Firstly, it seems obvious but set a goal for your writing session. Do you know what your objective is? Are you brainstorming, creating a character description, outlining a plot, starting a new project or completing one?
Secondly, prepare for what you will be writing, do your homework for locations, period etc. Brainstorm ideas before you start, make notes. Create a inspiration list and find images for your story’s setting and characters. Make up a board, either physical or digital that you can have in front of you as you write.
TIP: Don’t be too ridge, let the story flow – it doesn’t always go to plan! But that’s the joy of writing.
Thirdly, gauge how committed you are to this piece of writing? Are you excited to start or is it feeling like a chore? If the latter, try something new or another project.
TIP:Use word or picture prompts to ignite your Muse to get you started and in a writing mood.
Also make sure you are in a good writing spot. Have you minimized distractions? Do you need quiet or music, a cafe or library setting. Or is your home space best for you or will there be too many interruptions?
Decide on how long you will write for. Don’t make the session too long or it will dampen your enthusiasm. Ensure you have breaks for refreshments, to stretch or even go for a walk.
Once you have these elements in place check your clock and set the timer. Don’t look at it constantly – just write. Lose yourself in the narrative. Enjoy the process. Don’t edit as you write – let the process flow. Let your imagination expand.
TIP: Don’t edit or revise – just write.
I like to sit in my living room with my laptop on a little table – in the warmer months, I can look out at the lawn and watch the birds & bunnies and in the cold months, I enjoy the fireplace. When we go on road trips, I usually sit at the desk or on the bed with my little table.
I openly admit, that given the opportunity, I would be engrossed with writing 24/7. As some of you know I came to this art later in life and am now trying my hardest to make up for ‘lost’ time. At times I feel real panic that all the stories I want to write will not come to fruition. I’m not overly worried about all of them being published just simply written as a legacy. The notion of my words being shared after I leave this mortal coil appeals to me and I would hazard a guess to many writers.
To glance someone engrossed in reading our story is a true gift and a thrill. We have immersed them into a world of our creation. A friend of my daughter’s is currently reading, The Rython Kingdom and said she was gripped from the beginning – what more could an author want? It will be interesting to hear her review. Have your reviewers described your ‘world and characters’ as you see them or differently?
Obviously it is different when your story is a children’s picture book. With the help of an artist you have to make your mental images come to life on paper. I have experienced this with my monster story – Rumble’s First Scare. I received my most precious review for this book. See here: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2012/03/24/book-review-of-distinction-4/
Have any of your readers commented on a scene or character of yours and had either a similar or vastly different image to you and how you thought your readers would perceive them?
Effete – definition: 1. no longer fertile 2. a) having lost character, vitality or strength b) marked by weakness c) soft or delicate from or as if from a pampered existence 3. effeminate
I have not come across this particular word before but now I want to use it…! It will most certainly crop up in my reincarnation romance – The Twesome Loop. My novel has two time periods intertwined and this word perfectly describes the perceived personality of one of my female characters.
Excerpt of The Twesome Loop:
A Contract 1874
“You will marry him, Gabriella and that is the last I will hear of it.”
“Do not question my judgement, girl. It is an excellent match.”
Gabriella ran from her father’s study, up the stairs to her bedroom and flung herself onto her bed. It might be excellent for her father but certainly not for her. Her uncontrollable sobbing persisted throughout the afternoon and into early evening. No-one came to comfort her. Father must have forbidden Mother and the servants to attend her. How could her father be so cruel, marrying her to such an old man? He was ugly and brutish. She hated the way he leered at her, licking his lips. It was disgusting. Father only saw William Folkes’ wealth and the large estate in Hampshire. With the marriage, her father, a trader, would climb the social ladder of high society. He clearly didn’t care about Gabriella’s happiness. She was the sacrificial lamb – totally powerless. She had heard mother try to persuade him that William was not suitable, only to be shouted down.
“I am the man of this house and you will comply with my wishes. William is obviously fervent in his feelings for Gabriella. He will be an excellent provider.”
“But, John, she is so young and effete. Could you not find someone closer to her age, a more suitable husband?”
“How more suitable could he be? William is a wealthy and powerful man, Margaret. I am sure he will lavish many luxuries on the girl. She should think herself lucky I found such a good match. What more could she possibly want from a husband?”
“Why, love and children, of course.”
“William is certainly not too old to give her children. Now stop this complaining, I have made my decision and it is final so I will have no more talk of it.”
The marriage contract between John Lightfoot and William Folkes was signed the following week and Gabriella’s father spent lavishly on a magnificent feast to impress his new found circle. He invited dignitaries from all over the county and also many William had suggested. Gabriella watched her father strut around like a peacock, relishing his new found status while she tried to avoid William’s attentions.
She watched in awe as one by one, women arrived wearing wonderful gowns, their hair styled to perfection and bejewelled necks, arms and fingers. Gabriella was lost in her admiration when a deep voice broke into her thoughts.
“Come, my dear, sit by your future husband.”
“I have to circulate amongst our guests, Sire; it is bad manners not to do so.”
“Surely you will be excused if you are spending time with your fiancé?”
Gabriella sat, ensuring there was a reasonable distance between them. William took her hand and drew her toward him. His eyes sparkled and he licked his lips.
“Soon, I will have you alone, my sweet. What wonders will I find under your attire to delight me?”
“Sire, please. I must go to my mother.”
Gabriella felt physically sick. His touch made her skin crawl. Just the thought of him touching her was revolting. As she approached her mother, tears welled up. Her mother embraced her.
“Please, excuse us; my daughter is feeling a little faint. It must be all the excitement.”
Do you have a character it would describe flawlessly?
Let’s look at some examples:
You are too effete with your soft hands and delicate scent for such work
The pregnancy may be too much for such an effete woman
The soil became effete with over farming
A chemical spill made the river effete with the lost of plants and fish