The Writing Newbie

Writing is an adventure. Enjoy the journey and write the way you love!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

No Excuses!

We all want to write. At least I assume that most people reading this blog want to write a book, are writing a book. Or have always secretly wanted to write one but don’t even realize that they do. But no matter how great our ideas are or how awesome and believable the characters—if we don’t do the

hard part, the actual writing, then the novel will never come. And it will always just be some vague idea in the back of your mind, some loose pages and a dream that was locked away to sigh over from time to time.

We don’t want that do we?

One of the most important things in a writer is not imagination or talent (ok they are VERY important and help a lot but – oh just go with me!) but endurance and discipline.
Because in the end the most important thing about being a writer is writing. Just that.
The best thing would be to write every day for at least half an hour.

School, work, family, friends, boyfriend, girlfriend, gigs, clubs, sport, the gym, reading, television, internet, the computer, appointments, crappy days, no inspiration, shopping, the movies, cleaning, cooking, groceries, compulsory social visits, crushes, homework --- ok so it’s easier said than done.

In fact I’ll be a downright liar if I tell you that I write every day. There are weeks where I write every day or nearly every day. Sometimes two weeks can go by without me writing anything at all. Time—where can we find the time?
Somehow twenty-four hours a day seems so short doesn’t it?




Absolute nonsense. If you really wanted to write every day you’d be able to find at least half an hour time in your busy schedule trust me.
That’s why I love NaNoWriMo so much (for those of you wondering—what no one?—I won!! :) Just barely made the 50.000 words in time!). Because NaNoWriMo forces people to meet the horror of a deadline. And to MAKE time every day in their busy lives to write those 1667 words a day! Even if that meant watching one less show on the TV. Or staying up a little later, or getting out of bed earlier. Or writing during your lunch break while eating a sandwich.

The truth is that if you really want to write—need to write—every day, you’ll find time. Write on the train to work/college. Write on the subway. Write while you’re waiting for dinner to be ready. Write just before you go to bed. Just write!

The best way to make time and ensure that you’ll do write every day is to create a space to write. And a standard time to write. Say, at 5:30 till 6:30 PM every day.
Of course if you have something extremely important you can skip it for one day. And of course you can do it in other times that day if that’s more convenient (when you find yourself with some extra spare time for instance). Just as long as you strife to write those words every day.

If it helps make a goal for yourself. Say I’ll write 10.000 words in 15 days. Or something like that. Don’t make it too easy for yourself, you have to actually strife for it! But don’t make it impossible either.
If it helps you could also make some sort of calendar where you cross out every day you managed to write. Or you can put a sticker on that date! :) Or reward yourself in some other way!

Good luck! I’m going to try and follow my own advice on this one and write more often! :) I took three days to recover from NaNoWriMo, but now I’m planning on writing every day!

Keep writing everyone!

Xx Lordkiwii





Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NaNoWriMo

Hello everyone!

The time has finally arrived: this Monday the great annual event NaNoWriMo has started! And this year will be the first year I'm participating. I actually forgot it was the first of November this Monday and started a day late. But I'm still determent to make it! :)

For those of you knew to NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and it's a global event where in the month of November, writers all over the world try to write a 50.000 word novel. So that's an entire novel in just 30 days! (or 29 if you're stupid enough like me to forget it lol)

Because you have so little time to actually write the novel, it's quantity that counts not quality. So it's the perfect opportunity to just write and not worry about editing and if a sentence is right, and if this word should be used--or that other word which is slightly different but almost the same... it's a time where you should install yourself somewhere, get plenty of coca cola, coffee and snacks and just write away!

There will also be a lot of fun stuff going on such as meets between fellow NaNoWriMo writers all over the world! So if you are interested, have some time on your hands, and would love to finish a novel by the end of this month--why not join? You wouldn't be too far behind :)

To find out more about this great event just follow the link:

Here is a blog that offers some hilarious advice for any participants (worth reading even if you aren't joining):


I hope you guys will be rooting for me! :) Right now my word count is 5210 -- and I have no idea where it is going. I had no real plot in mind and just started writing (lol) like I always seem to do. I'll be updating more on my twitter account from time to time :) so you can actually see how epically I will fail ( I don't have much time because oddly enough my college teachers don't agree when I tell them NaNoWriMo is a perfect excuse not to do homework for a month).


Are any of you participating? Are you going to join next year?
If so good luck! And tell me how it's going! :) 

If there is anyone interested (probably not) my account on NaNoWriMo is also LordKiwii :)
http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/749324


Keep Writing!

Xx
LordKiwii

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween

Hey everyone!

As you know today is Halloween!
So in the spirit of this awesome holiday let's dress up in our witch, vampire or zombie costumes and write scary stories! :)

Alright, so writing a scary story actually isn't as easy as it sounds (I tried). People get scared a lot, some people get scared all the time. But there are different kinds of scaries (Yes I said scaries lol).

There is the scary feeling you get when you have a test.
Or the feeling you have just before the big drop on the rollercoaster.
Or the scary feeling of asking the person you've been crushing on for a date.

And then you have the haunting, terrifying, oh my god a ghost is haunting me while there is a vampire knocking on my window scary.

I'm actually pretty good at scaring myself and creeping myself out. For instance if I'm walking on a perfectly summer evening, all alone, I can really creep myself out by getting all paranoid and imaging people walking behind me or something stirring in the shadows...

If you actually do want to write a scary story (or just have something frightening happen in your novel) make a list of all the things that would scare you. It can be anything. Here are some of mine:

Creepy clowns.
Spiders.
Ghosts standing next to you while you're trying to sleep O.o
Manikins (they creep me out)
being trapped in a tiny room, with no way out, while the walls are closing in (yes I'm a bit claustrophobic)

Writing stuff like this down can help you think of things to happen in your story. But you should remember that things that scare you, don't scare everybody. For instance some people weirdly enough find manikins exceptionally ordinary. And they love clowns and their balloon animals.

But we can pretty much state that most people won't like ghosts or for instance being buried alive.

Anyway now that you've figured out some scary stuff it's time to make a story.

First of all the main character. It should be someone the audience can relate too. So make them a normal average person. If people can relate to the character they can actually see it happening to themselves--which makes the story all the more terrifying.

think of the setting. Make it something perfect for odd and scary stuff--but reasonable. For instance the main characters bedroom can be a perfect setting, or maybe a cinema. Again the reader will relate to it more than for instance a hidden tomb in the basement.



Now it's time for the scary stuff! There has to be a "villain", someone or something who will do the creepy stuff. It can be a ghost, or a person, zombie, vampire (Oh yes I totaly put that up there so I can post a Brad Pitt vampire pic haha) , werewolf, mummy, hypnotized-suddenly-creepy-killer-friend. etc. Think of how the villain gets to the main character and what he'll do. let the creeping out commence!

The important thing is to convey a feeling of primal fear. Of need to survive, a threat against your live or your very soul. Put scary feelings into the readers mind.

For instance my friend told me this terrifying story which took place in the kids bedroom (a place we can sympathise with) and he feeling for his dog under his bed .... only what was under his bed ... what he kept touching every time being reassured ... that wasn't his dog.

This was an amazing story and maybe I should tell it here... it was so creepy... I don't know yet. Anyway what made it so amazing was the comforting setting--our bedrooms. The place we sleep, are vulnerable yet always somehow feel safe. And the kid was comforted as well, being with his dog. But then all that comfort is taken away and replaced by pure fear--which makes it all the worse.

If you are actually going to tell scary stories tomorrow night, make sure the setting is right and make your voice low, like you don't want to be heard by anyone. Try to be creepy and conspiratory, like you are telling them an actual story that shouldn't be told. And raise your voice at all the right bits) Have fun!

haha ok I hope that actually made sense haha. I was going to write something else but then decided I wanted to do something Halloween-ish :)

So I hope you all have a wonderful halloween! Personally I'm not really doing anything special. I'm going shopping at day and then at night I'm gonna watch scary movies with my sisters, and eat candy and maybe tell some scary stories to freak them out hahaha.



What are you doing on halloween? What are you dressing up as? Please let me know in the comment! :)

(It occurred to me that some people may not know how to comment. You either press the tiny comment  thing below or you click on the title of this post, which will take you to a separate page where jus this post is on. Scroll down and you can comment :) Please do people I love reading them!) 



Happy Halloween! 


And Keep Writing!

Xx LordKiwii


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kiwi Time #5


Hi everyone!

How are you all?
I have been busy, busy, busy.
I'm really enjoying my year here in England so far. My host family is great and so is my EF sister (who I share rooms with).

Let me tell you a little bit about the school.
It's completely different from what I'm used too. First of all, you only have 3 to 4 subjects. Back home I had about 9 of them so that's a big change. Then it's not just one big building but separate buildings. The younger students have to wear uniforms (sixth form doesn't!) and we have our own common room, where only year 12 and 13 can come.

I choose only three subjects namely: Art, Design & English Literature.

Art has been great. I never took art at my old high school so it's a little demanding for me, but luckily I haven't sat still all those years and drew a lot in my own time (mostly places and characters from my story. Drawing a character, or details of a building, a scene, can help me describe it better. Does any of you do the same?).

Design isn't at all what I thought it would be. I thought it would be more like designing objects and maybe fashion and stuff like that. We are designing some things like chairs, but it's a lot more technical and we're working more with wood & metal, not fabrics. But it's still fun!

English Literature is great, of course! :) I'm pretty much taking A levels in subjects that I've never had before haha. We never really had literature as well (we had Dutch literature at our old school but not English). We're working on Much ado about nothing (my favorite Shakespeare play!), Measure for Measure and Wuthering Heights. I've read two of those books, only measure for measure is new to me, so I think I can handle it. (Yes I was a weird child who liked reading classical English books when I was about 14 lol)

I've also joined the gym and just came back from a morning session of body balance, all stretched and relaxed. Perfect for writing!

I'm still working on the rewriting of my first novel. It's hard and kinda boring work (I'm a first draft person). And I don't like chipping bits off, but I can't wait to see it finished! How is your writing going? Good I hope :)

OK I won't bore you for much longer.
It's just that I wanted to write something, but don't have many idea's at the moment for a post.

So please!! If you have any questions, things you don't really get about writing, problems, or maybe just something you understand but think I can make an interesting post about for others please leave a comment! I need your help guys because I'm temporarily out of ideas! :)

Well I'm going to write some more! I hope that all of you who have a week off for half term right now enjoy their holiday! And do lots and lots of writing!

Xx

LordKiwii

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Show Don’t Tell

Hi everyone!

I’ve good good news: My computer is alive! Someone at school managed to fix it even though my pc is in Dutch, so I am amazed.
I’m settling into my life here at England and thought it was well time for me to post something new
:) Sorry for the long wait guys.


So let’s talk about a piece of writing advice that you’ve probably all heard about, and which no one really agrees on: Show don’t tell.

By show don’t tell, is usually meant that the reader is supposed to experience the story through the characters thoughts and feelings; through the things they do and say. You’re supposed to “see” what is happening, instead of having the narrator (the writer) tell you what is going on by describing or summarizing.

Let me give you an example:

So with tell is meant that you for instance tell the readers how someone is feeling.

“Peter was feeling sad”.

With show you don’t have to tell the readers that Peter is sad, because they can come to that conclusion themselves by “seeing” how Peter acts:

“Peter curled up in the corner of the room. He was shaking uncontrollably and big tears rolled down his cheeks, soaking his shirt.”

Ok so I’m just making these up as I go along, but I think you can tell that Peter is either really sad (or scared out of his mind, but you would be able to make that out of the context).

The second sentence is more elaborated than simply “Peter was feeling sad” and can show us just how said he is, an
d tells us more about Peter himself. For instance if Peter is sad we know he likes to be alone—he goes to his room—and that he curls up in a corner so he feels more safe and secure. You can learn a lot more about the characters by showing the reader what is going on, because you’ll need the characters to show them.

In the words of Janet Evanovich: "Instead of stating a situation flat out, you want to let the reader discover what you're trying to say by watching a character in action and by listening to his dialogue. Showing brings your characters to life."

Don’t worry this doesn’t mean that it is not allowed, or frowned upon or completely terrible if you use telling in your stories. Some famous authors use mostly telling instead of showing. Like Jane Austen for instance. And in first person narrative you’ll always tend towards more showing than in third person narrative.

But personally I think that both showing and telling are important in any novel. You shouldn’t show everything to the reader. Some parts of the story just aren’t interesting or important enough to show. For instance: two guys are travelling to the mountain of snow. On the second day they encounter a terrifying wizard. They escape. All this is great to show the readers. But then they travel for three days more and absolutely nothing happens until nightfall of the last day. Then it’s alright to say: The next three days were exhausting but uneventful. We saw no trace of the wizard and the forest seemed peaceful and quiet. Still we hardly slept and couldn’t help glancing back every now and then. For the feeling of fear that the wizard would return was fresh in our hearts. It wasn’t until night fell and we made camp in the shadow of the mountain that we saw him again.
And now is the perfect time to switch back to showing, and show the reader how they met the wizard again, how they were feeling and what happened.

If you would show absolutely everything, you’d end up with a 500.000 word manuscript that is impossible to get through.

Showing is important to make the action scenes more vivid, to make the characters more real and to make the story come to life in your imagination. To make the story interesting and compelling. Telling is important to cut to the more exciting and important scenes. Telling is important to give the reader a breather from all the showing, and describing. It’s important for progress in the story. Plus, it makes the important scenes (that are shown) stand out in the text.

Basically I think you shouldn’t worry about it too much. If you’re not sure if you’re using the right balance between showing and telling, re-read your story a bit and see if there are pieces that are hard to read through or boring—why is that? Is it because you describe too much? Or is it because you tell everything?
If you feel like your character is too flat and you don’t really get to know him that much in the story, see if maybe you need to do a little more showing. Because showing, makes your character breathe magic and come to life.

I really hoped this helped you a bit. And thank you guys for sticking with me, it means a lot. Any questions, random comments and/or suggestions for new posts are very welcome!! You’d be helping me out!

Keep writing!

Xx LordKiwii

Monday, September 13, 2010

sorry!

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posts! But I'm adjusting to my new life in England. To top it off I have a virus on my laptop, so I can't use it at all.....
But a new post will be up soon about Showing not Telling.
questions & idea's about new blog posts are always welcome! :)
Thanks for waiting so long

Keep Writing,

Xx LordKiwii

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Avatar the Last Airbender


(
Sorry about the different fronts, blogspot is acting weird on me today :S Please ignore that! )


A few days back, I went to see Avatar the Last Airbender. I’ve been a big fan of the nickelodeon show ever since it first aired and I was really excited. Unfortunately the movie was disappointing—
for several reasons.

Don’t worry I won’t spend the entire post whining everything I think is wrong about the movie, but I will list some of the things that irritated me and give you some advice on how to avoid them in your writing.

(There are some very minor spoilers ahead. If you don’t know the series and haven’t watched the
movie yet, you might want to wait until after you’ve saw it!)

1. 1. Characters make the story.

One of the reasons why the movie was nothing like the series was because the whole light tone, the humor of the series, was nowhere to be found. I’m really wondering if the makers of the movie actually saw the original series. Of course they would change several aspects of the story to make it fit the movie—but to change entire characters?

Anyway, Sokka was all serious and was portrayed as this warrior, while in the series he’s silly and clumsy and the comical relief. If something gets too serious, Sokka will be there to do something funny, often at his own expense.
Aang was also this serious avatar, while in the series he’s just this cheerful child. And because he’s portrayed as a kid, just like the kids watching the show
, it makes the burden of being the avatar and the things he has to go through even worse. All this was missing and it changed the story.

What I’m trying to say is that your characters are the most important thing in your story. If you take two identical story lines and change the main character from serious to cynical or funny you’ll have three completely different stories.

So try to find out as many character traits as you can about your characters. Do they fit with the way they act? Is there someone for comical relief? Does the story need that? Try to figure out of the characters serve the story or if they slow it down and ruin it a bit.


2. 2. Bad lines = bad acting.

I’m sure that the actors did their very best, but to be honest I thought their acting pretty much sucked most of the time. In my opinion that’s mostly because the lines just weren’t right. Writing a script is different than writing a book. Some lines that work on paper just don’t work when said out loud. Most lines and often reactions of the characters were just too unnatural in the movie.
This in turn made the actors say the lines without mu
ch emotion. They sounded empty and really, really played. More like you were watching a play than a movie. And movies should make you feel, if just for a moment, that what you’re watching is real.
In novels you can get away with a lot, but try to make the lines your characters say as realistic as possible. Try to say it out loud
and see if it works or not. The reactions of characters are also very important.

It might serve you as a writer to have the main character immediately accept something terrible about her boyfriend, but it doesn’t mean that it’s realistic and your readers won’t believe it. Or won’t understand your main character (which is bad).

If your characters don’t act like most real people would, it’s hard to see them as “real” people.


3. 3. Show don’t tell.
I’m planning to do a more elaborate post about this, but for now I’ll tell you in short what I mean. One thing that bugged me (yes I’m really hating on this movie right now, sorry! I actually didn’t mind seeing it, but it could have been sooo much more better) was that they told you so many things about the story instead of showing. One part that comes to mind is when they went to the North Pole and met the princess. You heard Katara’s voice saying something like “Sokka and the princess became friends right away”. This probably had to explain to us why they were suddenly in love. Never tell like this! Show us that they are in love. In fact they did show in the movie. Telling it as well was really unnecessary and kind of ruined the moment.
You had “the look” between Yue and Sokka. Then you saw them together a lot. Sokka even want
ed to be Yue’s bodyguard. We get it! We understand that they like each other (or at least that Sokka likes here, there would have been a slight suspension to see if Yue liked him too, if they hadn’t told us already).
I’ll tell more about showing and telling in another post!


4. 4. A story needs suspense.
And this movie had none what so ever. Which made it kind of boring to watch. I still liked watching because I’m a fan of the series, but if you don’t know it, then I wouldn’t be surprised if you fell asleep…
There was no suspension at all! The only real bad guy was commander Zhao and we never saw him do something more evil than taunting Zuko. (and that with the moon spirit but that was only at the end of the movie) We just had to accept that he was the bad guy. There was no suspense there.
Then you had Zuko, but the biggest threat about him is that he’s so strong headed that he’ll never give up on capturing the Avatar. And most of his evil-ness is t
aking away when we see him as the blue spirit.
The last thing that could have given the story a bit of suspense and danger was the battles. But again—disappointing. The bending was way too slow for it to be really dangerous. You saw an attack coming hours before it would hit. There was no danger. Plus it was more like a dance off with all those moves they had to do before the actual bending even begun.
In your story, suspense is one of the most important things. You need to keep secrets from your
readers, you need to make it dangerous for your character. Make sure the stakes are high. Make your readers care about them, make them want to know for sure that your main character will be alright. Make them need to read on, because they want to find what happens next.
If you don’t you risk them putting your book away!

Well that was what I thought about Avatar the Last Airbender. There were also some small mistakes like using extra’s twice in a scene, looking the exact same like they did the first time, while in the story days have passed. And I couldn’t stand how they kept mispronouncing names of people and things, while they have the example of the series and how they pronounce it there.
The only good thing about the story was that though the bending wasn’t fast, it was pretty to watch. Plus the costumes and the sets were amazing, really breathtaking at times. Those guys really did their job well. The entire mood of the movie was well done and I really enjoyed watching that.

If you saw the movie, tell me what you think. Did you enjoy it? Perhaps I’m just way to analyzing whenever I watch a movie and none of this bothered you at all :-)
I hope this helped you with your stories a bit! Please comment and tell me what you think! Should I do more posts like this from time to time when I’ve watched a movie?

Oh one more thing! If you guys saw the movie what did you think of Iroh? He was nothing like the original, but I thought he was pretty cool!

Keep writing!

Xx LordKiwii



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

WriteOnCon

This is just a quick post to inform you that WriteOnCon has started!
I actually just learned of it today and I haven't gotten around to reading and watching a lot yet, but I'm definitely planning to.

WriteOnCon is basically this online children's writers conference where published writers and agents and perhaps even publishers (not sure) talk about writing and give advice on writing. It's really fun and very helpful for wribies like us. Even if you're not writing children's novels I still suggest you check it out.

It takes place from Tuesday (which is today) till Thursday. So August 10 till 12.

(2010 in case you were just abducted by aliens and would like to know. Ever wondered how to say that in Latin? Here it is: Hostes alienigeni me abduxerunt. Qui annus est?
Which roughly translates to: I was kidnapped by aliens. What year is it? Taken from the book "Latin for all occasions" which for some reason I have on my bookshelf)

Here is the schedule for the next days: http://writeoncon.com/about/schedule/

And here is the site: http://writeoncon.com/
And their Twitter page: http://twitter.com/WriteOnCon

Have fun & learn lots!

Keep writing!

Xx LordKiwii

Friday, August 6, 2010

Be Inspired

Hi everyone!

Because clearly I don't have enough to do, I started a second blog!
It's a bit more random and personal. It is called Be Inspired Today, and I'm planning to upload something every other day that inspires me.
It can be anything from a picture, to a painting or perhaps a quote. Anything.

The reason I made this blog is because I wanted to have a blog for you guys where I
would post something nearly every day, instead of every week... or two weeks .... or ... well you get the idea.

Also, I have been having trouble finding inspiration for my story and I know I'm not the only one. So I hope that in a while I'll have a blog full of little quotes, stories
and pictures where people can just browse and hopefully find what they are looking for.

It's not going to be centred about writing, but I will post a lot of things related or helpful to writing. Simply because I can't help it; I love writing.

So please take a second and visit it!

http://beinspired2day.blogspot.com/

If you like it feel welcome to follow (I feel so lonely with zero followers atm ) and leave me a comment telling me what you think! If you think I'm doing it all wrong, or if you have any criticism, that's always welcome as well! Or if you want to get inspired for something. Like getting back to school. Or writing a fantasy story. Or getting a story idea. Just let me know!

This was it. I hope you like my new blog as much as this one (or better). I won't be neglecting this one! Don't worry. Any requests and questions about writing are still very much welcome! Because I have no ideas yet what to write my next post about.

School's starting again soon. Everyone enjoy your last days of freedom!

Keep Writing

Xx LordKiwii

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to End a Story

Let’s face it; writing a story is hard.
We all know that writing the beginning of a story is anything but easy and that it takes a while before you get it right. The part that comes next requires a lot of imagination, endurance, determination and a strong will.

And then after all that there is the ending. And the ending is just as hard as the beginning. But how do you end a book? After all that your character has gone through and everything that you have written and described and thought up; after all the questions you’ve posted in your stories—how do you put an end to that in just a few pages?

I don’t really know. There are probably a lot of ways how you can end your story properly. I don’t know all of them and I don’t know which are best. But I’ll tell you all I know about endings and give you the DOs and DON'Ts of ending your story.

DOs:

• Check all separate story lines and write down all the “questions” in your book. Make sure that all these questions will get an answer somewhere in the story. You don’t want to leave the reader guessing.

• Write an ending that makes your readers happy and feel like they have fully enjoyed reading your book. A bad ending (I don’t necessarily mean “unhappy”) can ruin the readers view on the book no matter the rest of the story. Make sure they are satisfied.

• Take your time. The ending and the beginning are (if you ask me) the most important parts of the book. The beginning draws you in. The ending leaves an impression. Don’t rush things.

• After writing your ending read your story again (at least the last part) and see if the ending “fits” with the rest of the story and if you felt it answered all the questions and was as good as promised.

Don’ts:

• Don’t end your book in a cliffhanger. An exception is made when you are writing a series. Then you might want the first or second book to end with a (small) cliffhanger so that your reader wants to read the next book. But keep in mind that it can be really annoying for the reader if they have to wait a few months for the next book while they are dying to know what happens. So my advice; make it exciting, but don’t be too cruel.

• Don’t have too many endings at once. If you have several story lines make sure they either all intertwine in the end and have one single ending, or make sure the other smaller story lines end gradually throughout the story. And leave the real ending for the main story line.

• Avoid a Disney ending. Not everything can just magically go well and end well. Let the main character struggle, let him learn. Let him have accomplished and lost something at the same time. A Disney ending is great for kids but older readers will probably find it unlikely and unsatisfying.

• Don’t make your reader feel cheated out of something. Make sure the ending is as good as the beginning of your book promises it to be.

Five Endings

There are about five main endings that I can think of right now. It’s probably clear to you which story ending you have to choose. If not, take your time and consider each one before choosing.

The happy ending
The character has struggled greatly and after one big challenge he wins, but usually looses something in the process. He learns something and has defeated the “evil”. With other words he lives happily ever after.

The sad ending
The sad ending is when everything doesn’t go right. And perhaps the main character is killed off (not really recommended but in some books there is no other way) or dies naturally or perhaps it is a “happy ending” in a way, but so many sad things have happened in the end that the reader is left with a depressed feeling.

The confusing ending
If you want to use this ending I suggest you make sure you have a good reason to do so. Personally I don’t like confusing endings. They always make you wonder what exactly happened and leaves you with a lot of questions. But with some (confusing) books a confusing ending seems appropriate.

The open ending
Everybody knows the open ending where they just leave you wondering what will happen. Sometimes because it is nearly impossible to give a story an ending. Other times because it would otherwise take too long to explain everything. And at again other times I guess the writer just wanted you to imagine for yourself what happened to them. Again it’s a risky ending but it might just be right for you.

The ending that is not really an ending at all
This is where the story just ends really without much warning and without closure. There wasn't really a "real" ending. But all the questions that had been posted in the story have all been answered. The reader just has more questions themselves like, but what happened after this or, did they end up married when they grew up? The only ending that is not really an ending at all that I can think of right now is from The Story Girl.

If you are still having trouble ending your story try this:

1. Write down the “problem” of your main character. Which is the demon he must face, the princess he must rescue. Aka it’s what the story is about.
2. Write down possible solutions for the problem (how is he going to save her, how will he get rich, how… etc). These are your endings.
3. Pick the most beautiful and the most difficult ending (difficult for your character) which must still be (at least slightly) plausible.
4. Write this ending. Worry about the facts, the action, the story line and nothing else.
5. Now go back and make it pretty. If you want you can add a “happily ever after” scene, which takes place after all the action.
Do this with all the small story lines as well and make sure that you don’t miss any of them and give them all a proper ending.

This post was requested by KatKin. I hope this helped you and sorry that it took so long! But I made it extra long to make up for it.

I’ll still be in Germany till Saturday and till now it has been fantastic. In Holland everything is so flat and here there are hills and small mountains and lots of forests. It makes our country seem like one big city. I saw wild animals and strongholds and the remains of a castle and much more. Perhaps I’ll post about them later.

Lastly I’d like to congratulate my brother who has finished his first draft of his Sci-Fi novel today! I haven’t read all of it yet, but till now it’s very promising. Again congrats on finishing your first novel!! :D

Everybody enjoy your holidays for as long as they last!



Keep Writing!

Xx LordKiwii


The End

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Kiwi Time #4

Hello everyone!

Sorry there hasn’t been a post this week but I was kind of busy and the weather is tropical here, so I spend all week doing nothing except eating ice cream.
So here is a short update. (It’s going to be pretty random, sorry).

I graduated!! With much better grades than I anticipated. Graduation night was simply perfect. I’m going to miss my old school … but I’m really glad to finally get out of there as well.
And in a little more than a month I’ll be going to England and I’m really nervous. But excited. I’m full of contradictions these days.

On the writing area, I’m busy with rewriting my first novel … which is a pain. And I’m occasionally writing something for my third novel. (I really wanted to focus on my first one and finish it this summer, but sometimes I just can’t help myself).
In the last two weeks I’ve had about fifteen story ideas that I really really wanted to write, but in fear of never finishing anything properly (which I’m good at) I had to ignore most of them, or only write down a little.

Two days ago a major storm hit us and I spend the night with my mom staring outside the window and watching the storm and thunder….. and of course I got a story idea out of it. (By the way the story was kind of big for Holland … compared to other storms in the world it was probably just a small breeze haha).

Next Saturday I’ll be going on vacation to Germany! And I’m really looking forward to it. But it does mean that perhaps I won’t be updating anything in the next two weeks. Because I’m not sure if I have internet over there… and if I have the time to write a blog post. But keep a look out for it, because I’m going to write one about ending a novel pretty soon.
And now last but not least:

It’s my birthday today!!

I just turned eighteen years old! I’m finally an adult! Well…. Officially I’m an adult. In reality I’ll probably never really grow up!
Well I’ve got a Birthday cake in the oven and my grandmother is coming over soon so this is it! Enjoy your holidays everyone and I’ll see you soon!

Please comment! And you can also follow me on twitter if you like random things! https://twitter.com/Lordkiwii

And here is a blogpost I wanted to share! I found it really fun to read and helpful for beginning writers! http://jscottsavage.blogspot.com/2010/07/moving-walkways.html

Keep Writing!

Xx
LordKiwii

Friday, July 2, 2010

Get back to it

We all have periods when we just don’t get any writing done. Whether it is because of school or a job or anything else that keeps you preoccupied, or because you “just don’t feel like it”, you’ll probably come back to a point where you want to start writing again.

And you find that you’re stuck before you’ve even begun.

The best thing for a writer is to make writing a habit. That way you get used to writing several pages a day and you keep involved with your story and your characters. After a long period of not writing a single word, you probably find that you aren’t as involved in your story anymore, can’t seem to come up with anything, and don’t feel that connected with your characters. It’s like not seeing your friends for a very long time and then running into them again at the supermarket. It’s awkward and you don’t know what to say.

There are several things that you can do to feel the lust to write again and get right back into your story. It’s important that you try several things until you find something that works for you. Or you get lucky and jump right back in on the first try.

Here are some tips:

1. Know your story.
You’re probably thinking something like “who knows my story better than me?”. But I’m not kidding. After being gone from your made up world for quite some times you may have forgotten details and forgotten the “feel” of being in your story. Think back to some events that happened in your story, or re-read the whole thing (or if you’ve written a lot, re-read the last few chapters) just so that you know exactly what has happened. This way it’s easier to pick it up again.

2. Run into your characters.
Remember your characters or act like you actually run into them at a supermarket. Think about how they would react, what they have gone through, what their favorite color is, what they are really afraid of, etc, etc. Rediscover your characters; it will make it easier to write about them.

3. Think ahead.

If you still don’t know what you’re going to write, think ahead. Try to remember the plans you had for your characters or make up something new what could happen to them next. If you know what is going to happen you can write towards that. This way you have a goal to write them to, instead of just blank pages.

4. Read your notes & study your maps.

Probably every writer at some points makes notes about their characters and story. Some are organized and write them all in one big map or on the computer. Others, like me, aren’t that fortunate and write them on every scrap paper that we can get our hands on…. And then don’t even put them together in a box. So search your room, every drawer, your pockets and bags. And collect all the notes.
Some people might also have made maps of the words they write about, or the city things take place. Take all these out and read and study them. Not only will you get ideas and back in to the story, but you’ll probably get some new ideas and an incredible urge to write!

5. Start writing.
In the end, no matter how much you prepare, to get back to writing … you actually have to write. So just start! Write a line, write another one and see where it goes! It doesn’t matter at this point if what you write is brilliant or rubbish. What’s important is that you’re writing. You can delete everything at the end of the day, if you’d like. But you wrote! You send the signal to your creative self that you wanted to write again, and need ideas .Your brain will start working on that and soon the ideas will pour in. It’s important that you write something every day, ideally for at least half an hour. This way you’ll get back into your rhythm and soon you’ll see that you have to delete less and less at the end of each day.

6. Don’t be too harsh on yourself.
Especially when you haven’t been writing for a long period of time, say a year or more, most people tend to get a little bit too demanding of themselves. They read their own writing again and think “I’m a year older, it must be better, it must be perfect”. With that attitude you’ll get stuck right away. Because it can’t be perfect. You can’t write better or probably as good as you did last year. Know why? Because you’re out of practice! So don’t set your standards too high and just enjoy writing for the sake of writing for at least a few days.
Then you can start improving your writing again and perhaps make it much better than before. But remember, the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect! The story is important in this stage, the language and elegant writing can always come in the hundred or so drafts after that (kidding stick to three till five drafts or so, or you’ll never get it done).

I hope this gets you all back to it! Summer vacation is finally here and I imagine a lot of people didn’t really get to writing the past couple of weeks.
If you still
find trouble with getting inspired you can always listen to music (classical soundtracks are my favorite), or watch movies that will inspire you to write, or dream about what it would be like to be a published author etc. Get inspired!

This post was requested by Gabelafastoe. I hope this helped and good luck with your writing!
I always love reading comments! And all requests are always welcome; I’ll get to them as soon as possible!

Keep writing!

Xx LordKiwii

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Plot Lines

A plot line is really just the sequence of events that occur in a story. Basically your plot line is a really short version of your story, which tells the most important events in your story. It’s the main line that your entire novel is about.

A lot of writers get an idea that just pops up in their heads. Then they nurture that idea and let it shimmer in their heads until they have a good idea what it’s about. Then they start thinking up the plot line and the major events that will happen with the character. Once they have everything thought out and in order, they start writing a first draft. It’s a really handy way to reduce the moments of being stuck.

Other writers (me included) just have a vague idea, or simply a character or a scene in their heads and start writing from there and see where it goes. They don’t have a plot line and must think of one while they are writing. If you like to work this way the plot line will probably gradually reveal itself to you. But if you get stuck all the time, perhaps it’s best if you think ahead just a little bit, so that you can keep writing!

When writing long stories (novels) it can be very difficult to maintain an interesting plot line. It’s also very easy to cram in too much, or have long periods where nothing happens. You often lose track of everything that happens. What can help you is to write your plot line down. Just experiment a bit and find a way that works for you (for instance a time line, memo’s, a large white sheet of paper on which you scribble all events, a summary of what your book will be like, etc.).

In order to keep your plot line strong you have to make sure that enough things happen, but not too much so that the reader doesn’t lose track of all the events happening. If your writer number one, who plans everything out before hand, make sure that enough interesting things happen, but keep them to a minimum. Once you start writing you’ll probably add more things as you go along. If you’re writer number two, keep the main story line in mind, or start thinking about one once you’re some way in your book. If you don’t lose track of it, your reader probably won’t either.

Always make sure that you re-read your story several times and cut out anything that doesn’t really contribute to the story or slows it down. Removing the clutter keeps your story line fresh and strong.

The basic most used story line goes like this:

Introduction—the reader gets to know the character, the setting of the story and some basic background information. Here the reader “falls in love” with the character and starts to care about him/her.
Rising action—something happens that throws the live of the main character off track. An event or opportunity occurs and it sets the story in motion. The main character will become involved in a struggle for something, you´ll get to know his objective and the problems that stand in his way.
The climax—this is often the best, most exciting part of your story. It’s usually pretty short but here the character meets head on with all his problems. It often reveals the missing links in the story and the secrets are revealed. It’s the part where Cinderella looses her glass slipper and the clock strikes twelve.
Falling action—this is often the result of the climax. The most exciting part has happened, the things the character had to face have been faced, and the action slows down. Slowly everything is getting solved.
The conclusion—loose ends are tied together and the story comes to an end. It’s the conclusion of the story, the happily ever after.

Forget everything I just told you.

Well don’t really forget it, but don’t dwell on it. Not every story has to be like this. You can have a story with two climaxes or no real introduction (but just weave it into the story) you can experiment around a bit with your story. Keep it interesting and original! If you really get stuck though, this basic plot line can be a fall back that can support your storyline.

If you really worry about whether or not you have an original plot line, just write down the main events. Make a short summery of your story. Now you have your plot line in front of you. Read it. Read it again but now with every event that occurs think: “Did I think of this myself? Can I have been influenced by other books? Do I really like it? Have I read it a million times before?”
If you answer those questions you can probably tell if it’s original or not. If all your events seem to be unoriginal that doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem. It could be that the events separate aren’t really that original. But together they make a fantastic, original story.

Remember that a lot of things have been done before. It doesn’t have to be 100% original. It’s alright to write a story about a young boy going to wizard school. It’s alright to have a story about a vampire falling in love with a human girl. Just make sure the boy doesn’t have a lightning scar and the vampire doesn’t sparkle in the sun.

With other words; make it your own. Make it original. Think up your own wizardry lessons, make up your own vampire rules. And create your own story line.
I hope this helps you out a bit! If you have other opinions or questions about this please leave them in the comments!

This was a request from Broken Angel. I hope it helped you out and I hope you liked it! Everyone thanks for reading! Please leave comments! And any requests or questions are very welcome!
Have a nice summer everyone!

Keep writing!

Xx LordKiwii

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Prologues and Epilogues

At one point while writing a story, you’ll have to decide whether you want a prologue or an epilogue in your story, or perhaps even both. There is no rule saying that you need to use them, a lot of books don’t have them. But with certain stories they might come in handy, to fill that space where something was missing.

Prologues

A prologue is a short text that you put before the first chapter in your story. It could set the setting for the story, give us some history, or even another (short) story that is somehow connected to main story and will be clear later on. But not every book has a prologue because not every story needs one. First you should decide whether your story needs a prologue or not.

A prologue is used for several things as I said before. Most often writers use prologues to explain to the reader several things in the background often in a scene that takes place before the first chapter. So it’s really just chapter zero. But this way you don’t have to slow your first chapter down with all sorts of detail or flashbacks and you can just keep the story going without having to explain too much.

Other times writers use prologues to hook the reader and make them want to read more. A lot of people read the prologue of a book when they’re wondering if they should buy it. If it manages to get them hooked they’ll probably end up getting it, which of course is good for the writer!

When you’re writing a prologue always question yourself if it’s really necessary. You need to consider if you can’t just use the prologue as your first chapter, or wind it thought your story making it clear to them in one of the first chapters. Never put a prologue in front of a book that isn’t necessary. You should also keep in mind that people often read the prologue first, so if you want to put a lot of history and detail in it, by all means don’t make it boring! No matter how exciting the first chapter may be, if the prologue is boring a lot of people probably won’t read on. A wonderful example is the prologue in Lord of the Rings the Fellowship of the Ring. It is great and all with lots of details about Hobbiton and hobbits themselves ... but boring as hell. (To be honest it’s actually a foreword and not a prologue, but still).

A prologue is also used for introducing characters, or where the main character stands (is he good, evil etc) or even a glimpse of something that is to come or a character that will come into the book, so that the reader looks forward to reading that. And lots, lots more.

If you’re not sure whether your story needs a prologue or not, see if the beginning of the story is exciting enough and will hook the reader. If not and you can’t make it exciting, then you probably need a prologue. Or if you think you should really give some background information for the reader to really understand the story, and you can’t just put it in the story without slowing it down, then you probably need a prologue as well.

When writing one just make sure that it doesn't get too long (people want to get to the actual story) and make sure that it makes sense and is exciting.

Epilogue

An epilogue comes after the last chapter, when the story is actually finished. Often it tells the reader what happened to the characters after the “happily ever after”. However just as with prologues, not every story needs an epilogue.

It could be that you finished your story perfectly and beautifully and you don’t want to change it—or actually I should say you can’t change it because changing it would ruin the story. However this way it doesn’t really say what happens to your characters and leaves a more or less open ending, or perhaps you have more ideas about what happens to them years later and you want to share them with your readers. These are excellent things to put into epilogues.

Again you should ask to yourself if you really need an epilogue. Can’t you just end the story at the end of the last chapter? Or do you feel that there is too much missing, that there are still too many questions left unanswered, or that the story doesn’t feels finished if you don’t know whether they really end up married or not? Sometimes a story ends and it’s just over. Of course you can always wonder what will happen next in their lives, but an epilogue isn’t meant to be another book, it’s meant to be a short text that brings closure to the story.

If too many things are still uncertain you might want to consider rewriting your story again and putting some answers in it. An epilogue shouldn’t just state dry facts. It should be written like the rest of the story and be exciting or pleasant
to read and bring a good end to the book. The hard part about epilogues is that you shouldn’t tell too much (or it will become too long, and a little mystery is never bad) but also not too little, or it will be useless. Besides that you have to write two endings, and writing an ending to a story is often one of the hardest parts.

For both the prologue and the epilogue goes that you should only use them when you really feel you need them, and your story isn’t complete without them. And you should keep in mind that they really shouldn’t be longer than about four pages (my personal opinion).

If you’re having trouble writing your prologue or epilogue, don’t worry about them before you’ve finished your story! First just make it and afterwards decide if you should even need one in the first place. (If you already know you want one when you start to write and it works at once, go for it!).

I hope this helped you all a little bit. If you really have trouble making it right you can always grab a few books and look at their prologues and epilogues. Figure out which work for you and which don’t, and try to understand why that is. Analyse them and try to learn from them. Perhaps it will help out your own writing.

This subject was requested by Chop-Chop. Thanks for your request and I hoped this helped you a bit! :) Good luck with your prologue! As always request and/or questions are very welcome!
Sorry this post got a little long ^^”

Keep writing!

Xx LordKiwii