i think i'll just do quote sets for all the characters

anonymous asked:

Hello. I am an aspiring/somewhat good fanfic writer who wanted to ask you if you had any tips for writing? I can write well but a lot of times It's more that I can't physically write. I'll have the entire story written up in my head but I just can't put the words on paper. Do you have any tips for this kind of writers block? It's my biggest problem right now.

Writer’s block is the bane of our existence. It comes at different times and for different reasons. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can find the reason and snuff it out at the source. Sometimes we want a fic to be well-received and unintentionally pile on the pressure. Sometimes we get a bad review and it knocks our confidence. For me, personally, I get “writer’s block” because I study writing. When it comes to writing for fun I’m burnt out. 

My preferred method of tackling writer’s block is freewriting. There are multiple ways you can do this, many of which will serve to better your writing in time. 

What is Freewriting?: give yourself a time slot. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Thirty seconds. Write without stopping – without thinking about what you’re doing. Just. Write. Sometimes you’ll write something amazing. Sometimes it’ll be terrible. Either way, congratulations, you’ve written something. 

Now we’ll decide what kind of freewriting you might benefit from.

Location Freewriting: having trouble describing settings? Go outside. Write about the first thing you see. Write about the place you’re in. Focus on your sense. What can you smell? What you can you see? What can you hear? Write it. Go nuts. This is the one place you can overwrite, if necessary, to try and shake off the burden of writer’s block.

Character Freewriting: facebook is useful for this. Look at somebody’s profile picture. Write about them based on their appearance. Describe how they look. Describe what you think their personality might be like. 

POV Freewriting: a lot of people struggle with perspective. They’ll describe an entire room to their reader without considering its importance to the character. The best way to conquer this is to walk into a room. Any room. And make a list of what you see. Then it’s time to freewrite a description mentioning the things you listed and only those things. Afterwards, go back into the room and look around. Did you notice the crack in the wallpaper? Did you notice the stain on the table? If not, they weren’t relevant to you. Would they be relevant to your character?

Dialogue Conversation: listen to the way someone speaks and imagine them having a conversation. If this doesn’t work – get a clip up on youtube or watch a tv show. Snag a line and create your own conversation. It’s especially useful to look up the punctuation of dialogue. I found this site particularly helpful for that.

Internal Freewriting: write about what you’re feeling. Don’t think – just write. Write as though you’re filling out your journal for the night without recalling the day. This is a great way to learn how to write first person perspective. It’s also a good way of discovering why you’re struggling with writer’s block and what you want out of yourself. It’s also a nice way to learn how to convey emotion. 

Music Freewriting: listen to a song. Think about the mood it presents. Write. Just keep writing. Don’t think about anything. Write a description of a person, of a place or even convey a scene.

If freewriting doesn’t work: READ. Being immersed in writing you enjoy and admire will prompt you into wanting to write. It might not be an immediate sensation. It might come to you at 3am when you’re thinking back on a scene you like. It might come to you in the middle of the day as you recall a quote from your favourite book.

I have a blog ( @xensorcell ) where I compile writing advice. You can find it all arranged by lists of topic here.

anonymous asked:

Hey, it's the overly thankful nerd from earlier! I've had two main problems: I'll explain the other one in another ask. Motivation. I frequently have amazing ideas and create wonderfully fleshed out characters but the more I think or write my story the more I get bored and uninterested and I make worse and worse pieces of work! I've tried the whole "if the writers getting bored the reader was bored 3 pages back" trick and threw in a lot of twists but it didn't make me any better. Any tips?

Hello OTNFE! 

Motivation is one of the most universal problems that writers face. Unlike a stuck scene or a research malfunction, it’s not something that you can fix for good and be done with. Motivation is going to be an on again, off again battle, but luckily, there are a number of ways to help combat it.

In your particular case, it sounds like it’s possible that you have possibly over-developed, or have fallen out of touch with your inspiration and are viewing your story more as work than as the special thing that stories are. 

Over-development occurs when you put too much time and work into planning before you really start writing, and as a result, when you go to write the story, nothing is a surprise anymore. Some level of planning is necessary, but part of what gives stories an ongoing curiosity for the writer is allowing it to grow organically. Sometimes, you should keep writing even after you reach the point where you had stopped planning and let the story and its characters surprise you.

Losing the spark of inspiration can happen through over-development, writer’s block, or just plain burning out for a while. Nothing beats the thrill of coming up with a perfect idea or beating a problem that was causing a block. If you can touch on that excitement, that sheer connection to the story, you can put the passion back into your work, and there are a number of ways that many writers use to get back into it.

1. Music: This is a pretty common one that helps put writers back on track. It’s actually a particularly big one for me as well. I keep playlists for each of my stories, as well as playlists for specific emotions to put me in the mood for a scene. 

2. Moodboards: Whoa, that sounds pretty weird. Personally, I haven’t really seen this one on other lists. But it’s another little something I do to get back in touch with my stories. I make aesthetic boards for both my characters and my general story settings and concepts. I find that figuring out what components and quotes and so on should go on to each moodboard puts me back in touch with the original vision I had for each character. 

3. Read Your Genre: A lot of inspiration can come from exposing yourself to the work of others. Many writers use previous works to get ideas. (Not endorsing stealing here, but inspiration is totally okay.) Find books that match your genre and take a reading break. Especially study the parts that make you most excited or effect you the most emotionally, and think about why they made you feel that way. Try to connect it to moments in your own story. 

4. Re-Read Your Own Story: Another thing that helps sometimes is to re-read your own story- the parts you do like. The parts you previously wrote with excitement and passion. Try to get back in touch with the heart you had then. What changed?

5. Have An Honest Talk With Your Characters: A lot of character development sheets consist of answering questions, listing traits, etc. That’s all fine and necessary details, but it can feel a little worksheet-y and can cause a disconnect sometimes. But there are other ways to really get in touch with your characters in the spirit of who they are. 

Try some creative writing exercises that are more than just a fill-out form. Find prompts that set gears going in your mind, whether it’s throwing your characters into an elevator for a couple hours to see what they do, or writing a death that has nothing to do with the plot, just to rally up some emotions. Or, if it helps, talk to them. Pretend you are actually having a conversation with this character. A self-insert in a very literal sense. Whatever helps you to connect with them.

6. Change Up Your Workspace: Whether this means cleaning or redecorating your current workspace, or changing it up to a different place altogether, a change of scenery can sometimes get your mind going again. Lots of people will recommend finding a place where WiFi and other things you might have at home that might distract you.

 7. Find a Beta Reader: Finding yourself a fan- or a critic- can be incredibly inspiring. Sometimes having an outside pair of eyes is all you need to see your story in a new light. Having a little feedback- especially positive feedback- can help you see the things in the story that you loved in the first place.

This list is starting to get a little lengthy, and others can feel free to add on their own methods!

And one more little tip just for you, OTNFE. Writing, storytelling, is an art as well as a job. If you think of it too much like a job, a task, the magic sort of goes out of it. Yes, there are tools and tricks to help it along, but stories are like stubborn animals. They almost have a will of their own- you can’t force them into doing things they don’t “want” to do. Try some things when you need to, but also give it a chance to grow organically if it needs space.

And once again, motivation is in ongoing battle! You’re not going to cure it never have to deal with it again. It’s gonna happen again, and sometimes it’s going to be easier to kick than others.

Any which way, best of luck! We all go through this. Often. Your fellow writers are always here with their own advice as well.

I’ll be working on your second ask next OTNFE. ;)


It’s time for the weekly mega-post with my feelings about Yuri on Ice, and this time it’s the turn of Episode 4!

Which is Kubo’s favorite, apparently. Will it also be my favorite? Let’s see! Now with extra juicy theories!

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hey Cord, I'm a freelance writer transitioning from safe, sterile marketing copy into the more editorial, opinionated, long-form side of things. I know I'll channel a lot of my own perspective into the words I write, and I realize I'll probably incite anger or irritation somewhere along the way. I love your writing and share most of your viewpoints, so I'm wondering: how do you deal with it when you've seriously pissed people off? Is there a phrase or mindset that brings you back to center?

I can’t believe I’m about to quote fucking Ricky Gervais, but here is an important thing to remember if you’re going to start putting your opinions on the internet for money: “Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re in the right.”

One of the most frustrating things about writing for the internet is how often you’re exposed to the fact that the Default Demeanor Setting online seems to be seething outrage. Depending on the topics you choose to discuss, I imagine you’ll find pretty quickly that there are entire groups of people reading things in bad faith seemingly in order to get angry about what they just read and gin up fury in the comments section or on Twitter. You need to let that stuff slide off your back, which is very hard to do, especially when you’re just starting out and especially when the attacks become personal (I’ve had people question my authenticity because of the lightness of my skin and say that they bet I don’t have any black friends). “Wow, maybe I am an awful piece of shit,” you may start to think to yourself. In those times remember: Just because someone is mad at you doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong.

Things get even more difficult when sometimes, amid all the anger, there will be someone who actually has a very good and rational dissenting opinion about what you’ve written. Figuring out how to distinguish between the lunatics who just want to scream at you and the people who want to talk to you and improve your worldview to make the world better can sometimes be hard when sifting through the comments on a piece, particularly because getting yelled at by a lot of strangers can make you hypersensitive and temporarily unable to think clearly. There’s no perfect way to go about this, but my friend and former colleague Ann Friedman devised a handy chart that may help. Another quick rule of thumb is this: Whenever someone who disagrees with me writes me an email or calls me on the phone, I always see that as an act done in better faith than a person delivering 10 points of contention at me via 140-character bits on Twitter, making sure to put a period in front of my name so that everyone can see that they disagree with me. (To be fair, there are a lot of people I respect and think are smart who use Twitter as a debate forum, but I just can’t fathom ever doing that and not feeling indulgent/embarrassed.)

Anyway, one way to avoid a lot of this headache is to keep in mind that you don’t have to have an opinion about things, even major news stories. I know it sounds crazy, but you really don’t. In a world in which rapid content production has become the name of the game, churning out opinions about everything in culture is now some people’s meal ticket, which has led to a lot of half-baked op-eds that look very silly in retrospect—I know this because I’ve written some myself, and they’re always regrettable. If you don’t really care about something, or if you don’t feel comfortable writing about it, don’t write about it, because if you do you’re going to feel foolish when the internet shows you just how many people care very deeply about this opinion you formulated 15 minutes before sitting down to write it out.

Good luck, friend. Freelancing is hard. I hope you do great.