Whether you are an avid journal writer or you’re starting because of a new year’s resolution…welcome! Every now and then it’s good to go back to the basics. These are in no means an ‘How to’ on journal writing- just more of a way to get you started or to hit refresh.
You don’t have to put pen to paper.
More of the traditional way of journaling is to keep a notebook and pen handy and simply write! But now there are so many more options. You can dedicate a notes section on your phone to journaling, a file on your computer, or you can download an app to use on your tablet! Whatever will feel more comfortable and will keep you journaling.
Keep realistic expectations.
The best way to start something new, or keep something going is to establish a routine. Set realistic expectations for when you want to journal. It is also easier when you link it to something you do everyday. For example, on the train ride commute to work, while you’re having your morning coffee, or when you’re getting ready for bed. Create a healthy habit for yourself.
Write about gratitude.
When in doubt write about gratitude. It can be life changing for mental health when you take the time to write about what you are grateful for. And you can start small with the things in front of you and go from there.
Try something new.
Go outside the box and make your journal personal and messy! Add pictures, or scraps that you have found throughout the day, like a good newspaper article for example. Re-read and write in the margins!
Write for you.
This may be the most important of the journaling basics. Remember why you started it, and write for yourself. No one has to read it and it will not be graded or criticized. Think about what goals you have for yourself and your journal and work towards that.
What a year, am I right? But, now it’s time to welcome the new year the way most people do- with great resolutions! It is the time to reflect on the previous year and see where you want to take the new year. Here are reading themed resolutions that you can start in 2021:
Listen to more audiobooks.
Take a break from your average reading time and pop in an audiobook. It gives you the opportunity to multitask. Listen to your book at the gym, in the car, or while you cook!
Take notes while you read.
Expand your mind and think about what you’re reading. Write down your thoughts or quotes. Then you can come back and read your notes later!
Read books on your reading list or create a reading list.
Lists are beautiful! It gives you a reminder of what you want and something to look forward to. If you’re like me, you need a list or else you will forget what you even wanted to read in the first place.
Write more book reviews.
Did you love it or dislike it? Either way write a thoughtful book review to give other people a look inside the book. It is helpful for potential readers and authors!
Try a different genre.
I know trying new things can be scary, but you might like it! Go outside your comfort zone of historical romance and try a new mystery!
Modify the resolutions to fit you! It always helps to write them down and keep it in a spot that you can use as a daily reminder.
Writing resolutions post coming soon! So make sure you give us a follow:)
With this blog we encourage writers to write, and keep writing. That is how you get better and find your inner most thoughts and ideas. But what happens when you write and write and don’t finish? What do you do with the work?
Well…we have some tips for you on how you can use your unfinished work to your advantage!
As a writer, many of your pieces may have the same tone, setting, or even characters. Go through your old works and see what pieces can fit together. I never said this was going to be an easy task…but it could be a fun one!
Learn from them.
While this task might be the easiest, and the most obvious it can still be a challenge. Ask yourself why you never finished a certain piece. Then keep asking yourself questions. See if there is any similarity to your answers with your pieces, then devise a solution.
Pick up from where you left off. Sometimes all an unfinished piece needs is time! Clear your head and try to keep the momentum going! There is no better way to grow as a writer than to finish your work, leaving no rock unturned!
I challenge you to try these tasks. And in the future, before you are about to throw in the towel, ask yourself why you are stopping. And NEVER delete your work! It is unique to you and can help you grow. It was part of your adventure and can become your beginning if you work at it.
Lucky day for you! Today we are going to dive into trickery and deception to write my favorite fluid character archetype: the trickster.
Now, this can be on of the protagonist’s friends or one of the antagonist’s henchmen. Or, plot twist, they don’t have any firm association with either and bounce around from faction to faction. Most tricksters are written into a narrative simply for the fun of it. Typically, an experiment for a writer, which is why you’re here…no?
One thing you’ll need to draft out for your mighty jokester to be effective is: their goal. Or goals, if you’re feeling crazy. This character is going to have the most obscure goal, no one is going to know it other than your reader (maybe). No one in their immediate life should know what they’re after. It’s for them…and them alone.
Let’s talk about what the essentials are to writing the ideal trickster. They have tropes, as any character archetype does!
Here’s the thing about the tricky one: they are trying to manipulate someone in order to achieve their goal. In order to do so, they are going to make it seem as though they are incapable of doing anything. By doing so, they will be able to act more freely and move towards what they are aiming for. Appearing dumb and out of their minds to their “allies” is probably the smartest way to manipulate them into thinking they won’t have to worry about them as much as they may other, more useful allies.
Being a Pro at Analyzation
This particular character needs to know who their working with. What I mean is, they need to be able to analyze their ‘victim’ efficiently and know how to take advantage of them. The best way to take down the ‘enemy’ is by taking note of their weaknesses. Once they have access to that, they will be able to relentlessly use it against their target. They don’t have any care in the world about the person’s feelings…they care about getting what they want!
A Master of Disguise
What happens If your character is in the game of deception for a long time? Those people around them start to see right through them. Being a master of disguise goes beyond physical appearance. Will the trickster be able to deceive their way into a group of individuals? Can they be able to both look and act the part? Being able to hide themselves is important. Staying hidden can make for a very fun and interesting reveal once the trickster meets their goal!
Lie is a Lie Being obscure is fun and all, and practically the whole point of this character. However, you want your reader to know something is fishy with this character. It can be a bit confusing if the trickster comes out from left field with an “A-ha!” moment. You want those subtle hints in actions and dialogue so your reader can look back and say, ”Oh, it was right in front of me this whole time!” Or take note of something being strange about this particular character. Keep this in mind: a lie is a lie. Let your reader catch this character in a lie, or doing a shady act…but use their charisma and cunning tongue to hide the truth. Your reader will be impressed.
These are the basics behind the tricksters. Some prime examples from literature are Tom Sawyer, Skeeter (from The Help), Matilda, The Cheshire Cat (from Alice in Wonderland), Tyrion Lannister (from the Game of Thrones series.) The list goes on!
Do you have any trickster in mind that has done a great job with manipulating those around them? Let us know!
Here you will find some tips, advice, and thoughts to hopefully help you in writing your next friends to lovers romance!
Don’t forget the roots! It’s a friends to lovers romance after all, so try and make the friendship a big part of the story. The friendship is the upclimb, where the conflict and tension builds, so don’t ignore the friendship aspect. Find a way to establish a friendship that is unique. Avoid ‘love at first sight’ and try to create a different kind of connection. Do they have a routine they follow when they are together? Did it start off as playful banter or jokes turned compassion?
Awkward is okay. Let’s face it, how can anyone go from being friends to lovers without there being a little awkwardness in between. But, it is up to you to choose the kind of awkward. Whether it be cute, sexy ,or comedic depends on how you built the characters.
Make the reader care. Off the bat the reader doesn’t want to already think everything will work out between the two characters. Hint at the beginning the connection between the characters, but don’t give them a full on romance from the start. Trust your reader to pick up on the little things, and let there be some doubt- a risk involved where the two characters might not be able to work it out.
These are just a few tips and some helpful advice to get the ball rolling on your friends to lovers romance. Please share any additional tips you may have. And check out some of our authors’ very own friends to lovers novels to give you some inspiration!
It happens to the best of us…we say we are going to read, read, read and then once life catches up to us or we aren’t feeling inspired the reading stops. And it may take a while to get back into the swing of things.
But don’t worry! Follow some of these tips to put you back in the reading mood!
Listen to recommendations.
Sometimes things truly go in one ear and out the other, but try and listen to what your fellow readers have to say! Give one of their recommendations a shot, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Pick up an old favorite.
Go back to a book you know you love to put you back into the mood. After you finish it you may be more eager to try something new.
Celebrity reading lists.
If you have a favorite celebrity like Reese Witherspoon or Oprah take a look at their reading list. It could spark some inspiration!
Judge a book by its cover.
I know. I know. But sometimes it’s necessary! Take a good stroll through the bookstore or browse a website and just see what catches your eye. You want to look for something that you know you will open!
Try a new method.
If you have only picked up a paperback book, switch it up! Listen to an audiobook or try an ebook out and see if you like it better.
I get in my own rut from time to time, but I like to use these tips for myself to put me back in my reading game! Try them out and see if they work for you!
I don’t know about you but when I’m excited about anything I put my whole self into doing it. Almost to a point of obsession, I devote myself to that task. For example, bullet journaling. I told myself that I wanted to bullet journal so I made sure I had the perfect one and the prettiest markers and I was going to bullet journal every day!
It was something that I knew would make me happy and I was excited to start my day journaling. You need to find that goal. Something where you wake up and that is the first thing you want to try and accomplish for the day. It could be working out, listening to 30 minutes of an audiobook, or jotting down new book ideas. Basically anything that won’t give you the mentality of ‘oh, I’ll just do it later.”
Your goals are waiting to be reached! And we want to help you get there! Follow us for more Monday motivation on here, Instagram and Facebook!
Our number one tip for all writers is…to write! Who would have thought! But in all seriousness the best thing for you to do is write no matter what. You are not being judged, and nothing is a bad idea. It is simply the best way to spread your ideas on the page and rummage through your own mind. And remember flow is flow!