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Prophecy Six Blog

Sharing My Unedited Writing Experiences & Life Experiences.

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TIPS & TRICKS

Writers are always looking for help to improve their writing or creative outlet, so here is where I post my Tips & Tricks of the writing trade. I may also post some fun advice here that I’ve found or wish to debate/ debunk.

The Adventure of Homophones

A while back I made a post about the differences between homophones, homonyms, and homographs. I liked the post so much that I moved it to the education section of my professional site.

If you want to check it out click on the picture below:

homophoneblog

Finding Writing-Life Balance

About a week ago, I posted on my other site about how I struggled with finding a healthy writing-life balance. I wanted to share my experience with all of you and share the things that have helped me find balance in my writing life. Click the image below to be teleported to my main site to find out more:

writinglifebalanceblog

Does a big ego help or hinder writers?

This week’s question is: does a big ego help or hinder writers?

I usually stay neutral with questions like this but today I’m going to choose a side. That side is, I believe it hinders a writer.

Now, to understand this question we need to know what an ego is. According to the grandmaster of search engines, Google describes ego as:

ego

I have a mild ego. One that has enough self-esteem to know I’m worthy of the life I have, and a desire to strive for something better but I don’t think I’m the “greatest” person in the world that can be the only person that can make the world “amazing” and everyone should listen to me. In other words I’m not a narcissistic Cheeto but an average human being.

This average view of myself helps me stay neutral when it comes to judging my writing, and I also don’t raise myself up on a pedestal to preach how great I am to the masses… I think the world has enough of that at the moment. I think having a average ego helps me as a writer because I don’t belittle others striving towards their goals. If anything I’m more willing to help where I can and share my experiences.

There is a downside to having an average ego though…

I, at times, don’t know my worth, which allows others to take advantage of me. Someone with a large ego is more likely to know their worth… maybe even surpass their worth because of their view of their own self-importance. This could help them with getting noticed but can also hinder them with burning bridges.

The best authors, in my opinion, are those that are average egos.

They release their worth and they use it to better others. J.K. Rowling – yes, I use her a lot for examples – is the perfect fit for this example. She knows what it is like to be at the bottom of the income ladder. When she became famous for her series she didn’t let that fame go to her head, and instead used the money that she had and influence that she gained to better others around her. You could say the same about Bill Gates. He knows how powerful he is and he is using that power to help others not help himself.

I think someone with a high ego wouldn’t do well within the writing community. Okay, maybe at first… but other time their inflated sense of self-importance and arrogance towards those around them may cause their popularity to fade.

So, as much as a big ego goes it may help a writer in the short term but hinder them in the long term.

What do you think? Do you think a big ego hurts a writer or helps them? Put your answer in the comment section down below, I love hearing your answers. Until next time remember to stay safe, be creative, and as always Toodles! ^.^

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

 

The most common traps for aspiring authors that come to my mind are three things:

  1. If I write it they will come.
  2. Everyone will love my book.
  3. No one will want my book, so what’s the point.

These are the three I’ve faced and the three I believe I’ve gotten past since completing my second book. When you are new to the writing game there is very little guidance and most of the work you have to be willing to do.

If I write it they will come – is such a common trap.

The reason for this is due to most aspiring writers approaching their writing from the wrong angle. You are looking at it from a readers standpoint not a writers stand point. As a reader you found a book on a shelf that you liked and in a sense that author did make it and attracted you to the work. But, new writers don’t see the middle part.

Authors spend just as much time figuring out ways to attract the reader to their book as they do writing it. They didn’t just make the book and wait for people to find it, most authors – at least the successful ones – had a plan to get people to read their books through marketing it or getting out there to show their face at certain events. I am still learning this part and trying to figure out a way to reach the people I know would enjoy my books. Being an author is equal parts marketing to equal parts writing. At least that’s what I have found.

This follows with – everyone will love my book.

A very unrealistic point of view. You love your book because you wrote it. You love your book because you created the story and put in the hours making it. Just because you love your work doesn’t mean everyone will love it. Not everyone reads the same thing.

For example: I love writing fantasy but I don’t enjoy reading them. I love historical non-fiction and memoirs mostly… that is when I find time to read.

You have to approach writing realistically and with some idea who you want to market your book to. Age, gender, location, interests… etc., these are all things to consider when thinking of who your reader is going to be and who may love your book.

The same goes with – no one will want my book, so what’s the point.

Just like not everyone will love your book, not everyone is going to hate it either. You wrote a book or short story or poem that you needed to write. Something inside you called to you and said, the world needs this. That same voice is the reason why there will be people who will love your writing. Someone out there needs what you’ve written, and you may never meet them but they are there. The world is a big place with 7 billion people and there will be those that will not like your work but there will be just as many who will love it. You can’t be afraid of those few for the possible many that will embrace your creation.

So, in conclusion:

Always think of ways to engage your potential readers, (maybe start a blog like I did), or become part of a writing guild in your community to learn and get to know other creators.

Not everyone is going to love your creation as much as you will. It is your baby and in that sense you see it through rose coloured glasses. Get someone you trust to review your work and see if there are places where you can make your piece stronger. Also never be afraid of criticism; take it as a chance to grow.

At the same time, not everyone is going to hate what you create. Explore places where those that might enjoy your work may be hanging out either online or in the real world. Try sharing your talents in small ways to build your confidence and maybe your following. Who knows? Your work may touch more people than you could have imagined.

Until next time remember to stay safe, be creative, and as always toodles! ^.^

 

 

The Problems with Spell Check when Writing Fantasy

Hello World Out There World,

I have a lot of experience when it comes to writing in MS Word and I have just as much experience when it comes to writing fantasy/ fiction in MS Word. Sometimes it is a blessing to see that little red line but after a while, when you have names that aren’t normal or places that don’t exist being highlighted, it can be distracting.

So, what do I do?

Well, at first I ignored the red lines. Sure they were annoying but once I got in my mind that they weren’t worth focusing on them they faded into the background as I typed away on my drafts. What I didn’t know was once you hit too many unrecognized or “incorrect” words the program stops highlighting them. Word literally quits doing its job on making sure you spelled everything the way you were supposed to.

This is great for one reason – you don’t see those dizzying red lines anymore. The reason this isn’t so great – those errors that you are making aren’t being accounted for.

So, how did I fix this problem so I could have Spell Check continue doing its job while not hindering my writing process with suggestions that maybe I meant lion every time I typed Liora?

Simple, I added them to my dictionary.
rightclick
Right-click on word.

The thing is you can click Ignore All, but this is only a temporary fix. If you type that word that you’ve typed 10,000 + times in your draft it is going to highlight that word as wrong all over again. If it is a character name, place, language, or what-have-you that you use on a regular basis add them to your dictionary. That way if you spell a character’s name wrong or add an extra letter to a name of a place it will highlight as wrong and ask you if you meant the word you meant to type.

This has helped me cut down time in my editing and makes my writing process run smoother because MS Word is now working for me, not against me. So, instead of it suggesting Liora should be Lion it says, “Did you mean Liora?” when I am typing so quickly that I mix up the I and O (Loira).

I have no idea if this will help you out or save you time, but someone last week asked what I do with spell check. You could disable that feature if you are brave enough to type without it, but most of my writing skills came from learning the correct spelling from that program. Back in grade 8 I was a horrible speller and it was my hours spent typing away with red lined work in MS Word that helped me improve my writing skills – in that sense I rely on the tool but at the same time I respect it.

Now, it is your turn. Let me know what hacks you use to cut down your editing or writing process in the comment section down below. I love to learn knew ways to approach the writing process and who knows, we could learn from one another.

Until next time remember stay safe, be creative, and as always toodles! ^.^

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Hello Everyone!

For whatever reason my new save didn’t take and all you were able to see was ‘do a recording’. So, in case this was a technical error I will have to resort back to typing for the time being until I figure out what the problem with my recorder is.

Now, this week’s question is: Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Simple answer:

It depends.

More complicated answer:

It depends on what I am writing that could cause the difference in my energy levels. When I write something I’m passionate about like my book series or short stories I get a boost of energy. This is likely due to the increase of adrenaline I get from being excited about working on a project I’m passionate about.

If I am writing something more technical that requires more research and time, or it is a work project I have to do that I have no desire to work on my energy level decreases leaving me exhausted. I will complete the project but I will likely be bored during its completion process.

Most of the time when I write though I am doing it for my own enjoyment and not for work. In that sense the majority of the time I am energized when I’m writing. Like at the moment, as I am writing this blog post, I am energized because:

  1. I have adrenaline running through my system from the excitement of writing something to share with you.
  2. I have oxytocin running through my veins because of the possible human interaction I will have with all of you who read this, (and for those that don’t know oxytocin is the hormone responsible for that happy feeling you get from a hug or from getting a like on Facebook – this is also why writing can become an addiction).

With the combination of these two coursing through my veins it is hard to not be energized when writing. I’m excited to hear from you about what writing does to you. Let me know in the comment section down below. Until next time remember to stay safe, be creative, and as always toodles!

 

 

What is the first book that made you cry?

Hello Everyone!

When I was a kid I wasn’t much into reading. It’s wasn’t that I couldn’t read… it was just I didn’t find any of the books I was learning in school to be interesting enough. Due to my disinterest in reading the school books my teachers believed I had a learning disability and put me in a separate reading program where I had to read lower level books. Again, these disinterested me as I was more at a grade 11 reading level then a grade 4 reading level.

One of the books I read was Stone Fox, a book about a boy and his dog. Not usually a story I was interested in but it was short and super quick to read. I don’t remember much about the book but with all boy and his dog books the dog dies, leaving the reader a complete blubbering mess by the end. I am a dog person. I love dogs – heck I love animals. So, whenever an animal dies or is killed in tv, movie, or book format I become worse than a teething two-year-old.

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner was the first book that made me cry. It was also the book that pushed me to bring my very thick historical non-fiction or historical fictions to school so they would stop making me read lower grade books. The teacher’s faces when they gave us free time to read and I – in grade 6 at the time – pulls out Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman, or The Last of the Mohicans, or one of the Little Women Series. You can thank Sarah, Plain and Tall for getting me into wanting to know more about the frontier and America’s early, horribly cruel history. I still have a fascination with old westerners and learning about the early foundations of the US, (Roots and Hell on Wheels).

Now I pass this question on to you – what is the first book that made you cry? Leave your answers in the comments down below. Until next time, remember, stay safe, be creative, and as always toodles! ^.^

 

Where do I get my ideas?

Hello World Out There World!

Today’s Thinking Thursday I’m focusing on a question that I get on a regular basis.

Where do I get my ideas?

When it comes to growing my ideas for my books or short stories I know many of you expect me to say something along the lines of, “It came to me in a dream” or “Some television show inspired me to write this.”

The truth is… it is both of those and more.

I could be walking down the street and an idea pops into my head… usually in a ‘what if’ sort of question. I could be eating lunch, listening to a song I never heard before, talking to my peers, standing in my shower, sitting on the bus, volunteering at the ARTS Project… be anywhere and doing anything when an idea pops into my head.

imaginary.pngI consider myself lucky. My parents (especially my mother) made sure to embrace and
grow my creative side. When I was a kid I had an overactive imagination and even had moments where I mixed fantasy with reality – most people would call that ‘make-believe’. As I got older I worked hard to keep that creative imagination in me alive. I did this through writing and not being afraid to explore my mind through creative expression. This made it easier when I became an adult to tap into my creative mind to find new ideas for things or what some people may call ‘thinking outside the box’ for solutions.

Now that I’m 25 (soon to be 26) I am able to tap into my creative mind whenever I want. When something inspires me my brain is the first one to react with an overflowing amount of questions. When I want to create something it usually takes me a couple of minutes to find something to explore creatively.

Yes, this gives me an advantage but at the same time I can easily burn myself out. When my brain is in this continuous drive to create there are moments it reboots or shuts down… and this can last for days even weeks. People would call this writers block… and I call it annoying. I’m used to the overflow of thought always going on in my head and when there is this sudden silence due to creative burnout I’m at a loss. The silence is eerie… and so I do what I can to avoid that burnout as often as possible through taking regular breaks or even suppressing my desire to create.

So, where do I get my writing ideas?

From everywhere and anything that makes my brain tingle. Usually EDM or Netflix is guaranteed to give me some creative ideas. I also like learning new things which leads me to finding creative ways to explore what I’ve learned.

Everyone has their own way of discovering what ideas they want and where they can get them. If you are having trouble at the moment, don’t worry, relax and the ideas will come.

Until next time remember to stay safe, be creative, and as always toodles! ^.^

 

Thinking Thursdays: Avoiding Alliteration

Hello World Out There World!

If you have followed me for a while you will know that I love using alliteration. For those of you not in the know, alliteration is:

alliteration
Thanks Google! 🙂

Examples of alliteration would be this segment (Thinking Thursdays) or even the title for the post (Avoiding Alliteration). There are many people (writers mostly) who say that real writers don’t use alliteration. That is it lazy, not creative, and annoying. I don’t know why that is… I mean if Marvel uses alliteration it must been good, right?

When it comes to how I use alliteration I usually use it to emphasize something in a sentence, or draw a readers attention to certain details. Alliteration helps a reader recall a certain moment in the book later on, or connects a certain thing with a character. I also use alliteration to help with the flow of a sentence or cut down on unwanted word usage to get my point across.

Alliteration is a useful tool for a writer, just like the word said. Both forms are told to be ignored or removed but in small amounts they can help a story flow.

I love how people keep insisting that there are rules to writing… but in the end they are only guidelines to help you get started. In the end you will write the way you want with witty alliteration anyways.

But this is Thinking Thursday, so, I want to know what you think. Should writers avoid alliteration? Why or why not? Leave your answers in the comments below and until next time – toodles! o^.^o

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