Life, Writing

Why I Am Taking Acting Classes

Ever feel like you’re about to throw up when faced with a crowd watching you present something or other?

But do you want to be seen as a leader or influential person?

If you answered Yes to both of these characteristics, then have no fear: “for fear means you are pushing yourself past the comfortable norm”.

woman standing by one foot and holding flare stick near trees
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At least that is what my acting teaching would say.

Well, I am sorry to be the one to say it but feeling this fear will never go away. Knowing how to conquer it is key. You need to be the master of the fear you feel when in front of other people or a camera. Find confidence in yourself.

“Trust yourself. Being scared means you are in the zone and exactly where you need to be,” my instructor says when speaking about how we take scenes or lines of dialogue.

We need to let go and be ready to be afraid and attack what we are afraid of even while we are sick to our stomachs. But the beauty of the class is, everyone is in the same boat.

Everyone is shaking and scared and I am just a face among them.

adult air beautiful beauty
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Besides Stage Fright, What Else Would It Be Good For?

It’s knowing when to breathe during a sentence or phrase. Where to break the wording in a way that will have the most impact.

  • Grounding Yourself.

This means that it helps you find yourself in the space and moment you are in, in order to convince those who you are speaking with that you are entirely aware of them and the space. It proves you have confidence even if it isn’t true.

Eleven Benevolent Elephants. This and more phrases are said in the most dramatic way possible. Nonsensical phrases that force your mouth to bend and force you to take time and focus on facial movements. This is to be sure, that when said loudly, you will be understood no matter where they are in the room.

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What Could This Do for Writers?

Character development, actions, inner thoughts, dialogue, and confidence in being creative. That was why I took this class. I wanted to build my confidence and explore characters and personalities beyond what I would find in a book. I wanted to actually use my body to become someone else, to discover someone else’s “why” through movement and speech.

In Conclusion

I would encourage you to do an acting class. If anything, you will have another point-of-view in ways to see characters. Also, it’s really fun! Please keep your mind open in ways you can learn and become a better writer. Acting lessons are just an example.

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

Writing Habits: How To Make Writing A Daily Routine

We all dream of the perfect routines that will meet our writing deadlines, but do we know how to go about that? Here are tips on how to at least start a daily writing routine and reach your goals.

First, you can’t change your daily routine dramatically. If you are a late riser, eat cereal for breakfast and lunch, and never go to the gym; you can’t change suddenly start waking up early, cooking every meal, and going to the gym once a day. That would be too much of a change. It would be like being very hot and suddenly jumping into a pool full of ice cold water, your body would go into shock.

I would suggest setting one goal for yourself like waking up early every day. Once the habit is engrained into your routine, you can change something else in your lifestyle. So, writing should be the same. If you don’t write every day, setting a big 5000 words a day goal might not be advisable. Instead, I suggest writing 500-2000 words. Be sure to meet your goal every day for a week before increasing your goal.

Second, have a habit trigger. If you write with jazz music in the background and turn on jazz music every day, it can make your mind ready to write and create when you hear jazz. This habit will trigger the writing part of your mind and get you into the writing mood.

Third is to disconnect. This means to turn off the internet, put away the phone, and all other distractions that might stop you from writing your story. This does not mean you can’t look up things having to do with your writing (i.e. Google). Turn off notifications from all social media and exit out of all other apps on your phone.

Treat writing like a habit and less like a hobby. You don’t need to do it to survive, but you need to do it to better yourself as a writer and spend more time writing. If you fail to meet your goals, then try again. You can never stop trying to reach your goals.

Enjoy the journey we all love and keep writing!

Writing

The Writer’s Post: ‘How Fantasy Maps Are Made’ in the Words of an Artist.

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Maps are one of the first things your readers will see in your novel and can be the first thing to solidify your world in your mind seeing it on paper. With maps,  readers can get a clear idea on where your characters are heading and the obstacles they face.

Growing up, we studied maps in elementary school, learning where the hottest climates are and where land ends and oceans begin. Drawing the rough beginning sketches of your world, it is possible to hire an artist to put together the final draft of your map.

Surprisingly, many writers stress over having their sketch critiqued by a professional artist.  No worries! Tiffany Munro, a freelance artist, who has created many pieces of art for writers, explains the anxieties writers face: “If people are melting down from anxiety from a sketch, I let them know they can do a sketch as rough as a circle that says ‘trees here’, or record a video in which they gesture at something and talk it through, or write descriptions. I would say 90% of commissions involve a sketch of some skill level, and of the ones that don’t, half of those based on a real-world location and then the remaining 5% find other way to communicate their ideas,” (Munro). Even if the fear is crippling confidence in authors, it is common. Maps are important for any book set in a new world because readers will receive their second impression of your novel when they turn to the first page and see the world you’ve conjured up.

Although there is a lot of control on the artist’s end, the writer’s influence can be greater during the map-making process. Tiffany asks the client for a few chapters that mentions places and possibly a list of the plants, geography, and architecture.  Distance scale information can also help the artist determine the precipitation and the climate of each area.

Further connection between the map and the writer can be inspired by images the writer sends to inspire the artist. These pictures have meaning to the writer and their imagination, revealing the desired style. While asking for personalized maps, and that the map not to “look like the Lord of the Rings Map,” the writers find their own unique world that is tailored to their own inspiration and personality, (Munro).

According to Tiffany the average indie author commission takes from 2 to 4 weeks. These maps can cost around 100-300 dollars typically. Not bad for a professionally made chart.

Check out Tiffany’s work at:  http://feedthemultiverse.com/

 

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