This week, to celebrate Valentine's Day, Ravencraft is holding a 7-day blogfest as an ode to first love. Please check out the other bloggers!
For my entry I present the photographic diary of cynical romantic Valentine and her blossoming relationship with Romeo.
Without further ado, please meet Valentine and Romeo in Entry #1: First sight... love or melons?
"Do you believe in love at first sight,
or would you like to walk by and check me out again?"
Nice post from Query Tracker on the causes of writer's block and how to cure them. Read it here.
This is one of the best ads I've seen to promote books. I love it!
It can be difficult for a writer to pick up on words that they overuse, and creating a wordle is a visual way of finding these words so you can look at removing some of them for you work. I did this with one of my novels and got the above result.
As you can see, most of the big words are names (Azrael, Kali, Daniel, Phoenix etc), but there are a few that caught be by surprise:
Has anyone else done this before, and have you brought up any unusual words?
How do you plot a novel if you have multiple main characters?
This is very hard to do well. Most novels that seem to have multiple main characters really have one, and the others are just very strong side characters.
However, one example of actual multiple protagonists can be seen in Marian Keyes SUSHI FOR BEGINNERS (reviewed here). This is done well because the three protagonist's lives are all entwined, and each of their decisions effect one another.
One way to make multiple characters work is to give them all a very strong goal that they are all working towards. That's why romances often have dual protagonists. Both are usually working towards a goal of chasing after each other!
If you're new to writing, and want to write in multiple POVs from multiple characters (be it in third or first person), I suggest picking one character who dominates the story, but having multiple side characters who have strong subplots that effect the protagonist, but are still unique enough to be strong characters.
Because the person who posed this question to me is writing a Zombie Apocalypse novel, lets take THE WALKING DEAD (the TV series) as an example.
Multiple very strong characters? Yes.
One Protagonist? Yes. Rick Grimes.
Rick Grimes is the protagonist, but all of the other characters have very strong sub-plots, and if the story changed to focus on one of them, they all have the potential to be the protagonist instead. The reason Rick Grimes is the protagonist, and not the others is that Rick's POV is used most (even if it is only slightly more than the others at times), and because he has taken on a leadership role in the group, the audience is drawn towards him even more. Also, he has the guns.
What are your thoughts on multiple protagonists?
Any tips on how to plot a novel??? I have tried to just write and see what happens but end up going all over the place and lose the main "drag" of the story. Read some helpful sites about plotting but need it to be put into lamens terms so to speak. I have never taken creative writing classes and have a great idea for a story but i find when I have written the first paragraph I am never happy with it and don't know where to go with it, if i continue to write then the "idea" gets tangled up and i end up branching in to many directions.
There are some fantastic outlining tools. In particular, I've found this one to be effective in mapping out a novel. It's great because its series of questions really get you thinking about the plot and characters, and the journey they take. If you want a generic plot formula to plan with however, I recommend the following very simple plot technique in layman's terms:
This is the story of The Three Little Pigs And The Big Bad Wolf (taught to me by Jill Marshall, author of the Jane Blonde series).
There you have it! A very simple plotting outline, ready for use. Please note that this doesn't take into account things like subplots and character motivations etc, but it should help you write a bare bones outline that you can expand on.
It's been a busy few months for me, but rather than blogging sporadically, I decided to take a break, and take the time to give this blog a bit of a refresh. You may have noticed a new look, and some new pages.
Under writing, you'll find all sorts of tips, exercises and procrastination ideas that will hopefully help you beat writer's block.
If you open the editing book, you will find a step by step guide to editing a manuscript, and some tips that will stop editor's block from setting in (yes, it does exist!).
Query Shop is a new blog I've set up, dedicated to the query letter process. You can view my Query Shop posts on this website, or read them on the Query Shop website.
I'll be posting more often, and hopefully be having a few giveaways too!
Because I feel like I've been spending more time working on my query than I did for the novel, I've decided to compile all the query tips I've picked up into one blog: http://queryshop.blogspot.com/
To celebrate, I'm giving away Stephen King's ON WRITING, so please check out the blog and enter!
Hi to my New Zealand followers!
Lesley Marshall of Editline is raffling off a free manuscript critique in memory of her son. Funds to go to Te Puna Women's Refuge.
To enter, simply send a cheque (made out to Te Puna) to Lesley (Editline, 20 Beverley Cres, RD 9 Whangarei 0179), and she'll put you in the draw.
The draw will happen on the 16 December so that gives you over a month to get your entries in.
The critique is for a novel or any similar piece of work, and the winner can send it any time in the next year, either on paper or by email. The costs for entries are as follows:
One chance = $20; 3 chances $30; 6 chances $40; 10 chances $50.
We hope the refuge makes lots of money and know they get very short of food during the festive season. One year they used the money to create a children's playground for the families there, so you've all created a lot of joy with your entries. Thank you from both Lesley and the refuge.
<3 to you all!
The dreaded writers block. (Guest post by author, Lindsay Anne Kendal)
Every writer at some stage of his/her career will suffer from writers block. No matter how experienced the writer may be, or what idea he/she may have to get down on paper.
Different things can kick-start this horrible block –
· Lack of inspiration
· Financial problems
· Loss of confidence.
These are only a few things that can contribute.
I myself suffered from a block whilst working on my second novel, Torment. I had written my first without problems, and was half way through the second when it decided to take over me. I couldn’t understand why it was happening. I had heard of other people suffering with it, but typically thought ‘it won’t affect me’.
I spent weeks and weeks sat in front of my laptop, each time, determined that I would write something. However, not one single word was typed. I started to get rather upset. I almost convinced myself that I would never make it as a writer, and my career was over before it had even properly started. I didn’t know who to speak to about it, so all I did was panic.
However, a few weeks later, all I did was write. I’d spent time moping and worrying at first, then pulled myself together. I carried on with my other jobs, socialised more, and at night, I read through my first book again, just a couple of chapters each night. I listened to the music that gave me inspiration to write some of scenes in the first book. Then, I seemed to just pick my laptop up, and the words started to flow.
If I suffer from it now, which I did only a month or so ago, I do the same thing, and the words always seem to come back.
I guess if I could give anyone who is suffering with this any sort of advice it would be this –
1. Remember, this is only a temporary set back.
2. Do not lose confidence in yourself.
3. Carry on with your life as normal, try not to constantly think about it.
4. Read other scripts you may have written, or other books from different authors, and remember, that at some point during their writing career, they would have felt have you feel now.
5. Don’t ever give up on your dreams.
Lindsay Anne Kendal is the author of YA Fantasy, BLOODLINES. She lives in Droylsden, Manchester, and hopes to one day find a book or film scary enough to frighten her.
Keira Jameson used to lead a normal life, she just had a gift, passed down through the generations of her family.
Now, after hearing voices, having strange dreams of others calling out to her, and her grandfather's last words haunting her, she sets out to find other families like hers. Along with her best friend Lily, the only person outside her family to know about her gift, Keira begins a hunt for her ancestors. A chance meeting with a young man, Lucian Turner, sets them on the right track, but their discoveries change the way Keira will see herself for ever more.
Fear, superstition and heritage are shaping Keira's future and she must face her enemies, even if this could mean losing her life.
Through loss and love her destiny becomes inescapable.
I'm JJ and I write MG and YA fantasy. For more about me, try here.