Monthly Archives: January 2014

Use Your Phone to Help With Your Writing

Notes - iPhone 1

A few months ago I was sitting in a café with my sister and a friend. Across the room was a couple enjoying each other’s company (at least it looked that way).I found myself staring at them. They were young enough to be characters in a young adult novel. I began making mental notes. The boy had broad shoulders, dark wavy hair and eyes that made him look as if he had a permanent peer. The girl had long blonde low lighted hair with a side swept bang. Her all black clothing was lightened by tons of silver jewelry she wore as accessories. As I willed myself to remember their features, styles and mannerisms (I was character building), I wished I had a notebook and pencil. I know better not to leave the house without a notebook.

I was fiddling around on my phone when the “aha” moment hit. I did have a notebook. My nifty little i-phone came equipped with one. I’ve been jotting down notes on my i-phone ever since.

Below you will find a list of ways to use an i-phone to help with your writing. I still bring a notebook just in case the unforeseen happens, my phone goes dead, I drop it and it breaks, I lose it etc. Notebooks should not become extinct but times are a changing and anything that helps your writing is a good thing.

1. Notepad- As stated above this feature on i-phones is awesome for writers. It allows us to open up individual notes where we can jot down things such as character descriptions, character traits, settings, dialogue, anything that inspires us while we are out and about.

2. The Camera- You find yourself at a location that would be ideal for the story you are writing, no worries snap a few pictures so later you can write about the setting. You see someone that resembles your vision of a character, click away (try and do it discreetly or you can be looked at as a creep).

3. Web surfing-As long as you have a reasonable plan you can roam the web via your phone to fact check, send or receive e-mails, visit social platforms or sneak a peek at your blog stats. (I’m not the only one who does this am I?)

4. Voice Recording – You can set your phone on record to tape the noises that surround you. You’d be surprised at the noises we tune out on a daily basis. Sounds help bring the picture you are trying to create come into view. The noises you hear while dining out are different from those you would hear while fishing.

5. Video Recording- A great tool to help you write action scenes. You’re writing about a soccer player kicking the winning goal. If you have the actual moment at your fingertips it will make writing the scene a lot easier.

I’m sure all phones whether they are an i-phone or an android have the options I mentioned or similar accessories available. Was there any I missed? Do you use your phone to assist with your writing?

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You Don’t Know Until You Know

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Every writer has their own method of story planning. I’m a plotter and an outliner. The whole story tends to present itself to me once the idea pops into my mind. Within minutes I know how it begins, how it ends, character names, settings and challenges which will be faced.

Even though I can spend an entire day writing down the idea that seemed to come to me instantaneously, I don’t know at the time what else will pop up.

One of my favorite things about writing is the mystery of what will be. The idea is not the heart. Often writers have a vision of what’s going to happen throughout the tale but then a situation arises and the story takes a new direction. I love when these moments happen. It makes me feel as if I’m merely a vessel for something bigger. I’m the one typing the words but the story itself is whispering in my ear.

In the first middle grade novel I wrote, one of the characters rode a bike with a horn. I didn’t know the significance of the horn until almost the end of the book. When it came together it made perfect sense but it was not something I outlined, it just happened and it was perfect. I’d have to rank those occasions as one of my top ten favorite things about writing.

Below are the other nine. What is one of your favorite things that happen during the writing process or makes you love being a writer?

The Other Nine:

1. Becoming Inspired

2. Coming up with unique premises

3. Editing (Yes, I love to edit!)

4. Naming characters

5. Plotting and Outlining

6. Researching

7. Daydreaming about my stories

8. Conversations with other writers

9. Typing -The End

Finally, as promised (see previous blog post) I opened up my copy of the Writer’s First Aid by Kristi Holl to a random page and saw the word Simplify.

Kristi stresses the importance of simplifying your writing schedule. She suggests assigning specific times of the day to do things such as answer e-mails, check e-mails, and sorting through snail mail. I’ll add surfing the web and visiting social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and countless others. Set up one or two times a day where you allow yourself to do these things. Your writing time shouldn’t be interrupted. This tip will help keep you writing without becoming distracted.

Happy Writing, may your words flow freely!

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IT’S A NEW YEAR, LET’S GET WRITING! MY 500 WORDS: A WRITING CHALLENGE

Happy New Year! I hope this New Year brings luck, prosperity, ideas and days filled of writing.

I have lots of ideas for the blog this year. In addition to author interviews, book giveways and posts focusing on this wonderful craft, I have decided to include more writing exercises and critique giveways. Who doesn’t love a critique? I love to critique and will promise to offer constructive feedback.

Yesterday while blog hopping I stumbled upon Jeff Goins My 500 Words: A Writing Challenge. I signed up and made a promise to myself that I will write 500 words a day for the entire month of January.

I need the discipline and look forward to visiting other writer’s blogs to see how their progress is going.

I’m diving into 2014. I declare my mantra to be- No feeling beats the feeling of accomplishment.

Today, I found a book I purchased years ago when I first started studying the craft. The book, Writer’s First Aid by Kristi Holl offers motivation for writers.

Throughout the month I will be opening the book to a random page.

Today, I smiled when I saw the words Keep Moving on page 65. Kristi encourages writers to tackle unfinished business. She explains how stalling can deplete your energy. (So True!) Her message is a similar message to the one I wrote about a few days ago. You have to get up! Stop procrastinating. Tackle the projects you have allowed to sit. You will feel so much better about yourself.

Come on guys, we can do this. We have to believe in ourselves. Write something right now, in an hour you will be happy you did.

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Filed under writer's life, writers, Writing