All posts filed under: Writetips

Writing tips, information, recommendations and resources for writers!

Author Scoop ~ Interview with MaryLu Tyndall

I’m delighted to introduce to you, on TBAP today, renowned author, MaryLu Tyndall (although, she needs no introduction)! MaryLu is one of my top five authors of ALL time, and I’m honored that she would stop by on TBAP today to pay us visit. This anointed and gifted woman of God has a lot of wisdom to share, it’s quite marveling! Follow our conversation below and learn more about this amazing woman! Miranda ~ Hello MaryLu! It’s wonderful to have you visit TBAP today! Please tell us a bit about yourself. MaryLu: Hi Miranda! Thank you so much for having me!  Goodness, not sure what to say about me. I’ve been an author for 15 years. I have over 20 books published. I’m a mother of 6, grandmother of almost 4! I live in California now but grew up in South Florida. I’ve been married for 25 years and I take in stray cats! LOL I’ve been a follower of Jesus for 23 years, and I’ve never once looked back to my old life which …

How (Or Another Way) To Write/Develop a Unique Story

I don’t know about you, but I’ve discovered that when a story idea pops into my head, the first thing afterwards to take form is the protagonist. Sometimes even, the idea begins with a protagonist. And if you’re like most writers, the initial thought of your protagonist portrays him/her as superman, or least has the heart of superman. By now, of course, you know that in good fiction, that’s completely unacceptable (after all, even superman has a weakness called kryptonite). On that note, I’ll go ahead and say that this is the reason a lot of protagonists/stories are typical, because they follow a typical pattern. You, the writer, may think your story is cute, and your protagonist, absolutely adorable, and so you wonder why the rest of the world can’t see that. “Is there a conspiracy against me,” you might ask. In case you’re actually wondering, no, there isn’t. But there’s a reason for the reviews that accuse your story/protagonist of being flat. Your stories are … Typical. How then do you create one that’s …

The Pen and Paper Technique for Writers

Often times I have great ideas for a book or scene I’m writing, but the ideas are sometimes scattered in my brain. I know what I want to write, but I ‘m not sure how to express it. The details are somehow locked in a fog. Sound familiar? In a case like this, I employ what I call the pen and paper technique. If you’re like me, when the juices are flowing, you don’t waste time on pen and paper. You type right into the computer, and overtime, make the adjustments that you need to make. The pen and paper technique only comes in when I have a general idea for the story, but I remain stuck. The point of this technique, is to just write whatever is floating in my brain, whether it makes sense or not, whether it properly fits the scene or not, or whether it is chronologically upsetting to the story. This technique has helped me in two ways: 1. It stops me from creating a mess on the draft in …

Keeping The Creative Juices Flowing, #3

“This topic is a series. From time to time, I will be dishing out practical advice based on my writing experiences that have worked for me.” *Watch a movie/video One of the best description scenes I’ve enjoyed pulling off came from watching a 3-second part of a scene in a movie. In my mind I had an idea of what this scene should look like in my book but time and again it remained too foggy to describe on paper or screen what I saw in my mind. The general idea just kept floating in my mind but never letting me grasp it, it was so frustrating. I’m sure you writers know what I’m talking about. I experienced this untamable fog while trying to describe a large property in my book. I went ahead and finished the manuscript hoping that by then I would have developed the description well enough to do a satisfactory job but this fog just plain refused to give way. Well, I had to get on somehow if I would declare …

Keeping The Creative Juices Flowing, #2

“This topic is a series. From time to time, I will be dishing out practical advice based on my writing experiences that have worked for me.” *Explore a photograph. This is most useful for description. You’ve probably heard that the best way to describe your character’s environment is to put yourself in their place. You should ask yourself: what do they see when they look around? What smell tickles their nostrils? Is there a sound in the air and how do they respond to it? What sensations do their skin feel—perhaps a response to the weather? How does that food taste in their mouth? In other words, you’re exploring the five senses to achieve excellent description. The problem is, sometimes your mind can’t paint a vivid picture of what you want, and you really can’t afford to waste precious time because you’re on a deadline, or you simply don’t like the fact that you have to wait until your mind has a boost. Who knows how long that would take? Finding a picture that helps …

Writers: Keeping The Creative Juice Flowing, #1

“This topic is a series. From time to time, I will be dishing out practical advice based on my writing experiences that have worked for me.” *Read a book that is in your genre but not your typical selection. This may sound old or not useful but it works. I know this first hand. It is especially useful when your story is stuck at a point where it needs a twist but you have no idea how to go forward. Reading something different from your typical selection gives you a fresh perspective and a jumpstart in a way that you couldn’t have achieved on your own, and this keeps your writing ability healthy with a sense of freshness that it not typical in your genre so that it sets you apart as a unique brand. It is also useful for any writer’s block at any point in time. And what exactly do I mean by a book in your genre that is not your typical selection? If your favorite genre is romance and your typical …

The Blogging Experience Unplugged

I remember when I first decided to have my own blog. I had been around the internet long enough and seen how the pros did it and I wanted mine to be as perfect from the start. I tried out themes and shuffled widgets but never releasing any post—I just had to be sure it looked perfect first. This was my routine for weeks. Eventually I posted something but didn’t announce it. I kept it all to myself. As far as I was concerned, my blog didn’t have that perfect look yet. That became my new routine. Until someone stumbled across it, liked it, and started to follow it. Imagine my first reaction: shock, joy and then panic. In that order. A dozen questions plagued my mind. What if my posts are not impressive enough? What if I disappoint? What if I can’t be consistent? What if I don’t sound professional enough?—and the questions could go on. In the end, I had to calm down and toddle on in my baby steps. Let me tell …

Writers: When To Use Clichés, When Not To Use

By now you may have heard that clichés are boring or overrated. And that they reek of unoriginality. That’s not to say that they can’t be used. In fact, if your character will appear like they actually live on planet earth, clichés will have to come into play. How then as a writer are you supposed to use it without it seeming unoriginal? Simple. Dialogue. Let’s face it. Real people use clichés in their conversations all the time (or nearly). Check yourself. You’ll find that your favorite clichés are not far from your day to day talk. And if your character will appear real at all, they’ll have to have theirs too. Take a look at the dialogue below. “How are you this morning?” “I’m fine. I slept like a baby.” The italicized words are a cliché made of simile. But that’s okay because it’s dialogue. Like I said, real people use them. Don’t in the name of trying to avoid clichés and being original, write something like this: “Hey, what do you think about …

Those Little Rewrites

It is often said, don’t edit while you write. It slows your writing progress and sometimes messes up your writing process. But what about those little rewrites? They are editing, but in a different sort of way. Here’s what I’ve learned about my writing process. Like everyone else, I have good writing days, and bad writing days. But I discovered something. When I’ve written badly, I know it because it’s clear that I could have done better. So after a bad write, I lay off for a while until I’m feeling better. Then I go back to my paper or computer, and rewrite what I’ve written before without as much as a peek at the previous. By then whatever scene or part of a plot I’m working on would have formed properly in my head. Usually, it turns out better. A lot better than I hoped. Then I go back to my previous writing and compare the two, pick out some lines that I still deem useful and discard the rest. I do this rather …

My Brand, My Way: Why Exactly Is Branding So Important?

Many writers get terrified at the thought of establishing a brand. And the pressure isn’t getting any less. Others just plain don’t like it. They simply want to … write. But a brand is actually not as bad as it seems. In fact, with the right frame of mind, it’s a good thing that a writer could turn into an asset, trade or indie. What exactly is the right frame of mind, you may ask. It is the perspective from which you look at it. This is how I look at it: A brand is ANYTHING that represents you. It speaks for you when you not there to do so yourself. Simply put, your brand is you. Who are you? You are a writer. And you have a reason for writing and a passion behind it. And it comes with a style and flavor. Your brand is what tells everyone that your writing is a personality of its own. And the more you appreciate this, the more you worry less that your writing isn’t turning …