Writer’s Necessities

*leans back to take a cool sip of coffee* *Chokes on said cup of coffee*

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It is I, Amie again, and I am here to give you a rundown of a writer’s necessities.  It’s a very serious subject I’m about to write on, so please be considerate of this.  I thank you kindly.

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#1 A Pen

A pen is a very tricky object.  Some are dead, others flow, while some scratch, and others give the most uncomfortable blisters ever.  If you’re serious about being a writer, you must be serious about your companion, a pen.  Your pen will treat you well, if you treat it well.  Some people prefer pencils, but they disappear a bit faster from the universe.  You need a trusty sidekick that is compatible with…

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#2 A notebook

Life would be extremely dull without a place to put your thoughts.  If you’re anything like me, you um…Well, forget everything you think of in a short amount of time.  Or perhaps that is only my problem.  And so, as a writer, you need to remember what you’re supposed to be writing, and not move on to the next project.  Keep your mind focused on the project at hand instead of interviewing the potential projects for the future.

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#3 A beverage

Maybe I’m the only person that finds having something to drink keeps me from getting up a million times and never actually writing?  If I know I won’t die of thirst in the middle of a chapter, I’m comfortable.  We can start the action, and ignore the fact that you just remembered you have a mile high pile of dishes to clean.

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#4 Books, books, and more BOOKS.

Um, more than half of the work going into the novel is research and inspiration, so a writer obviously needs books, books, and more BOOKS.  Just as a musician needs to be acquainted with all forms of music, an author needs to be grounded in all types of genres and writing styles.  The beginning of writing is reading.  (Actually 95% of writing is reading.)

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#5 Blankets

You get cold sitting right next to the air vent, or just doing nothing in the middle of winter (or perhaps summer?) is very bone chilling, and so, you need your blankets.  I have about three different trusty blankets.  A winter blanket (that I have wrapped around me now, LOL.) a fall/summer blanket, and my summer blanket.  Blankets are very very needful.

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#6 Out of this world imaginations.

Okay, so not every writer has this, but some of the best do.  And according to everyone that knows me, so do I.  It’s very helpful to be able to imagine a whole new world in five minutes.  (No, don’t tell me that I left a lot of loop holes.  Pantsers don’t like being told that.)  It’s very helpful to come up with unique ways to murder someone, or unique ways to drive a car.

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#7 Food

Food is very important to most writers, though I find food distracting.  Most writers have their special food (CHOCOLATE, anyone?  I honestly prefer lettuce) that helps the creativity.  Find your special food and…Um, have it boost creativity.

#8 Places to people watch

People watching is one of my favorite sports as long as I can sit in a corner.  I like to make up descriptions and write small sketches with people I see.  It can be very entertaining, and I’m hoping it actually improves writing skills…(Though I’m not sure if it improves my people skills.)

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#9 Music

Writing inspiration music is the perfect thing for setting the tone for a scene you’re about to write.  I used to be too distracted by the music to actually write, but I’ve learned how to multitask. 😂  Find the music for your story, and enjoy it!  For my WIP, I’ve been listening to a lot of 40s music.

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#10 Computer

You probably need a computer (or typewriter) to write your story.  After you have everything else, that is. 😉

And that, my friend, are some of the needed things for being a writer.  I hope you enjoyed this post, and stay tuned for Cam’s next post.  (She’s been working rather hard on it.)

~~Amie~~

Our Dying Stories…

I know a lot of “writers” who can’t finish a book…or even a short story.  They’re in love with writing, they enjoy it, and they are frustrated by it.  They just can’t come up with a good ending…or a good middle…or a good beginning.

Writing is an art.  Each writer will have their own voice or style.  Sometimes I get critiqued for writing this blog with an “Incorrect” style…In other words, writing this like I’m talking to you.  I try to shrug off those comments, because this is my style.  When writing a book, I don’t write like this, and I most certainly don’t write in first person.

But back to the main topic.  Why are the “writers” having such trouble?  Why can’t they (or you) finish a story?

I found I couldn’t either.  I’d type and type and type…and then after six, seven, eight chapters, I’d fizzle out.   What could I write next?  I just didn’t feel like writing any more.  Who wants to do something when it feels like a chore?

The first time I tried to write a book, I was nine.  No lie, I was nine (or was I eight?) and I had no idea how to write, and my grammar?  Hah!  It was a book called “Flowers” and I have a very justifiable reason why it fizzled out.  I lost the notebook I kept it in.

The second book I tried to write was when I was ten.  Three of my friends and I decided to write a historical fiction.  We couldn’t agree on what should happen, and since it was on my family’s computer, I totally rewrote it.

What did I write about?  The Lee family before the Civil war.  And then I found out it was totally unhistorical, so I gave up.

Giving up is a big problem in all of our lives.  Writers often have a brilliant idea.  They sit down at their computers laughing and saying, “Splendid!” But when the tough part comes, they realize that the book would need a lot of editing.  What’s the best idea?  Ditch it.  Throw it in the trash.  Or, maybe just let it sit.  I’ll get back to it fresh with ideas.

The problem I’ve found with letting it sit is that your fresh ideas don’t line up with your old ideas.  You have totally different views on where you want to take the book, so you might as well ditch it and start a new one.

So, what is the actual answer to people who write me and ask for help with their writing?  There is none.  There isn’t some simple fix to help your dying stories.  You are the only person who can save your writing career, and you are the only person who can ruin it.

A lot of people get scared off by growing pains.  We’ve all felt them in some area of our lives.  They’re unpleasant.  No one enjoys sitting at the computer feeling like your brain is fried.  Someone once told me that when you feel the pain, that’s when it really counts.  When you feel that your story is a failure, and you need to step up the pace, that’s when continuing really counts.

A lot of famous books weren’t so good on the first try.  Their authors had to write…and rewrite…and rewrite.  Want to know why the books are so good?  Because the people didn’t give up.  They persevered.

A lot of “writers” enjoy the title of writer.  They love the fun part of writing, but once it gets hard, they quit.  A lot of “musicians” enjoy playing, or listening to music, but once they have to sacrifice things for what they want to do, they give up.

How then do I get my writing to work?  What is my secret?

Alone, everything I write would be a failure.

No lie.  I’m not kidding here.  I have no talent, I’m not even a good writer.  But there’s Someone who writes through me.

A few weeks ago, I was staring at what I had written asking myself why it was such a flat story.  Why wasn’t it flowing?  Then I realized I had missed and forgotten the most important part of my writing.

I had forgotten to pray.

Without prayer and the fear of God, we can’t write anything but the foolishness.  You need to rely on our Heavenly Father, and evaluate if you really are called to be a writer.  If you are, you will have a hard and rocky journey ahead of you.  Writing is not all sunshine and rainbows.  In fact, there are a lot of tornadoes down the writing path.

The only Person who can get us through the writing path is God.  He’s there to take you, to carry you, and to lead you.  Trust in His strength, for when we are weak, we are strong.

~~Amie~~

 

Love/hate Relationship

I love writing.  Well, maybe love isn’t the write word.  I adore it.  If there was something I could do as a side job, it would be writing.  Why?  Well, there is something I like better.  (Hint: it falls under entertainment.)

But, I hate writing.

You just fell out of your seat; because if you’ve been following this blog, you know how much of my time is taken up in writing.  I will repeat myself.  I hate writing.

Why?  Because of this one part that is a must if you write.  It makes my heart bleed, and my mind tie itself into knots.  What is it?

Editing…

I hate it.  My whole mind and body revolts in it.  Well, there is one part of editing I do like.  I enjoy reading my writing over again.  To be honest, I either laugh at it, or fall on the floor and grovel.  HOW COULD I HAVE SENT THIS TO A FRIEND? (Yes, if you are that friend reading this, I’m so sorry!  {I know you follow this blog})

I hate chopping off this.  I hate realizing I didn’t put a comma here, and I should have used a semicolon there.  And, when others read it, I should have described it a bit different.  It makes my brain hurt just thinking of it!

But, I’m here to give you some pointers on your writing/editing journey.  I don’t want you to give up because you didn’t have a plan.  Draw up your blue print, and hear about mine.  Ready for the journey?

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I’m in despair! 

#1. Wait.

Wow!  So origanal.  But it’s necessary.  You just wrote a wonderful novel full of jokes, laughter, and fun.  Wait three months before you edit it.  Then, the mistakes stand out a lot more.  And, the story seems brand new!

Really, to be honest, when I’ve waited I find the story more interesting.  I’m like, “Dude, I wrote this?  Can I have a fist-bump please?”

And, when I plung right in, I’m like, “Ugh!  I’m tired of this story…”

Regardless, really think about this point.  There is a reason it’s number one.

#2. Chose a special pen.

How dull is it to use a dull pen to edit with?  You need something special.  Something just as special as the your story!  I like to use pink.  Why?  Because I absolutely hate pink.  Also, it makes me feel maliciously evil. >:)

Why doesn’t everyone use fancy pens?  That’s what I would like to know.  They put you in such a better mood.  Match your mood with your pen!  Feeling a bit calm? chose blue.  Feeling a bit chipper?  Chose yellow!

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#3. Take it one step at a time.

Don’t rush it.  I often am so busy, I rush my editing.  I do ten chapters in a day.  The only problem with that method is…I don’t want to do another chapter for another week.  Yep, I get lazy.

So, take one chapter at a time.  And don’t beat yourself if you miss a day.  I often find myself chewing myself out over a missed day.  Life is too short to worry about that…and, I’m sure God will forgive you for wasting a day.  But still, that isn’t an excuse.  We only have so long to live.  Make the most of it.

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#4.  Have fun with it.

Finished editing?  Great!  Rip up all those nasty pages and throw them in the air!  Party!  Your book is well on it’s way to the press!  If you don’t feel like ripping them, ball them up and have a surprise attack on your brother.  Or, scribble all over them.

Did you enjoy the tips?  Let me know!

~~Amie~~