Saturday, November 8, 2014

Everything Happens For A Reason

Everything happens for a reason. You’ve heard the saying, right? Well, this applies to your story and characters too.


Why does the villain hate the hero?

Why is the hero guarding their heart?

Why does the child think winning the science fair will get his parents back together?


There has to be a reason for your character’s motivation. When you sat to write today, you did so with a reason, a purpose. You wanted to write a story to entertain, teach, earn money. Perfectly good reasons.

Go through your manuscript and pretend you have a four year old at your side asking, “Why?” every twelve seconds.  If you don’t have an answer as to why your character is doing something then maybe it is out of character or doesn’t move the story along.

Remember, EVERYTHING happens for a reason.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Recipe for Being a Writer: Read, Write, Research, Repeat

Welcome to November 1st. The first day of PiBoIdMo. One picture book idea every day for the month of November.  But I want to be real with you. Not every idea is going to be an award winning, agent catching, dream story. Especially because of one important trend I’ve been seeing lately.

People aren’t doing anything with their ideas. I’ve been to writing classes where people have said, “I’ve had this idea for a few years now…”

Maybe we still have the middle school fear that makes us say, “If I don’t try, then I really didn’t fail.” That is bull hockey and we all know it.

If you want to be a writer, read, write, research, repeat. Say it with me - read, write, research, repeat.

Ideas are like good intentions-fabulous but worth very little when compared to using that idea and molding it into something.

It will take hard work, dedication, possibly some tears, possibly some grey hair, and a hidden chocolate bar. But do you want to have ideas or do you want to be a writer with ideas?

My personal goal this PiBoIdMo is to complete a rough draft once a week for one of my ideas.  I’m giving myself freedom to be horrible.  That’s okay. The first step to a great story is a craptacular first draft.  Some of those who like euphemisms call it Draft Zero. 

Write that draft! Take 20 minutes to take a step toward your goal. It’s also okay to let an idea sit for a while before writing.  I’m not saying that stewing over an idea is bad, just don’t let it stew for so long that there is nothing left but a dried up husk.

Happy writing my writing peeps! Take those ideas and get cooking! Remember the recipe for becoming a writer:

Read, Write, Research, Repeat