Steady at Six

2014 is a funny sort of year. After having a few runs at the gauntlet that is NaNoWriMo, I’m about to embark on my sixth attempt. While I’ve suggested I know what I’m going to write about, the truth is that (like every other year), there’s a strong chance I’ll change what I’m going to write about before the month of November begins.

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Writing Musts: Realise That All Readers Are The Same

The most important thing about your writing, is that it starts with a bang. The more explosions, the better. You need to grab your readers by the throat and shake them until they lose consciousness. Rouse them, and then SHAKE THEM SOME MORE. There is literally NO other way to grab and hold the attention of a reader short of being there beside them when they do and MAKING THEM READ IT.

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Writing Musts: Except Your Brilliance

After toiling away at the first draft of a novel, pouring so much enthusiasm into the beast, heaping tremendous amounts of your own brilliance into your storytelling with an assortment of carefully chosen words and plot development, expectations can run high.

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Writing Musts: Getting Wise to the Whys

Questions about why writers write are one of those things that will never go away. Some do have stated reasons that they’re aware of, while others have a draw to the medium that is inexplicable to them.

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Writing Musts: Divorcing the Ego

There is a lot of romance attached with the idea and ideals of being a writer, and many images that have come to be associated with it due to the presentation of writers through different mediums. Though probably not the one featured on this post.

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Something Borrowed

Sometimes we get stuck. The story we’re writing stops working, or the words don’t feel right (if they’re coming out at all). There’s many ways to counter that miasma, and get us producing words again.

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A Commitment

Is it a surprise to anyone that writing takes time? The quality changes with experience, but few wordsmiths can push out exactly what they want on the first go. Even if they could, it takes time, from the 5-10K of a short story through to ranges between 50-250K for either novellas, novels or tomes. There’s no escaping that.

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Those that Loom and Lurk

Given the choice between the known and unknown, the unknown is often scarier. It’s the more exciting of the two when it comes to a chance to explore or engage in an opportunity, but when it comes to an obstacle between us and our goals, it’s best when it’s a known quantity.

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The Perils of Urgency

Keeping up with people is never easy, and it’s also never the way. Whenever something breaches new territory in a medium, it very often starts a trend, and the medium is then inundated with other attempts to capitalise on the trend until the idea is thoroughly beaten to death.

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When Ending A Scene Becomes Creating Another

I’ve been working on Trail, though had hit a miniature roadblock. These things inevitably happen, and it was about expression. I was happy with the last line that I’d written, and thought it said everything I wanted to at that moment – however it didn’t feel like the end of a scene. It still wanted more.

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Seven Signs Your Characters Will Try To Kill You

Yes, Seven!

I’m not being alarmist. I swear I’m not. At the back of your mind, you, Writer, have always known that there was something off about your characters. You’ve read them over and over, tried to understand what they were doing in your story, but always felt unsettled by their presence. Were you just paranoid? Were you just doubting your characters instead of doubting yourself? Was it all just IN YOUR MIND?

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I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

Writers bear a wonderful burden. They’re the only ones that can put the exact story they’ve imagined into words so that others can experience it too. Even the most horrible procrastinator that gets no further than an outline, or concept, or title… they experience a piece of creativity that few others will ever see.

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The Mood of your Story

Sometimes when I start these, I’m sure that I’m retreading old ground. Okay, yes, it’s ALL old ground considering somebody else has covered every single thing about writing you can imagine at some point (even Ring Method, despite my self-indulgent glee at ‘discovering’ it).

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My Muse is a Bitch

Somewhere between the real and the fictional, sits an invisible pixie, satyr, yahg or platypus that feeds you ideas. The muse. She (or he, or it) is never around when you want them to be. It’s their fault when we have writer’s block, when we want to abandon the plot we’ve been thrashing through for the sake of the new one about the dancing robot with an elven girlfriend, and when our character decides to jump out of a plane we’re intent on killing them in.

My muse is a bitch.

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Write What You Breathe

Write What You Know.

I hate Write What You Know. What do we know, though? We know our lives. You can use factors of your life and turn that stale mantra into something helpful. Remember when you were sad that a-billion-times? Use it for a character. Know a shitload about tax law? Tough – I don’t want to read it.

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