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Rated: E · Book · Writing · #2289399
Here you'll get lots of tips, motivation and experience to finally write your novel
Welcome and great that you found your way to my blog!

My name is Evie and I write books that take readers out of their own worlds and into new ones that readers won't soon forget. I blog for artists, writers, creatives, multi-talents and all those who want to become one.
In life, you don't need to be rich: Joy, curiosity and commitment are enough to reach your goal. Just like I am doing right now.

In this blog, I'll give you tips on how to finish the monster "book project“. I'll also give you tips on how to find motivation to write (daily?) and how to incorporate it into your everyday life.
You can also expect some prompts, ideas and step-by-step instructions here.

Let me surprise you! I wish you a lot of fun with writing,

Evie
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May 22, 2023 at 9:30am
May 22, 2023 at 9:30am
#1049964
Writing a book is difficult. Three things are most difficult: a suitable beginning, an exciting, interesting middle during which you don't give up on the project ... and a satisfying ending!

You can end a book in three ways - with action (e.g. a kiss), dialogue or something spoken (e.g. "I promise. And this time I'll keep my promise. I promise.") or narration.

In this article I have explored and compiled some of the Narration bookends. You can change them, adapt them and use them!

#1: "But as you can imagine, we never got bored!"
Suitable for: Children's books
To note: Only use this ending if the reader has been addressed as "you" at least twice.

#2: "Together. Forever."
Suitable for: Romance, YA
To note: This ending is a little cheesy - but extremely effective! If there are further volumes, you really ✨ need to ✨ shipp the couple there (at least at the beginning of the next volume)!

#3: "Suddenly I stop [insert something the character does throughout the book (e.g. missing someone)]"
Suitable for: YA, romance, books with strong interpersonal relationships.
To note: The character must actually do the used frequently in the book!

#4: "I don't pay attention to them because ... / I don't pay attention to them. I am far too absorbed in ..."
Suitable for: daydreaming characters or those who have just had a dream fulfilled, found love or received a gift
To note: Please do not use without context and substitution for the points!

#5: "And what better way than [character's plans for the future]?"
Suitable for: Children's books, book series
Note: the character must have had these plans for some time (even if it's the last three pages).

#6: "[Something] is lost forever."
Suitable for: sad endings, YA, book series
To note: the ending can also be happy if you follow it with a sentence that goes something like this or something like this: "But it wasn't the end / But I still had [a beloved person/thing]."

#7: "Somehow it's love at first sight. / Somehow it had been love at first sight."
Suitable for: Children's and young adult books without a love focus, book series.
To note: It can also be used as a reflection of what happened!

If you liked this article, don't forget to like it.
If you fan me, you will be informed about new blog articles. You will also get a digital template - e.g. with the index card outline method.

Write on,
Evie
May 14, 2023 at 1:28am
May 14, 2023 at 1:28am
#1049574
What’s the secret ingredient to an epic character? This is a question that many writers ask themselves. But most of them get the answer wrong. They believe high-peril action sequences are they only way to make a (female) character look strong. This is simply not true.

These authors write two-dimensional characters. They write characters who are the punching bag for the plot.
Readers put such books down quickly. They can't understand the characters. Is that what you want? If that's your goal, congratulations. You'll reach it sooner or later if you keep doing what you're doing. But if you want readers to love your book, congratulations too: because this article shows you how to achieve that.

INTERNAL CONFLICT

Characters need a goal, a fear that prevents them from achieving the goal, and a misbelief that is proven true by their past.

The golden rule here is (open notebooks, please!): Characters become strong when they conquer their fear, realise their misbelief (aha moment) and achieve their goal. No matter how physically strong they are, they only become really strong when they resolve their inner conflict.

So much for that. Last week I had written about how to transform prompts into working prompts. There you will also find inner conflict as the "main ingredient". "Why prompts might not work (+5 steps to make them work)

Without plot, your story is boring. But without characters with inner conflict, it's meaningless.

THE ENNEAGRAM

The Enneagram helps to make your characters three-dimensional. It provides you with a complete toolbox on a silver platter.

Actually, the Enneagram is meant to help you understand yourself and your fellow human beings better. But it's great for writing great characters and realistic relationships between them!

There are nine personality types (we'll get to the wings later). Each type has a basic fear, a basic goal and patterns that it repeats. Each type is attributed with characteristics. So Type 1 is the Reformer, the Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic. On the Enneagram Institute's site you will find a lot of helpful information as far as type descriptions are concerned. Just follow this link: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-descriptions

OTHER HELPFUL ARTICLES ON WRITING:
- "How to develop characters
- "Write what you know — settings
- "Tips for motivation to write a novel

The personality types are arranged in a circle. (It is best to look at a picture of this now.) You see that the 4 lies between the 3 and the 5, the 5 between the 4 and the 6 and so on. This fact is the basis of the so-called wings. For example, there is the type 8w7 and the type 8w9. The small "w" stands for Wing.

But what do the wings mean? The point is that one type (for example, type 9: the Peacemaker) is split into two subtypes (9w8 and 9w1). This makes everything even more precise. (So now there are the subtypes 9w8: "The Referee" and 9w1: "The Dreamer").

In addition, there are arrows between the types. These show how the character or person changes under disintegration or integration. Would you like an example? When moving in their Direction of Disintegration (stress), driven Threes suddenly become disengaged and apathetic at Nine. However, when moving in their Direction of Integration (growth), vain, deceitful Threes become more cooperative and committed to others, like healthy Sixes.

In addition, you will find information on the website about relationships between the individual types and much more.

If you want to know more about all this, you can find ...
... many helpful videos on YouTube, for example this one: https://youtu.be/hkJT-4Zx0Kg
... on the website of the Institute for the Enneagram lots of information: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/how-the-enneagram-system-works
... on Pinterest lots of interesting graphics.

Because you have read the article to the end, I will give you a free download of my analysis of Type 4, which I made for the protagonist of my next book. Click on File -> Make a copy if you want to adapt it for yourself. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1E5gsJH2CC1KguKH6VRZmZTZCo0IeNDjn8Yy-J5wFzuE/...


If you liked this article, don't forget to like it.
If you fan me, you will be informed about new blog articles. You will also get a digital template - e.g. with the index card outline method.

Write on,
Evie
May 9, 2023 at 8:27am
May 9, 2023 at 8:27am
#1049387
You are sitting in front of a blinking cursor. The screen is white. Still.
On your mobile phone you keep scrolling. This prompt doesn't fit. The other one is boring. Maybe this one? No, it isn't.
No prompt really interests you. The clock is ticking while you still have no idea. Your motivation level drops.
After an hour, you've had enough. Even if you could find something appealing now - you don't feel like writing anymore.


I know this feeling. But you know what? There is a solution!

No, you don't have to walk backwards with a notebook under your arm until an idea comes to you. Just read this article and follow the tips.

WHY PROMPTS MIGHT NOT WORK

*drum roll* Because they don't contain any internal conflict!

A prompt usually only consists of external conflict - if any!

If you're now scratching your chin questioningly and letting your gaze wander thoughtfully, you should urgently read through my article on plotting. "How to create the perfect plot (6 steps + helpful links)
In it, I explain not only how to find an idea without a prompt, but also what internal conflict is.

HOW TO USE THEM RIGHT - 5 STEPS

But there is also a way to make a prompt shine in its full glory.

#1: Walk backwards through the city with a notebook under your arm.

Just joking 😉!

What you're supposed to do is pay attention. You can sit by the window, in the garden or on the balcony. If you want, you can use binoculars in more rural areas.

Write down words about people walking or driving by. Do they seem angry, rushed or relaxed? Are they dragging a child behind them?

Then write down special or strange things. Why does the gentleman pull an ancient watch out of his pocket? Why does the child wear sunglasses when it rains? Why is the teenage girl reading a book while walking? Why is the gentleman wearing a top hat? What is in the pensioner's briefcase and why is she carrying it around at all?

Your solution could now be something like: "A mysterious man is hurrying through the streets. His briefcase is full of ransom money."
Maybe the child in your imagination is blind or the teenager has fallen in love with a character from the book she is reading. Possibly the teenager spills his chocolate ice cream because all he can think about is his lover.

You see what I'm getting at: you make up your own prompt. One of those boring ones that just make you keep staring at the blinking cursor.
But you can make it work. Trust me. Just try the next step.

#2: Set a target for the people in your prompt.

You heard me right: think of a target or a desire.

Maybe the gentleman wants to deliver the ransom to save his daughter's life. Maybe the ice-cream spilling teenager wants to confess his love to his lover.

It's not as difficult as it sounds.

#3: Scare the people in your prompt.

Think up a fear. It should stop the character from achieving his goal.

The gentleman is afraid to deliver the ransom because his wife was killed when she did the same for him. He was in captivity for many years until the police freed him.
Possibly the teenager does not want to confess his love because he was betrayed by his former lover. Or because he hated her not long ago (this could be an enemies-to-lovers romance).

OTHER HELPFUL ARTICLES ON WRITING:
- "How to develop characters
- "3 ways to find and use inspiration — Bonus: 21 prompts
- "Writing Tours

#4: find a theme

What is the truth you want to scream from the rooftops? Answer this question and you'll have a theme for your story.

The job of a writer is important. We convey truths and thoughts through our story. Our characters and their journey makes readers think. That is what we want.

Your theme can be emotional manipulation. Or that love is above all else. Or that mistakes are okay and you can learn from them. You just have to burn for it!

#5: the misbelief of your character

You already have a character with a desire and a fear. What is still missing is the misbelief.

You get this by "turning around" your theme. Mistakes are okay and you can learn from them" becomes "Mistakes are bad". "Everyone needs friends" becomes "You can get along better without friends than with them". "Women are equal to men" becomes "women are not equal to men". I think you get my point.

To make the misbelief more believable, consider: what event made your character think the misbelief was true?

#6: Brainstorm!

Great, you have created a character with Desire, Fear and Misbelief, in short: a three-dimensional character!

Now you can carry out the further points in my article "How to create the perfect plot (6 steps + helpful links). You can create a brain dump document and brainstorm: how does the character overcome his fear and misbelief? How does he manage to reach his goal?

5 PROMPTS THAT WORK

Now we come to the inspiring part. You now know how to create your very own prompts that work. To help you get started, I will suggest some Desire-Fear constellations. Don't hesitate to use them!

Desire: to save someone
Fear: put yourself in danger

Desire: to find the murderer
Fear: to be murdered

Desire: meet a star
Fear: be rejected and spend the day with the stupid cousins
Additional idea: maybe the cousins aren't so bad?

Desire: save herself from poverty, therefore win a prize
Fear: being sabotaged by the competition and having to suffer for another year

Desire: fall in love
Fear: phobia of kisses


If you liked this article, don't forget to like it.
If you fan me, you will be informed about blog articles. You will also get a digital template - e.g. with the index card outline method.

Write on,
Evie
May 6, 2023 at 11:45pm
May 6, 2023 at 11:45pm
#1049316
It can be difficult to think of a setting. It is, after all, a place - in your head. Knowledge and geography help. But ... When writing fiction, and you are using a setting that really exists, is it ok to add made-up things to that setting to make it more exotic and unusual?

Hello, writers!

Today I am here with a slightly different format. Steven (PLEASE BUY MY BOOKS!) was kind enough to provide me with one of his articles.

Grab a notebook, and let‘s get started!


Yes.

Of course it is. It is your world, after all.

The “write what you know” dictate is vital here. If you make mistakes in the geography of a real location, a huge chunk of your audience will know and they will come down on you. For that reason, many writers set their stories in the locations they are familiar with. They might have grown up there, live there, have relatives living there, or something else.

The major advantage of using a setting you know very well is that you have the geography in your head already. This means your preplanning for settings is done by your lifetime of experience. Sure, you might change a street name here or there, put a Church where the hotel is, put a cemetery where the shopping mall is, change the name of the place, but if it is your town, you know it, and that familiarity will come through in the characters, and that in turn will be conveyed to a reader.

However, be careful with these little changes, and if it is a book that gets published, indicate that changes have been made for the sake of a work of fiction in the notes section near the front, or in that bit that tells readers that “…all characters are fictitious…” This will generally keep critics at bay. I had to ddo this in Invasice Species; my publisher demanded it.

Most of my stories are set in Australia, and that really does help set the characters, and ground them in my reality. I also find that if I take the stories to rural Australia, the sense of isolation makes the horror (my preferred genre) all the more tangible. It does also tend to mean that, for an overseas market, they apparently have the feel of somewhere different, which is a selling point.

But this does mean geography is important. An author from the USA had written a horror story set in the late 1800s. At one point, the characters come to Australia. They travel by horse and cart from Melbourne to Adelaide in a night. Say it was the dead of winter, that'd be maybe 12 hours. So? you may ask. It takes 7 to 8 hours by car nowadays with decent paved roads, travelling at the current speed limit of 110 km/h (70mph). That made me go, "Huh?" I put it down to not understanding how big Australia is for some-one in another country (we're talking pre-Internet days here, the 1990s).

A few years later I was reading a book in a different genre by an Australian author. She had a couple drive from Perth to Sydney in a day. That's about 4000km (2500 miles), so averaging 165 km/h (100mph) without stops for petrol, without slowing for going through towns, without eating anything, without going to the toilet, without getting caught by the over-zealous NSW police, after the car had already been described as "20 year old second hand Datsun" (or words to that effect). That is not happening.

Recently, in one of my stories, I had a family travel from Manchester to Hastings in the UK, a country I have never been to. It's about 450km, so, thinking Australia, I said it'd take 3 to 4 hours. Then I was chatting to a friend online, and asked her. She said it would be closer to a 5 or 6 hour journey because of the speed limits, toll roads, towns to go through, everything else. Those extra 2 hours actually changed what I needed for the story, so I had to do a complete rewrite of the events.

These may not seem like much, I admit, but in this modern global world of writing and publishing, you need to ensure all your readers are going to understand the reality of what you are writing.

Don’t forget thinks like cell phones, mobile phones, smartphones. They're so pervasive that to leave them out or ignore them makes the work feel like it's too unreal, or that it’s set 20 years ago. Keep up to date with technology and what is a part of the wider world.

Then there are Pseudo-Real Settings. These are places that have been created by the writer, but exist in real places. King’s Derry stories, and Lovecraft’s Innsmouth fall into this category. This way, the writer has a real setting but the town or towns they have created are purely creations of the imagination.

I’ll use a town I made up for one of my published novels. I live on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, and if you follow the east coast of the peninsula the towns in order are Clinton, Price, Tiddy Widdy Beach and Ardrossan. So I placed my town of Wills Creek south of Price, at the southern end of the Wills Creek Conservation Park. In reality, there is nothing there. I based the set-up of the town on a section of Clinton, drew a map, including an small caravan park, a deserted shop and an old church, created the natural geography – extra trees and cliffs – and then set the big final battle in the town, destroying half of it in the process.

This has all the advantages of a real setting with the added bonus you can put things where they need to be. Again, my recommendation would be draw yourself a map, and then take Google maps, print off the area you want, and work out how to fit the town in. Personally, I find it best to put my made-up town where nothing exists; renaming and changing an existing place has some issues of its own (like Gotham and Coast City in the DC comics), but can also be done. There is a little more freedom in going this way.

When looking at historical settings, this can actually be easier, because finding the real geography of a town a hundred, two hundred or more years ago can be very difficult unless you have access to a large library in the area concerned. So, instead off setting your Georgian romance in Cardiff, set it in the much smaller Car-Wynn-Eld, a day’s horse-ride from Cardiff. You can have all the historical detail you need, without panicking over whether a certain street existed during the reign of George III.

Of course, this is again, my opinion. You are writing, in the end, a work of fiction. So long as you put your disclaimer at the start, it is fiction. Having said that, it is often best not to change famous sites. Does it matter that Broadway and Amsterdam in New York City don’t meet, but you have that as a major intersection? Yes, it does. Does it matter that you have Montague and Wright Roads in Valley View meet, when they are actually parallel? Probably only for the people who live there (and that could upset your audience). Does it matter that your made-up streets of Lincoln and Washington meet in Peterborough? No – you made the streets up, and you have a disclaimer.

Of course, it is your story, and you can do what needs to be done to make your story work. But the points about distances travelled with time mentioned in the previous section still hold true. The laws of physics and the size of countries do not change.

If you liked this article, don't forget to like it. Also, don't forget to check out Steven (PLEASE BUY MY BOOKS!) 's portfolio.
If you fan me, you will be informed about blog articles. You will also get a digital template - e.g. with the index card outline method.

Write on,
Evie
May 4, 2023 at 9:41am
May 4, 2023 at 9:41am
#1049192
Do you feel unmotivated? Completely drained of energy and inspiration? Maybe you've made time in your schedule and it seems like everything is going smoothly and you're ready to have a productive session.... But you just don't feel it.

It feels like you're not getting anything clever done now anyway.

This can be a scary feeling. Sometimes it even leads to a thought loop of self-doubt.

I know that feeling. I know it more than I would like to be able to.

Every writer feels this way at some point. Every student feels this way at some point when they have to study or do homework. Every entrepreneur feels this way at some point when their inbox is flooded with what feels like a million emails.

In this blog article, I share my proven techniques for staying motivated and writing your story even when you don't feel like it.

Grab a notebook and let's get started.

#1: BOOST YOUR DOPAMINE & SEROTONIN

These two hormones are responsible for keeping you motivated, wanting to achieve your goals and accepting yourself and those around you.
Without dopamine you are prone to procrastination, hopelessness, anxiety and mood swings; without serotonin you get panic attacks, insomnia and become more sensitive than usual.

You now set a timer for two minutes. You can do yoga, meditate or exercise.
When the timer rings, you don't have to stop immediately. Finish the yoga or exercise and have a drink before moving on to the next step.

#2: BOOST YOUR ENDORPHIN

This hormone is able to relieve stress.
Without this hormone you can get depression, insomnia, anxiety, mood swings and more. You also act impulsively.

To avoid this, set your timer again for two minutes. During this time you can doodle. It doesn't have to be beautiful or have a meaning. Don't get angry if you make a mistake! An eraser will help.

#3: BOOST YOUR DOPAMINE & CREATIVITY

Dopamine is really important - especially for writers. Not to mention creativity ...

Set your timer for seven minutes, take a pen in your hand and put a piece of paper on the table. Now write down everything that comes into your head: the annoying neighbour and the beautiful birdsong, your WIP, your stress and completely irrelevant things. Complain and thank, write beautiful and ugly, fast and slow. If you don't know what to write, write blah blah blah - or write down the conversation of strangers outside your window or all the vegetables you can think of - until you know what you want to write again.

Pro Tip: Using the voice note app on your phone works just as well! Go for a walk or hop in your car for a drive and talk all your thoughts out until there’s nothing left to say

OPTIONAL: BOOST YOUR OXYTOCIN

This hormone is known as the love or cuddle hormone. It makes you feel confident and motivates you to form and maintain relationships.
Without oxitocin, you feel lonely, stressed and anxious. You also have no motivation or energy.

This step is optional, but it is helpful. You can cuddle with your family or pet (note: not everyone likes this!), get a massage, take a cold shower, meditate, exercise or listen to music.

#4: CLOSE YOUR EYES

Even if you would like to skip this point, you should definitely do it.
Just lie down for a minute or two on a carpet, a sofa or somewhere else to make yourself comfortable. You can close your eyes or leave them open. Play with the carpet fringes or a pencil, leaf through a book with your eyes closed and listen to the sound, feel your heartbeat or do nothing at all. It's up to you.

#5: BE PRODUCTIVE

Now set a timer for 10 minutes. Ten minutes is not much, but it's not too little either. It's best to hang a Do Not Disturb sign on the door to avoid distractions.

#6: TAKE A BREAK

Now set your timer for one minute. Take a deep breath, have a drink and exercise until the timer runs out.

OTHER HELPFUL ARTICLES ON MENTAL HEALTH AND PRODUCTIVITY:
- "Tips for motivation to write a novel
- "The ultimate list to stay motivated, part II
- "The 6 best tips ABOUT writing

#7: BE PRODUCTIVE

Then set your timer for 20 minutes to be productive.

#8: TAKE A BREAK

You have been productive for half an hour. As a reward, give yourself a five-minute break. The best way to do this is to move around a bit, have a drink, eat something (small and healthy!) or doodle.

#9: BE PRODUCTIVE

Now set your timer for 25 minutes and work/write/blog/clean for that long.

#10: TAKE A BREAK

Great! Now you've been working on something important to you for 55 minutes. Take a five-minute break. For example, you can put on some music and dance to it to increase your oxytocin levels and have some fun.


CONGRATULATIONS!

You were productive for 55 minutes - not bad! But don't stop now. Continue according to the Pomodoro principle (25 minutes productivity, 5 minutes break). Don't forget to take breaks and reward yourself at the end of the day for picking yourself up and getting things done!

CHECKLIST

To make it easier for you and to avoid scrolling up and down, here is the checklist:

#1: (timer for 2 minutes) yoga, meditation, sport exercises
#2: (timer for 2 minutes) doodle
#3: (timer for 7 minutes) write down thoughts
#4: (timer for 1 minute) close your eyes and rest
#5: (timer for 10 minutes) be productive
#6: (timer for 1 minute) Take a break: drink something, exercise the rest of the time
#7: (timer for 20 minutes) be productive
#8: (timer for 5 minutes) break: turn on music and dance
#9: (timer for 25 minutes) be productive
#10: (timer for 5 minutes) Break: drink, rest
Continue in the Pomodoro rhythm

Click on the like button if you liked this post. Be sure to become my fan if you're not already, because I post articles weekly.

Write on,
Evie
April 28, 2023 at 12:14am
April 28, 2023 at 12:14am
#1048916
Plotting is hard work. It is no small feat to get the mental cinema going and to put it into words. You have to describe events and not neglect anything: Characters, setting, plot and everything around it. But what if there were a precise template from which to write the perfect plot?

1. THE IDEA (or: the snow globe that gets everything rolling)./b}

First you need an idea. If you already have an idea, you can skip the next paragraph.

I recommend the method of Abbie Emmons. It is explained in the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCVZt9qIgec
The idea is that you make a list of books and films that have inspired you. After the title, write what you liked about it: the characters, the plot, the setting or the theme.
Then choose one book for each of the categories genre, plot, characters and theme and try to make the plot of book A play in the genre of book B with the characters of book C playing with the theme of book D. Watch the video if you want to learn more about this method. There are also some examples shown there.

At this point I create a Google Docs folder with the name of the project. In that folder I create a folder called "Outline" and there I create a document called "Brain Dump". This brings us to the next point.

2. BRAIN DUMP (or: the snow globe gets bigger)

A)Here you try to write down all your ideas. They don't have to be strictly ordered and logical. Not yet 😜 Write down everything you can think of!
You can use bullet points or structure the text with paragraphs.

For me, the first draft of this document is usually three to five pages long. But it can also be two or twenty for you.

B) Next you should bring order to the ideas. Add headings that organise your ideas (e.g. character, setting, plot and theme ideas, but maybe also ideas for subplots and small snippets of dialogue).

This part is exhausting and annoying, but it is definitely worth it. Because now we come to the third point.

3. CHARACTERS (or: the snow globe gets a face that makes it worth reading)

Now you have a more or less logical idea. Maybe you have made some notes about the characters, about their appearance or their name. But now you will give them your attention for a few days or weeks.

The characters are the heart of your story. Inner conflict is the blood, the body and the soul.

Inner conflict is three things. If you want to go deeper into this topic (which I highly recommend!), you can find a lot of videos by Abbie Emmons about it.

Basically, you give each of your characters a longing, a fear and a misbelief.
Your protagonist's misbelief is the opposite of your theme. For example, if your theme is "you are allowed to make mistakes", your protagonist thinks that he or she is not allowed to make mistakes. This thought controls his or her life without him or her really realising it (they only do so at the 'aha' moment). Your protagonist thinks that his/her misbelief is true.
Your character wants to achieve something, that is their longing. But fear stops him or her from doing so. Done. Desire, fear and misbelief are the basis of a good story. Oh, not only the basis.

Now I would recommend that you do a little research on the Enneagram (there are interesting YouTube videos on it, for example). With the help of the Enneagram, your characters will become more real and it might be easier for you to come up with an inner conflict.

Then feel free to fill in character profiles. Think about the appearance, age and, relationships with other characters and the traits of your characters and write down your thoughts. But this part is incidental to the Desire-Fear-Misbelief structure.

4. 3-ACT STRUCTURE (or: preparing the snow globe to trigger an avalanche)

Now watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe3eodLF_Uo.
It explains how to create a good plot using the 3 act / 9 block / 27 chapter method.

You make a little chart and fill it in. Just follow the video. You just need to squeeze your previous ideas from the brain dump into the template.

In you want an easier template that allows more freedom, here it is: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/a761264f84ac176a17ff801a3/files/fb17776c-ef26-4689...

The 3-act structure is an extremely effective method of plotting that every writer should have tried at least once.
But the truth is that once you try it, you can't do without it.

OTHER HELPFUL ARTICLES ON WRITING:

- "Katytastic's 3 Act / 9 Block / 27 Chapter Outline Method
- "How to develop characters
- "3 ways to find and use inspiration — Bonus: 21 prompts

5. WORLDBUILDING

As Abbie Emmons once said: you should only do as much worldbuilding as your story needs. Only as much as is important for your characters.

You can think about a few things now, the appearance of a city or magical creatures or whatever.

But don't waste too much time in worldbuilding that you don't need and then process as pointless info-dumping!

6. SCENES, SEQUELS AND MRUS (or: the final touch)

Now I would ask you to create a table with two columns in an empty document. On the left you write the chapter numbers, on the right the content.

When this is done, you should read this article by Randy Ingermanson: https://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/writing-the-perfect-scene/

This article explains how to set up a perfect scene. Mr. Ingermanson divides a book into Scenes and Sequels, each of which has a set structure. I highly recommend reading through this article.

Now make bullet points in the right column of your table and label them with the points of a Scene or a Sequel.

You can also write down ideas for MRUs.

If you have done this for all 27 chapters, congratulations! You have plotted a novel!

7. THE FIRST DRAFT (or: the avalanche)

Now you finally get to write it, the first draft.

You can write it in chronological order or jump between chapters. You can spontaneously add details. You should feel good - and it should be fun!

If it's not, you should put the project aside for a few hours, do some exercise, take a shower, read something and then do something else. Afterwards, you can always write - or rest a bit more.


Click on the like button if you liked this post. Be sure to become my fan if you're not already, because I post articles weekly.

Write on,
Evie
April 22, 2023 at 12:34am
April 22, 2023 at 12:34am
#1048585
Writers, authors, writerlings and writing maniacs from all over the world set individual goals and motivate each other this April.
It's the 20th already, but it's far from too late to get started. You can simply create an account on https://nanowrimo.org/, create a project and write! If you are under 13 years old, you can create an account on https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/ together with your parents.

If you've already started, I'd like to congratulate you for your perseverance. You've already come a long way!

Who of you is taking part? How much do you still have to achieve and how much have you already done?
March 26, 2023 at 3:13am
March 26, 2023 at 3:13am
#1046999
I want to make a bet with you: you could be writing right now.

Is it true? Is this writing time going to waste right now?

If so, you may read on. If no, also.

Why aren't you writing right now? Do you have a nagging writer's block, a huge plot hole in your project that threatens to swallow everything, or self-doubt? Or just no motivation?

All of these are something between reasons and excuses.

Do you complain that you don't have enough time to write? Yes? Then why don't you write?

You can work on plot holes. You can shrink them and make them disappear. But in the writing phase, I would advise you to just make a little note and keep writing. You can take care of it in the correction phase.

SELF-DOUBT

Self-doubt is a monster, unlike the other points, because it can kill your novel in the middle of a scene faster than you can get to the end.
Declare war on them! You can write your novel, you've come this far, then you can finish it!

Sometimes it helps to give the first chapter to a potential test reader, have them divide their feedback into positive and negative and only read through the positive feedback. You can deal with the negative feedback in the correction phase.

A very good tip for all doubters is the shadow novel:
Either you pretend that you will never show what you write to anyone. When you've finished it, you can always decide whether it was a trick to fool yourself or not.
I recommend the latter. When you finish your first novel, you're still at the very beginning. Practice makes perfect. Your second novel will be better, your third will be even better. You must decide when the time has come to show your novel to someone. You and you alone.

The extreme version of this is to write the novel white on white or black on black.
But I would recommend this more for short stories.

MOTIVATION

You might want to read my two articles on motivation tips, it might help some people 😉 .

If not, I would encourage you to write even if you have no motivation. In my experience, once you start writing, motivation comes naturally.

If it doesn't, you should start something new.
Are you writing romance? Write a crime novel (whether short story, novella or novel). Do you write thrillers? What do you think of fantasy?
Do you write SciFi? What do you think of YA or NA?
Do you write YA/NA? What do you think of historical novels?
I could go on with this list forever! xD

It can help you tremendously to step out of your comfort zone and explore something new.
Even if you produce the most kitsch on earth, you've learned something new. And maybe what you wrote isn't so bad?

AND NOW: WRITE!
March 18, 2023 at 7:23am
March 18, 2023 at 7:23am
#1046665
Good morning!

I have already written about writing tours. Now I have come up with a second one. I wish you a lot of fun with it!

WRITING TOUR: VISIT TO PARIS

1. arrival
If you want to arrive by car, write for ten minutes while stuck in traffic!
If you prefer to arrive by plane, you'll have plenty of time to write at the airport. Write 200 words, taking as much time as you need.
If you prefer to travel by train, you must write 500 words in 10 minutes while running to the train. If you fail to do this, you will miss the train and have to travel by car or plane, or write for 15 minutes while waiting for the next train.

2. Check-in
You have finally arrived in Paris! Complete at least three of the following stops in an order that makes sense to you:
*you eat a croissant: generate a random number between 50 and 350 and write that many words
*you check in at the hotel and read a bit in your book: write as many words as your favorite book has *pages (approximately). If there are more than 500, subtract three hundred words.
*you are talking on the phone with a friend: write for five minutes
*you are cleaning out your suitcase: generate a random number between 1 and 6, multiply it by 60 and write that many words.
*you are having a drink: write the last three digits of your current wordcount again while waiting to be served

3. louvre
Now you have a visit to the Louvre coming up.
If you're just here for the architecture of the building, sprint to the nearest thousand as you traverse the building.
If you're looking at each work of art individually, do a 20-minute WordWar.
If you'd rather do something in between, set your own goal.

4. Eiffel Tower
You can see it from miles away: the Eiffel Tower. It was built for the World's Fair.
If you like to sprint up its stairs, do a 5-minute WordWar.
If you prefer to take it easy, write 150 words and take as much time as you need.

5. walk
Before you eat lunch, you decide to take a little walk.
You unfortunately get lost and write as many words as you have main characters in your current story times a hundred. (If you have more than 5 main characters, you can just write for 15 minutes).
You'll pass some beautiful buildings and treat yourself to three or four macarons. Set your own goal as you look out over the Seine.

6. Lunch
You find a nice little restaurant and have lunch there. Unfortunately, it's much more expensive than you expected. Try your hand at a 50-headed Hydra while discussing with the waitress (500 words in 5 minutes). If you don't succeed, start another attempt. If you lose again, you can skip to the next point.
If you prefer to eat some croissants, write for ten minutes.

7. shopping spree
You decide to do some more shopping. A pair of shoes here, a bar of chocolate there... Write as many words as you have pairs of shoes times a hundred. (Exactly, if you own 80 pairs of shoes... bad luck for you).
Then you visit an old school friend who lives on the outskirts of town. Together you go to the café that her wife runs and chat for hours. There is so much to talk about! Write for ten minutes, take a five-minute break, and write for another ten minutes.

8. evening
The day is coming to an end. You go back to the hotel and decide to watch one more episode of a series before you write. Write as many words as the series you are watching has seasons, times fifty. If you're not watching a show, generate a random number between one hundred and three hundred.
Now you finally get to writing. Sprint to the end of your current scene!

9. departure
The departure the next day goes like clockwork.
Write 200 words while driving or walking to the train station/airport or write for ten minutes.

Your stay in the capital of France was a complete success!
March 15, 2023 at 9:08am
March 15, 2023 at 9:08am
#1046410
Today I want to address an important but often overlooked topic: where you write.

We all write. Some write grocery lists, some write poetry, some write short stories, and some write novels.
(We won't get into those who just write grocery lists 😉 but we, the novelists, especially.)

Many of us probably write at a desk.

I admit, a comfortable desk chair and a neat desk are great for that.

But what if...
... you procrastinate a lot at your desk?
... you work slower than you did a month ago (and not because of illness or worry)?
... your mind is always somewhere else when you write at your desk?

I can tell you what to do: Change your place.

There are two types of "place":
a plastic place, e.g. your desk
A non-plastic place, such as your word processor.

The first thing you should do is change the second kind of place.

Instead of writing in Word, try writing in Google Docs (copy+paste saves lives here) and try writing at writer.bighugelabs.com.

You'll see, you can break records with a location change that doesn't even require you to move 🥳!

Now, of course, you can change the location of the sculpture.

And this is your homework: by the next blog post, write in at least five different plastic places and at least three different non-plastic places.

For example, I suggest your bed, kitchen table, park bench, bus/train/train stop, and/or carpet as plastic places.

The non-plastic places can be: a voice recorder of your choice, your favorite writing program (e.g. Word or Scrivener), Google Docs, writer.bighugelabs.com, and/or a piece of paper (hopefully it won't be just one 😉 ).

Have fun experimenting and increasing your productivity!

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