writing

The Creative Benefits of Journaling

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Photo by Jess Watters on Pexels.com

Do you want to nourish your creativity? Perhaps you feel blocked from time to time. Did you know that journaling regularly can help artists and creators? Keep reading to find out more!

Benefits of Journaling 

Researchers have shown that the act of journaling is therapeutic. We often have a deluge of thoughts and ideas throughout the course of a day. By writing them down, we may gain insight about what we are thinking or feeling.

  • Notice trends in your creativity 

When journaling about my writing progress, I might take note of the time of day I felt most productive or creative as a writer and why.

  • Learn more about yourself 

This goes hand in hand with the previous point, but throughout the journaling process, I begin to see what upsets or energizes me. Maybe I will discover that I am at my best, creatively, in the early hours of the morning.

  • Clarifies jumbled thoughts 

I have a lot of racing thoughts, so I find it super therapeutic to write them down. When I do this, I can make sense of the tangle in my head. This is calming and I feel ready to move onto creative writing.

Free-Write 

Honestly, when I sit down to write in my journal, I just let my pen fly across the page. It may be a short entry, or it may be a longer entry. Sometimes I will sit down and end up writing a poem or short scene. Other times, I might grumble about how I feel or what I need to get done. If I journal in the morning, I write about any dreams I can still recall.

I even journal about the novel-writing process. After completing a chapter, I go back to my journal and discuss how it went. Sometimes, the practice of journaling about my novel helps unblock my mind if I’ve arrived at a deadend.

Daily Practice

It’s best if you get into the habit of journaling twenty minutes a day. By sitting down and writing, you may surprise yourself by what appears in your notebook! Perhaps you will get a new idea for your latest work-in-progress or discover a solution to a problem you have.

Morning Pages

If you want to learn more about the creative benefits of journaling, check out Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. She highly recommends writing Morning Pages. 

Happy writing, friends!

Until next time,

Loie xo

 

writing

Creating characters

July 3rd, 2018

Hello, lovelies! I hope you are having a good week so far. Happy Camp NaNoWriMo for those of you who are participating, whether you’re editing, writing, or outlining. I hope to write a novella set in the world of THE LOST SAGES, and explore one of my secondary characters, Tsura. I’m excited to learn more about her 🙂

I’ve decided to start blogging about the craft of writing, with the hope of better understanding it. In my own search to understand various techniques, I’ve found some neat books and informational videos.

The wonderful thing about being part of a writing community is getting to share information and tips with one another. After you read this blog, I would love to hear your own thoughts on how to create compelling and real characters 🙂

Writing video notes 

I stumbled upon Kim Chance’s writing videos on YouTube. I really enjoyed listening to her break down some of the various craft elements. In this video, she shared how she creates well-rounded characters. Kim kindly provides a character profile questionnaire that can be found on her website.

She discussed these key points: cultural influences, mannerisms, occupation and socioeconomic status, family relationships, spirituality, and education. Life experience is a big one. What have the characters gone through or what has happened to them before we meet them on page one.

In my book, THE LOST SAGES, Evren is poor and alone at the beginning. This really influences her decision making when Captain Sa’av, infamous pirate, arrives on Ionoke Island, seeking a navigator to bring him to the sinister Sea Queen’s lair.

Personality, of course, is a huge one. How does a character view themselves and how do other characters see them? I loved these two questions!! Oftentimes, we can see ourselves in a different light than those around us 😉

Growth

To become three dimensional, the character must experience some change over the course of the novel and journey.

What is the character’s goal? What is the motivation behind the goal and what is at stake if the character fails? For example, if Evren does not find the sinister Sea Queen’s lair, then her and Captain Sa’av won’t be able to retrieve an antidote to an epidemic that is claiming the air from thousands of lungs across Tarkais.

Question Time

Do you brainstorm all the details of a character before writing them? Do you have an image of the person or perhaps a feeling or situation they are involved with?

When I received an edit letter from a manuscript critique I won, the editor kindly suggested I begin to think about how Evren moves, talks, and interacts with others.

There were some things I knew from the beginning when I drafted THE LOST SAGES. But as always in revisions and rewriting, I learn MORE about my characters. A bit of backstory sheds new light. It’s amazing, the continual unfolding and learning that goes on.

Building Character 

With the help of the questionnaire and a character profile sheet an editor sent me, I found I had plenty of questions to answer when it came time to brainstorm Evren.

I also like to listen to music and let my brain wander, imagining Evren in certain scenarios and wondering how she would react. Free-writing also helps a ton before drafting a novel. I write a random scene with Evren in it. This allows me to see how she would handle a confrontation with a character or a dangerous situation.

Finding their voice 

I find voice a bit tricky and elusive. However, each draft I write or re-write, brings me that much closer to capturing the voice of the character. I think details in the book revealing how they walk (do they slouch, stride, or saunter) and talk (do they have a lisp, accent, or use certain words repeatedly) for example, help with capturing the unique voice of the character. Everything that makes them unique and different, will stand out.

Captain Sa’av, in the first draft of this book, was ice cold and arrogant. I realized early on that wasn’t really him. In fact, he was more goofy and eccentric. Evren appears to be uptight at the beginning, but she really relaxes once she is around people whom she feels safe with. All of this I discovered as I re-wrote.

What do you do?

How do you create characters? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Until next time,

Loie xo

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Enchanted Conversation Magazine publication and #WriteMentor news

June 4th, 2018

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Good morning, everyone! How was your weekend? I cannot believe it is June but I am happily soaking up the sun as much as I can (After applying sunscreen, lol. Otherwise I’ll turn into a lobster).

The flash fiction I wrote for Enchanted Conversation Magazine’s June edition has gone live. This is the beautiful cover art for my fic, Ladybug Cake. Imagine a whimsical and magical night at a Midsummer’s Night Eve party. I hope you enjoy ❤

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#WriteMentor

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“#WriteMentor has been set up to give unagented writers the chance to work with an agented or published author and help develop their manuscript and their overall craft skills and abilities.

We will hold an agent showcase at the end of the process for those who are selected as mentees and agents will look at the pitches and openings and potentially make requests to those manuscripts that look most exciting to them.”

I found out on Thursday that I was selected as a mentee in the #WriteMentor programme. I am beyond thrilled and excited to revise my seafaring fantasy, THE LOST SAGES, with the lovely and brilliant duo, Amber Duell and MB Dalto.

I’ll blog about my experience in a week or so. They have been so encouraging and kind. I know I am going to learn so much in the next three months.

I am so thankful. Keep writing and journeying, friends! What are you working on at the moment?

Until next time,

Loie xo

writing

Writing is re-writing

May 2nd, 2018

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Good afternoon all!

Some of you may have heard this phrase before: writing is re-writing. A lot of the time, we look at the finished book in our hands and don’t realize the amount of drafts it took to get to the final copy. As a reader, I certainly didn’t know much about the process of writing a book.

When I first began writing more seriously in 2012, I was a newbie and didn’t know much about drafting and revising. I finished my first complete novel during NanoWrimo that fall and then in January took a look at the manuscript. It was awful. There were plot holes and two dimensional characters and hardly any description. The bits I did like I saved and then decided a re-write was in order. That was when I began researching how to re-write and revise.

Marissa Meyer has a great series about how she brings her story idea to a complete novel. She outlines what she does in each stage from brainstorming, research, first, second, third drafts, etc. I found that to be quite helpful when tackling my own first re-write.

Presently: the continual learning curve 

I received feedback on my current fantasy WIP, THE LOST SAGES (formally titled EVREN) and am working on it now. There was so much helpful feedback that I’ve created a TO DO list and am tackling each one separately. Even though it feels like I have to climb a mountain, I know in my heart of hearts that I will be so proud of this book when I’m done.

The thing I am realizing too is, this book is one of the first projects I’ve taken on and I am learning SO much. I am receiving insight into myself as a writer and where my strengths and weaknesses lie. I am learning a lot about grammar and proper punctuation and the age old, show don’t tell rule as well as the infamous info dumping in fantasy novels 🙂 It is all good and encouraging. I know this is the path I need to take to grow as a writer. I want to feel confident in my ability to pen a story and have the proper tools in my toolbox, as Stephen King explains craft.

I am at the point in my writing career where I can sense a few things coming down the road. I want to write stories I am proud of and that have heart in them. I want people to to resonate with them and perhaps see themselves in the characters. I also want to write the best story possible. I don’t want to settle.

This week I have been thinking a lot about creativity and projects we take on. Sometimes if we take on too much, our writing suffers because of it. I’ve noticed that I haven’t been able to focus as much and find it hard to return and work on THE LOST SAGES. I sat down and wrote in my journal, trying to discern what was keeping me distracted. Too many projects on the go. I needed to narrow my focus and so I have. Now, I set myself a reachable goal for each week and hope to have this latest draft done by June.

What are you all working on? How many drafts do you write? I would love to hear below.

Until next time,

Loie xo

Uncategorized

#AMMConnect

March 3rd, 2018 9:53 am

Good morning all!

This blog post is dedicated to my young-adult fantasy, EVREN. I am planning on participating in Author Mentor Match – a fabulous opportunity for an aspiring author to be matched up with a mentor. The mentor and mentee work together to get the manuscript ready for submission to potential agents. *Squees*

It’s an amazing opportunity and I cannot get over the support and encouragement I see in the children’s literature world these past few years. There are heaps of contests and opportunities for aspiring authors.

http://authormentormatch.com/

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Traveling through Killarney, Ireland

Welcome! My name is Loie Dunn and I am an aspiring young adult fantasy author.  I am twenty-six-years old and I live in eastern Canada with my barber and ancient Jack Russell Terrier. Walking on the beach to collect sea glass is one of my favorite activities 🙂

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This photo was taken at the Cliffs of Moher where I was visiting one of my best friend’s, Triona. That trip was one of the best I have ever been on. Ireland is so beautiful – it truly is an emerald jewel. The people are so genuine and friendly. Did I mention they have awesome live music at nearly every pub?

I love to travel 😀 I hope to travel more in the future. Paris, Moscow, Africa, and Germany are on my bucket list. Someday …. 😉

Without further ado…. my work-in-progress: young adult fantasy, EVREN…

AKA a seafaring adventure with magic, romance, and friendship! 

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EVREN follows the dual POV of a young female sea navigator and an elf who has just been promoted as King’s Guard.

We get to follow Evren while she navigates the sea and East, who is learning how to manage his new position while relations become strained with the landwalkers and the sun-fae of Tarkais. East finds it doubly hard when a lovely sun-fae comes to court and asks for his help. Why? Her people are being persecuted.

Evren lives on a poor island, fishing for a living, because she cannot find any navigating jobs. When the handsome and eccentric Captain Sa’av arrives on the island looking for someone to bring him to the sinister Sea Queen’s lair, Evren jumps at the task. Even though Rusalka’s lair is not found with landwalkers eyes, Evren promises Sa’av that she can bring him there.

Evren has a secret: she can navigate the sea without a compass.

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What happens when Evren finds out the real reason they are going to Rusalka’s Lair?

An epidemic is sweeping Tarkais and Captain Sa’av is charged with finding an antidote to the sickness that has infected him and more to follow. Evren cannot walk away from this task, especially not when she has begun to fall for the Captain.

Will Rusalka give them the antidote? Evren is uncertain, especially since the Sea Queen has begun to utter death threats over the wind.

There you have it, friends! Thank you for reading. I hope you like my story 🙂

Now to keep editing until Author Mentor Match.

Loie ❤