Why Three Is NOT A Crowd!

jump.gif

It’s common in the writing community to have more than one pair of eyes editing your work. Some editors catch certain details, whether it’s proofing, copy editing, structural editing, or developmental edits. But what if you haven’t gotten too far into your writing career and you don’t have a team behind you quite yet? We have another option and idea for you: A WRITING GROUP.

Sounds very old school, maybe something you thought only existed on TV or in slice-of-life movies, but they’re very real and sometimes very necessary in a writer’s career. You’ll get the similar appeal from an editing team towards your writing, but a tad bit nicer and less cut-dry. A group will provide the outside perspective you need to help tie up the loose ends you may have missed. If your group (or partner) chooses meet-up times, it’ll boost your accountability with your writing and improve your relationship with your ability to write. Last but not least, you’ll get unconditional support from your peers, which you might need on those days you aren’t feeling confident.

A step beyond that: you’ll find friends. Friends who will love and support you (and your writing career but let’s get back to the sentiments), to push you in the right direction.

A Magical Monday

It’s always fun to do research, especially when writing. So, this Monday, we wanted to do some basic research for you on one of our favorite subjects in the fantasy-world: magic & magic-users.

Since there are so many different classes of magic, we decided to look at titles some of your characters might hold in your story.


  • Wizard: source of magic comes from books, learning, and practices.
  • Warlock: name translates loosely to “truce-breaker” and supposedly gets their power from a higher power (usually seen as an ‘evil’ entity.)
  • Sorcerer: power comes from within; “sors” Latin for “oracular response.”
  • Magician: in the paranormal or fantasy sense, magic is used for ceremonial purposes.
  • Witch: the female “wizard,” essentially.
  • Mage: magic-user but of an academic source.
  • Conjuror: magic used in the creation of objects.
  • Enchanter: magic is used to enhance items or charm people.

magic.gif

Practices Does Make Perfect

Sometimes, as writers, we might feel a little lost. We might feel like our writing needs a little improvement/practice or that it is simply just missing that special something. This can be particularly frustrating when we don’t have any other writing friends. How can anyone possibly understand what I am going through? How can anyone help me?

pubornot

Whether you are equipped with writing friends/mentors or not, there are many writing tools available right here on the internet to help you and your writing. As some of you may already know, I created my own writing website to help writers digest and work through their ideas before (or during) the writing process- it’s called To Publish Or Not. The way it works is that writers/authors can submit a brief description of what their book they are writing (or planning to write) is about or you can send in a brief description and a short excerpt of your book. I will respond with a few things to think about, expand upon, possibly stuff to take out/not include, or things that you should be weary about. I make sure to stress that this writing service is to be used solely as a writing workshop exercise. My opinion is mine only and not meant to discourage, nor overly encourage. Oh, and did I mention? It’s completely free.

I also came across another article on NewsOK about four other helpful writing tools available online. Check them out and see what works for you. You never know what will be your next game-changer.

ProWritingAid

The Pensters

750 Words

Story Wars

Keep practicing. Write on.

Bypass The Block

Suffering from writer’s block sometimes feels like the worst thing in the world to have happen to you, especially if you are on a deadline or if you only have a short amount of time each day to work on your writing. Fortunately, there are many things that writers can do to get their creative juices flowing again. Some of these suggestions include getting some form of exercise/take a walk to clear your mind and get some fresh air or distract your mind by reading a book or magazine unrelated to your writing (mentioned in my previous post). Sometimes, breaks like these just don’t work so I was really happy when I caught an article today in The Huffington Post which focused on getting kids to ‘like’ creative writing. I think the tools/exercises mentioned in the article will also help to get any writer, of any age, out of a ‘funk.’

The article is titled ‘2 Great Exercises to Help Kids Love Creative Writing’ by Brett Murphy Hunt, a College English Lecturer. In the article she talks about two techniques to improve children’s interest in creative writing. The first technique that she offered is called “Word Association Exercise.” The way it works is that someone (or the teacher) is supposed to give you a series of words and then the writer is to write down the first word that pops into his or her head, next to the word given to them. After all the words are given, the writer is supposed to circle a group of words that create the strongest visual for them and hopefully this will inspire some free or new writing/ideas.

If you don’t have someone to do a similar exercise like this with, I have a solution. Look at a random newspaper, magazine, or online article or a bunch of different articles. Pick out some words out of an article and then next to the words you select write the first word that pops into your mind. This exercise will be helpful for people who just need to jump start their creative juices and wake their mind up again.

The next exercise that Brett presents to her students is a “Partnered Story,” which is exactly what you think it is. The teacher writes the first line of a chapter then passes the notebook to the student, who then writes the second line. The teacher and student go back and forth like this for as long as needed, until the imagination is flowing again.

Again, you will need someone else to do this exercise with- a friend, sibling, parent, or even pen pal. If you don’t have someone to do this exercise with then I would suggest using the internet as your other person. Go to a comment section of any article you can find and take a comment that you find interesting and add a second sentence to it. Odds are (if it is an interesting enough comment) you will get a response, and then you can keep on going with it.  The sentences don’t have to relate to anything you are writing or something you would ever want to write, they just need to rev your mind back into gear. They could be completely funny and out of context just to elicit a visceral response from an unsuspecting reader. The more fun you have with it, the more you will gain.

Although both these exercises are described to be used in the context of students in a classroom, I think they are both wonderful exercises for writers of any age. They will certainly help to ignite a spark in the creative mind and help get stuck writers unstuck. The hardest part of being stuck is getting unstuck and any help we can get is always appreciated. Write on.