Do you have a writing ritual? And by that I mean, do you have to follow a set of steps before you can begin your writing? If you are thinking of them share them in the comments! And if you are scared I’ll go first…
I live somewhere cold, so if there are not socks on my feet nothing will get accomplished. The best space to get stuff done is right on my bed, it is the comfiest spot and where the perfect amount of sunlight can shine down on me. A water bottle also needs to be close by because I know I will get thirsty but I also know I will get up for nothing until the task is complete!
So what, if anything do you do before you clear your mind and get to writing. Do you need a cup of tea or your favorite music playing? Is your comfortable space the coffee shop down the street? Your rituals can get you body ready to write and can make the process all that much more enjoyable!
As we approach the new year, it’s like we are coming to a new chapter and some may even look at it as chapter one. I know it sounds cheesy but the new year gives people inspiration to start their lives in a new light. So in that honor we will be discussing how you can write your chapter.
Your first chapter needs to be the ultimate hook! Something that will captivate publishers, agents, and readers (no pressure). But don’t worry, that’s why you’re here…read on to discover the writers chapter one checklist.
Disclaimer: Everyone’s books are different so every first chapter will be. There is no perfect formula to a first chapter but there are key elements.
Introduce the protagonist.
First things first, we need to know the main character. We don’t need to know descriptive details just yet but enough to know a little bit about them. And don’t forget…for every great protagonist comes a great antagonist.
Establish a point of view.
What is your story’s point of view? Will you be writing in third person limited, third person omniscient, first person or another POV? Pick one and stick to it!
Set the genre.
From the first chapter the reader should truly understand what genre they are reading. Is it a romance, science fiction, thriller and so forth?
Introduce the conflict.
What is going to keep the reader engaged? Why are they reading this story? Introducing the conflict in the first chapter gives the reader something to look forward to and makes them continue to chapter two.
Don’t overwhelm the reader.
Try not to throw in too much information in the first chapter. They still have a whole book to read after all! So limit the characters and places you mention in the first chapter.
And as always..have fun! This is your novel and there’s no right way to write a first chapter, just helpful tips! One other tip is to keep track of what your doing, sometimes an easy organizer of your thoughts works like this one:
Weather (pun intended) we like it or not the holiday season is right around the corner! It’s practically here (in Grinch voice)!
And for some of us that means snow! Now, if you are trying to spark some creativity for your holiday novel one great way to do that is through imagery. Looking at photos can make us believe we are there and feeling the surroundings. So if you live in someplace that may not get snow, spark that feeling with some of these images!
There are so many tools to use to spark your imagination! Just by going online and typing themes of your book into the search bar and looking at the images can open a whole new door to your novel!
And I am not just here to show you pictures of snow because there can be so much more in a holiday novel. Maybe you live in a place that has too much snow and your characters take a tropical vacation for the holidays?
The possibilities are endless! Maybe you use your own photos to spark something! Just remember that you can spark your creativity through almost anything!
Come with us on another monster adventure! Last post we focused on the Mesopitamian creature the Aqrabuamelu (Scorpion Man). Today we jump to Greek mythology with the Erymanthian Boar!
It is always fun to learn and test out new creatures in your novels, so while we are focusing on the Erymanthian Boar today, we encourage you to do some research of your own and see what monsters you may find, and we would love to hear about them!
But let’s get started…
If you are familiar with the story of Hercules, then you may have seen this particular creature. Hercules was tasked with bringing Eurystheus an Erymanthian Boar alive for one of his twelve heroic labors, which is no small task.
In Greek mythology, the boar was a giant creature who lived on Mount Erymanthus and would lay waste to anything that came in its path with it’s strong and large canine teeth.
How to use this creature in your next novel:
Your take on the legend of Hercules
A modern day example of the Erymanthian Boar
Your character travels to Mount Erymanthus
We hope you enjoyed our little journey through Greek mythology, and hope it inspired you to do some research of your own! And maybe even a new novel idea!
There’s a whole world of monsters that you can utilize in your next novel, and what better time to focus on them while during the spooky season! People tend to focus on popular monsters while writing but today we will focus on a lesser known monster…Aqrabuamelu (Scorpion Men).
Now yes, I already know what you’re thinking of you’ve seen The Scorpion King with Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson you are probably familiar with this monster, however we will now be doing a deeper dive so get ready!
This particular creature comes from Mesopitamian mythology and features the torso of a man with the lower body of a scorpion. Just like a real scorpion it is said that their tales were filled with venom, however unlike our typical scorpions these creatures were also said to have god-like powers and were excellent archers.
According to Mesopitamian legend, they were created by Tiamat (goddess of the sea) and they guarded the gates of heaven, as they stood so tall their heads touched the clouds.
So, you have all of this potential new information about a new creature…how do you use it in your next novel?
Share your twist on the legend
Go back in time and have your character encounter an Aqrabuamelu
POV of an Aqrabuamelu
Let your ideas run wild! ANd remember there is always more research to be done.
Spooky season is upon us! And if you prefer a little growl with your romance, then get to writing! While animal instincts and natural raw behaviors may not be what you want in your real-life partner – doesn’t mean you can’t can’t write about them!
When writing in this specific category of paranormal romance here are a few guidelines to go off of:
Dive deeper into the sensory realm – readers want to embrace the wild side!
Do your research! – what paranormal animals do you want to use, and what special abilities do they have amongst others?
Purpose of shapeshifting – do you want them to be stronger, can they blend into the environment?
How will the character be different in human form? – What traits will make them stand out?
Story line, story line, story line! – It is very important to identify the origin story! How were the shifters created? Who was the first one? How do they reproduce? Etc.
When thinking about a shapeshifter romance most people strictly think werewolves (shoutout to Twilight). However, there are other shapeshifters you can base your character off of, many countries have their own version of a shapeshifter. For example:
Canada : Bear Walker is from First Nations folklore of that area. It’s an evil sorcerer who walks around in the form of a bear.
Haiti : loup-garou can change into anything, both plant and animal.
Ireland & Scotland : The selkies are seals that take off their skins to become human. Dark-haired Celts may have their genealogy explained via the selkies. Selkies are helpful creatures who watch over fishermen.
Portugal : The bruxsa or cucubuth is a vampire-werewolf that consumes both flesh and blood.
And there’s so many more! Writing is work! Especially when building a complex and dynamic world. But you can do it, don’t be afraid to put your mind to the test! Do some research and have fun.
You haven’t been motivated to write lately…so what do you do? Take a little break and spend more time on yourself or find ways to bring back the motivation? There is no wrong answer here, but we will dive into both of these answers to see where you may or may not stand.
Spend More Time on Yourself
Don’t worry if writing is getting harder, it might just be a way of telling your brain you need a well deserved break. So our recommendation is to do just that! Think of some things that you have been meaning to do but just haven’t had the time. Go meet up with friends, hit up the local fair or farmers market or head to the movie theater or go to a new restaurant. By taking your mind off the things that you are “expected” to do just might be exactly what you need to get back into it!
How to Spark Motivation
You’re on an intense deadline and you can’t seem to find the right words. Have no fear, more often than not there are ways to spark motivation. Dive a little deeper into what you’re writing about, is it a new thriller, romance or sequel to your book? If you are writing about a specific genre one great way to get inspired is to do what your characters are doing (within reason of course). Now that spooky season is upon us, go on a ghost tour or haunted house to get ideas for your thriller. Or head to a romantic restaurant or a place like where your characters met. Try and make your real life about what you’re writing, or trying to write, it might be easy for the words to fall out!
What happens when you have a word you want to say but there’s no word for it…you make one up! So many authors dating back to Shakespeare have done just that, and oftentimes you use words that you don’t even know an author invented! If the time comes and no exact word does the trick for what you’re trying to say, invent one!
Just to give you some examples, here is a list of words that you may use from time to time that authors invented.
“Tween”: J. R. R. Tolkein, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ (1954)
“Nerd”: Dr. Seuss, ‘If I Ran the Zoo’ (1950)
“Piehole”: Stephen King, ‘Christine’ (1983)
And those are just to name a few! Now of course authors can invent an abundance of names and places etc. However, these authors invented words that we use often in our vocabulary. Who knows we could be saying your word next! So if you find a whole in your story’s diction don’t be discouraged to mess around with creating your own word (just make sure it hasn’t already been used in another meaning).
You want to finish your book, but your thoughts are running faster than your fingers…don’t worry, here are some ways you can increase your writing speed!
First and foremost to get better at writing faster you have to practice everyday. For those who have been reading The Write Nook for a while now, you know how much we encourage writing everyday even if it’s just in your personal journal.
Use an outline
Having a guide to your writing style is a great way to stay on track and help you write faster. If you know what you want to write it cancels out a lot of stopping time.
Write now, edit later
Do all of your editing and revising after you finish writing. This will again save you time in the long run and help keep your thoughts on track.
Fix your posture
If you notice that you slouch while writing or writing in a weir position, try fixing your posture. This will keep you more comfortable and willing to write and will help your thoughts reach your fingertips!
Make a fun game out of it! You want to write faster, try setting goals on your word count.
Are you feeling a little tired but you know you have to carry on with your work? I am here to say that it’s okay to take a break! Here are some great ways to take a break that will get you ready to get back to work!
Take a walk
Get some fresh air and move your body. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, but clear your mind, pop an audiobook or your favorite song and just relax. Any form of exercise will be beneficial during a break.
If you’re feeling a little tense from sitting in a chair for a few hours, get up and stretch! Loosen up your muscles for a few minutes…trust me they will thank you later!
Call a friend
Take your mind off the task at hand and catch up with a friend. THis can be a great way to put you in a good mood and share what you’re working on. Maybe you can use them for some creative inspiration.
Cook a healthy meal/snack
Take care of your body and give it fuel! Knock out two birds with one stone and get ready for your meal, or prepare yourself a healthy snack. This will get your brain ready to work extra hard for you.
Remember to incorporate breaks into your routine, they can help you in the long run!