Tag Archives: writing

No Wasted Ink Writers Links

Happy Monday!  Welcome to another top ten writing links from No Wasted Ink.  This time the majority of the articles are craft related, ones that will get you thinking about the writing and publishing process.  I hope you find them useful!  Enjoy.

Clueless Advice People Give New Writers: 10 Things to Ignore

3 Unique Research Methods for Identifying Small Publishers

How to choose a book title

What is a Charm?

Can You Learn Good Storytelling From A Bad Writer?

5 Questions About How to Balance Multiple POVs in Your Story

Building a Writing Community and Magazine

Write Tight

Recording an Audio Version of Your Story

How I Trick My Panster Brain into Plotting

No Wasted Ink Writers Links

Welcome to No Wasted Ink Writers Links. Below are ten articles about the craft of writing or topics of interest to science fiction or fantasy readers for your enjoyment. So pour yourself a nice cuppa tea and sit back. There is interesting reading ahead.

In Search of the MacGuffin

The Secret Language of Vikings

How to Use Failure in Your Story

Avatars of the Divine: Gods Living Among the Ancients

9 Time Management Tips For Writers

Regarding Readership—My New Take

Don’t Give Your Readers a Reason to Reject your Novel

Audiobook Publishing and Distribution: Getting Started Guide for Authors

The Dilemma of the Prolific Writer

Making It Different – Pushing Genre Boundaries in Fantasy

Bullet Journal Guidelines for Writing Goals

Every year, I create a new annual bullet Journal to help me plan out my writing schedule. There I set out my yearly goals and I keep a running todo list of tasks for each day. In the past, I would set up a simple monthly tracking section at the start of each calendar month and then write in my daily todo list each day, setting up the spacing and size on an on-going basis. I also set up outlined spaces at regular intervals in my bullet journal to practice zentangle sketching. I followed this format for five years. I created organic looking, illustrated bullet journals that I found pleasing to look at.

While this system worked for many years, last year I discovered that I was not keeping up with all the illustrated spaces and the constant changing of daily headings, spacing, and other artsy things was slowing me down. I found that other than the monthly heading, I did not fill in any tasks at all during December.

Something had to change. I am writing more than ever these days, articles for my blog and Medium, poetry, short stories, and more than one novel per year. I also have a robust social media system in place. My old artsy bullet journal simply was not keeping up with my day to day planning.

PLANNING GOALS

I wanted to set up yearly goals, but I also wanted to set quarterly goals for myself so that I could track my progress through the three novels I wanted to complete and set aside time for two writing challenges that I participate in annually.

I wanted a way to track not only my daily word count, but when I used dictation vs a keyboard, how often I spent in revision/outlining and how many days I spent in writing poetry.

I wanted a system where my daily task days were already set up so I spent less time in creating the spaces in my journal and more time in writing content. I also wanted to remove the art from my journal. Instead, I would set up a separate art journal for my various art projects.

My chosen notebook had to be fountain pen friendly since I wanted to continue to use my favorite Platinum Procyon fountain pen as my main writer. My ink of choice is Noodler’s Black. My new journal needed to play well with these. My choice this year is the Seven Seas Dot Grid with 68 gms Tomoe River Paper. It has a sturdy black cover and lays flat when open.

SYSTEM

As part of my new streamlined concept, I did not place an index in my bullet journal. I find that since I tend to keep things organized by month, it is easy for me to thumb back in my journals and discover the information I need. However, I did number my journal before starting so I had those as a reference. So I started with a simple title page that has my name and the year and a Future Log where I could write in future events such as conferences, speaking events or science fiction conventions.

I have a page to write in my yearly writing goals for the year. Here I list how many books I want to write, and general writing goals I wish to meet. I keep the goals loose and try to not pile on too many. I wish to keep my yearly goals to be obtainable.

This year, I also created a page with quarterly goals. I broke down the projects in the yearly goal page and assigned them to a quarter of the year to work on. This gave me a general idea of when to set launch dates for novels, start and stop dates for projects, etc.

Another year spread in my bullet journal is a yearly tracker for word count by day, if I’m writing via dictation or if I’m writing via keyboard, days that I’m either outlining or researching and finally a place to track if I wrote poetry or not.  I wanted to keep better track of when I was actually creating new poems.

Next, I move into the month sections. This area will be for the rest of the notebook. Between the yearly section and the monthly one, I leave several extra pages in case I decide I want to add something new mid-year.

I start each month with a simple title page that I place the name of the month. I used to turn this into an art project, but this year I settled for writing the month with large brush letters and placing a circle around it.

I have a couple of trackers that I start each month. The first one is my writing log. I write the numbers of the month in a vertical column in the center of the page. For each day of the month, I write down what writing projects I worked on that day to the left and events on the right. It gives me an at-a-glance look at my production of the month. I don’t keep word counts here. That goes into the yearly tracker at the front of the bullet journal.

My last tracker is more for fun. I write down what television series I’m watching, movies I saw, or books I’m reading. I also keep a list of writing-related items I’ve purchased. It is a handy place to write down my monthly goals to remind myself where I am. I find these goals by referring to the quarterly goals I wrote at the front of the bullet journal and assign tasks from there to the month.

Once the monthly trackers are in, I set up spaces for my daily todo lists. I create seven-day spreads on two facing sheets of paper. This gives me plenty of space for lists, notes or whatever I need to write down to be accountable for my day. I make an effort to not get artistic with it. The key this year is to spend more time on writing projects and less time on getting fancy with my planner. I am finding that setting up this space at the start of the month instead of doing it as I go has saved me much time.

Planning via a bullet journal is a powerful tool for any writer or poet. Being able to stay focused on your writing goals, track your progress on a quarterly and monthly basis, are all key elements in getting your work done. By keeping all your information in a single book throughout the year, you can easily see where you are and where you are going.

No Wasted Ink Writers Links

Happy Monday! Welcome back to writer’s link day here on No Wasted Ink. This set are mainly writing tip articles, but there is a nice poetry prompt list that I wanted to share with you as well. I hope you find the articles as interesting as I did. Enjoy.

Pace Your Prose — Three Thoughts on Timing

Futuristic First Aid: High-tech Wound Care

Lovecraft’s Notes On Writing Weird Fiction

Thoughts on How to Be Critical of Stories in a Way That Makes a Difference

Emotional Truths, Insights, And Emotions Are Key To A Great Novel

Key Ways to Adding Depth to Any Setting: Resources & Tips

The Four Essentials of an Effective Character Arc

Taking it Scene by Scene: The “Middle Level” of Writing

Becoming a Multigenre Writing Master

100 Poetry Prompts

Writing Tips by Avril Sabine

Creating a story isn’t just about sitting down and pouring words onto the page. You need to fill your ‘toolbox’ with the right tools. There’s no need to start from scratch trying to figure out the techniques of those who’ve gone before you. Learn the skills other writers have figured out through the ages and build on them with your own discoveries about the craft.

But remember, “it’s not logical to think that all advice fits all writers and all writing projects at all times even through much advice fits many writers and many situations much of the time.” (Beth Hill, Editor.)

Grammar, Spelling And Word Choice

Grammar is the structural foundation that allows us to express ourselves in a way to allow others to understand what we’re trying to say. Spelling allows the reader to recognise and understand the words we’re trying to use and help make the meaning of the story clearer. Particularly when it comes to homophones. When choosing the right words for your story you don’t want to sound like you’ve used a thesaurus in every sentence. Nor do you want to use the same word repetitively so the reader becomes sick of seeing it. Finding the correct balance is extremely important.

Sentence Structure

Sentence structure isn’t just about the grammatical aspects of it such as whether it is a simple, compound, complex or compound-complex sentence. This is important to understand, but what is more important is to learn how the different structures make the reader feel. Short sentences can make a story race forward and create high tension moments. Longer sentences have a more relaxed feel to them. You do of course want to vary your sentence lengths. Learning how to use sentence structure to change pace, create emotion and draw readers into your story is important.

Peers

People form groups with other likeminded people. In business, sports and other social activities. Yet often they’re hesitant to do the same when it comes to their writing. Groups are great in that where one member may be lacking the skills in a particular area, another member might have those skill and be able to share some of their knowledge. There’s also nothing to say you can be a member of only one writing group. There are many groups all focusing on different aspects of writing. Both online and in person. Some groups focus on different genres, some on the techniques of writing, some on short stories. It can take time to find the right groups suited to your writing needs.

Reading the works of other writers can also help teach you the way books are created. And I’m not talking about how-to books. Studying other books in the genre/s you wish to write in can teach you a lot of techniques that can be used in your own writing. When it comes to learning from other writers using this method it’s important you only use the techniques you’ve learned from them and not plagiarise their work.

Research

Even those who write fantasy need to learn how to research. If you’ve loosely based your world on a period in history you’ll want to learn the logistics of living in such a time period. If horses are your method of transport, or even a completely made up animal, you can research horses or something similar to give you an idea of the care and abilities of that animal. What ground can your transport cover in an hour? A day? Does it need rest, or if it’s mechanical, what sort of maintenance does it need? Researching actual objects similar to what your own fantastical object is like can help create a more realistic and probable object.

If you’re writing something set in the real world it’s even more important to get your facts right. Whether it’s location, a historical event or a job. There’s sure to be a reader out there somewhere who knows the subject you’re discussing and will point out the mistakes.

Voice

A writer’s voice is their own particular style that sets their work apart from other authors. It’s a mixture of everything that goes into their story including characterization, sentence structure, grammar, topics, pace, word choices, POV choices, and influences. It can take a lot of time, even years, to develop your own voice. Quite often it develops once you’ve learned many of the rules about writing and understand how they can be used as well as when they can be broken. Once you have all those basic tools, you can start to develop the more complex ones such as voice.

Creativity

It’s important to learn how to write and understand how other great writers create their stories, but it’s also important to sometimes ignore the rules. Let yourself be creative. Let yourself explore different types of writing and unusual ideas. Not every piece of writing has to become a story. Practicing and exercising your craft is equally important. Make notes about your ideas so you don’t forget them and go over your notes sometimes and see if one of your old ideas is urging you to write about it. Give yourself permission to try something even if everyone tells you it won’t work. It might not work, but you might surprise yourself and learn a little bit more about your own methods of writing.

Experiences

Never underestimate the experiences that have occurred in your life. Even if you think they’re ordinary. Those experiences are unique to you and even if someone else has also gone through the exact same event, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t have experienced it exactly as you did. You can use those emotions, feelings and events to help understand other emotions, feelings and events. To draw conclusions about other occurrences or even use the event exactly as you experienced it. When writing different scenes in your story you can think back over past events and draw on them to add another layer of authenticity to your work. I’m sure most people have, at different times in their lives, experienced love, hate, frustration, satisfaction, failure, success, compassion and heartlessness. Relive those experiences. Understand them and allow your characters to feel them too. Taking into account their unique personalities, how would your different characters have reacted in those situations?


Avril Sabine is an Australian author who writes mostly young adult and children’s speculative fiction. She has been writing since she was a young child and wanted to be an author the moment she realized someone wrote the books she loved to read. Avril is the author of more than seventy books, including Guardians Of The Round Table series, Dragon Blood series, Realms Of The Fae series, Elf Sight and The Irish Wizard.

Website: http://www.avrilsabine.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/avrilsabine