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