Sunday, August 26, 2012
In my last post, I gave you several prompts and lines of dialogue to jump-start the creative process and help you get back to writing. Occasionally, a line or two of dialogue is simply not enough. When you find yourself facing writer's block again, give these techniques a try to get your work moving again:
- Read a book
- Clean your house
- Watch television
- Go for a walk
- Turn on some music and dance
- Cook or bake something
- Call a friend or loved one
- Go for a drive
- Go shopping
- Play with your pet
- Take a long bath or shower
- Work in the garden
- Have a cup of tea or coffee
- Write in your journal
- Take a nap
- Play a board or video game
- Clean the toilet
- Do the dishes
- Go to the park
- Plan a vacation
- Light a candle
- Do the laundry
- Go out and take some pictures
- Watch a movie
- Listen to an audiobook or a podcast
- Have a glass of wine
- Sing like no one can hear you
- Go shopping
- Go shopping online
- Go for a swim
- Get some sunshine
- Have a snack
- Go to the zoo
- Visit an aquarium
- Go to a museum
- Visit an art gallery
- Go to a concert
- Play in the rain
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Atalanta stays the week with Julian.
Julian tells Atalanta that he yearns for control and power.
Julian refers Alaric to Atalanta.
Alaric meets with Atalanta for a consultation.
Friday, August 24, 2012
As a self-professed bibliophile, there is nothing I love more than reading. I read whenever I can wherever I can, and I read almost everything that I can get my hands on. Believe it or not, you have more time to read than you think you do. Here are a few tips for finding more time to start that new series you’ve been dying to read.
Make a book your companion
First of all, get used to reading in small sips as well as big swallows. This means always having a book with you because the opportunity to read could come at any time, and you don’t want to be caught unawares. Read in lines, before a movie starts, in the bathroom, between classes, and before bed. Read whenever you have a few free minutes, not only when you can devote hours at a time to the book.
Expand your reading horizons
Also, read in the car. Now, I don’t mean that you should prop your novel against the steering wheel and have at it on the interstate. Today, thank God, we have audiobooks. You can download an audiobook to listen to while cleaning, doing laundry, or walking to class–not just while driving somewhere. Audibooks make it possible to multi-task, and what woman doesn’t want that?
My third and most important point is this: Read what you want to, and put the book down if you aren’t enjoying it. Just because millions of people before you have liked War and Peace doesn’t mean you should feel guilty if it’s not your cup of tea. Life’s too short to read boring books. Find something that piques your interest. If you don’t like something, move on. That’s all there is to it.
What do you think?
Do you love to read, too? What advice do you have to get the most out of your reading sessions?
Thursday, August 23, 2012
- Read a lot. To write good dialogue, you need to read good dialogue. The most memorable characters are memorable in part because they’re so realistic. Good dialogue helps flesh out otherwise boring or one-dimensional characters, so chances are, the more you read books with interesting characters, the better your own dialogue skills will become.
- Eavesdrop. Go out in public. Sit on a park bench or in a coffee shop and listen to the conversations all around you. And really listen to people when they talk to you, instead of only hearing them speaking. If you want to take it a step further, record the conversations with a tape recorder or a notebook. That way, you can play it back or read it later when you’re looking for inspiration.
- Read dialogue aloud. More often than not, most dialogue issues can be discovered just through speaking aloud what you’ve put down on the page. If you feel strange reading your own work, try typing the words into a text-to-speech generator, or convince your friends to join you. Make it a game by assigning parts as though you’re rehearsing a play.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Whenever I come up with story ideas, I usually have a mental image of the story’s characters as well. For example, my characters are usually famous people. In the novel I’m working on now, my protagonist would be played by Mila Kunis, and my antagonist would be Johnny Depp.
Why bother casting a novel if it hasn’t been made into a movie yet? Because visualizing your characters as they would actually appear in reality is fantastic.
Take a minute to calm your mind. Breathe in and out. Focus.
Now, I want you to imagine the world of your novel. Unravel the setting, the landscape, and the time frame. See the buildings, trees, and streets in your mind’s eye. Next, move on to your characters. Imagine them going about their everyday lives. Who do they look like? Pretened you’re watching a movie adaptation. Which actors come automatically to mind?
Once you’ve come up with some famous names, do a Google image search to find some photos of them. You can save them to your computer for reference if you want. Now, whenever you get stuck on a difficult scene, imagine the actor in your character’s predicament. Picture him or her in as much detail as you can. What does he or she do in that same situation? What does he or she look like? What does he or she say?
This exercise has proven useful to me, but it might not work for everyone. It’s been my experience that visual learners and writers with a more visual sort of memory have a better time with this technique, but feel free to give it a shot, no matter what your style.