• The Writer


    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

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  • Quotes

    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
    ~Flannery O'Connor

    You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
    ~Arthur Polotnik

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "There are forms of insanity that condemn people to hear voices against their will, but as writers we invite ourselves to hear voices without relinquishing our hold on reality or our right to control."
    ~Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

To Give Up or To Not Give Up

TheWriteStory

You have a story that you love, one that’s been around – either on paper or in your head – for a long time.  You’ve pulled it out several times, but each time the plot and character puzzle pieces never really fit together.  So you put it away and work on other projects until one day more of the puzzle falls into place.  Out it comes once more, you think you’ve got it.  Things are finally working and the whole things is outlined and ready to go, but when you sit down and start typing out the fourteenth rough draft the puzzle falls apart.

This is where I am (and have been) with my first novel, Heart of Hope, that I wrote back in 2005.  I worked on editing it on and off for a couple of years before finally putting it aside for I-didn’t-know-how-long.  It sat in my folders for a few years gathering virtual dust until the plot began to reshape itself in my mind.  Everything got a much needed over haul and the story finally began to grow up to a more un-cliched work of fiction.  I was excited to be working on it again.  Even though it had been a headache before, I still loved it and wanted to make it work.  I thought it was finally there, but as I began to construct the new rough draft it just stopped.  I fell once more into a gaping plot hole.  Once I finally crawled out of it I tumbled right into another even larger one.

I had lost count of how many times this had happened, of how many times I had excitedly pulled it out thinking it would finally work to watch it all fall apart over and over again.  When do I just call it quits?

Let it Go and Give it Up?

This story is nearly nine years old, it’s just a first novel, maybe it’s time to just let it go and give it up…but…I don’t want to.  I’ve been going over and over the debate of forgetting about it and moving on or just letting it sit for a while again or working on it anyway.  I know from experience that forcing it will only make things worse, but is it time to say goodbye?

I think we all have a soft spot in our writer’s hearts for our very first completed book.  It was our first baby, our first great accomplishment in our journey to becoming writers.  We love it, we hate it, we want to throw it away, but we stick with it.  We feel this way about most if not all of our stories/novels.  So what do we do when one just doesn’t work even though we’ve sweat blood and spend countless hours perfecting it?

Let Yourself Move On. 

I’ve come to the conclusion with this book that it’s time to just move on.  It’s not like I don’t have an army of other stories waiting to be written.  But part of me doesn’t want to move on because I think by “giving up” that I am failing in some why as a writer.  But that mind set is wrong.  When a story doesn’t work you haven’t failed, it’s just not working and we need to accept the fact that no matter how much we love it, it may never work.

For now Heart of Hope will be the story I may dabble with here and there when I need a break from something else, but I won’t beat myself up if it never fully works or ends up as a paper back in Barns and Nobles.  I’m still learning and I am far from perfect.  We don’t have to “give up” on a story that we love, but there comes a time when we may need to let it go and move on.  Don’t feel like a failure when that happens, even though you don’t have a workable draft you’ve gained that much more experience you can apply to another project.

Writing is hard and ideas don’t always pan out and that’s okay.  As writers we just need to keep trucking ahead one story at a time until something does work and we get to write those two satisfying words – The End.


Have you had any stories that just wouldn’t work no matter what you did?  Let me know in the comments. 

Like what you’ve read?  Check out other posts on writing and subscribe! 

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Inaccurate Consequences

When I first started doing in-depth research for writing, my Google search history might have shocked some people.

“How much blood can you loose before you die?” 

“How many strips can you get from a whip without dying?” 

“How fast can you go into shock from blood loss?” 

“How long does it take a broken bone to heal?”

As weird as it may be to Google things like those (and visually gruesome sometimes…), it is necessary to write accurately.  One common mistake I’ve found when critiquing (and I’ve done it too) is inaccurate physical consequences with injuries.

If your hero falls out of a two story window and lands on their back hitting their head, they are going to have a concision and will be groggy for a couple of days and have a killer headache.

If your hero is in a fight and gets banged up they are going to hurt – a lot – for a couple of days.  Muscles will be sore, bruises will be sore, they might have some cuts that are sore and will take a few days to heal…etc.

If your hero is shot (even in a none lethal spot), they could die from loss of blood and will, most likely, go into shock.  (Going into shock could kill them too.)

If a character brakes their leg, don’t have them running two days later. (Or walking for that matter, and when they can walk they’ll be limping.)

If a character is picked up in the mouth of a dragon and shaken, they are dead.  End of story.

If your hero is clawed across the back by a wild animal, it will take a lot longer than a week for them to be back to normal.  After they have a fever, lots of pain and can’t move for several days.  (That one was mine. 😛 )

How to Write it Accurately

1. When you’re rough drafting, if you don’t want to go into the research yet, at least make a note or do a quick Google search so you have the correct idea in place.  Then when you come back to it you have a better grasp of the accurate consequences.

2. Brush up on your human anatomy.  Helpful stuff to know when giving your character injuries and you don’t want them to die.

3. If you know someone who has broken a bone, had a concussion, been knocked unconscious (or put under for a surgery, that counts too), or has suffered from whatever it is you want to happen to your character, talk to them.  Find out first hand what it was like, what they felt and what went through their minds.

4.  RESEARCH!  Get books from your local library, use the internet or both.  Whatever you choose, better to research it to death then not at all.

 

Thanks for reading!  Good luck writing! 

Questions or comments? Leave them bellow!

To the Frustrated and Frazzled Writer – It’s Okay to Walk Away

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We’ve all been there.  Your story is just not working, but you’re on a deadline!  You have to get the last 10 chapters done in the next two weeks, you just have to!  But the more you try to force creativity, the worse it gets.  Now all you’re doing is beating against a mental brick wall that refuses to budge.   It’s big, it’s in the way and it’s size mirrors the enormity of your frustration.

Deadlines can be a blessing and a curse.  Some writers flourish under the pressure of deadlines, others crack, while some are 50/50.  Deadlines are good, they help us achieve our goals, but they can also become looming specters casting shadows over our work and peering over our shoulders, striking us with anxiety.  When plot holes begin to swallow you and you’ve run down so many bunny trails you’re head is spinning it may be time to get up, put the story aside and walk away.

Everyone’s creative process is different.  Some can whip out the stories.  It’s as easy has mixing up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Each new batch brings out dozens of new and amazingly satisfying ideas.  Plot holes are foreign to them, woody characters don’t exist and they’ve never head of this mysterious ailment known as “Writer’s Block”.   Others are constantly plagued by creative blockage and instead of delicious chocolate chip cookies, they’re stories look more like old Swiss Cheese.  Then of course we have those who are in between.  They deal with plot holes, but it’s not too difficult for them to full.  They may burn a few batches, but in the end they have a nice gooey batch of chocolate chip goodness.

I’m of the second group.  Writing is my passion, it’s something I feel at home doing, something I was made to do, but it is also the hardest taste I have ever undergone.  I love developing new stories, it’s my favorite part of the creative process and it’s also the most frustrating.  I’m constantly falling into plot holes, frantically looking for new and better ideas to fill them.  When I first started writing I got into the bad habit of blazing ahead and writing rough drafts even thought half my outline was empty.  As a result I created more work for myself later on in the form of a cliched pile of Swiss Cheese instead of a golden chocolate chip cookies.  It frustrated me to no end.  (I’d rather of cookies then cheese any day!)

I blazed ahead because I wanted to have written.  I wanted to be the person who when asked how many books I had finished, I could proudly proclaim “Oh, fifteen or twenty.  I’ve lost count.”  As writers we tend to look at the amount of things we have finished as our status.  As Michael Kanin put it, “I don’t like to write, but I like to have written.”  Walking away is not an option, WE HAVE TO FINISH IT RIGHT NOW.

Walking away may be the best thing you ever do for yourself and for your story.  It was hard for me to finally admit this it and to actually take action on it.  It’s okay if your writing process is slow, if it takes more than a few months or a year for a story to rise to it’s true potential.  It’s okay to walk away from the draft, deadline or not.  In fact, it’s okay to walk away from writing all together for a time if need be.

Whether it’s walking away for a day, a month or a year it’s okay.  Walking away doesn’t make you a failure as a writer, it just means you need a break, a breather, some time to give your imagination a time to recuperate.  Find a good book, spend some time enjoying nature or family.  Ideas come from life and the stories we read.  If you’re lacking ideas, take a break and look around you, the answer may be hidden under an old dusty cover or in a moment with a loved one.  Where ever it is, you’re not going to find it by staring at your computer screen.

A Writer’s Tool Box – Websites

There are so many good resources out there for writers now-a-days.  A writer has an army of books and websites to pick from to stash away in their tool box.  Here’s a peak at a few websites that are in mine.

 

Pinterest!

You have to be careful with this one, it’s a great tool, but it’s also a big distraction.  If I’m on Pinterest looking for story related stuff, I’m looking through a specific search.

I use Pinterest to create Story Boards for characters and books.  I also use to it save reference pictures of places, clothing, weapons and whatever else relates to my stories.

For characters, I pin pictures that resemble them, what kind of clothing they wear, things that show who they are and what they’re like.  If one is an archer, I may have several different kinds of bows in their board and different styles of the kind of garb they may wear.  My character Tara is an herbalist, so in her board, I have things on herbs and pictures of vials filled with healing potions.

I have three made up worlds, so having a board with place/landscape reference pictures is very helpful.

A also have a random board for things that remind me of my stories, or things I might want to save for a future story or character.  Inspiration for another time.

I love using Pinterest for writing because with it, I don’t have to clutter up my picture files on my computer and all the pictures are saved on the internet, so if my lap top crashes or I get a new one, I don’t have to worry about the files.

Storyboards

WritingRefs

 

Armstreet.com

I LOVE this website.  I want to buy everything on it, but it’s also a really good place for clothing and armor references.

Again, this is a website, if you’re like me, you can get lost on browsing and just sit there drooling over all the awesomeness it contains.  Use it with a mission in mind if you’re looking for a quick clothing reference while your writing.  Drool in your spare time.

armstreet

 

Behind the Name

Looking for that perfect sounding name with the perfect meaning and country of origin?  Look no further!  Not only do they have first names, but they have a sister website just for last names as well.  Not only do they have dozens of countries to choose from, but they have mythologies too!

You can search alphabetically, by country or meaning.  So many names and possibilities at your finger tips.

FirstNames

LastNames

 

More resources to come!

What are some websites in your writer’s tool box?

 

 

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