Freewriting – Everything You Need To Know

Freewriting – Everything You Need To Know

Freewriting is a very important prewriting technique that not only helps you to get over your writer’s block, but also to tap into your sub-conscience mind and see what all ideas and stories are hiding there.

Most of the times, we get stuck while writing a story, or an article, and simply don’t know what to write next, and sooner or later we find ourselves facing the age old problem – “What to write?”

The only thing that can solve this problem instantly is Freewriting. So, now you know why Freewriting is so important.

Today I will not only tell you what Freewriting is but also show you how it is done using a demo I recorded a few days back. I’ll also tell you how to pick up main streams of thoughts, or, as I like to call them, nuggets of gold, from any Freewriting session. (in order to watch only the demo, watch the second video: Ep. 04 – Freewriting Pt. 02)

Here’s my video podcast on Freewriting:

What is Freewriting?

Freewriting is a prewriting technique in which a writer writes continuously (without stopping) for a predetermined period of time, paying no heed to grammatical mistakes, typos, sentence structure or even the general order of words and sentences.

The whole point of doing Freewriting is that when the writer runs out of things to write consciously, he or she will unintentionally start to write unconsciously if they keep on writing. Don’t bother about what you’re writing. Simply keep on pushing till your predetermined time is over. As soon as the time’s up, stop writing. If you’re in the middle of a sentence, complete it and then stop entirely.

It unclogs your mind and starts a downpour of ideas. Most of the ideas will be crappy, but, trust me, you’ll find at least one idea that’ll be worth working on.

Remember, that it doesn’t matter how much you write or what you write, the only thing that matters is that you write.

How to do it?

Freewriting is the simplest of all writing techniques because you really don’t have to care about anything much other than writing. Following is the step-by-step method to do it:

  1. Grab a pen & paper, or your laptop and open your writing screen.
  2. Set a timer for a particular time (anything between 2-30 minutes.)
  3. Write non-stop, without getting distracted by anything, and by that I mean ANYTHING! If you don’t know what to write, then simply start by writing that, “I don’t know what the hell to write but I’m writing anyway….” and so on.
  4. Stop only when the timer goes off.
  5. If you feel that you have more thoughts coming to your mind, then do another session of Freewriting in a similar way.

Freewriting Demo:

Are there any rules?

Yes. Following are the thumb rules of Freewriting:

  • Write in a distraction-free environment.
  • Don’t bother with the grammar or vocabulary.
  • You can write about absolutely anything
  • You can even write scenes or dialogues this way
  • You can even write about a particular topic in Freewriting sessions.
  • Don’t stop till the timer goes off.
  • If you’re new to writing then start with a Freewriting session of only 2 minutes and then gradually increase the time period
  • You can have multiple Freewriting sessions in a day.
  • You can also do a second round of Freewriting session, immediately after the first one.
  • Never delete your Freewriting sessions. Save them on a disk or on a cloud service (personally, I use DropBox.)

What to do next?

When you’re done with your Freewriting session, follow it through by selecting its and bits of ideas out of it:

  • Read what you’ve written.
  • Make notes – highlight the ideas you think are workable.
  • Work on these ideas in your next Freewriting session to get more flesh on the subject.
  • Keep on doing this till you know what are you going to write about and what are you going to write.

Freewriting will help you tremendously in not only improving your writing habits but also to find some of the best ideas you’ll ever come across. Freewriting is a lifesaver when it comes to writing First Drafts, because it is when you write the First Draft of your project you always get stuck wondering what to write next, and that’s when Freewriting comes in handy.

***

If you have any questions or doubts regarding this article then please ask them below in the comments sections and I’ll try my best to answer them as soon as I can. Also, please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic in the comments as I always love listening to all my readers.

Thank you for reading!


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The views expressed in this article are my own. This blog is under strict copyright laws and all trademarks have been registered.  If you want to use content on your own site, you must ask permission first before you do so under the restrictions. Thank you!
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All About First Drafts

All About First Drafts

A First Draft is one of the most basic entities of fiction-writing and it lays the basic foundation of a novel. If you’re a writer then you probably might have come across this term more than a thousand times already, and if not then you’ve come to the right place. Just for the sake of it, I’ll start this article with the definition.

You can watch the video podcast of this article on YouTube here:

Fiction Writing Ep. #02: All About First Drafts.

1. What is a First Draft?

A first draft is the first thing you write about a project, a book, a blog post (like this one) or even an idea in general. It simply means writing down your initial thoughts in order to figure out the project as a whole.

First drafts are mostly the unplanned version of an idea. It can even be fragments of a concept written together to help you move further in your story or project later on.

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First draft of Deceived

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”

– Terry Pratchet

2. Why is the First Draft important?

First Draft is not important, it is VERY important. If you won’t write the first draft of your novel, your thoughts will be scattered all over the place and you’ll struggle endlessly to put your ideas together coherently in a sensible form. Eventually, you might be able to get your thoughts organized, but it’ll waste a lot of your precious time.

A first draft helps you in discovering your characters, plot, and story-flow, and in building the three main pillars of your project – beginning, middle and ending.

The most important thing and the point of writing the first draft is to get the story on paper. To get it out of your mind and into this world. It’s like giving birth – unlikable to watch but necessary altogether.

It doesn’t have to be perfect because your next drafts will take care of that. All you have to do is, WRITE IT DOWN.

I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shovelling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.

– Shannon Hale.

3. What is the purpose of writing a First Draft? 

The main purpose of writing the first draft is simply getting to know what your story really is. And in order to do this just let go of any fear and qualms you have about your project because the first draft (FD) is something that you write for your own self.

Don’t worry about the complicated things like story structure, sentence development, world building, character development, conflicts, exposition or other things like that because you’ll be working on these elements later on. NOT in the First Draft.

So, before starting out, be clear about what the FD really is, so that you won’t give in to the editor inside your head and leave your FD halfway like many writers do.

First drafts are simply the raw form of your story; it’s a skeleton in the earliest of stages. Most probably you’ll be working for months on this project after the FD is done, so you can clean it up later on. LEAVE EVERYTHING ELSE FOR LATER, simply get the damn story out in your FD. It doesn’t matter if you’re following a sequence or not or if you’re are simply writing random scenes (I do this a lot in my FDs) or if you’re writing the story backward. It does not matter as long as you’re getting the ideas of your story on paper. It’s totally OKAY! What really matters is that you WRITE.

Remember, most of the time (actually, all the time) the final product is miles away from the idea that you initially began with. So don’t waste your time on detailing or organizing your FDs as it might not even make it to the final MS. But it is still important for you to write the FD because that is what will get you to the final MS.

“The purpose of the first draft is not to get it right, but to get it written.”

– John Dufresne

4. How to write a First Draft?

There’s no specific way of writing FDs, but to help you get an idea, following are the two ways in which one can write a First Draft:

Two ways of writing the FDs:

  • Simple Method (Recommended for beginners and pantsters.)

– Sit in a comfortable place and use a simple writing software that you are comfortable with and start writing without worrying about anything, especially not about editing or spelling mistakes.

– Start writing. Just try and focus on your story and forget about everything. If you feel the urge to edit, then simply console yourself by thinking that you’ll edit it in the next sitting.

– Continue writing this way (preferably every day) till you’ve got the entire thing written.

That’s it, you’ve just written your FD!

  • Advanced Method (Recommended for plotters, fantasy writers and for novelists who use specific timeline.)

– First of all, write down the rough outline of your story by using single words or only a few words to make sure you understand what’s to come where.

– Then create an equally rough timeline just so that you have a sense of the timing for whatever events you’ve planned for the story.

– Sit in a comfortable place and use a simple writing software that you are comfortable with and start writing without worrying about anything, especially not about editing or spelling mistakes.

– Start writing. Just make sure that you’re keeping a tab on your story outline while writing. More new ideas will come to you with the help of each outlining point. This will make you write more and get a better perspective of your story.

– Continue writing this way (preferably every day) till you’ve got the entire thing written.

That’s it, your FD is ready! By following this method you have a more elaborate and a clearer FD, which will help you while writing your second draft.


Note-I: Use a writing software that you’re most comfortable to use. Don’t get confused or mislead into using complicated software that you don’t know anything about. [I use Pages and/or Word for Mac. It helps me think straight and write fast.]

Note-II: As I said above, there’s no specific way to write FDs. You can write FDs in any way that is totally different to the ones above.
Again, it doesn’t matter. This is just something I came up with in order to help writers understand First Drafts better.

5. What to expect from First Drafts?

  • Rawness
  • Plot holes (Lots of them!)
  • Rough and incomplete storylines.
  • Raw sub-plotlines
  • Rough timelines
  • Half-built characters
  • Imperfect scenes
  • Weak endings
  • Inconsistent exposition
  • Flawed conflicts
  • Loose ends (a lot of them.)
  • Last, but not the least, tons of ideas!

“The first draft of anything is CRAP, but it’s infinitely better than NO draft.”

– Ben Arment.

6. What NOT to expect from the First Drafts?

  • Perfection
  • Adequacy
  • Complete Scenes
  • Final Story
  • Finished Characters
  • Brilliant Storyline
  • Magical endings

In short, First draft is the first step of a long staircase. You’ll have to be patient; there’s no other way.

 

What to do after completing the First Draft?

Rest? Take a break?

No… Do not take a break from your story after completing the FD. This is where a lot of writers go wrong (at least, as far as I know.) So trust me when I say, this is the right time to plunge deeper into your story.

When you’re done with the FD make sure that you re-read it a couple of times. After doing this you are ready to organize your story.

Move on to the next step of Character Development and Detailed Planning.

Read my articles on:

And then? Brace yourself for writing the Second Draft! (I’ll be writing a detailed article, just like this one, on Second Drafts (SDs) soon. So stay tuned!)

You can watch the video podcast of this article on YouTube here:

Fiction Writing Ep. #02: All About First Drafts.

***

Terms Used: 
FD - First Draft 
MS – Manuscript
SD – Second Draft

***

If you have any questions or doubts regarding this article then please ask them below in the comments sections and I’ll try my best to answer them as soon as I can. Also, please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic in the comments as I always love listening to all my readers.

Thank you for reading!


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The views expressed in this article are my own. This blog is under strict copyright laws and all trademarks have been registered.  If you want to use content on your own site, you must ask permission first before you do so under the restrictions. Thank you!

Editing Vs Revising

Editing Vs Revising

Many times, new writers and authors are faced with the age-old dilemma where they have to revise and edit their manuscripts. But only some of them really know the difference between the two.

In this short article, you’ll find the basic difference between “editing” and “revising” that will help you differentiate between the two easily.

Editing:

Editing involves minor changes that polish your manuscript technically by focusing on the following:

Sentence structure 
Punctuations
Spelling mistakes
Typos
Grammatical errors
Pointing out mistakes in the already revised text

While editing, the overall story remains the same. Here, fixing sentence structure is the priority.


 

Revising:

Revising involves major changes that refine your manuscript mechanically by focusing on the following:

Rewiting exsisting thoughts in a better way
Adding new thoughts
Adding new necessary details
Deleting unnecesarry details
Refining the story flow 
Enhancing character development
Using better words and phrases
Rewriting paragraphs to make them better
Clarifying ideas
Enhancing plot growth

While revising, the overall story changes as per requirement. Here, fixing the story as a whole is the priority.

The Next Worst Thing (Annihilation #2) – #Blogbattle

The Next Worst Thing (Annihilation #2) – #Blogbattle

BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge using a single word for inspiration. You can visit Rachael’s blog to find out more about #blogbattle- Writing Rachael Ritchey.

This week’s word: Leviathan.


Annihilation (Part #1)


The Next Worst Thing

479808518_preview_Leviathan_II_by_MercurialXen

Genre: Dystopian, Apocalyptic Fiction, Young Adult

Lilly, Grandma and I sit in our rocking boat hugging each other tightly, waiting for our doom. Waiting for the Others to come and get us, but all of a sudden a silence falls upon us all like a heavy veil.

I open my eyes hoping against hope that the swishing noises we heard from the water around our boat were not others, but when I look around us all I can see in the dim moonlight and a few odd reflections of moon and lightening on the surface of the water.

The river is eerily quiet as if it’s scared to make even the tiniest of gesture. I squeeze Lilly and Grandma’s hands and move my right index finger to my lips motioning for them to be quiet. The clouds above roar, and thick droplets of water start falling on us making the already dreadful darkness seem gloomier by the second. The darkness around us coupled with the rain makes my heart heavy with fear and my breathing comes in small gasps.

Lightning strikes the dark sky as if announcing the hour of the Others and making us feel insignificant in the vast dark river.

We are bone wet and shivering from the cold. I look at Lilly and Grandma’s pale faces and realise that the temperature is dropping, fast. And out of nowhere a loud wail tears through the silence like a sharp spear making all of us  literally jump out of our skins.

We cover our ears in a feeble attempt to block the sharp and chillingly scream and that’s when I realise that the Others are gone. They’ve left us. But after listening to the second wail it dawns on me that the Other’s have not left us, they’ve run away.

Forgetting about what the loud wail could be, I grab a set of drenched pedals after thrusting one set in Grandma’s hands and start rowing fiercely in the direction in which we were headed earlier. I feel sorry for her, but I can’t help it. Right now we need to get away from this river before it, whatever it is, get to us.

Rowing the boat with all my strength leaves my mind wandering back to the wails we heard. It’s quite again and right now I hate the silence more than ever. All my life I’ve preferred silence over everything, but right now it might lead us to us our deaths.

My mind starts racing again, what could have wailed so loudly? I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of a creature can scream like this. But I do know one thing- I need to make it to the Camp on the other side before Others or that screaming thing get to us.

The wail rises again, this time, it’s louder than before and after a few agonising seconds as the wail drops I realise that it’s not getting louder, it is getting closer. I hope that it isn’t the Others, because frankly, I don’t think anything could be worse that having Others feed on our blood and flesh.

Whatever it is, I’m not a fool to let go of this miraculous opportunity to get the hell out of this river. I don’t have the time to sit here and ponder what could have chased the Others away from living flesh.

Guess we’ll have to find out about it afterwards, that is, if we survive the next ten minutes.

#

Relief floods over every tissue in my body as our tiny boat hits the ground. Without even waiting to catch my breath I jerk Lilly out of her seat and, pulling at Grandma’s hands, I literally drag them out of the boat within two seconds.

We straightaway make a dash for a tall concrete building standing just a few yards away from us. It looks strong and is a quick glance around it ensures me that it is deserted. We hide behind the building taking cover of the darkness. Sitting down with my back to the rough and grey concrete wall, I try to catch my breath.

Lilly and Grandma also do the same following suite. I turn towards my little sister and touch her button nose with my fingers. She hasn’t said a word since last night. And now that I think of it, she hasn’t spoken much in the last two weeks after the Other’s killed mom.

Looking at Lily’s dirt-covered chubby face I feel a pang of anger so deep that I feel a sharp pain in the pit of my stomach. She’s too young for all this. It isn’t fair. I shake my head in frustration and that’s when I hear a wailing similar to before coming from just behind the building.

It’s too close to ignore and run again exposing ourselves. I grab Lilly’s arm making a promise to myself that I won’t let anything happen to her or Grandma, I lean towards my left a little making sure I won’t be seen from the other side. And as I sit there trying to understand what could have made such a noise, the water of the river splashes wildly and I see a 100ft shadow rise from the river.

Words leave my mouth unbidden as panic grips my insides, “What the hell…?” And right then it turns to face me and, locking its with mine, it lets out another wail, but this time, it is so loud that I almost faint because of its impact.

Lily tugs at my hand with her trembling ones and asks me in a shrill voice, “What is it, Kia?”

I turn back to her, my face a white mask of fear, and say in a tiny voice , above the loud wailing, barely audible to my own ears, “a leviathan.”

***


ANNIHILATION (PART #1)


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My New WIP- Sinister Town

My New WIP- Sinister Town

Exactly a year before, Deceived was only an idea in my head which kept on brewing constantly until I finally decided to get it on paper. And today here I am with Deceived getting published and another book’s first draft in hand. This sure has been one hell of a year for me.

Let me start by telling  you a little about my current WIP, which will be my second novel- Sinister Town. I have this irrational liking for the dark side of human nature and, after exploring the themes of psychopaths and sociopaths, I wanted to do something entirely different for my next book. As they say, variety is the spice of life…

light-bulbs-1125016_640
The blub in my brain going pong!

I had a very basic idea last year, that I wanted to work on for my first book, but while writing the FD the entire plan changed and I ended up writing an entirely different plot. But the initial idea stuck with me. So what did I do? I left it at that to simmer on the back stove while I worked on the first book and, after a few months, I had the perfect plot in mind fot that initial idea.

Hence, I present my second novel Sinister Town.

Like last time, I’ve created a cover for this book for my vision board and also to tell my pub. (God, I love saying that!) how the book cover should be like. So here’s the cover that I designed:

Sinister Town-2

Genre: Crime & Thriller Fiction
Words (approx.): 65,000
Working blurb:

After hitting a rough patch of 3 years, Nick and Eva’s marriage is finally saved by the arrival of their first child. In order to forget all the bitterness amongst them, they want to start over their new life by picking up the pieces of their broken relationship and shifting to a small new town.
Nic is ready to make the sacrifice of leaving the luxuries of big city and his drowning career in order to take care of his family and Eva is ready to give this marriage another chance, but what they don’t know is that the Town they want to make their home is waiting for them eagerly… for all the wrong reasons.


Right now I’m working on a new draft as I have to make a lot of changes. So, basically I’m on the FD stage. And from past experience I know that the best way to write a FD is to participate in a WriMo. Fortunately, I received an email 2 days back saying that Camp NaNo is starting in April (next month.)

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So, I’ve already cleared up my schedule for April as I won’t be able to take part in Camp NaNo July this year (I’ll be busy with the publishing of Deceived.) That means I’ll be busy next month like crazy and in order to save myself from added pressure, I’ll be talking a break from WOW posts for 2 months. I’ll rsume with it in May. 🙂 (Bye bye WOW! I’ll miss you 😦 )

Please feel free to voice out your thoughts on the cover and the blurb of my second novel. I’d love to know what you think about Sinister Town. If it creeps you out, I’ll consider myself a winner. 😀

Hope you guys are having a great day!

Ciao ❤

 

The 3-Act Structure: In Detail

The 3-Act Structure: In Detail

In order to utilize the 3-Act Structure efficiently, there is a need for a systematic sequence of elements to be followed that carries the story forward.  In the 3-Act Structure, each act has some particular story moves and by following these particular set of acts, you can rest easy that there will be no place for errors in your story.

If this structure is new to you and you’re wondering about what the hell it is, then check out the first part of this article- The 3-Act Structure: Introduction.

Here’s a list of the 3 biggest advantages of using this structure:

  1. It helps you to stay connected to the theme/idea/plotline of the story.
  2. It helps you to look at your story from a broader and better perspective.
  3. It helps you to recognize the unwanted elements in your story and helps you in cleaning up your story.

Here’s a chart that I made which will give you the gist of this structure.

3-AS by Heena Rathore P. (All rights reserved. Please contact the author before using this image.)
3-AS by Heena Rathore P. (All rights reserved. Please contact the author before using this image.)

ACT-I

Introduction

  • Introduction to the MC(s)
  • Introduction and laying the foundation of the fictional world (in case of Fantasy)
  • An introduction of the circumstances surrounding the MC and the secondary characters.
  • An introduction of the main relationships.
  • Introducing the main hook of the book.
  • An introduction to the conflict.
  • Establishment of the main relationships that were introduced earlier.
  • Introducing the antagonist (or, at least, hint stuff about him/her.)

ACT-II

1) Complication

  • Elaborate the conflict by making more difficult and dangerous.
  • Introduce a backstory through flashbacks or an old memory (or in any way you want) in relation to the conflict.
  • Make the MC solve/fight the conflict in his own way.
  • Keep the antagonist in motion. Make him do something. Anything. Don’t leave him out otherwise the plot will get boring.

2) Destruction

  • Destroy the MC physically and/or emotionally after he tries to solve/fight the conflict.
  • This part should be the lowest point in his life.
  • Make sure to make it look like there’s no way out.

ACT-III

Resolution

  • Show MC getting over his fears and disappointment (add a convincing source of motivation.)
  • Defeating the antagonist or being defeated himself (whatever suits your stories.)
  • Make sure to clean up- explain anything that needs an explanation. Do not leave any loose ends.

So, these are the 3 Acts explained to the best of my knowledge. There are innumerable variants of the 3-Act Structure but this is the one that I follow. It’s my own version and it works beautifully for me. I hope that it will help you as much as it for me. I wrote my first novel, Deceived, using this method and, therefore, I trust it completely.

I’d like to conclude by giving you a small advice- 50% to 75% is the mark where most of the stories go weak. So, pay special attention to the 2nd part of Act-II, i.e., the Destruction part.

What about you? Have you ever tried the 3-Act Structure?
Leave a comment below and I promise to get back to you ASAP.


 

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The 3-Act Structure: Introduction

The 3-Act Structure: Introduction

“You can’t plow a field simply by turning it over in your mind.”
― Gordon B. Hinckley

Planning a novel is the most important aspect of creating one. Even if you’re a pantster, at some or the other point, you’ll realise the need to arrange the novel in an order which will ensure that the novel is structured properly.

Organising everything from the starting comes as a second nature to planners, like me, but it becomes a headache for pantsters and the writers/authors who are new to the craft and find it a little overwhelming at times to keep a track of the basic plot line of their novel while actually writing it.

[If you are suffering from a writer’s block then here are some of my articles that can help you to find the inspiration to write again: Ten Things That Are Stopping You From Writing, 5 Keys To Write 50K Words In 30 Days and Writing Rituals: All You Need To Know.]

There are many ways in which one can plan a novel. The most basic way to plan your novel is to use the 3-Act Structure. In this post, I’ll be only introducing the 3-Act Structure along with its advantages and uses. But in my next post, I’ll explain all the three acts in detail.

– What is the 3-Act Structure?

The 3-Act Structure is a system of dividing the novel into three broad sections: 25%-50%-25%, where each of the three acts has some specific plot/story moves. Most of the people don’t prefer this structure because of its basic nature. They feel that the 3 acts are a far broader classification that they’d like, but what they fail to understand is that, though this structure is  a comparatively broader classification than the rest, it still encompasses just as many elements as the others and even a few more.

There is so much more to this structure than what most of the people believe it to be, which happens to be: Beginning, middle and end.) Here are the following 3 divisions that everyone follows:

  • Act-1: Beginning
  • Act-2: Middle
  • Act-3: End

But, where all the novels have these three parts, they also have so much more to them in terms of the plot moves. I’ve tried to gather as much information as I could, and following are the three divisions that I’ve created in order to define all the three acts more precisely (I’ll be doing another post to explain all the 3 Acts of the 3-Act Structure in detail.)

  • Act-1: Introductions and Conflict
  • Act-2: Complication and Destruction
  • Act-3: Resolution

And here’s a chart that I created in order to demonstrate how this structure works:

1
A chart by Heena Rathore P. (All rights reserved.)

– What are the advantages of using the 3-Act Structure?

Using a pre-designed structure to create a novel is always advisable as it helps in laying a strong foundation of your novel. The 3-Act Structure is the most basic structure that can be used to establish the basics of your novel. Some of the various advantages of using this structure are:

  1. It’s quite simple to comprehend and equally easy to apply.
  2. It makes sure that the basics of your novel remains in place and don’t get lost in the entirety of your project.
  3. It helps you to understand the missing pieces from your novel.
  4. It also makes you realise if and when you have unnecessary or extra scenes that you’re trying to incorporate in your novel.
  5. It helps you to organise your novel in much better and clear way.
  6. It helps you to make your novel a better and more polished version of the otherwise messy and haywire one.
  7. And more often than not, especially when you feel like you’ve run out of things/scenes to write, this method will definitely give you a gentle push to write more and will often fill your head with new ideas. (I always divide my novel idea into these 3 acts before I even start writing any scenes as it gives a clarity that makes it easier for me to go ahead and write.)

    diary-968592_640
    Image credit: Pixabay

– When should the 3-Sct Structure be used? Before starting the first draft, in between or at the of the nth draft?

The 3-Act Structure, or any structure for that matter, can be used at any point in your writing journey. But as per my experience, I’ll advise you to use it before you start with the first draft. Now, being a planner it comes to me as a second nature, but to anyone who’s a hardcore plotter this will be difficult and might interfere in the writing process. So, for them, I’ll recommend using this structure not before starting the draft but after finishing one. use it to help you regain your focus when you’re done writing whatever you wanted to. After the draft we all feel a little lost for a while, now, that’s the time this structure could come in really handy.

There are a lot of versions of this particular structure but this one is what I use and recommend to anyone who asks me.

If you want to know the details of this structure then read this: The 3-Act Structure: In Detail.

So, what about you? Have you ever tried the 3-Act Structure in plotting your novel or are you trying to figure out the structure that works best for you? Or is there any other structure that you follow? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences as I love to read your comments.


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2016 Resolutions

2016 Resolutions

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake.

– Sir Frances Bacon

Last year I made a list of 11 resolutions and I stuck to it till the end (except for the learning German, but I had my reasons.) It made me realise that I perform better if I announce my goals, so here I am with a list of my this year’s resolution. You can read my last year’s resolution list here: 2015 Resolutions.

My 2016 Resolutions:

  1. Prepare for running marathons and participate in one marathon this year (my first ever.)sports-1050966_640
  2. Stick to the vegetarian diet the entire year.life-863705_640
  3. Getting inked – a small tattoo in the memory of, Tiger (my deceased pet GSD.)

    german_shepherd_tattoo_by_oni_baba
    Something like this
  4. Get Sinister Town ready for publishing.
  5. Complete the poetry collection.
  6. Complete the short-stories started in 2015 (Jessie and Bianca series.)journal-1090599_640
  7. Learn swimming and continue it for at least 6 months (three days a week.)buoy-914766_640
  8. Rejoin Zumba classes (3 days a week.)
  9. Get Vishal’s old Ford and start practicing to drive it (I can’t drive a sedan so I can’t risk driving our new baby, Honda City.)car-35502_640
  10. Take classical singing classes. melody-154619_640
  11. Start creating videos for book reviews.youtube
  12. Write biweekly for Describli prompts – Mondays and Wednesdays.describlismall
  13. Read 70 books (I read 100 last year but it got really hectic towards the end, my content writing and Deceived and all, so I’m going to keep my goals low this year.)Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 5.59.42 pm

I’ll try and complete all these resolutions by the end of this year and hopefully, I will, but even if not, trying to fulfill these resolutions will get me closer to my goals. And that is what matters.

So, what are your 2016 resolutions?

Character Profile Sheets

Character Profile Sheets

Characterization is the most important aspect of writing a book. Whether it’s a short story or a long one, you need characters, and that too strong ones. They are the building blocks of your story as they provide substance and an extra dimension to it.

Many people believe that in certain genres, such as mystery-thriller, romance and horror, the story is the main hero and not the characters, and therefore it’s okay to have even half-decent characters to play along when it comes to writing in these genres. But being a thriller writer myself, I think that it is totally wrong.
Whether it’s thriller, mystery, horror or even romance, you need strong characters to add depth to your story. And if you want to write a memorable book then characters are indeed as important to your story as the plot itself, irrespective of the genre.

I’d like to state a few examples here to clear this myth:

Agatha Christie’s characters – Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, are the two  most memorable and strongest characters in the world of mystery books. If you’ve read even 2 books of each then you know what I mean.

In the same way Nicholas Sparks, the king of romance books, creates such memorable characters that the readers fall in love with them and remembers them forever, such as Noah from The Notebook and John from Dear John.

And the biggest example is that of the most epic characters of all, Harry Potter from Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

 

Harry Potter
Harry Potter

 

So the bottom line is a writer should try their best to put in 100% in terms of handwork and research when it comes to characterisation. And in doing so, one amazing tool that helps tremendously is Character Profile Sheet.

Character Profile Sheets are exactly what the name suggests. They are simple worksheets which help you to create detailed and distinct personalities for your characters. They can be as short as a single page or as long as 50 pages. The basic idea is to help you create your characters and give them a solid form.

Here are the character sheets that I’m using for my second book, Sinister Town:

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These sheets are from Creative Writing Now (link below)

Character Profile Sheets (CPS) dramatically helps in organising the important facts about your characters at a later stage in your project. When I was working on Deceived, I had 3-4 timelines to maintain and 5 complex characters to remember. The CPS I prepared for all the characters and timelines proved to be a lifesaver. If it wouldn’t have been for these sheets I would have been still writing the first draft for it.

Being a hardcore planner, maintaining CPS is like a second nature. I can’t even think of starting a book without having them with me. But if you are a pantster and hate having to write them in advance, I’d still suggest you to create at least a basic or just a fact-based CPS for the 2 main characters (again, at least.) It won’t hurt to have all the facts about your character in one place to make sure that there are no consistency issues in your book.

CPS are a must but having said that I’d also like to say that a character’s complete personality is not formulated. So allow some time for your characters to grow. It’s not necessary to stick only to the CPS, improvisation is necessary as well as beneficial because you can’t know fully about a character unless you start writing the book. So, BE FLEXIBLE.

You can create your own CPS or download from the ones listed below. If you want more you can get thousands (and maybe more) from the net, but if you’d ask me, 2 are more than enough.

These are the ones that I hand picked:

Some really helpful CPS Resources:

Other stuff related to Character Development:


What are your experiences with CPS? You love them like me or it’s something that you don’t like? Feel free to share your views in the comments below.

Have a great day!

Ciao ❤


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Note: All views and opinions shared in this post are my own.

NaNoWriMo 2015

Hello, guy! I’m here for a quick update on my writing (and also because I forgot to mention it before.)

Last month I participated in NaNoWriMo 2015 and successfully completed it with a just-barely-there 52K. 😀

Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 7.39.41 pm

I was planning to write the first draft for my second novel, Sinister Town, for this year’s NaNo, but unfortunately “life” happened (and also Diwali) and I was left to rush through the last 15 days of NaNo. Though it’s not a lot, but I still got the plotting done along with a few scenes (Yes, 52K is just the plotting!) But still I’m happy that at least I wrote these 52K words!

I’ll be drafting the FD of Sinister Town in December (even though my birthday is fast approaching) and January and once I’m a little free I’ll share about it in my writing updates.

I hope everything’s great at your end as well 🙂

Happy holidays!!!

Ciao ❤