Saturday, August 22, 2015

5 Ways to Keep Writing in College

5 Ways to Keep Writing in College || Water & PenAnd lo, the morning dawned bright and early at six thirty-three. A cool breeze tickled upon the rosey curtains, hinting (or maybe teasing) at fall.

Though the hour was early, my mind could not fall back to rest.
And the reasons could quitepossibly have been three.

Of course, after a long night without drinking any water, I was "dying" of thirst.
Then again, I also really had to use the restroom.

But...there was one more reason my mind was active and no longer bent to sleep's whim.
It was the day...
that I would move...
into my first ever dorm room.

A knot settled in my stomach. It was a mixture of excitement, stress, and the urge to shed tears. Yes, you can feel tears in your stomach.

Though I haven't yet started college, or...even moved in to my room yet... I have some tips for maintaining a somewhat normal writing lifestyle.

1. Know your schedule
Know when your classes are. And don't miss them (unless you're sick or something. Nobody wants your germs). Get homework done when you can. Mingle with other students. Don't neglect them.

2. Keep a planner
Write down the times of all your classes, meetings, work, due dates. And then block off time for writing when you know you'll have an hour or so.

3. Make friends
How does this help with writing, Rachel? This only keeps me from writing! I'd rather be a hermit and hide away in my room when not attending classes! No. Just no. People are your best resources. If you want to create amazing, round need to actually get to know people. Characters are people too, right? Not only does mingling help with personality, but it helps with body language, dialogue, accent, facial expressions, physical descriptions, and, like, real-life stuff...?

4. Goals
Set writing goals for yourself. (ie: a chapter in a week, a first draft by the end of the year, 2000 words in a day, etc.) Set realistic goals you know you can achieve and work towards them like they're homework and you have to turn them in.

5. Join or form a writing group
Great for brainstorming sessions, encouragement, critical advice, and accountability. Make some writerly friends! Just do it! Maybe they can even beta read for you! Keep each other accountable to your goals.

That's what I have for y'all! These are all easy, practical ways to continue writing in college. If you'd like more on this, let me know!

God Bless!

And, of course, by the time this is actually getting published, I've already moved in to my dorm, and been at college for two days.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Please Be Weird {Creating a Fantastic Villain III}

You meet two people during the course of your day. One is talkative, eyes lighting up as they tell you about their passions, observations, and how they know at least fifteen bird calls by heart.
The other, however, keeps the conversation limited to day-to-day stuff. Weather, shopping, watching TV. Dull.

Which one is more unique? Which one is intriguing? Which one would you want to talk with again?
Uh, probably the first one.

The fact that the person knows at least fifteen bird calls is quirky.
Please Be Weird {Creating a Fantastic Villain III} || by Water & PenAnd the most interesting people are usually the quirkiest.

I'm here today to talk about your villain.
To read the first two installments of the post series click here:
Back Story Time {Creating a Fantastic Villain I}
GIVE IT TO ME {Creating a Fantastic Villain II}

Let me just say a few things:
Please, please, please don't make your villain another run of the mill villain who spouts off their entire plan before executing it, or cackles maniacally after revealing said plan, or who's just evil for the sake of being evil. (I know we all know--or should know--these rules by now, but they're rules we need to remember.)
I'm not talking from just a writerly point of view, but a reader's as well. Anything in that list is generally a sign of laziness and/or bad character development.

Those are the boring villains. I don't like boring villains.
I'm interested in the quirky villains. I want them to act like real, interesting humans (or...whatever race they happen to be).

You might not think that well rounded, intriguing villains are important, but they can make or break your story...and your other characters. Think Loki from the Thor movies, or the Winter Soldier...they're so well developed and their actions actually matter.
And (guess what?) they have their quirks.

Maybe they're insecure, maybe they adore red squirrels with such a fiery passion that they sedate them every time they see one and take it back to their secret lair (so they end up with a menagerie of just red squirrels and they have, like 500 of them so that's why the hero needs to stop them so the red squirrels don't go extinct), or maybe they absolutely have to have coffee from their favorite coffee shop before doing anything heinous for the day (think Gru from Despicable Me--no, I am not condoning utilizing freeze rays on people just to get coffee).

It's important to give your villain quirks. If your hero has quirks, your villain should have nothing less.
If you, as the writer, have quirks, your characters should have no less.

I'm not going to type out an ol' long list of random quirks for you to pick and choose from--there's tons of resources around the internet for that. If all else fails, observe the people around you (I know, scary!)--that's the best place to get the best quirks. Real's a gold mine.

Quirks are important. Quirks are human. Quirks make people lovable and rounded.

To make your villain relatable and adored by readers, they need quirks.

I mean, mine is obsessed with donuts.
And not just any donuts.
Cake donuts with pink frosting and candy sprinkles.
And my villain is a guy.
They're just really good, okay?

God Bless!
Rachel Lester

Are there any other topics regarding creating villains that you'd like me to cover?
Please comment! And it doesn't just have to be about villains. It can be about life, or your dog, or red squirrels, or your blog.

For a personal update:
Sorry I've been gone for so long! I've hardly written anything in over a month. I know, it's driving me crazy. Although college is approximately a week.5 away, I'm getting back into writing even though this next week.5 is full of packing, shopping, and VBS, I'm
trying my best to become involved again before school starts. Prayers welcomed. Immensely.