Sometimes the reason our closets are overflowing is we have memories attached to our clothes. Whether it’s that free t-shirt you got from a marathon you ran ten years ago or the dress you wore on your first day of college, they seem to stick around long past their due date.
Your character is going through their wardrobe and pulls out an old grey ARMY t-shirt that’s used for PT training. The thing is, they’ve never been in the Army. Who does it belong to? Why do they have it? Why haven’t they gotten rid of it?
I love writing my novel. However, I’m not very good at selling it, especially verbally.
People ask me, What’s your book about? I immediately freeze, touch my neck, and say, “Oh, well, it’s about a lot of stuff. It’s got characters…and setting…and a plot. And maybe a dragon. Yeah, it’s hard to explain.”
And when they walk away I know they definitely won’t be at the top of the pre-order list.
I think most writers can relate to this. It can be hard for us to reach out and let someone else into the world we’ve created in our minds. I’ve had to get better at this, so here are my tips.
Come armed with a plan. It’s okay to write down what you want to say when you explain your novel. Keep a blurb handy in the back of your mind so you’re always prepared. I usually keep my summary about the main character, rather than talk about all the little details of setting. Stick to the motivation driving the character. It’s okay to keep it short too. Don’t give away the entire plot!
Breathe. Relax. Easier said than done, I know! This gets easier with practice. Keep an open mind and stay positive. You never know, they could be really into what you say.
Show enthusiasm. It’s easy to crawl into our little shell of humility and just say, yeah, it’s just a hobby. But remember, if you don’t show interest in your book, how can others?
Let me know how you deal with keeping your cool in the comments below!
I’ve always thought that my life would be so much better if there was a soundtrack that would play in the background like in a movie. You know, like Nora Jones playing during a romantic scene or Fade Into You by Mazzy Star in a dramatic scene. In a previous post, I talked about how music can fuel your writing. To follow this theme, try out this writing prompt featuring one of my favorite songs.
Write a scene with the song “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone as the background music. What is happening in your scene? What are the characters doing? I immediately think of the transformation scene in the movie Last Holiday, starring the fabulous Queen Latifah.
Michael Bublé also has a version to swoon over, and I just read that Lauryn Hill also recorded a wonderful cover.
Then find other songs that would fit different scenes in your story. Play with different genres, and see what complements the mood.
We all know people who are naturally creative. They can roll out ideas effortlessly. Some people are just blessed with creative minds, while others struggle to brainstorm new ideas. But there is still hope for people who want to be more creative. It just takes a lot of work and patience. All writers worry that someday their well of creativity will run dry. You’ve got your paper. You’ve got your pen. You’re all ready to start pounding out that masterpiece, but you’re just stuck. Nothing that you come up with seems to work. Here’s a few things I do when I’m feeling low on creativity.
Coloring books – get one
I swear by coloring books. Even if you don’t need it for a creativity boost, the nostalgic smell of cheap crayons brings back all those simple childhood days. Coloring books are wonderful because they give you a place to start. You have an outline. You have constraints, but still lots of space to make the picture your own. Do Zentangle in between the lines instead. Take things and mold them to make them your own.Read More »
For my freshman year of college, my roommate and I had a small, fake, Charlie Brown-esque Christmas tree that we had sitting on our windowsill. However, neither of us wanted to haul it home during breaks, so it stayed there the whole year and we would decorate it for seasons and holidays. For Valentine’s Day, it donned a red heart garland. For spring, we tucked fake flowers into the branches. It not only becameRead More »