Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Holiday's And Making Time To Write

Well, I'ts that time of year again - the holiday's are upon us. And if it's for you anything like my crazy life, it's a hectic time. And one of the hardest times of the year to sit down and write.

Between the baking, cooking, holiday party planning and gift shopping, it's amazing we have any time to ourselves, let alone time to write. But you need to make time, if only to satisfy your own pallet. We must do for ourselves!

I know author's who write Christmas stories during this time of year, or have them already to publish for your holiday gift giving. And there are some who do wonderful sales on the books they already have out. As for me, I'm still plugging away at revisions.

But I'm writing!

You should continue your normal schedule as much as you can, and that includes your writing time. You need that for yourself otherwise you will feel guilty as you continue along through the holiday process. I know I always do. I can remember several times sitting at Christmas dinner feeling glad the holidays are about finished so I can sit down and write. But I'm also one of those writers who has "book brain".

I personally think one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself as a writer is writing. So 'write on people'! Don't let the naysayers and party planners stop you from doing what you love best, writing.

Just rearrange your schedule a bit, but save that extra time. You deserve the break from reality. You can escape into your own story! I mean, isn't that the best part of the whole process? The escape?!

Leave me a comment if you have a moment and let me know if this time of year leaves you lacking with time to write, or have you committed to stay at it.

Until after the holidays, I hope all of yours is a wonderful time! I won't be posting next week since Christmas falls on Friday, but I'll be back to ring in the new year! Wish me luck on gaining extra revisions through these next few weeks!

Happy Holiday's to all of you!

Love, Lisa

Friday, December 11, 2015

Do You Feel Like There's A Lot Of Confusing Advice Online

I don't know about you, but I tend to read writing advice online. Sometimes I agree with the advice and sometimes it can be a bit confusing when one site says to write a particular way, and another says the opposite. I think the key here is to listen to the one's who actually know true creative writing skills.

How do you know the difference? Research the particular skill that's the subject of their article. 

I was lucky enough to have a wonderful writing coach. She's British and the Brits tend to stick to the rules when it comes to writing - well most of the time. I have read a few books with British author's who like to head hop or use too much info dump, but most are a pretty good read.

In America we aren't taught strong skills when it comes to writing literature. At least not in high school or the lower grades. I'm not sure when it comes to colleges, but it seems as though the writers who have degrees in creative writing tend to put out nice, tight novels. 

Should you look up their credentials? Maybe, maybe not. That doesn't mean they're a great writer, only that they have a degree. 

I think going with your gut, and a few google searches about the topic, should satisfy the correct creative writing skills you are striving for. 

As with anything, take advise with a grain of salt - even mine. I am only telling you what I do in these situations. I think most writing skills sites are pretty good for the most part.

So do your research. You want your writing to shine. After all, isn't that your goal? 

Have a wonderful weekend and if you get a moment leave me a comment and tell me what you're struggling with, or maybe some great writing sites you've discovered!

Love, Lisa

Friday, December 4, 2015

Balancing Dialog and Detail

Hi All! I hope your Thanksgiving was fantastic. Mine was great, in fact we had two dinners. One at my daughters, which by the way was wonderful, and one at my house with my mom and granddaughter, Madison. Both we equally delicious and I enjoyed that extra time with family.

Now back to work - at least until Christmas. 

I've recently, as you know, been rewriting in Lore. One of the creative writing skills I've been trying to implement is more detail. I felt I had a little too much dialog in some scenes. Not to mention, a little too much "Blocking". 

What is blocking you ask? That's when you describe what the character is doing at the time, such as sitting down, standing, pacing, ect. As writers we always want to set the scene, it's just sometime you need to add a little more to the description and other times you want to just delete the minute details, such as blocking.

Your reader wants to know where the characters are and what they're doing. Things like where they are, what the room or area is like are important to visualize the scene. What the characters are wearing, or look like. What type of traits do they have? What's the environment, like the type of forest, or jungle are they in. 

True you don't have to do this with each scene, but when you are setting up a scene, like in the beginning of a chapter, you might want to let the reader know what's up. Also, don't forget the senses - taste, smell, see, touch and feel.  

There is a balance between dialog and detail. Some writers tend to go on and on with description, while other's do very little. When you're writing dialog, add a paragraph now and then to explain what the character is thinking or feeling. This builds the character up so that the reader gets a good sense of who he/she is. But there's no need to do this between every exchange. Just do it here and there so that the reader understands.

Plus by adding detail between dialog you can voice what the character thinks of the situation and the other characters involved. It's a good way to describe the characters that aren't the main character, while continuing to make your main character more life like. You can delve deeper into each character's traits. Just don't do it all at the same time. A little here and there should suffice in helping the reader get the feel of all of the characters in your story. 

So when trying to strike a balance, look at each dialog scene and see what you need to add or takeaway to make the scene easier to see and experience.

If you have a moment leave me a comment and let me know your struggles with this, or accomplishments. In the meantime, have a great weekend all. I know I didn't post last Friday, but I decided to focus on family time.

Love, Lisa