Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Deepen Your Story With Deep POV



Have you noticed how, when you read a good book, your surroundings seem to vanish? The ink on the pages disintegrate as a scene reels through your mind. These are the kind of stories that stick with us. When someone tells me one of my books gave them this "fictive dream" experience, I know I've done my job as a writer. 


However, writing a book in deep POV isn't easy. There are techniques every writer must learn if they hope to invite their readers to enter the pages of their books. Yet when we accomplish this, our readers will feel as if they've stepped into the shoes of our POV character(s) throughout the course of our story. 


So if you want to give your readers this memorable reading experience, where can you start? 


I'd encourage you to check out my course, "Deepen Your Story With Deep POV". In this course, I cover the techniques and secrets that will breathe life into your setting and scenes. Your readers will have the opportunity to connect with your characters and emotion on a much deeper level. 


Interested in hearing my secrets? Click here to find out more!


“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
Anton Chekhov



  ~ ~ ~ 

What books have given you a "fictive dream" reading experience?





Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How to Balance the Elements of Fiction - Part 1

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Have you ever noticed how some authors tend to focus too much on writing certain fiction elements, yet ignore the others? Maybe their writing sounds a little like this…


Dialogue
Action beat
Dialogue
Action beat
Dialogue
Action beat


And on and on. Or perhaps the author writes far too much description and internal monologue and not enough dialogue or action. This becomes easily distracting, don’t you think? This is why we need to be careful that we aren’t making the same mistake in our own writing.






Wednesday, October 4, 2017

8 Ways Writers Can Keep Their Health in Balance

Unfortunately, being a writer isn’t a physically-challenging profession; therefore, it can be easy to neglect our health. And if our health is out of whack, then how can we produce our best works?


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Working in the writing/publishing industry is often demanding and requires several hours behind the screen per day. When I don't take care of myself, this is often reflected in my writing. My words will become stagnant. My brain becomes groggy. My energy becomes low. My back becomes stiff. And when I don't take care of myself, discouragement is more prone to settle in and cause me to doubt myself. The passion for writing fades when I make it a bigger priority than my physical and mental health. 


When this happens, I have to take a step back and evaluate where I stand. In order to be a proficient writer, then every area of my health has to be in balance 24/7—yes, even on a deadline. (In fact, I especially need my body and mind in top shape on those deadline-days!)


If you’ve noticed a decline in the quality of your writing, perhaps it’s time to evaluate your health as well. Here are eight ways writers can keep their health in balance:


1) Put God first.


I have to make sure He remains my #1 priority throughout the day, even if this means cutting back on my daily word count so I can have my quiet time with Jesus. I’ve noticed that, when I do put Him first, then the words and ideas often flow easier. I also become reminded that my writing gift was given to me by Him; therefore, it’s not mine to take credit for. When I put God first, I show Him that I love Him far beyond this gift He’s given me.



2) Incorporate exercise into your daily routine.


Confession: I’ve only been to the gym about twice in my lifetime—and that was back when I was a teen. It’s simply not my style, and I’d much prefer to be enthusiastic about my daily exercise. I also like to change it up every now and then. One day, I might do Pilates and cardio; the next day, I might go for a swim (in the summer, of course); the next day, I might take a walk in the park with my dog. I've also recently joined a weekly dance class so I can incorporate more physical activity into my schedule. Partaking in a daily stretch, such as Yoga, is especially wise for those who have sedentary professions.


Exercise stimulates creativity and releases endorphins. I’ve noticed that, when I’m on a strict deadline, that’s when I’m desperate to keep a regular exercise schedule. My brain literally craves the release that comes through physical exercise, and my back can’t go for too long without needing a stretch.


3) Get some fresh air.


I love that these top three tips can be combined into one. When we take a walk outside, we can also talk with God, get our daily exercise, and breathe in fresh air. Also, it’s not physically healthy to go a long time without being exposed to sunlight. Sure, we can take vitamin D supplements, but nothing compares to receiving it from its true source. When I come across a writer's block, taking a walk outdoors is often the very think I need to get my creative juices flowing again.


4) Eat healthy.


Did you know that the food we eat can directly affect our mood and energy? When we eat a meal that lacks nutrients and is loaded with sugar, then we’re more likely to feel sluggish and eventually crash. On the other hand, when our diets are balanced—and we incorporate veggies and fruits into almost every meal—then we're not likely to feel as bloated. We tend to think more clearly when choose clean foods. (Trust me: It’s nearly impossible to write wen your brain doesn’t seem to be cooperating!)


5) Reward yourself and take a break.


If we want to take care of ourselves, then it’s important that we don’t over-work ourselves. As a workaholic, it can be tempting to keep plugging away at work and knocking items off my to-do list. I have to intentionally block out a certain amount of time per day for a break. For me, this break typically comes in the form of reading a book. ;)


6) Find another creative outlet.


Writing for hours on end can become draining. There have been times when I’ve pushed myself so much that the words just won’t come. My vision becomes bury from staring at the computer screen. When this happens, it’s nice to take a break and lose myself in another creative outlet, one that doesn’t require as much mental energy. This creative outlet for me involves painting or sketching. When I do this, I find myself more creative and refreshed when I do return to my writing.


7) Socialize and live life.


Writing can be a solitary career; however, we weren’t called to live this life on our own. We can’t remain locked up in our cave and simply write about life without ever experiencing it for ourselves. Make sure to take time to socialize and live life. Find a writer’s group so you can connect with likeminded individuals. If you don’t have writer friends who live nearby, schedule video calls with them. Join a Bible study at you’re church. Grab coffee with your family and friends. Remember: Even when you’re not writing, you can still make progress in your craft simply by experiencing new things and meeting new people—both of which can serve as inspiration for your writing.


8) Get enough sleep.


This one’s a little tough for me to follow at times. I love staying up late—but I don’t like to sleep in on a workday. Because of this, I’ve had to set a bed time for myself to make sure I get at least seven or eight hours of sleep every night. When we lack sleep, then our creativity becomes blocked. I’ve noticed that, when I try to cut hours of my sleep in effort to get more accomplished, the opposite happens: I become less productive. My brain just “isn’t all there”, if you know what I mean. ;)


Conclusion:

You might notice that taking care of our health requires a little less time away from our work. But as we grow in our mental and physical health, our brains (and bodies) will thank us. It'll become apparent that we take care of ourselves by the quality of our work, as well as the fruit that results from our productive work hours. Besides, I'd much prefer to live a happy and healthy life—even if it means having to sacrifice the number of books I write per year. 



How do you keep your health in balance? Is there anything on this list that you could incorporate more of into your daily routine?

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