I fell behind in the #AtoZChallenge some. For good reason, I’m busy with a few different things – exciting things – but things that are still in process.
So, flash time! For every letter, I will aim to write a few sentences and then move on about the topic. Not going to even edit! Quick, instant thoughts about each topic in reference to writing.
L is for Light
When writing in your own space, something to consider is what light you work best in. This will change from time to time, but you can manipulate your moods (and thus, the creative decisions you make) by what lighting you immerse yourself in. Beyond daylight, if writing in the evening or night (or a dark room), placing different colors in an overhead or hanging light can create an atmosphere of color. For instance, I make use of a green light and turn it on when I want an eerie (but calm) mood for writing.
M is for Meaning
The meaning behind a writer’s creative decision can range from completely spontaneous (no conscious meaning at all) to being highly thought-out (extremely consciously aware). Character names, appearances, personalities can all be metaphors with meanings behind them. The same can be said for nearly every creative decision possible within fiction writing, including world settings, plot choices, and more.
N is for News
News can sometimes inform stories and characters, but be careful when using news stories for ideas. A lot of news outlets have narratives and agendas, so what you’re looking at is cherry-picked examples of things that’ve happened that a wider range of companies want you to know about. When using news for ideas, it is better to scour obscure references like small-time news presses or historical articles or even fictional/satirical outlets because it should be about sparking creativity in your mind.
O is for Outline
Outlines are an indispensable tool for many writers and some swear that it is impossible to properly write without them. There are many frameworks for outlines and different approaches from beat sheets to overarching plot summaries. Outlines provide the function of seeing a work from a larger picture and catch potential plot holes or errors in characterization from a quick glance. It, also, provides the writer to not have to think so much about creative decisions while writing the actual story because they simply follow an outline they already have set out.
P is for Paragraph
A paragraph should not be forgotten when writing. Paragraphs can range from a single word for the more dramatic of lines to a multi-page soliloquy. Paragraph format tends to depend on the author and what they’re looking to accomplish. Similar to the aspect post I wrote, having variety for paragraphs helps readers stay engaged with the work. There are different suggestions when it comes to formatting a paragraph for narrative versus a paragraph for dialogue, as well. This can be played with by an author to find what works best for the flow of the reader’s eye.
Q is for Quality
What decides quality of literature and stories? Or more… who? It’s often been pointed out that high-quality and best-seller do not go hand-in-hand with one another. The same can be said for traditional publishing and what gets put on bookshelves by the Big Five. There are standards, a certain threshold of quality determined by editors, but top quality is not the top priority when it comes to actually marketing books to the masses. Understanding this can take some pressure off writers who are more perfectionist by nature (ala being me) and allow them to finish work that isn’t perfect quality, but the best that it can be at the time.
R is for Reading
It’s cliché and talked about so very much, but reading is considered a necessity for writers to keep up on the markets and literary techniques. The most important thing about reading as a writer is to maintain awareness when you see something you like in a way that you can deconstruct what is happening and why you like it so much. Being able to deconstruct and reconstruct literary elements can provide an understanding which will be applied to your own writing over time. Reading also happens in the form of research for actual topics (such as history) and genre-exploration when considering entering the market for a specific niche. Just remember to read for fun and enjoyment sometimes and keep a list of authors and genres where you can relax some.