Short Story Writing Tips to Get You Started

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Most of my posts for the most part up to now have been related to blogging so I wanted to widen the horizons here on Perfectly Prompted. Many people who write tend to do so in a variety of forms. Perhaps your dabble in poetry, maybe you write lyrics, or short stories might be your outlet of choice. Today we are going to focus on the latter, Short Story writing.

Short story writing is an excellent outlet for creativity that is adaptable to a modern world. Many writers want to write the next best-seller, they dream of writing novels with intricate plots, well-rounded characters, and detailed description, but often they just don’t have the time. Short stories can be a great alternative to a longer piece, and still give you the satisfaction of a finished, well-developed work of art with less strain on your day-to-day life. They are also an excellent stepping stone to develop your skills for the moment when you do find the time to write that award-winning novel.

This post will give you a quick look at the benefits of short story writing, and provide tips to help you get started.  (Also, check out the prompts at the end of this post for fun story ideas)

In the world of short story writing there are no real rules. Writers are constantly creating and evolving in the genre, and any rules that do exist often get tested, pushed to the limit, or broken. There are a few basics to short story writing that can often be a helpful guide, especially for a beginner, but remember a story needs to astonish and thrill a reader or it is not worth reading, no matter how short it is.

The first thing to remember when writing a short story is the amount of information you are presenting in such a small space, because the length of short stories is substantially shorter than that of a full-scale novel, or even a novella, it is important you pay close attention what goes in to it. (You do not want to overwhelm the reader with useless information and leave them wondering where the story went and so, nothing should be written that does not relate to the protagonist, or the issue they are facing in the story.) Unlike a novel where the main character may face many different issues through out the storyline, a short story presents only one issue for your character to deal with. This single issue should cause the main character to be torn emotionally and should generally cause them to fight or contend with someone else in the story, this person would be the antagonist.

Generally speaking both characters will face the same issue but have opposing positions, or views, about it. What happens in the story is kept simple and is the result of the battle between the two contending sides. The problems that these characters faces usually does not end well, this part of the story would be the crisis, these characters usually know each other, (they are not usually strangers as a short story does not give ample time to develop a relationship) and often times they are closely related such as family members/best friends. The battle between these characters generally has a few rounds before the conclusion or resolution.

The general rule of short story writing is that the crisis and resolution change the protagonists life forever, and they never truly win the fight, as they are never quite the same no matter the result. The end of the short story, which is called the dénouement, should give the reader some idea of how the character goes on in life. In other words; the story must always tie up the loose ends and not leave the reader wondering what happened. Unlike novels or movies, short stories will have no follow-ups, so all issues must be resolved within the frame of the writing.

Symbolism plays a huge part in short stories. Many of the more popular short stories have deep symbolic meanings embedded in the text for the reader to consider at a later time or as they read. If you are unfamiliar with symbolism it is something you should study, at least briefly, as it can play a key role in a good short story.

Lastly, short stories always begin at the beginning of the end, there is no time to start earlier. A good writer will fill the reader in on the past quickly and efficiently through well-written description and strong character development.

Those are the basics of short story writing, but as I said before; when it comes to short stories these ‘rules’ are often evolved, expanded on and regularly broken. The only real rule to a short story is that the writers imagination has created it. Even the length of a short story is in perpetual debate, generally it is a story that is no more than 20,000 words and no less than 1,000, but this criteria is pushed and changed as often as the other listed rules. Basically, a short story is whatever you make it out to be and it fits ‘generally’ into the basic criteria for the genre.

There are many benefits to short story writing. It is less time-consuming, the plot, characters, and story itself are easier to compose and keep track of, and the market for such work is vast. Probably one of the greatest benefits to short story writing (besides creative freedom) is the market available for such pieces. Unlike with novel-writing, most short story publishers do not require that submissions be solicited by an agent, and so new writers can easily get their foot in the door and start a career. The pay scale for such work varies drastically, but an author can quickly make a name for themselves and earn a good income if they are a good writer.

If you have never tried writing a short story (besides the ones you had to write in school) I highly suggest you make an attempt to do so now. This form allows you creative freedom and helps to develop your craft without much effort, or substantial time. Below I have listed some short story prompts to help get you started, give them a try, and feel free to post your finished product (or a link to it) in the comments section. (Please don’t be shy, this is a ‘writer friendly’ environment for everyone beginner to advanced.)

Short Story Prompts to Get You Started:

  • A girl is snooping around her best friends apartment and finds a disturbing photograph in her drawer…
  • Your main character suspects that her/his partner is having an affair and decides to spy on them, what does she/he find?
  • At a local flea market your character buys an antique lamp and finds a note hidden inside.
  • At the airport a stranger talks your character into carrying a mysterious package on to the plane. The character gets stopped by security, it is not drugs, so what is inside the package?
  • Your character picks up a hitch-hiker on the way home who presents them with a strange opportunity…
  • Your character is being blackmailed. Why? and by who?
  • Your character arrives home and can immediately sense that something is not right, how? what?why?
  • Your character is confronted by a person from the past who tries to apologize for…
  • Your character is reading a book when they hear a strange noise. Looking up they see it outside the window…
  • Pick someone from a ‘personal ad’ online (or in the paper) and write a story based only on how they look, or what is written about them.
  • Use the following line to begin your story: “I couldn’t help but stare…”
  • Write a story with a dark hallway, a broken vase, and one lost slipper…
  • Create a story about Greg McDougall, a lonely investment banker on the rooftop ledge…

Feel free to create (and even submit) your own prompts as well. As always comments are welcome, as are links to your site, or finished pieces relating to the content. You can submit these in the comments area or email them to perfectlyprompted@live.ca if you wish to remain anonymous.

Here are a few last-minute short story tips to get you writing:

– Who is your protagonist and what does he/she want?
– When the story begins what actions has your character already taken that have brought him/her to this point?
– What unexpected consequences will your protagonist face due to their actions? Will this change their mind yet again? How many times?
– What details are important to ensure your story is complete? Which are not? (eg: avoid travel scenes, filler conversation, and things that have already been observed or stated previously)
– What final choice will your character make at the climax of the story? (It should be unexpected, and your reader should feel connected to this choice)

 

Until Next Time…

Write On!

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Argue and Add Depth to your Writing

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The argumentative essay is a favorite among college professors as it shows a writers knowledge and adds drama to the topic. Perhaps you remember these assignments from your school days, the controversial topics that grabbed the reader’s attention and demanded that you back up your opinion with factual information. These exercises in school may have prepared you for a life of successful writing without you even knowing it….

Adding the element of argument to your blog can be a great way to create drama and get people talking about your writing. By no means do you need to be overly argumentative, or angry to gain attention, you simply need to be able to share your opinion on an otherwise touchy subject openly, while providing evidence to back up your point of view.

Take for instance the widely talked about topic of the death penalty, for decades people have gained attention from both stand points of this hot topic. Writing and Producing persuasive arguments that support their personal point-of-view. Blogs that have written about such topics tend to get a fair amount of attention, especially when they are well written and provide persuasive reasoning to support their claim. The same goes for other controversial topics, such as; abortion, rape, justice, and child abuse. Choosing a topic that gets a readers blood boiling is a sure-fire way to a) get your writing read by many, and b) generate discussion on your site.

Now not everyone can handle this type of writing, and it is not for the faint at heart. If you are not naturally argumentative in the first place, I would suggest you aim to keep your writing more to the persuasive side, than the argumentative one, as a good argumentative essay or blog post will generate feedback. Much of this feedback will come from readers who strongly disagree with the point you are making, and many times this feedback ends up rather harsh in nature. Keep this in mind as you write, and don’t take any comments personally… Remember ‘everyone’ is entitled to their opinion.

At the end of this post is a short list of controversial topics that you may consider writing about. Choose one that arouses your passion and write a short 250 – 500 word post supporting your view. You can make this longer if you like, but the key here is to share your opinion, and provide reasoning for that opinion. It also helps if you write with the intent to persuade others to feel as you do.

This type of writing may be difficult for you, and it definitely requires that you think “outside the box”, but give it a try even just for the change of pace, and see where it leads you. Remember there is no right or wrong when it comes to your opinion.

Here are a few tips to get you started, followed by a list of hot topics to choose from. 

Tips for Argumentative Writing:

  • Pre-plan – Because this type of writing requires factual information and a certain level of organization of ideas it is important that you spend a bit of time outlining exactly what you want to say. Highlight the most important points and build on them.
  • Choose a good topic – When deciding on a topic you need to consider a number of things; you want a topic that has two points of view, you want a topic that makes your blood boil and arouses your passion, you want a topic that has enough information available to be supportive to your argument, and you want a topic that others will care to read about. Having knowledge on the topic is helpful, but with today’s technology research is a fairly easy part of writing.
  • Take your stand – After considering both sides you need to take a stand and choose which side you support. At that point your must begin to explain and decide “why” you have chosen the position you have on this issue and gather evidence that will support you as well. The more facts you have to back up your view the more likely that others will agree with you. Imagine that you are selling a product and that each sale is going to produce huge commission… You need to ‘prove’ your point to get the sale!
  • Start Writing – Once you are ready to write aim to do the following: Introduce your topic and your position. (Remember those thesis statements that you spent hours perfecting in school…) Present both sides of the subject. Though you may only support one, it is important that your readers understand there are two very different points-of-view on this topic, at this point you will start to defend yours by selecting the strongest evidence one point at a time. Once you have completed your points sum them up with a powerful closing statement. Simple. Your Done. By this time your reader should be convinced that you are correct and your point-of-view is the positive one.
  • Remember these tips – Avoid emotional language. Unless you are aiming for a personal opinion point-of-view, stick to the ‘facts’ as much as possible. Don’t make things up. All evidence you present should be factual and you should be able to back it up with proof. Take note of where you gathered your research so that you can support your facts should you need to. Be prepared to defend your point. If you are not ready to defend yourself and your view, refrain from writing your piece. This is another reason you should choose a topic you are passionate about, people are going to argue with you, you will need to be able to back-up your opinion.

Despite the serious nature of this type of writing, have fun with it and enjoy what you write. Allow yourself to relish in the passion that your topic arouses in you. It is a rare occasion that a writer gets to share such a deep part of themselves with others. Allow it to teach you, and help you grow.

Here is a list of some great argumentative topics you may wish to write about. As I said before, even if this type of writing is not in your nature give it a try, even just for the ‘change of pace’. Have sun with it and make it your own in any way you like. Be honest, and creative. Take a stand and share your ideas… There is no right or wrong!

Hot Topics to Write About:

  • Is the death penalty effective?
  • Is our election process a fair one?
  • Is torture or murder ever acceptable?
  • Should parents be open about sex and drugs with their teens?
  • Is cheating in a relationship ever understandable? Can it be forgiven?
  • Are we too dependent on technology?
  • Should smoking be banned from all public places? Should it be banned from homes where there are children?
  • Should children be micro-chipped at birth if the parents choose to do so?
  • Is child behavior better or worse than it was years ago?
  • Should schools provide teens with free access to condoms?
  • Are actors and professional athletes paid too much?
  • Do violent video games cause violence in children?
  • Should child pageants be banned?
  • Does age matter in relationships?
  • Should gay couples be allowed to marry?
  • Is war ever the answer?

I hope that many of you will choose one of the above topics (or choose one of your own) and give this prompt a try. I will be posting my response to this post in the next few days as well so stay tuned. This type of writing has always been a passion of mine as it allows me to share parts of myself and my mind that would otherwise not be seen, or read.

Once again have fun, and don’t take this too seriously. Feel free to post a link to your results (on the actual writing) in the comments for others to see.

***If you wish to remain anonymous you can also email your responses to:
perfectlyprompted@live.ca ***

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Let Me Start By Saying…..

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Let me start this Wordy Wednesday with a special Thank-you to a great blogger and even greater friend… Marcos Gonzales over at Experification   made my day today when he wrote a post about this site. It seems that the tips and tricks I have written here have truly inspired him, and through inspiring him.. I have been inspired more myself. It is always great to see that someone appreciates what you are trying to say, do, or accomplish… so once again Marc Thank-you one thousand times! I truly appreciate your post and link. If you haven’t already you must check out his blog through the link above. He is an inspiring writer who shares deeply and has a passion for words. It is definitely worth the read!

And now down to the nitty-gritty…

This Wordy Wednesday is all about getting started.

Sometimes beginning is the most difficult part of writing. I have found myself staring at a blank page many times with no thought of where to begin. The process of getting writing on paper must begin with a single word. Below are some ideas of where to find inspiration, and a few word prompts that might help you start…. As always feel free to share your results in the comments section below, or link to your own blog. Perfectly Prompted is a place for writers to get connect, get inspired, and most importantly get writing…. Enjoy!

Where to find inspiration:

  • Photos – Look at a photo and describe how it makes you feel, what you see, or what you think is going on.
  • News – Re-write the headlines. This is especially fun if you don’t like what you read. Take that sad story and share some positive light or look deeper into the story and find a way to solve a problem. News does not always have to be bad, in fact it can be whatever you choose to make it… there are three sides to every story… choose one.
  • Magazine Covers – Magazines are packed full of exciting information and the cover is the cake that entices you to read. Take one of those catchy headlines, and without reading the article, spin it yourself… I am willing to bet your story turns out quite different from theirs…
  • Dictionary – Words can work wonders on you imagination. Open a dictionary, or thesaurus and choose a new word. Expand on it, explain it, or share how it makes you feel. The possibilities are endless and the words are plentiful.
  • Other Sites – Often times reading someone else’s post inspires a thought of my own. Take time to read other blogs, or writers and enjoy the inspiration they provide. You will learn many lessons from reading that you would otherwise never have learned.

Word Prompts To Get You Started:

Use these words in any way you choose, a beginning sentence, a poem, a description, a feeling, whatever inspires you…

Attractive

Demure (shy)

Lynching

Conquer

Sorrow

Elegance

Shadow

Willow

Perfection

Enjoy your writing and always have fun. Be bold and take chances. Reach for the stars.

Feel free to send questions, articles, stories, or tips to:

perfectlyprompted@live.ca

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Writing Prompts to Persuade Your Peers ….

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Persuasion is the process of guiding oneself or another toward the adoption of an idea, action, or attitude by rational and symbolic (though not always logical) means. – Wikipedia

Last week I discussed writing about controversial issues to get attention, along the same lines this week I am providing you with some writing prompts that discuss some much talked about issues in society. Taking a well-known issue and sharing your opinion is an easy way to get yourself some attention and recognition in your writing, especially if you can take the issue and convince others that your spin, or thought on it, is the right one  have. Persuasive writing is a powerful tool and one that requires much practice…

Here is a list of some persuasive, or expository writing prompts for you to try out. These prompts are geared towards making you think, and persuading others to do the same… Try them out and feel free to share the results if you are inspired. When writing on these topics you have two options, you may choose to research the topic in order to provide factual information in your writing, or you may opt to write simply based on your opinion of the issue… the choice is yours and the possibilities are endless. You are welcome to post links to your post or your own blogs in the comment area for others to see… Again this site is about getting writers connected to each other to promote inspiration and success…

Writing Prompts that will persuade you to think:

  1. Many people believe that television now-a-days promotes violence in our children, and has a negative effect on society. Do you agree or disagree?
  2. Many people spend their lives fighting for a cause, such as; freeing political prisoners, is there a cause you hold dear to your heart? Why? and Why should others as well? Persuade me to join your crusade!
  3. Does the music our children listen to really influence their way of life? Why or why not? What should change?
  4. Schools all over the world are adapting a “No Homework Ever” policy because studies have shown that children learn better ‘in’ class than ‘out’. Do you agree with this idea? Why or Why not?
  5. To fight the “War on Drugs” many schools across America are conducting random searches of students and their storage units. It has raised a large amount of discussion on the right to privacy at school. Where do you stand on this issue and why?

These topics are simple suggestions, the idea is to take an issue that gets a lot of attention and use it to your benefit. By sharing your opinion on a front page issue you will gain readership and move yourself up in the search listings. Use one of the above or think of your own ‘Hot Topic‘ to discuss in order to get your writing the attention it deserves…. Fill up the comments area with your results!

Until Next Time…

Write On!

The Power of Descriptive Writing

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Descriptive writing calls for acute attention to detail, as well as creativity and intense use of imagination. It is one way that a writer can practice adding detail to their writing without fear of going overboard, or swaying off topic. Perfecting this fine art provides many benefits to you the writer, as well as the audience you are trying to reach, and is generally easy to achieve and craft successfully.

What is Descriptive Writing?

First I will start by explaining what exactly descriptive writing is. Descriptive writing is a style of writing that allows the reader to gain a closer view of characters, scenes, or objects by providing detailed and vivid descriptions. With practice, a talented descriptive writer has the ability to capture the reader’s attention and emotions, making the reader feel as if they are part of the story, and it is evolving right before their eyes. There are certain elements of descriptive writing that one must cultivate in order to bring the reader ‘inside’ the story and enable them to visualize the scene clearly in their minds.

Good descriptive writing is comprised of four elements; Sensory Description, Figurative Language, Precise Wording, and Careful Organization.

Sensory Description – Descriptive writing uses all of the five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch and smell) to pull the reader into the story and allow them to experience the same sensations as the characters inside their minds. For example a writer who is good at using descriptive writing may describe a log home by first describing the wood it is made from, the smell of it, the look of it, and the feel of it. They may then describe the setting around the cabin, the way it smells inside or the sounds that surround it in the night. The idea is to “show” the details rather than “tell” them, allowing the reader to visualize them in their mind.

Figurative Language – Figurative, or Illustrative language is used to produce ‘imagery’ by comparing the described setting or object to something else that the reader is easily able to visualize and associate in their mind. There are many ways to use figurative language, and it is a talent that should be practiced until perfected. Metaphors are used when you wish to connect or compare things equally, where similes are used to compare two objects while keeping them separate. Other forms of figurative language include: hyperbole, which exaggerates an object to add effect. Puns, which add a humorous tone to a words different meanings, and personification which takes an abstract object and relates to it as a person. Figurative language is an important part of descriptive writing, and something that can always be expanded and improved upon with practice.

Precise Wording – One of the main points of descriptive writing is the use of timing. A good descriptive writer has the ability to make the reader feel as if the event being described is happening ‘right now’. This is done through the use of active verbs, rather than commonly used passive ones. It is also important that the writer carefully select precise modifiers, nouns and adjectives to describe objects and settings. Rather than the general nouns that one normally uses, the writer should be aiming for more specific words that allow the reader to feel like they are part of the action. All adjectives, adverbs and other words should be chosen with care.

Careful Organization – Organization is probably the most important part of descriptive writing. The writing needs to be organized with some sense of purpose, be it: chronological order, importance, or in balance with the relations involved. Whichever way the writer chooses to provide the information in must be done in a well thought out, organized fashion, that is easy for the reader to follow and understand. Lengthy descriptive pieces may involve intricate planning and preparation before you even begin to write your first draft, but it is very important to the flow and functionality of the information, and should be taken very seriously. Practice is the only sure-fire way of improving upon this ability.

When and Where Descriptive Writing Can Be Used

Descriptive writing is found commonly throughout every genre, and can be incorporated in to every piece of writing in some form. It is most commonly seen in the form of “first person” because many writers find it easier to describe something that they are actually seeing, for example: “I heard the footsteps on the creaky wooden floor boards. I could smell the aroma from his pipe, and the strong scent of his cologne before he reached the top of the stairs. The smells mixed together and reminded me of stale garbage on a hot summer day, that scent that fills your nose and never ceases.” Learning to describe these senses from a characters point of view takes more practice, but is a talent that is well worth the effort.  Try adding some descriptive detail to your next blog post, or personal story, you can also easily incorporate this style of writing into an essay to help make your point more clear to your reader.

How Can Descriptive Writing Be Practiced?

The only way to practice is to jump right in feet first. Below are a few basic descriptive writing prompts to get you started. Don’t stress about the outcome, the best way to start is by closing your eyes and visualizing how the scene or prompt makes you ‘feel.’ What do you see? Smell? Taste? Hear? Use precise words, and as many details as possible. Allow the words to flow as if you were telling a friend. The goal is to make the reader see, hear, and feel the way you did at that exact moment. Try the scenes and ideas below in a short descriptive paragraph or essay, and feel free (as always) to share the results of your writing in the comment section below.

Descriptive Writing Prompts

Describe….

  • a waiting room
  • your favorite treasure
  • your dream house
  • a dark closet
  • a long hallway
  • an accident scene
  • a child’s secret hiding spot
  • the morning commute on the bus or train
  • an item forgotten in the back of the refrigerator
  • your favorite food
  • a cemetery or funeral
  • a small town (seaside or mountain top)
  • a storefront window
  • an inspiring view
  • the most relaxing place on earth
  • your wedding day (or dream wedding)
  • your partners hands
  • a special feeling
  • your greatest childhood memory
  • your mother (or mother-in-law)
  • a porcelain doll
  • the scene at work when something went wrong
  • a bad date
  • a dark alley


Try one of these prompts out, or create your own. Check back often to share ideas and get inspired by other peoples writing. I will be posting my own shortly. You can keep them as short, or as long, as you like. The idea is just to see where the image takes you, and to touch on a talent that may be hidden inside your writing soul.

(Check out About.com’s Examples of Descriptive Writing here before you begin if you are looking for inspiration)

Descriptive writing can easily improve your writing and make it more pleasurable to read. It can add pages and pages to your written work, and can change the entire outlook of a single piece of writing. It is one of the best ways to show your talent for writing, as well as your passion. I strongly urge you to challenge yourself with these prompts regularly no matter which genre you prefer.

I look forward to reading your results… and remember descriptive writing is wonderful because there is no ‘right or wrong’. There are simply different perspectives on the same ideas.

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Why Self-Discovery is Important to your Writing

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Welcome, this is the 1st edition of Mystery Mondays and I hope that this post finds you all in good health as you start off your week.

Learning about yourself will improve your writing.

Mystery Mondays is geared towards asking questions, finding answers and getting to know yourself on a deeper level. It is a way of challenging yourself to grow, both personally, and as a writer.

This post is going to look at the benefits of self-discovery and your writing.

Self-DiscoveryNoun: The process of acquiring insight into one’s own character.

The mind is a fascinating instrument of creativity. This intricate device is constantly working and accessing different ideas, whether you are aware that it is happening or not. Like an instrument, a mind needs to be cared for and tuned regularly. That is where self-discovery comes into play. Asking yourself questions and learning to understand the way you think is a big part of living a full and happy life. Knowing what you truly want and need in life, and discovering those things which make you happiest are essential to success. The same principle applies to you as a writer, you need to understand the way your mind creates to be able to create successfully. You need to learn to take your thoughts, conscious and subconscious, and be able to harness them for a creative purpose, rather than just a fact of everyday life.

A successful writer operates on more than mental capacity, these writers have learned to dig deep within themselves to pull out those ideas, stories, and creations that are hidden inside the corners of the mind, threatening to disappear into the unknown. They have discovered the way that they think, and have found a way to utilize their specific mode of thinking to create deeper more passionate writing, thus connecting with their readers on a more intense level. Whether they have accomplished this purposely or simply as a result of their drive for success is truly irrelevant, by paying attention to themselves and their needs they have chosen this success through thinking.

What you think about, and focus on becomes your reality. We have all heard about the power of positive thinking in some form; one of the most known sources of information on this topic is the book “The Secret” which discusses the way our thinking patterns create our lives. This “secret” is actually no secret at all… Your thoughts are what makes you who you are, and what has gotten you to where you are today. That is why it is important that people pay attention to their way of thinking, in order to prevent unwanted results, and also why it is important that we look at the things that we truly want and need in life.

What does all this have to do with your writing?

A major part of self-discovery is becoming more aware of what and how you are thinking, as well as learning to tap into the unending resource that is your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is the storage facility of the brain, it is where any information, thoughts, or emotions that are not relevant to the current momentary situation get sent to be sorted and stored until they are required. The downfall to the subconscious mind is, that like a filing cabinet, this information needs to be removed as more takes over the space. Thus learning to locate and utilize these thoughts and ideas are a great way to increase your creativity. There is a large amount of information that can be lost if it is not used, and each piece that is wasted holds the chance of having become an amazing piece of work. This is not to say that every idea you have will become an extraordinary piece of writing, but your thoughts as a writer are like the lottery, you can not win if you don’t play!

How to tap into your subconscious mind and improve your writing:

Learning to utilize the thoughts that are stored in your subconscious mind can become life long journey, but you “the writer” can easily enter the vault and pull a random file at anytime, creating the possibility of successful passionate writing with every thought you choose…

  • Pay closer attention to the world around you – The world we live in is a constant source of inspiration, yet many times we are so busy living our lives that we fail to see what is right under our nose. Take time to look around as you go about your daily routine. Stop to enjoy the world, take note of all that inspires you. Allow yourself to really “feel” the emotions that things bring to your mind, and explore the different ways you can share those emotions with others through words.
  • Carry a notebook at all times – One of the most basic rules of successful writing applies to self-discovery as well, never let a moment of creativity pass you by. Your mind is constantly working and you can not rely on it to remember a small detail at a later time. With so much information being processed it is easy for a great idea to get lost among the clutter, carry a notebook and take a moment to write down anything that gets your attention. When you look back later be sure that you have written it in a way that you understand, in order to spark the same emotions in your subconscious that you felt at the time.
  • Take time to get to know yourself – It is important that we regularly ask ourselves questions and consider our answers in order to grow as people and as writers. Asking general questions such as; What do I want? Need? Dream? are a great start, but you need to look deeper within in order to truly know who you are inside. Ask yourself such things as; Who are you? Where are you heading in life? What are you most passionate about? and Where do you hope to be in the future? By responding to these questions regularly you will learn about your true desires, rather than the wants that we ‘superficialize‘ in regards to material things. Forget what others think, what others want from you, and consider only what you want for yourself.
  • Be at peace – Spending time in a quiet environment is a great way to tap into your subconscious mind. Sit in a place where you will not be disturbed and simply ‘be.’ Don’t worry about what you have to make for dinner, your to-do list, or the kids. Forget your laundry, your schedule, or your busy life. Take a moment to simply enjoy the peace and then see where your mind takes you.
  • Write Freely – Free writing is one of the easiest ways to get inside the creases of the mind where thoughts and ideas can easily be lost. Sit only with a pen and paper and allow your hand to guide you. Do not think consciously, instead let words flow out as they please. The point is not to make sense, but to rid your mind of all the clutter and then review it to see if any of these thoughts can be used in your work. You may feel strange when you first attempt free writing, try setting a timer for five minutes and keep writing until that time is done. It is important that you keep in mind it is not about creating anything usable, there does not need to be rhyme and reason to this piece, it is only about letting go of inhibitions and discovering those thoughts that your mind has filed away inside.
  • Pay attention to how you “feel” – Paying attention to your thoughts is just as important as paying attention to your emotions. When it comes to growing as a writer the usual goal is to produce more passionate writing that grabs the reader’s attention and holds them there. You want to be able to have your audience ‘feel’ the way your feeling through your words, thus exploring your emotions can be a very beneficial journey. The easiest way to accomplish this is to consciously think about how something makes you feel. By using your conscious mind you are making something a reality, and are more likely to be able to express and relive the thought later.

Whatever your goals in life, personally or in your writing, discovering and learning to understand the way you think through self-discovery is going to benefit you, and your writing, in many ways. By knowing yourself you will learn the ways that you can manipulate your thoughts to be able to write even when you don’t feel up to it, you will be able to produce more writing at a faster pace that is more in-depth and appealing. By journeying down the road to self-discovery you ‘the writer’ will be happier and probably more successful, and chances are you will be able to see what it truly takes to make you happy. Some writers “think” that they need to write a Great American Novel to be happy and feel accomplished in their writing, but they later discover that just writing anything and possibly making some money doing it is enough, and vice-versa. Once you learn more about yourself and your true desires you will be able to decide what it is you need to do, and it will be easier to accomplish your goals and achieve those things. You will have a stronger writing voice, a more passionate approach, and deeper understanding. You will benefit endlessly by learning about yourself and discovering the person that you truly are inside.

Until Next Time…

Write On!

Sinful Saturdays #1 – Controversial Questions

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I apologize for the lack of posts.. the world around me has been chaos! But without any further delay here is the First Edition of Sinful Saturdays which aims to have you look deeper at yourself and your views through prompts and questions that spark conversation.

Too many times we restrain ourselves. For fear of offending others we avoid certain topics. Some of my best writing has occurred when I address those issues that get my blood boiling. Try writing an editorial piece, story, or other form of work about a topic that some might deem inappropriate.

Before you write though consider both sides, and answer the arguments of them as well…. For all negative reasoning there is positive reasoning…

Take for example the issue of Abortions…

There are major arguments as to why abortion is wrong, such as; taking away an innocent life, some say it is equal to murder, some think it is like playing God, Adoption is a viable alternative,  in the instance of rape or sex crimes the child is not the offender and should not suffer, abortion is being used as a form of contraception, it cause stress on your body and mind…. etc…

But you also have to look at the arguments that support abortion as well, for example; abortion is no murder because nearly all abortions occur in the first trimester when the fetus can not survive independently, if a fertilized egg to be used for in-vitro is not used it is the same as abortion then, it is better to save a child from a life of suffering with a parent that will be unable or unfit to care for them, pregnancy can occur even with the use of contraception and a child should not suffer due to a mistake or accident, in the case of rape or sex crimes the victim has suffered deeply looking at the face of a child created by such violence can cause deeper pain thus affecting the child and the way it will be treated due to mental suffering on the victims part, the choice to abort saves millions of tax dollars and mothers who will struggle on the welfare system… etc….

As you can see above, when you look at both sides of an issue you discover that both have viable arguments.. you may find it hard to choose a side. This can create some of the best writing. Open minded articles that give the facts without judgment, or argumentative articles that fight for certain rights can help a writer to express themselves and their passions.

Try choosing a controversial issue that sparks you interest and write something for the opposing side to your beliefs. If this is too difficult for you to do emotionally, or you find that it is against your morals, etc… than write about your opinion, and why you support the topic the way you do…

You do not have to share your writing with anyone unless you choose to, the idea is more to create passion and to open your mind to other views and ideas that exist in the world around you.

Some Ideas To Consider:

  • Abortion Wrong or Right?
  • War Always Bad or Sometimes Necessary? 
  • Bin Laden – Dead or Alive? Should he have been killed or put to trial?
  • The Death Penalty For or Against? 

You get the idea… Try it out and see where it takes you…. Open your mind and write “outside the box” as always feel free to share your topic if you choose, and comments are ALWAYS welcome!

Until Next Time…..

Write On!

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