If you’re not familiar with dyslexia it can be simplified down to difficulties with reading and spelling, although this is reducing a very complex learning difficulty into a few words and by no means does the challenges it creates justice.
Rather surprisingly, about half the people on my degree were dyslexic, myself included. For context I did my undergraduate degree in creative and professional writing, so not the place you’d expect to find a bunch of dyslexic people.
As expected, a degree program with writing in the title also came with a lot of reading, something I know that many of us struggled with, but we made it though and even after we graduated many of us remain to be avid readers.
After many conversations with my peers about it, there are a few tips that have helped us that I can pass on in the hope of helping someone else with dyslexia with their reading journey.
Continue reading “5 Tips for the Dyslexic Reader” →
When it came to outlining my book one of the biggest things I had to consider was how the story was going to end, what would the climax be? This was by far the longest part of the whole outlining process for me and arguably the most difficult. Since the age of 16 I’ve wrote YA, young adult fiction was what I read the most and by default was what I wrote the most of. This age range was fantastic because the reader was older enough to understand heavier topics and as a result there was a whole host of possible endings for you book. However, after studying children’s fiction at university I found myself wanting to write a children’s book and this presented me with a few unexpected challenges.
When you write for a different age group to the one that you’re in you have to do far more research. At university I got used to writing for adults, the age of those around me. My work became more mature and I had no issues with touching on hard hitting issues like abuse or murder. But as I stated outlining Mirrors and Magic (working title) I quickly realised this had to change. I was now writing for those under the age of ten and I was not going anywhere near those topics in the way I had done in the past.
In a lot of the short stories I’d drafted that followed the tradition hero’s journey (just like Mirrors and Magic will), I killed off the antagonist at the end and usually at the hands of the hero. But when it came to the ending of Mirrors and Magic, I wasn’t jumping at the idea of having my hero killing off the villain. I’m writing a children’s book with a protagonist who is under ten years old. I can’t say I feel comfortable with a child becoming a killer.
I appreciate that what I’m writing is fiction, so it doesn’t have to play into real world values, but as a writer of children’s fiction I wanted to explore other options and consider there being another ending. As well as it feeling slightly morally wrong, I felt that jumping straight for the hero kills the villain was a bit lazy, it was the easiest option (by the way, there’s nothing wrong with this ending I’m not criticising people who kill off the antagonist of their book. I just felt that I would only be choosing it because it required the less amount of thought for my book). So, I began to explore alternative endings where the villain didn’t have to die, and this lead me down a bit of a rabbit hole I want to share with you all today.
Continue reading “The villain doesn’t have to die – alternative endings for your book” →
We’ve all been there; you want to sit down with a book and relax but somehow, you’re just lacking the drive to. You feel unmotivated to read and nothing seems exciting anymore. You have a look at your bookshelf and there’s so many books that you’ve been meaning to read for ages, but you just can’t bring yourself to. If you’re feeling like this, chances are you’re in a reading slump.
Most readers will go through this at some point, even I experience them, and I love reading. With the current situation around the world, many people are returning to their books. I know many people (myself included) who have set reading goals at the moment. But like most things, we start strong but eventually the excitement runs out and you get into a reading slump. Thankfully they’re not impossible to overcome and I compiled a list of my favourite ways to get out of a reading slump.
If you’re struggling to get your motivation back for reading, give these a go and see if they help. Continue reading “How to get out of a reading slump” →
Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on getting my book sorted. It’s still very early days but I felt I had a good enough grasp on the plan for it to start creating an outline. For those of you who may not know, and outline is a step-by-step plan of what’s going to happen in your book. It can include your main plot, any subplots, important information, locations of particular scenes and the general timeline your book follows.
Outlining is an integral part of writing a book. Yes, you don’t have to outline, and you can still write a book. However, being completely truthful your books is going to have a lot of plot holes and most likely have a weird pace. What outlining does is it makes you think in detail about your plot and by doing this you can notice any plot holes or discrepancies that may be in your book. Another cool thing about creating one is that it can significantly reduce writer’s block. Just think about it for a second, if you’ve got a plan of what’s going to happen in your book your less likely to run out of ideas because the ideas have already been thought of and wrote down.
Basically, it’s a really good idea, and the more detailed it is the easier it should be for you to write your story (in theory).
This is what I’ve been spending most of my free time on as of late. I completed my outline a few weeks ago and have since moved on to creating character profiles and really getting to know the ins and outs of every character in my book. However, as of the doing this and referring back to my outline I’ve noticed there’s a few things that aren’t quite right and that’s what I’m going to discuss today, the mistakes I made when I outlined my book. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and save yourself time and a lot of annoying editing. Continue reading “Mistakes I made when I outlined my book” →