writing

Do Words Make You Feel?

As a writer, I feel like words have power. I think even those of us who do not write could agree with that. When we read words on a page, they can make us angry, heartbroken, nostalgic, joyous, thoughtful, confused…and the list goes on. Words can make us feel things. A single word can elicit emotion and response sometimes. Consider the words peace or freedom or love. These words might make you feel something. They have a connotative meaning. In other words, they hold emotion all on their own. But sometimes describing a word instead of using it can be really useful when writing. How does peace smell? If you could touch it how does it feel? If you could see it how would it look? To me, this is when literature really expands and opens itself into something truly amazing.

What do you think? Let me know!

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writing

When I Finished My First Novel…

The emotions. After I wrote the final and last scene in my book that I’ve been working on for 5 years, I edited nonstop until I was ready to send it to some beta readers. I was so tired from days of editing I felt I could barely see straight. haha. As I sent it out to my beta readers, I felt completely impatient. I was completely on edge. If I’m being honest I felt unrealistic expecations. I wanted them to read it as soon as humanly possible so that I could hear everything they think about it. And now is the waiting game. I wait in silence for feedback, hoping that they like it. I’ve put years of hard work into this and I just want it to be great, ya know?

Now it’s time to wait and be patient. But also HURRY UP, PEOPLE. 😉

To help me stay distracted and productive while I wait for their comments and feedback, I have decided to start my second book. It is not a continuation of the first book’s story. It is a completely different book with new characters and a new genre. I will spill more about this later! And I find myself sometimes still thinking names of the first book’s characters as I write this second book. Honestly though, I think this book idea is pretty cool. So this should be interesting!

Are you a writer? How do you feel when you send your book’s first draft to be read? Nervous? Excited?

 

 

writing

I’m a Writer & I Mix-up Words All. The. Time.

As a writer, you would think that I could get my words straight, that it would be pretty dang easy. Especially since it wasn’t all too long ago that I was in school, learning your vs you’re. Yet, after all these years I still misspell the simplest of words quite often or get them mixed up with completely different words. Sometimes I catch my spelling errors, other times I let spellcheck do it for me. Prepare for my frustrated rant on the English language and my own shortcomings. haha!

These are the top 3 words (not in order) I mixup or misspell most often when I write:

  1. Know vs. Now. You may be thinking to yourself, “how in the world do you get those mixed up?!” I HAVE NO IDEA. It baffles me. Obviously they don’t mean even close to the same thing. Duh. But as I was writing, just earlier today, I realized I put “know” where I meant “now.” HOW. ugh. I digress.
  2. You’re vs. Your. I was doing some initial self-edits before I sent my book to my beta-readers (BTW I FINISHED MY BOOK = YAY), and I used spell check and…omg…you wouldn’t believe how many times I mixed these up. Embarrassing. BUT at least I caught them before I sent out the beta copy. *nervous laughter*
  3. Its vs. It’s. Okay this one has haunted me for years. I CAN’T SEEM TO REMEMBER. Like, how confusing is that, one second an apostrophe means you own something and the next second it means “it is”. WUT. Again, thankful for spellcheck.
    1. BONUS WORDS: License. This word is stupid. Is it licsence. Is it lisence? Nope. It’s nothing what you think. But honestly, I hardly ever use this word in my writing. It just annoys me in general.
    2. Restaurant. That took me forever to figure out but I finally did. I say it weird in my head so I can spell it out. Dumb. Where can I park my struggle bus? I’m not sure their is a space big enough.

 

Now that you’ve know the embarrassing parts of my mind and have heard me rant about words,*eye roll* tell me, what words do you mix up? Come on, you must have one. Make me feel better about myself. haha.

writing

3 Things That Matter to Me, Both as a Reader & a Writer

There are a few aspects that can really make a book go from good to great. And a lot of these same aspects, I try to prioritize in my own writing too! So here is my list of 3 Things That Matter to Me as a Reader AND a Writer.


To me, a book should:

1. Feel realistic.

This is not to say that I don’t like SciFi or Fantasy because I do, but I want the scene I’m reading to feel real. Like I’m there. Like it could happen right in front of me. I want to feel transported.

And that’s what I want to do for my readers too. When they read a scene, I want them to feel all the things they read like they are real! I’m not sure I do a good job of this but I make it one my top priorities when writing. So I am trying! This is where some trusted friends and family can provide some really great insight into what feels real and what doesn’t.

2. Make sense.

I don’t know about you but when a book is jumping all over the place, eventually I get tired of being confused. I know some people like the abstract or whatever else seems to confuse me but I need something I can follow. Sure, it can have twists and turns and a bunch of characters but sometimes books go over the top on this type of stuff and I can’t keep anything straight anymore! ha!

Same goes for when I write. This can be difficult because I get in my own head sometimes and what makes perfect sense to me may not to someone else. It may seem to them like it has missing pieces. Again, friends and family acting as my pre-editing crew is a huge help. They allow me to see the parts that don’t connect or give me confidence in parts that I worried over.

3. Draw me in (and keep me there).

I love when a book draws me in. When it draws me into the story so much that hours past without me even noticing. I can’t put it down. I take it with me everywhere in case I have a spare moment to read it. This type of book. *sighing with happiness*

These are the keepers, wouldn’t you agree? And they can be rare to come by. I really only like to give my time to a book if it can do this. That’s why this might be one of the most important aspects of any book. Because all else can fall underneath this. If a book draws me, then it likely meets all of my other “requirements” for a book.

This is what I like to see in the books I read and is also my hope for the book I’m currently writing. Give the characters enough depth that you want to, have to, know what happens to them next. Give the story a plot interesting enough for readers to grab ahold of.


What are some things you look for in a book? What aspects make up a good book in your opinion? Why are these aspects important to you?

 

P.S. Happy Friday!

writing

*Can I Write A Book?* Encouraging Words From a Rookie.

If you’re like me, you dive into things quickly, sometimes without much thought, sometimes thought out too much.

That is kind of what happened with this book. It just kind of…happened? That’s kind of silly to say but it just grew and grew until it was right there in front of me and now I’m almost done (party dance). It started with an idea which grew and spread in all directions and eventually I had thousands and thousands of words and characters that I love and hate and a story line etc. It bloomed like a flower. I had to cultivate it and work on it regularly…but to me, I didn’t have a choice but to let it grow.

I’ve been working on it for years. I couldn’t tell you the day, month or even the year that I wrote down the first words. All I know is that it started as an idea and I worked countless hours to make it more than that.

If I were to ask myself: can I write a book? I don’t know. I guess I can? That feels weird to answer. haha! I am almost finished with the one I’m currently writing. I have about 7 scenes left to write (internal giddy scream) and then the self-editing kicks in over and over until I’m ready to send out what’s sometimes called my beta-copy. This will be sent to those of my family and friends that are interested in reading it and they will send me back their comments and thoughts and the process repeats until I’m ready to send it to an editor. That’s really for the publishing topic which is a separate tab on the blog. So enough with that!

Anyway, if you’re asking yourself that same question: Can I write a book? I believe that if you want to, you can. Does that mean it will be the next Harry Potter? Beats me! Does that mean that you will be famous? I don’t know! Do these things matter all that much? I’ll get to this later.

So here is what I’ve learned so far in my lil’ writing journey – Some must-have qualities for a first time writer:

  1. An idea. Obviously. Grow it. Discuss it with others who have good ideas. Let them help you mold the story line.
  2. The second thing you need is to have tough skin. You know how many times I’ve sent my book to family members, asking for comments, and they send it back all scribbled up? A lot. But that’s a good thing! It means I have room to grow and can make the story better. I’m blessed to have family and friends that support me and believe in me so their comments come from a good place. So when this happens, try not to take it personally. Just think of it as an area for growth.
  3. The third thing you need is confidence. If you want to write a book, I mean really write one, you need to be determined. You need to believe in yourself and in your work. Don’t stop until you reach your goals. Believe that what you have to say is valuable and worth something. And this may not be money. You may not make a single dime off of what you write. And I may not either, I have no idea where my book is headed! But this leads into the forth thing, which is that you need to be okay, no matter the outcome.
  4. You need to write for you. Be okay with how this book turns out. Yes, I am determined to get this book published someday. I don’t know how long it will take but I will make it happen one way or another. That is just my personality. ha! But I will be okay if it doesn’t become a best seller or if it is only read by my family and friends. Why? Because I wrote it for me, not for anyone else. And because I had fun writing it! Yes, somedays were hard to push through and some scenes I avoided because they were difficult to write. Yes, it took me years to write it. But I had a really good time doing it! It’s hard to explain the feeling of creating something that you enjoy and are proud of…no matter the outcome. Whether my book becomes a movie someday or never sees a bookshelf, I will be okay. And I hope you can start/continue/finish your book with the same attitude!
  5. That leads me to the fifth thing you need: to have fun. Yes, as cheesy as it sounds, don’t let the haters stop you. Don’t let your own lack of confidence stop you. Just write things down and have a blast! It’ll get better with time and, if you’re anything like me, the more you write, the more you’ll want to write!

Now go right a dang masterpiece. 😉

Onward and upward friends!

 

Now this is by no means an all encompassing list but I do think that these are some important things that a first time writer should keep in mind.

 

What do you think are some must-have qualities for a writer? What would you add to the list?