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Writing Perils: Failure To Imagine

businessman, coder, computer

Writing is an art-form. And not just any old art-form…

It’s a process in which clever creative minds take words and all their power, and harness them to paint pictures in the minds of those who are reading. Let’s just a second to appreciate that as a process. It takes great skill and patience to learn this craft. And a great deal more to master it.

Off the back of that comment, there’s on thing that all great writers have in common: a powerful imagination.

Of course they do. How else can someone paint entire worlds with no colour, and pull at the heartstrings of an audience with no visual input? Imagination is a huge, huge part of this game. And it’s because of this that it’s also the downfall of so many.

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Imagination From The Pages

We say this a lot, so if you’re a regular reader here, we’re sure this message is already stuck in that wonderful brain of yours. But… we’re going to say it again. Regular reading is a great way to improve your writing.

Not only does reading help us to explore those imaginative fields, but it also teaches us the fundamentals of great writing. When we read great books, our subconscious minds digest all of that greatness, and slowly but surely, we begin to learn the art of what makes a great story. This applies to any great book, in any genre. It’s tried and true. Reading is plain and simply a great way to improve.

But… is it actually a great way to improve our imagination? Well, perhaps not as much as you’d first think.

Sure, books will feed your mind with ideas and creative backdrops, but those are the ideas of other writers. All you’re doing here is studying the imaginations of other wonderful creatives. And hey, that’s not a bad thing, but it’s also not the best way to go about improving your own imagination.

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So How Can You?

Easy. Through life.

If you want to improve your writing, please try out this simple, yet incredibly deep and effective exercise. This will really up your imagination game, and will help you to paint the most colourful black and white pictures that your mind has ever seen.

First of all, taste life. Get out there and live a little. Travel; see the world and all of the different people that roam it, and really think about who these people are and what they’re here to do. Focus on not focussing. Focus on learning with minimal effort. The best imaginations are those with the most natural stimulus.

To make this into an exercise, try this: think of random things around the world – place names, people’s names, items and objects, car brands – and try to reinvent them. Try to come up with words that don’t exist and inventions that aren’t already out there. Just get really damn creative.

This is a great way to train your imagination. You’ll really strain your mind and push it to come up with things that don’t already exist. It’ll be hard, but that’s why it’s a great exercise. The harder it becomes, the better your imagination will subsequently become, because if you can come up with things that don’t already exist when you know so much about the world… then that’s a sure-fire sign of imaginative progression.

 * * *

If You Want It, Get It

There are many ways to improve your imagination. This is just one simple suggestion that could really change your game. Think long-term with this one, and set aside an hour or two each week to put real focus into this strategy. That’s when you’ll see the results.

Tune out to any negativity and distractions, and really focus on yourself and your goals. Just focus on what matters most. And if you’re a writer, a strong imagination is a pretty big deal.

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If you have any questions about ghostwriting and editing, or want to learn more about our services, send us an email via the email icon below. Alternatively, you can visit our contact page here.

A Positive Poetry Prompt

backlit, clouds, dawn

The Prompt

Scenery/Vibe: The top of a mountain; bright lights; warmth.

Poem’s Message: That even though there’s lots of darkness, the light always prevails.

* * *

Try this prompt for size and create something based on it. If you do write something, please share it with us in one way or another. Tag us in a post, post it in the comments, send it to us in an email – we’d love to read your work.

Who knows? If you send something our way and we really like the way you write, we might just offer you a discount on our editing services. Or we might even edit a few chapters for free. It’s worth a try on your part.

You can reach us with your submission or with any questions/inquiries here.

DISCLAIMER: These prompts are here for you to use however you like. You can use them to aid you and give inspiration for competitions, or even for full-length poetry collections. They’re yours. Consider them your little gift – from us, to you. Do with them as you wish!

A Killer Writing Prompt

jrxhrm1si570rio4njdk

The Prompt

The chain strikes your face, and just before you black out, you see your soon-to-be killer’s smile.

* * *

Try this prompt for size and create something based on it. If you do write something, please share it with us in one way or another. Tag us in a post, post it in the comments, send it to us in an email – we’d love to read your work.

Who knows? If you send something our way and we really like the way you write, we might just offer you a discount on our editing services. Or we might even edit a few chapters for free. It’s worth a try on your part.

You can reach us with your submission or with any questions/inquiries here.

DISCLAIMER: These prompts are here for you to use however you like. You can use them to aid you in short story inspiration for competitions, or even for full-length novels. They’re yours. Consider them your little gift – from us, to you. Do with them as you wish!

 

How Do You Measure Success In Writing?

Free stock photo of black-and-white, man, person, hands

Writing is one of those passions that’s difficult to stick to. It’s like most forms of art – there’s no real way to measure success. At least not without feeling like a complete and utter failure in the process…

You could measure your progress based on your published status, sure. But then again, with self-publishing taking the industry by storm, all that means is that you have enough money to make that happen.

Okay, so what about basing it on traditional publication? This could work, however, it sort of depends on a lot more than just the status of your book deal. It depends on the prestige of the publisher; the success of the book; the reviews of the story – it’s more than just traditional publication.

So what else is there?

You could base it on how much money you make, or on how many people read your work. Sure, that sounds more like it. If you’re rich and famous and have millions of people reading your book, then that means you’re successful, right?

Well… not always.

* * *

It’s About How Rich Writing Makes You

And this time, we aren’t talking in monetary terms…

You see, success in writing is all to do with personal fulfillment. It’s not about money or fame or a great book deal – it’s about feeling accomplished in what you’re doing and loving every single twist and turn along the way.

Now, this is where your personal preferences come into it.

Success is different for all of us, so this might mean that you are someone who defines success as the aforementioned rarer things that come with writing. You might only consider yourself successful once you’ve signed that huge book deal and made your first million.

That might be what fulfillment looks like to you, and that’s totally fine.

We just wanted to answer this question for a broader audience. Truth is, the vast majority of writers out there won’t even make a grand from writing, let alone a million, and that’s why we wanted to clear things up. We want to teach you to define success based on your own vision of it.

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It’s All About What You Feel

Put it this way: if you write for the plain and simple love of the craft, and have no intention of even attempting publication, then congratulations – you’re a successful writer.

And on the other end of the spectrum: maybe you are a published writer, and have sold millions and millions of books worldwide, and have made a killing in the process… then congratulations – you’re a successful writer, too.

Do you see where we’re going with this?

So long as you find satisfaction in this game – so long as it makes your heart flutter and your soul scream – you are the definition of a successful writer. And please, don’t let anyone have you believing otherwise.

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If you have any questions about ghostwriting and editing, or want to learn more about our services, send us an email via the email icon below. Alternatively, you can visit our contact page here.

 

You Should Never Write From A Place Of Fear

computer, hand, laptop

Writers are artists. Has anyone ever told you that? If you’re a writer, you’re an artist – a creative who dares to dream; to step out of their comfort zone and put their heart out on the line. And because of this fact, writers are scared.

This fear comes from such a deep-rooted place.

Creating things – no matter what those things are – can get pretty darn terrifying. And it goes one step further when the time comes to present those creations to an audience. This fear comes from deep within. It’s just human nature to be afraid, and that’s especially the case when comes to presenting an ability.

* * *

It Stems From Self-Doubt

You know that voice in the back of your mind that’s always telling you that you aren’t good enough? That right there is the voice of self-doubt.

Self-doubt is the very thing that kills off a lot of plausible dreams; that crushes people’s future ambitions before they’re even fully envisioned. This too, is human nature, and every person on this planet has experienced self-doubt at some point in their life.

Yes, that’s right. Even the literary greats. Even Stephen King and J.K Rowling and James Patterson and Khaled Hosseini. All of those people have endured battles with self-doubt during their wonderful careers. In fact, that’s probably one of the reasons they’re now enduring so much success. They grew in self-doubt; they gained strength from it and it helped them soar to new heights.

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The Process

It’s that voice of self-doubt that is penetrating your consciousness. It’s making itself heard, growing louder than your voice of self-belief, and it’s causing you to cower in fear at the thought of exposing your talent to the world.

You’re constantly telling yourself that you aren’t good enough; that no matter how hard you try, your writing will never ever be good. And because of this, you become scared to show it to people. It’s no good to you, right? So why would it be any good to someone else?

This is the worst philosophy you could ever adopt as a writer.

Following this sort of mindset will only lead you to one destination: terrible writing. Because of this fear, you’ll start writing in a way that isn’t true to you, and if it’s not true to you – your heart and your soul – it will never be a full reflection of your story-crafting capabilities.

In summary: writing from a place of fear – and trying to change your style to suit what you assume people enjoy – will only lead to terrible writing.

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Abolish This Fear And Create

It’s time to step outside of this self-taught mediocrity. You need to develop a sense of inner strength. You need to teach yourself self-belief that is impenetrable. You need to free your mind so that it can create to its truest potential.

Try this: set aside twenty minutes each and every day – ten in the morning and ten at night – and use them to remind yourself over and over again that you are good enough, and that only you can write like you.

We mean it. Literally tell yourself that you’re good enough. Spend those ten minutes staring at yourself in the mirror, telling yourself that you’re an absolute genius, and that you are more than good enough at what you’re doing.

We want you to do this for no other reason than for the simple fact that it’s true. You are good enough. But it doesn’t matter how many times we tell you that… it’ll sound way better coming from you.

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If you have any questions about ghostwriting and editing, or want to learn more about our services, send us an email via the email icon below. Alternatively, you can visit our contact page here.

 

A Poetry Prompt To Free The Mind

professional fiction editor

The Prompt

Scenery/Vibe: Total and blank emptiness. A white canvass just begging to be filled.

Poem’s Message: That even when all seems lost, there’s always art.

* * *

Try this prompt for size and create something based on it. If you do write something, please share it with us in one way or another. Tag us in a post, post it in the comments, send it to us in an email – we’d love to read your work.

Who knows? If you send something our way and we really like the way you write, we might just offer you a discount on our editing services. Or we might even edit a few chapters for free. It’s worth a try on your part.

You can reach us with your submission or with any questions/inquiries here.

A Very Weird Writing Prompt

apartment, cabinet, chair

The Prompt

You’re sat innocently, just reading the newspaper like everyone else on today’s train into the city. You’re human – curious just like the rest – so you read that disgusting story about some psychopath that’s been killing lots of girls. You look at his picture, but not for long. The guy’s a weirdo.

“Such a horrible thing, isn’t it? Poor girls.”

You turn to your right. Sat there beside you, smiling nonchalantly, is the guy from the newspaper.

* * *

Try this prompt for size and create something based on it. If you do write something, please share it with us in one way or another. Tag us in a post, post it in the comments, send it to us in an email – we’d love to read your work.

Who knows? If you send something our way and we really like the way you write, we might just offer you a discount on our editing services. Or we might even edit a few chapters for free. It’s worth a try on your part.

You can reach us with your submission or with any questions/inquiries here.

 

Three Things You Can Work On Today To Truly Stop Caring What People Think

Person Walking on Rock Formation Under Cloudy Sky

A lot of things matter in life.

Your family and friends – the people you love. Your work/life balance. Your mental health. Your passions and desires. Your Journey to success. The list is very long, and that’s because of the simple fact that a lot of things matter in life.

One we feel is underrepresented, though, is the ability to overlook people’s opinions.

Of course, that’s very hard to do – especially if those opinions come from someone you care about. But it is possible. The negative opinions aren’t the problem, the problem is that you’re listening.

There’s so much freedom in putting yourself out there. And so much more in doing so without caring at all about what people think. Life gets way simpler when you give up on the opinions of others. We really want you to try it for yourself. It will be hard. But that’s why we wrote this article.

Remember: freedom lies not in doing things, but in doing them without a single thought of what someone else might think of you.

* * *

#1: Dance In Public (Seriously)

adolescent, adult, black and whiteIf you’ve ever done this, you’ll know what we mean.

We’re not talking about in an organised performance or at a festival or gig. What we mean here is walk out into the city – on your own – and just dance. Dance around the corner; as you go by the shop window; when you walk out of the restaurant – just dance. And sing too. Talk to strangers. Heck, do a forwards roll – we don’t care.

The point here isn’t that you’re dancing, the point here is that you’re drawing attention to yourself gradually, in a controlled sort of way. Sure, it’s terrifying. And chances are high that most people will look at you and think you’re crazy. But you want to know the best part?

You don’t care.

#2: Talk To Those You Care About

Black Microphone

And those who care about you in return.

We don’t just mean in general terms, we mean about deeper things. About the things you’ve never told anyone before. This will scare you, and that’s what you want from it. The experience as a whole can be so daunting, but breaking it down is a great way to help – so make sure you start small.

Maybe reveal a secret via text message or say something minor in person. And then, as your confidence begins to build, start revealing more personal stuff, discussing issues and problems that you never thought you’d share. After a while of practicing this, it’ll all begin to feel like a natural thing to do. And that’s when you’re ready.

This process will get you used to vocalising your insecurities, and over time, you’ll stop caring what other people think about those insecurities. You’ve already put them out there. You’ve let them feel as real as they possibly can. Now you don’t hide from those insecurities, you own them.

And if you do that, there’s nothing anyone could ever say to make you feel bad about them.

#3: Curse Around Strangers (Again, Seriously)

Woman Sitting in Front of Table Beside Man Leaning on LaptopOne of the main worries people tend to develop is a fear of what people will think about the ‘rude’ things they say. What do you care if someone finds you vulgar or rude? If that’s who you are, then you deserve to own it.

Now, this one has it’s place. Don’t go cursing in front of a bunch of kids – that’s just morally wrong. But when the situation is right, never hold back on the freedom of self-expression. It doesn’t have to be a curse word. There’s just as much power in saying the things you want to say, when you want to say them.

Don’t hold back. Just be undeniably you.

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Please Try These

We beg you to try some of these steps. Even if you go about it super slowly, just give them a try and think about how it feels to be yourself. There’s so much power in it.

Without the true freedom of self-expression, you’re just like everyone else. And doesn’t that scare you a little? The only way to be your true self, is by letting go of other people’s opinions.

Listen to them, subtract what matters, ignore the rest, and just be yourself. It won’t take you long to see why that’s a beautiful thing.

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If you have any questions about ghostwriting and editing, or want to learn more about our services, send us an email via the email icon below. Alternatively, you can visit our contact page here.

 

 

 

Writing Perils: How To Properly Format Your Dialogue Scenes

Person Uses Pen on Book

A big part of our game is studying the game.

We assess all aspects of social media, analysing the content other pages/people are putting out. We take notes. We look for any gaps/holes. And if they appear, we fill them with wonderful content.

That’s how the title for this article came about.

There’s so much information out there for writers, but in our opinion, not enough of it covers the basics. And when we say basics, we mean basics. You may have read that title and thought to yourself, Seriously? So if that’s you, this article probably isn’t of much use.

However, if you happen to be one of the (many) writers who still aren’t sure about proper speech formatting (as in, formatting that is publication ready), then stick around – we’re about to change that.

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Let’s Start At The Start

Because, well, that just makes sense.

The use of the basic he/she said is imperative in fiction. Stephen King said it best:

stephenkingcaricature

If you want to learn more about the importance of dialogue tags, click here.

So, now that we’ve established its importance (Stephen King said so…) it’s time to look at the proper way to use this combination of beautiful words in your writing. Despite their wonderful simplicity and brilliance, they are often misused. And that’s fine. How are you expected to understand the formatting of them if you’re never told about it?

That’s where we come in.

The proper way to write he/she said, is by ending the speech with a comma (or another form of punctuation – more on that below) and beginning the word he/she with a lowercase letter.

Example:

“But… but it can’t end like this.” He said. – That’s incorrect.

“But… but it can’t end like this,” he said. – That’s more like it.

Take note of the difference. In the correct version, we end the speech with a comma, not a period, and we begin the dialogue tag with a lowercase letter, not a capital. Why? Well because the tag and the speech are all part of the same sentence – that’s just how they’re written.

* * *

But What If I’m Using My Character’s Name?

We thought you’d never ask.

And well, we’re glad you did, because the answer is very simple. That’s because the exact same rule applies, only, you apply it a little differently. You still end the speech with a comma, only, when you writer ‘*character’s name* said’, you use their name as you normally would: starting with an uppercase letter.

Example:

“But… but it can’t end like this,” dawn said. – Incorrect.

“But… but it can’t end like this,” Dawn said. – Correct.

* * *

Ending The Speech With Different Punctuation

Now this is where things start getting tricky.

When you end your speech with a different type of punctuation (a question/exclamation mark or maybe ellipsis) you maintain the rule of the lowercase letter – with he/she said, of course.

When using a character name, the same rule applies. You write their name with its usual uppercase letter at the start. Are you with us? It’s not that tough to follow right now, right? Take a look and see for yourself. It’s pretty simple.

Examples:

“But… but it can’t end like this!” She said. – Incorrect.

“But… but it can’t end like this!” she said. – Correct.


“But… how can it end like this?” He said. – Incorrect.

“But… how can it end like this?” he said. – Correct.


“But… how can it end like this?” jason said. – Incorrect.

“But… how can it end like this?” Jason said. – Correct.

You get the picture by now. So basically, if you end the speech with any punctuation other than one specific type, you always start the tag with a lowercase letter (unless you’re using a name).

* * *

The Outlier

The only time you don’t use a lowercase letter (or he/she said at all, for that matter) is when ending your speech with a period. This is because a period marks the end of the sentence, meaning you can’t include your dialogue tag as part of it.

But wait, question/exclamation marks end sentences too, right?

Right. However, when it comes to speech, there’s a considerable difference.

Question/exclamation marks do end sentences, but when used in speech they’re there to let the reader know how the character says something. And therefore, under the (strange) laws of fiction, can be considered as part of the sentence, thus allowing the rule to stay the same.

With the period, however, its usage doesn’t add anything to the speech. It doesn’t add an imaginary tone for the reader to perceive, and it doesn’t spice things up. It just signifies its end, and therefore, never has he/she said after it. Ever.

* * *

How To Use The Period

So, the period is best used with different types of dialogue tags, and in a lot of cases, with no dialogue tags at all. It’s so versatile that we recommend using it way more than you probably do.

A great time to use it is when two characters have been talking for quite some time, with no inclusion of anyone else. This means that the reader won’t get confused by who is talking – that’s always good for you. Why? Because now you can really spice up that dramatic response by leaving the reader with only that.

Example:

“It’s time, Dawn. I’ve got to go,” Jason said.

“Go? Go where?” she said. “We’ve got so much time left together. So many things we’re yet to share. And now you’re just going to throw all that away?”

“My plane leaves in two hours.”

Do you see how harsh and effective that is? That effect wouldn’t be as severe if you included a dialogue tag, and that’s where periods are usually best used. In the same sort of way, they can be used in speech that have character actions as dialogue tags. In this sort of usage, the period plays a huge role.

Example:

Jason shrugged. “My plane leaves in two hours.”

That works just as well. It shows his nonchalance and lack of concern, and because that is juxtaposed so well with her longer, heartbroken speech, the reader will really feel this hit them right as it’s hitting her. That’s what’s important. That’s what makes periods in speech great.

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We Hope This Helped

If you’ve learned something new today – even if it’s just one minor thing – then our mission is complete. All we want is for our content to deliver value. That’s it. We don’t care how many views it gets. If one person learned something new today, then we’ve won.

If you have any further questions about speech formatting off the back of this, please feel free to shoot us an email. We’d love to help out however we can.

Get those heads down and those fingers on the keys. It’s time to write.

* * *

If you have any questions about ghostwriting and editing, or want to learn more about our services, send us an email via the email icon below. Alternatively, you can visit our contact page here.

 

 

 

A Scenic Poetry Prompt

Green Leaf Tree Beside Mountain With Cloudy Sky

The Prompt

Scenery/Vibe: Airlessness. Fresh. New. Absolute, unhinged freedom.

Poem’s Message: That life is *absolutely* what you make it.

* * *

Try this prompt for size and create something based on it. If you do write something, please share it with us in one way or another. Tag us in a post, post it in the comments, send it to us in an email – we’d love to read your work.

Who knows? If you send something our way and we really like the way you write, we might just offer you a discount on our editing services. Or we might even edit a few chapters for free. It’s worth a try on your part.

You can reach us with your submission or with any questions/inquiries here.

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