April 27, 2012

Movies As Writing Inspiration

When I was little, I hated reading. I had a hard time with it and was reading in a lower level than the other kids in my class. Then when I was in sixth grade, I found that legendary rusty screw (Catching A Spark) and started writing.

My passion for writing led to my passion for reading. The more I wrote (and I wrote every day), the more I read. I discovered magic, stepped into new worlds, and met extraordinary people all thanks to reading, which is probably why my unpublished series is set in an unknown world and all the characters are extraordinary individuals.

Maybe you like to write but don’t like to read. That’s just fine! You don’t have to be a fan of books to write an exceptional one. I find that watching movies aids me much more than reading a book, especially since I write stories with a lot of action.

Are you writing a romance novel? Watch some of your favorite romance movies. For historical romance, you could watch Gone with the Wind. For a paranormal romance, you could watch Beauty and the Beast. For western-romance, you could watch the Hallmark Love Saga movies. For modern romances, you could watch popular movies based on novels by Nicholas Sparks.

Are you writing a horror novel? Go ahead and watch the movie that gave birth to all the slasher films: Halloween directed by Dave Carpenter, or watch movies from the Horror King, Stephen King.

So, go ahead and watch a movie, but this is research, so while you’re munching on popcorn, don’t forget to jot down some notes and ideas that may pop into your head.

QUESTION: What movie(s) are you going to watch to help you write your book?

April 20, 2012

Find Writing Inspiration

Books are an escape from our lives. In the pages of a book we can find solitude and adventure. The authors that write these books, though we may never know them, are our friends. Their words can make us feel love, laugh out loud, and bring thrill into our lives that we may never experience otherwise.

Writing a book can also be an escape. On the pages that we create, we can find solitude and adventure. We can also experience love, laughter, and thrill. This is a little secret that all writers share: We have multiple lives; the one we live on Earth and the ones we live in our stories.

Books and authors can be a great source of inspiration while we write our own books.

QUESTION #1: Who is your favorite author? Why?

Can you incorporate what you like about your favorite author into your own writing?

My favorite author is J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts). She has such a way with words that takes my breath away. When I write, I love to use vivid details so when someone reads my work, he/she can picture the scene perfectly. I love similes, metaphors, and adjectives, because I believe that they make my writing beautiful and can give my stories the affects that they need.

QUESTION #2: What is your favorite book? Why?

Can you draw inspiration from your favorite book to bring your own story to life (without plagiarizing)?

My (current) favorite book is The Host by Stephanie Meyer. I love the main character, the story line, the love triangle (or maybe it’s more of a love square...?), and how she used one-word for chapter titles. She inspired me to change the chapter titles in my first book to a single word, but instead of using verbs to tell what happens in the chapters, I used adjectives to describe the chapters.

Now go and have fun re-reading your favorite book, but don’t forget to take notes, because this is research!

April 13, 2012

Tackling Chapter Two

Once you finish the first chapter, you feel accomplished. And you should!
Then you type CHAPTER TWO and suddenly you start to feel just how daunting of a task writing a book really is. You’re only on chapter two and you have about twenty more chapters to go (give or take). How in the world can you do it?

But you can! With your detailed plan, inspiration, and determination you can write your book! When you type the words “Chapter Two,” keep that smile on your face and maintain your stride.

Chapter one, as we all know, is the beginning. This is where we meet the main character(s), establish the setting and tone, and learn what we need to know to understand the story. Chapter two is where the story really begins.

If you’re writing a mystery, the first chapter could introduce the detective of the story and show us how he/she live. The end of chapter one could be a phone call about a homicide, and chapter two could be set at the murder scene where the detective examines the crime which he/she will be investigating during the course of the novel.

Whatever genre you are writing, chapter one is the introduction and chapter two builds up to the events that will be unfolding during the rest of the novel.

This is also where the fun begins!

QUESTION: Are you naming your chapters?

April 06, 2012

Ending A Chapter

On your sleek desk sits a neat stack of papers—the first few pages of your book. You are on a roll, pounding away at the keyboard, flawlessly describing your main character, and beginning his/her story, but how do you know when to end the first chapter?

You can end the first chapter whenever you want to because you are the writer! You can make a chapter as long or as short as you want it to be, but if you are having a hard time figuring out the best time to end a chapter and start a new one, I generally go about it in two ways.

#1. If an event is meant to happen, it’s best to let it have its own chapter.

For a romance novel: If the two characters go out on a date, to let this event unfold completely in a single chapter, and when the date ends (with a goodnight kiss…or a bed), it is time to end the chapter, too. Then start the next chapter with the morning after their date (or intimacy).

If you are writing a thriller and there is a part with a lot of action, like an undercover sting or a gun fight, end the chapter when all the action ends and start the next chapter with what follows. For an undercover sting, the next chapter could be devoted to the interrogation(s).

#2. End a chapter with something shocking.

Does the main character have a secret? When you reveal what it is, end the chapter immediately. Ending a chapter this way guarantees that the reader will want to read the next chapter to find out what happens next.

On the other hand, a first chapter might not have as much excitement as a later chapter for it to end on a shocking note, but there are many ways to end it that’ll leave the reader wanting more.
TIP: Read the first chapter from several books similar to yours to see how the authors end them.
Sometimes you just have to listen to your instincts. Are they telling you to end the chapter? Great! Put the proper punctuation mark in place and follow the formatting instructions (from the previous blog) so you can start chapter two.

QUESTION: How is your novel progressing?