I happened upon a writing tip that states “Write something scary every day”. At first, I felt it had more to do with horror writers, but I think it touches upon the fact we need to delve into the depths of our own fears to find story plots, characters, and simply overcome the things that hold us back the most.
I would say my fears are;
Ticks. I hate ‘em. They freak me out. The thought of a parasite embedding itself under my skin, potentially infecting me with any number of weird diseases, bothers me to the very core of my being. Just imagine the horror stories I could write just on that alone!
The bizarre. I find weird movies/tv/books are so much more disturbing than outright gore and death. It’s the not knowing whether things are real or not, whether the character is dead, in a dream, on some bad acid trip, or any number of other possibilities. The lack of sense also disturbs me.
Anything happening to my son. I think this is more than just a mother’s instinct as much as my personal psychosis. I remember worrying about things like cancer, or a dog biting him (as if some random dog would come into my yard and attack), or any illness he got, or any cut or bug bite could potentially turn into something deadly.
Oddly, I’m not scared of snakes or spiders, or the dark, or getting lost in the woods. Some things I probably should be scared of doesn’t bother me at all. I can understand why others are frightened, however, so I will explore a character’s phobias as much as their other fears they have to torture them a bit.
What are your own fears? Have you worked with them in your storytelling? Post in comments.
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One tip I found unlikely was to read your writing out loud. Like many tips, I try at least once, and wow, what a difference it can make.
I think I get too involved in my own writing that I’m blinded by the little mistakes, until I read it. By doing so out loud, the punctuations and subtle mistakes I’ve made becomes quite glaring.
Reading out loud also allows you a means to see if the words flow and carry a rhythm.
Sentences need to vary- Short sentences move the story though action, while longer, descriptive sentences are useful to slow the pace a bit.
Listen to the rhythm- Storytelling carries a certain music of its own. Read out loud a good book and it flows. This is what you need to emulate in your own writing. Syllables, tone, punctuation, all craft the ‘music’ of a story.
Edit as you go- I circle or highlight parts that don’t sound right. If I can’t fix the sentences, sometimes it means to get rid of it entirely.
This doesn’t mean I find every mistake, but the reading certainly helps in the editing process.
10 Useful Google Chrome Extensions to Help You Stay Focus And Be More Efficent -.
A handy site I found along The Writer’s Journey. I personally use the StayFocused extension, but to keep track of time wasted on the computer, I use Rescuetime. It works with all browsers as well as keeping track of programs you’ve used, and works on PC or Mac computers.
Filed under Links, resources
Trying to write through the National Novel Writing Month reminded me why I said I’d never do that again. November is one of the worst months to take on the challenge of 50,000 words in thirty days.
Its not going to happen.
Not this month.
The sanctum of my office gets often interrupted by my son to use his computer behind me, or worse, my husband who needs to work on Farmville in Facebook. Not a huge issue, except when I’m trying to lose myself in my writing, focusing my attention on plot and organizing the chapters. I loathe when someone reads over my shoulder, and its worse when I get interrupted with a question or comment.
I also don’t have a block of time where its just for me. I can manage to find the time I suppose if I insisted, but when I do, I get the offended looks and attitude of ‘what’s her problem?’. I ask myself is it worth the grief, and the following guilt I feel that also leads to distraction.
Excuses, I know, but mix it with a heavy does of homeschooling my son Monday through Friday, and we have no TV and use the computers to watch our entertainment, my demanding a ‘do-not-enter’ zone of my office becomes a bit selfish.
Depression hit me hard too, with the holiday of Thanksgiving looming, followed by my son’s birthday. I’m just a tight ball of stress at this point, hiding behind an exterior of false calm.
I look forward to January- a quieter month.