The Rules of Writing: Tips To Help You Become A Great Writer

writing 2

Write every single day. Sit down, zone out and write away.

Start a blog, like this one. Use it to talk about your writing process, share your ideas, theories and experiences.

Use writing exercises to improve your skills, strengthen your talent, and explore different styles, genres, and writing techniques.

Just let go of your inner editor. When you sit down to write, refrain from proofreading until that draft is finished.

Allow yourself to write poorly, to write a weak, uninteresting story or a boring, grammatically incorrect poem. Allow yourself to fail. Failures teach us all about success.

You are a writer so say it out loud: “I am a writer.” Part of being anything is believing it yourself.

Read as much and as often as you can. Every great writer begins as a reader.

Keep a journal or notebook handy at all times so you can jot down all of your brilliant ideas. You never know when you will be able to slip that idea into a story.

Make sure you have a dictionary and thesaurus available whenever you are writing. You will need them.

Watch people! The people that surround you will provide you with great inspiration for characters, plots, and themes. This has been proven time, and time again, by some of the biggest writers in the business.

Writing On A Train

There’s something unique about writing on a train. While the world is literally passing you by, you sit and watch or in my case, sit and write. I’ve written a great deal while riding on the train to and from work. It has produced some of my most creative conversations between characters.

Lately I’ve been having some writing hesitation, trying to get the right descriptions out, trying to get the right words to express myself…trying to be perfect on the first shot. I always seem to forget that it’s alright not to be perfect right away. I forget that editing, editing and more editing can shed the drab writing leaving exquisiteness in it’s wake.

It was today writing on a train that I wrote something of pride. It was nothing more than four sentences but it was the best four sentences. That feeling is still lingering in my veins and has pushed me to finish the chapter and start on the next.

There may be inconveniences like limited seating, gross smells, loud noises, etc while taking the commuter rail. If it means that I can produce works of literary art that can astound readers, I’ll find a wall to lean against with my iPod in my ears, typing away mindless until the doors open at my destination.

New Story & Beta Reader Feedback

I’ve had a few beta readers look over one of the newer stories that I’ve been working on and received fantastic feedback. I was actually surprised by how quickly they were taken with the story, which was followed by immediate orders to continue writing.

While working on the next chapter of this story, a song by Kacey Musgraves came on and it was perfect timing indeed. The tone of the song only seemed to assist in pushing me further even if the meaning isn’t exactly the same within the story. Her voice is absolutely beautiful and soothes the soul. And I wanted to share it with all of you.

Keep It To Yourself By Kacey Musgraves

The Addiction

I thought I was running out of blue pens a few months ago and bought a pack of my favorite type. A few weeks later, two of my pens died and I felt the need to buy another pack to replenish my stash.

Last week while shopping with my husband I had this feeling inside, “When was the last time you bought blue pens?” So while he wasn’t looking, I ran to the office supply section and bought another few packs.

We decided to start spring cleaning/organizing this past weekend and you’ll never guess what I found. In fact you will, because I clearly have an addiction. And while I believed that I was going through them as quickly as I was buying them…that wasn’t the case. I am now banned from office supply stores until I go through my large stash of blue pens.

I call that an exciting challenge, don’t you?

Four Day Work Week Inspired Idea Machine

I thoroughly enjoyed my three day weekend last week. Having Monday off was an added perk allowing me more time to spend with friends and not worrying about forcing so much into a two day span. That being said, this week feels excruciatingly long. The longest four days that I’ve had to deal with and today hasn’t truly begun yet.

Last night, I was venting to my best friend on the drive home (via hands-free bluetooth device) about a new story idea that I had. She thought it was a little crazy and being that the story is about 50% fact, it made me laugh further. Needless to say that it has joined the collection of stories that are already waiting their turn to be written. At least this story is filled with humor from page one to the end.

Halfway home another idea bubbled up which i brought to her attention and she chuckled even more at me. She is more than used to this happening by now from our conversations but the story is very supernatural and unorthodox to my usual style. That excited me the most because who wants to be stuck in the same box, writing the same story over and over again? Who wants to read the same story over and over again? I want to be able to pick up several books by the same author and know for a fact each story is different and unique.

After getting home, spending time with my husband watching the Miami Heat play the OKC Thunder and eating dinner, I called it a night. The week had really taken a toll and I just wanted to close my eyes and let it all go. About a half hour into lying in bed, did my phone go off from a text message from said best friend needing some ideas for a project she is working on. I gave her the ideas I could come up with from the top of my head and guess what happened?

Another story bubbled up which I texted to her and her reply was, “U r just pooping out ideas lol” And I was apparently. Bringing my current writing list from 40+ easily to the 50 mark. In one day. I’m not usually one for thinking up an entire story in one day, let alone three. So while i’m grateful that these stories could become their own full story for the future, maybe I can take the pieces that I love about the story and implement them in other ways.

When your ideas come to you, is it in quick succession? Do you think of just a scene or the full story? Where do you usually come up with your best ideas? Apparently my best ideas come from inconvenient timing like driving, showering, sleeping, etc. 🙂

Back To The Writing/Reading Board

I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d like to lately mostly because of the Holidays and working. Now that the Holiday madness has ended and everything seems to be settling down, I’ll have more time to be here. I’ve been steadily working on Blowing The Whistle, getting it edited and the cover is nearly finished. What makes a writer happier than being on time with a story? Being early! There aren’t enough words to express how happy I am for this story to be published.

Now that I have the time, I’m going to be trying to complete the last 25% of Hope Has A Glare as that publishing date will sneak up on me if I don’t start early. I love the weekends especially Saturdays, I don’t ‘have’ to do anything other than sit and write. My personal paradise where reality is what I say it is. We’ve all had moments where we’ve wanted to escape and lately I’ve more than wanted to hibernate in my self-created world.

Late last night I decided that I needed to read something interesting but I didn’t know where to start. My list of books to read is very long. I had heard great things about Beautiful Bastard By Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings so I gave it a shot…at 10 pm. I managed a quick peak at the clock between chapters and it was almost 1am. I was so engrossed that time meant nothing and my brain/ heart begged me to continue reading. I had to call it quits or I’d be a mess for work today but I plan on finishing it today if possible. I’m already at Chapter 12, 59% says my iPhone and I can’t wait to jump back into the story. TGIF!

Past Tense Vs Present Tense

When I first started writing, my opinion was that the tense didn’t matter. My entire focus was to get the story out, get the story told exactly the way I needed. And the only way for me to do that was to write in present tense. Even now after writing for almost two years, I write in present tense. The only way to explain it is that in my mind, the story is happening in this very moment. The feelings as purely written as I feel in that moment.

So when the discussion of tense change came about, I sided with present tense. I was already writing that way and it seemed to be my personal preference. I didn’t understand the difficulty of reading present tense versus past tense after reading my own stories so many times. And to be clear, I’m not putting down anyone who prefers to read or write either tense.

I’m in the process of getting Glimmer of Hope edited. And one of the first things that my editor stated was that it would be easier for readers if it were written in past tense. While I’ve been possibly stubborn on sticking to my present tense side of the fence, my only purpose is to get my story out there. Isn’t that what really matters?

And as if to put this into perspective, the next book I purchased on Amazon was written in present tense. While I am in total agreement of going through situations with the characters, loving every minute of it might I add, that I had to make an adjustment to get into the writing style. It wasn’t a hard adjustment but I still had to make one and I’m open to the present tense. I could only imagine someone not interested in present tense, taking one look and then putting it down.

While the preference of tense still seems to be in debate, the real question still remains. However it isn’t the question that most would think it is. Some people don’t like westerns or science fiction but that doesn’t mean writers should stop writing it. It is all about reader preference. What are you willing to risk to get your story out there? Are you willing to risk losing readers because of your writing preference?

And only you can answer that.

With no evidence your new defense is useless
You can find your way around it, the obvious truth
Back when inebriant and ignorant and cruel
I was spinning all around just waiting here for you

To find your way in
Hoping you find your way in

‘Cause I’m wide awake
You are now the only thing that’s keeping me
Wide awake
Yeah I’m wide awake
Fear is now the only thing that’s keeping me
Wide awake

Wide Awake by 32 Leaves

Breeze Series & Destiny Series

With no evidenc…

Mind Games & Tricks

I need two extra heads and four extra sets of arms. Within the last two weeks, I’ve become swamped with work and unable to write or read like I’d love to do. I think my brain finds it hilarious, sitting back in a lounge chair, sending cute little creative ideas to frustrate me further. Two book ideas I have scribbled down to write months ago seemed to seep out from the cracks, plaguing me with ideas, names, places, situations, conversation that I literally couldn’t put down on paper.  It was just mean.

I recently finished my first YA novel, Breeze Series. I’m so pleased with how it turned out, everything that I told myself it would be, it has become. And I can’t stop thinking about jumping into the sequel but I have no time to divulge the way I want. So lunch time and breaks are devoted to quick notes, ideas on loose leaf paper to be stuffed into my purse.

And worse, another fantastic YA idea came along. I have yet to read a story or even hear of a story like the one in my mind which excites me. The scary/worse part is who knows when I’ll be able to pull it out. I have so many stories to be written between adult romantic thriller series, adult stand alone, adult paranormal series, and YA paranormal series. It’s almost insane to add another to the list but I know it’s a story that needs to be told.

Other than having a purse filled with tons of pieces of loose leaf paper with ideas jotted down on it, anyone have ideas on how to best get everything out? It feels like the harder I try to stay focused on work that needs to be done, the more my brain chuckles sending out ‘movie scenes’ that are wonderful. Does this issue plague anyone else? Any advice on this would help as  I’m driving myself crazy. (Had to switch to a smaller purse…no big notebook will fit anymore and it feels odd writing on my breaks…like I’m James Bond trying to quickly get the message understood before it blows up in my face. )