Jane's Helpful Hints

Need a boost? Read on!

There isn't a writer in the world who doesn't appreciate some extra help now and then. Once in a while we all get to that place where we'd just like to throw down our pens, yell at the high heavens, and quit what we're doing. This point is usually reached after staring at the wall for an insufferable amount of time. When I start feeling like this, I know that it's time for me to go search for some inspiration outside of myself.

There are a number of reasons for experiencing feelings of frustration during the writing process. Three of the most common ones are trouble with getting started, character development, and the most annoying one of them all: writer's block. Keep scrolling down for some gratis guidance through tough times! 

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Getting Started

It's hard, but doable!

Dreams are easily ignited. Keeping them lit, now that's the hard part. I like to look at dreams as if they were a campfire. When building a fire you need three things to get it going: kindling, oxygen, and a match or flint. The fire will only truly start if you provide it with all three of these things. Creating a literary work is similar. To bring your dreams to life you need to feed them with kindling in the form of research and planning, oxygen in the form of time, and a match in the form of commitment. If you can provide your literary dreams with these three things, you are on your way to dream-time success!

Take-away hint: Figure out what steps you need to take in your own life in order to allow yourself time for research, planning, and to commit to your dream.

You're not alone!

Although I have extensive experience with blogging, writing for work, and editing other people's work, it took me years to finally commit to writing my own book and starting my business. I did it and you can too!

Jane's story

Breathe life into your characters

So exciting, but not so simple!

The characters in a novel are what draw readers in. They are the heart and soul of your book. Their personality quirks and interactions are what make the book come alive in the imaginations of all those who read it. In-depth character development is therefor very important in the telling of your story. If this scares you, follow these take-away hints:

  1. You need to know your characters better than your readers will ever. Make a profile for each character. You may not fit all the information into your book, but during your writing process these profiles will keep you focussed on how each of your characters would react in various situations during your story.
  2. Start with the main character. What type of person is s/he? More introverted or extroverted? What was her/his childhood like and how might this affect her/his interactions with others? Is the character going to change during the story as a result of her/his experiences during the story? Etc.
  3. The secondary characters should support the story that your main character is starring in. They should have character traits that do this. Each character plays a part in telling your story, and so do their personality traits.

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Argh! Writer's block...

Oh, the paradox of a creative mind!

Lets get one thing completely clear: writer's block is a real thing that every writer has been forced to deal with at some point(s). However, some of us have learned to deal with it more effectively than others. This is not because we are better writers, but rather because we've discovered a secret: writer's block is a construct of our own making. Now, before you start throwing rotten tomatoes at me, please read on and hear me out!

Here are my take-away hints for eliminating writer's block:

  1. Stop thinking of writer's block as an unsurmountable problem. It's not. Writer's block is usually a result of one of three things: disorganization, distraction, or being unclear of where your story is going. Eliminate these problems and your creative juices will be back on track.
  2. Each one of us has a time of day where we are most creative. I like to call it our "creative time zone." Figure out when your creative time zone is and do your brainstorming and writing during this time.
  3. Each of us also has a solo activity that stimulates our creativity. For some of us it is going for a walk, for others it may be yoga, or house-work, or going for a bike ride, or just sitting outside enjoying the sunset. For me it is skiing, biking and hiking. When I feel blocked, I engage myself in one of my solo activities. It is my magical key to unlocking my mind and it works like a charm every time.

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