Still taking a semi-blogging break, but I volunteered to help out with a blog tour and I'm not going to back out just because I need a nap. (And you can tell because I didn't go through and underline links because I have an obsession with that. LOL) Also, if you're looking for my A to Z Reflections post it's here.
Five Fast Creative Writing Tips
by Erika Beebe
Recently I came across a tweet from a literary agent and it said something along the lines as, âNever complete your first chapter. Make the reader question the next page.â I wondered to myself, did I do that? Holy moly. I reread my first chapter. Dread had me holding my breath. In an effort to clean up my writing, Iâd deleted one tiny pivotal sentence. I hadnât realized how important that one sentence was until that moment. It suggested huge change was ahead. The dynamic of my chapter shifted all because Iâd deleted five small words.
So today, Iâm thinking of Five Tips I can offer as you begin, continue, or finish up your current work. Hereâs what Iâve learned from several sources as I work to understand structure and plot development.
1. Your First Chapter sets the stage. Begin with tension and not necessarily action.
According to Writerâs Digest, context important to your story is the key as you begin. Make the wants and desires of your main character clear and create a scene to reveal his or her specific quest. If your work is about love, maybe the loss of what he or she needs the most is the perfect place to start. Action is great if itâs relevant to the story and the stakes. Keep in mind as your write chapter one, What does your main character want so desperately and currently canât have?
2. Develop the backstory first and know every want and need from every character.
Think of your favorite books. Do you recall the characters in those books? When I think of Vampire Academy, I fell in love with Rose, the protagonist. She wanted to protect her best friend through all odds. Her best friend, a supporting character, also shared that love in her own way. Each character showed growth as their wants and needs were taken away. Even the friendship suffered, leaving both characters alone and withdrawn. Most of the books Iâve read move me because of the characterâs issues and human struggles. It does take time to think through each character, but itâs so worth it.
3. End each chapter with a question or important revelation.
As writers, we may get lost in our words and pictures. As you write each chapter, conflict needs to occur at least half way into that chapter. The end of each chapter must show us something about the character or conflict. Heard of âcuriosity killed the cat?â As I read, I keep reading because I want to learn more.
4. Characters need to grow. Give them conflict to push growth.
According to Writerâs Digest, âFictional writing is strongest when characters face tough odds and still come through in the end.â Each chapter should have conflict and suspense so the reader finds his or herself rooting for the character and at the same time, is nervous of a potential failure. Recently, I wrote a chapter where the main character and her friends practiced a spell for the first time together. I got caught up in the imagery and realized after the feedback from my friend, Iâd forgotten all about the suspense.
5. Donât forget the weather and the senses.
As your write, think about color, temperature, and the world around your character. Add those clues in as your write. Maybe itâs a red scarf, or a set of yellow rubber boots the main character wears to survive the elements. Subtle clues in atmosphere help build a realistic picture.
Thank you for having me today. Hereâs a link to Writerâs Digest for more ideas on the creative writing process.
Writer, author, dreamer, she envisions the possibilities in life and writes to bring hope when sometimes the moment doesnât always feel that way. Working in the field of public relations and communications for more than fifteen years, she has always been involved with writing, editing, and engaging others in public speaking. In 2013, her first short story âStage Frightâ published in One More Day anthology. Her two young children help keep her creativity alive and the feeling of play in the forefront of her mind.
The Wheat Witch
After he kills a man in a bar fight and runs away from the scene, Ethan Klaussen, a wily engineer, must revisit his hometown and discover his memories long buried, the links to his magical past. But when the townâs childhood fairytale proves real, and the Wheat Witch seeks his help to rebuild the town, will he choose to live forever with a witch, or pick the law and do the right thing?
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An Insecure Writerâs Support Group Anthology
Can a lost hero find redemption?
What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery?
Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster.
Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a heroâs redemption!
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