Tag Archives: writing tools

5 Ideas That Will Motivate You to Write

If you’re a writer then you know what it is to have down times, times where you don’t produce any writing at all.

It could be any number of things that gains your attention and leaves the task of writing on the back-burner. Work, school, kids, depression or a frantic schedule can all take priority over your writing goals.

If you’re looking for ideas that will motivate you to get some writing accomplished immediately, then these tools might work for you.

The Usual Advice

I recently started a second job, full time, that seemed to eat up any spare time I had for writing. There were better things to do with my spare time like just unwind… zone out after a busy day. I lacked motivation because I was tired and my mind wasn’t into being creative.

I wasn’t meeting my goals with my writing and readers of my blog were starting to ask questions, wondering where I’d disappeared to. I stared at a blank screen more than once without a clue what to write about, and unable to muster my creativity.

Finally, I did what writers do and went in search of ideas on how to get motivated. All of the tools I came across seemed to be the same ones I’ve heard time and time again that just don’t seem to always work for me personally. But they deserve to be mentioned…

  1. Set aside a regular time to write.
  2. Find a good place to write and stick to it.
  3. Set a writing quota.
  4. Show up.
  5. Minimize distractions.
  6. It’s okay to write like crap.

Like I said, these are some great bits of advice, but not always enough to get most of us writing right now….

5 Tools to Get You Writing Now!

I find that keeping to the basics makes it easier to get back to writing right now, to bust through the writer’s block.

ONE

Use what you know. For me, getting some words into my writing quota means looking into my thoughts and seeing what’s lingering there. What’s on my mind – take what’s on your mind and use it to your writing advantage. If your working on a book, you can write a single scene, even if it’s out of sync. If you’re posting to your blog, you can use what’s on your mind to develop some interesting content for your readers. Using what’s in the forefront of your thoughts brings more passion into your writing because it’s what’s most important to you right now.

TWO

Research an idea. If nothing in your head appeals to your creativity or seems to be enough to spark the motivation to write, then try surfing the web for articles that interest you. The bonus involved is that you can take the time to visit your network and see what they’ve had to say lately. Chances are, what you read will get your creativity brewing.

THREE

Brainstorm for ideas and structure. Once you’ve got a basic thought to drive you, start brainstorming that general theme and find your own fresh take on it. The conclusions you come to are the basis of content creation. If you don’t find the theme useful now, save what you write for a future date.

FOUR

Create an outline. Take the general themes or conclusions you’ve come to and get constructive by creating a few outlines. Even just a few bullet points that generalize your idea are enough to serve as motivators for writing. Just fill in the blanks.

FIVE

Stop what you’re doing and start writing. I find that 90% of the battle sometimes is just starting to type. I remind myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect and how good it always feels to get some writing done. So this is basically a repeat of the usual advice…show up. Sit down and just start, even if it’s just rambling at first until you find something worth writing about. Getting some words on paper will break the ice and works to get you back into a regular rhythm of writing.

Staying Motivated

Most importantly, when it comes to having accomplished a creative goal like writing, is to reward yourself. It doesn’t matter if you dislike what you produced of if the work was phenomenal, reward tricks your brain into creating a habit. So find a simple way to reward yourself for your efforts.

Unique Articles On Writing Motivation:


Image Copyright: Marcel De Grijs

Must Have Writing Tools for Story Outlining

must-have-writing-tools-for-story-outlining-copy

Tools and Templates for Your Story Outline

As a writer, I am a planner. I am a huge fan of outlining a story or book and find the process extremely enjoyable.

Brainstorming

Planning your book with a story outline is a great way to break it down into small writing goals, each with a focused idea.

What I love about brainstorming an outline: I can think up an idea, break it down into major scenes, and get an overall feel for the story I’m wanting to write. I can follow a general story arch and make sure that my major scenes are occurring where they need to. It’s a fun exercise that allows me to see the whole story idea come together before a word of it is actually written.


Tools

Scrivener is the number one tool writers use to write their books. It has great options for storyboarding/outlining. It formats your book for uploading to your publisher. Go check out everything this program has to offer. Honestly, if you don’t have Scrivener, I strongly suggest you make the investment. Below is my affiliate link.

Buy Scrivener for Windows (Regular Licence)

If you have Scrivener, another great tool you may want to try is Scapple. Scapple is an easy-to-use tool for getting ideas down as quickly as possible and making connections between them. It isn’t exactly mind-mapping software—it’s more like a freeform text editor that allows you to make notes anywhere on the page and to connect them using straight dotted lines or arrows. If you’ve ever scribbled down ideas all over a piece of paper and drawn lines between related thoughts, then you already know what Scapple does. Plus, you can drag your notes right into Scrivener.


What’s Great About Outlining

  • Outlining breaks down your story idea into small enough segments that you can write about them in one sitting.
  • You can focus on one scene at a time and know where the story is heading so you can really dive into the scene with confidence.
  • You can add details concerning character development to the story arc. I actually add to my outline, about a paragraph on what’s going on in each scene, or what needs to happen, and what’s changing or coming to light with the characters.
  • You can set a milestone goal for each scene and reward yourself each time you’ve finished one. Rewarding yourself along the way will make you more apt to continue with a writing routine.

Books

Here are some great books I recommend if you’re looking to learn more about outlining.

41rtj4w2zzl-_sy346_ Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success

by K.M. Weiland

 

 


Templates

For those of you who are wanting to get started right away, here are some templates that you can post up as references to help you as you work through your outline. Although there are several different plot themes you could use and many different methods of outlining, in these templates you’ll find a basic outlining method that works well for most works of fiction. However, I highly recommend reading one or more of the books above before you begin.

*Right-click on the template to save to your computer and print. Images should print as 8.5 x 11 inch or you can choose your own printing options if you’d like them smaller.

Step One: Some basics to consider before you start your outline.

outlining-your-novel-step-one-copy

 

Step Two: Some pre-outline questions that will help you get started.

outlining-your-novel-step-two-copy

 

Step Three: A layout of a basic story structure for reference.

outlining-your-novel-step-three-copy

 

Step Four: A story outline template with the story structure highlighted where it should appear within the story arc.

outlining-your-novel-step-four-copy

 

 


For an eye-catching book cover design

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Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

ship-in-stormWednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

Challenge

Use this prompt to think outside the box, to go somewhere with your writing that you had never dare go before. See what kind of magic you can work with that brilliant mind of yours. You are a storyteller so this will be a breeze.

Maybe you could use this prompt to add a scene to the current book you are writing. Maybe you could start a short story that you can give away for free to subscribers of your blog. A picture like this can spark ideas you may never have considered.

The Rules

There aren’t really many rules, just enough to get your blog some attention and get new people interested in your writing or the current book you have to offer.

  • Write in any genre you like – poetry too
  • Tag this post in your post (share this post to your WordPress blog as a new post) so I can find you (it will ping back to this post), then I can check out your work, and promote you on my social sites. Or share your response to the writing challenge in the comments section below.
  • You have until the following Tuesday to complete this writer’s prompt, then I will be posting a new one on the following day, next Wednesday.

If you have any suggestions for future Wednesday Visual Writing Prompts, please let me know in the comments:-)

I look forward to reading your writing.

(if you post past the deadline I will do my best to read your work and share it on my social networks as time permits).

Have Fun!

Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

nature-trees-forest-wet-roads-1920x1200-wallpaper_www-wall321-com_57Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

Challenge

Use this prompt to think outside the box, to go somewhere with your writing that you had never dare go before. See what kind of magic you can work with that brilliant mind of yours. You are a storyteller so this will be a breeze.

Maybe you could use this prompt to add a scene to the current book you are writing. Maybe you could start a short story that you can give away for free to subscribers of your blog. A picture like this can spark ideas you may never have considered.

The Rules

There aren’t really many rules, just enough to get your blog some attention and get new people interested in your writing or the current book you have to offer.

  • Write in any genre you like – poetry too
  • Tag this post in your post (share this post to your WordPress blog as a new post) so I can find you (it will ping back to this post), then I can check out your work, and promote you on my social sites. Or share your response to the writing challenge in the comments section below.
  • You have until the following Tuesday to complete this writer’s prompt, then I will be posting a new one on the following day, next Wednesday.

If you have any suggestions for future Wednesday Visual Writing Prompts, please let me know in the comments:-)

I look forward to reading your writing.

(if you post past the deadline I will do my best to read your work and share it on my social networks as time permits).

Have Fun!

Must-Have Writing Tools for Character Development

must-have-writing-tools-for-character-development-copy

Character Building

Characters drive the story. That’s why most writers and lecturers out there will tell you that the characters should be developed first. With all the tics and quirks which make them human.

Authentic characters are the key elements which encourage readers to turn page after page. If they feel connected with the character and identify with them, they will be compelled to keep reading. Your plot has probably been told one way or the other one thousand times before but that doesn’t mean it has read like regurgitated material. When you take the time to develop your characters (as well as your setting), you infuse your story with a cast that comes to life on so many levels. Their character traits and development throughout the story, will drive your plot and keep your readers hanging on to every word.

Because characters are so important, many writers start with them. Pansters write without the use of a story outline, they let the characters act and interact, and watch how the story develops. Pansters should have the conflict of their story clearly defined before they start writing to give them a clear story arc.

Tools

Writers can use the following tools to develop and rehearse one of the fundamental skills of their craft -characterization.

Authors should develop an in-depth knowledge of the character’s personality in order to create consistent and engaging personas.

The ultimate goal of a writer is to utilize their knowledge of character development and craft a wonderfully engrossing, character-driven work of fiction.


Downloadable PDF’s

Creating Your Characters – The Line-Up

How to Write a Character Sketch

The Ultimate Character Questionnaire


Image Templates and Charts

To save and print the images for your wall, simply right-click on the image and select “Save image as” then save it to your device, and print. Viola!

  • Wheel of Archetypes

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  • Preliminary Character Sketch

preliminary-character-sketch-copy

  • Create Satisfying Character Arcs

create-satisfying-character-arcs-copy

  • Sample Character Outline

sample-character-outline-copy

 


For Book Cover Design See….

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