Notice

Hi.

If you used to read my blog, or are one of the lovely people that followed me or even left a comment, I wanted to say thanks. This blog hasn’t been active since October 2016, and now and then I still get emails telling me that someone has commented or followed me. I’m glad the advice on this blog has helped people, which is one of the key reasons I decided not to delete it. Instead I decided to leave this post here so that any newcomers know that this blog isn’t active any longer, and I’d be surprised if I ever return to it in future. Thanks to all that supported me. I wish you all the best with your writing endeavors.

Jess.

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I’ve Been Hiding/ A Writer Rant

We’re about to get super real for a minute.

I  know, my blog has been pretty inactive. I know, I’ve barely been tweeting. I know, I’m not working on my marketing front nearly as hard as I should. But here’s the thing. I’m scared. Terrified, even. I’m terrified of finishing a novel. How many times have you heard me announce on twitter or on this blog that I’d finished a first draft, or that I was still revising? I’ve never one hundred percent completed a story, because I’m scared. What if it’s not good enough? What if I’ll just have to continue changing it forever and ever?

Then there’s this blog thing. I’m pretty bad at managing my time and I can tell you without question that for the last two months I’ve been barely able to write anything, let alone come onto the blog and pretend I know what I’m talking about when it comes to writing. I’ve had a hard year, I’ve had illnesses, I’ve lost friends, and it’s all taking a toll. All I want to do is curl up in a corner and draw, or read, but basically I’m just scared. I’m scared of putting myself out there, I’m scared of becoming a real author, I’m scared of debuting, I’m scared of finishing something that I might look back on in five years and go ‘wow, that’s shit, why did I publish that?’. I’m scared. I’m so scared.

So for now, I am officially not working on anything that is going to be my debut. Yes, I have been working on my own projects, yes I still want to publish, but every time I announce that I’ve got something in the making on my blog, I always wind up never finishing it, and people get confused. So I’ve made the decision that this is the blog of me, Jessie Grace, the teenage writer who would someday like to be published. But I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to writing. To be honest, I thought that this whole marketing thing would be the easiest part of everything. Make a blog, post tips on writing, and meet lots of other writers, and build a base of followers who maybe- just maybe- will buy my book/short story/novella when it comes out. But what if that’s not enough? What if everyone reads my book and hates it? What if I publish and no one reads it? What then? I am more than aware that my worth as a writer has nothing to do with my selling statistics, or how many followers I have, or anything like that. All that matters is my love of writing, of creating. But I want to create something that other people will like and enjoy as much as I do. You know what’s discouraging? Never selling any of your books. You know what’s discouraging? One star reviews on goodreads.

So yeah. I’m scared. I think I just voiced all of my anxieties into one little blog post, and this should probably never exist on the internet, but if any other authors/writers can relate to this, then please comment below. I get the feeling we’d get along. I’m sorry this doesn’t have a point to it, I’m sorry I don’t post nearly as often as I should, and I’m sorry I’m so unprofessional, but I’m seventeen and I don’t know shit. I’m trying to schedule my writing, but for some reason I’m always too tired to do the actual work that this kind of thing requires. You know. Finishing. A novel.

Wish me luck. If you want to take me by surprise and express that you actually enjoyed my stupid rant, leave a like or comment. I’ve got a subscribe button if you want to join the Jessie Grace blog family (look at me pretending I have followers.)

How To Be A Real Writer

Today we’re going to talk about how to be a real writer.

First of all, don’t use stupid ideas.

Second of all, become completely void of originality.

Third, I can’t think of a third.

The above was sarcastic, in case you didn’t get that.

Good evening my lovlies, it’s so nice to see you all here again on this cold and awful winter day! Today’s blog is going to be a short one; How to be a real writer.

Step one. Get an idea. Brainstorm. Think of something.

Step two. Sit down.

Step three. Write.

Ta daaa!

(Hi my name is Jess the motivational troll)

Let’s get one thing straight. To be a real writer, you have to WRITE. That is the actual DEFINiTION of writing! You don’t have to drink coffee, you don’t have to write something completely original (because even dinosaurs living in a world of purple goo has probably been done. Chill) and you DON’T have to listen to anyone else.

*initiate rainbow* WRITE FOR YOURSELF

However, of course, if you want to get a work published, there are things you may or may not need to do. But my advice is learn the rules, so that you can break them later on.

Anyway, this has been the pathetically short hopefully motivating blog post about being a ‘real’ writer. Follow my social medias, follow the blog, like this post if you liked it and I will see YOU next week. Goodbyyeee!!

(But Jess, you released a twitter poll giving us options, and this isn’t any of them.)

(I know. I’m sorry. But I was inspired to write this. And the poll came to a fifty fifty anyway.)

Life Update: Pokemon Go and a Busted Phone

I did a poll the other day on twitter (follow me @JessieGWrites) and, for some reason, you guys want a life update.

What? WHAT?

Guys I literally do nothing but write. And work. And I sleep, on occasion. So forgive me if this blog post is literally as boring as it gets.

So the two things that I have been doing most lately, apart from writing, of course, is playing Pokemon go. I don’t play it very much, I’ve really only gone out once with it because for some reason it hates my phone. But I’ve managed to catch I think sixteen Pokemon, and I have like five eggs. And I am currently level 4.

Or at least. I was.

I have no idea if I’ll be able to get the same account on a new phone, which I now need, because lo and behold, it’s busted.

That doesn’t have anything to do with Pokemon Go, by the way, just my idiocy.

Last night I was reading in bed, using my phone’s torch to read because hello why would I leave the light on when I could use my phone instead? And something must have happened, I must have moved or something, and my phone fell off the bed.

And hit the wall.

And the skirting board.

Now, this isn’t a rare occurrence. I’m actually really good at dropping my phone. In fact, if they had a dropping-your-phone Olympics, I would be the gold medalist. If they had a how-quickly-can-you-drop-your-phone world record, I’d hold it.

Anyway, I picked it back up, placed it back where it was, and continued reading. It wasn’t until I closed my book, and turned on my phone to turn the torch off, that I noticed the big smudge, similar to a burn mark, in the left-hand corner of my screen.

And I thought; Uh-oh, that can’t be good.

So I typed in my password and, lo and behold, the bottom half of the screen was not responding. I tried taking off the screen protector and cleaning it, but that didn’t work. And then it finally dawned on me that I had just partially killed my phone.

Big uh oh.

So I turned my light on, powered up my laptop, being as quiet as possible because it was way too late at night for anyone to want to be woken up, and googled big black smudge on screen after dropping phone and realised that I had screwed up. Majorly.

I wasn’t too worried though. I don’t own the latest iphone, I have a cheap Samsung a5. Which had been pretty good, until I let it fall off my bed-cliff. Besides, these things were fixable, right? I just needed to get it to a repairs-phones-person, right?

So I searched google for someone, anyone, in australia who would fix my poor little phone. But unfortunately, I don’t exactly live near the cities. In fact, I live a good distance away from civilisation. So that blows.

Anyway, long story short, I worked out that I’ll be buying a new (mostly new, it’s an ex demo model) phone, the same one, off the internet, because that’ll probably be cheaper and faster than if I had to go with just fixing the LCD (because I’m pretty sure that’s what’s happened.) I got up early this morning, transferred all my photos and stuff over to my laptop, after finding out that the black smudge had GROWN! To completely cover the entirety of the screen.

Great.

So I literally can’t use my phone anymore. It’s useless. Even worse than if I’d smashed the glass, which I’ve seen so many people do. As you can imagine, I’m pretty mad at myself. I haven’t exactly lost anything huge, except for a bit of money which thankfully I do have. But yeah. If you learn anything from this blog post. Don’t drop your phone.

Anyway, that was the best I could do in terms of a life update. Did you guys like it, or are you unimpressed? I know I haven’t blogged in a month, I’m sorry. Life got crazy (nothing I’m prepared to put on the blog, though.) And my WIP is . . . sort of mostly coming along. I’m trying not to talk too much about it now though, because it seems the other WIPs I’ve talked about have sort of been put on the back burner, and then it confuses people when I say I’ve ‘taken a break’ from them. So just know I’m still writing, I’m just not specifying anything until I at least have something done and ready for publication.

So yeah. Leave me feedback in the comments, hit the follow button and I’ll love you for it, leave me a like, follow my social medias (links are in the about page) and I will see ya’ll soon. Byeeeee.

Seven Steps for Writing Short Stories

For those who follow my twitter, you may have noticed that I’m struggling to come up with blog subjects. I’ve got a busy life and of course that leaves little time for writing, even less for blogging.

HOWEVER. I have decided to plough through and instead of doing another update, I can give you guys some tips on writing short stories.

So, why would you want to write a short story?

Well, you might be an undewriter. (Like myself). And you might find it quite hard to reach AT LEAST fifty thousand words, so short stories are much better.

You might only have a little idea, that you don’t want to make a big fuss of to make into a novel, so a short story is perfect.

You think it will be more impactful if it’s compact.

There are countless other reasons.

My reason is that I’ve never completely revised a novel. You guys know that I’ve been writing a novel lately, and revising it has been a pain. Why? Becauase I didn’t know where to start. And I’ve come to the conclusion that short stories are great for getting some experience, without having to spend years on screwing up and trying again. It’s basically the work experience of a job.

So, tips for writing a short story. I’m going to take you through the entire process that I hope to follow.

One. Brainstorm.

Get a notebook and BRAINSTORM EVERYTHING. Like I mean EVERYTHING. If an idea comes into your head, write it down. This one has only taken me about three days, but it’s perfectly fine if this part takes a week or more. Find the places that you find the most inspiration from, and brainstorm from that. For me I’ve got a whole pinterest board dedicated to this brainstorm idea that I have (and no, it isn’t a private board. Here’s a game. Go stalk my pinterest https://au.pinterest.com/jessiegrace3/ and see if you can work out which board is the current brainstorming board, and comment below!)

I find pinterest, google images, movies, tv shows, pictures, anything, can be really useful during this phase. Brainstorm as much as possible.

Two. Outline.

(Not everyone outlines. If you’re a pantser, you can skip this step)

Now you’re still brainstorming in this part, if you want, but now we’re going to outline. You need a beginning, a middle, and an end. Now try and put together a little summary of the plot of your novel (this will make creating the overall summary later on that little bit easier). An orphan goes to wizard school, a poor girl volunteers to partake in a fight to the death, a regular girl meets a vampire. One sentence lines that describe the PLOT (not outline) of your story. The part that won’t change.

Now, everyone outlines differently, so do your own research, but here’s how I went about it. I suggest taking all the scenes and all that you brainstormed, and put them in chronological order (don’t worry if there are holes or things you’re not sure of, this is FAR from the final draft) and then I try to fit them into my outline, which looks like this.

ACT ONE

Block One; Intro

Block Two; Inciting Incident

Block Three; Act One Climax

ACT TWO;

Block Four; Fun and Games

Block Five; Midpoint

Block Six; Protagonist is either taking control or losing control of the plot

ACT THREE

Block Seven; Converge

Block Eight; Climax

Block Nine; Resolution

That. Is a super duper rough idea of my outlines. Check out Katytastic’s outlining videos if you want more information. Also, depending on how many scene ideas and plot points I have, I will usually either rename the blocks to chapters, or put three chapters in each block. Your choice.

Now revise your outline. There may be notes of cool things you want to happen, that aren’t actually scenes. Mary flips her hair is not a scene. It’s something that happens in a scene, so list it under the scene it has to happen in. Also try and make sure that all of your scenes are advancing the plot in some way or another. Short stories are short (wow can I get my stating the obvious award now) and usually flow quite quickly, so maybe don’t bore the reader with a scene of the character brushing his teeth and nothing else happens.

Three. Write.

Using your wonderful outline (or not) write your short story. Short stories are usually one thousand to ten thousand words long, but you can go longer if you want. I’m aiming for a 25,000 word story (which may be classified as a novella) This may take a week, more or less. Don’t try to do it all in an hour, you will get burnt out.

Four. Revise.

So while you were writing I hope you had your handy dandy little notebook next to you. That is where you should write all the revision notes as you go. If there’s something you wrote, and then realised didn’t make sense, make a note. Also maybe print out the manuscript, read through the plot, and make notes about that too. Make all the notes. All the notes. Things like dialouge, world, character, all that good stuff.

Five. Rewrite.

Write a second draft that conforms to all the notes.

Six. Repeat steps Four and Five until you are happy with your story.

Seven. Edit.

You can do this yourself, or hire a professional, or both. I’m probably going to use Hemingwayapp.com because I’m not too serious about my story, and it’s probably going to be small enough to do the whole thing in the website.

And there you have it! Slap a name on that baby, publish it on ebook, email it to family and friends, whatever. You did it! You wrote a short story! No one will ever be impressed by the amount of hard work and effort you put into creating it simply because it’s short!

YAY!

So currently I’m on chapter three of my short story’s first draft. I’ll let you guys know how it goes when I finish, hopefully in a month or something.

Follow me on social media! (Particularly twitter). Leave a comment, leave a like,they really help! Until next time. Byeeeee.

Quick Update

Hey guys!
My last post didn’t do so well. I’m sorry! Please lemme know how I can do better!
Anyway, I’m typing this on my phone while I pack because I’m going to a camp over the long weekend. So I thought I would do a super random post to a, let you guys know that if there aren’t many posts soon, that’s because not only am I going to camp, I’m also working a lot for the next two weeks. And b, to talk to you about packing for camp. (Because people care*) * sarcasm

Number one. It’s painful.
You’re smushing blankets and jackets into a tiny bag. I have hurt my fingers more than once now.

Number two. I need to take lollies. And chocolate. Basically just lots of snacks. And Mentos. Because Mentos are awesome.

Number three. Pack soap. DONT FORGET SOAP

Number four. Shower cap. Because I don’t want to have to straighten my hair every day.

Number five. Power boards are so great because everyone has phone chargers and there is literally one outlet in the whole cabin.

And now I must go back to packing. I know this blog sucks,  I’m sorry, I just wanted to make sure you guys knew I was still here!
Byeeee

Dealing With Writer’s Block

Hey guys!

I’m sorry, there really isn’t a consistent schedule for blog posts, is there? I’ve been kind of busy with work. And when I’m not working, or doing something else productive, I’m writing.

Segway.

Writer’s Block! Some believe in it, some don’t. That’s okay either way, but sometimes we just don’t feel motivated, or just have no idea what to writer, or have gone completely braindead.

Firstly, I think that there are three types of writer’s block. The 48 Hour Bug, The Dead Inside, and The Premature Failure.

The 48 Hour Bug; Do I HAVE to write today? No. I wanna play video games.

The Dead Inside; Why am I doing this. Why am I writing this story. What is the point of slaving over something if people will hate it anyway.

The Premature Failure; Okay, I’m definitely going to write a book. Someday. Just not today. Today I’m going to marathon danisnotonfire videos. Aaand . . . maybe some AmazingPhil.

Oh dear.

Each of these can bleed into the next, which is why you should try and catch the writer’s block early. Otherwise it’s going to be harder and harder to get out of it. Another thing I should mention is that this doesn’t just apply to WRITING writing. This also applies to revision, editing, anything. It doesn’t matter what part of the writing process you’re in. Writer’s Block can creep up at any moment. So now, here are some times on how to deal with each kind.

The 48 Hour Bug

 Okay. Firstly, think about whether or not you have a good excuse to not write. If you’ve just worked long hours for three days in a row, sleep. It’s okay. Your health is important.

If this is not the case, try to work out what is bothering you. Is it the fact that you don’t know what you’re doing? I have this maybe once a week. No joke. Firstly, calm. Down. I don’t think you should ever assume that a draft will be the one hundred percent done draft. (That is, when you are trying to perfect everything at once rather than build your way up) And this takes a lot of weight off your shoulders. You can even do what I’ve done and make yourself a little instruction list. Right now, I just have to worry about getting everything plot related fixed. Worldbuilding, character development, all that, can wait.

If you have been sitting at the keyboard for twenty minutes and you’ve only pumped out about five words, then you’re uncomfortable. Firstly. Calm. Down. I find mindset helps. Rather than think about the two thousand words, or the fifteen chapter outline,that you have to revise, think; I’ll just do a little bit until dinner is ready/it’s time for bed. Secondly, take a look at your ambience. I find that if I’ve been listening to the same cd/same artist for too long, the sound just drones on and on. So maybe try a new cd. Try Rainymood.com. Try not even having sound, just try quiet. Also check your posture. I’ve found that I have a habit of finding myself in some damn strange positions when I’m trying to work. Squish yourself in an upright and uptight position between the chair back and the table. I find the more it feels like I’m being tortured, the better.

And if you’re lying on your bed thinking; why the hell do I have to write today? Just think. A book requires a certain amount of work to be half decent. And it’s not getting that work done while you’re sitting there procrastinating. Maybe if you spend an hour working on your manuscript, you get to waste twenty minutes on youtube.

The Dead Inside

Why. Why am I here. Why am I writing this book. WHYYYY!!!!

Relax.

This phase is similar to The 48 Hour Bug, but it’s a little more severe, and it’s not as severe as The Premature Failure.

Firstly. What part of the writing process is stumping you? I found myself in this rut in the Researching phase. I’m writing a contemporary, and I thought I should probably gather as much research on the topic of the book before I started to revise the outline. Aaand this killed my motivation. Why? Not creative enough.

Try to think of other ways to approach what you need to do right now. Start with the basics of whatever is troubling you and work up. A lot of writers can also get this stuck during the outlining phase (psst. check out any Katytastic video on outlining.). I’m not going to get into it, but if this is the case, put all of your scene ideas into chronological order, every snippet of an idea, every big plot twist, and THEN find an outline to fit around it.

The dead inside is hard to overcome, but if you reevaluate how you’re looking at things, it can be somewhat easier to overcome. Just power through. It’s so hard but it will be worth it when you get a crapton of work done in three hours, you’ll feel so good.

The Premature Failure

Apparently that was the best title for this phase that I could think of.

This one could apply to writers who have never actually written anything, but I think it applies to writers who have either finished a book or given up on a book a little more.

Here’s a little story. At the beginning of the year, I had a lot going on. We did some holidaying. Then I came back home, tried to get back into my manuscript, and sort of let the 48 Hour Bug become the Dead Inside, which eventually become The Premature Failure. You have failed to create/finish a new book, because you can’t start. Hence, failing prematurely.

I’m . . . really hating that name.

So, what do you do? You write. You find a new idea. Or you let yourself get distracted by a new idea. And write that idea. It doesn’t matter. You need to write because you love writing. Ninety percent of the time I find myself feeling like this  because I’m only writing a book to publish it. Getting emotionally involved in a book is messy. You will soon have about half a dozen computer files, notes everywhere in every notebook or scrap of paper that you could reach when you had an idea. With a forced idea, you don’t care. And if you don’t care, it’s highly doubtful your readers will care.

Basically, just try to find SOMETHING to write. Write fanfiction. Write a short story. Write anything, and do it because you love it.

So, yeah. That is my pathetic little attempt to help those experiencing writer’s block. If there are phases I missed, please tell me what they are in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, there’s a little star down there and if you click it, it will tell me that you liked it and that is awesome and really motivates me to keep posting. There’s also a big button over to the right, and if you click that and enter your email address, you’ll get told when I post new posts. All of these things are free too, and they make me really happy. If you like social media, I’ve got links to that in the About page. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through the blog, twitter, facebook, etc.

I will see you guys next time. Ciao

Writing Motivation: The Perfect Novel

Hey guys!

I wanted to talk about something that I’ve recently realised. That is; Obsession over creating the perfect novel.

I have one story, not the current story but definitely one that I will hopefully go back to, that has about a dozen half finished drafts. Why? Because I was adamant on creating the perfect novel. The perfectionist in me was sucking up as much knowledge as possible from every source available, trying to apply everything at once to the writing. And it was overwhelming. And it wasn’t working.

So today I’m going to tell you guys something. Remember that this is my opinion, and that you can’t take it as gospel, but it’s something I’m attempting to come to terms with.

You can’t write the perfect novel.

It won’t happen.

Let’s talk about some of the most famous stories today. Harry Potter, for one example. There are millions and millions of fans who absolutely adore the boy wizard. Why? Because it’s wonderful!

But. There are plotholes. Hermoine’s time turner, for example, has caused major problems. Even with all of J.K. Rowling’s planning, she still managed to make SOME mistakes.

Then we have Twilight. Millions of people adore it. About a million others, however, see the flaws in the relationship, the plot, the entire thing.

I have, to date, written about six novellas, and a couple of first drafted novels. But this is my first time revising a finished first draft. I have never revised before. I know a lot, but at the same time I know so little about it. And in the last few days I’ve caught myself trying to turn this thing into the ultimate perfection thing. Trying to find ways to make sure there won’t be any screw ups, nothing for people to point fingers at.

However. What I, and I think so many other writers, don’t realise, is that writing is an expression of creativity. Yes, there are things we can do to make it more appealing to a larger variety of people. But we can’t perfect everything.

Let’s compare writing a novel to being a ballerina. There are a million different ways to write a novel, and some people will like it and some people won’t. With being a ballerina, there is only ONE way to do a plie. Of course, it is still a fairly creative form of expression, but you have a set way of doing every little thing. Every toe turn, every point.

Imagine if we applied all those rules to writing.

That’s right. Every book would be the same. Wouldn’t that be boring as hell?

Another thing that I’ve been coming to terms with is that some people aren’t going to like my book. I’ve recently looked up reviews for one indie book that I wasn’t fussed on. I found that it has an incredible rating on goodreads, but there are people that agree with me. Someone ripped apart the entire book and picked out every little thing they hated about it.

 

Ask yourself. What am I trying to accomplish here? If you’re trying to write a book that everyone will love and pat you on the back for and praise you on, I’m afraid your motives aren’t the right ones.

But if you’re writing this story because you care about the characters, the story, because you love writing, then yes. Do it. And if you feel like you’d like to publish, you’d like to submit this to the rest of the world to read, do it. There will be people who don’t like it. But there might also be one person in the world who enjoys it.

Bottom line is write  because you love writing. Not to publish and get praise or become the next best seller. Write to tell a story, don’t try and make everything perfect. Try to make it as perfect as YOU can make it, sure, and tell your story in the best way, but don’t get so caught up and overwhelmed in the tweaking that you never finish. Writing a story is meant to be something you love, and an incredible experience. Not a burden, or something to loathe.

So you made it to the end of the post. Thanks a lot for reading, I’m sorry this wasn’t a hundred percent useful, but if you enjoyed it or got something out of it, please like it and drop a comment. If you would like to see more of this content, hit the follow button, it’s free. Follow me on the social medias. Admittedly I’m still trying to fix up the site to have more social media buttons, so there’s only the twitter one there right now, but I have links to my other social medias in the About page.

I hope you have a great day, get lots of writing done, and I will see you next time. Goodbyyeeee!

Writing Life Update: Revision is HARD!!!

I’m sure once I finish up my second draft I’ll be able to give you guys a coherent blog post on how I went about it. But right now I’ve just finished up revising the first four chapters.

One thing I’ve learned about revision is that it isn’t editing. I already knew that (kind of) but I’ve also learned that there’s a certain amount of work involved with creating a half decent book, and you’re going to have to put in that work sooner or later. So now I understand why some people do massive outlines and worldbuilding and all that before they even start the novel.

That said, revising is kind of fun at the same time. With the first draft I was just trying to get it up to 50,000 words and  have a much broader idea of how the story would go, not just in outlining but also in writing. I even pantsed some scenes that I am definitely holding onto. But of course, the first draft isn’t perfect, but it’s there. It’s like clay. That you had to make yourself. And the outline is like the instructions to making the pot. The first draft is the clay.

Alright I’m not good at explanations or examples but YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

The revision work that I’ve done is revising the outline, fixing up the sub plots. All that. The outline is now not completely perfect still, but I was happy enough with it to do a second draft. I find that if I don’t leave wiggle room to still improve the book/outline then it kills a lot of the excitement and creativity for me.

I’m also taking a lot of notes as I go like . . . ‘such and such doesn’t make sense’ or ‘worldbuild this’ and all that.

Yeah, I’m not going to make much sense until I’ve finished the draft and can do a real video, but that’s sort of the point of some of  my more random blog posts. To show you guys that writing  isn’t always cut and dried. Sometimes things get blown completely out of the water, and sometimes you can’t plan everything.

Three things that I KNOW will be big picture revisions so far are Plot, Characters, and World. Right now I’m focusing more on plot, then I’ll move on to characters to try and figure out how they react to certain plot points, both emotionally and outwardly (like if they themselves change the story to go in another direction or if the plot just propels them). What I’m also finding kind of intriging is the fact that I’ve got four different main characters. Four. Together they are a protagonist. This might change after revisions, I might decide to make one of them the protagonist and the others supportive, but I’ve got four different points of view to write from and that is pretty fun.

So far I’m MEANT to be revising two chapters a day but it looks like I’m only doing a chapter a day, which means that at this rate I probably won’t get it done as quickly as possible, and revisions will probably take a month, but I’ll just see what happens.

So, yeah, that is my writing life update. Please like, comment, and share. Hit the subscribe button for more posts, and let me know if the writing life update posts are useful or if you would prefer more structured writing advice.

Until next time.

Character Development: Five Random Facts/Scenerios

 

One of the things I love doing with my characters is imagining them in random scenarios. Because, let’s face it, we can fill out their bios all we want. It’s not until we actually write for them that we start to get to know them a whole lot better.

I’m not sure if this will become kind of a series, with me throwing five random scenarios/facts to find out about your character every now and then, so let me know if this post is helpful guys!

Putting your character into some situations can be fun and also interesting to ponder and work out what your character might do. Please note that this is just something I do and that I haven’t heard anywhere at all that this is required for writing a novel, I’m sure it’s not. These situations could inspire your novel, or you could ever put them in your novel. I just find it fun and kind of useful to do.

Number One? Homeless.

Your character is sitting on the mouth of an alleyway, late afternoon, people are walking home from work. As they walk past he asks them for change.

Already, we’ve got some questions to ask. Like, is he asking them for change? Is he even here? Is your character way too prideful, and would he rather starve than be caught asking for money? How is he asking for money? Is he so selfish that he’s shoving the can in people’s faces or is he so quiet they can barely hear him?

People’s actions speak louder than their words (also you’ll find that I say that one A LOT, not only with writing but also in real life situations. But that’s for another post . . .)

Back to our little scene, Let’s say a higher middle class business woman strides down the street, and turns up her nose at our homeless character. The homeless character notices her disdain, and says; “Got any change, ma’am?”

Just quickly I’ll mention that this kind of dialogue could be a lot different, depending on the character.

“No. Not for your filthy lot anyway.” she spits. “It’s lazy people like you who deserve to be on the street.”

Now. How does your character react as she strides off in her pointy shoes? Does he burst into tears or get up to lob her over the head? I’ve decided to include a little piece that I thought up. The scene is completed with a character from my current story, Blue Skittles (the code name of the story. I’m going to keep mentioning this is the code name because I don’t want to confuse new readers). I’m not even going to mention the character’s name, let’s just see what happens.

Late afternoon. I glanced up at the passerbys, wearing their pressed suits and ties. A middle aged woman with her nose in the air and a bun as tight as her outward persona clicked her kitten heels down the street. When she came to me, she slowed, and looked down her nose at me,  coming to a stop.

Worth a shot, I decided. “Any change?”

“No.” her nose wrinkled, as though just talking to me filled her senses with disgust. “Not for your filthy lot anyway. It’s lazy people like you who deserve to be on the street.”

And then she strode off.

“How about you take that money and buy yourself some MANNERS!” I called after her, rolling my eyes and shaking my head. “Nasty.”

So, yes, as I was saying, this is a pretty cool way of getting straight to your character’s core. They’re scum to society, they get treated like scum from society, and then we get to see their reaction.

This was one of the more in depth ones that I wanted to look at (also don’t mind my unedited unrevised completely pantsed piece of writing, I just thought you guys would like an example). Here are the next four.

Number Two. Getting up in the morning.

Okay, I got this idea from the Pentatonix music video Starships. Someone commented what they each did in the morning at the beginning of the video. One took out her retainer, another fixed his hair, another was dancing. Etc.

When your character wakes up in the morning, what’s the one thing they usually do without even thinking about it? Something that they always do, it’s pretty much second nature?

This can say as much or as little about your character as you want, but I do find this to be one of the fun ones.

Number Three. A friend dares them to do karaoke.

Your character and his friend are at a club. Open mic karaoke night. The friend dares your character to jump up and give it a shot. Does your character jump up, eager to show the world what a star they are? Do they ponder it and then think, yeah, that could be fun. Or do they barter with the friend until the friend gives up, and your character stays far away from the stage or any kind of attention.

You can also ask why they react the way they do. Do they love attention because they were in childhood beauty pageants by their pretentious mother, or do they shy away because of one particularly bad incident at public speaking class? (I don’t even know that’s what it’s called, you know what I mean. Don’t judge me.)

Number Four. Late. Three things they would do before running out the door.

This one is so random and it varies so much that I can’t even be that specific.

I have one character who would grab his keys. Another who would draw on eyeliner as quickly as possible. So, yes, I can’t be specific about this one, because it’s a very . . . changeable subject.

AND FINALLY Number Five. The Sorting Hat.

I’m sorry for those who hate Harry Potter. But this. This is an awesome idea.

And kind of a cop out because I couldn’t really think of another idea, but oh well, we’re not going to look at it that way.

Go to Pottermore or Buzzfeed or wherever to find the sorting hat quiz. Fill out the quiz AS YOUR CHARACTER. To make it extra fun, write down which house you think they’ll get beforehand and see if you were right or not.

Who wants to hear some hilarious irony? I just realised that I can hear Harry Potter on the tv in the other room (internal laughing).

 

Anyway, go and enjoy these fun random things to do with your characters (because really, writing gets too serious sometimes) And I will hopefully post again soon. Revisions are killing me right now though (this is a welcome distraction) and if anyone has any tips, then please comment below and let me know!!!

Happy writing and revising and editing and . . . this is not a good way to end a blog post.

Bye.