• Writer's Block,  Writing Life

    How to Sit Down and Write

    “Hey Lizard. I have so many ideas. I get inspiration from practically everything, but I can’t seem to write anything. I have this idea that I really want to write, but I don’t have the motivation to actively sit down and write it all out. Any tips to finally getting that very much needed motivation?”

  • Novel Writing,  Revision

    The Art of the Draft

    Because writing is writing is writing is writing! When you first make that enormously huge decision that you are going to write a novel, you’re not really just writing a novel. You’re committing to drafts, edits, multiple revisions and eventually, a finished novel.

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    Why this Character?

    Anonymous asked: “Hi! I’m having trouble showing my protagonist’s personality while writing. It seems like I’m doing just fine with the others, but my main character is just getting pulled along by the plot. Do you have any tips on showing the protagonist’s personality and making them more active in the story?” If your main character is more acted upon than active, I think it’s time to ask yourself, why is this the character who is telling the story? Would it be better if a more involved character told the story? Active characters do have a tendency to take over a novel.  This happens all the time, especially for new writers.…

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    Writing a Well-Rounded Scene

    mockingjaybrandybuck asked: “Hi Lizard, I also most enjoy dialogue and feel pretty comfortable writing it, however, I struggle with the text to fill out a dialogue heavy scene. What are some other ideas I can be thinking about when writing a dialogue heavy scene that is more well rounded?” Good question. Sometimes while I’m writing and just so into the dialogue I forget I’m just writing the conversation and not actually writing the scene itself.  I tend to be a little wary of my writing when it ends up like that. If I’m just describing character body language and can’t visualize the scene beyond that, there might be something wrong with…

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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…