Okay, so I’m not going to go crazy with this blog post since I’m feeling under the weather and I’m probably going to ramble a lot more than I want to. I’ve had the remains of a sore throat for weeks, but then it settled into a full on cold, complete with a headache. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
Thing 1- check out my word count! I figured out today that I’m two chapters away from being halfway done. Hopefully I can hit that point this week! Whoo-hoo!
Thing 2- I was going to share another NaNoWriMo pep talk, but then I found this other article on Pinterest. Yay Pinterest! Speaking of Pinterest, you can follow Hypergraphia on Pinterest for more inspiration. I know, shameless advertising.
Anyway, the article I’m sharing is called How to Write Better Fiction. There are a few different parts to the article, but I wanted to focus on the suggestions on how to write better fiction. It was interesting because it’s primarily focused on the reader, and not the actual writing.
The first suggestion is to Give a Reason to Read. It’s not something you think about when you think about writing a novel, but it’s a good point. If your reader doesn’t want to read your novel, they’re not going to read it. Characters have to have purpose, and the readers have to know what that is so they will read.
The next thing they say is Don’t Bore, which fits with the following point, of Limiting Details. Overwhelming descriptions are boring. I never did make it through the Lord of the Rings because I could not stand how long the descriptions are. When I read a book, I want action and conflict. I don’t want to sort through pages and pages talking about a mountain to get there. Writing needs to engage the reader, because if it isn’t engaging, then the reader won’t have a reason to read. Amazing how it all ties together, right?
One of the best ways to engage the reader is by Stimulating the Imagination. This can be done in many ways, and primarily relates back to finding a balance on description. Visual description is the most common way of stimulating the imagination. However, an incredibly important, and often overlooked, way to do this is by using the senses. All of them, not just sight. Scents are a very useful writing tool because of how easily they can evoke emotions and memories for the reader as well as the main character. If the reader can relate to a character because of a scent, then they are attached to that character and will want to keep reading. Touch, taste, and sound are also important, and can be just as useful. Sound is used in movies, so it needs to be a part of your writing if you want the reader to be fully submerged.
Emotional struggles are also helpful when trying to bond the reader with a character. If a reader can relate to something the character went through, they’ll want to keep reading to see how the character overcomes it.
The last piece of advice I thought was interesting was finding a way to Do Something Different. Making your story unique is hard in a world where everything needs to be unique. There are so many ideas already in existence, how can you pick out something new? It doesn’t have to be original, it just has to be you. Whether it’s the tone of the story, an interesting character trait, or some amazing and interesting plot point, find a way to put your stamp on your story. This is really important for someone who is doing a fairy tale retelling in a world full of fairy tale retellings. Finding a way to make the story stand out from the other fairy tale retellings was hard. I chose a unique setting to make my stories stand out. Find something and make it yours.
That’s it for now. I’m off to write another chapter. Happy NaNoWriMo!