The Dos and Don’ts of Distractions 

This week while trying to painstakingly finish a rewrite, I’ve been having  the hardest time with distractions. So if you’re a writer who needs to get stuff done, here are some things you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to taking your mind off of your work. 

Do: Take a Break

Breaks are always good when you’re tired or frustrated from writer’s block. Some time away from your computer screen is a great way to recharge. 

Don’t: Take a Break that Lasts All Night

This happens to me almost every day. I come home from work, grab a snack, and find myself doing other things while I should be writing. 

Do: Set Aside Time for Writing 

What I’ve been trying to do is tell myself that I have to finish a chapter a day. If you have particularly long chapters, set aside an hour a night. 

When Your Character’s Snoring is Totally Boring

While doing some rewrites on my novel Misconception this week, I noticed a common theme. A whole bunch of chapters ended with Taliah, my main character, falling asleep. At first this seemed fine. Taliah traveling into dreamland at the end of all these chapters was a great, easy way to wrap things up for the time being. 

It wasn’t until last night that this particular thought ocurred to me: Does this ending make my readers want to read on? 

No! No it doesn’t! This is terrifying! How else am I supposed to to wrap up a chapter? If this applies to you, I’ve got you covered. Here are some ways to wrap up a chapter other than your character simply falling asleep. 

1. A Forshadowing Nightmare 

Yes, it’s very cliche, but a nightmare that leaves readers questioning will prompt them to keep on turning those pages. 

2. An Interruption

Imagine just about to close your eyes after a long day, settling into bed, turning off the lights, and then there’s a knock on the door. Or a crush coming from downstairs. Maybe your character forgot something? Or perhaps, someone else is in the bed. An unexpected surprise will leave readers on the edge of their seats. 

3. Make It a Sleepless Night 

A chacarter that tosses and turns is a lot more lively than one who just lies there. Ending your chapter with a character occupying their sleepless self can help you transition into the exciting stuff that happens in the next morning. 

4. Just Think of Something Else

If it’s nighttime in your chapter and you really just want to wrap things up, skip ahead to the next morning or find a different exciting way to end your chapter. 

I used all of these methods to get Taliah out of bed and on her way to doing something exciting. Try them out and see if they work for you guys too. See you all next week. 

Warning: Construction Zone

This morning I thought of the analogy that editing a story is like renovating a house. You may think that you’re only doing some cosmetic changes like a new floor and a fresh coat of paint, when really, you are suddenly motivated and find yourself changing the entire layout of the house and building an addition.

This is what I have discovered while working on my story Misconception this week.

I went into editing hoping to just give the book a quick refresh, fixing grammar, changing some sentences, and lightly touching on the plot of the story. Well guess what? I found myself deleting almost an entire chapter and writing two new ones.

The goal of this was to make the story appear more logical, (since everyone knows what a stickler I am for trying to have my stories make sense.) So, without spoiling the end, here’s what’s changed in Misconception this week:

1. Introducing the Candlelight Vigil: 

Originally, chapter 8 featured a small few paragraphs about Taliah, our main character, attending the memorial service for Molly, the girl she supposedly killed, during the day at a park on the college’s property.

I got myself thinking, “Wait. How could the school have a memorial service if they weren’t entirely sure that Molly was dead?” No body was ever found. If the school didn’t know that she was dead, a memorial service would make no sense.

This is where the vigil comes into play. Readers are introduced to Megan and Giovanna, two friends of Molly who make two very different speeches about their “missing” friend. This is the game changer that caused the entire layout of my analytical house to be changed.

2. Everybody Knows Something New:

Before writing the vigil chapter, readers and Taliah thought that Molly was of course, dead. Now we all learn at the vigil that that is not the case. This requires me to write a brand new ending, as well as some searching scenes.

3. Beware The Vampire Hunter:

Chapter 8 started with the memorial scene and included the entire vampire hunter scene. This was of course, changed to expand on the vigil and include a bit of Taliah looking downtown for Molly.

Originally, Taliah was invited to a fake “faculty party” to lure her into a banquet hall where she would battle the vampire hunter. She essentially walks into an empty room at first before the lights go out.

Taliah is a lot smarter than that, so I had to put in a little more effort to try and convince my vampire gal that there was a possibility of a party going on. This included a lady near the doors handing out name tags, two doormen (who chain the doors shut after she enters) and speakers throughout the room with recorded voices on them. So, as Taliah descends down the long hallway towards the hall, she hears the noise and starts to believe that there may actually be a party.

Stay tuned for next Sunday’s update! I can’t wait to see what new ideas I’ll come up with as I keep working this week.

Back from Hiatus/What Have I Been Up To?

Hello and long time no see WordPress followers/fans? Did you miss me? I sure did miss you guys!

Sorry for my unannounced, long time away from blogging. The stress of my senior year of college really got the best of me. My internship took up a lot of time, and once the semester finished, I had to move into my new place and start a new job. ‘

So to get everyone caught up, here’s what I’ve been up to since…whenever my last post was!

1. Graduation

On May 7th, 2016, I graduated from college with my bachelor’s degree in writing, along with my double minor in professional/technical writing and journalism. My last semester I was lucky enough to get my first 4.0 ever! I also graduated Cum Laude!

2. My Job

Of course, the minute I got back home I headed back to the hardware store that I’ve worked at since I was 18. Instead of being at the register, I took a messy, muddy, sweaty job of watering plants, some days in weather up to 95 degrees. In August, I got a permanent job inside the store with set hours, weekends off, and a pay raise of a few dollars. I get to work with power tools and sometimes even smash things, which is super awesome, even if I have to get up before 5 to be there at 6 when the store opens.

3. My BIG Project

Back in early July, I made a promise to myself to start a project to finish all of my books that were currently unfinished. At the start of the project, I had 4 books that were on this list: my Pokemon fanfiction (started this spring), Saving Flight 926 (untouched for nearly a year), The Last Girl on Campus (untouched for 8 months), and Fangs & Fortune (untouched since 2013). In Just a few months, THREE of these books are finished, the biggest challenge being The Last Girl on Campus, as it had only two chapters and no clear plot.

And here they are on Wattpad, just waiting to be read:

It’s Never too Late: A Pokemon Journey: https://www.wattpad.com/story/79188953-it%27s-never-too-late-a-pok%C3%A9mon-journey

Saving Flight 926: https://www.wattpad.com/story/31010970-saving-flight-926

The Last Girl on Campus: https://www.wattpad.com/story/57300072-the-last-girl-on-campus

4. What’s Next?

Now that I’m back on a writing kick, here’s all my little bullet points of what I have in the works:

First: Updating and Editing Misconception: 

Back in 2012, I wrote a vampire book. In late 2013, I started the sequel, Fangs & Fortune, and never finished. Right now, I’m going back to update Misconception so it flows more cohesively with F&F. I’m about a quarter of the way through edits.

Next: Writing Fangs & Fortune! 

I finally thought of an interesting and different plot for F&F. I really want to push my boundaries and take a walk outside my comfort zone with this book, and I’m very excited!

After That: Ivy and the Tiny House! 

Meet my 16th book, Ivy and the Tiny House! Because TV has gotten my family and I obsessed with tiny houses, I’m full-throttle ready to write a book and design one. Get ready to follow nineteen-year-old Ivy Kapur on her journey to independence in her Adirondack tiny house community (with of course, a little romance and some quirky neighbors mixed in).

I’m happy to be back and share more of my writing journey with you guys! Stay tuned for regular updates every Sunday!