and where you feel most at ease. This could be; Starbucks, your bedroom, the library, your car..where ever you like. You really need a place to get your mind moving. Quiet is key. Music can me incorporated in this too, so bring your music with you if you like.

2. Start on the rough draft of your Plot: 

The plot to your novel doesn’t need to make sense right now, you just started. Anything in your journal or Word document helps right now. Write down anything that comes to mind about your plot. Is your protagonist male or female? Is your main character a human or a werewolf? Are you starting your story with the antagonist instead? Little things like this is what I mean.

3. Do a mini plot map: 

After the second step, start on a map as to where you think you want your story to go. This will take sometime but there is no rush. Write down a chain of events that you thought of in a order of sequence, so it makes sense to you. It could be a timeline, list, or even a web.

4. Create the Skeleton of your Main Characters: 

At the point, you want to create your character. Not so much to what your character looks like (that can come later) but what your character wants. Desires? Goals? Then figure out the reason why your characters want these things.

5. Build and Keep Building

When you are ready, you can go back and build on what you started to elaborate. This is where you take things out and put new things in your plot map. You will be doing this process until you are sure that you can write the first 5 chapters of your novel. Add as much detail as possible. (You will thank yourself later) Make sure things make sense to you.Where does the story take place? What time period does it take place?  What are your characters doing? Why are they doing it? How does the antagonist get in the way of the protagonist? Will there be any character deaths? These are the some of the questions you want to answer in your plot map with as much detail as you can. The key here, you want your map to be solid.

-I hope this helps my fellow writers! Good luck! Tell me how this works for you below!

-Nansi