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:
- If I write it they will come.
- Everyone will love my book.
- 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! ^.^
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.
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! ^.^
When I comes to world building picking out names for the places, people, and things can be a challenge. Sometimes there isn’t a story behind a name for a location on the map or a name just pops into your head that will, ‘work for what I have planned’. Today I’m going to talk to you about how I came up with the names for my fantasy world and maybe my methods will help you build yours.
Let’s starts at the beginning with the name of the world – GAITAN.
When I first started writing about this world back in grade eight the world was called Arrogwin and was much less developed/ much smaller. Over time, and years of improving my writing skills, I decided my world needed a face-lift and along with that face-lift would be a name change.
Gaitan is a massive planet. You can’t tell as you – at the moment – only see one continent due to the lack of technological development and other barriers (Western Mountains). The series Prophecy Six takes place on this one continent and there isn’t much talk about even knowing if there are others out there. To those of this first continent they believe they are the only people in the world of Gaitan, but they would be wrong. More on that at a later date.
When I came to thinking of the name for Gaitan the process was pretty much, how would I describe the world? Giant Earth. What’s another name for earth? Gaia. What’s another word for giant? Titan. Combine the two words – gaia and titan – and Ta Da you got yourself Gaitan.
Once the name for the world was made I created the map for the continent. I wanted to see the visual before I went around naming things. I knew I wanted dessert lands to the south, rocky lands to the north, mountains in the west and east, and lots of water. After playing around with some ideas – also flipping North and South so North is down and South is up – I got a map I was relatively happy with:
That’s when I went around placing circles where I wanted my capitals or cities, squares where I wanted smaller settlements like trading posts or villages, and later on I started placing X’s where battles were fought.
For the most part I reused the names for the North, South, and East. Derlin, Syder, Arrowgrav, Arrowhilm, and Calin were names I came up with in grade eight… which I honestly don’t remember how I came up with them but I liked them enough to keep. Other names like King’s Port, Stone Creek, Yorn, and Bay’s Lake were all references to places I read about or grew up near. Stone Creek is reference to Stony Creek, Ontario. Bay’s Lake is a reference to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Yorn is reference to the Norn, which is the race I usually play in Guild Wars. King’s Port is reference to the Port of Montreal in Montreal, Quebec as it is one of the major shipping ports in Canada.
Places like La’reen, Mispick… and many others were created from random thoughts in my head or from things my characters would say. Sometimes I would be writing and my characters would throw out a random location and the name would stick. The majority of the locations on the map as like that, but over time I’ve made up backstories for all of them. Some of these backstories I’ve even shared on the Prophecy Six Official site – FOUND HERE.
So, to recap:
- Combine two words into one – Gaia + Titan = Gaitan
- Find real life influences: Stone Creek vs. Stony Creek, Ontario
- Let your characters guide world creation, (they live in the world after all).
- If all else fails, make it up.