Monthly Archives: September 2018

Tips and Tricks for Writing Setting Descriptions

Hello lovelies.

So sometimes,  writing descriptions of settings are difficult. I mean, a forest is a forest. The city is the city. While I’m not the kind of writer to prattle on about the specific color of blue, I still want a rich backdrop for my story. The world for my characters, and for the reader, should feel real.

One way I push myself to write more detailed descriptions is by asking myself questions. As silly as that sounds, trust me for a second. This actually works for me. How would I describe a scene to the reader? What do I have to do to paint that clear picture?

If you are like me, and struggle with writing about the setting for your stories, check out my list of questions below. Maybe they’ll help jog something.


Civilization

In what time does the story take place? Are we in medieval times or the roaring twenties or modern day? How can the reader tell? Provide examples of technology or clothing choices, those are usually great indicators for time and place.

Are there roads/paths to follow? Is it a dirt road or paved with cement?

What sounds are around? People chattering? Birds chirping? Absolute silence?

How’s the lighting? Is the room candle lit? Is there one buzzing electric bulb?

Is there garbage littered in the streets?  Is the room full of clutter? Or does everything look pristine?

Any smells lingering in the air? Freshly popped popcorn? What about burning wood? A posh lady’s perfume perhaps?

What is the state of a building? Is it worn down? Or newly built?

Think about the specific materials things of objects. Rough material, like burlap, versus delicate material, like silk? Think about texture.


Nature

What is the general landscape? Mountainous? Modern?

What is the temperature outside? Is it hot and balmy? Cold and chilly?

What does the terrain look like?

Are there any kinds of plants around? Trees?

Is there a water source (lake, river, pond) nearby? Or is it a lifeless wasteland?


Quick Tips

Really talk about colors. Beyond just sky blue or blood red. What does the color remind you of? Think about something really specific. I always loved the example of a “Stewed cherry dress.”

Looking up pictures on google helps sometimes, if actual visuals help jog your brain. (I got a stash of historical photos from the 1920s to look at when I have writer’s block.)

Although possibly distracting and frivolous, make sure you research, to be accurate.

Bottom line, you have to play around with the five senses. Keep those in mind when writing the fine details. Sensory details are key.


Write in the comments about what helps you create rich setting descriptions. I’d love to hear from you guys.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Words for Writers Wednesday: Read Everything

For you, as a writer,

to achieve great heights,

you need a solid foundation.

Every writer should read everything.

The good stuff. The bad stuff.

The classics. The new releases.

Every genre, every style, every kind of voice.

Read it all.

And once you have that solid foundation

that foundation of stories will become a launch pad

for the stories you will write.


I have this pet peeve of people who stick to only one genre. Yes, of course, you can love a specific genre or writing style. I love stories of fantasy and mystery. But there’s so much more out there. Don’t be afraid to read outside of your usual once in a while. And you never know what will inspire you.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

 

When Life Puts Things Into Perspective – The Loss of a Loved One

So, for those of you who follow this humble little blog, you’ll know that the other day,

I wrote about how I lost some work on my novel.

And how “devastated” I was.

I had no idea what was coming.

Shortly after that post, I found out that my boyfriend’s grandmother has passed away.

She was like a grandmother to me, and one of the kindest souls I had the pleasure to know. And I’ll never forget that little old lady who would sit in her chair and yell at the t.v. while watching her team, the New York Mets.

You know.

Sometimes life puts things into perspective.

Worrying about computer problems seems meaningless now.

Stop. Look at the bigger picture.

Words are replaceable. People are not.


I’ll be back next week.

And I’ll continue working on that novel, despite the setback.

She would have wanted me to keep writing.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Double, Triple Save Your Work: A Warning to All Writers

Yesterday was a rough day.

An unfortunate event completely sucker punched me in the gut.

But maybe I’m being over dramatic. Here’s what happened.

I went to open the word doc. on my laptop, the one with my work-in-progress novel in it. This was on WordPad, in case you’re wondering. And I opened it, and it was blank.

And I mean blank.

Look at this horror.

blank book

And for the record, it was only this file that looked like this. My most important file is freaking gone. But my old college essays are still there. I don’t understand.

I panicked. As sad as it sounds, I’ve been on and off crying for about a day. I’m trying to assess the damage, and what I lost as I’m writing this. From what I can tell, I lost about 4-5 scenes, probably more. I wrote a lot in the past month, and was making great headway with my fiction writing. I got the ball rolling, and now, it feels like a huge step back. I didn’t think to double save recently. In hindsight, I should have. I thought clicking that save button was enough. Guess not.

At least there is a bright side to this tragedy. I have a slightly older copy of my story saved somewhere else, last updated about a month ago. It’s missing a bunch of new material, but it’s something. Thankfully, I did not lose everything. But, I did lose quite a bit of work, and I’m actually heartbroken.

So, here are my options as of right now.

  1. My tech wizard of a boyfriend manages to magically recover the lost data/file.
  2. I try and recreate about a month’s worth of writing.

I don’t know what’s going to happen. Hopefully, It can be saved. If not, well, I’ll have to work around this setback. I’ll try and bounce back from this, but honestly, I do feel depressed about it. I’m going to curl up in a sad, cozy corner and eat copious amount of food. And think about what I can salvage.

I will keep you guys posted if a miracle happens. If any of you have any suggestions, I’ll try anything, let me know in the comments. And if you guys have ever lost unsaved work, how did you handle it?

Listen, I don’t wish the loss of work on anybody, especially writers who put there hearts into every word. It’s a frustrating and devastating experience. Please, to everyone who reads my tiny blog, make sure your writing is safe. Double save, even triple save, your work. Use multiple accounts and files, also USB drives, whatever keeps your stuff safe.

I’ll keep you guys posted if anything changes. Cross your fingers and toes.

But remember what I said about triple saving your projects.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

 

Words for Writers Wednesday: Writers Are Like Boxers in the Ring

You are the boxer in the ring.

Your opponent? All those knuckleheads who doubt you.

“Do you really think you’ll make it?”

“Writing isn’t a real work. Get a job.”

You freaking sucker punch them in the jaw with your talent.

Hey, remember the supporters in your corner.

Family, friends, teachers, classmates, the true believers.

Stick with them, they will get you through this fight, and every other fight

And stand beside you when you become a champion.


Forget about the people in your life who doubt you and make you feel bad about your passions. Focus on the ones who will support you through everything.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Hey Writers, Don’t Forget to Go Outside

I spent so much time writing and working, I feel like I missed summer.

And that’s kinda sad.

Writers can be like rabbits sometimes. We dig underground and hide in our burrows, away from the life happening on the surface.

For me, I’ve been locking myself in my room, hunched over the keyboard like a mad woman. Between running this blog, doing oddball jobs on Fivver, and writing my novel as well as weekly comic book reviews, I kept pretty busy. The cons of being a freelance writer who works from home.

But then, I was beginning to feel disconnected from the real world. I wrote more about life than actually experiencing it for myself.

Tearing my eyes away from the screen, I left the nest and went for a walk. For social interaction, and for some Chinese takeout. And it was so nice. Dealing with real people instead of fictional characters.

Clearly, I need to leave the Writer’s den more often and live life instead of just writing about it. Don’t take for granted a cool breeze on a hot day. Take a break, once in a while.

Walk outside and look around.


Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Turning into a Sleep Writing Zombie When You’re Tired and Have a Deadline.

Fun fact about me:  I can’t sleep.

Too many thoughts and worries, my brain won’t shut off.

 

Today, I had a deadline to make, a piece of 2,000 words, was due.

While I was typing, my eyes were closing. Think I was half unconscious.

But with zombie like movements, I kept writing.

Feel like I’m back in college. Thank goodness for spell check.

How I was able to write coherent sentences

while my brain was absolute mush, is beyond me.

 

And lately, I’ve been fiction writing in the wee hours of the night.

between 11:00 pm to 2 am. When vampires are awake.

It’s like my characters only want to bother me when I should be asleep.

The curse of being a night writer, I suppose.

 

On the bright side,

NaNoWriMo Merch for 2018 is up and I’m in love with all of it.

Everything looks awesome, especially that hoodie.

Which reminds me…. I have to start getting ready for NaNoWriMo!

Uh oh! Let me sleep on it!


Has this ever happen to you guys? When you need to get writing done, but you’re sleep deprived and have no energy. Ever turn into a sleep writing zombie?

Treat yourself this weekend. Take a break and get comfortable. You earned it.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky