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Monday, August 27, 2012

All's well that ends well.

Creating maps:

A new place, a new world and new names. So you've decided you want to create a fantasy novel, hmm? Yes, well you're going to need a map if this particular novel occurs around the world in eighty days, eh? Right. This post will be there to help you create a map for your particular novel. 

A few things you'll need - the basic plot to your novel so that you know where your characters will be needing to go, and how far they should travel. Also, what should be in the specific places that you are going to create. You should, as well, decide how large of a map you are going to need. If your novel occurs in a single town, you may just want to create a map telling you where the nearest tavern is. 

However, if you need a large map you will need to start off with some names for the largest and most important cities there. 

Example : 
This map belongs to my fantasy novel "Within Eyes of Ice". 

Try and use unique names for your cities, if this is a fantasy you won't want names like Charlestown and London. You'll want names like Fairhollow and Silvercreast. Now, to begin your map you'll want to use any possible image editing software of which I recommend using either Photoshop (must be purchased) or Pixlr ( which is an online software that you can use. 

You'll want to draw out your map, and leave some space for bodies of water if you need, and add some islands if you want because you want to know that there is a source of water somewhere nearby lest they all die of thirst. Secondly, you'll want to add a compass in order to tell which way is north, which is south, east and west (which, unfortunately, were not added to my map as I did not have the time). 

Lastly, you'll want to add stars or any symbol to represent where your city is found (or town, village, ect.) and place the name near or above the star so that you know where every place is. 

That's about all - and you can add textures or font with Ribbet ( and Picmonkey ( 

There's nothing to it, I just simplified it all. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pain is a strange thing.
One minute you are down on your knees, and the next you stand so bravely just so the world can't see those tears.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Giving up a novel :

Never give up. Stop doubting yourself, stop telling yourself that you must be the worst writer in the world because you're not (unless you use text speak to write an entire novel, then I suggest taking a while to learn basic English). 

I've gotten this feeling a lot lately - like I should give up writing because no one will ever read it - I am too descriptive, I have plot holes and my characters are seriously lacking. However, I keep reminding myself, over and over again, that practice really does make perfect; so just keep writing.

Writing is something that everyone can get better at, just like I have to practice writing essays, and writing my novels. That is also where the invention of editing comes from - it is helpful in finding what you need to improve on and what you're already good at. 

If you seriously find yourself wanting to give up - take a break, read a couple of books, wait for inspiration to hit and then return to your novel. Read the last chapter you wrote, and then keep writing. Fresh ideas will definitely help spur you on. 

One minute you'll think "God, this novel sucks! Ugh! I'd better drop it," take a minute, and eventually you'll start thinking more like "Holy crap! What if-? and then he -? Or if maybe -?"

Just keep in mind that you'll always be able to improve- and don't give up the moment you hit a rough patch in the relationship with your novel. It's like those couples in the movies - you'll work it out somehow. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Don't believe it when the world says you aren't beautiful. 
Everyone is beautiful until ugly.

Onomatopoeia :

Ding, dong! 

Cough. Excuse me, huff. 
In writing, there are often times when we have to use onomatopoeia's in order to give the story some extra oomph! You see, onomatopoeia's (that is a long word) are words that describe a sound like when you sneeze, step on leaves, when you run your nails over a chalkboard (only I have yet to find the word for that sound). It's even possible to write a poem using only these one words to make a scene. 

Only, be careful when you use onomatopoeia's as they can be attributed to anyone, so you may want to make sure your readers know who huff -ed and who chuff -ed. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

All is fair in love and war - only some have only experience in war.
Free verse :

I've heard it said that free verse is the hardest of poetry to write, that it is the most difficult because it has no structure - because it is very close to being prose. Now, one way to avoid this is by taking the easy route and writing it all at one time with a burst of inspiration. Or, you could take the more difficult route and using the means that you may usually use to create poetry but you have to be very careful. You don't exactly want a story, but at the same time you do. The only difference is that you don't want a beginning middle and end that are planned accordingly, you want to move with the flow of the poem. 
If the poem takes you somewhere else, then you should follow it. Remember - edit later, write now. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Endlessly we wait for the truths that have been kept from us.
Rhyming :

Do not stress a poem with rhymes, it doesn't really help if you have to stress the poem to it's utmost.

No one really wants to read a poem with rhymes that are put there just for the sake of a rhyming scheme. If your second, or third, line no longer follow the poem's subject and flow because of it's ending in a rhyme, then change your scheme or rewrite the poem.

I have too often seen someone sacrifice their poem for the sake of a rhyme. It does no one any good. It just ends up sounding, and reading, horribly.

Often times we forget what it is we must remember.

Prompt1 :

What would an old woman be doing, walking around, with a gun in her hand? 
Could this woman possibly be a burglar attempting to steal cats from neighbouring homes? Is she searching for the men who had stolen her purse the night before? It's up to the writer to decide - have fun.

Monday, August 6, 2012

To quell the ink within the pen is as impossible as quelling the flow of an ocean of inspiration.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Stand out :

When I hand in a text to my English teacher the first thing he does is begin to cross out the word "very". I can now assure you that it is very unlikely that you will find it used in one of my sentences. 

Now, we all have those times when we find ourselves re-reading our rough drafts and noticing that some of our sentences are kind of bland, right? Those moments when we find ourselves reading what our character is doing and realizing that it kind of bores the reader, even if it is your own piece you're reading. So, what can we do to make your writing stand out - make it pop? 

Well, let's make an example here : 
Jacquelin quietly cried. 

Alright, as you can see - that sentence is pretty bland right? Well, there is a way to spice it up and make it more interesting to the reader.

A common mistake is to believe that by adding a bit of description and an explanation the world will be a better place, even if you use those annoying -ly words that stand out like a sore thumb. It just makes the reading bland, and quite repetitive if at every turn you find yourself walking slowly, eating quickly, etc. 
Example : Jacquelin quietly cried, staring at herself in the mirror, mourning the loss of her father.

Two - try using some synonyms which is the most effective way to remove those pesky -ly words. 
Example : Jacquelin wept, staring at herself in the mirror, mourning the loss of her father.

When writing, using synonyms is a lot more effective when you want to spice up your writing, when you want to stand-out from -ly word-using crowd. 

It takes a single step to begin a leap of faith.
Character names : 

Don't give your character a name they'll regret. 
It's true - a horrible name in real life can emotionally scarring, and an awful character name will just as much scar your character. Ah, another piece of advice : don't give a male character a female name. I've seen it done before where a male is named something like Triss -  it's just not becoming. 

You have every possible bit of information on your character - hair colour, eye colour, skin tone, body-type, emotional state - so use that to your advantage. Haven't you ever looked at someone and thought, "... she looks like a [fill in the blank with name]." Well think of the first name that comes to mind when you think of your character, and eventually that name will be the only one that fits the character itself.

If that doesn't work then try these few tips : 
  • Circle : take a walk down the street, stroll through the park and do a slow circle, look at different people and think of names that could fit how they act - see if they act like your character and try it out.
  • Website : try looking through baby name website [], if you take a look at the website previous mentioned you can find an array of names that just might fit your character.  [Tip : if you click on the button that says "advanced search" you have a chance to choose how many syllables you want, what gender and much more.]
  • Flip the pages : if all else fails try flipping open the phonebook to just about any page and scan through the names until one stands out to you. 
Some things to keep in mind : 
  • Rhymes : beware of names that rhyme such as Sari, Sheri, Lary, or Kali.
  • Beginning : names that begin with the same letter are something to avoid such as Kelley, Karen, or Kristin.
  • Endings: try avoiding those names that have the same endings.
  • Alikes and Clapping : beware as well of those names that sound alike, and of those that have the same number of syllables. 
It is easy to write. All you must do is sit at a desk, and bleed.
Corrections : 

Dictionary - a book, optical disc, mobile device, or online lexical resource containing a selection of 
the words of a languagegiving information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, 
inflected forms, derived forms,etc., expressed in either the same or another language; lexicon; glossary. 
Print dictionaries of various sizes, ranging from small pocket dictionaries to multivolume books,
 usually sort entries alphabetically, as do typical CD or DVD dictionary applications,
 allowing one to browse through theterms in sequence. 

Those things called dictionaries are a writer's friend - they are what can spare a reader's eyes from the pain of stumbling over grammatical and spelling errors. However, for those writers who type on the computer there's that little button with 'ABC' with a small check mark on it? Well, that there is called spell-check. It'll even say 'Spell-Check' if you scroll over it with your mouse. 

Now, I understand when you have typos while you're just skimming over what you've written, but if you're writing is nearly illegible and even you are having a hard time reading it? Well you have to know that your readers, if they can't read it, will put your book down after a couple sentences. 

It's common courtesy to correct your work before you ask anyone to read it, even if you have an editor correcting it for you. At least save them some hours on deciphering your text. 

Here are a few rules to follow : 
  • Text-talk : if you are a writer and use text-talk (i.e. how r u 2day?) in your writing, then please don't quit your day-job my friend. 
  • 5 misses : if you have more than five miss-spellings on a single page (which counts as a lot) you honestly can't claim that you "didn't see them", however, whoever is reading your text may as well know it's true considering you probably didn't read your text beforehand. 
  • Read it : your text is meant to be read - so read it yourself and find whatever errors you can before handing it off to someone else. It'll save them a bit of work.
  • Homophones : know the difference between "their", "they're", "there", "to", "two" and "too". 
Truth is beautiful, without a doubt; then, so are lies.
Chapter length : 

There is no ideal chapter length. 
Keep that in mind while you write. You do not want to force a chapter to end - to force a chapter to stretch until you reach that predetermined 5,000 words or eight pages will often result in dragging action or an excessive amount of dumping information on the reader to stretch up that word count. If you want a good chapter, just write it as it is - set up an amount of scenes that you should add and write those scenes. Do not try and create two scenes and use those two scenes to make an eight paged chapter. 

If you've ever read some of James Patterson's work such as Maximum Ride or Witch and Wizard you would notice the short length of it's chapters. None of the chapters are stressed, nor do they end in what is may be called a safe spot - which is when the author has chosen to end a chapter in which their character decides to contemplate recent events and turn out the lights just before going to sleep. 

Instead of these safe spots, make it so that your character is dangling off the edge of a cliff. However, "safe" doesn't necessarily mean that the character is safe from all harm - the character could be physically safe while the chapter ends in a heated argument or a revelation that the character's mother happens to be the leader of a secret sector for the government. 

Just remember : your goal is to make the reader reluctant to put the book down. You want to keep the reader hooked throughout the book with the ideal chapter lengths that work for your novel - that help keep the pace - and enough action to make it interesting. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Why - I simply must ask why - is a raven like a writing desk?
Writer's Block :

 Have you ever suffered that dreadful hour, day, or even month in which you could find absolutely no inspiration? Those moments in which your mind had become devoid of any idea that could possibly spur your hand to drag across that sheet of paper, or your fingers to type across the keyboard?

 I'm sure most of us, as writers, have felt and experienced such a horrible thing - and most of us call it "writer's block". I have come to think of it as the wolf that wanders around and devours all plot bunnies until not even one remains.

 However, there are a few things that you can do to try and "reboot" the creative system.

  • Listening to music : if you're ever in need of inspiration take a look at some lyrics of your favourite songs. 
  • Reading : flip through some pages of a worn book that you haven't read for a year and look at some of the plot-points, the opening line and sometimes even the ending. 
  • Watching television : this one sounds a little like procrastinating but it's not, I assure you. Watch a few television shows like National Geographic or History Chanel, you'll be sure to find something that sparks an idea. 
  • Movie synopsis : have you ever tried going online to a movie theater website and checking out the movie synopsis? Sometimes those give great inspiration, or even just looking up old-time movies and seeing if you can put a twist on classics. 
  •  Roleplaying : not very many people have tried this, but I promise you that it can help sometimes. You can look up sites next to anywhere and find one where you can roleplay, ask a friend to play a little and make it up as you go along. It's a great writing exercise as well.
Sit back, relax, have a cup of tea, and enjoy these delirious musings of a writer.