Writer’s block is far from fun for any writer. The thought of not being able to achieve a significant chunk of writing in one session after another holds so many creators back from moving forward with their novels. Sometimes writer’s block can be incredibly discouraging, pushing wordsmiths into a hole and often times leading them to give up their work. Most writers don’t actually want to give up their dreams, they just feel like they don’t have any other choice because every story idea they have doesn’t go anywhere. The Write Nook is here to help our readers put their fingers back on the keyboard and to get their ideas rolling again.
The best way to cure writer’s block is simple: keep writing.Famous authors recommend it, so you can do it, too.
To celebrate #WritingWednesday, we wanted to put together some fun writing prompts to kick start your creative brain. Let’s light a match and put it to the dimming flame together!
- At a wake for a father, the estranged ex-wife slow dances with their son. Why does she dance with him, and what secret does she whisper in his ear as they dance?
- Your character goes to a psychic, who sets them up with some creepy foreshadowing.
- Somebody’s knocking at the door. Somebody’s ringing the bell. Open the door and let them in, whoa…wait, it’s four AM. What’s going on? Who could it be?
- This whole scene would be more interesting if someone had a hangover. And also, if they couldn’t remember last night.
- Pirates attack and pillage. This is more fun if the story DOESN’T take place in the sixteenth century.
All of these prompts come from writing generators (and here, or there). These generators can provide some amusement as well as inspiration. The best part is if there is a comment section, writers tend to share what they’ve written. Those can be fun to read and potentially spark some inspiration, as well. Even with a writing generator, one can write a short story to merely exercise the brain-it doesn’t need to be your next masterpiece.
Now go get out of that writing slump and back in action!
If you are travelling down the self-publishing path, then creating a book cover is going to be another part of your publishing journey. After walking through aisles and aisles of books at the local B&N, I started to notice the similarities amongst some of the genres. There’s a cycle a writer should keep in mind when creating the cover to their book. If you were the book, the process would go a little something like this:
- Get noticed by the potential reader browsing all your friends on the bookshelf or Amazon page.
- Either you’re picked up or clicked on, because you’re just that interesting.
- If you’re exactly what the potential reader wants, they’ll buy you.
- Of course, they’ll read you.
- After they’re done, they’re going to talk about you to other people. They’ll entice their peers with your inspiring and rich content.
- Let this process repeat.
But, how can you get to step one? A good cover takes a couple different factors into account. For a fiction novel, you won’t want to include too much text. The title, author name, and maybe an essential quote from the book or a shortened quote from a reviewer is more than enough to do the trick. When you add too much text, it becomes too much for a the reader to consume or it might reveal too much about your novel. This can cause the reader to quickly put your book back on the shelf or scroll onto the next book. Quick catchphrases or quotes can sometimes be a good subheading – but make sure it doesn’t go much beyond a sentence. If images help your novel pop, make sure the image used is significant to the plot of your novel. It becomes visually appealing when a story about a dog, has a dog on it (or whatever the story may be). When you pick the right image, a reader can get just as much information about your novel from just looking at the cover as they can from reading its summary.
Let’s use Caraval by Stephanie Garber as an example. The cover of Caraval is a happy medium between being too boring and too active. The bright white color font of the title pops out at you, so you are immediately drawn to the title. The lettering intertwines elegantly with the star design without being too intrusive, adding a little extra pizzazz without hindering your ability to read the text easily. The glittery stars within the star design, against the space background, flow together in a simple manner. When creating your cover, you want to reflect the story you’re telling. In Garber’s novel, her main character, Scarlett, must find her sister in five nights while being surrounded by magic and performances (therefore, the star design on the cover mirrors the nighttime or bursts of magic within the novel).
If you are a visual artist, as well as a wordsmith, you might want to take it upon yourself to create your own cover because you know the image you wish to convey to your readers better than anyone else. Or recruit someone you may know or a trusted cover designer to work with you to create the perfect cover that will bring your story to life. Regardless of how your cover is made, you want to be able to appeal to your readers and represent your book in an exceptional way that wouldn’t allow it to be looked over by browsers.
In 2006, Wattpad was created. With 11 years under the company’s belt, the free platform for writing has accomplished plenty. People behind Wattpad have built ties with major publishing houses (yes, we’re talking Random House, HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, and Sourcebooks). One success story from Wattpad is Anna Todd with her AFTER Series, originally published online. Of course not everyone gets to see the rise to fame like Todd did, but services like Wattpad are making their mark on assisting authors to get noticed.
From 2014 alone, 85% of Wattpad’s traffic and usage came from mobile devices. Each month, there were 35 million unique visitors, including users. OVER 100,000 chapters are uploaded each day and OVER 2 million dedicated writers use the service
If you’re not involved or familiar with the platform, Wattpad provides a few different services. As a member, you have access to “Clubs,” which are groups for members who seek help from one another or feel the need to discuss topics relating to writing. Wattpad is also known for The Wattys- an award system created to reward writers for their stories with members participating in the votes. There are also many writing contests held for writers to challenge their own ability and to earn some credentials to their name. There is a collaborative space for beginners to learn from the stars of Wattpad how to navigate the website and how to create a fanbase. Lastly, Wattpad also hosts a writing exercise for participating writers called #JustWriteIt, a 30-day writing challenge.
As a writer, there are some pros and cons with joining Wattpad so if you’re interested in being published or if you are still deciding if the service is right for you, you will want to consider both sides: