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The First step
The First Draft
NANOWRIMO NANOWRIMO NANOWRIMO
National Novel Writing Month
When one is writing two forces are fighting each other for control. Your Muse and Your Inner Editor. These two figures can be pictured however you want, but they are constantly clashing into one another, the creative and the sensible.
How these two are pictured differs from person to person. For me:
My Muse: she is a fairy named Musa who has earphones around her neck and is constantly on a sugar rush. She flies around and shoots ideas off at a billions miles an hour. Sometimes, her ideas make no sense and other times she'll leave to go on a vacation leaving me with some tough writer's block to handle.
My Inner Editor: she is a grouchy old librarian. I don't know why she is, since I've never met a grouchy old librarian in my life (in fact I usually befriend them), but Ms. Ryte is always "right" and is constantly shooting ideas down. "That's pointless", "How are you going to make that work?", or "Really? Are you really typing that?"
The trick to a successful first draft is to lock that Inner Editor up. Banish him/her from your mind and just focus on putting those random words and ideas onto a piece of paper. Once they are there? THEN you let the Editor out and you fix things so it all makes sense. For now? You have to get that first draft our and lock up that editor so your muse can fly.
Talk to you soon, Natasha Rayne
This is the short story I'm releasing for reaching 200 likes on my facebook page. Hope you enjoy!
It's been a while!!!!
Hello Everyone! I feel awful about not keeping this steady! If it makes you feel any better, when I'm not working on this during free time, I'm busy working on some future books! I have multiple projects that are in the works at the moment. Book 3 for Dream vs Reality is one of these stories, but so is a book I'm calling Tanked which I'm entering in a Scholastic Novel Competition in December (wish me luck guys! If I win, I get a publishing deal with Scholastic!)
I love typing up these blog posts so I'm going to do my best to post more often :D
NANOWRIMO is one month away guys! This is a great program to encourage writing! It's how I got into serious writing. They give hilarious and encouraging pep talks to keep you writing all month! Go to nanowrimo.org for more info!
My Facebook Page
So my facebook page link is https://www.facebook.com/authornatasharayne/
This is kept more updated then the blog when it comes to what I'm up to (book signings/sellings/presentations and all that jazz). Two things I plan to do with this page 1) hold contests (like trivia questions about my books) in which the winner gets a signed copy of book 1, 2, or both. 2) When I reach 200 likes I will release a short story about the Dream World or excerpt from book 3 in celebration! So go visit my page, like, and participate!!!!
*UPDATE* I got 200 likes before I could finish typing this! The short story with the Dream World will be posted on Friday for all. When I reach 300 likes I will release the prologue of Book 3 (so invite people so the likes can reach that number before I publish the next book)!
The contests have been set to Mondays at various times for different time zones, so keep checking in on the page! You also get to choose which book you want if it says 1 book and you get both if the contest is for both!
To fellow Writers
Recently one of you sent me emails about self-publishing, I loved to help you with answering your questions! Seriously, I love talking about writing and nothing makes me happier than knowing people are visiting this site and reading my books. I love the feedback and I love sharing my passion for writing. I plan to put up a post about the writing process. I held a contest on Monday about my writing process (7 steps) and I am going to share it with you guys through a group of posts, Stay Tuned!
THANKS! Talk to ya soon!
AP exams are finally over and school has become less hectic. If you haven’t noticed my second book is out and available for purchasing and reading. Hope you enjoy the book.
If anyone is free I would love to have some fan art. I want to create some quizzes and they would be a lot cooler with pictures. So if anyone has some time to send me artwork of the elements (marks or your image of the elements) or some character artwork (maybe your favorite character) I would love them a whole bunch. The quizzes should be available soon. My goal is the end of June to have 3 available.
2) This blog
Honestly, I don’t have a lot of time in the day with schooling and what-not so keeping up this blog is a bit lower on my priorities (which is sad because it’s fun). As of right now I plan to post once a month with some extras for announcements when something happens. Like, tomorrow I will probably post again with some pictures about my book signing/selling happening tonight.
Have a good May and I hope to post something up soon! Thanks for all of your support.
Talk to you soon,
Happy New Year! I hope everyone has enjoyed their winter holidays! Chinese New Year’s was only two days ago and it is now the year of the horse! If you made a New Year’s resolution than I wish you luck in still holding it up. Mine is to write everyday (ranging from one minute to as long as I can, as long as I get to my computer at some point during the day!)
So it’s the first week of the month of February so I’m giving an advice to young writers or just typical advice.
Advice: Let Your Characters Change
It’s amazing how you will plan a character and the details of their personality only for them to end up changing to someone completely different as you write the story. You will find that as you type the character changes and sometimes the story changes as well as it follows your new characters. Let this happen.
When the characters develop and change: It’s good.
When you force a character to remain the same and rope them to the ground: than the story seems forced.
Don’t wrestle your characters to make them fit into that original image that you had of them. Let’s be honest: When you have a first impression of a person it is rarely right. You learn more about the person as time goes on and they change. You see more of their weakness, their strengths, and the times when they just flat out break down and go crazy.
I know this isn’t long, but it’s straightforward: Let your characters exist.
See you next week,
Here is a sneak peak of the Cover for Book 2 in the Dream vs Reality series. Opinions? The next book should be released in the near future!
And the writing prompt that I will post mine up next week (yours to be added in next weeks post's comments) is:
"Rewrite the tale of Snow White from the view point of one of the seven dwarfs"
You get to pick which dwarf
So my vacation is over and Im back. November was filled with NaNoWriMo like usual which was a blast and I highly recommend it for all those who enjoy writing.
Also, another announcement, for any other highs coolers interested in writing Schoolastic is doing a wonderful competition right now for art and writing. Look into the below link for more information!
Week One: Advice on Characters
Characters are very important to a story. A plot may be your backbone, but the characters are what bring the entire thing to life. When someone is reading a story the plot line is very important, but if they care enough about the characters the reader will read to see what happens to them even if the plot sucks because THEY LIKE THE CHARACTERS.
So if the key to a story is characters, than how do you make a character able to become interesting? Well, they have to be like actual people. Not that you have to watch someone and make your character THAT person, but more like you have to make your character three-dimension. They have to have ups and downs, negatives and positives, friends and foes.
I believe, that the key to make your characters 3D can be achieved by getting to know your own character. When you’re writing, let the character decide what happens next. As a writer you shouldn’t have to force any of the events in a story, the characters should push for things to happen the way they do. Now, for a character to guide a story accurately the author /does/ have to know them very well which goes back to the beginning.
To get to know my characters I have learned multiple methods. The first is a character skeleton. I picked up this method through a lot of Role Playing that I used to do on some websites. Before someone could join into a role play they would have to post a skeleton on their character so that everyone else knew the basics. Each skeleton was unique, but I put together my own. When I got serious about writing I went to Rick Riordan’s site and found what he used.
Age in story: _________
Hair color, length, style: ________________________________
Regional influences: _____________________________________
Accent: (include voice, style of speech, slang, signature phrases or words) _______________________________________________________________________
Marital status: _____________________________________
Scars or other notable physical attributes: _____________________________________________________________________
Handicaps: (emotional, physical, mental) ____________________________________________________________
Athletic? Inactive? Overall health? ___________________________________
Style of dress: _____________________________________________________________
Favorite colors: _____________________________________________
How does the character feel about his/her appearance? ____________________________________________________________
Relationship with parents: _____________________________________________________________
Memories about childhood: _______________________________________________________________________
Educational background: (street smart? Formal? Does he/she read?) _______________________________________________________________________
Work experience: _______________________________________________________________________
Where does the character live now? Describe home (emotional atmosphere as well as physical) ________________________________________________________________________
Neat or messy? _____________________________________
Sexual preferences/morals/activities: _____________________________________________________________
Women friends/men friends: ____________________________________________________________________
Enemies? Why? _____________________________________________________________________
Basic nature: ________________________________________________________
Personality traits (shy, outgoing, domineering, doormat, honest, kind, sense of humor):
Strongest trait: _____________________________________________
Weakest trait: _____________________________________________
What does the character fear? _____________________________________________________________
What is the character proud of? _____________________________________________________________
What is the character ashamed of? _____________________________________________________________
Outlook on life (optimistic, pessimistic, cynic, idealist) _____________________________________________________________
How does the character see himself/herself? ____________________________________________________________
How is the character seen by others? _____________________________________________________________
Do you like this person? Why or why not? ____________________________________________________________
Will readers like or dislike? __________________________________
Most important thing to know about this character: _____________________________________________________________
Present problem: ___________________________________________
How it will get worse: _____________________________________________________________
What is the character’s goal in the story? _____________________________________________________________
What traits will help/hurt the character in achieving this goal? _____________________________________________________________
What makes the character different from similar characters? _____________________________________________________________
Why will readers remember this character vividly? _____________________________________________________________
Mine is much shorter, but I have some other things I do as well to get to know my characters. I do something a friend taught me entitled a “Character Conversation”. It’s simple really! It requires one or two sheets of paper. On the top I pose a question and then let my characters debate it out.
For example: How do you think “The Dream Prison” should have ended? Or What would you change in “The Dream Prison”?
The conversations that start get very interesting.
Now, organization is another key point because keeping it all up in ones head is impossible. So actually physically write out the skeletons and write out a conversation from time to time. Get to know your characters and break away from the stereotypical tropes.
More next week!
So some news first before I show what I quickly threw together for the writing prompt:
Taking 4 AP courses at once is a lot of work; dont do it fellow high schoolers unless you have a lot of will power, you'll need it
I'm visiting Arizona soon and on October 24th (Thursday) I am giving an Author presentation to Canyon Rim Elementary. I am very excited!!
One morning you awake to find yourself in a strait jacket, being taken off to an asylum. How do you prove your sanity? What do the guards and psychiatrists say you did?
Well, everyone has had those bad mornings. You know, the type where you find yourself in a very uncomfortable jacket where your arms have basically no movement and you feel a bit like a taco. You know, the mornings where you can hear the slow beep of a machine. The type of machine you later find attached to your arm. You know, the average morning when a few doctors in a lab white coat is standing near were you lay with two guards standing guard. You know, your basic not so average day!
That happened to me. To say the least, I was a bit confused. “Why am I in a taco?” I mumbled pulling at the sheets that were wrapped around me super tightly. Oh wait, those weren’t sheets. That was a strait jacket. I never thought I was claustrophobic, but suddenly realizing that I couldn’t move if I wanted to, began to put me on edge. “And why are you marshmallows have me plugged into this stuff?”
I like food, if not noticed, hence comparing my situation to being in a taco and to the whiteness of the doctors’ uniform to a marshmallow. The “marshamallows” were giving each other some strange looks before finally talking to me.
“There is no food in here right now,” Doctor number one mumbled, obviously confused.
“You are in a research facility,” the second one offered.
“An insane Asylum,” the third one corrected through a small laugh.
“Wait, What?” I shouted, a bit too loud, “Why am I in a place like here?”
“You were talking…”
“To yourself,” the youngest one interjected.
“Having a food fight…”
“With yourself,” the youngest one jumped in again.
“With yourself,” the youngest one added.
“Would you let me finish!” the first doctor said, clearly annoyed.
I laughed. “Hey, Hope. You seein’ this?” I asked the girl who was always so critical about everything.
“See you’re doing it again?”
“What?” I asked, innocently.
“Talking to yourself!”
“You’re so funny,” I laughed, “You agree, right Lokie?”
“I think I know what this is,” the middle doctor finally spoke since the first time, “this is the classic case of Author Syndrome. Their characters become real to them!”
“Is there a cure?” The youngest doctor asked.
Grimly the main doctor frowned, “None has been found.”
I just laughed, these guys were crazy, but at least all my friends were here!
Till next time,
Sooooo, read it. Enjoy it. After you have done that you should click the “read more” button on my blog if you want to hear my commentary on the list that this guy made. But before you read it: I loved it and found it very enjoyable!
So, I have decided this is a writing blog (somewhat of a ‘duh’) and by that I mean I’m giving out writing advice. Now, everyone has to find what works best for them so not all of my advice I give out will always work for every writer. Other things are pretty basic.
I plan that I will post once a week (most likely on the weekends), but I might randomly post other times as well. For the most part week one is advice to writers, week two is some article or other thing I found on the internet that I’d like to share, week three will be a bit random but will usually include a book suggestion (as all good writers should be good readers), and the fourth week will be a little writing sample. I’ll explain the fourth week in more detail in a second.
Anyway September has 5 weeks in it, so all the weeks are just shifted down a bit.
ADVICE #1: Write.
This might seem a bit like: What are you talking about Natasha? Of course writers write it’s in the name! But this can seriously be one of the biggest pieces of advice out there.
A great idea in your head, is just that, an IDEA. If you don’t take the time to write it out, put pen to paper, nothing will appear. It isn’t that magical, sadly. I know lives get busy (trust me, somehow I signed up for FOUR AP classes), but finding time to write is needed to develop and grow as a writer.
Try (and it’s understandable when you don’t always do it, but try) to write EVERYDAY. It can be for five minutes, it can be for an hour, anytime you can set aside is valuable time. A chapter that didn’t exist can sit there on your computer saying “Look, you accomplished something!”
That doesn’t mean you always have to continue writing what you were writing the day before. Short stories are a nice little trick. It’s over and done with. You get the sense of accomplishment from completing something and you can learn something new from every story you write and apply it to future writing.
If you do stick with one long story over time, it’s very difficult to reach the spot where you can write two words “The End”. Two words that can fill you with such an incredible feeling of joy (I threw myself a little ice cream party when I wrote ‘The End’ on the first draft of ‘The Dream Prison’).
There is a method I use to help me write a bit every day and I’m going to share that (if you don’t know of them) and those are word prompts. Short little prompts that can start you off, get over a bit of writers block (an entirely different topic), and towards a little warm up of writing. A fun one at that.
I mentioned that the fourth week needed to be explained more in detail, well, here it is. At the end of the first weeks post will be one of these prompts and on that fourth week I will post mine and if any of you have scribbled your own answers to the prompt, add them to the comments. It should be fun! Enjoy writing!
Writing Prompt: One morning you awake to find yourself in a straight jacket, being taken off to an asylum. How do you prove your sanity? What do the guards and psychiatrists say you did?
^^thanks to http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts
Can't wait to see what I and you come up with.