Monthly Archives: January 2018

Writing Prompt Weekend #8

Consider your handwriting, or a character’s handwriting. What significance does it have, and what does it say about the type of person you/they are?


This one comes from Jess Zafarris at Writer’s Digest.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

The 5 Causes of Writer’s Block

Writer’s block happens to every writer at one point or another. It may be a fog over your thoughts, or an inability to focus or just drawing an utter blank. Today, we are going to identify what can interrupt the writing process. It goes beyond a lack of ideas.

Not The Right Time

Sometimes, a story can be like beef stew. Listen to the Puerto Rican for a second, okay? Your ideas may need more time to develop, to bubble and boil on the stove. Perhaps it’s not the right time to write, don’t lift the lid of the pot. You still need to actively brainstorm your ideas until they feel solid and clear in your mind. There’s a thin line between stewing and procrastinating.

Fear

Fear. Self Doubt. That voice that all writers have in their head that constantly remind them of failure or how bad their writing is. “Everything I’m writing is trash! I’m a terrible writer”. That fear will prevent you from telling a story that’s meant to be told.

Trying to be Perfect

You are striving for perfection. Your expectations are high. It’s difficult to achieve perfection before actually putting pen to paper. First drafts, even seconds drafts, aren’t even near being perfect.

Distracted 

You’re too distracted. There’s always something going on in all of our lives. Work, school, spouse, kids, illness. Life happens. Desks get cluttered, brains get full. You’re juggling too much at the moment and your work of fiction takes the back burner.

Unmotivated

Lack of motivation. Loss of passion. The emotional fuel take is low. Even just flat-out laziness. Sometimes, when things feel cloudy, our internal spark has to be reignited.


Getting to the root of the problem may help you find the answer to fix it.

Next post…. How to beat writer’s block. Stay tuned!

What does writer’s block feel like to you? Let me know in the comments.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

5 Tips for Naming Characters

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Comic by Tom Gauld

 

I don’t know about you guys, but for me, naming a character is like naming a child. When creating a character, the name you choose for them is incredible significant. It ties them to the setting, to their roots, even to a greater symbolic meaning. I can’t start writing about a character until they are given their name, the name that just fits. Here are my tips on naming fictional characters.

Baby Naming Website 

Okay, this may sound weird, right off the bat, but trust me on this one. Those baby naming websites for overly pregnant ladies are actually really helpful. If you are looking for a name with a certain letter, number of syllables, or cultural origin, there’s information on those kind of sites. Just be careful if someone sees you looking at baby names, they may be concerned.

Historical Context 

If your story takes place in another time period, keep in mind the historical context. Find out what names were common at the time. If you google something like ‘names from 1920s’, a list of popular names from the 1920s will probably pop up. Also the Social Security Administration website will appear with a ranked list of common names of the decade. It’s pretty useful, and it’ll give you a feel for the time.

Sound it out. 

Out loud. If it doesn’t sound right, or its difficult to pronounce, or just sounds like a mouthful, something’s off. Keep trying. Once you’ve found a name that suits your character, it should just click.

((Pet Peeve Break))

((I have this pet peeve of names that sound completely made up. Like Chloe Stormgrave or or Jace Winterfang. When would you ever meet someone with a name like that in real life? Other than in a game of Dungeons and Dragons? Choosing a name just because it sounds cool is just unrealistic. Yes, I know, somewhere out there may be a Stormgrave family or whatever, but you gotta admit, it is an unlikely name. So please, for me, choose a name that sounds realistic and not like a character for an RPG game. Seriously, it just bothers me. ))

Named After Someone

Occasionally, I’ll name a character after someone in my life, whether they are still alive or deceased. Not their full name, of course, usually just their first name. Another option is naming them after an author, or an actor, or some lady on the news, anyone really. Names are all over the place, you just have to keep your eyes open. My character Oscar, his last name, Fitzgerald, came from F Scott Fitzgerald.

Be Careful of Similar names.

Try not to have two characters’ names sound similar. Stuff like that can really confuse readers. One time, in fiction writing class, a classmate had two characters named Flip and Clip whom, if I remember correctly, were involved in gang related activities or hunted by police. One of them, we’re not sure who, got shot by an undercover cop and died. The whole class had no idea which one died nor what was happening. Just be aware of that and distinguish your characters from one another.

Hope these tips were helpful for the next time your stuck on a nameless character. Tell me in the comments below how you go about naming the characters in your stories.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

3 Arthur Conan Doyle Quotes On Mystery

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the King of Mystery, in my opinion. The incredible creator of Sherlock Holmes, who is probably the most recognizable fictional detective ever. He’s one of my favorite authors and literary inspirations.  Thought I’d share some quotes by Doyle, for mystery lovers and book nerds and writers alike.

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This quote is the core of detective fiction. The power of deduction and solving a case summed up in one statement.

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A great detective must be observant. As should humans. Don’t forget how important the tiny details are.

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Our greatest power is our imagination. Think creatively.


 

What’s your favorite quote from someone who inspires you? Let me know in the comments below.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

 

Writing from Anger and Sadness

Today, I was called a “miserable girl” by a loved one for expressing my unhappy feelings to them. Feelings that have been completely unacknowledged for quite some time.

Yesterday, something happened that made me angry beyond belief, a kind of anger a bear feels when a hunter gets too close to her cub.

Two completely unrelated events, two very loud emotions.

Well, I tell you guys all the time to write with heart. There’s a reason for that. Writing doesn’t always come from the good emotions. Stories won’t always feel like that fuzzy, butterfly warmth of love and happiness. Fear, Anger, Sadness, Broken Heartedness. It’s not fun, but stories and characters need some of that negative stuff too. It’s all about balance.

Once, in poetry class, while doing a writing exercise, my professor asked the class “What does anger feel like to you? Use metaphors and similes” Someone said it felt like bees buzzing in her ear, another said it was like a gorilla pounding on his chest.

Think of actors performing a scene where they need to make themselves cry. They think of sad moments in their lives, to evoke that emotion. Writers have to do the same, to create something special and deep, something that makes readers feel what you or your characters feel.

I’m gonna remember these not so great emotions, file them away in some folder in my brain. And when I write a story, and need to tap into a certain feeling, I have personal experience as material.

Make something good out of the muck of life. Someone has to.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

 

 

To Six Wonderful Years

 

image

See that guy?

That would be Michael. The boyfriend.

Today marks 6 years that we have been together.

I consider myself incredibly lucky.

He’s pretty wonderful. I just love him.

The way his optimism brightens my day, even when I feel quite gloomy.

The way he becomes absolutely absorbed and focused on something he’s interested in.

The way he tries to sing to me but can’t remember any lyric to any song.

The way he smiles when he comes home with Chinese takeout for a night of cuddling and Food Network.

We laugh together and support each other through everything.

Yes, we’ve been through rough patches in our lives, love isn’t always roses.

But there’s no one else in the world I would rather face the ups and downs of life with than with him. No one else I’d rather have an adventure with.

Okay, enough of the sappy stuff. I’ve got a dinner and a movie date with a handsome gentleman caller.

To Six Wonderful Years….♥

The Artist that Came Before You (Poem)

 

The Artist that Came Before You

If you close your eyes tight, you can envision him.

The god-like creator that lived decades before you.

Who stood where you are standing.

You wonder about the artist that came before you,

What their lives were like,

when they stood in front of that painting.

Was there a glass of red wine in his hand?

Was there an impatient lover in his bed?

Were his eyes closed?

What did he see?

What did he want to see?

An unearthed masterpiece hiding underneath a blank canvas.

When you open your eyes again, it faces you.

With colors as bright and vivid as the day of the first brush stroke.

A preserved soul,

for an audience he will never meet,

for artists who will uphold his legacy.

You stand where he once stood and wonder what came before you.


A poem from poetry class, long time ago. When I was writing this, I thought about Hemingway sitting at a typewriter in Key West and Van Gogh painting Starry Night. It’s the greats from past generations that inspire me and my work.

Take some time to think about the artist behind the masterpieces. Think about what went into creating the work that has impacted your life. What did that moment of brilliance look like?  As writers, as artists, we are apart of a legacy, of all the greats that came before us.

Lovelies,

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.