10 More Relatable Author Quotes about Writing

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. 

  1. This first quote is a mood. Thomas knows what’s up.
  1. Writing hacks: the Mark Twain special. I couldn’t resist including this one even though it’s more of a writing tip.
  1. Anonymous really understands the struggle of modern writers.
  1. Steven understands the meaning of procrastination for writers.
  1. That ten page book isn’t as easy to write as it looks, my friends. 
  1. I don’t know why, but this is very true. 
  1. Mr. Neil Gaiman back at it again. We’ve all experienced something in a similar vein.
  1. The unknown is both the fun and the dread of being a writer. Beatrix prefers to focus on the optimistic side of things.
  1. 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?
  1. 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!

10 Winter Themed Writing Prompts

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!

10 Writing Goals to Conquer in 2021

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.

  1. Practice is key. Writing prompts are a great way to get your creative juices flowing!
  1. Do you have a character that you’ve created that you want to learn more about? Try fleshing them out with a character sheet!
  1. 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.
  1. 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. 
  1. 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.
  1. If you often find yourself wishing you had someone to fangirl with over writing, it’s time to do something about it! 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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.
  1.  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!

5 Common Writing Tropes in Hallmark Christmas Movies

This time of year is full of fun movies that get people excited for the festive season. There are the classics that people must watch in December. There are even countless debates if movies are Christmas movies or not. One of the most popular movie types around this time of year are Hallmark movies. If you love them or hate them, odds are they’ll be brought up in a few conversations this time of year. Even other media companies like Netflix have joined in on the trend. Recently, these movies joined the Tik Tok conversation. Tik Tokkers have noticed a trend in Hallmark movies, resulting in some hilarious moments. After some laughter, I realized that they were onto something. Hallmark movies, especially Christmas ones, have a formula all their own. I found a few themes and tropes that have become iconically Hallmark.

  1. Big city professional going to a small town

The most popular trope for all seasons, this is how many movies begin. A professional in the big city is sent to a small town. It could be their hometown, or they could be traveling there for business. Either way, something big happens to get this professional to a quaint small town somewhere in the United States. Occasionally, this applies for people traveling abroad as well. Usually these professionals start out their visit looking down on the members of the town, or taking in the scenery with a bit of disdain. The town members are usually welcoming despite the cold shoulder they receive. Usually there’s one very attractive town member who tries to show our main character the joys of the place. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, this person is the love interest! Like many of these tropes, this one usually involves a city girl moving to a small town and meeting a small-town man. There are some reversals of this dynamic, but it seems to be the most popular version. Usually by the end, the main character learns to love the town and the true meaning of Christmas. Bonus points if they decide to leave their job to stay there with the love interest to support whatever profession they have. It could be everything from an inn to a shop. The possibilities are endless!

  1. A reluctant business owner of a family business 

Our main character has just inherited a family business and is not so sure about it. It could be from a dear relative, or one that they haven’t spoken to in years. Sometimes this ties in with the big city professional trope. The family business is usually a bakery, coffee shop, or hotel. The main character will vow to her bffs that she’s just going to help the business get off the ground, sell it, and go back to whatever they were doing before. Eventually, they grow to love the business thanks to experience and, you guessed it, the love interest! Sometimes the love interest works there, or could even be a neighboring business owner. With this trope, there’s also a great opportunity for family bonding. Siblings are usually what they go for, especially if they are sisters. Cue all the drama and heart-felt confessions that are perfectly Hallmark. 

  1. A skeptic who learns the meaning of Christmas from their love interest 

This trope is often wrapped up in the big city professional trope. They usually visit a town who loves Christmas and has a multitude of traditions for the season. Our main character is usually jaded in some way about the holiday. It could be past trauma, their experiences in the city, or countless other reasons. Usually it involves something that leads to a very sappy character arc. As it says on the tin, the love interest helps remind the main character of the true meaning of Christmas. They could be anyone from a member of the town, or a coworker in their new job. This love interest has a gumption for Christmas that would probably even convince Scrooge. There have even been countless A Christmas Carol inspired movies using this trope. 

  1. A girlfriend or boyfriend who does not treat the main character well.

This trope is often tied in with big city professional trope. More often than not, the main character has a significant other already when their story begins. But you must have a blossoming romance! How can Hallmark accomplish this with an existing relationship? You would think that they would expand on the already existing relationship, but that wouldn’t provide character development. Instead, they write the significant other’s as distant or unappreciative of our main character. They could be distracted with work or just an overall jerk. They have to be unlikable enough to justify the main character moving on with the romantic interest. They’ll get back into focus right when our main character starts getting super close with the romantic interest. Cue awkward breakup scene that involves at least some weird ego. Somehow, everything ends up fine. Occasionally this feels like a deux ex machina move to get two characters together without obstacle. But hey, they’re happy so that’s all that matters!

  1. An enemies to lovers relationship

This trope is prevalent in stories outside of Hallmark movies. I do have to admit that this is one of my favorite romantic comedy tropes. It leads to a lot of great banter, and great character development. For Hallmark movies, the enemies part of this trope can feel a bit extreme or silly. Sometimes the writing only lets us see the bad of the potential love interest because it’s only showing the point of view of our main character. That’s when this trope really works. We learn with the main character that this person is not who they seemed. It allows our appreciation to grow with the storyline. However, in many Hallmark works it’s a bit more strange. There are stories where only the main character despises this character, despite others adoring them. Sometimes it works because it is a real life occurrence. When it’s not working, it feels like the main character is just a stubborn drama queen or king. They also tend to have a giant “my way or the highway” complex that blinds them to the good of the love interest that literally everyone else, including the audience, can see. To a degree that can become frustrating. Still, this will forever be my favorite trope when it works. If I do watch a Hallmark movie, there are high odds that this trope plays a big role in the plot. 

Have you seen these tropes play out in your favorite Hallmark movies? Are there some Christmas Hallmark movie tropes that I missed? Do you have a favorite Hallmark-style movie?  Let me know in the comments below! It’s been fascinating to see how this writing style has spread to other networks and streaming platforms, so I’d be interested to see if any favorite Hallmark-style movies are from these places instead of Hallmark. It was really fun to look at these writing tropes and find so many common threads. If anyone is looking for a fun writing project idea for this holiday season, I’d recommend using some Hallmark tropes to create your own story. Who knows what kind of fun storyline will come of it! If you do, please send it to me. I’d love to see what you come up with. Thanks so much for reading everyone, and happy writing!

10 NaNoWriMo Memes to Get You Through the Last Week

It’s the final countdown! We are less than one week away from the end of NaNoWriMo. With my last few brain cells, I decided to go out of this NaNoWriMo with a bang. If I get any writing done remains to be seen. In the meantime, I wanted to give my fellow writers and NaNoWriMo participants something to smile about. This final week is always hard, but this year makes it feel even worse. What’s a better way to cheer yourself up than writing memes? 

  1. The plot hole debacle strikes again.
  1. Time to get to the real details.
  1. Reaching out to your writing buddy during a difficult writing time.

4. Me anytime I have an idea at 3 am.

5. Writing a backstory for your characters like 

6. We can do it! Writing something is better than nothing. 

7. Even a debacle on day 20.

8.Well that went an interesting direction.

9. Me this entire month.

10. Me reminding myself that the stress is almost over. 

Did you have a favorite meme? Do you have a favorite writing or NaNoWriMo meme that was not included? Let me know in the comments below! I am always happy to have more memes in my life. I hope that these memes put a smile on your face. If I can put you guys in a good mood for your next writing session, I consider it a win! Good luck with your last week of NanoWriMo. I know you can do it. Thanks so much for reading, and happy writing!

10 GIFS That Perfectly Represent NaNoWriMo

Welcome to another week of writing and stress! This week has been an eventual one. Thanks to that, I have no interesting NaNoWriMo updates for y’all. I had a feeling that reading another post about a girl’s stress during this year wouldn’t be very helpful. I didn’t do any writing this week, so it seemed silly to blab for a few paragraphs about my lack of writing. Instead, I’ve decided to highlight some relatable moments of taking part in NaNoWriMo. What better way to highlight these moments than my favorite medium, GIFs! 

  1. When you first sit down for a writing session
  1. When you get a breakthrough on a story idea.
  1. When you’re cheering on your writing buddy and their awesome work.
  1. After someone asks how your writing is going during a rough patch.
  1. When you roll into your local chat to check up on your writing friends and accidentally walk into peak chaos. 
  1. Cheering on the writers who have completed NaNoWriMo.
  1. When someone asks you to give more details on your story idea. Details who? We don’t know her
  1. Me trying to get through this while doing work and holiday stuff.
  1. When the writer’s block hits you hard.
  1. After finally completing this crazy month.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that last gif deeply. If we all play our cards right, our food comas can line up perfectly with our post NaNoWriMo naps. Don’t forget my fellow WriMos, we’re halfway there! So exciting. Whether you’re chugging along or have barely scratched the surface, taking part in this is still a great thing. You’re powering through the craziness to put words on a page, and I think that’s pretty awesome. Good luck with this next week of NaNoWriMo and happy writing to everyone!

NaNoWriMo: A Stressful Week 1

Welcome back to another recap of my NaNoWriMo journey! As most Americans could tell you, this past week has been stressful. This entire week has been as draining as it has been exciting. For the past week, I’ve gotten home from work and attempted to stay as far away from the news and social media as I could. I tried to limit checking for updates and searched for something to distract me. There was a sign saying “hey, writing your NaNoWriMo story might help”. Surprise, that was not how it panned out.

Instead of focusing on my writing, I took a deep dive into other distractions. YouTube? I was there. Knitting? You bet! And, of course, social media took its place as the number one distraction. On top of this, I was getting home every day from work with a brain that felt like mush. A mushy brain is not my ideal when it comes to writing, and I couldn’t figure out how to overcome it. I was on a roll for a few days, pushing through to get a few paragraphs in at the very least. Then things started to pile up, and I lost my ability to power through. Instead, I became an Emily burrito of stress and the mushy brain feeling only grew worse. Needless to say, I did not get much done.

This continued on for most of the week. An endless cycle of stress and a lack of productive work. If you were in the same boat as me, it is okay. Many people were stressing over events and were channeling that stress. They channeled it into outlets other than writing. My favorite outlet was the meme format. Many created funny and sassy memes about Nevada and other states who appear to be slow counters. These memes made me laugh and helped me get back into a good enough mindset to write again. The good side of the internet strikes again! 

Thanks to this newfound determination, I was on a roll at the end of the week. Fingers were flying, words were flowing out of me like honey. The ideal writing situation! I knew that this wouldn’t be a frequent feeling for me during this year’s NaNoWriMo. I don’t have that gift at the best of times, let alone during a year where stressed out is my default state. I’m grateful to have this inspiration while it lasts. It might hold me over until December 1st, or it might tank tomorrow. Either way, I’m glad to be doing this challenge. It reminds me that I can write. That I could someday join the ranks of published NaNoWriMo participants. You can too if you keep pushing through and keep striving to improve your skills.

How are y’all doing with NaNoWriMo so far? Any tips you’ve picked up to help power through the hardships of writing? Let me know in the comments below! This year has gotten me excited to be a part of the writing community. I’d love to continue expanding my list of writing buddies. If you want to be writing buddies, let me know and I’d be happy to beta your story. Thanks so much for reading everyone, and happy writing!

NaNoWriMo 2020: Let’s Do This

Welcome back everyone to another year of new characters and weird plot ideas! It’s time for NaNoWriMo 2020, aka National Novel Writing Month. I can’t believe it’s already time to start this challenge. It seems like yesterday that NaNoWriMo was sending me  Camp NaNoWriMo emails in March. Now we’re knee-deep in character sheets and chugging caffeinated beverages. How time flies, especially during the weird year we’ve had. In honor of my third year, I wanted to share some information about my story. I also want to give NaNoWriMo newbies a glimpse into my personal experience.

Before I go into my own experience, let’s get into what NaNoWriMo entails. For those unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month happens every November. Over these thirty days, writers are challenging themselves to write a novel. The rough draft of one, usually. The NaNoWriMo goal is always 50,000 words, which is roughly 1,667 words a day. I have never met this goal, so if you don’t get it don’t worry about it. The main goal of this adventure is to get yourself writing and thinking about writing. To keep it fun, you get badges on your profile when you hit milestones. They also make a community-driven affair. There are countless forums you can join to meet other writers online and get advice. They also have forums in your city, which is great for when they are planning group write-ins. We won’t be doing those this year for obvious reasons, but it’s still a great way to make writer friends in your area. 

As I mentioned, I’ve never hit that 50k word goal. I usually end up writing a bunch of scenes that are hard to piece together. I’m still writing more than usual, so I can’t berate myself too much about that. Last year I threw in the extra challenge of this blog. It both motivated me and increased the nerves I had about writing. I found myself writing more because if I didn’t, there’d be nothing for me to talk about in my next blog post! Because of this, I wrote 13,464 more words than the year before. Talk about an improvement! If you are a NaNoWriMo first-timer, don’t worry about making that goal in the sky. As long as you improve and finish with a semi-formulated idea, that’s all that matters. In the past two years of doing this, my writing has improved. I also feel less self-conscious about my writing. 

This year has been crazy for me like it has been for most people. I worried that November 1st would pop up and I’d have no ideas and only stress. I’m still stressed, but I do have an idea. A victory for myself, I’d say. This year, I’m challenging myself to write the next North American Folk tale. I’m hoping to channel the essence of these stories. I want to create something that fits in among the Johnny Appleseed’s and Headless Horsemen of the genre. I’m not sure how I’m going to do this. In fact, as I’m writing this I have no clue how to write American folklore. There aren’t a lot of papers or books that go into how to write them. Or I haven’t found them yet. I’m going into this with only determination and hope. I did discover an unexpected plus of this genre. Most classic American folk tales are short stories, so I don’t have to climb the 50k word mountain this year. I do want a full rough- draft, which will be both easier and more difficult because of the smaller word count goal. 

Despite going into this blind, I’m excited about this year and my new story idea. I can’t wait to see what I have on November 30th. If you are taking part in NaNoWriMo 2020, let me know in the comments below! Please keep me updated on your project. I’d love to hear what other people are working on and how it’s going. Also, please let me know if this is your first time participating. If you’d like some advice or a writer buddy to cheer you on, I’d be happy to help! This is going to be a crazy awesome month, and I can’t wait to dive headfirst back into the story writing world. Thanks so much for reading, and happy writing!

5 Tips to Creating Dynamic Characters

There are countless parts of the writing process that make you want to tear your hair out. World building? Difficult. Plot? A mountain to climb. But there is a part of writing that feels as intimidating as crafting a good twist: creating characters. Creating your characters can be as easy as throwing some traits together and calling it a day. Creating well-rounded, dynamic characters is more of a nail-biting process. You want them to jump off the page, but still feel like real people in the world you’ve created. When creating my own characters, I’ve found a few tips that have helped me make my characters more dynamic and relatable. 

  1. Research is key

For those who love starting a story blind, this may be a nerve-wracking step for you. However, research can be a useful tool when creating your characters. It’s not just for worldbuilding! If you have a bare bones idea of who you want your character to be, use those bare bones to learn more about your character. This research is very important if you are writing characters in a different time or if they are someone with a different life experience from you. If you want your character to be a suffragette in England during the 1910s, you need to research the ladies of that movement. If you want to write a character who is a part of a community that you are not, interview someone in that community to get an insight into their experiences. The information you gather isn’t something you necessarily have to replicate when creating your character. Instead, use this research as a lens to sharpen your character. It’s like the glasses of writing! 

  1. Character Sheets are (sometimes) your friend

Character sheets are either the bane or savior of a writer’s existence. They can be a great tool, but also a bit overwhelming. A character sheet is a long document where you write down many different facets of your character to help flesh them out. Everything from their favorite color to their morals is on this sheet. It’s a great tool to help you humanize your characters. It’s also a great guide for those times you get stuck writing. How would your character react to a situation? Consult your character sheet and you’ll be able to determine how their reactions will alter the plot. If you’ve tried a character sheet before and got overwhelmed, you’re not alone. I often get overwhelmed by the details you need to use to fill out the sheet. Try filling out some basic information on the sheet as a jumping off point. If you discover things later down the line about your character, you can add it to the sheet. Once you’ve finished your draft, you can use this sheet to make sure that the character’s actions are consistent.

  1. Use visual references for your characters

If you are a visual person like me, sometimes describing characters can be hard without visualizing them first. If you are someone who draws, try drawing your character using the descriptive words you already have. Adjust these descriptors as needed once you have your character drawn out. I sadly did not get the drawing gene, so I use a different approach. I call it the “movie book cast”. Think about people who you would cast in a movie version of your book. What about their appearance and body language is similar to one of your characters? Use their inspiration to help make your descriptors more concise.  

  1. Take inspiration from your own favorite characters

There are many books that inspire us to write within a certain genre. Characters do that as well. This means it’s time for one of my favorite things, a list. First, write down what you already know about your character. What are their traits, their morals, etc? Then, make a list of characters who have inspired you. Write down their attributes, and pick out a few that you think would go well with your character. It is very important that you use this as inspiration, not as a copy and paste deal. If you love Elizabeth Bennett, don’t put a new name on her and put her into your story. Instead, think of why you love Elizabeth and use these traits as inspiration to create your own character. 

  1. Don’t be afraid of flaws

When writing a story, a compelling tale is a must. How can you accomplish this with perfect characters? Newsflash, you can’t. Characters need to have flaws just like real life people. If you write a perfect protagonist going on a hero’s journey, there’s no point to the story. How will they grow if they’re perfect to begin with? This is when research and the good old character sheet come in handy. Use the information you gather from these to help determine these flaws. Are they a frustratingly perfect hero on a quest? Think about why they are going. Many times characters begin their journey for the wrong reasons, which is where the flaws begin to appear. Flaws are what make your characters relatable and interesting. It also makes your story interesting. No one cares about someone who can go through hardships without batting an eye. If you’re not sure where to begin, reference tip number four. What are the flaws of your favorite characters, and why were they present? Use them as a jumping off point to help you figure out how to humanize your own characters.

Creating a dynamic character in the world of your imagination is hard, but so worth it. Once you have them fleshed out, the story seems a little less intimidating. What is your process for creating characters? Have you ever tried these steps before, and did they help you? Let me know in the comments below! I hope that these tips can help you with character creation, especially during the upcoming NaNoWriMo. We have about a month, but it’s never too early to start planning. Thanks so much for reading, and happy writing!

10 Fall Themed Writing Prompts

It’s finally fall! Even though it’s still hot where I live, I am determined to get into the fall spirit. September is the beginning of one of my favorite seasons. A season where I want to jump headfirst into everything cozy and fall-themed. This is the season where I get out Agatha Christie and dip into the spooky section of my bookshelf. But what about my writing? How can I bring it into this cozy and mysterious world as well? Enter the magical world of writing prompts. I often forget about all the fall-centric writing ideas, so these are a great way to get into the fall mood. I’ve come up with a few prompts that are sure to get you into the spirit of fall, and get your creative juices flowing!

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What did you think of these prompts? Are there any fall-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. I am very excited to get started on using some of these myself. Hopefully they’ll give me some inspiration for my NaNoWriMo story. Or even ideas for a new character. Thanks so much for reading everyone, and happy writing!