What inspires you? Is it a beach somewhere? Is it on a balcony overlooking palm trees and a beautiful garden? Is it on your couch at home in the comfort of your living room and your imagination? I’ve done my story writing at my kitchen table a few times, but truthfully, it’s difficult for me to be creative that way. I love being comfortable, so on my couch it is. If I’m writing while at a beach or outside at a park, I’d rather take my writing journal and put pen to paper. We all have our preferred modes of writing. What’s yours?
Another way to find inspiration is to use Pinterest. Yes, Pinterest. I do this. I have private boards for my fiction writing use. In each of these private boards I have sections for each type part of my story I’m working on.
These sections include:
- Vintage clothing
For great information on how use Pinterest for your writing, click the 4:45 minute YouTube link below.
I would love to hear about what inspires you and what your favorite places to write are, so please feel free to comment.
Is there one correct way to write a novel? I say no…….there isn’t. Are there elements of a novel that must be used? Yes…….there is. How do these two entities go together? It’s simple. You take the required elements and use them in a way that suits you and your writing style. Everybody is different, so the way in which we go about writing our book will be different. If you don’t know how you yourself would write a novel, then learn the different methods that have worked for other writers, try them out and go with what suits you. It’s a learning process and might take you a while to figure out what works for you. But it might not take you long at all.
A very important aspect to know is whether or not you are a “pantser” (you make the story up as you go along with no planning) or an out-liner/planner. Now, I’ve come to discover that you can be a little of both. I’m a little of both. I didn’t know this of course until I tried each style and found it difficult to use just one. The one I use at the time I’m writing depends on the part of the story I’m writing. When I get stuck, then I go to planning and thinking, which gets the wheels turning again. Then I’m back to pantsing.
Another important part to note is setting. People like pictures. When we were little, we started out reading picture books and many of our children’s books have pictures. Gradually as we get older, the pictures in the books become less and less. Eventually, all we have are words and it’s up to us to create the pictures in our minds as we’re reading. BUT the author plays a huge role in this part because they are the ones who are creating the pictures for us to see. They’re just not doing it with pictures, instead they’re doing it with words. HOW they do this is up to them. It’s their style of creating that contributes to creating the settings depicted in their novels. You will figure this out as well. I can’t tell you how, but I can give you ideas about how I go about do it. But that’s for another blog post.
Lastly, I wanted to touch on the creation of characters. I know how I do it, but I only figured out how to do this by reading how others did it, and used what worked for me. I combined that with a few of my own ideas. So much goes into the creating of a character. We are complex individuals and so are your characters. They have to be complex if they’re going to be believable. In my mind: who a character is on the inside + who a character is on the outside (actions and what they say) = a believable and complex character. See my earlier blog post from May 12 entitled Character Building for more information on this topic.
In the end, it’s YOUR story. Make it yours. Write it YOUR way, but by all means learn from others. Through it all, you will find your style and what works for you.
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Story setting is essential. It’s one of the elements that pulls readers into the story and places them there. Can you imagine what reading a story would be like if there wasn’t any description of the places in it? Flat, that’s what it would be….flat. I would cast it aside in a heartbeat.
How do we paint a picture of what we want our readers to see when they read your story? It really is up to the writer. I say this because we’re all different and have our own ways of doing things. So, take what you will from this post and make it yours. I like to create my settings in such a way, so that when someone reads it, it sounds natural. What I don’t want is for the action/story to stop so that I can describe something. Doing that takes away from the story. Note the two examples below.
Example 1: Laural stepped into the room with her bare feel. The room was white with plush carpet. White curtains hung on the windows and blew in the breeze. To the right of the window sat a small square table with a bright green tablecloth. In spite of the brightness of the room, she should have felt comforted, but no. There was an eeriness that made her feel uneasy. A lock of her blond hair fell forward and she moved to push it back. She stopped midway as she felt his finger along her cheek.
Example 2: Laural stepped into the white room. Now barefoot, she stepped onto the plush, white carpet. At one time this feeling would have comforted her, but today the cushion of the carpet only served to increase that eerie sensation twisting in her gut. White curtains billowed as the breeze from the open window whispered into the room. Again, a false sense of comfort played in her gut. It were as though the room was dark, not light. The only color in the room came from a plant sitting on a small square end table to the right of the open window. A single black rose stood dead center of a plant whose bright green heart shaped leaves came to thin tips. His calling card. A lock of blond hair pushed forward over her right shoulder. Moving her hand up to push it out of the way, she froze midway as his finger caressed her cheek. Her breath caught in her chest. She wanted to run, but her legs wouldn’t move.
“You look pale, my sweet,” he said.
In the first example the setting description does nothing to move the story along and it doesn’t create any kind of feeling either. We are told that Laural is feeling uneasy, but the description doesn’t heighten this feeling at all.
The second example combines description of the room with how Laural is feeling, which in turn goes along with the story.
When you’re writing, and get stuck on how to describe something, sit back and relax. Close your eyes and picture your setting or situation. Then, when you’re ready, describe it simply. When you’re done with that, embellish it to fit the story/scene. It takes practice.