Tag Archives: personal

Secrets, Secrets, are No Fun…

I found myself yesterday trying to figure out how much a character would say about their past. To anyone, a stranger, or to someone they were very close with. How long would it take them to spill the beans about something important and personal to them?

Privacy is another factor that relegates how much is told about the character at one point, it’s what defines what other characters around them find out, and how they find out. It shapes the story, gives it more or less conflict, and puts a more obvious time stamp on what will be revealed when, and how.

It’s as simple as comfort, but if you take into consideration that some people feel the need to talk to others about heavy topics because they have no one else to talk to them about, it adds another dimension.

The inspiration for this comes from an experience where I was asked a bunch of more personal questions that I’d talk to a trusted friend about, and, they were someone I trusted and wanted to talk to about those things. Except, there was someone behind me who I didn’t care to let know anything about my life, personal or otherwise. When she found out certain things and started asking questions, I got prickly, and felt like walling up.

I noticed it was something I had a few of my heroes do before. You earn that trust, and the ability to know that information. Some are a little more lenient, though, deeming certain information able to be heard by others, some strangers, pending phrasing and vagueness.

So I guess the question then becomes about the trust issues the critters have.

And trust goes so much farther than just conversation, it is the basis of most actions and is why we do what we do most days. It builds into love, care, and affection, it’s a reason for effort and time spent, it’s what makes us want to go out of our way for others, to help.

Stepping back away from the psych side of things… I realize that another thing to consider is what they have to had. Whether it’s because they’re afraid of ridicule, or because they’d rather keep quiet than deal with reactions, good or bad. Maybe they’re tired of saying anything about it. After spending a day getting asked about an obvious injury, it’s not hard to imagine wanting to hide it so that the questions can finally stop.

Will something happen if they let the secret loose? It’s chaos in an instant, and suddenly the story is thrown for a loop and they’re trying to do damage control. Hah! But is that what you wanted all along? To find a way to get those secrets out in the first place, because the character is too walled up to let it out themselves?

Ultimately, it’s another side of them that makes them something more dynamic than just a vessel for a story to be told. They become easier to relate to,  to sympathize and empathize with both. Filling out their secrets and feeling out their boundaries is just another part to definition and development. A rather fun one, if you ask me.

-The Novice Wordsmith

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Happy Birthday to Friend! <3

I just wanted to add this as an aside yesterday, but I forgot about it. Here it is, though, a day late: a huge, big, awesome, amazing happy birthday to you for everything you’ve put up with from me and how you’ve helped me learn. It’s going on three years that we’ve known each other and since the point I met you, I was learning, I was understanding things differently, seeing them in ways I hadn’t considered.

You’ve done more for me than I could probably think of right now, right away, but if you gave me time, and a jar, I’d probably have it packed to the brim by the time I saw you next.

I know that as you get a year older, you worry about what you’ve done with your life, but I want to implore you not to. You’ve taught me, and so has life, that anything could change in an instant. What we say and do in the face of adversity is what helps us grow and become who we are, and you show me that no matter what your age, there’s still learning to be done.

Thank you, for everything you’ve done, for being here, and being amazing. For encouraging me to write more and to work on this blog and for helping with its upkeep at times by providing posts and your own incredible wisdom that I can never get enough of. For pushing me and telling me I can do more or better. For knowing when to be hard and soft with your words.

Sometimes you may not feel like you’re worth it, but I want to remind you that you are. And it may not be much to slot some time for you on the blog, specifically to say happy birthday and how much I appreciate you, but I thought, for helping me come to this point, that you deserved at least that.

Specialty

Writing from the heart isn’t difficult when you do it so often. Even easier, at times, is writing something for someone you love or care for. This manages to come well in handy during the holiday season or for birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

I found years ago that writing, like painting, is an acceptable medium of which to gift someone something. It’s personal, it’s creative, and it’s intimate. It is an expression of how you know that person in some ways, an inside joke expansion, or maybe it’s just something you came up with that reminded you of that person.

For some time, I’d felt a little self conscious about the idea. I always saw it as being able to gift someone a gift made from personal creativity should have been limited to things that didn’t take too much effort on their part. For the people who don’t care for reading, pictures, drawings, photos, sculptures, a craft, something you can touch and hold.

Having a story, a poem, a chapter dedication, a character description, specifically made for someone is just as special as a crocheted hat that you had to do and redo and redo about five times in five hours. It comes from your hands and your heart, it’s crafted, from you, special, with that person in mind specifically. You gave your time and your effort and your care to make sure that it was nurtured and put together just how you felt it would be right.  It was made perfect because you made it so.

Consider your passion when you gift. Do it for everyone or just a few people. Do it for your lover, or your sibling, do it for the neighbor who has been having a tough time recently. Most of all, do it because you can, and because you want to.

The person’s interest still matter, I realize; you wouldn’t gift someone a huge story who doesn’t care to read, but someone who you know will appreciate your effort in that regard. Writing may be a fickle gift to give in some cases, but it’s certainly more personal than a tie, which is why it’s sometimes my favorite gift to give, to certain people. ❤

Also, one of the best things about writing something for a gift is that it’s FREE! So if you’re broke (like me), it’s perfect! This way you can be thoughtful and savvy! Who doesn’t love that?

In conclusion, it’s the thought that counts, so why not bring it to life?

-The Novice Wordsmith

Journal-ism

One of my favorite, writing-centric gifts I ever got was a journal. I’d gotten so many before, but this one was special, because it came with a prompt: “Write, on the first of every month, about everything that happened in the last one.”

Simple as it was, it was perfect for where I was with my writing. I wanted to get into the groove of daily writing, but hadn’t quite had the motivation for it. Having something monthly to do and look forward to not only helped me figure out what I was going to write, but how I was going to write it. I had a tool that would stoke my creativity in a way that was different from my typical fiction writing, but it helped no less.

Writing about yourself and how you feel might be some of the easiest writing you do. It comes from your heart and your head and requires no other effort than to figure out how you’re going to word it. Most of all, it’s a great place to start if you want to work on writing more!

Blogs are great things for this reason. They encourage you to share as well as to keep writing. It gives you an outlet, and a place to let go of whatever’s been cluttering your head, and in some cases, it helps you reach out to others when you need it.

I’ve always had a fondness for journals. There’s a kind of magic to them, open, blank, and ready for your words. It’s a literary canvas, waiting for the paint, eager for it. Use a pencil to write in and erase and keep writing until you’ve filled up every inch of every page. One of my happiest little achievements will always be filling up that journal that I was given. I ran out of space for November, even!

The second year I got a journal, I didn’t write in it as much. I’ve written December and January,  but the rest remains untouched. Part of me feels guilty about it, but the other part sees it as growth.

I’ve gone from sometimes struggling to write monthly to writing daily, at least 500+ words, and sometimes more, depending.

On the other hand, journaling can, in some ways, help your quality of life. When you can’t speak to someone, or when you’re afraid of what they’ll say, having that outlet at all is a great step forward. Get out the thoughts that you don’t like or can’t keep silent about. Personal, intimate things need to be said, too, and writing them out is sometimes the best way for that.

Keeping a journal, whether it’s physical or online, intimate or general, is a good place to start if you’re having trouble writing daily. Make a commitment to do it weekly, or monthly, or however you’re comfortable, and see where it takes you.

The beauty of keeping a personal journal is that it’s yours. There’s no one to worry about pleasing, it’s you and your thoughts alone in a book or a blog tailored to you. Your creation, your writing, your whatever. You can doodle in the margins, get some drawing practice with font designs, or use it as a scratch pad for when you get inspired on the run or anywhere.

I should have called this post ‘back to basics,’ thinking about it: the versatility and simplicity of a bound book of blank pages has been a go-to since the beginning for anyone with ideas. And on the other hand, the filled book, be it a novel or a finished notebook, has just as much magic in it, both for its potential, and for the effort put into it.

-The Novice Wordsmith

Dis-Armed

So probably one of the most unfortunate things just happened at work, not 30 minutes into my shift. I thought I had just simply bumped my elbow into the door handle– no big deal– except it was a big deal because my hand was numbing and there was a lot of swelling on the site.

So I get the rest of the day off, but this means /i need to not work my right arm at all (that’s the injured arm). Likely, I should be okay to work tomorrow, but I’m not sure at the moment what will happen. Bleh. May post tomorrow if the arm is better, we’ll see. In case I don’t, you know why!

For now I get to sleep and keep the arm elevated. yay. I am already itching to write things and I can’t… it is too slow working with just one hand, but i can’t do much with both or the right arm hurts and I have to stop. The doctor mentioned physical therapy as an otpion if it’s gotten too bad, but i really hope it doesn’t come to that. I’m worried it might interfere with my November, but bruising isn’t a fracture, so there’s less worry there, right?

Here’s hoping it goes all right.

-The Novice wordsmith

“Nothing is Ever Good Enough”

Continuing on the sort of theme I’ve been on the past couple of days, I looked inward for another post. It’s been on my mind for a bit, but I was never sure how to breach the subject in a post.

One thing I see a lot in writing advice from time to time is that you will always find a flaw with your writing. There will never be a point in time where you’re simply finished with being critical of your work and instead entranced by all of what you turn out. Days will come and go where you don’t want to touch some of your writing, because you’re afraid of how bad it’ll turn out instead.

You will hate your work, and you will love it. Some of our best work in the eyes of our audience may be something we personally abhor.

You will turn out chapters and stories you are mystified and have the strongest sense of satisfaction about. You will be in love with the development and the strength of a character or a scene that you described.

The phrase “You are your own worst critic” is true, mostly because you can see the flaws, you can see where you want things to be stronger and better. Where the phrasing should have been different, or a character should have kissed someone instead of slapping them. Where you could have described the scenery better, or changed one word to better fit the situation.

In personal news, I see others play characters of mine, and sometimes, depending on who it is, I feel a pang of, “they’re better at this than I am. Why am I still writing this character? Why don’t I just give it to them?”

Worry, self-conscious thoughts, anxiety. It all ties in. It makes it worse, but I try to remember that I’m the one who created these characters. I’m the one who knows them best. I hold their voices, not someone else. Friends may catch on and see how they are very well, but they aren’t the proprietors, the voice wouldn’t sound the same under someone else’s writing.

The story itself would not be the same from someone else’s hand, either. Even the stories passed down from deceased authors to a new one with be different, sound different, because the same hand isn’t writing it. Everyone is different, style, tone, word choice, it’s all different. You wrote this character, you made the hero or the villain or the group of people or the plot itself with all of its twists and turns, for you, for how you write, and no one else.

So no matter how much you think it sucks, no matter how bad you might think it looks or how bulky or chunky or just unreadable it might be to you, keep going. Don’t stop, don’t hand it off, this is yours. These, every little element and tool and piece of the world, is yours, it’s everything you’ve put together, how many hours and how much effort you’ve gone through to make sure it’s how you envisioned it.

Don’t let anyone, or anything stop you. Least of all yourself.

-The Novice Wordsmith

Taking Advice, or the Difference Between Writers and Non-Writers

Just as there are blogs and posts and pictures and near anything else dedicated to “Tips for Writing” there are as many out there about doing it wrong, what not to do, and generally what to avoid. While nothing is wrong with these, it can be if the person has had no previous experience in what they’re talking about, instead just passing the word.

The best word comes from someone who knows what it means, both through experience and observance.

I was reminded recently of a former friend who, after I had finished November last year, took to badgering me about finishing my work. On several occasions, I got messages with the caps lock on telling me to get to it already. Pushed and bullied, I felt the stress of having to complete something under someone else’s watch, but I never let him force me to do things.

One of the biggest reasons I didn’t take his words to heart  was because he wasn’t a writer like I am. He wrote journals every so often, and mostly he wrote about science fact, but on very rare occasion, he would write about something that related to his situation. Depressing, rather awful tales, that he wouldn’t touch after getting them finished. Which, I won’t judge: if that’s what he felt most like writing, more power to him, that’s fine.

… But when it comes to policing someone on what they should be writing and when, it is a lot better if you know by some experience what they’re going through before you cast judgement or forcefulness. Not that either of those are acceptable to do, either, because everyone goes at their own pace, not yours.

Fiction writers know fiction writers. It’s going to take some time, whether a small amount or a large amount, and we’re all different. We have good days where we can write chapter upon chapter and revise several and then move on to the next and further into our story. Then we have stretches of days or weeks where we just can’t get into things where they’re at (which, if that’s the case, try changing things up with how you see them at that moment).

If anyone is going to pressure you, it should be yourself, but not to a breaking point, and certainly not making you feel like trash until you do it. To make progress, you need to have some kind of confidence in yourself, to feel like you’re making headway instead of just doing something you should have done. While pressure and negativity work to help motivate some, it is not always the case for others.

Really, too, if you’re writing something for yourself, it shouldn’t have a damn lick of pressure to it. It’s yours. This is your story. You write when and how you like.

Your ideas for publishing, too, are your own. Don’t let someone deter you from doing what you want because they “think” that they have a better idea of how to go about it. There have been plenty of singular books published as a first publication of a first time author, the same as there’s been the first in a series, or the first in a trilogy.

I guess part of this I’m writing for myself. After months of being pushed around and chewed on like I don’t know what I’m doing, I want to do my best to prevent it from happening to anyone else. Thankfully, this person no longer corrupts my daily life, but he left a lasting impression that I don’t care for. Not that I really took any of his “lessons” to heart (I have Friend for that, I trust him more), but I still listened to what he had to say.

What bothered me most about him was that he kept shoveling advice at me that I didn’t ask for. “Publish this first,” “work on this, I want to see it, I want to edit, let me edit for you,” “You do too much of this, you shouldn’t,” “don’t do this,” “why would you do that?” “Why don’t you take out the parts you worked on with this person and work on it with me instead?”

Not only did I not ask for it, but from someone who didn’t write like I did, who had no aspirations to do such or even to publish himself, he found himself qualified because he had heard from others who did. A non-writer telling me that I was taking too long was exactly the way to make me want to scream.

I have trust issues with people who dispense unsolicited advice. Even more so when they’re not qualified to give it.

Whatever it is that you decide to do, do it on your terms, do it because you want to. Writing the book is going to take time, series writers can sometimes take years to bring about another book, and getting published can range from fairly easy to ‘holy shit, is this ever going to happen?’ Read advice from people who write what you write. Who know the endless worlds that you get into, who have seen what you want to see. Learn from their experience, not someone who has a lack of it.

– The Novice Wordsmith

( I guess on that note I have some room to talk, but as a writer, I like to think I have some license to it. )

Quick and Messy

So I had all day to draw up a post that I had in mind, I was going to use Mondays for the NaNo Prep stories/posts, but I was way too excited all day for that, apparently.

I’ve been struggling with writing fiction lately, and it’s kind of hurt my wordcount the past week or so, but I think I’m finally managing to get back into it because all I wanted to do today was write.

I can also safely say that I’ve been embarrassing myself since yesterweek, so that feels great… And I got patronized by someone at the deli today. Oh, but on the bright side, I have a new, awesome tea pot, and my laptop is finally back from repairs! So I’ve spent the better part of the night getting my things back together, downloading, installing.

In other news, I do have a post in mind. I will write it, and I’ll probably end up making Tuesday Nano Prep day, and then Thursdays will be update for Nano during November, which, my posts may thin down during then because of the writing load.

Though, I was thinking about it, and kind of worried that the NaNo stuff would be boring or annoying to others, because I am honestly not sure how many of you will actually be participating. Thankfully enough, the posts I have in mind can also be used otherwise, so as not to be exclusive to the event.

Any questions or comments are greatly appreciated, let me know if you’ve got something on your mind pertaining to future posts and things!

The Novice Wordsmith

Lazy Days

Today was a lot of laying around and sleeping, but when I finally got off my ass, it was productive.

To be honest, I usually hate when I wake up late, because the day’s halfway gone by the time I’m up and active. Sometimes, you just have those days where you need or want to do little to nothing. Curl up in the blankets and feel the supreme comfort of the bed, let yourself be taken away by how good it feels.

There will be days when I don’t care to write, either. I’ll be more interested in searching pictures and playing games or watching movies, or I’ll simply get distracted by one thing after another at work or if I’m volunteering.

Then there are the days I want to do nothing but write.

Days when I’m lazing around and just enjoying time passing are sometimes better, when that attitude is welcome. When I can close my eyes and relish in the fact that I don’t need to be somewhere right away. Cat days, I should call them.

Then there are times where I can’t stand to not be doing something.  Today has definitely not been one of those days. I have heavier topics on my mind that I want to write about, to get out into the world to you, but I haven’t felt the urge to let loose on that right now. So I’m just accepting that this day is all about letting things be and going with the rhythm of the world.

There’s a prompt in that, too. Which character of yours enjoys more lazy days than productive ones? How does your main character feel about them? Are they able to be productive at all? When was the last time they got to do much, or wanted to, or the other way around: who’s a workaholic, in your stable of characters, that doesn’t let themselves relax enough?

I can still think, at least, and I’ve been doing plenty of that today, even if it’s been at that very comfortable, slow pace. Mmmm…

-The Novice Wordsmith