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New Semester. New Year. New Goals.
Jan 6th, 2015 by Coral

Well, a new semester is starting for me on Wednesday. I’m going to have some fun classes, and a different schedule, but I’m going to get back on posting. I know I let it slide over the holidays (Partly due to internet crashes, I swear) but I will still be posting. Maybe not every day, but at the very least every week. Poetry, book reviews, stories. The works.

 

With the new year, most people are making resolutions. Resolutions has never been a good word for me. Through my experience, personally, I can’t follow through with new years resolutions. Instead I like to set Year Goals. So, to keep me accountable, I’m going to share some of those goals.

 

Goal Number One: Get My Work Published

 

For real! Not that my blog isn’t great, but I’m going to finish polishing up some of my work and try to get some good recognition out of it. That’s what I’m going to school for, right? I have several things almost ready, and if I set my mind to it and get down and do the work, I can get it ready in no time. So, that’s the first goal.

 

Goal Number Two: Get More Connections

I am going to network like crazy, try to find a niche in the widespread writing community and find more angles to get feedback on my work. While I may not agree with the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” I do agree that WHO I know does have at least something to do with my success. Knowing good people would at least speed up my progress as a writer, that’s for sure.

 

Goal Number Three: Get Children’s Book Illustrated And Published

So, here’s where you guys come in, I hope.  I have written (another thing that I’m polishing) a children’s book called “the Quiet Dragon.” My goal for The Quiet Dragon is to self publish it and donate the proceeds to a research fund for Potter’s Syndrome. Potter’s Syndrome is a birth defect that means a baby doesn’t develop kidneys, and therefore has stunted lung development. It is nearly always fatal, very hard to treat, and has to be caught before the baby is born for there to be any hope of survival. My youngest brother, Freddie, died of this, and I have another friend who is currently pregnant with a baby that has Potter’s Syndrome. My donations would go toward research to help find the cause of it, and hopefully lead to better treatment and prevention of this disease. My hope is that I can find an illustrator that will help me by doing the art for charity. That’s one of my goals, so we’ll see how easy that one turns out to be.

You can tell a lot
Dec 20th, 2014 by Coral

You can tell a lot about a person from their writing. What they write in books, poetry, and their journals. Sometimes, for journals, however, the more fun aspect is how little you can tell, and how much possibility is left open.

In honor of the Christmas season, I’m going to be including my siblings in a lot of my new posts. Journal entries, for one, is something my sister and I came across while cleaning out a closet earlier. We got a good laugh out of these.  They can also be great opportunities for writing prompts. For example, we will be taking a look at some journal entries from my sisters fifth grade class journal.

 

To start, we have some from the beginning of the year where she gives us an actual good idea of who she was as a fifth grader.  Read the rest of this entry »

Countdown Til Dawn
Dec 12th, 2014 by Coral

This is what I wrote in response to a writing prompt. The prompt was to write a scene that involved a count down. I used a character from part of a story I’m working on and this is what I got.

Ten.

I gasp for air, stumbling through the thick bramble. Thorns and broken branches scratch my face and arms, but I ignore them. I have to make it back before dawn breaks. I have only seconds left, the faint glow is already making its appearance.

Nine.

I make the mistake of glancing back. My eyes can see perfectly in the dark, I see the first tendrils of dawn reflecting off of their pale feathers. My own sable wings are tucked to my back in an attempt not to catch them on the thorns and slow me down.

Eight. Read the rest of this entry »

Be Who You Are: Writers
Dec 10th, 2014 by Coral

Being a writer isn’t just an occupation. At least not the way I’ve seen it done. Being a writer is a way of life, a method of living. Writers see the world through a different lens than everyone else. Poets, short story, and novel writers alike all have a literary viewpoint of the world. Every writer has their own personal perspective, and they can share some of their enlightenment through writing. That’s what makes us special.

My being a writer affects how I live my day to day life, believe it or not. I carry a notebook and pen with me everywhere, I ask people how to spell their names and where their names come from when I hear cool ones. I take pictures of cool stuff so I can remember it later. I will drop what I’m doing to write down an idea, even just for a cool sentence, at any time of day. I have woken up in a cold sweat with poems that needed to be written down and lost sleep for them.

Sometimes, people tell me I should “Take a break” from writing, they want me to “live my life, stop stressing over your work.” Those people clearly don’t understand who I am, not quite.  I can’t just “take a break,” from being a writer. That’s preposterous! I could no sooner take a break from breathing! I can’t stop looking at the world the way I do, because that’s who I am.

Yes, people will think it’s weird. People won’t understand, may even ridicule you for your ways as a writer. But you know what? Don’t let them scare you, don’t let them get you down. Writers change the world. Writers capture history, emotions, legends and myth. What a painter does with color, we do with words.

Writing is an art. We, writers, are artists. We can do things no one else can, NO ONE else can write your story, or the story of your character. Do not let people heckle you into trapping all that inside you, give it release. Let the world see what wonders you are capable of.

In the past, I have been extremely self conscious about my writing. It took a long time for me to let other people read what I write, and I still sometimes have anxiety that people won’t like my stories. I have to remind myself that’s not what’s important. If I like it and think it’s good, that’s good enough for now. Eventually, if I try hard enough, other people will see what I see, and they  will feel what I feel, and experience my stories. I can get other people to taste my worlds, but only if I keep writing and let people read what I write.

That’s the writing thought for today. Keep being a writer, in everything you do!

Chemical Reaction
Dec 4th, 2014 by Coral

One of the fun things about characters is they can be like volatile chemicals. Personalities, histories, emotions, all the components of a person, just waiting to be mixed with other characters and situations. Writers get to play mad scientist, throwing them into situations and seeing what fun explosions come out.

 

However, I have sometimes seen writers, myself included, forget this aspect of writing. The characters don’t react and things don’t happen the way they should. Not because it’s a plot twist, just an inattentive narrator. This is a very dangerous thing.  When this happens, it can create terrible anticlimaxes. Anticlimax is one of the most disappointing things a story can do, in my opinion.  It is a very irksome thing when a writer builds up to something, hinting at it’s importance, and making it something you think about, have anxiety about, and can’t WAIT to find out how it ends up and then, all the cards fall into place AND-

Nothing. It just….wasn’t that big a deal, nobody really noticed. And the reader is sitting there, very confused, thinking “Well, this book sucks.” Which is NOT what you want them to think! Your book may still be excellent, just with that flaw, but that kind of flaw sticks out like a sore thumb.

Character chemical reactions are fun, you can throw in a catalyst and turn the entire story on it’s head, going a new direction! Or, you can forget the power you hold and leave people wondering why they started reading this story at all.

Writers hold an immense power in their finger tips, do not forget. With great power comes great responsibility!

 

That’s all for now, see y’all later.

Writing Thought: POV
Nov 23rd, 2014 by Coral

Today’s writing thought is on the point of view of your story. It’s a serious aspect to consider for your writing. Different POV’s can be beneficial or detrimental to your story. Third person is more common, and in some ways easier. That way it’s more like you are narrating the story, where sometimes getting the character to tell their own story is hard. First person POV can be good when there are things the character doesn’t know that shouldn’t be revealed, while third person can be helpful for the same reason, if they do know something the reader shouldn’t.

When choosing a point of view, remember that in first person it is harder for the main character to have secrets from the reader. (Not impossible, just more complicated to manage.)  Both POV’s have pros and cons.

I typically prefer third person, though first person has proved useful at times.

That’s all for today, sorry for the shortness, I’m just busy. I’ll get some more stories and stuff up soon.

Notice Stuff!!
Nov 20th, 2014 by Coral

Okay, so I’m a little crunched for time today, so my thought is short. Here it is.

Writers, when you are out and about in the world, you need to pay attention! All around you is material for your stories! We need to be the people that stop and smell the flowers, and notice the different ways the weather affects our surroundings, and how people treat each other and act, and, well, everything. We need to notice everything and think about it, it’s all part of the world, and that’s what you write about. A world, whether it’s this one or another, we, as writers, need to understand a worlds components.

 

Audience Appeal
Nov 19th, 2014 by Coral

Today I’m talking and thinking about my audience. And your audience, too. Audience is an important element to a writers success. You shouldn’t, however, tailor your story based off of what you think the audience wants. That will cause unnecessary grief on your part, with your characters being forced into situations un-befitting them and the story. No, see, your audience does not want you to predict their desire.

Typically, the audience wants to be surprised. They want you to throw out new ideas at them, new combinations and realizations and thought. Write for yourself, not the reader. You, the writer, are the most important part of the writing process. If you don’t like what you write, most likely no one else will, either. Treat it as though you are the only audience.

Up to a point, anyway. Don’t let the audience dictate what you write, instead, dictate what the audience feels. You will have to think about what the audience will be interested on occasion, and give thought to what they will understand, so that you don’t end up with a confusing mish-mash of ideas that only you take meaning from. Audience is the end result, so think about it as such. Take your writing in the present, focus on making it good, not making it “right.”

It’s something I think about when I see book reviews for series’ calling them “The next ‘Harry Potter'” or other such nonsense. Because there will never be “another” Harry Potter. That, my friends, would be plagiarism. There will be other books that become great and popular and are fantastic, but Harry Potter will always occupy it’s own niche. A very large niche, at that.  Do not write to become “The next such and such.” Write to be YOU.

Every writer has something unique to bring to the literary world, and the most tragic thing I can think for you to do is to smother that by solely imitating other writers. Imitation is well and dandy in moderation, use some techniques here and there that work for you, but do not drown yourself out of your own work.

When I read your work, it needs to be yours, and not what you think I want to be yours.

That’s my writing thought for today, folks.  I’ll talk to you later, in the meantime, keep writing.

The Character Brain
Nov 15th, 2014 by Coral

Alright, so today I’m going to talk about characters and their brains. Characters are fun, character’s are awesome, and more often than not they take on a life of their own once the story gets going. Without characters, there is no story.  But where do we get these characters?

I mean, after all, we are only one person inside our brains. We can only come up with so many variations of just ourselves. To get the numerous characters required to create a realistic world, writers are constantly pulling from other people around them.  “Stealing” isn’t the right word for it, no, don’t get confused with that.  I’ve met some writers, indeed, I used to worry about this myself, that worry that their characters will be recognized for “who they really are” if they use real people as inspiration.

Well, okay, this could be a valid concern. If you literally take the person and stick them in your story. This is, however, very hard to do. For one thing, you don’t know that person inside and out like you need to know your characters. For another, in most stories, circumstances will be different than their actual lives were, they literally CAN’T be the same person.

Using components of other peoples personalities is good, necessary, even. Copy and pasting people into books, is bad, if you can even pull it off. Like, seriously, use all that effort to make a new character.

“But that won’t be original!”

Stop right there. That’s the same argument as worrying about stealing. Yes, you can still be original, but you have to draw from your pool of knowledge.  Otherwise, you’re about to write something none of the rest of humanity will understand.

That’s all for this writing thought, have a great day!

What’s the point?!-Studies
Nov 12th, 2014 by Coral

Sorry for the two melancholy days in a row, there. Today, a happier topic. Let’s talk about studying. I know, not exactly rainbows and sunshine, but I promise, this post isn’t depressing.

Studying, what’s the point? Interestingly, I get this question from people, phrased in various way, all the time. See, I’m not an English major, nor am I a creative writing major. I’m a History major, yet my career path is as a writer. People wonder how that could possibly relate.

To me, it’s rather obvious. Everything relates to writing. I don’t mean everything an English teacher says, or anything a writing class required.  I mean that everything in the universe is related to writing. Learning about anything can be beneficial to your writing! Anything in the universe! Read the rest of this entry »

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