Writing

How To Get Ideas Flowing: A How To On Writing

This is the first blog about writing in a while, so what are we gonna discuss? What is the most important part of writing in its most fundamental roots?

Knowing what you’re going to be writing about!

Hello, guys! I think most of you are here because you are into writing? Even if you aren’t, there are some helpful tips I would love to share to make your writing and ability to compile ideas a little easier. Ideas won’t come to you, so it is up to our creative minds to find inspiration in the world around us.

In order to start any writing project, you have to have a goal in mind and a conclusion. No matter how vague, you need to have an idea on what to write about.

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Where do ideas come from?

When it comes to writing it can come from our own experience in life. There are blogs created for one particular interest around based entirely on sharing first-hand knowledge about a topic. Some big examples are How To books and memoirs.

You can also get ideas from other forms of media or communications. While reading a book,  watching a movie, or viewing a random commercial before you watch a YouTube video can inspire you in making your own idea. The possibilities for that sort of inspiration are endless, so my tip is to keep an open mind!

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I am not, however, saying to copy off another’s work. I am saying let another’s work inspire some spark within you that you can work with to form your own creation.

There’s a million ways to get an idea by asking ‘What If’s. What if you were actually a robot? Which you only first discover when a man in a white lab coat rolls up to you and your friends having a coffee out at the local Starbucks?

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My main tips are:

  • Keep writing, even if it’s about nothing at all. Write every day and something will pop up that will excite you.
  • Keep a dream journal. You may have the weirdest dreams, but I would advise you to write down what happened after you jolt awake- I mean right after. I have such a journal with my handwriting going all over the place, but I get idea when I read over it. I don’t even remember my dreams minutes after waking up! So write fast!
  • Keep your mind open. You never know what you’ll see and find at any given moment.
  • Never stop learning. You can find so many interesting topics and inspiration from learning a new skill or research a certain topic.
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And those are all the tips I have for now. Just remember, there is no such thing as a horrible idea the first time you write it down. It’s when you come back to it that can determine whether or not it’s worth your time!

Writing

The Writer’s Post: Character Timelines and the Helicopter Writer

Do you remember mom checking up on you while you’re out and about with friends? Well it is time put on your mom jeans because that is the attitude you need to gain for your characters in every book. I’m not talking about telling your characters to be back home before the streetlights come on- I mean you have to know the whereabouts of each character in your story the entire time. It would be a shame to forget that one of your “children” exists.

 

Even if you don’t realize it at first, because you’re focused on building a story, your readers will notice that so-and-so is not present anymore. You don’t want Billy to vanish off the face of the earth with no rhyme or reason. Making a note in your timeline that Billy is grounded in his bedroom for the next five chapters works, that way we know that Billy didn’t just up and vanish and that way you will remember to bring him back later on in the book if needed.

 

My timelines go chapter by chapter according to the characters in each book (example at the end of the article). Character timelines can create a more solid understanding in character motives throughout the story. If Shelly’s determined to get a job, you can have her pop up in and out of the story at cafes, depressed about her bad luck in finding employment. Additional knowledge about what Shelley has going on in her life can prompt a scene or dialogue, or create the illusion that other characters in the story have lives outside of the plot. It’s a neat trick to use and makes your world believable. It takes from only a few minutes to a few hours to plan and it is a changeable element!

 

Using my character timelines, I got to figure out the character development of each character by the time my main character runs into them again. Having all characters revolve around our main character is not only limiting your world, but it is unrealistic. When you go about the world, people are on their own personal story, so treat it like that. Make the outline for each character’s own book in your story.

 

Timeline