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Lately it feels as though I’ve been staring out of windows a lot. It’s not like there’s a busy sidewalk outside with pedestrians to look at, though. One looks out to the backyard where the most interesting things are the birds and squirrels. Same goes for the other window, which turns towards the neighbor’s house and a partial view of the road leading to the busy traffic. Maybe it seems to happen a lot since I’m at my desk whenever my mind begins to wander…

Borrowed from tumblr site "samisoffthewall."

Borrowed from tumblr site “samisoffthewall.”

The suburbs isn’t the ideal place for a writer like me to reside. I’m not making excuses for my slow progress – writing a detailed and improved (new) outline for my novel – I’m just saying I wouldn’t mind being somewhere else to do my work. I probably should make it a habit to drive over to the local library or a coffee shop, because trying to finish stuff like this at my house is a mean task. There’s always someone shouting after me and asking me to do some household task “since I am not doing anything.”

Another observation I have made is that staring out of a window is much better than gluing my eyes to a laptop screen. Easier to gather my thoughts. It has rained a lot, too, in the past two, three weeks so I have had that comfort at least.

I can also say with confidence that the revision for my novel is going excellently, even though my life feels so chaotic and busy nowadays. I got myself two jobs last week. Two jobs! That is a new ball game for me; we’ll see how I manage that.

Anyway, the title of this blog post does say, “Writing tips,” so here they are: These are a myriad of helpful writing advice I’ve found on tumblr. (Click the links for the full article.)

12 Questions to ask yourself about your Magic System

[Example]

  1. How is it learned and executed?
  2. How is it accessed?
  3. Does it have a will of its own?
  4. Is it restricted in space and time?
  5. What does available magic do?
  6. How does it relate to the character, plot and theme of the book? …

 

Top Ten Things that are not Impressive for Action Characters [Example]

  1. Sticking the landing . All this does is jack up joints. Collapse and roll. Hit the ground with the largest surface area possible.
  2. Headshots . You sound like bragging gamers.
  3. “One shot, one kill.” Same as above. Aim for center mass and unload until they stop moving.
  4. Disabling shots . Depending on the time period, you’re either consigning them to a lifetime of nerve damage and pain or a slow death from infection. Also, injured people can still fight back. […]

 

How to Write a Scene in 11 Steps

1. What needs to happen in this scene?

2. What’s the worst that would happen if this scene were omitted?

3. Who needs to be in the scene?

4. Where could the scene take place?

5. What’s the most surprising thing that could happen in the scene?

 

How to ensure that something happens in a scene [Example]

1. Pick a goal for the primary character in the scene.

2. Before you start writing, brainstorm ways in which your character tries to achieve that goal. Will they win or fail?

3. How do the other characters in the scene feel? Do they reveal their feelings? Do they know the primary character’s goal? How do they help or hinder him/her? […]

 

In the near future, I will post some writing tips of my own. Happy writing!

Tardes, noches by Jerónimo G. Balanta.

Tardes, noches by Jerónimo G. Balanta.

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