4 Tips To Writing An Emotional Scene

“Emotional” can mean a lot of different things. You can be filled with joy or sadness, anger or envy. Cry happy tears or sob distraught. Any scene can be emotional but for many different reasons. Depending on the emotion and the tension you can get different levels of emotion as well. So, here are some tips to writing an emotional scene.

4 tips to writing an emotional scene | creative writing | writing | emotional scenes | writing tips | blogging | RachelPoli.com

Make the emotion authentic

First and foremost, you can’t force emotion. Sometimes we don’t always cry at something sad or laugh out loud at something funny. When something emotional is happening, allow your characters to talk as how people would talk in real life. The message will come across to your readers and it’ll make your characters seem more real.

Less is more

Sometimes you don’t need a super long scene to make it emotional. Something short and sweet will do nicely. You don’t need to swell on it too long. Unless something else is going to happen that would advance the plot further, you don’t need to show off every moment of the funeral.

Use your own experiences

You know how to be happy. You know how to be scared and brave when it isn’t easy to be. Take those feelings and pour it into your characters. Again, less it more. You don’t need to describe every little detail, but it definitely helps to get the idea across the paper.

Show your feelings and tell them too

One piece of writing advice I’m sure everyone is familiar with is, “show, don’t tell.” I agree with that to some extent, but when it comes to feelings and emotional scenes, you can choose to show or tell them. Showing will give a subtle feel to the readers. However, it always helps to talk about our feelings. Allowing two characters to talk to one another and describe their feelings and why will certainly add some emotion to the reader. Sometimes a little bluntness can go a long way. It doesn’t need to be a long conversation, but it can be a start.

How do you convey emotional scenes? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around.

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4 Tips To Write An Action Scene

We’ve talked about different types of scenes and how there are different ways to go about writing a scene. However, what if you’re trying to write a particular kind of scene and you’ve never been in a fight before? Here’s some tips to write an action scene.

4 tips to writing an action scene | creative writing | writing | blogging | action scenes | RachelPoli.com

Research

There are so many research options out there. There’s the Internet, the library, and just reading books in your genre to see how other authors have done it. You can also go hands-on as well. If your character fights with a bow and arrow, find some archery classes in your area and see what it’s like for yourself.

Every action should advance the plot

If there’s a big battle, why? Why does the battle matter and why is it needed in the first place? You can’t have your characters fight for no reason or just for the sake of throwing some action into the mix.

Each fight should be unique from the others

Not all fights are the same. Even if you have multiple battles with the same enemy, no battle is the same. Fighting style may change, the approach to the battle will be different, and, of course, characters will die and you certainly can’t have the same character die twice, right? Well, I guess you could depending on what genre you’re writing… but hopefully you get my point.

Remember the aftermath

After every action scene whether it’s a fight or a heated argument or anything – there’s always consequences or some sort of aftermath – good or bad. Be sure to show that off.

What are some tips you have to write an action scene? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around.

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21 Questions To Ask When Writing A Scene

To make sure the scenes in your novel are the best they can be, here are 21 questions to ask when writing a scene.

21 Questions to ask when writing a scene | creative writing | blogging | writing a scene | writing tips | RachelPoli.com

1. Does my scene have a strong hook to grab the reader’s attention?

2. Does my scene have a clear beginning, middle, high point, and end?

3. Is the end resolved or hanging?

4. Is the scene important to the plot? Does it move the plot along?

5. Is something revealed about any of the characters?

6. Does the scene showcase the setting at all?

7. Does the POV stay true throughout the whole scene? Is it clear who the POV character is?

8. Is there a good balance between dialogue and description?

9. Does the scene include sensory and texture detail?

10. Does the scene pick up where the last scene left off? Or is it clear time passed?

11. Is there a good transition or segway to the next scene?

12. Does the scene begin in a unique way from the few scenes before it?

13. Does the scene have any sort of twist or element of surprise? Is it meaningful enough for the themes of the book?

14. Has the inner and/or outer conflict been addressed in some way? Has it advanced the plot or any of the characters at all?

15. Does the scene have any lulls? Are there any boring words or overused words that need to be taken out?

16. Does the scene overwhelm the reader with too much detail? Does the scene have not enough detail?

17. Is the setting of the scene clear to the reader?

18. What are the stakes of the scene? What happens if the protagonist succeeds? What happens if the main character fails?

19. Is there enough action or tension to keep the reader reading?

20. Is there a good balance of emotion in the scene?

21. Do all the elements of the scene work together well to make the scene the best it can be?

Is there anything else I missed? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around.

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Dos And Don’ts Of Writing Opening Scenes

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: each scene is unique from the rest. However, cliches and tropes are everywhere. There’s nothing wrong with them as long as they’re used in a unique way, a special way that tricks your readers into thinking it’s never been done before. With that said, there are some dos and don’ts of writing opening scenes.

Dos and Don'ts of writing opening scenes | Creative writing | blogging | scene writing | RachelPoli.com

Do

Start with the story you’re currently telling. Your readers came to find out what’s up with the blurb on the back of the book.

Don’t

Start with a dream or flashback sequence. Your protagonist doesn’t need to wake up from having the “same dream.”

Do

Open with some sort of action or conflict. Draw the readers in right away with some tension making them wonder what it’s all about.

Don’t

Open with too much scenery or talk about the weather. The description is good, but sometimes we don’t need to know it right away. It can easily be woven into the story throughout.

Do

Introduce the protagonist. Let the reader know right away who they’re going to be learning about, who they’re going to be journeying with and why they should care about that particular protagonist.

Don’t

Introduce too many characters at once. A couple characters can be introduced for sure, but you don’t want to bombard your readers with too many names.

I could go one with more dos and don’ts of writing opening scenes. But I won’t. In the end, you should take this advice with a grain of salt and do what you think is best for your book.

Do you have a few ways to write opening scenes? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around.

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5 Tips On Writing A Great Scene

Writing a scene isn’t as easy as it sounds. We write them automatically into our stories, but are we really writing the scenes to the best of our ability? Do they make sense to our readers? Do some scenes need to be included in the first place? Not one scene is the same from another, but the process can be similar. Here are some tips on writing a great scene.

5 Tips on writing a great scene | Creative Writing | Writing Tips | Scene writing | RachelPoli.com

1. Find the purpose

What’s the purpose of the scene? Where are your characters and why are they there? What are they doing and why? The scene needs to have a meaning behind it. It either needs to show some character development and/or move the plot forward. Or else, why would your audience care to read it?

2. Show the tension at the end

To go along with the purpose of the scene, something big must happen that transitions to the next scene. Usually, this is some sort of high moment that can leave the reader gasping. This can often be left at the end of the scene making the reader want to read on to the next scene or chapter.

3. Describe the inner and outer conflict

There’s always something going on in our minds, whether it’s positive thoughts or negative. Worry or wondering. Planning or daydreaming. Your characters have a purpose as does the plot. What’s the inner and outer conflict of the story? The scene can show off both or just one for the time being, but at least one should be addressed.

4. Express the characters’ emotional state

What happens in this scene that effects the characters? Something good or bad usually happens that changes the characters’ emotional state. It may add to their reason for doing what they’re doing in order to make the plot move forward. This can be something as simple as escaping from a following or something as drastic as a character death.

5. Detail sensory and texture clues

Painting the picture for your readers is key to having a well rounded, in-depth scene. Allow your audience to see, feel, smell, hear, and taste what your characters are feeling and seeing, etc. Bring your readers into the action beside the characters and allow them in your world.

Of course, there are many other things that can go into writing a scene. I personally feel as though these are the big ones. Each scene is unique from all the rest but they’re all made up of the same matter.

What do you include in your scenes? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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8 Types Of Scenes

We’ve established what to include in each scene of your novel, but there are many different types of scenes. Each type has a purpose and a lot of them are needed in order to drive the plot forward.

8 Types of Scenes | Creative Writing | Novel Writing | RachelPoli.com

Introduction

Often one of the first scenes in a story. The introduction shows off the characters, background, setting, and more. It introduces and sets up the story for the reader.

Exposition & Preparation

The exposition is where the necessary information is explained to the characters and to the reader. It’s where the conflict is seen. The preparation is where the characters make plans on how to deal with the conflict. They’re prepping for a journey or for a fight or anything that will resolve the conflict.

Transition

If this was a movie, this is most likely where a traveling montage would occur with lots of panning over beautiful landscapes. The transition scene is exactly what it sounds like. The characters are on the move. This is usually a scene showcasing them moving from one place to another quickly not explaining too much since not much may happen.

Investigation

Another one that sounds exactly like it says. The investigation is the characters searching for clues and trying to put together the pieces of whatever conflict they’re trying to resolve. They’re searching for information.

Revelation

The big reveal! This is when the characters and the readers (or the readers first) realize something big about the conflict. There’s a discovery or they figure something out about their problem or another character – good or bad. This can be a real game changer.

Escape & Pursuit

Another one that sounds like it says. The characters are escaping from some sort of capture or they’re rescuing someone. Maybe they’re the ones pursuing someone else. There can be a car chase, anything can happen. This one is usually pretty tense with high stakes and a good amount of action.

Aftermath

The aftermath can be something at the end or it can be sprinkled throughout the story after certain big events happen. The aftermath shows how the characters deal with a certain situation after the fact. For example, there can be a big battle and a character dies. What do all the other characters do when the battle is over? How do they feel?

Resolution

The end. There’s not too much to say about this one other than the characters have figured it out (or maybe not, depending) and the end wraps everything up nicely.

What are some other scenes I missed? Do you have a favorite kind you enjoy writing? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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5 Elements Of A Scene

A scene is something we all write in our novels, screenplays, even poetry sometimes. It’s essential to have scenes in your writing and not just one or five scenes, I mean there should be scenes all over the place. It’s nothing we really think about too much because we write them automatically. Still, there’s a way to write a good one, so here are the 5 elements of a scene.

5 Elements of a Scene | Creative Writing | Novel Writing | RachelPoli.com

Time & Place

One of the first things you want to establish in your scene is the time and place. This will show your readers where your characters are. Certain things may happen at certain times of the day as well. If they’re going to the store, what store? What time does the store open? Did your character oversleep? Are they in the middle of no where?

When writing George Florence & The Perfect Alibi I have the date, time, and place written at the beginning of each chapter. I originally did that just to help me keep the timeline straight but I think I may keep it in. It seems like a nice heading for the next part, a good time jump, and it lets the reader know when and where they are right off the bat. Especially if they go to the same place over and over again (like George’s office) there’s no need to full describe it each and every time we visit it.

A Clear Goal

Something needs to be accomplished during the scene. Why are the characters where they are? What are they trying to do? Having a clear goal gives the scene a purpose and it also aids in character development. It shows what sort of decisions they’ll make and how they’ll be under pressure in certain situations.

Conflict & Action

In order to keep the story going something needs to happen, right? There needs to be some sort of conflict or action that happens. There’s always something that gets in the characters’ way or they fail or succeed or something just happens unexpectedly.

This one can kind of go along with the goal. The characters are there for a purpose and their goal is so close, but then something gets in the way. Plans change.

Emotional Change

What’s happened to your characters as a result to something that’s happened in the scene? For example, if they couldn’t reach their goal because some sort of conflict happened, they’re certainly not going to be happy. Or what if they succeed? They will be happy but then what happens? They’re mood is going to change and that sets things up for the next scene.

A Page-Turning Ending

Each scene needs to have a clear ending. The goal, conflict, and characters can either change or stall or some can get resolved but something else comes up… the possibilities are endless. But depending on what happens, you need to make it so the reader is wants to continue reading and see what happens next to the characters.

What do you think? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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A Writing Update

Between bits of freelance work here and there, blogging, my own writing, and life, I’ve been pretty busy. When I check off one thing from my to-do list, five more things seem to get added.

I’ve talked about it this before. In fact, I’m sure I’ve talked about it a couple times. I’m trying to create a steady schedule and routine for myself for all the work I need/want to do.

Some months are easier than others, but, like I said, my to-do list grows faster than it shrinks.

I’ve created deadlines for everything I want to do – some I’m going to end up missing. Which is okay. I can’t do everything all at once.

A big problem I have is that I focus a lot more on my blog than I do my writing – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, my blog needs a lot of attention. However, I’m barely getting any writing done, despite my blog posts talking about all these projects I’m working on. I need a better balance to give my characters the spotlight they’ve been craving for so long.

So, that’s why this update is strictly for my writing.

My Schedule

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I create monthly goals. Since I’ve been working on multiple novels, I try to spend each month working on different stages of each novel – outlining, writing, editing, rewriting. It’s a lot, but it’s actually been working for me, as crazy as it is.

My biggest problem is time. I’ll tell myself I can work on a couple projects on certain days and then things in real life will happen or something will happen with the blog that I’ll need to take care of. So this is something I need to account for. I won’t get to everything on my daily to-do list – again, which is fine since I can’t do everything at once – but I don’t think I work on the “high priority” stuff first.

Wattpad

I had a few novella ideas for Wattpad. I had planned on publishing 4 stories, each of them being three months apart. Two have been published and are completed – The Scribe and Take Over – feel free to check them out if you haven’t already.

Currently, I’m working on Brave, which I had originally planned on publishing in July. I outlined the story in April and was supposed to write the first draft in May and only ended up writing the prologue. I’m supposed to edit it in June but obviously, I can’t edit what I haven’t written. I’m not sure if I’ll try to have it done by the end of July or push everything back a month. This isn’t something I want to rush.

After Brave, I’ll be working on Silhouettes, which is supposed to be published in October, which might end up being November depending on how Brave goes.

I’ve already decided for 2019 that I think I’ll only publish 2-3 stories on Wattpad. I have a good schedule going, but with my other projects, I think it was too much. I still want to try to get Brave and Silhouettes out this year though.

So, long story short, I’m still working on Brave. It’ll just be later than originally planned.

Self-Publishing

When I started writing I always thought I’d go traditional. I’d get an agent and a book deal with a publishing company. I’ve even queried to agents – and some publishers – before. However, the more I write and the more research I do, I’ve realized self-publishing is the way to go for me (which I may explain in a later blog post).

I’ve been researching self-publishing and learning a lot about it as well as creating a timeline for the book(s) I plan on publishing.

Perplexed

This is a collection of mystery short stories that I’ve been working on since January. I was hoping to self-publish it in 2019 but I don’t have many short stories. It’s a lot harder to create mystery shorts than I thought. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but all the ideas I create star George and Lilah. I’ve thought about creating a collection of short stories featuring them, but not until after a few books from their series have come out.

So, Perplexed is going a lot slower than I thought. I’m still working on it, but I’m not giving myself a solid deadline anymore. I want to see what comes of it as inspiration hits. Though I still plan on working on it fairly regularly.

George Florence and the Perfect Alibi

Yes! I have finally come up with a title for the first book of the George Florence series that I have been working on since 2011!

But anyway, I plan on self-publishing this. I’ve gone through many drafts and have edited it a ton. It’s definitely time I kick George and Lilah out of the nest.

There’s still plenty of work to do, of course, but I’m planning on a 2019 release.

Other Projects

I have many novels I’m working on, but there’s one I’m working on monthly. It’s called Unwritten and I’ve been sending it to my writer’s group each month. I plan on giving it a deep edit in July (since my group won’t be meeting that month) so they’ll have a brand new draft to look at come August. And then, hopefully, I can edit the book each month after we meet to keep up polished… like I had planned to do originally and never did.

There’s also The Lost Girl, a book I had planned to start editing this summer, though I don’t think I’m going to get around to it. I feel like I have too many other projects to work on, so I’ll be putting it on the backburner.

For More Writing Updates

If you want to stay up to date with my writing, there are a few ways to do it.

Each month (unless I accidentally skip it like I did this month) I publish a WIP Wednesday post. It’s usually the second or third Wednesday of the month where I discuss what I’m currently working on and such.

You can check out the My Books page. I update it pretty regularly. It’s just a list of what I’m working on and what stage each project is in.

You can subscribe to my newsletter. It’s free and while I’m still playing around with what I want to do with it, it’s a great place for resources for yourself as well as updates from me and more.

You can check out my Patreon and Ko-fi pages where I post regular updates.

Thanks for reading this whole post if you made it this far. I didn’t think it’d turn out this long. I hope you’re just as excited as I am for self-publishing and all my projects!

How is your writing going? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Take Over Is Live! [Wattpad]

Happy Monday!

After a busy April of Camp NaNo, blogging, and other projects, I’ve finally published my latest story on Wattpad.

It’s called Take Over and is YA general fiction. It’s not the kind of story I’d typically write, but I had originally written this story for NaNo a few years ago. Like, a long time ago. I can’t even remember.

I liked the idea though and wanted to see it through. I couldn’t see it being published, but I think Wattpad is a good fit for it.

Take Over by Rachel Poli | Wattpad | YA | Fiction | RachelPoli.com

Here’s what the story is about:

Senior year of high school is all about living it up and making the most of your final year before stepping into the real world. For Roxie Smith, she just wants to get through the school year. She doesn’t mind quietly doing her homework and begin prep for college. High school hasn’t been her favorite fun time and she can’t wait for summer to roll around again.

For her friends and Brad, her boyfriend, however, they really want to leave the school with a bang. They want to be a legendary senior class and they want to go down in history for all the classes after them.

Brad comes up with an elaborate plan to take over the school and teachers disguised as the annual senior prank. Roxie knows it’s a bad idea. She knows it’ll get out of hand. Her friends shun her when she decides to take no part in the take over. None of the teachers believe her when she tries to warn them and she has the whole school against her.

Some say senior year is the best. For Roxie, it’s going to be a long one.

I hope it sounds appealing to you and that you’ll give it a try. This has been long in the making and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

You can read the story HERE. I plan on updating one chapter every Monday through Friday.

I’d appreciate any reads and feedback. I hope you guys enjoy!

I hope you enjoy the story should you read it! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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3 Types Of Worlds [World Building]

It’s one thing to create a new world when you’re world building for a story, but did you know there are a few ways to go about it?

Sure, you can find a checklist online and create everything one by one – races, religion, towns and cities, weather, etc. But do you know what kind of world you’re creating?

3 Types of Worlds | World Building | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

Alternate Reality

Alternate reality is re-imagining the world we already live in. You can take your hometown and twist it around so it would fit your story’s needs. For example, if you’re writing science fiction you can turn your world into a futuristic one.

You can change history that actually happened, alter it, or pretend it never happened at all. Maybe the world is dirtier than it already is, or cleaner? Maybe humans never inhabited the earth in the first place and they’re going to now. So who lives here now?

Imaginative Worlds

Imaginary worlds are worlds that you completely make up yourself. They’re brand new from your mind and are totally fictional. This is typically used for fantasy. Entire maps are created with brand new, made up places. There may be new races of people along with religion, food, currency, and more.

I feel like this is the most difficult world to create because you’re starting everything completely from scratch. I also believe it’s the most fun, though.

Real Locations

Just what it sounds like, real locations are based off real-life locations. There’s no alternate reality from the first point above, everything is just as it is. This is typically used in basic fiction with no fantastical elements.

This requires a lot of research on the place you’re characters are living. If it’s not where you grew up, it helps to travel there and explore. Why not get a vacation out of it, huh? Or you can buy tour guys, Google is a great resource, the possibilities are endless.

What’s your favorite kind of world to create? Do you mix and match the types? Is there a type I missed? Let me know in the comments below!

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5 Ways To Show Character Development

Telling you how to show character development in your novel is like me telling you how to write a book. It’s obvious, but it’s not. It’s easier said than done, yet you do it without realizing it. It’s probably stuff you already know about.

Still, sometimes a quick reminder is needed. It’s nice to see it laid out in a blog post. I know it is for me.

Maybe these posts help me more than anyone else.

1. Decide what your characters’ motivations are

Just like what we talked about the other day. Why are your characters in your story? What is their purpose? Why do they care about the plot and what do they contribute to it? What would they do in certain situations?

2. Give your characters flaws

No one is perfect. You can learn a lot about a character through their positive traits, but I feel like flaws can show a little more. Some flaws can be unexpected and they can come out in some interesting scenarios.

3. Give your characters internal conflict

The plot is important, yes, but everyone is fighting a battle no one else truly knows about. Giving your characters an internal conflict makes them more realistic and, depending on what it is, it can raise the stakes a bit. It gives insight into their thoughts, reasons behind their actions, and shows off their personality a little.

4. Use action and dialogue to your advantage

You can tell a lot about your characters through their actions, decisions, word choice, and tone. Using descriptive action and clever dialogue can show your readers a lot about your characters and I’m sure you’ll learn a lot too.

5. Allow your characters to surprise you

Most often than not, your characters will end up writing themselves. You can plan them all you want, but once you start writing they’ll try to take over. Let them because they have many ideas up their sleeve.

How else do you show character development? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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WIP Wednesday: January 2018

It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through January when I feel like New Year’s was just yesterday. The month has been going by in a blur and 2018 is kicking into high gear. While it’s been kind to me (so far), it hasn’t been kind to others I know. So, it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the month plays out!

In the meanwhile, I’m still working hard on my writing and blogging. I can only hope I can meet my deadlines in the next two weeks.

Work In Progress Wednesday: January 2018 | Writing | Creative Writing | Goals | RachelPoli.com

What am I currently working on?

THE SCRIBE

I published The Scribe on Wattpad a week and a half ago. I upload a new chapter once a day Monday through Friday. If you haven’t read it already, feel free to check it out!

GEORGE FLORENCE

It’s high time I get back into this one. I’ve gone through the whole timeline and planned each mystery and case for each book in the series. Now all I have to do is draft up a basic outline of each book. I’d like to have outlines for books one and two done soon. I’ll be editing the first book next month.

PERPLEXED

This is my collection of mystery short stories. It’s actually been harder than I thought. I have a ton of mystery ideas, but those ideas are actually plot points for my George Florence series. I do have other ideas, but I feel like I’m back at square one. Needless to say, I’ve made little progress on this project this month.

What are you currently working on? How is your progress going? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comThe Scribe by Rachel Poli | Read on Wattpad | Wattpad | Fantasy | RachelPoli.com
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Writing Goals For 2018

How many times do we set resolutions for ourselves and never follow through with them? How many times have I published a blog post at the beginning of January with a list of novels I was going to work on or complete?

And how many times did nothing get done?

I’ve always set goals for myself when it came to my writerly habits. However, one thing that I never did was set an actual deadline.

Sure, I’ve always said I’d have the whole year to work on X, Y, and Z. 12 months should be plenty, right? By December 31 I’d have so much accomplished. Then what?

A deadline is a deadline, but when it’s set by you, and the deadline is so far away, you tend to push it to the side. There are no real consequences and it’s easy to procrastinate.

My past self had an epiphany back in November or December and I realized that I need more than a large deadline with many goals. I need a deadline for each goal. I need a schedule to tell myself what to work on and when.

So, that’s exactly what I did. I’ve created a concrete schedule for myself and have publishing plans and everything.

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Wattpad

The Scribe – This will be published on January 8. I ended up getting a little behind due to the holidays, but that’s alright. I’m looking forward to it and I hope you are too.

Take Over – This will be published in April. I’ll spend now through March editing, rewriting, and editing again.

Brave – This will be published in July. I’ll outline in April, write in May, and spend June editing and doing rewrites.

Silhouettes – This will be published in October. I’ll outline in July, write in August, and edit and rewrite in September.

Novels

George Florence – This poor guy has been running in circles in my mind for years now. I’ll be spending my January time planning and organizing the whole series. I have the first novel written so for the months after that I’ll be editing and rewriting. I plan on having it completed in August.

The Lost Girl – The first draft of this has been written since April 2017 (I think?) from Camp NaNo. To give myself some time with George, I’m going to start this novel back up again in June. I’ll edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite, etc. and have it done for November.

Perplexed – This is a mystery short story collection. I’ll be writing two short stories a month through June leaving me with 12 stories total. Then from July through December I’ll be editing, rewriting, looking for beta readers and advanced reviewers, and overall just prepping it for self-publication. I’m thinking of a January 2019 release date, but that may change… if it changes, it will be earlier.

Unwritten – This is another novel from a fairly recent Camp NaNo. I’m editing this monthly with my writing group. So this is kind of a project that’s on the back burner to everything else. Though I’m hoping to keep up with the edits each month. I’m hoping this will be done by 2019.

Side Projects

Poetry – I want to work more on my poetic skills… or gain some skills, I mean. I would like to write 1-2 poems a month, though if I skip a month or two I won’t be heartbroken about it. I have so many other writing projects to worry about, but I do hope I can somewhat keep up with it.

Short Stories/Articles – Yes, I have Perplexed in the works, but I want to submit shorts and articles to other blogs/websites as well as contests and magazines. It’d be nice if I could submit something once a week, but I’m aiming for 1-2 a month. I don’t want to burn myself out and I want to be able to submit quality pieces.

Screenplay – I used to write scripts back in the day when NaNo’s sister site, Script Frenzy, was a thing. It was every April but there wasn’t much interest so they turned it into a second Camp NaNo. I miss it though and I found script writing to be interesting. I’ve always wanted to get back into it and there’s an idea that’s been nagging me for a while. I tried writing it into a novel and it didn’t work. I tried a short story and novella and that didn’t match either. I have a trailer in my head and I’m thinking I might try to write a screenplay for it. This is not a priority if anything it’s at the very bottom of my list. But, time permitting, I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at scriptwriting again.

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I’ve always been a hard worker, but I’ve also been one to get overwhelmed with my goals and panic too much.

“Will I make it?” “What if this comes out terrible?” “What if I promise something and can’t finish it on time?” You know the drill. Those little people in your head nag you and just want to kick you down.

But I think I’m finally ready. I’m in a good mindset and I’m eager to get started on my life. I already took some pretty big risks and tried some new things in 2017. I think 2018 will be the bigger and better version of it all.

Do you have any writing goals or deadlines for yourself this year? What are you currently working on? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to chat with you!

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Using The Rainbow Editing Method [Editing]

We all know that I’m not the best at self-editing. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I tend to end up proofreading rather than editing. I know what I want to fix but can’t figure out how to fix it. So I skip it to “deal with it later.” And that’s not good for any writer and their novel.

I’ve decided to give myself a good kick and really make 2018 count. No more “prep” for this or that and then never following through. I like to think I’m a hard worker, but I’m pretty slow. I think I’m ready at this point to finally do something about my writing and I think it shows in my editing.

Using The Rainbow Editing Method | RachelPoli.com

A few months ago I talked about Rainbow Editing your manuscript. It’s all about using various colors for different parts of your novel. For example, I use the colors in the following way:

Red – Typos, spelling, grammar
Orange – Dialogue, description, pacing, tenses, etc.
Green – Plot changes
Blue – Character development
Purple – Research and fact-checking
Pink – Overall structure, vocabulary/word replacement, etc.

I started using this method to edit The Scribe this month and I can’t express how impressed I am that it’s working for me.

Instead of losing steam after 10 pages, I edited over 60 in one sitting. Which, admittedly, is a big deal for me. My manuscript is marked up with mostly orange, green, and blue with a little red, purple, and pink sprinkled in. I’m cutting probably about 75% of the story, so the majority of the pages are filled with a giant green X.

I think this method helps me focus on one thing at a time rather than looking at the whole picture and getting overwhelmed. And no, I don’t go through a chapter six times in a row for each individual color, I look at each page, each paragraph, and think to myself, “what’s not working here?”

After I mark up a paragraph or a few with green and/or orange, I look back at it making sure the character development makes sense, that the paragraph should be in that spot, etc.

It’s hard to explain, but it actually works and I have to say I’m impressed.

It’s a slow process, but it definitely helps. The pages of my manuscript are so colorful and maybe I just get easily distracted by pretty things that it’s holding my attention more: “How much color can I splash on this page?”

In all seriousness, I have to rewrite more than half of this story, which I’m in the process of. So… it’s going.

I still have about two weeks to finish the rewrite and give it another good edit. I still plan on publishing the story onto Wattpad in January. So, wish me luck!

Are you editing your NaNoWriMo novel right now? Do you try different editing methods or tend to stick with a certain way? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

WIP Wednesday: December 2017

We’re already about halfway through December. I had a lot of projects lined up for this month in an attempt to get myself prepared and ready for January and beyond in the new year.

I’ve been working extra hard and, surprisingly, it’s been going well.

What am I currently working on?

THE SCRIBE

I’m currently working on two projects right now. One is The Scribe, which was my NaNoWriMo novel last month. I’m currently editing it, hoping to finish the first draft by Friday so I can retype/rewrite it.

As I’ve been editing, I’ve realized a lot of things… not necessarily wrong, but just didn’t quite fit. In other words, I have to rewrite the entire beginning, so… we’ll see how that goes.

Hopefully, that will be done this week because I also hope to get through the second draft by the end of the month.

UNWRITTEN

I’m also editing another novel, Unwritten. I wrote that for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. I’ve been submitting a chapter to my local writer’s group each month. I’m finally getting around to looking at their feedback.

I’m going to edit the chapters I’ve received feedback for and edit the rest as well. So for the new year, my group should be reading the second draft material.

What’s the easiest part?

I actually have a good schedule down. I created a calendar for December and wrote in what I want to work on which days. I’ve been using Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Fridays to edit. I aim to edit each piece for at least two hours a day. While the process has been a bit slower than I would like, I’m making progress, so there’s no room for complaints.

What’s the hardest part?

I decided to do all this in December. The first week was slow because I had so many other things going on such as catching up with old friends and early Christmas parties.

Still, we’re about halfway through the month and I’ve been making good progress. So we’ll just have to see how the rest of the month goes!

What are you currently working on? What are your goals? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!