A plotter lays the story all out. Where a pantser just sits down and writes letting it come out as will, writes by the seat of their pants. I'm a combination of both. I do start with an outline but it is very brief, one to two pages. I know my end scene and quite a few key scenes that have to happen to get to that point. I don't have them all because some things fall in along the way.

I think even pantsers need some outline. A framing for what they are building. We might not know what each floor will look like but we have to have structure around to support it. Without that, you maybe be doing a lot of backtracking, rearranging, cutting, and throwing away. And that's sad. I know I don't have a lot of writing time to waste it on writing scenes that I can't use. That doesn't mean it won't happen, everyone has to cut, but with a little forethought, hopefully it won't happen often.

Good Writhing
Alysia S Knight - Heroes for all times
Kindness is like a boomerang - It always comes back. Unknown
Hint for the week:
Find a support group. 

Writing can be a lonely, frustrating business with many 
challenges to wade through.
I have been very fortunate to belong to a great chapter of RWA.

We have some wonderful writers have been willing to help and teach me.
I can't be more grateful for them.
In turn, I hope you be willing to help and do what you can support

 and make others successful. I don't believe it will ever hurt your success 
to help anyone else reach theirs.
You will meet those who are out for just themselves, but I think for the most part, writers try to help each other, at least that has been my experience.
Thank you to my many mentors.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. 
Dalai Lama
Dialogue is very important to your story. You use it to:

* Show character
* Reveal information
* Move the story forward
* Increase tension

Show character - A character is more than just a flat person. It is who the person is inside. Their hopes and dreams, goals and moral code. All of that comes out in how they speak. People from the same area may have similarities, but they will also have differences. Men and women speak differently also. Think of that when writing a character.

A great way to show differences in characters is giving them a speech flaw or oddity. I suggest you don't do it with everyone, you'd overload your reader. But you can have one person who speaks shorter, clipped sentences and another a touch more rambling.

In Beauty and the Chief, the book I'm releasing next month, I have a character that refers to my heroine with flower names. The funny thing is, it wasn't planned, she did it herself when I was writing her.

Reveal Information - Dialogue is a great way to let us know something without telling us. We can learn things as our characters do. Just make sure you keep it natural so it doesn't feel like an information dump. Don't force the conversation to get the info out there.

Move the story forward - Remember every scene should move your story along its path. Don't add fluff scenes just for word count or to ramble, unless you have a character that rambles and even then there needs to be a point to it.

Increase tension - We can learn a lot about what going on by the way character talks and acts. Short phrases quicken the feel of a scene where as longer sentences slow down the mood. that kind of goes into pacing, which we'll save for another day.

These are just a few things to think about. Good Writing.
Alysia S. Knight - Heroes for all times

What is takes to become a Writer:

W - Why do you do it. You have to know whether it's a dream, a goal, or because        you just can't not write.
R - Realistic - Be realistic with yourself, so you don't stress or burn yourself out.
I  - Imagination - This is the main thing I have going for me. Use yours.
T - Time - Will sacrifice that TV show?
E - Enjoyment and enthusiastic. It gets both because you need both.
R - Readers. First you have to be true to yourself then you have to be true to your       readers. One of the greatest feeling is when you have some say, "I stayed up to      three in the morning to finish it, and I loved it."

Happy Writing - Alysia S Knight - Heroes for all times
Yesterday, I did a workshop at Salt Lake County Library the Viridian in West Jordan. Had a good time. Look forward to doing it again in the future, but I forgot my notes for my workshop, so I'm posting them here like a promise.  

Seven Tips to writing.

#1  Relax and have fun - Let it be a pleasure.

#2  Write what feels right to you - what you know - even if its just where your imagination takes you.

# 3  Keep a note pad or book with you at all times. Write down ideas, especially dialogue when it comes, because it's usually impossible to get it back later.

#4  Write everyday - 250 club - but if you can't do 250 words, even a few lines just to keep the story alive and flowing in your mind is good.

#5  Don't try to make it perfect as you write. Let it come and then go back and fix it in editing.

# 6  Be true to yourself - your standards. If you try to write to trends and the world. It will not feel like your book, no matter how good it is, it won't feel right or good to you if you're not true to yourself.

#7 Join a writing group. Also a critique group is a good idea. Writing can be a lonely business, long and tedious, you need the support. On a critique group I'd try to find a mix of weaknesses and strengths. That way you're helping each other grow. Find ones who will be honest with you, not always tell you it's great, and don't be afraid to take criticism, just make sure they are doing it to help you grow. And remember it is their opinion, take or leave it, how is best for you and your story.

Happy Writing - Alysia S Knight - Heroes for all times

I've been asked quite often if I have a writing routine.
I write, edit or correct everyday a minimum of a couple hours usually. It depends on if I work that day. 

What I like before I start to clear my head is to play one game Mahjong (yes just one game)
while doing that I listen to Peter Cetera-The Glory of Love theme from Karate Kid. It's my song and my kids tease me about it, but it lets my mind know it's time to write. 
After that, so that's about five minutes, then I switch to the music that fits the mood of the scene I'm working on. The Piano Guys, Lord of the Rings, Avatar, and Star Trek soundtracks are some of my favorites. That is usually all it takes to drop me into the world I'm working on. Certain books definitely have certain pieces of music locked to them.

Remember - everyone is different, you have to find what works for you. I know people who have to have complete silence, where I like music or will even put on a movie (one of those I've seen a 100 times). I also have a little bag of lavender a friend and follow writer, JD Steffensen, gave me that I'll pick up and smell to get me relaxed and set.  
Good Writing.
Alysia S. Knight - Heroes for all times

How's everyone doing with the 250 club? 
Life has been so busy for me lately I'm having to resort to it myself to get any writing done. 

Our topic today is on writing scenes. We are an instant gratification society. TV shows wrapped it all up in 30 to 60 minutes-less with commercials. Gone are the long drawn out setting up of scenes. 

I like what I heard and wish I remembered who said it to give them credit, unfortunately I don't, but I'm going to pass it on.

In late - Out early.

This means obviously to drop us in a scene where it is going to catch us, hook us. Fill in what we need as we go without an info dump. Then when the scene is done, don't hang around a babble just to lengthen out the scene but get out and move on.

Think about it and watch in your writing. I'm not saying cut all extra just watch what you do and the reason you are doing it.

Good writing. Alysia S. Knight - Heroes for all times.
I was helping someone the other day with the beginning of their book and this came up. Don’t give a lot of back story at one time; especially at the beginning of your book. You need to know the back story but we (the reader) don’t always have to. You have to hook your readers and if it takes three pages to get to the hook because of all the back story and setting you put in, odds are, they won’t get there.

Also remember each chapter should have a hook. Leave your reads hanging at the end of the chapter to have them turning that next page instead of putting it down.

Something I heard and really like is - in late, out early. This is ‘in’ the scene without giving a bunch of information. Take us right into the action. Then when the scene is done get out of it. You don’t have to give a large amount of wrap up.

Again I will stress- In late, out early.

I wish I could give credit where credits due, unfortunately I can’t but great advise.

Good writing. I hope you are getting your
250 club.

 Like building anything, your story needs the basics-

You need a Plot – what you’re trying to do in your story. The concept of it.

You need to know what you’re building:

* Townhouse - Series   
* Single family - Stand alone
* Mansion - Epic novel 

* Etc.

You also need to know if it’s contemporary, historical, western, futuristic, science fiction or fantasy.

Don’t forget to add the purpose – Plot - man that word again, you really do need it.
Your materials - Characters
And a blueprint - Outline
Your Outline can be detailed or a rough sketch, that depends on you as a writer, but it does help to know where you are going. 
You need to know what rooms - scenes you are putting in to complete the story. 
  • Opening 
  • Beginning conflict 
  • Goal 
  • Continuous conflict on the way 
  • Big blow out problem
  • The dark period when it doesn’t look like in can possibly work out 
  • And lastly - resolution
Don't let this intimidate you. You don't have to have this all laid out now. The big thing is to know what your story is about. 
There are more break downs to this we'll talk about later, but if you can have these in mind when you start, it will go easier. Also you might want to think of the subplots. They make for differences in the story.

So you want to write a book. 

I was told once that writing a book was like eating an elephant. One bite at a time. I like this because looking at writing a whole book is daunting, but each line, really each word, gets you closer to that finished book. 

So back to the 250 Club. With 250 words each day you can do it

Start tracking today and let me know when you finish. There might be a prize, besides your book at the end. It's something I will have to think about. Possibly doing a drawing for all those who complete by a certain time. In fact, I think maybe I'll have to do it twice a year since people will be starting at different times depending when they find my blog and start their book. July 4 2015 and January 1st 2016. Celebrating freedom and the New Year. I like the idea. More to come on this in the future.


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