Showing posts with label to. Show all posts
Showing posts with label to. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

6 Things You Shouldn't Say To a Writer



I decided to do something fun today, since my book's release I've been getting a lot of these comments and I kinda don't blame them because not many know the amount of blood sweat and tears that writers put into their work. They tend to underestimate the level of dedication and commitment that is needed to fully finish something, and I get that they think that writing a book is fun but the truth is it's really not. Books are evil bastards that suck the writer's soul dry. So, here's 6 things you shouldn't say to a writer!

1- Can I get a copy for free? 

No. You cheap bastard. I get it, if your friends with a writer its so tempting to just get the damn thing for free, but you should always remember that sales improve a book's ranking, and a good book ranking means a good author ranking (on Amazon at least) so if you really want to support your writer friend, buy the damn thing (there's a hack to get it for free. Just promise to write a genuine review and they'll give it to you)!

2- It's like Twilight meets Harry Potter.

Stop this. 

3- How many copies did you sell?

Okay, so if there's anything called privacy and if your writer friend has any sense, he's not gonna answer this. He might be selling 10, 50, or even 100. This is just an embarrassing question to answer. Think of it this way, would you ask your friend who just got hired how much he's making? Didn't think so. 

4- It reminded me a lot of Twilight. Not in a bad way, but in a good way!

No really... Stop it. 

5- Oh so you're a writer, you know I've always wanted to write but couldn't find the time.

Okay, so this is kinda common and it really takes the cake. Writing is an excruciating process that takes years to accomplish. Why do you think that your writer friend just stared at an empty screen and the book magically manifested? The difference between a writer and someone who's not is that extra mile really. Anyone can start working on a book, but not everyone finishes one. So just avoid saying this. 

6- It was good, but you should add this part.

Now, if there is one thing all writers hate, is suggestions. Don't get me wrong, you definitely should tell them what you thought didn't work for you. For example you can say "I found that part a bit dragging and it just took the element of surprise out of everything. It was really predictable what would happen next" < THIS HELPS. "Oh, there's a problem but you should definitely like not reveal the tattoo that the character had in this scene. You could try to add a new scene where abhdbasd happens. < THIS DOES NOT.

I hope this fun to read! And if you enjoyed it, don't forget to share and comment below what you think!

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How To Name Your Character


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This is probably one of those things that you either can do very easily, or struggle severely with. This is mostly a problem that I do not face when I start a new story (sorry!) as I will always have specific names that I would love to use in any of them. They are my babies after all (even though some face extremely horrible situations...) but in the end, think of it in terms of what names best suit your character. If they are a warrior, then something like Vikus, Octus, or even Aelin would work (granted it is a fantasy setting). Now, there are still some rule of thumbs when it comes to characters:

1- Never use two names which start with the same alphabet in a story. It just confuses readers generally. This is to be honest, something I try to break as well, but I keep it under tight control (meaning that those characters will never be in the same chapter unless they are alone and having a dialog). If you are still confused, here's an example:  
Jack - Jordan
Mike - Micheal and so on. 

2- The names must fit the setting and culture. Let's take Game of Thrones for example. If George had named the Dothraki people "Jack Renulds" and "John Adam" it would just push the characters out of their primitive culture, so the named must fit the setting. It is known. Keep in mind that this is entirely dependent on the genre that you are writing as well, having a name such as "Ragnor" in a children story is kinda of an off for me. Just imagine these lines "there once was a man, in the peaceful loving kingdom of joy who used to chase butterflies! His name . . . was Ragnor the Mad. Okay I may be exaggerating here but you get the point. 

3- Translate words from different languages. Or better yet, come up with a completely new one! Tolkiens did it, George did it, so why not you as well? Something that I personally use, I try to translate specific latin words and use them as the base for the name. For example Rory is Latin for the Red King, while Mors is Death, so combining the two would give a character that wreaks havoc and breathes torture something like Morus, and attaching a nick name to that would give them that vibe! Think Morus the Black Knight, or the Red King, even the Bringer of Death!

That's all for now, I will probably make another post to explain in depth my own process for naming the characters pretty soon. 

Until next time,
Write on.

Friday, September 4, 2015

How To Write A Compelling Story


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Many writers struggle when writing a story and they just can't seem to get the plot, lessons and values carefully embedded in a story. Often, the stories are just predictable and throughout this blog, I'll hopefully go through how you can surprise the audience even when having a cliche.

This will focus on fiction, but it can easily be used and adjusted to suit any genre there is.

1- You should power and jump straight in! 

Most writers spend tremendous amount of time trying to explain the world they have created that they bore the reader with details they don't need the instant they pick the book. Jump right in! Explain the world through the progression of the story... the rules, the fights, the conflicts. Introduce the world through the actions and have them integrated IN the story. The best example I can think of is to have an outsider, and have your character take them through the basics.

Example:

Person A is from another continent and doesn't know anything about the customs and rules of <City>. He gets in trouble and does something that is socially unacceptable, and gets saved by Person B (a citizen) who then goes on to explain to him the rules.

It's still challenging however to embed this in the story without sounding boring. So, what you can do is make it more exciting to the reader and have Person A joke and ridicule their methods and how they live. Your readers will be able to relate better to the character this way.

2- Write complex imperfect characters!

Write imperfect characters! Because perfection = boredom in fiction. You want to have your character someone who the reader can relate to, just think about it, how many perfect people have you met so far? None!

Also, give your character a tone, motives, objectives and even hidden agendas so that the reader gets confused as to what they are hiding. Don't introduce lots of characters and then kill them (*cough*...) just use any character that you have already. It's much better to keep the story to as little characters as you can.

Often heroes are so overpowered that the bad guys don't have that much of a chance anyways, however do something different... make your protagonist the underdog for a change or have them go through hell. Have an opponent play at his weaknesses and just when their about to lose, their best friend ends up betraying them! Readers love these occurrences because they want to see how the character reacts. Have your readers care for your character... and you have succeeded at creating a complex character.

3- Always end with a bang!

Often called cliff-hangers. Always end a chapter while the reader wants to read more. Just when there is a huge reveal... just when someone powerful enough comes sending the bad guy flying... stuff that would make the reader thirst for more. For me personally, I always try to end each POV with a "bang" making the reader anticipate everything on every little end.

Don't be afraid to end the chapter in the heart of the action as well as ending it with an upset.  It's often a good idea to break the chapter into parts to control the pace, as sometimes when the pace is high enough the writer just powers through the story out of excitement but unfortunately it ends up being a disappointment, because the reader kept anticipating bigger and more exciting events to happen.

Build excitement, when the pace is getting too high.

4- Plot, plot, plot, and plot!

Before even writing, you must have a plot written down, even if its just one sentence... for example the plot for Mario is that "a princess gets kidnapped, and Mario sets out to save her". Try to establish the purpose of the story early one in order to get lots of room for twists. For example, you could build the story so that Mario is desperate to go save the princess at all costs. Going through all challenges and enemies on his way, but as soon as he finds the princess... she confesses that she does not want to go back. She wasn't kidnapped... she left.

See? That makes the writer able to write compelling and disturbing twists if he knows what the reader is anticipating and expecting, it makes it easier to break those thoughts surprising them with more and keeping them on their toes.

5- Don't be afraid to KILL your characters!

Yes, you heard me right. Don't be afraid to kill your characters. I know it's difficult and that I am a horrible person to even suggest it, but believe me the cliche of having a person always survive a situation no matter how bad it seems just takes the realism out of it. It makes the reader predict how the story will end just because you wouldn't let the person die!

Sometimes, no matter how bad the situation is, the hero is in the wrong place at the wrong time however, the audience doesn't even feel a thing because they know the "hero" will always survive. Take Game Of Thrones here for a second... can you predict who lives or dies? Exactly. It should be real, if the character does something, goes somewhere or does anything completely stupid... chances are they are gonna die. And it's that realism that I believe every fiction has to include.

Why? Because first of all, the idea of death is real enough for every reader, and once they see that your book is no different, they will start to care for the characters more because at any moment, they might just die!

I have to be honest here, I have killed more characters than I can remember, and every time I do it, I feel horrible... which reminds me that I am actually a good guy because I felt the death of the character I had just killed off in the most horrible way possible... Well, it's the thought that counts!