Loading...

Recently, I found myself dreading my scheduled writing time. I was bored with my book, tired of the grind, and angry that my revision was taking so long. I had lost my writing joy. Is it time to abandon a book or project once you lose your joy? Or is there a way to recalibrate and find the fun in your project and the joy of writing again?

3 Ways to Rediscover the Joy of Writing

Sooner or later, we all hit that frustration point with a project or writing in general. I just read David’s great post on overcoming burnout, and it was a much needed call for rest as a critical component of maintaining a healthy writing life.

As I ruminated on what was killing my writing joy, I realized I needed to reframe my expectations and inject a little more fun to restore the joy of writing and avoid burnout. Maybe these tips help you when you need a little boost!

1. Identify the joy-killer

First I asked myself some hard questions about why I was dragging on certain projects, and what sapped my energy.

Revision can be an especially grueling process. I realized I had some unrealistic expectations. I mistakenly thought, “This shouldn’t take me long. I’ll fly right through this!” Then, when it took far longer than I expected, I felt like a failure.

There’s no prescribed amount of time a revision should take, so why did I put such pressure on myself?

Maybe you set a goal to write five hundred words a day, and missed some this month. Are you still beating yourself up about how you should have made up those days somewhere? That might kill your joy.

Maybe you put a book or story on hold in the back of your files to revisit later and it’s been nagging at you. If you think you should have already finished it, that might steal your joy.

The common denominator on joy-killers: they often start with “I should…”. We have to change our expectations to find our joy again. Instead of “I should write a thousand words today,” maybe I can say, “I can’t wait to see what {insert character’s name} is going to do in today’s thousand words!” Language is powerful and can change the way we view a task.

Writing getting you down? Stop focusing on what you SHOULD be writing, and focus instead on something fun about your writing.
Tweet this

Lose the “shoulds.”

2. Find the fun again

Some tasks inspire more joy than others, but we can make choices to infuse our writing with fun.

I asked myself, “What do I love about this story?”

If it is a character’s antics, I need to find places to let them play. Love the fight scenes? Add more excitement and fun to those scenes. If I enjoy the mysterious details of a house, I need to let my imagination wander through those dark halls and discover some secret passageways.

A friend once suggested writing scenes out of order if it kept me moving the story along. “If you’re bored, the reader is too,” she said. I’ve found that sometimes I need to find the fun in explaining less and letting my character act more. 

Even a short descriptive exercise, prompt, or challenge can provide a needed dose of fun in the midst of a challenging process. Finding those sparks will help you keep going.

3. This too shall pass

If all else fails, imagine the end when the book or project is finished, printed, and in your hand. The effort, the sleepless nights, and the rewrites will one day pay off. I need to see my occasional doldrums as a small blip on the larger continuum of a writing life.

Repeat after me, “This too shall pass.” Let’s get back to work and find our joy again!

Find Joy

Writing can be a long and grueling process. It takes time and effort, blood, sweat, and tears to turn the ideas in your imagination into published stories.

But it doesn’t have to be painful. When your writing is getting you down, use these strategies to rekindle your joy and revitalize your writing.

It will be more than worth it in the end!

What do you do when you have lost your writing joy? Share in the comments.

PRACTICE

Take fifteen minutes and create a character who believes that they should ___{fill in the blank with some disappointment}___, and let it get them down. Some examples:

The intern who thinks she should have been promoted to a job in a corner cubicle.

The swimmer who thinks she should have beaten her opponent’s record by now.

The injured circus clown who believes he should get to ride the mime’s motor scooter into the ring, but he’s given the smelly miniature pony who bites instead.

How will they try to recapture their joy and get what they want? Write them in and out of trouble using a bit of fun if you can. Share your practice in the comments, and be sure to leave feedback for your fellow writers.

The post 3 Ways to Rediscover the Joy of Writing appeared first on The Write Practice.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
The Write Practice by The Magic Violinist - 3d ago

Young adult novels have never been more popular. It started with the rise of Harry Potter and continued with hits like The Fault in Our Stars, The Hunger Games, and Divergent. Have you ever wondered how to write a young adult novel?

Learning how to write fiction is one thing, but writing for teens is a whole different ball game. As a teen and an avid YA reader myself, I have a few tips for you.

5 Tips for How to Write a Book for Teens

Writing for teenagers is both just like writing for adult audiences and also not at all like writing for adults. On a surface level, all a YA novel has to be is a good story that will appeal to teens. If you have mastered the elements of writing fiction, it shouldn’t be much harder to translate those skills to writing fiction for YA readers.

However, it would be an oversight for an author to assume that a young adult novel is exactly the same as any other novel.

1. Write about teenage experiences

If you are going to write a young adult novel, you have to write something that will appeal to teens.

It seems obvious, but you would be surprised how easy it is to forget that fact. Writing a book with teenage characters is not enough to make a book YA. You have to write authentic characters with real teenage problems in a real teenage world.

For example, a novel about trying to land an important promotion while also balancing family life is going to be an adult plot, not a teenage one.

2. Don’t overuse slang or trends

Teens will move from one social media platform to the next in a matter of days. Memes that were big hits on Monday will be dull on Tuesday. If you try to be “hip with the kids” by throwing in mentions of certain Vines or celebrities, chances are your book will not age well.

To make your dialogue genuine, pay attention to the way teens talk to each other. Throwing in a “like” every other word is not the way to go about writing conversations.

Using slang doesn’t make a book appeal to teens. Don’t overuse slang or pop culture references in your YA novel.
Tweet this
3. Treat teenagers like adults

If there is one thing teenagers hate, it’s being treated like they don’t know anything just because of their age. Teenagers are real people who have real problems.

Write your characters in a way that validates their feelings instead of acting like they behave the way they do because they are hormonal or are just overreacting.

Even if their problems are comparatively “small” when it comes to the much “bigger” problems of the real world, it doesn’t mean that their problems don’t affect them. Don’t be condescending. Recognize that your teen characters have dreams and aspirations just like adults do.

4. Recognize that teenagers are smart

Nothing will turn off a teen from a book quite like the “teenagers are impulsive, irrational, and immature” trope. Yes, teens will do stupid things. So will adults. Teens are smart, too. They are creative, passionate, intelligent, driven, and a thousand other things.

Many adult readers critique YA books as being unrealistic because the teens are “pretentious” or “too smart for their age.” This could be because the teenage characters use big words, discuss politics with their friends, or watch classic movies.

That’s not unrealistic at all. My friends and I do the exact same things.

The only reason adults deem it impossible is because they have not gotten to know any teenagers personally; they have only bought into the stereotypes we teens despise being attributed to us.

This brings me to my next piece of advice, and it is a crucial one if you want to learn how to write a young adult novel.

5. Talk to teenagers

Hang out with them, have real conversations with them, listen to them in public. How do they interact with each other? How do they interact with adults? Not all teenagers are the same, so make sure you have a variety of teens you can talk to or observe.

Talk to your kids, their friends, your nieces and nephews, the teen working the concession stand at the movie theater. Think back to your own teenage years—how did you behave? Obviously things will have changed from one generation to the next, but it can be a good start.

Every good book requires a little bit of research, so that is what you should consider this. If you don’t know how teens talk or behave, it will show when you try to create teenage characters.

Teens Are People, Too

Remember, if you’re writing for teens, you’re writing for a diverse audience of thoughtful, insightful, passionate readers, not for any unflattering caricature of a teenager. Storytelling is universal and transcends age. Master the fundamentals of a great story, and you’re almost there.

Keep real teens in mind as you write (and get their feedback as you edit!), and you’ll create a young adult novel that will truly appeal to teens.

Do you write young adult novels? How do you make sure that your characters are authentic and appeal to teen readers? Let us know in the comments.

PRACTICE

Write a scene from the point of view of a teenager. Your teen protagonist can interact with an adult or a peer, but they should be involved in a conversation. Focus on making your dialogue sound young without slipping into clichés and teenage stereotypes.

Write for fifteen minutes. When you’re finished, share your practice in the comments, if you’d like. Don’t forget to give your fellow writers some feedback, too!

The post How to Write a Young Adult Novel appeared first on The Write Practice.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Writing from one person’s perspective is hard enough. Writing from multiple perspectives can seem downright impossible. But it can be done.

I wrote my last novel from three different perspectives. It was difficult. Sometimes it was stagnating creatively. But sometimes it was fun and kept me engaged in my own book when I wanted to give up.

So if you’re ready for the challenge, here’s how to write a book from multiple perspectives.

Is It Necessary?

First you need to think about why you need more than one point of view. Just like anything else in your story, writing in this way needs to make sense and have a purpose.

I wrote about 55,000 words of my last novel in one person’s perspective before I realized I needed to add more points of view to flesh out my world and my characters. Simply put, my main character was no longer in the same realm (literally) as the sub-characters and I needed a way to continue their action and subplots while she was gallivanting elsewhere.

Basic geographic logistics got me to multiple perspectives, but there are a couple other reasons you may want to do the same. Writing in more than one point of view can lead to deeper subplots, a richer world, and can provide a counter perspective from your protagonist. (One of my points of view is the villain of the story, and it was fun to explore his character, flesh out his backstory, and make him sympathetic through writing from his perspective.)

If you can accomplish all of those goals from one character’s perspective, then DON’T write in multiples. It’s not necessary and some readers hate it.

7 Tips for How to Write a Book in Multiple Perspectives

If you think multiple perspectives is the way to go with your novel, here are my top tips to stay sane during the process and keep your readers happy:

1. Use chapter breaks for the switch.

At the very least, use line breaks. Your reader will get confused if you’re bouncing around too frequently or without any indication of a switch. It is possible to switch with a new paragraph, but I don’t recommend it as it’s too confusing for your reader and you’ll likely end up head hopping when you don’t mean to.

2. Differentiate the character voices.

All your characters should be unique, but it’s even more noticeable when they’re not if they get their own perspective. Mix it up.

3. Think of your reader.

They should be able to tell whose perspective they’re reading right away. You can make this clear in a few different ways:

  • Title the chapter with the character name
  • Write in third person.
  • Differentiate character voice so much that it’s obvious.

You don’t need to do all three, but you do need to make sure perspective changes are absolutely clear.

Writing from multiple perspectives? Make sure it’s crystal clear whose perspective we’re reading right away.
Tweet this
4. Each character is the hero of their own story.

This means they must have a story. They need conflict and a character arc of their own. They need their own backstory and motivations.

Don’t cheat them out of a full life because you’re too focused on your main character.

5. Don’t rehash the same scene.

When your characters are together you need to choose which one is best to narrate the scene. When you switch to another character there is no need to go back through the same scene from their viewpoint. That’s unnecessary and boring for your reader.

If you must add what the new character was thinking during a scene, do that in a meditative way in a new scene.

6. Don’t switch back and forth in a writing session.

You need to get personal with each character and it’s hard to get that deep with one and switch to another immediately. You’ll lose their voice and motivations and you’ll lose your mind trying to keep it all straight.

I recommend either devoting each day to a different character or writing multiple chapters from one character’s viewpoint before backtracking for another character. This will help you stay true to your characters and keep them sounding and acting differently from each other.

7. Keep track of where your characters are.

Pantsers, I hate to tell you this, but you need to make notes and plans if you’re going to write in multiple perspectives. Otherwise your characters will oddly teleport from one location to another or you’ll explain something that they already narrated several chapters ago.

This is especially true if you’re writing several chapters from one character’s perspective before switching to another.

You don’t have to get into the incredibly detailed notes that planners sometimes do, but you do need to have some sort of plan to keep track of what’s going on.

It’s Not as Scary as It Sounds

Writing a book in multiple perspectives can be intimidating, but it’s possible and often fun. I had some hiccups along the way, but it was exhilarating to see the plots and characters weaved together when I read through the complete manuscript.

Make sure to take notes and keep your reader in mind and I think you’ll be amazed by the finished product.

What’s the hardest part of writing in multiple perspectives for you? Let me know in the comments!

PRACTICE

Take fifteen minutes to practice writing from multiple perspectives.

Here is the scenario: A mom and her teenage son are getting breakfast together, something they’ve done every Saturday for fourteen years.

Write from the mom’s perspective when they enter the diner and sit down. Then write from the teen’s perspective as they order and eat.

When you’re done, share your writing in the comments. Don’t forget to comment on your fellow writers’ work!

The post How to Write a Book from Multiple Perspectives appeared first on The Write Practice.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Writing from one person’s perspective is hard enough. Writing from multiple perspectives can seem downright impossible. But it can be done.

I wrote my last novel from three different perspectives. It was difficult. Sometimes it was stagnating creatively. But sometimes it was fun and kept me engaged in my own book when I wanted to give up.

So if you’re ready for the challenge, here’s how to write a book from multiple perspectives.

Is It Necessary?

First you need to think about why you need more than one point of view. Just like anything else in your story, writing in this way needs to make sense and have a purpose.

I wrote about 55,000 words of my last novel in one person’s perspective before I realized I needed to add more points of view to flesh out my world and my characters. Simply put, my main character was no longer in the same realm (literally) as the sub-characters and I needed a way to continue their action and subplots while she was gallivanting elsewhere.

Basic geographic logistics got me to multiple perspectives, but there are a couple other reasons you may want to do the same. Writing in more than one point of view can lead to deeper subplots, a richer world, and can provide a counter perspective from your protagonist. (One of my points of view is the villain of the story, and it was fun to explore his character, flesh out his backstory, and make him sympathetic through writing from his perspective.)

If you can accomplish all of those goals from one character’s perspective, then DON’T write in multiples. It’s not necessary and some readers hate it.

7 Tips for How to Write a Book in Multiple Perspectives

If you think multiple perspectives is the way to go with your novel, here are my top tips to stay sane during the process and keep your readers happy:

1. Use chapter breaks for the switch.

At the very least, use line breaks. Your reader will get confused if you’re bouncing around too frequently or without any indication of a switch. It is possible to switch with a new paragraph, but I don’t recommend it as it’s too confusing for your reader and you’ll likely end up head hopping when you don’t mean to.

2. Differentiate the character voices.

All your characters should be unique, but it’s even more noticeable when they’re not if they get their own perspective. Mix it up.

3. Think of your reader.

They should be able to tell whose perspective they’re reading right away. You can make this clear in a few different ways:

  • Title the chapter with the character name
  • Write in third person.
  • Differentiate character voice so much that it’s obvious.

You don’t need to do all three, but you do need to make sure perspective changes are absolutely clear.

Writing from multiple perspectives? Make sure it’s crystal clear whose perspective we’re reading right away.
Tweet this
4. Each character is the hero of their own story.

This means they must have a story. They need conflict and a character arc of their own. They need their own backstory and motivations.

Don’t cheat them out of a full life because you’re too focused on your main character.

5. Don’t rehash the same scene.

When your characters are together you need to choose which one is best to narrate the scene. When you switch to another character there is no need to go back through the same scene from their viewpoint. That’s unnecessary and boring for your reader.

If you must add what the new character was thinking during a scene, do that in a meditative way in a new scene.

6. Don’t switch back and forth in a writing session.

You need to get personal with each character and it’s hard to get that deep with one and switch to another immediately. You’ll lose their voice and motivations and you’ll lose your mind trying to keep it all straight.

I recommend either devoting each day to a different character or writing multiple chapters from one character’s viewpoint before backtracking for another character. This will help you stay true to your characters and keep them sounding and acting differently from each other.

7. Keep track of where your characters are.

Pantsers, I hate to tell you this, but you need to make notes and plans if you’re going to write in multiple perspectives. Otherwise your characters will oddly teleport from one location to another or you’ll explain something that they already narrated several chapters ago.

This is especially true if you’re writing several chapters from one character’s perspective before switching to another.

You don’t have to get into the incredibly detailed notes that planners sometimes do, but you do need to have some sort of plan to keep track of what’s going on.

It’s Not as Scary as It Sounds

Writing a book in multiple perspectives can be intimidating, but it’s possible and often fun. I had some hiccups along the way, but it was exhilarating to see the plots and characters weaved together when I read through the complete manuscript.

Make sure to take notes and keep your reader in mind and I think you’ll be amazed by the finished product.

What’s the hardest part of writing in multiple perspectives for you? Let me know in the comments!

PRACTICE

Take fifteen minutes to practice writing from multiple perspectives.

Here is the scenario: A mom and her teenage son are getting breakfast together, something they’ve done every Saturday for fourteen years.

Write from the mom’s perspective when they enter the diner and sit down. Then write from the teen’s perspective as they order and eat.

When you’re done, share your writing in the comments. Don’t forget to comment on your fellow writers’ work!

The post How to Write a Book from Multiple Perspectives appeared first on The Write Practice.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Coming up with a story idea isn’t hard. Coming up with a story idea that hits it out of the park, fires on all cylinders, and has never been done before is. In fact, it’s the equivalent of winning the lottery—an unlikely event that can burn up your resources if you’re not careful.

I remember reading a story about a farmer in South Africa who got fed up with pulling stones out of his field. He wanted riches, and journeyed around the world in search of treasure. Finally, broke and exhausted, he returned home and took another look at those rocks, and that’s when he recognized them for the diamonds they were.

6 Ways to cut and polish your backyard diamonds

There are numerous debates over the finite number of plots in existence and whether there’s anything new under the sun. Nearly all the stories you read or watch on the screen ride on the backs of stories that have gone before, borrowing plots and characters, using similar settings or devices. People have been telling stories from the dawn of human existence, so this should not come as a great shock.

Rather than combing the earth in search of the elusive, undiscovered concept, spend your efforts on applying your unique talents and perspectives to the ideas you find around you, cutting and polishing them until they shine. Make them your own.

Read on, friend, for six ways to strengthen your home-grown story idea.

1. Boil down your story problem

Story revolves on conflict. Without obstacles and stressors, there’s no story. So examine your story idea and see if you can put it into a one-sentence premise based on the story problem. A good way of doing this is to formulate the problem in a “what if” format.

Just for fun, see if you can identify these movies by their “what if” suppositions.

  • What if a tough American expatriate who sticks his neck out for no one met the woman he once loved and discovers he’s willing to risk his life for her?
  • What if a boy woke up to find he’s become a full-grown man overnight?
  • What if an Amish boy, peculiarly unaccustomed to violence, became the key witness to a murder?
  • What if the President of the United States was kidnapped on board Air Force One?
  • What if a police chief had to choose between political imperatives and the safety of the citizens in his jurisdiction?

The answers to the first four are Casablanca, Big, Witness, and Air Force One. As for the last one, dozens of books, movies, and TV shows could be summed up in this premise, but I was thinking of Jaws when I wrote the example.

I’ll be using movies a lot as examples, rather than books, because the enormous cost of making a movie means there are a lot fewer out there and the chances of you having seen it are better. The points I make apply to story in a variety of forms.

Boiling your story idea down to a simple sentence requires you to focus on the story problem, solidifying it and coming to terms with what it will mean for your story. That sentence becomes the seed from which your story will grow and being clear about the story problem helps you make choices about what should go into—and what should stay out of—your story.

2. Push your character to the end of their rope

Think about your particular protagonist and ask yourself what would be the worst thing that could happen to her. Inflicting her with that worst fate brings built-in conflict, ensures emotional involvement, and requires your character to reach down deep, really showing what she’s made of.

I came up with a couple examples:

  • For an actor, the worst thing would be alienating all the directors on Broadway so no one will work with him. Think Tootsie.
  • For an astronaut, it’s missing the return trip home. The Martian.

In my own writing, I’ve often been too kind to my protagonist, depriving both my character and my readers of a richer, more meaningful experience. Whether you’re still in the planning stages, or reaching the end of your story, ask yourself what’s the worst and you might be surprised at how the answer can strengthen your story.

3. Juxtapose two ideas

Dean Wesley Smith, one of the most prolific writers on the planet, regularly uses this method. He owns a massive quantity of old books and digests. He’ll flip open a volume, run his finger down the Table of Contents, and stop at random on a title. Then he’ll do the same with another book, combine the two titles, and see what perks.

In Thoughts on Plots, Joan Aiken wrote that it takes two ideas, colliding, to spark a story. Maybe every plot has been done before, but you can combine ideas in new ways to stimulate your imagination and create something fresh.

For an example, I thought what if Louis Sachar came up with the idea for Holes by juxtaposing Cool Hand Luke and Flubber? See how that could work?

Need a fresh story idea? Take two unrelated ideas and combine them to create something new.
Tweet this
4. Reverse a predictable plot

If you think your story idea is too mundane or doesn’t hold enough surprises, try turning it on its head and see what shakes out.

O. Henry, famous for the twists he put in his short stories, did this beautifully with The Ransom of Red Chief. Two hapless criminals kidnap a wealthy man’s young son and hold him for ransom, but they are so frazzled by the boy’s crazy and spoiled behavior that they end up paying the father to take the kid back.

I used this technique when I formulated the idea for my story A Simple Glass of Water, which also involves a kidnapping. I wanted to load the story with a couple of reversals the reader wouldn’t see coming, so I turned my basic idea upside down and imagined what might happen. It was a lot of fun.

Does your story idea seem too mundane? Turn it on its head, reverse a predictable plot, and see what happens.
Tweet this
5. Wind the ticking clock

Adding a time crunch to your story idea heightens the suspense and tension, keeping it tight and escalating the conflict.

Your story may feature an actual clock, like in High Noon, or one of the most intense television shows ever devised, 24. But look for ways to get creative with this.

For example, the writers of Speed did it with a bus that couldn’t dip below 50 miles per hour during rush hour traffic in Los Angeles. DOA did it by fatally poisoning a man and having him solve his own murder before he drops dead.

6. Write what excites you

One of the most widely distributed pieces of authorly wisdom is to write what you know. And that’s fine, if what you know lights a fire in your belly and moves you with the power of a depth charge.

If not, write what does. If you are thrilled and fascinated by what you write, that enthusiasm will spread to the reader.

If you want to engage your reader’s emotions, you’ve got to be feeling it yourself. This is the best way to write something exciting.

Diamonds look like ordinary rocks until they’re cut and polished

Don’t be discouraged because you haven’t come up with a story idea that will have Hollywood knocking down your door to buy the movie rights. Take what you have and buff it up. Turn it around. Smash it up against something else. Put a time limit on it. Hold its feet to the fire. Write like you mean it.

Apply these six ways to strengthen your story idea and amaze yourself at what you can do.

Looking for a great story idea? Check out our one-page guide to turn inspiration into an amazing story idea. Get your copy here (it’s free!).

Where do you find your story ideas? What’s your biggest challenge in formulating ideas that work? Tell us about it in the comments section.

PRACTICE

Take a look at a current story idea you’re working on. Try one or more techniques from the article to give it a new twist. How does that strengthen the concept? Where will you take it from here?

If you don’t have a current story idea, try Dean’s method of meshing two titles together to see what sparks.

Write for fifteen minutes. When you’re finished, share your story idea in the comments section. And if you post, please leave feedback for your fellow writers!

The post 6 Creative Ways to Strengthen Your Story Idea appeared first on The Write Practice.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

165,000 people search “how to right a book” every month.

(NOTE: Step one to write a book, get a good critique group who will catch those spelling errors.)

Seriously though, wouldn’t it be great to write a book? To see your name on that glossy cover, to flip the pages filled with words you’ve written, to be able to tell your friends, “I’m an author.”

How do you write a book?

9 Steps to RIGHT a Book The hard truth is that while there are certainly many joys of writing, it can also be an incredibly boring, frustrating, and even embarrassing process. I regularly think while writing, “How could I be this stupid? How could writing a single paragraph be this hard?”

And yet, if you’re like me, hearing that writing a book will be a long, difficult journey won’t stop you from wanting to write one.

Thus, here are nine (tongue-half-in-cheek) steps to writing a book:

1. Start!

As Mary Poppins says, “Well begun is half done.”

If you want to write a book, write the first chapter. See if you can do it in one day. It may not be perfect, and you may not keep any of it in your final draft, but you will have begun.

If you want to write a book, sit down and start writing.
Tweet this
2. Figure out what your book is about.

I don’t mean, “My book is about a teenage girl trying to survive high school.” I’m talking about an overarching theme, something that ties the book together and makes it worth reading.

For example:

  • When Harry Met Sally, by the wonderful (and recently passed) Nora Ephron, is about love and friendship. Can men and women ever be friends?
  • Finding Nemo is about taking risk for the sake of relationship. Is the world really safe?
  • The series Game of Thrones is about power, and the things both men and women will do to get it.

At some point in your writing process, whether you’re writing a novel, a memoir, or a non-fiction book, you’ll need to figure out what your book is about, and why other people would want to read it.

Once you figure out your theme, focus your book on it maliciously, cutting anything that doesn’t have to do with it.

3. Read books similar to yours.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time (or the tools) to write,” says Stephen King.

Reading titles similar to yours is the best thing you can do to write a good book. Go to your local library, your favorite bookstore, or hit up Amazon.com and get five books similar to yours. When you’re not writing, turn off the TV and read. Your future readers will thank you for it.

4. Suffer.
Writing a book requires an ability to endure suffering.
Tweet this

At some point in every writing project, I have a breakdown. I no longer want to write the book. I no longer want to write at all. Forever. I say, “I never want to feel this stupid again, so I quit.”

After having this experience five or six times, I realized “the breakdown” always comes right before a breakthrough. In fact, breakdowns are a sign you’re almost finished. Push through the suffering and keep writing. You’ll have a finished book soon.

5. Get up at 5 am or write till 2 am.

My first book took 550 hours to write. Yours might take longer. If you don’t schedule time into your day to write, your book won’t get written.

Many writers find that the best times for them to write are either early in the morning or late at night, but honestly, it matters less when you write and more that you write every day. If you have a day job and are only able to write two hours a day, it will take 275 days to get to 550 hours. When that alarm goes off at five am, just think of how good it will feel to have your finished book in your hands.

6. Get to know other writers.

One of the best ways to motivate yourself through the hard parts of writing a book is the support of other writers who have done it too. If you don’t have any friends who have written a book, reach out to a local writers group or join Becoming Writer and get to know our community.

(I’m biased, but I think we’re awesome.)

7. Celebrate your first draft.

When you finish your first draft, throw yourself a party. Go out to your favorite restaurant with a group of your closest friends. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

But DON’T show it to anyone!

First drafts are almost always awful pieces of writing. To save yourself the embarrassment of typos and misspellings like the one in the title of this post, you have a lot of work to do.

8. Work on drafts two and three.

There’s a writer’s proverb that says, “All good writing is rewriting.”  It’s completely true.

Most professional writers write three drafts of their books, if not more. Here’s a good resource on how to know when your book is finished.

9. After you finish your book, start the next one.

The unfortunate truth is most first books aren’t published, and even if yours is, it’s unlikely you’ll make enough to make a full-time living from it. If you want a career as a writer, you’ll have to write several more.

Fortunately, writing books is addictive. Don’t stop. The very next day after you finish your first book, start on the second one.

Writing A Book Is Practice

The best writers practice, whether they’re international bestsellers or just getting started. Practice is hard. It’s stretching. You feel sore after you practice. And yet it’s the only way to get better.

The best writers, the best humans, are never finished practicing. They are always pressing into discomfort. They’re always trying to perform better than the last time.

Become the kind of person who endures discomfort for the sake of growth. If you don’t, you will have a very difficult time writing a book.

Want to write a book? I’ve put together a one-page guide to help you find an amazing book idea. Get your copy here (it’s free!).

Do you want to write a book? What tips do you have, or which of the tips above stick out to you most? Let me know in the comments.

PRACTICE

As we talked about above, “Well begun is half done.” If you want to write a book, start today. Or, if you’re in the middle of writing your book, spend some time working on it now.

Write your book for at least fifteen minutes. Then, post a paragraph or two in the comments to encourage the community. And if you post, be sure to comment on a few practices by other writers.

The post How to Right a Book in Nine (Not So) Easy Steps appeared first on The Write Practice.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Do you want to help people? Do you feel a calling to use your writing to be a voice of encouragement to others? Do you want to know how to write a self-help book that will share your stories and wisdom with thousands of readers?

Thanks to the unique life that you’ve lived, only you have access to the treasure trove of experience and knowledge in your heart and mind. Within that trove are lessons that readers need to learn, and only you can teach them.

That’s why it’s important to know how to write a self-help book: so you can make a difference in people’s lives by teaching with the right balance of authority and honesty.

Your knowledge, wisdom, and experience can help people. Write a self-help book to make a difference in other people’s lives.
Tweet this
How to Write a Self-Help Book

They key to a powerful self-help book is, as I’ve said, balance. Your job, as the teacher, is to earn your reader’s trust, and then teach the reader valuable and immediately applicable lessons.

To earn trust, you must be vulnerable. Honest. Humble.

That means being willing to admit to your reader that you have probably failed at the very things you are teaching. If you present yourself as infallible, then readers won’t be able to trust you. You have to lead from a humble posture.

Then, you need to teach lessons that are immediately usable. Your job as a helpful teacher is to “chunk,” to break into small parts, the steps to success in your self-help book. This means a lot of planning will be required as you analyze the process you are attempting to teach.

Let’s get started!

Tell Stories of Growth

The primary structure of a great self-help book is a series of growth stories. What is a growth story?

A Growth Story is a narrative in which you, the “guru,” experience failure, learning, and success.

This three-part structure is an excellent framework for each chapter of your book, and will draw the reader into each concept you intend to teach.

First, begin with a story of failure. If you are unwilling to share stories of your own failures, then you will not gain the trust of skeptical readers.

Second, explain what you learned as a result of the failure. Make sure the principle is tangible and easily applicable to your reader’s life.

And third, show how you recovered from the failure and found success. This, of course, is the part that your readers will be most interested in. But it can’t work without the previous two steps. Without the humble beginning, you can’t achieve the proud finale.

Teach, Then Motivate

While your chapters should be framed with growth stories, they need to teach concrete strategies and truths that readers can immediately apply to their lives.

Too often, a self-help book will be rich with platitudes, or memorable thoughts about the nature of life. But when put down, there is little about the book that is doable.

For each chapter, give the reader one clear task. Don’t overwhelm readers with too many things, or you will likely lose several of them (though you can have an “additional reading” section at the end, perhaps, for those who want more).

Stick to a simple, straight-forward item that each reader can add to his or her to-do list and start working. Whether it’s for weight loss, parenting, relationships, quilting, or deep sea diving, you will need to make sure each step that you teach is something the reader can go and do today.

Once you’ve taught the achievable basics, then add your big ideas or platitudes to give the principle muscle.

Recruit Other Voices

On your quest to help other people, it can be tempting to feel like you’re all alone. Part of this is good: You’re approaching a problem from your own unique perspective, offering the help to those who need it.

But part of it is bad, too: Rarely can one single person have all the solutions to any single problem. This is a fact that many readers know. Lone wolf gurus are often untrustworthy hucksters, which is not at all what you will be as you write your self-help book.

Readers trust new or prominent voices when they arrive on the shoulders of trusted influencers. This doesn’t mean you have to get a big-time blogger to write your introduction or promote your book for you. But it does mean doing lots of research!

First, read the top five books in your specific topic or niche. Find out what the best teachers are already teaching, and make sure you don’t reinvent the wheel (or worse, plagiarize).

Then, do some service-minded outreach. Serve your readers ahead of time on your own platform. See if you can interview at least one of the lead voices in this self-help area, and get permission to use his/her answers in your book.

The more you can gather consensus and credibility from the niche you are writing in, the more readers will trust you and buy your book to get the help they need.

Beta Test and Revise

All books require numerous rounds of editing and revision. And self-help books are no exception.

Writing a self-help book is most different from writing a story in this crucial way: Readers don’t apply a work of fiction to their and expect results. However, when they read a self-help book to solve a pressing problem, they do expect to find easy-to-grasp, relevant, and immediately applicable pieces of information that will make a tangible difference in their lives.

To the author, that means lots of testing.

The best way to complete numerous rounds of beta testing is to join a writing community. Many writers prefer a community that meets in person.

But when it comes to an online writing community that can help you quickly beta test practically anything, including a self-help book, there’s no place better than Becoming Writer.

Whatever path you take to testing and improving your self-help book, don’t underestimate the importance of beta testing. It’s so easy to assume what your reader is thinking, what he/she wants, and what he/she needs.

But the only real way to know is to ask, then accept the answer as it comes.

That means testing and revising until the book is truly ready to make a difference in the life of every reader!

All books require rounds of editing and revision. Beta readers will tell you what’s wonderful about your book and where it still needs work.
Tweet this
What Self-Help Book Will You Write?

You are undoubtedly the owner of some very helpful information. And now that you know how to write a self-help book, all you have to do is dig deep, discover those lessons from your life, are start putting them on paper.

What self-help book will you write?

In a moment, you’ll be encouraged to journal and discover the teacher within. But for now, think on this: Where would you be without all the help you’ve received? What would your writing look like without self-help books about writing? Where would your relationships, parenting, diet, health, or hobbies be without a book or two that made a huge difference to you?

Don’t underestimate the power your voice and life can hold. Don’t undercut your own experiences just because they’re yours. Start sharing them, and you’ll be shocked at just have valuable they can be.

Do you read self-help books? What makes a self-help book truly useful to you? Let us know in the comments.

PRACTICE

For fifteen minutes, journal about a topic that you’d like to help people with. What life experiences of yours lead you to believe you’d be a good teacher? What failures have taught you to be humble? How have you overcome those failures, gaining some authority to teach on the subject?

Share your practice in the comments below! Then, be sure to leave feedback for at least three other writers!

The post How to Write a Self-Help Book appeared first on The Write Practice.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I dream of a day when I can wake up, sip my coffee, write some morning pages, and then work on my latest novel until dinner. Unfortunately for me, and for many of you, that day is not today.

I’ve got kids and a house and bills, so I have to work full-time. Even so, over the past four years, I’ve published five novels, three novellas, and countless short stories.

How to Write a Book While Working Full-Time: 5 Strategies

How do I write books while working full-time? There are five things I’ve had to do to make this a reality.

1. Figure Out Your Prime Writing Time

Some of us write better at five in the morning. We need those morning pages to get us going. Some of us write better at midnight, alone in the dark with our thoughts. But if you work full-time, when you write best may not be the right question.

With forty hours of your week missing while you are at work, it’s important to figure out not only when you are at your best, but also when you are capable of giving time to writing.

Most days, I get up around 5:30 AM with the three-year-old. I then listen to the news or a podcast while I make him breakfast, and make myself breakfast, and take my wife coffee, and pack my four other kids’ lunches. By 7 AM, I’m in the car starting my commute, which is forty-five minutes.

My job is difficult and requires focus. (I’m part of a team that builds simulations that imitate emotions, allowing professionals to practice difficult conversations.) I leave at 4 PM, get back in my car and drive home. Then there comes whatever sport the kids are playing at the moment, and dinner, and bedtime routines.

My life is full.

I’m not complaining; I love every second.

I love making my kids’ breakfasts. I love bringing my wife coffee in bed each morning. I even love listening to books in the car during my commute. I love my job, the team I work with, and the simulations we create. I love watching my kids play sports and occasionally coaching their teams. I’m not complaining.

I am saying that finding time to write is difficult, which is why discovering your “prime” writing time is so important.

For those of us who work full-time, finding “our writing time” isn’t just about what feels best. It’s also about what works for our schedules.

If I had my way, I’d write from 9 AM to 1 PM. That’s when I’m at my best and most productive, but that time is dedicated to my job because my job pays the bills. Therefore, I write late at night, after my house is asleep. I have three hours from 9 PM to midnight.

That’s my “prime” writing time because that’s the only time I have.

If you work full-time, your best writing time is the time you can fit in your schedule.
Tweet this

This is a hard truth about how to write a book while working full-time. We’ve got to squeeze writing into the cracks of our lives. We need to figure out when it is possible and then guard that time as sacred.

2. Enlist the People You Live With

I have teenagers in my house and only one TV. It’s in the central space where we all congregate. Most nights, my writing time begins while the teenagers are still up and watching TV. But they know that when I open my laptop and put my headphones in, that I’m working and they shouldn’t bother me.

I’m available all day. At 9 PM, I’m writing. Even if we are in the same room, I’m writing.

Whether you are single with roommates or married with kids, it’s rare that our space is our own. Because writing time is precious, we need help protecting it.

Tell the people you live with your plan and ask them to help you stick to it. Tell them the time you plan to write and how much you hope to get down. That way, they’ll be allies instead of distractions.

3. Commit to Giving Things Up

A coworker asked me this week if I’m keeping up with the new season of The Handmaid’s Tale. I was heartbroken that I had to say no. I then asked her to describe the episode to me, because I’m not going to be watching it any time soon.

Honestly, I would love to be watching The Handmaid’s Tale. I would love to watch every episode the day they drop.

But I know I can’t do that and write books, because I also work full-time.

You can’t work full-time, and watch all the TV shows everyone else watches, and go to all the fun places everyone else goes to, and read all the books everyone else reads, and write your own books. Unless you have Hermione’s Time-Turner, time doesn’t work that way.

You are going to have to give things up. Come to terms with it now. It will make it easier when someone tells you how amazing the most recent episode of your favorite show is.

If you want to write a book, you’ll have to make sacrifices to make writing a priority. Remember, your book is worth it.
Tweet this
4. Push Yourself

My oldest son runs track for his high school team. For the past few months, he’s run as hard as he could at practice, but gotten close to the same time with each run. Every night he would come home exhausted and say, “I ran as hard as I could today. I just can’t break my personal best.”

Last week, his coach put him in a heat with runners faster than he is used to running with. The race was hard, but he was determined to keep up with the leaders. At the end of the race, he’d shaved thirty seconds off of his personal record.

My son thought he was working as hard as he could, but in truth, he was capable of more than he knew.

Writing is not unlike a sport. We practice. We work on our techniques. We also have “game time” when we put our effort into the world for others to view.

And like any professional athlete will tell you, we too are capable of more than we think we are.

As I mentioned, I write late at night because it is when I am alone. Often, after I write for an hour, my eyes will get heavy and my body will tell me I need to stop and go to bed. But I don’t stop. I get a glass of water and push myself for another forty-five minutes.

Even though my body tells me I should go to bed, even though my eyes sting and my head is fuzzy, I know I can squeeze a little more gas out of my tank. I’ve got another four hundred words in me that I can get on the page.

There are going to be times when your mind is not your friend. Your brain’s primary concern is the protection of your body. Therefore, when your energy is running low, your brain starts firing warning signals. Your eyes start to droop and your mind says, “Let’s just go lie down.”

But that’s not happening because your tank is on empty. It’s happening because you are closer to empty than your brain would like you to be. When you start feeling those warning signs, you need to push a little harder. You are capable of more.

Full confession, there are many nights when I’ve woken up after falling asleep at my laptop. I’ve just accepted that falling asleep on the keyboard is what it takes to write books and work fulltime.

5. Keep It in Perspective

In high school, I pitched for my school’s baseball team. By “pitched,” I mean I threw slow and easy-to-hit balls close to the plate and then watched the opposing team crush those balls into the outfield while gleefully running around the bases. One night, I was put in as a relief pitcher, and I blew a strong lead and lost the game.

Afterward, I was frustrated and angry with myself. I remember telling my dad, a wise man who had many adages he’d repeat and that I still try to live by, “This is the worst. I’m the worst. And I hate it.”

Dad put his arm around me and said, “Listen, don’t sweat the small stuff. And remember, if you walk far enough away from it, it all gets small.”

Perspective is important.

Remember, writer of books who also has a full-time job: you have a full-time job.

You aren’t going to be able to keep up with writers who match your discipline and write full-time. They are going to write more words a day than you do, they are going to put out more books than you, and they are going to go to more conferences than you do, query more agents than you do, and hang out with other authors more than you do.

If they match your discipline, they will write faster than you do, because writing is what they do full-time.

Have some perspective.

You also aren’t going to write as fast as you want to. There will be nights when you can’t bring yourself to do it, nights when your “prime writing time” rolls around, and your laptop is waiting at the kitchen table, and your house is quiet, but all you can gather the energy to do is sit on the couch and watch an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale.

And that’s okay. Because you’ve worked a full day and did what you had to do to pay your bills. The world isn’t over. You can write tomorrow.

Have some perspective.

And there are going to be long seasons when you write and write and write, and then finally produce the book you’ve been sacrificing to make. And then you are going to put it into the world, hoping everyone will buy it and exclaim that it is the greatest thing ever written, hoping that they will tell everyone they know that they never need to read another story again because your story has ruined all other stories for them!

But instead, your story is going to be met with silence.

It’s going to be lost in the flood of thousands of books being published every year, and you’re going to be sad, and you’re going to want to pout and binge all of The Handmaid’s Tale in a weekend, and you’re going to tell your partner that you will never write another word again. “Never! Never! Never!”

And all of that is okay.

Because in the end, you did something most people never will. You wrote a damn book, which in itself is winning.

Have some perspective.

Writing is not your full-time career; and until it is, you need to be honest about what you expect from yourself and keep your writing in perspective. Do what you are capable of and don’t get down on yourself for it.

Yes, You Can Have a Job and Write a Book

There may come a day when I can wake up, sip my coffee, write some morning pages, and then work on my latest book until dinner; but that day is not today.

Today, I work full-time.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t be a writer. It doesn’t mean I can’t publish great stories. I can. I am.

And if I can, you can too.

Do you have any tips for how to write a book while working full-time? Let us know in the comments.

PRACTICE

Today, we’re going to practice the third strategy: push yourself. Take fifteen minutes to write at least three hundred words. Remember, you can write more than you think, faster than you think, and you can even write if you’re not at your best. You can free write, or continue your work in progress. Whatever you choose, challenge yourself to write at least three hundred words before the timer goes off.

When you’re done, share your writing and your word count in the comments below. Be sure to leave feedback for your fellow writers!

The post How to Write a Book While Working Full-Time appeared first on The Write Practice.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Fill in the blank: I can’t finish my draft because _______. Are you sure that is what is holding you back?

This is one of the busiest months of the year for me. I’m usually disciplined, but there are some especially busy seasons when writing is hard to prioritize.

As one of my classes began reading Fahrenheit 451 this month, I remembered a letter Ray Bradbury sent to a librarian about how he wrote the novel. Ray Bradbury’s writing tips were just what I needed to get back to finishing my book.  

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel set in a world where the public stops reading for the distraction of television screens. Books become outlawed because they cause unrest between people.

In the blog and book Letters of Note, there is a 2006 letter from Bradbury to the Assistant Director of the Fayetteville Public Library about how he finished the first draft of the novel in the basement of a college library. 

His Letter

Bradbury explained in his letter that he didn’t have an office. One day, he was in the library at U.C.L.A. and heard typing downstairs. He followed the sound to the basement and realized he could pay to use a typewriter for ten cents per half hour.

He returned with a bag of dimes and spent nine days pounding out the first 25,000 word draft of the novel which he called “The Fireman.”

A science-fiction magazine published “The Fireman,” but Bradbury’s editor at Ballentine later asked him to expand it into a novel. Bradbury returned to the library basement with another bag of dimes and finished 25,000 more words to complete the draft in nine more days.

The Inspiration of Location

Bradbury was a champion of libraries, an avid reader, and a joyful writer. He is a terrific example of how to overcome obstacles and excuses to get the draft done.

Instead of listing all the reasons the library might be distracting or limiting, he ran out for a bag of dimes and got started.

He drew inspiration from the library itself, and he includes many allusions throughout the book that attest to his reading. I don’t have to write in a library to find inspiration around me. Wherever we’re writing, we can draw from the quirky details, the ambiance, and the character studies that surround us.

Need inspiration? Look around you, and draw from the quirky details, the ambiance, and the character studies that surround you.
Tweet this
His Time Limit

I’ll admit it’s a little intimidating that Bradbury finished his book in two nine-day sprints. That means he wrote an average of 2,800 words a day. The ticking clock of paid typewriter time probably also spurred him to a quicker pace.

I don’t have to pay to type, but I can write in fifteen to thirty minute sprints. To sprint, just open a document, set a timer, and write as fast as you can.

When I revisit my manuscript daily, that saves time too, because I don’t have to reread large sections to remember where I left off.

How quickly can you write? Set a timer and write for a fifteen minute sprint.
Tweet this
A Finished Draft

The most important part of Ray Bradbury’s writing tips and letter for me though is that he finished this story, not once, but twice.

I often get stuck in the middle or final act of a story and drag my feet, waffling over details that will be cut in revision anyway. Sprinting to the finish keeps me from overthinking everything and helps me meet my goal of a finished draft.

I love this letter about how he wrote Fahrenheit 451, because it reminds me that I am often the main obstacle holding myself back.

I don’t need a library or a typewriter. Instead, I need to approach my desk each morning with the joy Bradbury felt about his beloved libraries.

Then I need to finish the draft.

Maybe I’ll put a bag of dimes on my desk as a reminder.

What do you think of Ray Bradbury’s writing tips? How do you focus on your writing? Let us know in the comments.

PRACTICE

You may not have to pay for typewriter time, but for today’s practice, I’m giving you a hard and fast time limit. Take fifteen minutes to write a scene as fast as you can. Not sure what to write about? Look around you, and draw inspiration from where you’re sitting right now.

Remember, your goal isn’t to write a perfect story. Your goal is to get out of your own way and write. How many words can you get on the page?

When your time is up, share your writing and your word count in the comments below. Remember to leave feedback for your fellow writers!

The post How to Bust Excuses and Focus on Your Writing Like Ray Bradbury appeared first on The Write Practice.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Names — character names or the names of people in real life — are a big deal. Parents-to-be pore over baby name books for months looking for that “perfect” name. Even naming a pet can take time. You want the name to be perfect, to mean something, to be unique but not too “weird.”

Naming a character, especially in a longer piece of writing, can be just as agonizing and is definitely just as important.

5 Tips for How to Come Up With Character Names

Struggling to find the perfect name for your new character? Try out these tips:

1. Character names should offer insight into personalities and characteristics.

A dainty ballerina named Beulah probably wouldn’t go over too well with your readers, unless you’re trying to be ironic. But a ballerina named Margarite? That makes sense.

Names hint at character class, region, and dialect. You would probably be hard-pressed to find a Billy Bob living in a highrise overlooking Central Park or a Frasier picking up hay bales on a farm.

I point this out not to encourage you to be stereotypical or cliché, but to highlight how names come with associations. You’ll be fighting against your reader’s inborn assumptions throughout your story if you choose the wrong name.

You can use certain names to purposely invoke an association. For instance, Igor might make readers recall Frankenstein or Hester might be associated with The Scarlet Letter. Names like these might be used to pay homage to the classics or to put certain characteristics in a reader’s mind without having to spell them out.

2. Choose a name and stick to it.

Nicknames are fine, as is addressing a character by a last name, especially in the crime genre, but don’t overdo the switching back and forth. Your readers will lose track of who you’re talking about.

You need to have a good reason for another character to use a nickname (i.e. their mother) or use their last name (i.e. boss).

3. Say the name out loud.

Does it roll off your tongue? Does the last name mesh with the first name?

If it’s not easy for you to say, it won’t be easy for your readers to read.

4. Avoid starting with the same letter.

Marge, Maggie, and Melinda are fine names for triplets, but are your readers going to be able to tell them apart? Avoid character names that sound similar as well, as your readers are less likely to be able to differentiate.

5. Avoid overused and/or boring names.

I think we have all seen enough Bob Smiths in our lives and our reading. You can go with good ‘ole Bob if you’re going for a nondescript character but try to dig deeper than that if not.

Where to Find Character Names

If you’re anything like me, the names that pop into your head are often the same or similar to the ones you used in a story last week. The names that first pop into your head are probably those of family members, friends, or characters from books you’ve recently read.

(Pro tip: Don’t use a family member’s name for a villain. Trust me. It DOES NOT go over well.)

So where can you find unique character names?

The first tool in your naming arsenal should be baby name books and/or websites. Then there are the five bazillion name generators online. Those are fine places to pick up some unique names, but I prefer to let real life be my inspiration.

You’ll often need first and last names for longer works, so be on the lookout. Look at movie credits, social media, and road signs. Keep phone books. (Those are those yellow things that magically show up on your porch once a year.) Take note of any interesting names for later use.

The perfect name for your new character might be scrolling through the credits of your favorite movie.
Tweet this
Don’t Let Choosing a Name Stagnate You

No, you do not get to use not having a character name as a reason not to write.

If you can’t think of the perfect name upfront, don’t worry about it! Put a placeholder in there. I tend to use X or ??? because I’m super creative like that. Anything that sticks out and is easy to search and replace will do.

Don’t let the lack of the perfect name stop you from writing. Put in a placeholder, and keep going!
Tweet this

Don’t let naming trip you up! The perfect name will come eventually.

How do you name your characters? Let me know in the comments!

PRACTICE

Today I want you to choose a name from this list:

Reginald             Olga

Gavin                  Seraphina

Nestor                 Ann Marie

Clive                    Willow

Spike                   Cherry

Give them a last name if you like. (Remember to avoid over-used last names like Smith.)

Now take fifteen minutes to write from this person’s point of view. Consider starting with: From the time I was a child, I knew I would become… or My family was… or The view from my backdoor on a spring morning…

It needn’t be long. If you have time, try out another name.

When you’re done, share your writing in the comments. Don’t forget to comment on your fellow writers’ work!

The post What’s in a Name? How to Come Up With Character Names appeared first on The Write Practice.

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview