Writer Wednesday

writer wednesday

 

Normally on Wednesdays, I write an awesome short story from my handy dandy writing prompt book. Today, however, I’m going to give you some helpful tips that can help you break through any writing plateau, destroy procrastination, and get your creative juices flowing!

I have books all about writing and websites favorited that help me with writing, but I never thought of getting an app to help me write! I don’t know why this never dawned on me; I’ve got apps galore! I’ve rounded up the best apps that every writer should have on their phone or tablet!

Name Dice

Name Dice is exactly what it sounds like: dice that you “roll” to help you come up with names for your fictional characters!

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There are HUNDREDS of names to choose from and even if you don’t choose a name that you roll, it will definitely get the motors in your writer mind turning!

 

Werdsmith

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Werdsmith works a lot like your Notes app, but is so much more than a digital notebook! You can set daily word goals to motivate you to write every day! You can also share with friends to get feedback on your writing!

 

Lists for Writers

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This app is AMAZING! There are tons of lists that are helpful for writers including character names, physical descriptions, and plot outlines! There are also tips on how to build a character, ways to boost your descriptions of setting, and reference materials (dictionary, thesaurus, etc.).

 

Brainsparker

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If you ever get stuck while writing (which happens to 99.99% writers at one time or another) this app is crazy-helpful! There are over 200 writing prompt “cards” that will instantly spark creativity and help you bust through blocks. You can even schedule a daily “spark” so your creativity is always flowing!

 

Do you have any writing apps you use? What are your favorites?

Writer Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

Today, I’m not going to write a story (I know, I can hear your disappointment) instead, I thought I would give some tips to my fellow writers out there!

Because, being a writer is tough. Sometimes, those creative juices flow like the Nile River and others, its like the freaking Serengeti. Plus, being a writer can lead to a lonely life. We have so many character’s voices in our heads, people think we’re a little nutzo.

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So here are a few tips to help you deal with the common problems that all writers face.

 

1. There is no such thing as “writer’s block”. 

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When I was in school and tried to write, there would be so many times I would spend hours staring at an empty piece of paper or an empty Word doc. I would think, “Ugh! This writer’s block is going to be the end of me!” It wasn’t until college that I realized something: writer’s block doesn’t exist. One of my professors put it this way: “There’s no such thing as writer’s block. There is such a thing as an apathetic person, a procrastinator, and ‘chair-butt syndrome’.” Basically, if you’re feeling stuck, push through, get rid of distractions, or do something active to get your blood flowing.

 

2. Get plugged in with a writer’s group. 

Lisa Simpson writing gif

If you want to get fit, you go to the gym or go to a yoga class. If you want to lose weight, you join Jenny Craig. If you want to learn to swim, you take swimming lessons. The same goes for writing. You’ve got to meet with people that have the same passions as you in order to learn. Plus, these groups have all of the “insider information” to various workshops, seminars, and contests going on for writers and poets. I’m a member of OCWI (Oklahoma City Writers, Inc.) and they are amazing! They meet monthly and give excellent tips for aspiring authors. Seriously, its worth looking into.

 

3. Use social media. 

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Follow literary agents on Twitter. Find authors or writer’s associations on Facebook. Check out blogs by publishing companies. Subscribe to a writer’s magazine. These people are in the biz and know what publisher’s are looking for! Plus, just about every publisher, literary agent, and author has at least one way to follow them on the internet.

 

4. Read. 

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If you want to be a writer, you absolutely MUST read. If you want to write thriller novels, read them! See what makes a great thriller! If you want to write young adult, then go to your library and ask the librarian for the most popular books. You have to do your market research and see what the public wants. You don’t have to write a story about a human falling in love with a vampire; look at the characters and the story line. What makes people like these stories? Do some digging!

 

5. Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your dream. 

wished to be a writer

Being a writer has something I have always wanted to be. As a kid, I’d write books and take them to school and have my teacher read them to my class. I was constantly putting on skits, dressing up as different characters, and making up stories (my parents can testify to that; ha!). I know, believe me I know, how difficult it is to write something, think its awful, and swear off writing. But if it is truly your passion, never give up! Sure, rejection letters may pile up and you may think, “Am I really a horrible writer?” But all you need is one “Yes” and THAT’S what I’m counting on. THAT’S what keeps me going. We can do this, buddy.

 

Blog Hop

Marisa Mohi, a panda-loving pal of mine (and former coworker/Sarcasm Society sister) asked me if I would be interested in doing a blog hop.

 

“A wha–?” I asked. “Is this like a new thing the kids are doing?”

(I am obviously “so down” with the “haps” nowadays.)

 

She informed me that a “blog hop” is when a fellow blogger gives you questions to answer on your blog and then you send those questions to another blogger. Of course I said yes because Marisa is AWESOME and a kick-a writer (who I will now embarrass with shameless plugs for her blog and her hilarious writing for TheLostOgle.com) and can come up with puns, plots, and protagonists at a moment’s notice.

 

 

Let’s start blog hoppin’!

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(By the way, Marisa, I totally stole this jpeg from your blog. Finders, keepers.)

 

What are you working on?

Right now I’m working on a couple of projects. I’m trying hard to find a literary agent for my second YA novel, Couture in the Cornfields. I’m also “jazzing up” the first novel I ever wrote—The Speaker. I like the basic storyline of it, but reading it now, I see just how much I’ve grown as a writer and I’m simply aghast at what I thought was “good” back then. (Sigh. To be 22 again and believe that Twilight was literature….) And finally, I’m working on an adult (no, not that type of adult) novel about a young woman who is burned by love and ends up as a nanny for a washed up, one-hit-wonder band that’s trying to hold on tightly to their last pieces of fame.

 

 

How does your work differ from others in its genre?

Honestly, my stuff is so much better than the rest of the crap out there! Just kidding. I’m not better than JK Rowling. She’s a goddess. But, I think my writing’s just as good if not better than a certain YA writer that has a penchant for vampires. I haven’t read anything like Couture in the Cornfields, which I hope is a good thing. Here’s a little background info on that book.

The Speaker is a supernatural YA novel that gets back to basics: ghosts. Right now, it’s as though the shelves at bookstores are inundated with vampires, fairies, shape shifters, angels, demons, etc. I think its time for a good ole fashioned ghost story!

The latest project I’m working on (which is only about 20 pages long thus far and has no title) is sort of a fantasy of mine. I would LOVE to be able to tour the world and hang out with my favorite band (though, this fantasy was concocted in my early twenties when I had a lot more energy, an iron stomach, and the ability to stay up past 9:00 p.m.).

 

 

Why do you write what you do?

Most of what I write is young adult because that’s primarily what I read. I don’t know why, but young adult novels are—in my opinion—more relatable than adult novels. Probably because I think I’m still 18. To which my aching back and creaking knees reply, “Nope. You’re almost thirty, honey.”

 

 

How does your writing process work?

I used to just wait for inspiration to strike and then I’d hide away for hours and write. The first rough draft of The Speaker was written on my flight home from London in 2008! But now I’ve learned that you have to have discipline. You have to have time set aside so you can focus and make the magic happen!

 

So that’s it! That’s my sage writing advice. What about you? Are you working on anything? Got any tips for your fellow authors?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I haven’t found a blogger to hop this to for next Monday, so if any of my awesome blogger friends would like to partake, let me know!)