Writer’s Block? Here’s How to Overcome it!

I’ve been suffering from writer’s block recently, so I thought this post could help many other writers going through the same. If you aren’t familiar with the term ‘writer’s block’, It is when you get a creative or motivation block which makes it hard to write. Today, I’ll be showing you ways to get over this stage and get back to writing.

1- Change up your schedule

Most times, writer’s block is caused by repeating the same routine over and over again. So try changing things up! If you write in the morning, try writing at night instead. If you write on your laptop, try brainstorming on a notebook. Make any change necessary to feel like it’s new experience instead of a constantly repeated one. If you write in your bedroom, switch up the environment and write somewhere else.

2- Do something physical

Sometimes moving around can get your creative juices to flow, so if you’ve been sitting by your laptop for a few hours, get up and go for a walk or do a short workout, it really helps!

3- Read

If you’ve been stuck in a writer’s block for many days or weeks now, try reading instead of writing. If you’re writing a romance novel, then read one for inspiration. I’ve been reading many mystery novels recently to gain back my motivation to write.

4- Journal/Stream of Consciousness

If you don’t know what stream of consciousness is, it’s basically when you journal without a prompt, you just write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes just writing what comes to your mind or writing about your day can help.

5- Listen to new music

Try switching up your music playlist, browse some new music, try listening to a different style, read lyrics from inspiration.

6- Force yourself to write

If all fails, you’re left with nothing but to force yourself. As much as forcing yourself to write won’t feel good, sometimes it’s the only way to get things done. You can always edit your draft later if you don’t like it, just write!

Hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope it helped you out! Check out my social media below for more tips on my instagram page. Thank you for reading!

When Should You Use a Pen Name?

As a Writer, you’ve probably heard about pen names before. If not, well a pen name, also known as a pseudonym, is a name your book/work is published under. You may be wondering, should I use a pen name? Well that’s entirely up to you! I’ll list some situations below on when to use one.

1- Privacy

Let’s say writing is just a side-thing for you, or maybe it is your main job but you don’t want it too caught up with your personal life, this is a perfect situation to use a pen name. However, keep in mind that publishers will still get your real name as you have to sign legal documents to publish.

2- Confusion

If your name is pretty basic or common, you might want to use a pen name since many other writers probably published under that name and you don’t want your readers to be confused. You can simply check if your name is used by other writers by going on Amazon or Google and typing it out.

3- Branding

The name displayed on your book plays a big role in branding. Is your name suitable for the genre you’re writing under? For example, if you’re writing a horror novel, you wouldn’t want the name displayed on your book to be too soft or innocent sounding. You may be wondering if a reader would actually care about the author’s name. Well from personal experience as a reader, I’ve realized that I’ve done it multiple times subconsciously. So choose a genre you typically write under and brainstorm pen names that suit it.

4- Simplicity

Having a super long and complicated name is cool and all, but as a reader, would you pronounce a writer’s name that is too hard to pronounce? The easier it is to read the better, because not only will people read it out loud more often but they will probably remember a simpler names over a complicated one. So if your name is too long or hard to pronounce, I’d suggest using a pseudonym. This doesn’t mean that your pen name can’t be unique, just make sure it’s memorable.

How to Choose a Good Pen Name:

1Research

You can use online name generators, or go to a top 100 names list and write down your favorites. This part is probably the most fun when it comes to pen names, so enjoy it! I created my pen name by taking the first two letters of my first name and the last two letters of my last name. There isn’t any right way to do it. You could also write down a list of names you already like and work based on that. Or you could rearrange the letters in your real name- although not everyone will get a good name using this method. (Use a Anagram Generator to make this easier)

2- Use it

Now to make sure no one takes the name you came up with, set up whatever social media account you use with that name. If you’re planning to keep a writer’s blog, create a domain, and if you’re ready to publish, do it!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Thank you for reading, make sure to check out my other posts to help you on your writing journey.

How to Create a Lovable Main Character

I’m sure we’ve all read books before, whether they’re 500-paged novels or short stories from Literature class. Most times if you like the main character, you will enjoy the story. However, if the main character is somehow annoying or never changes, readers wouldn’t want to reread the book or read any future sequels with that main character. So as a writer, you need to make sure that your main character is as lovable as possible, and I’ll teach you how to do that!

Step 1:

Give your character a good and detailed backstory. Why do they act the way they do? What motivates them to embark on their journey? How were they treated as kids? I go more in depth about that in another post.

Step 2:

Give them positive traits and negative ones, no one likes a perfect character. The more relatable the characters are to the reader, the more the reader enjoys reading about them. Make sure they develop throughout the story, unless they’re static characters. What do they learn? How do they change?

Step 3:

Make them understandable, a lovable character doesn’t necessarily have to be a good one! Lots of people like villains, chances are the author explained why that villain acts that way. As long as a reader can understand the character, they’ll love them way more. Like I mentioned in step 1, a proper backstory is a must!

Step 4:

An easy way to make sure your character is realistic is to base them off of real people, whether they’re your friends, family, enemies or celebrities. Real people have real backstories, real personalities, real lives. What makes someone interesting is when they’re not too predictable but not unpredictable in predictable situations. For example, your character just failed an exam and they’re a straight A’s student, most probably, they’ll be upset. But let’s say it’s a less common situation, for example, a character finds a dead body, that’s when an unpredictable reaction makes more sense. They could call the cops, they could run away and ignore it, they could investigate it, etc.

Step 5:

Give them unique traits, it could either be something physical like the way they look or the way they talk, or a hobby or a personality trait that sets them apart from their surroundings. For example, you could have a character that swears a lot, or a character that addresses people using ‘Love’. Every person talks differently, your characters are no different.

THINGS TO AVOID:

  • Don’t make your character perfect.
  • Don’t make them only have flaws, even if they’re a mean character, there must be some positive traits.
  • Avoid boring stereotypes.
  • Your character not learning from the same mistake.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Make sure to check out my social media accounts and other helpful writing tips on my blog, thank you for reading!

How to Write a Book Blurb That Sells

Imagine this: you’re at a bookstore, looking for a new book to buy, you go into your favorite genre’s section and look at all the new options. You pick up a book that seems interesting, the cover is very vibrant and exciting, but then you flip the book to read the summary.

Whether we want to admit it or not, people do judge a book by its cover, but it doesn’t end there, if you’re lucky enough to attract the reader by the cover, you have to make your book blurb even better, and that’s what I’m going to teach you how to do today!

Book blurbs are the short summary in the back cover of any book, they are usually used for promotion, so writing a good one is crucial.

So how do you write a good blurb?

First, identify what genre your book is under, based on the genre, you’ll write the blurb. If you have a horror book, for example, you’d want a blurb that is brief, chilling, and attention-grabbing. So based on each genre, you set the mood your excerpt is supposed to give.

After identifying the genre, write down the main points of your story- excluding the ending, then arrange the points. After that you can modify it to your liking by changing the words, fixing the organization, and by adding or removing some points.

If you don’t want to reveal much about the plot, you could just choose some of your favorite lines from your book, it could be a small part of an important dialogue, or a monologue, and use that. But make sure it’s interesting enough to stand alone without a description. Whether you want to use part of a dialogue or a summary, it’s best to choose your personal favorite part; since you probably put the most effort into it. However, make sure that part is relevant to the main plot line, don’t mislead your readers.

Another way to write a blurb is by including the turning point of your book, for instance, the moment the main character decides to embark on that dangerous mission or the moment when a character is about to make a crucial decision, but don’t reveal if they ended up doing it or not. To be more clear, “Jamie looked at the pros and cons scribbled down on the paper in front of her, and she finally came to a decision, one that may change her life.”

See? It doesn’t have to be long and boring to be a good blurb, something as short as that makes a reader want to find out more about the book. The readers now knows Jamie made a decision, but they don’t if it’ll change her life for better or worse, they don’t even know what the two choices were, now they most probably want to find out.

Another important point to keep in mind: make sure to reveal the problem. What is it that the character is trying to solve? This will give readers a basic idea of what your story is about.

Things you shouldn’t do:

(Keep in mind, this is your book and your blurb, so I’m just mentioning some stuff you shouldn’t do in general, but your book could be an exception.)

  • Don’t include the ending of your book
  • Don’t make it too long, 100-150 words should be enough
  • Don’t reveal too much
  • Don’t make it too short, unless it’s effective enough to gain a reader’s interest

Other points to keep in mind: Put yourself in your reader’s shoes, read your blurb and imagine you’re the reader, would you pick up this book if it wasn’t yours? If you’re worried that you’re too biased, you could ask an honest friend or other writers if they’d read your book based on the summary, you could also go to my contacts page and send me an email or a direct message on Instagram with your blurb, I’d love to give you my opinion!

To summarize it all:

  • Know the genre you’re writing under
  • Choose your favorite part
  • Use dialogue
  • Choose exciting part (rising action)
  • Write down the basic story line, then choose what to include and what not to
  • Show the main problem the character needs to solve

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, don’t forget to comment, share and like! You can find my instagram and ko-fi account below, I post weekly tips there!