Monday, February 12, 2018

Striving For Originality


We strive as writers to come up with original stories and to stand out from the crowd. For many of us, finding that plot seems impossible. We look at the millions of books out there and try to create a new plot, but it seems like everything has been done before.

And do you know what? It has.

Now before you bang your head on the desk, know you shouldn't worry about all those other books. Nope, not at all. When you tell your story, it won't be like anything else out there.

Plot and story aren't the same thing. You'll find the same basic plots in every book, but the telling of that story will always be different. It will have the author's quirks, experience, and imagination which is a unique blend to make the story unlike any other.

Not convinced? Think of it like this: imagine you're visiting a class of students. They're sitting on the rug listening to the teacher read to them. Let's use Hansel and Gretel as an example.


After the teacher is finished, ask each child to tell the story in their own way. They can tell it however they want to as long as it has the same plot. It doesn't even have to have the same ending. No story is going to be alike. Not one. Jean tells the story with both characters as girls. Bert decides to have a dragon instead of a witch. Arthur has the story take place in a city instead of a forest. They're all using the basic plot of Hansel and Gretel, but each story is different.

If you're still uncertain, here are three tips to help you:

1. Write about something you'd like to read. If that's vampires, don't listen to the people who say the market is too saturated. You need to write something you're passionate about. It will show in your writing.

2. Be true to youself and your story. Don't add something because you think readers might want it or that it fits a certain trope.

3. Connect with your characters emotionally. Make yourself vulnerable and put all those emotions onto paper or the screen. If you're feeling the happiness, sadness, and fear, then so will your readers.

Remember, your story has never been seen before. It is original.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

IWSG And The Many Happenings!


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

February 7 optional question - What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

The wonderful co-hosts for the February 7 posting of the IWSG are Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!

***


The second #IWSGPIT was a huge success. #IWSGPIT became a trending topic throughout the day and we more than doubled the participation of the first one. 5100 tweets!

We'd like to thank everyone for making it our best pitch so far. Keep polishing those pitches for our next one in July!

***

In case you missed it. The next IWSG Anthology has a cover and release date.



Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting…


Release date - May 1, 2018
Mystery & Detective/Crime/Thrillers
Print ISBN 9781939844545 eBook ISBN 9781939844552

And it is now up for Pre-order. Get your copy today!


***

After trending on Twitter we've seen a spike in interest. Still on the fence about joining? Here's what some others have to say about us.




Anything else you'd like to add?

***

And don't forget to check out #theiwsg writing Wednesday posts on Instagram.
Join as you can.
Share and Encourage.
Spread the word.

Monday, January 29, 2018

It's Never Too Late to Make a Fresh Start

We're already nearly a whole month into 2018 and many of you will already be in the swing of things with regards to your goals and plans for this year. But what if things aren't going so well? Life is seldom neat and straightforward, allowing us to follow a preset path without deviation. It's about knowing how to adapt and when to begin again.


Personally, I'm somewhat late on my 2018 plans because I was away on a trip at the start of the year and then received some devastating personal news. The sort of news that makes you reappraise where you're going with your life and what you want to do. I know that writing is still going to be a part of that, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't keep up with whatever schedule I set out. The new year is a great time to set goals and resolutions, but it's important to know that you can do that at any time. Here are some tips for just that:


  • Prioritise what is important
Set an overall goal (or goals) for what you want to achieve and then make a list of smaller tasks that will get you there. Discard whatever isn't necessary.

  • Go easy on yourself
While it's good to push yourself and try and do as much as you possibly can, recognise there will be times when that just doesn't happen. You're only human. Take a deep breath and regroup, which is kind of the message of this whole post.

  • Understand when it's time to take a break
Sometimes trying to push ahead through a difficult time can be counterproductive. Everything seems to get on top of you and nothing makes sense. You might end up with more work to do by trying to unpick the resultant mess than if you had allowed yourself some time off, during which your subconscious will hopefully get to work to sort out the issues.

  • Use a rewards system
If this is something you haven't done before, get on the road to following your new plan by implementing a reward system. Allow yourself a treat for the completion of each small task on your overall journey. This could be as simple as 10 minutes' social media time for each hour spent on editing or a bigger reward like going to the movies after completing your second (or third or tenth) draft.

Do you have anything to add? Any further tips for making a fresh start with your writing?