#MondayMotivation – Two Days To @NaNoWriMo

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Writing Tips

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. – Mark Twain

So, this #MondayMotivation quote (which I will get to unpacking following a bit of ramble, as I do), did not actually come from my Inspirational Quotes About Writing board on Pinterest. A friend, who actually took over my position at my old job picked it out for a #MondayMotivation graphic he’s using for this week, and I thought it was fitting in the days leading up to NaNoWriMo. Welcome to:

Part Four: Pre-@NaNoWriMo #MondayMotivation

And the rest of the series

Part One: 4 Reasons Why You Should Participate In @NaNoWriMo

Part Two: 6 Tips For A Successful @NaNoWriMo

Part Three: 5 Ways To Focus During @NaNoWriMo

Part Five: 3 Reasons Why It’s Not About Winning @NaNoWriMo

Part Six: Get Writing Prompts By TFR Volume 1 For Only 99 Cents!

Let’s talk about getting started.

Blank pages are incredibly intimidating. Like, so incredibly intimidating it’s not even funny. How are you supposed to just…start? Especially if you’ve already written a novel before, it’s easy to forget how you got from blank page to thousands of words in a document you’ve backed up 82 times and saved to 45 different places (seriously, save your work religiously, you guys. I’ve been burned before and it is NOOOOOOOOOOOT fun).

But here’s a little trick I like to use to get around that apprehension you may feel about starting something as intimidating as your first of 50,000 words in 30 days:

Don’t start with a blank document.

What do I mean? Well, I’m the type of person who is constantly writing (or thinking about it) and prepping and noting down plot ideas and little pieces of dialogue for the stories I’m going to write (I wouldn’t say it’s an outline, but it’s a general idea of what events are going to be included. I’m much more a Pantser than I am a Planner). So, I already have a little bit of content that I can work off of when November 1 rolls around and I get serious about getting the words out for #GroundhogOne. It’s not much, it’s not even 1,000 words, and they’re not remotely in order, but it’s something I take take to get started, and that’s the point of NaNoWriMo. It’s starting something that, if you work at it and persevere through moments of writer’s block or distraction, will eventually become a complete story that, if you get lucky, will become an actual novel.

The very first novel I wrote (the one I mentioned in Part Three about finding a writing space and using the study room in my dorm my freshman year of college), started with me imagining an argument between two people. I didn’t have names, I didn’t have details about what they were arguing about, other than one person being really angry with the other. But I turned that into a novel that had about seven planned sequels, and a prequel, and even almost a decade later, I know basically everything that’s going to happen with that story. I haven’t touched that story in years, it’s not great, and one day I may go back to it and do something with it, but it started with dreaming up an argument and ended with a story.

But it became a story with seven planned sequels and a prequel because I started writing book one.

And I dabbled in storyline after storyline in the years after finishing that story, and eventually stumbled on the idea for the #WhoIsTalyaNightingale novel, which was inspired by my annoyance at how queer characters are treated in the media (if I see one more incident of burying your gays, I’m going to be pissed), the lack of female superheroes who don’t need rescuing by a Strong!Male!Hero!, and an episode of CS!: New York. Among other things. But it works, and somehow I went from Point A, in which Talya Nightingale wasn’t even called Talya Nightingale, and she was hiding out on a farm in Montana with a PR guru I created for another story, to Point B, where Talya Nightingale is Talya Nightingale, has no idea why she’s Talya Nightingale or what she did to be stranded on Earth without her memories, and buys a house in a weird town that has a giant lake shaped like a bird.

So, if starting with a blank word document is too intimidating for you, don’t. Start writing somewhere else, like a note on your phone or a couple pages of notebook paper by hand, and THEN start.

But you have start before you can finish. So, come Wednesday, join me in starting whatever project you’ve been waiting for the so-called perfect moment to start. There never going to be a perfectly perfect moment to start, so you must take advantage of ANY moment, and write.

All NaNoWriMo Long, Get Writing Prompts By TFR Volume 1 For Only 99 Cents!

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-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

#MondayMotivation – October 9, 2017

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“Every writer I know has trouble writing.” Joseph Heller

Today’s #MondayMotivation post come courtesy of the Starbucks Trenta Iced Coffee that I am only a quarter of the way through drinking. With the way my hands are shaking, I’m assuming I’m going to regret this when I finish.

It’s going to be fine.

But anyway, back to the motivation.

If you think that you’ve been struggling to write this year, I promise you’re not alone. Personally, this year has been challenging on so many levels, and it’s really made the act of writing difficult. I can think about what I want to include in #GroundhogOne until the cows come home (is that an accurate metaphor? I don’t know. I grew up in Beverly Hills, there are neither weather nor farms in that part of California), but when it comes to actually trying to write the scenes I imagine in my head? Well, a Word Document has never been so intimidating.

At the same time, you can’t let that stop you, and I’m not about to let that stop me. If writing were easy, everyone would be a writer. You have to write even when you don’t want to, even when you’re struggling to find the words. It’s only when you start searching for the words that you figure out how to get the scene out of your head and on paper.

Sometimes, people need a plan to get back into the swing of things, and I’ve decided that I’m not about to let 2017 screw me over any more than it already has. Want to know more about what I’m planning to get back into the swing of writing and end this shit-show of a year on a high note? Sign up for the #MondayMotivation Newsletter HERE. It makes it’s regularly-scheduled return to your inbox next week.

Like what you read? Want to see more?
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com
-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

*#MondayMotivation quote found on my Pinterest Board: Inspirational Quotes About Writing

#MondayMotivation – September 18, 2017

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“A villain is just a victim who’s story hasn’t been told.” – Chris Colfer

So this piece of motivation is more craft-based than getting-you-off-your-ass-and-writing-your-story-based.

When you’re writing, sometimes it’s difficult to do justice to characters you don’t like, because they are supposed to be unlikeable. I have that problem with some of the characters in the #WhoIsTalyaNightingale novel, in fact, it’s a normal problem to have.

What you need to do is remember that, likable or not, even your villains have backstory. It doesn’t have to be backstory that you overtly include in the story, but it does have to be backstory that you, as the author, know. The more you know about your character, be it hero or villain or that one character who pops up on one page early on and is never seen again, the more you’re going to be able to create a believable, rounded character who–in some cases–my exist in the real world.

You know how to do this with your favorite characters in your story, but sometimes you have to focus on the ones you don’t like as much, or you risk parts of your story falling flat, because you don’t KNOW your characters as well as you should.

And you never know what might happen once you do start getting to know some of the characters you may not have spent as much time on. There is one character in the #WhoIsTalyaNightingale universe who originally showed up in one scene, and now has aa backstory, an important role in the entire storyline, and has turned into one of my favorites (not that I don’t love say, 90-percent of the characters in the ‘verse).

Characters evolve, but they won’t if you don’t take the time to get to know them.

Here’s to a productive week of writing. Don’t forget to sign up for the #MondayMotivation Newsletter by clicking HEREThe next newsletter is slated to land in your inbox tonight!

Like what you read? Want to see more?
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com
-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

*#MondayMotivation quote found on my Pinterest Board: Inspirational Quotes About Writing

#MondayMotivation – September 11, 2017

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“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour

I know I preach this a LOT (like, every week, it seems), but I do keep pointing this out because it’s SO important. You can dream about the perfect novel all you want, but if you don’t start writing, you’re never going to finish it. Sure, it’s intimidating, sure, you might be trying to write something that’s outside the current scope of your ability, but you never know until you try.

And if you DO start writing something and you realize that you, for whatever reason, can’t do the story justice or write it the way you want to, then table it for a while. There is nothing wrong with stopping for a while (keep reading, y’all) so long as you KEEP writing anyway.  Don’t stop because you run into a roadblock. Sure, it’ll suck to realize that you can’t get the story out there, but it’s not going to be like that forever.

The only way to get better at writing is to KEEP writing. My skills as an author are a FAR cry from what they were one, two, even five years ago. It’s a skill you need to nurture.

So, keep nurturing. Keep writing. Take a break and flip through some of the Writing Prompts in the Prompt Library 1-100101-200201-300 and get inspired. You never know what direction the story is going to take you.

Here’s to a productive week of writing. Don’t forget to sign up for the #MondayMotivation Newsletter by clicking HEREThe next newsletter is slated to land in your inbox next week!

Like what you read? Want to see more?

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

*#MondayMotivation quote found on my Pinterest Board: Inspirational Quotes About Writing

#MondayMotivation – August 28, 2017

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The writer is by nature a dreamer – a conscious dreamer. -Carson McCullers

I spend a LOT of my waking hours thinking about the stories I’m writing or planning to write. In one of my old Writing Tips posts titled, 4 Unique Ways To Get Inspired To Write, I talked about–as it says–four unusual sources of inspiration that I use when I’m working on my novels.

But as I wrote this #MondayMotivaiton post, I realized that there I was missing one: while driving. I can not begin to count how many plot issues I’ve solved while in the car. It happened a TON of times for the #WhoIsTalyaNightingale novel, especially when I use to have a traditional commute to and from work, and just last week I solved a particularly sticky plot question for #GroundhogOne.

Noodling on my writings is something that I can’t control, it’s just something that happens whenever I’m awake, like breathing, or those times when I sneeze weird and people think I’ve seen a bug or am being attacked or something (long story).

Take your inspiration where you can get it, and just remember to write, especially when you make a major plot breakthrough, but also especially when you can’t write at all. You can dream all you want about a plot, but if you don’t write it, you’re never going to finish your story. There’s never going to be a perfect time to write. You have to make it a perfect time, simply by doing it.

Easier said than done, I know. It’s an on-going challenge that every writer faces every day. You’re not alone.

Here’s to a productive week of writing. Don’t forget to sign up for the #MondayMotivation Newsletter by clicking HEREThe next newsletter is slated to land in your inbox next week!

Like what you read? Want to see more?
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com
-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

*#MondayMotivation quote found on my Pinterest Board: Inspirational Quotes About Writing

#MondayMotivation – August 14, 2017

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“Here’s the thing: The book that will most change your life is the book you write” -Seth Godin

Or, a book that goes unwritten never gets published. If you’re a first-time author (or, as I prefer to call it, an unpublished author), there’s no way you’re going to get yourself an agent if your novel isn’t finished yet (it works a little differently for published novelists, but I digress). And if you’re trying to get an agent by shopping around an unfinished or unpolished manuscript: don’t. Stop what you’re doing, do not pass go, do not collect $200, and finish your book.

You MUST finish your book before it can BE a book. And once it is, that’s when your life changes. You have to follow the right steps the right way. Like everyone says, you have to walk before you can run. Same with this.

Not sure what you’re doing or how to go about it? Drop a line and ask. If I don’t know (which, I mean, I don’t know everything, so I probably don’t), I’ll point you in the general direction of where to go to find the answers you need.

Just write. Just finish. And take your time. The only deadlines are the ones you place upon yourself, and–like I said, this applies to unpublished authors–don’t freak out if you don’t make it. Life happens. Do what you need to do, and eventually you’ll find you’ve reached the day, whatever day that may be, where your novel is both finished AND ready for the world.

Here’s to a productive week of writing. Don’t forget to sign up for the #MondayMotivation Newsletter by clicking HEREThe next newsletter is slated to land in your inbox next week!

Like what you read? Want to see more?
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com
-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead

*#MondayMotivation quote found on my Pinterest Board: Inspirational Quotes About Writing

1 Way To Add Depth To Your Story

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Writing Prompts eBook Volume 1 COVER

Write What You FEEL

Because of reasons, I’m going to dive back into the importance of “show, not tell”.

What are the reasons? Well, I’m not going to talk about it because I don’t want to traumatize my readership, but if you hop on to my Twitter and scroll back a few days, you’ll see some nooooooooooo gifs with the hashtag #AllTheBoats.

That’s my vague reaction to what I was suffering through, and what inspired me to draft this post.

Ugh.

Moving on.

Showing, not telling is CRUCIAL for your story.

Why?

Well for me, I’m incredibly stubborn.

You can’t just TELL me to do something or TELL me to feel a certain way. Especially if I don’t respect you (and as an author our job is to build respect with our readers), I’m probably either going to NOT listen to you or very vocally demand that I get a viable explanation about why you think whatever it is is important for me to do or think.

When it comes to writing, it is your job as an author to make your readers BELIEVE in what you’re showing them.

And to make your readers believe what you believe, you have to SHOW them. You can’t just tell them what to do or to feel. If you do, then they’re not going to get very far in your story.

So, click the Continue Reading button for some tips on how to infuse more SHOW into your story so you can take your readers on a ride in a way that encourages them to keep turning the page.

Continue reading “1 Way To Add Depth To Your Story”