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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
It’s a great time of year for themed content. Whether you’re hoping for some Christmas cheer or a great winter aesthetic, the options are endless. There are movies, books, videos, songs, and more. With all of these great options, it can be overwhelming to choose. Like my posts for Halloween, I wanted to highlight some poems that perfectly fit into this time of year. Some you might have never heard before, and others might surprise you. Here are a few great holiday poems to get you into the world of festive poetry.
If you are like me, then the title of this poem was not familiar. Once you read the poem itself, however, it becomes one of the most famous stories told at Christmastime. In fact, many people can probably recite some of this poem from memory. Many know “A Visit from St. Nicholas” as it’s more recent name “The Night Before Christmas”. It was first published back in 1823 anonymously in a New York paper. Many argue that this is the origin of the American image of Santa Claus. It’s also a lovely story to tell your family while curled up in front of a fire. If you want a safe way to get your family or friends into the festive spirit, try hosting a cozy get together over zoom and have a reading of this poem! With hot chocolate of course.
This poem by Emma Lazarus tells the story of the Feast of Lights, also known as Hanukkah or Chanukah. Hanukkah is a Jewish festival that spans over eight days and celebrates the restoration of the Temple. This was thanks to the Maccabees, who Lazarus mentions in this poem. She tells the story of their fight against the Syrians to regain control of their Temple and bring the light back to the Jewish world. She also mentions the menorah, which has become one of the famous symbols of Hanukkah. As someone who is not Jewish but is interested in learning more about the history behind Hanukkah, this was a beautiful source of information. You can feel the pride and excitement in this poem that the Jewish people must have felt when they reclaimed their Temple. If this poem has you curious about the Feast of Lights and the history behind it, there’s some great information about the holiday here.
This poem is not what you would consider festive. Instead, it perfectly captures the feeling of winter. Amidst all of the celebrations, it is still a very dark and cold season. If you find yourself growing tired of the festive season and wishing for some quiet, this poem is perfect for you. It’s atmospheric nature allows you to just stop and be in a moment. This poem holds a special place in my heart because it reminds me of the quiet feeling of watching snow fall in the woods. It reminds you of the beauty of nature, despite its dangerous chill. When you read it, you can almost hear the snow fall and the chill of the air. Also because it is one of my sister’s favorite poems that she loves reciting from memory on cold evenings. It’s by a man whose last name is Frost, which never ceases to entertain my pun-loving brain. This is a poem to read in the midst of a silent, snowy night.
When I first read the title of this poem, it made me think of the tiny Charlie Brown tree. In fact, the first few lines of the poem made me wonder if it was truly a baby tree that would flop over from one ornament. It also reminds me of decorating Christmas trees as a child. Pulling out the bright and sparkling decoration and carefully hanging them on each branch. Of course, that was before I was tall enough. Most of my decorating duties were limited to the gingerbread and popsicle ornaments. The voice of this poem sounds like a child like myself talking to the tree as if it was a person. I love how it sounds like a child comforting something through an event that clearly must be scary. My favorite section is when the speaker says “then when you’re quite dressed/ you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see/ and how they’ll stare! /oh but you’ll be very proud”. I can imagine the scene unfolding through a child’s eyes, which is a great way to view the holiday season. So many things are more exciting and beautiful when we channel our inner child, after all.
When I stumbled across this poem in my research, I was surprised to see it. I know this poem well, but not written this way. This is a popular hymn to sing in the Christian church during Christmastime. In fact, it is one of my favorite religious Christmas songs. It celebrates the birth of Jesus and talks about what that means for the community celebrating. The poem’s title and repeating lines also reference the angels who sang in celebration when telling the shepherds of Jesus’ birth. It was written in the 18th century by Charles Wesley, who was a Methodist preacher and brother of John Wesley, of the founders of the Methodist denomination in the U.K. He published this work in a collection of hymns and poems in the late 1730s. If you are someone looking for a Christian poem to read for this season, I recommend this one. You can read it and sing it!
Have you read any of these poems before? Do you have a favorite festive poem that wasn’t on this list? Let me know in the comments below! I hope that all of you have a safe and happy holiday season. I’ll be back next week to celebrate the last Tuesday of 2020! Aren’t we all glad that is a sentence we can say. I’ll be recapping my book and writing goals for the year, and take a look at the year to come. Until then, happy reading and happy holidays!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
Instead of the regularly scheduled content of this blog, I wanted to highlight one of the great events happening this week. We had Small Business Sunday and Cyber Monday for our Christmas shopping needs. Today is for the spirit of the season. Today marks the annual Giving Tuesday, a global event that encourages people to do good. It was launched in 2012 in New York and is now it’s own non-profit! They hope to encourage the spirit of the giving season in any way you can. For some this may be a donation, for others it could be helping out a neighbor.
During this year, we’ve seen how a little love and compassion can go a long way. Why not spread the joy when you can? Especially during this season, which is often bittersweet for many. There are so many ways that you can brighten someone’s day during this season. If you have the monetary means, below is a list of places you can fund during this season:
Donate canned food to Feeding America or your local shelter.
Habitat for Humanity
The American Cancer Society
If you do not have the monetary means to donate, consider some of these other great ways to help out today:
Donate gently used clothes to a shelter.
If you are crafty, knit or crochet hats, scarves or gloves and donate them to your local shelter.
Volunteer online. You can visit sites like Points of Light to find places to volunteer.
Participate in a build for Habitat for Humanity. They are taking the proper CDC precautions and require face coverings in order to participate.
Donate toys, food, cleaning supplies, blankets, leashes, etc. to your local animal shelter.
Shop for the holidays with Amazon Smile. When you go to https://smile.amazon.com/, you can select a charity. When you use the Smile url, proceeds are donated to the charity of your choice.
Help a neighbor! If you have a neighbor who can’t leave their house due to COVID or other reasons, offer to pick up their groceries. Dropping off a nice note or plate of cookies to cheer them up is also a great option.
If you go to a place of worship, check with the staff and see if any members are having trouble at this time. Many are not able to do things themselves right now and might need assistance with errands. Or they would just love a phone conversation with someone to catch up!
Show your support for the health care workers on the front lines. Their work has never stopped.
If you want some more inspiration, check out Giving Tuesday’s site for more information. They have great resources for individuals, non-profits, and companies who want to participate.
Thanks so much for reading everyone, and happy Giving Tuesday!
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?
The plot hole debacle strikes again.
Time to get to the real details.
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!