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    On Writing Fan Fiction

    Anonymous asked: “Hey Lizard, do you have tips for fan fiction writing?” I don’t really follow fandoms too well and the more I try, the more I’ve come to the realization that I’m pretty pop-culture illiterate in a lot of ways. Sometimes I think, maybe I just watch TV wrong because I just never really automatically “shipped” anyone with anyone else. Same goes for books, films, radio shows, and so on. I watch, I enjoy, but I’m terrible at wanting to direct any character to a certain fate. I read a book recently where the heroine got together with this guy I hadn’t expected her to and I was just thinking oh my…

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    Embracing the Changes

    During National Novel Writing Month, there isn’t a lot of time for second guessing yourself. You’ve got to write 1,667 words a day on average to make it to 50,000 by the end of the month, but sometimes you have a realization, like – wait, a second, this book would actually be so much better if I made the HUGE ENORMOUS CHANGE. I’m talking today about why you should go with your gut, especially in the first week.  So we are officially six days into this word count race and last night I had an epiphany, ghost stories can’t be told in third person. Well, they can, I can think…

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    Writing and Originality

    One question I get all the time is how do I make this idea more original?  The answer is you don’t. The greatest thing I’ve learned in my writing experience is that originality is practically a myth. Plots can be put down in a list. So can tropes. A story that is too unique might be ahead of its time. Nearly all however in someways will draw on the literary tradition that came before it.  Of course there are exceptions, but typically what we consider a unique story will have a long and old literary tradition, it just might have a medley of influences and inspiration that we haven’t yet…

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    First Frightening Experiences

    Anonymous asked: “How do you write a pure innocent character who is subjected to a life-changing challenge and doesn’t know how to cope? How do you write an arc from being overwhelmed to learning to adapt?” Now, if it were me trying to write this kind of a scene, I’d think of big life-changing events in my own life. Life-changing events don’t have to be all that remarkable or novel, but they felt big to me while going through them (hence life-changing).  Like going to a new school where I didn’t know a soul. Or starting college and really living on my own for the first time in my life. Other life-changing…

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    Let the Writing Begin!

    NaNoWriMo begins today. It really just sneaks up on you. But I kid you not, I’ve planned all of yesterday for this. I like to be ready and that was a last minute rush – I ended up having to start my novel over again which sucks but I’m doing it.  So I don’t really have all that much to say except good luck to those who are participating. Definitely come be my writing buddy. Reach out to me and I’ll add you as my buddy too. For my own project this year, it’s brand spanking new so I have told literally no one about it. I’ve got a deadline to…

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    On Writing a Confession of Love

    @geekynicki​ asked: “So I was wondering if you could give some tips on how to write a love confession?” I first want to apologize to @geekynicki for taking forever to get this post out because it’s such a great question. The thing that I can thing of that would make this kind of scene initially challenging is the temptation to just spew out everything you want to hear.  Or maybe you don’t want to hear it, but a confession of love can easily turn sappy and saturated and over the top without too much effort. The thing that tends to happen when you’re struggling to get it right is that your…

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    The Word Count Catch-Up

    I won’t lie. I had something else planned for today, but I’ve been in state of crisis the last few days over some new developments in my own writing life. It’s nothing I won’t get over, but because I’m in crisis, I’m talking about it. Besides, NaNoWriMo is right around the corner. Let’s make the most of this and talk about the Word Count Catch-Up so you can meet goals and deadlines.  I have a few methods that I turn to in times of desperation. Some are more brutal than others, but remember these are things I do on my own, use them if they help, ignore it if it’s…

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    Writing with Teen Angst

    Anonymous asked: “How do I make a main character’s death sad, but not too angsty?” I don’t really associate character death with angst. With a teen protagonist, angst will be there, but it’s more likely to bring out the extremes of existing emotions.   I get a lot of questions about writing angsty characters and sometimes I think people forget with angst means. There’s no shame. When words get thrown around a lot they take on different meanings. Angst is a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general. Often we hear about teen angst which is often associated…

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    Staying Inspired with Your Work

    Anonymous asked: “Hi Lizard! I haven’t been writing for a few months. I got really burnt out because of this fandom I wrote for. I took a break, but now I want to start writing again, this time original fiction, but I’m struggling. I don’t really know why, but maybe I just had things that motivated me when writing fan fics, like I’d know where I could post my stories and that they’d get at least some readers.”  So I don’t have any personal experience writing fan fiction, but from what I’ve gathered, inspiration for fan fiction is kind of an engine of its own. With fan fiction, there are characters…

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    Writing Love/Hate Relationships

    “Hey Lizard. How can you do a love/hate relationship? Not romantic, but friendship.” So I want to start this by saying there isn’t just one kind of love/hate relationship.  The thing is love/hate is an expression that gets thrown around and it can mean anything from a terribly abusive relationship to an otherwise healthy relationship with some annoyances or joking jabs.  Sometimes love/hate relationships can be abusive or cruel but that’s not the case across the board. Love/hate relationships can be more love than hate and hate in the places that matter less in the relationship. The hate can be more annoyance, aggravation, or frustration than actual hate. It varies. …