Many writers read the title of this post and internally cringed. Editing and critiquing your own work can be a giant hurdle to overcome. It’s a challenge for new and experienced writers alike. Reading your own work critically can often lead to a dip in self-confidence or an increase in frustration with your work. Many writers instead rely on beta readers or a writing buddy to help them find issues. Unfortunately, that amazing help isn’t always available. That calls for writers to put on their thinking caps and get to editing themselves. If you’re a writer
Give yourself time to transition from writing brain to editing brain
A big issue that some writers run into when editing is turning off your writing brain. It often leads to missed grammar errors for some, or the editing session quickly turns back into writing time. Give yourself time to switch off that part of your brain. Get up, make a cup of your favorite beverage, and give yourself time to enjoy it before getting back to work. You can also have designated editing days to get your brain used to switching modes.
Practice on other works
When in doubt, practice makes perfect. One of the biggest ways to improve your editing skills with your own is work is to practice on others. If you have writing friends, offer to beta read one of their stories. Practicing constructive feedback and editing on your friends’ work is a great way to improve your skills. You can also look up works to edit as well. The more you get used to editing other works, the easier it gets to look at your own work in that way.
Don’t be down on yourself when you edit
This one of the hardest things to tackle when you are editing. It’s a lot easier to be very hard on your writing. If you have an imposter syndrome problem like me, this is especially hard to get over. Take the time to distance yourself from the writing and approach it differently. Pretend that you are reading a friend or colleague’s work instead of your own. Would you roast their writing like you would roast your own? Of course not! Instead you’d give constructive criticism, which you need to give yourself as well. Eventually, you’ll be able to look at your own work without this trick. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while to constructively edit your own work. It’s a mental process as well as a technical process. Just keep practicing and you’ll get better!
Always keep up your editing skills
An obvious but important point is to keep up your editing skills. Not everyone has an opportunity to flex their editing muscles every day. With all the tiny grammar and sentence structure rules, it’s easy for those skills to get rusty. Try to block out a fair chunk of your writing time to edit or work on your editing skills. Every once in a while it’s good to watch a Skillshare training or YouTube video to refresh your memory. It’s also a great way to improve your skills if editing isn’t your strength.
How do you approach editing your own work? Do you have any tips for editing your own work? Let me know in the comments below! I hope that some of these tips will help you start editing your own work. Also, there’s not going to be a post next week. I’m taking a week off for my birthday! It’s crazy that it’s been almost a year since I celebrated my birthday in quarantine. I hope that all of you are doing well during this time. Happy writing everyone!
Hello readers! This week’s post is a bit different. I was nominated by the wonderful BookmarkedOne for the Liebster award! Please go check out their blog here for some awesome literary content.
As someone who is very new to the blog writing world, it was very exciting to see BookmarkedOne’s message. Then I went on a giant rabbit hole adventure to figure out what this award means. Its a really cool award giving by blogs to fellow blogs to show support! It’s also a play on the world “liebling” in German, which means “darling” or “favorite”. My experience with this word is strongly tied to The Sister’s Grimm series. I feel like I have been blessed by Granny Relda.
Below are the rules of the Liebster award for those new to it like myself. List is from the Wording Well. Thanks Wording Well for teaching me about this great award!
Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you. Here are my questions from BookmarkedOne
What book/movie/pop culture thing do you recommend to everyone?
There are so many that come to mind. However, the book I love recommending the most is Good Omens. When I first read the book in college, I feel in love with Pratchett and Gaiman’s writing style. I’m also a fan of dry humor, which is something that the British seem to have down to an art. Crowley and Aziraphale have great chemistry, and there are a band of interesting characters that kept my attention. There’s now a miniseries on Amazon Prime with the lovely David Tennant and Michael Sheen and is written by Neil himself. The series was like a warm hug and a fun adventure. This series is about the apocalypse, so it might be a bit weird to read or watch at the moment.
What are you reading right now?
I’m in between books right now sadly. I keep getting sucked into the dangerous world of fanfiction. I am currently on a quest to find two Discworld books. In true me fashion, the two books I want to read aren’t in stock at the bookstores near me. I do have a Kindle, but I was craving a physical book. I might reread another book and order those on Kindle instead.
What is the coolest thing about your blog?
I don’t usually connect anything I do with the word “cool” because I’m a giant nerdy goofball. However, I do think it’s nice that my blog is by someone generally new to the writing world. While I do give advice that I’ve found helpful over my short time, I’m still figuring all of this out. I was afraid to do things like NaNoWriMo and poetry classes for the longest time because I thought I was the only one who didn’t know what was going on. I like to think that I might be making someone else feel more comfortable approaching this writing world.
Why did you decide to start blogging?
This blog was a mix of a strategic career move and fun. I know, the beginning of that sentence is a bit cringe. I work in advertising, where building a portfolio and using your creative brain is important. I considered making the switch to a part of the field where I’d be copywriting more, and considered this a great practice. I didn’t end up doing this, but this has become great outlet for my creativity that I don’t get to use as work. I did do this for fun as well. I love reading and the idea of writing, but I was worried that I didn’t qualify as an expert enough to write about it. Then I realized that we’re all faking it till we make it in some capacity, so I might as well live my best life and try it. It’s been a year and I can’t believe I’m still posting!
What random thing about yourself do you want to share (can you yodel? Do you hate polka dots? Did you once sail around the world)?
I once climbed into a pyramid. Not Bass Pro pyramid in Memphis, TN (which I have also visited), but an actual pyramid. I often forget this myself, but I went on a three day trip to Egypt two years ago. I barely slept the entire time, but it was an amazing experience. I walked by the pyramids at Giza. I went inside one of the small ones despite my usual claustrophobia and dislike for going down things backwards. One of the times when jetlag was my friend. Most importantly, I got to do it with my twin sister. Growing up, she had a huge obsession with Egyptian mythology and force taught me a lot of it. Her obsession, tied with my own with Greek mythology, made passion grow for Archeology. Walking into the Cairo museum with her was like being with a kid in a candy store. I was also a kid in a candy store though, because they had real mummies?!? And statues and art everywhere! It was an adventure I will always cherish.
Favorite travel destination (real or fictional)?
I have been very luck to travel a lot over my short life. It’s hard to pick a favorite, so I’ll give you two. In the United States, I loved visiting New Orleans. There’s so much history and culture there that it feels like another world. As a musician, the jazz floating around the city was so exciting. I dragged my family many times to a jazz musician to hear them absolutely slay. The food and beautiful architecture are also great. However, it is worth noting that many people in that area are still recovering from the damage of Hurricane Katrina. We were not able to do this, but I encourage people to help out those recovering when visiting if they can. I also loved going to London. I loved it like many people love NYC. It’s a diverse, vast city with endless history on display. I saw buildings from the 1700s, 1900s, and 2000s lined up together. It was so cool! As someone who grew up in a small town, it was both disorienting at times and lovely. Reading on a train was as exciting to me as visiting one of their historic sites. Also, the parks around the city are amazing. It’s like you aren’t even in a giant city.
What piece of wisdom did you once really need to hear?
This is hard. Something I think about the most is a quote from Peggy Carter on her show. She said “I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.” As a people pleaser who doesn’t have the best self-confidence, this has become a bit of a go-to when I feel down on myself because of others. It’s also something I remind myself to keep my growth and change in mind. It reminds me to be confident in myself because at the end of the day, confidence in yourself is more important than how other’s see you.
Where do you go when you need inspiration?
This depends on what needs inspiring. Reading is a great help for me when I’m writing, as well as watching movies in the same genre. I also love reading about the badass ladies and kind people in the world. Sometimes kindness can be the biggest inspiration. I also love walking in nature. Each season has something magical about it that always inspires me.
What is the most beautiful place to you (your couch, a meadow under the stars, etc.)?
The night sky on a clear night and the way the sun shines through the trees on a sunny summer day. The way the sun shines through the fall trees is also a wonderful sight.
What would you love to try (crochet! Yodeling! Sailing around the world!)?
I would love to try bread baking. Somehow I haven’t done this yet during quarantine, mainly due to nerves and lack of starter. I am often afraid when cooking or baking that I’d get all of these great ingredients and then completely mess up the final product. I also have a small kitchen without a stand mixer, which makes things like bread-making a bit more complicated. Living alone with a bunch of practice bread is a dangerous route to choose. One day I’ll make my own ciabatta and live in bliss like the Disney princess I want to be.
Favorite dessert (everyone should have at least one)?
My favorite type of dessert is cookies, with pie at a close second. Because of this, I often flip-flop between the two. However, I always have a go-to dessert that I love to make. A few years ago, I stumbled across the recipe for cake cookies. All you need is a cake mix, some vegetable oil, and two eggs to create these fluffy cookies. There are countless versions of these cookies that you can create! My favorite is this recipe with devil’s food cake mix. nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
4. create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
Happy Women’s History Month! This is a great time to take a trip down memory lane to reminisce on some great female characters. From the villains to the romantic comedy protagonists, there are so many relatable and exciting female characters. Over the past few years, we’ve gotten even more great female characters to celebrate. Last year I highlighted just a few of my favorite female characters. This year, I decided to add to that list with a few more amazing picks. These ladies are just a few more of the amazing female characters that I love.
On my last list I had a shout out for Inej, but I couldn’t resist fangirling over Nina. Nina is one of the main characters in the Six of Crows duology known as a Grisha Heartwrender, aka someone with magical powers. In a series full of dynamic characters, Nina stands strong and plays a pivotal role in the plot. We first see her in Ketterdam when Kaz Brekker, the head of a gang in the Barrel, recruits her for a dangerous heist. She is a determined woman who joined a group of Ravka fighters at a young age to fight the Fjerdan troops who despise her kind. Because of a terrible mistake, she’s stuck in the slums of Ketterdam until she makes it right. When Kaz offers her an opportunity to make it right, she jumps at the plan. She joins the team as the resident magic-wielder and actress with a knowledge of many languages. What I love about Nina is that she is a badass, but is also a friendly person with an insatiable love for waffles. Yes, you read that right, waffles. She loves all things sweet and food in general. She often states how many waffles she would buy with the money they’ll get from the heist. Nina is also blunt, but a good friend to her teammates. She takes care of them when they need her, but isn’t afraid to sass back when they decide to do something stupid. She is also an important character for girls because she’s a curvy girl who is confident, powerful, and not looked down upon because of her size. Those characters are currently few and far between, so it was very exciting for her to show up on the scene.
Veronica Speedwell is a perfect example of someone ahead of her time. She is almost a character who is plucked out of the 20th or 21st century and is put into the 1800s. While this would be annoying with most characters, Veronica has this charm and moxy that makes it more reasonable and realistic. She has spent much of her life as a butterfly scientist, which has led her to many adventures around the world. When the story begins, she is packing up her house after her last “aunt” has passed away. Veronica knows they aren’t her aunts genetically, but her family is a mystery to her. She decided after the funeral to go on another butterfly expedition, which she was quick to defend when the bishop and his wife questioned her. She used her quick wit and blunt speech to weasel her way out of a marriage she was not interested in and prepare for her departure. When she is thrown into a dangerous situation, Veronica takes the challenge head-on.
Something I really admire about her is her intelligence. She isn’t afraid to display her smarts, despite it being discouraged by those around her. Once she joins forces with a fellow adventure scientist named Stoker, Veronica holds her own against him in wit and knowledge. Together, they use their smarts to solve a mystery that they’ve been roped into. Veronica is also a flawed character who sometimes has to get pulled out of the dumb situations in which she interserts herself. It’s nice to have a badass female character who also feels like a real person. If you love sleuths who have witty banter with their partners, she’s the character for you.
Emma is one of Jane Austen’s most famous heroines. While she doesn’t have the enemies to lovers romance like Elizabeth Bennett, I still love her story and character. Emma is a wealthy girl who is definitely spoiled by her father. She has her moments where she is a clueless rich girl, but often she is a kind and witty person. And yes, that is a shout out to her modern version, Cher. Emma is a good friend, if a bit out of touch at times. She uses her boredom and self-proclaimed skills to become the matchmaker of her sleepy village. She tries, with the best of intentions, to set up her new friend Harriet with prospective suitors. These best intentions quickly create problems for those around her, but through it all she strives to be a great friend. Emma is the poster child for good intentions that go horribly wrong. Despite this, she is still somehow loveable and likable.
Emma is also someone who tries to learn from her mistakes and own up to them. It takes a bit for her to catch on to her questionable matchmaking skills, but once she does she is determined to make things right. She tells Harriet that she was wrong, and apologizes to those she upset during the dreaded picnic scene. It did take a scolding from her longtime friend Mr. Knightley, but she still took the step to make things right. I also love her banter with Mr. Knightley and their friendship. Emma is a great example of a character who feels like a real person who grows and learns to be a better person. What do you think of the characters on my list? Who are your favorite female characters? Let me know in the comments below! It was so difficult to choose only three more female characters for this post. I have so many other favorites that have inspired me. In the future I will continue to highlight more of these awesome ladies! Do you have a story with a great female character that you want me to check out? You can send me book recommendations by filling out the book survey here. Happy reading!
Writing is an activity that can be hard to start. Maybe the music isn’t right, or you can’t find the motivation. Social media itself can throw off a writing schedule by at least 30 minutes. When it’s hard to focus, you need all the help you can get. Having a good go-to spot for writing is a huge help. What makes a good writing spot? And how do you find one? If you are on a quest for a great spot to write, here are some tips to help point you in the right direction.
Avoid any spot that you use for relaxing activities
This is something that I have learned more recently in my writing journey. You don’t need a desk to get things done. What matters is that you have a designated spot for your writing. If there is a chair that you use to be a human potato, avoid it at all costs when writing. If you can help it, do not write in bed either. Keep a notebook by your bed for middle-of-the-night inspiration, but do not write in the same place you sleep. It can mess up your sleep schedule and your focus. Instead, find a spot that you use for productive tasks. I have a chair in my living room that I use when I need to work from home, knit, write, or do anything else productive. I try to avoid watching things in that chair or mindlessly scroll through Tumblr. A chair with a barstool to place a laptop can work in a small space.
Find someplace quiet, or quiet enough that it can be drowned out by music
This is an obvious one, but can be difficult for many people. If you have roommates, kids, or super loud neighbors, this feels impossible. The main goal is to make do with what you have. This is where music is your best friend. A good playlist and some decent earphones can block out most of the noise. If you prefer to work in silence, noise canceling headphones are great for blocking out some noise. It’s also a good option if you need to keep an ear out for kids in the next room. In this case, a separate room with the door closed is a great quiet place to choose. You can leave a note on the door asking for anyone who lives with you to not disturb you for a bit. Interruptions are a huge distraction even if they are brief, so preventing them is a great asset. This is easier said than done with kids, but hopefully it will bring down the number of interruptions a bit.
Comfort is key, but not too comfy
There must be a careful balance when choosing your future writing spot. It must be comfortable enough to spend hours there, but not too comfy. If your sofa is a cozy black hole that makes you fall asleep, avoid it when writing. Also, your bed is not a good idea. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not a good idea to write in the same place you sleep. It confuses your brain and might make it harder to fall asleep in the future. The bed is also a comfy spot that can be hard to adapt to productive things like writing. Some people can work in bed without any issue, but many don’t have this acquired skill. If you don’t have any other options, try sitting sideways in your bed instead of flush against the pillows. It will help your brain switch from sleep and daydream time to writing time. The ideal would be a comfortable chair with enough room for your writing materials. If you don’t have a great variety of options, a throw pillow will make any chair more comfortable.
If all else fails, face the wall
There are countless distractions that can make it impossible to start on a story. The biggest one is the world around you, followed by social media at a close second. I can’t stop you from getting on twitter for the 90th time, but I can help you avoid the first challenge. Avoid windows and areas where you can see people walking around. Even if you are in the middle of a focused writing session, you will eventually become distracted by the world around you. It’s too fun to people watch or stare at animals doing weird things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost thirty minutes of my writing time by staring at a squirrel climbing up the side of my apartment building. There are active squirrels at my house and I have the attention span of one. It’s a dangerous game. That’s why, if all else fails, face a wall. A nice, boring wall. If you are near a library and can visit the library, park yourself in one of the desk cubes. When I was in college, I got my best studying and writing done at a desk cube right up against the most boring beige wall I could find. If you have access to one, they are the gold mine for focusing. Bonus points if the desk has sides that block your view as well.
Space is key
It’s important to find an area with enough space to fit all the things you need for a writing session. If you are someone who keeps a stack of plot cards along with a laptop, make sure you have room to spread a few of them out nearby. If you like to work with a cup of coffee within reach, make sure you have space to keep said drink or snack away from your other writing tools. A full coffee cup cost me a laptop one day, so be careful. I understand if some of you are reading this thinking “I have zero square footage how do I make space”. If that’s the case, have designated surfaces! I will use a barstool for my laptop and keep my drinks and snacks on my tiny side table next to my chair. If you want to lay out your plot cards, the floor is your friend. If you have enough wall space near your work spot, designate a wall for your plot cards. Most importantly, give yourself enough space to stretch out a bit. If you are crammed in a corner with no feet space, you might be more preoccupied with being squished than storytelling.
Where do you write? Does it help or hinder your writing? Were any of these tips helpful for your current writing situation? Let me know in the comments below! There’s been a lot of trial and error for me when finding a good place to write, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t find one for yourself right away. Eventually you’ll find a great spot to write. Thanks so much for reading, and happy writing!
With a new year, there’s a ton of new content to enjoy. We’re two months in and there’s already countless things that people are excitedly anticipating. As a book lover, I always get excited to see what books are in my future. I need to figure out when I need to buy them so my wallet doesn’t hate me, after all. This year, I’m also trying to make a conscious effort to read books with main characters who have cultures or ways of life that are different from my own. I also would like to read books by more diverse authors this year. To make sure that I accomplish this goal, I’ve signed up for a few book recommendation sites to help me expand my 2021 book recommendation list. In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to highlight a few books by African American authors coming out this year. From a career advice book to poetry, there are so many great publications to choose from! These are just a few to get you started.
If you are looking for career advice, especially in the sports world, this book is a great thing to check out. Katrina goes into her experiences as the youngest CEO and President of the United States Tennis Association, and the challenges she faced during her time there. If you are someone who wants to get into the sports management world, this will give you a great insight into facing the unpredictable challenges of that world. This book also offers great advice for anyone in a position where they are the only person who is the “only one” as the title says. This book just came out today! To learn more about this book, visit the link in the title.
This book is a companion to the novel version of This Book is Anti-Racist. This journal is a great way to keep yourself active in your anti-racist journey. There are many different activities that take a look at different parts of your life. Through these, you can take initiative to grow and learn about yourself. With this knowledge, you can take the steps to grow into someone who is anti-racist. This book also has activities that allow you to plan for situations where you are confronted with racist moments or conversations, and how to address them. If you would like to get this journal, you can visit the link in the title.
This book also comes out today! This novel is a coming of age LGBT+ love story that addresses the messiness of adulthood and the challenge of choosing your own path. Grace Porter has been following the path her father planned for her for the past 28 years. Until one day, when an unexpected drunken decision in Vegas leads her married to a woman who she doesn’t even know. Confronted with her sudden unhappiness with her life’s trajectory, she decides to leave her Portland home and go with her new wife to the bustling city of New York. It’s a great break from the pressure of her life, and she finds herself really falling for her wife. Then life comes crashing down, and she’s forced to face a past that she’d prefer to forget. If you want to check out this book, you can visit the link in the title.
Due to come out on June 8th of this year, this book tells the story of Rowan Townsend. She is a chef at her mother’s restaurant, but she is quickly running out of space. Good food brings everyone in, but the small dining room is leading to long wait times. Rowan decides to join a tv chef competition with goals to spend the money on expanding the restaurant. Then, a wrench is thrown into her plan when her culinary school nemesis also enters the competition. Knox is a talented chef as well, which means Rowan is even more determined to win and show him who’s boss. Will sparks fly in the kitchen? I love a good enemies to lovers story, so I’m excited to check out this book. If you want to get this book when it comes out, you can follow the link in the title.
The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois is a debut novel by the award-winning poet Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. This book follows the lives of one family from the colonial slave trade to the modern day. Ailey Pearl can relate to W.E.B. DuBois’ discussion about “Double Consciousness”, a sensitivity that every African American has to survive. As someone with the names of two formidable Black Americans and a descendant of enslaved Georgians who became tenant farmers, Ailey carries DubBois’s problems as well. She struggles with the feeling of belonging with the whispers of the women in her life urging her to succeed. If you would like to read this book on its release date or preorder it, you can visit the link in the title. If you would like to check out more books by African American authors coming out this year, subscribe to Black by Demand. They have a lot of great recommendations and send weekly updates, so you can see what books come out each week. It’s a great way to expand both your reading list and your points of view. Many of these books offer great perspectives that you might not have considered or thought about before. They’ve been a great resource for me when building my to-read book list for the year. There are a lot of great books out there. It’s time to get to reading them. Happy reading everyone!
Welcome back to another week of blog posts about writing and books! This week, I could not resist bringing back a post that I loved researching. As a writer, you’ve probably thought that you’re the only one struggling. Surely once you are published all of these problems go away! Alas, that is not the case. Even famous authors with dozens of books published still struggle with the writing process. If you’ve read my previous post, then you know where this is going. It’s time for more relatable author quotes about writing! This time I’ve tried to sprinkle in a few that are more motivational, because we all need that sweet motivation sometimes.
This first quote is a mood. Thomas knows what’s up.
Writing hacks: the Mark Twain special. I couldn’t resist including this one even though it’s more of a writing tip.
Anonymous really understands the struggle of modern writers.
Steven understands the meaning of procrastination for writers.
That ten page book isn’t as easy to write as it looks, my friends.
I don’t know why, but this is very true.
Mr. Neil Gaiman back at it again. We’ve all experienced something in a similar vein.
The unknown is both the fun and the dread of being a writer. Beatrix prefers to focus on the optimistic side of things.
Those who are both readers and writers have felt this at some point. Who wouldn’t love to call up their favorite writer for advice and a lovely chat?
If you hadn’t noticed, I love Neil Gaiman and his catalogue of relatable writing quotes.
What did you think of these quotes? Was there one that related to you the most? Let me know in the comments below! I always love going on a quest to find these. I often stumble upon things that are both insightful and hilarious. If you want to find some more great quotes about writing, check out my other post, or search “writing” in Goodreads quotes. Thanks so much for reading, and happy writing!
Somehow, we’re back into the month of February already. The candy hearts and mountains of chocolate are dyeing grocery store shelves pink and red. Even if you don’t celebrate Valentine’s day, there are some great things to look forward to during this holiday. The day after Valentines day leads to a ton of candy on sale. The newer tradition of Galentine’s Day can still be celebrated via Zoom. However, I wouldn’t be a book lover if I didn’t mention the books. Romance books can be read any time of year, but it feels right to read one while shoving heart-shaped Reese’s Cups into your mouth. There are countless types of romantic stories to read, but there are four tropes in these stories that always get me invested and excited.
Enemies to lovers
This is one of my favorite tropes in any story that has a romantic plotline. Do they dislike each other or have the opposite of a meet-cute? Sign me up! When this trope is done well, there are endless opportunities for great plot and character growth. It also allows for some great banter between the two characters. Dynamic dialogue is a great way to keep the story interesting and get a reader invested in what’s happening. There is a line for this trope. Even though the two characters get off on the wrong foot or dislike each other, there has to be a feasible reason why they would become romantically interested. For example: in Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice and Benedick’s budding relationship works because they already have an interest in each other. Their friends convince them through sneaky ways, but in the end they realize that what they believed to be disdain was attraction. Also, they get opportunities away from their friends scheming to confirm those feelings. If two characters don’t have a feasible reason, their relationship could quickly burn out or turn into a toxic situation. If you want to check out a great version of enemies to lovers, I suggest Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. There are so countless YA versions of this trope for your reading pleasure.
Friends to lovers
This one is a bit of a hard left from the last trope. Instead of the characters starting off with disdain, they begin the story as friends. This trope is full of interesting dynamics and questions. In some versions, one character may realize suddenly that their feelings have deepend. However they don’t know how to tell their friend of these blossoming feelings. Suddenly every interaction feels different and confusing for the characters. I am not a fan of miscommunication issues as a plot point in stories, and unfortunately this trope sometimes uses it. However, there are some stories that make it work without going too far. Many times a character doesn’t communicate their feelings to the friend because of a conflict or person. This trope gives a lot of opportunities for the author to show us the changing dynamics before the character’s themselves may notice them. If they use the “show don’t tell” method, then this trope is usually excellent. If you want to check out a great example of a friends to lovers story, I’d recommend The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee.
Angry/ Intimidating character and cinnamon roll pairing
This is another romance trope that allows for some great dynamics in a story. Two characters with completely opposite personalities somehow mesh together. It’s a Slytherin and Hufflepuff sort of situation. Many other characters in the story may not see how or why the couple got together. That’s always a fun gag to tap into in a story. It also allows them to grow and learn from each other in interesting ways. It’s a great way to start character development, or add an interesting conflict for a character’s goals. Many times these relationships are found with side characters. However, there are a few main characters who have a great example of this trope. If you want to check out this dynamic, I’d recommend Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Nina and Matthias have a very interesting twist on this trope.
Only use their real names in dire situations trope
Hello, and welcome to a very niche trope. This trope is more of a sub-genre of the romantic tropes. This could go with many different dynamics in a story. The trope does need two characters who use things like nicknames or last names. Usually the nickname is chosen to irritate the other as much as possible, or it’s a childhood nickname. These characters will spend the entirety of the story calling each other these names, even if others call them by their actual names. It often leads to banter among the characters and bonds the two. Then comes the twist. A dire situation occurs to the characters, and the joking facade drops. Instead, real names are used. This is a really great thing that authors sometimes do to communicate how scared the character is for their friend or love interest. This trope works well with romantic love and platonic love. If done well, it often shows how much the characters truly care for each other. This trope is so weirdly specific that I don’t have a specific book to recommend. If you do, please let me know in the comments! What are your thoughts on these tropes? What are your favorite romantic character tropes in books? Let me know in the comments below! I’m always looking for more books to read, especially with these tropes. If you have any favorite books with these tropes, please fill out the book recommendation survey here. Now get a snack and enjoy a book. Happy reading everyone!
The chilly gloom of winter has made itself known to all of us in the Northern Hemisphere. We are now in the weird limbo between holidays. With the gray clouds and rainy season, it often feels like a depressing beginning to a year. Where I live, the excitement of snow never lasts as it never seems to stick. That takes a lot of the fun out of winter, especially when the slow flurries just turn into a mix of rain and sleet. To combat this, I like to imagine the perfect winter wonderland. Sometimes, I even channel this into my writing. This time of year is a great time to write, especially if writing is one of your 2021 resolutions. In honor of this, I’ve come up with a few winter-themed writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing! Writing these with a hot beverage like hot chocolate is encouraged.
What did you think of these prompts? Are there any winter-themed prompts that you like to reference for inspiration? Let me know in the comments below! Also, please share any stories that stem from these prompts. I’d love to see the different perspectives on these ideas, and where they take y’all. Thanks so much for reading, and happy writing!
Imagine this: you’ve just wrapped a long day at your job or school and feel the need to wind down. You mindlessly scroll through Netflix for a crazy amount of time before giving up, Then, an idea strikes. Reading! You hop off your favorite chair or spot on the couch and dash to your book storing location. But where to start? Now you find yourself in a difficult situation. How do you decide what to read? If you’re a reader, you know this challenge well. In the end, all readers go down this same path at some point when choosing a book.
Consult your bookshelf for previously read books
Stage one: we go for the obvious. Do you even remember what books you do have? Maybe there’s a novel you want to reread? A reader’s first stop is always home base. After staring at your selection for a bit, you may find a book to read instantly. Well done! You’ve accomplished a difficult feat and are possibly a unicorn. You go you reading unicorn genius! If you stuck like most readers, it’s time for stage two.
Stare for way too long at your “too read” pile
Time to consult the new books who are clamoring to be read. Do you want that new mystery you’ve been dying to start? Or the tongue-in-cheek autobiography? When they were purchased, you promised to read them right away. Let’s be honest, it’s been at least a week since you mentally filed it into the to-read section of your mind palace. Why not read the back of the books again and again to narrow down your options? It doesn’t matter how many to-read books you have, this inevitably happens. If you choose a book in this step, you deserve a high-five. Congratulations! Hop off this train and enjoy. If you are frustrated at your current disinterest in these books, never fear! That’s when it’s time to improvise.
Listen to the call of the new books that you need to read
If none of the books you have are calling your name, it’s time to consult your wishlist. If you have it written down or stored online somewhere, consult the list of books you want to read. They are currently not in your possession, which makes them oddly more appealing. After zipping through your list, a book may call your name. If you are blessed with an open library or money to purchase said book, you can answer the call immediately. Mission accomplished! Maybe you hit a roadblock that brings your quest for this new book to a grinding halt. Drat. Time to go back to your bookshelf.
Read the back of some of your books to narrow down your pile…
It doesn’t matter if you did this in stage one and two. Inevitably, the backs of these books will be consulted until you have narrowed down your list to a few books. If you are lucky, this will be the end of the journey for you. You may find a book you love to reread, or remember one that you loved which you were meaning to revisit. You might have found a spark this round for one of your new books. Either way, you did it! No money spent, no book left unread. Sometimes this doesn’t work out. For some reason all the books in your house, in your electronic reader, and anywhere else you keep books don’t hold anything of interest. If you are truly at wits end, you may give up and grab a random book, or give up on the book search entirely. Other times, it’s time to do some quick mental math. You could skip a coffee or a Postmates order to appease your book hunger. You may scour your library’s website for books to rent online. Then, inspiration!
Ignore all the books calling your name and get a new one!
It’s time to appease the book hunger, and that book you found online won’t stop wiggling its way into your mind. Time to cave and purchase it! If you’re lucky, you can find it for a good price or free in the magical world of the internet. Ignore the disappointed sounds of the books you own and get them a friend to join their ranks. If you prefer the feeling of pages between your fingers, it may be a bit longer before you get your prize to enjoy. Either way, more often than not readers find themselves here. If you are like me, it’s a side effect of your increasing book addiction that drives your parents/you to invest in the glory of a library card. However, my library is closed. I can’t escape this pull to give money to Bezos for some instant gratification at 10 pm. This is a constant conflict for me as a book lover. Sure it’s fun to get a new book, but don’t forget about the ones on your shelf! They want to be read too after all.
Do you find yourself going through these stages when deciding on a book to read? Or do you have a different strategy? Let me know in the comments below! I love learning about people’s different reading habits. I hope that this made you smile a bit, even if it’s a bit too relatable. Now it’s time to start this process myself. Hopefully I’ll find a book that brings me as much joy as the below GIF of Matilda being relatable to readers everywhere. Happy reading everyone!
We’re still at the beginning of 2021, but so many resolutions already seem unrealistic amid the uncertainty. Instead, why not focus on goals that can be obtained anywhere and anytime? If you’re a writer, goals like these are easy to find. Writing goals are a great way to feel productive and keep the creative side of your brain happy! The endless options of writing goals can be a bit overwhelming. If you feel a headache coming on from all these options, I’m here to help! Here are ten writing goals that you can conquer in 2021.
Practice is key. Writing prompts are a great way to get your creative juices flowing!
Do you have a character that you’ve created that you want to learn more about? Try fleshing them out with a character sheet!
If you want to practice writing or do your writing warm ups in one place, get a writing prompt book! It’s a great way to find fun prompts and is easy to reference if you later want to revisit a prompt.
Reading is a big part of the writing process. Reading books about writing is a great way to get tips and multiple perspectives on the writing process.
This one is a long ways off, but it’s always good to keep in the back of your mind. If you want to do NaNoWriMO 2021, start warming up your writing muscles so that they’re ready to go in November. You can do Camp NaNoWriMo in April or July to practice as well.
If you often find yourself wishing you had someone to fangirl with over writing, it’s time to do something about it!
Once you have made a writing buddy, why not help them edit their story? It’s a great way to bond, and improve your own editing skills.
Have you ever gotten a story idea or thought of a great line when you were away from your computer? Start a list of ideas that you can reference later. You can do it in a notebook or put these ideas in notes on your phone.
This is a goal that is a great thing to keep up. The more you work on improving your editing skills, the easier it gets to turn that first draft into a final product. If you struggle a bit with this end of writing like me, check out videos on YouTube or Skillshare for tips and tricks.
This final goal is a twist on the writing prompt goals. Instead of following writing prompts, why not create your own? It’s a great way to think out of the box and come up with new story ideas. Share them with your writing friends to see what inspiration sparks from the prompts. You could have a writing party and create themed prompts for the writers!
What are your writing goals this year? Did any of these pique your interest? Let me know in the comments below! I felt stuck trying to come up with my own writing goals for this year, but writing this post really helped. If you decide to attempt any of the writing goals on this list, please keep me updated! I always love hearing from y’all about your writing journey. Thanks so much for reading everyone, and happy writing!