The importance of having writing buddies

For this month’s chilled out post we’re talking about writing buddies. With everything that’s going off in the world right now I didn’t want to get talking about anything too heavy or personal because I think we’re all reading a little too much negative or worrying content at the moment. There’s also a big push to stay connected and catch up with friends and family members to make sure that everyone is doing ok. So, while everyone is thinking about friendship, I wanted to talk about why having writing friends is an important part of being a writer. Continue reading “The importance of having writing buddies”

Celebration – 100th post!

I still can’t believe I’m writing this post, I can’t quite believe we’re at 100 posts already. It doesn’t feel five minuets since I was sitting in my college corridor looking puzzled at my laptop as I tried to navigate WordPress’s interface for the first time. How time fly’s when you’re having fun.

I can say with confidence that I never expected to be where I am today, I never expected to ever make it to 100 posts, I never expected to make it to my first year anniversary and we’re now quickly approaching three years with Lost in the Story. Running this blog has been an incredible experience for me, and as dramatic as it sounds, it’s been life changing.

A few years ago blogging wasn’t even on my radar, I’d never really heard of it. It was my dad who introduced me to the idea of blogging after I said I wanted swap over from studying forensic science and pursue a career in writing instead. Blogging was a good way to see if I could write consistently, and maintain the level of motivation that was needed to make a job out of writing. If I got bored of it in a few weeks then becoming a writer wasn’t for me and I should stay on the science route.

Well 100 posts later and I’m still here.

I loved blogging so much that I made the leap from science to writing. I now study creative and professional writing at Bangor University. If it wasn’t for this blog there is no way I would have had the confidence to do my dream degree at my dream University. Continue reading “Celebration – 100th post!”

Mistakes I made when I outlined my book

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”

Simple writing exercise – Rory’s Story Cubes

If there’s one thing in the writing process I seriously underestimated it would be the importance of warming up before you write. Before university if I was to write something, I would open my laptop, get up a word document and just write. The start of my writing was always a bit clunky; it didn’t flow very well. If anything needed the most editing in my work, I could guarantee you it would be the start. I now understand that was because I didn’t warm up before I wrote anything.

Since being at university I’ve come to realise the importance of being in the right mindset before I write. I’m not talking about making sure I’m relaxed or feeling very motivated, what I’m talking about is making sure the ideas are flowing and I’m warmed up. So far, I’ve been doing this by free writing. I will set a two-minute or five-minute timer on my phone, pick up a pen and write non-stop until the time was up. What this did was let me get most of my clunky writing out of my system before I was working on my manuscript or essay. You don’t have to do this with a pen and paper, it’s just I find it a little bit easier to be less perfect when I’m scribbling down ideas on paper and not typing them.

It’s all been very well and good but over time it’s got a bit boring so when I went back home at Christmas, I found my story cubes and decided to bring them back with me to university.

I’ve had these since I was about 13 and I think they’re so useful. They’re a fantastic way to just have fun thinking of stories and plots. Since I’ve been back at university, I’ve been using these cubes regularly as writing prompts and over time they became my warm up, replacing free writing. What I wanted to share with you all today is how I use these as a professional writer as a method of warming up my writing muscles. I understand they’re designed for children, but I really wouldn’t underestimate them or dismiss them because of the target audience. Continue reading “Simple writing exercise – Rory’s Story Cubes”