Trusting Our Craft

Hello! I hope that you are all safe and well during this time that we live in. I can say that My family, my boyfriend, and I are all safe, well and healthy. I now it’s been a while, since I have been on here but I’m currently adjusting to what is my new schedule for a while. Where I currently live, we are on ‘stay-at-home’ orders until May 8, which could change or who knows at this point. On that note, I want to get today’s topic.

Let me preface this conversation with this is not my first post that I have made today. My first attempt at a post today went totally into a rant session, which I do not want to do here right now. So I’m kindly switching gears to talk about trusting the craft.

Many of us see writing as a hobby, as a business, as an art form, as an escape from reality. Now matter how you see it, at the core of writing or even telling stories there is a craft. A craft that I will try to describe nicely in saying, that when it is done right, it’s like magic.

The reason why I turned to this topic for right now, is that I recently was watching Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. This series was both beautiful and for me worth the watch. Well, after I finished the last epsiode, I wanted the making of documentary, The Calling of the Crystal. Now normally, when you watch these specials they do not cover the writing process, for it’s usually over the casting, the special effects and other such elements that go into making a production like The Dark Crystal; however, with this special they did cover the subject of writing.

I’m going to say one big thing here and that as a writer I apprecaited it. You have no idea who much I apprecaited it.

Getting back to the subject, I loved a certain quote that came from special and that was from Simon Pegg, who is not only an actor but who is also a writer. He was a writer on one of the Star Trek films. He said that as writers we need to trust in the process. Granted, while he was speaking about film or television production.

This means that no matter how we tackle our writing, whether it is by means of plotting, or flying by the seat of our pants, traditionally publishing or self-publishing. No matter how we tackle our writing, we as a whole need to trust in our process. Once we trust in our processes, then we are able to focus on our writing.

The other key takeaway from what he said in the special is that, as writers we don’t need to think about designers, or builders, for you write as massive as you want. But in terms of writing books, this means not thinking about editors and book designers, all you have to think about is writing the story that you want to tell.

Focusing on that idea is one of the main reasons, why I love self-publishing. Sure I have an editor, and I have an idea of how I want the cover to look and feel but everything else relies on the craft of story telling. If it was not for that, then there wouldn’t be a book, which is the underlying goal at the end of the project.

Granted, every project in how it is handled is different. But the processes that we keep in mind at the end of the day is what makes us keep coming back to the table to tell/write the story that we want to write.

Now if you want someone to tell you and dictate what and how to write something, then by all means your writing process is controlled. Some like having it controlled while others don’t. I am one that feels that I should be able to tell the story the way that I have always done so. I have a process that works for me.

My process is different from others, and that’s fine. Not everyone has to have the same process when it comes to engaging their craft. It’s fine. But as long as you trust your craft, then your craft will see you through till the end of your project(s).

I hope that you have found this topic helpful. I hope that you stay safe and well! I hope that you have a great writing day!

 

Focusing on being Creative During Stressful times

Hi and welcome back! Of course we are now in the month of April, and for many that means the start of Camp NaNoWriMo. If you are partaking this month in Camp, I wish you and your project the best of luck. I also hope that you and your families are safe and healthy during this time of uncertainty.

Really quick, I just want to let you know that I just finished The Eighth Dwarf, which means that it will be published very soon for Amazon Kindle, and when that goes live I will let you all know.

Now that I finished my plug for my newest work, let’s get on today’s topic, which is about dealing with trying to focus on creativity during stressful times. I got the idea for this post from Kristin Martin. Kristin Martin, for those that are not aware of her, she is an author tube channel that has published works of her own. While there has been some drama centered around some parts of her business model, I still found that her latest video is something that we can all relate to right now.

Giving the current climate that we are in, with having to stay home and only go out when it necessary for essentials. We might find that currently, it is hard to focus on our creative outlets during this time, with the news being all about the virus and us having to stay home. This might be a great time to look at other methods to help get that creative flow going.

This first tip, came directly from her video, which was to write in a journal our thoughts and feelings so that way its out of our heads and onto the page. Think of this as free-writing, in that you just take that pen or pencil to the page and you just write not stopping, unless you give yourself a time limit and you write for that amount of time. This is a perfect time to write about your feeling about being home, or questions that you have about what’s going. It’s just getting the flow of writing out and started. If you feel that you have more to write, then keep writing. It’s your time to focus on what is bothering you.

Another tip, that might help and this also came from her video is to mediate. There are many that say that the practice of meditation can help during times of stress. It help calms and relaxes the nerves. This can also help with any anxiety that you might be feeling during this time. It is also a great help to those that deal with mental illness. My suggestion when it comes to mediation is to mind some relaxing music or listen to either sounds of water running or nature sounds to get you in a place to focus on what you are trying to mediate through. If you have an image that comes to you through out your mediation, then after your mediation session is completed then write all about that image. Now this last part did not come from her video, this is my personal suggestion.

Another great suggestion that I have, and this is one that I’m going to be borrowing from a couple of my past teachers, in that while you write or trying to calm yourself down listen to calming music. Sometimes music within itself and give off images that our minds and sometimes our muses grab onto so tight. This is one of those times when you are strongly encouraged to follow your muse down whatever rabbit hole that he/she might be going down. Remember, the muse is there to help in courage your drive and your determination even in times of chaos.

If you have another way to cope and to keep your creative paths flowing then keep doing what you’re doing. We all get through this one way or another, and for me during this time, the best way that I am coping is to take my fingers to the keyboard and to write. No matter your method, there is no wrong or right way, for you know your methods the best. Trust your methods and your craft will get through this.

I hope that find this post helpful. I hope that you and your families are safe and healthy. Happy Writing! Happy Creating! Until next time I hope that you have a happy writing day!

A COVID-19 Update and Writing Through the Storm

Hello everybody and welcome back! So real quick I want to give an update on where things stand with COVID-19 before moving on to today’s topic.

First and for most, I am feeling fine and my family are doing fine as well. My boyfriend is fine as well. Now on to the latest, the mayor of my town just issued a “stay-at-home” order that goes into effect at 5:00 p.m. (MST) tomorrow and that lasts through until April 10, which means that I will be home for quite a while, which means that I can focus on my business.

Now, like so many around my town they are going to the government website to see what businesses have to be closed during this time and which businesses can remain open.

What does this mean for Moonspinner3 Books?

Since Moonspinner3 Books is mainly operated online, I am able to operate during this time, like I normally am able to do. This means still publishing content and giving updates on how things are going.

With that being said let’s get today’s topic….

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Writing Through the Storm

For many of us, we can consider “stay-at-home” orders to be a sort of storm, and like most storms we are ordered or in some cases mandated to stay in our homes until the storm has passed. Also like most storms, for many of us we see it as a chance to focus on our writing or working on our projects.

But for many there is the question of how do we get that inspirational spark, while being at home? Since many of us cannot leave our homes to seek out sights or even go to the library to do our research, there are so many opportunities that we can gather from the web. This includes listening to music, doing searches through Google, or even picking up a book that maybe on your shelf. I also have discovered that streaming services also do provide some documentary features as well. There are many places that are your fingertips to gather inspiration and new material.

But I would not necessarily, say that finding inspiration may not be an issue as keeping your focus on that inspiration. Let’s face it, for many of us we have not been in our homes for long periods of time, for we have work and places that we can go. However, during this time, for many of us we are told to stay in our homes for long periods of time, which also means that during this time we may go “cage-crazy” or even board with staying in the confines of the same four walls day after day.

However, look on the bright side, if you are safe inside then your chances of getting this virus is less. I’m not making light of this situation. I’m just trying to show that there is a bright side and we could also use a little brightness right now in our lives. Also during this time, we as writers should look at this right now, as we have our gift to help us through.

Yes, for some of us we are either stuck at home working, or we are stuck at home without work and therefore, the only thing that we have to keep us going is our gifts, our art, and our craft.

We will wither out this storm together and by all means, our craft and our art will grow.

So today, look around your house and see what can inspire you to either keep working or what spark will kick your writing today. I know that I have plenty to be inspired by.

Thank you for your continued support! Please, stay safe and healthy! I hope that you all have a happy writing and happy creating until next time.

 

 

 

Homeschooling and Writing for those Children

During this outbreak of COVID-19, also know as the Corona virus, for many that have children, they are not in school but they are home. While there are a lot of resources out there to keep children engaged to their studies. Let’s also bring up one study that can be incorporated into that school work, writing. But not just writing but creative writing.

This one of the greatest things, that I love about my platform is that I get to talk about this subject, for there are many out there going I want to share the gift of stories with my child or further how do you get them to embrace the art and craft that is writing?

While there are different ways that you can go about this, there are some pieces of advice that I will give and for the most part are some of the ways that I learned to write. The first piece of advice, is work on the vocabulary. Don’t over whelm them with big words but use words that are appropriate for their age group. You might remember that when you were in first or second grade and up until seventh grade that you were giving spelling lists that were themed. These themes ranged from Halloween to spring themed and the latter.

Now here are some suggestions that I’m going to barrow if you will from a former teacher of mine. She would have us write the words five times on a sheet of paper, depending on pen-men-ship you could get about 10 or twelve words on a sheet. The second step was that we had to find the definition of the word and write down the definition. Then she would have us draw a picture of the word being used, and for that part of the assignment you picked eight words, and you would fold the piece of paper into four squares so that you would have four pictures on both sides of the paper. Then lastly, we would have to use the words in a sentence or a more cleverly a story. Then next was the spelling test. Now granted, you can do this however you like. My favorite method that we do at my house was spelling baseball.

What is spelling baseball?

You don’t use a ball but you use the same positions that you do in baseball and have four areas so that you have a diamond. If you have more kids this is really fun. But each kid is given a word they spell the word and if they get right they get to take their base, if they get it wrong then they get a strike. You give them three chances to get the word right. Also you can have one kid that goes from being a player to being a score keeper. Everyone’s engaged and they are learning at the same time. You can also use this ticket for having your kids learn their multiplication tables too.

Another thing that you can do, during this time is read to your kids. Reading helps with them developing images in their mind of what is going on in the book. This is handy for when they go from picture books to chapter books. Make them imagine the characters and later on have them draw a picture of an image that they got from the time that you were reading to them. Now take this a step further, if there is a movie based on the book, show them the movie but only after the book is finished.

The other idea, that might help get kids to write is having them write fan-fiction. This method has been used countless times in the classroom, granted its usually done with fairy tales first, but since you are the teacher you can use anything that they like. This might include any movie that they enjoy. But the idea is to get them to write a short story, and depending on age if they are like first or second grade no more than a page or a even half-page. If the children are older than you can be the judge. I know that from middle school to high school the max that we could go was five pages.

So the key takeaways from this is: vocabulary, reading, writing and having fun.

If the child is not having fun writing they are not going to understand why many enjoy it. But not only should it be fun for them but it should be fun for them as well.

I hope that this gives you some ideas on how to engage your children during this time to not only being away from school but to keep their minds engaged.

Also, even though, this outside of the normal things that I talk about on this page, but also find a craft that you can do together with the kids. This idea was an inspiration from one of Facebook Friends, in that her girls have been working on school stuff they take an hour after school is done, to crotchet or knit together as away for distance themselves from the school work that is being done at home to the rest of the evening that is supposed to be their time.

Remember, that right now they are also going through an adjustment period, and that also means that the line between school and home is sort of getting blurred. But if you can find a way to show them that there is a line between the two while at home, you have got it made.

If you have tips of your own on getting children to engage to story and to writing and want to share them, comment down below.

Thank you and I hope that you have found this post helpful during this time. Happy writing and happy creating.

Image result for home school

Using Writing Prompts

Last time, I spoke about how I was dealing with a dry spell in my writing. Well, that suddenly changed and you might be asking how did my situation change? The solution is by using a writing prompt. Or in my case, I created a prompt of my own. Yes, you could say that I was inspired or rather compelled to write based on a prompt.

The prompt in question came from a recent trailer for an episode of Shonda Rhime’s latest television spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19. The trailer starts with a line that goes something like:

“At the end of a funeral, someone will ring twenty bells.”

From the moment I heard this line, I was hooked. My mind was racing with ideas and it started my latest story idea and so far I’m over five thousand words into the first draft. Therefore, you might say that I found a spark that I have latched onto and it is working.

Finding a working spark at times it all it takes for us writers to get our creative juices flowing, and in order to get it working for us is to find that inspiration. Sometimes, finding the inspiration that works can come from a prompt of any sort. It could be a simple line from a television promo, a line of dialog, a picture, or even a simple writing prompt that we find either online or in one of our numerous writing guides. Wherever the prompt may come from if it gives your writing wings then let that baby soar and ride it out as far as you can.

Furthermore, take note that sometimes we writers need or rather can use a prompt to give our writing a gentle nudge or a giant push. In my case, the working prompt that I’m using gave me a giant push to get me out of my rut, and I’m happy that I found something that is working.

Granted, on this project, I have not given it a titled or really jotted down any notes, for you might say that I’m flying by the seat of my pants. Now, granted this where the discussion of being a plotter or a pantser comes into play; however, there are times when you have to say screw being a plotter and just go with the flow of being a pantser. Now, when it comes to the second draft, if something is missing from that first draft then you can start plotting what is missing to improve that initial draft. But if you have hit a hard rut, sometimes being a pantser to get you out of that rut can be both creative and rewarding.

But of course we are only talking about working on that initial first draft, not the other drafts that may or will come into play after the fact. Granted, just looking at getting out of the rut in the first place, is the biggest challenge. Just like a hero must make the choice to accept the call, we writers can take that same piece of advice with what we are given. If we ignore that call then we might lose out on what could possibly one of the best stories that we could possibly write. Sometimes, we just have to take the same piece of allowances that we give our characters and apply it to our writing.

Sometimes, we will find not only archetypes in the presence of our characters, but in our writing as well. Furthermore, we have to understand as writers what we are working with and what we are also facing in our writing to work with what we are being given. In my current, case I know that I was given a wonderful gift from one simple line that came from a television promo, and my lovely muse is enjoying the freedom to play and based on that play time is feeding me information. Therefore, I’m not wasting the gift that has been presented to me and am writing and working on my first draft.

It’s a wonderful thing for us writers when we find that one spark that allows us to set our writing on fire and our fingers to be set free across the keyboard. Therefore, on that note I will allow you get back to whatever project you are currently working on.

I hope that you all have a wonderful writing day! Happy writing and happy creating until next time.

What NaNoWriMo Means to Me

It’s day eight on NaNoWriMo, which means we have been participating in NaNoWriMo for a whole week. Yes, a week of this writing exercise is gone. In case you were wondering, The Bird that Sings is currently at 14,048 words or roughly nineteen pages. On the other note, here is a clever riddle to stroke your fancy: Why do pilgrim’s pants always fall down? Stay tune for the answer.

However, speaking of NaNoWriMo, I want to talk about what NaNoWriMo means for me. During November it is reserved for us writers or authors to try our hand at writing a first draft of a novel. While this is the case for most in that they work on a novel that they have had on mind for awhile and have had the secret desire to get it out onto the page. While tend to play it safe with what they are comfortable writing what they have written before, in terms of genre and POV. I, on the other hand, tend to look at NaNoWriMo as a chance to experiment.

Take myself out of the norm of what I typically write. This includes going from POV of third person narrative to first person. Further, while I enjoy writing fantasy, I usually use NaNoWriMo to tackle other genres that I have not written before. This gives me a chance to not only experiment but also a chance for, as I feel on the matter, growth.

We as writers all need to let ourselves that chance to grow with our writing. Let’s face it if you don’t grow then you cannot improve yourself. While growth maybe one of the core values that I have in stowed with Moonspinner3 Books. But it is true, we all need to have that little hint that we are growing and maturing as a writer. This even goes for those that write children’s books and young adult. While our subject matter cannot show the maturity that we want to convey due to the limitations of subject matter, but we can hide secret meanings between lines of text.

Granted, while our young readers may not see the light bulb being turned on, but our older readers may. Remember we also want to be clever with what we put on the page. Therefore, I tend to think of NaNoWriMo as my chance to be clever and to grow. Then what I gained during NaNoWriMo, I can carry forth to my other works in progress and to future works.

Think back to that riddle at the top, Why do pilgrim’s pants always fall down? Granted, its not like the riddle of why is a raven like a writing desk? But the answer to the posted riddle is clever. Before I give you the answer, think of what a pilgrim looks like. You have that picture in mind. Here is the answer: They have belt buckles on their hats, overcoats and on their shoes, but not on their pants.

bear pilgrim

Therefore, in short NaNoWriMo is an opportunity that we have been given to grow our use of words and our abilities to write and share stories. There is a reason why, the slogan for NaNoWriMo, is the world needs your story. This is true but the only way that we feel comfortable sharing our stories is through the process of seeing the growth in our storytelling skills. Its just up to those that dare to try to change their course through the opportunities that are given to us.

This does not mean at this point that you should change what or how you writing your novel that you have already started this month. It simply means try something new the next time that you are writing a new project, rewriting your novel, or even editing the novel that is in progress. I would never want you to change what you have written based on the advice that has been given in this post.

I hope that you all have a great writing day! Good luck during NaNoWriMo! Finally, happy creating!

Finding the Excitement to Write

It’s day three of NaNoWriMo, and The Bird that Sings is at 8,065 words and about 11 pages. I’m so enjoying writing The Bird that Sings, I can’t tell you what it means to finally being able to get on the page. Oh, yes, I can! I’m super happy and excited at the same time. As we work on writing our first drafts during NaNoWriMo, we should all be super excited for whatever we are finally putting on the page.

That is the topic that I want to take on, keeping the excitement going as you are working through NaNoWriMo or any writing project that you might be taking on. Granted, there are times, especially when we are in school where we don’t feel like writing or even a bit of excitement about the topic that we are tackling. But somewhere deep down there is a spark that we each reach for. It may be an initial spark or just one line that gets our writing juices flowing.

This one line does not have the beginning sentence of the piece for it can be in the middle or the last line. But somewhere in there is a line that you are going to love with all your heart. That one line is going to be the piece that is going to knit and hold you to that piece. Whatever this one line is for you, don’t kill it. Make it stronger. The stronger the better. But don’t over do it. If you overdo the love that you have for this one line it is going to sink and then at which point you are killing that lovely darling.

Granted, killing your darlings does not usually mean what I have stated above, for it usually means giving it the ax and deleting it. But I say like anything else on here, you can give the phrase killing your darlings a new leash on life. While, we can several darlings on the page, chose one that is going to be the one that you are never going to kill. This one is going to need you to protect it. You are going to be it’s strong willed champion. If you are not able to do that for that single darling then it’s probably not the darling that you are going to protect.

I know it’s hard to kill that darling when it’s the thing that is giving you the excitement for writing this piece. But granted you won’t know its your darling until you get to the editing phase. When you get to the editing phase and you know that darling, highlight that sucker and keep it close. I would even say write it down and then write and think about why you are going to protect this one darling with everything that you have.

Just as we eat, sleep, drink and think about writing, we should be doing the same thing with this one darling. While I said that you may not know who this darling is until you being editing, there are times when we writers know about this darling during the writing process. When we know this darling well during the writing process, then it can become one of many tools in our arsenal among others.

But however you write it there needs something that makes you excited to continue on writing to gain that next page until you put down at the finish, The End.

I hope that you are excited about your project for NaNoWriMo and I hope that you have a wonderful writing day! So I say onto you, Happy writing and happy creating!

Some Advice on working through day 2 of NaNoWriMo

It’s day two of NaNoWriMo! The Bird that Sings current word count: 5,048 words and about seven pages. If you have made it onto day two congratulations! The reason why I say congratulations is that sometimes first time NaNoWriMo contestants look at others words counts and want to give up, saying I’ll never get there. Let me put your mind to rest by saying if you have a story in mind, keep writing and ignore others words counts. Also put it this way, you can say good for them but at the same time you should be skeptical of that word count. Word counts can be used not only for new project but also for continuing word counts as well. But please, for love that is your writing don’t give up.

It’s only day two of this 30 day challenge and we still have a lot of weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds and the alike to fill up with our words when we can. While others have time during the day and others have time during the night to write. There is nothing that you can’t do with a little motivation. So yes, I’m going to give you that motivational pep-talk that you have probably been looking for.

Let’s start with you. Yes, you looking at the screen and reading this post. You came up with an idea to write for a month. If you came up with the idea, write it. Talk about it. It’s your idea so own it. The idea is not going to write itself. I believe that when it comes to story ideas there is a reason that the idea came to you. Yes, the idea maybe challenging but its your challenge and your burden to bare. So bare it buttercup. Granted, other ideas can come along that may be easier than the challenging ones. But there is a reason that the story picked you to write it. Are you going to let that idea fail?

If you answer yes, that’s fine. Just remember sooner or later it will come back to haunt you. There’s that Halloween word again, haunt. Yes, I’ve been haunted by story ideas of past. I write them down in my story idea journal and will come back to them later. This comes under the heading, too many story ideas not enough time sort of thing. Here is a picture that fits this situation perfectly.

44719459_1912784575695576_8971402622179213312_n See we all have problems with different story ideas coming along and plunking down when we don’t need them to. This is an issue. Trust me it’s an issue and I know many knitters that have this same problem when it comes to yarn. They start one project using a particular type of yarn, then they go to the yarn store and see another type of yarn and is look ‘oooh, must have.’ Next thing you know the original project is sitting, for the new yarn is being worked on. I call this syndrome, Yarn ADHD.

However, we writers don’t have this problem necessarily, except with notebooks. Yes, we see a notebook and we must have. We get another notebook and that original notebook is just sitting around just waiting for us to return. However, it’s not like we have a store that we can go to for story ideas. Oh no the muse handles that situation perfectly for us on her or his own time. Thank the muse for the issues that we have with multiple story ideas coming to us.

Granted, could the muse guide us? Sure, but the muse I find also likes to wonder around the universe pulling out story ideas and going look at this shiny story idea that I found. Of course we grab onto to like a sheep being lead into the dragon’s cave. Then next thing we know we have fallen into the dragon’s trap and we either see it through or somehow we are lead out of one dragon’s hoard to the next. Good going, muse!

But this is also where we need to go our priorities straight and right now my priority is working on The Bird that Sings and seeing where it takes me. That should be the process that we all should take during NaNoWriMo. Best piece of advice that I can give right now is: First, tell the muse to sit down and stay home. Don’t go looking for other ideas. Stay focus on the one that you have given me. Second, make the muse, if you can a nice place of his or her own to stay somewhere in your writing space. Remember we want to treat the muse like it’s a wanted guest for a month or so. If the muse is not treated nicely, it will want to leave and then we have no choice but to let it wonder onto find other ideas. Thirdly, take care of you, the writer. If you don’t take care of you then you are not going to be able to focus on writing this novel or even completing this challenge.

Yes, NaNoWriMo is a challenge and the odds are only in our favor if we chose to accept the challenge and to work hard and to have fun doing so. Use the words and use them wisely. Remember this is only day two so have fun and enjoy yourself. Let that imagination wonder and create magic. Unleash the creativity so that you can create, write, grow and inspire others to follow your pursuit.

I hope that you have found this advice or rather pep talk inspiring through the second day of NaNoWriMo! I hope that you have a great writing day and happy creating!

 

Some Thoughts about Writing the First Page

NaNoWriMo has officially began! The Bird that Sings is currently in process. Now as I promised here is my current word count for day 1: 2015 words and I’m on page four. Don’t worry, if you are not there, every writer is different. But on the other hand, this is where planning our book comes in handy as well.

However, I want to get into today’s topic, which is writing that first page. Writing a first page can be challenging for many factors. First its the first page. When you look at it’s blank, just waiting for whatever you are going to put on it. But if you can conquer that fear and get to writing then you have squashed the first page monster.

Secondly, what should be on that first page? There are many things that should be on that first page. You should have character, voice, setting, backstory and plot. Granted, you are not writing that whole novel on the first page, but what you are trying to do is get enough details on that first page to keep the reader engage to read the rest of the novel.

Let’s face it, if you don’t have enough going on in that first page, then the reader is not going to continue reading the book and your work will be for nothing. I’m not wanting to turn you off from writing, but there are things to keep in mind, such as if the voice you use is not strong enough and it falls flat on the first page then you have already lost your reader.

Voice is something has to be paid close attention to. Normally when voice is talked about in writing it usually refers to first person point of view, however, I’m going to also say that third person can also have a voice. If the narration of the third person is not strong then you can also lose the reader’s interest. When it comes to third person, think about a news journalist on the news that keeps you engaged in what they are reporting. If they are not able to hold your attention then they are not the right journalist to keep in your head. Granted, when I was in college and would read boring text books, I would put one of those go to voices in my head and that would make the reading more interesting for me. So I’m going to lend my list of five go to voices to you, and if you need to hear it, you can YouTube them.

  • Anthony Mason (CBS)
  • Lee Cowan (CBS)
  • Rebecca Jarvis (ABC)
  • Rita Braver (CBS)
  • Edward Herrmann (Non-news/documentary)

Granted, they are not in any particular order, but the two that are my most popular are Anthony Mason and Edward Herrmann. If you listen to them, then you can get a look at how voice can be captivating.

While the other items are important on that first page, voice is the most important for that voice needs to be strong enough to carry out the whole book. If you want an example of this look no further than what books have sold and have sold well, or even became a box office hit for movie ticket sales.

Yes, I mentioned backstory can be included on the first page, but do it as away to sprinkle in the details. If you go over on the backstory details, then you are taking away from your character on page one. Yes, keep who your character is on page one in mind, and how did they get there. There has to be a reason for who the character on page came to be. If you can’t explain that, then your character is not going to be complex as you want him or her to be.

There are many authors that say what needs to be on page one, and while I can agree to a point. Here is my list of what needs to be on page one: voice, character, backstory, plot, setting and most important not that inciting incident. If you include the initial incident on the first page then what are you going to add to page two or three. The initial incident of making the reader ask the why now question should be answered within the first ten pages. However, I will also amend this statement to say look at your genre before going by where the initial incident should take place, such as in mystery that initial incident is not going to answer why today but rather lead to the question of why kill him or her?

That initial kill in a murder mystery should take place on either page two or three. If the kill takes place after that first three pages then you have too much fat and it needs to be cut. Yes, details are important but if they have nothing to hold the reader in those first three pages while you are killing the tool character, then you have to make changes. Granted, that can be done in the editing phase, but also details can be moved to other parts of the book if they are essential to finding the murder or the reason why the tool character was even necessary to be killed.

Maybe I’m being harsh by referring to that first kill as a tool, but it’s true. Let’s face it if it weren’t for the tool being killed off, then you would have no murder mystery to solve or a story to tell.

My last important piece of advice on the first page is make every word count. There is said it and I mean don’t waist words. If words are wasted then the effect of that first page could also be wasted. In other words, make that first page count for something other than the start of your story. That first page and its words have an important purpose and that is to engage your reader and make them sink into the world that you have created.

Granted, there is a lot of pressure that we as writers put on that first page. But just like we have our firsts so do our book’s first page. It’s the first page that readers see when they open the book, besides the title pages or rather front matter. It’s the first page where we are in for the try outs for their attention. Think of it as we are auditioning to be put on their bookshelves or for their reviews. If the first page fails then it is what the book will be remembered for and the reader may not go to the last page.

I hope that you have found this helpful on your writing for that first page. Good luck to all of you doing NaNoWriMo!

 

 

 

Trying to Ignore Certain Drama

I recently talked about tips that I have for writing, let alone that I use for NaNoWriMo and any writing project that I have. While this is all good that I like to share some out of the box ideas, which are different from other writers in the community. If you look up any writer or author on YouTube, you will find that they pretty much share the same general information. Granted, they do diverse from time to time talking about their projects but when they give tips its the same for the most part.

In some ways I feel that when the events of the summer took place, ie #cockygate, I thought that these same authors would have gone over this topic or give their opinion. But they didn’t. I really want to say shame on them, but on the other hand I understand why the probably didn’t and it could have been because they didn’t want to deal with the drama.

Let’s face it, in the real world outside of our writing or story worlds, there is a lot of ugly, disgusting drama. This is mainly political but it’s also that time of year when we want to be over the drama. But let’s face it the drama llama is going to be around for a while and it doesn’t matter, who is charge of a certain house or the majority. This is going to be the world that we have to deal with for quite a while.

dramallama

Yes, I certainly pulled out the drama llama. 

But with all the drama going on, it is certainly one of the reasons why I’m so excited for NaNoWriMo to becoming, for it gives an escape from the drama and allow us to melt into our words so that we can further tell the stories that we want to tell.

I have mentioned on here before that it is not only our readers that need a chance to escape but we as writers need to escape as well. Granted we have multiple job responsibilities as writers, and one of those is to take of ourselves. This means body, soul, and mind.

It might sound cliche but as I said yesterday, if we don’t take care of ourselves as the writer then we cannot put our best words to the page. Also we don’t put words down one the page then we cannot entertain our audience past the first page. If we cannot carry the story past the first page then there is no use in writing fifty thousand words or more since we are not taking care of us.

So the question that I want to put out to you is give the drama llama the ugly boot and show them the door and to limit the drama that are outside forces that will keep you from writing what you want you want or have the will to write. If you need to print out the drama llama and post it somewhere so that it’s a reminder that you want to focus on the good stuff and not the bad stuff.

I hope that you have found this post helpful on this writing day!