• 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

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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Don’t Just Write

After posting A Page a Day, I came across a fellow blogger’s post about not writing everyday and realized I needed to expound of that point.  To be a good writer it is important to write and write a lot, but there so much more to it than that.  Practice makes perfect and writing everyday is good practice, but there is more to that practice than just writing.

Becoming a Proficient Writer

To became a skilled writer don’t just write – read, learn and critique along with writing.  If you want to learn a skill what do you do?  You read up on it, you research, you look at the examples of others along with practicing said skill.  It’s the same for writing.

Writing everyday is a good start, but if you write everyday for a year without going out and learning about writing, without reading stories or articles, without reviewing grammar rules, story structure and character studies, you’ll more than likely end up with a bunch of writing that is unusable.  Writing is a skill that’s learned.  Even for the people that it comes naturally too, they still have to work at it.  Writing is also a learn-as-you-go-along skill.  No matter how long you’ve been at it, there is always something new to learn.

More Ways to Practice

Finding Resources:

There are so many resources out there today for writers.  Books, blogs, websites.  Take advantage of them.  Go online, search through the library, materiel is out there, you just have to go find it.   Here are a few that I have used.

The One Year Adventure Novel writing curriculum – by Daniel Schwabaurer

A Writer’s Coach – by Jack Hart

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft – by Janet Burroway

Comma Sense: A fundamental guide to punctuation by Richard Ledder and John Shore

Critiquing:

One of the things that tremendously helped me as a writer was critiquing for others.  By finding flaws in other’s works, I was able to more easily find flaws in my own writing.  If you know someones else who is a writer, share your work with each other and go over it together.  Find a writer’s forum where people post pieces to be critiqued.  Start a critique group at your school.  Whatever you do, critiquing is not only helpful to the person receiving the critique, it’s helpful for the person giving it.

Review:

Reviewing basic grammar rules, sentence structure etc. is a good idea.  You might feel like you’re back in grade school, but if you want to write well, keeping your mind refreshed on the rules of writing is never a bad idea.

Read:

It’s just that – read.  Why did we want to be writer’s in the first place?  Because we love to read.  (Well, that’s true for me anyway.)  I’ve found when I haven’t read a good novel in a while, writing just doesn’t seem possible.  Books are like fuel. Out minds need them, our imaginations need them.  Keep a reading list so when you’re not sure what book to read next you can refer to said list.

Writing not only involves disciplining yourself to do it, it involves disciplining and training your mind as well.  Writing everyday will give you lots of practice putting words on paper, but studying and learning the skills will help you learn how to write well and make those words on paper came to life.

It’s November….

And that means it’s the first day of NaNoWriMo!   Does this mean I’m participating?

No.

Nodda.

Most definitely not.

I’ve discovered after doing it twice that NaNoWriMo is not helpful for me.   I end up writing just a pile of crazed nonsense that will inevitably need to be cut and rewritten.  Don’t believe me?  Well, you will soon.

Instead of writing a 50,000 word novel in one month, I’m going to show you how NOT to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.  Prepare yourself for things beyond your belief.  Sentences, grammar, rhetoric that does not belong in any novel.  (Unless it’s prose written purely to confuse you.)

Are you ready?

Writing for His Glory (New Page)

The literary world has changed drastically since authors such as Tolkien and Lewis first published their manuscripts, and it hasn’t necessarily changed for the better.

As I look through book stores at the suggestive covers and careless content of popular books I’m filled with a sense of dread.  This is what young people and adults alike are reading?

Have you ever stepped back and really looked at today’s modern fiction?  Both Secular and Christian?  Continue Reading

Under Construction

Hello readers!  I just wanted to give you guys a heads up on some changes happening with the blog.

I’ve grown and changed a lot since beginning this blog back in July of 2009, and I’ve been thinking, it’s time it grew and changed with me.

The first change I’m sure you’re all wondering about is the name.  Why did I change the name?  Well, because this blog isn’t just about writing now.  Yes writing will still be a big part of it, but it is no longer the main part, and for me, the name just didn’t fit anymore.  My goal as a writer will continue to be writing for the glory of Jesus Christ, that will never change, nor will the main purpose of this blog, to encourage a new generation of writers to join me in writing for His glory.  Because of all the changes in my life, my goals, and my writing, I just believe it’s high time to give this place an update.

I have lots of new plans for the blog.  One will be to share recipes as I begin a journey of learning to cook my favorite things without sugar, and eventually, without wheat.  I will be adding another page called “Creations” for easy access to these recipes.

I also plan on adding new writing categories to help with world development, character development, story development and a few other things.

Another thing that has changed a lot are my books.  That page is due for an upgrade, as well as “Book List” and “Research Tools”.  My about me page needs an update too… Pretty much all my pages will be getting an update.

I also plan on adding more pages and categories as my life continues to change.  I have lots of new ideas for this blog and I am excited to see where it goes this year.   Who knows, maybe I’ll be writing on here more.  🙂

God bless!

~Laura

Curing Writer’s Block

The story isn’t moving long, writer’s block as hit, what to do…

Idea #1 – What if monkeys came out of nowhere and started throwing purple watermelons at the characters? And what if one character turned out to be allergic to watermelons and suddenly started swelling up like a balloon?

Archie: Would you really write that in a story?

To cure writer’s block, yes, it can always be cut later.

Archie: I would hope so.

Idea #2 – What if someone the hero never expected to see again suddenly shows up? Is this person a good person or bad person? Pick someone who the hero has a lot of conflict with. Conflict helps move the story along.

Idea #3 – Have a scene idea in your head that is in a completely different place in the story than where you are working? Writing it! Get it on paper.

Idea #4 – Want to write something else? Open up a new Word doc. and start writing it! The point when you are stuck is to fill up that white piece of paper. Conquer it, defeat it, show it who’s boss!

Archie: Such sage advice.

Oh you be quiet.

Idea #5 – LEAVE THE COMPUTER. Go take a walk, cook something, listening to music, get a nice cup of tea or coffee. If you play an instrument go play it, just get away from the computer for a few minutes. You could even work on that check list of things to do. Breath, relax and don’t think about that story.

Idea #6 – Make a bubble outline. What’s a bubble outline you ask? (I use this when I’m not sure where to go with a scene and need ideas.) Here’s what you do, get a piece of paper, favorite notebook, something you can handwrite on, no typing here. In the center of the page write what’s currently happening in the story then circle it. Now, draw another circle and connect the two with a line. Write an idea of what could happen in this new circled and just keep going, adding connecting circles with new ideas and before you know it, you’ll have a scene to work on.

Idea #7 – Think of all the things that could go wrong and choose one to work into the scene.

Idea #8 – Think of all the things you DO NOT want to happen and see if you can work one into the scene. Who knows, if might bring out something interesting.

Idea #9 – Hand it over to your characters. I know when I get stuck I tend to just go into “all-powerful writer” mode and make my characters do what I want so I can just get through the scene. Whenever I do this, the scene ends up woody and dry and my characters turn into puppets. I’m slowly learning to avoid this and to give my characters the reigns to move the scene where it needs to go. I ended up with a beautiful moment between two characters when I finally let go and let them lead.

Idea #10 – This idea goes to you! What do you do to cure writer’s block? Leave a comment and let me know!

Hope some of these help. Good luck!

P.S. Also, silencing that inner editor might help, just lock him/her away in a box for a while. Once you’re unstuck you can let them out.

Archie: That is a most unpleasant idea…

Maybe for you, but not for me.

Archie: Humph.

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