Entry types vary. Sharing helpful things that I find in my studies to become an author.
W e l c o m e
B l o g
Posts concerning my dream: to have a career as a published and successful author.
Here you will find some encouragement, and hopefully a little inspiration.
I will be posting some information and resources that I come across in my writing studies that I hope will be helpful to new writers and a refresher for seasoned writers and authors alike.
And a few thoughts are thrown in here and there.
I hope this blog will be a blessing to everyone that reads it in one way or another.
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD
Making a map of the world of your fiction novel is a common practice and is a great visual aid for us writers, and you don't need cartography skills to do it either. I searched the web until I found WorldSpinner, Although It's not pc software it is adequate. WorldSpinner is actually for fantasy game developers but is very user- friendly and versatile and it works right in Chrome browser on your PC.
So far, I have only started a new world, adding different types of biomes, cultures, and fantasy races, as well as story text. The adding text part is probably limited since it's for game developers. I highly doubt you can put a novel in there, but that's cool. All of the creativity is enough for me. It should be lot's of fun and I think it will inspire me to write new stories from using it.
With an application like this, you know it's not free, but it is affordable if you manage your money well and you don't have a lot of monthly bills already. It's seven dollars and some change a month. Not bad.
So here is WorldSpinner
I think that fantasy writers here at WDC would really love it.
So, let me know what you think. I use it, and I think it's cool.
Mrs. Saundra (Sandy ) A. Fisher:
Hello Wordspinners, this is a word of encouragement for all Christian writers that read my blog. You do you; be strong and do not let anyone make you change your stories just because they don't like it or it makes them uncomfortable. They will come in the guise of a new friend and encouraging reviewer that will give you five stars and pat you on the back saying how much they like your story. They will compliment you and even stroke your ego, and then say something like "I really like this story BUT there is one thing I have a problem with and it may not go over that well...you should change it."
Don't listen to these saboteurs, YOU DO YOU. I am talking to Christian fiction writers that put Scripture and even spiritual warfare in your work if you are brave enough. God gave you the gift of writing and he saved you; he has a purpose for your writing. Remember; the Devil is a deceiver he will even send someone in your path claiming to be a Christian (or at least talking the talk and a few of them may actually be truly born again believers) he will try to trick you.
Remember Lord Jesus said in Matthew 10:16
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
Ephesians 6:10 - 13 (KJV)
"10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD
Mrs. Saundra (Sandy ) A. Fisher:
As writers, we are always finding new cool tools to aid our work.
This is the entry that I said I would post concerning a truly free Mind Mapping tool. Totally free online, and utilized in the browser.
Completely free online (PC):
You are given a "Secret User Token" when you start up the online program that is similar to a license key without the hyphens, I copied and pasted it to my notepad & saved it to my desktop. Now when I need to sign in with my secret user token there is my story mind map for "The Undoing" a novel I am currently working on, right in my browser. Totally free without taking up any storage space on my pc. I did, however, install it on my pc for free as well.
All OS Versions including Android and IOS App Store : http://www.buildyourmap.com/
Unfortunately, the makers of this application say there is not a Windows 7 compatible version.
But hold on, don't get your bloomers all in a bunch: I got it on my Windows 7 pc and you can too!
Microsoft Store Windows 10 only: Microsoft Store to buy for Windows 10
If you do decide to buy it (after trying it online) don't forget to sign in to your Microsoft account first at the top right-hand corner of the store webpage
I haven't gone Pro on this software yet but I have with Scrivener and WorldSpinner. I'll tell you about those on a future post. These two resources are excellent storyweaving aids.
Even though there is an option to go Pro but you don't have to and the application doesn't badger me about it, I like that and I know you will too; should you need it.
Until next time...
Today in my studies: Before I continue reading (studying) "Outlining Your Novel" by K.M. Weiland, I decided to read an article on character development.
Character Development: How to Create a Consistent Voice
Here is the text for your convenience, if you don't want to leave my blog:
'Here’s the spoiler: you’re absolutely capable of crafting an authentic and identifiable voice for each character, and we’re going to show you exactly how to do it. Let’s get started.
What is Voice?
In your book, you’re dealing with at least three voices at any given moment. There’s the author’s voice, the character’s speaking voice, and the character’s internal voice. Additionally, you’ll have plenty of other characters who speak. To make matters even more confusing, they may all sound different from each other. All of them.
Let’s start by discussing what voice is. Voice is the character’s way of seeing the world. It’s not just about word selection, it’s also about how the character interprets and responds to events internally. The character’s internal dialogue influences how they speak and what they choose to say.
Why is it Important to be Consistent with Voice?
Consistency creates trust.
Your reader is perceptive and will detect the smallest deviation in voice, should you deviate for whatever reason. To create a relationship of trust with your reader, you have to pay attention to voice consistency.
Your goal is to create voices so distinct that each character can be identified without a tag line. If you can accomplish this, congratulations: you’ve successfully created voice consistency.
Let’s take a look at five tips for developing voice consistency.
1. Create a Backstory for Each Character
There’s one important law you should remember about character development: Know thy character’s past.
All of us are defined by our past experiences, and your characters are no different. To understand who your character is, you must understand them in the context of their past. Their motivation always lies in a past experience and oftentimes, it’s a culmination of more than one event.
As a writer, it’s your duty to know their backstory, even if you don’t share it with your reader. Creating a backstory helps you get clear about who this character is.
It’s akin to being around someone you dislike because of their dreadful personality, and then one day you find out something devastating happened in their past. It humanizes them and softens your heart towards them.
Each character deserves your sympathy, even those you don’t particularly like. This is how you’ll develop a full, rounded character. If you don’t create a backstory, you’ll have a tendency to draw a one-dimensional caricature.
In her post, Maybe Your Bad Guy is Right, K.M. Weiland shares this advice:
“Even if you find the bad guy generally repulsive, you need to be able to put yourself so thoroughly into his shoes while you’re writing him that, just for those moments, you almost believe his slant yourself.”
A backstory makes it infinitely easier to hear the character’s voice and sympathize with him.
Exercise: Create a character “bible”
Devote a note (or a virtual folder) to each main character in your book. Add to it as you craft your manuscript. This bible should contain everything about the character including:
Name and other basic demographics
History (including parents, siblings)
Ambitions for the future
Dialogue (more about this in a moment)
If you don’t have a good note-taking app, try Evernote, which allows you to add files, website clips, audio, and images to your notes.
2. Do a Character Study
As you can probably tell from the first tip, character development will take a lot of time. But the good news is, when you’ve researched the character well enough, you won’t have to spend a lot of time agonizing on what the character will say. It will flow like instinct, sort of like how you know what your dad would say if you suddenly decided to quit your job and sail around the world. You’ll know the character as well as he can be known by another human being.
Here’s the thing about any character that you write: he or she has lived an entire life in a three-dimensional alternate universe. Acknowledge and understand that, as a writer, it’s your job to observe who they are, how they act, and how they respond to stimuli.
Exercise: Be the character for a day:
Put on your character as you would a suit and spend your entire day responding to the world as that character.
3. Hone Their Internal Dialogue
A character’s voice is largely defined by what they say to themselves. In other words, thoughts create voice. A character’s internal dialogue may be self-deprecating, self-aggrandizing, sensitive, or sarcastic.
The character’s internal dialogue is the filter that he uses to see the world. That’s why backstory is so important — the character’s past creates this filter. If he experienced a traumatic event in his recent past, he may be more open to living life to the fullest or he may be more closed or fearful. His past influences how he responds to present events.
Exercise: Mind read ~
This one works best in combination with tip #3. As you spend the day as the character, document what he or she would think. For example, what is your character’s internal dialogue at breakfast, in traffic, at work, at dinner with friends? Jot down what he would say and how he would say it in his mind.
4. Research How People Speak Naturally
Your character probably won’t speak like you, and this trips a lot of writers up. Most of us tend to write in a way that sounds similar to our internal voice.
It’s also easy to fall into the trap of creating unnatural, exaggerated dialogue to make the character sound unique or folksy. The road to hell is paved with ‘Ello Gov’na and aw shucks.
Instead, spend a lot of time researching how people speak naturally. If you’re writing a character from the Victorian era, read actual letters and literature written during that time. That character will sound completely different than a 14-year-old snapchatter, and neither of them will sound like you.
Also, note that every character has a natural rhythm to their sentence structure. A character may blurt out short, halting commands, or trail off a hushed mumble. Notice how comedians impersonate famous celebrities. You’ll recognize they are impersonating by the way that they modulate their voice, the choice of words, and the cadence of the speech.
Exercise: Study speech patterns
Research speech by going to a place where there’s a lot of people speaking. Go people-watching (and eavesdropping) at the mall, a coffee shop, or a restaurant. Pay special attention to word selection. Do they use any slangs or idioms? Are they loud and overpowering or soft and diminutive? Be sure to bring your notebook.
4. Focus on Authentic Dialogue
Each character has a voice, but it can get weakened in dialogue with another character. Juggling the speech of two or more characters can often result in the weaker one losing his voice, and the stronger one sounding more idealized and less realistic.
This is why you need to be sure what your character will say at every turn.
Within the character bible that you’ve created, include a section that’s dedicated to each character’s dialogue. This will allow you to create a consistent voice.
Exercise: Create a Dialogue Folder ~
After you’ve written your manuscript, go through and copy and paste each character’s dialogue into a dedicated file. Now, read through the dialogue and look for any inconsistencies. Also make note of repetition (i.e. favorite phrases, specific sentence structure, passive or active voice). Next, tweak each line of dialogue to create consistency of voice.
This gives you an incredible amount of control. It allows you to notice when a character sounds inauthentic.
5. Interview the Character
So, you know the basics of your character’s personality and life, but do you know other key events that contribute to his voice, such as his political ideology or his moral code?
Exercise: Ask the following questions
Ask these questions for each main character. Feel free to add more. This is just the starting point:
How does he say hello?
What is your character’s style of speech?
What is the sound of your character’s voice?
What is your character’s disposition?
What are his morals and beliefs?
Is he or she educated? How far?
How old are they?
How would the character be described physically by a stranger (include height, weight, ethnicity)?
Where are they from?
Has he lived there all of his life or has he moved?
Who are their parents and what is their relationship with them like?
Does your character look more like mom or dad?
Does your character have siblings?
Are they close to their siblings? Why or why not?
What was the character’s childhood like?
What is your character’s greatest success?
What is your character’s greatest failure?
How is your character’s outlook on life? In general, is he pessimistic? Optimistic?
What are the three most important motivations for the character?
What are the three most important fears for the character?
What is your character’s profession? Is he or she a student?
Are they happy or not with their profession? Why?
What is your character’s hobby? What does he or she do for fun?
Who are/ were his best friends?
Does your character have a lot of friends?
Does your character have any enemies?
Is your character married? Dating? Why?
What do they want from a relationship?
Does he have any children?
Who is the most significant person in your character’s life?
What makes your character happy?
What makes your character sad?
What is the most important, defining event in your character’s life?
Is your character predominantly passive or aggressive?
Is he or she introverted or extroverted?
Character development begins with voice. By understanding what someone says to themselves and how they choose to verbalize their internal dialogue, you can create a realistic and dependable character.'
A few words have been edited by me;
Credit for this article goes to: Ny Book Editors at https://nybookeditors.com
What is MindMapping?
A mind map is a visual representation of hierarchical information that includes a central idea surrounded by connected branches of associated topics.
After a little searching, I found this "free" software!
(it probably isn't)
I'll be posting truly free Mind mapping software in the near future.
| Today I found myself wanting something more in my grammar studies. Book's are great and there is no substitute for opening a book and learning, as you turn the pages. Holding a book in your hands and the feeling of accomplishment with every turn of the page are one of my favorite things.
What came to my mind?
Grammar audio lessons, of course!
Sounds like a efficient supplement to reading.
I found some really good ones too and thought about you, so here I am sharing a good thing.
Espresso English Podcast
Let me know if you like it.
In my searches around the web for prevalent resources that teach the self-taught, up and coming author, I came across Kristen Kieffer's website "Well Storied". An impressive no-frills, mentoring extravaganza rich in content:
Articles ~ Categories: Character, Plotting, Pre-Writing, Story Elements, Drafting, Editing, Publishing, Branding & Marketing, The Creative Mindset, The Writing Life, Guest Posts and Scrivener Tutorials (professional authors writing software).
With Courses, Workbooks, Podcasts and a Community Newsletter I could spend all day there and would if I didn't have anything else to study or write. I have left this website with great pain, as I dutifully turned off my Pc and picked up a grammar book to continue my studies, or resumed my writing.
Anyway, enough with the long post. If you want to check it out here 'ya go; --
Have a great day Sandy
|I've just edited an item in my portfolio:
"Deliverance" is no longer a cliff-hanger; I have 2 time-consuming projects that I need to focus on that I am not able to give the time to that I want because of the priority status that a cliff hanger demands. I will be adding chapters periodically. Announcements will be posted whenever a new chapter is added. If there are a few people that are following this story and want "Deliverance" to remain a Cliff-Hanger speak now or forever hold your peace.
| To Outline or Not To Outline
When it comes to writers there are two camps, those that outline and those that don't.
I have discovered that I need a road map, and have chosen to outline. Right now I am reading "Outlining Your Novel" by K.M. Weiland. I discovered her website about two weeks ago https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/
An award-winning author Ms. Weiland dedicates herself to mentoring aspiring authors in-depth.
"How to Outline for NaNoWriMo: Should You Outline Your Novel?" is a great read that I would like to share: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/should-you-outline-your-novel/
|Today's Thought On A Personal Note
Life is good. It may not feel like it at times, but I'm learning. It has a lot to do with your perspective and not letting your emotions control you because feelings are fleeting and much of the time are detrimental or can cause harm to us and cannot always be trusted.
You can do anything you put your mind to.
Get committed to whatever your dream is and don't let anything destroy your perseverance.
Not even tragedy, tragedies can kill your dreams if you let them; by controlling your feelings and emotions.
Be strong and let it go and press on.
Wasted years and regret are the only rewards of a quitter.
So get up, brush yourself off and get to work.
Keep pushing forward and believe you can do it and you will.
The best thing you can do when you face adversity is to have someone stronger than you that can handle the situation, to lean on in times of need.
I have someone who I rely on. I hope you do too.