Save or Delete?

Have you ever sat down to work on your writing project and thought, I’m not into this like I was three months ago? And how you want to dedicate your time to a work-in-progress that you actually care about? Or do you feel as though you’re working on a project and it feels forced? Are you asking yourself: should I save or delete?

Here’s what we have to say: don’t abandon a project simply because you’re not passionate about it. Some writers burn themselves out trying to write what they think needs to be done. Other times, it’s a lack of inspiration. What should you do if this happens to you?

conflicted.gif

Our favorite suggestion is take a nap. All jokes aside, rest your brain and focus on other activities you like. Napping could be one of those things. Don’t question if you want to save or delete a project. If you’re ever leaning towards the delete option, we recommend still saving the work someplace where you can’t visually see it. Mainly because if you stumble across it later on, you may spark new interest and inspiration.

Bottom line is: give yourself a break. Stop thinking too much into it. Save it. Don’t delete.

Real Endings Need Love Too!

real boy.gifWe’re not saying there are fake endings floating around in the writing world but what we are trying to say is realism is a wonderful way to end a book. Seriously! To remind your reader their head shouldn’t be in the clouds will have them feeling a lot.

Take a moment to think about a not-so-happy ending you read and stuck with you. There’s a reason why you remember it…it’s memorable due to being different than all the rest. We also want to mention: these endings don’t have to be sad, necessarily. Just real.

Sometimes people like the chaos and fire-burning-everywhere ending to a book they’re invested in. Or the cookie-cutter romantic, hero saves everyone at the end of the day. It’s about preference.

Or shock value.

You choose.

A Visual Tale

Originating in Japan, the visual novel has made quite the impact on interactive reading for tweens, teenagers, and new adults.

A platform designed for artists and storytellers, visual novels take reading to a new level. Some stories revolve around custom characters, while others don’t. The storylines vary but the biggest genre here is romance.

By teaming up with graphic designers or digital artists, authors can create a version of their story which would appeal to those who like visuals accompanying their story or travel down the similar route as Harry Potter. (We’re talking about the game released where you become the witch or wizard, in case you missed it!) Building the world for your readers first and building a fanbase, may make transitioning to visual novels much easier. They don’t all have to be romance stories; they’re just the easiest genre to get into!

visual novel.gif

Creature From The Black Lagoon…?

We’ve finally made it to the end of European legends and mythological creatures. Next week we’ll be venturing over to East Asia to see what sort of creatures and legends we can inspire you to incorporate into your writing!

Onto this week, though! Could we have found what inspired the Creature from the Black Lagoon?


vodnik.JPG

Vodník Czech Republic

Basic Facts:

  • The appearance of the Vodník varies…from a man with webbed hands and gills to a humanoid frog. The description of this creature depends on the location of the myth. His story gets around!
  • On the side of good or evil? The Vodník can be aligned with either. But the bad ones are the recorded ones. They try to drown people who are in their territory!
  • To pass the time, this creature likes to play cards, smoke pipes, or just hang out near the water and overlook their home.
  • Sometimes, fisherman give the spirit tobacco as a trade for fish.
  • They don’t have a mentioned home…but sea water is deadly for them! Just speculating, not confirmed.

Mood Rings

We’re not going to talk your ear off about how mood rings are real and they need to be taken more seriously…no, instead, we’re going to talk your ear off about colors and symbolism in your writing.

Using colors to accentuate the mood you’re trying to convey in your scenes may help your form of story-telling improve. It could be your main character can now see surrounding characters’ auras and the auras tell your character how a particular person is feeling. Or quite possibly there are colors within a room to set a mood in which your character is about to enter.

Use this color bar image we found on the great, big internet to give you a start on what sort of colors to use in your writing!

color bars.jpg

Head Count

We’ve talked about killing off characters more than once on this blog…but today we’re discussing how many characters you should keep ALIVE to complete your tale.

counting.gif

First of all, you need your protagonist. Usually there is only one of these but sometimes there are more. It takes a certain type of writer to have more than one protagonist.

Character count: 1

Next up, we have the deuterangonist. Or more commonly known as the sidekick. Let the confusion start here. Limit your sidekick to a single being, or two. To this we say: have fun. They’re very important characters who need to be just as well-crafted as the protagonist. If you’re still getting the hang of writing, stick to one.

Character count: 2

The antagonist becomes our next character to focus on. Don’t be fooled though; the antagonist doesn’t always have to be another person. Your protagonist could have very real inner demons they can’t shake like struggling with mental health, addiction…and so on. This should almost always be a single thing. Think of it as your target that you’ve zeroed in on and need to destroy. Your protagonist would think the same thing.

Character count: 3

Love. If your character finds their love along the way, there’s another character to include on your list. The love interest character could cross over in being a deuterangonist. There’s one less character you have to flesh out!

Character count: 3-4

If your main character is on an epic journey for the books, a mentor is always a plus. Most characters aren’t all-knowing and if they are in your book…well, this is about to get awkward. Keep a mentor down to one…they usually get killed off at some point.

Character count: 4-5

Secondary characters matter, as well. Two of these slightly developed beings in your story would be enough. Your subplots usually revolve around these characters and they contribute to the main plot line with the protagonist.

Character count: 6-7

Last but not least, we have the tertiary characters. These are the characters that aren’t really talked about in great detail but they’re still contributing to the protagonist’s journey the number to this is subject to the kind of story you’re writing.

Then you’ll have flat characters that aren’t too important at all. These are the characters your protagonist comes across in passing.

How many characters do you limit yourself to in your writing? How many do you think is appropriate?

Nope, Nope, Nope.

Have you ever looked over your old work and thought, What in the world was I thinking?

We know how that may feel sometimes, so we thought it was about time we helped you embrace the cringe with some memes


should not.jpgImagine this: you start reading some piece written three years ago and your first thought is…No. No. Why? No.

Cheers to feeling that way. Just so you know, you should not have done then.

year.jpg

Sometimes, with re-reading old work, people get inspired to re-write it. Which leads us into our next meme: the lengthy process that goes along with it.

You never know how long it’s going to take, but you know it has to get done sometime or another. Once it is done, though…you realize you’ve lost track of reality.

everywhere.jpg

One of my personal favorites is when you notice how many times you used one specific word. For me, it’s just. For others, it’s that. You never know what word you actually lean on until you type it into your word finder and it pops up over 500,000 times throughout your entire manuscript.

 

Wrong Alps

When I first saw the name of our next mythological creature, I immediately thought, “how are the Swiss Alps lore?” I would like to confirm, we are not talking about the Swiss Alps. Just regular alps.


alp.jpg

AlpGermany

“Shapeshifting goblin that evokes nightmares in sleeping victims.”

Basic Facts:

  • Similar to the picture above, an alp appears small and child-like. Most times, elf-like. But don’t be fooled: they’re still goblins! These little creatures are male a good chunk of the time, too.
  • They can be summoned by witches.
  • What’s so threatening about an alp? Well, they wear a little hat which gives them the powers they do use to terrorize people. They come into a person’s home while they’re sleeping. They’ll sit on the person to cause nightmares. Sometimes, they’ll travel through the person’s nostril to gain control of their whole being for a short period of time.
  • These little guys may be bad most of the time, but there’s a reason! The evil eye is what causes the alps to act out. You can remove it…forcing them to lose their evil intent.
  • If an alp is caught in the act of terror by morning, the alp can be asked to leave. They’ll try to bargain so don’t fall for their tricks! Beware!

A Writer’s Self Care Routine

  1. If you write with the help of a beverage, we suggest anything caffeinated.
  2. Eat. This is a gift not many writers get to enjoy. We would advise sticking to something quick and fatty, but if you’re watching your health, don’t listen to us.
  3. Remember that killing off characters is necessary in some stories. So, sit back, relax, and plot the next death in your tale.
  4. Stuff your handy-dandy notebooks with every single idea that comes to your head. Your brain will thank you later.
  5. Sleep. You deserve it.

deserve.gif

Take A Breather

We always need a friendly reminder to not rush.

If you’re a bit slower on the creation process, don’t let outside influences push you to think you’re not writing fast enough. With speed, may come plenty of plot holes, missing events or a lot of fluff. Readers can easily be turned away.

Take your time building your story, creating your characters, and finalizing the setting. Don’t let your writing fall victim to the speed demon wishing to take control within you!

practice.gif