Showing posts with label writer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writer. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

To Anyone Who Could Be A Writer

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I've always wanted to write this post, and also forgive the lack of posts but I have a lot of good news coming your way! But for now, I felt that the time was right for me to write a message to anyone who could be a writer.

Writing is a form of art, and it has many categories you see, if you are already doing the work, that means you should definitely consider getting the most out of it. So to all of those who simply dream of becoming great poets or authors I say: wake up, it's time to get to work. The thing about writing is that it's a habit and not something you do every once in a while. In the words of Mr. Chaker Khazaal (the most influential Arab of the world) "writing is like praying, you shouldn't give an excuse as to why you're not doing it".

In my humble journey, I've been blessed to have met a lot of great individuals who have amazing talent, hopes and aspirations... But it's funny that these are the ones who are filled with doubt and consumed by the idea that for some reason they're not good enough. But what are they comparing themselves to? Traditionally published books go through at least a dozen rounds of editing, where every round consists of the following:

  1. Developmental Editing
  2. Copy Editing
  3. Proofreading 
If you believe that your work is sub-par to them, well of course it's going to be, since you are competing and comparing your own style of writing to others, it doesn't work that way. That's why we write the stories we want to read. WE the authors are the ones creating whatever world we want to create. We are the ones researching the materials we want to shed light on, so to compare yourself to another writer or more so your book to another is the worst crime you can commit to yourself. 

Some will love your work, others will not -that is a given, and that's the beauty of sharing your work with others, they're allowed to disagree with you, but you aren't allowed to quit because of it since the more you write the better you get. Think of it this way: every mistake you make, is one that you won't repeat in your future, so grind, write, make mistakes and learn from them!

That's all for now, 

Until next time,
Write on.

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.

Monday, April 18, 2016

5 Tips On How To Build A Convincing World


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One of the main issues that writers face when writing fiction is world building. It may be a writer's ultimate demise to be honest, however there are a couple of tips and tricks that you can use in order to make the world your writing about sound convincing. 

1- Explain everything. Whether it involves magic, or a mysterious old knight who was banished from his village for bringing dishonor to it by commanding a band of warriors and challenging the throne. Give lots of back information but make sure that it is not an info dump. Explain the complexiity through simple means. Be it a foreigner who doesn't know the traditions of a country (to which is explained to) or through flashbacks. 

2- Either start with everyone knowing, or everyone is shocked to know. If your world contains magic, you might want to start in a way that it is something that has been absorbed by the community all along and everyone is aware of it. You can then explain the limitations (I'll to it in a minute) through either combat or carefuly crafted dialog. 

3- Limitations. Always have golden rules that cannot be broken, and put imitations to hinder the characters from being overpowered. For example, a wizard's strengh may be determined by his energy, willpower or some sort of mana mechanism. 

4- Craft good shocks, not unbelievable ones. Having your protagonist suddenly discover that they have that ONE legendary spell that can take every opponent down just when they are in a pinch is somewhat annoying and shocks the readers out of the world. "But couldn't he have used it before?" these sort of questions if they leak into your readers, you lose them.

5- Everyone loves exploring. I found that one of the bst ways to make the readers fall for your world, is to have your protagonist at one point explore the world! Discover different cultures and have complex societies with their own certain rules. You can be wild. Have a city where slaves are the masters even though they are slaves. Did I make sense? No. Does it matter? Nope. 

That's all for now,

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Short Story: Secret of the Moonlight

Hey everyone! I'm really excited to let you know that you can read Secret of the Moonlight exclusively (and free) on Wattpad! This the third short story that I had previously planned to release but I figured, just to publish it so you guys can enjoy it and get a sense of what to expect in anything I write! I will leave you with the cover, and the link to read it on Wattpad!

(P.S I will probably add a new page where you can download posters of any stories you like, so if there is anything on your mind, now is the time).



Blurb: 

A number of unsolved cases demand the attention of a famous detective, known for tackling a lot of mysterious with success. His success rate has garnered him enough reputation that criminals fear. Isabelle is the girlfriend of Calvin Greyson, son of the well-known Jack Grayson, and after he receives a threatening letter, she runs off to the police to seek their help.

Until next time,
Write on!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Answering Your Writing Questions - Part 1

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For this week, I decided to take to Twitter, and answer five questions from the popular hashtag #AskAuthor. Keep in mind these will be my opinion only. I'll try to answer to the best of my abilities, but it will be just that. My opinion. Which you might agree with, and you might not. It's fine.

Q.1 What are you reading right now, and how is it impacting your writing?
I've actually just finished reading "Paladin" by Sally Slater, which has been a phenomenal read to be honest. I've finished that book in 2 days and it left me wanting more. To be honest, had I not finished writing Dragon Tooth, I would not have read it (whenever I'm writing a specific genre, I don't like to read anything related as to not have my mind be affected by the tiniest bits). While it was just an incredible read in something that I found very interesting (the politics, the choices... the characters seemed all too real) and I had a little taste how it feels to kill a character from the other side (my oh my, how pissed I was!).
Q.2 How do you come up with a title for your book?
Well, some writers really struggle when it comes to coming up with a title for their book, but I don't, honestly. You just gotta relax and let it flow, write, write and write. The title will come to you eventually. It might be just as you finished writing it, or sometimes even before you started it. When it came to Secret of the Moonlight(which you can read for FREE on Wattpad!) for example, the title was ready way before I wrote even a sentence. While Dragon Tooth, came to me when I finished the first chapter. Remember, your title has to be unique and catchy. Something that grabs attention. Try to also avoid silly names or parodying another popular book... for example (Throne of Games). Always remember to Google your title, before settling on it.
Q.3 When writing a novel, do you first make an outline? If so, do you stick to it? 
 I find that an outline definitely helps me power through anything I write because ultimately I know where I'm going. But even when that sometimes can be too restrictive, I don't feel burdened by it so occasionally, I might change a few details here and there as I'm writing (if it makes total sense, and not just because I want to change something) but I would say I stick to the outline about 85% of the time. I've had a lot of instances where I wanted to reverse something, but I just fought the urge because I knew that everything that happened was playing to a bigger end. It's much more easier to create a well founded story, rich with twists from the planning board.
Q.4 Is Blogging Still Relevant for Writers and Authors?
 Absolutely, blogging I think is a very important aspect and step in building a readership and have somewhere that anyone can go back to the writer and read more from him. It means a lot to readers actually, and almost every famous and established writer does this (George R R Martins as well!).
Q.5 A few beta-readers keep suggesting to change particular scenes in my novel and I'm not sure what to do...
It's very important to listen to your beta readers, but also to know who to approach. Someone who reads non-fiction would give you horrible advice when it comes to fiction for example. You gotta ensure that the beta reader is actually a fanatic of the genre you are going into. But still, it generally means something no matter what. The best advice I can give regarding this will be in the form of a quote by Neil Gaiman "When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong."

That's it for this post, if you'd like to see more questions, feel free to throw them at me at m@infrangilis.com or simply leave a comment. I plan on doing this a bit more frequently.

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

3 Things You Need To Know Before Writing Anything


There are a lot of challenges that can halt your progress when starting a new project, whether it is a short story, a novel or even a blog that you want to start. So I decided to talk about some of the common issues and how to best deal with them and get something achieved.

1. Plan your project!
This is literally the most important aspect of every project you want to start, even if it doesn't involve writing even. Stories are the same, there is not a single writer who doesn't do this before starting a project. For some, an outline works while for others they feel its too restrictive and doesn't give the writer the freedom to do what they want (assuming they want to change things when writing). But the fact of the matter is, even those who don't outline usually have a seperate document that helps them remember all the important details that need to be stated. It can be a list of every character in the story (which is updated as the writing is going) or even just a rough draft. Always remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

2. Have content at the ready!
If you're planning a blog, launch it when you have enough content to cover at least three months ahead. This will give you the option to edit whatever you want (if there is an important event that you need to blog, you can simply push the schedule ahead a bit). This will do wonders, seriously. It'll give you a breathing point for those times when you are most likely too busy to write. You don't have to freak out, you're covered. But have a goal of writing one post a week at the very least.

In terms of stories or novels, write down any idea that you have on paper. I always have at my disposal these half finished stories which are based on a single idea. Just note it down, it'll make sense later on for when you feel something is terribly missing somewhere but you can't identify it. I did this with Minds: the Secret Society, and quite recently Secret of the Moonlight where I used a part I had already written and merged the stories together (and they make perfect sense as well).

3. Know where you are going!
Whether it is noting down goals, or plot lines, if you don't know to which port you are sailing, you will never arrive. Have a destination, or a meaning behind whatever project you want to start. Ask yourself what do you want the readers to get out of after finishing the story/blog? This will do wonders to improve your writing.

I plan to do more of these posts as well. Also, for next week, I'll be taking some questions from Twitter and answer them. These will be completely random, and I'll prepare a hashtag as well in case you want to ask me something (I'll probably check the questions sent to my email first). This can be anything from self-publishing tips, or hacks to questions regarding book covers and blurbs!

Until next time,
Write on.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Writing a Short Story VS Writing Novel

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There are many different aspects to consider when writing a short story, and a novel. They are two completely different genres which require their own unique style in story telling. Personally, I think of short stories as exercises which one can do in order to get in that culture of finishing a piece, whether its 1K words, or 10K words or even a 100K one.

One of the main challenges when writing a novel is to actually flush it out in a way that is still engaging. Any sentence you write should build up for something larger or give hints towards something that needs explaining; you simply cannot get away with writing fillers in a novel (stuff completely irreverent to the story just for the sake of increasing the word count).

In short stories, you can actually get away with a lot of things, for example you can skip an entire battle or a change in sequence... moving forward with the story in just around 500 words (something that cannot be forgiven in a novel). Some might argue that this does not reflect good practices, to which I say, who the hell sets the rules for writers? We ourselves do.

Think of it like this: in a short story, you can sum up a huge event with its outcome and just proceed to the aftermath. In a novel, you have to explicitly describe everything that happened, no excuses!

Writing short stories is always fun, as you essentially get the culture of actually finishing a project, and that momentum is what gets you going when you're writing a novel. You will never improve if you keep writing in your comfort zone... you have to extend it and explore different genres in order to increase your vocabulary.

Until next time,
Write On.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Writing My First Story Ever

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Every writer has an incredible story about the first thing he wrote. It might be embarressing or just plain awesome from the start, but my journey writing stories actually started when I was 9 years old. actually wrote the story in Arabic and it revolved around a person called "Leo" who travels to Mars and makes contact with Aliens. He then proceeds to mobilize Earth's army and try to conquer the damn thing. 

I didn't actually finish it, nor do I know where it is currently but nonetheless, that was my first experience writing a story. I still hope to write the story again with better names than "Leo" who I believe was a reference to 'Leo' from 'Charmed' but maybe its better to leave it at the past.

It wasn't that embaressing really, except for the part that people made fun of me and called me crazy, but yeah other than that, it was just an amazing feeling to write something and bring a world to life through your vivid imagination. 

Aside from that, my first ever (English written) story was called "A Duck's Sacrifice". It started as a very innocent story about a Duck living with her family, and then they get attacked by a pack of wolves and eventually some... bad stuff happen. I'm not gonna spoil it, and tell you what, I'll be posting the story next week for your enjoyment/horror. 

I wrote "A Duck's Sacrifice" back in 2012 and from there, I began to work on Dragon Tooth as well (yeah, been actually 4 years since I began writing the damn thing). Dragon Tooth took me this long because I re-wrote it a couple of times as well.

So yeah, that's my story, what's yours? 

Write on,
InfranGilis

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Writers In Bahrain - What Its Like to be a Bahraini Writer

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Writers in Bahrain are among the top fairy creatures, you hear myths that they exist, but they are all secluded in particular areas that no one knows of. 

It's kinda ironic because I do know of a number of extremely talented writers, but they are just shelving themselves in a bubble that they are in the wrong country. Well, the thing is, if your friend is a writer, just try this: walk to them and tell them I know another writer. Their reaction would almost be "but it can't be! I thought I was the only one!".

I admit, there is a tremendous pressure on everyone here to lay off writing and pursue a "normal" and boring career and that is one of the top reasons why established writers don't actually pursue it. They fall pray to the terror that is responsibility soon enough and just give up. 

See writing takes practice, and if you don't do it daily, you kinda lose track of those skills. Most also feel the torture of "you want to be what? A writer? Okay sweety, but what do you want to be when you grow up?". Writing is not taken seriously here... So I really think that it is very difficult to swim against the current, because being a writer in a country that is dominated by oil wealth is kind of being an investigator that is looking for unicorns. It can happen, but it is very unlikely. 

Lots of things can hinder our dreams and stop our talents from growing. But the most important thing here is to give ourselves the permission saying it's okay to fail and it's okay to be a loser in something while winning in another thing. 

My message to every writer in Bahrain, I hope that something or somewhere is built that links all writers together and a community starts that provides a successful platform for self-publishing authors and writers. Hell, it could be an annual event where the likes of Stephen King are invited to knock some god damn sense into our parents that being a writer is actually pretty damn cool.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Things That Influenced My Writing

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There has been a number of people who have actually influenced my writing tremendously. None of which were my tutors at school. Growing up under all the pressure and stress that is put on anyone during the 90s was very difficult. We were witnessing the jump to total dependence on technology (whether this is good or bad is a story for another day). 

However, I have never really depended on school or any form of traditional ways to learn English. From a young age, I was really interested in that language, all the TV I was watching had me compelled and wanting to 'speak' like they do. It did have its charm, I won't deny it. 

But starting from then, I got involved with a lot of different forums that specialized in different things, the trick? All were English. People always mocked my grammar and spelling and to which I would always respond by insulting theirs (internet rage, go figure) until some day, I decided to just try to read beyond the (learn t0 sp3ll ... OMG !) and started to notice patterns. 

From there on, I constantly kept on improving. Noticing that "i" when referring to yourself should always be capitalized was the first thing I learned by the way.

Anyways, from there on, my level of English had always surpassed my school's standards. The exams were a joke to me personally, and I remember the myth that no one could get a full mark in writing. Well, I challenged that and got the mark. The teacher told me "this was incredible, I have never read something this good in a long time" which was a great compliment to satisfy my own ego (and boy I was arrogant).   

I remember when I was a kid, I would listen to English songs and try to say the words, as well as pick up English books and make silly sounds pretending that I was reading. Most of the times, people would come to me and say "do you even know what you're saying? Well, if you don't why do you say it!". People made fun and ridiculed when they could, but had I listened to them, I would still speak the "door oben, ziz wan not good" kinda thing that they speak and call it the English language. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Three Ways to Earn Money With Your Short Story

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So, you've finished writing up an awesome short story that leaves readers with a life changing impact and are wondering where to go with it from here? Then this post is for you.

Many emerging authors and writers struggle with this dilemma. Whether it is weighing up writing a novella, short story or a nonfiction ebook. In this post, I'll be talking about some known methods and ways to earn money with your completed short story.

I'll be addressing techniques about how to write a successful short story in a future blog, but for now, we will assume that you have already completed a story that sells.

There are basically three ways to earn money with your short story. Keep in mind that there is no shortcut to success and that it'll probably tire you. Also, be prepared to get rejected a lot, but remember it only has to work once.

1- Submit to Literary Magazines.

There are an infinite number of literary magazines that will pay you money for publishing your short story on their magazine. The way it works is that they purchase "First Rights Publication" which means that you cannot publish it anywhere until it gets released in the magazine. Then, all rights revert to the author.

Most magazines have a flat fee, while others offer a more lucrative reward that is based on the number of words (a short story must be under 7500).

Here is a link that provides 46 Literary Magazines you can submit your short story to:
http://letswriteashortstory.com/literary-magazines/

2- Entering Competitions.

There are a lot of competitions that accept emerging authors. Actually, some competitions exist for the sole purpose of supporting new authors. While some competitions have an entry fee, there are a number of competitions that you can enter free of charge.

These often offer a hefty reward in the event that your story goes further in the competition. Cash, along with publication opportunities. One of the most accredited competitions is "L Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future" which I highly recommend you enter if only for the bragging rights. Here is link to their website:
http://www.writersofthefuture.com/

Also, here is a link that provides a list of short story competitions:
http://www.christopherfielden.com/short-story-tips-and-writing-advice/short-story-competitions.php

3- Self-Publishing on Amazon KDP.

Your short story would be available for Kindle users and those who use any form of devices to purchase the ebook. In case you are wondering, Amazon provides this service for free, making your short story available to a huge global market just in the blink of an eye.

The pricing structure for short stories however, will be discussed in a future blog post, but often authors charge 0.99$ per short story.

Remember that you need to effectively market the short story as well before its release in order to ensure great results.

Visit this website in order to learn more:
https://kdp.amazon.com/

Happy writing everyone!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Curing Writer's Block

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If you follow me on Twitter, you will have noticed that I have been occasionally tackling the whole concept that new writers often say after working on a short story, a novella or a non-fiction book. If you have ever sat down to write something, it is bound that you have experienced what everyone calls "Writer's Block". Whether an author simply starts a new project, or decides to ditch the whole idea... It is something very serious. So let's uncover the bullshit factor that is within it.

What is it? 

Writer's Block happens mostly during the 15K mark and is when the author just can't come up with ideas on how to progress the story; the creative spark simply vanishes.

How to cure it?

The answer is really simple. Just bloody write. There is no shortcuts to overcoming a creative problem. If you have an outline already planned for your book, set a daily target that you will always meet. Whether it's 1K or 2K, just write! And give yourself the permission to write garbage. Writer's Block often means that you have very high expectations from your writing which is totally fine and actually a very good thing. But you have to understand that everybody has a good day that follows a bad day.

So if what you are writing is not satisfactory to you, remember that you can always come back and fix something terrible because it will always be there, ready for you when you are. That's why we have a first draft (that almost never is shared with anyone. Ever.) and a second draft. Often, books and novels get to the 6th draft period before it is ready for Beta Reading.

if all fails, you can always re-write the whole damn thing too.

The bullshit factor

Now, we have to identify when a writer is truly going through the phase where his creativity isn't matching his expectations, and when children just spout some bullshit just to sound "cool". I actually had an encounter that went like this:

"I'm actually a writer, and been working on a project for some time now"
"Oh? So how far are you?"
"I reached the 6K mark..."
"Oh..."
"Yeah, I have Writer's Block"

See? Now that is just someone pretending to be a writer just because it sounds cool when he says that he has Writer's Block. It's really frustrating when you deal with them and it is just better to remember "don't feed the troll".

Have YOU had Writer's Block?

Actually, I had days where I finished an entire chapter in a weekend, and those days where I simply can't bring myself to write another line! I still go through it every day. But I make it a goal of mine to write every day. Chances are, the spark will kick in and I'll go back and fix it, making it appealing and just sound awesome.

So, while I do have those bad days, I simply don't give up. And I urge you to do the same! Writing is an art in itself, and if you don't practice it daily, it'll just get harder and harder for the spark to ignite the flames of creativity that dwell within you.

Until next time,
Regards

Friday, September 11, 2015

Should You Change Your Decisions in Writing?

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Sometimes, when you are so deeply rooted within a world of your own, you begin to wonder how was it that you got this far? I have always dealt with hard decisions when writing a story because, in a way, I do not control the story... The characters do. What I write is strictly character-driven plots for the sole purpose of realism in the piece of writing.

I learned that because I plot out how the story ends up before actually writing the details of what and how things end up happening. Did I ever wish that I could change a decision for the betterment of my own satisfaction? Yes, did I ever do it? No.

I think it is very disrespectful when an author changes what he originally planned simply because they lacked the will to carry on with whatever they planned. Sure, you might have come to a new and better idea and justify it all you want, but the truth is, if it is something hard for you to write, imagine how the readers feel. Exactly, you want that.

I remember when I saw an interview of George R.R Martins where he spoke about how he wrote the Red Wedding. When it came down to it, he couldn't actually write it, but instead went ahead and wrote the aftermath of what happened, and then came back to it finally.




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!

Monday, August 31, 2015

5 Tips For Aspiring Writers

So, I've been working since 2013 on a short novel called "Dragon Tooth" and recently finished chapter 4 out of 6 planned. As I gave this to a few close friends to see what they thought of so far, I've had a lot of questions about the experience of writing this since 2013. Normally, the first question raised is "Are you nuts? Since 2013?" and my answer is yes, but... it comes with benefits as well. I thought I would share with you a couple of tips for anyone who is thinking about/is writing a novel.

1- Plot it all out. Often, writers do the mistake of taking the story for granted thinking "It's all in my head". Well, you're wrong and it shouldn't be just in your head. It'll all be incredibly easy once you plot it all out and write it all down. It doesn't have to be a huge thing, just the basics of how the story begins, progresses and ends. A writer should always know how their story will eventually plan out.

2- Do NOT edit what you write. Okay, I have to explain. Writing and editing are two different things, and they are different. Of course you should get it edited but not as you write. Concentrate on getting the novel done FIRST and then go back editing it as much as 2 or even 3 times. What this does is, it builds a strange trap for the writer that whatever he is writing needs to be edited and often hinders the process of getting it done. Yes, your un-edited copy will suck, but that's the beauty of it, you're not supposed to show it to other people until you have edited it at least 2 times.

3- Create compelling characters. Readers have many different tastes because they are different human beings naturally. Your novel can't be the same guy but under a different name everytime. Have someone wicked who lies, cheats, and even kills people just because he feels like it. Then give yourself the challenge to humanize the character in a way that readers will show sympathy towards him for being who he is!

4- "Show and don't tell". Okay, this is one of the golden rules in writing, and it doesn't matter if it's a script, a screenplay OR a novel. One of the biggest mistakes amature writers make is how they actually describe actions and emotions. They TELL the reader what the character is feeling instead of showing it. Example? Here:

"The man quickly stood up and punched the wall." - Weak.

"The man pulled away from his chair in an instant, clutched his fists and drove them into the wall. Cold sweated, there he stood." - Yes!

Notice how you get to FEEL the emotion and not just read it? Also note that we could add more dramatic effect while describing the action afterwards.

5- Too much dialog! Never think that a good story has good dialog alone. A good story consists of believable characters, where they each have charactaristics, motives and hidden goals or agendas. The reader should understand the point of the dialog. Never forget that its a very important tool writers use to explain the world or the struggle to the readers. Yes yes, here's your example:

"Why are you doing this?!" Person A said.

"I want to go south, because the princess is there and I want to save her, I thought you knew that" Person B replied.

"But you didn't answer the question, why do this?"

"Because there is something more to this than you think."

Okay, that wasn't so bad. But what if we actually use words to explain more about the hidden motive that you and I both know Person B has?

"Why are you doing this?!" Person A said, as he kept eying PERSON B.

"To save the princess. Why else?" Person B replied with a tone that brook no argument.

"You're not answering the question Person B...", Person A said.

Person B turned his face and a smirk wore his face as he exited the hall.

Muuuch better. A little mystery is always healthy and will do wonders to the story. It's always better to give the reader the ability to invest emotionally in the characters. Who would they root for? Person A or Person B? What is Person B trying to gain by saving the princess? All these are healthy questions that the reader will think of, and of course if you can instil an idea in someone's mind, you can easily break it afterwards.