Setting Writing Goals, Writer Thoughts, Writing Tips

Deleting Words

The last couple of weeks I have been setting up a new laptop much to the cat’s amusement. It’s a cheap, easy to use replacement for the old secondhand one. That gave a warning before it was about to die. It didn’t take long for the cat to work out that the keyboard is low and comfortable to walk on. The cat’s favourite button is the ‘backspace’. It cannot understand why I have an issue with that. Needless to say it knows I have a habit of deleting the last two words I wrote.

Habits

Two words, and the writing session kicks in. Not what I was expecting to find, apparently I need an unfinished sentence… Hmm, I will have to think about that. Well what do you know, it works. Everyone has their own quirks and it’s taken a while to find mine. There are so many times when the process has had to stop and start. It makes finding the little nuances critical. It’s like finding that all important first step that leads to another, then another.

Keeping Track

There is nothing quite like keeping track and stickers are not for me. I have a highlighter pen, a calender, and jot down how many words I wrote. Gaps are part of the schedule, but it’s easier to acknowledge them than try and do too much. The cat has claimed half my desk and insists on glaring at me. While purring at the same time when I type away on the keyboard. The look says ‘you should be writing’. I continue because I really don’t want any more words deleted. Thank you cat for being so supportive and taking an interest in my keyboard.

Writer Thoughts, Writing Tips

Know Your Genre

Imagine you are making a mad dash because you are running late. You see an old friend who has heard you wrote a novel and wants to know more. You don’t have long and blurt out. ‘It’s a young adult fantasy series with dragons, wizards, and sorcery.’ Then wave goodbye. This is exactly how I describe my book to people when I am unsure if they like the genre. Guess what? Your first goal as a writer is to find out who is not your audience. When you know your genre you can whittle it down to the key bits of information. It is a starting point, like a secret code that is easily understood by your real audience. Key words in a genre can mean so much. It can help find your audience in a short space of time by relying on familiarity.

What Does a Genre Achieve?

So you have spent ages writing and are unsure about the genre of your story. The real issue with this is that you, the writer are your story’s biggest advocate. If you are unsure this can magnify the confusion many times over. A genre helps find an audience by using themes and styles that already exist. Every story may be a little different. The key is finding the familiar threads so you can explain it in a clear manner. It acts as a guide to let your audience know what to expect. More importantly it lets them know what not to expect.

Each Genre has a Style

I was wandering through a shop and saw a book with a cover that said ‘fantasy’. I checked the blurb to make sure and it suggested fantasy. You can imagine what happened next… It was paranormal romance. My point is, you don’t have to get the exact details right just the basics. When you choose a genre your choice is there to help your audience find your story. Your tagline, blurb and book cover all become an important message to your reader. Knowing your genre can add an extra layer of information to help your audience.

Writer Thoughts

Time is a Novelty

Time NoveltyIt is always fun when diving back into an unfinished story. Now where did I leave that character? What did that mean? If you are like me then the mind will weave clues into your writing that only make sense later. Resembling a magical trail of bread crumbs spread throughout the pages. A clue with no meaning re-emerged to take over the story. It is not the first so I clung on for the ride. That is why editing waits until after the first draft is finished. Things have a habit of reappearing much later. As a writer it can feel the same as being in a tug-of-war. On one hand I think I know what is happening and then everything goes topsy-turvy. I have lost count of the times I thought, did I mean to do that?

Falling into a Scene

There is only so much planning that can go into a scene to mix all the ingredients together. Then the wait begins and the suspense builds to find out how the pieces will fall. When almost halfway through the story a formidable villain appeared. Through a sequence of events the scene lies in wait. All the pieces of the puzzle ready to fall into place. I do not like predicting an outcome so I think of multiple outcomes before a fight scene. Halfway through a series and I still let my protagonist rise and fall by the final flow of a scene. There have been a few times when characters have not wanted to live or die as per the outline. Once an outcome is written in first draft it stays. That is one line I do not cross. There will be no resurrecting of characters here.

Fall Out

This leads to the next problem, what if a character lives? For some reason villains don’t want to die, who would have thought? The best thing about going into a fight scene with many outcomes is that the danger is real. There is more at stake. If I am not sure who will win then it will not be clear until the end. Have faith in your characters and let them achieve on their own.

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