Hey there, have you been outside lately?

Writers are obsessed with … what else, but writing! Writing in your nook can sometimes turn into an all day sort of thing. You start off early, after your first cup of coffee, and then the next thing you know, it has turned dark outside. This is especially true during the winter months! It can make a person a little sad when it feels as if the entire day has gone by and they did not even have a chance to enjoy the outdoors.

Do you ever take your laptop outside? This sounds like a very ridiculous question, but in truth it was just brought to my attention today that my laptop has a battery! What?! Yes, I can take my old Gateway outdoors and type away while sitting on my deck or patio! There may be too many distractions, though. Being a plant lover I may find myself unable to concentrate!

So, what do you do to keep from missing out on all the outdoor fun in the sun and still keep your writing front and center?

And yes, I did say Gateway.

So, the most important rule is to not procrastinate when it comes to writing or getting outside. Remember to get your vitamin D! We all need about fifteen minutes of sunshine per day (between 11 am and 3 pm). Hope to see you outdoors!

Write On!

Mind your loose ends!

In every day life, it’s a good idea to tie up loose ends so that they don’t trip us up down the road.

In the world of story telling however, those same loose ends serve to set up future events. They are like bread crumbs for our readers to follow from beginning to end.

These loose ends can take many forms as long as they move the story forward. They can leave the reader worrying and wishing they could warn the hero or heroine. Something terrible will result from the overlooked and forgotten “loose end”.

How can you keep track of the loose ends that you have deliberately left behind? You will need an outline for your story. Although many writers prefer to write by the seat of their pants, an outline will help you to keep track of what has already happened in previous chapters and it will prevent obvious errors in the future narrative.

Using butcher paper, a yard stick, and a marker, you will divide the evenly sectioned paper into squares, one for each of your chapters. Then, write down a brief summary of each chapter including the names of the characters. It is a good idea to think about what each chapter is about and give the chapter a title other than just a number. Remember to make note of your loose ends.

Of course, you could just use a note book….but where is the fun in that? That big piece of paper hanging on your wall gives you a way to quickly scan the entire project without having to flip pages.

Write on!

Finding ideas to start your writing journey

A good way to begin your writing journey is to start by considering what topics may be of value or interest to your readers. It’s certainly important to choose a niche for your writing, and stick to that. This is something that I have read over and over again from other writers who write helpful tips for other writers. I agree that having a niche is a good idea, but how do you find and settle into your niche?

Begin by taking an inventory of your skills and your interests. This will give you a starting point for your writing. Many successful writers have used their specialized knowledge in career fields as a basis for writing their novels. A nurse can draw on his or her experience working in a hospital or clinic as the basis for a character in a book. Spies, policemen, accountants, teachers, waitresses, the list goes on. So, to begin writing, it is a good idea to write about something you are familiar with. This angle will give your story a basis in reality.

If you are not interested in writing about your career or in developing a character that works in your area of specialization, you will then need to lean on your imagination a little more heavily.

In the fiction genre, there are many sub-genres. As a fiction writer you can write a crime novel or a romance or combine the two. In this instance you could draw ideas from articles that appear in the daily news.

So, if today is the first day of your writing journey, please consider taking the following steps:

  1. Gather up some note books and some pencils.
  2. Select a room or area in your office or home designated for your writing.
  3. Write something every single day. Even if you just write one sentence you will soon find that it will become a habit that you look forward to. And before you know it, you will be writing paragraphs or filling entire pages with your thoughts.
  4. Have a Thesaurus at your side.
  5. Allow the writing to flow. Don’t edit yourself. There will be plenty of time for that later on.

Write on!