Wednesday, 19 February 2020

You Get What You Focus On

It's easy to feel negative.

The media is always telling us we're on the brink of economic collapse - that it's only a matter of days before the biggest slump since the 1930s Depression takes away the value of our property, our savings and our livelihoods.

Many would-be writers are tightening their belts, ignoring the call to write in favor of the day job. They're giving up their dreams in droves, convinced that it's all too hard...

Uh, did I miss something?

Doesn't anyone remember basic economics from school?

I thought it was well known that economic activity goes in seven year cycles - apparently something to do with the sun - and that boom and bust years are natural and inevitable.

Smart stock market people know there's never a bad time for investors - there's just alternate opportunities. While some stocks slide, others climb. When the market is overpriced, it adjusts itself by devaluing. When stocks and interest rates are high, people stop buying. When stocks are cheap, new investors snap them up and the investment picks the market back up again. This is how it works. The world economies have been surviving like this for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

So why is it that now, today, it's supposed to be so much worse?

Could it possibly be because we're collectively making it that way?

That by tightening our belts we're actually starving the economy of the investment it needs?

Maybe you think I'm naive - but I did study Economics! And one thing I learned well is that much of the stock market is driven by good old human fallibility - and perception.

What the market focuses on is what it gets. Boom and collapse become self- fulfilling prophecies - every time - because, as humans, we believe that's how it should work.

Prosperity and hardship, security and scarcity are all illusions. They are not real concrete things - they are merely 'feelings' you have about yourself and the people, the world around you.

Real success and genuine happiness have got nothing to do with money. You either feel good about yourself, your situation, your world, or you don't. Prosperity comes from within.

Do you have less chance of being a professional writer now than you did last year?

Of course not.

If anything you have a better chance - because so many other writers are throwing in the towel!

Don't you be one of them.

Stick with it. Be positive. Fight back. Come up with new angles. Write more, submit more, be the exception.

Often, to make progress, we just need to change the way we think - and remove our own negativity when all around us are in train wreck mode.

If you really believe we're heading for a crash (to continue the metaphor), get off the train. Go for a walk in the sunshine. Move towards your goal feeling light. Remind yourself that when you believe in yourself and your talent and capabilities, things always work out for the better.

It's self-doubt and lack of motivation that will kill your ambitions every time.

I'm convinced that if we all got together and decided the crash wasn't going to happen and even if it did, so what - the apparent looming crisis would dissolve, as if by magic, overnight.

Don't buy into the doom and gloom hype.

It's not real.

And if it's not real, surely it can't hurt you.

Be happy, be grateful for what you have, make big plans and move into the future with confidence.

You have a duty to believe in your dreams, and take action consistently.

To quote the old 80s pop song: "The Only Way is Up!"

Keep Writing!

Rob Parnell's Writing Academy

Monday, 3 February 2020

Writing Fiction For Dummies

 

Writing Fiction For Dummies
Writing Fiction For Dummies

So you want to write a novel? Great! That’s a worthy goal, no matter what your reason. But don’t settle for just writing a novel. Aim high. Write a novel that you intend to sell to a publisher. Writing Fiction for Dummies is a complete guide designed to coach you every step along the path from beginning writer to royalty-earning author. Here are some things you’ll learn in Writing Fiction for Dummies:

Strategic Planning: Pinpoint where you are on the roadmap to publication; discover what every reader desperately wants from a story; home in on a marketable category; choose from among the four most common creative styles; and learn the self-management methods of professional writers.

Writing Powerful Fiction: Construct a story world that rings true; create believable, unpredictable characters; build a strong plot with all six layers of complexity of a modern novel; and infuse it all with a strong theme.

Self-Editing Your Novel: Psychoanalyze your characters to bring them fully to life; edit your story structure from the top down; fix broken scenes; and polish your action and dialogue.

Finding An Agent and Getting Published: Write a query letter, a synopsis, and a proposal; pitch your work to agents and editors without fear.

Writing Fiction For Dummies takes you from being a writer to being an author. It can happen—if you have the talent and persistence to do what you need to do.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

How Are You Plotting?

Writing is a creative process and how every writer chooses to create, is individual to them. Likewise, with plotting, every writer plots at a level they are comfortable with.

Some just plot the bare essentials. They have a firm idea of the story they want to write and have a good memory to be able to memorize everything.

Others go into more detail. These writers prefer to figure everything out before they write the story.

How you plot will also depend on your level of experience. For the beginner, it’s recommended to plot thoroughly.

Before writing, think of every possible situation. Plot events thoroughly, plot scenes to the last detail and generally leave no questions unasked or unanswered. This way you will always know where you’re going.

__________

Are You Using The ‘What If’ Technique When Plotting?

Your short story of 500, 2.000, 10.000 words or whatever word length you choose to write, will spring from a single idea - Perhaps a one-sentence idea.

So when you are still in that one sentence stage, using the ‘What If,’ technique is a good way of generating ideas to build on that initial story idea.

While you are in the plotting stage, experiment. Your aim should be to write the best story you can. Experiment to see what bits and pieces you can put together to write the best story ever.

So using ‘What If,’ ask yourself questions then answer them…

 What if the character was like this?

 What if this happened to him?

 What if I placed him in this situation? How would he react?

 What if I took this away from him?

 What if his worst fear came true?

 What if he doesn’t get what he wants? What will he do?

 What if I placed this obstacle in his path? What will he do?

You’ll be surprised what you come up with, if you take the time to experiment.

© Nick Vernon

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Besides his passion for writing, Nick Vernon runs an online gift site where you will find gift information, articles and readers’ funny stories. Visit http://www.we-recommend.com