writing

Being A Writer…

Being a writer is writing when you don’t feel like it. Being a writer is writing the scenes you don’t, like to get to the ones you do. Being a writer is knowing the end from the beginning and using it to your advantage.

When you video chat with you co-author late at night, trying to resolve the loose thread you pulled, you’re being a writer. When you know that there was a reason you wrote a scene a certain way, but can’t remember the reason, you’re being a writer. When you search things like BMI for seventeen-year-old guys and snakes that live in Germany, you’re being a writer.

That time you searched the average advance for first-time novelists, you were being a writer. The time you got a really “great” idea for book late at night and discovered the next morning that it wasn’t that great, you were being a writer. That time you read a scene so many times that you never want to look at it again, you were being a writer.

Being a writer means obsessing over details. Being a writer means pain. Being a writer means wishing you could take pictures of every other person you see on the street. Being a writer means excitement and fear when you think of querying. And most of all, being a writer means being awesome.

writing

5 Ways To Dig Up Motivation To Write

  1. Pray. You can write with or without the creator of the universe on your side, and although I think it’s pretty clear which option is the better of the two, for those of you who need a little extra help, the answer is with.
  2. Coffee. Let me start by saying that coffee is wonderful, particularly dark roast. So if you’re feeling a little low on energy and motivation, do yourself a favor and drink some coffee; or, if you’re one of those weirdos who doesn’t like coffee, drink some nice, nasty herbal tea. Whatever helps.
  3. Listen to Music. Music is an awesome way to get moving with just about any task and writing is no exception, so click shuffle play and get going.
  4. Set Deadlines. I am definitely one of those people who love lists. And plans, and charts, and over the top organization in general. Basically, I enjoy having deadlines. Even if you aren’t filled with an overwhelming love for deadlines, if you ever plan to write professionally, you’re going to have them, so why not start learning how to manage your time now?
  5. Write it Out. Writing down everything you have to do can be so helpful. Even if you aren’t going to set time limits for each thing, it is so nice to sit down, think of everything you have to do, and put it on paper. Trust me, those dreaded to-do lists have a purpose.
writing

Emotions

As writers, we often need to make ourselves feel certain emotions. The thing is, when I’m sitting in my bedroom eating ice cream and trying to type at the same time, the likelihood of me feeling extreme sorrow over a breakup that isn’t mine, is pretty low…until music comes along. If you’re a writer and you don’t use music to help you write, let me just say, I have no clue how you’re doing it. Anway, here is a list of songs that are fabulously full of emotions.

Remembrance/Looking Back: I’ll Remember This by Chris Howland and Matthew Parker and Sailing by Holly Starr.

Sadness Over A Breakup: Not The End of Me by Group 1 Crew, Summer Again by The Afters, Say It Now by The Afters, and Love’s to Blame by For King and Country

Recovery: Braver Still by JJ Heller and Sane by For King and Country

Trust: People Change by For King and Country, Ghost by Matthew Parker, and Let Down Your Guard by JJ Heller

Bravery/Courage To Fight: Run the Race by Holly Starr, Warrior by Hannah Kerr, Long Live by For King and Country, It’s Not Over Yet by For King and Country, and Never Going Back To OK by The Afters

Friendship/Love: Steady by For King and Country, Never Giving Up On You by Matthew Parker, How to Fall by Josh Wilson, and Until You Came Along by JJ Heller

 

 

writing

The Pros and Cons of Writing a Fairy Tale Retelling: a Guest Post by Lila Red

Today I come to you with my first ever guest post, written by a friend of mine, Lila Red from The Cheapskate Bibliomaniac. This post is all about the pros and cons of fairy tale retellings, and I really hope you enjoy it! I also did a guest post on Lila’s blog about the pros and cons of co-authoring, so when you’re done reading this, head over to her blog and check it out. Without further ado, here are the reasons you should and shouldn’t write a fairy tale retelling:

PRO: You can do a lot with the simple stories.

Think Red Riding Hood. Think Snow White. Goldilocks. Cinderella. Etc., etc. These tales are short and sweet, leaving plenty of room for twisting and deforming until you have – for instance – a long, complex science fiction novel based on the incredibly short Goldilocks story. Hansel and Gretel is spacious enough for many intriguing side plots, Red Riding Hood practically begs to be transformed to a different genre, and Snow White drips with potential for romantic conflict. I could give you many other similar examples. The possibilities are l i m i t l e s s.

 

CON: It’s easy to borrow too much from the original.

Be creative. Be very, very creative. I don’t think many readers want Cinderella simply rewritten, with only several tiny elements twisted into something only slightly different. What readers often love to see is the elements of the fairy tale bent and woven into the story so that they have to make at least a small effort to spot them. They often want an immensely altered story, and yet they want the old fairy tale to remain noticeable. Unfortunately, it can be easy for writers to use the retelling as an excuse not to pump their creative juices. They can sit back, relax, and keep many of the elements the exact same.

I’m not saying it’s a rule. I’m not saying there aren’t commendable exceptions. The retelling I’m currently writing holds to a lot of the original aspects of the tale, and most of my characters have the same names as they do in the original stories. What I’ve done to make up for that is woven several fairy tales into one. What I’m focusing on is knitting them together in creative ways.

I’m just saying it’s easy to borrow too much. I leave you to find other meanings of that phrase. XD

 

PRO: Fairy tale retellings are popular.

At least, in the YA realm they’re popular.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Beastly by Alex Flinn

I haven’t read all of these, nor do I have any intention of reading most of them. I’m not supporting these books in any way – I’m only pointing out that there are a lot of popular fairy tale retellings out there. What better way to up your chances of your book becoming popular than to make it a fairy tale retelling? Readers seem to be falling all over themselves for fresh new twists on age-old stories.

CON: Fairy tale retellings are popular.

Yes, this is also a con. If you’re at the lowest stage of writing a retelling – the “considering” stage – then you have a long road ahead of you. Let’s say you plan on publishing traditionally. There’s the first drafting, then the rewriting, then the storyline editing, then the copy editing, then the querying, then the waiting, then the rejections, then the more waiting and more rejections, and so on and so forth. It’ll be months, perhaps even years, before you get an agent. From there it’ll take even longer for your book to hit the shelves.

By the time your retelling is finally published, it could be that the trend will have faded, if it hasn’t begun to already. I know that some readers are fed up with all the fairy tale twists – although I personally don’t understand how anyone could grow tired of them. Thankfully, there are still PLENTY of die-hard fans out there! But trends normally disappear as something new and fresh starts to attract attention.

It’s my belief and hope that fairy tale retellings will defy the norm and always hold an elevated position in the bookosphere, but you never know.

Writing a fairy tale retelling has been heaps of fun for me, but every writer is different. I hope this list was helpful, and I strongly encourage you to give a retelling a try even if you’re doubtful that it’s the right genre for you. It’s always healthy to expand your writing experience by attempting to write stories of many genres.

Alright, that wraps it up, Thanks so much, Lila! Hope everyone enjoyed this great post, and don’t forget to go check out my post!