Writing is a very hard job, even when things seem to be going smoothly a terrible plot flaw blocks your path and suddenly, you have run into a dead end. This is where a lot of beginner authors tend to give up on the writing career and turn away from story making altogether. Sadly I have known many a novice writer who has followed this same path, believing their hard work to be a load of trash they created as a toddler. Whatever troubles you may experience, it’s folly to throw away your novel, as many of these difficulties can be overcome. It’s a wondrous achievement to have your book published and no writer should lay down their work forever. This page is split into different categories, please read on!
Unparalleled plots (plot creation), Faces in the crowd (developing a character), Of Realm and places, The mystical creation of languages, The writing mood, Writing the way it should be (telling the tale), How about illustrations Michael Angelo (how your book should look), Curse of the writers block.
The imagination is a great gift, it helps us to come away from terrible reality and lie peacefully in our own world. Perhaps creating a storyline and getting an idea to hit you isn’t always from sitting down and thinking about it. There are many other ways to come up with a splendid story plot from the world you live in and not just your own mind.
- DREAMS: this is one way for creating a plot. Every morning, on a daily basis, get into the habit of writing a dream journal. Whatever the dream, no matter how ridiculous and nonsensical, write it down. If you do not dream often, then before going to sleep think about dreaming and perhaps your favorite things, this can help sometimes. Even if you don’t have one, write your feelings that morning and your thoughts so you get used to it and increase your chances of having one.
- STUDYING THE WORLD AROUND: the news, life events, and biographies are perfect for triggering your plot creativity. As miserable as some of these seem, you can add and change things to suit your liking and create this into a novel. The bible is a good help too, it also adds a great more meaning to your story.
- READING RANDOM BOOKS: go to the library, and take a quick glance at a few books, if there is one that interests you, take it home to read. Anything could bring some plot to mind.
- THINK OF THE FIRST CRAZY THING THAT COMES TO YOUR HEAD: this is a good idea surprisingly, even the craziest ideas can be terrific to start off with. Say you come up with Adolf Hitler, singing ‘Jingle bells’ (strange, I admit). You could alter a few things. for example; A mad leader of a fantasy realm, loves to hear the beauty of song and bands singing in his kingdom, under penalty of death. You could go on with the protagonist, studying the nature and magic of song to discover his real purpose for its ban.
- DO NOT STEAL A PLOT: though you can collect ideas from others masterpieces, don’t copy it. It will be obvious and your work will not be accepted and it’s also very rude to the creator who put so much work into their novel. J.K.Rowling is a good example of what not to do, now Dumbledore is too obvious if you know Tolkien like I do and know that he created this name. Besides the fact that she is NOT a good role model, in my opinion, satanism isn’t something I’m fond of…
- WHAT IS THE GOAL AND DESIRE? what is your book about? a Person, place or thing? Frodo desires to destroy the one ring and bring peace. The resistance wants to defeat the first order and Rey longs to rejoin with her family. These are key elements to the story, what if Boromir hadn’t taken the ring? Would things have been as emotional and meaningful if Gandalf had not died but escaped unscathed?
- DEATH: though many of us grow to love our characters and would never think of killing them, it may just need the death of one or two to make a story. It wouldn’t be as real if Pietro Maximoff had survived in the avengers, the deaths of characters adds to the fact that a story wouldn’t be real without reality. It also adds more possibilities. Gandalf may have stayed died, if you did not know the end if the story you actually could be convinced he was gone out of the world forever, it can make the reader really get convicted if other main characters died that another may get shot, stabbed or obliterated depending on the theme.
- WHAT WOULD YOU DO? If you were Luke, and you were given the choice to continue training to help the universe or fly to a city in the clouds, what would be your decision? Think in your character’s perspective, what if the hero/heroine was asked to jump off a cliff or her whole family would die. If she jumped, she saved others, but if she stayed, well…you get my point.
- LOVE: how much should you add? I know many people who cringe and gag whenever someone falls into the strange world of “love”. The lord of the rings shows love in a better way than most, too much makes the reader drop the book. If a man and a woman in your novel fall in love, try to make it a genuine type and not a sloppy mess of gross kisses…
- REALITY: now many people—including me—find the story of superman rather ridiculous, as anything could happen. Suddenly he can read minds and survive a blast of kryptonite. You should consider the reality of your world or place. Although, some books can get away with it.
Faces in the crowd
The key point in a story is to have a perfect character. I do not mean “perfect” as in: “without a fault”, in fact, I would suggest otherwise. The keys to creating the right characters are listed below.
- REAL PEOPLE: this can be a good simple way of creating a character. In a public place, observe the people around you, what do you think their life is like? Do they look more like a Jane or a Catherine? How old do they look? Are they rich? What could be their backstory? What are their expressions like? Everyone reacts in different ways. Design a character that resembles them slightly.
- FLAWS: making your character imperfect, makes them more real and easily seduced and ensnared by the villain or everyday temptations.
- FACIAL FEATURES: of course you knew I was going to come to this, how could you have a character without describing their face? Now, do you want her/him to stand out or have an average face? Start from the top to bottom. Now, try looking up science fiction hairstyles to medieval, take a look on Pinterest to get ideas and draw these down in a sketchbook. You can use this same method for other parts too. Search movie characters or celebrities for a random face, it helps if you do not excavation know the actor. Use different features from different people, use the nose of your friend, the eyes of Elijah wood, the mouth of Evangeline Lilly and the hair of Princess Leia. What do you get?
- PERSONALITY: get a sheet of paper and write out these things for your character: likes, dislikes, favorite type of music, clothing, attitude and so on. Starting with these few basic constructs, you can go on from here to give them the feelings and emotions if a human being. You could even do a personality test online like https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test, but make up the answers instead and see what you get to give your tired brain some new ideas.
- SPECIES: human or alien? Elven lord or dwarf? Humanoid or monster, that is more like a question. Is it human-like, or alien? Is your world earth or another dimension?
- NAME: this is hard, any name creating can be a great burden. So here are some ways to overcome this giant obstacle in your path. After watching your favorite film, keep watching the credits (I enjoy doing this as it is), the names that vary are enormous. Perhaps you can get some idea of names from also looking in the front of books, at the authors, editors and such.
Of realms and places
For a fantasy or science fiction author, this can be a real trouble. The creating of worlds can be stressful, confusing and hard to name (especially the last one). But it’s something that you can get through without perishing along the way.
- NAME: alright, we will start at the hardest part. A name for anything can be extremely hard, not to mention naming worlds. Here are a few ideas. Decide on the style of your realm, then, grab a globe and take a look at the names of countries and cities. Perhaps this will trigger something, if not, generators online are a great help too. Try reversing words or names and see how they sound.
- STYLE: this can vary quite a bit. Is a Star Wars like universe what you want or Middle Earth? Fantasy worlds are usually made in the Medieval period. Do you want a science fiction with weird aliens or practical beings?
- MAP: every world, if fictional, should have a detailed map. It produces a whole feel and helps the reader to understand the protagonist’s route through your magical realm. Make a simple version first, then add mountain trees and towns. Take a look at the globe, or city map.
- YEAR: 2660 or 1400? Future and distant past is another way of distinguishing different types of worlds. Sci-Fi worlds are more likely to be in the future than the past.
The mystical creation of languages
Oh, how I love this topic! Almost every child has tried to create their own language some time or other. Most likely to speak at the dinner table without their parents understanding them. This is a great challenge for writers, as it can take quite a while. I have a few tips on how I started to create my own.
- GOOGLE TRANSLATE: now everyone has probably heard of the sometimes helpful, other times inaccurate, translator on Google. Find what your language should sound like. Scandinavia, French, Latin or German, you decide on what sort of language suits your characters. Now type random words into the translator with the language according to how you want it to sound. See the way things are pronounced and spelled. Write them down in your notebook for ideas.
- REVERSE: turn real words around and read it differently.
- ELEMENTS: now instead of a plain word, create the basics like Fire, water, heaven, love, kind, sweet and so forth. Then when creating something like birds, mix your words for sky and animal together, it can give you ideas and add more detail.
- YODA TALK: when saying phrases, try not saying like: ‘ hello, I am Yoda?’ Instead try: ‘hello, Yoda I am’ and write it in your language that way. Many languages have it so.
- STUDY: create the history and such of your language. Who uses it and so forth.try reading about other writers who created their own. Perhaps their ways can inspire you.
- CHARACTERS: is your language written in such like the form of Tengwar? An alphabet of your own adds to the flair of your mysterious language.
- UNLEARN WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED: perhaps this may seem rather rash, but the by thinking in the ways of your own language (English, in my case), you can get muddled and it becomes more of a code than a language. Try memorizing phrases in other languages, see how things are said. Even better, learn a foreign language.
The writing mood
An important factor in the life of a novelist. How could you write a fantasy after watching batman? You might accidently add things that did not even exist at the time of your book.
- MUSIC: the easiest way, a simple track of music in the style your book might be in. For example; for writing fantasy, you could listen to medieval tunes or tracks from a film like The Lord Of The Rings. The peacefulness can really calm your nerves down and help you to write better.
- IS IT TASTY? IS IT SWEET?: food, as simple as this word may seem, being hungry can deter your mind away from writing and towards your parlor. Being full can make you feel terribly ill and this also can disrupt your way of writing.
- DAY, OR NIGHT: depending on the individual, the time set for cozy writing moments vary. Personally, I like the darkness of night. It gives me a great sense of calmness and having a wood fire by your side, (which, unfortunately, isn’t in the room with my computer). You may be a fresh morning person, like some others. Where you believe most of your ideas start in the dawn.
- WALLPAPER: if writing on the computer or other devices like I, the background of your desktop is one of the key things in writing. Perhaps have it change every five minutes, to get different feels, though I recommend darker themes.
- ATTIRE: woolen shirts and comfortable trousers are another of these things that help. Something warm and not uncomfortable.
Writing, the way it should be
Getting grammar and punctuation right is essential to the structure of your book. I personally prefer the old way of writing compared to this new horrid contemporary literature.
- DOTH MOTHER KNOW YOU WEARETH HER DRAPES?: Shakspearian is a little old fashioned and not widely used up to date. But very few books, if written in the correct manner, can slip by this and turn out to be a work of art.
- THESAURUS: keep one of these by your side, a book or using thesaurus.com. Without a thesaurus, words can seem hasty and constantly reused.
- OH, I DARE SAY: this may seem strange to some folk, but I believe this does the trick for writing. Try putting on your most posh queen Victoria or prince Charles voice, now say things how you would think they might.
- IS THIS RATHER RASH?: a common story flaw is to go through scenes too quickly. Try to explain more about the world around them, you need detail, of the scenery, scent and everything possible without making your reader wander off and leave the book. Start with the sky, is it rainy? Does the weather look ominous or encouraging? What about the surrounding area, if it’s a forest, for instance, start by explaining the darkness or cheerfulness of the trees. How large are they? Then the smell in the air, sweet, salty? How about the ground, is it wet? And the small plants that grow there, what of them? Wildlife, metaphors to explain how it feels, expressions it gives the characters, temperature and so on.
- NOT ALL TEARS ARE AN EVIL: the bittersweet sadness of books is a key part in writing, without it, the story seems empty. The death of a character, the loss of a family member even the despair of losing one’s dream can create a depressing yet wonderful scene. As a child, I hated to see main characters die and thought it unwise to add such things into a perfect storyline. Now I think otherwise, the sadness is what brings the plot together and adds to the realism.
- ENGLISH, AFRICAN, AND CHINESE?: adding different cultures will produce more realism and be more accepted by a larger group of audience. But, if you are writing a medieval book, perhaps you should just keep the British race if you want to stick to the real truth. No other races aside European lived in the style of the middle ages as it was a Christian culture and other races were not in contact with the English. If you are writing a sort of manga for instance, why not only have Japanese since it is the style but you could do otherwise.
- RACISM AND SEXISM: try not to include anything that may disturb the audience and get them annoyed. Racism is something most people and publisher will not cope with, as well as sexism. You should not put down another race or gender in your books as it is cruel and not true. All races and genders are equal in importance and no one is higher than the other.
- YOUR WORLD: every author lives in their own kind of world, no one sees the world around them the same as anyone else. Their world is unique and this stands out when someone has copied the style and feel from another artist. You can be inspired by another’s work, but please for pity’s sake! Do not steal! You may think your work is inferior to others, but don’t fret, a little touch-up and work on your story could change a lot! Remember, all writers edit their work. Tolkien edited it so often it took him years before he published it, but believe me when I tell you; it was worth every bit of it!
- PUNCTUATION: please get this right, or else your story could never get published. Grammer and punctuation marks are key parts, get these right because that’s the main thing agent and publisher will look at.
How about illustrations Michael Angelo?
Many books do not require pictures, but the colour and feel of an illustration develops interest from a buyer and catches their eye.
- COLOUR: black and white illustrations are common and also cheaper to print. But colour attracts the eye. How could you see how wonderfully colourful a characters dress is when you cannot? Still, black and white can be very interesting depending on how you do it.
- STYLE: many artists have their own style of drawing, it’s slightly different with me as I have different ones for certain stories. Some illustrators use caricatures, manga and so forth to add a different feel to the story. Large eyes, round heads, line art or realism, you decide.
- MATCHING THE CHARACTERS: drawing a character has to be done right, you have to like the character’s appearance, it cannot be ok. Try over and over again until you get the shape and look you desire.
Curse of the writer’s block
A terrible thing this is, most authors are affected by this terrible plague. I hope you can overcome this, as this is the place most writers give up entirely.
- NOTATIONS: carrying a notepad and pen around will help you a great deal. See things that happen, jokes funny events, all of this can jog your mind into overcoming blocks.
- WANDERING THOUGHTS: in boring circumstances, your mind can wander and ideas can come into your head. Thinking of things while in bed at night helps me, I have a notebook by my bedside so that I can quickly write things down as to not forget.
- OLD IDEAS: using plot twists and concepts from one of your old (and probably) daft stories. These little children’s stories you wrote as a young child, could come in handy more than you think.
- THE EVER GROWING DISTRACTIONS: as social media and blogging can get you addicted and want to write back to people is very popular and this problem is ever worsening in our modern society. Distracted by these things, your mind can be stressed or just not able to write. Try staying away from these things for a few weeks, it can help.
- OUTINGS: going out to a historical museum or library will evidently help, as well as asking other about what they think about your work.
- WHEN DO THINGS POP INTO YOUR HEAD?: think about in what situations you have been in when an idea has occurred to you. Perhaps it is always on a rainy day, or when watching a certain genre of films. Find out how these things appear in your mind and you may be able to overcome your obstacles.
- TAKE A LOOK: gaze at other’s books and novels. Perhaps some way of writing in them could help you.
- TEA: drinking something you like can help a lot, it keeps you calm and relaxed.
- QUOTATIONS: reading inspiring quotes from others can give you ideas, things like “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” or “Courage is found in unlikely places.” both by Tolkien, can help you to realize the importance of things and give you some concepts.
- ROUTINE: creating routines will help you to get into the mood of writing and will undoubtedly help in many ways.
- PARTICIPATE IN WRITING BLOGS: I am not trying to gain more followers by this in any way! But signing up to a blog, where writers can chat and talk to each other about their problems is an excellent idea. It will also feel better when you see you are not the only one with writer’s block!
- WRITING FANATIC: try to write something every day, even if it’s not on your main book but one for this exact purpose.
- READ, READ, AND READ: all writers read, how could you be interested in the occupation if you have no desire to read other’s works but your own? All authors were reading addicts. Read every day if you can.
- WRITING A GROUP STORY: play a writing game with others like taking turns to change the plot, can do a lot (as long as you get along together with this). Each person does things in their own way and can give you some sort of solution to your problems.
- PLOT TWIST: you can use this website which I find helpful http://www.lucyflint.com/blog-1/50-plot-ideas, or use mine
My gratitudes and help
I thank you kindly for reading my page! I sincerely hope this can help you with your writing. I would like to thank many of my favorite authors (of whom J.R.R.Tolkien is at the top of ) and my family, for their encouragement and support. I would like to now ask you, if there are any questions or any ideas whatsoever on how I can improve this page or site, please contact me through the Contact page. My gracious thanks!